What would Maine’s crisis response look like had I had been inaugurated Governor of Maine on January 2nd, 2019, rather than Janet Mills?
Originally published in April of 2020
While it is easy to sit on the sidelines and pontificate about what a libertarian or self-governance society would do in response to a pandemic, in this posting I aim to outline what specific actions I would have taken- and will take if still required- upon being elected Governor of Maine and how they would have affected our ability to respond to this situation and future ones.
It would have been a focal point of my campaign to enact the Tenth Amendment of The Constitution and nullify all federal regulations and laws which are not expressly delegated to the Federal Government, eliminate state income tax, remove all existing executive orders which violate natural rights, working with the legislature to nullify all laws in violation of The Constitution of Maine, and eliminating CON Laws. With this being the focal point of my campaign, it would be expected of me if elected to follow through with eliminating state regulations and funding measures and use the same tacit consent which the government claimed to get us into this mess to reduce rather than expand government power.
Within my first month as Governor (by the end of January 2019) I would have established three oversight committee’s who’s purpose was to identify executive orders, regulations, laws, and taxes for all sectors which government has claimed control of, to include but not limited to healthcare services and access, logging and hemp production, educational services, homesteading laws, zoning laws, transportation, labor, private property, and individual sovereignty. Three separate committees would be created – The Health Care Committee, The Entrepreneurial Committee and The Committee on the Constitution – and will be staffed with Constitutional experts, entrepreneurs, and professionals of all levels from related fields whose objective it would have been to find intrusions or impediments of the free market which hindered our responsiveness and economic growth. These committees would have been given six-months (till July 2019) to conduct their research, complete a list of all such violations, draft legislation to repeal such violations, and deliver all materials to the legally prescribed committees for review as well as myself.
From the time of their submission to Janet Mills Declaration of a State of Emergency would be roughly eight and a half months giving us time to have had many burdensome regulations and taxes eliminated before the outbreak. In that time, I would have signed an Executive Order declaring the 16th Amendment of the Constitution nullified in Maine and provide no aid to the federal government in prosecuting those who chose to keep their wealth rather than fund the largest band of murders and thieves to ever walk the face of the earth. This would allow the average worker to keep $8,000 to $12,000 per year more without a raise! Now I can’t promise there would not be self-mandated stay at home orders, but I can promise that I would not impose any such orders. Those who chose to stay home would have done so of their own volition and been afforded nearly a year of income tax-free living prior, affording them the ability to stay home without requiring the government print an excess of currency.
By repealing the state income tax and allowing each worker to retain an additional 5-7% of their income the average worker would retain an additional $2,700 per year in addition to the already kept $10,000 after all is said and done. While I have no clue how long it would take to repeal the state income tax I know that previous administrations have attempted and failed this process giving me no indication that the legislature will allow a quick process thus I will not include the savings from the state income tax in our final tally.
I would have pushed for legislation to eliminate licensing requirements for all professions to allow for greater access to new avenues of wealth creation and self-reliance. Concerning the medical field, I would have required a review of all licensing requirements and eliminated those which slow down the proper allocation of resources, kept available space and staff limited to artificially control cost to create a more accessible level of care with the ultimate goal to allow each hospital the ability to give an appropriate license for the field that individual is in, with oversight from their insurance company and consumers rather than the state.
I would have shrunk the budget rather than expanding it with several key acts and many small ones. I am torn as to which I would do first but selling all government buildings worth over $200,000 and proposing legislation to reduce all government employee’s income to the average income for the state are on the top of the list. Now, these may be a drop in the bucket when compared to the nearly $8 Trillion budget that will carry Maine through 2021 but they send an important message on what government should be and the size it ought to be.
I would have passed the End Policing for Profit Act, The Second and Fourth Amendment Protection Acts, and The Keep the Guard Home Act which would have saved an untold number of tax dollars by only using government funds to enforce violations of private property, not government opinion.
All of this sounds wonderful in theory but how would repealing these rules play out?
I must admit that there is no way to know exactly it would play out, there are too many companies with different interests and private individuals willing to accept varying degrees of risk, but I feel comfortable offering a prediction as to how my actions would have affected different sectors and individuals in general.
One such law related to the health care field that would have been up for repeal would be our states aptly named CON Laws, or Certificate of Need Laws, which prohibit healthcare facilities from expanding, being built, or opening based on the “needs of the community”; rather than allowing each provider to determine the level of space required to properly care for patients, our state has claimed its unquestionable expertise on this subject. By eliminating these laws, we allow small out-patient facilities to pop up in rural areas, hospitals to expand their room and staff and give you more control over your access to healthcare. These small out-patient clinics would have been able to relieve stress on the hospitals by providing extra testing capabilities, check-ups, and nurses. I am sure many clinics would work out a deal with hospitals where they each direct patients to the appropriate facility based on the level of care required allowing hospitals to focus on those affected by the virus and the clinics to focus on broken bones, sprains, and x-rays. This division of labor would sort itself out since there is a clear profit to be made by both parties involved – since profits are only maintained due to good service it would be irrational to think that a bad hospital could remain open for long without government assistance.
Having eliminated wasteful spending on administration costs by firing government employees who do not fit into the necessary and proper description of a government employee, because the position they hold should not legally exist, as outlined by the Necessary and Proper Clauses of the United States Constitution or Maine States own Constitution, hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, would have been saved in the months leading up the outbreak allowing for a more targeted response to the virus and would have allowed us to acquire needed resources or smooth the transition from in school learning to at-home learning programs by providing the materials students and teachers need to telecommute for learning.
With that being said, I would not have closed the schools down. I would have allowed each Principal to decide how they would proceed based on parent recommendations and concerns. It would be reasonable to see some parents would remove their children due to health concerns while others would not, leading to the creation of an online service and a condensing of in-person classroom sizes. Teachers would be allowed to take a leave of absence if they feared for their safety during this pandemic in accordance with their employment contract, and I would propose two payment plans for those who take their leave; you can receive two-thirds pay to teach the online course or receive no pay and enjoy your vacation. This would allow teachers the right to decide how they dealt with their health while still allowing them to earn the income they receive, rather than being entitled to it.
With the elimination of many labor laws, taxes and entrance fees, comes the ability to create new avenues of wealth for the poorest among us by allowing them to provide services in demand to the customers who desired them; from taxi services to a hairdresser, daycare provider to mechanic, you would see a plethora of new “one-man-band” businesses started by those who were previously earning under $15 an hour since the possible reward is so high and the risk is so low. Practically speaking, even if the individual did fail, the worst-case scenario is maybe a couple of months of lower-than-average income followed by a re-entrance to the labor market at a rate near, if not the same, as before they left the market. It would allow parents and their children to open small family businesses without having to hire expensive lawyers simply to comply with state regulations or go bankrupt from their tax liability but most importantly it would give you, the individual, control over one the most important parts of your life- how you use your body and mind to generate wealth. If one is not able to generate wealth or decide how to use their body in a free manner, are they truly free?
I would not have issued a stay-at-home order, nor would I have declared a State of Emergency in response to the outbreak but rather I would have suggested our medical community and business community discuss a plan of action independent from the state, meaning it is without the threat of force to enforce compliance. Simply put, two heads are better than one, and hundreds of business owners and hospitals with their own reputation and finances on the line are better than any government oversight committee in history. By allowing each business and each worker to weigh the risk of infection and decide for themselves if they wish to take a leave of absence, work from home, or continue as normal we give the individual back the ability to decide whether their job is essential or not and take it from the government. By allowing individuals choice we also allow them to dictate how the market will respond through their changes in spending, selling, or savings leading to a more efficient outcome than one forced from on high.
Restaurants may have seen a decrease in revenue but it’s hard to believe they would have all switched to carry out only and limited the number of employees in the store as they have been forced to do now. Restaurants would create six-foot separations between customers, have designated walking lanes, allow staff to wear masks and gloves, or any other number of possible preventions that would allow them to continue serving customers and suffer a smaller than otherwise decrease in revenue. As a human being your safety is solely your responsibility and it would be unfair, not to mention illogical, to expect business owners to take costly measures for every aspect of your safety rather than you accept the risk inherent in leaving your home.
As I mentioned in an earlier section, I would have pushed for the passage of The End Policing for Profit Act which reduces many of the criminal offenses currently on the books and makes it a crime to enforce any law which is not a private property violation. By reducing the number of criminal offenses on the books we allow our police force to focus on assisting victims of crimes and protecting the residents of Maine; you know, they job they want to do. Rather than enforcing codes, wasting manpower to catch speeders, or enforcing victimless drug laws, they could go after killers, rapists, and thieves. The obvious upsides would be an increase in trust between our community and those who are charged with protecting it, while reducing the required funds and manpower needed to enforce the law. This goes hand in hand with my plan to drastically reduce taxation, business regulations, and expand personal liberty since many of the unjust and unconstitutional laws on the books fall into these categories. Long story short, this law would make policing more cost-effective and focused on the community rather than mandates from a central authority.
By passing both the Second Amendment Protection Act and the Fourth Amendment Protection Act I would codify your right to protect your life and property in the most efficient manner you see fit by declaring all federal firearms regulations unconstitutional and void of force through the process known as nullification. This would mean that no state resources could legally be made available to the federal government if they enforced firearms laws on Maine soil and would enable our protection services (police and national guard) to legally end what would be seen as hostile aggression against the rights of the individuals or groups attacked. The Fourth Amendment Protection Act would make it illegal for any government employee or office to allocate resources to the federal government for purposes of general surveillance or illegal spying while also making it illegal for the federal and state government to collect or store your data.
The combined effect of all these reductions in state power would allow individuals rather than the state to deal with the outbreak leading to thousands of different tactics being used in competition with each other to both maintain revenue and take appropriate risk factors into account for personal safety. With folks having been able to save more of their money they would be in a better position to forgo wages for a month without requiring the government to act giving you more control and stability during this time. More hospital space and staff would have been immediately sought to provide more care or separate patients easier. More masks would have been produced by small manufactures in the state and resources would have been reallocated from less productive means to more productive means – those more productive means would be the medical supplies and personal health supplies demanded by the consumers. Without laws prohibiting price gouging available supplies would have gone further and prevented a run-on toilet paper, face masks, hand sanitizer, and other products which only ran out because folks panic bought. Children would still be attending school, depending on the parent’s decisions, and parents would be working. The true culmination of all these policies is a return of your sovereign rights as a human being.
At the risk of rambling, I feel like I should close this out with a summary of what you just read; If I had been elected Governor on January 2, 2019, instead of Janet Mills I would have returned to individuals their sovereignty as granted by nature and codified in the Bill of Rights, I would have given you control over your labor and the wealth created by said labor and I would recognize that I am no King but a humble servant who wishes dominion over no one, only freedom for all.