Wrights: What is a “Reagan Libertarian?”

At-large LNC representative R. Lee Wrights questions Wayne Allyn Root’s “Reagan Libertarian” self-designation at Liberty For All:

Ronald Reagan is [Wayne Allyn Root]’s hero. He loves the man. So much so in fact, he named his youngest son after the former Republican president. He idolizes Mr. Reagan even though he admits that once he gained the White House, after making promises to the contrary, he grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before. Apparently to Mr. Root, this is just a small boo-boo that can be all too easily forgiven, if not forgotten.

That’s right, Mr. Root’s idol is a politician who said whatever he had to say in order to get elected, only to turn around and do what he said he would not do once he was elected. In other words, just another pandering politician who would tell voters whatever they wanted to hear to gain the White House. Not a very good example for any member of the “Party of Principle” that has been calling for less government and more freedom for almost four decades now. So one has to wonder, just what does Wayne Allyn Root mean when he calls himself a Reagan Libertarian?

While Wrights doesn’t endorse a specific candidate, he makes it clear whom he is not supporting:

As I see it, we are faced with a choice between four Libertarians and one “Reagan Libertarian.” For the good of my party I will be voting for a Libertarian.

201 thoughts on “Wrights: What is a “Reagan Libertarian?”

  1. Brian Holtz

    Perhaps Mr. Wrights doesn’t know that IPR has already asked Root about “Reagan Libertarianism”.

    IPR: You have occasionally described yourself as a “Reagan Libertarian” and praise Reagan for cutting marginal tax rates from 70% to 28%. Libertarians know that a tax cut without an equal spending cut is not so much a tax cut as a shift of the tax burden to other people. Can you cite anything (else) libertarian about Reagan’s record (as opposed to his rhetoric)?

    Wayne Root: I disagree with the premise that a tax cut is merely a shift of the tax burden to other people. The government uses additional tax revenues to support larger bond issues. If the government increases revenues by raising marginal tax rates, they would run an even bigger deficit because prospective bondholders would be more willing to extend credit to the federal government. See the financial disaster in Greece as Exhibit A.

    There are many things about Reagan that we as Libertarians should celebrate.

    First, Reagan proved that a Presidential candidate can talk like a Libertarian…campaign like a Libertarian…present Libertarian ideas to American voters…and win the White House (in 2 landslides) over big government proponents. I think that bodes well for the right Libertarian Presidential candidate someday.

    Second, Reagan said he was going to dramatically cut marginal tax rates and he did. We should give politicians credit when they do what they said they were going to do. More importantly, since Libertarians believe that our money is our property, how can we not celebrate Reagan for dramatically lowering tax rates for every level of taxpayer? Reagan’s cuts were especially beneficial to small businessmen (like me)- the result was this tax cut unleashed the greatest period of job growth and prosperity in the history of civilization. Why would any Libertarian not celebrate that?

    Whenever you allow someone to keep more of his or her own money, you give them more than just money. You give them opportunity and freedom. You give them the opportunity to invest and take risks with that money…which can lead to wealth and financial freedom. When the government raises taxes it takes away freedom. It robs us of opportunity. Higher taxes destroy our quality of life and damage opportunities to pursue happiness and enjoy the American Dream. Higher taxes not only punishes the rich, it kills motivation, destroys jobs, and limits opportunity for the poor and middle class to improve their lives. I therefore believe that raising taxes is immoral.

    Other major accomplishments: Reagan cut Carter’s 14% inflation to under 4%. Again, by the definition of libertarianism, Reagan therefore protected the assets and property of citizens. He indexed tax brackets to inflation to eliminate bracket creep. He simplified the tax code and eliminated many tax shelters that were distorting investment decisions. In addition to eliminating the income tax for millions of low-income Americans, he cut the marginal corporate income tax from 48% to 34%. He fired unionized government employees when they violated their contract and went on strike. He solved Carter’s so-called energy crisis by ending oil price and allocation controls after just one week in office. He was the only president to ever successfully resist all increases in the federal minimum wage. He was the only president to ever make a benefit cut in the Social Security pyramid scheme, by extending the retirement age from 65 to 67. He appointed many constitutionalists to the federal judiciary. He deregulated ownership rules in the broadcasting industry and ended the Fairness Doctrine. He signed the INF treaty to eliminate destabilizing intermediate-range nuclear weapons from Europe. Perhaps most importantly, the Cold War was won without firing a shot.

    Of course, Ronald Reagan was not perfect. No human being can be. Reagan campaigned as a libertarian. I wish he had governed more like one. I wish he had ended the IRS and the Department of Education. I wish he had dramatically cut the size of the federal government. I wish he had cut federal spending dollar for dollar (or more) with his dramatic tax cuts. But we should at least applaud a good start.

    A recent nationwide poll demonstrates “Reagan” to be not only the most popular name in politics…but also the only positive brand name in all of American politics. In a cynical world, the name Reagan still brings a tear to the eyes and a smile to the lips of a majority of American voters. Polls prove that the American people love Ronald Reagan- the same voters we need to win over if we are to start winning elections and making a difference.

    Are there differences between Reagan and libertarianism? Absolutely, but you can’t convince someone of our ideas until you are first able to start a conversation. Everyone in business knows it pays to associate with a popular brand. By embracing the term “Reagan Libertarian” we open the door to conversations with people who like the man. Polls prove that’s a majority of voters. Once the door is open, we are able to build a bridge that brings people from Reaganism to libertarianism.

    The art of politics is finding ways to agree with people and work with them. It is to our disadvantage to ignore the good things that Reagan did. It’s our job to remind people that Reagan only started the battle. And we Libertarians are here to complete the job of reducing government, dramatically lowering taxes, and restoring freedom and opportunity in America.

  2. Michael H. Wilson

    Reagan also began his campaign by pandering to the racists by kicking off his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi where three Civil Rights workers were slain.

    Let’s not go down that path.

  3. Brian Holtz

    Fourteen paragraphs, seventeen uses of the word “Republican”, but not a single claim by Wrights of an un-libertarian position held by Root. In fact, Wrights only makes one charge of un-libertarianism against Reagan: “he grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”.

    It’s true that federal spending as a percent of GDP hit a local maxima around the severe 1982 recession, but the percentage was actually lower when Reagan left office than when he entered.

    And I guess Mr. Wrights never heard of WWII:

  4. Brian Holtz

    Michael, you didn’t answer my question the last time you hurled your “racism” mud at Reagan, so I’ll repeat it:

    A (black) columnist for the New York Times says Reagan was “wrong, insensitive and mean-spirited on civil rights and other issues important to black people” because Reagan opposed the federal law that banned “discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce”.

    Michael, should the LP not oppose that law?

  5. Andy

    What is a Ronald Reagan Libertarian?

    Either an Anti-Libertarian Libertarian or a Confused Libertarian.

  6. Brian Holtz

    And while he’s auditing the use of the “libertarian” label by Chair candidates, I wonder what Mr. Wrights will have to say about this:

  7. Michael H. Wilson

    Not my job to answer your question. Answer your own damn questions.

    In my book Reagan was scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It’s true that federal spending as a percent of GDP hit a local maxima around the severe 1982 recession, but the percentage was actually lower when Reagan left office than when he entered.”

    None of which changes the fact that government spending didn’t shrink, it grew.

    What does GDP have to do with anything?

    Do the miles of border and coastline that need to be defended increase scalar to GDP?

    Total US public school enrollment stood at 40.9 million in 1980. By 1988, it was down to 40.2 million. 1980 Department of Education budget: $14 billion. 1988 Department of Education budget: $20 billion (roughly the same as 1980 in constant dollars).

    Reagan. Grew. Government. Period.

  9. Brian Holtz

    What does GDP have to do with anything?

    Ask Wrights. He was the one who wrote that Reagan “grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”.

    Michael, my point is that the “racism” mud you throw at Reagan is easy to throw at Libertarians too. Shouldn’t we be better than that? We ask people to judge us based on what policies we advocate, and not on what people surmise our secret intentions to be.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    What reason, other than your desire to believe do you have to believe that that Wrights quote is referring to GDP?

    Making a “states’ rights” speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1980 wasn’t an indicator of “secret intentions.” It was a blatant pander to the Old South Racist vote.

  11. Brian Holtz

    Tom, ask any competent economist or journalist what “grew government spending to greater proportions” means, and they’ll say that “proportions” refers to the GDP. Thanks for not denying my two claims — that federal share of GDP shrank over Reagan’s tenure, and that it was never at an all-time high under him.

    If a politician holds that the federal government has no authority to regulate private-sector discrimination, and he campaigns on this “states’ rights” principle in the South, then nanny-staters will claim that he’s pandering to racism. Every time. Congratulations for standing with the nanny staters on this matter.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    Obviously Reagan was not L in the sense of LP members. He was in many ways a L-leaning R. He had Ls at high levels in his administration. If presidents had unilateral control over the federal budget, Reagan gave every indication that he would have actually CUT spending, rather than slowing its growth and shrinking spending as a GDP%.

    Presidents submit budgets, however, but Congress writes them and presidents sign or veto them. It’s sophomoric to fully attribute the Reagan year budgets to Reagan.

    Reagan was certainly no L Saint! But we Ls have much to learn from him in terms of communicating ideas of getting government off our backs.

    Some believe we need to hold high the black flag. It’s not obvious to me what that accomplishes except that it indulges our macho-flash impulses. But is that politics? Is that effective? Is it even “principled,” or, at least, the only principled positioning?

  13. Valentine Smith

    Reagan as a libertarian – what a crock. While he made some minor improvements in reducing regulations and had a few sound bits on about it his expansion of spending and highly interventionist military policies indicate he was a conservative – and there fore a supporter of big government in actions. Conservatives like to play the game (talk like) they are for small government when they are not in power, but their actions in power are as bad and often worse than the socialists.

  14. Robert Milnes

    To me Reagan represents a green light for domestic covert actions. Personally this was an assassination attempt against me in late 1984. eVIDENTLY THEY DIDN’T WANT TO RISK THAT HE WOULDN'[T get reelected. See NJ v Bruce Reilley. Reilly was charged with kidnapping & firearms violations. He talked me into going with him to visit a girl we knew. But on the way he talked me into stopping at a nearby bar. He started a fight with patrons & when he went out to get his gun I left out the side door. I found out later there was a guy in the parking lot we both knew. The idea was for a shootout in which I got killed.

  15. paulie

    As I posted on a previous thread….

    “a recent survey showed that most Americans presently view Reagan positively.”

    It did not mention any other presidents.

    Reagan was never libertarian even in rhetoric on social issues or foreign policy/military spending. He campaigned and governed as an anti-liberty politician on these issues.

    His libertarian rhetoric on economic issues was not matched by reality.

    The federal budget grew greatly under Reagan. His proposed budgets were bigger in some years and nearly as big in others as those proposed by the Democratic leadership in congress.

    The debt accumulated under Reagan’s watch is a tax, even if the tax was not paid during his administratioon – it contributed to taxes which have been paid since then, to this day and for the foreseeable future.

    It has already been mentioned that he raised FICA taxes. Most blue collar and working poor people pay more FICA than income taxes, so claiming that he reduced taxes on all income levels is not accurate.

    The S&L bailout (ripoff) was another government forced transfer of wealth upwards and a precedent for the Bush and Obama “bailouts” to come.

    It is absolutely ridiculous to say that Reagan was some kind of libertarian icon.

    Opposition to Reagan’s drug war and Reagan’s military fetish were the main reasons I became politically active in the first place, and the realization that the Democrats opposed these only in rhetoric made me a Libertarian.

    Echoing Chuck’s question…

    7. Why is reaching out only to conservatives a good strategy when Ron Paul made his mark and raised much of his money through his opposition to the Iraq war? Given that many college students lean liberal and the young are the future of the LP and the country, why is outreach to young liberals with free time to volunteer and potential to be lifelong LP supporters more important than outreach to old conservatives with lots of money to donate?

    (I think Chuck meant to say isn’t rather than is in the last sentence above).

    I think that really boils things down to their essence.

    The OPH scores for all college students cluster at about 80 social, 50 economic, with many openly admitting that they don’t know much about economic issues. If we can’t find ways to turn that to our advantage, who else do we have to blame for not being further along as a political movement/party?

  16. paulie

    And as David Nolan noted: “Root most likely claims Reagan as one of his heroes because a recent survey showed that most Americans presently view Reagan positively. But he was no libertarian. In his book “Recarving Rushmore,” published by the Independent Institute, Ivan Eland ranked Reagan #34 among U.S. Presidents in terms of advancing “peace, prosperity and liberty.” That’s just one historian’s opinion, to be sure, but it’s worth noting.”

  17. Steven R Linnabary

    Other major accomplishments: Reagan cut Carter’s 14% inflation to under 4%.

    Wrong.

    The Reagan Administration CHANGED the way inflation was calculated. As Reagan stated at the time “If you don’t like the way things measure up, get a new yardstick”.

    PEACE

  18. paulie

    Noted by JT on a previous thread: “As for Social Security, in 1983 Reagan hugely increased SS taxes. For more of Reagan’s overall tax record, see http://old.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200310290853.asp.

    As for appointing “many constitutionalists” to the federal judiciary, I’d qualify Antonin Scalia as the only one Reagan appointed, though even he isn’t perfect.

    Of course, Reagan ratcheted up the Drug War and ordered federal prosecutors (including Bob Barr at the time) to imprison more nonviolent drug users.

    He brought the Moral Majority into his administration and appointed the Meese Commission to go after adult pornography.

    His foreign policy (such as the Lebanon disaster) wasn’t good from a libertarian standpoint. I won’t even address the oft-cited claim by conservatives that Reagan won the Cold War because he condemned the Soviet Union and increased military spending.

    And, of course, Reagan didn’t get rid of a single federal department during presidency, despite campaigning on doing so.”

  19. paulie

    As noted by Andy on a previous thread:

    “By embracing the term ‘Reagan Libertarian’ we open the door to conversations with people who like the man.”

    And you also close the door to conversations with people who did not like the man.

  20. paulie

    Also noted by Andy on a previous thread:

    “I have talked politics with literally 10s of thousands of people (more like 100s of thousands), far more people than Root or any other candidate, and I can tell everyone here that focusing only on trying to convert Republicans/conservatives to libertarianism is a big mistake if one does it in a manner that ignores or alienates people on the left and independents and non-voters.

    Marketing oneself as a “Ronald Reagan” Libertarian – as Root does – is a huge turn off to a lot of people, not to mention the fact that it is historically inaccurate since Ronald Reagan was not even remotely libertarian. Going back to 1996 when I discovered Harry Browne and the Libertarian Party while flipping through the channels and landing on C-SPAN if I would have heard Harry Browne proclaiming himself as a “Ronald Reagan” (of course Harry Browne never would have said anything that ridiculous) Libertarian there’s a chance that I would have changed the channel in disgust. Some of my family were Democrats but by that time I’d already come to the realization that the Democratic Party was no good, and I already knew that the Republican Party was no good as well, so I was an independent at that time. Invoking the name of Ronald Reagan would have only served to turn me off to the party. One of the things that I really liked about Harry Browne is that he made it clearly apparent that he was not part of the “right wing” or the “left wing” and that Libertarian was something completely different.

    Ron Paul is obviously tied in with Republicans/conservatives, but he’s done a good job of attracting supporters from across the political spectrum. He did this by taking strong anti-war and anti-police state stances. He didn’t shy away from these issues and just focus on issues where conservatives and libertarians agree (at least in rhetoric since so many “conservatives” are liars and hypocrites) such a cutting taxes & spending and supporting gun rights, he made opposition to the war in Iraq and foreign military imperialism in general as well as opposition to the domestic police state big parts of his campaign. This is what made him stand out from being just another Republican and this is what brought him support from across the political spectrum.

    I’ll do outreach to Republicans/conservatives to persuade them to become libertarians, but I’m not going to contribute to their delusions (such as that Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin are somehow “libertarian”) or that supporting Republicans (other than Ron Paul Republicans) is going to somehow make us more free (when the opposite of this is true), and I’m not going to do outreach to Republicans/conservatives to the point where I ignore or alienate all of the potential converts to the libertarian philosophy that are on the left or are independents or non-voters.”

  21. Eric Dondero

    Umm, Ronald Reagan liberated Eastern Europe from Soviet oppression. You’d think so-called “libertarians” would be applauding that.

    Just like the Iraq War, 35 million people liberated from Saddam’s Naziism. And not a peep out of libertarians, outside of the libertarian wing of the GOP.

    Pathetic!

  22. Eric Dondero

    You know, some of you here need to take a few moments and look in a mirror, and ask yourself this quetion…

    Are you really a “Libertarian”? Or, are you just pretending to be, cause the word sounds cool or something.

    How is it that people who call themselves “Libertarians,” can care so little about 200 million people being liberated from the jackboot of Soviet Communism, or another 35 million people being liberated from Saddam Hussein’s murderous Naziism, or another 20 million from the Taliban’s Islamic Fascim in Afghanistan.

    Simply put: You are NOT A REAL LIBERTARIAN, if you don’t also oppose Communism/Fascism.

    You may have some libertarian-leanings on domestic issues. But you are only halfways there to true libertarianism.

    In short, you’re a “50%-er.”

  23. paulie

    Ronald Reagan ran (previously) record deficits while empowering the military industrial complex. Hardly admirable.

  24. Eric Dondero

    Hey Paulie, how is it that you are passing judgement on who is and who is not really a “Libertarian,” when you yourself are anything but?

    Sorry Paulie, but Leftists like you who have infiltrated our movement DO NOT GET TO DECIDE WHO GETS TO — USE THE LIBERTARIAN LABEL AND WHO DOES NOT.

    Only REAL LIBERTARIANS get to decide. Now scoot… you’re stinking up our movement.

  25. paulie

    Reagan did not “liberate the Soviet Union,” it collapsed from economic inefficiency and the growing availability of information that Soviet censors were increasingly not effective in stopping, as libertarians were alone in predicting.

    What Reagan did was to waste a tremendous amount of tax money on a military-industrial complex, justifying it by vastly exagerated estimates of Soviet military strength and readiness. He financed it with deficit spending. We are still making interest payments on that debt today, and will be for the foreseeable future.

    Some libertarian.

  26. Eric Dondero

    Umm, hey dumbshit Paulie… Ronald Reagan ran up deficits, CA– USE WE WERE FIGHTING FOR OUR NATION’S VERY SURVIVAL!!!

    We were on the edge of a Nuclear Holocaust. The Soviet Union had just invaded Afghanistan, and was threatening to move into the Middle East. The entire African Continent was in peril from a Communist takeover from Angola to Zimbabwe to Kenya.

    Even Western Europe was becomming increasingly radicalized towards Communism, due to Soviet expansionism. Did you forget about the Italian Red Guards? French appeasement to the Soviets? The German disarmament movement that wanted to “sue for peace” with the Soviets?

    You Paulie, might be speaking Russian right now if it wasn’t for Ronald Reagan.

  27. Eric Dondero

    The Soviet Union collapsed PRECISELY because Reagan increased the Defense Budget. They could not compete.

    I know. I was part of Reagan’s 600 Ship Navy, which many experts credit with being the death knell for Gorbachev.

    Though, others credit SDI, as well. Once Gorby figured out they couldn’t build a space shield to rival that of the USA, he knew he was toast.

  28. paulie

    I think that on social issues and foreign policy/military spending, Reagan was less libertarian than the establishment, whereas on economic policy he was full of rhetoric he never lived up to. I could get into the argument of whether redistributing wealth upwards and the tax burden downwards is a libertarian economic policy, as well.

  29. Steven R Linnabary

    Ronald Reagan liberated Eastern Europe from Soviet oppression.

    Jerry Ford did that in the ’76 debate with Jimmy Carter.

    lol

    I’ve heard folks claim it was the Catholic Church’s elevation of a Pole to Pope that ended Soviet oppression, that it was the “peace movement” that ended the Soviet menace and that it was blue jeans and rock & roll (Iggy Pop & David Bowie) that ended the Soviet system.

    Truth is everybody wants to claim credit, but the fact remains that the republicans and democrats did more to prolong the Soviet system than they did to end it.

    PEACE

  30. Eric Dondero

    Isn’t it ironic, that a Leftist like Paulie would be defending the Soviet Union, and bashing Ronald Reagan?

    Something sort of fits there.

    And he has the audacity to call himself a “Libertarian.”

    I repeat: Scoot… you and your kind our stinking up our Libertarian movement.

    Join Moveon.org, or DailyKos, or Cindy Sheehan, or Al Gore, or Obama’s team.

    You ain’t no Libertarian for sure.

  31. paulie

    republicans and democrats did more to prolong the Soviet system than they did to end it.

    Very true.

    Most likely, the Soviet system would have collapsed sooner if it did not have the exagerated fear of Western invasion to prop up its popularity to some degree.

    The Russian people knew they had been militarily invaded by/from the west before, and were somewhat justified in a degree of paranoia.

    If not for that, the USSR would have collapsed even sooner.

    BTW, I already speak Russian. So?

  32. Eric Dondero

    Linnanberry, all one has to do is talk to former Soviets themselves. They all same the same thing: Once Reagan introduced SDI (or “Star Wars”), Gorbachev knew it was over.

    They simply could not afford the price of a Space Shield. And the brillant thing is that Reagan was mostly bluffing on SDI.

    It’s fashionable to give credit to the Pope, or to “blue jeans and rock ‘n roll.” But truth is, like most things in life – follow the money.

    The Soviet Union collapsed because of the Arms Race. They were able to compete just fine with Carter who was scaling down the Military. They were utterly incapable of keeping up with Reagan’s boost in Defense spending.

    75 Years of Brutal Communism. And it was Ronald Reagan who put a stake through its heart.

    Is he a Libertarian? Perhaps the Greatest Libertarian of all-time. Though I would argue a close second to Jefferson. (Lady Thatcher is right up there too.)

  33. paulie

    Actually, Dondero is defending the Soviet Union.

    He thinks it was economically efficient enough that it would have kept going but for Reagan’s debt load on future generations of Americans.

    Whereas, I believe it was a thoroughly bankrupt system.

    It’s funny that supporters of American military statism also think so highly of the Soviet system. Maybe they are more alike than they realize.

  34. Eric Dondero

    Yes Paulie, we all know that you once lived in Communist Russia. So, why then are you so quick to defend the Communists, and to criticize the one and only person who beat the Soviet Union?

    One might even surmise that you have some sort of “other agenda.”

    What a coincidence that on virtually everything you lean Left.

    Hmmm? Not a native-born American. Comes from a Communist country. Bashes Ronald Reagan. Defends the former Soviet Union.

    My gosh, starting to look really, really fishy.

  35. paulie

    Enough engaging Dondero’s trolling.

    It is not enough to hold certain positions – the target audience needs to know you hold them.

    If all the left-center-libertarian plurality on campus (and many similar people elsewhere) know about libertarians is that they are Reaganites, “Republicans who really mean it,” “Republicans on steroids” or “Republicans on pot” (frequent misunderstandings of what LP/libertarianism is that I run into all the time), that does nothing to nudge them in our direction.

    90% of Americans don’t change political parties after age 30, and every other demographic factor in existence makes the “Reagan libertarians” less available as a target market for libertarians than left/center/libertarians are.

    So it’s not enough to note, as Holtz quotes Root saying, that most Americans still mistakenly admire Reagan. We have to examine more carefully what those Americans who are most available for recruitment/conversion to libertarianism will think of such branding.

    By far the most available target audience has a plurality score of about 80 social, 50 economic, with a heavy emphasis on the social score.

    Branding ourselves as a party that admires an administration that ratcheted up the drug war, military industrial complex, and worked to bring political power to the “religious right” to enact its agenda into government policy does not market us well to that audience. Quite the opposite, it alienates them.

  36. paulie

    And for young people, if they study history at all, they are quite likely to be unhappy with the debt the Reagan gang left them settled with. Many of them were not even born then, yet they will be paying for it.

  37. Eric Dondero

    Paulie uses the phrase: “exagerrated fear of Soviet invasion.”

    I wonder if the good people of Poland, or the Czech Republic or Hungary had an “exagerrated fear of Soviet invastion”?

    Just imagine, circa 1946, post-WWII, in Warsaw or Prague or Budapest, pacifists like Paulie saying to the local citizenry, “nothing to fear from our friends the Soviets… they’re just here to help us.”

  38. Eric Dondero

    Hey Paulie, did all those East Berliners who were shot trying to cross the barbed-wire and cement brick wall of the Berlin Wall, have an “exagerrated fear” of the Soviet Union?

    Maybe if they had asked the friendly East German guards if they could cross, perhaps those guards would have told them: “Sure! I mean cause you asked so nicely and all.”

  39. paulie

    @40 the USSR was never even remotely in a position to sustain an invasion of Western Europe or North America. But as I said,

    “Actually, Dondero is defending the Soviet Union.

    He thinks it was economically efficient enough that it would have kept going but for Reagan’s debt load on future generations of Americans.

    Whereas, I believe it was a thoroughly bankrupt system.

    It’s funny that supporters of American military statism also think so highly of the Soviet system. Maybe they are more alike than they realize.”

  40. Eric Dondero

    Hey Paulie, that’s a debt I and tens of millions of other Americans WOULD GLADLY PAY OFF FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!!!!!!!!

    Given the choice of living under the Hell of Soviet Communism, and a debt, I’ll gladly take the debt, 100 times over.

    READ SHOYLZENITSN (sp?), GULLAG ARCHIPELLEGO.

    Either you’re not at all aware of the evils of Soviet Communism, a complete ignoramus, or actively working for the Left in America (i.e. Communists and Socialist) to undermine our Capitalist Democracy.

    I know you’re not stupid or ignorant of Soviet Communism. That only leaves one other option.

  41. paulie

    Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to get drawn into answering the troll again.

    One other area where Reagan’s record is notable is in dramatically ratcheting up the drug war and the police-prison-industrial complex.

    This led to massive devastation of neighborhoods like the one I was living in all over the country. It has led to the militarization of American policing, and the point where today we have 100,000 SWAT raids a year in this country.

    It has caused generations of people, especially in low-income neighborhoods, to struggle through life with a record, often getting trapped in the revolving door prison system as a result of being unable to get decent jobs for that reason, or being disallowed from legitimate self-defense for that reason, etc.

    It didn’t start with Reagan, but he made it dramatically worse. And for what? …

    (in the last few days) the Associated Press distributed a story that takes a remarkably skeptical view of the war on drugs. A few highlights:

    ” After 40 years, the United States’ war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread….

    Even U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes the strategy hasn’t worked.

    “In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,” Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. “Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified.”…

    [Richard Nixon’s] first drug-fighting budget was $100 million. Now it’s $15.1 billion, 31 times Nixon’s amount even when adjusted for inflation.

    Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:

    _ $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico — and the violence along with it.

    _ $33 billion in marketing “Just Say No”-style messages to America’s youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have “risen steadily” since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.

    _ $49 billion for law enforcement along America’s borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.

    _ $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

    _ $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses….

    Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

    “Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use,” Miron said, “but it’s costing the public a fortune.”…

    “For every drug dealer you put in jail or kill, there’s a line up to replace him because the money is just so good,” says Walter McCay, who heads the non-profit Center for Professional Police Certification in Mexico City.

    McCay is one of the 13,000 members of Medford, Mass.-based Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens and others who want to legalize and regulate all drugs.

    A decade ago, no politician who wanted to keep his job would breathe a word about legalization, but a consensus is growing across the country that at least marijuana will someday be regulated and sold like tobacco and alcohol.”

    Yeah, thanks a lot, “libertarian” Reagan.

  42. paulie

    Wayne Root: I disagree with the premise that a tax cut is merely a shift of the tax burden to other people.

    However, there was a shift of tax burden: to future generations, and to poorer people who pay more in FICA than income taxes, as FICA taxes were greatly increased.

  43. paulie

    Root: First, Reagan proved that a Presidential candidate can talk like a Libertarian…campaign like a Libertarian…present Libertarian ideas to American voters…and win the White House (in 2 landslides) over big government proponents.

    He never even talked like a libertarian on peace or most civil liberties/social issues. This is a major misrepresentation of Reagan’s record.

  44. paulie

    Root: how can we not celebrate Reagan for dramatically lowering tax rates for every level of taxpayer?

    Simply not true. This may be true for income taxes alone, but less wealthy people pay more in FICA than income taxes, and Reagan increased FICA taxes. This also discounts future debt, which is a form of tax. If you add all the debt that people have been paying for Reagan era spending after Reagan left office, can we really say that Reagan really reduced taxes for any significant number of people? Maybe just those wealthier people who did not have many years left in the work force back in the 1980s?

  45. Eric Dondero

    Yup! Completely agree. Ronald Reagan absolutely SUCKED on the War on Drugs. He SUCKED! on the issue of Selective Service and the Draft too. He loses MAJOR POINTS on the libertarian scale for those two huge digressions.

    But again, in comparison to liberatting hundreds of millions of people from brutal Communism, and defeating the evil Soviet Union, even the Drug War and the Draft pale in comparison.

    I’ll gladly take that trade-off any day of the week.

  46. Eric Dondero

    Paulie, you’re still not answering the question:

    Again, you are a Leftwinger. You defend the Soviet Union. You brutally bash Ronald Reagan. You were born in the Soviet Union.

    Give us a reason why any of us Real Libertarians should believe that you are anything but a Radical Socialist or even Communist yourself?

  47. D. Frank Robinson

    Reagan made his contribution to the destruction of the American standard of living. There is little W.A.R. can do to emulate Reagan beyond what a parrot can do.

  48. paulie

    Root: A recent nationwide poll demonstrates “Reagan” to be not only the most popular name in politics…but also the only positive brand name in all of American politics.

    As noted above, the only president included in that poll was Reagan. It seems quite a stretch to say that this poll shows anything about Reagan being the “most popular name in politics.”

    Root: In a cynical world, the name Reagan still brings a tear to the eyes and a smile to the lips of a majority of American voters. Polls prove that the American people love Ronald Reagan- the same voters we need to win over if we are to start winning elections and making a difference.

    A lot of other American people hate(d) Ronald Reagan, including many of those on the left-center-libertarian borderline that are a far more available audience for us to win over and start winning elections than the ones who admire Reagan….or would be, if only we learned to market ourselves correctly.

    By aiming our branding at the wrong audience, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Marketing libertarianism as “Reagan Libertarianism” is aiming squarely at the wrong audience – the least available audience – and alienating the far more available audience.

  49. paulie

    Eric,

    When you start asking questions without false and insulting premises, I’ll be happy to answer them.

    The idea that Reagan liberated anyone from communism is a canard that only someone who doesn’t grasp the economic inefficiency of state-run economics would fall for.

    The Soviet Union collapsed of its own dead weight, its inability to keep feeding its people, and its increasing inability to control the flow of information. That collapse was a long time coming. It would have collapsed sooner if the fear of the west due to the arms race was not propping it up.

    What Reagan actually did was to move the US closer to that collapse point as well, as the debt monster slowly builds to cripple our economy as well. It’s a slow-motion collapse, and we are not yet where the USSR was by the 1980s, but we are moving in that direction – and Reagan definitely contributed mightily both to the actual debt and the public acceptability of massive debt levels incurred by subsequent administrations.

  50. James Oaksun

    A lot of other American people hate(d) Ronald Reagan, including many of those on the left-center-libertarian borderline that are a far more available audience for us to win over and start winning elections than the ones who admire Reagan….or would be, if only we learned to market ourselves correctly.

    By aiming our branding at the wrong audience, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Marketing libertarianism as “Reagan Libertarianism” is aiming squarely at the wrong audience – the least available audience – and alienating the far more available audience.

    Many have fond memories of Reagan as he came into office as a major economic down cycle was ending and a major boom was beginning.

    Still I agree with Paulie’s assessment of a more attractive target market segment, as we describe at some length in our plan in the “Tale of Two Libertarians” section… said plan available in serial form on IPR and also on the site NewPathForTheLP.org.

  51. paulie

    Root: Are there differences between Reagan and libertarianism? Absolutely, but you can’t convince someone of our ideas until you are first able to start a conversation. Everyone in business knows it pays to associate with a popular brand. By embracing the term “Reagan Libertarian” we open the door to conversations with people who like the man.

    And close them to conversations with those who don’t.


    Polls prove that’s a majority of voters.

    Not all voters are equally recruitable.


    Once the door is open, we are able to build a bridge that brings people from Reaganism to libertarianism.

    While burning the much larger and more accessible, but not nearly as clearly marked, bridge from civil libertarianism to libertarianism.


    The art of politics is finding ways to agree with people and work with them. It is to our disadvantage to ignore the good things that Reagan did.

    It’s even more to our disadvantage to ignore the bad things he did.


    It’s our job to remind people that Reagan only started the battle. And we Libertarians are here to complete the job of reducing government, dramatically lowering taxes, and restoring freedom and opportunity in America.

    Telling people that Reagan only started the battle justifiably leads them to think that we will make all the things Reagan made worse even worse still. That’s just not smart.

    If disingenuous small government rhetoric on a few select issues is enough to make a past leader an icon of libertarianism, what’s next – Clinton Libertarians?

    After all, Clinton is still popular with a lot of people (although not included in the poll Root cites), and he said the “era of big government is over.” He even called himself a libertarian a couple of times. By Brian’s chart at @5, federal outlays as a percentage of GDP shrunk consistently under Clinton, while it meandered up and down and ultimately ended up higher than when he came in under Reagan.

    Certainly, Clinton’s sexual open-mindedness was more libertarian than Reagan’s Meese Commission puritanism, right?

    Why, he even admitted he smoked pot (but didn’t inhale…cough…cough…yeah, right).

    So, are we going to open the door to those conversations? By Root’s logic, how can we not?

  52. paulie

    Michael H. Wilson: Reagan also began his campaign by pandering to the racists by kicking off his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi where three Civil Rights workers were slain.

    Let’s not go down that path.

    Brian Holtz: A (black) columnist for the New York Times says Reagan was “wrong, insensitive and mean-spirited on civil rights and other issues important to black people” because Reagan opposed the federal law that banned “discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce”.

    Michael, should the LP not oppose that law?

    P: The LP should absolutely oppose that law, although I would not make opposing it a top priority.

    However, a campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Mississippi with a speech about states rights was unmistakable symbolism. Philadelphia MS is a fairly small town, and is not particularly notable for anything other than its history as the site of one of the ugliest chapters in the history of the civil rights struggle.

    While decentralism is a good libertarian principle, what folks in Mississippi in 1980 meant by “States Rights” had a lot to do with States’ Rights to segregate.

    Reagan’s speech there was a very clear signal that he supported that right, even if he did not say so explicitly. Otherwise, why would he have made the speech in Philadelphia MS of all places?

    Additionally, and far more importantly, many non-white people are not fond of Reagan’s memory because of the devastating effects his ratcheting up of the drug war had on their communities.

    Thus, while libertarians already get tarred unfairly with the broad brush of racism because A) we oppose government-enforced civil rights laws, and believe a truly free market would be better at addressing discrimination, and b) have failed at attracting significant enough non-white participation in our own party, we only compound our problem in that regard when we link ourselves to an administration that has completely legitimate negative associations in people’s minds in that regard.

  53. paulie

    Wrights only makes one charge of un-libertarianism against Reagan: “he grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”.

    I see absolutely no indication that Wrights meant as a percentage of GDP, rather than in absolute terms. In addition to the point Knapp made at 10 and 12, government spending tends to be perpetual – whenever a program is created or expanded, it is a lot harder to get rid of it, even if the economy subsequently contracts.

    Thus, it makes sense to look at government spending in absolute terms as well.

    Looking only at GDP proportions masks spending decisions that lead to government spending a higher percentage of GDP at various points after that.

  54. paulie

    Root: Perhaps most importantly, the Cold War was won without firing a shot.

    So, does Wayne buy into the idea that Reagan “ended the Soviet Union,” as Dondero does?

    I would certainly hope he is smarter than that.

  55. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #11

    Mr. Holtz says,

    “Ask Wrights. He was the one who wrote that Reagan “grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”.”

    No, I was quoting what Mr. Root wrote and admitted in is book. My whole article is about “marketing” and what a terrible job WAR does when he uses such misleading terms as “Reagan Libertarian.” For someone that is supposed to be such a self-proclaimed marketing genius, he does a lousy job of telling folks what Libertarians are and what we are all about.

    Not good qualities for a national chair. We need a spokesman that does not confuse people, like the new member that wrote to me and brought my attention to the marketing disaster that is the concept of “Reagan Libertarian” in the first place.

  56. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #8

    We are all self-identifiers. Someone else calling you a Libertarian does not make it so. No one gets to do that! Mr. Baldwin does NOT call himself a Libertarian. He calls himself a Constitutionalist. Mr. Hancock calling him a Libertarian, does not make him one.

    Of course, all of this is to draw attention away from Mr. Root calling himself a “Reagan Libertarian.” The difference is plain to see. If someone else had labeled WAR as such, I would be defending him right now because no one gets to label another. As individuals we only get to label oursleves, no one else!

    WAR has labeled himself, and he must live with the consequences of his own words, just like the rest of us.

  57. paulie

    Brian,

    Thanks for not denying my two claims — that federal share of GDP shrank over Reagan’s tenure, and that it was never at an all-time high under him.

    Unless I am badly misreading your chart, it didn’t shrink under Reagan. At best it shrank somewhat after rising in the beginning, but ended up where it started or somewhat above and on its way up.

    If a politician holds that the federal government has no authority to regulate private-sector discrimination, and he campaigns on this “states’ rights” principle in the South, then nanny-staters will claim that he’s pandering to racism. Every time. Congratulations for standing with the nanny staters on this matter.

    Philadelphia, MS holds unmistakable symbolism. With a population of about 7,000 it is not just “the South” – it’s a place notable for a particular event, which just happened to be one of the ugliest applications of “States Rights” in our recent history.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia,_MS

    Note that the 1964 murders of civil rights workers and Reagan’s visit are two of the most notable events in the town’s history.

    If this wasn’t pandering to racism, can you explain why Reagan would go to Philadelphia, MS of all places to talk about states rights?

    Note that in 1980, he was running for election against a former Governor of Georgia who brought most of the southern states back into the Democrats’ column in 1976, after they had peeled away in 1964, 1968 and 1972 from a near-century of solidly Democratic Party voting in Presidential elections. In 1980, Reagan needed to get those states to vote Republican. Pandering to base prejudice as he did by making his speech where he did was not the morally right thing to do, but it was politically smart, and it worked.

    The white Southern vote has been pretty solidly Republican in presidential elections ever since then.

  58. paulie

    bc,

    If presidents had unilateral control over the federal budget, Reagan gave every indication that he would have actually CUT spending, rather than slowing its growth and shrinking spending as a GDP%.

    Not at all. Presidents submit proposed budgets to Congress. Reagan’s proposed budgets were nearly as high in some years, and higher in others, than the Democratic Majority’s proposed or finally passed budgets.

    Presidents also have the power to veto spending. Reagan did not use this power to veto spending to nearly the extent that a hypothetical libertarian president could have. Had he done so, the only spending that would have passed would have been what over 2/3 of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, could agree on.

    The reason was that he also wanted expanded spending in some areas – military, drug war, et cetera – and could only get it by agreeing to higher social spending. Thus, the higher spending in those areas which he wanted to make government bigger in was obviously more important to him than any cuts he allegedly wanted to make.

    Also note that he greatly expanded state government in California as Governor – so much so that Democrat Jerry Brown had to come in after him and look fiscally responsible by comparison.

    Presidents submit budgets, however, but Congress writes them and presidents sign or veto them. It’s sophomoric to fully attribute the Reagan year budgets to Reagan.

    It’s sophomoric to pretend that he wanted to cut government and was stopped by Congress.

    His “compromise” with O’Neill to agree to higher social spending in return for higher military spending is well-known.

  59. paulie

    Reagan as a libertarian – what a crock. While he made some minor improvements in reducing regulations and had a few sound bits on about it his expansion of spending and highly interventionist military policies indicate he was a conservative – and there fore a supporter of big government in actions. Conservatives like to play the game (talk like) they are for small government when they are not in power, but their actions in power are as bad and often worse than the socialists.

    I agree.

  60. Brian Holtz

    Holtz @11: Ask Wrights. He was the one who wrote that Reagan “grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”.

    Wrights @59: No, I was quoting what Mr. Root wrote and admitted in is book.

    Wrong. Root does not use the word “proportion” in connection with Reagan’s spending anywhere in his book.

    Wrights @60: Mr. Baldwin does NOT call himself a Libertarian.

    And Baldwin isn’t running for Chair. The fact remains that one Chair candidate is stretching the term “libertarian” to apply it to Reagan, while another is stretching the term “good hardcore libertarian” to apply it to Baldwin.

    Paulie, murdering people isn’t an “application of States’ Rights”. I advocate the principle of federalism that is poorly described as “States’ Rights”, and it doesn’t include murdering people. Thank you for proving my point about how easy it is to throw “racism” mud at people who stand up for libertarian and federalist principles.

  61. paulie

    As Andy pointed out on another thread:

    “The majority of Root’s outreach is to Republicans/conservatives and he alienates the rest of the political spectrum. Root calls himself a “Ronald Reagan Libertarian” when in reality, Ronald Reagan was not even remotely libertarian. Yeah, Ronald Reagan may have said a FEW things that sounded Libertarian, but when it came to implementing policy he did the opposite on most of those things, and in some areas Reagan NEVER even sounded anything like a libertarian (especially when it came to drug policy). Root makes it sound like Libertarians are what Republicans used to be and that Republicans are the “lesser of two evils” when in REALITY, the Republican Party has pretty much always been a party of big government (any examples to the contrary are the exception rather than the rule) and the mainstream of the Republican Party is just as evil as the Democrats.”

  62. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #64

    Mr. Holtz observes:

    “And Baldwin isn’t running for Chair.”

    ***Correct! We agree on something.

    “The fact remains that one Chair candidate is stretching the term “libertarian” to apply it to Reagan, while another is stretching the term “good hardcore libertarian” to apply it to Baldwin.”

    ***The fact remains that WAR calls himself a “Reagan Libertarian” while Mr. Baldwin is called a “good hardcore libertarian” by someone else. There is a huge difference between someone labeling themselves and someone labeling another person.

    As I stated earlier: “If someone else had labeled WAR as such, I would be defending him right now because no one gets to label another. As individuals we only get to label oursleves, no one else!”

  63. Brian Holtz

    Mr. Wrights, I thought we were talking about the dangers of a Chair using the word “libertarian” in a way that distorts the brand. Apparently you want to talk about other things — like whether a Chair should use the word “steroids” as a metaphor.

    If Reagan had been running against the LP nominee in 2008, and Root had during that campaign called him “a good hardcore libertarian”, then his sin would have been equivalent to Hancock’s.

  64. paulie

    Brian @ 64

    Agreed about Baldwin. I find Hancock’s proposal that Baldwin is a “good hardcore libertarian” to be equally troubling as Root’s notion of “Reagan Libertarianism.”

    You say,

    “murdering people isn’t an “application of States’ Rights”.

    They were murdered because they came down there to stop segregation, while defenders of segregation hid behind “States Rights.” Given that Philadelphia, MS was not known for anything else at that time, you still haven’t answered why Reagan would go there, of all places, to make his speech about states rights.

    Just to be perfectly fair to Mr. Reagan’s memory, he spoke at the Neshoba County fair. The population of Neshoba County was about 28,000 in 2000, somewhat larger than the 7,000 or so that lived in the town of Philadelphia. I don’t think there was any major population collapse between 1980 and 2000. Thus, why that county, of all the others he could have spoken at?

    Just in Miississippi alone, he had many other choices….

    BH,
    I advocate the principle of federalism that is poorly described as “States’ Rights”, and it doesn’t include murdering people.

    As do I. So why would Reagan choose Neshoba Co., MS, as the site of his speech? Do you think it was mere coincidence?


    Thank you for proving my point about how easy it is to throw “racism” mud at people who stand up for libertarian and federalist principles.

    Given that it is highly unlikely that the speech was in Neshoba County completely by coincidence, and that as we both agree murder is not a libertarian or federalist principle, I don’t see why you would classify this completely legitimate criticism as “racism mud.”

    Just to be clear, do you believe that the location of the speech was completely coincidental? If not, what was it meant to symbolize?

  65. paulie

    I thought we were talking about the dangers of a Chair using the word “libertarian” in a way that distorts the brand.

    I agree with Brian on this point.

  66. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, I’m just not going to debate whether murder is an “application of principle X” just because the murdered persons opposed the principle. That’s mud. If Reagan ever advocated or implemented any racist policies, I’m all ears. Otherwise, leave the race-card dealing to the donkeys and elephants.

    I’ll tell you how much of a coincidence was the Reagan campaign’s choice of the Neshoba County Fair when you tell me how many other county fairs (or similar-sized crowds) were available for a Mississippi campaign stop that day.

  67. R. Lee Wrights

    Re# 67

    Mr. Holtz falsely assumes:

    “Mr. Wrights, I thought we were talking about the dangers of a Chair using the word “libertarian” in a way that distorts the brand.”

    Then you thought wrong. I am talking about a Chair candidate using the word/name “Reagan” in a way that distorts the brand.

    As far as Mr. Root’s use of “the word “steroids” as a metaphor” he is free to use whatever words he likes, of course. The point of the article is we must bear the responsibility of the words we use and how important it is to choose our words wisely so that we will not be misunderstood.

    To most of America the word “steroids” is viewed negatively; therefore, when Mr. Root uses the term “on steroids” he brings that negativity upon himself. A classic example of how careful we must be when we describe ourselves to other people so that they do not misunderstand us and view us in a negative light.

  68. paulie

    Speaking of distorting the libertarian brand — please, let us not identify libertarianism with “Birther” nuts who think Obama is a secret Muslim and/or not born in the US.

    Wayne Root has hinted at this before when discussing not seeing Obama at Columbia, and it seems he is not backing down. Radley Balko writes at the Agitator

    http://www.theagitator.com/2010/05/16/wayne-allyn-root-bonkers/


    I’ve made it clear that I’m no fan of Wayne Allyn Root, the Las Vegas sports handicapper running for chair of the Libertarian Party. Root has also indicated that he plans to run for president in 2012 under the LP banner. I criticized Root last year for boasting about his appearances on Michael Savage’s syndicated radio show. Savage is a bigot, a warmonger, and a culture warrior. Not really the sort of platform libertarians should be seeking out. To put it mildly.

    Now, Root has gone off the deep end. Or at least further off the deep end. Here’s a snapshot from his Facebook page:

    CM Capture 2

    Here’s a description of the “trial” to which Root is referring:

    With thousands of spectators expecting to attend, Dr. James Manning’s ‘trial of the century’ of Barack Obama on charges of treason, fraud, and sedition begins tomorrow morning at 9 AM in New York City.

    Co-defendants in the trial are Columbia University and the CIA.

    In the last days of the run-up to the trial, Manning revealed that he has sources in government that will testify against Obama, Columbia, and the CIA. He also reported explosive information that Barack Obama has used upwards of 20 different Social Security numbers during his life.

    Witnesses are expected to testify at the trial that Barack Obama was never a student at Columbia University, although he received a degree from the school…

    Other witnesses are expected to testify that Obama fails the Constitutional test for Presidential eligibility due to the fact that his father was a British subject at the time of his birth and his mother was not old enough to confer citizenship when he was born.

    A dramatic new revelation, however, may serve to re-emphasize the importance of the trial. The state of Hawaii, according to sources, did NOT accept his birth registration that was filed, despite issuing a ’statement of live birth.’

    This could mean that although the state issued a certification of live birth (which is NOT a ‘birth certificate’), the process for filing for an official birth certificate in 1961 was never completed and was thus not accepted by state officials…

    Oh, but it gets better. According to a flier for the event, Obama . . .

    . . . was a C.I.A. operative who used Columbia University as a cover to go to Pakistan in 1981 when the C.I.A. and the Mujahideen worked together against the Soviet invasion. Obama supplied arms, logistics, and money using his Muslim background.

    Root indicates in prior Facebook entries that he doesn’t believe Obama actually attended Columbia University.

    I never knew him…never met him…never saw him…never heard of Obama. Neither has anyone [sic] of my classmates. No one I know from Columbia University has ever met or heard of a classmate named Barack Obama or Barry Sotero. Strange, huh?

    Root made a similar accusation in an interview with Reason. He was appropriately mocked for it. That Root wouldn’t have run in the same circles as Obama in a school with thousands of undergrads isn’t particularly strange at all.

    Look, I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party, though I’ve spoken to several state conventions over the last couple years. I have my problems with the party, but I’d like to see it do well, in part because for better or worse the LP has a significant impact on how people view libertarianism.

    So let’s be clear about this: If Wayne Allyn Root becomes the face of the LP, it will be an unmitigated disaster for the party. It will also likely do quite a bit of damage to the public perception of libertarianism as a philosophy.

    This is batshit crazy, off-the-charts conspiratorial hogwash. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize Barack Obama. Root has chosen to dip into angry-white-guy, “Obama’s a secret Muslim” absolute and utter lunacy.

    Libertarians: The man is a nut. Associate with him at your peril.


    While my view of Wayne Root is more positive than Balko’s, and I don’t think he is a nut, I am likewise concerned with granting legitimacy to Birtherism.

    If Wayne Root is concerned about what impact showing sympathy for 9/11 truth has on the LP, why isn’t he likewise concerned with the impact of showing sympathy for Birther conspiracy theories?

  69. Brian Holtz

    Ah, so your interest here is the narrower one of attacking Root and Reagan, rather than the broader one of defending the libertarian brand.

    Thanks for making that explicit.

  70. Brian Holtz

    Root shouldn’t touch Birtherism with a ten-foot pole. His comments I quoted @3 show that, despite all the Reagan flaws that Root acknowledges, there were some things in his rhetoric and his record that were inherently libertarian, and I can’t agree with anybody who says we should never talk about those things.

    But there is nothing inherently libertarian about Birtherism.

  71. Andy

    “paulie // May 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Reagan did not “liberate the Soviet Union,” it collapsed from economic inefficiency and the growing availability of information that Soviet censors were increasingly not effective in stopping, as libertarians were alone in predicting.”

    The Soviet Union would have collapsed sooner if it had not been for foreign aid from the West (including from the US government).

  72. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #73

    Only in your own mind. Obviously you can’t stay on point because to do so would mean you’d have to debate what I actually say, as opposed to debating whatever sideroad you decide to take during the discussion. Phrasing it more simply, putting words in my mouth will not work.

  73. paulie

    If Reagan ever advocated or implemented any racist policies, I’m all ears.

    We can start with sentencing disparities for crack and powder cocaine.

    I’ll tell you how much of a coincidence was the Reagan campaign’s choice of the Neshoba County Fair when you tell me how many other county fairs (or similar-sized crowds) were available for a Mississippi campaign stop that day.

    I’ll let readers decide for themselves how plausible the idea that the choice of location and subject were mere coincidence is.

    To be fair, there’s no reason to assume that Reagan was racist himself. It’s far more likely that his campaign handlers calculated, correctly, that pandering to racism would get him votes.

    That cuts both ways, though, and the last thing the LP needs is to associate itself with that kind of pandering.

  74. Andy

    “paulie // May 16, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Brian @ 64

    Agreed about Baldwin. I find Hancock’s proposal that Baldwin is a “good hardcore libertarian” to be equally troubling as Root’s notion of ‘Reagan Libertarianism.'”

    I’d say that Chuck Baldwin is way more libertarian than Ronald Reagan ever was. I’d also say that Chuck Baldwin is probably more libertarian than Bob Barr as well.

  75. paulie

    His comments I quoted @3 show that, despite all the Reagan flaws that Root acknowledges, there were some things in his rhetoric and his record that were inherently libertarian, and I can’t agree with anybody who says we should never talk about those things.

    Absolutely we should, as we should talk about the good things in other presidents’ records…as well as the bad ones.

    But “Reagan Libertarian” makes about as much sense as “Clinton Libertarian,” or maybe even less.

  76. paulie

    The Soviet Union would have collapsed sooner if it had not been for foreign aid from the West (including from the US government).

    Good point.

  77. paulie

    Root shouldn’t touch Birtherism with a ten-foot pole.

    I’m glad we agree. Hopefully, those who have his ear will persuade him on this point.

  78. Tom Blanton

    So let’s be clear about this: If Wayne Allyn Root becomes the face of the LP, it will be an unmitigated disaster for the party. It will also likely do quite a bit of damage to the public perception of libertarianism as a philosophy.

    Exactly what I have been saying since Root surfaced with special emphasis placed on the second sentence.

  79. Andy

    “paulie // May 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Speaking of distorting the libertarian brand — please, let us not identify libertarianism with ‘Birther’ nuts who think Obama is a secret Muslim and/or not born in the US. ”

    I agree that whether or not Barrack Obama was born in the USA doesn’t have anything to do with libertarian philosophy, however, it is a constitutional issue, and there is evidence that he may not have been born in the USA which would disqualify him from being legally able to hold the office of President, so I think that the issue does merit discussion and further investigation.

  80. paulie

    Perhaps the Reagan Libertarians here would like to defend Reagan’s dramatic escalation of the national debt:

    Debt at the end of Reagan’s first budget: $997.8 Billion

    Debt at the end of Reagan’s final budget: $2.857 Trillion

    You must not have read the whole thread. Dondero already did.

  81. paulie

    I’d say that Chuck Baldwin is way more libertarian than Ronald Reagan ever was. I’d also say that Chuck Baldwin is probably more libertarian than Bob Barr as well.

    Did you watch Brian’s video at #8?

  82. Andy

    “paulie // May 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

    ‘Root shouldn’t touch Birtherism with a ten-foot pole.’

    I’m glad we agree. Hopefully, those who have his ear will persuade him on this point.”

    I’ve got no problem with Wayne Root talking about “Birtherism,” especially since he went to the same univeristy as Barrack Obama is said to have attended. I don’t think that Wayne should make it one of his primary talking points but I don’t think that he should run away from the subject either.

  83. Andy

    “Did you watch Brian’s video at #8?”

    Yes I did and I stand by my ascertation that Chuck Baldwin is more libertarian than Ronald Reagan ever was and is probably more libertarian than Bob Barr.

  84. Buck Turgisdson

    Wow another hit piece on Wayne Root for the Ruwart-Wright-Knapp Troika. How original. If Root wins LNC chair, I will laugh so hard. Question is, will the RWK troika pick their toys and go home.

  85. paulie

    there is evidence that he may not have been born in the USA

    If you are sufficiently gullible, there’s “evidence” for all kinds of fantastical claims. It doesn’t mean we need to “investigate” whether Obama was born in the US or whether he is an alien space lizard Muslim from Kenya.

    Re: Baldwin, Brian points out on another thread,

    CP nominee Chuck Baldwin ran on a platform of outlawing all abortion and assisted suicide, opposing gay marriage, “closing the borders”, jailing employers of illegal immigrants, “stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.”, “vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity”, and imposing tariffs “no less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production” and U.S. costs.

  86. paulie

    I don’t think that Wayne should make (birtherism) one of his primary talking points but I don’t think that he should run away from the subject either.

    Yes he should. He should run away fast and hard.

  87. Tom Blanton

    You must not have read the whole thread. Dondero already did.

    Dondero’s comments don’t count as rational statements. Let him pursue his imaginary demons on his own dime.

  88. Brian Holtz

    Wrights @76: Obviously you can’t stay on point

    Yes, if you narrowly define the “point” as attacking Root through Reagan, and avoiding the broader subject of Chair candidates distorting the libertarian brand, then I indeed choose not to “stay on point”. Shame on me.

    because to do so would mean you’d have to debate what I actually say

    I was trying to debate what you meant by the word “proportions”, right up until you falsely claimed that it was Root’s word. Care to try again?

    Paulie, I invite readers to re-read what Root actually says about Reagan (quoted @3) and decide for themselves whether those words risk associating the LP with Reagan’s choice of what county fair to speak at three decades ago.

  89. Andy

    “Yes he should. He should run away fast and hard.”

    No, he should address the issue when it comes up.

    Root went to the same university as Obama is alleged to have attended yet Root says he never saw him on campus or even heard of him. This is relevant.

    There IS evidence that Barrack Obama may not be a Natural Born American citizen and this would disqualify him to be President under the Constitution. This should be investigated to the fullest extent and I think that Obama should be put on trial over this (of course I will agree that out of all of the reasons to remove Obama from office this one is the least important, but it still has merit from a legal standpoint).

    Politicians pass all kinds of laws and if one of us doesn’t follow them we will face fines and/or jail/prison. Drive down the road without a seat belt or without a drivers license or without a license plate and you will face fines and possibly jail time and your vehicle could be impounded, yet the current President of these united States of America may not be a Natural Born American citizen which would disqualify him automatically from holding the office of President. This seems hypocritical to me. The Obama camp has acted very suspicious over this issue so it appears to me that they have probably got something to hide.

    Again, I do NOT think that Wayne Root should turn the “Birther” issue into one of his primary talking points, I just think that if the issue comes up he should discuss it rather than run away from it.

  90. paulie

    whether those words risk associating the LP with Reagan’s choice of what county fair to speak at three decades ago.

    Calling oneself a “Reagan Libertarian,” thousands of times, in every conceivable medium, associates the LP with all of Reagan’s record – the good parts as well as the bad parts.

  91. paulie

    Here is Rev. Manning talking about the “trial” that Wayne said he will be testifying at.

    Sorry, this is just nuts and we should not associate the LP with this kind of wacko crap.

  92. D. Frank Robinson

    @72: Would Ronald Reagan have participated in a stunt trial like this? He wouldn’t even have sent his parrot. W.A. R. seems like a hand grenade with the pin half out.

  93. Tom Blanton

    Sorry, this is just nuts and we should not associate the LP with this kind of wacko crap.

    It’s too late. Root has already associated the LP with this wacko crap. He has already associated the LP (and libertarianism in general) with a number of undesirable things, such as Reagan, Michael Savage, irrational fear of “Islamofascism”, millionaire Republicans, and conservatism. The question now is how much more damage is the LP willing to tolerate in hopes of attracting the support of people who identify with Root.

  94. paulie

    More on Wayne Root and the Manning trial:

    http://belowthebeltway.com/2010/05/16/wayne-allyn-root-is-poison-for-the-libertarian-party/ by Doug Mataconis

    http://eastmetrolp.com/wordpress/?p=7425
    by a delegate (now possibly formerly) supporting Root for chair

    Not good, folks. Those of you who talk to Wayne regularly….please tell him to run, not walk, away from this nonsense.

    And Wayne, if you are reading, please do not have anything more to do with this foolishness, especially if you are elected chair and/or run for president again in the future.

  95. Andy

    “If you are sufficiently gullible, there’s “evidence” for all kinds of fantastical claims. It doesn’t mean we need to ‘investigate’ whether Obama was born in the US or whether he is an alien space lizard Muslim from Kenya.”

    There is nothing “gullible” about this. The evidence against Obama on this issue is real. The Obama camped has been dodging the questions that have been brought up and acting quite suspicious. This leads me to believe that they’ve got something to hide.

    “CP nominee Chuck Baldwin ran on a platform of outlawing all abortion and assisted suicide, opposing gay marriage, “closing the borders”, jailing employers of illegal immigrants, “stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.”, “vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity”, and imposing tariffs “no less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production” and U.S. costs.”

    First off, I never said that Chuck Baldwin was a 100% libertarian, I said that he was more libertarian than Ronald Reagan ever was and that he’s probably more libertarian than Bob Barr.

    Also, Chuck Baldwin did not run on all of those issues that Brian Holtz just mentioned. Chuck Baldwin is actually more libertarian than the Constitution Party’s platform.

    Chuck Baldwin came out AGAINST the War on Drugs. Remember that Bob Barr, while a member of the LNC, came out in favor of US military intervention in Columbia to fight the War on Drugs, and remember that Barr was a big drug warrior as a Congressman and a prosecutor up until he had his supposed conversion which there is reason to doubt was sincere. Also, shortly before Barr got the Presidential nomination he appeared as a guest on Hannity & Colmes and during this show he said that he would not favor legalizing drugs in his home state of Georgia. I spoke to Chuck Baldwin’s Vice Presidential running mate Darryl Castle and I asked him if he opposed the drug war at aboth the federal and state level and he said that he did.

    Chuck Baldwin favored eliminating the CIA, Bob Barr’s former (?) employer. Barr never took this stance.

    Chuck Baldwin favored Fully Informed Juries, while Bob Barr opposed them (this DEFINITELY puts Baldwin ahead of Barr).

    Chuck Baldwin did come out in favor of a 10% flat tarriff rate (which is lower than at least some current tarriffs), however, he also favored eliminating the income tax, Social Security taxes, and the Federal Reserve System. This is at least as good as Bob Barr on taxes, and probably better since Barr supported the Fair Tax sham promoted by Neal Boortz.

    Chuck Baldwin came out in favor of a real investigation into 9/11 while Bob Barr ran away from this issue.

    Chuck Baldwin opposed the Patriot Act while Bob Barr voted in favor of it (Barr may claim to be against now, but this doesn’t erase the fact that he voted for it).

    These are are just a few examples.

    So yes, I think that it IS fair to say that Chuck Baldwin is more libertarian than Ronald Reagan ever was and is probably more libertarian than Bob Barr.

  96. Andy

    Once again, I’m NOT suggesting that Wayne Root on any other Libertarian make the “Birther” issue a primary talking point, I’m just saying that it merits discussion if it comes up.

  97. Tom Blanton

    If they don’t have anything to hide on this issue, then why are they acting like they do?

    Because Hawaii has been inundated with thousands of requests for the same information over and over.

    What evidence is there that Obama’s birth certificate (and birth announcement in Hawaii) is not genuine? What more information can the birther’s possibly want?

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

  98. paulie

    There is nothing “gullible” about this. The evidence against Obama on this issue is real.

    It’s looney toons, tin foil hat nonsense. Right up there with David Icke’s most outlandish stuff and alleged Jewish plots to poison wells.

    As for Baldwin…I think Brian’s video makes it clear that he is not a “good hardcore libertarian” as Hancock suggests.

    I don’t think we should associate the LP with either Baldwin and the CP or Reagan Republicanism.

    In fact, we should make it absolutely clear every chance we get that we are not any variety of conservatism or right wing ideology.

  99. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth the bodily fluid obsessed general:

    “Wow another hit piece on Wayne Root for the Ruwart-Wright-Knapp Troika.”

    No such “troika” exists. I had no part in writing the piece, and did not know it was being written. I posted a summary/excerpt at IPR because an LNC member’s comment on a party election is newsworthy by the standards of a site that covers third parties.

  100. Andy

    “Because Hawaii has been inundated with thousands of requests for the same information over and over.”

    The reason they keep asking is because they have not recieved the original birth certificate.

    Ignoring theme because so many requests are coming in is like saying that it was OK for government officials in the 1800s to ignore petitions that called for slavery to be ended due to there being so many of these petitions (and this is what lead to government officials ignoring petitions as it set the precident).

    “What evidence is there that Obama’s birth certificate (and birth announcement in Hawaii) is not genuine? What more information can the birther’s possibly want?”

    They have only produced a Certificate of Live Birth which is NOT the same thing a birth certificate and was given to non-citizens. They have yet to produce the actual birth certificate.

  101. Robert Capozzi

    I wonder if there’s much overlap in the Birther and Truther communities? If paranoia is the human condition, but we could be ranked 1 to 10, I wonder if the most pronounced paranoids, 10s, are those inclined to be both Birther and Truther.

    Boy, is this stuff EVER a sideshow.

  102. Andy

    “It’s looney toons, tin foil hat nonsense. Right up there with David Icke’s most outlandish stuff and alleged Jewish plots to poison wells.”

    This is not even remotely close to any of that stuff and there is in fact evidence to back this up. I’m suprised that you of all people would say this.

    Obama’s actual birth certificate has never been produced.

    Obama’s grandmother said on video that she was present when he was born – IN KENYA!

    There is a sign in Kenya that says, Birth Place of Barack Obama.

    There is evidence that Obama was a citizen of Indonesia at one time.

    There is nothing crazy about asking questions and looking into this evidence. I find it to be rather suspicious that they have yet to produce his actual birth certificate.

    “As for Baldwin…I think Brian’s video makes it clear that he is not a ‘good hardcore libertarian’ as Hancock suggests.”

    Maybe not a 100% libertarian, but more libertarian than Reagan and probably Barr as well.

    I think that Hancock was probably just engaging in hyperbole and being kind towards Chuck Baldwin, especially since Baldwin writes articles that get carried by Freedoms Phoenix. I’ve read Chuck Baldwin’s articles for years and I usually agree with him.

    Also, Ernie Hancock doens’t go around calling himself a Chuck Baldwin Libertarian, nor does he even regularly mention Chuck Baldwin. Contrast this with Wayne Root who frequently calls himself a Ronald Reagan Libertarian, including when on TV and radio.

  103. Andy

    Obama could have cleared up the “Birther” controversy back in 2008 when it first came up, but his camp never did this and has been acting suspicious about it ever since. It looks like they’ve got something to hide and this is why it is still an issue.

  104. wolfefan

    Hawaii does not release “original” birth certificates. What they release is what Obama has posted and what Hawaii has certified is legally prima facie evidence that he was born inHawaii. There have been times that Hawaii has issued Certificates of Live Birth for people born outside of Hawaii, but those certificates say that the person was born outside of Hawaii. Obamas does not.

    Also, Root’s Columbia stuff is crazy. Plenty of people who knew Obama then have come forward. Columbia certifies he was there and was a graduate. If I shouldn’t believe Columbia about Obama, why should I believe them about Root? Further, Obama had to have some kind of degree to get into HLS- where else did he get it from? Or does the conspiracy just grow?

    Anyone who associates the LP with this kind of stuff is not a friend of the LP.

  105. John Jay Myers

    The scarriest thing about Wayne is his fixation on Obama.
    It’s weird. Read his previous posts, before this infamous one.
    I keep telling him to stop fixating on Obama, because most of us know that this one guy is not the problem.
    To focus on him so single mindedly is creepy and divisive.
    But he wont, because he believes that he can garner a large fan base from people who hate Obama.
    I am going to try to get the Libertarian Party a large base of people who want less government in their lives.

    The pandering to the Obama hating crowd is not going to grow this party. It will strengthen those peoples resolve for the Republican Party, instead of educating them into understanding the real problem.

  106. Spin, spin, spin, spin .......... Lake

    Thomas L. Knapp // May 16, 2010:
    “Wow another hit piece on Wayne Root ………”

    Oh, plz, the disgust of such a GOP neo con in the planet’s one and only peace party *yeah* is palatable for border to border and coast to coast!

    Don’t blame Tom or George for feelings shared with thousands of folks from all over (and in and out of the partisan core)!

  107. wolfefan

    What would you have him do to “clear it up?” What would be evidence to convince you? You’ll just move the goalposts again. You’ll claim that the original is forged and that there’s another “real” certificate out there. The birther stuff is a distraction from the struggle for liberty. To promote it is to work against the interests of freedom.

  108. paulie

    Obama’s grandmother said on video that she was present when he was born – IN KENYA!

    This urban legend has been debunked. Check with snopes, etc.

    The idea that BHO was born in Kenya or Indonesia does not pass the laugh test. For one thing, people would have seen his mother on the airplane, in airports, etc. And given what is known about her lifestyle at the time, it’s highly unlikely she could have afforded the flight. Given all the US born politicians that could have been promoted, why would his backers have picked one who was not born in the US? It simply would not have made sense. Arnold Schwarzenegger is another foreign born politician that some people would like to be able to run for president, yet everyone acknowledges that he was born in Austria. If it was so easy to conceal something like that, wouldn’t they have done it for Schwarzenegger?

    There is a sign in Kenya that says, Birth Place of Barack Obama.

    If this is true, the sign may refer to his father, Barack Obama Sr.

    Maybe not a 100% libertarian

    Baldwin is nowhere near being 100% libertarian, nor does he claim to be.

    Also, Ernie Hancock doens’t go around calling himself a Chuck Baldwin Libertarian, nor does he even regularly mention Chuck Baldwin. Contrast this with Wayne Root who frequently calls himself a Ronald Reagan Libertarian, including when on TV and radio.

    That, on the other hand, is a good point.

    I think Root goess more off base, far more often, in more closely identifying the LP with Reaganism than Hancock does in identifying it was Baldwin and the CP.

  109. Robert Capozzi

    pc, yes, probably, as Hancock doesn’t bring Baldwin up much. He’s got a long list of associations that are not likely to grow the LP broadly.

    Associating with what Reagan is broadly known for seems like positive positioning AS LONG AS work is done to make it clear that Reagan also did things that we DON’T agree with.

    Root’s Obama angle is his Achilles heel, IMO, followed by his penchant for using the term “states’ rights.”

  110. Andy

    Once again, I don’t think that the “Birther” issue is a major issue that Libertarians should use as a major talking point. I would focus on issues such as Obama’s support of the bailouts, Obamacare, Obama not pulling the troops out of Iraq & Afganistan, etc…

    If I were a candidate and somebody asked me about the “Birther” issue I’d say something like, “I don’t know for a fact whether or not Barack Obama was born in the USA or not, however, his side is acting rather suspicious over the issue. As a Libertarian I’m concerned about personal and economic freedom, and this issue doesn’t really have anything to do with that, however, under the US Constitution the President is supposed to be a Natural Born Citizen. From a purist libertarian perspective, this issue does not matter, however, in our present society government officials are supposed to obey the Constitution, and I believe that society would be much better off if they did so. The Founding Fathers included the Natural Born Citizen requirement for the office of President in the Constitution as a way of helping to keep foreign influence out of our government. So from a legal perspective, the President of these united States of America must be a Natural Born Citizen. If the allegationgs against Barack Obama about him not being a Natural Born Citizen are true then he should be removed from office if this is to be a nation that adheres to its Constitution. Government officials pass all kinds of laws with which they expect the people to comply. Some of these laws are blatantly unconstitutional. Given that the law gets applied to the average person I think that it ought to be applied to our elected officials as well. If Obama is holding office in violation of the Natural Born Citizen clause of the Constitution then he should be removed from office. Although, as a Libertarian I’d prefer to focus on other reasons to remove Barack Obama from office, such as his support for the bailouts, the new healthcare ‘law,’ his disdain for gun rights, the fact that he has yet to withdraw the military from Iraq and Afganistan, as well as other more serious violations of the Constitution, and more importantly, our liberty.”

  111. Andy

    “Baldwin is nowhere near being 100% libertarian, nor does he claim to be.”

    Yet he’s probably closer than Bob Barr is.

  112. paulie

    Andy @117

    You should cut out everything before
    “as a Libertarian I’d prefer to focus on other reasons to remove Barack Obama from office, such as his support for the bailouts, the new healthcare ‘law,’ his disdain for gun rights, the fact that he has yet to withdraw the military from Iraq and Afganistan, as well as other more serious violations of the Constitution, and more importantly, our liberty.””

    Much better soundbite, and nothing for hostile media to cut out the reasonable parts of 117 and loop only the unreasonable parts.

  113. James Oaksun

    Not good, folks. Those of you who talk to Wayne regularly….please tell him to run, not walk, away from this nonsense.

    Would one of Wayne’s acolytes here, kindly explain to me how his active, public participation in this “event” is in any way even remotely accretive to our cause?

    Speaking purely for myself, “libertarian” is not Swedish for “any position that might possibly get a vote.”

    Thank you.

  114. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Associating with what Reagan is broadly known for seems like positive positioning”

    Not really. As someone pointed out, the LP’s single best presidential performance was running AGAINST Ronald Reagan.

  115. David F. Nolan

    I’m thinkin’ that this latest foray by WAR into looney-land, along with his previous “good for the GOP” Freudian slip, will sink his bid for LNC Chair once and for all. At least, it should.

  116. paulie

    Reagan was never even slightly libertarian – even in rhetoric – on most social issues or on foreign policy/military spending.

    His “libertarian” leanings were mostly manifest in rhetoric only, mostly only on one of three broad policy areas – economic issues.

    And on those, his actions in office – both as Governor and President – were so far from fiscal responsibility that Democrats Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton had to clean up after him: Brown cut spending, and Clinton balanced the budget. However, we are still paying interest on the orgy of spending – much of it corporate welfare of one sort or another – from the Reagan era.

  117. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #93

    Mr. Holtz says:

    “I was trying to debate what you meant by the word “proportions”, right up until you falsely claimed that it was Root’s word. Care to try again?”

    This is the sentence from my article of which he speaks, “He idolizes Mr. Reagan even though he admits that once he gained the White House, after making promises to the contrary, he grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before.” Notice there are no quotations marks around the phrase indicating that I am quoting Mr. Root directly. When a writer uses no quotations marks he is letting his readers know that he is paraphrasing what was said and not making a direct quote. So, Mr. Holtz’s assertion that I falsely claim “proportions” as Mr. Root’s word is clearly in error.

    As for the meaning of the word “proportions” I refer you to Mr. Webster’s book – the dictionary.

    If the best you can do is choose one word out of over 1,300 words to debate, I don’t see how you can claim to be on point. You are too busy trying to distort what I wrote to be on point.

    I’ll leave it to each individual to read what I wrote, in its entirety, and make up their own minds.

  118. Robert Capozzi

    tk, I’m surprised at you. Associating with the ideas put forth 30 years ago that are vaguely L is a very different thing than what was actually happening 30 years ago. Interestingly, the Clark campaign’s slogan of “A New Beginning” was taken by the Reagan campaign. I wonder if Doug Bandow had anything to do with that?

    Politics is more like Gestalt psychology than it is microbiology. Studying isolated factoids gets us nowhere.

    And please, if you MUST take my statements out of context, at least put in an ellipses!

  119. paulie

    Holtz, on another thread:

    I don’t want the LP Chair using the phrase “Reagan libertarian”, and I don’t want the LP Chair calling Baldwin “a good hardcore libertarian”.

    My feelings exactly!

  120. paulie

    From Redpath’s article


    In 2008, when I was the Libertarian candidate for US Senate in Virginia, we had to circulate separate petitions for the Libertarian presidential ticket and me. Many people gladly signed my petition (getting my charm tank topped off beforehand helped, I guess), but when it came to signing for the LP presidential ticket, “Nooooooooo! Barr will screw things up for John McCain!”

    Let’s see how that philosophy has worked out for those people.

    I just read the recently published Recarving Rushmore, written by Ivan Eland of the small-l libertarian Independent Institute, in which he ranks forty presidents (too early in Obama’s presidency/Cleveland served twice/Garfield and William Henry Harrison both served less than a year) on a “PP&L (Peace, Prosperity & Liberty) scale.”

    What appeared to chafe Dr. Eland was the tendency of historians to judge presidents as “great,” or not so, based on the times in which they served, not the actual decisions made by them when they were President. Dr. Eland’s goal is to judge presidents on the extent to which their actual policy decisions contributed to Peace, Prosperity & Liberty for the United States.

    As a libertarian, Dr. Eland does not play favorites. Thomas Jefferson is rated a woeful 26th by Eland, who calls TJ “A Hypocrite on Limited Government.” I have not asked Dr. Eland if he thinks we should save our rotten tomaters for whomever next sings that “Thomas Jefferson” song at an LP convention (non-old-timers may not remember this).

    Surprisingly, in Dr. Eland’s judgment, the best president in American history was John Tyler (vetoed the revival of the national bank/ended the worst Indian war in US history/responded with restraint to Dorr’s Rebellion in Rhode Island/ditto with a border dispute between Maine and New Brunswick/opposed big government in fact and not just rhetoric), while the second best was Grover Cleveland, a fat guy who liked slim government. The worst president (#40) in his view was Woodrow Wilson (got the US into World War I/post-war policies set the table for World War II/plenty more, but ain’t that enough?).

    But, what really struck me, as I reviewed Dr. Eland’s presidential rankings, was how low recent Republican presidents were on his PP&L scale. I know some people will dispute this, but Eland ranks Ronald Reagan as #34 (landing him in Eland’s “Bad President” category), and he has sensible reasons. Eland claims that the Iran/Contra scandal was worse than Watergate, Reagan did not reduce big government, started “surreptitiously” raising taxes soon after his 1981 tax cuts were enacted, and helped keep Social Security limping along in 1983 (with tax increases, of course) when he could have worked to privatize it. Dr. Eland also thinks Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War was overblown, and that the Soviet Union failed largely on its own. Other low recent Republican president rankings (W. at #36, H. W. at #33 and Nixon at #30) are no surprise.

    What is somewhat surprising is that Dr. Eland ranks Jimmy Carter as “The Best Modern President” at #8 (restrained foreign policy/evenhanded Middle East policy/deregulated industries/appointed Paul Volcker to the Fed, who then slayed inflation). Eland even ranked Bill Clinton as the 11th best president on his PP&L scale, so he thinks that over the last forty years, Democratic presidents have actually been more libertarian than Republican presidents.

    According to Dr. Eland, to find a Republican president who ranks higher in his PP&L rankings than Jimmy Carter, one must go all the way back to Warren Harding.

  121. Michael H. Wilson

    In response to Eric on the fall of the USSR it is worth noting that their economy had been in a slow collapse for years. About 1968 the CIA reported that the life span for men in their nation was in decline. That’s a good indicator of the poor health of any nation.

    Secondly the Soviets themselves have admitted that their economy was in decline but that the oil embargo of 1973 and the high prices that came with it gave a boost to their export trade since the Soviets were one of the world’s largest exporters of petroleum products. That event and the money they received, is thought by some to have held off the collapse by a few years.

  122. Buck Turgidson

    My deepest and most sincere apologies(you don’t see this happen on IPR) to Thomas Knapp. I was in error making him part of the troika that is engage in a smear campaign against Wayne Allyn Root. I meant to include the whining fountain of misinformation Thomas Sipos. So, it is The Ruwart-Wright-Sipos Troika that is engaged in smear campaign to defeat Root. Now that’s a threesome!

    Oh by the way, the bodily fluid obsessed officer is Major Jack D Ripper.

  123. Andy

    “You should cut out everything before

    Much better soundbite, and nothing for hostile media to cut out the reasonable parts of 117 and loop only the unreasonable parts.”

    I don’t think that I said anything that was unreasonable, and if I totally ignored the “Birther” question that would be dodging the question. That was the type of response that I’d give if I were a Libertarian Party candidate for office, and I think that it is a good response, and an honest one as well.

  124. Brian Holtz

    Wrights @59: No, I was quoting what Mr. Root wrote and admitted in his book.

    Wrights @124: Notice there are no quotations marks around the phrase indicating that I am quoting Mr. Root directly.

    Regardless of how this argument with yourself ends, the fact remains that you used the word “admit” to introduce the proposition that Reagan “grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”. Thus you clearly adopted this thesis as your own, and I remain curious how you reconcile it with this graph:

    If you don’t want to try reconciling it, just say so.

    And if you can point us to the language in Root’s book that you say you’re paraphrasing, let us know.

    If the best you can do is choose one word out of over 1,300 words to debate, I don’t see how you can claim to be on point.

    I already explained that way back @5, when I first introduced the graph: Fourteen paragraphs, seventeen uses of the word “Republican”, but not a single claim by Wrights of an un-libertarian position held by Root. In fact, Wrights only makes one charge of un-libertarianism against Reagan: “he grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”.

  125. Alexei DeSadesky

    Good afternoon, comrades and capitalist pigs.

    I see the good name of our Soviet Socialist Union of Republics is once again being maligned on your internet-forum.

    There was no economic collapse of the USSR. Our economy was strong, our farms and factories productive, our men masculine, and our women fertile.

    Our revolution was betrayed from within by Gorbachev, Yeltsin and other traitors to the Party.

    But rest assured that the Party is still alive, and we have plans to take back power in the Russian Federation, revive the USSR, and win back control for our comrades in Eastern Europe and around the world.

    The streets will flow with the blood of capitalist pigs and traitors.

    Our great Russian military will liberate the workers of the world in the name of scientific socialism.

    Zionists, capitalists, religious mystics and all other enemies of the revolution will be tortured and killed.

    It will be fun.

  126. Andy

    “David F. Nolan // May 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’m thinkin’ that this latest foray by WAR into looney-land, along with his previous “good for the GOP” Freudian slip, will sink his bid for LNC Chair once and for all. At least, it should.”

    It looks like Root was “subpoenaed” (I’m putting this in quotes since it was not an “official” government trial) for this trial. Even though the presentation looks cheesy I don’t think that it is as “looney” as some people are making it out to be. In fact, I consider this to be a step in the right direction and I’d like to see more people put together grand jury trials against politicians. If enough people were to get involved in things like this it could lead to a day when such trials would have enough “teeth” behind them to where the politicians could be removed from office and put in prison where they belong.

  127. Brian Holtz

    BT, holding Root accountable for how he positions the Libertarian brand is not a “smear campaign”. A “smear campaign” is when someone posting under the name “Buck Turgidson” calls George Phillies “an Anti-Christian bigot”.

  128. paulie

    Andy, the only part of your quote @ 117 that would get played and re-played would be “I don’t know for a fact whether or not Barack Obama was born in the USA or not, however, his side is acting rather suspicious over the issue.”

    So, your overly long soundbite would work against your reasonable point that “Once again, I don’t think that the “Birther” issue is a major issue that Libertarians should use as a major talking point. I would focus on issues such as Obama’s support of the bailouts, Obamacare, Obama not pulling the troops out of Iraq & Afganistan, etc…”

    Cardinal rule of dealing with the media: never say anything that distracts from your main message, especially if it can be taken out of context and turned into a soundbite.

  129. paulie

    It looks like Root was “subpoenaed” (I’m putting this in quotes since it was not an “official” government trial) for this trial. Even though the presentation looks cheesy I don’t think that it is as “looney” as some people are making it out to be.

    Every bit as loony and then some. And the “subpoena” is a joke. Let’s be real here.

  130. paulie

    “grew government spending to greater proportions than ever before”

    I missed the part where Wrights said “of GDP.”

    Proportions can simply mean size, as in “grew government spending to a greter size than it ever had been before.”

    For example see

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/federal-spending-per-household

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/growth-federal-spending-revenue

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/growth-federal-spending

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/mandatory-discretionary-spending

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/taxes-per-household

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/federal-government-revenues

  131. Andy

    “Every bit as loony and then some. And the “subpoena” is a joke. Let’s be real here.”

    I disagree. I would love to see more citizen trials against more politicians. I like the concept even if their presentation was not the best.

  132. Andy

    “paulie // May 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Andy, the only part of your quote @ 117 that would get played and re-played would be “I don’t know for a fact whether or not Barack Obama was born in the USA or not, however, his side is acting rather suspicious over the issue.””

    Well, this is the truth and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with this.

    “Cardinal rule of dealing with the media: never say anything that distracts from your main message, especially if it can be taken out of context and turned into a soundbite.”

    I wouldn’t care if that got turned into a soundbite.

    If I were a candidate for office the “Birther” issue would not even be close to one of my main talking points. Since it is a current issue it would likely come up though and that is how I’d anwser it.

    I think that a good angle to put on it is that elected officials need to be held accountable to the rules. If Obama is lying, or even if manybe people suspect or believe that he is lying about this, then it helps to destroy the credibility of government. This is a good thing for Libertarians.

  133. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #133

    I see no need to reconcile a graph “you” produced here that never appeared in my article, nor was it ever mentioned. So no, I do not care to follow you down one of your sidetracks in an attempt to distort what I wrote. I’d rather stay on point.

    As for my use of the word “proportions” again I refer you to the dictionary; or, Paulie’s post #139. He seems to get it, so I see no reason why you can’t grasp it as well. Thanks, Paulie.

    As far as your observation: “…not a single claim by Wrights of an un-libertarian position held by Root.” You are quite correct. My article is not about how unlibertarian Mr. Root is or is not. It is not intended to be a judgement of his libertarianism. It IS a statement about his marketing technique, which in my opinion, is not good for the LP. As I stated earlier in response #59:

    “My whole article is about “marketing” and what a terrible job WAR does when he uses such misleading terms as “Reagan Libertarian.”

    Apparently you agree since Paulie points out:

    “Holtz, on another thread:

    “I don’t want the LP Chair using the phrase “Reagan libertarian”, and I don’t want the LP Chair calling Baldwin “a good hardcore libertarian”.”

    Since we basically seem to be in agreement on this issue, I can only assume you are purposely trying to be difficult.

  134. Gene Berkman

    The one policy that Ronald Reagan executed that undoubtedly helped bring down the USSR was the decontrol of oil prices.

    Oil price controls imposed by President Richard Nixon (Rep) led to a run up of the world market price for oil, which helped sustain the Soviet Union as on oil exporter. Preferential terms for Soviet oil also helped maintain the Soviet bloc in East Europe.

    Ronald Reagan’s support for the anti-Soviet Jihad in Afghanistan also helped bring down the USSR. It also promoted Islamic fundamentalism, then becoming a force in Pakistan through cynical efforts of military leaders turned politicians.

    Reagan sounded most like a libertarian in the 1980 campaign when he pledged to end draft registration. That was also the first campaign promise he abandoned.

    Given his support for tax cuts, deregulation, ending the departments of Energy and Education, and ending draft registration, many libertarians (including me) found it practical to vote for Reagan in 1980.

    But his record, particularly his expansion of the War on Drugs and his out of control military spending left a poor legacy for liberty.

  135. Gene Berkman

    President Bush’s policy of war in the Middle East also pushed up oil prices, which helped Putin’s regime in Russia along with Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Iran to all make record profits exporting oil.

    Oil exports are important to socialist countries like Russia & Venezuela because they don’t manufacture products that are competitive in world markets. Socialist regimes are reduced to being resource extracters and exporters.

  136. Gene Berkman

    A right-wing footnote on Philadelphia, Mississippi. The role of the Ku Klux Klan in the murder of Goodman, Chaney & Schwerner was exposed by Rev. Delmar Dennis, life member of The John Birch Society.

    The testimony of Delmar Dennis was crucial to the conviction of Byron de la Beckwith in planning the murder of the 3 civil rights workers.

  137. Observation

    Andy, I understand your defense of the Birther issue, but a major point here is Root’s derision of 9/11 Truth. He was mortified that it would taint his–I mean the Libertarian–name.

    But yet, he goes off on this issue, which certainly has validity, but is nowhere near the importance of knowing what really happened 9/11/2001. Over 3,000 Americans died that day, and it started wars that have killed more than that many soldiers, and upwards of a million Iraqi and Afghani.

    The birther issue has really just pissed off the right, IMHO.

  138. Observation

    David @ 122: I really wish the thread from your page would be posted here. I was there that day, and I distinctly remember him saying that he “doesn’t make typos”, or something to that effect.

    We really need all the information out on Root that’s possible before the convention.

  139. paulie

    146: Even though I’m thinking birtherism is bunkum, even if it was true, you are right that the consequences pale in comparison.

    However if 9/11 was blowback for US policy, what resulted is still the same as if it was an inside job.

    The real issue is not whether either theory is correct, but, as you pointed out, that Root appears to be embracing Birtherism while at the same time he is saying the 9/11 truth issue can’t even be discussed.

    Sounds like a double standard to me.

    There are plenty of other libertarians who support the official theory, such as Brian Holtz and George Phillies, but at least they are consistent in also opposing birtherism.

    BTW Balko’s article will also be posted, not just in comments.

  140. paulie

    @147, 148

    I have some files of the chats that Mike Seebeck sent me. However I’m not sure if I can turn them into an article as they contain several files that have a lot of comments, apparently not all in order, in different formats and I can’t figure out if they are all the same comments or different portions of the chat. Some of them at least seem to overlap.

    It’s kind of a mess, so I really don’t know what to do with it. I can forward it to you if you want to see what I mean.

  141. David F. Nolan

    @147 – Problem is, there isn’t one single thread to reproduce. WAR posted 27 (yes, 27) messages on my FB page in less than 24 hours, some of which are replies to comments on his previous postings, some not. It’s a complete hodge-podge of WAR messages and replies by several people, all jumbled together. And yes, he did say that he doesn’t make typos. Overall, the barrage of material WAR spewed out revealed that he pays attention only to himself (and his nemesis, Obama). He apparently does not even proofread stuff before he posts it. Not a good trait in a National Chair of any organization.

  142. Michael Seebeck

    paulie, the three files I sent you are all the same, just in different formats because I didn’t know which way you would want to go (or could go) with them. They all contain the posts David mentions in their entirety, no edits of content (just appearance because a direct copy from Facebook gets very cluttered with junk). Hope that helps resolve any confusion.

  143. paulie

    They don’t have the same words at the start and finish. You may have clipped them in different places?

  144. Michael Seebeck

    Go with the one with the timestamps in order. I know that one is correct. The others might have been chopped along the way.

  145. Michael Seebeck

    Apologies for that, BTW. After the original copy and paste I had to wait to have those dates change from same-day “hours ago” stamps to actual time-date stamps and then backreference to get them right.

  146. paulie

    OK….let’s try this..

    I’m going to paste all 3 here as comments. You tell me which one(s) are correct. If any.

    They will be really long, so I’ll take them down after you do that.

  147. paulie

    Version 1

    http://www.facebook.com/dfnolan

    Kimberly Ruff Who’s facebook page is this? I see a picture of David Nolan, but all I see on the wall is WAYNE ALLYN ROOT.
    April 22 at 8:35am
    David F. Nolan Funny about that. Ego-man has posted something like 27 messages here in the last two days. I’m leaving his messages up because they reveal more about him than he probably realizes!
    April 22 at 8:55am
    Kimberly Ruff It looks like he’s having a conversation with one nay-sayer, but hasn’t yet mastered the ability to comment on a thread. That, or the more conspiratorial argument, is that he’s trying to hijack your page so he can bury the Father of Libertarianism under his LINO rhetoric. Either/or – he needs to get it together! 🙂
    April 22 at 8:59am
    David F. Nolan @Ben – because WAR posted 27 messages there….. which I find quite bizarre. I’ve never seen anyone post that many items on someone else’s Wall. See Kim’s comment immediately above yours.
    April 23 at 4:45am
    Wayne Allyn Root I agree with most if not all of what you just said…and I say it carefully…in a subtle way…in a positive way…in a fun and colorful way…on talk shows all across the USA. Of course I believe that spending cuts are more important than tax cuts…of course I’ve said on hundreds of stations that reagan’s big mistak…e was not cutting spending dollar for dollar with his tax cuts…of course I believe the war on drugs is a failure…and I’ve stated on conservative talk radio that Bush started this mess…and opened the door to Obama with his own waste, bloated spending, bailouts and stimulus. I’ve said on numerous shows that we need to end both wars and bring our troops home…and we need to dramatically cut foreign aid and close military bases across the globe. Thats not Libertarianism to you? And I do it all in a way that makes fans and wins converts.
    April 21 at 4:39pm
    Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.Wayne Allyn Root Hello Steve. It’s just amazing how you speak of me. I happen to be home the last 24 hours…the first time in months. So I thought I’d actually talk to my critics and try to engage. But it appears you don’t want real conversation. You only want to attack and misrepresent. It’s hilarious how you continue to misrepresent… my views. I’m on radio for 30 to 60 minutes all the time talking about every single thing you claim I don’t talk about. I know you love to hate and tear down with venom…but it’s time to stop because I’m on your side. You’ve never even bothered to listen to any recent interviews.
    April 21 at 4:35pm
    Wayne Allyn Root Last point of the night…

    True media appearances like mine…10 minute one on one interviews…sometimes 30 to 60 minutes…and invited back every week in front of millions of listeners…that is good for LP.

    Let me take a guess you say CBS News…can I see it? Is it you with a 6 second sound bite…without your name on… screen? Just a guess.
    That is not a media appearance. That doesn’t count at all.

    I say Lp more times a day in media…with millions listening…then my LP Chair competitors have a chance to reach in a lifetime.

    Nonetheless…you do work hard and deserve credit.
    See how nice and positive I am to you.
    But you haven’t tried that once tonight.
    I debunked every one of your misrepresentations. That silenced you.
    But still no apology. No attempt to make friends or extend the olive branch.
    I write books. You criticize them. I star on TV. You criticize it. somehow I think you have the far easier job.
    Just try to remember- NO STATUE HAS EVER BEEN ERECTED FOR A CRITIC.
    April 20 at 11:11pm
    John Jay Myers DMN:
    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/04/at-castle-hills-tea-party-john.html
    WFAA:
    http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/Tea-party-hears-from-libertarian-candidate-90901704.html

    notice that the whole point of the Wfaa was to come see me because the guy had heard my anti-war speeches, and wanted to know how it was going to go over at the tea party.
    As you can see from the first video, I didn’t have any problems with the crowd.

    Wayne, I just think you have the wrong message for this group. I think it’s great you are trying to get the word out there, but it’s not working for us. So we should try something new… something that we can see works right now.

    If you have these plans for new members and donations, how come you don’t implement them?
    When I am LNC chair, I will have lots of face time with the media to win them over to our side of things.
    You have an advantage over me right now. But isn’t that the point of being chair?
    April 20 at 11:31pm
    Wayne Allyn Root Brian,

    The key to happiness…is rationalization. If you can NEVER in your lifetime get on TV or radio..,I guess you’re forced to say ignorant things like that. Just plain amazing. A party with 1% of the vote…totally ignored and anonymous…no seat at the table…no way to effect change…as freedom and capitalism slips away…doesn’t want or need national MSM? Right. Try another line out. You must have something better than that?
    April 21 at 12:38pm
    Wayne Allyn Root P.S. End of argument…no need to say anything else…at Missouri LP Convention…with me alongside Ernie and John Jay…guest speaker of the day was head of “Show Me Institute.” Arguably as Libertarian a group in the USA…a smaller Missouri=-version of CATO. Doesn’t get more credible than that. They were asked “How does a Libertarian measure success?” Answer from the most Libertarian organization possible- “BY THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU ARE IN THE MEDIA.” Case closed.
    April 21 at 12:40pm
    Susan Hogarth Just a but of nitpicking here: there are in fact statues erected to honor critics. Criticism is vital work; think Mencken.
    April 21 at 2:16pm
    Steve LaBianca More ad nauseum emphasis on process, rather than substance.

    It is difficult to get my mind around it, but W.A.R. seems to just pound and pound out the process of exposure (a good thing for liberty, if in fact liberty is promoted), but continue to neglect to embrace libertarianism. Heck, if Hillary Clinton could be persuaded to run as a Libertarian…, I bet she could get 1,000 times more exposure than W.A.R., but would her exposure as a “libertarian” be a “positive step for the LP”? Thus, to a lesser degree, but certainly not different in kind, W.A.R.’s exposure as a “Libertarian” isn’t positive either.
    April 21 at 4:30pm
    Mike Seebeck No statue has ever been erected for a critic?

    Does Samuel Clemens, Sam Adams, and Thomas Paine ring any bells? How about Patrick Henry? Thomas Jefferson? Declaration of Independence, anyone?

    C’mon Wayne, my 7-year old kid can do better than that!
    April 22 at 12:31am
    Steve LaBianca “”Show Me Institute.” Arguably as Libertarian a group in the USA…a smaller Missouri=-version of CATO.”

    Fewer and fewer libertarians are arguing FOR the CATO Institute these days, as they are shills for “public policy”. I thought libertarians supported elimination of, or at least drastic reduction of “public policy”.

    Try the Ludwig von Mises Institute, or The Independent Institute, among others – now THESE are REAL libertarian organizations!
    April 22 at 12:51am

    Wayne Allyn Root John I’m going to sleep. But you should also be celebrated for all you do for the LP.

    By the way…last I checked your #3 ranking of all liberty candidates is for $300 raised. I sent that in one check to Joe Kennedy.

    Everything your doing is GOOD. I applaud you. But it’s too small thinking. We need millions of new voters and millions of dollars.
    April 20 at 11:09pm
    Steve LaBianca “We need millions of new voters and millions of dollars.” True, but the process is secondary to the principle. If these millions of dollars and votes are for something other than liberty, what’s the point?
    April 21 at 4:23pm
    Wayne Allyn Root As for you David…it’s 11 PM , I’ve done EIGHT media interviews today…and had about 50 phone calls…and answered about 200 emails. I’m typing at 100 MPH. So there are no freudian slips. I’m just the hardest working man in LP politics…and that bothers you. I work 24/7/365 for LP. Period. Obviously everything i’m d…oing is a positive step for LP. I have no time to spell check every word at this late time of night. But I’ve certainly made many friends in GOP for the LP, that is true. And will continue every day for many years to come. That should be applauded and celebrated. Goodnight.
    April 20 at 11:03pm
    Steve LaBianca “I work 24/7/365 for LP. Period. Obviously everything i’m doing is a positive step for LP.” Obvious . . . to whom? If
    a pool construction company has workers who dig the hole with spoons 24/7/365, that shouldn’t be so obvious as a “positive step”.

    By the same token, if W.A.R. believes in and promotes a tax cut, but fails to realize and promote …that the spending of the state is the REAL culprit having adverse effects on an economy THAT also is NOT a positive step. Additionally, failing to realize and promote that taxation as a funding vehicle is coercion, the initiation of force, theft, etc., is also not “a positive step for the LP”. Such failures and fundamentals may be good for the Republican Party, but it isn’t for the LP, or libertarianism.
    April 21 at 4:21pm
    Wayne Allyn Root John,

    Time to stop taking credit for Texas like your the Chairman. You’re not. Texas’ record belongs to MANY hard working, dedicated people. You are like a private taking credit for winning the war. I think a few 4 star generals might argue with that. Second you argument is bogus and pathetic…but worse it’s irrational… You are from the left. You turn off every Tea Party person, every Republican, every conservative, and every independent you meet. I know how they think. i’m winning them over every day. i can quote every national poll. 60% or more of independents…by 2 to 1 bordering on 3 to 1…call themselves conservatives. Your views are a huge turn off to them. So if you THINK I turn off the left and thats bad in your eyes…how come it’s okay for you to turn off the right…where 70% to 90% of our potential is?
    April 20 at 10:59pm
    John Jay Myers I just spoke at a Tea Party, and they clapped the entire time. So if you don’t know what you are talking about, you might consider…not saying it.

    Texas does succeed because of the work of a lot of people. I can only tell you what I have done. If you ask the people in Texas they will tell you it is remarkable.

    My point is that if we split the right what do we have? They are not going to split…by the way. Most of their worst fear is “splitting the vote”. …
    You help to perpetuate their fears with your constant drumming “Pelosi, Ried, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Obama” you think you are running them to us with that nonsense?
    You are running them to the GOP.
    If you want to win people over you say “our government” evvery time you think about saying “obamba” substitute “our government”.

    You think you are winning these people over? Where are the new members where are the donations?
    Seriously… where?
    I don’t know anyone on this blog besieds David, so this is just a random samplling of people, that I apparently appeal to.

    just so happens. they are Libertarians, last time I checked that was the party we belong to.
    April 20 at 11:16pm
    John Jay Myers The Chairman line shows me why your logic is flawed, like I mentioned our county gets as much in donations as some states, we have more people on our county executive committee than most states, we have more people show up to my house for events, than most state conventions.

    When I started working the county we had none of that.
    We had no people, so the solution is not state chairs, but county chairs and it is by doing what we do/did across the United States.

    The solution is not top down, it is grass roots, but it’s in providing the tools they need that national can assist with.
    April 21 at 1:00am
    Susan Hogarth Our greatest potential comes from neither right nor left, but libertarian. Trying to prove to Republicans that libertarianism is conservative is about as pointless as trying to prove to Dems that it’s progressive. We need to make issue alliances with both left and right, while at the same time identifying real libertarians. And I doubt most real libs will be found in the ranks of those upset that the Republican Party is not being true to its conservavtove roots.
    April 21 at 2:22pm
    Carolyn Marbry It’s all well and good to talk about wanting millions of dollars and millions of voters and all that pie-in-the-sky stuff that appeals to Libertarians who are tired of losing elections, but that’s not where we are, folks. We’re LOSING members. We’re LOSING donors. We don’t have enough money in the national coffers to pay all our overhead AND do the party’s actual work, so we just pay overhead and sit on our thumbs. I’m seeing folks talk about what kind of lavish new draperies they’re going to put up in a burning house.

    THAT is what top-down gets you. THAT is what re-electing the same people who have been on the LNC gets you. THAT is what not listening to the party membership gets you.

    The point of this party is politics. Activism. Educating people and getting them to grow a pair and vote their conscience instead of voting between the prepackaged choices offered. If we can’t even manage to budget monies for those activities that promote liberty and promote libertarian ideals, if we’re all about image and sucking up to the GOP and not about promoting Libertarian ideals, what the hell is the point of even BEING a political party?…

    So while Wayne is out talking and buliding recognition for the party, and god love him for doing so, that’s where he’s best used, we need folks on the LNC who are interested in running the BUSINESS of the party. Media appearances? Those are for candidates. The chair has work to do.

    Those of us in party leadership will need to be putting out those fires and running the business of the party to get it back into stable solvency so we DO have the money to hold our convention every 2 years without having to play the floor fee game, and we DO have money for activism and activist support, and we DO have money to promote Libertarianism. We need to show our donors that their money isn’t being wasted on, well, lavish new draperies for a burning house.
    April 21 at 4:46pm
    John Jay Myers To add a little to that Carolyn, think of it this way, if we put all your hope in someone charismatic sending people our way (which hasn’t panned out so far for Wayne)… what do they see when they get here?

    Do they see organization?
    Do they see a group with it’s act together?
    Is there someone locally who can help them get involved?…
    We need to put the infrastructure in place and get the tools out there that people can use to grow the party.

    Not just a guy who sounds like the “male Sarah Palin” (did he really say that?)
    Who divides all our possible recruits in half. He said in this post that “you don’t apeal to the right” well that’s a lie, I just don’t appeal to the GOP hard core… but don’t worry Wayne has them covered. ; )

    The most notable thing about me is the fact that I appeal to both the left and the right… not to just get on their shows… I actually appeal to them. I don’t think Wayne actually knows anything about me.
    He thinks I am an anarchist/lefty and I am not.
    I am a Libertarian.
    April 21 at 5:02pm
    Jill Stone Pyeatt Wayne, please understand that 70 to 90 % of the right being our highest potential is alarming to me. Most conservatives don’t embrace some of our key beliefs, such as gay marriage and non-interventionist wars. A healthy balance between right and left should be our goal (ottherwise, if it’s too heavy on the right, we might tip over Guam). Some of us “radicals” and party lefties are some of our party’s best activists.
    April 21 at 6:01pm
    Wayne Allyn Root Jill,

    I know that and I will embrace the left leaning radicals and ask them to continue left outreach. We want that. No one is arguing.
    April 21 at 6:07pm
    Susan Hogarth If you want to be Chair, you cannot focus on one-sided outreach.

    I’m not Redpath’s biggest fan, but at least he is mostly careful to not come off as right-lib or left-lib, but as simply libertarian. That is one thing I think we need in a chair.
    April 21 at 6:30pm
    John Jay Myers It’s also not “left leaning radicals” it’s just plain left. That’s the problem. You see people who are not on the right as some sort of crazy people.

    When I see them as people who are only one economics lesson away from being Libertarian, you have an easier time teaching a liberal Economics, than teaching someone from the right that you don’t have to mix religion and politics.

    My brother didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he wanted healthcare or welfare, he just didn’t want more George Bush…
    Who would? … so how do you win that guy? By screaming Obama Obama Obama, no… by explaining economics.

    If we can prove we are not all religious, anti-gay, pro-war nanny state embracers to that giant segment of people we will get the left quite easily. If you blame all our current problems on one guy, the left will think you are a partisan hack and the right will vote Republican.

    Let’s try uniting people instead of dividing them.
    April 21 at 7:15pm
    Wayne Allyn Root John…you are so funny…but you mean well…and when I win…andI will win…you will do your left outreach…and I will help you. And we’ll see the results. If it works, I’m open. I listen and learn. Do I think it will work…no. It can’t. I’m the one on left media…they LOVE big government and want more govt, more spending, more taxes, more …social nets. They are the group that can never be converted to a party that supports smaller government. And they will vote 90% for Obama’s re-election. But…I will absolutely support you in trying. And I will do more than that…I will come to Texas and campaign with you and help you raise money. You still don’t get it- I’m here to build a SERIOUS threat to 2 party system. I am a gifted orator…and a prolific fundraiser. That is what this party needs. You will handle the left outreach.
    April 21 at 7:44pm
    Wayne Allyn Root John…or have you forgotten that I already did you a massive favor and spoke at your fundraiser last July at your home in oppressive heat and humidity…on my vacation with my daughter. You asked…and I delivered for a complete stranger…because you are a Libertarian. You don’t seem to mention that in all these posts. Has anyone on this page …ever volunteered to help me in ANY way? I’ll make a bet with you…afyer I’m elected Chair…I’ll get dozens of requests by radicals to campaign with them…and fundraise for them. Perhaps hundreds. How do i know. Because they are already calling! they badmouth me to you…but call me to ask if I’ll headline a fundraiser in the Fall. LOL. But guess what John…I’ll do it. Goodnight.
    April 21 at 7:47pm
    John Jay Myers Wait… who did you call and who delivered and who spoke on your behalf to the Dallas Tea Party, one of the biggest events you ever spoke at.
    I talked to Ken and Crew and that was all me baby.

    Also… I am already converting people who voted for Obama, tons. Because I don’t say what you just said, they don’t “love” big government, they don’t know any better.
    When we were in Missouri I signed up two county chairs who voted for Obama… Camden and Miller county, they are already working on setting up their counties, and are great spokesmen for the party…

    We are here to teach them, not verbally abuse them.
    April 21 at 7:53pm
    John Jay Myers Also, the event at my house wasn’t a fund raiser it was just a meet up, and it was you who called to see if we had an event you could speak at. So I guess that was another mutual favor, I do appreciate you doing it, but you wanted to do it.
    I admire your enthusiasm but we should be clear.
    April 21 at 7:59pm
    Chris Bennett http://reason.com/archives/2008/09/05/wayne-allyn-roots-million-doll

    Hey Wayne, I’m still waiting on an apology assh@#%!
    April 21 at 8:42pm
    Rachel Hawkridge “Has anyone on this page … ever volunteered to help me in ANY way?”

    Actually, yes – Hugs and I spent some considerable time trying to get you to sound more libertarian, and to better understand Libertarian principle. We also invited you to participate in the Prez panel at LPWA Convention, then had to cover for your late ass, and stall while you… did telephone interview than ran into our event. I put together the nominating petitions, gathered the sigs, ran around and got the dozens of declarations signed and notarized, and filed the subsequent 2″ thick packet with the SecState, with no cooperation from the campaign – I couldn’t get you “busy” candidates to bother yourselves enough to sign the paper and send it back.

    And yes, we’ve heard straight from your mouth who and what you appreciate. You appreciate Starr, Redpath, et al.

    You equate me with Radical LP. Which is freakin’ hilarious – when the LP is reduced to having minarchists counted as Rads. We (Hugs and I), minarchists (to our everlasting shame) look like Radicals to you, and to the people you associate yourself with.

    We are Libertarians. Who work with people across the spectrum, on issues we agree on.

    One thing we don’t agree on is your theory that the Chair is the spokesperson of the party.

    Per Bylaws –
    4. The Chair shall preside at all Conventions and all meetings of the National Committee. The Chair is the chief executive officer of the Party with full authority to direct its business and affairs, including hiring and discharging of National Committee volunteers and paid personnel, subject to express National Committee policies and directives issued in the exercise of the National Committee’s plenary control and management of Party affairs, properties and funds.

    None of which is part of your skillset. Being the spokesperson is an entirely different skillset.
    Wednesday at 12:42pm
    Wayne Allyn Root And I’ve said on numerous occasions that our national debt is over $100 trillion dollars counting unfunded liabilities for Soc Sec, Medicare and Medicaid. That figure is 100% accurate. It has been used by hundreds of economists and experts including the former CBO chief. It has also been used by perhaps the most famous… and adored Libertarian columnist in America Walter Williams- who is a genius. In a sound bite you only have time to give that one line. If I had time I’d break it down to about $12 trillion in actual debt…plus over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities…not counting $13 trillion in bailouts…and trillions more in under-counted government employee pension liabilities- also all unfunded. The actual debt is probably closer to $125 trillion or more.
    April 20 at 10:41pm
    John Jay Myers Our national debt is our national debt:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt
    The rest of that is simply other unfunded liabilities.
    April 21 at 1:02am
    Steve LaBianca W.A.R. has also stated that he is for a gold standard AND a fiat money standard. This is very much like saying that one supports the initiation of violence and pacifism at the same time!
    April 21 at 4:11pm
    Wayne Allyn Root So please stop misrepresenting me. I believe in smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, more freedom and choice, and individual rights and free markets as the solution for EVERYTHING…for every problem in America…but I’m a smart marketer who has sold almost $200,000,000 on TV…and has figured out how to sel…l Libertarianism in a positive way to convert mainstream voters. Until you’ve made millions of dollars with your talents…created million dollar businesses from scratch…been paid hundreds of thousands per year as a national spokesman by 3 major companies at once…sold 7 books for 6-figure advances from biggest publishers in world…and sold 3 TV shows to Hollywood…you should learn to be quiet…listen and learn. There is nothing wrong with not knowing something John…that’s human…but being unwilling to learn from someone who is good at it…that’s just ignorant.
    April 20 at 10:37pm
    Lidia Seebeck So money means everything, rather than Principles, Wayne?
    April 21 at 9:53am
    Susan Hogarth Lidia, that’s an unfair leap from what Wayne wrote.

    I think his point may have been more that if he can sell mediocre books and other products, he can interest people in libertarianism.

    Not sure I agree, of course. But I think it’s unfair to assume that W is saying money is more important than principle here.
    April 21 at 2:27pm
    Steve LaBianca “I believe in smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, more freedom and choice, and individual rights and free markets as the solution for EVERYTHING” . . . so do most Republicans, but this isn’t the same as believing in liberty; it only means a belief in a reduced encroachment of liberty by the state.
    April 21 at 4:07pm
    Carolyn Marbry Where was all that amazing ability to get money and support during the Barr/Root campaign?
    April 21 at 4:50pm
    Wayne Allyn Root Carolyn…I was the top fundraiser for LP President other than Barr (a 4 term Congressman)…I also was #1 BY FAR in raising money at the LP.org web site for the LP itself out of all 2008 LP Presidential candidates…I won the VP nomination as a complete newcomer and outsider…after I received the nomination I was never asked to raise one dollar … by the Barr campaign…they decided they had that covered…that was a mistake but they thought they had Perot’s top fundraiser so I understand the reasoning…but I take ZERO blame for that…I became a major presence on FOX News and 2000 other media stations since the election…and wrote a best selling Libertarian book. Now I am a columnist for the Las Vegas newspaper and the 12th biggest web site in the world…and have TV networks chasing me to film a reality show about my life and the LP…and I will have a huge radio announcement soon. I’d say my whirlwind has miracles that no one thought possible in a few months…with no background in LP politics. If elected Chair…I will spend 2 years traveling the country training all LP candidates how to attract media and raise money. I will raise large amounts of money- that’s a promise.
    April 21 at 5:08pm
    Carolyn Marbry The whole Barr/Root thing was a mess from the get-go, and I do remember your presentation at the LNC meeting in Dec 08 where you outlined exactly how they’d screwed you over. They still owe you substantial money from that, as I recall.
    April 21 at 5:16pm
    Steve LaBianca W.A.R., here claims to have “figured out how to sell Libertarianism in a positive way to convert mainstream voters”.

    First there really ain’t no such thing as “Libertarianism” proper. There is only “libertarianism, the various libertarian organizations and the Libertarian Party. Any reference to capital “L” Libertarianism could only be related to… the Libertarian Party. For many years, the Libertarian Party and the promotion of libertarianism within the political/electoral process were virtually synonymous. Today, “Libertarianism” (if the term has any meaning) bears little resemblance to libertarianism if Bob Barr, W.A.R., Aaron Starr, Brian Holtz and the LRC are the major “spokesmen” for it.

    The real question is, given that the LP traditionally followed libertarianism closely, does W.A.R. effectively sell “libertarianism” and persuade mainstream voters to embrace it? I say resoundingly, “NO”!
    April 21 at 5:19pm
    Steve LaBianca Separately, W.A.R. says above, “you should learn to be quiet…listen and learn”. This is obviously something of value for one who is first exposing others to libertarianism, as well as the one who himself is first exposed. However, W.A.R. himself, had failed to heed his own advice as he threw his hat into the LP presidential ring. No LP candidate has ever promoted the “islamofascist” concept or term . . . other than W.A.R. himself.

    Cart before the horse . . .
    David F. Nolan Latest quote from Wayne Root, in a message to John Jay Myers: “The key John is…I get on TV and radio again and again. And I get asked back every week by hosts all across the country. Last I checked thats a great achievement…and a very positive step for GOP. Freudian slip much?
    April 20 at 10:33pm
    David F. Nolan There was supposed to be a close-quote after GOP. What’s interesting to me is that subconsciously Wayne is still thinking in terms of helping the GOP, not the LP!
    April 20 at 10:38pm
    Alexander Benjamin Ramiresonty hahahahaaaaaaaa
    April 20 at 10:43pm
    Jill Stone Pyeatt Honestly, I’ve never seen a more arrogant or self-serving individual in the entire media. Can someone who’s a friend of his try to get him to chill out before he chases away any Libertarians who happen to be on the fence? Not everyone is automatically enamored with him. Most people would never vote for someone they don’t like, no matter what he says he stands for. He may be making friends, but he’s making a lot of enemies. too.
    April 21 at 1:26am
    Emily S. Goldberg Eeek. Maybe *not* Freudian slip, much. Maybe stealth candidate, much.

    I’ve not been following him in the media, is he bass-ackwardly (or even forthrightly) supporting Republicans/mainstream Republicans in things he says or policy recommendations he makes?

    Maybe his wheeling-dealing ways include some kind of ‘prodigal son’ ‘return to the fold’ when they (or he) deem the time/the political landscape in Nevada is right/ripe for him?
    April 21 at 1:47am
    Austin White Wayne Root is just a neocon who likes libertarian rhetoric becuase its becoming extremely popular.
    April 21 at 6:34am
    Carolyn Marbry When and where did he say this, and more importantly, how do we get this out to the delegates in a meaningful way?
    April 21 at 11:53am
    David F. Nolan @Carolyn – scroll down my Wall, and you’ll find the quote. Wayne got into a heated exchange with John Jay Myers, and that was one of his remarks explaining how great he supposedly is. As to “getting it out” – use your imagination!
    April 21 at 12:11pm
    Carolyn Marbry Ah, there it is. Wow.
    April 21 at 12:40pm
    Wayne Allyn Root I never said we had to be in Middle East to protect Israel. You are misquoting me. I said thats what a large majority of Americans think- both Jews and tens of millions of Christian voters. And I said you scare them off by screaming, ranting and raving about Israel…when there are smarter more positive ways to discuss… the issue. How about saying that we support dramatic reductions in foreign aid and military bases all around the world. And I always say lets start by letting wealthy countries like Germany, Japan and South Korea pay for their own national defense. That doesn’t scare anyone. I’ve gotten conservative talk hosts to agree with that. To bring up Israel FIRST is a tragic mistake that has chased away millions of voters from even considering the LP. My way reaches for consensus and opens their minds. It takes time. No sound bite on Israel will EVER change anyones mind…but the wrong sound bite has damaged if not destroyed the LP for 39 years. it’s all about wording.
    April 20 at 10:32pm
    John Jay Myers It will be a “he said/he said” thing, but what I remember was a very straight forward “John, you realize we have to be in the middle east to protect Israel”
    I have no way to prove that.
    But it is one of the main reasons I am here, second only to not allowing the commentary to be so devisive we no longer appeal to the left.

    Also, I didn’t come here from the left… I didn’t come here from the right. I really had no interest in politics, and then went…ohh this feels right…
    April 21 at 1:09am
    Wayne Allyn Root Let me get this straight…I find a way to explain Libertarianism in a simple, positive way that attracts mainstream voters…and you don’t like that…I make 20,000 people at a Tea Party rally scream in joy and get standing ovations…and you don’t like that…you turn off every non Libertarian you meet…but you thin…k thats good. You never get invited on any media…you think thats good…and if you did, you’d scare off and frighten anyone not a “pure” Libertarian…you think that’s good. This is 39 years of chasing good people away because they aren’t “pure” enough. This is GROUNDHOG DAY. I prove my strategy works every day. And instead of spreading liberty…you choose to denigrate me. wow great strategy.
    April 20 at 10:26pm
    Steve LaBianca “I find a way to explain Libertarianism in a simple, positive way that attracts mainstream voters” is like me finding a simple, positive way to explain gambling and odds-making to potential gamblers. I don’t purport to know how to do this, even though I am university educated in mathematics and statistics through calculus, differential equations … and theory of probability and statistics (courses which actuaries take), and you W.A.R. shouldn’t purport to know how to “explain Libertarianism in a simple, positive way”. You aren’t qualified to do so.
    April 21 at 3:48pm
    Wayne Allyn Root The key John is…I get on TV and radio again and again. And I get asked back every week by hosts all across the country. Last I checked thats a great achievement…and a very positive step for GOP. You aren’t asked once…anywhere…anytime. How does that spread liberty? By badmouthing me…unprovoked here on FB to 12… people who already think like you…you are achieving nothing. The progress is nil. You are in quicksand. i’m getting HUNDREDS of emails and Facebooks per week supporting me- and all are supporting a Libertarian for FIRST time in their lives. Thats bad in your book?
    April 20 at 10:22pm
    Phred Lysander ? a positive step for the WHAT?
    April 21 at 6:20am
    Wayne Allyn Root Of course I praised Scott Brown on election night…it was a good chance to win over mainstream voters to our team…thats our job…to compliment them for wanting to stop universal healthcare and the spread of big government. Pointing out what idiots and fools and hypocrites Republicans are on election night is just plain stupid and counterproductive.
    April 20 at 10:20pm
    John Jay Myers It would have been an excellent opportunity to differentiate ourselves. In my opinion.
    April 21 at 1:06am
    Susan Hogarth Wait. I don’t follow the logic here. How does praising a Republican (a lying one, but I’ll give you credit for gullibility) win people to the LP?

    I can see saying something like “Clearly the voters are crying out in the dark for relief. I think they had a much better shot with Kennedy, but I hope that Brown hears that cry.” Sadly, I don’t think he will.

    In contrast, praising Brown gives the impression the LP thinks a Republican will actually work for smaller government, and that those who are put off by the LP but who want more freedom can get it by voting Republican. …

    Praising a Republican candidate = endorsing Republicanism. Please DON’T.
    April 21 at 2:37pm
    Jason Gonella Wow, Wayne really seems to have it out for you.
    Tue at 10:18pm
    Wayne Allyn Root I endorsed Joe Kennedy…I produced a nice video for him…i sent him $300 or $350…and I mentioned him on NATIONAL radio 5 times to hosts who never heard of him in their lives. What exactly did you do for Joe Kennedy? I did more for him with that list than you ever did…or ever will. You give him $300 of your money John?
    Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
    John Jay Myers Just post a link to your “Tea Party Shot Heard around the world” article and we can let the audience decide how they feel we were represented.
    I think even Ron Paul wrote something about Joe Kennedy after the fact and he is a Republican.
    I supported Joe, I don’t remember if I donated, but I did change my icon to his sign for a week.
    April 21 at 1:05am
    Wayne Allyn Root John, there you go again. You have nothing positive to report about your own achievements. so you choose to misrepresent, slander and denigrate me. start telling people what you’ve done. What’s your record of remarkable s=political or business success? Stop talking negative about others. That violates your Libertarian …oath, does it not? Self defense is fair. Unprovoked personal attacks are not Libertarian. Or did you not know that? Everything you just said about me is incorrect. ever bother to check your facts before you slander and misrepresent someone?
    April 20 at 10:16pm
    John Jay Myers I am acting in self defense.

    As for me, I have a record of growing the party in Texas…
    our budget in Texas is 1/3 the size of nationals, my county raises more money than most states.
    Our grass roots methods = more people, more money, and hopefully in November more great election results…

    I have a solid plan as to exactly what national needs to do to help, and could implement it quite easily. In the mean time, I am actually doing it in Texas.

    I am considered the perpetual motion machine for the Texas Libertarian Party.
    I also feel I have a much better way of “selling” the party to the left, right or independent minded voter, than you do.

    Maybe not better to the right than you, but you are practically a member of the GOP, so that is hard to do.

    If elected I will make the appearances, the difference will be that I will grow the party.
    April 20 at 10:51pm
    John Jay Myers Texas is running over 200 candidates this year 17 from my county.
    Though it’s not much, this week:
    I was in Ohio with you.
    I made two videos.
    I was on CBS News (for being anti-war/pro tea party)…
    I spoke at a Tea Party
    and was written about in the Dallas Morning news
    Did 3 radio interviews
    I am number 3 of 126 liberty candidates for donations in their money bomb.
    Was written about by the “the examiner”3 times.
    So it’s not much, but hey I am just getting started.
    When I am the chair, it will be a lot easier to get people interested in what I am saying.
    April 20 at 11:03pm
    Wayne Allyn Root And for the record David I’ve never insulted you first about anything…nor will I ever. The LP believes in self defense last I checked. ANYTHING is fair in self defense. Not once, not EVER have I hit a fellow Libertarian first. I have run for National Chair based on my remarkable record of achievement and success. I d…on’t need to tear down anyone else. If you can only tear down others…you don’t deserve to be elected to anything. Stop with the negativity. this is exactly what has damaged the LP for 39 years and put us in quicksand.
    April 20 at 9:53pm
    Steve LaBianca Earth to W.A.R. . . . ANYTHING is NOT fair in self defense.

    If one is defending oneself from theft, it doesn’t follow that one kills the thief and his entire family and circle of friends!

    Even if one is defending oneself from being killed, one doesn’t legitimately wipe out every person who holds to some similar beliefs (which may or may not have… anything to do with the aggressive behavior) as the one who initiated the threat. Yet, W.A.R.’s line of thinking is precisely why Republicans and most war-mongers embrace the concept that it is OK to invade a country, wreak havoc, death and destruction on the entire population of it because a few others of the same religious faith have killed people.
    April 21 at 3:36p
    Wayne Allyn Root What is so annoying is that we ALL have better things to do than argue at Facebook…or denigrate fellow Libertarians. Funny…if I didn’t know better I’d think Republicans or Democrats put you all up to this…because while I do 8 media appearances in a day…your all talking and complaining and rudely insulting other… Libertarians. A gameplan right out of the GOP and Democratic playbook. Stop and get to work spreading liberty.
    April 20 at 9:48pm
    Steve LaBianca Again, it is all about process. While “proceeding” you neglected to embrace libertarianism, W.A.R.
    April 21 at 3:40pm
    Jill Stone Pyeatt That’s funny, Wayne, because I was wondering if you’re here to divide us. Really. We need a chairman who can unite the squabbling sides.
    April 21 at 5:52pm
    Wayne Allyn Root I have ZERO interest in dividing LP Jill…I’m not sacrificing 24/7/365 so we can lose 30% of our base. I want everyone on board, committed and dedicated. That’s why I named Mark Rutherford as my Vice Chair. We are a team. Everyone here at David’s site knows Mark. He would never join forces with me if my goal was to divide the party. We are a team…

    Thats why I TRIED to engage my critics here the last 24 hours…I thought my willingness to talk and debunk the many myths and misrepresentations flying around about me would really be met with appreciation (and surprise at my openness). Instead it was met with venom. Why on earth would Libertarians speak so viciously to fellow freedom-fighters? Save the venom for the big government proponents. We need to fight together- and forget our disagreements. We agree on 80%. Why would we divide over the remaining 20%. Thats the GOp and Democrats’ dream.
    April 21 at 6:00pm
    Jill Stone Pyeatt Good, Wayne, I’m glad to hear you want to unite us. We need everyone who is passionate about the LP to concentrate on growing our party and our core beliefs. I recently bought your book because I’m really trying to understand you. I’ll try to get it read in the next few weeks.
    Plus, one of my fiends on the current LNC speaks very highly of you.
    April 21 at 6:09pm
    Wayne Allyn Root I have tried to be fair and nice to everyone in LP and on LNC…but some of the viciousness has shocked me.
    April 21 at 6:10pm
    Steve LaBianca Sorry Mr. W.A.R. you have barely engaged. Your problem with libertarians, unless you’re too blinded by your own rhetoric, ought to be clear as day. You have not indicated that you have learned the essence of libertarianism. Shooting from the hip doesn’t work in libertarian politics.

    Instead, you come out like gangbusters (beginning in 2007) with what seems to be visions of grandeur, leadership, and knowing it all before you know anything. My suggestion would be to learn a little humility. Learn that you ought to learn more before coming out like a know-it-all, be-all for the libertarian movement, or even the smaller libertarian electoral politics movement.

    Your entrance and presence into the LP reminds me of the …
    old adage, “open mouth, insert foot”. It not only SHOULD be an embarrassment for you, but IS an embarrassment for me and other libertarians. THAT, should be crystal clear. If it isn’t, then you’re blinded by your own visions of grandeur.

    David Nolan was a founder of the Libertarian Party. Mary Ruwart was an early leader in the LP, yet you come in and make declarative statements to the effect that these folks
    are wrong for the libertarian movement, are wrong for the party, etc, when these folks KNOW WAY MORE THAN YOU COULD HOPE TO KNOW IN 3 YEARS!

    Learn a little humility. Get involved in your local party, learn about and embrace the Zero Aggression Principle, learn how the consequences of liberty in ALL realms of human life and interaction are positive, not just what Republicans and conservatives are likely to embrace.

    But no . . . you come into the LP with “all the answers”. So, you START this entrance by running for the LP presidential nomination?! And now, instead of vying for a seat at the LNC table, Regional Rep, even At-Large Rep, no . . . you have to run for chair. Did you ever consider running for your state house even? No, you’re the self-proclaimed answer for the LP, as its standard bearer for the next 4 presidential elections!

    Let me tell you W.A.R.;after three years, you still don’t know much about libertarianism, yet tout yourself as THE answer to the LP, when you haven’t even figured out the difference between a gold standard and a fiat money standard. (Yes, I HEARD you say that in a radio interview . . . such statements simply discredit you as ignorant)

    Learn a little humility. You DON”T have the answers, you don’t have the support of principled libertarians, you don’t effectively convert conservatives to libertarianism. You simply speak to conservatives as if they already ARE libertarians!

    I say, go back to square one, and learn. Then, and only then can you use your promotion skills effectively for a libertarian America.
    April 21 at 8:52pm
    Steve LaBianca How presumptuous – “That’s why I named Mark Rutherford as my Vice Chair.”

    Does W.A.R. realize that the “naming” of the Vice-Chair, irrespective of the success or failure of W.A.R.’s vying for LNC chair, is DONE BY THE DELEGATES IN CONVENTION?
    April 21 at 9:29pm
    Steve LaBianca More presumption – “we ALL have better things to do than argue at Facebook”.

    Thank you, but I’LL decide what “better things to do” for myself. ANY true libertarian understands that.

    When one presumes to KNOW what is best for others, THAT, in and of itself discredits that person’s libertarian credentials…

    From my perspective, W.A.R. would be better off LEARNING libertarianism before attempting to run for high political office as an alleged libertarian.
    April 21 at 9:37pm
    Wayne Allyn Root As recently as 3 days ago, my book was #3000 among all 4 million books at Amazon. It goes up and down based on how many people buy that day…but I looked up numerous other Libertarian books by Libertarian legends like David Boaz, Mary Ruwart, Michael Cloud, Charles Murray…my book was raked far higher…#3000 versus …100,000…400,000…500,000…and higher. Based on how many media appearances I make it flucuates…but it has remained #1 or #2 in Libertarian books at all times.
    April 20 at 9:46pm
    Arvin Vohra Love how libertarians will argue about anything. Wayne and David, both you guys are heroes of mine, but I feel that this time both of you are overlooking the fact that the greatest book ever written is The Equation for Excellence: How to Make Your Child Excel at Math.
    April 21 at 12:59am
    Jill Stone Pyeatt I like “Goodnight, Moon”.
    April 21 at 5:50pm
    Wayne Allyn Root David, if you go to Amazon.com and enter “Libertarian books” you’ll find my book is ranked #1…as it has been for 10 consecutive months. Not once…not ever will you find me anything but factual and on the money in all of my comments. if I say it, it’s true.
    April 20 at 9:43pm
    John Jay Myers Like your “tea party nation” comments where you commend them for electing Scott Brown? (over the Libertarian Candidate) Scott Brown is a pro socialized health care, pro war he is like the worst of both worlds, he is worse than Martha Coakley.

    Like telling me that we have to be in the Middle East to protect Israel? (after your book was written). We don’t.

    Like telling people 6 months after Obama was elected that he was the reason your friends were having to close their businesses in Vegas?…
    When I asked you to give me one piece of legislation that had passed to back up this claim, you told me “he is a commie socialist”.

    Like our national debt being 70 trillion dollars?

    We do need to stop fighting each other after this election. But that’s what happens in elections people fight. It’s been going on like that for a while now, not sure if you got the memo.

    But I am not saying this because I want to win, I am saying it because I don’t want you to win. I want the party to have a voice that will grow the party from the left and the right.

    Doing so is absolutely necessary, it is the key to our winning.

    You don’t seem to get that. It scares me.
    Hopefully after the election you will continue to be the ambassador to the right. Maybe you would consider using your fund raising skills. Another good time to use your fund raising skills, would have been anytime in the last 3 years.
    April 20 at 10:10pm
    Wayne Allyn Root David, Please stop arguing and distorting. If you enter “Libertarian books” in Amazon…my book is #1 in the country…as it has been in that category for 10 consecutive months.
    http://www.amazon.com
    April 20 at 9:42pm
    David F. Nolan Wayne, I stated that if you enter the word LIBERTARIANISM, your book is #10. Obviously, the ranking of search results depends on the word or phrase you enter. But so what? I personally think your book is a mediocre piece of self-promotion. You think it’s the best book ever. Others can draw their own conclusions; that’s how (relatively) free markets work.
    April 20 at 10:48pm
    Wayne Allyn Root David, Please stop arguing and distorting. If you enter “Libertarian books” in Amazon…my book is #1 in the country…as it has been in that category for 10 consecutive months:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=libertarian+books&x=7&y=16
    http://www.amazon.com
    April 20 at 9:41pm
    Wayne Allyn Root LP radicals have always complained that I’m not going on enough liberal media…in just the past couple of weeks I’ve been on Larry King on CNN, MSNBC, The Thom Hartmann Show…and minutes ago “The Young Turks” (formerly on Air America…now XM Radio). Where are my competitors for National Chair? Why aren’t they getting calls from the left media? Why aren’t LP radicals and anarchists getting on national media like this? While you’re debating and denigrating me…I’m doing right AND left media. I’ve made the breakthrough. Now you should all be cheering me, not attacking and denigrating and being rude.
    April 20 at 5:53pm
    John Jay Myers Simply put, Wayne has been out selling Wayne and his brand of Libertarianism for the last few years, with countless media appearances that have resulted in less membership and less donors.
    What title does Wayne use to get media appearances, “former Libertarian VP nominee”. When our new chair is able to say “I am the Libertarian National Chair” I am sure they will get more media attention.
    I can say that when I speak at Tea Parties, I sound like a Libertarian. I do not change my message so I sound just like a Republican, in an effort to appeal to more people.

    I can’t say that I am glad that Wayne is on more left leaning shows, because he is not going to win over those people, and will increase the divide between them and us…

    We will never succeed as a party if we do not appeal to all the people who are just fed up with government as a whole. The only way we can win is to not divide that base but get them to work together to one end.

    We need to stand apart from the Tea Party as a real alternative to the giant machine,
    which is the two party monopoly that currently rules this country.
    April 20 at 6:13pm
    Eric Bell Wayne, I don’t have a problem with you going around and talking to radio stations. As long as you say the right thing. I don’t think someone who describes himself as the “male Sarah Palin” should represent the Libertarian Party. That is like saying Justin Bieber should headline at Ozzfest.
    April 20 at 8:50pm
    Carolyn Marbry male Sarah Palin? Ouch… That’s like being the male Paris Hilton or the female Janet Reno. Ow…
    April 21 at 12:52pm
    Eric Bell Also Wayne you criticize “radicals” and speak of success. Here’s a question do you think you and Bob Barr did your very best in 08? Has it occurred to you that if you and him were more radical, you could have built on the success of Ron Paul’s campaign. Think of how many more voters you would have had that didn’t support Chuck Baldwin or write in Ron Paul even where their votes would literally not have been counted. You and Bob Barr would have at least beat Ralph Nader.
    April 21 at 12:58pm
    Steve LaBianca ” LP radicals have always complained that I’m not going on enough liberal media.”. Maybe so, but more fundamentally, radical libertarians mostly complain that W.A.R. has yet to understand, embrace, and promote libertarianism, rather than pick and choose a few stances that libertarians agree with, which conservatives and other Republicans cheer.

    That is, to the extent that radical libertarians care to take notice of W.A.R. at all. I do so, onlhy because of the halo effect of W.A.R.’s disinformation, perversion and misunderstanding of libertarianism which potentially casts a bad light on the pursuit of liberty.
    April 21 at 4:00pm
    Wayne Allyn Root By the way David…we both agree that Obama is awful…I’m sure we both agree that Goldman Sachs is awful…so theres something to build on. Let’s try to be on the same team. Attack Democrats and Republicans- not me for sacrificing day and night to spread liberty.
    April 20 at 5:51pm
    Wayne Allyn Root I continue to take the high road. Yes I believe in me…yes I talk about my PROVEN success and PROVEN results…a Libertarian getting in media nonstop is truly an achievement. A Libertarian winning over THOUSANDS of non Libertarians is truly an achievement. A Libertarian reaching millions of voters on national media an…d winning over hosts is truly an achievement. Stop attacking and denigrating and do something yourself- all of you. If all you can do is badmouth me…your not advancing liberty.
    April 20 at 5:16pm
    Steve LaBianca Proven results . . . like getting a smaller percentage of the vote than Harry Browne and Ron Paul when THEY ran on the LP presidential ticket?
    April 21 at 3:52pm
    Jill Stone Pyeatt I don’t badmouth you, Wayne. I’m really trying to like you.
    April 21 at 5:48pm
    Steve LaBianca I don’t refer to W.A.R. in his personal life. I don’t know him personally. As a would-be LP leader, as a libertarian, there is, however much to refer to, and criticize. THIS is the realm I limit my comments. I couldn’t care less about W.A.R.’s personal life – as a father, husband, businessman, consumer, what brand of toothpaste he uses, etc. What I… do care about, is the misrepresentation of libertarianism, which his “brand” of it espouses.

    If W.A.R. can’t take this heat, i.e. criticism of his positions as they relate to libertarianism, then he’s indisputably a lightweight, and is in WAY over his head.
    April 21 at 9:25pm
    Wayne Allyn Root In any job in the world…whether it’s CEO of company…or a small business…or CEO of the Libertarian Party…the guy or gal with proven results and vision wins…not the people obsessed with badmouthing their rivals. All my opponents do all day is badmouth me. If only they’d put the same effort into growing the LP…we’d be growing by leaps and bounds. Time to stop attacking and denigrating. Time to take the high road. If you or anyone else wants to beat me- outwork me. Outsell me. Get on more media than me. But if you can’t, be quiet.
    April 20 at 5:13pm
    Wayne Allyn Root The true pompous ass is the man who denigrates a fellow Libertarian in public without calling first and speaking to him privately. Check my web site. CXheck my facebook page. I don’t say a negative word about you, or my opponents, or your radical friends. Not a word. The 11th commandment is if you don’t have anything nice to say about a fellow Libertarian, shut the heck up.
    April 20 at 5:10pm
    David F. Nolan Wayne, you’ve posted MANY insulting remarks about me, while the worst I’ve ever said about you is that you have a HUGE ego, and you are a Libertarian-Republican hybrid, not a consistent Libertarian. I stand by both of those observations.
    April 20 at 9:38pm
    Wayne Allyn Root If only the LP had a CEO who could build multi-million dollar businesses from scratch in a depression…who could guide their daughter as a homeschooler to Harvard…who could write a book that David Nolan predicted would be in the dust bins by holiday season…yet is still the #1 or #2 Libertarian book at Amazon. and …soon you’ll hear a big announcement about radio. Soon David you’ll hear me all over the airwaves. It ain’t bragging when you make it happen. It’s hard work and dedication and tenacity and passion and talent and faith in yourself and dare a Libertarian say it…faith in God.
    April 20 at 5:08pm
    David F. Nolan I just entered “libertarianism” in Amazon’s search engine. Wayne’s book is listed at #10 in the results, #79,458 among all books carried by Amazon.
    April 20 at 9:38pm
    Susan Hogarth Wayne, can you please stop making snide remarks insinuating that most libertarians are atheists? I can’t imagine how you think that’s a good thing for the LP. It feeds a sense of religious hostility within the Party.

    I say this as an atheist. I do think many libs are atheists, and I think that’s because both libertarianism and atheism appeal to …rational people. But I don’t think that making religion a political issue is a good idea, and it near about drives me nuts when I see people doing that within the Party. Please think about this and stop with the snide you’re-all-atheists remarks.
    April 21 at 2:48pm
    Steve LaBianca “If only the LP had a CEO” . . . who actually held to libertarianism. Being a CEO isn’t about process, execution if you will, until THE GOAL IS DEFINED. W.A.R. may be a good candidate for CEO, but not for the LP, as he has yet to learn what liberty is. The goal of conservatives like W.A.R. is to reach people . . . the goal of libertarians is to reach and persuade people of the morality and practicality of libertarianism. One must first EMBRACE libertarianism to effectively persuade other people to embrace it.

    Any good CEO must first know that he or she has or hasn’t embraced the goal. W.A.R. has not yet embraced the goal that libertarians strive for. Therefore, he is NOT a good candidate for CEO of the LP.

    Seems to be a case of putting the cart before the horse…

    I suggest that W.A.R. go back to square one, forget about being in a position of leadership, at least until the education and embracing process is completed. This IS a logical and rational process, except for the egomaniac and power hungry. Which are you W.A.R., a logical, rational person, or an egomaniac?
    April 21 at 3:29pm
    Wayne Allyn Root First you think you’re brilliant enough to read my mind and know what I’m thinking and saying, huh David? Now that’s pompous. No one thinks I’m a huckster but you David. In my lifetime I’ve NEVER bragged. As Mohammed Ali said “It aint bragging if you can back it up.” I’ve achieved amazing things again and again…again…st all odds…that no one believed were possible. My daughter Dakota- homeschooled since birth- just got accepted by Harvard, stanford, Chicago, Duke, Columbia, Penn, Brown, Cal-Berkeley. I predicted it, I made her believe, and it happened. is that bragging David?
    April 20 at 5:05pm
    David F. Nolan “No one thinks I’m a huckster but you David.” Yeah, right. Go to IPR, and read the comments people have posted there. About 70% are negative, and most focus on your hucksterism.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/
    April 20 at 9:40pm
    Steve LaBianca To people who understand and hold to libertarianism, W.A.R., you have achieved nothing for liberty except pervasively misrepresent and pervert libertarianism. There is nothing wrong, and everything right about attracting people to libertarianism, and by extension to the LP (if in fact the LP holds to libertarianism), but there is everything WRONG about perverting libertarianism to mean what neo-conservatives like yourself think it means. The LP is useless as a promoter of liberty if it is barely distinguishable from the GOP and the neo-conservative agenda so prominent in it.

    If you were as smart as you seem to actually think of yourself, and understood libertarianism, you’d separate the strategy and tactics of achieving liberty with liberty itself, you’d have actually won support from libertarians, rather than just war-mongering conservatives (i.e. neoconservatives).

    And yes, the LP IS about (or appropriately WAS, about) opposing and ending ALL wars, because ALL war is destructive and bad for liberty, and ending prohibition on ALL drugs, as the WAR ON DRUGS is destructive and bad for liberty. And the strategy of devolving power of the federal government to the states, to the counties, to the localities, then to communities and neighborhoods and finally to families and individuals, is just that . . . A STRATEGY, not libertarianism itself. Republicans tend to believe that liberty is about “states rights”. Libertarians know that liberty is encroached upon by the state, AT ANY AND ALL LEVELS! You seem to have missed that, too. As a strategy, most libertarians support the move to devolving power to the local level, but for those who AREN’T libertarians and support it, the key is to persuade them that the REASON to support this isn’t necessarily constitutional, but libertarian, in that it moves individual sovereignty, rather than state sovereignty, into the spotlight as the goal to achieve…

    Finally, W.A.R.f you are interested in learning about libertarianism, I’d be happy to teach you.
    9 hours ago
    Jill Stone Pyeatt Hahahaha! Wayne is calling David pompous!
    April 21 at 5:46pm

    David F. Nolan Wayne Root just posted a message describing his own book “the best book you’ll ever read.” My response: Great thinkers have been writing books for centuries, but yours is “the best ever” ???
    April 20 at 9:02am
    Gozer Dink methinks he’s biased.
    April 20 at 9:03am
    Susan Hogarth Scary thought: It may be the best book he has ever read.

    Or, again scary: for his target audience his audacious claim just may be true.

    After all, if you’ve only read one book, that’s the ‘best’.
    April 20 at 9:08am
    John Jay Myers ahhhh, I can’t bring myself to read it. I still have Human Action on my shelf I haven’t read, I have Lew Rockwells book “the left right and the state” I need to finish.
    And… I don’t see me being in possession of Waynes book.
    He could give me a copy.
    April 20 at 9:09am
    Hunter Schaeffer LOL Susan! I think you nailed it on both counts.
    April 20 at 9:13am
    David F. Nolan Here’s a list of great libertarian books, all of which are leagues ahead of Wayne’s self-promo piece. I wonder how many of them Mr. Root has read … or even heard of? (Not that Kinsella’s list is the final word; just a quick illustration of how conceited Root’s claim actually is.)

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/kinsella/kinsella20.html
    April 20 at 9:19am
    Steve LaBianca David, the only problem with your line of thinking is that you may be alluding to, or giving credence to the idea that W.A.R.’s book IS a libertarian book! A conservative tract, I would agree . . .but, no matter I guess, as there ARE many excellent libertarian books, many of which are on the list you’ve supplied.
    April 20 at 9:36am
    David F. Nolan aaand Wayne deleted my comment. Apparently, in Wayne’s World, only fawning compliments are acceptable.
    April 20 at 10:01am
    John Jay Myers “learn how Obama is ruining the country” I was wondering if there was a book out there that could somehow explain how perfect our government was before Obama.

    A book about how great conservatives and Tea Party people are. If only we had George Bush back, that guy was awesome.

    Here is me on CBS talking about it:…
    http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/Tea-party-hears-from-libertarian-candidate-90901704.html
    April 20 at 10:20am
    Mariana Evica LOL David, we can’t be surprised at the deleted comment I suppose. Douche-y but not surprising. Consistently like him I guess!
    April 20 at 10:32am
    Jill Stone Pyeatt I really keep trying tom like the guy, but then he says stuff like this. I bought his book in an attempt to accept him, but I can’t bring myself to read it.

    The problem is that my instinct about him is “Yuck”, and my instincts usually are right.
    April 20 at 12:08pm
    David F. Nolan Wayne would be easier to like if he didn’t make over-the-top, self-serving comments. If he had just posted a link to his book and said “Hey, you might find this interesting,” that would be fine. But by calling it “the best book ever,” he just looks like a conceited ass.
    April 20 at 12:19pm
    Steve LaBianca W.A.R. is (obviously) free to promote conservative ideas, but to come into the LP in 2007, as green as a 13 year old just learning about libertarianism, and immediately start making pronouncements, like David alludes to, that libertarianism is this, and libertarians have to do that; as if he is some authority, is the most crass, know -it-all self …serving pompous As* way to be, that completely turned me off to him when he first showed up on the libertarian scene. I saw W.A.R. speak, for the first time publicly as a candidate for the LP pres. nomination, at the LPF and State Chairs conference in March 2007, in Orlando, Florida. I have been thoroughly disgusted with him as a spokesman for liberty, and am disheartened that so many (alleged) libertarians have embraced him as a spokesman.
    April 20 at 12:35pm
    John Jay Myers I disliked the idea of him being chair so much that I have now flown to 4 different states just to combat his horribleness.
    I don’t trust Wayne, I think he only appeals to the right, and sounds just like a Pundit on fox news, except on steroids, and willl make us appear as only right leaning.
    I could easily see him make us not appear Anti-war, which I believe should be our bigest issue.
    He just may destroy what we have worked for here in Texas, I can’t let that happen.

  148. Brian Holtz

    If a president over eight years cuts both 1) tax rates and 2) the federal government’s spending as a share of GDP, and thus unleashes economic growth that leaves the federal budget higher in constant dollars than eight years before, then he still has arguably shrunk the size of government.

    Wrights said “I was quoting what Mr. Root wrote and admitted in is book”. I checked all 29 mentions of Reagan that Amazon finds in Root’s book, and I couldn’t find an “admission” that Reagan “grew government spending to greater [proportions/size/magnitude/constant-dollars] than ever before”. I’d still like to understand what admission Wrights is talking about.

    There are plenty of other libertarians who support the official theory, such as Brian Holtz

    I’ve never said that I believe Bush’s official theory — that they “hate us for our freedoms”, etc. What I’ve always said is that I believe al Qaeda’s theory — that 9/11 was blowback.

  149. Michael Seebeck

    #158 looks right, although the “bottom of form” separators are missing (see the RTF file) which is why it looks weird on the timestamps. Short form is that it is in order but a timestamp jump indicates a new post on Nolan’s wall. That’s why it looks out of order even though it really isn’t–just formatting issues. Disregard the doc version as a result. Txt version is OK as well, but it’s missing the bottom of form things as well.

  150. paulie

    If a president over eight years cuts both 1) tax rates

    If you count FICA tax increases and getting rid of deductions, real tax rates went up for a lot of people. And if you include the projected future value of debt interest payments for Reagan-era spending, it becomes even more murky. As best I can tell, for anyone who pays more in FICA than income taxes and/or had a lot of years left in the work force (or had not yet entered it) in the 1980s, the tax rates went up.

    and 2) (cut) the federal government’s spending as a share of GDP,

    Again, I don’t see that from your graphic. As far as I can tell for the 1980s that rate went up and down, and didn’t change dramatically. However, it went down during Clinton’s presidency.

    See the other graphs I linked at 139 for some context, and as I said at 56, In addition to the point Knapp made at 10 and 12, government spending tends to be perpetual – whenever a program is created or expanded, it is a lot harder to get rid of it, even if the economy subsequently contracts.

    Thus, it makes sense to look at government spending in absolute terms as well.

    Looking only at GDP proportions masks spending decisions that lead to government spending a higher percentage of GDP at various points after that.

    then he still has arguably shrunk the size of government.

    OK, I’m glad you said arguably. But as far as I can tell, neither premise is even correct, so the question appears to be moot.

    Wrights said “I was quoting what Mr. Root wrote and admitted in is book”. I checked all 29 mentions of Reagan that Amazon finds in Root’s book, and I couldn’t find an “admission” that Reagan “grew government spending to greater [proportions/size/magnitude/constant-dollars] than ever before”. I’d still like to understand what admission Wrights is talking about.

    I won’t argue what is or is not in Mr. Root’s book. However, it is an absolute fact that Reagan grew government spending to greater proportions/size/magnitude/constant-dollars.
    As a percentage of GDP, I’m still not 100% sure, but it seems to me that your graphic says it grew somewhat.

    I’ve never said that I believe Bush’s official theory — that they “hate us for our freedoms”, etc. What I’ve always said is that I believe al Qaeda’s theory — that 9/11 was blowback.

    I’m sorry, I guess I was unclear. By “official theory” I meant something like “19 Arabs with boxcutters acting without orders or knowledge of USGovt, directed by a terrorist organization which is not a USGovt front.” In other words my reference was to what happened, not why. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

  151. Erik G.

    Andy,

    Has it never occurred to you that Obama and Hawai’i may also “act suspicious” because it makes the Birther crowd look ridiculous?

    If I ran for president and someone demanded my birth certificate, I, too, may choose to string them along so they lose all credibility with most of the population. Do you not realize how you can effectively argue a position or view, drawing support from those around you… and then lose everyone in the room with one ridiculous or easily falsifiable statement? This is, essentially, what Obama’s people are leading the Birther crowd into.

  152. paulie

    Thanks for the link. 1980 isn’t relevant, Reagan was not in office until 1981.

    In percentage terms, it went up and then went down, and ended up about where it started – slightly lower, as your new data makes clear.
    But the change was not great either way.

    In absolute terms, which I believe are also relevant for the reasons I stated, spending in 1988 was 157% of spending in 1981.

    The only other two term president in your dataset, Clinton, lowered the GDP percentage of spending much more significantly – from 21.4% to 18.4% between 1993 and 2000, a 3% drop of GDP vs. a 1% drop under Reagan.

    In real terms, 2000 spending was 127% of what it had been 8 years earlier. So, as I pointed out in one of the earlier comments, “Clinton Libertarian” makes more sense than “Reagan Libertarian” by this criterion. Clinton also eliminated deficits (although Bush Jr. and Obama brought them back, and the debt has continued to grow). Not that Clinton was a libertarian, but at least in some ways he was more libertarian than Reagan was.

    1981 678.2 22.2
    1982 745.7 23.1
    1983 808.4 23.5
    1984 851.9 22.1
    1985 946.4 22.8
    1986 990.4 22.5
    1987 1004.1 21.6
    1988 1064.5 21.2
    1989 1143.6 21.2
    1990 1253.2 21.8
    1991 1324.4 22.3
    1992 1381.7 22.1
    1993 1409.5 21.4
    1994 1461.9 21.0
    1995 1515.8 20.7
    1996 1560.5 20.3
    1997 1601.3 19.6
    1998 1652.6 19.2
    1999 1701.9 18.6
    2000 1788.8 18.4
    2001 1863.8 18.6
    2002 2011.0 19.4
    2003 2157.6 19.9

  153. Erik G.

    Wait, so by Brian’s logic (in layman’s terms)…

    If IPR was running a $100 deficit this year, then ran $100+ deficits for 6 years, but got their deficit under $100 for the last year or so, that’s ‘cutting deficit spending’?

    Also, does anyone else find it odd that someone here who thinks we have a “$100T debt” because of unfunded liabilities, only considers outlays for govt. growth and not unfunded future spending from program expansions?

  154. Tom Blanton

    Wow, I used to think Root was an asshole. But, after reading his posts on Nolan’s page, I admit was was wrong about Root. He is a flaming asshole. I believe he has mental health issues. The frightening thing is that there are so many weak-willed people incapable of critical thinking that follow Root as if he is all that he thinks he is.

    The thing that Root and none of his supporters have no response for is repeated requests to offer evidence that Root is winning over large numbers of people to libertarianism. To cling to this fantasy that Root is the savior of the LP and a future President is just bizarre.

  155. Brian Holtz

    I missed the part where Root ever claimed that “Reagan libertarian” refers to Reagan shrinking federal outlays as a percentage of GDP. It’s in neither his book nor his answer to IPR’s Reagan question.

    As for “Clinton libertarian”, I wonder what the GDP figures would have been if Reagan had been working with a Speaker Gingrich, and Clinton had been working with a Speaker O’Neil.

    Erik, the size of government is measured by outlays, not by deficits. “$100T debt” is not my words, so please don’t quote them as if they are. I don’t have the data at hand, but you can bet Reagan’s Social Security changes caused a decrease in the total federal unfunded liabilities by the end of his presidency compared to the beginning.

    “19 Arabs with boxcutters acting without orders or knowledge of USGovt, directed by a terrorist organization which is not a USGovt front.”

    Yes, that’s al Qaeda’s theory. That’s the one I believe.

  156. Root's Contradictions and Obsessions

    Tom Blanton: “Root has already associated the LP with this wacko crap. He has already associated the LP (and libertarianism in general) with a number of undesirable things, such as Reagan, Michael Savage, irrational fear of “Islamofascism”, millionaire Republicans, and conservatism.”

    OTOH, I’m sure Root’s supporters can point to some obscure passage buried in his book that hint against some of the above.

    After which, said Root supporters will pant and gush, “Wayne keeps getting better and better!”

    John Jay Myers: “The scariest thing about Wayne is his fixation on Obama. It’s weird. …
    To focus on him so single mindedly is creepy and divisive. But he wont, because he believes that he can garner a large fan base from people who hate Obama.”

    Or Root is fixated on Obama due to jealousy. Both went to Columbia, yet Obama went on to Harvard and became president. Root became a boiler room operator.

    Root has implied that Columbia’s admission process is biased, that Obama only got in because he was black.

    However, Root later bragged about his daughter getting into Columbia. But if Columbia’s admission process is biased, is there any reason for Root to be proud of his daughter’s admission?

    Does Root believe that Obama was admitted unfairly, that Root was rejected unfairly, but that his daughter earned it? Seems contradictory.

  157. paulie

    @171

    Wayne Root and Barack Obama both went to Columbia, regardless of whether they ever met there.

    Dakota Root has been admitted to Harvard.

  158. Root's Contradictions and Obsessions

    You’re right.

    I meant that Root suggested that Harvard’s admission policies were biased in admitting Obama — then Root cheered his daughter’s admission to Harvard, now implying that Harvard was fair after all.

    Root wants it both ways. Dakota earned Harvard, but Obama didn’t.

  159. Thomas L. Knapp

    “People who follow serious policy analysis don’t need to be told whether federal outlays as a percent of GDP is the most common measure for the size of government.”

    Yes, GDP is the most common measure for the size of government.

    That’s because most of the policy types touting measures of the size of government want to be able to continue growing it while pretending that they’re shrinking it.

    A simple scalar analogy should make it pretty clear:

    I own a house.

    In Year 1, my income is $100,000 and I spend $1,000 per year on “defense” (an alarm system backed by a live monitoring and armed response service).

    In Year 2, I get a $50,000 raise, and the security company notifies me that they’re raising my rate to $1,200 per year.

    My “GDP” has gone up by 50%.

    My “defense” budget has gone up by 20%.

    No matter how many times you insist that my “defense” budget now represents a smaller percentage of my “GDP,” that does not, and will never, constitute a reasonable claim that my “defense” budget has gone down.

  160. Robert Capozzi

    tk, ADR, but that’s a false analogy. The price of a private transaction is based on a negotiation, and the security firm is able to provide services based on its marginal costs, which is based on the protection of ASSETS.

    If you referred your neighbor to your security company, they might charge you both $900 in Year 2 rather than $1000.

    Government spending is not based on assets. It’s based on a lot of things, but the biggest expenditures are recurring transfer payments.

    Your example oversimplifies.

    Look at it this way: If Ls want the percentage that government takes annually to approach 0%, then reducing the take from 20% to 19% is progress. It may not be MUCH progress from your perspective, but if it declines 1 point a year, you’d be dancing in the streets in 20 years!

    Perhaps in Year 19, some smart wonks and lawyers can figure out what to do with the silos and SAC.

    Depending on how the math worked, it is POSSIBLE that only in Year 20 would the real dollar expenditure actually decline year over year.

    And yet the outcome would make Hoppe proud!

  161. Carol Moore

    Wayne Root’s ego gets in the way of his even really knowing what a libertarian is. The most important question is: does he REALLY intend to use the position to try to get the 2012 nomination. He seems like the guy who might promise not to but then his ego will get in the way and he’s just gonna have to have it. So you better elect a good vice chair to replace him when he becomes just too absurdly self-promoting WAY “I Went to Columbia and Never Saw Obama” ROOT FOR PREZ 2012.

  162. Brian Holtz

    Tom, your security-firm analogy fails because it smuggles in the assumption of a state that tamps down your arms race with your neighbors. Your security costs might indeed be a linear function of your income if you’re trying to defend against neighbors who are investing a constant fraction of their income into potential offense.

    And if the government is also responsible for streets, pipes, wires, and for policing pollution, those are all responsibilities that will tend to grow with GDP.

    But Bob nails the main point: the U.S. is nothing like a minarchotopia, and the main business of American government is collecting and distributing rents by making claims on income (i.e production). If the percentage claim on production falls, that’s very arguably a decline in the size of this rent-seizing operation.

    What I wonder is: which part of the above did you not know I was going to say? 🙂

  163. Erik G.

    Brian,

    I could have sworn I’ve seen you argue that we have a $100T debt because of unfunded liabilities before, but if you say otherwise, I’ll take your word for it.

    My apologies.

  164. Brian Holtz

    What I argued was that when Root used “$100T debt” as shorthand for all the unfunded obligations of the government, he surely wasn’t confused or deceptive about the total value of outstanding T-bills. I agreed that “debt” is best used for just the T-bills, and ever since that discussion I’ve only heard Root use “unfunded liabilities” to describe that $100T figure.

  165. Zander

    Was Reagan a Libertarian?

    One of the greatest debates of all time amongst libertarians, you might say.

    I’ve actually resolved myself to complete a list of the 100 greatest libertarians of all time, and Ronald Reagan (believe it or not) makes my list thus far, as do a few other mainstream Republicans/Democrats from over the years that many would not utter in the same word as Libertarian.

    Hint: there’s a Democratic President from the last 30 years on the list as well!!!!

    Reagan was a huge contradiction, and that’s why he won’t place high on my list. But he will place, indeed, because of the impact he had on certain aspects of the overall libertarian cause—even if his policies as President often ran exactly counter to the Libertarian cause.

    To be clear, I’m ranking the 100 positions based on two factors: 1) how “libertarian” was said person, under strict classification based upon embracing the civil liberties granted to human beings under the bill of rights/constitution/declaration of independence/french revolution, etc., a state free of government subsidies, taxes, and entitlements, a state promoting free trade, immigration, the right to bear arms and the general right to “extend one’s liberty up until the point upon which someone else’s liberty is violated,” and a foreign policy comprised of the previous three principles which does not advocate violations of said principles based upon any threat domestic or international, and 2) how important said person was to the cause of the libertarian movement of the United States or world at large–originated via the founding fathers of our country, the anti-federalists, the individualistic anarchists of the 1800s, the Austrian and Chicago schools of economic thought, the “Old Right,” and the philosphies of Frederick Bastiat, Murray Rothbard, Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt, Ayn Rand, Isabel Patterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and countless others.

    For me at least, the ultimate Libertarian stands up for all strands of free thought and prosperity within the a) social, b) economic, and c) foreign policy interests of the United States of America (or whatever country said person is defending).

    The combination of stances embracing such a philosophy—combined with such stances’ impact on history—will place deserving individuals within this list….meaning that a President of the United States, even if (relatively, quite) soft on libertarian thinking at certain times of his presidency, may still make the list.

    Ronald Reagan will not be the most controversial of US Presidents submitted to my list….I can’t even bear to see the reaction to one particular Democratic Party candidate that I plan to list. Still, since the argument at hand deals with Reagan and his supposed “libertarianism” that is what I am inclined to respond too.

    As I said before, Ronald Reagan was a contradiction when it comes to libertarianism. The way he freed markets beyond all mainstream understanding shall never be forgotten. People may scoff at the idea of shrinking a 70% income tax to one barely half that for the highest bracket as pure ideological conservatism, but I do not. Many conservative Presidents failed to do this before him. Reagan embraced free trade and tax cuts to a point that zero other United States Presidents over the past 100 years have. He should be commended for this…this, in a sense, are his “libertarian ideals” at work.

    While Governor of California, Reagan spoke up AGAINST the Briggs initiative, even when he had nothing to lose and everything to gain from keeping his trap shut. He explained that homosexuality was at the very least not a crime or a disease and spit in the face of the moral right, whom his advisors had been pressuring him to embrace and court. Reagan’s take on the issue is known to be the breaking point in an otherwise split vote between the progressive liberals and moralist conservatives on this issue.

    Yet it seems like few even recall this deed which in my personal opinion showed great willingness to put one’s principles over one’s political interest.

    (Not to say that everything he did as Governor of California was in the name of Libertarianism. Case and point: Reagan’s fight against where and when the Black Panther Party could carry firearms)

    As a President, it’s no secret that Reagan did not live up to his Libertarian principles which he ran on in the 1980 election. Those that have touted his fight against the soviet union seem to be missing the point entirely…Mises had argued for years that socialism was impossible and a LOT MORE PEOPLE THAN YOU REALIZE believed that the Soviet Union’s greatest threat was themselves and their own inability under a central planned economy for prosperity and peace. I think Reagan gets WAY too much credit in “taking down the Soviet Union.” I think his militarism in the face of an ideological enemy is a knock on his libertarianism in fact. Anyone who thinks libertarianism is based upon militantly confronting your enemies and showing them who’s ideological superior through coercive means needs to read up on their basis f0r what this ideology stands for. Yet since that’s a divisive issue, let’s avoid that for right now…

    Let’s talk about social/cultural issues. Reagan’s War on Drugs is one of the largest public policy failures of the 20th century, and directly violates every libertarian principle he ever fought for. The Iran Contra scandal shows the hypocrisy of such a war and cannot be forgiven despite cutting taxes and the like. How many innocent (for all intents and purposes) people are in jail right now because of Reagan’s absolutely retarded stance on this issue? It’s ridiculous when you consider this was a President who initially believed in minimal government and Libertarian principles. What a crock of shit!

    Reagan’s out of control spending, War on Drugs, & foreign military adventures and scandals make him about the shittiest libertarian one can imagine.

    But then there’s the side of Reagan that we saw in his unprecedented tax cuts; in his compelling argument against the Briggs initiative as Governor. His restless defense of capitalism at all costs. His preference for (theoretically speaking) “as little government as possible.”

    In short, Reagan is a hard man to judge by any logical “libertarian” acumen. I’m trying at this very moment to figure where he stands in my all-time list…there are many who stand above him in libertarian principles but few who stand above him in libertarian (and anti-libertarian) impact.

    So those are my thoughts. May this great debate continue!

  166. Michael H. Wilson

    re: 180 I think you’ll find that should be Paterson with one “t”. I could be wrong but suggest you check.

  167. paulie

    Zander,

    The way he freed markets beyond all mainstream understanding shall never be forgotten. People may scoff at the idea of shrinking a 70% income tax to one barely half that for the highest bracket as pure ideological conservatism, but I do not. Many conservative Presidents failed to do this before him. Reagan embraced free trade and tax cuts to a point that zero other United States Presidents over the past 100 years have. He should be commended for this…this, in a sense, are his “libertarian ideals” at work.

    Yet, he greatly raised taxes in other areas (FICA) as well as hidden taxes (deficit spending/debt as shifting the tax burden to future years), etc. Playing shell games with taxes does not constitute embracing tax cuts in a real sense.

    As for his “devotion to free trade” see http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=489

    Ronald Reagan: Protectionist
    by Sheldon L. Richman

    Mark Shields, a columnist for the Washington Post, re­cently wrote of President Reagan’s “blind devotion to the doctrine of free trade.” If President Reagan has a devo­tion to free trade, it must be blind because he has been way off the mark. In fact, he has been the most protectionist pres­ident since Herbert Hoover.

    Keep reading

    Incidentally, import-export was one of my businesses during the 1980s, and no, not just contraband. Reagan was no free trader.

    Not to say that everything he did as Governor of California was in the name of Libertarianism.

    Understatement of the year! Actually, Reagan’s record as Governor was so bad that Jerry Brown had to restore fiscal sanity after him. Really.

    I think Reagan gets WAY too much credit in “taking down the Soviet Union.”

    Correct.

    Let’s talk about social/cultural issues. Reagan’s War on Drugs is one of the largest public policy failures of the 20th century, and directly violates every libertarian principle he ever fought for. The Iran Contra scandal shows the hypocrisy of such a war and cannot be forgiven despite cutting taxes and the like. How many innocent (for all intents and purposes) people are in jail right now because of Reagan’s absolutely retarded stance on this issue? It’s ridiculous when you consider this was a President who initially believed in minimal government and Libertarian principles. What a crock of shit!

    All true, other than the idea that he ever had libertarian principles. Even during the 1980 campaign, his libertarian rhetoric was only on some issues. And anyone who paid attention to his record as governor knew that even there, he didn’t really mean it. Reagan never really believed in minimal government.

    Reagan’s out of control spending, War on Drugs, & foreign military adventures and scandals make him about the shittiest libertarian one can imagine.

    No, they make him a non-libertarian. In the same was as, at some point, even if you say “the Pope seems like a good guy,” if you pray to Mecca five times a day, go on the Hajj, etc., you are not a Catholic. Agreed?

    But then there’s the side of Reagan that we saw in his unprecedented tax cuts

    Again, shifting tax around and real tax cuts are two different things.

    His restless defense of capitalism at all costs.

    Not international trade (as we see in Sheldon Richman’s article referenced above), not capitalism in illegal drugs, etc.

    His preference for (theoretically speaking) “as little government as possible.”

    Well, unless you count all the many areas of policy where he didn’t even support that in theory. Besides, actions speak louder than words.

    In short, Reagan is a hard man to judge by any logical “libertarian” acumen.

    I think Ivan Eland (see above comment thread) does a pretty good job.

    So those are my thoughts. May this great debate continue!

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  168. dizzyfingers

    For heaven’s sake!!!

    The House of Representatives initiates all bills having to do with spending — NOT presidents.
    And presidents do not PASS bills — they sign them into law.

    Loose language has made people believe that presidents have unlimited power. And they don’t.

    It’s congress that initiates and passes all legislation. That should be stated in every article relating to issues such as you discuss, otherwise the articles misinform… but perhaps that’s the intent.

  169. paulie

    Well, yes, Congress initiates spending, but presidents propose budgets as well. Reagan’s were higher than what Congress ended up passing in some years, and lower – but only very slightly – in others. And presidents can also veto spending as well; Reagan didn’t.

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

    HYPE BY ANY OTHER NAME ………

    Reagan is a hard man to judge by any logical “libertarian” acumen.

    …there are many who stand above him in libertarian principles but few who stand above him in libertarian [Hype, PR, bull shit, steer manure, public relations, lies ………..]

  171. JT

    Brian @ 164: “People who follow serious policy analysis don’t need to be told whether federal outlays as a percent of GDP is the most common measure for the size of government.”

    I don’t think it matters what “the most common measure for the size of government” is. What’s most popular isn’t always right.

    The assumption here is that there’s a logical connection between more products and services in a society and more government power. But why should government expand along with the economy? Most libertarians don’t believe government should be managing economic activity. Moreover, that additional government spending usually finances wasteful and harmful programs.

    So it’s only in absolute terms that the size of government *should* be measured. Measuring government as a percentage of GDP is what people do to make our economic situation seem rosier than it really is, and to make excuses for politicians who refuse to seriously reduce government spending overall.

  172. Robert Capozzi

    jt: So it’s only in absolute terms that the size of government *should* be measured.

    me: Only for you, perhaps. The metric of GDP% gives a better sense of what the government’s burden is, I find it the more meaningful measurement. It’s progress IMO if the percentage declines; contra-indicated if the percentage increases. IMO. ADR.

  173. JT

    Robert: “jt: So it’s only in absolute terms that the size of government *should* be measured.

    me: Only for you, perhaps. The metric of GDP% gives a better sense of what the government’s burden is, I find it the more meaningful measurement. It’s progress IMO if the percentage declines; contra-indicated if the percentage increases. IMO. ADR.”

    No, not only for me. Are you saying I’m the only one who sees that??

    To put it another way, the U.S. could have a big economic boom in productivity (a real one), and the U.S. government could significantly increase spending and expand its waste and inefficiency, yet total government spending still drops as a percentage of total GDP. Libertarians should be pleased with the government then? Back that up with an argument instead of repeating it’s a better metric.

    Again, that’s what people say who want to believe the situation is better than it is and who want to make excuses for spendthrift politicians. Libertarians should be able to see through that specious belief.

  174. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The metric of GDP% gives a better sense of what the government’s burden is, I find it the more meaningful measurement. It’s progress IMO if the percentage declines; contra-indicated if the percentage increases.”

    So if there had been twice as many Germans, the Holocaust would have been half as onerous, then?

  175. Michael H. Wilson

    If my recall is correct the South prior to the Civil War had slavery and the U.S. government percent of the GDP was damn small compared to today. Given what you write I could conclude that you find slavery acceptable as long as the GDP is lower. Any and all snarky sarcasm is intended.

  176. George Phillies

    @190

    Prior to the Civil War, the list of states allowing slavery changed with time. Massachusetts, with a brilliant piece of judicial activism, effectively ended slavery in the early 1780s. However, large slave-owning states, like Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York, ensured that the Constitution would not attack the pervert institution. Note the latter two states in my list; abolition gradually crept southward from Massachusetts, the state that leads the way on civil liberty issues, so that in 1860 Delaware allowed slaves, but there were almost none of them.

  177. Robert Capozzi

    tk189: So if there had been twice as many Germans, the Holocaust would have been half as onerous, then?

    me: No. In your hypothetical, we can’t know what the changes in absolute or GDP% spending would amount to. Some burdens of government are not measureable in either context. 100% coercion for a portion of the population that were imprisoned and/or executed might be the best placeholder, but even that doesn’t capture the totality of the dysfunction.

    mhw190: Given what you write I could conclude that you find slavery acceptable as long as the GDP is lower.

    me: No, you conclude incorrectly. Slavery is 100% coercion. (I actually have done a calculation that shows government was larger prior to 1865 if we count slavery that way…I’m not finding my calc at the moment, but I seem to recall the aggregate burden of government exceeded 1865 levels sometime in the 1960s.) But not all injustice can be reduced to a number, whether absolute OR a GDP%.

  178. JT

    I wish the Holocaust or slavery weren’t brought up here…I wanted a logical response, Robert, to my post 188 (which was skipped over), since you said you disagreed with my post 186. Let’s ignore the odd suggestion that I might be the only one who doesn’t think government spending as a percentage of GDP is a better metric. What’s your argument regarding the (historically based) situation I brought up in post 188? Why should libertarians be pleased with the government in that case?

  179. Robert Capozzi

    jt, if Year 1 government represented 45% of GDP and the GDP were $10T and Year 1+x government represented 40% of GDP and the GDP were $20T, all else equal, yes, I’d prefer Year 1+x. Yes, there can be other considerations, but, yes, I’d like to see government’s take be proportionally smaller. I’m less concerned with the absolute number, but I’d like THAT to be smaller, too.

    A better illustration: Year 1, government is 45% of a $10T economy, or $4.5T. Year 1+x, government is 50% of a $5T economy, or $2.5T. I’d prefer Year 1. Yes, in Year 1+X, the government is smaller in absolute terms, but we’re all poorer in the process.

    I have no idea how many others look at these sorts of things the way you do. I’m following Friedman’s insight, which I find a useful one, and most free-market wonks that I know do. If you find the absolute number the better metric, good for you. Hope that works out for you.

  180. JT

    Robert: “jt, if Year 1 government represented 45% of GDP and the GDP were $10T and Year 1+x government represented 40% of GDP and the GDP were $20T, all else equal, yes, I’d prefer Year 1+x.”

    That’s in no way a sign of progress as far as government interference in people’s lives is concerned. It’s a sign of the government taking more money (through taxing, borrowing, or inflating) and usually using that money it to finance more wasteful and harmful (not to mention unconstitutional) initiatives.

    Robert: “I have no idea how many others look at these sorts of things the way you do.”

    You don’t need to know how many other people agree with me to know I’m not the only one, obviously. We might be in the minority, but hey, libertarians (even using a loose “fiscal conservative/social liberal” definition of the term) are clearly in the minority too, according to every poll I’ve ever seen.

    Robert: “If you find the absolute number the better metric, good for you. Hope that works out for you.”

    Well, I wouldn’t say it’s “working out” for me or anyone else who cares about liberty, since U.S. politicians never cut total spending anymore. They spend and spend and spend with other people’s money, racking up more and more and more debt. That might make some special-interest rent-seekers better off, but it doesn’t make America or most Americans better off.

  181. Robert Capozzi

    jt, my apologies. on 187, when I said “Only for you…”

    that SHOULD have read ” “Only” for you…”

    On 186, you’d said: “So it’s only in absolute terms that the size of government *should*…” I intended to comment on your use of the word “only.” Hope this clears that up!

    Your “only…should” combo is your opinion, not a statement of fact or generally accepted methodology.

  182. Robert Capozzi

    JT, it’s interesting that you don’t comment on my second illustration in 195, which is the more powerful example of why most free market wonks that I know use GDP%.

    Did you at least get the point? That’s all I can ask…to be understood.

    Actually, an even more interesting datapoint would be PER CAPITA GDP%s over time. This would help us normalize for population changes.

    Yes, choosing to be a minority takes some courage and conviction. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, your analytical tools seem VERY crude. Professionals could well by incorrect, and often are. For ex., MDs misdiagnose all the time. And, yes, sometimes, a lay person can somehow intuit what malady ails another, despite the MD having more tools at his or her disposal.

    I know many professional L wonks and, to my knowledge, they all find GDP%s the more insightful number. I’d like to see a professional’s essay on why GDP%’s is less insightful than absolute dollars (or even real dollars, adjusting for CPI changes over time).

  183. Robert Capozzi

    jt, just to be clear, is it your opinion that you prefer an absolute dollar decline AND a GDP% increase in government spending OVER a GDP% decline and an absolute dollar increase in government spending?

  184. JT

    Robert: “JT, it’s interesting that you don’t comment on my second illustration in 195, which is the more powerful example of why most free market wonks that I know use GDP%.”

    I wasn’t being evasive; I just didn’t see a big difference between both of your examples. In each one, your point was that you think the smaller percentage of government spending relative to GDP is better, right?

    And I say: why should government be measured against the economy? Unless you think the government should be managing economic activity–which most libertarians don’t–then there’s no necessary correlation. A similar-spending government that recognizes property rights and upholds contracts can exist whether there are $1 trillion in goods and services in a society or $10 trillion in goods and services in a society.

    Robert: “Yes, choosing to be a minority takes some courage and conviction. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, your analytical tools seem VERY crude.”

    Well, I didn’t say anything about having courage and conviction just because I or others are in the minority; I just said it doesn’t matter whether we’re in the minority or not. And I don’t see how saying absolute spending is the better metric is VERY crude given what I said above but what you’re saying isn’t. Maybe you just mean “a little simpler since it’s not a percentage,” which I’d agree with.

    Robert: “I know many professional L wonks and, to my knowledge, they all find GDP%s the more insightful number. I’d like to see a professional’s essay on why GDP%’s is less insightful than absolute dollars (or even real dollars, adjusting for CPI changes over time).”

    Are we just going to have an argument ad populum over and over again? It reminds me of George’s argument that anthropogenic global warming is true because (allegedly) most scientists (though not all) believe it. So what?? Asserting that an idea is true or right or better simply because more people think so is a logical fallacy. Most economists today are Keynesians who think more government spending is good for the economy. Are they right?

    Robert: “jt, just to be clear, is it your opinion that you prefer an absolute dollar decline AND a GDP% increase in government spending OVER a GDP% decline and an absolute dollar increase in government spending?”

    U.S. GDP almost never goes down; in 2009 it was -1%, which was the first time in 60 years that happened. So reductions in government spending would’ve almost never lead to any greater percentage of government spending relative to GDP.

    Moreover, if government spending were cut significantly, the U.S. economy would’ve grown in those extremely rare years as well. Beyond certain functions aimed at securing rights and thus facilitating production and exchange, less government spending stimulates economic activity by leaving more money available for private savings and investment, which is the engine of economic growth.

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