Former U.S Marine Brigadier General Mark Bircher has joined The R3VOLution!
He is running for U.S Congress in Florida CD 13 in the Special Election Republican Primary, which will take place on January 14 2014.
District 13 is located in Pinellas County Florida, it includes an area from Dunedin to western and northern St. Petersburg.
Click these links to see if you are in the district:
If he wins, he will be in the March 14 2014 Special Election.
Thanks to the Republican Liberty Caucus of Tampa Bay for sending this survey to Mr. Bircher and the other candidates.
Economic Issues & Taxes
1. What can Congress do to help return manufacturing jobs to the United States?
Bircher: No US trade negotiator may sit on any foreign company board of directors or similar organization for ten years after leaving government service. Everything Congress does must either add to the security of the states or relate to enhancing US business interests, jobs, trade, economic growth, markets, etc. Everything else is purview of state legislator.
2. How should the federal government proceed in addressing the national debt?
Bircher: Require federal government to adhere to 10th Amendment and point to where in Art I, Sec 8, federal authority exists within enumerated powers. Also, please see answer #3 below, debt and taxes are related.
3. Do you support a reconsideration of the US tax code? If so, what changes do you propose or support?
Bircher: Return to Founder’s intent of politicians being directly accountable for spending (through the election process) every other November. Essentially, return to the “apportionment” system that existed prior to the 16th Amendment. Short term change = balanced budget. Long term change = repeal 16th Amendment, and end the IRS as being unnecessary.
4. Do you support a full and complete audit of the Federal Reserve?
Bircher: Please see Ron Paul’s comments for my position.
5. When is US military intervention in other nations justified?
Bircher: US Const Art I Sec 8, clauses 11, 12, 13, control. Depends upon the nature of the situation requiring intervention and the intervention forces anticipated. For example, military intervention to evacuate an embassy staff and American citizens during civil unrest in a foreign country, as opposed to major actions like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. NO undeclared wars. Only US Marines allowed to intervene without war declaration, (clause 13 – congressional authority to maintain a Navy, Marines in Dept of Navy,). The President and Congress have the constitutional authority to deploy Marines, but Congressional approval by “up or down” vote of Congress is required to deploy US Army, (clause 12) . “Since only the People actually pay in ‘Blood and Treasure’ for war, only the People may properly decide upon war.” Thomas Jefferson. George Washington’s “Farewell Address”, probably the best source for cogent policy on this issue.
6. What are your thoughts on the current policy of targeted drone strikes in foreign countries?
Bircher: Drone attacks are a “bright line” violation of the US Constitution unless Congress declares a war.
7. Is foreign aid a worthwhile expenditure for our government? What changes, if any, would you propose to our current foreign aid program?
Bircher: For the immediate future, I favor a total suspension of foreign aid until the budget crisis is solved. If and when we are fiscally solvent, we then review our foreign aid expenditure within the scope of George Washington’s “Farewell Address” and the mindset of, “Policy follows interests.
8. Do you favor scaling back or ending the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs? If so, what changes do you propose or support?
Bircher: Domestic surveillance by warrants only.
9. Do you favor a repeal of the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA of 2012? Why or why not?
Bircher: The ancient based writ of habeas corpus is arguably the most powerful tool of free men over injustice ever invented. Arbitrary imprisonment is the most pernicious indicator of government tyranny that exists. I favor repeal of all government actions that trample the US Constitution. If history is a teacher, the people of the US are closer than they can ever imagine to the abuse the government now projects on “enemy combatants.” Detained people are either prisoners of war, or suspected criminals. There are no other possibilities. In either case, the process of law controls. Inventing new classifications of detainees, e.g., “enemy combatant” and new processes “ad hoc” are Orwellian in there circumvention of law. “‘Necessity’, is the justification of tyrants and the creed of slaves.” William Pitt.
10. How can the War on Drugs be improved?
Bircher: Mostly by getting the federal government out of the process. This is a state issue.
The US Constitution
11. Do you support the Constitutional restrictions on federal government powers enumerated in Article I, Section 8 as an absolute limit on all government functions and programs?
Bircher: Yes. All civilian and military officers take a personal oath, on their honor, to the Constitution. I believe the voluntary decision to take the oath, answers the above question.
12. Do you support a state’s right to nullify federal law, as many have already done for example by legalizing medical marijuana, or blocking implementation of the Affordable Care Act?
Bircher: The federal government is an invention of the states to serve state interests. The “supremacy” clause, Art VI, Sec 2, only applies when there is a conflict of laws within the enumerated powers of the federal government and a state. In my view, states do not need a “right to nullify” federal law outside the enumerated powers because state law is already supreme in those instances; please see 9th and 10th Amendments.
13. Are there any departments of the federal government that you believe could be significantly scaled back, reallocated to the states, or ended completely? If so, which ones, and why?
Bircher: All departments, agencies, bureaus, etc., in the Executive Branch that are outside of the enumerated powers, e.g., Dept of Educ, HUD, H&S, etc., should be eliminated in their entirety. We are actually losing our liberty faster on the “regulatory” side of the federal government, e.g., TSA, than the statutory. All other organizations with federal and state shared responsibilities should be eliminated or “right sized” in accordance with what the states say is required to support state interests.
14. Do you support a repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
Bircher: Yes, outside enumerated powers
15. What reforms do you propose to make healthcare more affordable and accessible?
Bircher: Any regulation of healthcare should be decided by the state legislatures, and not by the federal government. There is no reason central government is involved in healthcare. The word “affordable” is actually meaningless in the context of health care, except for its populist appeal. No has ever actually defined what “affordable” means in the ACA context; affordable to whom? Concerning healthcare, I am aligned with the ideas of Dr. Benjamin Carson.
16. In what way(s) should government be involved with marriage?
Bircher: None at the federal level. Whatever the states decide through their legislatures at the state level.
17. What involvement should the federal government have in regard to abortion?
Bircher: The Framers had abortion and covered the issue completely in the 9th Amendment. Again, a state issue. SCOTUS should never have granted certiorari to hear Roe v. Wade, or Doe v. Bolton because there is no valid federal question (privacy basis was specious at best, frivolous at worst) to provide jurisdiction.
18. Currently, one US Congressman utilizes social networking to promote government transparency by sharing every single vote he casts in Congress, and providing an explanation for that vote. Will you promise to provide a similar level of openness and accessibility to the votes you cast?
Bircher: Yes. As a public servant, bright lights and transparency must be a component to enable the people’s scrutiny and review of their Rep’s voting record.
Additional comments or thoughts:
Bircher: “A Republic deserves the government it elects or tolerates.” Thomas Jefferson
Remember to vote on January 14th in the Republican primary, and March 11th for the general election!
If you found this questionnaire useful, please consider offering a small contribution, so that we may continue our work and reach new people with the message of sensible limited government, free markets, and individual Liberty. https://rlctb.org/
Thanks to the Daily Paul for this! Here is a link, apparently this guy is responding to the emails that the Ron Paul folks are sending him. They discuss it in their threads.