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Archive for the ‘Big Government’ Category

I was browsing about on the web, looking how to officially leave the Republican Party, and I found this statement on the Libertarian Party’s national website.  It sort of confirms what I said about the “Tea Party” in some of my previous posts.

Looking toward the 9/12 Tea Party events in Washington, DC, Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict issued the following warning to Tea Partiers: “Republicans are trying to fool you again.””There are two kinds of Tea Partiers,” said Benedict. “One kind is so blinded by its hatred of Obama and Democrats that it cannot see fault with Republicans. It’s the other kind the Libertarian Party is reaching out to.”

Libertarian Party staff and volunteers will participate in the Washington, DC Tea Party events on September 12. They will distribute flyers pointing out how the Top 10 Disasters of the 2009-2010 Obama administration mirror the Top 10 Disasters of the 2001-2008 Bush administration.

Benedict continued, “Libertarians have much in common with Tea Party goals of reducing government spending and taxes. While many Tea Party supporters will admit that George W. Bush’s administration grew government, Libertarians want to remind Tea Partiers about previous Republican administrations that loved big government.

“Republican Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America promised to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy. Yet once Republicans took control of Congress, they failed even to reduce the spending on those departments.

“Republican President George Bush, Sr. remains famous for coining the phrase ‘Read my lips, no new taxes,’ and then raising taxes.

“Republican President Ronald Reagan grew federal government spending to the highest level it had reached since World War II. He also ‘saved Social Security’ by raising payroll taxes.

“Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole was a huge supporter of taxpayer subsidies for corn and ethanol.

“In 1971, Republican President Richard Nixon instituted wage and price controls. That made a group of free-market supporters so angry that they decided to form the Libertarian Party.

“Republicans seem to think we’re idiots. For decades they have paid lip-service to shrinking government, while consistently doing the opposite in office.

“Our fear is that Tea Partiers might say ‘This time it will be different.’ No it won’t. If you vote for Republicans this time, it will just reinforce the message that they can lie to you and grow government with impunity.

“Current Republicans are just as bad as past Republicans.

“This year, Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan is running for U.S. Senate against Republican John McCain, who famously suspended his 2008 presidential campaign so he could rush back to Washington to bail out the banks.

“Republican leader John Boehner might end up as the next House Speaker, and he voted for George W. Bush’s huge 2003 Medicare expansion.

“John Cornyn, Republican senator from Texas, and current chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, voted for the TARP bailouts.

“Ron Paul is probably the only Republican congressman willing to point out the huge cost of America’s foreign wars and empire building. Other Republicans pretend that spending trillions on the military just doesn’t count as big government.

“With Social Security, Medicare, and military spending making up the vast majority of federal spending, you can’t cut significantly without cutting those. But Republicans refuse to touch them.

“Libertarians welcome the Tea Party movement’s focus on the problem of government growth. However, we are concerned that Tea Partiers might fall for the Republicans’ trickery.

“Republican leaders have brought up distractions like New York City mosques and gay marriage to distract voters from Republicans’ big-government track record. We hope that Tea Partiers will see through the smoke and mirrors.

“While our nation is declining dangerously right now, a turnaround could be straightforward and simple with Libertarian steps like these: 1. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; 2. Stop rewarding failed companies with bailouts; 3. Cut taxes and spending and let the free market work.

“The Libertarian Party is fielding 168 candidates for U.S. House, and 20 candidates for U.S. Senate this year. Win or lose, a vote for a Libertarian sends a clear message for smaller government and more freedom. What message does a vote for John McCain send?”

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

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Most often, I don’t know what to think of the Tea Party Movement.

I do believe in small, limited Federal government.

However, I reject Nativism in that I am generally pro-immigration.  I think that people that pledge allegiance to the United States of America and work a job to that end should be given citizenship.  I think that the Tea Party Movement rejects immigrants for the basic fact that they are immigrants.  I reject such hypocrisy because I am the great-grandson and the great-great-great grandson of immigrants from Slovakia (Austria-Hungary) and Ireland (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) respectively.  I believe that if a person seeks to work and pay his way in America, then he should be allowed to work in America.

I do agree with many of the tenets and symbols that the Tea Party Movement embraces, such as the Gadsden Flag.  However, I do believe that the Tea Party Movement still advocates big governmental action in many personal issues areas with which I would not agree.

For instance, mainstream Libertarians would advocate gay marriage on grounds that is not the government’s role to regulate marriage.  Tea Partier’s might say that gay marriage is not ideal, and that is an aspect of live that the government should regulate.

Also, as people either fail or refuse to recognize, the Grand Ol Party professes to advocate small government but, in fact, does the opposite.  Republicans support the Bush White House’s actions, which increased the national debt by approximately $4 trillion.  This $4 trillion was used to strengthen strong central government.  For this reason, I believe the Tea Party should advocate a 3rd Party.  However, I don’t think it has been trying to advocate a 3rd party.

We have a two party system in America, and I think the Tea Party would naturally advocate the Republican party because of its ideological alignment.  However, I think they should not ally with the Republicans because of this $4 trillion hike in government debt.  I thought Conservatives were supposed to “conserve” and not spend on nation-building and programs that strengthen the Federal government and weaken state and local governments.

For these reasons, I think that the Tea Party movement is a misguided political force that needs to find direction.  I also think that the Tea Party should find an ideology and stick to it.  Saying that one is for Constitutional liberty, and then pushing to deny Muslims to build a community center is just hypocritical.  One is either an advocate of the Constitution, or not.

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I recently participated in a Twitter debate (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23wdys), and the topic was whether or not governments DNA fingerprint their citizens.

I, like many others in the debate, disagree with governments doing this.  One point was made in clarifying the topic was if you have nothing to hide, then you should have nothing to fear.  Although I understand the rationale behind this, I strongly disagree.  Doing something solely because it leads to an end does not justify the action.  If everyone subscribed to the “if you nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear” logic, then government could expand rapidly into every facet of our lives, and we might become enslaved by the government.  People arguing for big government intervention are thinking idealistically; believing that government is benevolent and would have to reason to abuse their power.  However, I am thinking realistically; government is made up of people, and everyone is pursuing their own self interest.

One point I made against DNA fingerprinting was that government has a plethora of ways to identify people (i.e. drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, social security numbers, passports, etc).  If government used something as invasive as keeping records of everyone’s DNA, then they might as well go another step further and force people to allow government officials to install some type of tracking chip in everyone’s person.  With DNA fingerprinting, government severely reduces any anonymity among its citizens.

Another, more idealistic, point made by http://twitter.com/ender227 was that freedoms are seldom recovered after they are taken away.  I strongly agree with this.  Look at the growth of the American Federal government.  It has grown rapidly since after WWII, and is always difficult to scale back.  I am not saying that growth of government in this case is necessarily a usurpation of popular freedom, but the same idea holds.

In my opinion, the role of government is to solely protect the unalienable rights and freedoms of its populace, and I can see how it moves to that end when keeping records of all citizens’ DNA.

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I was reading Cato economist Dan Mitchell’s blog (http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/russia-getting-rid-of-capital-gains-tax/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter), and he said that Russia was eliminating their capital gains tax.  His video went on to outline how different types of taxes work.  He also went on to mention that the Obama administration was going to further increase capital gains taxes in the US.  How ironic that men who were part of a Communist mega-state are adopting a smarter tax policy that the supposedly liberal USA.

I went on to think of how the United States would react to such a tax policy.  Let me say this now: I am very interested in how good economic policy can help and empower the poor.  I also think regressive tax policies are unfair.  Though consumption taxes are fair in that they only tax on what an individual consumes, and they encourage personal saving.  They can be unfair because the poor do not have the ability to save (they must spend most of their earnings on food, housing, etc.).

So what if the US followed Russia and eliminated the capital gains tax?  Increased investment creates more jobs (good for the poor).  Assuming a consumption tax policy is enacted, the rich would still pay their fair share because they would still consume (A common argument against eliminating capital gains taxes is that the rich would end up paying nothing if most of their income came from capital gains).  And since the poor would also pay for what they consume, maybe they could get tax rebates because of their income level.

These are just thoughts on the video and blog from Dan Mitchell.  Please respond with any thoughts on my points or offer better alternatives to what I have said.  Also, if any of my points are invalid or wrong, please let me know.

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