It’s been too long since we’ve updated, but here’s two TV ads that only Ron Paul could run without being a hypocrite:
Archive for the ‘Big Government’ Category
I recently spoke at the 2010 Maryland Tax Day Tea Party in Stevensville. Here are the links and the text of the speech:
Text of Speech:
You know, theres a Chinese proverb that says that there are three curses, each one worse than the previous. The first of these curses is: “May you live in interesting times.” Well, the times we live in are certainly interesting.
We stand here today at a transformative moment in American history at the front lines of what can only be called a revolution in thought. We are here today, like hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans in cities all across the country to exercise our basic right as citizens, as a free people in a democratic republic. We stand here today, peaceably assembled, petitioning our government for redress of our grievances. And we are here to tell our government one thing: STOP.
We stand here today with a crisis of creativity in our country. We look around and see problem after problem: Poverty. Millions unable to get health care. People out of work. Its easy for all of us, no matter what our political views may be, to agree on what the problems are.
But though we all see these problems, for too long, we have seen just one solution let the government do it. Its their job. Its their responsibility.
Well, the second Chinese curse is this: May you come to the attention of those in authority.
Well, let me tell you, weve definitely been getting attention from those in power.
We are citizens today living under a government that doesn’t represent us its people. And we have made the decision, together, that we can no longer refuse to take action. And for that, we are drawing much attention.
But when I say people, I should be clear, because I don’t just mean us here today, or our friends across the country. I mean all Americans, regardless of whether or not theyre a part of the tea party movement. For years, no matter the Administration, no matter which party controlled Congress, no matter who we elected, none of us has been represented by our government.
And why should anyone care? Why should anyone have bothered to pay attention to what we wanted? Why pay attention when we largely refused to take action when we continued to let elected officials get away with whatever they wanted? We have congressional approval ratings in the teens and twenties, and yet re-election rates are in the 90s, and thats unacceptable.
You know, thirty-two years ago, something remarkable happened in the state of California. In 1978, Californians stood up passed Proposition 13 overwhelmingly a law hated so strongly by the political class, because it of all things made it more difficult for politicians to raise taxes.
But thats not why Prop 13 was important. No, it was important for what it started for what it signified. 43 states followed by passing some form of a tax limitation. In the late 70s, Americans realized that theyd been taxed too much for too long, and that it was time to do something about it.
But today the problem we face the problem that is drawing us attention is not our dislike of taxes. It is our solemn and firm rejection of completely out-of-control spending by politicians.
You know, to go off on a tangent for a second, Rodney Dangerfield once had a great line in Back to School that said, Youve always got to look out for #1, because if you dont, youll end up stepping in #2.
Well, pardon the analogy, but for too long, our elected officials have not been looking out for us for the citizens who should be #1. And worst of all, they havent just mistakenly stepped in some #2 theyve thrown us into a $16 trillion dollar pile of it.
And that brings me to the third Chinese curse: May you find what you are looking for.
For too long, those who wanted big runaway government have gotten what they wanted.
We have a Democratically-controlled Congress this year that passed a new trillion dollar health care entitlement, all the while ignoring overwhelming public opposition.
But why should we be shocked when just 7 years ago, a Republican-controlled Congress passed a new half-trillion prescription drug plan that nobody wanted?
We have a Congress today that raises the federal debt ceiling whenever it bumps up against that ceiling.
But why should we be taken aback considering that Republicans raised that ceiling again and again when it was politically convenient to do so?
Its pretty sad when those in Congress dont even know what the word ceiling means, isnt it?
We have President Obama borrowing, printing and spending more than any president in history, in the supposed name of job creation.
But why should we be surprised when his Republican predecessor did the exact same thing?
We have a president now who wastes trillions of dollars overseas in multiple endless wars, sacrificing American lives, destroying our civil liberties at home, and shredding our Constitution into millions of tiny bits.
But why should we be surprised to see him merely continuing and expanding the policies initiated by George Bush?
And then, of course, we have the worst example of all an example of government so out of control an example so galling that it deserves special scorn, all its own.
And this time Im talking about the bailouts.
A tag-team effort, foisted upon us by our last two presidents, a scheme that took hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, ignored the public outcry of those taxpayers, and then handed that money to the well-connected friends of unelected treasury secretaries and government officials, so that Wall Street millionaire bankers could keep making campaign contributions to both parties.
The truth is, we only really have one party with two competing factions: the spend money over here party, and the spend money over there party.
But what we realize today is that low taxes are not enough. Low taxes mean nothing if we don’t reduce spending as well. And fortunately for our future generations, more and more Americans are realizing this as well.
Theyre realizing that the reckless spending of taxpayer money our money is just the beginning. Our government hasnt just been eroding away our pocketbooks, but also the basic liberties that have for so long characterized our free society.
But we cannot we must not — let lawmakers keep grabbing this power the power to solve problems that they themselves created.
This may come as a surprise to some in Washington, but you know, you cant run massive government programs like Medicare and Medicaid and the FDA and the medical boards, and many, many others and then say the free market doesn’t work in health care, so we’ll run it, instead.
You can’t put up roadblocks to interstate competition between insurance companies and then say we need a government option because insurers don’t have enough competition.
You can’t have the Fed and the Treasury and the SEC and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the FDIC and then say we need to regulate financial instruments because the free market is failing.
No. We live in a world where the easiest way for a federal agency to get more funding is to fail at what it does, and the easiest way for Congress and the President to grab more power is to create a problem. This has got to stop, and its got to stop now.
Because if it doesnt stop, then as the Chinese curse suggests, well find what were looking for.
So the next time theres a Democrat who wants to spend money on a new health insurance bureaucracy, or a Republican who wants to spend on a new prescription drug entitlement, or a Democrat who wants to spend money on a supposed peace-keeping mission in Somalia, or a Republican who wants to spend money on war in Iraq no matter what it is, and no matter how much you think it might be a good idea you, me, all of us need to ask the question: Where is this money coming from?
Do I want to be taxed more to pay for this? Do I want the national debt to explode from more borrowing to pay for this? Do I want the Treasury and Federal Reserve to print more money to pay for this?
Or do I want to live my life, with as small a government as possible a government that doesnt threaten to bankrupt our finances or crush our currency. A government that doesnt have the power to run roughshod over the freedoms that we value so much.
We cannot let these bad policies be ignored anymore. Every time we let the government reach into yet another part of our lives, there’s only less freedom left for us.
So do not let public debate be drowned out by those who shout obstructionist! every time someone opposes your ideas. Those of us opposed to bad laws arent obstructionists. We are citizens, with ideas we care passionately about.
And we demand to be free and responsible for ourselves. We don’t want handouts; we don’t want special advantages, whether those are farm subsidies or social safety nets.
We want a government that acts in accordance with the people, not in defiance of them. A government that does not trod about on our basic liberties, the economy, or our livelihood.
We must make runaway government spending a political curse on those who support it, before it becomes a curse on us financially. We must make our will known; we must ensure that our demand for a government of the people, by the people, for the people remains forever a reality and not just an idea.
Following months of heated public debate and aggressive closed-door negotiations, Congress finally cast a historic vote on healthcare late Sunday evening. It was truly a sad weekend on the House floor as we witnessed further dismantling of the Constitution, disregard of the will of the people, explosive expansion of the reach of government, unprecedented corporate favoritism, and the impending end of quality healthcare as we know it.
Those in favor of this bill touted their good intentions of ensuring quality healthcare for all Americans, as if those of us against the bill are against good medical care. They cite fanciful statistics of deficit reduction, while simultaneously planning to expand the already struggling medical welfare programs we currently have. They somehow think that healthcare in this country will be improved by swelling our welfare rolls and cutting reimbursement payments to doctors who are already losing money. It is estimated that thousands of doctors will be economically forced out of the profession should this government fuzzy math actually try to become healthcare reality. No one has thought to ask what good mandatory health insurance will be if people can’t find a doctor.
Legislative hopes and dreams don’t always stand up well against economic realities.
Frustratingly, this legislation does not deal at all with the real reasons access to healthcare is a struggle for so many – the astronomical costs. If tort reform was seriously discussed, if the massive regulatory burden on healthcare was reduced and reformed, if the free market was allowed to function and apply downward pressure on healthcare costs as it does with everything else, perhaps people wouldn’t be so beholden to insurance companies in the first place. If costs were lowered, more people could simply pay for what they need out of pocket, as they were able to do before government got so involved. Instead, in the name of going after greedy insurance companies, the federal government is going to make people even more beholden to them by mandating that everyone buy their product! Hefty fines are due from anyone found to have committed the heinous crime of not being a customer of a health insurance company. We will need to hire some 16,500 new IRS agents to police compliance with all these new mandates and administer various fines. So in government terms, this is also a jobs bill. Never mind that this program is also likely to cost the private sector some 5 million jobs.
Of course, the most troubling aspect of this bill is that it is so blatantly unconstitutional and contrary to the ideals of liberty. Nowhere in the constitution is there anything approaching authority for the Federal government to do any of this. The founders would have been horrified at the idea of government forcing citizens to become consumers of a particular product from certain government approved companies. 38 states are said to already be preparing legal and constitutional challenges to this legislation, and if the courts stand by their oaths, they will win. Protecting the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, should be the court’s responsibility. Citizens have a responsibility over their own life, but they also have the liberty to choose how they will live and protect their lives. Healthcare choices are a part of liberty, another part that is being stripped away. Government interference in healthcare has already infringed on choices available to people, but rather than getting out of the way, it is entrenching itself, and its corporatist cronies, even more deeply.
Mary Theroux explains why you shouldn’t believe government claims that Census answers are confidential:
I saw a huge new billboard in San Francisco the other day—part of the $350 million ad campaign supporting this year’s $14 billion Census—picturing an American Indian in full regalia against a black background, apparently in the process of worshiping the sky, with the stylized text “Tell your story.”
If he’s wise, he might want to think twice about thereby providing information that can be used against him.
As examples, 1940 Census data was released and used to locate and intern Americans of Japanese, Italian and German descent, as outlined in these stories from Scientific American, “Confirmed: The U.S. Census Bureau Gave Up Names of Japanese-Americans in WW II: Government documents show that the agency handed over names and addresses to the Secret Service,” and USA Today, “Papers show Census role in WWII camps.”
The Census Bureau played a role in the confinement of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were rounded up and held in internment camps, many until the war ended in 1945. In 1942, the Census turned over general statistics about where Japanese-Americans lived to the War Department. It was acting legally under the Second War Powers Act, which allowed the sharing of information for national security.
The newly released documents [further] show that in 1943, the Census complied with a request by the Treasury Department to turn over names of individuals of Japanese ancestry in the Washington, D.C., area because of an unspecified threat against President Franklin Roosevelt. The list contained names, addresses and data on the age, sex, citizenship status and occupation of Japanese-Americans in the area. [emphasis added]
And more recently, in 2002,
the Census turned over information it had collected about Arab-Americans … to Homeland Security.
While the Census Bureau assures us that “your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential,” the exceptions above negate such assurances. And, of course, their release of the “strictly confidential” data was perfectly legal: during World War II, under the terms of the Second War Powers Act, and more recently under the terms of the still-in-effect USA PATRIOT Act.
And there’s more.
(Via David Beito)
I think that Peter Schiff gets it right:
While ramming their new legislation through Congress, the Democrats have taken great pains to point out that they do not intend to “socialize medicine.” But make no mistake, that’s where we’re headed. Even if some naïve centrists believe that their efforts have denied the Left a total victory, the practical implications of the current legislation sow the seeds for complete capitulation.
This first round of reform could be labeled as the ‘neutron bomb’ of the insurance industry: it leaves some of the private apparatus standing, but it irradiates whatever remains of the industry’s market viability.
The bill’s centerpiece is a clause prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition. However noble and marketable an idea, this proscription removes the very basis upon which any insurance model operates profitably.
A system of insurance requires that premiums be collected from a pool of low-risk people so that funds are available in case a high-risk event befalls a particular person. In that way, premiums can be low and coverage can be widely available, even if the benefits offered are hypothetically unlimited.
For example, homeowners buy fire insurance even though their houses are very unlikely to burn down. Recognizing that a fire could wipe them out financially, most homeowners endure the cost of coverage even if they never expect to collect. The same model applies to health insurance in a free market.
However, the health care bill removes the need for healthy individuals to carry insurance. Knowing that they could always find coverage if it were eventually needed, people would simply forgo paying expensive premiums while they are healthy, and then sign on when they need it. But insurance companies cannot survive if all of their policyholders are filing claims!
Correctly anticipating this incentive, the Senate bill imposes an annual fine which gradually escalates to $750 for those who fail to buy coverage. So what? I would gladly pay $750 in order to avoid the $8,000 per year I pay now for personal health insurance. Currently, I’m relatively healthy for a 46 year old and I don’t anticipate making a big claim. But if I do, under the new rules I can always get ‘insurance’ after the fact. Heck, if I can stay healthy for the next couple of decades, I’ll save a fortune. Think about how much easier the decision would be if I were 20 years younger! Since most people are capable of figuring this out, the entire insurance industry would collapse under such a system.
There can be no question that $750 annual maximum penalty is a mere placeholder. It is the camel’s nose under the tent. When the non-discrimination provision kicks in, the only way these companies could remain solvent would be for Congress to raise the fine to the point where the penalty is greater than the gain of skipping coverage.
For me, that would have to be roughly $8,000 per year. Introducing such a fine right now would have surely killed the bill. So, the wily wonks in Washington have chosen to move slower, knowing that once the first step is taken, the second becomes inevitable.
However, there is another, more devious possibility. Perhaps our elected officials actually intend to bite the hands that feed them. They could double-cross insurance companies by not raising the fine in five years, thereby forcing the industry into bankruptcy as millions of healthy people opt-out. During the ensuing ‘insurance crisis,’ our courageous leaders could ride to the rescue with a nationalized, single-payer system.
The real tragedy is that the current bill does nothing to restrain the forces that are propelling healthcare costs into the stratosphere, namely: regulatory bans of insurance competition, the out-of-control medical malpractice industry, federal programs and subsidies, and a tax code that favors a third-party payment system - which alienates the patient from the cost of his care.
To consider that many in Washington have the nerve to market this multi-trillion dollar monstrosity as a “deficit reduction bill” is to realize that our representatives have lost all touch with reality. For those keeping score, the government made similarly rosy projections in the mid-1960’s when Medicare was first introduced. The inflation-adjusted cost of that program already exceeds the original estimate by a factor of ten. That’s probably where we are headed this time around.
Because the TSA does such a good job arresting 5-year old “terrorists,” mistaking iPod Chargers for bombs and strip-searching soldiers returning to the U.S. with their dead comrades, Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL) wants TSA screeners (pardon me that’s “officers”) to take on a new task: checking the size of passengers’ carry-on luggage.
Sometimes the idiocy of our elected class surprises even me.
Here’s a thought: Stop talking about the “public option” because we all know there is no such thing.
People like the public. It includes our neighbors, shop owners, workers, fellow consumers and all the other citizens we voluntarily interact with everyday. Those people will have no say over our health care.
Instead, government bureaucrats will be making health decisions. You know, the ones who provide that great service at the DMV, and keep costs down at the Pentagon. The only thing the “public” will get is the bill, which will be collected under threat of imprisonment as taxes.
So when you debate heath care “reform” with someone always insist on referring to the “government option” not the “public option.”