This website is not in any way affiliated with the American Common Sense Party. This website represents solely the ideas and opinions of Kevin R. Minkoff, CPA. Much of the following closely follows the platform of the Libertarian Party. However, a close examination of any of the major party platforms, including that of the Libertarian Party, clearly shows they all lack a good deal of common sense.
As Individuals with Common Sense, while we seek and value individual liberty, we understand that a society, made up of those individuals, will only survive under the rule of law as established, modified and maintained by those same individuals. Government is the institution created to administer those laws whose overriding intent is to defend the rights of the individual.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, with the least bit of interference from government or any authoritarian power as possible that still permits a civil society.
In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.
We, the members of the Common Sense Party of the United States, believe in the Constitution of the United States, and the principles established by the Bill of Rights as these documents were originally intended by those individuals so designated as the fathers of our nation. Therefore, we believe that the pinnacle of governing agency is the state and not the federal government.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Government will not be permitted to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
Government must not violate the rights of any individual: namely,
(1) the right to life—accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others;
(2) the right to liberty of speech and action—accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and
(3) the right to property—accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
We therefore take a common sense approach to the need for government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. Where one party to a transaction possesses the ability to take unfair advantage of the other party to the transaction, or act in an illegal manner, to influence the outcome of such transaction against the other party, governing bodies must be present to safeguard individual rights and prevent the sacrifice of individual lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to the greatest extent possible to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.
Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.
We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.
Common Sense dictates that individual privacy and government transparency is paramount. We are committed to ending government’s practice of spying on everyone. We support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, property, and communications. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should include records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records.
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.
Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs. This statement shall not be construed to condone child abuse or neglect.
The prescribed role of government is to protect the rights of every individual including the right to life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Therefore, we favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer to make the victim “whole.” Amounts charged a convicted criminal or negligent individual as punishment for their wrongdoings shall be awarded to charity and in no way available to the victim or their representatives. The constitutional rights of the criminally accused, including due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must be preserved. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.
We oppose the administration of the death penalty.
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights—life, liberty, and justly acquired property—against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition. The Second Amendment is not a federal issue. Any opposition to the Second Amendment must be addressed to the appropriate State government.
All members of society must have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.
As respect for property rights is fundamental to maintaining a free and prosperous society, it follows that the freedom to contract to obtain, retain, profit from, manage, or dispose of one’s property must also be upheld. Property owners shall be free from government restrictions on their rights to control and enjoy their property, as long as their choices do not harm or infringe on the rights of others. Eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, governmental limits on profits, governmental production mandates, and governmental controls on prices of goods and services (including wages, rents, and interest) are abridgements of such fundamental rights. For voluntary dealings among private entities, parties should be free to choose with whom they trade and set whatever trade terms are mutually agreeable.
Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.
While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.
A federal government is required only for the purpose of interstate regulation and national security. We call for the transfer of all other federal programs and services to the states. The federal government shall consist of the existing senate and congress. The president shall exist solely to preside over the joint houses of the senate and congress. The president and vice president shall be elected every two years by the members of the senate from among the existing members of the congress at that time. The executive branch of government shall otherwise cease to exist.
Every entity, whether commercial, charitable or governmental, requires funds to operate. In the case of governmental agencies, revenues are obtained through income taxes. We therefore propose the following income tax:
Taxable income for businesses shall be calculated using an acceptable method of accounting as established by the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Taxable income will include worldwide income of US companies, and US revenues of foreign companies. (Foreign income will no longer be exempt) Taxable income of businesses shall be net of all compensation paid only to US residents, which will be included in the taxable income of those individuals, thereby preventing the double taxation of income. Compensation paid to non US residents will be added back to business net income to arrive at taxable income.
Businesses will pay 25% of taxable income.
Individual taxable income shall be calculated by subtracting a Cost of Living Deduction from total income. The Cost of Living Deduction will be determined on an annual basis by an independent board comprised of members of the CPA community nationwide in the following manner:
The deduction is comprised of eight (8) components:
- Health care
Each component is indexed by zip code and family size.
Individuals will pay 25% of taxable income.
Income taxes shall be collected only by the state. Each state shall remit a portion of the total amount collected to the federal government based upon an agreement of all of the states.
Common sense suggests that the least expensive manner for collecting income tax is to have employers serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.
We favor repealing any requirement that one must join or pay dues to a union as a condition of government employment. Defined-contribution retirement plans (as are commonly offered in the private sector) as well as state run health care shall be available to all government employees. Government employees shall not be permitted to create and participate in any employee benefit plan or program not available to the general public.
We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Markets are not actually free unless fraud is vigorously combated. Those who enjoy the possibility of profits must not impose risks of losses upon others, such as through government guarantees or bailouts. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws.
Free markets are common sense. We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of entities based on voluntary association. We oppose all forms of government subsidies and bailouts to business, labor, or any other special interest. Government shall not compete with private enterprise.
Employment and compensation agreements between private employers and employees are outside the scope of government, and these contracts should not be encumbered by government-mandated benefits or social engineering. We support the right of private employers and employees to choose whether or not to bargain with each other through a labor union. Bargaining should be free of government interference, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.
Health care is a right, not a privilege. To that extent, every legal citizen of the US is entitled to health care. We favor a free-market health care system. Free-market is defined as global in scope. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People are free to purchase health insurance across state lines.
Where an individual is unable to afford adequate health care, the state will cover the cost.
Common sense shows that insurance is not an appropriate means of providing any type of ordinary ongoing cost, such as regular business operating expenses. Maintenance of one’s health is no different. Insurance is designed for one purpose; to provide financial protection in the event of catastrophic loss. Therefore, using common sense, we urge the use of health insurance only for financial protection in the event of catastrophic illness. Common sense indicates that where medical costs are spread among both healthy and sick individuals, costs are reduced. We therefore support the creation of health care membership clubs whereby dues collected go toward the members’ health care costs, and not as a means of investment with the usual profit motive.
In addition, with the customary large punitive damage awards in malpractice lawsuits going to charity, and not to the victim or their representatives (Sect. 1.7), common sense suggests that the number of frivolous lawsuits will decrease dramatically, the cost of malpractice insurance will subsequently decrease resulting in a further decrease in health care costs.
Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. A government-sponsored Social Security system shall be the jurisdiction of the state, and of a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. We believe members of society will become even more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.
The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.
We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law.
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.
We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups. To that end, we will provide military assistance to any foreign population subject to extermination by government or military action.
We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.
Common sense embraces the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights. We reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that “right.” We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts and other free-market solutions.
We support election systems that are more representative of the electorate at the state and local levels (federal officials are elected by state representatives to the federal government). As private voluntary groups, political parties should be free to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions. We call for an end to any tax-financed subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal of all laws which restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns. We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, or deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives. We advocate initiative, referendum, recall and repeal when used as popular checks on government.
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply either approval or disapproval.