Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Libertarian

CBO report: the rich pay most of the taxes while the poor get checks

Jane Wells, a business news reporter for CNBC, after reviewing the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on who pays income taxes in America, claimed that the rich pay them all. The CBO, wrote Wells, showed that the top 20 percent pay nearly 93 percent of all income taxes, while the top 40 percent

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Mixed Results from Tuesday’s Elections

On the surface, the reelection of Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor was remarkable, winning with a resounding 60% of the vote in a dark blue (liberal Democrat) state.

A closer look reveals that Christie was running as a Republican in name only, against a weak opponent who was earlier slated to lose by a much higher margin. Christie won for his ability to

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Hurdles Facing Supporters of North Colorado as 51st State are Daunting

The national media are beginning to pay attention to movements threatening to secede from existing states and form their own new ones. There’s even a competition between efforts in western Maryland, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, northern California’s Siskiyou County, and parts of southern Oregon to be the first to become the country’s 51st state.

None are as far along, however, as those efforts pushing to win the honor for

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Paul Ryan the “bridgebuilder” on immigration reform?

On Saturday Newsmax.com reported on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) continuing attempts to revive interest in the House to consider the immigration bill the Senate just passed. He thinks that with a little tweaking the House can come to terms that the Senate would approve, and all will be well once again:

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Global Cooling, Not Global Warming, After All

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor:

 

Peter Ferrara’s long and persuasive article in Forbes magazine last weekend is another body blow to the global-warming meme promoted by so many for so long: that anthropogenic (human-caused) warming will doom us all unless something is done! That something, of course, always and forever involves

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Obamanomics is to Blame for Worst Recession since the Great Depression

When libertarian scholar Peter Ferrara asked rhetorically in Sunday’s issue of Forbes, “Economically, Could Obama be America’s Worst President?” he relied heavily on statistics provided by the chief enabler of the Great Recession,

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3D Guns are here!

You’ve no doubt been watching this technology unfold, perhaps more rapidly than anyone expected. But the day has arrived: anyone with a 3D printer and some software available on the internet for free can print his own gun. 3D printers are now for sale at just over $1,000. The software is available here.

The developer is a libertarian law student (is that an oxymoron?) from

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My critique of Mitchell’s critique of Ryan’s budget plan

It isn’t often that I conclude that Dan Mitchell misses the mark, but this time I do. He has a rule: “The private sector should grow faster than the government.” I like my rule better:

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Dreams of a “free society”

Sandy Ikeda, writing at The Freeman, offered his thoughts on what a truly free society would look like: how would it be organized? Who would build the roads? Who would pay for them, and how?

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Conservative British Journalist William Rees-Mogg Dead at 84

With the passing of British writer The Right Honourable The Lord Rees-Mogg, a voice that for more than 60 years resonated in the freedom firmament was stilled.

Upon graduation from Oxford in 1951 (as president of Oxford Union), William Rees-Mogg began his journalism career at The Financial Times in 1952. He moved to the Sunday Times in 1960 where he

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House Speaker Boehner Offers Plan B with Tax Increases

On Tuesday, December 18th, Republican House Speaker John Boehner spelled out some of the details on his “Plan B” offer to the White House in case Plan A goes nowhere. It appears that Plan B will go nowhere as well, but not because of resistance from the White House, but from other House Republicans who are intent on keeping their word.

According to Boehner’s office, Plan B “Does not raise taxes. It is a net tax cut that prevents a $4.6 trillion tax hike on January 1.”

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George McGovern: The Liberal Who Got Mugged

English: Senator George McGovern speaking at t...

Senator George McGovern speaking at the Richard M. Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California during his book tour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George McGovern, known for his ultra-liberal stance on issues of his day, passed away on Sunday, October 21st, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at age 90.

Active in promoting liberal programs almost from the first, McGovern was convinced that government could be used as an instrument to improve society, especially in providing food for the poor in America and around the world. He saw the American government and the United Nations as tools to promote sustenance for them. He helped create the United Nations’ World Food Program which distributed U.S. food “surpluses” to needy people abroad, and issued the McGovern Report, which set up nutritional guidelines for Americans.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN agencies for Food and Agriculture, and was appointed the first UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger in 2001.

But he is primarily remembered for

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3-D Printing Technology Soon to Allow Printing Guns at Home

3D Printed Gun

3D Printed Gun (Photo credit: Pete Prodoehl)

Cody Wilson, a 24-year-old law student at the University of Texas, believes in the free flow of information and created a company to promote it. He went online to raise some capital for his idea, using a crowd funding website, IndieGoGo, which has funded more than 100,000 campaigns in areas such as music, charity, films and small business startups.

But when IndieGoGo got word of the kind of information Wilson wanted to offer for free, they closed his site and refunded the contributors’ money.

His information? Blueprints for making guns at home using 3-D printers.

Wilson refused to be deterred and created an Internet “collective” called Defense Distributed, where Wilson, in a seven-minute video, explains

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Colorado Marijuana Law Likely to Pass

John Ransom – Mile High Idea: Smoke Dope, Build Schools

Their pitch says that by state regulation and control of dope deals, the consequent revenue collected can benefit K-12 education in the state, now under tight budget constraints.

Yeah, you heard that right: Make pot legal and build schools with the first $40 million in proceeds.

marijuana joint

marijuana joint (Photo credit: Torben Bjørn Hansen)

From a libertarian perspective marijuana use ought to be free of any government constraints. But Ransom decries such attempts to “decriminalize” its use as backward and destructive.

For proof he lists those who support the idea:

A score of Democrat parties, including the Colorado Democrat Party, county Democrats in Denver, Boulder, Pueblo, El Paso and Douglas counties- some of the largest populations in the state- have endorsed the measure. They are joined by their allies at the ACLU, ProgressNow, the NAACP and of course, my favorite: Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies.

Because these outfits usually call for more government, Ransom is automatically opposed to whatever they support. But interestingly, a poll shows that the measure, Amendment 64 – the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act” – looks it could pass this fall:

The poll, conducted by the Denver Post, found that 51 percent of likely voters surveyed support Amendment 64, while 40 percent oppose it.

The best Ransom can do is to criticize the idea that revenues extracted from users will be used to fund education:

More worrying is the long-term implications of trying recreational drug use to education funding. To say the least, this seems like a really bad idea.

Why? Because marijuana use has been linked to schizophrenia:

“Repeatedly, studies have found that people with schizophrenia are about twice as likely to smoke pot as those who are unaffected,” writes Time. “Conversely, data suggest that those who smoke cannabis are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as nonsmokers. One widely publicized 2007 review of the research even concluded that trying marijuana just once was associated with a 40% increase in risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.”

Doesn’t this sound to you like social engineering? WE know that marijuana is harmful. Therefore WE must restrict its use! Isn’t that a totalitarian concept?

To give the guy credit, however, at the end of his diatribe, he writes:

Do we really want the government in the drug business? Isn’t this the same government that sued the tobacco companies?

The answer to that question, obviously, is no. Let people alone. They’re figure things out on their own.

Unconstitutional Anti-Drug Agency 1, Lance Armstrong 0

Bob Barr – The Crucifixion of Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong, one of the greatest endurance athletes of modern times, who won the grueling Tour de France bicycle race a record seven consecutive times from 1995 to 2005, has been stripped of all awards and prizes he won during his storied cycling career.

The reason for these harsh sanctions against Armstrong was a finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that the athlete had used illicit, performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. Yet, because of its status as unaccountable regulatory power, the USADA never had to prove its case against Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong in the prologue of the Tour de...

Lance Armstrong in the prologue of the Tour de France in July 2004 in Liege, Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do a little bicycling, and even did a little racing 40 years ago. In fact, for one week, I was the top racer in Colorado. But I never aspired, nor had the physical attributes, to become a professional. So I have had to enjoy Armstrong’s successes vicariously.

But I have always thought that he was just a little too smart, and managed to avoid detection of his use of performance-enhancing drugs. That violated, for me, rule one: follow the rules. As a libertarian I think people should be able to ingest, inject or apply whatever they want to their bodies as long as such behavior injures no one else. But the rules say: no drugs. So I thought Armstrong got what he had coming.

But Barr’s take on the stripping of Armstrong’s awards, prizes and jerseys by an unelected, unconstitutional body like the USADA is spot on.

He says:

The manner in which the USADA conducted its prosecution of this athlete, should give serious pause to all Americans who believe fundamental fairness and basic due process should precede stripping a person of their career, their reputation, and their financial resources.

Congress supplies this rogue outfit with $10 million of taxpayer monies every year, and then lets them promote, or prosecute, whomever they wish, without oversight or control.

Barr is an attorney from Georgia, and reviewed the rules of law which should apply, which include:

well-established rules of procedure to ensure fundamental fairness, so that both sides have a more-or-less equal opportunity to uncover and present evidence in behalf of their clients. Those procedures — monitored and enforced by judges either elected or appointed as objective and uninterested umpires — also permit both sides robust opportunity to challenge and test the credibility and strength of the other’s witnesses and evidence.

We inherited such procedures from Great Britain during the colonial era, and our Founding Fathers strengthened and enshrined them in our Constitution. Our Liberty rests on their continued viability.

But not with the USADA, which based its findings, so far as we know, merely on allegations by those he raced against, and defeated, that he used drugs.

What’s especially annoying is that this rogue band of demagogues is being funded with our money. This is not fair. This is not just.

Medicare: The Latest Political Football

paul ryan medicare

paul ryan medicare (Photo credit: Brendan Loy)

With political ads defending and bashing various proposals about how to “fix” Medicare reaching a crescendo, fact-checkers are having a field day in sorting through who’s right and who’s wrong. The claim by Democrats that Paul Ryan’s reform bill would “end Medicare as we know it” was awarded the “lie of the year” by Politifact, while Factcheck.org named it one of the “Whoppers of 2011.” Even the liberal Washington Post gave the canard its highest—or lowest—rating of “four Pinnochios.”

Claims by Republicans that President Obama “raided” Medicare by cutting benefits and using bookkeeping entries as ways to fund ObamaCare without increasing the deficit are adding to the noise. They also claim that cuts to suppliers of medical services will ultimately result in reduced services for Medicare beneficiaries, reductions exacerbated by the unelected panel—the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)—charged with keeping costs in line through essentially dictatorial powers granted by ObamaCare.

What’s clear is that Medicare is in trouble, and has been almost from the beginning. In 1965, when Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, costs were estimated to approach $9 billion annually by the year 1990. It exceeded $65 billion that year. Last year Medicare spending touched $560 billion, and is headed toward $1 trillion in less than eight years.

Trustees are frightened about its future. Their 2012 annual report states: 

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Charles Koch: Covert Libertarian No Longer

A statement for the Koch Brothers at the Occup...

A statement for the Koch Brothers at the Occupy Wall Street protests. (Photo credit: Caroline Schiff Photography)

In Jane Mayer’s expose of Charles Koch, the billionaire conservative running Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, she made it sound as if she were shedding the light on Koch’s political activities for the very first time. Titled “Covert Operations,” Mayer noted that the growth of Koch Industries since Charles and his brother David took over its operations after the death of their father, Fred Koch, in 1967, has made each of them multi-billionaires—somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 billion each. Koch Industries operates oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, 4,000 miles of pipeline, along with Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpets, the spandex product Lycra and generates an estimated $100 billion a year in revenues.

But the real lowdown, according to Mayer, is how they are investing their wealth:

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.

And they are doing it with a flourish. Mayer quotes Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity—calling it a “non-partisan watchdog group” which in fact is funded by internationalist socialist George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and the Ford Foundation, among others, to “reveal abuses of power, corruption and dereliction of duty by powerful public and private institutions…”—as saying:

The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart…

Charles Koch’s efforts are based on both the short-run—determined to keep President Obama a one-term president and turn control of the Senate back to the Republicans, as well as the long-run—by

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John Stossel Coddles Paul Ryan

John Stossel: Who Is Paul Ryan?

I wanted to like Paul Ryan.

Before he was nationally known, Rep. Ryan visited me at ABC, and we went to lunch. He was terrific. He was a rare politician, one who actually cared about America’s coming debt crisis and the unfairness of entitlements. He even talked about F.A. Hayek‘s “The Road to Serfdom“! If only more politicians thought that way.

But then the housing bubble burst. Ryan voted for TARP. Then he voted for the auto bailout. Who is this guy? I thought he believed in markets!

John Stossel

John Stossel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s easy for me to throw grenades, especially because my voice is so small and my opinion often discounted. And Stossel is one of my favorite libertarians. In fact I often question why Fox allows him on the network at all, given their statist mindset.

But Stossel has done the libertarian movement a disservice here, I think. He expresses admiration for Paul Ryan as an economic conservative: “He [Ryan] even talked about F.A. Hayek’s ‘The Road to Serfdom’”!

But it didn’t take. I read it in the sixth grade, and it took. Especially the chapter “Why the Worst Get On Top.” And I am in distinguished company. Gerald O’Driscoll of the Cato Institute wrote this:

In perhaps the best chapter of The Road to Serfdom, Hayek details “Why the Worst Get on Top” in totalitarian societies. The chapter begins with a quotation from Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Hayek then elaborates the Actonian insight.

From that chapter which has informed my outlook on government and politicians ever since I have nothing but contempt for those who try to “fix things,” and interfere with our lives as a result. Many of them are, in the words of Mr. Welch—the founder of the John Birch Society—just “useful idiots” in the employ of darker forces bent on establishing a totalitarian dictatorship. I put Paul Ryan into that camp.

And now, unfortunately, so do I put John Stossel.

Ryan voted for TARP and the auto company bailouts and now regrets it. Stossel thinks that’s OK: Ryan has changed his mind: “I wish he had voted against those bills, but the political class was in near panic, and Ryan is a politician.”

That’s little comfort to me. Paul Ryan is an enemy of freedom. And any enemy of freedom is an enemy of mine. To have Stossel coddle Ryan and say, well, he meant well, all is forgiven, is treacherous.

Color me disappointed.

Path to Prosperity: Better Than Nothing?

Daniel J. Mitchell: Explaining Ryan’s Budget in the Wall Street Journal

The era of bipartisan big government may have come to an end. Largely thanks to Rep. Paul Ryan and the fiscal blueprint he prepared as chairman of the House Budget Committee earlier this year, the GOP has begun climbing back on the wagon of fiscal sobriety and has shown at least some willingness to restrain the growth of government.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Some willingness?” This frankly is about the best anyone can say about Ryan’s plan, the Path to Prosperity. My biggest problem is that nowhere does anyone, including Mitchell (who calls himself, unabashedly, “a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute”), refer, at least once, to the Constitutional limitations on government. It’s as if that is now an irrelevant consideration, not even worth talking about.

Put another way, without Constitutional restraints, we’re left foundering in the sea, trying to make do the best we can with what we have: no fixed stars, no guidance, no direction, no signposts. Just bumbling along the best we can.

Here’s what I mean:

The most important headline about the Ryan budget is that it limits the growth rate of federal spending, with outlays increasing by an average of 3.1% annually over the next 10 years. …limiting spending so it grows by 3.1% per year, as Mr. Ryan proposes, quickly leads to less red ink. This is because federal tax revenues are projected by the House Budget Committee to increase 6.6% annually over the next 10 years if the House budget is approved (and this assumes the Bush tax cuts are made permanent).

Ah, that’s the goal: less red ink. Slow down the bus a little bit. But what’s the goal, the end point? How will we know we’ve succeeded? Is actual shrinkage of government even mentioned? Of course not. Mitchell seems to think that the purpose of the economy is to generate revenues for the government!

Even Mitchell admits it:

No, it doesn’t bring the federal government back down to 3 percent of GDP, so it’s not libertarian Nirvana.

But we manage to stay out of fiscal hell, so that counts for something.

But not much.

Are Conservatives Growing a Backbone?

Jonah Goldberg: Business vs. Markets

Sweet fancy Moses! What’s next? Will conservatives come out in favor of bears doing their bathroom business in the woods without government oversight? Will the market fundamentalists soon argue that children eat candy for the sweet, sweet taste? Is there no end to their ideological madness?

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

What a great way to start the day! Jonah Goldberg, writing in National Review, thinks the resistance to renewing authorization for the “corporatist carbuncle”—as he calls the Export-Import bank—is a very good thing. And so do I.

Usually that authorization is rubber-stamped by Democrats and Republicans alike—another example of how different they aren’t—as evidenced by their willingness to use our money to fund the bank two dozen times since its birth under FDR in 1934, with nary a dissenting voice.

But not this time. According to the AP it took months of negotiations and pleas and bargainings and, no doubt, some backroom deals, to get the recalcitrant objectors into line and obtain the authorization finally rendered.

And who are these “recalcitrant” throwbacks? Why free market supporters, that’s who! As Goldberg said, “Conservatives—and especially libertarians but also some leftists—have been building the case against corporatism for a very long time.”

Partly it’s Obama’s fault, says Goldberg:

President Obama is easily the most corporatist president since FDR. He bought a couple of car companies. His health-care law turns insurance companies into utilities. He increasingly speaks the language of economic nationalism used by the two Roosevelts.

But it also has to do with what Goldberg calls a “growing philosophical consistency on the right.” Where did that come from?

I like to think that the so-obvious attempts by Obama to impose his socialist mandates onto the American people are causing many of them to reconsider exactly what kind of government they want. And that’s a good thing.

I have been hard-pressed to find any good thing to say about Obama and his attempts to impose Alinsky-ite authoritarian rule onto the country. But I have found one: he is galvanizing opposition like no president before him.

I find that reassuring. And so does Goldberg.

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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