Libertarians say Republicans owe apology, not pledge, to America

WASHINGTON – In response to the recent Republican “Pledge to America,” Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict released the following statement:

Instead of a “Pledge to America,” the Republicans should have written an “Apology to America.” It should have gone something like this:

“We’re sorry, America. Sorry we grew the federal government budget from $1.7 trillion to over $3 trillion. Sorry we added $5 trillion to the federal debt. Sorry we doubled the size of the Department of Education. Sorry we started two incredibly costly foreign wars. Sorry we supported the absurd and costly TARP bailouts. Sorry we created a huge and costly new Medicare entitlement. Sorry we did nothing to end the costly and destructive War on Drugs. Sorry we did nothing to reform the federal government’s near-prohibition on immigration. But hey, at least we helped you by shifting a lot of your tax burden onto your children and grandchildren.”

There are so many lies, distortions, hypocrisies, and idiocy in this document that it’s hard to know where to start.

It is deeply insulting to see the Republicans refer to “America’s founding values” on their cover. The Republican Party has no understanding whatsoever of America’s founding values. They have proven and re-proven that for decades.

The document talks a lot about “tax cuts.” Unfortunately, the Republican “tax cut” proposals would really do nothing to cut taxes. All their proposals achieve is to defer taxes, pushing the burden onto our children and grandchildren. The only real way to cut taxes is to cut government spending, and the Republican document does almost nothing in that regard.

The Republicans say they want to “roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels.” In other words, to re-create the situation near the end of the Bush administration, after Republicans had massively increased federal spending on almost everything.

Republicans must love it when Democrats expand government, because it gives them the opportunity to propose small “cuts,” while still ending up with huge government.

One shocking aspect of the document is that it actually includes subtle Republican proposals to increase government spending.

The Republicans offer no plan whatsoever to reduce military spending, America’s foreign wars and nation building, or our military defense of rich foriegn nations. On the contrary, the Republicans apparently want to increase military spending, promising to “provide the resources, authority, and support our deployed military requires, fully fund missile defense, and enforce sanctions against Iran.”

The Republicans also appear to want to increase government spending on border control. They say “We will ensure that the Border Patrol has the tools and authorities to establish operational control at the border,” a costly proposition.

Furthermore, as expected, the document complains about “massive Medicare cuts,” implying that Republicans want to make sure Medicare is kept gigantic.

The bulk of federal spending is in three places: Social Security, Medicare, and the military. The Republicans propose absolutely nothing to reduce spending on these three things, or even to slow down their growth.

There must be a typo in the document where it says “Undeterred by dismal results, Washington Democrats continue to double-down on their job-killing policies.” That probably should read “Washington Democrats continue to double-down on *Republican* job-killing policies.”

The best way to restore American prosperity would be to implement the straightforward 28 planks of the Libertarian Party platform, or even just follow the Constitution. I mean the actual Constitution, not the Republican re-write that allows for every federal government program imaginable.

I suppose the one positive aspect of the document is that it finally dispels any illusion that Republicans want to shrink government in any meaningful way.

Apparently the Republicans are hoping they can “fool some of the people all of the time.” The Libertarian Party is ready to point out Republican lies and hypocrisy to American voters, and we hope that Americans who actually want small and constitutional government, not just hypocrisy and worthless rhetoric, will vote Libertarian this November.

The Libertarian Party has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 170 candidates for U.S. House in the upcoming November 2010 elections.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

23 thoughts on “Libertarians say Republicans owe apology, not pledge, to America

  1. Robert Capozzi

    B+/A-. I might suggest this line: “Sorry we did nothing to reform the federal government’s near-prohibition on immigration.” should not have been used. I think I agree with it, but in at least some parts of the country, it probably doesn’t ring true. I happen to live in one that is rich with recent immigrants. Anecdotally, it seems like “near prohibition” doesn’t reflect what’s going on at least in my area, so my neighbors might say “what’s he talking about?”

    The line seems designed to provoke with no payoff.

  2. paulie Post author

    BC,

    That’s why it says near-prohibition, which is very true…the government is keeping out the vast majority of would-be migrants. Even out of the ones who actually make it in, the majority are forced to do so outside of what the regime permits.

    It is possible to win the immigration lottery and jump through all the paperwork hoops, but certainly not easy.

    I agree with you that from the frame of reference that most non-libertarians have – comparison with other nation-states, for example – this phrasing could cause some questions. Hopefully, some journalists may follow up on those questions. I think it’s good for the LP to try to change the frame of reference somewhat, and I don’t think they are doing so too extremely here.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    pc, yes, I hope I didn’t imply that the sentence reads as too extreme. The sentence reads cryptically (a word?). The rest of the release seems comprehensible, so it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Throwing in cryptic statements might provoke interest, or might just seem a bit off and potentially offputting.

    For this particular release, I would have avoided the issue, as this was a grab-bag release. I don’t think we’ve got a good bumper-sticker position on immigration, and unfortunately the haters seem to have poisoned the well with all the talk of “illegal aliens.” I don’t happen to be an open borders person, but regardless of my position, HOW we say things matters just as much as WHAT we say.

    IMO, the rest of the release has pretty good style and substance.

    Leaving people scratching their heads over the immigration point: Not so much.

  4. Keith R Deschler

    Very thoughtful release, and points out how shallow many beltway GOP ers are in their worldview. Wish that the LP would quit seeing immigration as a personal liberties issue, and more as a national sovereignty/security issue. Probably won’t happen, however, with a more “purist” chair like Hinkle. I’ll just have to agree to disagree with the LP on that one. Still a good release, and like the linkage of both parties as a two-headed Leviathan that NEED EACH OTHER to grow government, and reduce freedom!

  5. NewFederalist

    Perhaps a follow on release could remind voters how wonderfully successful the original 1994 “Contract with America” was! It sure shrunk government and… oh, wait- all it did was get the Republicans elected. I remember now…

  6. Ross Levin

    Hmm, it looks like when the Libertarians try to make themselves something other than Republican-lite, they get attention:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/saturday-word-whos-listening/?partner=rss&emc=rss

    Libertarians on the Rise: The Libertarian Party seems to see an opportunity in the rancor among Republicans and public dissatisfaction with Democrats.

    The Libertarian Party — which has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 170 candidates for U.S. House on ballots in November — dismissed the Republican proposal as “distortions, hypocrisies, and idiocy,” slamming the party for pouring money into federal programs from TARP to the War on Drugs.

    “Instead of a ‘Pledge to America,’ the Republicans should have written an ‘Apology to America,’” read a statement issued on Friday. “It is deeply insulting to see the Republicans refer to “America’s founding values” on their cover. The Republican Party has no understanding whatsoever of America’s founding values.”

    The Libertarian Party also has it in for the left, saying that Democrats could have repealed the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy if they really wanted to, The Washington Post notes. (A handful of Democrats joined Republicans in blocking debate on a measure, which was attached to the annual defense bill.) The chairman of the Libertarian Party, Mark Hinkle, called it “a complete and total betrayal of all the promises they made to gay and lesbian voters for years.”

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/24/libertarian-leader-republicans-should-apologize-not-pledge/

    (CNN) – One day after Republican leaders unveiled their legislative agenda-dubbed “Pledge to America” – a top voice in the Libertarian Party said it is erroneously titled; instead, he says, it should be called “Apology to America.”

    The 21-page pledge was revealed Thursday and represents the Republican Party’s proposed legislative agenda should they re-take control of Congress in November’s midterm elections. It includes promises to slash taxes, reduce the size of government and reverse President Obama’s health care reforms.

    Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict ripped into the document and its Republican authors on Friday, saying in a statement “there are so many lies, distortions, hypocrisies, and idiocy in this document that it’s hard to know where to start.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092404514.html

    In a statement On Thursday, Libertarian Party Chairman Mark Hinkle argued that Democrats, with their control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, could have fulfilled their promise to promote gay rights but have repeatedly failed to do so.

    “They could have repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ They could have gotten rid of the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “But they didn’t do either of those things. That’s a complete and total betrayal of all the promises they made to gay and lesbian voters for years.”

  7. Yet Another Swipe at Root

    Paulie: “That’s why it says near-prohibition, which is very true…the government is keeping out the vast majority of would-be migrants.”

    That’s also Root’s plan. He only wants to admit rich immigrants.

    Yes, I know I’m going a bit off-topic to bash Root. But he’s so gosh darn bashable.

  8. Tom Blanton

    Kudos to Mr. Benedict for making some serious statements against the GOP as opposed to kissing the GOP ass or making absurd accusations.

    Some high-profile “libertarians” might have made a “me-too” statement and applauded the GOP for adopting a Root-like position on economic issues, leaving the public with the impression that libertarians are just radical Republicans.

    The press likes drama and conflict. They love to stir up some shit. Mr. Benedict has dropped a bucketful for them to stir and the CNN article indicates some stirring has been done:

    “A spokesman for Boehner did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for a response.”

    Excellent. Maybe Mr. Benedict should let CNN know that he’d be willing to appear with Boehner if they can drag his ass in to be harangued a bit.

    Real libertarians have to admit this would be much better than a FOX News LP-GOP lovefest where two plastic-ass opportunists fawn over each other discussing tax cuts, tea parties or birth certificates.

  9. George Phillies

    Meanwhile, in a desperate effort to prove they are as fascistic as the Republicans, the Democratic Obama regime has launched raids on peace activists in several states, seizing vital evidence like photos of Martin Luther King.

    You can read about it at http://news.antiwar.com/2010/09/24/fbi-launching-mass-raids-of-antiwar-activists-homes/ though if you want pointed criticism of the Obama regime’s activities DailyKos.com recommended diaries seem to be the place to be.

    Note also PeaceRally.org and ComeHomeAmerica.us

  10. paulie Post author

    Any evidence for that claim?

    Mostly anecdotal. In my travels in other countries, many people told me they would go to America if it was legal. Many Americans and immigrants to America have told of family, lovers, and others they would like to bring over, but can’t. etc.

  11. Kevin Knedler

    Travis Irvine just did a Classic video regarding the “apology to america” from the GOP. Travis Irvine for US Congress in Ohio’s 12th district.

  12. Starchild

    Keith Deschler @10 – Why do you believe that nationalism is a more valid worldview than individualism?

    I assume this is what you believe, since you “wish that the LP would quit seeing immigration as a personal liberties issue, and more as a national sovereignty/security issue.”

    I’m glad you recognize the fuzziness of conventional conservative thinking in general. But one reason for that fuzziness is that libertarianism, unlike conservatism, consistently defends, and acts to maximize, the freedom of theindividual.

    This means that people crossing national borders must be treated as individuals with human and civil rights — i.e. in accord with the fundamental legal principle of innocent until proven guilty. Which means no searches or detentions without probable cause!

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