Friday, September 30, 2011

Liberty Pen: Video: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner: Milton Friedman-Path To Socialism

Source:The FreeState

I guess, in Milton Friedman's world, there would be no public safety net. That if people fall through the cracks of capitalism, that thats too bad and they are stuck in that condition. Unless they can get themselves out of that condition on their own, or help from private citizens. To help them out, that we would go back to the days pre-New Deal, or even the Federal Reserve Bank. And that perhaps we wouldn't even regulate the economy at all, except for anti-monopoly laws. Dr. Friedman, was anti-monopoly. Both public and private and believed that individuals and corporations, shouldn't be able to pollute the environment as well.  That they should even be taxed when they do. Dr. Friedman, is sort of an inspiration of the Tea Party movement on economic policy.

Even though the Tea Party at least generally speaking, isn't as liberal on social issues. There are also some Tea Party members, perhaps a majority even that are in favor of Social Security, or Medicare. Perhaps because they collect from both of those programs, or their parents collect from both of those programs. And they don't want to see the benefits for themselves, or their parents to be eliminated and for them to have to fend for themselves. But would like to see some of these programs reformed in a way that allows for more freedom of choice. But there are also some Tea Party members, people who support Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who's a libertarian ideologically, who would like to see our safety net completely ended or phased out.

Representative Paul, has proposed phasing out our social insurance programs instead of eliminating them right way. So the people who currently collect from them, would still get their benefits. Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has proposed transferring these programs over to the States. So Dr. Friedman, has been an inspiration to Classical Conservatives and Libertarians and Liberals such as myself. But hasn't been the Gold Standard for the Tea Party movement, but someone who they've used to generate their own ideas. They agree that what the Federal Government is doing in certain areas is wrong. But they have similar, but different views in how to change them. So Milton Friedman, has been an inspiration to the Tea Party movement, but not its driving force. And more of an inspiration for Ron Paul and other Libertarians.

Libertarians, are clearly against the New Deal and Great Society and other progressive social insurance programs. And is a big inspiration for their movement and the formation of the Libertarian Party. But the Tea Party, is a bit different, because even though there are some Libertarians in this movement, they became a political movement based on a fiscal conservative message and they aren't for eliminating Social Security and Medicare. But would like to see the Federal Government cut back and eliminate spending in a lot of areas. So Dr. Friedman, has inspired parts of their movement, but doesn't represent their playbook. Similar, but different policy's.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Margaret Thatcher: There is No Such Thing as Public Money

When former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher says, “there’s no such thing as public money, but taxpayers money”, she’s dead on. Unless government’s owns a business, or business’s like state- owned enterprises, all the revenue that government’s get is through tax revenue. In one way, or the other. And it’s generally done through multiple taxes. Like income taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes and other taxes.

And many more unfortunately from my perspective and government’s are supposed to use all of this revenue for the betterment of the country. Not for their own profits, or to make themselves rich, or waste the money. Again unless government owns their own enterprises, all the revenue it gets is through taking that money from the people through taxes and sometimes they give some of it back. Through tax cuts and tax refunds and other tax subsidy’s. Oil subsidy’s come to mind.

Meaning that what government does with our money, they have to spend it wisely. Not waste it and spend our money on things that will be keep our country great and make it better. Spend our money to do things that we can’t do for ourselves. Like national security, public safety, regulating the economy, infrastructure investment and a few other things. But not try to do for us what we can do for ourselves and do better. And not try to protect people from themselves, but protect innocent people from the abuse of people who would do them harm.

So to have the most efficient government possible if that’s possible, it would help to lay out exactly what government should be doing. And can do well and that gets to what government can do for people that they can’t do for themselves, or what government can do as well. And provide as much competition for the private sector as possible. Or do as well to be as efficient with our money as possible. And this gets to areas like national security, public safety, regulating the economy, being efficient with tax revenue, keeping debt and deficits down, or eliminate them. Keeping tax rates down so there’s as much money in the economy as possible.

Keep taxes down, so the people have plenty of revenue to take care of themselves. So they are not dependent on public assistance just to survive. Public education, for most of the population that can’t afford private schools, K-12 as well as higher ed. If government’s just concentrated in these areas instead of trying to have a piece of every pie that’s made, then they would have less to manage and would waste less money. Because they would only be working in areas that they are efficient in. And not doing too much and being a drag on the economy. When people say government’s money, or public money, they are actually talking about taxpayer money, or our money. Money that they take from us that’s not volunteered to them. So with this being these case, they need to be efficient with our money as possible so they waste as little of it as possible.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CP Harding: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen: The Difference Between a Democrat and Republican in 1967

Former U.S. Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen 1959-69, explained it perfectly what it means to be a Conservative and what conservatism is. Or as perfectly as it can be explained in a three-minute video. When he said a Conservative is someone who believes in conserving freedom and our values. At least in a political sense and of course its different in a religious context and of course there's neoconservatism. Conservatism, is about fiscal responsibility. Not spending more than you take in and not spending money on things that you shouldn't be funding.

And when it comes to politics, the government not spending money on things that could be spent and run better by others. Conserving constitutional rights and individual freedom and individualism. Without Minority Leader Dirksen, the 1964 Civil Rights and 1965 Voting Rights Acts as well as the 1968 Fair Housing Law ,doesn't become law. Because he convinced several Republican Senators to vote for those laws and not to block them. But voting for cloture which is a Senate term and how the Senate cuts off debate and votes on legislation. Minority Leader Dirksen, didn't believe in civil and constitutional rights for some, but for all. Actually more Congressional Republicans voted for the civil rights laws than Congressional Democrats.

Minority Leader Dirksen was a big part of the passage of the civil rights laws on the 1960s. Because he was a Republican that would work with Senate Leader Mike Mansfield 1961-77 and President Lyndon Johnson 1963-69. They had to work with the Senate Minority Leader on civil rights issues, because of the Southern Caucus, which was a Far-Right voting block in Congress. That would block and vote against civil rights legislation. Those Democrats would probably be Neoconservative, or Religious Conservative Republicans today like Senator Jim DeMint and others.

Because even Minority Leader Dirksen was the leader of a small minority in the Senate in the 1960s. Because of the Southern Caucus he had leverage to use against the Senate Democratic Leadership and the Johnson Administration. Conservatism, on foreign policy is about yes a strong defense that can not only protect our country, but vulnerable allies who can't defend themselves against large aggressors. But only using our military to protect our national interest not force democracy around the world. Which is what Neoconservatives believe in, or abusing constitutional rights to protect the country. But protecting those rights to keep the country safe.

There are still some Classical Conservatives in the Republican Party today. Senator Rand Paul, Senator John McCain, Representative Jeff Flake and a few others. But in a lot of ways Everett Dirksen represents what the Republican Party used to be before religious conservatism and neoconservatism came onto the scene in the Republican Party in the late 1970s. But before that the Republican Party was almost purely a classical conservative Party, with a progressive Northern wing. That until Barry Goldwater and Ron Reagan came onto the scene wasn't able to convince enough voters to put them in power. But when those people and others came in, they've been a pretty powerful party ever since.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Real News: Video: Is There Any Henry Wallace Left in The Democratic Party?

The Real News: Video: Is There Any Henry Wallace Left in The Democratic Party?

What would the Democratic Party be today had Henry Wallace succeeded with his Progressive Party and they became the official third-party in America? And not just a third-party, but in actual competition with the Democratic and Republican parties. Unlike the Libertarian Party today, which is probably the largest third-party, but not much of a threat to either major party. And maybe had Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Wallace succeeded, the Progressive Democratic Socialists in America would have their own home. And not basically represent the Far-Left of the Democratic Party, but the actual mainstream of a major party.

Similar to the New Democratic Party in Canada, or as I call them the Social Democratic Party of Canada. Or even Progressive Democratic Party of Canada, with the Liberal Party there representing the Liberal Democratic Party in Canada. I’m a Liberal Democrat myself and I don’t use these terms to be insulting, but descriptive. The New Democratic Party in Canada which is a Democratic Socialist Party by their standards as well as ours. Is considered mainstream in Canada. Even though for the most part they’ve been the third-party. But they’ve always had considerable representation in the Federal Parliament, or at least recently they’ve had for the last twenty years or so.

Progressive Democratic President Harry Truman, tried to pass the Fair Deal in the 1940s. Which would be round two of the New Deal. Or round three after the New Deal and Great Society, if today’s Occupy Wall Street, or Coffee Party movement, the social democratic wing of the Democratic Party had their way. Making America’s version of the welfare state. Perhaps twice, or three times the size it is today and trying to make America look like Europe. With things like single payer health insurance, perhaps a national health care system with national hospitals. Universal pensions, universal public education, with the Federal Government taking a much larger role in funding our public schools. If not running them all together. Perhaps outlawing private schools. Universal higher education, so everyone can go to college that’s qualified for it. Perhaps nationalizing the banking system.

I mean the New Deal was considered radical in the 1930s and the Great Society was considered radical in the 1960s. But the Fair Deal, whether it came from Henry Wallace, or the modern Henry Wallace social democratic movement, would dwarf both agendas in America. Making our social insurance system a hell of a lot bigger than its today. And our taxes as hell of a lot higher than they are today. And this is just how it relates to economic policy and with a lot more regulations and taxes for our economy as well. Had Progressives, continued to push the idea of a Progressive Party which is what they would’ve called it when it started back in the Teddy Roosevelt era in 1912 and after that, maybe they’re a major political party today.

The Progressives had Henry Wallace in the 1940s and had they kept it going, Democratic Socialists would have their own party to call home today. And perhaps they would’ve left the Democratic Party. And Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, the Progressive Caucus and many others, would be in the Progressive Party today. Instead of representing the Far-Left of the Democratic Party today. But Franklin Roosevelt sort of co-opted parts of their agenda in the 1930s and the rest as they say is history.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson: Thomas Explains The Great Depression

Source:FRS FreeState

For all the great things that Franklin Roosevelt did as President of the United States. Leading America as we saved Europe from Nazi Germany, pulling the country out of the GreatDepression, establishing the America's version of a welfare state which is really more of a safety net and I'll get into that later, as well as saving American capitalism even though he was very progressive if not a Democratic Socialist on economic policy, its not the New Deal that pulled us out of the Great Depression.

Its really our involvement in World War II that did that. Because of all the money that the Federal Government borrowed to fiance that war and people we put to work in our war effort. With the draft and all of the resources that it took to fight that war and all of the company's that we put to work building our supplies to fight that war. And all of the people that the war took out of our workforce and were sent to Europe and other places to fight that war. Leaving jobs for a lot of unemployed workers at home.

Democratic Socialists, like to point to the New Deal and government spending that pulled us out of World War II. Well they are half right, because it was government spending, but not on the New Deal, but our military. Where you can make a pretty good case, that World War II is where our military industry was formed. Because pre-World War II, America had a pretty small military compared with size of our country and economy. But by the time World War II ended, we had the first, or second largest military in the world.

We were pretty close with Russia and President Truman and President Eisenhower made our military every bigger.  Countries like Japan, Germany, Russia, Italy and Britain were the military powers of the world pre-World War II. But only Russia and Britain was still a military power after World War II. Because Europe took such a huge beating in World War II. And America came in and saved their necks (to put it mildly) so they could rebuild. We saved Europe from Nazi Germany and then helped Europe rebuild themselves with the Marshal Plan.

What the New Deal did was save American capitalism, but it also hurt it I believe especially in its efforts to deal with poverty in America. And its not everyday, week, month, or year that I agree with former Speaker Newt Gingrich on anything. (Including the weather) But he's right at least about one thing, the New Deal and Great Society did create what Speaker Gingrich calls a "Culture of Dependency" letting people go on these anti-poverty programs indefinitely without empowering them to become self-sufficient. But the positives of the New Deal are that it created a safety net for American capitalism. For people who fall through the cracks in the economy.

It helped people on hard time sustain themselves until they started working again. Things like Unemployment Insurance and Disability and Welfare Insurance, as well as Social Security so people would at least have a floor in retirement that they could count on. Pre-Great Depression, America pretty much had no such thing as a safety net or welfare state. If people lost their jobs, or didn't have a retirement, they were pretty much at the mercy of their families, or charity to help them out and support them. So to that extent the New Deal has been very positive.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The New American: Dan Smoot Report: A Constitutional Republic

Source:FreeState Now

It’s not a Constitutional Republic that should be goal for people who believe in individual freedom, but individual freedom that should be the goal. And then figuring out what type of governmental system is best that guarantees individual freedom for its people. A Constitutional Republic, doesn’t guarantee freedom, Egypt is a republic with a constitution. But even after the fall of the Mubarak Regime which was very authoritarian, they are still not a democracy ye,t but hopefully for the Egyptian people are moving in that direction.

And if individual freedom is a goal, then its democracy that you want. And then you have to figure out what type of democracy you want. A liberal democracy, conservative democracy in a neoconservative sense, not classical conservative and they are different. Or a social democracy, or a majoritarian democracy and then you have to figure out exactly what’s the best type of government to guarantee your democracy. If that is what you want, then you’re a democrat in the sense you believe in democracy. Small d democrat, actually both democrats and republicans are democrats. Republicans being Small d democrats. They both believe in democracy just have different views in what democracy is.

If you’re a Liberal such as myself, or a Conservative or Libertarian, you believe in liberal democracy. The ability for individuals to have the liberty to live their own lives and not be harassed by government. As long as they are not hurting any innocent people with their actions. Thats called individual liberty, or Freedom, means the same thing. If you’re a Socialist, or Democratic Socialist, you believe in social democracy. With a lot of individual liberty for the people when it comes to social freedom , for the most part, but where the state is highly involved in the economy.

With a social democracy, you get a big centralized government providing a lot of social services through a welfare state financed through high taxes. If you’re lets say a majoritarian for lack of a better word, that government has to be responsive to a majority of the people and what the majority wants is what the country gets and minority rights aren’t respected, then of course you want a majoritarian democracy. Where the majority rules over the minority and gets what they wants. And can make the minority do things, even if the minority doesn’t want to do these things.

After you figure out what type of democracy you want, you have to figure out what type of government is the best form to provide and guarantee this democracy. America as I see it is a liberal democracy and not just saying this because I’m a liberal, but its the case we are and have been a liberal democracy in the form of a Constitutional Federal Republic. Thats designed to guarantee our constitutional rights. Where Europe is made up of mostly socialist democracy’s. Mostly in the form of Constitutional Federal Republics, like in Germany, France and Italy, to use as examples.

And in Britain’s case, they are a social democracy with a monarchy. So if you’re a Liberal, Conservative, or a Libertarian, you probably prefer the American form of government. And if you’re a Socialist, you prefer the European form of government. And Liberals, Conservatives and libertarians debate Socialists in America all the time about what’s the best form of government, America, or Europe. And I’m in these debates on a regular basis as well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The New American: Dan Smoot Report: Basic Constitutional Government

Source:FreeState Now

If you’re a supporter of limited government, as well as individual freedom, that without limited government, individual freedom is threatened, as I am, then you believe in the U.S. Constitution. Because that’s what it’s about. The theory being that the more power that government and I mean any government at any level, has to regulate our lives and do more for us and take more of our money, the less freedom that we have to live our own lives and do these things for ourselves. It’s a big difference between America and Europe.

Where America in many ways is about individualism, the liberty for Americans to live their own lives without being harassed by government. And government taking a lot of their money away from them. Where Europe in a lot of ways is about collectivism. “That we are all in this together meaning life and that we need to put a lot of our resources together into one pot. For the betterment of all people. And government will take this money from people to make the country as good as possible. Through government services basically.”

This is a simple way of putting it, but accurate. If you’re a what’s called Constitutional Conservative, or a Constitutional Constructionist, that you basically believe that government should only do what is laid out for it in the Constitution, that you take that text to be literal and only read the constitution in its literal sense, then of course a lot of what the Federal Government does today would be unconstitutional as you see it.

For me, I see the Constitution as meaning that it’s based on limited government and individual freedom. And the main role of the Federal Government is to protect our individual freedom and not harass us. And not get involved in areas like medical care. Except to regulate it, or marriage at all, except to maybe how it relates to the tax code. Or marijuana, or alcohol, tobacco, prostitution, pornography, etc. Let the people live their own lives as they see fit. That free people have the right to live freely in a free society.

That government should only be doing what the people can’t for themselves, or not as well. That government should be there to regulate and protect. Not regulate people, but regulate how people interact with each other, which is different. Step in when innocent people are being abused unfairly and protect and defend the country. Law Enforcement and a military, both strong, efficient and affordable enough to defend the country. Basically looking after the welfare of the people like a referee, but not try to control the people. With the Welfare Clause in the U.S. Constitution.

I wouldn’t eliminate a lot of the programs that the Federal Government currently operates. I would just reform a lot of them. Most of them in the social welfare area by making them independent of the Federal Government. And letting each state set up their own system in how these services would be operated in their state. That would have to meet basic Federal standards and also run independently of the state and local governments as well. If we had a Federal Government like this, then I believe we could answer a lot of questions and settle debates. About the role of the Federal Government and what its supposed to do under the U.S. Constitution.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

J Branstetter: President Ronald Reagan: Taxes and Budget Deficit October, 1987

Source:The FreeState

I just want to point out that I actually have a lot of respect for President Reagan, even though I’m a Jack Kennedy Liberal Democrat, but I also have serious differences with him and his fiscal policy which at the time would be called supply side economics. You cut taxes deeply without paying for them and increase government spending substantially in defense, but in other areas as well. The theory being that the economic growth as a result of the tax cuts, would pay for the new spending. President Reagan inherited roughly a 40B$ Budget Deficit which even at the time in the late 70s and early 80s was considered small.

And President Carter had an awful economy and President Reagan inherited and awful economy, but left office with a strong economy. With strong economic and job growth, but left office in 1989 with a large Federal debt and deficit and one of the largest debts as a percentage of GDP. As well as deficits of GDP as well, of around 200B$. President Reagan’s debt and deficit was so big that he raised taxes in back to back years after the 1981 tax cuts and this is with a Republican Senate as well. President Reagan’s own Vice President called the Reagan tax cuts when he was running for President, “Voodoo Economics”.

Howard Baker, a Republican and the Senate Leader from 1981-85, called the Reagan tax cuts “a riverboat gamble”. David Stockman, President Reagan’s own Director of Budget and Management called the Reagan tax cuts a big mistake. Dick Darman, President Reagan’s other Director of Budget, said that if President Reagan had to choose between balancing the budget by 1984, or ending the Cold War and getting the economy going again, he would pass on a balanced budget. He didn’t want the debt and deficit, but believed that was a price worth paying in oder to accomplish his other goals. You know none of these people are Democrats, they are all Conservative Republicans saying these things. Just not Neoconservatives.

President Reagan never submitted a balanced budget to Congress, or a plan to balanced the budget to Congress. It was never a priority on his part. The economy, the Cold War, reforming Social Security, tax reform and immigration reform were his priorities. All things that he got through Congress as President. He had a very good batting average as President. Including his ten plus tax hikes he had as President, including middle class tax hikes with the 1983 Social Security reform law. President Reagan increased taxes and spending and because of that he could be labeled a tax and spender.

A label that’s generally reserved for Social or Progressive Democrats, not Conservative Republicans like Ron Reagan. Ron Reagan talked and campaigned like a Conservative, but governed like a pragmatist. “This is what I want to do and if I have to give these things up to accomplish that, then that’s a price I’m willing to pay.” President Reagan was right to cut taxes, perhaps even as deeply as he did. 70% tax rates in a liberal democracy is too high. But where he failed was by not cutting government spending to make up any difference that economic growth doesn’t pay for. He was also correct to beef up our national defense, but failed to pay for it as well. And that’s why he left office with the debt and deficit he had.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Glenn Beck : Michael Reagan Interview: The New Reagan Revolution

Source:The FreeState

The Ronald Reagan that I most respected, was the Ron Reagan before he became President. Even though he did some good things as President as well. Like ending the Cold War with the Soviet Union and getting the economy going again after inheriting an awful economy from the Carter Administration. He of course didn’t do that alone, no President or government can of course. But the Ron Reagan that I respect most, was anti-Washington, anti-big government, pro-individual freedom. Believed in things like keeping government out of our wallets and bedrooms, he was even pro-gay rights.

Reagan pro-gay was rights after he became President in 1981. Pro-strong military, but only use when it was in our National Interest. He wasn’t a Neoconservative which is something else I respect about Ron Reagan. But as much as Reagan spoke out against big government, he expanded the Federal Government almost as much as President. And not just in the Defense Department, but he expanded the War on Drugs, more Americans than ever were in prison during his administration. A big reason for that to do with his expansion of the War on Drugs. And of course the record debt and deficit he piled up as President, because of his defense spending and his unpaid for tax cuts were a big part of that as well.

Ron Reagan was a classical Conservative, (just not fiscally conservative) perhaps even a small libertarian even when he was running for President. But as President even though he kept some of those principles, he was more of a pragmatist than anything else. “What do I have to do to get the job done, what do we have to negotiate. He had a Democratic House the whole eight years as President. Democrats had a large Minority in the Senate for six years and controlled the Senate the last two years. I give President Reagan credit for ending the Cold War and turning the economy around. But we paid a heavy price for it in debt, deficit, high interest rates and inflation in the early 1990s.

If you look at President Reagan’s accomplishments as President, the economy, the Cold War, getting three Conservatives on the Supreme Court. Sandra O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. As well as appointing a Conservative to Chief Justice in William Renquist. All this alone makes Ronald Reagan one of the most successful conservative president’s we’ve ever had politically. As well as winning the presidency in a landslide, being reelected in a landslide, his Vice President George HW Bush succeeding him. Actually I don’t know of a more successful Conservative President than Ronald Reagan politically. Dwight Eisenhower would be then only other one I would consider. As far as being able to get his policy’s put in place and having a positive record to show for them.

George W. Bush wasn’t a Classical Conservative, but a Neoconservative as President. With his borrow and spend fiscal policy and neoconservative foreign policy. To call Ronald Reagan perfect as President, you have to be either the president of his fan club and vowed to never say anything negative about him, or not have been alive during his presidency and never read, or seen anything about his presidency. Ronald Reagan was the most successful Republican President of the 20th Century, with only President Eisenhower would be someone I would consider. And that’s all the credit I’ll give him.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960