Sunday, August 28, 2011


by James Craig Green

I joined the Colorado Libertarian Party in the summer of 1980, setting me on a lifetime course to better understand government, politics, economics, and many other fields of knowledge by which the vast majority of people are so easily manipulated into believing complete, unadulterated BULLSHIT. I ran for Congress in 1982 and 1984 as a Libertarian, which turned me off politics -- the most dishonest and destructive of all human endeavors -- forever.

War is politics carried on by other means
-- Prussian General von Clausewitz in ON WAR

The first time I heard the word "libertarian" was in 1976, when a friend at work told me about a presidential candidate named Roger McBride, representing the Libertarian Party. Apparently my strong, independent, nonconformist parents' ethics had rubbed off on me, since I thought McBride was a much-needed breath of fresh air in that election year, when the dolt Gerald Ford (Nixon's appointed successor who immediately pardoned him) ran against the government-subsidized Georgia peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter. McBride said, "We need to cut not just fat from the federal government, but also LEAN," and in another speech, "We need to take a meatax to the federal budget." I was very impressed with McBride, a state legislator from Virginia, but not enough to vote for someone who didn't stand a chance against the dolt and government-subsidized peanut farmer. So, four years before getting serious about libertarianism, I simply chose not to vote.

Jacob Hornberger's THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION is one of the best libertarian websites, in my opinion. Thanks to my friend Fred Holden, a Republican who actually believes in free markets, for bringing the following article about the Tea Party to my attention.

The Problem with the Tea Party

by Jacob G. Hornberger
Thursday, August 4, 2011

Okay, so the Tea Party is good at speaking out against out-of-control federal spending and debt, even if its members in Congress are not so good at reining in government spending and borrowing when voting on whether to permit the federal government to pile another $2.7 trillion of debt onto the backs of the American people during the next two years.

And, okay, the Tea Party is good at opposing tax increases. In fact, let’s keep giving credit where credit is due: many Tea Party members are ardently opposed to the Federal Reserve’s longtime debasement of the currency through inflation to enable federal officials to continue their big-spending, big-borrowing ways.

Yet, opposing big spending, big debt, big inflation, and even big government in the abstract really isn’t that difficult, is it? What’s difficult is to call for the abolition of the federal programs that all that spending and borrowing goes toward.

Does the Tea Party ever call for the abolition of, say, Social Security? Of course not. Like most statists, they run for the hills if anyone even hints that this socialistic program — the crown jewel of the welfare state — should be repealed immediately.

What about Medicare and Medicaid? The response is the same. Either stunned silence at any suggestion that these socialistic programs be repealed immediately or a knee-jerk rejection of the idea.

How about the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the entire overseas military empire of the U.S. government, including the 700-1000 military bases in some 130 countries? Silence there too. We have to support the troops, they tell us, which always means keeping them right where they are, especially since they’re supposedly defending our “rights and freedoms” thousands of miles away.

Yet, it’s Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military that are the biggest components of the big-spending, big-borrowing, big-inflation, big-government problem. Anyone who says he wants to rein in federal spending while leaving these big socialist and imperialist programs in place is just blowing smoke.

What’s left after the biggies? How about education grants, community grants, farm subsidies, foreign aid (including to Middle East dictatorships), corporate subsidies, public housing, FDIC, and food stamps? When was the last time you heard any Tea Party member calling for the abolition (i.e., not the reform) of any of those? I certainly haven’t.

How about the Departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services, HUD, EPA, and Homeland Security? Nope. I don’t know of any Tea Party members who have ever called for the abolition of any of them.

The fundamental problem with the Tea Party is it’s still wedded to the New Deal/Great Society socialist, interventionist, imperialist paradigm. In a word, they are still statists. They still believe in the welfare-warfare way of life for our country.

How do we know this? Because the most Tea Party members will ever do is call for reductions in federal spending on welfare-warfare state programs. They never call for abolishing the programs, like libertarians do.

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, reducing spending by, say, 20 percent on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Iraq, Afghanistan, foreign aid, the Patriot Act, education grants, and the like leaves all those programs in existence. Obviously, that’s completely different from calling for the abolition of such programs, which is what libertarians do.

The fundamental philosophical difference between libertarians and Tea Party types is that we come up with different answers to the following question: What should be the primary role of government in a free society?

We libertarians say: to protect the inhabitants of the country from the violence of others.

Tea Party members answer differently. Like statists everywhere, they say that the primary purpose of government is to take care of people and, if it’s the U.S. government, to police the world. They’re just upset that it costs so much money and are convinced they can come up with a way to do it on the cheap.

Thus, while Tea Party types devote their efforts to figuring out how to make the welfare-warfare state more affordable, libertarians reject the welfare-warfare-state paradigm entirely and want it replaced with one based on economic liberty, free markets, free enterprise, voluntary charity, and a constitutionally limited republic.

Perhaps the best example of how Tea Party members do not wish to upset the welfare-warfare-state applecart is the drug war, which integrates elements of the welfare state, the police state, and the warfare state. What better way to rein in federal spending and borrowing than by ending the drug war? For libertarians, it’s a total no-brainer. Here’s an immoral and expensive federal program that’s been going on for 40 years, with nothing to show for it but death, destruction, crookedness, and corruption.

Yet, are Tea Party members calling for drug legalization? Nope. And the reason is that at a fundamental level Tea Party types, like statists everywhere, still love the nanny state, the police state, and the warfare state and, therefore, remain as committed to preserving them as much as any other statist.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


by James Craig Green

Please, Mr. President, stop trying to "help" the economy or create jobs. Your obsolete paradigm of increased government spending, more taxes and creating money instead of wealth only forces valuable resources away from those who make good use of them in favor of those who don't. That paradigm never did work, but those whose careers were nurtured by it will be the last to know.

After attempting to administer the U.S. Ship of State for two-and-a-half years, you continue to blame your predecessor, Europeans, speculators, wealthy Americans, the Tea Party and other Republicans for the fact that the economy is much worse now than when you first took command of it. By previous Bureau of Labor Statistics standards, today's artificially low inflation and unemployment rates hide their true, higher-than-published values because these terms have been conveniently re-defined.

Now you've said you'll unveil a new jobs strategy right after Labor Day. However, if it is anything like your previous failed attempts, it will almost certainly include raising taxes, which of course sounds better when called revenues. One of the most disturbing aspects of your likely plan will perpetuate your one-sided and incorrect assumption that government building more infrastructure will somehow create jobs. For professional politicians who don't have to pay for the wealth redistribution schemes they promote, it's easy to take credit for the flashy and obvious benefits of government spending, while ignoring their costs and tradeoffs. If a business owner intentionally tried to sell a business by promoting revenues while hiding true costs, that person could be sued for fraud.

Apparently you never learned that every dollar government spends has to come from the productive (not subsidized) private sector sooner or later. Dollars spent on public works come from some combination of 1) taxes, 2) "printing" money, whether on rag paper or computer bits, 3) increasing public debt, or 4) by simply commanding valuable resources away from other parts of the economy, combining all three of these costs without admitting them. Therefore, creating government jobs or government-subsidized private sector jobs always comes at the expense of other, existing jobs (think Haliburton). I explained this in June's blog post CONTRASTING GOVERNMENT AND MARKET INCENTIVES and earlier in April's SOLAR JOBS post which refers to my 2009 ARTICLE on the subject published by the INDEPENDENCE INSTITUTE and several Colorado newspapers. In short, over a recent decade, Spain, the world leader in creating "green" jobs, was found to have destroyed more than two existing jobs for every new one created. This is the cruel reality of your policies, which have more to do with politics than economics or sound public policy.

In fairness to you, the economy was already in bad shape when you took office. An estimated 45 to more than 100 TRILLION DOLLARS of future promises (mostly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) for which there are no assets to fund them are projected by the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget and several other studies for future planning. But, like all presidents in the last century, you don't know how to command an economy, nor does anyone else. As grand, "progressive" social experiments in the now-defunct Soviet Union, North Korea, the "People's Republic" of China, Cuba, Venezuela, North Vietnam and some South American banana republics have so powerfully demonstrated, an economy simply cannot be commanded over an extended time without bankrupting the country. This always corrupts the morals of its citizens (who learn sloth, irresponsibility and gaming the system instead of producing useful goods and services).

From Woodrow Wilson to Herbert Hoover to Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to both Bushes, each of your predecessors over the last century, with one or two possible exceptions, demonstrated an extreme ignorance of economics. One of the best sources to understand this is Lawrence Reed's excellent booklet, GREAT MYTHS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION, which correctly assigned responsibility for the Great Depression to BOTH Republican President Hoover and Democrat President Roosevelt and their Congresses, while clearly explaining the perverse incentives that preceeded them by the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

Before you, Republicans were responsible for greater increases in government spending than Democrats, but now you seem to be reversing that trend, as shown in my previous blog post HERITAGE ON GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND REVENUE (see Debts and Deficits Chart 5). It is ironic that the conservative Heritage Foundation produced a graph showing that, except for you, Republican presidents have presided over larger deficits (as a percentage of GDP) than Democrat presidents. However, that paradigm no longer works, because the U.S. Government's debt is now well beyond its ability to pay back. This, and not the hobgoblins you blame, is why Standard and Poors belatedly downgraded U.S. Treasury notes and bonds. They should have done it much earlier, as should have the other credit rating agencies which continue to ignore it.

Mr. President, I don't expect you to gain a better understanding of market economics overnight and understand its chronic, ongoing destruction by government. This is because few, if any, of your predecessors understood this either. However, I do hope you will see that commanding real, productive resources toward some politically-desirable sectors can only remove them from other, more productive sectors. If your only concern is your re-election, which any honest and objective citizen must assume, I will understand as you continue on your present destructive path even more aggressively than your predecessors. But, if you really care about America, I respectfully suggest that you stop inhibiting the unbounded creativity, innovation and self-interested private enterprise that sustained America's economy before government started promising everyone everything for free.

Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way

-- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, August 15, 2011


by James Craig Green

If today is your fortieth birthday, CONGRATULATIONS! You were born the day the dollar died - August 15, 1971. That's the day my Commander-In-Chief, President "Tricky Dicky" Nixon, removed the last gold backing from the dollar. This was the final nail in the coffin for the U.S. Dollar, setting the stage for the final four-decade blowoff of the World's Reserve Currency. Of course, silver coins were already gone from circulation, proving Gresham's Law ("bad money drives out good").

From NIXON'S 1971 ANNOUNCEMENT (4-minute video), you can see how presidential knowledge of economics hasn't changed much in forty years, including blaming speculators, foreign competition and promoting the protectionism which Adam Smith called mercantilism in The Wealth of Nations.

As a young Air Force lieutenant coming back to the states from overseas in the summer of 1971, I bought my first brand new car, a Toyota Corolla, for $2200. It was still illegal for Americans to own bullion gold, courtesy of President Roosevelt, the nation's previous savior, a quarter-century before.

As Detlev Schlichter points out in today's Wall Street Journal (Europe) article FORTY YEARS OF PAPER MONEY, your entire life has been a prelude to today's economic crisis. If you think Bush, Obama or their predecessors had or will have a clue to what is going on, think again. As the Bush-Obama so-called "stimulus" policies continue to harm the economy, America's non-stop escalating debt continues to eat it alive.

Peter Schiff on Zero Interest Rates

On Friday, Peter Schiff, in his Euro Pacific article THE FIX IS IN, provides more insight into the failed policies of the Federal Reserve, in particular the great damage to the economy of holding interest rates artificially low, which is all the current Washington Wizards can think of. Here's an important excerpt:

I believe that ultra-low interest rates are among the biggest impediments currently preventing genuine economic growth in the US economy... the Fed has actually lengthened the time Americans will now have to wait before a real recovery begins.

RIP, my old dying dollar friend. I remember when a dime got me into a movie, a Coke was a nickel and a five dollar bill said "Silver Certificate."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


by James Craig Green

Now that The Committee to Re-Elect Obama (both Republicans and Democrats in Congress) has performed its most sacred duty just in time for the President's birthday, perhaps now sanity will return to the political process. But, don't hold your breath, as it would be a first.

Now that the false immediacy to add two or three TRILLION DOLLARS to the national debt is over, perhaps more sane voices will be heard from time to time. One such voice has always been Congressman Ron Paul, who long ago renounced his congressional pension and continues to promote sanity from within an insane process.

In case you think Dr. Paul is late to the party, please look at my July 26th post, RON PAUL on the DEBT LIMIT and many other such articles by Dr. Paul throughout the debate on DR PAUL'S CONGRESSIONAL WEBSITE, where his weekly articles are in the Texas Straight Talk portion.

Today, Dr. Paul points out something obvious to anyone who wants to prevent economic collapse after the current election cycle, which of course EXCLUDES almost all congress persons. That is, there is no such thing as a spending cut in Washington. All the noise, buffonery, hysteria and misrepresentation dominating the news for the last week or two was about slowing down the rate of growth of government. It has always been so, but such a sensible message could not be heard among the cacophony and discordia that defines political "debate."

In TODAY'S ARTICLE BY RON PAUL, arguably the only man ever to enter Congress with honest intentions, a simple, elegant truth is restated, as he has done so many times before. It is a truth that most don't want to hear, because it interferes with their Pollyanna-like view of government, which they see as an endlesss source of things they don't deserve (because they haven't earned them or been given them freely by those who bear their cost).

Although today's article by Dr. Paul is included in the link above, I repeat it below in its entirely, just in case saving the American Republic is not worth one more mouse click. Please forgive my cynicism, but this never changes, and will likely not change, as I have discussed before in RUSSELL RANDALL ON ECONOMIC DEPRESSION, CONTRASTING GOVERNMENT AND MARKET INCENTIVES and MARKETS WORK - GOVERNMENTS DON'T.

When a Cut is Not a Cut

by Congressman Ron Paul

One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involves one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth. In spite of the rhetoric being thrown around, the real debate is over how much government spending will increase.

No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the "cuts" being discussed are illusory, and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases. This is akin to a family "saving" $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda. But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about their unrepentant plundering of the American people.

The truth is that frightening rhetoric about default and full faith and credit of the United States is being carelessly thrown around to ram through a bigger budget than ever, in spite of stagnant revenues. If your family's income did not change year over year, would it be wise financial management to accelerate spending so you would feel richer? That is what our government is doing, with one side merely suggesting a different list of purchases than the other.

In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of "cuts" that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to "cut". It would only take us 5 years to "cut" $1 trillion, in Washington math, just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic.

A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense. Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the recession continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply returned to that year's spending levels, which would hardly be austere, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending, and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever.

We pay 35 percent more for our military today than we did 10 years ago, for the exact same capabilities. The same could be said for the rest of the government. Why has our budget doubled in 10 years? This country doesn't have double the population, or double the land area, or double anything that would require the federal government to grow by such an obscene amount.

In Washington terms, a simple freeze in spending would be a much bigger "cut" than any plan being discussed. If politicians simply cannot bear to implement actual cuts to actual spending, just freezing the budget would give the economy the best chance to catch its breath, recover and grow.