By Ron VandenBoom
Stanley R. Jones, the Libertarian Party's gubernatorial candidate, on a campaign swing through Havre last week said if elected he would ask the Montana Legislature to repeal the law that requires Social Security numbers on hunting and fishing licenses.
Jones said the law was passed by the Legislature in order to make it easier to track down and enforce Montana's "dead-beat dads" that refuse to pay court-ordered child support.
The problem, Jones believes, is that everyone, regardless of whether they are a "dead-beat dad" or not is required by law to submit the number before obtaining a license.
"It's unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy," he said.
Jones maintains that the Legislature received what he calls "a $48 million bribe" from the Federal Government for passing the law.
"If they (the Legislature) don't repeal it," he said, "I will issue a blanket pardon to all people caught hunting or fishing without a license."
The Social Security number issue is just one encroachment issue Jones feels has adversely impacted the rights and freedoms of Montanans. Another issue high on his list of priorities is welfare.
Jones points to the Johnson Administration as the starting point for what he believes was little more than an attempt on the part of America's politicians to buy votes.
"Johnson was a very popular president," Jones said. "Everybody thought he was doing such great things."
At the time that President Johnson started what he called "The Great Society," only 13 percent of American families were considered poor, Jones said.
"Since that time, we have spent $5 trillion $700 billion on welfare," he said. "That's enough to buy all the farmland in America and enough to buy all the Fortune 500 companies."
He added that after spending all of that money the number of families that fall below the poverty line today is 14 percent of the population.
"We've actually made it worse," he said.
The reason Jones gives for welfare's failure is partly the fact that 75 percent of the welfare dollar goes into the pockets of middle income social workers and bureaucrats for the cost of administering the program.
"Private programs use less than 25 percent for administrative costs," he said.
Jones suggests that government should end the unfair transfer payment programs and get back to allowing families, communities, and churches to handle welfare issues.
"The only reason we have welfare programs today is to buy votes," he said. "It makes the politicians look compassionate."
It's a form of compassion that, according to Jones, forces people to pay high taxes to support high income social workers in government.
"There is nothing compassionate about that," he said.
Jones also said he considers public education, established in the late 1800s, to have been the first welfare program. But he is particularly concerned about three the Goals 2000, School To Work, and Education Reform Acts passed during President Clinton's first term of office.
"These programs will turn our public schools into nothing more than job training programs," he said.
According to Jones, because the acts used words like "all," "shall," and "every student," they will make private schools and home schooling easy targets for government lawyers wanting to eliminate competition and force every American child into the government-run educational system.
"Wait until lawyers get a hold of those laws and start suing home schoolers, and private schools because they don't conform," he said.
He noted that the Department of Labor has been placed in charge of administrating the programs that are specifically designed to "segregate and channel" children into specific career fields based on aptitude test results.
"These laws are already on the books," he said.
Jones is a graduate of Bozeman High School and MSU-Bozeman and he has worked in the private sector for more than 20 years as a business owner, adult education teacher, business consultant, and he has managed large businesses.
He has never held a political office, but considers that to be an advantage.
Jones wants the people of Montana to know what the Libertarian Party is all about and plans on continuing to make his voice heard in 2004 and 2008.