Category Archives: Guests

Ronald Reagan Predicted The Obamacare Disaster Back In 1961

by Steven Hayward

Ronald_Reagan_and_Nancy_Reagan_aboard_a_boat_in_California_1964Ronald Reagan had an uncanny way of predicting the future and offering ideas that were way ahead of their time. In the 1960s he proposed privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority, an idea the Obama Administration now embraces. In the 1970s he discussed private retirement accounts as an alternative to Social Security, a reform idea that has become popular today. And of course he predicted the end of the Soviet Union, which seemed laughable to liberals when he said it in 1982, but came true just a few years later.

Reagan also predicted the disaster of Obamacare, and for the specific reasons we see unfolding right now. But if Reagan’s analysis is correct, the worst is still to come.

In his famous speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964, Reagan observed that “the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients.”

The second half of this is rapidly coming true, in the form of the millions who are having their health insurance policies canceled despite Obama’s false promise that if you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance. It is necessary to the redistributionist logic of Obamacare that millions be required to cross-subsidize the health insurance of others. Hence, free choice between consumers and insurers has to be regulated out of existence.

But patients are already finding that they aren’t just losing their current health insurance; many are losing their doctors, too. And predictably Obamacare’s desperate defenders are openly embracing government coercion to solve this problem. In other words, we’re going to socialize the doctors, too. This problem is not brand new. Many doctors and medical practice groups have limited the number of Medicaid and Medicare patients they will treat because low (and slow) government reimbursement rates make them unprofitable. This problem is likely to grow worse under Obamacare.

A Democratic candidate for the Virginia state legislature in this week’s election advocates making it mandatory for doctors and medical practices to accept all Medicare and Medicaid patients, despite what this might do to the financial health of the doctors and their practice groups. This is only a short step from wholesale regulation of the way medicine is practiced, which will also prove necessary to fulfill the redistributionist design of Obamacare.

Reagan was on to this in his famous 1961 recording criticizing the original Medicare scheme:

Today, the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied any place. The privacy, the care that is given to a person, the right to choose a doctor, the right to go from one doctor to the other.

But let’s also look from the other side, at the freedom the doctor loses. A doctor would be reluctant to say this. Well, like you, I am only a patient, so I can say it in his behalf. The doctor begins to lose freedoms; it’s like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors aren’t equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you can’t live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go someplace else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go.

One of the reasons Hillarycare collapsed back in 1994 was its proposal to regulate the number, kind, and location of medical specialities throughout the entire country. When people realized that Hillarycare meant that they might not be able to choose their doctor or specialist, public support for Hillrycare, initially very strong, collapsed. This was the reason Obama felt it necessary to offer the promise that we could keep our insurance and doctors if we liked them. But it was never going to work out this way, as Obama’s technocrats knew early on. Even when you begin only by targeting the uninsured, socialized medicine, as Reagan understood, requires “indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population.”

And as Reagan said in 1961, one lie leads to another. In modern times we’re supposed to be cynical about government deceptions, but Obama’s promise is arguably the greatest single lie in the history of American politics. Reagan also said at the time, “Well, we can’t say we haven’t been warned.”

Courtesy Forbes All Rights Reserved 2013

The Future of American Leadership

by Allen West

Allen-West-Jr-ROTCToday I’m visiting Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida to visit  with the Cadets of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) unit.  I  try to visit JROTC units wherever I travel, because truth be told, my purpose  and direction in life started in JROTC back at Henry Grady High School in  Atlanta in 1976.

The importance of this program, along with Young Marines and Navy Sea Cadets  is invaluable to the future of America. Here is where we develop the next  generation of principled, courageous, and patriotic leaders for our nation. Here  is where we hone our young people in the areas of discipline, dedication, and  establish within them a sense of pride and purpose. I was fortunate to get all  of this in the inner city of Atlanta. Sadly, across the nation today, we see  widespread failure and lack of respect for authority. To this day, I still  remember the men who were my JROTC instructors: Lieutenant Colonel Pagonis,  Major Heredia, Master Sergeant Buchanan, and Sergeant First Class McMichael.

Fortunately for me I had both a mom and dad at home, but I also had these  exceptional men, combat veterans from Korea and Vietnam, who kept me on the  right path. They saw something in me as a young teenager I didn’t realize I had  in myself. I believe, I know, that the next generation of great military and  civilian leaders are there in our high schools wearing the respective uniforms  of our nation’s armed services.

It’s critical that we alumni of JROTC go back and be living examples for  these young men and women. Therefore, I challenge everyone out there who was  once a JROTC Cadet to go back to your school and speak to the current group of  Cadets. I implore you to give them a target to aim for, and provide a goal for  which they can strive to achieve. Let these young men and women know the  greatness of America and that they do not and should not have to settle for  anything less. Don’t let these young men and women end up following examples so  prevalent in our culture, which are not so positive.

A Short Essay on the Ideals of Libertarianism and the Policy of Laissez Faire

A libertarian is defined as anyone who advocates and adheres to (or at least sincerely tries to adhere to) the general rule of not initiating violence upon anyone for any reason and who advocates a constitutional republic limited in scope by a general policy of laissez faire as the ideal political government. The social and political implications of libertarianism rest on the principles of individual self ownership (of peaceful adults) and private property rights.

Violence or “coercion” is defined in this context as an act by a human or humans against the will or without the permission of another human being with respect to that which is his own (his own person or property). It means for someone to take, use, meddle with or otherwise do something to the body or property of another human being without the permission or against the will of that other human being. This includes fraud and embezzlement and other indirect uses of force as well as direct physical violence. Simply put, if someone does something to the body or property of someone else without their permission or against their will, that is what libertarians mean by coercion, physical force, or violence.

There are two kinds of coercion: initiatory coercion (the use of coercive force against someone who has not committed a coercive act against anyone) and retaliatory coercion (the use of coercive force in retaliation against someone who has initiated the use of coercion against someone). It is the initiation of the use of coercion that all libertarians oppose on principle since it is the violation of the self-ownership or property rights of innocent individuals (those who have not initiated the use of violence against anyone).

Libertarians favor the proper and righteous use of coercive force, according to rules of due process, against criminals, those who have been convicted of violating the rights of someone by initiatory coercion.* At the same time libertarians oppose positive government intervention — either to help or to hinder any business or industry — in the economy (i.e., business or “market activities” such as production, exchange, saving, investment, contracts, the pursuit of profit and the avoidance of loss, etc.)

Market activities and business relationships are characterized as being voluntary. A voluntary relationship is a human relationship in which the wills of all the participants coincide (agree) with respect to the terms of the relationship. A voluntary relationship does not necessarily mean one in which a person “volunteers” in the sense of performing some work for no material compensation (such as donating ones time and energies to working for a charity or on civic activities). It includes any mutually agreed-upon exchange (such as working as an employee for a company in exchange for a salary or wages.)

Libertarians oppose any coercive interference — either by government or by criminals — with such voluntary exchanges. This is why libertarians oppose government controls on prices, wages, rents, profits, and interest rates — since such controls represent coercive interference with the terms of voluntary exchanges and relationships.

Libertarianism demands that a general policy of “laissez faire” be imposed upon government.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, laissez faire means “1: a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights. 2: a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action.”

Laissez faire is the political implication of the libertarian philosophy of individual self ownership and private property. Laissez faire is the policy of government championed by such scholars as Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and George Reisman.

Ideally, government should use its coercive powers only in defense and in retaliation against the initiation of the use of violence, force, or fraud. Examples of the initiation of the use of violence include murder, rape, robbery, kidnaping, trespass, embezzlement, counterfeiting, shoplifting, etc. It is the proper role of government to police this kind of activity and to deal with criminals since coercion is government’s special province. By contrast, government should avoid as much as possible interfering with the voluntary (market) relationships or personal lives of peaceful adult citizens. Any exceptions to that general rule would have to be relatively rare and the reasons clearly defined. (For example, in the case of a recalcitrant child who is ill, a parent may take the child against his will (i.e., by force) to see a doctor for evaluation and treatment since a minor child child, unless legally emancipated, does not have the same full rights as adults. Or, in the case of a person who has become so ill that he or she has lost the capacity of basic judgment because of an altered mental status, he or she may be forced to accept emergency treatment or custodial care if it is clear that his or her health or life is in jeopardy. There are other possible emergency situations which can and do arise that may be exceptions to the general rule of noninterference with peaceful adult citizens. Proper legal safeguards should be in place to avoid abuses.)

In a proper criminal justice system there should be reasonable rules of due process, standards of evidence, safeguards to protect the criminally accused from unjust retaliation, and punishments which fit the crimes of those who are duly convicted, but the point is that criminals (or those convicted of initiatory violence) forfeit at least some of their right to be left alone by coercion. Only peaceful adult citizens have the full right to be left alone by coercion within their private spheres of activity. In general, the role of government in such a system is limited in scope to protecting the persons and properties of peaceful citizens from being violated by the initiation of the use of coercion by criminals.

In other words, in the laissez-faire republic, the government would (ideally) assiduously stomp down on criminals and criminal activity, but leave peaceful folks alone as much as possible. That is the essence of laissez faire. A consequence of such a policy is maximum individual freedom for developing one’s potentialities and benefiting from others in a division-of-labor economy.

However, when government is permitted to go beyond this basic function of protecting the rights to life, liberty, and property of peaceful citizens from crime, it necessarily becomes destructive of that proper purpose and instead violates the rights of those it is supposed to protect from violation. If government goes beyond that proper role and instead seeks to “plan the economy” or “organize society” or run peoples’ lives or regulate their businesses or bail out troubled companies or industries or otherwise interfere with market prices or confiscates the profits, interest income, or dividends earned by entrepreneurs, savers, and investors, it necessarily violates its own reason for existence by violating the rights of peaceful people. No majority vote or claim of divine authority can magically turn what is wrong for ordinary criminals to do into something right and just for government officers to do.

Ultimately, for libertarians, the issue is not so much “big government” versus “small government” as such but rather the scope of government authority or what kind of government is the ideal to strive toward: a republic limited constitutionally by a policy of laissez faire based on the principle of individual rights of person, liberty, and property — or a tyrannical state of unlimited scope operated by somebody’s whim (minority or majority). A government of laws or a whimarchal tyranny.

Certainly, if government goes beyond its proper constitutional role, then from a libertarian perspective it gets worse as it gets “bigger” and more intrusive in the noncoercive aspects of human life. That being the case, libertarians naturally join with conservatives in seeking to stop the further growth of Big Government and to repeal and abolish improper functions and agencies that already exist. But libertarians do not just want “less government” in the long run. Libertarians want to completely eliminate all improper activities of positive interventionism being committed by government and want to strengthen its proper functions in combating criminal violence and foreign threats.

A policy of laissez faire, to the extent it is maintained or approached, tends to result in economic progress and an increasing general standard of living. This is because, under laissez faire, there are no taxes on private savings, investment, and capital creation. Capital — money for tools and equipment, plant and machinery, and wages and salaries, research and development of new technologies — grows in such an environment without political impediment, and this process (“capitalism”) leads to more wealth and prosperity. This is the source of material progress for any nation or culture that will support it. It requires a culture and a people that recognizes, respects, and protects clearly defined private property rights of persons of all social and economic strata.

No country has ever maintained a full, consistent adherence to a policy of laissez faire. The United States and Britain came closer than other nations to laissez-faire capitalism in the 19th and early 20th century. Today, the countries which have the least amount of political restrictions overall on market activity (compared to other countries) include many former British colonies with Hong Kong and Singapore at the top of the list of the most free economies.

Libertarians are acutely aware that governments have, to varying extents, gone well beyond the proper role as prescribed by a policy of laissez faire. The cause of liberty and independence requires a constant struggle against the reactionary cults of socialism, jihadism, and environmentalism which in our time threaten freedom at every turn.

End Note: Some have tried to reinterpret the “nonaggression rule” to mean that the persons or groups retaliated against must have initiated violence against the specific parties doing the retaliation; according to this distorted view, no one has a right to use retaliatory force against a malefactor unless they themselves have been victims of the malefactor’s crimes. This has never been part of the policy of laissez faire or libertarianism. A police officer who captures and arrests a thief does not have to be the person whom the thief stole from. A man has a right to defend his wife who is being attacked by a mugger even though the mugger is not attacking him. The true libertarian perspective is that only peaceful adult citizens retain the right to be left alone by coercion. When someone initiates violence against others by committing crimes against them, then that person forfeits his right to be left alone by the coercive of others, including the proper and just retaliatory coercion of government. A mass murderer (such as Saddam Hussein for example) forfeits his right to be free of retaliatory coercion and may rightfully be stopped by force of violence by anyone else, including those whom he has not murdered (especially since it would be very difficult for a murdered person to do any retaliating). It is not the right of the person or government doing the retaliating that is in question or needs challenging; it is the alleged right or “sovereignty” of the mass murderer to be left alone by the coercion of others that is bogus and which should be rejected as such.

(c) 2009 Sam Wells

AFTERWORD

Since 1976, the year I worked in seven states for the MacBride for President effort, I have become increasingly disillusioned not only with the Libertarian Party as a viable vehicle for promoting liberty, but also the way in which the label “libertarian” has often been usurped and distorted by nonlibertarian (especially left wing) interests either thorugh external propaganda or through infiltration. I personally tend to think of this as either pseudolibertarianism or superficial libertarianism (at best). Some who style themsleves libertarians strike me as just being against anything that seems to conflict with their whims, perhaps still rebelling in their minds against their parents or even against reality itself — an attitude more akin to the subjectivist-relativist syndrome of most left “liberals.”

I have long intended to write an article criticizing various distortions and misrepresentations of the freedom philosophy including the myths and assumptions of the Nolan Diamond Chart (used as a marketing gimmick by many LP groups) and some dubious notions that seem to be widely held among “libertarians” and “Libertarians.” Unfortunately, my discretionary time is very limited because of the imperative of making a living.

Obama’s agenda: Overwhelm the system

Rahm Emanuel cynically said, “You never want a crisis to go to waste.” It is now becoming clear that the crisis he was referring to is Barack Obama’s presidency.

Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos — thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.

Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of ’83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival … and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.

— Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn’t care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?

— Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.”

— Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who’s asking for a 51st state? Who’s asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.

— Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

— Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions — including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.

— Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.

With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.

Add it up and you’ve got the perfect Marxist scheme — all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama.

Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee and serves on the Libertarian National Committee.

Stay the Constitutional Theme and Message!

by Sam Wells

The American tradition of limiting the scope of government by law and constitution, resting on the 17th century British heritage of the idea of individual rights to self and property, has been increasingly abandoned since the War Between the States and especially since the 1930s when FDR threatened to pack the Supreme Court if it did not go along with his massive new interventionist programs. Since that time the scope of federal power has mushroomed well beyond any true constitutional justification.

The tea party groups, which arose as a grass-roots movement in reaction to the obvious excesses of the current Pelosi/Obama/Reid regime, seek to take back the nation and restore some measure of constitutional restraint on the federal Leviathan.

I fervently hope the tea party movement will maintain its pro-Constitution stance and not be influenced or distracted by various outside factions — populists, Ron Paul fanatics, neoconservatives, or anarcho-statists. The populists are “well intentioned” (patriotic) but wrong-headed nuts. The neoconservatives are not popular because, rightly or wrongly, they are perceived as shilling for a foreign country instead of pushing for an independent foreign policy for a fully sovereign United States. The Ron Paul zealots would have Ron Paul forfeit his House seat and instead help Obama get re-elected to the Oval Office. And gawd help us if the anarcho-whimarchists (neoRothbots, Rockwelites) ever get any political power; that would really be a reign of tyranny and terror.
In short, I hope the tea parties stay on the constitutionalist conservative (American conservative) course and emphasis as much as possible.

Of course, I would like as many people as possible, in and out of the tea parties, to read books like Atlas Shrugged, Textbook of Americanism, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, Bastiat’s The Law, Hazlitt’s Economics In One Lesson, George Reisman’s Capitalism, as well as articles and books by Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, and other champions of market capitalism — but with the understanding that in the long run a durable revolution toward the Laissez-Faire Republic politically will require a more fundamental philosophic sea change. That will not occur any time soon, unfortunately. In the meantime, a political holding action may sustain sufficient freedom and provide sufficient time for those more basic changes to set in and take hold. That will not happen over night. The key war of ideas is a long-term struggle.