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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nick Gillespie on Bill Maher

Political talking heads on TV are not my cup of tea. Apart from a good laugh, I don’t have much use for them. Anything I see is usually emailed to me in a video clip or snagged off of someone’s Facebook page. Much to my surprise, Bill Maher had a libertarian guest on his show…not just any libertarian, but Nick Gillespie – editor in chief of Reason TV and He did very well considering that it’s virtually impossible to dumb down his position enough so Bill Maher and his viewers can understand. On top of that, he had to combat the usual childish, amateur debate tactics of a discussion panel skewed in the opposition’s favor. Childish/amateur debate tactics defined:

1) A perverse version of identity politics.

If an argument cannot be countered with facts, sound reasoning and logic, then throw the person in the camp with the “enemy.” It makes no difference that Gillespie did not endorse any plan (Republican or Democrat) currently on the table. It’s important to cover up the fact that Nick Gillespie is the only TRUE liberal on that stage. We can’t have people figuring that one out! Because he is not in favor of raising the debt ceiling, then he is an evil Republican. The comical thing about this is during the debate, they proved that there was no difference between the two parties since Obama was the one who played fiscal warrior when Republicans were spending money recklessly under Bush. Nonetheless, this tactic works very well with robotic audiences. Simply label your opponent as the enemy, and then the audience will tune him out.

2) Sputtering out baseless claims that detract from the original topic… such as “wages have not gone up in 30 years” and “tax revenue has decreased.”

Neither of these points have anything to do with the debt ceiling issue. The first is blatantly false. Wages depend heavily on the state of the economy, industry, demand for the type of work and one’s level of education. While global competition and less demand for certain jobs have caused wages to decline or remain stagnant, it is beyond disingenuous to generalize it to apply to ALL wages. It was interesting that the subject was changed when Nick mentioned the weakening of people’s purchasing power due to inflation as a key issue. In addition, there wasn’t a chance to discuss the parallel between the rapid growth of government at the expense of the private sector.

The tax revenue argument is a very easy one to debunk, but I don’t blame Nick for not delving too much into this. Maher was right there to back him into defending the Bush tax cuts (thus helping with his identity politics approach), which would deviate further from the matter at hand. It is noteworthy to point out that tax revenues (like wages) depend heavily on the macroeconomic environment. I won’t spend much time on this topic either since I abhor the current income tax system. Taxing income and using the tax code as a market steering effort is extremely flawed and is nothing more than another avenue of centralized planning. If we are not talking about the “Fair Tax,” then we are not talking!

The only thing to take away from this is that Nick correctly pointed out that the government has a spending problem. After the Bush tax cuts, the government collected enough tax revenue to actually CURB the deficit in 2006 in spite of all of the reckless spending and funds needed to fight two wars.

Last but not least, 3) mischaracterizing the issue at hand…

Maher’s intellectual void when it comes to economics is downright scary sometimes. Nick laughably characterized it as “junkie” logic. Put simply, the government does NOT have to raise the debt ceiling to avert default. Have any of you stopped paying your federal payroll taxes? Are there any self-employed people not making estimated tax payments? The government is still collecting revenue on a daily basis. To expand on Maher’s flawed analogy, maybe we don’t “go out to eat” this Friday so we can pay for all of our dinner bills coming due!

The only thing the decision to not raise the debt ceiling amounts to is that the government cannot apply for a credit line increase. It must use the funds it currently HAS and is still COLLECTING to pay its bills. Do businesses fold if they are denied a credit line increase? Does a family have to file for bankruptcy if they are denied an additional credit card? Wake up and smell the coffee America. The rug is being pulled over your eyes once again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

President Obama’s Truth about the Debt Ceiling

Almost three years into Obama’s term, my opinion about him has changed. He’s one of our better Presidents because he has told the truth and exposed all of the myths about our monetary policy from each side of his mouth.

For the past several weeks, I have listened to the smoke and mirrors game being played regarding the debt ceiling. Republicans are pretending to act like fiscal warriors…never mind the fact that size of our debt doubled in President Bush’s 8 years, and MANY Republicans voted to RAISE the debt ceiling during their reign in Congress. Their recent “heroic” acts certainly do not cut any ice with me, especially because spending has still been escalating since their 2010 takeover.

Let us now return to President Obama since the man has been telling the truth since 2006. It’s too bad that we do not have Senator Obama’s ideas from 2006. This particular Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling; and he had this to say about the fiscal status of our nation:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck’ stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

This side of Obama is one who may have engaged in a libertarian acid trip…yet another reason to end the war on drugs! On a more serious note, let’s give him kudos for confessing the fact that the United States has been engaged in reckless monetary policy. Now, shall we examine his recent rhetoric?

Obama claims that if we do not raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. will not be able to pay the interest on its loans which would result in default. Our debt rating will be downgraded. Disaster will ensue! How many of you would like to raise your debt ceiling when you cannot pay your bills? Being fiscally responsible isn’t any fun! Why cut spending when you can just borrow more? So…what truth has Obama revealed? He is saying that the United States does not have the desire nor does it have to engage in fiscal responsibility since it owns a printing press. What the President should be doing is assuring our creditors that the United States will meet its obligations; however, if he doesn’t SCARE people and the markets into believing disaster will occur, then he cannot carry on the same reckless fiscal policies.

Obama must be convinced that the real disaster will not come during his watch. The day will come where our creditors will create a debt ceiling for us. After all, Obama’s recent confession shows just how close we are to being capped. He’s basically confessed that we cannot pay our bills without having to borrow more money. The printing press cannot print forever either for those of you who are naïve enough to think inflation has been averted.

When the going gets tough, the tough don’t have to get going in Washington. All they simply need to do is scare the daylights out of old people. It works like a charm every time, and it has political clout since our seniors comprise a major voting bloc. If President Obama is telling the truth that money will run out by August 3rd to issue social security checks, then he has admitted that there are no social security trust funds! Furthermore, this proves that social security is nothing more than a government-run Ponzi scheme. Bernie Madoff went to jail – he should have worked for the government.

As always, it’s up to the American people to change things. The U.S. government is in this predicament because so many people have become dependent on government programs. Politicians do not care about the future of the country. They care about staying in office; and they are not going to cut programs that their constituents depend upon unless people decide to cut the government umbilical cord themselves.

For a new nation, thing have changed awfully fast – especially over the past 100 years. We’ve allowed the monopoly. We have sold out. We now want government to make the decisions for us, even for the most critical things in life like medical care and retirement planning. We also protect the world by offering free security at the taxpayers’ expense. The endless foreign wars we have been engaged in both now and in the past have reached astronomical costs. We have successfully surrendered our freedoms, and as a result, we have an out-of-control tyrannical government that has weakened our status as a nation.

We have traded a free market for a sickening version of statism with regulatory policy to “protect us” being written by the very lobbyists who are publically despised. This has allowed several big corporations (our large banking institutions and General Electric among them) and major universities that corrupt our young adults to become nothing more than another extension of government.

History does not lie. Countries have been down this road before. The fiat currency system is failing. Ireland needs another bailout, and the Eurozone, as a whole, is becoming increasingly unstable. America cannot pay its bills without plunging further into debt.

Maybe it’s time for people to abandon the TV remote and pay more attention to the major loss of freedoms we as a nation have endured. I say this because there are still a vast amount of politically challenged people out there. For example, those who still believe there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans simply because they focus only on meaningless rhetoric.

How many people believe what President Obama is saying about the debt ceiling, when he had the opposite position four years ago? How many knew his position four years ago? How many seniors are scared to death that their social security will stop? The majority of the American population doesn’t know what constitutes the left and right wing since most will say the “evil right wing” is taking away their social security. In America, social authoritarians and war hawks are called right wing. Amazing! For a better understanding of the political spectrum, give this video seven minutes of your time:

The Political Spectrum Explained

On the brink of the 2012 election, the GOP’s top priority comes from a radical Christian group in Iowa asking candidates to sign a pledge which is not only horribly discriminatory, but it is the antithesis of the principles in which this country was founded. If that’s not bad enough, I am at a loss for words to explain how Mitt Romney, the father of universal healthcare, could be one of the top contenders. Also at the top is Michele Bachmann who seems to think homosexual couples are more dangerous than the power of the Federal Reserve.

Politicians could never get away with such lies and treachery if the ‘masses’ were a bit more educated; yet some people believe that libertarians like me are the ones who lack insight. Libertarians who stand for social and economic liberalism are the true champions and defenders of freedom.