The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.
Whenever a Government assumes the power of discriminating between the different classes of the community, it becomes, in effect, the arbiter of their prosperity, and exercises a power not contemplated by any intelligent people in delegating their sovereignty to their rulers. It then becomes the great regulator of the profits of every species of industry, and reduces men from dependence on their own exertions, to a dependence on the caprices of their Government. Governments possess no delegated right to tamper with individual industry a single hair’s-breadth beyond what is essential to protect the rights of person and property.
— William Leggett
Should a robber break into my house, and with a dagger at my throat make me seal deeds to convey my estate to him, would this give him any title? Just such a title, by his sword, has an unjust conqueror, who forces me into submission. The injury and the crime is equal, whether committed by the wearer of a crown, or some petty villain. The title of the offender, and the number of his followers, make no difference in the offence, unless it be to aggravate it. The only difference is, great robbers punish little ones, to keep them in their obedience; but the great ones are rewarded with laurels and triumphs, because they are too big for the weak hands of justice in this world, and have the power in their own possession, which should punish offenders.
— John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government 
The unbridled arrogance of Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber, clearly knows no bounds.
If you dare to express concerns about the “Affordable Care Act,” you are nothing more than a small, noisy child in Gruber’s mind. His words indicate a seething contempt for you and your perceived inability to comprehend the nuanced import of the legislation, or to express an intelligent argument against it.
It doesn’t matter what your abilities, education, experience, or background might be. Even “a former senior policy adviser in the White House” can be quickly dismissed as an “adolescent” by this towering intellect, who has been made wealthy by the very tax dollars to which you juveniles so desperately (and ignorantly) cling.
You won’t hear these arguments from the mainstream media, so you should listen to President Obama as he becomes his own best critic on the issue of whether or not he should unilaterally move to grant amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.
“I am not a dictator, I’m the President.”
It’s worth reading this amusing Spectator blog post that looks at the decline of “pop-science” author/speaker/professor Richard Dawkins in the eyes of the politically-correct left. Now that they recognize his anger, vitriol, and invective have not been saved solely for the Christian church, he’s suddenly become a ‘bigot.’
Pass the popcorn bowl people, this one should be good for a laugh.
As I said at the time, that article — in the Washington Post, no less — ‘conjures up the image of a nasty old man who’s losing his marbles. It’s not very nice about the Pope, either.’ But Dawkins has not become any crazier in the intervening four years; he’s simply widened his attack on blind faith, as he sees it, to include Muslims and feminists.
In the process, he’s exposed a rich vein of hypocrisy in the Left — and, more significantly, an intellectual rift between hard-line and multiculturalist atheists. That rift is growing fast: non-believers, having exhausted their anti-Christian rhetoric, are turning on each other with the ferocity of religious zealots. Enjoy.
Hillary was out stumping for her 2016 Presidential run and burnishing her anti-2nd Amendment cred last night. In a CNN town hall she advocated for reinstating the “assault weapons” ban and attacked firearms owners, arguing that they “terrorize the majority” of Americans.
Asked by an audience member whether an assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limit would affect gun violence in the United States, Clinton answered, “We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority, of people hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”
In other words, Clinton equated gun owners and gun rights advocates with terrorists. …
But the most galling aspect of Clinton’s response is her flippant dismissal of a substantial section of the population, and her flagrant disregard for Constitutional liberties. According to her, supporting the right to bear arms and protecting that right by being vocal about our liberties is terrorism
Jake Tapper picked up on the same thing in a recent Tweet.
Referring to gun restriction bills not becoming law, @HillaryClinton in town hall refers to minority that "terrorizes" the majority
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 17, 2014
What … can the government do to help the poor? The only answer is the libertarian answer: Get out of the way.
This Heritage Foundation article quite rightly describes the following statement as a “sobering” thought.
The federal government could cease all other operations (other than major entitlements), including its core constitutional duty to provide for the national defense, and would still end up in a fiscal hole within a generation.
They also provided the following graphic, which describes how each dollar is spent.
Our never-ending expansion of entitlement programs is crushing our ability to pay for what most Americans consider basic functions of government. It is clearly time for a serious overhaul and a rethinking (by people) of what one can reasonably expect government to provide, but I doubt that the country has the will to do anything serious about this situation.
It seems far more likely that our government will entertain (and eventually implement) programs like confiscating the retirement savings of citizens to “spread the wealth around” before they seriously consider cutting spending. A good example of this is the fact that, in the face of our crushing debt, and the sure knowledge that costs would skyrocket, we have gone ahead with a multi-trillion dollar expansion of public health care costs. We’ve almost doubled our debt in the past 5 years and we’re forging ahead with our tax and spend ways.
The truly unfortunate fact is that we still have an opportunity to stop this train before it reaches the cliff and we are forced to endure a far more wrenching and destructive correction. However, I can’t see that anyone in DC has the stomach for even slowing spending to kick the crash down the road a bit further.
The more numerous public instrumentalities become, the more is there generated in citizens the notion that everything is to be done for them, and nothing by them. Every generation is made less familiar with the attainment of desired ends by individual actions or private agencies; until, eventually, governmental agencies come to be thought of as the only available agencies.
– Herbert Spencer
“The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.”
–Samuel Adams, Essay in the Boston Gazette, 1771
“[S]hould Congress, under the pretext of executing its powers, pass laws for the accomplishment of objects not entrusted to the government, such [acts are] not the law of the land.”
–John Marshall, McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819
Difficult to say who is better in this video – Trey Gowdy or Jay Sekulow.
This investigation MUST HAVE an independent special prosecutor appointed. The possibility of corruption and scandal here is inescapable and, if the charges of corruption are found to be true—despite the President’s confident assertion that there is “not a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS—it would be far worse than Watergate or Iran Contra.
This situation needs to be properly and fully investigated.
It is certainly true that our age is full of conflicts which generate war. However, these conflicts do not spring from the operation of the unhampered market society. It may be permissible to call them economic conflicts because they concern that sphere of human life which is, in common speech, known as the sphere of economic activities. But it is a serious blunder to infer from this appellation that the source of these conflicts are conditions which develop within the frame of a market society. It is not capitalism that produces them, but precisely the anticapitalistic policies designed to check the functioning of capitalism. They are an outgrowth of the various governments’ interference with business, of trade and migration barriers and discrimination against foreign labor, foreign products, and foreign capital.
– Ludwig von Mises, Human Action 
The greatest threat to the future of our nation — to our freedom — is not foreign military aggression … but the growing dependence of the people on a paternalistic government. A nation is no stronger than its people and the best measure of their strength is how they accept responsibility. There will never be a great society unless the materialism of the welfare state is replaced by individual initiative and responsibility.
– Ludwig von Mises, Human Action 
As a former backcountry ranger, I am ashamed of men like National Park Service (NPS) Director Jarvis, and the NPS personnel who barred access to national parks during the government shutdown.
In the video that I’ve included below, Rep. Trey Gowdy nails a key issue with the park closures. Gowdy asks why the NPS allowed Occupy protestors to “descend on McPherson Square” for over 100 days without so much as a peep, and certainly not a citation, closure sign, or barricade in sight. From October 2011, to February 2012 Occupy protestors defecated on police cars and vandalized public and private property; there were regular reports of robberies, rapes, and assaults in the Occupy camps. However, for more than three months NPS personnel did almost nothing to bar or remove their impromptu edifices and camps.
In contrast, on the very day that President Obama ordered the government shutdown, NPS Director Jarvis (or people in his organization) gave the orders to “make life as difficult for people” as they could. Jarvis ordered the “barrycades” rushed out and began threatening 90-year old WWII veterans with fines and legal action for even approaching the WWII memorial in DC.
It’s bad enough that Rangers played along with the closure orders and barred access to our national parks for the average, taxpaying citizen. Now I am fully aware that bureaucrats hate to hear this, but the citizens who were barred from parks across the country do pay the ranger’s salaries and pay—every day—for the maintenance and upkeep of those parks. Despite this reality, taxpayers were still ordered to stay out of national parks.
It is much worse, however, for park rangers and for people like Mr. Jarvis to bar access to veterans who (as Rep. Trey Gowdy notes in the video below) helped build the monuments they were trying to visit. The reality is that those veterans not only paid for the parks with their taxes, they paid for them with their sweat, their tears, their blood, and their lives. The veterans own those monuments in a way that few others can understand, and Mr. Jarvis’ and NPS personnels’ attempts to “barrycade” them is a disgusting and indecent affront.
If this video and Mr. Jarvis’ responses don’t make your blood boil, it’s time for you to wake up and begin to take part. For those who watch this video and still refuse to wake up or who might actually think Mr. Jarvis was justified, go back to your reality TV and your government check, I’m beginning to believe you’re not worth the effort anymore.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
— Samuel Adams
The Fraser Institute and Cato Institute (along with many other free-market think tanks) have republished their economic freedom ranking for various countries around the world. Sadly, the United States has fallen further in their ranking and free-market thinkers are now justified in questioning whether Canada should start referring to the U.S. as their “socialist neighbour to the south.”
Americans have long dismissed Canadians as “our socialist neighbors to the north.” But since 2005 Canada has been more economically free than the supposed laissez-faire wonderland of the United States—and the gap is widening. …
Economic freedom is defined by the Fraser Institute as “the extent to which you can pursue economic activity without interference from government, as long as your actions don’t violate the identical rights of others.” This ideal is difficult to define, much less quantify, so the index breaks each country’s score into five broad categories: size of government, legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, international free trade, and regulation of credit, labor, and business.
Every country is ranked on a scale of one to ten, with ten being most free. In 2013 the report ranked 152 countries and territories. The Index has data on most going back to 1980. This allows for long-term analyses of what policies caused countries to catch up, or in the case of the United States, fall behind, in economic freedom.
Canada’s policies can serve as an example for policy makers looking to jumpstart U.S. growth. Canada has a federal corporate tax rate of just 15 percent whereas the United States has a top rate of 35 percent, the highest among OECD countries. Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio is 35 percent. It is targeting a ratio of 25 percent by 2021 thanks to a strong commitment to spending cuts from Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The U.S. ratio is 73 percent and rising. Mr. Harper has publicly pushed for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would benefit the economies of both countries, while President Obama has done all he can to block the State Department’s permit. Canada also has an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, lower than America’s.
The increasing gap in economic freedom, the rapid growth of public debt, the push toward socialized health care, increasing burdens of extreme regulatory pressure, and many other factors are a shameful and destructive attack on what once was the most free country on the planet.
It is becoming increasingly clear that true patriots, conservatives, and libertarians need to push to return government to a far more states-oriented, federalist view as a means of returning the country to its founding principles. We need to use the rights of states to act as a constitutional circuit breaker on the growing power of the federal government. Check out the work of groups like the Goldwater Institute for more information on how that can be achieved.