Wayne Root: ‘Reagan Libertarian Contract with America’

Wayne Allyn Root has released what he calls the Reagan Libertarian Contract with America (cross-posted to his blog at LP.org), preempting the Republican Pledge to America by a few days. Root was the 2008 Libertarian Party nominee for Vice-President of the United States, is an At-Large member of the Libertarian National Committee, and is Chair of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

The Republican Pledge to America, which is to be unveiled on Thursday, was leaked to CBS News today. It aims to recreate the momentum of the Republican Contract with America of 1994 (not to be confused with the Tea Party Contract from America of 2010).

Although the Reagan Libertarian Contract with America would make perfect sense as a document issued from the Libertarian National Congressional Committee nationalizing the agenda of Libertarian congressional candidates, it seems to be released by Root under his personal capacity rather than a LNCC effort.

The contract:

  1. One-Year Income Tax Vacation — Award every taxpayer in this country a one-year income tax vacation. This plan costs about the same $1 Trillion that Obama spent on his failed Stimulus-to-nowhere. But watch this version of stimulus turn a bust to boom as taxpayers and entrepreneurial risk-takers invest record sums, now sitting on the sidelines, into business creation and expansion, stocks and real estate- thereby creating a jobs explosion.
  2. Welcome taxpayers back from the income tax vacation with a permanent and simple Flat Income Tax, combined with zero Capital Gains tax. This emulates the most successful economy in the world- Hong Kong. Start the flat tax at 20%, to be reduced to 15% when the budget deficit is reduced to no more than 3% of GDP. This combination will stimulate and reward risk-takers and small business innovators, thereby creating millions of new jobs.
  3. Offer “angel investors” a New Investment Tax Credit. Investors would receive dollar for dollar tax credits up to $100,000 for investments in IPO’s, secondary offerings, startups, and new real estate developments. This would stimulate the economy by rewarding entrepreneurship and job creation. Two of every three new jobs are created by small business. But almost 100% of these jobs come from business startups.
  4. Suspend the Employer Payroll Tax for two years. Small business needs a break. Give them two years without having to pay for the payroll taxes of their employees. The savings will be invested in new job creation, expansion of a business, a new startup, or capital improvements. Millions of new jobs will be created overnight.
  5. Cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% (currently 2nd highest in industrialized world) to a flat 15%…but in order to pay for it, eliminate all corporate welfare. We should support free market capitalism — not a crony capitalist government that picks winners and losers, and awards favors, subsidies, and sweetheart deals to the biggest campaign contributors.
  6. Turn illegal immigration from a cost to a benefit. First, secure the borders with a combination of virtual technology and greatly enhanced border security. Then offer INSTANT CITIZENSHIP for any immigrant in the world that brings $250,000 or more to invest in a U.S. home or business within six months of arrival. This brings tremendous wealth to America; creates millions of new jobs; ends the real estate, foreclosure and banking crisis; and brings in new employers and employees to resolve the Social Security crisis.
  7. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are eating up the entire U.S. budget. They will single-handedly destroy the U.S. economy within twenty years. Social Security can be secured and the debt reigned in with an immediate rise in the age of retirement to age 68 for anyone younger than 55…and within five years raise the age of retirement again to age 70. This phase-in secures Social Security without raising taxes.
    • Combine this age raise with a Partial Privatization of Social Security for younger workers. This gives younger Americans ownership of their own retirement accounts. Upon death, it belongs to their family.
    • Convert Medicare & Medicaid into block grants and hand the entire budgets to the states. Let each state offer higher deductibles and incentives for recipients to save money on medical care. States get to keep the savings. This will turn the states into competitors, fostering competition to attract new residents and taxpayers.
  8. Legalize, regulate & tax online gaming and medical marijuana — raising almost $300 Billion over the next decade, directed to deficit reduction.
  9. Dramatically cut the size of government with an immediate freeze of all government hiring; freeze all salaries; and immediately cancel all cost of living raises and step-up raises. This freeze should stay in effect until the average compensation of government employees is equal to the private sector.
  10. Implement government employee pension reform by changing from defined benefit to defined contribution plans (just like a private sector 401k). This eliminates all debate over age of retirement for government employees and how government pensions are funded. It no longer matters, as the government is no longer responsible for funding their retirement.
    • Ban unionization of government employees, thereby eliminating collective bargaining. Government employees shouldn’t be squeezing taxpayers.
  11. Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to take effect after the end of the Income Tax Vacation.
  12. To achieve a balanced budget, institute dramatic cuts in government spending — 30% across the board cuts for all departments, no exceptions (including military and defense) phased in over 3 years (10% per year). After that, limit any increase in spending to population growth plus inflation.
    • Give the President the line item veto to carve additional waste out of each and every bill passed by Congress.
  13. Audit all federal agencies and programs to determine if they or their spending are Constitutional. This would automatically result in the banning of TARP, stimulus and bailouts FOREVER.
  14. End the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — that includes bringing home the 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq presently.
    • Demand Congress issue a formal declaration of war before fighting any future wars (unless responding in self-defense). This would reduce the likelihood of future wars, thereby saving taxpayers billions in potential deficit spending.
    • Phase out ALL foreign aid by cutting out 10% per year for 10 years — thereby giving all our allies time to prepare.
    • Dramatically cut the number of military bases across the globe — specifically Japan, Germany and South Korea. It is time for our rich friends to pay their own way.
  15. Repeal Universal Healthcare, institute Tort Reform, expand freedom of consumer choice (allowing consumers to buy across state lines), and expand HSAs (Health Savings accounts). Make all health costs — including insurance — 100% tax deductible.
  16. Education — Eliminate the Department of Education, redirect the funds to the state and local level. Ban unionization of teachers. End tenure — job security and compensation must be based on performance. Encourage school choice, parental freedom, and vouchers at the state and local level. A well-educated country is essential to the economic future of America. Teachers unions have damaged education almost beyond repair.
  17. Energy — Encourage unlimited offshore drilling to dramatically lessen our dependence on foreign oil. But in return for unlimited drilling, end all special tax breaks and subsidies to the oil industry.
    • Have the U.S. Government offer a $27 Billion prize to the company or companies that find an economical, domestically-sourced replacement for fossil fuel. The amount of this prize is roughly equal to the annual budget of the Department of Energy. By offering a prize for performance and closing down this agency, we save the taxpayers tens of billions in future spending. And once a company succeeds and claims the prize, we eliminate the motivation of going to war to secure access to foreign oil. This “open source problem solving” should be used to solve many of the biggest challenges facing our country.
  18. Perhaps most importantly, LIMIT THE POWER OF CONGRESS:
    • Limit all members of Congress to two terms.
    • Limit the amount of time Congress can meet to only four months per year. The less time they have to create more laws, the less damage they can do to the American people and the U.S. economy.
    • Limit Congress to passing only bills that are PROVEN constitutional (Enumerated Powers Act).
    • Place a three-year moratorium on passing any new rules, regulations or mandates on the American people or American business.
    • Immediately ban Congress from hiring staff with outstanding tax debts or liens. If the people that run the country can’t pay their tax bills, they have no right to ask us to pay ours.
    • Require that all bills be read out loud in front of a fully assembled Congress before voting on them. This will put an end to 2,000 page laws that no member of Congress ever reads, but all Americans are required to follow.
    • Post all bills online at least four weeks for public vetting before voting on them.
    • Mandate that all bills passed by Congress also apply to members of Congress.
    • Allow the legislatures of two-thirds of all states to overturn any Federal law or regulation. It’s time to provide states with a check on a runaway Congress.
  19. Forever ban the word “czar” from our government’s vocabulary. No President should ever be able to hire cabinet level executives without vetting and approval by Congress.
  20. Audit the Fed, then aim to eliminate this unaccountable organization that has done such damage to the U.S. economy.
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About Chuck Moulton

This fall I'll be starting a Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University. My other degrees are a J.D. from Villanova Law School and a M.A. in Economics from San Jose State University. I am licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. In my spare time I am involved with the Libertarian Party. I served as Vice-Chair of the Libertarian National Committee during the 2006-2008 term. In 2004 I ran for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania district 13. I also spend a lot of time playing bughouse and chess on the Free Internet Chess Server where my handle is knighttour.

77 thoughts on “Wayne Root: ‘Reagan Libertarian Contract with America’

  1. Chuck Moulton

    I didn’t want to conflate my opinion with the reporting of this for IPR. So here’s my opinion in the comments…

    I believe this is a very well-thought out and economically sound document. I could definitely get behind it if I were running for Congress this year.

    A few constructive critiques though:

    1. The Reagan Libertarian Contract with America focuses entirely on economic matters, though it touches on anti-war and drug legalization positions in an economic context. This opens it up to criticism as “Republican-lite” — appealing to conservative libertarians, but not the social liberals. Arguably focusing on economic issues is the best way to rally independent Tea Party supporters behind Libertarian candidates.

    2. Although mostly economically sound, his policies are have a populist orientation: i.e., some of his basic premises are that immigration is a net cost to society and that foreign trade in oil is a bad thing, which is contradicted by most sound economic analysis. Immigrants are on net good for the economy. (See Bryan Caplan’s great talk at GMU last week for academic support for open borders.) Foreign trade in all goods is a net benefit to Americans — and that includes trade in oil.

    http://www.fff.org/comment/com1009f.asp

    3. His plan also fails to explicitly distinguish those measures which can be implemented by Congress from those that would require a Constitutional amendment, such as the line-item veto and term limits.

    4. The Republican Contract with America of 1994 included specific legislation that could be implemented with it. A robust Libertarian version should follow that example.

    5. As alluded to in the post, this should have been released under the auspices of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee with an invitation to Libertarian candidates to adopt it. That would allow it to actually have an electoral effect uniting Libertarians rather than just self-promoting Root.

  2. Michael H. Wilson

    Could also abolish the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development and Homeland Security. The latter is what the Dept. of Defense should be doing.

    If we are going to have a flat tax, we might also have one for payroll taxes and reduce the percentage.

    Get rid of the Fed, or at least audit and spread the responsibilities for following the direction of the Open Market Committee to all the branches and not just the N.Y branch of the Fed which is uniquely responsible for expanding the money supply. Thus the impact hits a number of parts of the country.

  3. Andy

    This is making me feel sick to my stomach. Enough with this “Reagan Libertarian” bullshit already!

    There is no such thing as a Ronald Reagan Libertarian. Ronald Reagan was not even remotely libertarian.

    What in the hell is wrong with this guy?

  4. Chuck Moulton

    Some more specific criticisms:

    A) I’m very much in favor of a 1 year personal income tax holiday (it would generate more support for repealing the income tax entirely) and a flat income tax as a better, less-distortionary government funding mechanism than the progressive income tax. But there is a contradiction between “to be reduced to 15% when the budget deficit is reduced to no more than 3% of GDP” from #3 and “Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to take effect after the end of the Income Tax Vacation.” from #11.

    B) Although general tax holidays, tax simplification, and lowered marginal tax rates can actually raise revenue in the long term by increasing growth rates and the Laffer Curve effect of people working more and avoiding taxes less, such an effect makes less sense in the context of specific projects. So suspending the employer portion of the payroll tax for 2 years as in #4 would increase the social security deficit. Later in #7 he addresses social security more specifically by raising the retirement age and privatizing social security for younger workers (both great ideas that follow the Cato plan), but it is unclear if even these measures would be enough to make a payroll tax holiday revenue neutral.

    C) There are factual problems in #6. As mentioned in my earlier comment, illegal immigration is not a net cost for society. Immigration in general is a net benefit for the economy — and that analysis applies to illegal immigration as well. Further, because illegal immigrants often provide fake social security numbers coupled with the fact that immigrants are generally young (and thus less likely to use medical government services than the general population), illegal immigrants are on net revenue enhancing for the government. Immigrants with a value of far less than $250,000 are still a net benefit to society.

    D) With respect to #8, drug use and gambling should be made legal, but not taxed or regulated. Perhaps coupling legalization with taxes is the best way to get popular support, but it doesn’t strike me as a libertarian solution.

    E) Although #9 sounds good in theory, it doesn’t go far enough. Public salaries should not be equal to private salaries — they ought to be lower than private salaries to compensate for the fact that job security is far higher in government.

    F) Phase outs articulated in #12 and #14 contradict the immediate balanced budget called for in #11. Perhaps when he refers to a balanced budget amendment, such an amendment would not require a balanced budget (a misnomer) or would require the balanced budget far in the future (somewhat confusing voters with the “to take effect after the end of the Income Tax Vacation” called for). It should be made clear what exactly is meant by a balanced budget amendment.

    G) Given that inflation is caused by government, it is unclear why government spending should be indexed to inflation as in #12. If they don’t want their spending cut in real terms, they should stop inflation. That seems like properly aligned incentives to me.

    H) It is unclear who would decide what is constitutional for #13 and #18(c). If it is the same politicians and judges who have been saying all of these blatantly unconstitutional programs are fine for the past 80 years, I don’t think these provisions will have any teeth.

    I) The idea of a flat tax articulated in #2 is great, but the tax code will be slowly eroded into social engineering as soon as you allow special interests to start carving out exceptions. This proposal itself carves out a tax credit for investment (#3) and a deduction for health care (#15).

    J) The education proposal in #16 first purports to decentralize by getting rid of the department of education, then imposes federal rules on states with a ban on unionization and teacher tenure. It is unclear why teachers should be constrained from unionization any more than other random employees — except to the extent that they are government workers as addressed in #10(a). Recognizing any federal role in education — even for good things like stopping teacher unionization and tenure — opens the door for future federal intervention by a future less sane administration.

    K) Dependence on foreign oil is no more of a problem than dependence on foreign oranges. Trade is a good thing. There are enough diversified sources of oil that a war with any particular oil producing country isn’t going to disrupt American supply. Oil is a homogeneous good… even if there were a ban on export of oil to the U.S. from e.g. Saudi Arabia, it would be impossible to stop importers of oil from countries trying to oil starve us from then exporting that oil to America (acting as middle-men). The canard of dependence on foreign oil is completely devoid of economic logic. Embracing know-nothing populism like this makes us just look like idiots to the Americans with a brain.

    L) Most of the restraints on Congress in #18 would have to be passed as Constitutional amendments to be effective. Otherwise, the current or future Congress could just repeal or ignore the restrictions on their power.

  5. Daniel Surman

    While the document does focus on economic matters, right now it seems like that may be a winning issue.

    For example, I am sure many libertarians are familiar with BJ Lawson. A Republican Ron Paulista, in 2008 he ran in an entrenched Democratic district with a platform designed to pull in some of the left on matters like foreign policy. He eventually pulled 35% of the vote.

    In 2010, Lawson is by all accounts pulling into contention in the race. 538 gives him a 31% chance of an upset, when just last month nobody had NC-04 on their radar. But Lawson is running much more on economic matters than he did in 2008 (many have complained his issues page is too generic and mentions little of his more libertarian stances). But it seems like the electorate is liking it.

  6. Jill Pyeatt

    Mr Root was asked to post his ideas for recovery a few weeks ago, and I’m glad he did. Although I find his timing curious, many of his ideas are quite good, and I’d willingly line up behind them. What a shame he dilutes it by throwing in the word “Reagan”. It’s fine if he admires Reagan, but he certainly knows many, if not most, Libertarians do not. Why didn’t he just call it Wayne Allyn Root’s Libertarian contract? That would have let everyone know where these opinions came from, and would certainly have been more positive for him and out party.

  7. Andy

    This “Ronald Reagan Libertarian” bullshit is a huge turn off to many people who might be otherwise open to hearing the Libertarian message. In addition to this, it is also historically inaccurate.

    I really wish that Root would stop uttering this nonsense. And please, do NOT nomiate this guy for President in 2012.

  8. Eric Dondero

    Chuck, we don’t want to appeal to Social Liberals. Remember the Social Liberals are our enemies. They want to force Affirmative Action quotas down our throats, are full force on Political Correctness, want to ban libertarian and conservative speakers from College Campuses, are the ones on the forefront on Smoking Bans, want to ban Sugary Sodas in vending machines, make Seat Belt law enforcement a primary offense, and a whole slew of Nanny-State laws.

    There’s virtually nothing we agree with them on. Maybe abortion? But even there, they want government funding. And on Gay Rights, they don’t want equal rights, they want special rights for Gays.

  9. Eric Dondero

    Let’s remember Ronald Reagan appointed numerous libertarians to positions in his administration, namely Doug Bandow, Dana Rohrabacher and David Stockman.

  10. Jill Pyeatt

    Eric, I’ve heard that comment before, but I don’t understand: How are liberals trying to get special rights for gays?

  11. Robert Milnes

    Come on radicals. Plenty of red meat to sink your teeth into here.
    His timing is clear to me. Divert everybody’s attention from PLAS to his pile of crap. He gets to further his career & sabotage PLAS at the same time.
    He must have gop/government operative assistance. Somebody is behind the scenes with him, whether he knows it(operative/agent) or not(dupe).

  12. Mike B.

    There is no such thing as a “Ronald Reagan Libertarian” as there is no such thing as a “Jimmy Carter Libertarian” as there is no such thing as a “George W. Bush Libertarian”. You get my point. It’s absurd and it is bullshit!

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    “ocial Security can be secured and the debt reigned in with an immediate rise in the age of retirement to age 68 for anyone younger than 55…and within five years raise the age of retirement again to age 70. This phase-in secures Social Security without raising taxes. ”

    This “phase-in” business makes no sense. Anyone who’s under 55 now will be no more than 60 five years from now. The “phase-in” retirement age of 68 would not apply to a single person.

    Interesting program. If it didn’t have Reagan’s name attached to it, it would be pretty decent.

  14. Andy

    The facts clearly indicate that Ronald Reagan was not even close to being a libertarian.

    Reagan increased the size of government.

    Reagan increased the national debt.

    Reagan “saved” Social(ist) (In)Security.

    Reagan supported and even signed gun control legislation.

    Reagan increased the War on Drugs.

    How in the HELL is any of this libertarian? Why would any self respecting libertarian admire such an obvious big government loving statist?

  15. Andy

    “Mike B. // Sep 22, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    There is no such thing as a “Ronald Reagan Libertarian” as there is no such thing as a “Jimmy Carter Libertarian” as there is no such thing as a “George W. Bush Libertarian”. You get my point. It’s absurd and it is bullshit!”

    My sentiments exactly.

  16. Andy

    “Eric Dondero // Sep 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Chuck, we don’t want to appeal to Social Liberals. Remember the Social Liberals are our enemies.”

    It depends on which social liberals you are talking about. Yes, some of them are hopeless statist, but so are many conservatives.

    I’ve met social liberals who are open to the libertarian message and I’ve found conservatives who are open to the message as well.

  17. Andy

    I sure am glad that when I found out about the Libertarian Party back in 1996 that the first Libertarian that I heard was Harry Browne. If Wayne Root had been my first exposure to the Libertarian Party I may very well have changed the channel.

  18. Mike B.

    Andy@14

    Don’t forget conservatives “military fetish” and the expansion of it during the Reagan’s years.

  19. Robert Milnes

    Come on, Tom. 6. First, secure the borders with a combination of virtual technology and greatly enhanced border security.
    If I said that you would have jumped on my aching back.

  20. Steve LaBianca

    “Legalize, regulate & tax online gaming and medical marijuana — raising almost $300 Billion over the next decade, directed to deficit reduction.”

    Imagine, a (allegedly) libertarian proposing to add a new tax, and new regulations.

    I thought the libertarian idea for government’s financial affairs was to cut and eliminate taxes, cut spending, and eliminate government “functions”. Even though I would go WAY further, whatever happened to limiting the federal government to its enumerated powers authorized by the constitution?

    In that same vein, instituting a “flat” income tax? This is just Republican Dick Armey all over again. I thought libertarians believed that ANY tax on productivity, stifled productivity. Such taxes engineer society in some fashion. Ditto for any consumption tax. where is it written in the constitution, that the federal government should alter/effect personal behavior?

    This is just the same old, tired conservative agenda that always comes out of W.A.R.’s mouth, dressed up in new flavors. Instead of just attracting the “tea partiers”, why not work to persuade them that real liberty is better than some tinkering around the tax and regulatory codes.

    And yes, the “social agenda” . . . again, where is it written that the federal government must, or even is authorized to regulate personal behavior?

    I am sure that I could easily find many more holes to punch in this “plan” . . . I just don’t have the stomach to read this crap any further.

  21. Steven wilson

    Taxing mary jane is still modification of behavior and control.

    The line veto makes more efficient play, but it also makes check and balance obsolete. The president gets to pick which pieces of shit hit the fan. It is a kingmaker.

    Amending the constitution removes the powers of the supreme court. You can only amend the constitution is two ways.

  22. Tom Blanton

    This could just as easily be called the Reagan Socialist Contract with America being as how there are so many little piles of statist horse shit mixed in with the Republican rhetoric.

    Perhaps the LP should consider changing its name to the Reagan Party or maybe the Bobble Heads.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    Okay Wayne here is some help. Just to start with let’s get rid of these cabinet post.

    Department of Agriculture
    Fold this dept’s responsibilities into Commerce, Labor and HHS then abolish it.

    Department of Commerce Combine Commerce and Labor

    Department of Labor Abolish this dept

    Department of Housing and Urban Development abolish this dept. It was supposed to help with affordable housing but has only made the issue worse

    Department of Transportation another dept to abolish

    Department of Energy abolish

    Department of Education
    abolish

    Department of Veterans Affairs fold into HHS

    Department of Homeland Security abolish. The DoD is supposed to be defending the nation.

    That cuts things down quite a bit. Hope that helps.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You claim to be a progressive while Wayne is an unabashed reactionary — so an evil reactionary immigration plank in your platform is a bigger deal than an evil reactionary immigration plank in his.

    Also, his program at least has SOME good points in it, while yours surrounds the evil reactionary immigration position with other crazy stuff of the “export the blacks and turn the caucasians into Amerinds with eugenics” variety.

    Also, I’ve become generally nicer to political types since abandoning politics, but haven’t had that much occasion to comment on your stuff. I might be gentler now …if you weren’t completely barking mad, that is.

  25. Hmmm ...

    Eric Dondero // Sep 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Chuck, we don’t want to appeal to Social Liberals. Remember the Social Liberals are our enemies.

    ******

    Actually, we need to remember that we don’t want to appeal to Eric Dondero. Eric Dondero is our enemy.

  26. Hmmm ...

    Mike B. // Sep 22, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    There is no such thing as a “Ronald Reagan Libertarian” as there is no such thing as a “Jimmy Carter Libertarian” as there is no such thing as a “George W. Bush Libertarian”. You get my point. It’s absurd and it is bullshit!

    **** This 100%.

    And this ….

    Jill Pyeatt // Sep 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Mr Root was asked to post his ideas for recovery a few weeks ago, and I’m glad he did. Although I find his timing curious, many of his ideas are quite good, and I’d willingly line up behind them. What a shame he dilutes it by throwing in the word “Reagan”. It’s fine if he admires Reagan, but he certainly knows many, if not most, Libertarians do not. Why didn’t he just call it Wayne Allyn Root’s Libertarian contract? That would have let everyone know where these opinions came from, and would certainly have been more positive for him and out party.

    *** another 100%

  27. Robert Capozzi

    B/B+. Associating the WAR plan with Reagan has some outreach benefits, some outreach costs, and no inreach benefits.

    I’m not sure it was worth the effort, as the LP isn’t in a position to cash this check. So this rings a bit hollow. Therefore, as a marketing document, it’s not especially strong. It comes across as a bit too “me too.” Who resonates with this approach?

    (It may be a reasonably effective plan for a L candidate, as it seems fairly meaty, fairly thoughtful, and at least somewhat balanced.)

    Policy-wise, an income tax holiday and FICA-employer contribution holiday skews heavily toward the upper-income population. I’d prefer to see a FICA holiday for both employers and employees. I’d prefer to see a large exclusion instituted for income taxes for all. A flat tax is OK, but I’d prefer a pollution tax longer term. I seriously doubt spending cuts can be done fast enough to offset these revenue cuts (including my suggested tweaks), so that’s a problem.

    As for Moulton’s not indexing government spending since “government” causes inflation, I hear that, but I’m not sure “government” consciously causes inflation. The Fed manipulates the money supply through a wide range of levers, some of which in response to economic conditions and to fiscal policies. Congress and the President may or may not be aware of how their policy shifts affect the money supply or CPI, but I see no evidence that they target either, at least most of the time. My sense is that so long as the CPI is increasing modestly, they don’t consider it much or at all.

  28. Melty

    Root should run for States prez in 2012 with the Americans for a Free Republic’s newborn Conservative American Party. It’d be a much better match for him than the Libertarian Party.

  29. Melty

    …both idolize Ronald Reagan, both think teabaggers are the best target for recruiting, both are keen on flat tax, and the thinking is similar on immigration and foreign trade

  30. Andy

    “It’s fine if he admires Reagan,”

    I find his admiration of Ronald Reagan to be quite disturbing.

  31. AroundtheblockAFT

    More like Ron Paul Libertarian than Ronald Reagan Libertarian.
    Without parsing every word or wondering “what would Rothbard say,” WAR’s ideas haven’t strayed that far (as I recall) from what Ed Clark presented in 1980 in the sense they clearly distanced Libertarians from the GOP and Democrats, without confirming to many voters that we were barking mad. During the campaign silly season, the major parties offer few solutions to the many problems, their candidates spin half truths about their opponents and prattle on with apple pie and motherhood bromides. If Libertarians can offer even half of WAR’s middling brew, then
    some voters will begin to appreciate that Libertarians have a party worth supporting.

  32. NewFederalist

    I don’t want to be seen as supporting Root BUT… Reagan is the last president to at least say government is the problem and not the solution. While his actions did not follow his words he at least said many things libertarians would agree with. Having said that I would not believe there is any way to justify using “Reagan” and “Libertarian” in the same sentence. I have to base one’s libertarianism on one’s actions not one’s words. Try again, Wayne.

  33. JT

    Given what he’s said, why Wayne Root is even involved with the Libertarian Party is baffling to me.

    I know some people will say he wants to be a big fish in a small pond. The LP, however, is a VERY small pond compared to the Republican Party. I think if he had sought the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada he might have won it and faced a widely criticized Harry Reid. Plus, he could have then praised Ronald Reagan as much as he wanted, touted an interventionist foreign policy, and declared his social views with very little backlash from the Republican base.

    Perhaps he’s such a megalomaniac that he thinks being a U.S. Senator is beneath him and only wants to be President. If so, he must know he has zero chance of ever winning the Republican nomination. The Libertarian nomination, however, certainly isn’t a lock for him. So I don’t really get it.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    jt: …and declared his social views with very little backlash from the Republican base.

    me: Although there are regions of the country where an R can be pro-choice, abortion has become a litmus-test issue in the GOP. I suspect Romney recognized that, for ex., and while he MIGHT have changed his mind, I suspect his conversion on the issue was in part motivated by his desire to be president.

    Questioning Root’s motive has become a bit of a blood sport. I’m not sure what’s to be gained by doing so.

  35. Erik

    Yes, a tax holiday would be better than “stimulus”, and much else is sensible. However, why not go all the way? 😉 Repeal the 17th amendment, so that senators don’t need huge campaign chests. It would reduce the “Keating 5” sort of corruption. Make representatives truly representative by selecting them randomly, sort of like jurors. That would eliminate special interests buying representatives (any payment would be a bribe) and would assure that women and minorities are proportionally represented (perhaps dead Chicagoans, too, if reps. were selected from registered voters). Pay them well, so they can keep up their alimony, mortgage payments, etc. Send them to DC, house them in officer housing at a nearby military installation, and take them to work in buses. After one term, give them a lapel pin, “I served”, and send them home. With fewer lawyers and more people who actually have worked for a living, the competence and morality of congress would be raised. 😉

    P.S. Some of the earliest republics had similar arrangements, even sequestering legislators like jurors to avaoid corruption.

  36. Eric Dondero

    I see there’s a whole bunch of people here posting under bogus names like “Hmmn,” and “Metly.” D0n’t be a wuss. Have the courage of your convictions. Here’s the rule of Internet Blogs. If you have to post under Anonymous, your views aren’t worth jackshit.

    Post under your own name, or don’t post at all.

    Kudos to Capozzi, Tom Knapp, Andy, Lori Pyeatt and others here who actually do use real names. I may not agree with you, but I damned sure respect you for posting under your name, and having the courage of your convictions.

  37. JT

    Robert: “Although there are regions of the country where an R can be pro-choice, abortion has become a litmus-test issue in the GOP.”

    Running for a nomination for President is very different than running for a nomination for U.S. Senator or Governor. In many states you don’t *need* to be a pro-life (i.e., illegal-abortion) Republican to win it, even if it might give you a slight edge in the race. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nevada were one of those states.

    Plus, who knows if Root would even be a pro-choice (i.e., legal abortion) Republican candidate if he thought he couldn’t win the nomination otherwise? Given what he has said and written, I don’t think that issue is high on his list of priorities. And his political idol, Reagan, wasn’t a pro-choice Republican either.

    Robert: “Questioning Root’s motive has become a bit of a blood sport. I’m not sure what’s to be gained by doing so.”

    Well, I don’t think I bloodied him in my post.
    I’m finding his affiliation with the Libertarian Party increasingly bizarre though, given what he’s been saying and reports of his supporting some Republican candidates. He’s certainly not endearing himself to most Libertarians with such things, even if he’s been raising some money for the party. I don’t think it’s wrong to wonder aloud about why he thinks the LP instead of the RP is a good fit, but nobody has to join in if they don’t want to do that.

  38. _

    Reagan granted amnesty in CA to all illegal immigrants in the 80’s! Why does not anyone mention this?? Just wondering being as amnesty is such a hot button for CA! Yet, many say Reagan was their hero, yet they are dire hard anti-immigrant..can someone please wise me up!

  39. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    Running for a nomination for President is very different than running for a nomination for U.S. Senator or Governor …………

    Yes, presidential and non presidential corrupt processes are different. Such a running on different ballots in different states. Such as entire blocks of USA citizens blocked from voting every four years!

    Notice that some folks do presidential campaigns with a capitol ‘p’ in front of the year. [No it does not stand for ‘paulie’!]

  40. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 39 Erik writes; “Make representatives truly representative by selecting them randomly, sort of like jurors”.

    Yup! us Libs should be promoting this idea and might find we can sell it especially to small towns across the country. That and the New England Town meeting are two things we should be promoting.

  41. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 38 Capozzi writes “Questioning Root’s motive has become a bit of a blood sport. I’m not sure what’s to be gained by doing so”.

    Regardless of Root’s motives it looks like he is going to be around for awhile and has the microphone so it would seem to be to our advantage to offer constructive criticism and not go ballistic.

  42. Michael H. Wilson

    Management tool I learned years ago was to always let the person you had to criticize walk away with their dignity intact.

  43. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 41 Eric Dondero writes;”Tom Blanton, Milnes, Michael Wilson, thanks to you too for posting under your real names”.

    For the record this is not my real name.

  44. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    speaking of paulie, I am taking notes on my perceived unfairness claims ………

    as I do not wish to ‘rewrite the koran’ and am furiously working behind the scenes to ‘knee cap’ Nightmare Nightingale. [Where are Tonya Harding’s buddies when you REALLY need them?]

    [a] give me more time

    [b] let’s do it verbally, including Red Phillips and or Trent Hill, 619.420.0209

    [c] give me a little bit less to chew on, a little more specific to target; the Torah or New Testement, rather than the entire schmeal.

    [d] the cliff notes over all version: look at the lea way that former commentator [moderator, facilitator, communicator] Cody Quirk (and the imploding CP) has been given and the much more exacting standards that Don Lake (and the California American Independent Party as allied with the national America’s Independent Party) are held to. Apples and apples. Not apples and oranges!

  45. Thane Eichenauer

    There is a reason why some free market limited government people choose to use Ronald Reagan as a marketing tool. Of all the past Republican presidents in recent history he was the most successful by Republican standards. All Democratic Party presidents in recent history have been at worse hostile to freedom in deed and at best have only compromised in favor of freedom to maintain power (Clinton). That Root and others slap Reagan’s name on their ideas shouldn’t be any surprise. Root is trying to sell some ideas and putting Reagan’s name on them accomplishes his goal.

    As for Root failing to push anti-war or drug legalization that just leaves those ideas for other candidates to push. Drug legalization is popular as a ballot issue but it is unpopular with the statist media (surprise) which means that only candidates who value principle over popularity are going to advocate legalization. A defensive military position still isn’t popular enough (yet) to pierce through to the popular consciousness when 51% of the voting public is still swayed by the statist TV and print media.

    The era of pro-legalization and anti-war candidates will be when Ron Paul is quoted every day in the print news. Does anybody know of a daily print newspaper that does?

    There are plenty of fantastic Libertarian US Senate candidates out there. I don’t worry about Root’s focus on economic freedom (I’ll take freedom where I can get it). If he doesn’t support drug legalization enough please find a candidate who does. As Wayne Allyn Root clearly shows, the candidate who doesn’t promote himself isn’t likely to be covered by the media for good or ill.

    David Nolan for US Senate!
    http://Nolan2010.org/

  46. RWL

    The Republican Caucus hits again. The focus is on conservative issues, with a couple of bones thrown to libertarians but other devoid of things in the realm of civil liberties. He only mentions gambling for his own personal reasons. This is the sort of rot that keeps me away from the LP now, after decades of actively supporting it. It is the Wayne Allan Rot problem.

  47. Andy

    I disagree with the comments made by Thane Eichenauer above. Associating Ronald Reagan in any way with libertarianism is destructive to the movement. Reagan did not really represent economic freedom, and he certainly did not represent civil liberties either.

    The truth of the matter is that Ronald Reagan was an establishment Republican. Sure, sometimes he paid lip service to freedom, but he did not really believe in it and his record clearly indicates this.

    Wayne Root pushing the “Reagan Libertarian” label is either delusional or disingenuous.

  48. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    ‘….. just look at the activists ‘ [Lake] // September 23, 2010:

    speaking of paulie, notes on my perceived unfairness claims includes Red Philips’ spin doctoring on THE BUCHANAN’s 2000 thief.

    Perot, a truly imperfect and faulty individual, is not at fault for the Buchanan’s crime! Shame on you Red!

    ‘The tree jumped out at me!’

    ‘My dog ate my home work!’

    ‘My alarm clock did not go off!’

    A modern, 21st Century American political ‘Obsession Tale’ per 2002 – 2003:

    In 2002, California Democrats, at Governor Graham Davis’ insistence, efforts were made to weaken strong GOP candidates for Governor while building up Bill Simons.

    I was Simon’s post Primary unofficial, volunteer veterans adviser. When ever he brought up CALVETS / CDVA he would get a visual bump in the polls.

    Davis won and was being whispered as the Dem favorite in P2004.

    Prior to the official 2003 recall, the second successful one in national history, Lake, a couple of buddies, and a couple of other grass roots organizations protested Davis just prior to his January 2003 ingratiation.

    Obsessed? Yes! Proudly so! Anderson 1980. Perot, Perot, Nader, Nader, Nader.

  49. Tom Blanton

    It seems the LP has already adopted the Thane Eichenauer “strategy”.

    This is where nobody talks about libertarian ideas and principles until the general public and the statist media have already adopted these ideas and principles themselves, and until that time, sell them on the idea of Reagan conservatism a/k/a “true conservatism.”

    Looking at Root’s manifesto again, I can only conclude 90% of it is total statist bullshit.

    Paying for tax cuts, securing Social Security, block grants for Medicare and Medicaid, and on and on.

    Root wants to subsidize “angel investors” to the tune of 100 grand and later he talks about supporting free market capitalism.

    How about this one:

    “Dramatically cut the size of government with an immediate freeze of all government hiring…”

    Wayne, when you freeze things, they stay the same. This is not the same as a dramatic cut. Great sounding rhetoric, but it is nothing but tea party happy talk jive.

    Root wants to “make all health costs — including insurance — 100% tax deductible”. Combined with his 20% flat tax, health care deductions would result in a subsidy for folks that can afford the best health care at the expense of the working poor who can’t afford health care.

    I could go on and on, but when you really examine much of Root’s manifesto, it falls short of being workable, of being equitable, and of being able to achieve the results he claims. And even if his “plan” would achieve the results he claims, they would not move society in a libertarian direction so much.

    It comes off as social liberalism and economic conservatism. But the only place that is the same as libertarianism is on a bumper sticker.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tom B,

    You write:

    —–
    “Dramatically cut the size of government with an immediate freeze of all government hiring…”

    Wayne, when you freeze things, they stay the same. This is not the same as a dramatic cut.
    —–

    Actually it is, the key word being “all” and the iffy word being “dramatic.”

    Government workers, like all workers, do things like quit, get fired, or retire.

    If there’s an immediate freeze of all government hiring, that by definition includes a freeze on filling those continuously emptying slots with new warm bodies.

    That means a continuous cut in the size of government, at least to the extent that size of government is defined in terms of number of employees. Whether or not it’s a “dramatic” cut is, I guess, a function of how many workers leave and what one’s subjective definition of “dramatic” is, but I suspect that it would be hyperbolic to call such a cut at least “substantial.”

  51. Galt

    People are free to post under any name they choose. Don’t let authoritarian pricks like Eric Dondero Rittberg tell you not to use whatever name you like. Tell him to go back to the pit of GOP hell from which he came.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    Hmm, well, yes, of course people have a “right” to post anon. I suspect most put less stock in what an anon. poster says vs. someone with the courage to put his/her name on his/her words.

    It’s my understanding that Eric and Starchild changed their names. I know them by reputation. I get their perspective. They each have a brand in our small circle of friends. They are generally more effective in their postings than the regular anon.s are, is my feedback.

  53. post under numbers

    Idea, lets post under numbers, since that is how the government thinks of us. A bunch of cattle with numbers branded on us.

  54. Tom Blanton

    Tom K – anyway you slice it, attrition is not dramatic.

    Basically, Root’s bottom line is to cut the existing government by 30% and then allow for increases in the future based on population growth and inflation.

    A 30% cut in the 2010 budget of $3.6 trillion would leave a budget of $2.52 trillion – a budget larger than the 2005 budget. Have libertarians decided that in 2005 the size of government was just a little less than what it should be?

    Since we all know that the Root manifesto is not going to put libertarians in Washington and that it doesn’t really promote a strong libertarian agenda, why don’t all the LP members quit the party, join the Republican Party and get behind the new Pledge To America manifesto? It is filled with heart-warming constitutional rhetoric and fiscal conservatism with the added bonus of having a political party that is allowed to participate in the electoral process with no road blocks.

    If Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement is “libertarian”, then the rhetoric found in the Pledge To America is certainly “libertarian”.

    Of course, the Pledge only wants to roll back government to 2008 levels (before the evil Marxist Kenyan took office), whereas the more “radical” Root wants to roll it back to 2005. But let’s not make perfection be the enemy of good enough. Baby steps. Radicalism is contra-indicated. People just aren’t ready to go back to 2005. The lesser of 2 evils is the best we can do at this time. Etc., etc., etc.

  55. ??!~%^$#*&&^

    Instead of Reagan Libertarians perhaps we should refer to Carter Libertarians. Carter after all deregulated the airlines, trucking, the railroads and the beer industry. Just think in those days we had only 44 beer companies. Now we have something like 1400. What an example and why it is important to the movement to call ourselves Carter Libertarians!!!

  56. Melty

    name? Rox. Melty Rox.
    I’ve signed my real name, Devin Freeman, onto some comments I’ve made on here before too, but here I’m known as Melty.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    mr, sorry, my understanding is that Starchild changed his legal name TO Starchild some years back…dunno what his birth certificate name was. Specifics I don’t have. Eric Rittberg I believe also some years back changed his name to Eric Dondero.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    tb: Have libertarians decided that in 2005 the size of government was just a little less than what it should be?

    me: Hmm, I want it to be as low as it can be. I spose it could be 0% of GDP in maybe 100 years, but such speculation seems contra-indicated.

    It seems immaterial to specify what we want the endpoint to be. It’s more valuable to get what we can when we can.

  59. Tom Blanton

    It seems immaterial to specify what we want the endpoint to be. It’s more valuable to get what we can when we can.

    Tell it to the Root, Bubby. He’s the one specifying the endpoint of locking onto a budget exceeding the 2005 budget plus increases based on population growth and inflation.

    I’m all for taking what one can get, but it seems sort of foolish to advocate for less than you want and somehow expect to get what you want.

    After seeing what Root wants and weighing that with the chances of the Root manifesto becoming America’s new guiding force, it would seem that “libertarians” that support Root would be better off just becoming Republicans and getting what they can more likely get.

    And Bubby, never forget that if you want to appear to be the epitome of moderation and reason, there must exist people who are more radical than yourself. You should be thankful for people like me who would abolish the federal government tomorrow. This makes your acceptance of whatever crumbs the ruling elite throw your way appear to be quite moderate and in no way threatening to normal people standing in the middle of the road.

  60. Michael H. Wilson

    So much for CHANGE. Here’s one we should be hammering them on.
    “The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.

    The Justice Department is demanding a federal appeals court rehear a case in which it reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month, without a court warrant. The authorities then obtained warrants to search and find drugs in the locations where defendant Antoine Jones had travelled.

    The administration, in urging the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a three-judge panel’s August ruling from the same court, said Monday that Americans should expect no privacy while in public.”

    Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/public-privacy/19399#ixzz10TRhVCvB

  61. Robert Capozzi

    tb: And Bubby, never forget that if you want to appear to be the epitome of moderation and reason, there must exist people who are more radical than yourself. You should be thankful for people like me who would abolish the federal government tomorrow.

    me: I have nothing but gratitude for you, Brother Blanton. However, while a market for ideas requires some variability of what is valued, there is also a discrediting of ideas if they are associated with crazy or hateful ideas.

    If we polled the pop to characterize the idea of State abolition tomorrow, I suspect it would be highly negatively rated. If the poll asked what they think of a party in which half the members believe in State abolition and half the members believe in rolling the State back, I suspect that too would be highly negatively rated.

    Guesses, of course. But all else equal my guess is that my cause is damaged by the existence of abolitionism. My hope is that abolitionists will do some radical questioning of their premises and reconsider their view, or at least their strategy.

    Thus far, my efforts don’t seem to’ve been wildly successful. Thankfully, I’m a no-expectations kinda guy… 😉

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