Friday, October 17, 2008

Bill Redpath Visits Charlottesville - Part II

As I noted previously, U.S. Senate candidate Bill Redpath made two appearances in Charlottesville on October 16. In the afternoon, he was a guest on "The Schilling Show" on WINA-AM. In the evening, he was a guest of University Libertarians at the University of Virginia, speaking in Newcomb Hall to an audience of students and Charlottesville residents.

Redpath has been traveling around the state, meeting with groups of voters and with journalists. While he has not been permitted to participate in debates with his principal opponents, former governors Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner, he has been able to get some press attention.

For instance, last week Redpath had an op-ed piece in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, which addressed the current economic situation. He began his article by drawing an analogy to a popular movie of the 1970s:

Driving from campaign event to campaign event--when I was the Libertarian candidate for governor in 2001, I drove 7,000 miles in the last five weeks of the campaign, and I never left Virginia--these days, sometimes I think about the movie, "Smokey and the Bandit." Maybe it's because of the passing earlier this year of my father, a quiet, stoic, Midwestern electrical engineer, who was a tightly closeted Burt Reynolds fan.

But, in particular, I think of one segment, in which (unless my memory fails me) Sheriff Buford T. Justice deems the pursuit of The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) insufficiently important to skip a meal. The sheriff runs into a roadside diner and orders a meatloaf sandwich, which he gobbles down while talking to the man seated next to him, who, unbeknownst to him, is the subject of his pursuit.

The Bandit eggs Sheriff Justice on to describe the ostensibly unlawful exploits of The Bandit. When The Bandit suggests the possible misconduct is insufficiently egregious, the sheriff turns to The Bandit and says, "Son, that's baby [poop] compared to what this guy's done."

The reason that I think of this scene is that for all of the (very valid) recent concern about high gasoline prices, the "credit crunch," the woes on Wall Street, and the resulting bailout bill (which I would have voted against), I think these problems are small potatoes when compared to this nation's main economic problem of the 21st century: our aging population and the coming entitlement spending explosion.
Entitlement spending is a major theme of Redpath's campaign. He addressed it on the radio with Rob Schilling, during an address at Virginia Commonwealth University last week, and again at the University of Virginia last night. He is concerned about the coming bankruptcy of both Social Security and Medicare. (See the video, below, for more details about Redpath's views on this issue.)

Reporting on Redpath's speech at UVA, associate editor Emily Poe of the Cavalier Daily wrote:
U.S. Senate candidate William Redpath, the current Libertarian National Committee chairman, spoke yesterday about his ambitions and goals for the country if elected, primarily those regarding national security, social security and public education.

The Liberty Coalition at the University hosted the event, which provided a forum for numerous views running contrary to those espoused by Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner, the Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, respectively.

Redpath, a clear non-favorite to win the election according to the most recent polls, which show Gilmore and Warner far ahead of alternative candidates, emphasized that he is running for office just as much for the chance of succeeding as for the chance of spreading different opinions and views.

“I wanted there to be a Libertarian voice in this election,” Redpath said.
Poe added:
Less trade regulation, in conjunction with reduced government spending, a flat tax system and an emphasis on improving the value of the dollar — possibly via the implementation of a gold standard — would better help address the financial concerns facing the country and world today, Redpath said.

Among those economic concerns, Redpath identified Social Security as one of the most significant. In fact, he said he believes the nation’s biggest economic problem this year is that the first wave of baby boomers are now eligible for Social Security.
“The Social Security trust fund is a complete economic illusion,” he said.

The “6.2 percent solution” provides the best option for the Social Security problem, Redpath said, which would allow workers to waive their Social Security accounts in order to put that money into their own accounts.

Individual citizens, though, are not the only ones who should be saving, Redpath noted. Government officials also need to cut back spending in both energy and regulatory sectors, he said. In regards to energy issues Redpath said the development of new energy technologies should be left to the energy experts — not the federal government.
Redpath spoke for about an hour at UVA, including a good 30 minutes of Q&A discussion with members of the audience. Conforming to YouTube standards of length, I have divided his presentation into eight parts.

Jim Lark, a former national chairman of the Libertarian Party, introduced Redpath.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Part V:

Part VI:

Part VII:

Part VIII:

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