Hauf:”If You Hate Big Government, You Should Oppose the Death Penalty”

From the Postal Service to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the government has proven to be as ineffective as Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy. Conservatives, for the most part, understand the inefficient nature of government, and that’s why they often advocate for free-market policies.

However, there’s one issue where conservatives often give far too much power to the government: capital punishment. Here, many Republicans allow their “tough on crime” mentality to overrule limited government ideals and innate skepticism of state overreach.

There’s Nothing “Small Government” about Capital Punishment

This contradiction within the Republican platform, although rarely acknowledged, exposes a weakness in the party’s ideology. If Republicans pride themselves on their limited government philosophy, then why would they grant the government control over life and death?

Take Texas, for example—arguably the nation’s most conservative state. Ever since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 after the Supreme Court lifted its nationwide suspension, 552 of the 1477 executions in the U.S. have taken place in the Lone Star State. While many Texas Republicans pride themselves on their unapologetic use of the death penalty, its enactment, like most government programs, is both inefficient and ineffective.

In Texas, a death penalty case costs about $2.3 million, which is nearly three times the cost of one prisoner’s 40-year sentence in a single cell with maximum security. And this fiscal irresponsibility is far from a Texas problem. It’s a nationwide phenomenon.

California, arguably the nation’s most liberal state, has spent over $4 billion on the death penalty since 1978 and would save $5 billion over the next 20 years if Governor Jerry Brown commuted all those on death row to life without parole.

Full Post by Patrick Hauf @ Foundation for Economic Education:https://fee.org/articles/if-you-hate-big-government-you-should-oppose-the-death-penalty/

“Happy 217th Birthday to French Liberal Economist Frederic Bastiat!”

Friday June 29 was the 217th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Bastiat, champion of free trade and personal freedom.
Mark Perry has a tribute to the 19th Century Liberal economist @ fee.org, the blog of the Foundation for Economic Education:

According to the Library of Economics and Liberty, Bastiat’s biggest contributions to economics were “his fresh and witty expressions of economic truths,” which “made them so understandable and compelling that the truths became hard to ignore.” Celebrating Bastiat’s birthday has become an annual tradition at Carpe Diem, and below I present some of my favorite quotes from the great liberty-loving, influential French economist!

1. One of Bastiat’s most famous and important writings was “The Candlemakers’ Petition,”…

“We [French candlemakers] are suffering from the intolerable competition of a foreign rival, placed, it would seem, in a condition so far superior to ours for the production of light that he absolutely inundates our national market with it at a price fabulously reduced. The moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us — all consumers apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once rendered completely stagnant. This rival, who is none other than the sun, wages war mercilessly against us.”

“We ask you to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, skylights, dormer-windows, outside and inside shutters, curtains, blinds; in a word, of all openings, holes, chinks, clefts, and fissures, by or through which the light of the sun has been in use to enter houses, to the prejudice of the meritorious manufactures with which we flatter ourselves that we have accommodated our country — a country that, in gratitude, ought not to abandon us now to a strife so unequal.”

Full celebration by Mark J Perry https://fee.org/articles/happy-217th-birthday-to-french-classical-liberal-economist-frederic-bastiat/?utm_campaign=FEE%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=64159662&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-95PXiAGSHJE7GHbHJ2RsmLx8TRylwZgWxu8hPcaZgG7QDc42qGtuRKBws2nUTacJsPxK9WyHclaJalQgkj5Jwr17RfwQ&_hsmi=64159662

Jack Guerrero for Treasurer -Liberty, Free Markets & Respect for the Constitution

Former Cudahy Mayor Jack Guerrero is a Republican candidate for State Treasurer in the June 5 primary. His campaign theme is “Liberty, Free Markets & Respect for the Constitution”

Jack Guerrero has served as a member of the Cudahy City Council, and as Mayor. As a local official he exposed problems with the city’s financial controls, and worked with the state Controller to examine the city’s spending. Mr Guerrero also pushed for school reform and held public hearings on education quality.

Jack Guerrero promotes his vision of limited government with a recommended reading list “Great Works of Influence” which
includes “Human Action” by Ludwig von Mises; “The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich Hayek; “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand; “Conscience of a Conservative” by Barry Goldwater and more books, all of them available at the Renaissance Book Shop www.renbook.com

His experience in local government and his commitment to liberty and free markets make Jack Guerrero the best choice for State Treasurer. Vote for Jack Guerrero for State Treasurer on Tuesday, June 5. More info @ https://www.jack4treasurer.com/

Vote Libertarian June 5! California Needs an Alternative Party

In recent years California has moved rapidly toward becoming a one-party state. Not so long ago, Republican Pete Wilson began his first term as Governor pushing a tax hike that was passed by the Democrats in the legislature.

Now the tax hikes are passed by Democrats and signed by Democrats. Since the 1990s the Republican Party has gone out of its way to alienate California voters. In the state with the largest population of foreign born residents, Republican politicians have sought votes by demonizing immigrants. More recently, California Republicans loyally supported President George W Bush when he initiated a pre-emptive military attack on Iraq, a country which had not attacked the United States. This too alienated California voters.

It is true that many Democrats – Sen. Feinstein among them – helped to pass the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq. But the war was a project of the Republican Party, and President Bush used the Republican Party to push for war – for a pre-emptive war of choice that made America less safe, not more secure. Now even Sen. John McCain and Bush sibling Jeb admit that the Iraq War was “a mistake” that cost American lives and treasure, and caused suffering for millions of Iraqis.

With a few exceptions, California Republicans in state or federal office have opposed the legalization of marijuana. This too puts them at odds with most California voters. It also shows that Republican rhetoric about freedom and limited government does not really apply in all too many cases.

The Los Angeles Times reported on May 11 almost as many California voters have registered as independent as have registered as Republican. As former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has observed, “California Republicans are dying at the box office.” That leaves the pro-government Democrats with little opposition.

The Democratic Party is committed to active government, paid for by taxing productive workers and profitable businesses. The Democratic Party threatens our property with regulations and the possible restoration of Community Redevelopment programs. The Democratic Party threatens our children’s future with their commitment to a public school monopoly, and their opposition to educational choice. Many Democrats now champion legalization of marijuana, but in the past these same politicians supported the drug war and its totalitarian crackdown on personal behavior.

The Libertarian Party offers a choice that many Californians already agree with: lower taxes, limited government, and personal freedom across the board. If you are a home-owner who relies on Proposition 13, or a young person glad that California has legalized marijuana, The Libertarian Party speaks for you. If you are a parent hoping for an alternative to failing public schools, the Democrats have nothing to offer you. The Libertarian Party supports Freedom of Choice, and opposes military interventionism as promoted by both Democrats and Republicans.

Several Libertarian candidates have qualified for the June 5 primary ballot.
Nickolas Wildstar is running for Governor. He calls for tax cuts, restoring freedom of choice, and ending government corruption. Mr Wildstar champions the free market as the best way to increase employment and end poverty. And Mr Wildstar defends the right of states to legalize marijuana.
More information on the Wildstar for Governor campaign @ http://wildstar2018.com/

Tim Ferreira has qualified as a Libertarian candidate for Lt. Governor, sharing the vision of the Wildstar campaign.

Derrick Michael Reid will be on the June ballot as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senator, challenging the big government views of Sen. Feinstein. Mr Reid has stated his goals as elimination of the national debt; end corruption in D.C.; stop the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the politically connected, and restore the Constitution’s limits on government power. More information @ http://www.derrickmreid.com/

Vote for these Libertarian candidates on Tuesday, June 5 and help lay the groundwork for a new opposition party in California – an alternative for freedom, capitalism and peace.

Utley:”The Lies Behind America’s Interventions”

Official Washington and those associated with it have misrepresented the facts numerous times in the service of military actions that might not otherwise have taken place. In the Middle East, these interventions have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab civilians, brought chaos to Iraq and Libya, and led to the expulsion of a million Christians from communities where they have lived since biblical times.

The most famous of these episodes, of course, was the U.S. government’s assurance to the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which formed the basis for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The government also insisted Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, bolstering the call to war. Of course neither was true.

But even before that there was the first Iraq war in 1991, justified in part by the story of Iraqi soldiers reportedly dumping babies out of incubators to die in a Kuwaiti hospital. The 15-year-old daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador cleverly lied to a set-up congressional committee. The Christian Science Monitor detailed this bizarre episode in 2002.

There were also the lies about the Iraqi army being poised to invade Saudi Arabia. That was the ostensible reason for the U.S. sending troops to Kuwait—to defend Saudi Arabia. Writing in the the Los Angeles Times in 2003, Independent Institute fellow Victor Marshall pointed out that neither the CIA nor the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency viewed an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia as probable, and said the administration’s Iraqi troop estimates were “grossly exaggerated.” In fact, the administration’s claim that it had aerial photographs proving its assertions was never verified because, as we later learned, the photos never existed. The Christian Science Monitor also reported on this in 2002 ahead of the second Iraq war.

America attacked Iraq in 1991, bombing and destroying that nation’s irrigation, sanitation, and electricity plants. (See here regarding Washington’s knowledge of and planning for the horrific mass contamination of Iraqi drinking water.) Then we blockaded reconstruction supplies for nine years while some half-million children died of disease and starvation. We blamed it all on Saddam, although we controlled Iraq’s money flows through the UN food-for-oil program. Fortunately, we have a rare admission by Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes about what was done.

full post by Jon Basil Utley@ The American Conservative http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-pretty-little-lies-behind-americas-interventions/

“The GOP’s Laughable Call for a Balanced Budget Amendment” by Barbara Boland

On the heels of an unpaid-for $1.3 trillion spending binge, House Republicans have announced they plan to—I’m not making this up—push for a balanced budget amendment (BBA) when they return from recess. This only proves there is no low to which the GOP will not stoop as it continues to insult the intelligence of its voter base.

The real strategy to pass a BBA, as happened with Obamacare, will most likely be to hold empty, meaningless roll call votes on measures that have no hope of passing and which the GOP has no plan to carry out. Then a Republican lawmaker can tell voters in the fall: “Look, we tried to do something about federal spending, but the Democrats voted against the balanced budget amendment.”

Here’s why the GOP’s move to prioritize BBAs should be perceived as the duplicitous pandering and vacuous virtue signaling that it is: first, there’s the timing. This gesture comes just after lawmakers from both parties passed a broad, two-year budget framework that blows up the budget caps imposed in 2011, and will lead to trillions in spending each and every year henceforth, with interest payments on the massive federal debt set to outpace the cost of the military and the cost of Medicaid in just eight years. Voting for gargantuan spending of this size and then claiming to support a balanced budget amendment is like gorging on a sumptuous feast while insisting that you want a svelte physique.

The other reason voters should not take the Republican call for a BBA seriously is that even in the best of times it is almost impossible to pass an amendment to the Constitution. A balanced-budget amendment would require the support of two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate, in addition to the backing of three quarters of the states. That’s an almost impossible lift, which is why only 27 amendments to the Constitution have ever been ratified.

Nevertheless, calls for BBAs have been popular since the 1980s, and gained particular steam from conservatives in 2010 with the Tea Party movement. The idea sounds deceptively simple: a balanced budget amendment would require that the government spend no more than it takes in during any given year.

But even if by some miracle one was ratified, a balanced budget amendment is a blunt instrument that wouldn’t necessarily be effective. That’s because during recessions and economic downturns, the government has to spend more on things like nutritional assistance and unemployment benefits. With a BBA in place, Congress would be unable to do so, resulting in something like sequestration on steroids.

Full column by Barbara Boland @ The American Conservative http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-gops-laughable-call-for-a-balanced-budget-amendment/

Sen. Rand Paul: Why I’ll Fight Gina Haspel and Mike Pompeo Nominations

Since President Trump took office, our country finally seems to be heading in the right direction. In just the past year, the American people have seen enormous tax cuts, more judges appointed who take the Constitution seriously, relief from the massive regulatory state, and an economy rapidly gaining strength and offering greater opportunities for those seeking to turn their dreams into reality.

But when it comes to our place on the world stage, we are at a crossroads. We can continue to build on our recent successes by reaffirming America’s role as a trusted, powerful nation guided by principle. Or we can throw it all away by allowing neocon interventionists to infiltrate our leadership and make America the purveyor of destruction.

For decades, we have failed to bring about real peace thanks to a foreign policy guided by the idea that war and intervention are the answers. “Blow up and rebuild” has been the battle cry of those determined to keep us perpetually in conflict.

It was the battle cry of Hillary Clinton, who supported military intervention in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. I supported President Trump during his campaign because he advocated for less military intervention. He opposed the Iraq War. He acknowledged that nation-building doesn’t work. He understood the damage previous foreign policy missteps have caused, including helping to strengthen ISIS.

I want to continue making America great again. That won’t happen if we give power-hungry neocons the reins to our nation’s foreign policy.

People already distrust the CIA. So why on earth has this administration picked someone to run the Agency who was instrumental in running a place where people were tortured and then covered it up afterwards?

Multiple undisputed accounts have detailed how Gina Haspel not only ran a CIA “black site” in Thailand but also destroyed video evidence of torture.

Full Commentary by Sen. Rand Paul @ http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/rand-paul-why-ill-fight-gina-haspels-and-mike-pompeos-nominations/