Become an 1819 Member
John Sophocleus is running for U.S. Senate as the Alabama Libertarian Party nominee. Sophocleus was the Libertarian nominee for governor in 2002, the same year that Congressman Bob Riley ran against incumbent Gov. Don Seigelman (D).
As an economist with over 30 years of teaching at Auburn University, Auburn University Montgomery and Clemson, Sophocleus has strong opinions on government debt and spending.
“We have got ridiculous economists,” Sophocleus said of the federal government’s debt issues. “As long as we keep voting in Bidens and Trumps, we are not going to get out of this.
“Going into debt for a durable good like a frigate or an aircraft carrier that is going to last for 30 years is understandable,” Sophocleus explained, but he said what the federal government is doing is going into debt for current spending and “that creates bubbles like the one we are in now.”
Sophocleus said that the Sixteenth Amendment, which created the federal income tax, took the United States out of balance with what the Constitution originally intended.
“We use the federal income tax to grow the scope of government,” Sophocleus explained. “The income tax is baked into the price of everything we make and export which inevitably affects our balance of trade so that inflation is inevitable.”
Sophocleus said that the deficit spending to deal with COVID-19 that “began under Trump” is inflationary, but when Biden and Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act and the Build Back Better infrastructure bill, “it was like throwing gasoline on the fire.”
Sophocleus was skeptical of the U.S.’s ability to balance the budget and avoid a future economic collapse.
“Could the American people weather the storm?” Sophocleus said of downsizing the federal government to balance the budget.
That would mean eliminating the jobs of two million federal workers who presently serve, doing things that aren’t in the Constitution as an enumerated federal power.
“We could give them a few years severance pay, but would that be enough?” Sophocleus said.
Sophocleus dismissed the Democrats as a party of big spenders but did not think the Republicans were much better.
“Trump was a government Democrat running as a Republican,” Sophocleus said. “The latest bureaucracy: Space Force. What was Trump thinking? Reagan talked a good game, but he was a big spending Democrat from California who grew the size of government and greatly increased the debt.”
Sophocleus said that he had been recruiting candidates for the Libertarian Party but could not find someone to run for U.S. Senate.
“The Libertarian Party wanted me to run against Jeremy Gray [for Alabama House of Representatives], and I didn’t want to do that. Then it was Tom Whatley [for Alabama Senate], and I didn’t want to do that so then they told me, ‘You have been drafted to run for Senate.'
“We live in one of the worst states in the country for ballot access. The [more than] 60 candidates we have running on the ballot shows the depth of the Alabama Libertarian Party."
Sophocleus explained that originally the Alabama Libertarian Party had qualified 69 candidates, but 17 were disqualified over failure to file a Statement of Economic Interests within three days of qualifying.
“Several of them have since gotten their paperwork in order so the full number of candidates the Libertarian Party will have is in flux,” Sophocleus explained.
Sophocleus said that the Public Service Commission races are another area where the Libertarian Party has a good chance.
Sophocleus said that as a Libertarian he can see both sides of the abortion issue, but Roe v. Wade was always a bad decision, Constitutionally.
“It has basically been a wrong decision for 49 years,” Sophocleus said. “It is not under the purview of the enumerated powers. It should have been left to the states.”
Sophocles is challenging Katie Boyd Britt in the Nov. 8 general election.
Sophocleus said that he did not agree with Mo Brooks on a number of social issues, “but he was a small government guy. I could talk to him about Constitutional issues and he could discuss it.” Sophocleus feared that Britt would be another big-spending senator like her former boss, Richard Shelby.
When asked how he would match Britt's ability to raise and spend millions of dollars, Sophocles's answer was simple: “You don’t."
Will Boyd is the Democratic nominee for Senate. Voters will choose between Boyd, Britt, and Sophocleus in the general election on Nov. 8.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.