Starting from Scratch

by William E. Morris, DelawareOnline.com

The infamous $700 billion bailout is a symbol of the incompetence of big government. It results from previous government actions that have caused a recession, and threaten a depression. The bail-out to the risk we already had of severe inflation and a financial catastrophe.

What if we started over to design a government from scratch a government that really worked for us?

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Government and Fraud

by Rep Ron Paul

Billions of dollars were recently lost in the collapse of Bernie Madoff’s self-described Ponzi scheme, in which too-good-to-be-true returns on investments were not really returns at all, but the funds of defrauded new investors.  The pyramid scheme collapsed dramatically when too many clients called in their accounts, and not enough new victims could be found to support these withdrawals.  Bernie Madoff was running a blatant fraud operation.

Fraud is already illegal, and he will be facing criminal consequences, which is as it should be, and should act as an appropriate deterrent to potential future criminals.  But it seems every time someone breaks the law, politicians and pundits decide we need more laws, even though lack of laws was not the problem.

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States Rights in the Pollution Debate

by Greg Heller, The Holy Cause

Does the “liberal” Obama respect the Constitution more than the “conservative” Bush?  From the Contra Costa Times:

After months of battling with the Bush administration, California may be close to getting permission from the federal government to set its own standards for tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks.

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to grant the state a waiver to impose the tough new standards after he takes office in January, reversing a decision by the Bush administration that infuriated environmentalists.

“Obama has said very clearly he would permit California to move forward and enforce its greenhouse gas standards for cars, so we expect that the Bush administration’s policies will be reversed in short order,” said Frank O’Donnell, executive director of the environmental group Clean Air Watch.

… If Obama approves the waiver, the implications will reach far beyond California.

Eighteen other states already have adopted or are in the process of adopting California’s standards. The waiver would clear the way for them to impose the tougher standards as well and would force auto manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles nationwide.

… EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced last December that he had decided against issuing the waiver because California did not have “compelling and extraordinary conditions” to set its own standards.

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Let states decide on medical marijuana

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy, makes the point pretty clear in this letter to the Sheboygan Press:

While there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink cancerous tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug.

If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and it helps them feel better, then it’s working. In the end, medical marijuana is a quality of life issue best left to patients and their doctors.

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Economic Freedom or Socialist Intervention?

by Rep Ron Paul

The freedom to fail is an essential part of freedom.  Government- provided financial security necessitates relinquishing the very essence of freedom.  Last week, the big 3 American automakers came back to Capitol Hill with their hands out to the government.  Congress spent this past week debating how much money to give them and what strings should be attached.

Though the bailout plan for the auto industry has suffered what I would call a temporary setback in the Senate, other avenues for public funding are being explored through the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.  I am afraid the American auto industry will soon learn that having billions rain down from Washington will not be the blessing one might expect.

The government, after it subsidizes an industry, tends to become a very demanding benefactor.  Politicians may not have any real idea about how to build a car, run a bank, educate a child, heal the sick or build a road, but they are quite adept at using carrots and sticks to manipulate and threaten those who do.  Most of the federal control over education, roads, healthcare, and now banking and soon auto manufacturing, is done through money, mandates and conditions. 

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The Meaning of Federalism

by Clarence B. Carson, Fee.org

Several developments have contributed to making the meaning of federalism obscure. Some are old, some recent. Some may be more or less innocent; others are destructive of federalism itself. One of these that may be more or less innocent is the habit of referring to the United States government as the “federal government.”

Whether it is innocent or not, it does tend to confuse the unwary. These United States have a federal system of government. The system embraces both the general government and those of the states. Thus, both the United States government and the state government are correctly alluded to as “federal” governments.

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Liberty and Obedience

by David Gordon, Mises.org

The dedication of Restoring the Lost Constitution, “To James Madison and Lysander Spooner,” at once alerts us that we confront an unusual book. During the Constitutional Convention, Madison supported a strong national government; Spooner, by contrast, subjected to withering criticism the notion that the people of the United States had consented to the Constitution. Whom does Barnett support? The Father of the Constitution or the author of The Constitution of No Authority?

Barnett soon makes clear his response. He finds convincing Spooner’s assault on consent theories of political obligation. But this does not lead him to question the need for a state. Quite the contrary, he aims to extricate government from Spooner’s challenge: since consent does not underlie our obligation to obey the state, Barnett must locate something better that will do the job.

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