As for the financial crisis, Paul would have countenanced no regulation that might have prevented it, no government stabilization of the financial system after it happened, and no special help for working people hurt by it. This is where the logic of government-shrinking leads.The famous New Yorker editing process seems to have broken down here. Here's how the paragraph should have read:
As for the financial crisis, Paul would have countenanced none of the regulation that helped to cause it, no government creation of cheap money that created the unsustainable boom, and no special help for Wall Street banks when the bubble collapsed. He would have seen that that was where the logic of government-expanding leads.
Posted on January 17, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves? . . . . An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.He pointed to such hallmarks of authoritarian states as the official assassination of U.S. citizens, warrantless searches, immunity from judicial review, and continual monitoring of citizens. Meanwhile, the editorial in the Washington Examiner deplored the rise in regulation and federal spending under President Obama "and the resulting decline in U.S. economic freedom." And Michael Barone of the American Enterprise Institute wrote in the Examiner about President Obama's not-really-recess appointments:
The Framers of the Constitution saw it a different way. When the Senate refuses to confirm a presidential appointee, that person does not take office. When the Senate is not in recess, the president cannot make a recess appointment. The Framers thought it more important to limit power than for government to act quickly. Obama disagrees.All good points. The three articles together would make a comprehensive case brief on the loss of freedom under President Obama. And under President Bush, of course. After all, Turley notes that Bush pioneered many of the new powers that Obama now exercises. Bush also increased federal spending dramatically and expanded regulation and economic intervention from Sarbanes-Oxley to TSA to TARP. Libertarians have long argued that freedom is indivisible, that it is difficult to sustain either political or economic freedom for long without the other. These articles remind us that both economic and civil liberties are threatened today, and thus we need a broad movement to protect and advance liberty and limited government against all these threats.
Posted on January 17, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Posted on January 16, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
The Weinstein Marketing Team Understands Margaret Thatcher’s Appeal Better than the Writer and Director of ‘The Iron Lady’ Do
Posted on January 14, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Posted on January 11, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Posted on January 8, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Posted on January 7, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Libertarians are not against all government. We are precisely “advocates of limited government.” Perhaps to the man who wrote the speeches in which a Republican president advocated a trillion dollars of new spending, the largest expansion of entitlements in 40 years, federal takeovers of education and marriage, presidential power to arrest and incarcerate American citizens without access to a lawyer or a judge, and two endless “nation-building” enterprises, the distinction between “limited government” and “anti-government” is hard to see. But it is real and important.This time he includes me as his example of an "anti-government activist" and purports to quote my objection to Santorum:
David Boaz of the Cato Institute cites evidence implicating him in shocking ideological crimes, such as “promotion of prison ministries” and wanting to “expand colon cancer screenings for Medicare beneficiaries.”The first quotation there is from Jonathan Rauch's review of Santorum's book, It Takes a Family, and the second is from a New York Times article on Santorum's campaign brochure listing all the pork he'd brought home to Pennsylvanians. As for Rauch's list of Santorum's ideas for an activist federal government, here's what I quoted:
In his book he comments, seemingly with a shrug, “Some will reject what I have to say as a kind of ‘Big Government’ conservatism.” They sure will. A list of the government interventions that Santorum endorses includes national service, promotion of prison ministries, “individual development accounts,” publicly financed trust funds for children, community-investment incentives, strengthened obscenity enforcement, covenant marriage, assorted tax breaks, economic literacy programs in “every school in America” (his italics), and more. Lots more.Out of that list Gerson picks "promotion of prison ministries" as a dismissal of my concerns. Some readers might well think that government sponsorship of Christianity in prisons is problematic enough. But others might think that you don't have to be "anti-government" to oppose the three new government transfer programs that immediately follow the reference to prison ministries. Read more...
Posted on January 6, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.... The documents reviewed by The Post . . . show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology.Did you know that when the president visits a factory, his aides tell the workers what to wear? Keep digging in the documents:
Like most presidential appearances, Obama’s May 2010 stop at Solyndra’s headquarters was closely managed political theater. Obama’s handlers had lengthy e-mail discussions about how solar panels should be displayed (from a robotic arm, it was decided). They cautioned the company’s chief executive against wearing a suit (he opted for an open-neck shirt and black slacks) and asked another executive to wear a hard hat and white smock. They instructed blue-collar employees to wear everyday work clothes, to preserve what they called “the construction-worker feel.”This story has all the hallmarks of government decision making: officials spending other people’s money with little incentive to spend it prudently, political pressure to make decisions without proper vetting, the substitution of political judgment for the judgments of millions of investors, the enthusiastic embrace of fads like “green energy,” political officials ignoring warnings from civil servants, crony capitalism, close connections between politicians and the companies that benefit from government allocation of capital, the appearance—at least—of favors for political supporters, and the kind of promiscuous spending that has delivered us $15 trillion in national debt. It may end up being a case study in political economy. And if you want government to guide the economy, to pick winners, to override market investments, then this is what you want. More on Solyndra here and here.
Posted on January 3, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty
…distributed a brochure this week as he worked a sweltering round of town hall meetings and Fourth of July parades: “Fifty Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum.” It is filled with what he called meat and potatoes, like his work to expand colon cancer screenings for Medicare beneficiaries (No. 3), or to secure money for “America’s first ever coal to ultra-clean fuel plant” (No. 2)…. He said he wanted Pennsylvanians to think of him as a political heir to Alfonse M. D’Amato of New York, who was known as Senator Pothole for being acutely attuned to constituent needs.So . . . the third-ranking Republican leader in the Senate wanted to be known as a porker, an earmarker, and Senator Pothole. Santorum had already dismissed limited government in theory. Promoting his book, he told NPR in 2006:
One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.He declared himself against individualism, against libertarianism, against “this whole idea of personal autonomy, . . . this idea that people should be left alone.” And in this 2005 TV interview, you can hear these classic hits: “This is the mantra of the left: I have a right to do what I want to do” and “We have a whole culture that is focused on immediate gratification and the pursuit of happiness . . . and it is harming America.” No wonder Jonathan Rauch wrote in 2005 that “America’s Anti-Reagan Isn’t Hillary Clinton. It’s Rick Santorum.” Rauch noted:
In his book he comments, seemingly with a shrug, “Some will reject what I have to say as a kind of ‘Big Government’ conservatism.” They sure will. A list of the government interventions that Santorum endorses includes national service, promotion of prison ministries, “individual development accounts,” publicly financed trust funds for children, community-investment incentives, strengthened obscenity enforcement, covenant marriage, assorted tax breaks, economic literacy programs in “every school in America” (his italics), and more. Lots more.Rauch concluded,
With It Takes a Family, Rick Santorum has served notice. The bold new challenge to the Goldwater-Reagan tradition in American politics comes not from the Left, but from the Right.At least Santorum is right about one thing: sometimes the left and the right meet in the center. In this case the big-spending, intrusive, mommy-AND-daddy-state center. But he’s wrong that we’ve never had a firmly individualist society where people are “left alone, able to do whatever they want to do.” It’s called America.
Posted on January 2, 2012 Posted to Cato@Liberty