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Brent Crosby

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  1. Communism vs. Capitalism

    Yes. I would not try to defend the power of the state in places like China and the former Soviet Union. The point is, were they ever really communist states? If you look at the situation in China today, it is more like a "state capitalist" economic system. It clearly is a very efficient system (its growth-rate is far higher than in capitalist countries). However, the gap in inequality is also growing faster than in any other country in the world. I was talking to a man last week who has spent the last few years managing golf courses in China. He told me that the extremes in poverty and wealth in China will result in a "communist" revolution in the next few years. I really am not understanding it. To even think of going to communism with all its evil is hard to comprehend. I also do not understand trying to solve inequality when nobody has ever been equal because we all have different talents, some are better at things than others. By applying equality laws all around it suppresses those talents and freedoms, rewarding less talented people at things, etc.
  2. Communism vs. Capitalism

    Are not individual freedoms more prominent in capitalism than Communism or socialism?
  3. Decline of the Republican Party

    http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/ge.../17/175897.html What next for conservatives Nov 17, 2005 by George Will (excerpt) The conservative coalition, which is coming unglued for many reasons, will rapidly disintegrate if limited-government conservatives become convinced that social conservatives are unwilling to concentrate their character-building and soul-saving energies on the private institutions that mediate between individuals and government, and instead try to conscript government into sectarian crusades. But, then, the limited-government impulse is a spent force in a Republican Party that cannot muster congressional majorities to cut the growth of Medicaid from 7.3 percent to 7 percent next year. That "cut'' was too draconian for some Republican "moderates.'' But, then, most Republicans are moderates as that term is used by persons for whom it is an encomium: Moderates are people amiably untroubled by Washington's single-minded devotion to rent-seeking -- to bending government for the advantage of private factions. Conservatives have won seven of 10 presidential elections, yet government waxes, with per household federal spending more than $22,000 per year, the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II. Federal spending -- including a 100 percent increase in education spending since 2001 -- has grown twice as fast under President Bush as under President Clinton, 65 percent of it unrelated to national security. In 1991, the 546 pork projects in the 13 appropriation bills cost $3.1 billion. In 2005, the 13,997 pork projects cost $27.3 billion for things like improving the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio (Packard, an automobile brand, died in 1958). Washington subsidizes the cost of water to encourage farmers to produce surpluses that trigger a gusher of government spending to support prices. It is almost comforting that $2 billion is spent each year paying farmers not to produce. Farm subsidies, most of which go to agribusinesses and affluent farmers, are just part of the $60 billion in corporate welfare that dwarfs the $29 billion budget of the Department of Homeland Security. Brian Riedl of The Heritage Foundation reports that Congress responded to the Korean War by setting priorities, cutting one-fourth of all nonwar spending in one year. Recently the House failed to approve an unusually ambitious effort to cut government growth. This is today's ambitiousness: attempting -- probably unsuccessfully -- to cut government growth by $54 billion over five years. That is $10.8 billion a year from five budgets projected to total $12.5 trillion, of which $54 billion is four-tenths of 1 percent. War is hell but, on the home front, it is indistinguishable from peace, except that the government is more undisciplined than ever. http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance33.html Four Years Growth by Laurence M. Vance (excerpt) The Republicans gained control of the Congress in the third year of Clinton’s first term. They had complete control of the 104th Congress (1995–1997), held on to control in the 105th Congress (1997–1999), and remained in power during the 106th Congress (1999–2001) through the end of Clinton’s presidency. After George Bush was inaugurated in 2001, he had a Republican-controlled 107th Congress (2001–2003) until May 24, 2001, when Jim Jeffords (R-VT) switched from Republican to Independent, changing the Senate from 50/50 to 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 1 Independent. The House remained in Republican hands. The 108th Congress (2003–2005) was once again solidly Republican, giving the Republicans an absolute majority in Congress and the White House for the last two years of Bush’s first term. This means that the Republican Party has no excuse for the size and scope of the federal government as it exists right now. Republicans can’t blame anything on the Democrats like they did for the fifty years before they gained control of the Congress. Now that we are at the end of Bush’s first four years, a simple question needs to be asked: Is the government at the end of Bush’s first term in any way smaller or less expensive than the government at the beginning of his first term. If it is, then Bush and the Republican Party told the truth, but if it isn’t, then Bush’s rhetoric was just hot air and the 2000 Republican Party Platform wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publication...3/38_45mr29.pdf How Republicans Became Defenders of Big Government by Stephen Slivinski (excerpt) The Price of United Government Why the big change under W? Because the Republicans own both the House and Senate. Divided government, with at least one house of Congress controlled by the President's opposition, tends to keep spending under control. As a onetime Reagan economic advisor William Niskanen noted, "The only two long periods of fiscal restraint [since World War II] were the Eisenhower administration and the Clinton administration, during both of which the opposition party controlled Congress." It Was Reagan, Not Congress: http://zfacts.com/p/57.html Nat'l debt timeline (as a % of GDP): http://zfacts.com/p/318.html http://zfacts.com/p/55.html The most popular national-debt web sites continue the same confusions that caused Reagan to believe the national debt was higher than ever when it was at its lowest point since before World War II. Here is what you see when you look at the debt in nominal dollars. Brillig (named for Alice in Wonderland) has been reminded of inflation and has corrected for it by adding the following graph. But this still ignores population growth and that fact that the country has gotten a lot richer in the last 50 years. The result is still tremendously misleading, but you can see the Reagan rise and the Clinton dip. The nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) takes all of these effects into account. It grows with inflation, population and increased income. By comparing the national debt to GDP, we get a fair check on whether it is growing or shrinking relative to what we can afford. That is why the White House web site give gross national debt as a percentage of GDP, which is what I have plotted on the page above.
  4. The Economy Under George Bush

    Is this common knowledge in the United States? How do the Republicans defend this massive budget deficit? I don't know if it's common knowledge. I imagine the RNP defend it like they seemingly always have by larger tax returns. It works as far as I can tell. My speculation though is the hidden taxes that might get brushed under the table. You might get a bigger tax rebate at the end of the year, but your general bills and property tax might go up even more as a percentage. But because that aspect of economics is I imagine rarely analyzed, then they might be getting away with more? That could be overspeculation/conspiracy though and the debt just grows more. Someone would have to break down the debt and apply it to the taxpayer or whomever to get the accurate economic prosperity. They seem to outspend the taxes, atleast early, like during Bush's first term. But when you think about, why wouldn't any administration spend after they were without office for 8 years? You're satisfying the special interests, so things are bound to get a little bit chaotic. The flood gates kinda open, and in the case of this administration, they'll close the taps a bit to improve the chances of the next Republican administration winning the election on the basis of "fiscal responsibility". Again, I think their is some merit to what their doing, but they don't sincerely believe in fiscal conservancy and it is more a matter of political maneuvering. And I guess that's my point: I'm not waiting another 50 years for the RNP or any big gov't to "reform" when it is not possible. The bigger gov't gets, the more outta control it is.
  5. Decline of the Republican Party

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0407d.asp What a Republican Majority Has Not Meant by Laurence M. Vance, September 29, 2004 It has been more than a year now since the Republicans gained an absolute majority in Congress and the White House. The road to this majority began in the third year of Bill Clinton’s first term. The Republicans gained complete control of the 104th Congress (1995–1997), held on to control in the 105th Congress (1997–1999), and remained in power during the 106th Congress (1999–2001) through the end of Clinton’s presidency. After 40 years of Democratic rule, the Republican majority in the Congress during most of Clinton’s term in office appeared at the time to be a welcome sight. But because the presidency eluded them, the Republicans seemed to have an excuse for not rolling back the welfare state, even though it is the legislative branch that passes all legislation — not the executive branch. And besides, Clinton made a good scapegoat. Then, if only for a brief moment, it appeared finally to be official — there was an absolute Republican majority in the House, a 50-50 split in the Senate with a Republican vice president to break ties, and a Republican president in the White House. But when Jim Jeffords, the Republican senator from Vermont, switched from being a Republican to being an Independent on May 24, 2001, the Republican majority fizzled, giving the GOP another excuse. But then, no more excuses. The 108th Congress, which took office in January of last year, was solidly Republican. But since the Republicans have gained control of the Congress, the federal budget (over $2 trillion) and the federal deficit (over $500 billion) are the highest ever, the national debt is over $7 trillion (and increasing an average of $2 billion per day), hundreds of Americans have died on foreign soil, and Americans have even less liberty now than they had before. This time, however, the Republicans have no excuses. The lame excuse that they are not responsible because they didn’t control the entire government will not work anymore. And the even lamer excuse that the defection of Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords so early in Bush’s presidency didn’t give the Republican majority enough time to do anything won’t work either. The Republicans have now had total control — an absolute Republican majority — for more than a year. And what did they do during this time? The usual — nothing. No egregious legislation was repealed. The welfare state was not rolled back an inch. No federal programs or departments were eliminated. No budgets were cut. In fact, legislation got worse (the USA PATRIOT Act), the welfare state was strengthened (a new prescription drug plan), and a new federal department was created (Homeland Security). So now that the initial euphoria over an absolute Republican majority has subsided and the Republicans have been in charge for a year, the Republican record can be soberly addressed. There is only one way to describe the record of the Republican majority during its first year: a dismal failure. To students of political history, however, this was not only no surprise, it was to be expected and, in fact, predictable on the basis of the actions of the Republican Party in the 20th century, whether they held the presidency, the House, the Senate, or any combination of the three, including an absolute majority. Because the history of the Republican Party is one of compromise after compromise and sellout after sellout, there are a number of things that a Republican majority has not meant, and in fact, will never mean. Republican sellouts A Republican majority has not meant any more than it did the last time the Republicans controlled both the Congress and the Oval Office, since the intent of Republicans is not to dismantle the welfare state with its entitlements and income-transfer programs. The 83rd Congress of 1953–1955, which had the advantage of serving under the Republican president Dwight Eisenhower, represented the last time in recent memory that the Republicans commanded both houses of Congress and the White House. Before then, it was during the first two years of Herbert Hoover’s presidency that a Republican Congress convened under a Republican president. With the Republican Eisenhower in the White House, and a Republican majority in Congress, one would think that the entire New Deal could have been repealed and the government restored to at least its pre–New Deal levels. Yet during this period, the Bricker Amendment to protect U.S. sovereignty went down in defeat, the Cold War took shape, and the judicial activist Earl Warren was appointed to the Supreme Court. This Republican majority was short-lived, as the voters turned out the Republicans for what was to be the longest tenure of one-party rule in U.S. history. A Republican majority has not meant anything different from the last time a Republican Congress had to contend with a Democratic president, because the Republicans have no desire to rid the country of affirmative-action policies, anti-discrimination laws, or anything else granting special privileges based on race, sex, perceived victim status, disability, or “sexual orientation.” Before the Clinton regime, the last time a Republican Congress found itself in this position was during the 80th Congress of 1947–1949, which assembled during the second half of the first term of the Democrat Harry Truman. One would have to go back to the last half of Woodrow Wilson’s second term to find a like occurrence. It is apparent that a Republican majority in Congress for the first time since the New Deal would at least have been able to block the legislative agenda of Harry Truman. But ability and willingness are two different things. After authorizing $400 million in aid to Greece and Turkey in 1947 and the $17 billion Marshall Plan in 1948, the Republicans in Congress were still replaced by Democrats in the next election. A Republican majority has not meant anything different from the last time the Republicans held a majority in the Senate, because the practice of appointing and confirming judges and bureaucrats who trample the Constitution and infringe the liberties of American citizens has never abated. Throughout Ronald Reagan’s first term, and for the first half of his second one, the Republicans had a majority in the Senate under a Republican president. The only other two times this century that this occurred were during the terms of Hoover and William Taft. Although not possessing a majority in the House of Representatives, with a majority in the Senate, and the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge, the repeal of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society seemed within reach. Some good was done during the period of this Senate majority, but Sandra Day O’Connor, who proved to be a dismal failure to conservatives, was installed on the Supreme Court. The Social Security tax rates were also gradually raised throughout this period, something that cannot be blamed exclusively on a Democratic-controlled House. Further compromise with the Democrats resulted in additional “tax reform.” A Republican House was never elected to complement the Republican Senate, and the Republicans lost the Senate for the remaining two years of Reagan’s final term. A Republican majority has not meant something dissimilar from a Democratic majority with a Republican president, because the Republicans have made no effort to eliminate the laws, mandates, regulations, and restrictions that strangle business and burden the American people. The last Republican president to preside over a Democratic Congress was George H. W. Bush. Every Republican president since Eisenhower has had the disadvantage of serving with a Democratic majority in Congress for at least part of his term, and usually for the entire duration. It was expected that an attempt would be made by Bush to block Democratic legislation. But not only were some horrendous bills passed with the help of Republicans in the House and Senate, President Bush signed them instead of using his veto power. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Civil Rights Act are three notable examples, not to mention the disastrous budget deal that raised taxes. A Republican majority has not meant any more than business as usual with a complete Democratic majority, because the reckless, globalist foreign policy of the United States is adhered to by most Republicans. The total Democratic control of the government, such as existed under Roosevelt, Truman (second term), Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton (first half of first term), has done much damage to the country. Yet many of the increases in taxes, social spending, and federal powers, with their assault on liberty and private property, were passed with the help of Republicans at the time they were supposed to be the opposition party. Republicans in the House and Senate supported Clinton’s crime bill and the annual multi-billion dollar foreign aid package. The solution It is understood that with a Democrat in the White House, a presidential veto can squelch Republican plans. That excuse may have seemed plausible under the Clinton regime, but it does not hold anymore. No matter how often Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh sing their praises, the Republicans cannot be taken seriously. A Republican majority in Congress and the White House has meant virtually nothing positive for liberty, and will never do so, until they undertake a systematic dismantling of the welfare, regulatory, interventionist state. It is not just a matter of enacting more legislation to combat 40 years of Democratic rule. Limiting spending increases to the rate of inflation is not satisfactory. A balanced-budget amendment is not the answer. Indexing taxes on capital gains to inflation is not the solution. A freeze on federal spending is not enough. Welfare and Social Security reform are not needed. More crime bills will not do. It is pointless to argue that the Republicans will feed the federal leviathan less than the Democrats. Instead of slaying the federal leviathan, bipartisanship, sellout, and compromise will ensure that a Republican majority feeds it instead. Unless the emphasis is on the elimination of all facets of the federal monstrosity, including the repeal of the New Deal of FDR, the Fair Deal of Harry Truman, the Great Society programs of LBJ, the blunders of Republican presidents, and the sellouts of Republican Congresses, a Republican majority will never mean anything positive for freedom. Ultimately, the solution lies in the hands of the American people. The libertarian principles of the Founders, and especially the limited role of government in a free society, should be on the lips of every American. It is then, and only then, that elected representatives can begin to eliminate the funding and power of the FDA, FTC, EEOC, OSHA, EPA, HHS, HUD, BATF, CPB, NEA, IRS, and all the other acronyms that rob the American people of their money, property, and liberty.
  6. The Economy Under George Bush

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentar...7_06_JM_pf.html It wasn’t Bill Clinton or the GOP Congress that ultimately balanced the budget in the late 90’s, it was the growth of the US economy and the corresponding tidal wave of additional revenue. Conservatives may harp on President Bush for increasing government outlays from 18½% to 20%, but the increase is almost exclusively spending on defense, homeland security and the war - all of which is a response to 9/11. The growth in non-security discretionary spending has been cut every year of the Bush presidency. What they don't tell you is even if you remove military, Bush is still spending more than the liberal Clinton as a measure of GDP.
  7. The Economy Under George Bush

    Impressive numbers despite the fact Bush Jr. and Reagan have increased the nat'l debt by twice what their Democratic predecessors had. In the name of economic prosperity, it was the Republicans who largely claimed national debt isn't a matter of importance. I think it also says something about Americans in general considering gov't lack of concern towards the issue is a reflection of its citizens. Tax cuts per say are awesome providing the administration is spending less, and since their ideologies agenda is to cut taxes no matter what their spending levels are, guess what that means gov't has to do to balance out the growing deficit? The same thing the Dems are labeled with, taxing. The conservative principle in general seems to work, but since conservatives do nothing but spend, they are even poorer managers of the deficit than the Democrats. Atleast they spend AND TAX. Republicans spend and cut taxes and say, "See, look at all the money you got back on your tax rebate." But the part about the deficit growing faster than dem evil Democrats is left out. And gov't under either party will not stop spending. Some taxation is the only course, and America is primarily conservative currently and will continue to vote for immediate tax cuts while the deficit grows.
  8. The Economy Under George Bush

    The sad part is gov't has no intention of reducing the nat'l deficit. I think Bush Jr. and Reagan's strength were/are the health of the economy in present terms. Nat'l debt doesn't detrimentally effect citizens today, but obviously tomorrow. The "good times" of today is somewhat illusory because it doesn't factor in the compounding problems of the debt. Can you imagine a day in American political history where the debt is so huge that we will not even bother looking at ways to pay it off? And then the thought that we are just going to print more money [we don't have] to lazily get rid of the problem. I can almost predict that the Bush administration will wain in spending not on the basis of their ideological principles of "conserving" (which never existed to begin with), but on circumstance to get their party reelected in '08. This article talks about how Bush is not vetoing bills so he can rewrite portions of laws to fit his purpose and bypass Congress. It's a smart move on his part, but the idea that some 750 instances of this is like a veto is incorrect. Going nearly 5 years without vetoing a bill equates to more and more gov't. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles...laws/?page=full
  9. These are columns from what I think are past Republicans who now have moved over to the Libertarian Party. The first link I edited down to 1-3 of 6 parts. http://www.lp.org/lpn/9705-Jorgensen.html Why Republican politicians keep selling out freedom By Jo Jorgensen Republican Politicians give us the political equivalent of 1-900 Phone Sex. They tell us that we're special. They ask us what we really want -- and tell us that they want it, too. Then they start breathing heavy and getting excited by what we want. They tell us their fantasy for us. They tease us and tempt us. They arouse our passions. They tell us how much they want it and how good it's going to be. When we hang up from the 1-900 Republican Tax Cut Fantasy Line, we realize three things: They cost us a lot of money; the real thing is a lot more satisfying; and they're never going to come across. There are many fine Republican voters. Many fine Barry Goldwater Republicans. Many fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party. But where are the Republican Politicians who aggressively pursue de-regulation, sizable tax cuts, and radical reductions of government? Why do Republican Politicians keep selling out freedom? Individual freedom and government power are polar opposites. More government means less freedom. More taxes, more regulations, more laws, more policies, more programs, more government employees, and more government spending. . .all grow at the expense of our freedom. More individual freedom means less government. Voting for more government is voting for less freedom. Republican Politicians regularly vote for more government. Republican Politicians regularly voted for the Nixon Federal Budgets, the Ford Budgets, the Reagan Budgets, and the Bush Budgets. Each budget was larger than the previous year's federal budget. Ronald Reagan's lowest deficit was higher than Jimmy Carter's highest deficit. In eight years as President, Ronald Reagan never even proposed a balanced budget. In eight years as President, Ronald Reagan proposed higher federal spending every single year. And Republican Politicians voted with Reagan. They voted for higher federal spending and higher federal debt. Then, for four more years, Republican Politicians supported George Bush's spending hikes, increases to the federal debt. . .and even the Bush TAX HIKES. Republican Politicians voted for more government power. More government power means less individual freedom. Why do Republican Politicians sell out freedom? FIRST, We do not sell out our most precious values. Since Republican Politicians are selling out freedom for government power, we know that freedom is not sacred to them. In "Dead Right," David Frum says: "Conservatives are not libertarians. They do not believe that maximum personal liberty is a good in and of itself, without regard to its consequences. 'The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please,' wrote Edmund Burke, the hero of American conservatives, 'We ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations.'" Libertarians always put freedom first. Republican Politicians sometimes put "National Security" first. Sometimes they put "Public Order" or "the Public Interest" first. Sometimes they put "Character" or "Virtue" first. Sometimes they put "Western Civilization" or "Religion" or "American Values" first. Sometimes Republican Politicians put "Special Interests" in their districts first. We cannot add to government programs, we cannot add to government priorities without subtracting from freedom. When Republican Politicians give government responsibility for other values, they take away freedom. SECOND, Politics is priorities. Although many Republican Politicians evangelically preach the doctrine of cutting taxes, cutting back government and cutting out government waste -- they go Brain Dead when you ask them exactly what they'll cut out of the Federal Budget. In 1992, Policy Review, a publication of the Heritage Foundation, asked 20 moderate-to-conservative Republican Senators what they would do to cut $25 Billion from the federal budget. That was less than 2 percent of the budget. Only 5 of the 20 Republican Politicians responded. And only Hank Brown of Colorado could find $25 Billion to cut from the federal government. Republican Politicians now have more important priorities than cutting back Big Government. Conservative author George Will wrote, "A conservative doctrine of the welfare state is required if conservatives are even to be included in the contemporary political conversation." Years ago, Irving Kristol said, "The welfare state is with us, for better or worse, and. . .conservatives should try to make it better rather than worse." Newt Gingrich personally added a revealing sentence to the 1992 Republican platform. Gingrich said that Republicans must try to, and I quote, "transform the bureaucratic welfare state into a government that is customer-friendly, cost-effective and improving constantly." Think about a 'customer-friendly, cost-effective and improving constantly' Internal Revenue Service. How about the Drug Enforcement Administration? Or a lean and mean Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? Republican Politicians think we are badly taxed, not over-taxed. Badly regulated, not over-regulated. Badly governed, not over-governed. If you back them into a corner, Republican Politicians will say they want to cut waste from the budget. I've been through the federal budget. There is no line item labeled 'waste'. I have a message for the Republican Politicians: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Stand up and tell the truth. Exactly what are you going to cut out of the budget? They have higher priorities than freedom. They are trying to make government efficient and effective. They are streamlining statism. In the words of Fred Barnes, these Republican Politicians are "Big Government Conservatives." They no longer seek to dramatically reduce the size and power of government. They seek to use that power to re-shape America in the image of their conservative values. THIRD, the Republican Political Strategy is to slow down or stop government growth, not turn it around. Decades ago, William F. Buckley, Jr. said, "A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop'." George Bush said, "Read my lips: no new taxes." Nancy Reagan said, "Just say 'No'." Slow-growth statism or even stand-still statism is a loser strategy. One expands and empowers the government. The other preserves and protects government. "Holding the line" on taxes and government is a prescription for failure. On D-Day, we didn't want to "hold the line" at the English Channel. We wanted to move the line forward. To free Europe of Nazi domination. "Holding the line" on government means protecting and respecting all the new taxes, new spending, new bureaucracies, new laws and new policies that have been added to government since the Constitution was first ratified. "Holding the line" means letting the Big Government advocates keep what they have stolen from us. We must begin by dramatically cutting the size and scope and power of government. We must move the line forward to freedom. We've had enough negativism. We don't want politicians who only say 'No'. Libertarians just say 'Yes' to huge budget cuts, 'Yes' to dramatic tax cuts, 'Yes' to fiscal restraint. We say 'Yes' to significantly reducing government power. We say 'Yes' to restoring individual freedom and responsibility. If government growth were a videotape, liberals would be pushing the 'Fast Forward' button, moderates the 'Forward' button, Republican Politicians would talk about hitting the 'Pause' button, while they left the tape on 'Forward'. Libertarians are the only people trying to push the 'Rewind' button. Ending: This is the speech that Jo Jorgensen, the LP's 1996 vice presidential candidate, first gave in February 1995, at the height of the so-called Republican Revolution. She encourages members to copy and distribute the speech, with proper attribution. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article....RTICLE_ID=13229 Truth about Republican, Democratic parties 1999 WorldNetDaily.com Last week WorldNetDaily columnist David Limbaugh received the question, "Why vote at all, when there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans?" He responded by arguing that the Republicans care more about your freedom than the Democrats do. But to pull this off, he had to resort to a number of myths about the Republican Party. Here are some of them: Myth: "Had the 1994 Republican Congress failed to reign in spending, we would not be approaching a balanced budget today, something the naysayers said was impossible." Truth: The last four budgets passed by a Democratic Congress enlarged the federal government by 14.4 percent. The four budgets the Republican Congress passed have enlarged the federal government by 13.9 percent. This could hardly be called "reigning in spending." In fact, the first three Republican budgets increased spending faster than the Democratic budgets. Myth: "Democratic presidential frontrunner Al Gore's vision of America includes an even more intrusive federal government. Just this week, he promised federal intervention to micromanage such local problems as traffic control. Patrick Henry is rolling over in his grave." Truth: The federal government already micromanages traffic control -- and rapid transit and local highways and auto specifications and almost everything else related to your car. Republicans voted for these intrusions. Why should you believe they will suddenly start opposing such boondoggles? Calvin Coolidge is rolling over in his grave. Myth: "Democrats favor injecting more federal money into education and increasing federal control over local school decisions. Republicans favor less federal control and the adoption of school-choice measures with the belief that added competition will improve the quality of public and private schools." Truth: Democrats and Republicans both take your money. Both believe the federal government should decide how your school system should operate. They argue only over how to spend your money. Neither party says your money shouldn't go to Washington in the first place. Neither suggests getting the federal government completely out of education -- as the Constitution demands. Neither proposes to repeal the income tax, so you can use what you earn to put your child in any school you want. Myth: "With the tantalizing prospect of budget surpluses, Democrats are already champing at the bit to repeal legislatively imposed spending caps that have been instrumental in bringing the federal budget nearly into balance for the first time in three-plus decades. Republicans insist on adhering to the caps." Truth: Republican Congressmen have already busted the budget caps -- when they approved the 1999 budget, when they voted the biggest farm subsidies in history (three years after voting to "phase out" farm subsidies), when they vote year after year to make government more expensive for you, more intrusive into your life, more and more like Big Brother. Myth: "Republicans advocate saving Social Security by programs involving partial privatization. Clinton and his cohorts stringently oppose privatization and favor instead a shell game involving a double counting, accounting scam that uses non-existent budget surpluses (which are actually temporary Social Security surpluses)." Truth: Talk about a shell game! The Republican con game will have you paying the exorbitant Social Security tax for the rest of your working life -- while the Republicans dangle in front of you the carrot that Social Security will be privatized in some sweet bye and bye. (Republican Sen. Phil Gramm's proposal will privatize Social Security over 60 years!) If you don't believe in reincarnation, the Republicans have nothing to offer you. Myth: "Republicans advocate overhauling the Medicare system with elements of privatization and reductions in automatic cost increases. ... Clinton Democrats still support socialized medicine." Truth: Yes, Democrats support socialized medicine -- and so do Republicans. The Republican Congress passed the Kennedy-Kassenbaum bill and the Kennedy-Hatch bill -- each giving the federal government more authority over your health, your doctor, and your insurance company. Is this how Republicans protect us from socialized medicine? Myth: "Clinton has systematically emasculated the military while expanding our commitments throughout the world." Truth: President Clinton has been exploiting the precedents set by Ronald Reagan and George Bush -- waging wars unconstitutionally without declarations by Congress. Do you remember the Republican incursions into Libya, Nicaragua, Granada, El Salvador, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Panama, the Philippines? The Republicans invented the idea that any problem in the world is an excuse for the U.S. military to intervene. If Clinton's actions have put us in danger -- and they have -- it's because he's using policies and precedents established by his Republican predecessors. Myth: "Republicans since Reagan have supported a strategic missile defense initiative to protect the nation against burgeoning nuclear threats from numerous countries." Truth: Republican Richard Nixon signed the ABM Treaty, outlawing a missile defense. No Republican, not even Ronald Reagan, has done anything concrete to provide such a defense -- which probably would be the one truly sensible military policy. Instead, 15 years after Ronald Reagan raised the missile-defense issue, billions of dollars have been spent and we aren't one step closer. Why didn't Ronald Reagan demand it? Why hasn't the Republican Congress demanded it? Why are we still vulnerable to any two-bit dictator who can get his hands on a nuclear missile? Probably because the vulnerability is used to justify a multitude of big-government military programs that Republicans and Democrats impose upon us. Myth: "Only after the recent revelations concerning China's theft and development of nuclear delivery technology are the Democrats beginning to come around on this vital issue." Truth: The Democrats have proposed a sham defense that will make us no safer from a missile attack. As with so many fake reforms, the Republicans support it -- and claim credit for bringing it about. Myth: "Had defeatist Republicans prevailed in 1980, Ronald Reagan would never have been nominated nor elected ... We might still be fighting the Cold War." Truth: Historians still argue over what caused the Great Depression; so I'm sure they'll argue beyond our lifetime over what ended the Cold War. The one certain conclusion, that the Republican legend Ronald Reagan started an arms race that bankrupted the Communists -- makes no sense. Why would the Soviets spend more than they have to? Republicans tell us Reagan's missile-defense proposal was too much for the Soviets. Why? The U.S. did nothing to implement it, and the Soviets didn't have to match a non-existent program. When historians investigate the causes of the Soviet Union's downfall, there are many leads I hope they follow. Why in 1989 did the Hungarian government open its borders to allow East Germans and Hungarians to flee to Austria, causing the Berlin Wall to come down three months later? Why didn't Soviet officials stop their citizens from using telephones and fax machines to get information from the West? Why did Mikhail Gorbachev push Glasnost so far -- while still proclaiming himself a dedicated Communist? Was it simply old age that caused an unworkable 70-year-old system to collapse? Whatever they find, it won't be that expanding our government, taking away our freedoms, running up huge debts, and copying the Communist system were the keys to winning the Cold War. Myth: "Conservative Republicans favor tax cuts to spur sustained economic growth, and because they believe the people's money should be restored to them." Truth: Republicans do nothing to reduce the size of government or restore money to you. Because they won't reduce government spending, the "tax cuts" only rearrange the burden of big government. Myth: "Had defeatist Republicans prevailed in 1980, Ronald Reagan would never have been ... able to pass legislation reducing top marginal income tax rates from 70 percent to 28 percent." Truth: And four years later Republicans voted to increase tax rates. Government grew by two thirds during Ronald Reagan's eight years as President. The one thing Ronald Reagan did that was both important and good for us was to abolish U.S. price controls on oil and natural gas -- destroying the power of the OPEC cartel. Strangely, the Republicans never mention his one real achievement. Myth: "Democrats still want to appoint activist federal judges, while Republicans want strict constructionists." Truth: Republican Presidents have appointed bad judges from Earl Warren to David Souter -- just as Democrats have. Some of the Democratic judges have at least respected parts of the Bill of Rights and protected our civil liberties, while taking away our economic freedoms. Republican judges, on the other hand, have taken away our civil liberties without respecting our economic freedom. Myth: "And the GOP is pro-life and ardently supportive of the Second Amendment." Truth: From the Brady Bill to the promised repeal of the assault weapons ban, Republicans have caved in on one Second Amendment issue after another. As for abortion, it's the #1 posturing and fund-raising issue for Republicans, but those who oppose abortion would be hard pressed to discover anything Republican politicians have done to actually reduce abortions in America. Myth: "Our children deserve to be bequeathed an America that continues to blossom in political freedom and economic prosperity, and that still aspires to be a nation under God." Truth: If that's true, you'd better get off the Republican plantation before your children grow up. So long as the Republican politicians know they have your vote locked up, they have no incentive to do anything to advance any of the goals they proclaim. The greatest assets for the Republicans are the Democrats. Republicans make government bigger and take away more of your freedoms -- and then blame it on the Democrats. They try to scare you by pointing to Democrats like Al Gore or Hillary Clinton: "Vote Republican or the bogeymen will get you." The Democrats use the same tactics -- trying to peddle the idea that the Religious Right will steal your children in the middle of the night. But whichever side scares you most, you never get what you vote for. You vote for Democrats because you want greater personal freedom -- and they reward you by trying to censor the Internet, putting a V-chip in your TV set, and abolishing the Fourth Amendment. Or you vote for Republicans because you want greater economic freedom -- and they reward you by passing bigger highway bills, bigger farm bills, bigger budgets, more corporate welfare, and just plain bigger government. The parties assume that you and other stalwarts will never abandon them. But they're wrong. Both parties are suffering wholesale desertions -- and the voter turnout sinks lower and lower with every election. If you really want your vote to count, join the desertions from the two-party system and vote for what you really want. Imagine voting Libertarian and seeing the Libertarian get 10-15 percent of the vote -- scaring the old parties into making real changes. Myth: "Those who advocate not voting should look at the 1998 congressional elections for proof of the consequences of quitting." Truth: People who don't vote have come to the sensible understanding that their votes make no difference. Why should they continue voting when they never get what they want? The consequences of the 1998 congressional elections are simple: government will continue to grow, as it has for the past 70 years -- which is what happens no matter which party wins any election. Myth: "They should examine Ross Perot's impact on the 1992 presidential election if they are tilting at third-party windmills." Truth: Ross Perot's 19 percent vote in 1992 proved that Americans desperately want a third party that will break the stranglehold the Republicans and Democrats have imposed on our lives. Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura have helped Americans realize that a real third party, with real proposals to reduce government to a fraction of its present size (unlike Ross Perot's proposals to make big government more efficient), has a chance to win eventually in America. Myth: "Freedom requires responsibility, and not voting is an abdication of that responsibility. Those who drop out, cop out. Abandoning the fight is no different from joining the other side." Truth: Freedom is the opportunity to live your life as you want to live it. It imposes no responsibility to vote for people who take your money and use it to destroy your children's education, your health-care opportunities, and your liberties. In fact, freedom involves no responsibility to vote at all -- certainly when you see no candidate who will provide what you want. Fortunately, the Libertarian Party is now three times the size it was at this point in the 1996 election cycle. It will be running more than 1,000 candidates in 2000 -- and its presidential campaign should be far better financed and much more visible than its 1996 campaign was. Finally, you will have a real choice. Republicans will continue to campaign like Libertarians while governing like Democrats. But in 2000 you'll be able to choose the real McCoy -- Libertarians who want to reduce government far enough to free you from the income tax entirely, replacing it with nothing, to free you immediately from the fraudulent 15 percent "Social Security" tax, and to make your neighborhood safe by ending the nightmare of drug prohibition. Myth: "Just because the Republican Party isn't everything we want it to be is no excuse to quit. We must stay engaged and fight to ensure the party remains conservative." Truth: Republicans excuse their failings by saying we must elect more conservatives. In the 1950s, when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower set up the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and other Democratic-style monstrosities, Republicans said, "We must elect more conservatives." When Republican Richard Nixon imposed wage and price controls, the EPA, and dozens of other new big-government programs, Republican stalwarts said, "We must elect more conservatives." When the quintessential conservative Ronald Reagan, aided by a Republican Senate, never proposed to reduce the size of government by even a single dollar, and as the federal government grew by two thirds in eight years, we were told "We must elect more conservatives." So for 45 years Republicans have been saying that all will be well as soon as we elect more conservatives. I don't know about you, but I can't wait another 45 years. Republican politicians are power-junkies -- just as Democrats are. And the "enablers" are those who permit them to indulge their addiction to power -- finding excuses for every life the Republicans wreck with big government. If you don't want your vote to count, continue voting Democratic or Republican -- rewarding the politicians for stealing more of your money and more of your freedom. If you want your vote to mean something, send a message in 2000: vote Libertarian and hope the Libertarians get 10-15 percent of the vote. That will reform the Republican and Democratic parties faster than the election of a thousand conservatives.
  10. Is the world running out of oil?

    We American consumers deserve nothing but blame for our addicting habits. Conservation? Not here. A statistic during the last quarter of 2005 showed Americans actually consumed more at the pump during the highest prices. Which is sad because the people that are trying to conserve at the expense of their own livelihoods have nothing to show for it.
  11. The Economy Under George Bush

    One thing is for sure, the American two-party system is a dead horse with gov't doing nothing but growing and growing. I'm sure our fore fathers would love to hear individual liberties are constantly at the expense of an ever growing gov't that favors regulations and intervention. I personally am jumping off the Titanic. Sure, these two party's will carry on for another umpteen decades, centuries...but what for? Bigger gov't means bigger problems. How in the world Republicans think they can "reform" a party that preaches small gov't but practices nothing but big gov't and blames the Democrats as they do to them. Others will view things differently, but I guess I am a pessimist who says the only way to shake things up is vote counter to the norm. If enough of us did so, the two-party system might have to actually get something accomplished. I find it said the two-party mantra is simply about making sure the other party doesn't get elected, as if there is no real "vision". After three hard years of conservative radio, my bias shows against them. I hear time and again to vote Republican is to not be Democratic. That isn't good enough anymore. I'm not waiting another half century for them to fulfill "the promise" just as the "other" party says. You'll excuse me if I don't come in here with the keen intellect and detail of others. I watch a local news program every Friday, and it sickens me to see local House representatives if you will basically defending that negotiations from both the Dems and Repubs are at yet another stand still and have been pushed past Fridays deadline until next Monday or Tuesday, and they still haven't accomplished a thing! The rep is a wonderful and likeable person, but he's doing nothing but holding the fort down and protecting his job. All the while the whole system continues to shrink individual liberties and freedoms for the sake of more governmental power. The Repubs have claimed for history that they are for liberty and small gov't. Pfff! Someone show me where? From what I'm gathering, individual rights are continually eroding, and not just because of dem liberals. But yep, I'm jumping off this train. It's going nowhere. Another thing you might want to look into is the Republicans OWN ALL THREE BRANCES. If they are screwing up, who are they gonna blame now? I leave you with a quote from Reagan I bumped into by accident today. It pretty well highlights the facade to me. http://www.cato-unbound.org/issues/the-gop...uture-together/ But life under Bush has been less than a dream for conservatives who agreed with the Gipper when he said "government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."
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