Libertarian Party response to 2018 State of the Union

Hello, I’m Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian Party. Tonight, the president gave a speech on the state of the Union to Congress. It was a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sadly, more of the latter, too.

Let’s start with the good stuff. The president called for Congress to pass right-to-try legislation. That would be legislation that would let terminally ill people get experimental medications that would potentially save their lives, and get government out of the way. That’s good.

He called for reducing regulations, and actually pointed out that this administration has reduced regulations more than any other administration in history. That’s also good, because every government regulation that goes away is another rule about how you live your life or run your business or raise your family that’s no longer standing between you and your pursuit of happiness.

He talked about the booming economy, which is really good, although not really the government’s fault. That’s the fault of people like you, working hard to feed your families and build a better life for yourselves. But we’ll give him credit for that, because there’s not really that much else.

There were tax cuts, and a lot of Americans are going to spend less on their tax bill. The Libertarian Party supports that. That shifts us into the bad a little bit, though, because with those tax cuts there were no government spending cuts. And everyone knows the simple math that if you don’t bring in as much money, but you keep spending as much money, you’re going to add to the national debt.

Even worse, the president called for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill — $1.5 trillion. There’s not going to be any more money to spend on that, and the government only gets money by taxing, so what that really means — to break it down into terms that are meaningful to you or me — is $4,658 for every man, woman, and child in this country. Since that money’s not going to be paid for now, that means that you and I won’t pay for it. It’ll be our children and our grandchildren crippled with a national debt that’s completely untenable, that will crush their dreams. So, that’s probably not so good.

Another bad thing: The president talked about trying to fix the VA — fix the system that deals with our injured vets — and that’s a noble goal. But the best thing that we could do as a country for our injured vets is to stop making so many of them. It’s time to end our overseas wars, and stop bringing home our sons and daughters broken and injured.

The president called to expand the military. That’s terrible. Now we’re getting into the ugly, because every dollar that would be spent to expand the military takes food off of your table to send our sons and daughters overseas to fight and die in other countries’ civil wars, rather than raise their children and build a life here at home.

The president called to keep Guantanamo Bay open, to continue to have unlawful enemy combatants that are not treated to the same legal standards that we treat everybody under the American system of justice. That’s ugly. America is built on American values. America won two world wars without losing sight of our values. We gave trials to literal Nazis. If we can do that, we can win the war on terror without losing the values that we’re fighting for in the first place. It’s time to close Guantanamo. It’s time to deal with things like Americans.

The president talked about the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis in this country really has been made worse by the war on drugs. When the government prohibits drugs, it makes people into criminals — not just addicts. When it gets in-between doctors and patients, what we’ve found is that by stopping doctors from prescribing legal medications the patients turn to illegal medications like heroin and fentanyl. They become addicted, and then they’re afraid to get help because they’re afraid that they’ll be in the criminal justice system; they’ll be locked up; they’ll be unable to find a job.

We heard a story tonight of an addicted mother who gave her daughter Hope up for adoption so that she would have a chance to live a life that was safe, in spite of her mother’s choices. There are millions of Americans right now, millions of people in this country who’ve grown up here, who were brought here by their parents — not through their choice, but their parents’ choice. They’ve gone to school here; they’ve worked here; they’re part of the fabric of America. And those millions of people should not be held hostage to an immigration scheme that would build a wall, cripple our economy, and break up families. It’s time for Congress to act to protect these millions of Dreamers who are just looking for their own home. Without any preconditions. Without giving in to immigration schemes that are bad for our country.

The Libertarian Party has a vision for America where government barriers are taken down. Where every American has the right and the freedom to pursue happiness however they choose, to raise their family, to run their business, to live the American dream without government telling them what to do. If you share that vision, join us at

We’ll be running over 2,000 candidates nationwide who share this vision for a better America. People like you and me standing up to create a freer America, where government is less involved in our life and the state of our union is even stronger.

Thank you for watching. Good night, and good luck.