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:
A few days after the 2008 elections, Valerie Jarrett, co-chair of President-Elect Obama’s transition team, was interviewed by Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press”, where she stated: “ [Obama] is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.” At the time it was written off by most as simply a poor choice of words, but after the last three years in which Obama has compiled an inglorious record of contempt for the Constitution, Jarrett’s words now have proven prophetic. Obama has even surpassed FDR in the sheer brazenness of his contempt for our nation as a rule of law under the Constitution, and in attempts to make servants of the other co-equal branches of government.
Obama truly seems to see himself in the role of a king, with power to enforce his agenda by sheer will, ignoring law and precedent in crushing opposition to his executive branch tyranny. Two recent events have added to our despicable president’s legacy of corruption, disdain and contempt for the Constitution; his signing of the National Defense Appropriations Act, which funds military and defense operations, but that also contains a provision that should terrify every American that loves freedom; and Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
Since I missed out on the earmarks debate between Jason and Doug this week (I agree with Doug, btw), I figured now would be a good time to “stir the pot” with regard to a subject that seems to be gaining ground among many in the more “conservative” political circles.
The meme among many involved in politics is that because we limit the number of terms for the Presidency, most Governorships, and many municipal officials, we should also limit the terms of those serving in Congress. The arguments are full of logic and seem to make a LOT of sense, and I think the idea is palatable for most Americans. The idea that a Senator would only serve two terms or that a Congressman would serve four or six or eight terms, depending on which proposal you read or hear about. My opposition lies, as do many things I find myself in the minority about, in the details.
A year and a half into office, President Obama still has many of the same problems that were waiting for him on day one. The economy is horrid, we’re fighting two wars, and Americans are apathetic about government just to name a few. The President, and his supporters, have pointed out that he inherited many of these problems. They weren’t of his making, they argue. This is may be true, many of them they were waiting for him on day one, so indeed he inherited them.
But at some point, you’ve got to stop blaming Bush and take some responsibility on your own. A year and a half into office, the economy is fully yours. The wars are yours too. It sucks, but they’re yours anyways.
You see, I’m not fan of George W. Bush. The only time I remotely liked him as a president was after 9/11, and that was short lived. I felt hope when President Obama was inaugurated, hoping against hope that he had a more libertarian bent than I expected. Yes, I too got caught up in the hope that was Barack Obama.
It didn’t last.
In short order, the President began showing that he and President Bush weren’t all that different. TARP II was just one example, since it wasn’t much different than TARP. Bailouts aplenty were the cause of the day, just as it had been in previous administrations. But these were hardly the most egregious examples of the similarities between the two men.
Those examples fall into his refusal to close down Guantanamo Bay, despite campaign promises to do so. It’s his refusal to draw down Iraq, and his desire to escalate Afghanistan. So much for that Nobel Peace Prize, huh?
His economic policies have failed to bring about the recovery hoped for. The second stimulus was geared towards public works projects, improving infrastructure, etc. But it hasn’t really brought about the job growth necessary. It’s just spent money like there was no tomorrow.
President Obama showcased his ignorance of world political history at the G-20 summit in London recently when he made a crack at his political predecessors’ penchant for back-room brandy sessions:
Well, if there’s just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy, that’s an easier negotiation. But that’s not the world we live in, and it shouldn’t be the world that we live in.
I realize that every generation likes to think of itself as unique and facing problems their ancestors did not. It’s the easiest way to excuse failure. No one will blame a world leader for poorly handling a challenge that the world has never seen.
* Barack Obama will realize that Congress is not ready to go along with his progressive agenda. Many Southern and rural Midwestern Democrats were elected as pro-life conservative Democrats. Hence, his Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) will never see the light of day.
* With nervousness on the economy, Obama will not push for Nationalized Health Care. You will see some adding around the edges, but no major increases in federal programs. Obama’s advisers will warn him about the effect of more spending and especially, more taxes on our fragile economy.
Obama will be featured on the cover of Time Magazine again (for what, the millionth time?), but this one may actually grab people’s attention and help their struggling sales. In the Nov. 24th issue they are featuring Obama as FDR. Obama should attempt to learn from FDR, but only to the extent of learning what not to do.
Think about it! Four years ago, the Republican Party held the White House and both houses of Congress. Now, the Democrats have won the Presidency by a sizable margin, gained additional seats in the majority Democratic House, and could possibly hold a sixty-vote majority in the Senate—large enough to end any Republican initiated filibuster.
First of all, consider the magnitude of the Republican loss. What support shifted from four years ago?
But not because of the reasons you may believe
Part I - “The False Claims” - Can be found HERE
Labor Market Intervention
Within a month of the peak of the stock market in September 1929, President Hoover began a campaign of coordination between industry and government that is still seen today. He was under the belief that falling wages would exacerbate the coming recession and that they must be held steady in order to preserve purchasing power.
As we all know, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under fire for its targeting of Tea Party groups. This scandal, while outrageous and demanding of answers and accountability, isn’t exactly a new thing for the United States’ most disliked bureaucratic entity.
The Cato Institute has a released a new video highlighting the past administrations’ — from FDR to LBJ to Nixon — uses of the IRS to target political and ideological opponents. The video features comments from David Keating, President of the Center for Competitive Politics; Michael MacLeod-Ball, Chief Legislative Council at the ACLU; John Samples, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Representative Government; and Gene Healy, Vice President of the Cato Institute.
Samples and Keating noted that there are efforts in and outside of Congress to give the IRS more power to monitor groups that have tax-exempt status, which they explain is an ironic notion, given this most recent scandal. Healy also points to recent comments by President Obama, who decried voices warning of tyranny in a recent commencement address.
“I think if you’re one of these Tea Party groups that spent, in some cases, two years, under an IRS inquisition, you might start to think that these voices are onto something,” said Healy, just before a clip of President Obama joking about auditing university officials who had refused him an honorary degree.