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“A COMMON MAN FOR PRESIDENT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 18, 2011) — Tom Miller launched his presidential campaign based on the belief that “it’s time to return to the day of electing a common man for President of the United States of America.” His platform includes securing the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada; termination of the benefits packages which retired congressmen and senators receive upon leaving Washington, DC; putting an end to the “socializing of America,” and terminating the minimum wage standard mandated by past Congresses. He is pro-life and favors states’ rights.
Mr. Miller’s father was a decorated World War II Marine veteran.
When visiting his campaign website and clicking on the link for his resume, a waving American flag appears. When The Post & Email asked Mr. Miller if that was intentional, he said, “That is my resume’, natural born Citizen, over the age of 35 years and have lived within the U.S.A. for at least 14 years (I have never resided off of our soil). For those who can understand the respect that I have for the Office that I am seeking and what the true requirements are to be President, I thought that by showing the flag as my resume’ would make a bold and patriotic statement of who I am and what I believe in.”
We asked where he grew up, and he replied, “I grew up in Kansas and as an adult have lived in Hawaii, Washington State, Michigan, New Hampshire and Minnesota. With my career, I have traveled more than 11,000,000 miles over the last 23 years (domestically and internationally), let alone dozens of camping trips to many of our great National Parks.
On his “Who Is” page, Mr. Miller states:
“Hello America”. I am Thomas J. Miller, a 46 year old single dad who has been a career flight attendant for over 23+ years. Everyday I directly see how individuals, businesses and States are being affected and controlled by our government. I have decided to stand up and be the public servant (not the politician) that will finally represent the will of the people. To prove my commitment, I have been officially registered with the Federal Election Commission as; Candidate (Rep.): President of the United States 2012. My principle campaign committee “Reduce Government Miller for President” has also been registered. I have signed and filed the required financial disclosure forms personally without the assistance of a party machine or a special interest.
Mr. Miller gave generously of his time to The Post & Email earlier this week. Here he shares his motivation for becoming a candidate, how he views the role of government, and some of the first things he would do if elected. He is running as a Republican.
MR. MILLER: First, if I may, I want to extend my sympathies and prayers for the Japanese people and the country of Japan and for all of the nations and the individuals who are providing them support right now and in the coming years. I have spent a lot of time over there, and I want to extend that to them. I’ve been visiting over there for the last 23 years with my job.
MRS. RONDEAU: Certainly. What inspired you to run for president?
MR. MILLER: Career politicians have started to socialize our country and bring us to the edge of financial bankruptcy. I’m not going to allow this destruction to continue without at least stepping forward myself. The one true position to make a difference is the Presidency and my Constitution allows me this opportunity. I am a common citizen who has the backbone, the faith and the ideology to make the permanent decisions that they are either unable or unwilling to do. It’s our time.
MRS. RONDEAU: On your website, you mentioned that you could repeal much unconstitutional legislation by Executive Order. Is that constitutional?
MR. MILLER: Executive orders would be issued within the limits of what the Constitution allows. What I am addressing is the removal of issues that overreach the Constitution itself, so it would be by use of the executive orders to remove items that should not have been placed on the American people in the first place.
Editor’s Note: The first executive order was issued by President George Washington in 1789 and was at that time called a Presidential Proclamation. Because the passing of legislation is the function of Congress, most executive orders apply to members of the Executive branch staff rather than to private citizens. The orders are subject to review by the Judicial branch.
MRS. RONDEAU: What do you think about the Obama eligibility question?
MR. MILLER: Until Mr. Obama produces his original birth certificate, I too have doubts about his citizenship and whether or not he is qualified to be President. Right now, though, Judicial Watch and many others are pursuing this very subject about his authenticity and we shall all await these results. In the meantime, I will continue to concentrate on the solutions to the problems facing our Nation as I run for President of the United States of America.
MRS. RONDEAU: Many departments have been created prior to now such as the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, etc. Do you believe that the creation of these departments was constitutional, and are they valid now?
MR. MILLER: I’ll use the Department of Education as an example. That should be a state issue; this is where the Tenth Amendment comes into play. The states should be taking care of education, not the federal government. That was the case up until the actual creation of the Department of Education.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think that the federal government is involved in too many aspects of our lives? If so, other than the executive orders you mentioned, what could be done to rein in the federal overreach?
MR. MILLER: Yes. To correct what has taken place, it will be generational. It is not an overnight solution. One of the primary cornerstones of my campaign is to re-empower the American people with the freedoms they need to not only restore our economy, but also the American dream. A large piece of that is by nominating and appointing individuals directly from the private sector, which I have under my “Cabinet” page and by putting individuals into these leadership roles of the different departments since they have specialized in these categories.
For example, take banking. For the Secretary of the Treasury, by installing a person directly from the private sector, they’re generating a banker out of South Dakota. They’ve never had a problem with their bank; their family has always done it, and now that person is Secretary of the Treasury. Then with that specialty, they can then break down the department, what has happened to it, and what should be within the private sector and how much should be within the federal government’s control. It is that re-empowering of the American people by putting people back into these positions that will make the difference. This is where the disconnect has occurred between the governed and the government.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think that our elected representatives really represent us today, or are they representing something or someone else?
MR. MILLER: It’s something or something else; they just don’t have the connection anymore, overall.
MRS. RONDEAU: Has the disconnect happened over the last couple of election cycles, or has it been longer than that?
MR. MILLER: When I look at the first 150 or 160 years of our country, the United States of America had zero national debt, the largest middle class ever, with a low tax rate. The disconnect happened with the creation of the “career politician.” It became a disconnect between the governed and the government, and it was over the last 60-80 years that the disconnect has become so great.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think at this point the American people understand what has happened, that their elected representatives may have other interests in mind?
MR. MILLER: When you look at the town hall meetings that were held in 2008 and 2009 and then they stopped because they didn’t like what they were hearing, something was wrong. Here is a great example: a 345-page report came out on March 1 by the Government Accountability Office. The official title of it is “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue.” A 345-page report outlines more than $100,000,000,000 per year in savings that they found on the surface. And yet, the media is not reporting on it; the budget process for 2011/2012 has not been stopped, which means this information can’t be incorporated in. To me, as a citizen, there is a major disconnect there such that our president and his budgetary committee will not factor this in immediately. It appears they’re not even listening within the departments themselves.
MRS. RONDEAU: $100 billion is a lot of money, just off the surface. Think of what they could find if they really looked deeply.
MR. MILLER: Candidate Obama made a campaign pledge which said that if he were elected, he would go through the budget line by line. Having made a statement as a candidate like that and now having the Government Accountability Office produce a 345-page report and for him not to incorporate that, stop the presses at the budget process and evaluate this; let’s incorporate this…it’s not happening.
MRS. RONDEAU: So he hasn’t done what he said he would do, at least not up until this point.
MR. MILLER: At least what we are aware of on the surface. What’s going on behind closed doors, we cannot see.
MRS. RONDEAU: What kind of impact do you think the media has had on people’s ability to make an informed decision at the voting booth and to know what’s going on in government?
MR. MILLER: The media has fallen very short of its responsibility. I will give an example from my own campaign that I am proof of how the mainstream media is picking and choosing the stories that they print. They are staying with the career politicians and those who have either held office or whom the media is supporting. I have spoken with the political director of CNN in Washington, DC via a personal phone call with him. To this point, he has chosen not to do any reporting on my campaign. That was over two weeks ago. He still might do something, but to this point, he is not addressing me as a candidate, even though I have gone through the formal process.
A second example is that the Los Angeles Times had an article out on February 27 regarding presidential candidate Herman Cain, and the headline of that article was “The Only Declared Presidential Candidate.” I contacted their editor-in-chief and provided them with the factual information that in May 2009, I was officially registered along with my campaign committee. They have chosen to not respond to me, and I haven’t seen anything published to date. In fairness to them, they have not acknowledged nor published anything; whether or not they are working on something could change that. But as far as their not responding within a week or two, for them not even to respond speaks for itself.
MRS. RONDEAU: There is another Republican running for President: Andy Martin, and he has stated that he is the only declared presidential candidate. So that could mean that he doesn’t know about you. I also didn’t know about you until you contacted The Post & Email.
MR. MILLER: In the bigger picture of the mainstream media, they pick and choose. To me, it does not appear to be neutral anymore.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why do you think that is?
MR. MILLER: One thought is because of the revenue base. If it’s not going to generate revenue or is not good for them, they just won’t report it. It’s based on popularity, unfortunately. The 345-page report from the GAO is another example. It would be for the betterment of the country for the American people to hear this because right there is $100,000,000,000 in savings; that should be front-page across every newspaper. It’s our money. But it’s not there.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think that the 16th Amendment, which authorized the income tax, is constitutional?
MR. MILLER: I believe it is; it’s what’s been done with it since then. But the actual amendment itself, yes.
It seems as if the tax structure of our country has been turned into a method of Congress and/or our federal government which rewards or penalizes decisions using the example of cash rebates, deductions or other higher taxes. So it’s almost to the point of behavior modification: “You go and buy this product and we’re going to give you this tax rate; you go and do this, and we’re going to charge you this or we won’t charge you.” So rather than actually using it for the intent that it had, to collect the revenue to operate the government, it has now been used in another format.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is there a way to get politicians into government who will not run away with our money, creating more agencies, etc.?
MR. MILLER: Only through voter participation. By holding our elected officials accountable, and the first thing is to elect officials in whom the people can believe, who are going to do what they say. Then it just becomes citizen participation in the process of electing those candidates.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you believe that citizens have withdrawn from the political process over the years?
MR. MILLER: Yes, I do believe that they are totally disconnected from it because, in a very simple form, it’s unfortunate, but a campaign promise is pretty hollow. Then when you look at the money that has been put into the political process of electing federal officials, almost $1 billion was raised during the presidential campaign of 2008.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why should it take so much money to elect someone, or shouldn’t it?
MR. MILLER: When you look at 20 years ago, the top 1% of the country owned or controlled less than 5% of the wealth in the United States, but fast-forward to today, that top 1% owns or controls 40% of the wealth in this country. CNN did a story a week or two ago that was even more staggering than that: the top 400 incomes of individuals in the U.S. equals the bottom 100,000,000 people of the United States of America. Four hundred people to 100,000,000. That disconnect shows the power shift in this country. When you look at the personal wealth of the members of Congress, using Congress as an example, with the 111th Congress, the average net worth was $1.8 million.
MRS. RONDEAU: For each person?
MR. MILLER: Yes. When you look at those who are supposed to be representing us, when they have a net worth approaching $2,000,000 each vs. the average American’s net worth of $50,000 or less – again, it reinforces where the disconnect is and where the control is.
MRS. RONDEAU: Can this be changed?
MR. MILLER: If the voters choose to. I made around $45,000 last year. I live within my means; I ended the year with less debt than I started with; I made it work. We had to make a lot of sacrifices to do that, but I live within my means. I have limited funds, and yet, we have a very happy home life. That’s where we go back to the first 150 years of the United States: you had farmers, teachers and soldiers leaving the private sector who would go and represent their district and then return to the private sector. That’s why there was that connection and accountability. There was a responsibility because it was not an “us” and “them.” It’s so unfortunate. I state on my website that I have the connection today. I have to balance my checkbook every month whereas these individuals who claim a middle-class, blue-collar upbringing, it was 40 years ago. It was not today. Most of them don’t even know that a gallon of milk is running $3.50 a gallon.
MRS. RONDEAU: Members of Congress receive so many benefits: about $175,000 a year and lifetime health benefits after serving a certain amount of time. Do you think that should be changed?
MR. MILLER: Immediately. It needs to be restored back to a position of honor, not a career. That’s the number one thing. On my website, I have a list of items. One of my primary goals is to bring the entire federal government back in line with the private sector so that there is parity, because right now on average, the federal government employees are earning around 70-80% more than the private sector. The employer, who is the taxpayer, cannot be paying federal employees that much greater than what we earn. It’s just not practical. It should be that a person comes in, does his job, and goes back to the private sector.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think congressmen should not be paid?
MR. MILLER: No, they need to have compensation, but as far as the preferential treatment they get from benefits, lifetime retirement accounts, no. They also have legal protection when they speak on the floor, and that’s one alleged reason why Congressman Rangel made his speeches on the floor because he could then say whatever he wanted. Along with that, congressional term limits need to be put in place. It needs to be brought back to the point that it’s not a career; it is a post of honor.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think a Congress could be elected in our lifetimes which would vote to reduce their own pay and benefits?
MR. MILLER: I pray it does, because along with everything else within my campaign is if we do not make the bold and unpopular permanent decisions that need to be made today, we are close to the death of our country. So something is going to give here very quickly over the next few years.
MRS. RONDEAU: Even the mainstream media is talking about an economic collapse. Is there a way to avoid it?
MR. MILLER: I’m a supporter of the Fair Tax. By bringing in the Fair Tax, you are going to enable or support the local economy, our economy, to become competitive in the global marketplace. Our corporate tax rate would fall back into a stay-competitive position. When Russia and China already started to use currencies other than the U.S. dollar 60-90 days ago in some of their exchanges, I personally in my travels have watched the U.S. dollar drop 50-60% value in international markets over the last 20-25 years. Unless we do something to stabilize the U.S. dollar immediately, there is a very high chance that it will be replaced as the world’s reserve currency. No one is really sure of the fallout from that, because it’s an unprecedented event. One of the first things to do, other than stop the spending, is to identify and amortize the debt. The second thing, for me, is to pay off the Chinese. It’s identifying our debts, but we have to live within our means. We have to stabilize the U.S. dollar, and that’s where the sacrifice comes in: sacrificing the wants of today for the needs of tomorrow. It’s going to be very difficult, and it’s going to require a tremendous sacrifice on the part of the entire country. But if we don’t do it, someone else is going to do it for us.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the current Congress has the ability to see the problem, and if so, do you think they have the will and fortitude to act?
MR. MILLER: Based on what I’m seeing right now, the budget which offers $6 billion in savings, which is less than six cents out of a dollar, it’s not even a starter. So based on that, no. Again, because they are in career positions, so much of it is based on political self-preservation. To actually step forward and say, “No, we need to cut $400 billion out of the budget,” let alone going back to the GAO, it’s unlikely. Here’s $100 billion, and they’re not even willing to support that at this point publicly. In fairness, they may be doing it behind the scenes; they may be ready for the biggest promotion yet of cost-savings, but we are not aware of it. That’s where I am losing faith and trust.
What this country needs is for the federal government to stop being the nanny state that it has become and to allow the pain that the country and the individuals need to go through, and with that is included the bailout and TARP programs — that’s what a free-market economy does. It allows those who succeed to succeed and those who fail to fail. With failure, comes pain, and that’s what this country needs: to allow that natural flow to happen. With that, we need to bring the best products to market and let the economy be free again.
For instance, I look at ethanol. From the information I’ve seen, ethanol is running around $1.90 in subsidies per gallon. Taxpayers are paying almost $2.00 a gallon to subsidize that. Remove that; let the free market determine that. That’s just one example of the pain and sacrifice that we need to go through. It appears that our government wants to insulate rather than allow the process to take place.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think there’s a sector of the American society that is so entrenched in entitlements that, if the government were to eliminate those programs, they could not survive?
MR. MILLER: The country was founded on the concept of a family and extended family needing to provide for each other. If your parents are from the World War II era, you can fully relate to their frugality; they used to save aluminum foil, for example. It’s through that frugality and reliability that family members would rely on each other. If there was one sandwich for an entire family, instead of pulling into a McDonald’s and spending more money, no, you shared what you had and took care of your immediate and extended family. We need to return to that: self-reliance and personal responsibility. That’s what we have really lost in this country: personal responsibility and accountability.
MRS. RONDEAU: Would that include a handicapped or mentally ill family member?
MR. MILLER: There are legitimate areas where assistance is needed, meaning that if you do have a disabled child or parent, then you are going to need some assistance. But when you are fully capable of going out and performing a job, you do not need to be supported by the taxpayers. That’s where the self-reliance and personal responsibility come in, and that person needs to be held accountable.
A very important item in my campaign is to resolve our illegal immigration crisis. There are so many people overwhelming the system who are not American citizens who, if removed, would take a lot of pressure off our system. That is something that I have laid out on the immigration page of my website, how legally we can resolve the immigration issue within two years without amnesty. There should be no hesitation to place armored personnel on all borders to protect the American people and our interests. That is something that, as president, I would do immediately.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why do you think Congress will not enforce the federal laws already in place to control illegal immigrants from coming in?
MR. MILLER: I don’t know why, but it appears that they are trying to utilize this group of individuals, illegal immigrants, as a voting bloc. It is upwards of 20,000,000 people. My whole campaign is based on what’s better for the country over the long term rather than an individual group of people or political party, for those who will come after us. The laws are there. Right on my immigration page, I laid out how simple it is.
The problems that are facing our country and destroying our country from within, as enormous as they are, could actually be solved very simply. It will just take someone with the faith, the backbone, and the ideology to carry it out. The first thing is to secure our borders; that can be done within a 90-day period. Personnel can be dispatched onto our borders and we would have it secured. We can stop the human trafficking, the drug trade, and all the illegal activities on the borders, and then from that, we would process individuals who are here illegally.
MRS. RONDEAU: So you are totally against amnesty for anyone who came into the country illegally?
MR. MILLER: There will be zero amnesty.
MRS. RONDEAU: How does your platform sit with the establishment Republican Party?
MR. MILLER: It’s an interesting deal, because I have introduced myself to Chairman Priebus with no response.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you feel as if you fit into the Republican Party, or are you different?
MR. MILLER: I’m a common citizen running for President. I’m not a lawyer; I’m not a multimillionaire. So I believe I do not fit into the mold that they would like to see. The American people have been conditioned to believe that presidential candidate is supposed to be somebody who is promoted within the system with a certain image. That’s where, to me, we have lost our way. So many Americans do not realize that the three requirements are over age 35, natural born Citizen, and 14 years of living within the country. Those are the only three requirements for being the President. There’s no education requirement. Abraham Lincoln had two years of formal education, although he had home-schooling as well. However, two years in the classroom was all he had. But the power brokers have conditioned people to believe that a person has to have a certain classification to become president. It is disheartening that the GOP has not acknowledged me when I have respected the process by filling out all of the paperwork and stepping forward, offering to be a public servant.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the Republicans are of the same mindset as the Democrats regarding “establishment” politics?
MR. MILLER: I cannot speak for them, but it appears that it has to be someone who is marketable and their vision of “electable.” Because the fund raising is so great, if they cannot have that polished person up there, they don’t want to take a chance. Using my campaign as the common man for president, it hasn’t been done for so long, and at this point, they’re not acknowledging me.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is that a source of frustration for you?
MR. MILLER: It’s a source of energy for me.
MRS. RONDEAU: Where have you been campaigning?
MR. MILLER: The last year has been to establish myself with different media and to gain credibility. Now that we have a staff established, we will start going forward to the people, whether it be through the internet, through the media outlets that are receiving my campaign.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you feel you can break this barrier of the mainstream media and obtain some coverage from them?
MR. MILLER: It will be interesting to see if we get that coverage, but this is going to be more of the people’s movement. Hopefully what we can show is that you don’t have to have the mainstream; that at the end of the day, if we choose to, they do not control our lives and that if we choose to circumvent them, we will. And it’s a choice of the people, through The Post & Email and other avenues, using me as an example, if we choose to perpetuate and spread word of my campaign, then it will prevail. Then we don’t need them. It’s totally up to the people.
When a lot of people hear “a common man running for President,” they are in disbelief. They wonder, “Where’s the joke?” But then once people get to have a conversation with me, review the campaign and what is being proposed, it’s amazing how they understand how far we have lost our way. I am getting more and more people with credibility who are stepping forward saying, “It is our home. This is our home.” And it’s time to step forward.
This is not my campaign; we call it “our” campaign. Let’s say that I have 30 pages of content on my website. I do not have all of the answers to our country’s problems, but the American people do. Not the federal government, but the American people. I am willing to listen to the American people and to put their solutions forward. That’s what separates me from a lot of people. The federal government is not the answer; it is the problem. Until the federal government allows the people to solve our own problems, it’s not going to be fixed. I would question any individual who comes forward and says he has all the answers. It’s the American people’s home, and who better to solve the problems than the American people themselves?
If you have read my health care page, the world-renowned Mayo Clinic made its formal proposals to Congress in May 2009 for health care reform. This was not on the front page of newspapers anywhere. This is where the whole campaign is gaining credibility and validation: when all of a sudden, people click on these links and say, “This really took place. This is the Mayo Clinic; here are the formal documents that were submitted to Congress; why weren’t we aware of it?” When you click on the base 250 members of the HPC (Health Policy Center) which created these proposals, even they are not stepping forward defending what they have promoted in a public forum, or at least the mainstream media is not giving them their time. That’s something that just really makes you wonder what is going on in this country when you have the Mayo Clinic not even being listened to; their solutions are not being incorporated within our own government.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is the solution which the Mayo Clinic has recommended based on private companies offering insurance plans better than the federal government mandating people to buy a plan?
MR. MILLER: Yes, because, first-off, it’s unconstitutional for the government to mandate any citizen to make a purchase. As our 45th President, I want to return the federal government to promote the general welfare and to stop providing the general welfare for the people. With the career politicians, they have decided that they want to provide, but it’s not their job to provide. That’s where the interdependency between the politician and the voter has come into place. It’s going to be very painful to break that tie between promoting and providing, but that’s what our federal government’s job is. It has created a nanny state. The government’s purpose is not to provide bailouts and everything else; the taxpayers’ money should not be spent that way. So hopefully people will start to take notice of what I’m offering to the American people and see how we can go forward.
One thing that I hope is that I have several different Tea Parties and then local groups who are looking to have me come and speak based on interviews, conversations, etc. The fund raising level is still low, and until I get that fund raising, I can’t start doing the public speaking. Something that I’m actually looking to is to get out there in front of crowds. I will secure the border; I will resolve the illegal immigration crisis and allow our economy to be free again and let the people take care of the jobs, not the government. This is what the people want.
When people look at the first 150 years of the country, they say, “It really was that simple, and the solutions really are that simple.”
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you have a closing statement to this interview?
MR. MILLER: I am a common citizen offering to be a public servant. I am not a career politician who is making a promotion. As President, in times of tragedy, I will not join our country for moment of silence; instead, I will lead our nation in a moment of silent prayer. You can still honor the separation of church and state, but as a Judeo-Christian nation, with a silent prayer.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think that our movement away from a God-centered society has led to some of our problems? Is there a direct correlation?
MR. MILLER: Definitely. I believe the correlation is that if you remove God from the equation, now you have to depend on somebody. That dependence now has shifted to the federal government and our elected leaders. By returning to putting our Creator first and relying on Him first, I think there will be a big shift in our country. We need to get back to our original foundation.