Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Paul Must Support Johnson in the General Election

I enjoy following several blogs, among them bella gerens, a well-written libertarian one, and The Devil's Kitchen, also well-written and libertarian. Both focus more on British issues, but two recent posts in The Devil's Kitchen caught my eye:  The Mitt Romney Problem and The Ron Paul Solution, (particularly the latter)--both written by The Nameless Libertarian (A Brit, but not the Devil)--as analyses of American politics. And both posts show Nameless to have a pretty good understanding of the current presidential campaign.

Nameless writes that Ron Paul has some problems in the campaign, including his personality (he's not particularly presidential) and his unfortunate choice of friends (who wrote racist comments in a newsletter that Paul published).

But by far the biggest problem Paul has is that he’s ahead of the debate. What this primary season for the Republicans is boiling down to is what the last one was about as well; namely, the fight between mainstream statist republicanism and the more extremist Christian fundamentalist wing of that party. Last time it ended up being McCain vs Huckabee; this time it’s Romney vs Santorum. And there’s Paul, stood on the sidelines, making genuinely radical proposals with the mainstream just not listening to him. And because he stands alone among the candidates, he’s painted as some sort of an extremist when all he is really saying is “the state can’t cope with what we want it to do and therefore we should rely on it less”. I hope that there will come a point when Paul’s basic politics is considered the common sense mainstream; unfortunately, that time is not now. 
That shows real understanding of the situation here in the States. Nameless goes on to write,

So he’s not going to win either the nomination nor the presidency. So what should he do? Pack up and head back to Texas to chill with the idiotic Rick Perry? No. He should do something far more radical. He should run for President. As an Independent. 
No argument there. But he would face a problem in doing so. Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson,  like Paul, a much more qualified candidate than either Obama or any of the Republican candidates other than Paul, is running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket. So if Paul runs a 3rd-party campaign, he will not compete just with the Republican and Democratic candidates, but with Johnson, and that would pull votes away from Johnson rather than effectively denting the vote counts of the major-party candidates.

I think that the Republican Party, due to internal divisions between the religious and social right elements (un-electable minorities) and mainstream elements (no real difference from the Democrats) will in the next couple of decades disintegrate out of existence, leaving a void that will be filled either by several competing minority parties--allowing the Democratic Party to dominate American politics for at least as long as the nation lasts (because they will destroy it)--or by a party that espouses libertarian principles and provides a clear alternative to the statist government we have now.

It would be better if the Republican Party would adopt libertarian principles, saving itself in so doing, and clarifying the paths toward liberty or statism. That won't happen, though, because of the Republican right wing's intransigence and its left wing's irrelevance. So the best thing at this point is to hope that Ron Paul, who will not be the Republican nominee, will actively support Gary Johnson and throw his entire and enthusiastic support to Gary Johnson in the general election. In doing that, Paul will bring not only his supporters to Johnson, but potentially draw both Republicans and Democrats into voting for an appealing alternative to Obamney. As Nameless says,

Paul has cross party support. He can win over small-state Republicans but, with his foreign policy, he can also win over younger people who stand against US bellicosity and who have been bitterly disappointed by a President who has, among other things, left Gitmo open. Put crudely, he could take votes from both left and right, and thus form a radical alternative that hits the vote tally of both the Republicans and the Democrats. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Most Americans want Congress to balance the budget, but it must be balanced in a way that prevents a gross tax increase at the same time. And why can’t we balance it while eliminating the national debt as well?

Prior to Obama, the budget on average was around 19.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), so limiting spending to a maximum of 18% of  the preceding year’s GDP should be part of any amendment.
By dedicating an additional amount not to exceed 2% of GDP to paying down the debt, the period required to pay off the debt would be about 50 years.  The GDP in 2009 was $14.1 trillion, so 2% would be $282 billion. However, with economic recovery the GDP will increase, so payments will increase; therefore, a 50-year payment period is estimated.

A total of 20% of GDP annually will be the maximum federal budget for fifty years (about what the average budget was during the Bush 43 years), then, when the national debt is paid off, the budget will be 18% of GDP.

So what would this amendment look like? Here it is:
Amendment 28 – Balanced Budget and Pay Down of Debt
1.  The United States shall not in any fiscal year appropriate nor spend money in excess of revenues; nor shall it take in revenue more than twenty percent of the gross domestic product of the preceding year, two percent of which shall be used to pay down the national debt. After the national debt is extinguished, theUnited States shall not take in revenue more than eighteen percent of the gross domestic product of the preceding year. In the case of an emergency, the government may exceed such spending and revenue upon the concurrence of three-fourths of the Representatives and Senators.
2. Within fifty years following adoption of this amendment, the United States shall extinguish its current debt; thereafter, the debt of the United States shall not exceed ten percent of the gross domestic product of the preceding fiscal year. In the case of an emergency, the debt of the United States may exceed the amount prescribed upon the concurrence of three-fourths of the Representatives and Senators.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why not Saudi Arabia?

The U.S. joined in a U.N. action to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, on the pretext of protecting Libyans from their own government. Is the U.S. government's real motive to protect the flow of oil, and to do it by hiding under the coattails of the U.N., many of whose members are every bit as repressive to their people as Gaddafi? There are a lot of questions to be answered.

If the U.S. really just wants to assure continuing importation of oil from the Middle East, then it should quit pretending that its military actions are aiding democracy, protecting the indigenous population, and the like. Just cut to the chase and invade Saudi Arabia, seize the oil fields and make the kingdom the 51st state (the 51st star on the flag could be accompanied by a crescent moon). Oil problem solved, other problems just beginning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cut Unions Down to Size Now

In an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Mike Langyel, president of the Milwaukee (Wis.) Teachers' Education Association, refused to answer when she asked if he condoned teachers who obtained fraudulent medical excuses in order not to work but to demonstrate in Madison against a bill that would require state employees, "in the face of a $137 million budget deficit…to contribute 5.8% of their incomes towards their pensions and 12.6% towards health insurance…[Governor] Walker also wants to limit the power of public-employee unions to negotiate contracts and work rules—something that 24 states already limit or ban," as John Fund of the Wall Street Journal explains.

Mr. Langyel repeatedly refused to answer Ms. Kelly's question, instead saying that Gov. Walker was trying to prevent the unions from improving the schools by not "letting them get together at the bargaining table." Please. As if the teachers unions give a shit about students or education. The decline in education in the U.S. has corresponded with the rising influence of teacher unions. Mr. Langyel clearly is afraid that unions will lose the ability to control the State of Wisconsin, and that if Walker succeeds in Wisconsin, other states will follow suit.

If unions believe they promote the good of the public as well as their members, and if they believe that workers want to join unions, why do they fight tooth and nail against any transparency? Why do they not want secret ballots when trying to unionize a company or institution? Because union goons can threaten retaliation against employees who vote against unionization if the vote is public. Why do they fear recertification annually--as Gov. Walker proposes--by a majority vote of all union members? Probably because the union could lose recertification, of course.

Wisconsin, historically the most pro-union state and a union shop state (where one cannot be hired by a unionized company unless one joins the union, and can remain employed only so long as one is a union member), deducts union dues from its employees' paychecks and gives the money to the union bosses, who then dole it out to political candidates who will support unions and big government. If that ends, as proposed, how many of the union members might not pay the $700 to $1,000 annual union dues? Whence will come the money to support pro-union and pro-government-spending candidates for public office?

Unions are a major problem in the U.S. Their influence has contributed greatly to big government and government debt and has prevented needed reforms both on state and national levels. Every state would do well to break the unwarranted and detrimental power and influence of unions by following Wisconsin's lead, and also by becoming right-to-work states which allow employees to decide for themselves whether to join a union.

On the national level, the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (Card Check bill) would eliminate unionization votes by secret ballot and require employees to vote by signing a card in public. This would give unions the balance of power they need to unionize all companies. Obama and the Democratic Party desperately want Congress to pass this bill because it would increase union membership and therefore the money that flows from union members to union bosses and then to Democratic candidates. Card Check should be defeated, and we should question the constitutional authority for Congress to pass such legislation.

It's time we cut the influence of unions down to an appropriate size. It's offensive to listen to and watch spoiled, self-serving, public-be-damned union bosses and members on fraudulent sick leave demonstrating, defiling the state capitol building and shouting condemnation of the Wisconsin governor, who is doing the job that the Wisconsin electorate mandated.


On the Neuse