On the Issues


Taxation

You own your labor and the fruits it bears. You rent your labor to employers or customers for agreed upon compensation. You use that compensation to acquire goods, services, and property. The government does not have a rightful claim to any part of those transactions.

There are many taxes that need to be rescinded, and we need to prioritize.

The one that I will focus on first is Utah’s grocery tax. As is too common in government circles, someone had a wretched idea: punish people for purchasing of the necessities of life. As a proportion of total wages, this tax hits working and middle class Utahns harder than the affluent. It should be permanently and immediately abolished.

Lockdowns & Mandates

Authoritarian mandates and lockdowns are antithetical to liberty and I stand against the measures taken by miniature dictators over the last two years. While Utah did not suffer as badly as many other states, we need controls in place to make sure that any attempts to repeat the crimes perpetrated by governors throughout the country are as politically painful as possible.

Criminal Justice Reform

Law enforcement reform is badly needed. There is a litany of despicable practices that need to be ended:

  • Civil asset forfeiture
  • Qualified immunity
  • The militarization of police
  • The death penalty

No-knock raids and SWAT teams have their place and role in meaningful law enforcement, but their usage must be restricted to cases where violence has already started.

Sentencing and corrections also need an overhaul. It is shameful that the “land of the free” has the highest incarceration rate in the developed world.

Only violent offenders who hurt or threaten other people should be sentenced to prison.

When a property offender is sent to prison, they often have no means to pay restitution, leaving their victim without justice. Property offenders should be sentenced to pay restitution with interest to their victims and carry a record on their credit scores until that debt is paid off.

The war on drugs and other victimless crimes should be repealed, and prisoners who are serving sentences only for those crimes should be released immediately.

School Choice & Reform

Monopolies, especially those enforced by government, are terrible for consumers, and education is not an exception. Tax money that is collected for the purpose of educating a child should follow that child to fund his or her education, not to fund a specific government office. Parents know their children best and should be allowed to select the best fit for their students.

In public schools, more money should go directly into the classroom and not be squandered on unnecessary administrators and other staff.

Defund the DABS

Another state monopoly that needs to be abolished is the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Service, which restricts consumer choice while artificially raising consumer prices. In addition, it forces taxpayers who have a religious or moral objection to alcohol to be unwitting participants in liquor distribution.

We need to open up the free market to better serve consumers and get the government out of the liquor business.

Right to Self Defense

When the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, it was not a new right that was suddenly granted to the people by the newly formed government. Instead, it was a recognition of a natural right that pre-existed any government.

I wholly stand up for the absolute right of individuals to arm and defend themselves from threats, both foreign and domestic. I will work with any like-minded officials to pre-emptively nullify any federal attempt to infringe upon that right.

War and Peace

War is the ultimate action of the government, determining literally life and death for millions of individuals. When drafting the United States Constitution, the founding fathers did not trust the executive branch with this power; it was too similar to having an unchecked king. The power to declare war was specifically entrusted to the legislative branch so that the ultimate decision would be closest to the people who would bear the costs.

Fast forward to today. Of all the wars in which the U.S. has been involved in its history, the last constitutionally declared war was World War II. The legislative branch has abdicated its constitutional role, and the executive branch, under both parties, has eagerly absorbed those powers. We have drifted so far away from the Constitution in the most important issue that in many cases, the president commits the lives of our troops to danger without even consulting with Congress.

This is primarily a federal issue, but there is a state aspect to this. I will proudly introduce, sponsor, or support Defend the Guard legislation. This legislation instructs the governor to only contribute Utah National Guard members to combat situations if there is a constitutional declaration of war by the Congress.