George Mason, a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, predicted that the federal government would become a site of the blackest crimes. Mason proved to be prescient. Washington, D.C., is a vampire, a vampire that continually saps the American populace and the American economy of its lifeblood: liberty.
Washington, D.C.s vampirism prevails through the confiscatory federal tax code, deficit spending, inflationary monetary policy and protectionism -- all of which undermine the foundation of liberty on which America is erected. This foundation is manifested in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Washington, D.C., has constrained the liberty of the American people and, thus, the pro-growth, innovative American economy. The Washington, D.C., vampire must be warded off and killed to emancipate the American people from its tyrannical hold.
To fend off a vampire, one must use garlic or a crucifix. In this instance, garlic will be the passage of the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax will replace the current confiscatory, incentive-killing federal tax code. The personal income tax, payroll tax, capital gains tax, corporate income tax, and estate tax would be eliminated under the Fair Tax and replaced by a national consumption tax on all retail purchases. Each American citizen will decide when he or she pays taxes under the Fair Tax based on when he or she makes a retail purchase. The cost of compliance will decrease to almost nothing.
The crucifix will be the implementation of a free-trade regime. Protectionist trade policies shield inefficient and uncompetitive companies from the vicissitudes of the market. Protectionist trade policies also subject the American citizenry to higher costs of goods and services. Trade protectionism keeps the American economy from going through a natural regenerative process. There should be a draw down in foreign aid provided by America that is commensurate to the opening of the American market.
Another way to kill a vampire is to expose the vampire to sunlight or drive a wooden stake through the vampires heart. A return to the gold standard would be akin to exposing a vampire to sunlight. The gold standard would return America to the foundation of stable money, free from the present machinations of the federal government -- no more quantitative easing. Americas leaving the gold standard coincided with the destruction of the American middle class.
Passage of a balanced budget amendment would drive a wooden stake through the heart of Washington, D.C. It would put an end to the profligate spending that has plagued the nations capital the last three decades. To be the wooden stake, a balanced budget amendment must be adopted that requires Congress to balance the budget every year, that each years budget cannot be greater than 18 percent of the previous years gross domestic product, and for Congress to pass an unbalanced budget in any year, raise the debt ceiling or raise taxes there must be a vote of two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively.
To make sure a vampire stays dead, the head must be separated from the body and burned, and then head and body must be buried in separate graves. The equivalent of that with Washington, D.C., is doing all four of the above-mentioned: adopt the Fair Tax, pass a balanced budget amendment, return to the gold standard, and implement a free-trade regime.
This is an opinion column. Deon Long, an attorney, is running for the Republican nomination to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012.