Monday, February 6, 2012

Who's the real winner?

The Washington Post ran an article that all but concedes the GOP nomination to Mitt following his big win in Nevada, his second consecutive victory. 
the former Massachusetts governor’s win here, coupled with his enormous Florida victory just days ago, proved Republicans have begun to coalesce around his candidacy in earnest. He swept nearly every voting group in Nevada including those that have been slow to come aboard, such as tea party activists and voters who describe themselves as extremely conservative.
But who is really winning here, and who is losing?

Those who are “extremely conservative” apparently find nothing objectionable to the existence of the IRS or the Federal Reserve System, or to the Department of Education that grinds out an increasingly groupthink, uncompetitive population of Americans.  But, you say, conservative Republicans have been trying to get rid of the DoED since Carter created it, except for the neoconservative Bush II who expanded it with No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  The governor has had glowing words for NCLB, which is not to say he will keep it.  His rhetoric of late has had a Tea Party flavor, so there’s no telling what he really believes.  Any man who receives the support of over 100 registered lobbyists is up for grabs.  Any candidate whose biggest supporters are the biggest banks will not suddenly turn Austrian when the next crisis hits.  Can you see Romney standing triumphantly over the dead carcass of the Fed, his biggest donors’ best friend?  Neither can I. 

But these are technicalities.  The extremely conservative conservatives know a global superpower needs staggering amounts of revenue, so there’s no need to disturb the flow of wealth from their paychecks and pockets to military contractors.  Many of them probably are military contractors.

The real issue is not whether Romney (or Gingrich or whoever, except Paul) calls for the abolition of the income tax or the Department of Education.  They could conceivably make a powerful speech calling for their elimination - during the campaign.  They will say whatever the voters’ ears are expecting because the campaign is for the voters.  They like to believe they’re in control.  For the voters, the post-election period is the morning after.

Barack Obama campaigned on “change” in 2008.  We got more stimulus, more debt, more war - in most respects, Bush III.  George W. Bush called for smaller government in his run for the presidency in 2000.  Once elected federal spending mushroomed with wars, subsidies, police state measures, and a massive new entitlement.  Ronald Reagan said government was the problem not the solution.  He gave us more of the problem.  In 1940 Franklin Roosevelt promised not to send our boys overseas to fight in the European war, all the while working covertly to get the country into war.  In some respects the Democratic Party platform of 1932 sounded almost laissez-faire.
The Democratic Party solemnly promises by appropriate action to put into effect the principles, policies, and reforms herein advocated, and to eradicate the policies, methods, and practices herein condemned. We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. . . . {emphasis added]
Keep in mind that back then government was a midget compared to today.
We favor maintenance of the national credit by a federal budget annually balanced . . . .
We advocate a sound currency to be preserved at all hazards . . . .
You might say the New Deal was not in keeping with these “solemn promises.”

Then there was Woodrow Wilson.  He was re-elected in 1916 for keeping us out of the war, then by May the following year was instituting a draft to ship Americans to France to join the carnage.  Wilson knew what his overseas crusade would turn out to be.  During the night of April 2, only hours before asking Congress for a declaration of war, Wilson spoke privately to Frank Cobb, editor of the New York World, a Progressive newspaper with strong ties to the Democratic Party.  Lamenting a decision he regarded as necessary, he told Cobb that once war was declared, people will
forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance.  To fight you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fibre of our national life, infecting Congress, the courts, the policeman on the beat, the man in the street.
According to Cobb, Wilson also said “the Constitution would not survive” the war, and that “free speech and the right of assembly would go.”  He made sure that happened.  Nor did he let these considerations prevent him from addressing Congress.

Like today’s war hawks, he didn’t let financial considerations bother him, either.  In 1913, state worship had given birth to the twin indispensables of tyranny, the income tax and the federal reserve system.  As Ralph Raico tells us,
Taxes for the lowest bracket tripled, from 2 to 6 percent, while for the highest bracket they went from a maximum of 13 percent to 77 percent. In 1916, less than half a million tax returns had been filed; in 1917, the number was nearly three and half million, a figure which doubled by 1920. . . .

Through the recently-established Federal Reserve System, the government created new money to finance its stunning deficits, which by 1918 reached a billion dollars a month⎯more than the total annual federal budget before the war.
The consequences of Wilson’s decision?  Sheldon Richman: “Communism in Russia (and everywhere else it later reverberated), Nazism in Germany, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II (not to mention the Cold War and the growth of the American leviathan).”

War and the growth of the state - they’re inseparable.

This is why presidential candidates, with one conspicuous exception, can be counted on not to remove or lessen the power of any of the state’s vital organs, such as the income tax, the central bank, or the Department of Education.  They might be replaced or altered but not at the expense of state power or revenue. 

This is also why Ron Paul wants to eviscerate the state.  A government unrestrained by law is an individual’s worst enemy.  For Paul it’s not a "policy position," it’s a conviction.  He’s been fighting to remove legal coercion from our lives since his first day in Congress, in 1976.  Got room in your hip pocket?  He wants to downsize it until it fits - government, that is.  A vote for Ron Paul, then, is a vote for honest, responsible, peace-loving people.  If that means you, then a vote for Paul is a vote for yourself.  A vote for any of the others is a vote for lobbyists, bankers, and warmongers - people who most definitely don’t have your welfare in mind.

In this light, who really wins when Mitt, Newt, or Rick is declared victorious?


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