The good news about our economy is that it hasn’t been struck down by some mysterious act of God. Acts of Government plague our nation – and acts of Government are entirely within our power to change.
Today I will not recite the dismal statistics behind the failed economic policies of this administration, nor the reasons why these policies have failed. The current Presidential campaign has plenty of that, and the fact is that every single American already knows the answer to Ronald Reagan’s simple question: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago.”
Today, I would instead like to look ahead to what the 113th Congress and the 45th President of the United States must do if we are to restore prosperity to this country.
I’d like to outline seven measures that I believe are absolutely essential to repair our economy and restore America as the most prosperous and productive nation in the world.
FIRST AND FOREMOST – IT’S THE SPENDING, STUPID.
Unless and until we dramatically reduce federal spending and the accompanying tax and debt burden, government will continue crowding out private capital and destroying job creation.
Three numbers tell the story very nicely: 39, 32 and 82. Thirty-nine percent is the rate of inflation and population growth combined over the last ten years between 2002 and 2012. Thirty-two percent is the growth rate of revenue in the same period – despite the tax cuts and the recession. Not quite keeping up with inflation and population growth, but pretty close. Eighty-two percent is the figure that’s killing us. Eighty-two percent is the growth of federal spending.
Apparently a reporter at the New York Times Magazine didn’t get the memo that left-wing feminist hack Sandra Fluke’s 15 minutes were long past up. The reporter, Andrew Goldman, tracked Sandra down to get her er…..thoughts on some issues related to her call for the American people to pay for her birth control.
First up: About Rush Limbaugh’s despicable comments calling her a “slut” and attempts to have him taken off the air.
Free speech is a complex area legally, but it’s important to recognize that there are distinctions between one’s ability to express an opinion versus one’s ability to use F.C.C.-regulated airwaves to do so, and also one’s ability to engage in speech versus one’s ability to engage in slander.
First of all, there is no moral defense for what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke. If Rush Limbaugh called my mother, wife, daughter, girlfriend, sister, or any other woman I care about a slut, I would have some choice words for him. As a Southern boy, I was raised by my single mom to show women respect. However, I will defend to my death Rush Limbaugh’s right to free speech.
A lot of conservatives lament the decline of “American Power” around the World. Just this week Bill O’Reilly had a rant about that. But to those who love Liberty, American Power is just another phrase for Government Power, and the less Government there is at home and abroad the better the lives of all individuals around the world will be.
Thoreau had a great quote about that:
“I heartily accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have”.
I look forward to the day when men are prepared for a government that governs none at all. But until then the Leviathan that is the State with its Coercive Power will be with us. Our job for those who love liberty is to educate ourselves and others about the True Nature of the State and the Blessings of Liberty.
Franz Oppenheimer made it crystal clear the difference between how the State acquires what it desires and the way free individuals voluntarily trade to gain what they desire:
The rogue Internet hacker group @Lulzsec has disbanded after a two-month battle against targets across the world. In the wake of their attacks are many questions. How can organizations protect themselves against such attacks? How long will other hacker groups continue their cyberwars? And, is what they’re doing actually…ethical?
Without question, hacking is illegal. Yet, despite the illegality of what hacker groups like Anonymous do, there does appear to be a “moral code” to their actions. For example, Anonymous recently took down several Orlando-area websites, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s re-election site. Why would an international hacker collective target Orlando? They felt arresting members of Orlando Food Not Bombs, a charitable organization that feeds the homeless in city parks, was wrong. “Anonymous believes that people have the right to organize, that people have the right to give to the less fortunate and that people have the right to commit acts of kindness and compassion,” the group stated in a release.
Wait, a hacker group that stands for “kindness and compassion”? Are there really “hacktivists” out there? Apparently.
Black markets come to life after government regulations force the natural economy underground. Anonymous is fueled by a similar mechanism. The traditional (and, legal) methods of counter-balancing government abuse have ultimately failed. Freedom of Information Act requests are frequently sidestepped, or altogether ignored. The Mainstream Media — both Left and Right — have become nothing more than cheerleaders for whatever administration is in charge. And, real investigative journalism, like that of gadfly James O’Keefe, is far too rare. Nobody is left to watch the watchers.
In our society it is almost axiomatic that liberals are charitable and conservatives are greedy and heartless. After all, conservatives are the ones calling for spending cuts to social programs, and tax cuts to stimulate job growth. Liberals are the ones that vociferously object to even the most minute of spending cuts to any type of social program, lest the poor, downtrodden and innocent suffer. Yet, as with so many things, such a conclusion may be accepted with little argument, but has very little basis in fact.
Most of us have seen coverage of the personal tragedies in the aftermath of the historic outbreak of tornadoes across the southeastern United States a few weeks ago, which left more than 300 dead. Footage of the massive tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa and other parts of Alabama are heart wrenching. In my little section of northwest Georgia we received significant damage as well. For the second time in three years my home narrowly escaped the brunt of a tornado’s destructive path, but many of our friends and neighbors were not so lucky.
Two days after the tornados hit I drove through Adairsville and Ringgold and witnessed the awesome force of nature’s fury; billboard frames bent at 90-degree angles, warehouses demolished as if they were made of tin foil and swaths flattened trees that looked like matchsticks. There were huge sections of towns that had essentially vanished. If ever there was a need for government this was it, right?
One of the most common refrains from the political left and the media is that, regarding the economy, conservatives advocate for unchecked freedom for big business to do whatever it wants to do, and for no government interference with business at all. These assertions stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of conservatism.
For the conservative, the issue comes down to the proper role of government. To have no government at all is anarchy, and certainly no conservative would argue that. So the question is not whether or not there should be government involvement (there should), but what level of government involvement is appropriate.
When we look at the biggest financial scandals of the last decade (Enron, WorldCom, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.), they all have one thing in common. At some point, whether through active complicity or negligence, government played a huge role in allowing the scandals to occur. And with every scandal, it becomes an excuse, or rather an imperative, to increase the level of government involvement to keep it from occurring again.
Some of the major scandals have occurred because the regulatory oversight assigned to one government agency or another was either inadequately enforced, or government employees were co-opted into the fraudulent scheme. Others occur because our statutory and regulatory law has become so complex that it is inevitable that a crafty thief will be able to find technical loopholes that fulfill the letter of the law while being contradictory to the clear intent of the law. Either way, we continue to add layer after layer of government bureaucracy, regulation and complexity, and yet the scandals keep getting more and more expensive. That is because the more complex the law, the easier it is to find a technical Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, in which he engraved into our national consciousness the concept that “all men are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Those words provided an earth-shattering salvo which would blast a gaping hole in the world’s understanding of the nature of government. No longer would men be servants, mere subjects bound to obedience by the Divine Right of Kings. Men would now be free; sovereign individuals free to live as they so chose, answerable only to God for the conduct of their life provided they did not infringe upon the rights of others.
After years of abuse at the hands of King George, under whom they were taxed without representation in Parliament, forced to quarter the very soldiers who would punish disobedience to the Crown, unable to pass laws of self-governance and in general being treated as slaves rather than fellow citizens with rights, the American colonists declared that they would no longer be subject to such abuse, but would form a new government in which every man was bestowed the same rights and no man was favored above another in the eyes of the law.
For nearly a decade war was waged upon the American continent. Mangled, broken and torn bodies littered the battlefields along the eastern seaboard. Families were separated; husbands and brothers lost…all because the people of this nation decided to rise up against tyranny and oppression. When the sounds of cannon and musket-fire were silenced, when the smoke cleared and the soldiers returned home, a new era had begun.
On April 15th, I went down to the Georgia state capitol to hang out with about 5000 of my racist friends as we discussed ways to oppress the poor, exploit and denigrate minorities, engage in violent protest and call for the death of President Barack Obama. At least, that is what we were doing according to the media, who reported breathlessly about this violent uprising which stemmed from the hatred of a black president (while conveniently ignoring the fact that the same president could not have been elected without a huge number of white voters casting their ballots for him…maybe white voters did not realize he was black until after the election).
About half an hour before the rally ended I went up to the barricade which police were monitoring, behind which was about a dozen counter-protesters. As I approached they directed their invective at me, calling me a racist, saying I hate the president, saying that because I oppose the health care control law I want poor people to die. The whole time I just smiled and listened.
When they finally calmed down I began to engage in conversation with them. I asked why I was considered a racist just for opposing big government, and pointed out that I had seen dozens of blacks, Hispanics and Asians in the crowd. Were they racists too?
Has anyone noticed how much our society now talks about their “rights”? President Obama just signed a massive bill, clocking in at well over 2500 pages (between the original bill and the reconciliation), which creates huge new deficits, another gargantuan bureaucracy, and allows the government ever more power to intrude into the private lives of its sovereign citizens. This was all done under the guise of a newly found “right” to health care.
In 1973, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Warren Burger, discovered a “right” to privacy that had managed to elude the Founding Fathers and all of the subsequent legislatures and courts for almost 200 years, and under this right America has callously witnessed the extermination of over 50 million of its most vulnerable; the unborn.
This week it was announced that the public transit system of a south Atlanta metro county was bankrupt and services were discontinued. As I watched the news coverage I listened to a young man tell me that the transit system, plagued with corruption and mismanagement, should be made to continue running (no mention on who gets to pay the bill to make sure that it keeps operating) because public transportation is a “basic human right”? Really? Public transportation is a right?
Editor’s Note: Ford has since matched the $1000 offer.
The supposed e-mails and calls mentioned are in relation to the recent widespread recall on many Toyota products due to a faulty gas pedal that has led to at least one death. Toyota is working feverishly to find a fix but has yet to do so which has stopped production and sales of their most popular models including the Camry and Corolla.(as of this writing, a fix has been announced)
If this were General Motors declaring “war” on Toyota at their most vulnerable I would say go for it. I’m all about free markets and the best product usually succeeds. Hence Toyota outsells most if not all GM car models. But that is not what is happening here.
General Motors is now majority-owned by the Federal Government and Barack Obama is essentially the C.E.O. To believe that GM “CEO” Edward Whitacre Jr. didn’t get a thumbs up from President Obama on this is far beyond naive, it borders on gullible.