Politics


Is, in a word, government.

All the passionate talk about the personalities and potential crimes of the presidential candidates has obscured debate about what the federal government actually does. Both Trump and Clinton promise to spend us to oblivion taking care of various collectivist groups: vets, seniors, farmers, military contractors, teachers, etc.

But that spending (and inevitable taxing) serves one overriding purpose: to make the people in Washington D.C. ever richer and more powerful. Its a bipartisan bonanza. Yes, the money will trickle down to those constituents I listed above. But the politicians, lobbyists, regulators, and other government employees take their cut first. All that money requires programs and administration. Who does that? Why the people who work in government. And what is the result?

Kevin Williamson explains. I tease you with this: “But Washington builds no iPhones. It doesn’t really build much of anything, and it doesn’t create any wealth — it just takes it.

Here.

From AlternativePAC, a pro-Gary Johnson SuperPAC. Only two minutes, five seconds of your time. Some quotes:

“There’s been a fundamental paradigm shift. Power has been lifted from the elites and split between the people, through the internet. What do Uber, AirBnB, and Lyft all have in common? A way for the average user to maneuver around this top-down approach of rulers and rule-makers, legislators and regulators.”

“In the world of politics, mainstream media no longer controls the content. We use Twitter and blogs and Periscope to create context.”

“The internet has taught us the insider control the process”

“Liberty is real transpartisanship”

“Let’s unite liberty with community”

here.

I thought Trump “won” the debate. He went on offense and rebutted criticisms. We finally heard some debate on issues such as Obamacare.

What we didn’t get from either debate was a discussion on effective management of the government as an enterprise. Seems the candidates are more interested in managing and controlling the lives of the American people and the global American Empire.

The government is still spying on us, spending way too much, not reining in an unaccountable bureaucracy, not reining in entitlement programs.

What we need is a debate on effective management of the sprawling government.

Gary Johnson is aiming to do that:

What the country needs now, he [Johnson] says, is a president who will cut spending, hold taxes down, be skeptical about foreign military interventions, and allow free markets and new businessess to flourish.

 

Geez. The lies, the foul language, ignoring of unsustainable entitlement programs, Clinton’s failed record as Secretary of State, Trump’s belligerence, the diversions from policy debates. The list of embarassments continues.

There is another choice: Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Both former governors — that means actual executive experience in government. Clinton has executive experience as a Secretary but her accomplishments suck, as in Syria.

Johnson and Weld are thoughtful, moderately tempered, with experience and accomplishments as executives in the public sector. Trump has executive experience in the private sector, which is very different from the public sector. The president — the chief executive in the public sector — is bound by constitutional limitations.

Further, on the economy, both Clinton and Trump think interacting with the world outside the US is harmful to the citizenry. Free trade may be unpopular — through rhetoric — but in fact has stood the test of time for over 200 years as an engine of economic growth. I’ve worked for American, British, and Canadian firms in my career — all based in the US. US policy needs to let more foreign investment in the US, after all, they let US firms invest in their countries.

Clinton’s tax increases and spending, and Trump’s grandiose spending plans drain resources away from the productive private sector and let politicians direct those resources to their cronies to help them get elected.

No, the economic problem is that too much of the country’s resources are directed by the public sector, and they are wasted getting politicians elected rather than productive, job-creating, wealth-creating activities.

We don’t need another law to prevent a free people from pursuing our own happiness as long as we do not aggress against another.

As Thomas Jefferson said: “Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.”

Society and the economy are too complex to be centrally managed and planned. The people who demand to govern us tell us nobody is able to government him- or herself. Well if that’s the case, that includes them. And how do they expect to govern someone else?

I’d like to see Trump flip the question back to Hillary skillfully. The real issue is the tax code. Does it need to be reformed or not? If Trump took deductions, it was because the tax code provided for them. Once the deductions are there in the tax code, he pretty much has to take them and would be a fool not to take them. If it looks wrong, what’s really wrong is the tax code. So, is Hillary proposing to take away this deduction? Is Trump? Presumably, the deduction is there because it’s good policy. Will either candidate defend the policy and, if not, promise to change it? I don’t see what else matters here. And I suspect the candidates don’t even disagree about that.

Yes, these are the questions that need to be asked, not more gotcha b.s.

Yes, he would be a fool not to take deductions. Do you not try to minimize your tax burden?

And this is yet another issue that does not get debated this election cycle.

Via Instanpundit.

Seems the media enjoys exploiting the gaffes made by Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

But they buried or forgot the missteps made by Trump and Clinton.

I’ve dug them up. Here’s a reminder: Donald Trump’s ignorance about America’s Nuclear Triad? Or Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Libya represented American “smart power at its best.” These are policy questions, not gotcha questions that Johnson was asked. Or even George W. Bush’s inability to name the leaders of at-the-time four current world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.

Here is Matt Welch on media hypocrisy on the issue:

I have no problem saying the Libertarian Party nominee screwed up in this or any other interview. But if there’s anything more obnoxious than cheerleaders for Donald “bomb-the-sh—out-of-ISIS” Trump mocking Johnson for foreign-policy ignorance, it’s supporters and enablers of Hillary Clinton rolling their eyes theatrically at a presidential candidate who was against the Iraq and Libyan wars in real time, who wants to pardon rather than imprison Edward Snowden, and who comports himself with occasionally awkward humility rather than with the polished and delusional omniscience that we’ve unfortunately come to demand in our presidential candidates.

So the media like the polished bull$hi% rather than substantive policy.

Here is Emma Ashford on contrasting their foreign policy:

A more restrained approach to foreign policy would see the United States involved in fewer unnecessary conflicts around the world, and a much stronger emphasis on diplomacy and other non-military solutions to global problems. In contrast to Clinton’s liberal interventionist approach, it would avoid getting bogged down in civil wars like Libya and Syria. In contrast to Trump’s curiously aggressive isolationism, a restrained foreign policy sees trade as a positive, security-enhancing factor.

 

From Don Lavoie’s excellent 1985 volume National Economic Planning: What Is Left?:

Clip:

The government does not play the role of agent for the social will but simply joins in the self-serving struggles of the private sphere.  The public sector interferes with the operation of the private sphere, making war with the private decision-making order, while the competing participants from the private sector respond and attempt to circumvent such interference, to engage in defensive maneuvers, to try to grab state power for themselves and use it against their competitors.

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