Mind your business.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Who's Right, Ron or Rand?

We love them both, but Ron Paul and his son, Rand Paul certainly have their differences. In addition to some big differences in style (and I happen to love and appreciate the merits of both their respective styles), the two have a few minor differences in substance as well. One of those areas of disagreement is over the debt ceiling. So who's right, Ron or Rand?

Ron Paul has pledged again and again not to vote for raising the debt ceiling, and like all his other pledges, it's one Ron Paul plans to keep. His son Rand Paul, however, believes that the debt ceiling is likely to be raised no matter what, and sees the present debate over the debt limit as an opportunity to use raising the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in exchange for a constitutional balanced budget amendment.

But the problem with this approach-- and this may be considered heresy by some libertarians-- is that a balanced budget amendment is not a very good solution to Washington's perennial fiscal dysfunctions. The problem with the budget is not that it isn't balanced, it's that it's too big. As Ron Paul has argued before, "A $4 trillion balanced budget is most certainly worse than a $2 trillion unbalanced budget." He's right.

A balanced budget amendment, especially a poorly-written one, could actually have the opposite of its intended effect and do irreparable harm to libertarians' efforts to limit spending and curtail the size, role, and influence of the federal government. As Rob Natelson of the Tenth Amendment Center recently argued, capping federal spending as a percentage of GDP on a state level has had the effect of creating spending floors, not ceilings.

In addition to restricting governments from spending over the capped amounts, constitutional balanced budget amendments explicitly give government permission to spend up to the amount allowed for by the spending cap, and as the federal government has done for years with the other amendments, it can easily ignore and "work around" the budget caps to spend even more.

As Ron Paul explained in a House floor speech to oppose the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act:

"By capping spending at a certain constant percentage of GDP, it allows for federal spending to continue to grow. Tying spending to GDP creates an incentive to manipulate the GDP figure, especially since the bill delegates the calculation of this figure to the Office of Management and Budget, an agency which is responsible to the President and not to Congress. In the worst case, it would even reward further inflation of the money supply, as increases in nominal GDP through pure inflation would allow for larger federal budgets."

Perhaps worse, a balanced budget amendment could forever cement the constitutionality of Washington's ever-growing welfare state, warfare state, and regulatory regimes. Much of Washington's spending is already unconstitutional, and over recent years, libertarians have been hard at work to challenge a century of bad jurisprudence by explaining that as originally understood, the General Welfare clause and the Commerce Clause which have been used to justify Washington's relentless growth are in fact, not blank checks on the federal government's power and role.

A balanced budget amendment could undo all that hard work and its potential fruits in the years to come by offering the status quo's proponents a constitutional sanction for their spending. Of course with a strict and proper interpretation of the amendment and its context within the rest of the Constitution, judges and legal scholars should know better, but such an amendment, like the aforementioned clauses, could very easily end up another thorn in the side of every libertarian, working as a crack in the foundation of our system of law to be exploited by those who want to continue the project of federalizing every aspect of life in our republic. What a bitter shame it would be.

Rand Paul and no doubt, many of his colleagues working for the passage of a balanced budget amendment, have the best intentions in mind, but their solution is unlikely to fix the spending problem in Washington. Instead of passing an ill-conceived and easily circumvented amendment to require Congress to restrict its spending to certain levels, why not go the direct route and simply restrict spending to certain levels? One easy way to do that would just be to leave the debt ceiling where it is. Unable to borrow more money, Washington will be forced to restrict its spending.

There's already a legal limit on government spending that goes beyond the revenues it takes in: it's called the debt ceiling. The solution is simple: let the debt ceiling do its job.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Cut, Cap, and Balance: Why Libertarians Should Actually Oppose It

The supporters of this legislation do have the best intentions, and among its sponsors are some politicians that I actually really like, but the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act has really not been thought through very well at all.

Rob Natelson at The Tenth Amendment Center explains why:

When you write a constitutional amendment, the devil is in the details.

“Cut, Cap, and Balance” prescribed some details for a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). But those details were poorly thought-out, and might have given America a devil of a problem.

Fortunately, Senate liberals—too short-term greedy to recognize their own long-term political interest—defeated Cut, Cap, and Balance. As a result, we dodged a bullet we had unwittingly fired at ourselves.

Let me make it clear that I believe in balanced budgets, and would like to see a balanced budget requirement in the U.S. Constitution. And I’ve proved my bona fides: For many years I conspicuously led citizen efforts in Montana to limit taxes and spending—and did so at enormous personal and professional cost. However, years ago, when researching the subject of “TELs” (tax and expenditure limitations), I learned that some measures can do more harm than good. In other words, they can backfire. Whether a limitation works as intended or backfires depends largely on how you write it.

The authors of the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill were well intentioned, but in the BBA part of the bill, they made some serious mistakes.

Read the four mistakes at The Tenth Amendment Center.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Libertarian Talking Points: The Redistribution of Wealth

In this series called "Libertarian Talking Points", we pose a succinct talking point to slip into a debate that aims for the heart of an issue - avoiding the "politically safe" answer, and actually trying to convince people of both the moral and effectual justifications for liberty.

You argue its effectiveness, or propose how to rephrase it to win hearts and minds.

If the topic of socialism is brought up...

"I believe in the redistribution of wealth. I believe that those who have created value through intuition, ingenuity or innovation to serve the needs of others, deserve our wealth in exchange for an even greater value in return. I believe that on an individual level, each one of us has a moral responsibility to help others in whatever way our conscience best determines. And I believe that the coercion of either or any of these things is completely antithetical to freedom."

Eric Olsen,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page
QED Podcast

If Bush had been a real cowboy...

He'd have accepted this deal! Didn't know this, but back in 2002 Iraq's vice president suggested a duel between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein to settle the two countries' differences (and it was to be refereed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan).

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Honestly, this is how all wars should be settled, and then I bet there would be a lot fewer wars.

Iraqi official suggests Hussein, Bush duel

(Baghdad, Iraq-AP) Oct. 3, 2002 - An Iraqi vice president offered an unusual suggestion Thursday for solving the U.S.-Iraq standoff: Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush should fight a duel to settle their differences and spare their people the ravages of war.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan would be the referee for the duel, which should be held on neutral territory, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan told Associated Press Television Network in an interview.

Ramadan, wearing a green uniform and a black beret, made his remarks without giving any outward sign he was joking, although reporters who were present detected a note of irony in his voice.

"Bush wants to attack the whole (of) Iraq, the army and the infrastructure," Ramadan said.

"The American president should specify a group, and we will specify a group and choose neutral ground, with Kofi Annan as referee, and use one weapon, with a president against a president, a vice president against a vice president, and a minister against a minister in a duel," Ramadan said. "In this way we are saving the American and the Iraqi people."

Iraq has two vice presidents. Ramadan did not say whether he or Taha Muhie-eldin Marouf might take on Dick Cheney.

In Washington, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the Iraqi offer was irresponsible and did not warrant a "serious response."

Hat tip: reddit

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

These Bush / Obama photoshops will seriously HAUNT your dreams

So I announced Friday that this Monday I'll be publishing an updated version of my list of Obama Bush comparisons. Reader DoubleU passed along some images I could use to illustrate the post. I've already got one I'm going to use, but these were too good not to share with all of you.

And seriously, some of them will haunt your dreams:

And here's another one I saw once...

Chilling, huh?

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tom Woods on John Stossel: Does History Need to Be Re-written?

Jul 22, 2011 -8:21- Thomas E. Woods Jr., author of "33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask," and Reason Magazine Writer Damon Root on the myths in American history:

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

This should scare the crap out of you

In Homestead, Florida, military police are now policing the civilian population in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which established by law, a long-standing tradition and policy of never using military personnel to police U.S. civilians. (And if you don't understand why that's important, read up on Nazi Germany... oh yeah, and it's the law.) InfoWars reports:

In Homestead, Florida, Posse Comitatus is dead. The Air Force now responds to civilian crime in the small city, population around 30,000.

“Here at Homestead Air Reserve Base we have the Crime Stop hotline that allows anyone either on base or off the installation to anonymously report a crime,” explains the Homestead Air Reserve Base website. “If you know of a crime that has been committed, if you see a crime in progress, or if you see a suspicious person, vehicle, or situation that makes you feel a crime may be occurring, call the Security Forces Crime Stop Hotline…”

On July 15, military police – known as Security Forces patrolmen – detained a criminal suspect at a Circle K in until Miami-Dade police arrived.

“Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility, the better informed we are the safer we can make the installation and the surrounding community,” said t. Juan Lemus, Security Forces Police Services Chief.

Crime prevention off military bases is the responsibility of civilian police, not the military. In 1878, following Reconstruction, the Posse Comitatus Act was passed. It limited the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The statute prohibits Army and Air Force personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Sierra Oscar Sierra

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

#NotTheOnion - DARE Cop Pulled Over for DUI

This epitomizes the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Terror, every other "War on," every aspect of the regulatory state, and everything that's wrong with our government right now. This has got to be the funniest and saddest story I've heard all week:

A police officer is facing drunk driving charges in Washington County, Indiana and the arresting officers say he was carrying a message about drug abuse education at the time.

On Wednesday night around 10:30 p.m. Scott and Tina Robbins were just about to go to sleep.

"It was so loud," said Mrs. Robbins. "I was out of the bed on the floor within a spilt second."

They heard a crash right outside their window. "I grabbed the phone and called 911," said Mr. Robbins. "The damage to the truck and the way it looked wrapped in the tree, he had to be traveling so fast."


It didn't take long for investigators to suspect alcohol was involved.

"He was sitting on the wall out of the vehicle, holding his head," said Mrs. Robbins. But that wasn't the only thing that stood out to the Robbins, it was the trailer Newcomb was pulling.

"It said DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and Seymour Police Department- which made me think he was a police officer," said Mr. Robbins.

Not only a police officer, but according to the Seymour Police Department website, he is the School Resource Officer, responsible for seven schools, acting as a mentor and providing students with a role model. It even states that he conducts lectures on narcotics and alcohol and their effects on driving.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

New NASA Data Empirically Refutes Global Warming Alarmists' Models

What's especially satisfying about this news is how arrogant, how condescending, how incredibly smug the global warming alarmists have been all along in accusing the skeptics of being scientifically ignorant, backwards, hill billies clinging to our Bibles along with our belief in a flat world held up by pillars on the backs of elephants. The way many of them painted us, we would confine Galileo to his house all over again if he were alive today.

I ask the climate alarmists now, what do you say to these new NASA data? How do you respond to these observable data and their implications, you who claim to represent science? You know the scientific method has more steps to it than just hypothesis, right? Ask any fourth grader. You've actually got to do some observation of the real world. You've got to take measurements. You've got to test the observed results against your hypothesis to see if it was correct... and your models were incorrect. No, that's not the opinion of an evangelical Bible thumper, nor the results of some coal industry-sponsored think tank-- that's your government talking. That's your precious NASA doing the science.

What do you say now???

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.

The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.

Ya think??

Boy, I've got to learn not to be such a sore winner.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

A weird observation about John Boehner

Okay, so maybe this is a little bit weird, but does anyone else swear that John Boehner wears guy liner? Or mascara or something? Or just has the most impossibly pretty eye lashes of anyone in Congress? Tell me I'm not the only one who's noticed something is not right about this guy's eyebrows!

Alright. That's my weird moment for the week. Consider yourself lucky my weird moment doesn't consist of ranting about Building 7 or PROVING that chemtrails are like totally real man! ...or telling you not to vaccinate your kids.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rand Paul to John McCain: "I'd rather be a hobbit than a troll."

Oh snap! This actually happened:

The “Lord of the Rings” metaphors crept into the debt-limit fight on Thursday, as tea-party heroes fired back at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who mocked members of the conservative grassroots movement as “tea-party hobbits.”

“I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll,” freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on a conference call when asked by POLITICO about McCain’s remarks. “I think in reading the books, the hobbits were the heroes. They overcame great obstacles, and I think I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll.”

Added fellow freshman Sen. Mike Lee, who co-founded the chamber’s tea party caucus with Paul and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.): “It’s stunning to me that some people have resorted to name calling rather than simply addressing the issue.”

I guess Congress has turned into this:

PS: Please feel free to copy, share, and distribute the photoshopped image I used to illustrate this post above.

It makes me smile :D

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

What if I told you...

...that this Monday I'm going to publish a fully revamped, revised, and updated version of the Humble Libertarian classic post, "A List of Obama Bush Comparisons, 10 Ways Barack Obama is just like George W. Bush?"

I hinted at it this past Monday, but haven't been able to complete it this week. This coming Monday however, at 7:00 am Eastern, the new, fully-revised, totally-revamped, entirely-updated, and completely-comprehensive list of Obama / Bush comparisons will be published here at The Humble Libertarian, and I do hope to have your help in spreading it around to open a lot of people's eyes.

The importance of this undertaking is to help people who detest Obama to see that he is no different than President Bush, forcing them to understand that a president with an "R" next to their name isn't good enough, we need a president with principles. At the same time, and perhaps more urgently, the project will help people who (somehow) love Obama, but probably despise Bush to see how their beloved Obama is no different at all from the Bush they rightfully detest.

The result is cognitive dissonance for partisans on both side, and the only way to resolve that dissonance without ignoring the undeniable reality of the remarkable similarities between these two presidents, is to embrace a philosophy of government that opposes the very thing that these two administrations have in common at their core-- the consolidation of power in Washington at an unprecedented level and at breakneck speed. Washington must not be allowed to continue to grow in power and influence unrestrained.

That's where the libertarian movement comes in...

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Big, Fat Default LIE

For the past few weeks of debate over the U.S. federal debt ceiling, politicians in both parties and journalists of every political stripe and color have doggedly persisted in referring to "not raising the debt ceiling" as a "default." If the GOP's "radical" contingent were worth their salt, they would stop to correct every interviewer every single time they made this false equivocation by saying:

"Excuse me, I am not proposing that the U.S. default on its debt, and by referring to not raising the debt ceiling as a 'default' you are either confused yourself, or you are deliberately misleading your viewers."

That such a blatant error has continued on such a massive scale, unabated and with such little protest by the alleged opponents of America's disastrous fiscal status quo, is a damning indictment of the quality (and integrity) of the American media establishment, the sincerity of its politicians, and the intelligence of its voting populace. The perpetuation on this magnitude of such a misnomer can be interpreted as nothing less than a deliberate conspiracy by the political ruling class and its complicit media lapdogs to deceive, confuse, and frighten the American electorate.

A default is a financial term that denotes a debtor's inability to repay their debts. Raising the debt ceiling would mean allowing the federal government to incur more debts by borrowing more money. Not raising the debt ceiling would mean not allowing the government to incur more debt. Whether or not Congress allows the government to borrow more money has nothing to do with its ability to pay the debts it already has, and if the government is already in default and unable to pay its debts, allowing it to incur more debts will obviously not help the government out of default.

But even in a more narrow sense, if by "default" politicians and journalists simply mean that without more loans from the Federal Reserve, the government will be unable to pay its obligations such as interest on its existing debt, Social Security checks (as Obama suggested in a recent fit of fearmongering), and the continued operation of the military, they are still either blatantly mistaken or brazenly lying. As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has stated for months now:

"Our interest payment is about $20 billion a month. Our tax revenue is about $200 billion a month, so we're bringing in (nearly) $200 billion. We've got plenty of money to pay our interest."

The bottom line is that if Congress does not raise the debt limit, the Treasury will still have enough revenue each month to service interest on the debt, maintain the country's military, and cut Social Security checks. Those items will not have to be cut, but maybe for once, Washington will have to prioritize spending and be forced like the rest of us have been in the last five years, to cut out wasteful spending and non-essentials. There is no way that 100% of the federal budget is absolutely essential spending, because just ten years ago, the budget was significantly smaller and the sky wasn't crashing down all around us.

In fact, the way Democrats talk these days, the 90s were awesome. How about instead of raising the debt ceiling, we lower it along with spending to 90s levels? Get things back to the way they were under Clinton? That's not a compromise, that's going back to every Democrat's favorite recent president.

Then we can all party like it's 1999.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

YAL's National Convention a Success! Keep the mini-bomb going!

Hey everybody! Being plugged into so many of my YAL friends' Facebook profiles, I've been hearing and seeing some cool things coming out of this convention. I have no doubt it was the best one yet. Here are a couple videos they've made about it so far:

As I announced Monday, I'd love for the community here at The Humble Libertarian to help Young Americans for Liberty cover the costs of this convention and continue its work identifying, recruiting, and training the nation's top youth liberty activists and preparing them to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Check out that announcement here, and please give whatever you can! I haven't even bothered to ask Jeff (YAL's executive director) how much we've raised for YAL so far with the THL YAL "mini-bomb," because I know things are pretty crazy busy out there, but I'll get back to you guys with that information next week.

(Unless it's like embarrassingly low... I mean the goal is a modest $350, and I put down $70 of that this week, so if we don't even get close, I'm sure I'll just quietly not mention it next week. I'll probably just distract you from wondering how we did with a really juicy celebrity scandal story.)

Here's to YAL! Sorry I couldn't be there this year.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Harry Reid actually just said: "The only compromise that there is, is mine."

So the Tea Party people are being so stubborn and unwilling to budge that they've moved beyond "hostage takers" to the point of being "full blown terrorists," and the Democrats are all just bending over backwards to compromise, right?

Doesn't sound like it to me:

"We're recognizing that the only compromise that there is, is mine," -Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Hat tip: RedState

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Climate of vitriol: Politico columnist calls Tea Party "full blown terrorists"

Are you kidding me? Full blown terrorists? These people are saying that Washington is out of money (it is), needs to spend less (it does), and will only make things worse by printing up more dollars to pay for its insane amount of spending (it will)... and because of this, an opinion columnist at The Politico wants to say that the Tea Party's leaders are "full blown terrorists??"

Remember when Markos Moulitsas tweeted "Mission Accomplished Sarah Palin," after the tragic shooting spree in Arizona that wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords? Remember how the media blamed that lunatic's massacre on Republicans and conservatives for creating a climate of hatred and vitriol? Remember all the calls for us to temper our rhetoric?

What the hell happened to all of that?? I'll tell ya what, if anybody ever shoots a Republican congressman now, it's William Yeomans' fault.

Hat tip: Memeorandum

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit for the graph

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Top Neuroscientist: Drug Addiction is a health problem, not a moral failing

From my most recent CAIVN article:

"Any one of us could be an addict at any time. Addiction is not fundamentally a moral failing -- it's not a disease of weak-willed losers. When you look at the biology, the only model of addiction that makes sense is a disease-based model, and the only attitude towards addicts that makes sense is one of compassion." -David Linden, professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the chief editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology

Read the entire article at CAIVN.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dereliction: Bachmann has skipped 37 percent of votes since launching bid

Reports The Hill:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has missed nearly 40 percent of votes in the House since she formally launched her presidential campaign.

Bachmann’s absentee rate, which is significantly higher than the two other House members running for president, could be used by her GOP opponents on the campaign trail.

Bachmann, the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus who has surged toward the top of the Republican presidential field, has missed 50 of 135 votes (37 percent) since formally announcing her candidacy June 27 in Waterloo, Iowa.

At least be like Palin and quit or something.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Is the Tea Party being irresponsible with our nation's future?

From my most recent CAIVN article:

Buchanan's answer distills Matthews' accusation, and that of many of the Tea Party's critics, down to its essential claim: that the Tea Party's leaders want to deliberately damage the country, that they are more interested in partisan sniping and electoral victories than the "grown up" business of doing what is necessary to save our country from an economic crisis. Is it true? Is the Tea Party being irresponsible with our nation's future?

Read the entire article at CAIVN.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Repeal Bush Act: A Debt Ceiling Solution

With the debt ceiling debate in Washington at a fever pitch, we're hearing an awful lot of Democrats pining for the good ol' days when Bill Clinton was president, the nation's finances were in far less disrepair, and the deficit wasn't measured in the trillions of dollars. They'll remind you also, that despite Obama's record deficits, the problem is mostly Bush's fault.

Well here's a solution that should please any honest fiscal hawk in the Tea Party (the operative word there is "honest") while appealing at the same time to the Bush-hating, Clinton-loving Democrats: The Repeal Bush Act of 2011. Not only would this act severely curtail federal spending like Republicans say they want, it would embarrass any Democrat to vote against it.

I mean come on! It's called the "Repeal Bush Act" for goodness' sake! That's not a compromise, that's straight up giving the Democrats exactly what they would profess to want. Could you imagine eight years of Bush completely wiped out? Reversed? Abolished, repealed, and discarded as a failure forever?

What Democrat in his left mind (see what I did there?) wouldn't want that? And the resulting slashes to government spending-- any Tea Party protester who wouldn't support that needs to pack up his signs and his phony Gadsden Flag and go home.

So here's what you get:

1. Repeal No Child Left Behind and decrease Federal funds for Washington's Department of Education to 2000 levels before Bush assumed office. Over $30 billion will be saved annually (and I've never, ever heard any teacher say anything positive about NCLB- ever).

Total saved w/ the Repeal Bush Act: Over $30 billion annually

2. Repeal the Homeland Security Act and abolish the Department of Homeland Security. After 9-11, Bush's logic went like this:

"September 11th was in part, the result of too many different federal agencies and offices charged with keeping us safe, making it difficult for them to share information with each other. THEREFORE: We should... create another federal agency charged with keeping us safe. Duh! We'll even make it cabinet level! And they can oversee a new Transportation Security Administration that gropes children and old ladies at airports. OMG! This has just got to work! Now watch this drive..."

Seriously, what were we all thinking? I'm not in support of more drug prohibitions, but maybe we need to enact some stiff penalties for legislating federal policy while high out of your mind. Abolishing the DHS and TSA will save us over $50 billion annually (and make air travel a lot less sexy).

Total saved w/ the Repeal Bush Act: Over $80 billion annually

3. Repeal the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, ending Medicare Part D. In the end, this was just a really complicated, weird, poorly-written piece of legislation that barely passed Congress, and that everybody on both sides of the partisan divide pretty much hated.

It represented the biggest entitlement expansion since LBJ, which should annoy fiscal conservatives, and it does a lot of odd things that Democrats hate, like prevent the government from negotiating drug prices and reinforce the entanglement of medical coverage with employment-- a state of affairs that President Obama said is in need of remedy during the health care debate early in his administration.

How much would we save by repealing this act? Over $50 billion annually (but who the hell knows, the way they estimate these things and the estimates keep getting bigger and bigger with time, we'll probably save a lot more).

Total saved w/ the Repeal Bush Act: Over $130 billion annually

(Check it out-- We've already blown past the measly $111 billion cut in FY2012 by the "radical" Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, and all by repealing Bush's laws... if Democrats can't get on board with this, they're big fat liars with their pants on fire, and if Republicans can't, then I guess all that talk about fiscal conservatism was just a bunch of lies too.)

4. End the two wars in the Middle East and bring the troops home. With Osama bin Laden dead and most of Al-Qaeda crippled, ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is making more and more sense to the American people, especially with casualty levels soaring under the Obama Administration as mission creep puts our troops in harm's way for the sake of foreign civil wars and insurgencies, rather than to fight America's enemies, who have been mostly defeated.

Even hardcore right-wingers are beginning to doubt the wisdom or value of remaining in the Middle East. The right thing to do for our country, for our troops, and for our finances, is declare victory and bring the troops home! How much could we save? According to CBO estimates, over $100 billion annually (not to mention the lives of hundreds of Americans who are currently fighting other countries' civil wars, not America's defensive wars anymore).

Total saved w/ the Repeal Bush Act: Over $230 billion annually

5. Repeal the Patriot Act and restore the Bill of Rights. I honestly have no clue at all how much this would save us in taxpayer dollars, but it sure would be nice to feel like I'm living in America again and not some fascist country where the government can just do whatever it wants. Besides, lists like these have to have at least five items in them, so it was either throw in the Patriot Act or split item 4 above into each different war.

If we want to get really bold, we could just reduce every department's budget across the board (except for the DHS, which we're just going to chuck out the window) to its level in 2000 and tell each cabinet secretary to figure out what to cut themselves. That could be the "radical" version of the bill, and the five provisions above could together form the "moderate" version of the bill.

How would you like for Washington to cut over $230 billion from its budget annually? Honestly, I don't see why both sides can't agree on the Repeal Bush Act of 2011 unless they're just big fat liars and hypocrites. Who's with me? Let's repeal Bush in 2011!

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coming up on The Humble Libertarian

Sorry again for the blogging silence this Sunday and for the low output today. This week, I'll be posting some of the very best blog posts I have ever written(!), and one of them in particular is taking a lot of time and research to put together. Believe me, when you see it, you'll be glad I took the time to write it. I'm really hoping that with your help it goes super-viral.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, please read my post asking for your help in raising some funds to pay for Young Americans for Liberty's national convention this week. I'm hoping as a community we can cover the costs of ten students' books and materials by raising just $350. I've already put down $70, so we're 20% of the way there!

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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Young Americans for Liberty Mini-Bomb

Young Americans for Liberty is kicking off its 2011 National Convention today! This year, it's longer, bigger, and better than ever: a week-long event from Monday to Friday, with 131 top youth activists from 99 campuses in 34 states, and some AMAZING guest speakers like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Justin Amash among others.

The goal of this event is to identify the top young libertarian activists from around the country and bring them together to the Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA for the very best training on how to mobilize the philosophy of liberty into political action and victory!

YAL's executive director, Jeff Frazee doesn't say this very often, but his goal is to find and groom the future leaders of this country-- the kind of people who are going to run successful campaigns, become key figures in the media, and yes, even run for some of our nation's highest political offices-- and from these positions of influence, lead the country to make the kind of real changes it needs to restore our republic to the vision of our Founding Fathers.

I was there at last year's national convention, and it was truly one of THE MOST important events of my entire life (and not to mention, some of the most fun I've ever had!). As a summer intern for YAL at the time, I put together this video to show YAL's donors some of what we were learning and the incredible value we were getting from the convention:

The thing is, most of these young activists are students, and don't have the funds to cover all the expenses of lodging, materials, flying in speakers, food, (etc.), so YAL gives them a GREAT deal and provides this invaluable training and experience for a pretty darn low registration fee, counting on its donors to help cover the costs, which is NOT cheap.

I'm really kicking myself for not being at the convention this year (instead I'm sitting here on my futon in Colorado writing blog articles), but I figured all of us at The Humble Libertarian could be a part of it in an important way by helping YAL out with the expenses of training all these future libertarian leaders.

Every little bit helps! If we can be a part of this in just a tiny way, it makes a huge difference for these young people aspiring to change the direction of our country for the better. My goal is to raise just $350 over the course of this week in a "mini-bomb" for Young Americans for Liberty, the reason being $35 pays for one student's books and supplies provided by YAL at this convention. If The Humble Libertarian can sponsor 10 students' books and supplies, we will have made a real difference and these students will be incredibly grateful!

I've already put down 20% today and donated $70 to Young Americans for Liberty for this purpose. So there are only 8 students' worth of supplies left for us to cover to reach this goal. In the end, I think there are fewer ways to donate your political dollars that will have as powerful an impact, both immediately and in the long term, than donating to YAL. There's a reason that dictators target young people so intensively when they assume power. There's a reason George Soros once said that the money he spends to convert a young mind to his cause is the best money he can spend.

In addition to being our future leaders, these young activists' efforts are helping win campaigns right now (and if you don't believe me, I can give you the names of more than a hundred of us YAL-trained activists who I know personally who helped Rand Paul win his primary in Kentucky, Justin Amash win his general election in Michigan, and who have worked in campaigns on a state and local level around the country to help liberty candidates win).

So please visit this secure page on YAL's website right now and make a contribution to our country's future! In the project code field on the bottom left, please put "Humble Libertarian." This is for tracking purposes only. I am not getting paid or taking cut to raise this money for YAL. This little mini-bomb is just an idea I approached YAL with myself, and really want to do in order to make a difference.

I love to educate about liberty and take rhetorical shots at the establishment on this website, but I'd like to start taking more action too. With the project code "Humble Libertarian," YAL is going to keep me informed of just how much we raise for them so I can keep you informed!

If you have any questions or want to hear more information from me before donating, please email me and I would be glad to speak with you personally about how important YAL is and what a difference it has already made in our political process in such a short time. Thanks so much!

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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