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Libertarian Arthur Thomas aims to shrink spending, debt in San Antonio

Arthur M. Thomas IV
Arthur M. Thomas IV,
LP Texas
2013 Candidate
for San Antonio
City Council

The city government in San Antonio, Texas, keeps expanding its budget, spending, and debt, despite the flagging economy that has city residents strapped for cash. Libertarian candidate for city council Arthur Thomas hopes to put a stop to that trend by slashing every unnecessary expenditure.

"My philosophy on government is to always ask 'should government be doing this?', and even if so, 'how can it return this responsibility back to the people in the future?'" Thomas wrote. "When we are not careful with this responsibility then the value of our lives and our dreams are taken away and used to build those of politicians in power."

On his campaign website, Thomas points out that as of last fall, San Antonio was nearly $9.5 billion in debt, which translates to more than $7,000 for each resident.

"We live in a time when our pocketbooks are stretched and government is failing around us," Thomas said to Examiner.com. "Government is piling on debt not just nationally but at the state and local levels as well. We desperately need people that will fight to not just try to manage the government beast but to fight it off and chop off some of its limbs."

That's why Thomas suggests a concrete method for citizens fed up with city government waste to take control.

"I support a citizen petitioning process that makes it easy to remove bad government," Thomas wrote. "The idea of nullification of bad laws at the state and jury level is something more people are 're-learning.' We need the ability to remove bad city ordinances that citizens don't favor as well."

Thomas proposes that current technology would allow San Antonio residents to pitch on an individual in for any city-improvement project they deemed worthwhile — no government management required. He envisions a Kickstarter-like website where anybody can voluntarily contribute on a case-by-case basis, but with none of the money controlled by city officials. Anything from building a sidewalk to funding fire equipment to financing a community center could be included — as long as it's voluntary, people can choose the most worthwhile ways to help the city grow.

That all represents spending that can be chopped from the government's purview, drastically reducing costs to taxpayers, Thomas said. It would also enable San Antonio residents to balance their financial priorities, instead of being forced to pay for the irresponsibility of big-spending politicians.

"Every dollar out of a taxpayer's pocket is a dollar away from the things they want or need to spend that on," Thomas said in another Examiner.com article. "It is a dollar from their families and their own passions and dreams.”

"When citizens are dealing with tough times shouldn’t government?," Thomas wrote. "The city needs to reduce costs and not expand its budget. It should always be looking for ways to do this, but it is especially needed when citizens are trying to deal with a tougher economy."

Thomas is a veteran Libertarian Party campaigner, having run for office as a state representative in Texas in both 2008 and 2012, as well as a state Senate seat in 2010, getting 40,972 votes — more than 17 percent.

San Antonio has a chance to elect Thomas on May 11, and let him demonstrate how practical Libertarian solutions to reduce the size and scope of government increase both freedom and prosperity.

"Less government frees us from the endless battle," Thomas wrote. "When we stop threatening to steal and force each other from government then we are free to build our own lives and dreams."