Archive for Libertarianism
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been pushing a string of libertarian-centric issues over the last few weeks, since his well-documented filibuster against drone strikes that target American citizens. First, there was his fierce advocacy of removing tax provisions favoring marriage in order to get the issue out of government control. Then, there was his equally fierce refusal to back down from supporting a normalization of immigrant status for illegal immigrants, citing “de facto amnesty.”
Now, Paul is back to taking on a longtime bugbear of the libertarian right — namely, drug laws.
Gateway Pundit caught the clip of Paul arguing on “Fox News Sunday” that while he personally doesn’t encourage drug use, the current legal regime is broken.
“I also don’t want to put people in jail who make a mistake,” Paul said. “There are a lot of young people who do this and then they grow up and get married and quit doing this. I don’t want to put people in jail and ruin their lives. Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use and I really think, look what could have happened, it would have ruined their lives.”
Despite what the media and politicians would have us believe, the United States did not collapse last Friday when the package of spending reductions known as “sequestration” went into effect. The financial markets hardly blinked, as they have come to be more skeptical about these periodic government-hyped “crises.”
What had been portrayed as a drastic reduction in government spending was merely a decrease in the projected rate of increase in government spending over the next decade. Under sequestration, government spending increases by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years rather than $2.5 trillion without it.
So we are speeding toward collapse at only 100 miles per hour instead of 110 miles per hour.
Some in Congress are using the panic over sequestration to justify another surrender of legislative authority to the executive branch. These members want to “pass the buck” on prioritizing federal programs by giving the president, cabinet officials, and high-level bureaucrats authority to set spending priorities. However, it is Congress’s job to set priorities in federal spending.
The drafters of the Constitution give the legislature the authority over spending because they recognized it was a threat to liberty to allow this power to be concentrated in the executive branch. Congress’s willingness to cede more authority to the executive should be opposed by everyone who values liberty and limited government.
Some of the loudest objections to sequestration have come from the champions of the military-industrial complex. Yet under sequestration defense spending will still increase by 18 percent over 10 years as opposed to 20 percent without sequestration.
There are claims that the military will face a one-time real reduction back to 2007 levels of spending, before beginning to climb again next year. That remains to be seen. However, few claimed at the time that 2007 levels of military spending, occurring as they did during the huge post 9/11 build-up, were inadequate.
But despite the fact that the US spends more on military than the rest of the world combined, we are told that even this modest, short-term reduction would be, in the words of outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, “shameful” and “irresponsible.” A return to 1980’s levels of military spending in real dollars – a time of significant military build-up – is considered outrageous even though the US faces no Soviet Union or equivalent threat.
In fact, the entire $1.2 trillion dollars that the sequester is supposed to save could be realized by cutting one unneeded, wasteful boondoggle: the $1.5 trillion F-35 fighter program. The F-35, billed as the next generation all-purpose military fighter and bomber, has been an unmitigated disaster. Its performances in recent tests have been so bad that the Pentagon has been forced to dumb-down the criteria. It is overweight, overpriced, and unwieldy. It is also an anachronism: we no longer face the real prospect of air-to-air combat in this era of 4th generation warfare. The World War II mid-air dogfight era is long over.
As defense analyst Winslow Wheeler wrote last year:
“It’s time for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, and Congress to face the facts: The F-35 is an unaffordable mediocrity, and the program will not be fixed by any combination of hardware tweaks or cost-control projects. There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it.”
We should not look for cancellation of the F-35 program any time soon, however. The military industrial complex understands the political necessity of spreading its military Keynesianism as widely across Congressional districts as possible.
That is why F-35 manufacturer Lockheed-Martin can boast on its website that “the F-35 provides 127,000 direct and indirect jobs in 47 states and Puerto Rico.” What is unfortunately not understood is that these 127,000 workers would be far better utilized producing needed goods and services rather than treated as a jobs program disguised as national defense.
Despite the alarm over cuts that are not real cuts, it is clear that the US government is not serious at all about changing its ways. In a recent tour of the Middle East, newly-confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US would be sending another $60 million to the rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian government – in the midst of the sequester “crisis”!
Despite the rhetoric, there appears no intention on the part of the government to take our fiscal crisis seriously or abandon the idea that we should run the rest of the world. http://goo.gl/7HY4r
New Year’s Resolutions for Congress
As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.
In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of theUnited States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.
I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.
All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.
Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.
Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.
There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.
Ron Paul Warns Of An Expansion Of Covert Warfare Outside The Knowledge Of Congress Or The American People
Congressman Ron Paul Farewell Address
Image/Video Screen Shot
Despite shrinking budgets and a debt crisis, the Washington Post reported Dec. 2 that Obama administration will be ramping up the numbers of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) agents (spies) overseas.
The administration’s plan is to increase the numbers from a few hundred to 1,600 globally.
Will this make American’s safer? What kind of shenanigans will they be involved in?
Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul says “The move signals a major change in how the administration intends to conduct military and paramilitary operations overseas. Unfortunately it is not a shift toward peace, but rather to an even more deadly and disturbing phase in the “war on terror”, according to a Texas Straight Talk Dec. 10.
Paul says the increase in DIA overseas will not only result in more attacks overseas, but even more covert activities will likely occur without any Congressional knowledge or oversight since they are under the Pentagon.
Because of this, the expanded DIA overseas will be worse than the CIA.
He says part of the activity of the DIA will include developing targeting data for the president’s expanding drone warfare program.
The Washington Post report noted, the DIA has long played a major role in assessing and identifying targets for the U.S. military, which in recent years has assembled a constellation of drone bases stretching from Afghanistan to East Africa.
Already the president has demonstrated his preference for ever more drone attacks overseas. In Pakistan, for example, President Obama has in his first four years authorized six times more drone strikes than under all eight years of the Bush Administration. Nearly three thousand individuals have been killed by these drones, many of those non-combatants.
President Obama said recently of Israel’s strikes against the Palestinians in Gaza, “No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” This announcement by the administration amounts to precisely that: the US intends to rain down ever more missiles on citizens overseas. I believe what the president says about Israel is true everywhere, so what about those overseas who live in fear of our raining missiles? How will they feel about the United States? Is it not possible that we may be inviting more blowback by expanding the covert war overseas? Does that make us safer?
What did Einstein say about the definition of insanity? I’ve been a republican all my life, but finally like a new born puppy, my eyes opened. Every Republican and Democrat since Nixon has said they would cut the deficit and all increased it… even Reagan didn’t have the will. Bill Clinton ran a surplus one year, but in the end left us with more debt. So why vote Red or Blue again this year and think it will be different.
Vote Libertarian and get more freedom, less taxes, less war, less government and a guarantee that they will fight to the bitter end to accomplish these tasks.. not just lip service.