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How Can Ray Mills Antley Double Your Salary?

Not all of the Republican presidential candidates were giving big speeches at the event in South Carolina sponsored by Citizens United this weekend. One of those GOP presidential candidates not featured in the lineup there was Dr. Ray Mills Antley, a diagnostic radiologist from North Carolina. Yet, Antley is one of the more interesting of the Republican candidates.

ray mills antley for presidentAntley’s campaign is centered around economic issues, but he doesn’t say what you’d expect for a Republican. “The American people have been horribly oppressed by corporate interests.” That’s a line you didn’t hear from Citizen United’s candidates.

Antley distinguishes between free market capitalism, in which trade is allowed to flow without restriction, and national capitalism, in which trade is regulated by national governments. “Free market capitalism is the capitalism of empire,” he says. Unlike every other Republican presidential candidate I’ve heard, Antley is not a supporter of free market capitalism. He supports the re-regulation of trade, to prevent jobs from being outsourced to sweatshops in autocratic countries overseas. Antley goes so far as to commit GOP heresy by criticizing Adam Smith: “Adam Smith speaks of an invisible hand producing rapid national growth. If he were correct in his analysis, we should see these positive effects. Wages (inflation adjusted) in the US economy have been stagnant/ slowly declining for the past 40 years. 40 years of failure is enough.”

The plan to double your salary that Antley proposes is to replace payroll taxes with a 45% tariff on the importation of foreign goods. Antley would also replace the income tax for those earning under $120,000 per year, and replace it with a national sales tax. The idea is that these measures will drive up real wages in the United States.

With policies like these, one may question whether Ray Mills Antley is actually Republican, or just posing as one. Policy prescriptions such as “Enforce the Border” and “Eliminate Welfare. Let the shiftless shift for themselves” end these doubts.

I wouldn’t vote for Antley myself, but if you’re a Republican voter, looking for a politician who is more reasonable than the extremists getting the most attention on TV, you could do worse than casting a vote for Antley in the GOP primary in your state.

4 thoughts on “How Can Ray Mills Antley Double Your Salary?”

  1. Bill says:

    I dunno, Peregrin. Although I join you in being impressed that Antley would have the nerve to speak out against the tea party ideal of unfettered free trade and in favor of regulated trade, nonetheless at the end of the day that’s just philosophical argle-bargle, so I can’t be too impressed. I can’t eat economic philosophy, and neither can poor people.

    The whole “replace the income tax with a national sales tax” thing is a real hot-button issue of mine. It’s the most regressive taxation idea ever conceived, as, in effect, it taxes the incomes of poor people at a much higher rate than rich people. This is because poor people spend almost all of their income on taxable goods and services, whereas rich people do not. So a 27% national sales tax effectively taxes even the poorest people at a 27% rate, while taxing richer people at ever lower rates (the richer you are, the lower the rate your income is taxed at via the 27% sales tax). I get that Antley caps the no-income-tax thing at $120,000, but that’s still mighty well-to-do compared to people anywhere near or below the poverty line. It’s an upside-down tax.

    I guess I also have a huge problem with suggestions that the U.S. should unilaterally impose heavy tariffs on imported goods. While I’m no global-free-trade type in the Clintonian sense, I do feel pretty strongly that such a unilateral move must inevitably trigger trade wars that would spin the world economy into disaster. Still, I could perhaps warm to the idea if tariffs were imposed only on imports from nations whose environmental and labor protections were dramatically weaker than our own (e.g., China), while allowing trade to remain free and untaxed between us and nations of roughly equivalently sane environmental and labor laws (e.g., the EU).

    These are issues I can eat, and poor folks can eat, too. Pro- or anti- Adam Smith argle-bargle is not. Thus, at the end of the day, I can’t really see any noteworthy difference between Antley and every other Republican who wants to mine the poor. Fortunately, neither of us needs to worry; Antley doesn’t stand an ice cube’s chance in hell in North Carolina dissing free markets.

    1. Bill says:

      And I forgot to mention:

      Considering that we manufacture next to nothing in this country anymore, a 45% tariff on imported goods would mean a 45% price increase, overnight, on pretty much everything. Add to that increasing the sales tax from today’s (say) 7% to 27%, and you’re talking an immediate 65% increase in the prices of nearly all necessities. I could survive that, I suppose, but how are low-income folks supposed to survive that? If you took the proceeds from that 45% tariff and used them to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit accordingly (until such time as American manufacturing grew to take up the slack), it could be done. But you and I both know that ain’t gonna happen. In America, increased government revenues are distributed preferentially to the wealthy, and always will be until we have meaningful campaign finance reform.

      So I just can’t escape the sense that Antley’s ideas are merely muddleheaded tinkering in sheep’s clothing. I prefer my Republicans to be more straight-ahead thieves and villains.

  2. Peregrin Wood says:

    I see your point. For me, it’s a matter of relative value. Antley makes sense for a Republican. I came upon Antley and expected an absolutely nuts GOP candidate of the Ted Cruz / Rand Paul / Mike Huckabee variety, and that’s not at all what I found.

    Nowhere does Antley argue that we need to hurry up and start a lot of wars, or say that the USA is a Christian nation and that gays are wrecking marriage. The “let the shiftless shift for themselves” stuck in my craw, but for only one or two things from a Republican to do that is strange. His economic abstractions don’t have a plausible practical component, but then, neither do the arguments of Hillary Clinton for the TPP.

    If a Republican is going to participating in a primary, I’d be much happier with them to get Ray Mills Antley on the ballot than any other Republican I’ve seen so far.

    1. Bill says:

      I hear ya. Antley’s platform is pretty remarkable for a Republican, and thus worthy of note. Still, I much prefer to do battle with social conservatives rather than economic conservatives, because at the national level (or even at the state level, in many states) social conservatives can’t win, because people ain’t buyin’ that crap anymore. But a whole lot of otherwise intelligent people still buy economic smoke and mirrors (because it’s reasonably hard to think through that stuff), so economic conservatives still scare the bejeezus out of me.

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