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

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.

Gary Johnson: Americans Are Not Under-Taxed

Republicans must cut spending Once again, the politicians in Washington, DC, just don’t get it. Right now, the Senate and the House are negotiating to reconcile the respective tax bills they have passed — with a self-imposed deadline of finishing by December 22.

Reasonable people are finding things to like and dislike about these tax reform proposals. The devil is in the details, and several thousand lobbyists are busily engaged in influencing those details… and undoubtedly mucking them up beyond comprehension.

To me, pretty much any proposal that reduces the amount of money the government sucks out of the private economy is better than the status quo. Personally, I have long preferred a shift to a consumption tax rather than continuing to tax productivity and profit. But I have also long recognized that such a dramatic change would require more courage than Congress is capable of summoning.

The tax reform debate leaves out a key element: cutting spending

Regardless, the debate over the current proposals is a great example of what I believe to be Congress’ most fundamental problem: An absolute refusal to actually do anything about federal spending.

The prevailing angst over the tax bills stems from the projections from various groups that cutting taxes will increase the federal deficit by a trillion dollars or more over the next 10 years. They are playing with all kinds of gimmicks and “offsets” to try to reduce that imbalance.

I am as concerned as anyone — and probably more concerned than most — about the debt and chronic deficits. $20 trillion in debt is unsustainable, and adding to it is unacceptable. Period.

HOWEVER, the cause of our debt is not that Americans are under-taxed. It is the simple fact that the politicians of both parties continue to spend and create money we don’t have. Yet, nowhere in the conversation about the tax bills or the threat that they might add to the debt is a serious proposal to do the obvious: Cut spending.

Based on the official analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the greatest one-year increase in the deficit would be $200 billion in 2020. In most other years, it would be significantly less. Come on, folks.

They can’t find $200 billion in savings out of a $4 TRILLION budget? That’s 5% — and much smaller spending reductions would be required in most other years.

The politicians in Washington are so out-of-touch with common sense that they can’t see the obvious even when it’s staring them in the face. Forget the gimmicks. Stop trying to find cute loopholes or fake “offsets” — and just cut the spending.

It’s not complicated. Any rational small business owner or household budget manager could find the necessary savings and cuts to reduce federal spending by 5% without breaking a sweat. Yet, the politicians can’t do it.

Maybe we need different politicians.

Source: https://www.thejacknews.com/featured/gary-johnson-tax-cuts-great-but-republicans-must-cut-spending/

Liberty Against Fascism:Open Letter from the Libertarian Movement

Today (August 12th, 2017), the “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled to proceed in Charlottesville, VA. The “Right” being united there isn’t just any “Right,” but one that welcomes white supremacists and self-described fascists. Multiple speakers will say this themselves, and the chants at a chaotic pre-event march the night before included Neo-Nazi slogans.

The purpose of this letter is to clarify the role for libertarianism in this rally – which is no role at all.

That clarification is necessary because it might appear otherwise. Three of the listed speakers have at one time or another identified as libertarians: Mike Enoch, Augustus Invictus, and Christopher Cantwell. Mike Enoch previously called himself a libertarian, but now mocks the philosophy as “autistic.” Augustus Invictus previously attempted to run for Senate through the Libertarian Party. Recently, though, he publicly changed his registration to Republican in disgust. Christopher Cantwell now seems ambivalent about his relationship with libertarianism and anarchism, but his primary identification is with fascism.

Regardless of how any speakers or attendees have identified in the past or present, we want to make clear that this event is not in any way a place for libertarianism. Among libertarians, some identify as “right-wing,” some as “left-wing,” and some as “radical centrists.” Virtually the entire outside political spectrum is mirrored within libertarianism, and this makes for no shortage of infighting. One area where the undersigned have consensus, however, is in a rejection of any attempt to connect white supremacy and fascism to libertarianism. Libertarians, including those who see themselves as on “the Right,” have no interest in uniting with the horrifically authoritarian “Right” – often called the “Alt-Right” – rallying in Charlottesville.

All this should be exceedingly obvious from even a cursory glance at the two movements.

On a historical note, modern-day libertarianism largely took root in the English-speaking world through Jewish intellectuals, some of whom fled the Nazis. Our movement grew as a revolt against fascism, Communism, and early twentieth-century progressivism. As Thomas Leonard has shown in his Illiberal Reformers, that third enemy’s intellectual history is closely interwoven with eugenics.

On the level of philosophy, libertarianism stresses the freedom of individuals even when that freedom goes against some supposed collective will. The entire point behind a politics of white supremacy is to replace free association with endless central planning and regulation on collectivist racial grounds. “Unite the Right” speaker Richard Spencer actively seeks to turn the United States into a 100% white ethno-state. It is impossible to conceive of this happening without a return of the total state and its horrors.

Despite the obvious incompatibility of that totalitarianism and libertarianism (of any kind), an attempted association between the two is unsurprising. Attempts at rebooting authoritarian movements often operate through a tactic called entryism. Entryism is where a smaller political movement attempts to capture a larger one and seize its resources. In cases like fascism and Communism, the tendency towards entryism is probably a joint product of amoral opportunism and an inability to rationally defend their views.

It is necessary, then, for libertarians to restate the exceedingly obvious and insist on the stark differences between our views and those of anyone with any affinity for National Socialist Germany.

Source, with (growing) list of signers to this statement @ https://libertyagainstfascism.wordpress.com/

LP:Libertarians praise House bill to end Dept. of Education

The Libertarian Party strongly supports U.S. House bill H.R. 399, which was filed today by Rep Tom Massie (R–KY), along with seven co-sponsors, to abolish the federal Department of Education.

“Libertarians are encouraged to see a bill that brings hope to the promise of actually, finally, abolishing the Department of Education,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “The DOE’s primary accomplishments have been to drive up federal taxes and debt, drive up local and state taxes, impose mounds of red tape on schools, and drive down the quality education in the United States. It has made schooling an infuriating and demoralizing experience for teachers, parents, and schoolchildren.”

In striking contrast to most of today’s federal and state laws, many of which are hundreds of pages long and rarely read by the lawmakers who vote on them, H.R. 899 consists of one simple sentence: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

“Localizing education will dramatically improve our schools, allowing them to innovate and address the needs of individual students, and to prepare them for a fulfilling and successful future,” said Sarwark.

The Libertarian Party platform on education states:
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.

Source:The Libertarian Party @ https://www.lp.org/libertarians-praise-house-bill-to-end-dept-of-education/

LP:Civil asset forfeiture is legalized theft by government

February 8, 2017

Yesterday, at a meeting with sheriffs, President Trump commented about ruining the career of a Texas legislator that proposed a bill to reform civil asset forfeiture.

“We’ll destroy his career,” the President said.

The legislator was unnamed and there are several Texas legislators currently proposing bills to reform civil asset forfeiture laws.

Such laws vary by state but in many states it is legal for law enforcement officials to seize property from someone before they are convicted of any crime and then even keep that property even if the person is found innocent.

There have been many cases documented that show how this practice can be abused and, for every case documented, there are countless others that are not.

The Libertarian Party thinks that the current practice of civil asset forfeiture is completely unfair and un-American.

Libertarian National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, says, “Civil asset forfeiture is nothing more than legalized theft by the government. Basic fairness and justice requires that there be a criminal conviction before someone’s assets can be taken for being proceeds of a crime.”

Sarwark continues, “This legalized theft has been a driver of the failed war on drugs. Thank you to the Texas legislators reforming our system to protect the property of innocent people from being stolen by the government. Our President and his nominee for Attorney General should be ashamed of continuing this immoral policy of legalized theft and bullying legislators who stand up for their constituents.”

He concludes, “When bullies don’t have an argument, they use threats to try to get their way. Such pathetic behavior from the President is sad, but not surprising.”

Senator Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, has been an outspoken advocate for civil asset forfeiture

Source:Post by Lauren Daugherty @ lp.org https://www.lp.org/civil-asset-forfeiture-is-legalized-theft-by-government/