North Coast Liberty Review
Spring 1997 Volume 3, issue 8
Press release from Libertarian national Headquarters:
WASHINGTON, DC -- A government Advisory Council on Social Security released a report proposing to "privatize" Social Security might save the ailing retirement program, which will go bankrupt by 2029. This could deal a deathblow to the American system of free enterprise in the process, the Libertarian Party warned.
All proposed "solutions" involve massive Social Security investments in the stock market, whether through direct government purchases, mandated private retirement accounts, or government-managed stock accounts. According to the 13-member panel, the higher yields from stocks would make up for the revenue shortfall, which will otherwise bankrupt the 62-year-old federal program.
Under the various proposals, the government would direct between $500 billion and $2.1 trillion worth of Social Security investments into private companies over the next 15 years. Dasbach said: "That represents 5% to 10% of the total value of the stock market -- which would immediately make the federal government the largest and most influential investor in American business."
This poses two significant dangers, according to Dasbach:
* In an effort to guarantee adequate revenue for Social Security recipients, politicians are beginning to legislate companies' business decisions
* The government will try to impose even more meddlesome social engineering programs on private business.
What's the solution?
"We should choose real privatization -- and get the government completely out of Social Security," said Dasbach. "As our 1996 presidential candidate Harry Browne proposed, we should sell trillions of dollars worth of unneeded federal assets to finance the liquidation of Social Security through the purchase of private retirement annuities for senior citizens.
"Under such a program, senior citizens would have guaranteed contracts with trustworthy private companies -- instead of relying on politicians and bankrupt government programs. And the politicians wouldn't get $2 trillion worth of influence over American business.
"We need to protect Americans' retirement accounts – but protect free enterprise, too," said Dasbach. "The only way to do that is to reject all three of these so-called privatization plans."
Medicare’s Prison time for Granny,
Madison Republican Representative Stephen LaTourettes does not think those Grandmothers will be going to jail for gift giving (but he won’t swear by it). This February LaTourette was asking AARP members in Mentor to petition Congress to change a provision in the Kennedy-Kassebaum health care bill that his vote supported. A provision that went into effect this year could potentially place elderly persons in prison because they gave financial gifts to their children. The bill assumes that the elderly are merely transferring their millions to their kids so that they can get that good free government health care. To curb these millionaire cheats, the Fed’s came up with fines of up to $10,000, and one year in jail. Gosh, I’m so glad that we have big government Republicans to protect us from the even bigger government Democrats.
Please explain to me why I should not believe that the government is attempting to outlaw compassion?
Any Congressional member who said they were for a balanced budget and did not submit one is a phony.
The congress was just one vote shy of initiating a balanced budget amendment. That proves two things: One, they have enough votes to immediately pass a balanced budget, no waiting; Two, the fact that there has not been a balanced budget since 1968 proves that they lack the gonads to do what they know is right. They only want to talk about it to placate the attention deficit media types. Scoundrels.
Socially Bills Smaller Government (?) and Balancing The Budget
Bill Clinton in his Inaugural address on January 20th, Clinton promised a
"New vision of government...that must do more with less." A myopic vision of government.
During Clinton’s first term, the national debt increased by $730 billion, to a staggering $5.2 trillion.
During Bubba’s first watch our average debt grew by $2,920 per person. This is while performing the actuarial magic of counting Social Security taxes received as income but not counting IOU’s generated by spending that money as debt -- that is under a different department; specifically Govt. T-Bills. While all of that is happening, the Clinton gang still claims with a straight face that the federal government is the smallest it has been since the Kennedy administration. In Fiscal Year 1964 the total federal expenditure was $118 billion, which is less than 10% of Clinton’s $1,500 billion for fiscal year 1995.
Billy Bob does promise that his plan will bring us to balanced budget by the year 2002. What he fails to mention is that 70% of the cuts will come in the two years after he leaves office. How convenient.
Here are some more facts: Between fiscal 94 and 95, federal spending on interest alone jumped from $296 billion per year to $332 billion … that’s from $1,168 to $1,320 per person. The military was $260 billion. In fiscal year 1994, interest payments on the debt exceeded military spending, a pattern that shows no reversal. From Clinton’s Fiscal 92 to fiscal 95 term, $1.2 trillion was paid in interest alone about $4,800 per person. Soon the nation will not be able to make the equivalent of the minimum payments on our credit cards. With all of this massive increase in public debt, one must rationally speculate that the nation is under some massive economic stress - paying for a civil war, or a world war or digging out of some massive depression or other colossal catastrophe. Unfortunately the cause is far more banal: the massive incompetence and dishonesty of our modern politicians. This is an inevitable result of an entrenched political monopoly that cannot be held accountable by the voters at the ballot box.
How accountable are the incumbent political parties going to be if they finally push the country off the economic cliff? Will they apologize for rigging the ballot in their favor for the last 6 decades? Only after they retire overseas to sup from there numbered Swiss accounts.
One of the mind-numbing multitudes of opinion polls out there had ranked the public’s concern about balancing the budget as fifth. Education, crime, healthcare and the environment ranked ahead of it. People were asked why the debt was so low on the priority list, most did not see what influence the expanding debt had upon their lives. To see the importance of this priority consider: In the fifties and sixties, there was one breadwinner in the average home, and the other spouse could afford to stay home and care for offspring. This is no longer true. The general taxation rate was about half of today’s rate; the average household was not in massive personal debt; mortgage interest rates were a very low 3 to 4%; Social Security was a much smaller percentage of wages, and the ceiling was far lower.
Paraphrasing Tony Brown from a speech delivered at Emery University:
It is a hoax to hear government bureaucrats-leaders claim that we must move people off of welfare when the same politicians has a Federal Reserve Board who’s policy is to keep unemployment around 6% so inflation does not heat up
NEWS FLASH! Clinton angrily defends his political money grubbing saying that they did nothing wrong -- He did not sell the Lincoln bedroom, he only rented it!
Expanding government-imposed discrimination:
From Libertarian national head quarters: Abolish the government's "official" racial classifications, Libertarians say.
WASHINGTON, DC -- Is your racial classification government approved?
If not, don't worry -- federal bureaucrats are hard at work adding new categories to the "official" list of federally recognized races.
"Instead of working to end racism, federal bureaucrats are planning to increase their list of government-recognized racial classifications -- so they can further divide this nation on racial grounds," warned Libertarian Party Chairman Steve Dasbach.
Currently there are five official, government-approved racial classifications: white, black, American Indian/Eskimo, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic. "These categories are eerily similar to the four racial categories used by the government of South Africa during Apartheid -- white, black, colored, and Indian," said Dasbach.
"Various ethnic groups are vigorously lobbying to have their category added to the official list of races -- because they know they'll hit the financial jackpot if they become a protected class under anti-discrimination laws," said Dasbach.
"Such racially based policies are one of the reasons why Americans have become less tolerant and more racially divided over the past three decades," said Dasbach. "After all, how can politicians preach the virtues of non-discrimination when they use the power of government to enforce discrimination?"
"Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of the day when Americans would judge a man by the content of his character, rather than the color of his skin. The last thing Dr. King would have wanted is for Americans to be judged by the government-approved and federally categorized color of his skin," said Dasbach.
Dafynition: Democracy – Two wolfs and a sheep voting on lunch.
Ballot access nationwide 22 states Best ever Party Membership at an all time high!
Some tough states now with automatic access - building upon success.
Membership has increased 49% in the last two years,
We raised over $3 million combined between National Committee and Harry Browne’s campaign. Ran over 800 candidates - here in Ohio Our write-in candidates Jim Russell and Aaron Obrien gave Libertarians 2 more candidates than the Reform Party!
Let us ignore that the current secretary of state Robert Taft’s office played some games with petitioning "laws" to ensure that the Reform party could not run congressional candidates in 96 (OK the ensure part is my speculation, the rest is not.) We should also ignore the fact that the same Mr. Taft already has over $1.6 million for his run at the Governors office in 1998. While I’m so dedicatedly ignoring things, let us forget that Mr. Taft signed the death warrant on the Natural Law party -- eliminating a competitor for the gouvenores seat next year. For the son of Mr. Republican, there is no such thing as conflict of interest.
Fair laws protect equal rights for all. Apparently some are more equal than others are.
A note from the Natural Law state chair -- I am not supposed to say anything negative about any of those facts. The board of elections has been "most helpful in assisting the NLP" through the maze of ballot access laws.
Hey wake up and smell the Veda tea! It is immoral and flat out ridiculous that the memberships of the majority parties create and enforce the "laws" that control and/or eliminate their opponents’ existence.
As of late I have come to the conclusion that there is not a single Judge in the country that has not been or is being endorsed by or running under a "party" label. To try to bring the Ballot access laws before a fair and impartial judge in this country may very well be impossible. The goal of such a suit would be to try to get our 9th and 14th amendment rights restored.
Election Post-mortem: Some of What I learned while running for Federal Office.
In my introductory speech at the Cleveland City Club, I made the remark: "If the Bill of Rights were up for a vote today neither the Republicans nor the Democrats would pass it." It was directed to my political opponents for Ohio’s 19th district, Representative Stephen LaTourette (R) and Mayor Thomas Coyne (D) neither flinched during that nor remarked about it later. That was not the first time I had made the comment to them. Later, the fact that they did not respond told me what my biggest error was in all of the debates: I never stated anything that would compel them to answer any hard questions.
What I needed to do -- rather then simply being a puppet on the stage and barking answers when my string was pulled -- was to start puling their strings. To force them into positions where they must answer my questions. I made a 7-minute speech on ballot access as a Constitutional crime and they ignored my topic completely. An excellent strategy, for them. Of course they want to ignore it; if they were to touch that tar baby they would never be able to extricate themselves from it. I should have used a glove to slap them in the face, called them cowards and challenged them to a duel to get some attention … and an answer to my challenges.
Another observation: After you get past the cameras, media blare, etc., politicians are just as frail and human as the rest of us. There is no sacred vale of wisdom and compassion that is magically placed upon them. They are people, raised and trained by a political machine, and they will react tightly within those confines. As for their personal motivations, I am not certain. I have heard one politician claim that he was interested because of the balanced budget and its economic threats to his children. Yet, while in office, he has not submitted a single balanced budget. I try to respect them, but their actions fail to earn that respect.
More Lessons from the trail:
Media stinks! The people who run it are incredibly biased. They have their own agenda and, because they control major outlets of information, they rationalize their own views as objective reality. How else can publishers claim "Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty" and do what they did? The truth is a three-edged sword. There is your side, their side, and what really happened.
My side: I believe that an informed populace is most vital to the liberty and prosperity of America. Inform the people and let them decide. If you are biased - say so and why. After much consideration, I can only rationally view their actions as enumerated below are intentional and malicious. The media deception injured my campaign attempts to inform people on some of the topics. They also succeeded in damaging credibility when people were able to get honest information. "How come I never heard of you before?" was not so uncommon a remark by people who tried to be informed.
Their side: Newspaper editor of the Willoughby News Herald, James Collins, personally justified to me that it was OK to intentionally excluded me from their televised coverage of the congressional candidates. Collins rationalized that they had an alternative candidate once before – but it did not work out.
A few months after that discussion with Mr. Collins, just before the election, the News Herald printed what they claimed as a "Comprehensive Guide to the Nov 5. Election" in their Oct 31, 1996 issue. Again they excluded covering my candidacy. They also excluded presidential candidates Harry Browne - Libertarian, John Hagelin - Natural Law, Howard Phillips - US Taxpayers, and Monica Moorhead - Socialist Workers party. I guess I do not have the latest double speak dictionary, thus I am confused by the term "comprehensive"
Again Mr. Collins - and also Mr. Talmage "Tal" Campbell, executive editor - lamely justified intentionally excluding coverage of me as a congressional candidate.
What really happened: I was on the ballot for Congress; Browne, Hagelin, Phillips, Moorhead were on the ballot for president and the people who believed the stories from the paper to be true were guaranteed to be no wiser.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer was hardly any better. The editorial staff, Brent Larkin and others intentionally excluded me from an interview session that had the Democrat and Republican at the same time. They did interview me later, but that was only after threat of legal action. During that interview, it was obvious that the Plain Dealer editorial board could have cared less what I said and had no intention of using any of it - and they did not. They did publish a series of issues and had the ‘major candidates’ responses - again the intentional exclusion. Other alternative candidates and I provided the information - and they ignored it.
Before the campaign I had a fairly high level of respect for the media. Now that I have personal experience, I have very little.
Never before was I as aware as I am now of the trend where cities are losing competing newspapers to union greed and stupid management. This bodes ill for the chances of a fully informed populace. If it were not for the growing Internet, I would lose all hope. Senator Exxon and his cronies, who fear an informed populace, are trying to censure Internet transmissions - under the name of decency. We must see them for what they are and stop them. The only stuff in the paper that is reliable is the weather(?), auto wrecks , personal tragedies, comics and classifieds. As rotten as it is, the unfortunate truth is that we will have to win over the media one member at a time. The low-level cub reporters are basically OK, but when you work your way up the food chain - it gets slimmer and slimier.
The League of Women Voters deserves special credit.If it were not for them and several other private organizations, it would be virtually impossible to get any information but the Republican and Democratic claptrap that the media cranks out daily.
Party Growth - Harry Browne stays active.
West Virginia has its first new political party in 72 years! The Libertarians. That is one of the tougher states for ballot access! Dr. Wallace Johnson, LP Gubernatorial candidate pulled enough votes statewide to keep party status through the year 2000. The Libertarian Party is automatically on in 22 states already. This will be the best start into the next election cycle that the Libertarian Party ever had. The Libertarian party has grown by 49% in the last two years.
Harry Browne is remaining active in pursuit of restoring Liberty to America. This is very good news. His eloquence, efforts and friends he has earned along the way will factor heavily in advancing the cause of Liberty and the Libertarian party.
Is it time for a Lake-Ashtabula Libertarian group?
I think so. I want to get to get one started, get involved in local issues - asking local buerocritters questions like: How are we going to pay for this stuff? Do we really need this airport if it has yet to pay for itself after 20-plus years? Do we need to seize property through eminent domain just because a place looks nice? Should we force people in a self-sufficient neighborhood to be saddled with massive expenses for sewage connections, just to overgrow the neighborhood? There are dozens of other topics - but I need input. Lake - Eastern Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Ashtabula members - If you are interested - sent me something - a simple YES to North Coast Liberty Review, PO Box 261 Mentor OH 44060 or Phone 216 257-1351.
Clinton and his Generals:
President Clinton rolled out the biggest available guns he has to point at the American people: A martinet general/czar, McCafery, a secretary of the FDA (Federal Death Administration) Schalala, and a General Attorney, Reno, with over 85 domestic kills to her credit. They each clearly pointed out how the opinions of the California and Arizona Voters who approved medical use of marijuana - along with compassion and states rights - are meaningless. They could have saved us all some time by simply stating that: We have our guns (… er, "laws") and we don’t care who (non-politico’s and those generally not "connected") is hurt by them. Heinrich Himmler would be proud. He was a General.
The Ninth Amendment says that those rights not specifically listed belong to the people. The Doctor - patient relationship - just like the Lawyer-Client relationship - is to be protected. That is, unless you are a big-government bureaucrat and you own the people. When you own something you control it. If you cannot legally control it you do not own it. That even extends to the lump of flesh you call your body. If you cannot legally control it - and someone else, or some government body does control it - you are not a free citizen, you are their property. This is master-slave relationship.
Fascism "For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists of using individuals for its social ends." Alferdo Rocco. There are similarities between fascism and the insect world of termites, bees and ants. The hive’s existence is far more important than that of any individual. Members of the hive readily sacrifice their lives without hesitation for the apparent "good of the colony". Their heavily regimented society is highly successful for some insects. That social model appeals to the desire of social order and the central planners who wish to construct a similar human social utopia.
In the insect hive, all are sister’s-brother or daughter’s-sons to the queen. Cooperation is not altruistic, it is natural. Self "sacrifices" are not for strangers but for family.
In a human society, force is required to maintain a hive mentality. Human beings will not aggregate into a hive voluntarily. Where the human hive mentality has been implemented, fear and force have done it. Society becomes little more than a legion of fleshy automatons marching insect-like in mindless rank and file. Creativity is crushed. Authority subjugates humanity.
Compared to caring for their own unique families and offspring, human masses have little to gain by supporting some vague ideal of a collective society. Innovation - which has raised us from primitive barbarism to high-tech barbarism - is the child of diversity. Creativity is an individual act and must be eliminated for the good of the hierarchy in the collective society.
The ancient Chinese dynasties fit well into the insect mentality. Caste-like in its regimen, the culture quickly advanced as far as it designs permitted thousands of years ago, then stagnated for centuries. Had it not been for the influence of the outside world, China would still be such a society.
America was a primitive relatively empty land, with neither a hierarchy to regiment society nor an infrastructure to maintain such a culture. It grew in fits and starts and has easily surpassed all of the more established ancient cultures. Individuals, singly or cooperatively, created much of what we are today. Another word for that is capitalism.
"It Takes A Village" idiot to confuse the insect hive mentality with a neighborhood or city, then to equate the two socially. The modern politician is the one who legislates the idiot’s dream into reality.
February 24 meeting featured speaker Walker Todd. A lawyer, economist, French Ph.D. His presentation was on "The origins of civil society." He was born in 1945 east of Nashville, into a society that was fairly self-sufficient. Voluntary cooperation was the successful basis of society -- maybe that is why Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State. That society appeared very Jeffersonian in nature, as people left others alone the same was returned in kind and as people helped each other that too was returned in kind. Government was a local issue, and occasionally a state issue. It was a fairly peaceful society.
From the Greeks in Homer’s Iliad and in ancient Biblical text the civil origins and legal underpinnings of individual Liberty history is loaded with the recognition of individuals' rights. Common Law rights such as those enumerated in the Magna Carta forced the King’s recognition of individual rights and natural liberties. Every man did what was right in his own eyes. But how can such a society run? Social coherence was maintained by way of voluntary cooperation and voluntary restraint. Liberty is not license.
This history, and the history of despots through time, helped shaped the thinking of the American founders.
Alternatives? Personal adjudication issues on a local issue by peers.
If we go to a truly global society, others who do not share a local view or culture will be dictating our lives and values. Witness the effects of the NAFTA and GATT treaties, which have sold our rights for profit.
Our problems went into high gear in 1933, when the Federal Reserve Board switched America to a corporate state. In1933 it was not necessary to close the banks, nor was the seizure of citizens’ gold that occurred the next year. The post-World War Two dismantling of the war economy did not happen. The Korean and Vietnam crises insured that. LBJ’s "Great Society" helped promote the government monolith into what we have today.
A voluntary society is radically different. Each of us carves out our own niche. Many perform exactly the same necessary task as generations of predecessors. Some futilely waste their efforts in non-productive effort. Some, by their own design or by serendipity, create and exploit new uses of existing goods, or new conceptual models of the world where we all may benefit and advance.
Other notable stories:
Former Libertarian Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul has regained his old congressional seat as a Republican. In the spring primary he defeated the incumbent republican and went on with over 51% of the vote in the general election. We welcome the breath of sanity that Congressman Paul should offer in an otherwise ever-expanding realm of federal power and control.
Form an ABC 20/20 Feb 20th story: Northwest Arkansas to get another airport. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is dumping hundreds of millions into new airport. Low politicians in high places couldn’t possibly have anything to do with that could they? The fact that the existing airport is operating at a whole 30% of capacity has nothing to do with influencing rational minds at the cash-strapped FAA. Heck, existing airports like Mena could take in more than just Colombian traffic.
Another story: The cash-strapped FAA has re-instated a 10% ticket tax to refill hollow coffers. Good thing that republican revolution in congress is protecting US citizens from expanding Federal government.
FED Chairman Alan Greenspan boosted overnight banking interest rates by .25% to 5.75%. A government apologist claimed the preemptive move to curb potential inflation was necessary because job figures were looking strong. Higher employment figures will create inflationary wage demands.
Gosh more labor means more goods in the market. More wealth is dangerous thus to correct that the government will re-direct capital from wealth creation and job creation towards printing more money instead. OOPS the Fed does not print money; they hire a middleman (Federal Reserve) to do it for them. It’s just that the taxpayers are still on the hook to make good once those T-bills mature. So what was that Idea of inflation –having too much money chasing too few goods?