Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

Libertarians got it right; Bush should have listened

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“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”  Voltaire

Wednesday was Tax Day or, as Obama cabinet appointees called it, Passover.

Therefore I have given many Tea Party-type speeches of late, and in preparing for them I have come to the conclusion, as I often do, that we Libertarians have been right an awful lot.

Libertarians look at things differently than most. Quirky, cantankerous and misunderstood, we do actually get it right. We have about as much power within the GOP as the Log Cabin Republicans, and not nearly as fun Halloween dress-up parties. But, had George Bush and Congress listened to us on the five major areas where they went wrong, we would all be better off.

Simply put, we Libertarians say, “Smoke all the meth you want -- just do not expect us to pay for your rehab. And don’t get mad when we shoot you if you try to steal our lawnmowers to pay for your habit.” We live and let live, and we seek only one thing from government: to be left alone.

Using Congressman Ron Paul as the best proxy for Libertarian decision-making abilities, let’s look at the five areas in which he differed with “W,” Congress and the GOP in the past eight years. You decide who was right.

Bush and the GOP first went wrong by spending like Democrats. They had earmarks and the likes of Ted Stevens of Alaska, who was as bad as his Democrat equivalent, Robert “KKK” Byrd, when the Dems controlled the pig trough. Bush never vetoed a spending bill and he let the earmarks flow. He grew the size of government, which had been on the decline since the last real Libertarian-style Republican, Ronald Reagan, was in office. Reagan won the Cold War and a “peace dividend” for America.  “W” grew government by 40 percent, and Ron Paul fought him at every turn.

Second, Bush pushed for and got the largest entitlement program in modern times, the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Rife with drug lobby shenanigans, this bill was the most disappointing thing Bush had done to that point. Ron Paul voted against it.

Next, in a decision that will define George Bush and his legacy, the GOP and the   Democrats went into Iraq on faulty intelligence to fight a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11. Not only did Ron Paul vote against this, he railed against the U.S. “nation-building” there. View it as you will, these days it usually does not take two drinks to get a Republican to tell you that Iraq was a mistake.

Fourth, Paul fought the Clinton/Carter Community Reinvestment Act, which required that banks give mortgages on homes to those who could not afford to pay. It forced Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make sub-prime loans. Bush adopted it and branded it “The Ownership Society,” which led to our current mortgage meltdowns and the reason for my last point.

The fifth and most recent bad decision Bush made was to bail out the banks, insurance companies and the auto industry, which allowed Obama to exercise his own predisposition toward Socialism. Also, he had no honest accounting mechanism for us to know how our money was spent. In rewarding bad behavior, Bush greased the skids for Obama to take his central planning-style big government to unthought-of heights by paving the way for government intervention in picking the winners and losers in our economy. It turns out that the businesses that get the most federal money are the ones most regulated by the government and which have the best bagmen lobbyists on K Street. Again, Ron Paul was against this, and he was against this stupid stimulus package which will burden each of us with another $3,600 of debt. Our kids are already $37,000 in debt when they are born, and that even includes the denominator increase with all the babies the Octo-Mom spewed out.

Reasonable people have to look honestly at history and see who had the right answers to past issues. If you look at these five major mistakes made by Congress in recent years and where we Libertarians stood on each issue, I think you will agree that more government is seldom the answer.

Ron Hart is a Southern libertarian columnist who writes a weekly column about politics and life. His E-mail:

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