Why I'm Running For President

As some of you may know from press reports, I'm running for president as a write-in candidate. My campaign website is kotlikoff2016.com. My vice presidential candidate is Edward Leamer, a highly distinguished economist at UCLA.

My campaign website provides a 157-page platform book, which you can download for free and forward to one and all. If you are a Kindle reader, you can buy the book at Amazon at the lowest price I could set.

The book tells you something you haven't heard in all the mindless presidential debates with their juvenile diatribes. That something is the full truth about our nation's domestic and international challenges. The book also lays out simple, concrete solutions, not sound bites, to deal with our nation's problems.

I wrote this book to give you and other voters a serious alternative on Election Day. I'm running for the presidency not out of pride or for personal advantage. I'm running to prevent our country from becoming mired, yet again, in political gridlock. I'm running to make fundamental and essential reforms to domestic policy and provide tougher and smarter leadership in foreign policy.

The facts speak for themselves. America has lost its way at home and abroad. On the domestic front, our economy is floundering and has been for years. Real wage growth stopped back in the mid-60s. Foreign completion, outsourcing, immigration, automation, second-rate education and a dearth of job-specific training share the blame. So does our terribly low rate of investment.

Countries that don't save don't invest. And we don't save. This is largely thanks to our politicians, who spent the postwar years buying our votes with lower taxes and higher benefits. The result? We individually spent more and collectively saved and invested less. The politicians financed our spending spree with massive borrowing. But they shrewdly kept most of it off the books. Hence, official debt doesn't begin to capture our government's long-term insolvency.

Wherever one looks, politicians have placed self-interest before national interest. Banking is the latest sorry example. The banks pay the politicians to let them gamble. The banks gamble. The banks fail at colossal cost. The politicians use our taxes to bail them out. And then they let the banks gamble once again.

The depressing list of major domestic problems also includes rising inequality, the disappearance of the middle class and crumbling infrastructure. But our foreign challenges are far greater and more urgent.

North Korea has spent decades developing the means to destroy our country -- something it threatens on a daily basis. Iran is also sworn to our demise. Both enemies are actively developing long-range missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons, whether homemade or store-bought, directly to our doorsteps. Our supposed friends, Russia and China, are doing little to contain these countries. Instead they are probing our resolve in the Ukraine, the Middle East and the South China Sea. Our European allies, once steadfast and united, are bickering and unable to steady their shaky economic union. Meanwhile, ISIS, the latest and most dangerous postwar terrorist organization, menaces every civilized nation. Yet our greatest external threat is largely of our own making. It's global climate change, to which the United States has historically been the major contributor. Climate change threatens a range of plagues of near-biblical proportion, including submerging most of the world's great population centers -- all within our children's lifetimes.

These issues are too serious for politics as usual. But that's what the two parties are offering. Their candidates, Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump, come with massive baggage, supersized egos and visceral contempt for opposing views. That would matter little if they understood our problems and how to fix them. They don't. This helps explain why both candidates are exceptionally unpopular.

Neither has earned the respect, let alone the strong support, of a majority of the country. Indeed, as I write, the shares of voters who rate both candidates as strongly unfavorable are off the charts and growing. In Mr. Trump's case, a host of prominent Republicans, including former presidents, governors, senators and representatives are publicly refusing to endorse his candidacy.

There are any number of people in America who are far more qualified than Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump to serve as president. Based on my professional training, policy expertise, political independence, penchant for the truth and sober judgment, I consider myself one of them. If other qualified men or women were stepping forward, I would gladly step aside and support them. They are not. Consequently, I'm volunteering for duty. My ardent goal is to become president, fix our problems, secure our nation's future and return to my day jobs as an economics professor and the president of a small software company.

My objective is certainly not to start a third party. Our two parties are bad enough. They are dominated by ideologues convinced theirs is the only truth. They make toppling their political opponents their life's work. Unfortunately, we moderates don't live and breathe politics. Yes, we are deeply concerned about our country. But we have our jobs to do, our children to rear and our lives to lead. And when it comes to voting in primaries, we say, "No thanks. Other moderates aren't voting. Our votes won't matter." Sadly, we're right. Participation in primaries runs below 20 percent.

The result? Too few moderates compete, too many zealots get elected, Congress remains deadlocked, and our Presidents become beholden to extremists. Consequently, nothing ever gets fixed.

How can we escape this trap?

There's just one way: we need to elect someone connected to neither party nor beholden to any interest group, someone who can (and routinely does) talk to both sides and unite our country, someone who truly understands our problems, someone who has real solutions, and someone tough enough to handle our enemies.

To repeat, I'm not the only such person for this job. Nor am I the best such person. But I can do this job and do it well. So if, like me, you are deeply concerned about our country's direction, our children's futures, and our presidential choices, please go to www.kotlikoff2016.com and join my campaign to rebuild our beloved country.