Archives for February 2012
With April 15th slowly creeping up and many Americans and small business owners facing the prospect higher taxes by year’s end — no thanks to President Barack Obama, the Heritage Foundation reminds us that nearly half of the nation doesn’t pay any income taxes at all. It’s a point to remember when Obama and his ilk start complaining about the rich not paying their “fair share”:
Newt Gingrich likes to portray himself as a “Reagan Conservative,” someone that believes in and pursues limited government policies. But the Washington Post reports that Gingrich was critical of Ronald Reagan’s views and wasn’t at all an advocate of a limited government:
In an unnoticed 1992 speech, Newt Gingrich in a single utterance took aim not only at a beloved conservative icon but also at a core tenet of the conservative movement: that government must be limited.
Ronald Reagan’s “weakness,” Gingrich told the National Academy of Public Administration in Atlanta, was that “he didn’t think government mattered. . . . The Reagan failure was to grossly undervalue the centrality of government as the organizing mechanism for reinforcing societal behavior.”
A review of thousands of documents detailing Gingrich’s career shows it wasn’t the first time he had criticized Reagan, whom he regularly invokes today in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. When Gingrich was in the House, his chief of staff noted at a 1983 staff meeting that his boss frequently derided Reagan, along with then-White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III and Robert H. Michel, the House Republican leader.
While Newt Gingrich has Nate Adelson propping up his “Super PAC,” an organization supporting Ron Paul’s bid for the Republican nomination is getting some more love from PayPal founder Peter Thiel:
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel donated another $1.7 million in January to the super PAC supporting Ron Paul’s presidential bid, according to documents released Monday.
Thiel, a billionaire who runs the hedge fund Clarium Capital, has donated a total of $2.6 million to the pro-Paul group Endorse Liberty since it was founded on Dec. 20.
He’s the largest contributor to the super PAC, which reported bringing in $2.4 million in January in addition to its late December haul of $1 million, according to the reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Thiel has described his views as libertarian and has promoted libertarian causes in the past. And While I’m familiar with Revolution PAC, Endorse Liberty PAC is new to me. They don’t have a website from what I can tell, but they’ve put together a half-dozen web ads promoting Ron Paul’s candidacy and views.
Here’s Endorse Liberty PAC’s most recent ad:
Rick Santorum, after his recent wins in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri; appears to be the GOP frontrunner. If you look at Santorum’s record and rhetoric, he would appear to be the best fit for the Republican Party. Indeed, it is almost hard now not to imagine a scenario where Santorum is not the nominee.
However, if the GOP decides to nominates him, it will put an end to the fiction that the GOP is a limited government party. It will also put an end to what is left of the conservative-libertarian alliance.
Santorum is the only candidate running for president who is openly hostile to libertarianism. Santorum’s record is abysmal on fiscal issues. He voted for the Medicare prescription drug entitlement, No Child Left Behind, numerous earmarks and pork barrel projects, voted against NAFTA and is generally opposed to free trade. His proposals on foreign aid have won praise from Bono, the rest of the Third World poverty pimps, and their allied Tranzi NGOs. The Sweater Vest also wants to maintain a tax code that is riddled full of deductions and loopholes rewarding selected constituencies, instead of proposing a simpler system that is fairer to all. Rick Santorum, far from being the next Reagan, appears to be a compassionate conservative in the mold of George W. Bush. Finally, Rick Santorum last summer in a speech declared war on libertarians.
In a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg last summer, Santorum declared, “I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”
If you’ve been listening to Rick Santorum over the past few weeks, he’s been really hammering the Obama Administration over the mandate that would require religious organizations to pay for contraception even if it defies their teachings, rhetoric that is hypocritical given some of his past votes. He’s also been known to take a shot or two at ObamaCare, which includes a mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.
However, Santorum hasn’t always been consistent on government mandates. Back in 2008, for example, Santorum gleefully expressed his view that the government should force Americans to buy flex-fuel cars:
What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be “flex-fuel vehicles” - that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil.
Granted, Santorum was probably paid to write that, given the he did work as a lobbyist. But it’s wholly hypocritical for him to complain about mandates when he was pushing for mandates like this.
H/T: Buzz Feed
In a story that will shock and disgust any sane American, Florida police officers went undercover into high schools and spent weeks befriending students…who they then tricked into becoming marijuana users:
Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.
One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn’t smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn’t want the money — he got it for her as a present.
A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students — including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.
This is outrageous.
First of all, I don’t think 25 year old police officers should be dating 18-year old high school students; that’s just inappropriate in any situation. But second (and third) they are now fabricating criminals out of whole cloth, while wasting scarce police resources that could be put to far better uses.
Jeremy has already discussed this today, but it’s worth bringing back up. While defending — or at least attempting to defend — President Barack Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal last week before the House Budget Committee, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said something very profound to Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The two were going over the proposal, with Geithner insisting that the budget, which includes steep tax hikes, would stablize deficits over the next 10 years. However, Ryan noted that the 10-year budget window in Obama’s plan doesn’t at all address long-term budget issues with Medicare and Social Security, showing this chart as his proof:
You can see, following Obama’s budget, that the national debt does indeed stablize for a short time; but again, it goes out of control in subsequent years. Ryan was quick to point out that his own budget plan, the Path to Prosperity, addresses the national debt and unfunded liabilities from entitlements head on, pointing Geithner to this chart:
Realizing that he had no real response for bringing an unsustainable budget before Congress, Geithner to Ryan, “You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say ‘we have a definitive solution to that long term problem.’ What we do know is, we don’t like yours.” At least he’s honest.
I remember some time ago – maybe as far back as a couple of years ago – I saw a link pointing to a list ranking the presidents on a libertarian scale. I did some digging around tonight, and I believe that this is that list I saw.
Of course, it’s all subjective. There are several lists like this one, and they all vary a little bit depending on the views of the person who wrote the list. I say that to stress that while I’m linking to this list, I didn’t write it, so don’t assume that I endorse everything in it.
His top five U.S. Presidents:
- Martin Van Buren
- Grover Cleveland
- John Tyler
- Calvin Coolidge
- Zachary Taylor
And, of course, no “best of” list is any good without an accompanying “worst of” list. Here are his list of the worst 5 presidents:
- George W. Bush
- Abraham Lincoln
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Ronald Reagan
- Harry S. Truman
A few of my thoughts on the list:
We’ve recently gone over Rick Santorum’s very un-conservative voting record on fiscal issues, noting that it makes him unfit for anyone claiming to be a Tea Party-minded voter. This was a point that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is also seeking the GOP nomination, brought home yesterday in an interview with CNN:
Ron Paul on Sunday re-launched his attack that Republican presidential rival Rick Santorum is a liberal, adding he doubts the former Pennsylvania senator could beat President Barack Obama in November if he wins the party’s nomination.
“His voting record is, I think from my viewpoint, an atrocious voting record - how liberal he’s been in all the things he’s voted for over the many years he was in the Senate and in the House,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Paul has previously attacked Santorum for voting for the debt ceiling five times as a senator, as well as the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska that was considered unnecessary government spending.
On Sunday, the candidate specifically pointed to Santorum’s high-profile comments on the recent birth control controversy, in which the White House amended a rule that would have required religious institutions to pay for contraception coverage.
Paul also criticized Santorum for the focus on social issues, such as the recent controversy on contraception, when the economy should be the foremost concern in the Republican primary: