Posts Tagged ‘ron paul’

Republican Debate – My Answers

June 15, 2011

Two nights ago was the New Hampshire Republican debate on CNN. While I am a big supporter of Ron Paul, I don’t think his message was simple enough for the mainstream voters to consume. He jumped over his simple talking points about the Federal Reserve, Austrian Economics, Sound Money and Blowback among others and went right into rants that were valid, but made him sound more like a fringe candidate than a serious one.

I’m not saying that the two “winners,” Mitt Romney or Michelle Bachmann said anything of substance, but their message was well packaged. If Congressman Paul could just stick to clear, concise points while still spreading his message of liberty and Constitutionalism, he would come out as a clear frontrunner.

I only watched the first part of the debate last night, but if I had to give a response to some of the questions that were asked, here are a few:

1. What is your plan to create manufacturing  jobs in the US?

Currently in the United States, we have a service based economy. We do not have a manufacturing/production based one like we had in the past. Most of the manufacturing of products we import is in China or other Asian countries. The only way we are going to start manufacturing here is that we need the capital and labor to compete with China. In “capital,” I mean machines and resources. We need to invest in these machines so we can be competitive. Even if labor and materials are cheaper in China, we still have to ship all those products across the Pacific Ocean. It’s not really as efficient as we think. There is opportunity for us to start producing products again.

First, we need to cut the corporate tax to zero. There is no need to tax corporate profits and then tax them again when they get distributed to employees as pay. Second, we need to encourage investment in American capital. The easiest way to do this is to get the Federal Government out of economic planning. Stop subsidizing certain industries. Let the market decide what industries and products we should develop. We could be throwing money down the drain because an industry we are supporting might not be able to exist without the subsidies. That makes no economic sense and would never exist in a market based economy.

Bottom line is that we need to make things again, and in order to do that we need to let the market work and the capital invested here at home to do that.

2. What are your feelings on “Right to Work”?

Personally, I believe that the Federal Government should not be involved in the hiring process of a private company. However, we have installed labor laws that call for a closed shop if half of the workers decide to unionize. So, “Right to Work” is a counter to these regulations, but it really doesn’t work. It would be easier to defund the National Labor Relations Board and repeal labor laws that interfere with hiring process of a private firm, union or not.

Let the company, workers, and the market decide what they want to do. If Company A wants to run a closed shop with union employees, let them. If Company B wants to use non-union labor, there’s nothing wrong with that either. The point is that the Federal Government should just stay out of it altogether.

3. How would you build consensus within the Republican Party, not just Tea Partiers?

I feel the message of freedom and liberty are what the Founding Fathers of our nation wanted. This should resonate with every American, not just Republicans or Democrats. To me, it should be easy to build consensus to get the government out of our lives, out of the private sector and out of foreign wars and entanglements.

Then you would be free to live your life the way you want. Businesses will be able to hire people and deliver new and innovative products to the market. We would stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas and would be able to pass that savings along to the taxpayers.

We need to remember the reasons for the Constitution that the Framers had in mind at the time. We broke away from a too powerful and distant foreign central government. This country was founded on the principle of limited central government and if we remember that, building a consensus should not be too difficult.

As I watch more of the debate tonight, I’ll post more answers. Your comments are always welcome. Thanks for reading.

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Are We Really Safer?

May 27, 2009

President Obama and his team have been going back and forth with former VP Dick Cheney on whether or not we are safer as a nation now that Guantanamo Bay has closed and we say, at least, that we will no longer torture.

My answer to this whole debate:  Who cares!

Our safety as a country won’t change at all because we close one prison that holds 240 inmates.  And, our enemies have known for a long time that we torture, so this is nothing new.

The bigger debate should be if we are safer now than we were before we put all of these measures in place after 9/11.  Really, it’s been almost 8 years, and we haven’t gotten too far.  That’s the problem with fighting a war with an ideal.  How do you suppose we actually win a war on “terror?”  It’s the same thing with the new war on greed we have going after all the bailouts.  There is absolutely no way you can win a war on idealology.

I would agree with Ron Paul and others that our actions in the Middle East are actually making the situation worse and making us less safe.  Our intentions there were good, but the blowback is creating more and more people who hate us.  If we drop some bombs on civilians, which we have done numerous times, we are giving hundreds or thousands more people a reason to rise up against us.

There is an easy solution to the problem in the Middle East – Bring our troops home, close our military bases, and stop all foreign aid to Arab nations and Israel.  Let the people of the Middle East rule themselves.

If we are gone, they will have no reason to hate us.  Don’t believe the idea either that they hate “freedom and liberty” and the “American way of life.”  If they hated freedom, why wouldn’t they attack the Netherlands or New Zealand?  What they hate is our foreign policy, our bases in some of the holiest parts of the Muslim world, and our unwavering support for Israel.

Instead of actually getting into a real discussion about foreign policy, though, our media focuses on Guantanamo and that’s it.  It is like the extent of our entire foreign policy is one little prison.

It’s time to wake up and start asking bigger questions.  The sooner we do, the safer we all will be.

The GOP Needs to Embrace Ron Paul

May 18, 2009

Lately, I’ve been reading articles about the state of dissarray the Republican Party is in, and how there is a leadership void in the party.  The Republican National Committee Chairman, Michael Steele, says he’s the leader.  Rush Limbaugh wants to be the voice of the party.  Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney is going on every talk show he can trying to further push the George Bush Neo-Conservative agenda.  The Democrats have seized on this opportunity and have poked and prodded the GOP into making rash statements and decisions, further pushing them into a hole.

The funny thing, is that the Republican Party has a leader, with millions of followers, but they don’t want to acknowledge him.  The person is Ron Paul, and whether the rest of the GOP likes it or not, he is the true leader of the conservative, constitutionalist, Republican movement.  He understands the issues facing the country, and can back up what he says with his record.

All you have to do is look at all of the talk shows Dr. Paul has been making appearances on lately.  He is the only member of the GOP that is regularly on Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, and CNN.  He also set fundraising records during his Presidential campaign during the Republican primaries.  Plus, he won an NCAA basketball style bracket of GOP contenders on NPR.com by way of the votes of visitors on the site.

With the Democrats and Republicans growing closer together, with only a few billion dollars spending here or there between them, the GOP needs to separate itself and really stand up for the small government our founding fathers envisioned, and the freedom and liberty of all citizens.  With Ron Paul as the head of the GOP, we could get this country back on the right track and back to the way it is supposed to be.  If we keep down the current path, we will see less prosperity, less freedom, and more pain for the American people.  There is an answer to our problems, and the Republicans need to wake up and embrace him.

Typical Republicans in Orange County

April 28, 2009

On April 20th, the Orange County GOP Committee voted in favor of a resolution that gives a vote of “no confidence” to the new Sheriff and her concealed carry weapons (CCW) stance.  She wants to review and revoke CCW permits that were already issued.  You can read about the vote here on the RedCounty.com site.

The first steps in eliminating the freedom of the masses is to disarm them.  That is why the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment.  We have the right to bear arms in order to keep a tyrannical government from taking over.  The point is that if the authorities are armed, the citizens should be as well.

It’s fine that the Republicans in my county want to stand up for the rights of gun owners.  Supposedly, they also stand for small government, freedom, liberty and the Constitution.  Then how do you get to this statement?

Finally, we call for the elimination of waiting periods to purchase firearms and instead support complete implementation of instant background checks.

So, what the Orange County GOP is saying is that they believe in the Constitution, the Second Amendment, limited government, freedom, liberty and the right for the Federal Government, led by the FBI, to maintain a database with our names and any records that would deny us from purchasing a gun.  

How can you be for small government and freedom and liberty when you are relying on a central database maintained by the FBI?  This is exactly the kind of big government Republicans are supposed to be against.  

As a proponent of the Constitution, freedom, liberty and small government, I would sacrifice the “instant background check” for one that was performed by a third party that took a few days.  They would then destroy the records so that no one can use them for other purposes.  

Any power we grant the central government is abused.  By trying to appease the gun lobby, Republicans fall right back into the big government trap by letting the central government maintain a database of our personal information.  The GOP needs to start really standing for limited government and individual liberty, not just paying lip service to it.

The Problem with Tea Parties

April 13, 2009

There is going to be a Tea Party in Santa Ana, which is close to my hometown of Huntington Beach.  There is a series of speakers, one of which is Dana Rohrbacher, who is my Congressman.  He’s been in the House since 1988.

My big problem with this is that he was in Congress during the Bush years, when the Federal Government grew to the largest it’s ever been.  Now, all of a sudden he’s outraged?  Where was he speaking out against the budgets and taxes under the Bush Administration?

There is a political theory that when a party is out of power, they go back to their core principles, only to abandon those principles and grow the government when they go back into power.  How true is this of the Republican party?  They pushed for the biggest growth in government spending in the history of our country when they were the majority, but now that they are in the minority, they are all about fiscal responsibility again.  We need to see this for the fraud it is and not fall for this trap again.

Also, many of these figures act like they support limited government, but all they want to do is trim a program here or there and shift the tax brackets around.  We need more than these little, inconsequential tweaks right now.  We need real change and a political revolution.

We need to start to question the need for central economic planning, led by the Federal Reserve and the monopoly it has on our money supply.  We need to question our fiat currency, and if local currencies backed by gold might be a better way to manage our money.  The first step would be to repeal legal tender laws and to eliminate capital gains taxes on gold money.  Ron Paul has laid out this plan to open up our money supply to competition of gold backed money and fiat money.  This needs to be discussed at any Tea party.

We also need to not just be mad at our money being used for bailouts, but we need to be mad that the government, as Rothbard put it, “legally plunder” from us.  Why is the government entitled to a third of our hard earned money?  We should not just be mad about our money going to bail out Wall Street, but we need to be mad that it is going to build bombs, fight foreign wars, build foreign bridges and roads, and support our welfare state.  In order to truly reform our government, we need to take as much out of the hands of Washington as possible.  Our Constitution lays out the framework for a limited central government and strong local and state power.  We have moved so far from this vision that we have a tyrannical government that has overriding rule over all.  This is what we should be revolting about!

The anger and frustration over the bailouts is a good way to start to build energy towards a revolution, but we can’t keep our scope so limited.  Every one of these Tea Parties need to go beyond the bailouts and taxes and to the Constitution and the vision of our Founding Fathers.  They should have speakers who believe in eliminating the Federal Reserve, cutting or ending the income tax, ending our empire, and drastically reducing the size of our government.  We need to move beyond the symptom, which is the recession we’re in and the bailouts, and really fix our country.

Good or Bad News?

April 10, 2009

Today, a source close to the Treasury Department said that no banks failed the government mandated “stress test” and would have to be shut down.  He went on to say that some banks would still need more capital injections.  The story is linked here.

While to the layperson, this looks like good news, to a supporter of the free markets, this is just more bad news.

First, the banks administered the stress tests themselves, and then submitted their results to the Treasury.  How are we to be certain they were being honest?  Of course, they would not want to show that they were going to fail, so why do we put any faith in this report?  If a bank came out and said, “we failed,” their stock would plummet and depositors would immediately withdraw their money.

Second, in the same statement, the source said some companies would still need more government aid.  So, doesn’t that mean these banks that need aid failed?  If they passed, they should not need any more propping up by the Federal Government.  If they still need more money, they can still fail, stress test or not.  That’s just common sense.

And finally, how can we be in the midst of one of the worst banking crises in the history of the US, and only a handful of firms have failed?  We have Lehman, Bear, Wachovia, and WaMu.  That’s it!  We need to weed out the bad apples, now.  We can’t keep propping up everyone.  The government is going about this all wrong, pre-emptively saving banks.  If the government should get involved, it should be after the banks fail, helping clean up the mess.  At least this way the rotten firms and bad assets would be liquidated, and we would be able to move on.

There is always more to the story than what the media and government reports.   Initially, the story might sound like good news, but if you read between the lines and put two and two together, you see that it is just a positive spin on more bad news.  The solution to our crisis is simple:  let the bad banks fail and liquidate the bad debts.  The sooner we allow this to happen, the sooner we will return to prosperity.

It’s Impossible to Remove Toxic Assets

March 21, 2009

Information came out yesterday and today that the Obama administration is about to unveil their plan to buy up toxic assets from banks.  They plan to use up to a trillion dollars from the previous bailouts, help from the Federal Reserve and a form of a public/private partnership to accomplish this.  After the uproar over the AIG bailout and bonuses, the administration does not want to go to Congress for more money.

However, it does not matter what kind of plan the Obama team comes up with for one key reason:  Banks will not sell any of their toxic assets.  They will not sell because the second they do, they will have to revalue their assets to the market value, and that will lead to failures across the board.

They would rather sit with billions of dollars of toxic assets on their books, not try to get rid of them, and collect billions from the government.  The only way banks will sell their assets is if the government suspends the mark-to-market accounting rule.

Mark-to-market means that banks have to value assets for their market value.  This is similar to how things operate in the real world for you and I.  Previously, they could use “mark-to-model” accounting, which meant they could value their assets using a computer model to determine their value.

For example, if we bought a home for $500,000, and we want to refinance or pull out equity, the bank will look at the value of our home if we sold it, or the market value.  If it’s value has dropped to $450,000, we have to adjust our plans for the new value.

You will hear some “economists” argue that banks should not have to use mark-to-market because there is no market right now and prices are artificially depressed.  There is a market right now, it’s just that no one will price assets that low because it will trigger all the other banks having to write down their assets.

If the value of these assets was artificially depressed, people should be buying them because their true value is really higher.  Just because it involves millions of dollars and the banking industry does not mean that the rules should be different.

If we suspend mark-to-market it will only lead to inflated prices for worthless assets.  Then the government will buy them and lose all their money and the losses will be stuck on the American taxpayer.  Sounds like a great idea to me.

There is a very simple alternative to all the bailouts and failed schemes – let the banks fail and let the bad debt be liquidated.  Only one politician has been a proponent of this, Ron Paul, and only a small handful of economists have called for this alternative.  It is amazing how the debate is limited to how many billions we should give away and how mad we should get for less than 1% of those billions being handed out in bonuses.

If you talk about bank failures, you are bound hear about Lehman Brothers and how disasterous that was.  I would argue though, that the Lehman failure has nothing to do with the crisis we are in.  Sure, lots of people lost money, but it was pretty orderly, proving the bankruptcy system worked.   Shareholders got wiped out, bondholders settled for 20 cents on the dollar, and the derivatives settled for about $6 billion.

Are we still talking about Lehman?  No.  Are we still talking about another firm that failed but had a government negotiated failure, Bear Sterns?  No.  The government got involved and arranged for a way to settle the debts and found a buyer.

Are will still talking about firms the government has tried to rescue through all the bailouts?  AIG?  Fannie and Freddie?  Bank of America?  Citi?  I know this is anectdotal evidence, but it seems that firms we let fail have gone by the wayside, and those that we’ve saved have just kept causing more trouble.

The point is that spending more taxpayer money and coming up with more schemes to help the banks are futile attempts to put humpty back together again.  The banks will not cooperate and liquidate their debt when they have the promise of government overpaying for worthless assets.  However, we will keep these insolvent institutions alive by giving them money to offset the writedowns on their bad debts.  It is an endless cycle with no light at the end of the tunnel.

The only way to move through this is to let the insolvent banks fail, liquidate their debts, and let the healthy or new institutions fill the void.  Until we do this, the current crisis will continue and eventually lead to the failure of the dollar and our economy as a whole.

The “Outrage” Over AIG

March 17, 2009

I find it very amusing that Fed Chairman Bernanke, President Obama and all of these members in Congress are so “outraged” by the AIG bonuses that add up to $170 million.

Aren’t these the same people who said we had to act swiftly and boldly to help avert falling into a financial abyss?  I know that Bush was still President then, but Obama and McCain both favored the massive government intervention.

This is what happens when you just say things like “protect the taxpayer” but you don’t take the time to read the bill to see if those provisions are really in there.

The AIG bailout was one that was not executed by Congress, but it is still their responsibility to ask questions and press the Treasury and Fed on what their plans are.  You can’t just let things happen and then get mad later at the outcome.

I’m more mad at the $170 billion we’ve given to AIG so far to keep it afloat.  They doled out almost $60 billion to all their big bank friends.  Why aren’t we outraged at that?  Why are we so mad about $170 million?  We need to stop focusing at the small stuff and AIG and start focusing on the bigger picture and the horrible job the Fed and Treasury Department are doing.

You’d think if you gave someone $170 billion, you’d keep good tabs on where it is going, right?  Wrong.  YOou would know that they are just handing over billions to their banking friends, right?  Wrong.  You think you’d actually put in provisions to protect the taxpayers and not just say you did, right?  Wrong.

The AIG bonus “outrage” is just a political ploy to make it look like our politicians care about us, and we’re taking the bait.  Instead of focusing on the mismanagement by the government, we’re making those big, bad greedy executives the scapegoat.

Now Congress wants to tax these bonuses to recoup the money.  However, some people got bonuses of $1000.  It’s more than just the top level that relies on bonuses for a big chunk of their salaries.  I don’t think the execs should be getting this money, but a secretary or administrative assistant?  Let’s take their money too.

This whole thing was a mess from the start and now we’re paying the price.  The government told us how we needed to act urgently and this is what happens.  When will we, the people stop buying it and stand up to this nonsense?

Obama’s Reassurance Rings Hollow

March 14, 2009

Earlier today (3/15), President Obama tried to reassure the rest of the world that the US was still worth investing in.  Here’s a portion of what he said today:

“There’s a reason why even in the midst of this economic crisis, you’ve seen actual increases in investment flows here into the United States,” Mr. Obama told reporters. “I think it’s a recognition that the stability not only of our economic system but our political system is extraordinary.”

He added, “Not just the Chinese government, but every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States.”

While China’s Premier, Wen, had a legitimate reason to be worried about his country’s holdings, the Obama administration just repeated the same line about the US being a good place to invest.

There’s a problem with Obama’s response.  He is talking about investing inside the United States.  China is worried about investing in the United States government.

China supposedly holds almost 4 trillion US dollars and treasury bills in reserve.  Every dollar the Federal Reserve prints and the government spends decreases the value of the Chinese holdings.  They are our main creditor, and without them, we would have to find new creditors or dramatically cut spending.

We need to assure the rest of the world that our money is sound and that we are in control of our spending.  We can not keep printing money forever and expect everyone to just take our word for it.  We need to show the rest of the world that we are concerned about debasing our currency and that the dollar could collapse if we don’t start to control the printing press.

As a nation, we can not keep believing that just because we are the United States that things will always be good.  The end of almost every empire in the history of the world has been because the government went bankrupt.  I really believe that the end of our empire is near if we do not change our ways.

We could easily assure the rest of the world that the dollar is strong by having Congress place rules on the Fed.  Ron Paul has introduced a bill to audit the Fed, which is long overdue.  They need to go a step further and put a limit or cap on how many dollars they can print.  This would instantly bolster the dollar.  If these means are successful, then they could tie the cap to gold, and put us back on a standard of real money.

The key though, is to limit the Federal Reserve and limit the spending by our government.  If we do not, it won’t matter what we say.  The world will know that the dollar is being devalued and they will stop lending us money.  We need to take our creditor’s concerns seriously, and not believe that our country is invincible.

Thanks for Pointing out the Obvious Jon Stewart

March 13, 2009

This week Jon Stewart, the host of the Daily Show, has been making headlines for his ridicule and criticism of CNBC.  He even had Jim Cramer on yesterday and showed him clips of how wrong he was.  All Cramer could do was admit he was wrong.

Stewart even said he couldn’t find an analyst that predicted the downturn, but Peter Schiff was on CNBC many times and was dead right.  Stewart was probably too busy laughing like the rest of the people on CNBC to remember.

While Stewart is doing a good job of raising awareness that CNBC journalists, analysts, and companies do not always provide correct information, he is just restating the obvious.  Of course, it’s easy to show how wrong the people on CNBC were in the face of the worst stock market collapse in decades.  He’s just piling on harder than most people.

If Jon Stewart is so smart, where was he during the whole real estate boom?  Where was he telling us all that there was a commodities bubble when a barrel was at $140?  Why wasn’t he telling us that the stock market was going to crash?

If you want some advice from real economists you should visit www.mises.org, lewrockwell.com, campaignforliberty.com, and ronpaul.com.  Instead of some funny-man just criticizing CNBC and offering no solutions, you can learn about our economy, stock markets, and banking system and make decisions for yourself.