Here’s an old video from the Free to Choose Network of Walter Williams and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman debating and explaining the role of labor unions in society, including that “right to work” laws are essential to a free society:
The smart money suggests that there will be a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. The question is what can liberty-minded Americans expect from a Republican majority? Maybe a good starting point for an answer might be to examine how Republicans have handled their majority in the past.
Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s term of office saw massive increases in federal spending. When Johnson was elected into office in 1964, federal spending was $118 billion. When he left office in 1968, federal spending was $178 billion, a 66 percent increase. Worse than the massive increase in federal spending, his administration and Democratically controlled Congress saddled us with two programs that have helped fuel today’s fiscal disaster — Medicare and Medicaid.
The 1994 elections gave Republican control of both the House and Senate. They held a majority for a decade. The 2000 election of George W. Bush as president gave Republicans what the Democrats have now, total control of the legislative and executive branches of government. When Bush came to office, federal spending was $1.788 trillion. When he left office, federal spending was $2.982 trillion. That’s a 60 percent increase in federal spending, closely matching the profligacy of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.
Economist Walter Williams asks a couple of questions missing from the debate over bailouts, stimulus bills and health care:
A president has no power to raise or lower taxes. He can propose tax measures or veto them, but since Congress can ignore presidential proposals and override a presidential veto, it has the ultimate taxing power.
The same principle applies to spending. A president cannot spend a dime that Congress does not first appropriate. As such, presidents cannot be held responsible for budget deficits or surpluses. That means that credit for a budget surplus or blame for budget deficits rests on the congressional majority at the time.
Thinking about today’s massive deficits, we might ask: Where in the U.S. Constitution is Congress given the authority to do anything about the economy?