President Barack Obama has frequently claimed that he has no lobbyists working in his administration. But that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. In fact, the Obama Administration is filled with lobbyists. And with the appointment of Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the communications and technology industries, it’s about to get another one.
Over at Reason, Peter Suderman explains that Wheeler, who will replace outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, was a top bundler for both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and he appears to have interest in seeing the role of the FCC expanded, which isn’t a good sign:
We’ve all been told that the sequester is going to bring about the zombie apocalypse, but the idea that trimming $85 billion in spending from a bloated $3.8 trillion budget — and only half of those reductions will take effect the current fiscal year, meaning that the cuts are closer to 1% of the budget. To say that sort of a reduction in spending is going to have a substantial impact on the economy is laughable.
In a new video from Reason TV, Nick Gillespie gives us five facts about the sequester before it goes into effect on March 1st.
“Even with the sequester, the federal government is expected to spend more this year than it did last year,” Gillespie explains. “The largest chunk of cuts will come out of the defense budget, which has doubled over the past decade. The Pentagon will still have about $500 billion at its disposal, not counting war-related and emergency appropriations.”
And despite the recent talking points from the White House, Gillespie also notes that the “whole damn sequester was the Obama administration’s idea.”
“As the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward has reported, despite Obama’s denials to the contrary, ‘the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House’ as part of the deal to raise the debt limit back in August 2011,” notes Gillespie.
Check out full video:
From Reason TV: The greatest city in the world - New York, New York - is home to 8 million souls, a magnet for 52 million tourists a year, and legendary for the grossest public toilets this side of a Turkish prison. That makes sense, since nobody really owns public toilets, leading to the ultimate tragedy of the commons.
There’s a reason the Big Apple shopping blog Racked recently recommended a list of the 16 best in store bathrooms for New Yorkers on the go. Can you imagine a similar list of johns maintained by Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s tidy team?
During this hour, President Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term and give his inaugural address. While he’s sure to make promises filled with unicorns and fairy dust, Obama is unlikely to follow through.
In a new video, Reason TV looked at the rhetoric during Obama’s first inaugural address — ranging from promises for fiscal responsibility to bringing more transparency — and compared it to reality by showing headlines noting trillion dollar budget deficits, continued government waste, and the lack of faith Americans have in their government:
There is no doubt that the Republican Party is at a crossroad with many questioning the direction that should be taken to bring them back to electoral success. The biggest obstacle to moving the GOP back to its limited government roots is the political establishment — the dealers and the consultant class — who want to the party to take the road to victory by selling out limited government principles.
This creats a problem for conservatives, many of whom are still trying to make sense of the 2012 election. Many realize the dangers that lie ahead by kowtowing to the party’s political establishment, but they’re weary of trying to stand in their way. They’ve actually bought into the line that the freedom movement is to blame for the problems that have plagued the GOP. Yes, there were some bad candidates that ran in 2012, but the Republican Party’s brand was damaged long before voters ever headed to the polls.
In a recent piece at Commentary, Matt Welch, editor of Reason, explained that conservatives need to start actually practicing what they preach when it comes to limiting the size and scope of government:
Via Reason, Kennedy gives a rundown of the best and worst Christmas films from a libertarian perspective.
Libertarianism seems like an idea that the vast majority of people can get behind. More and more people are approaching me, describing themselves as mostly libertarian. The problem, as they describe it, is a matter of libertarians not really grasping the reality of the world we live in.
I’m going to concede that they make a fair point. It’s not that libertarian ideals can’t be applicable to the real world. Instead it’s that so many libertarians don’t bother to look at things in the real world before opening their trap.
A case in point is Reason.com’s J.D. Tuccille. Yesterday, he arguing that right to work laws were actually not libertarian because they violated the power of the contract, telling employers and unions what they can’t do in a contract.
Needless to say, he was met with a great deal of resistance. Later yesterday evening, he posted this at Reason:
However, there is a group that benefits from responding to laws with more laws, and that group consists of politicians and government officials. Note that the long-standing positions of the major political parties are represented both in the federal legislation mentioned above and the current battle over right-to-work laws. With the NLRA, Democrats positioned themselves as advocates for labor, while Republicans responded to business concerns with Taft-Hartley. Republicans now champion right-to-work on behalf of beleaguered businesses, while Democrats tout their opposition to such laws to their union-member constituents. By intruding the state into labor-business relations, politicians elevated their own importance and power in a way that simply staying out of the matter, or repealing laws, never could,