Speaking at a St. Mary Chamber of Commerce, Franklin Republic Women and AT&T breakfast forum for Congressional District 3 candidates Wednesday at the Forest Restaurant in Franklin, Stark said neither of the predominant parties’ leadership “has done anything. You can’t get anything done when you have somebody like Mitt Romney or Barack Obama at the top… there’s a wall with the leadership and you can’t do anything.”
He said he doesn’t support war in Afghanistan. “We need to get out, we have no business over there,” Stark said. “We need to re-evaluate our international footprint. We have over 900 bases in 130 countries. There’s no need for that. We’re not the policemen of the world.”
He proposed closing and consolidating facilities worldwide and leaving critical ones as is.
“If they’re not going to support it at the leadership level, it’s not going to go anywhere,” he said.
Stark supports the Libertarian “fair tax” proposal. That would repeal the 16th Amendment and replaces all taxes with a national sales tax, set at the current lowest tax rate.
The national sales tax would go directly to the U.S. Treasury and eliminate the Internal Revenue Service.
“I think we give out too much foreign aid,” Stark continued. “I think we should only give out aid that is in the vital interest of national security, and only then with public input and approval and proper congressional vote.”
He said he supports limiting “war-making powers” to Congress.
“The president does not have the authority to go to war without a Congressional declaration,” Stark said. “That is very important.”
Monetary policy should also be returned to Congress, and the Federal Reserve “put on the proper end of the leash. They print money out of thin air, literally, and the rest of us have to pay for it. They give to their friends, they give it to the bankers and they support the career politicians.”
Stark said he does not believe that government should regulate marriage. “I honestly think it’s ridiculous that you should have to get government permission at any level to be with somebody,” he said. “I think marriage licenses ought to go away.”
As for health care, Stark said, “Human beings are not interstate commerce, we’re not owned by the federal government and the federal government should not be able to mandate that we buy any product whatsoever.”
He is opposed to building a border fence or wall between the United States and Mexico.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “We’re not East Germany. A wall not only keeps people out but also keeps us in. We told them to tear it down.”
Stark said he read a story about an elementary school in Moss Bluff that proposed installing palm readers in the cafeteria. “It made me sick to my stomach thinking about what children’s lives are now,” he said. “They have photo ID cards, cameras, metal detectors, police dogs. They no longer give you detention for a fight; they call the police and start you off with a criminal record. You got to be drug tested to play sports… I am totally against uniforms at school, especially public schools.”
He said all those things cause him to ponder, “Are we even in the United States anymore? Are they free anymore? Can they really say the pledge and really say we’re the freest country in the world? I don’t think so. I think this is all part of a national security mentality that’s gone completely mad.”
Stark doesn’t believe Iran, or North Korea or China are the big threats. “Our military is the best equipped, best trained fighting force the planet has ever known,” he said. “Any of these threats we can take care of, no problem. My biggest concern is that national security has become our biggest threat to national security.”
If elected, Stark said “having the guts to say ‘no’” is vital. “I will not vote for the lesser of two evils,” he said. “I will not go along to get along. I will not compromise. No back door deals. No secret deals. If a bill comes up and they try to ramrod it through the same day, no time to read it, no time for public comment, it’ll get a no. If it has taxes attached to it, it’s unconstitutional, it’s not necessary, it’ll get a no. If there’s no money for it, it’ll get a no. We’ve reached a crossroads. There’s no money for any of it.”
Stark said the drug wars should be stopped. He said in 1937 when marijuana was made illegal the government estimated 100,000 users. “A trillion dollars later, over a collected 20 million years spent in prison and 850,000 arrests per year, our government has raised that number from 100,000 to 100 million,” he said. “That is an utter failure. Law enforcement, no matter how you look at it, cannot stop a medical issue… the drug war has to end.”