US Constitution


On this day 241 years ago the Founders declared their independence from Great Britain.

The document, penned by Thomas Jefferson, is the Declaration of Independence. It states the moral touchstone of the country:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The rest of the documents lays out the reasons for declaring independence, the long train of abuses and usurpations, using the Founder’s words.

Another government program, another corrupt government program. Here.

The controversial “Obamaphone” program, which pays for cellphones for the poor, is rife with fraud, according to a new government report released Thursday that found more than a third of enrollees may not even be qualified.

Here’s the deception that is typically used to distract from a government program’s corruption:

The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money.

“A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong,” said Mrs. McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the Senate’s chief oversight committee and who is a former state auditor in Missouri.

“We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue,” she said.

Lack of oversight, “phone companies cash a government check”. Please. So where is the government oversight and why are phone companies cashing a government check?

Its the nature of government programs, that’s why. Politicians and the rest of the political class pass laws and programs to get the recognition from their voters then go on their merry way to the next debacle. Then when a program is found to be corrupt, they blame “phone companies” or some other scapegoat.

Now, let me say, we need government — to carry out its constitutional functions, and to protect our rights and liberties — but with so much corruption and smothering by program after program, its difficult to acknowledge the need for government.

The country’s founders were right, as are today’s libertarians and classical liberals.

 

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.

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?

The reason this freedom is referred to as “the” freedom of speech is to reflect the belief of the Framers that the right to speak freely is pre-political. Stated differently, the freedom of speech is an integral aspect of our humanity. The government does not grant the freedom of speech; it is prohibited from interfering with it.

This is known as a negative right, in the sense that government is negated from interfering with a personal natural right. A natural right is one whose exercise does not require a government permission slip. Speech is the classic example.

 

The first duty of government is to preserve life, liberty, and property. It is a strange and dangerous government that stifles freedom for some fleeting private purpose. It is equally strange that a freedom-loving people would tolerate this.

The whole purpose of the First Amendment and its underlying values is to encourage open, wide, robust, unbridled debate about the policies and the personnel of the government.

Source.

Last week’s convention was a wake for the GOP as we know it.

This week will be an explanation of why Hillary Clinton is

unacceptable not simply to libertarians but to that plurality of Americans who define themselves as independent, centrist, moderate, or anything other than a dyed-in-the-wool partisan.

On Federal Spending, Foreign Policy and State Surveillance, Free Speech, Social Issues, Immigration, Gun Rights, and Regulations, Trade, and the Sharing Economy, Hillary is just as much an authoritarian as The Donald.

Nick Gillespie.

Daniel Oliver says Hillary is more deserving of the authoritarianism label than Trump. Regardless of that argument, progressivism has other issues and should be avoided:

Running out of other people’s money is certainly one problem with socialism, but not the only one. Socialism is inherently authoritarian, which is why it is the younger brother of Communism and a first cousin of the authoritarian progressivism of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Barack Obama. And Bernie and Hillary. After all, how do the socialists get other people’s money? They take it. That means people will hide their money, which means the state must employ spies and guys, and guys with guns. And crooked agents like Lois Lerner to run crooked agencies like the Internal Revenue Service.

Both parties practice progressivism. The Democrats embrace the label, Republicans shun it but using the government to force your choices on others is a hallmark.

An alternative philosophy has the government only protecting our constitutional and natural rights, preventing others from harming others, treating citizens equal before the law, protecting commons, but otherwise leaving us to our own pursuits.

Note how marriage equality, drug legalization, lower taxes, fewer war fit in.

Note also this philosophy lets people make most of the choices in their lives. After all, who is supposed to make those choices in your life if you are a functioning human; you or someone else?

It doesn’t demonize one group for exploitation which is what Democrats do with people who work in some industries, and Republicans do with people of other races. Democrats over the years have demonized people who work for health insurers, tobacco companies, banks, Uber and the sharing economy. They still do.

Here.

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