Thursday, September 11, 2008

Political Exit Strategy

Alex Tabarrok over at Marginal Revolution has a great post on Why Libertarians Should Vote for Obama. Here are some goodies:

First, war. War is the antithesis of the libertarian philosophy of consent, voluntarism and trade."

"With war has come FEAR, magnified many times over by the governing party. Fear is pulling Americans into the arms of the state. If only we were better at resisting. Alas, we Americans say that we love liberty but we are fair-weather lovers."

"Tax cuts, the summum bonum of Republican economic policy, are a sham. The only way to cut taxes is to cut spending and that has not happened."

"Exit is the right strategy because if there is any hope for reform it is by casting the Republicans out of power and into the wilderness where they may relearn virtue."

"Remember that if a political party can count on you then you cannot count on it."

"When in the wilderness, Republicans turn naturally to a critique of power and they ratchet up libertarian rhetoric about free trade, free enterprise, abuse of government power and even the defense of civil liberties."

Here are some of the main ways the current Republican Party has enlarged the federal government to the detriment of the American people:

- No Child Left Behind: Well funded or not, it's taking a Constitutionally state issue and complicated it with federal requirements.
- The Patriot Act: Taking away much needed judicial oversight of the executive branch, just to name one problem.
- Invasion of Iraq: Setting a standard of preemptive strike against other nations.
- Treatment of Prisoners: Ignoring the intentions of previous agreements and holding prisoners indefinitely without charges.
- Torture: Liberalizing the definition into meaninglessness.
- Deficit Spending: Decreasing taxation without a deliberate decrease in spending. Increasing the tax burden on future taxpayers.
- Housing Aid: The government has now declared itself the lender of last resort for some unwise homeowners and lenders.
- Fannie and Freddie: Bailing out private investors at the expensive of taxpayers. The problem should have been dealt with before government buyout was required.
- Flight Regulations: Flying in America has become restless, timeless and shoeless.
- Farm Subsidies: Not only keeping, but enlarging the outrageous farm subsidies.
- Campaign Finance Reform: Attempting to limit political speech, unsuccessfully.
- Energy Independence: Too frustrating to sum up in one sentence. Expect a future post.
- Etc: Keeping unconstitutional national bans on assisted suicide, gay marriage, online gambling, marijuana and stem cell research just to name a few.
- Finally: Forgetting the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government.

That list was therapeutic.


  1. Awesome list. Don't agree with all of them, but a lot are dead on.

    But I'm just not convinced the other guy will do any better.

  2. H,

    Somewhere in the DNA of Republicans there is:

    a critique of power and they ratchet up libertarian rhetoric about free trade, free enterprise, abuse of government power and even the defense of civil liberties."

    Sure, under Bush, they ignored that DNA. I am happy to see them lose both houses of congress. Question is will Obama take us more or less in that direction. These issue (with the exception of civil liberties) are not in their DNA. Congress will rubber stamp whatever Obama wants. So instead of a course correction, Obama will say full steam ahead (with a few exceptions). I am voted for McCain because I am voting for divided government.

  3. Justin,

    I think you're right. I'm not convinced Obama will shrink any part of government (except maybe abortion rights). This is why I've been leaning toward the libertarian ticket. He of course won't win, but it's not as if my vote is wasted(


    Is there any chance Obama could pull a Clinton and do some really great things he promised he wouldn't do (NAFTA)?


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.