Wayne Root: “FRAUD: Why the Tax Cut Bill is Just an Excuse to Spend Another Trillion Dollars!”

FRAUD: WHY THE TAX CUT BILL IS JUST AN EXC– USE TO SPEND ANOTHER TRILLION DOLLARS!

PROOF THAT OUR POLITICAL LEADERS HAVEN’T LEARNED A THING.

Didn’t we just have a historic Tea Party election? Wasn’t the message STOP THE SPENDING, PAY OFF THE DEBT, and STOP THE INSANITY? The message was loud and clear, yet the first major bill after the election adds about one trillion more in debt as we face economic Armageddon — a rapidly approaching debt crisis (that will make Greece look like child’s play), 20% real unemployment, and eventually hyper-inflation that could turn America into Zimbabwe. This is insanity folks. But hey, what is another trillion in debt among friends?

As a small business owner, entrepreneur, and capitalist evangelist no one has been a bigger cheerleader for lower taxes than me. Tax cuts leave more money in the hands of those who earned it and deserve it — small business and taxpayers. Their investing and spending of that extra money is what fuels the economic engine that creates jobs to get America out of this mess.

Extending the Bush-era tax cuts is essential to any chance at an economic and employment rebound. Ronald Reagan proved that massive tax cuts can turn the worst bust into a historic boom. A massive tax cut right now is just what the doctor ordered to save the U.S. economy.

However, just like the recent “Food Safety Bill” has little to do with food safety, or the recent “Jobs Bill,” which never created a job, this tax cut extension bill has little to do with tax cuts. It is just an excuse for Congress to spend another trillion dollars and expand government.

It is time to “Just Say NO.” This bill is about repeating the same insanity and bribery that got us into this financial disaster, spending money we do not have, to pay for pork and to buy votes. Only weeks after the historic Tea Party landslide, this disastrous bill is “business as usual” in D.C.

Like the movie “Groundhog Day” we are making the same tragic mistakes over and over. The fact we are doing it so soon after the Tea Party landslide tells me America is now on the way to economic ruin. Even now, at the edge of the abyss, politicians can not or will not change their bad habits. They are addicted to spending. Just like drug addicts, the country is going to have to hit rock bottom before they are forced to change. Unfortunately, we may have to lose everything — our economy, our country, our children’s future — before we can start over and rebuild from scratch.

The bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts is a symbol of everything wrong with our government and our politicians. While I am a huge proponent of tax cuts, the common sense lesson learned from the Reagan and Bush era tax cuts is that tax cuts must be accompanied by spending cuts. This reckless, dangerous and insane level of spending is a cancer. Just ask Argentina, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, or Japan. The list is endless. Debt leads to doom, disaster and depression. This bill not only does not cut spending, it adds even more debt.

First, Obama and his socialist cabal tacked on thirteen additional months of unemployment benefits — at a cost of added billions to our debt. Then, Congress tacked on a new stimulus — in the form of a Social Security payroll tax reduction. Since we have not cut the Social Security payout, or raised the age requirement, we are adding additional billions in unfunded liabilities. Then, to bribe politicians to vote for this boondoggle, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid saddled us with billions of new debt for ethanol subsidies, environmental special interests, and other pork. In the middle of a Depression that was caused by too much spending and debt, we are adding another trillion dollars in spending and debt, borrowed from China, for programs that are proven failures and money-burners. Insanity. Democrats have learned NOTHING.

But wait, it gets worse. The GOP has not learned a thing either. Boehner makes a big deal out of cutting 5% from his speaker’s budget. He can save that much just by cutting Pelosi’s private jet trips. If he was serious, he would recommend a 30% cut over 3 years from everyone’s budget PLUS an across the board pay cut for all federal employees of at least 10%. Boehner has not learned a thing.

But wait, it gets even worse. While the GOP votes enthusiastically for one trillion in new spending and debt, they are trying to kill a bill that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and promises to bring in billions in new revenues and tens of thousands of good paying made in the USA jobs — the legalization of online poker. Here is an opportunity to expand freedom by allowing Americans to play a game they love, protect consumers with regulation, and raise billions in new revenues (thereby saving billions for taxpayers). Yet the GOP wants to expand the Nanny State, limit freedom, and tell us what to do with our own money. Worst of all the GOP is helping organized crime stay in control and reap all the profits from online gaming. I wonder if the Gambino crime family will be sending a Christmas gift to Senator Jon Kyle and the GOP leadership. This is insanity squared. Both Republicans and Democrats have lost their way — and their minds.

The sad part is that you, me, our children and grandchildren will be forced to pay for this incompetence, corruption, fraud, and stupidity. We threw some of these bums out a few weeks ago. But our work does not end with that election. We need to turn up the heat and tell Congress they need to come back with a real proposal, one that cuts taxes AND spending. And if they will not do that, we better get ready to throw the rest of these bums out in 2012. The question is…will America and capitalism still be standing?

67 thoughts on “Wayne Root: “FRAUD: Why the Tax Cut Bill is Just an Excuse to Spend Another Trillion Dollars!”

  1. Aaron Starr

    Wayne Root was touting this message on the Bill Cunningham show (at least 300+ radio stations) tonight on Premiere Radio Networks. It was well received.

  2. Thomas M. Sipos

    Root: “The GOP has not learned a thing either. …”

    I predicted, on IPR and elsewhere, that Root would attack the GOP after the Nov 2010 election.

    The reason I gave was that Root wouldn’t dare risk the GOP’s election prospects in Nov 2010, because that would upset Fox News, talk radio, and other Root-friendly venues.

    But now that the GOP is safely elected, Root can safely triangulate (he won’t offend Fox News, et.al.) , and in so doing, differentiate his brand apart from the majority of Fox News talking heads.

    I once again predicted Root’s actions in advance, and I was once again right.

    Am I a mind reader? No, it’s just that Root is so transparent.

    Anyone who understands that Root is primarily motivated by self-interest could have predicted likewise.

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    ‘Splain to me how we gonna get this new revenue that Wayne writes about; “Here is an opportunity to expand freedom by allowing Americans to play a game they love, protect consumers with regulation, and raise billions in new revenues (thereby saving billions for taxpayers)”. How we gonna ‘splain that to people?

  4. Michael H. Wilson

    NEWS FLASH! Reagan raised taxes.

    “Everyone remembers Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. His admirers are less likely to tout the tax hikes he accepted as the 1981 recession and his own tax cuts began to unravel his long-term fiscal picture–a large tax increase on business in 1982, higher payroll taxes enacted in 1983 and higher energy taxes in 1984.”
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/02/barack-obama-ronald-reagan-budget-taxes-opinions-contributors-rob-shapiro.html

    “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”From the Man Who shot Liberty Valance . Interesting first name in that movie. Yup we be doin’ that with Ronnie’s history. No wonder we can fake Reagan’s history. This is the West. So simple and I missed it all these years. Damn!

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m not sure what the beef with Root is here.

    He’s in favor of tax cuts.

    He’s in favor of reducing spending rather than increasing debt.

    What’s not to like?

    Yes, he did criticize Democrats more harshly than Republicans in the run-up to the 2010 election, but it’s only natural — and usually politically smart — to criticize the party in power, which was the Democrats.

    If he really wanted to support the GOP, he’d still be safe in doing so since the new Congress hasn’t been seated yet — the Democrats still have the majority in both houses of Congress and are still driving the agenda. Root could just blame them for what’s going on now.

    Instead, he’s already coming out, guns blazing, to criticize the Republicans for making what he sees as a bunch of bad and unnecessary deals.

    He has a point.

    The Senate is closely balanced enough that Republicans can filibuster/prevent cloture on these “lame duck” initiatives if they want to. They’ve done it with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and IIRC they did it with the DREAM Act as well.

    They’d probably have an easier time blocking this budget stuff, since progressive Democrats and independent Bernie Sanders are standing firm against deal-making as well.

    The Republican leadership is making these deals now so that they can avoid the blame for unemployment benefits ending, etc., now … and so they can spend the next year propagating the meme that all the spending was the fault of those damn lame duck Democrats (and don’t be surprised if the debt ceiling raise that comes due in January doesn’t get shoehorned into this session as well, for the same reason — the Republicans want to raise the ceiling, but they don’t want to be held responsible for raising the ceiling).

    Wayne’s raising the bullshit flag — on the Republicans. He should be applauded for that, not slammed for it.

  6. Michael H. Wilson

    Tom here’s Wayne’s comment that I find fault with. “Ronald Reagan proved that massive tax cuts can turn the worst bust into a historic boom.”

    Actually the boom that later happened was most likely from the taming of inflation which was an effort by Paul Volker and supported by Reagan.

    Another Reagan Tax
    “In 1988, libertarian political writer Sheldon Richman described TEFRA as “the largest tax increase in American history.” In 2003, former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett wrote in the National Review that “TEFRA raised taxes by $37.5 billion per year”, elaborating, “according to a recent Treasury Department study, TEFRA alone raised taxes by almost 1 percent of the gross domestic product, making it the largest peacetime tax increase in American history.”[8]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TEFRA

  7. George Whitfield

    Good article by Wayne. I like the way he pointed out the irresponsibility of the Republican Party along with the Democrats.

  8. Thomas M. Sipos

    Thomas Knapp: “Wayne’s raising the bullshit flag — on the Republicans. He should be applauded for that, not slammed for it.”

    Root could have raised the BS flag before the Nov elections, when it mattered.

    He could have shouted that the GOP was no alternative — that voters should pick the LP instead. That is Root’s job, as chair of the LNCC, isn’t it?

    But then, if Libertarians had cost the GOP a few close races, right-wing media might have blamed Root, thus hurting Root’s media career prospects.

    Root is calling BS on the GOP when it can’t hurt the GOP, so it’s safe to assume that Root will withdraw his attacks should the GOP ever want him to.

    Root is throwing fake punches at the GOP, to maintain his Libertarian media image and LP creds.

    Root will not seriously harm the GOP, but his actions will fool some delegates into supporting him, and possibly keep the LP’s nomination away from a loudly antiwar candidate.

    Thomas Knapp, you’re applauding Root for his latest. But as you’ve pointed out, Root changes so often, his “latest” never means much.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Sipos’s conspiracy theories aside, Root’s theme here seems to be evolving toward an effective place. Tax “cuts” are not enough (this one isn’t a cut, actually, but an extension of modest cuts.) Spending cuts need to be in the mix. That was one of Reagan’s ultimate failings.

    To make this more crisp, I’d like to see Root soundbite where the cuts should come from. To say: “a 30% cut over 3 years from everyone’s budget PLUS an across the board pay cut for all federal employees of at least 10%.” is just a bit too vague, UNLESS Root really wants to advocate SS and Medicare benefit cuts of this magnitude.

    Alternatively, if discretionary and military spending were to be cut that much, the net cuts would still be substantial, but not that big overall.

    From a realpolitick perspective, if that was Boehner’s view, I’m not sure he’d have gotten the Bush tax extensions. Practicing the art of the possible is an art, after all.

    Still, I’d say Root’s practicing good political positioning in this column. Tie it in with an “exit Iraq/SK/Germany” and defund unnecessary crony capitalism programs, and a coherent, strong theme emerges.

  10. Kevin Knedler

    I listened to his interview on the Willie Cunningham Show last night. I emailed Wayne that this was the BEST he has ever done on the radio, because it was a “balanced” approach to the challenges that face us.
    Wayne has evolved and grown “more Libertarian” because he joined the LP. He wasn’t born as a libertarian, but who is? I am much more libertarian today than I was in 2005, when I first got involved. Many of us are on the libertarian journey. Wayne is no different.
    I applaud his continuing trek on the libertarian journey.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    kk, yes, although the final “destination” of the trek seems open to interpretation. My question with the concept “more L” is: What is the basis for comparison?

    Who is “more L”: Lew Rockwell or Ed Crane or Tom Knapp? Could it be that they are all represent schools of thought in the L thoughtosphere?

  12. George Phillies

    Didn’t we just have an election on the Tea Party? People like Sharon Angle?

    The Tea Party put up idiots as Senate candidates, and perhaps, an Alaskan dimbulb as a 2012 Presidential candidate, and the American people could tell the difference and failed to vote for them.

    There was a Republican wave, because Democrats tended to stay home.

  13. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “Sipos’s conspiracy theories aside…”

    Capozzi, I don’t know whether you have reading comprehension difficulties, or are just being dishonest.

    But I never suggested a “conspiracy.” A conspiracy involves a secret agreement between two or more people.

    I’m inferring Root’s motivations, based on his actions, and on my past accuracy in predicting his actions.

    Nor does there need to be a conspiracy for Root and his supporters (at Fox News and elsewhere) to have an “understanding” or to be “on the same page.”

    If you imagine conspiracies, Capozzi, that’s your problem. But please don’t project your fantasies onto others.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    tms, I stand corrected. “Conspiracy theories” is indeed overstated.

    Given your ability to predict, you might consider teaming up with Root to make some money on your gift!

  15. Robert Capozzi

    kk12, ya lost me. Small or big L seems immaterial, as both more or less share the same set of ideological POVs. The 3 examples are simply representative of some schools of thought that one sees in both the LP and the LM.

    To say Root is evolving and growing “more L” seems to require an endpoint. I’m challenging that premise. There might more properly be multiple endpoints that are all L. Root may stop his evolution today, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s still L because he says he is. I sometimes disagree with him, just as I sometimes disagree with Rockwell, Crane and Knapp.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    kk17, if you’re saying that the endpoint(s) need to be somewhere in that range, yes, I’d agree. I guess the question is whether Root has gotten to the “realistic view” part of the continuum, and whether that makes him a supportable exponent of L-ism and the LP.

    My sense is he’s there, but I certainly would like to see him come more in my direction! But then, don’t we all! On some issues, I really think he misses the boat, on others I think he could stand some more evolution, on others I think he’s solid.

    As always, it will come down to the alternatives. Could be NOTA!

  17. Be Rational

    Thank you Wayne Root!

    This is a great piece. Right on target and well balanced. I wish I’d heard your radio appearance that was touted in the comments above. Is it on your site?

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    I must be dense as a brick, but can someone explain to me how the legalization of online poker is going to generate all that Root claims in this statement; “While the GOP votes enthusiastically for one trillion in new spending and debt, they are trying to kill a bill that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and promises to bring in billions in new revenues and tens of thousands of good paying made in the USA jobs — the legalization of online poker. Here is an opportunity to expand freedom by allowing Americans to play a game they love, protect consumers with regulation, and raise billions in new revenues (thereby saving billions for taxpayers) “?

    Letting people play the game is one thing, but regulations and new revenue? I don’t get it.

  19. Be Rational

    @20

    There does seem to be an exaggeration in the number of jobs that would be generated – thousands of jobs is likely, tens of thousands, doubtful.

    New business, new jobs and expanded economic activity from online gambling would of course generate additional tax revenues from the existing tax laws. This could easily mean hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues, and billions is possible eventually.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    tk22, yes, I guess the absence of governing is a form of governing. 😉

    I sometimes feel that anarchists seem to dismiss just how nuanced and challenging it would be to unwind the State. “Hating” the State seems woefully insufficient to me.

  21. wolfefan

    I agree with those who see a positive evolution with Root. What I wish he would recognize is that for many of us, Reagan raised taxes. I also wish he (and lots of other people of all political stripes) would recognize that elections don’t really give anyone a mandate. IIRC, Republicans got about 49% of the vote in Congressional elections nationwide and Democrats about 46%. This is not “the American people” saying anything as a group, and gives neither party a mandate for anything. It may give them the power to do what they wish, but not a mandate for them to do so.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    It’s hard to untangle entrenched usages, and for practical purposes it’s convenient to conflate “government” with “the state,” since the state is the most visible and well-publicized (to the exclusion of others, even) form of government.

    But — “government” and “state” are not the same thing. The latter is simply one instance of the former.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes. I’d say it’s like metamorphic rock at times. Were it like sedimentary rock, the task at hand would be far easier!

    It’s convenient to conflate since it has LOTS of precedent, and almost no precedent for stateless societies, particularly in the modern world, especially the post-nuclear world.

    Demonstrating how an absence of State maintains a modicum of tranquility is required from a practical people.

    Hopeless? No. Difficult? Yes.

  24. JT

    Root: “While the GOP votes enthusiastically for one trillion in new spending and debt, they are trying to kill a bill that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and promises to bring in billions in new revenues and tens of thousands of good paying made in the USA jobs — the legalization of online poker. Here is an opportunity to expand freedom by allowing Americans to play a game they love, protect consumers with regulation, and raise billions in new revenues (thereby saving billions for taxpayers). ”

    Boy, do I hate this argument. Billions in new revenues for the government?? Somehow I doubt all of that money would go toward paying down the debt (a little bit), and the government has no business spending more money than it already is. And protect consumers with regulation?? It’s stunningly myopic for a libertarian to try to change policy by implying that more money for the government and more “protective” government regulations are good things.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “almost no precedent for stateless societies, particularly in the modern world, especially the post-nuclear world.”

    In your imagination, perhaps. In reality, the Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations extends to 2000 pages over four volumes. The effectively stateless region known as “Zomia” in southeast Asia encompasses somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 million unruled people. Afghanistan and Somalia are effectively stateless.

    “Demonstrating how an absence of State maintains a modicum of tranquility is required from a practical people.”

    Actually, most of the world’s practical people don’t give a tinker’s damn about “a modicum of tranquility” and have been cheerfully butchering each other for millennia, state or no state.

    The “steady state theory of social tranquility” seems to be mostly a frequently punctured conceit of the British Empire and its current/former member states. A relatively longstanding conceit as such things go, but not necessarily a bulletproof one.

    Some stateless societies seem to do better than others.

    Somalia does pretty well whenever a bunch of US-backed assholes aren’t trying to impose a state on it.

    Afghanistan seems to be stuck in backwardness regardless of the status of state-imposing forces.

    Zomia is, for the most part, an informational black hole … we really don’t know how well or badly they’re doing on the tranquility front.

    If tranquility is your highest value, the British commonwealth/European social democracy/American republic template may be the best available option. Or maybe not. That’s not particularly clear.

    And is tranquility your highest value?

  26. Kevin Knedler

    Wayne compared how people chose to spend money on gambling vs the stock market. One is legal and yet online poker is not. I get it and I am not a gambler.
    Frankly, I see comparisions of the mafia and the government. One can take your money, and the other is well, “just trying to protect you.”

  27. Robert Capozzi

    tk: And is tranquility your highest value?

    me: Yes.

    Political liberty is a means to an end for me.

    I’d say Somalia and Afghanistan bolster my case. Thanks for Zombia, but I’m not seeing much about it.

    The history of war generally negatively correlates with liberty, and therefore peace. Hence, I’m a L.

  28. Mik Robertson

    @24 “Republicans got about 49% of the vote in Congressional elections nationwide and Democrats about 46%.”

    Don’t forget that only about half, or maybe a little less, of registered voters actually voted. Even the registered voters are not all of those eligible to vote. It would seem people stay away from the polls in droves.

  29. Tom Blanton

    Michael H. Wilson, you are just a Root-hater. For Christ’s sake, the man is for tax cuts!

    You are just jealous because the dynamic Wayne Root is super successful at everything he does and of all the radio talk show stars on the scene, he has the best teeth.

    You’ll be sorry when the LP has 30 million members, $600 million in the bank, and Wayne Root is sitting in the White House – all because of the man you hate!

    Wayne will remember you when he is President.

  30. Michael H. Wilson

    re Kevin @ 29 I don’t get the economics of it. Gambling just moves money around. There is little or no value added. If those dollars weren’t spent on gambling, in this case on line poker, they most likely, but not always, would have been spent on something else.

    As for the jobs. Where would they be created? Most of the people that I know who play poker on line, or who did, sat in front of their computers at home. The companies running the games can do so from Bangalore, India, or wherever at a pretty low costs? And how many people will it take to run these programs? I understand that Facebook has about 1500 employees. How many will it take to run a gambling program?

    And how does this compare to the stock market? Yes I know the market is gambling, but it also provides a function in that it raises capital for corporations and the stockholders get a vote on how the companies are run. Sometimes that has an impact.

    As Ricky used to say to Luci; ‘Splain this to me. I think I asked that up front somewhere.

  31. Michael H. Wilson

    Don’t make me laugh Tom. I fell on my ass Thanksgiving Day because I don’t know how to walk on ice and I’m still sore. It hurts when I laugh. 😉

    I don’t think either Root or Obama studied econ at Columbia. In fact given what I see I know they didn’t.

  32. Thomas M. Sipos

    Root doesn’t believe in gambling himself; he’s said he never gambles.

    Like the casinos, the mafia, and state lotteries, Root knows that the real money is in selling the illusion of “wealth through gambling” to suckers.

    Just because people “should be free” to engage in self-destructive behavior “in a libertarian society,” doesn’t mean that the behavior isn’t self-destructive, or that its enablers aren’t sleazeballs.

    And I speak as someone who’s never even bought a lotto ticket. I know gambling is for suckers. I guess that’s one thing Root and I agree one. Except that I don’t prey on suckers.

  33. Kevin Knedler

    Gambling. The issue is FREEDOM to make your own choices, even if stupid. I am in Vegas a few times a year on business–no gambling. Quite a few people employed in those casinos because of legal gambling. Better to have it controlled by gaming commissions vs a wild-west show that is run by the mafia.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Better to have it controlled by gaming commissions vs a wild-west show that is run by the mafia.”

    You make it sound like it has to be one or the other of those two things.

  35. Thomas M. Sipos

    Kevin: “Gambling. The issue is FREEDOM…”

    I knew some libertarian would pop in with that immature, cultist mantra.

    No, the issue is not FREEDOM.

    Many libertarians confusingly equate the FREEDOM to do something with morality.

    A quick example should disabuse you of that warped view.

    Nazis have the FREEDOM to say disgusting things. But that doesn’t make their speech any less disgusting or their views any less immoral.

    People should have the FREEDOM to gamble, or spout hate speech, or racially discriminate. But the morality of ANY act is a SEPARATE ISSUE from whether we should have the FREEDOM to do it.

    Don’t YOU morally judge how other people — USE their FREEDOM?

    You probably do. So get off your high horse.

    Our FREEDOM includes the FREEDOM to JUDGE.

  36. Thomas M. Sipos

    Anyway, Kevin, I support the FREEDOM of the gaming industry to immorally prey upon the weak.

    It’s your hero Root who’s called for government regulated and taxed gambling, any number of times.

    Why don’t you slam Root for restricting the FREEDOM to gamble?

    I’m not trying to restrict it. I’m just saying that a people in that industry are morally scummy.

  37. Michael H. Wilson

    Freedom is certainly the issue. That was just a minor part of what Root is saying in this piece.

    Reagan’s tax cuts did not start a boom and he raised taxes more than he cut them. Dropping the hammer on the inflation of is what set off the boom cycle.

    On-line gambling will not create “tens of thousands of good paying made in the USA jobs”. Otherwise I need proof.

    How will this generate new revenue and why are the regulations needed? Aren’t both of these just the opposite of what we are trying to build?

    And if Root gets on a national program and says things like this we most likely will get hammered by others. And I specifically wrote the word we because the LP’s public image will be seriously damaged.

  38. John Jay Myers

    The bottom line is that you should have the freedom to gamble online if you like, but from an economics perspective I don’t see it having a net positive effect at all.

    So there is an argument to be made for allowing it, but the argument is not economics. The only people who would benefit from gambling are those taking advantage, and from a moral stand point, it’s hard to go out and use “Screw the Stupid!” as a political slogan.

    But when you try to make the disengenous case for an overall positive effect from online gambling you are doing just that.

    I am for allowing gambling everywhere to everyone. But I am not a salesman for it.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    jjm, can’t say I agree. You’re making the same mistake IMO that people make for the military draft. It’s “cheaper” to conscript, so we should conscript.

    When we allow freedom to happen, utility is by definition being maximized. Legalizing victimless “crimes” may not result in increased GDP, but it WOULD result in maximized social utility, which is a somewhat different thing, and cannot be measured.

    Since we live in a world that wants to measure utility, and where most would like to see per capita GDP maximized, we Ls could focus on freedom maximizers that are also per capita GDP maximizers. Social change requires popular support, and my sense is that demonstrating how freedom works to increase material wealth broadly seems like a more effective tack to me.

  40. Michael H. Wilson

    I have a phrase for what Wayne is trying to sell here. Fuzzynomics.

    Btw Harvard University used a lottery to support in its early days.

  41. Gains

    Now y’all think you have the authority to criticize WAR’s pet issue and livelihood. Maybe relevant while he is running for something… WHILE… and he is using it as a stump point.

    Is there anyone in this party that understands where their authority really lie? Yeah you can talk about whatever you want, but if you fail to show your allies, a modicum of respect, you will have no allies.

    Even the ones you like will look at how you treat WAR and know that it is only a matter of time until they are next.

  42. Eric Sundwall

    The Art of NOT being Governed: An Anarchist of Upland Southeast Asia. James C. Scott (Yale Agrarian Studies Series) – Just started it so I’ll have to get back about the whole tranquility thing.

    As someone resigned to anarchy as the only morally acceptable world view prior to entering the ranks of the LP, I’m at a constant state of unbelief when watching this dust-up occur constantly. Politics is a game, whatever your world view. Play it to win if you like, but it’s just an unrealistic hobby from my perspective. Doesn’t mean I won’t embrace the absurdity of it all and try . . .

    My supposition is that third parties don’t win in this system. Unabashed libertarians and small government libertarians ought to be able to develop a comfortable relationship when doing politics as a party. The reality that they don’t tends to be based on crass emotionalism in either faction when thus inflamed.

    If you really want to ‘win’ you have to join the Dems or GOP and ply your liberty wares there. It doesn’t matter how you tweak the product outside the either/or vertical channel.

  43. Michael H. Wilson

    re Gains @ 44. I have no interest in criticizing Wayne if he gets the nomination and would hope that he and his crew would be open to hearing others before that happens.

    Better to be criticized now than in the future on national media.

  44. John Jay Myers

    @42 Actually Robert, being disengenous to people is never really a good tool for membership growth.

    It’s just a matter of time before they see through it. You can disagree, to disagree with me means that you believe that online gambling being legalized would have a positive impact economically on the average American.

    As I pointed out, from a freedom perspective I am all for it, I am just not for trying to sell it as part of the Libertarian cure for our economic woes.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    jjm50, I don’t believe you’ve understood my point. I agree that being disingenuous is unwise on a lot of levels. I probably agree that online gambling is likely not an economic boost, in the sense of creating net new jobs or a marked increase in GDP.

    Where I don’t agree is when you say legalizing online gambling would have no “net positive effect at all.” It would be “positive” in the sense it would enhance liberty. Legalizing victimless crimes might sometimes not lead to a net increase in economic activity, but I’d still be for legalizing victimless crimes. Online gambling is a victimless crime as I see it.

    I agree that “it’s hard to go out and use ‘Screw the Stupid!’ as a political slogan.” Some might view online gamblers as “stupid” (I don’t, though I see why someone might conclude that), yet, like other victimless crimes, I think it should be legal. Were I a candidate or a campaign strategist, I would not include this issue on a list to headline in campaign, so in that sense I believe we agree.

    Perhaps our difference is over the word “economic.” Freeing up online gambling WOULD enhance economic freedom, though it may not boost net economic activity.

  46. Be Rational

    Of course legalizing online gambling would increase economic activity and create jobs, just as any other service business does, just like this discussion site does.

    Think about IPR. Participants discuss in their free time, so that does not generate income for the participants, but creating, designing and managing such a site involves paid labor, the site generates income and work for accountants etc. If the site generates significant income it will be subject to taxation under the current tax laws. Since the current owner is attempting to sell the site, it must generate some economic value.

    The same would hold for online gambling. Hundreds of websites would be set up involving significant paid labor, aquisition of assets to manage the site, computers purchased, web designing, payment processing, accounting, managers … it could produce thousands of jobs providing the services needed to maintain on online spaces where gamblers could gamble. Income for the workers and owners would all be subject to taxation under the current tax laws. This would all be a net increase for the economy.

    Even if the gaming itself is a zero sum activity (which it isn’t) there is a net benefit to the economy from the provision of such online services.

  47. LP Watcher

    # 49 Nice.
    You fill the description of an idiot.
    Same for those that do the same thing to Mr. Obama photo.
    Childish, immature, and poster will not be taken seriously. Joke indeed.
    IPR has a bunch of loons, goons, and buffoons.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    @52,

    You write:

    “Of course legalizing online gambling would increase economic activity and create jobs … Hundreds of websites would be set up involving significant paid labor, aquisition of assets to manage the site, computers purchased, web designing, payment processing, accounting, managers.”

    Highly unlikely.

    First of all, the sites you’re talking about already exist. They’re located offshore and they’ll likely stay located offshore, in jurisdictions where legislation that affects them is less likely to turn on a dime.

    Secondly, most of the people who want to use those sites probably already do so. Yes, it’s illegal, and yes, there are some barriers, but the barriers aren’t that hard to get around and it’s not the players who get cracked down on, it’s the site owners (who have literally been kidnapped from airports when passing through the United States, for the “crime” of taking US customers’ money at their sites outside the US).

    There might be a slight increase in employment at those offshore sites to accommodate more traffic, but probably not a huge one.

    Legalizing online poker might even have a slightly DEPRESSIVE economic effect to the extent that the money flowing back and forth gets trapped in the US taxation system in ways that it didn’t before.

    Legalizing online gambling isn’t an economic matter, it’s a moral matter. It’s immoral to tell people they can’t play games for money if that’s what they want to do.

  49. Be Rational

    @56

    Don’t be silly.

    You think no one in the US would decide to set up a competing site for gambling if it were legal? No one would want to get a piece of the action?

    You think everyone who wants to play online poker or some other method of online gambling is willing to break the law to do so? There are no law abiding gamblers?

    Amazingly silly!

    My original argument stands untouched, but you are entertaining.

  50. Gains

    MHW @48: “I have no interest in criticizing Wayne if he gets the nomination and would hope that he and his crew would be open to hearing others before that happens.”

    I hear what you are saying. Have you tried exchanging emails with WAR? How about having worked on some of his pet efforts so that he has motivation to give you more than a passing consideration when you want to help move him?

    Where I come from, no man owes you his time or his efforts. That to try and take those things from him through tacit threats or embarrassing hyperbole in forums (which happens a lot here), is an act of sabotage. If you want to influence WAR or anyone else, you have two basic courses of action:

    1. You can publicly criticize, threaten and sabotage until he relents.

    2. You can earn his trust and respect, and get his ear through his own will.

    One of these is fast and easy but rarely results in a change, and has a propensity for knocking away neophytes and newbies.

    The other is not as fast, not as easy, relies on WAR having some human appreciation for those who help him* but will result in a win far more often, and instead of scaring away new people will make them more likely to perceive the party as an effective organization.

    If WAR does not respond, then the final option, the deadliest of positions for a politico is silence. If you REALLY want to move WAR, let him have the chirping of crickets when he steps off the reservation. The claque that he generally gets here, especially the negative stuff, in reality strengthens a guy in his position more than anything.

    * This is not an endorsement of WAR’s capacity for interpersonal appreciation. My personal experiences in that specific case is not for public consumption.

    RC @51: “Were I a candidate or a campaign strategist, I would not include this issue on a list to headline in campaign, so in that sense I believe we agree.”

    But if you were a gambling activist, who also ran for office, you would.

  51. Robert Capozzi

    g58, a gambling professional who also had political ambitions should reflect on whether his/her industry’s interests are in the broader public interest. The ability to set aside one’s biases is not easy, but I’d prefer a L with political ambitions (in some form) to think more broadly and less insularly.

  52. Michael H. Wilson

    re gains @ 58. I have tried to contact him a couple of time without any results and I have forwarded information about issues to him through his pals.

  53. Gains

    MHW @60:

    If WAR is unresponsive to you, there is an indication that he does not hold your input as being of high value. What mechanism is there in which public criticism of his personal goals and values leads to him holding your opinions in higher regard?

    I really think that WAR is heady right now because the only thing his opposition has is throwing feces around. In many ways this enhances his position as it proves him worthy of attention. If you want him to change his tune, you are going to have to show him positive value for singing a different song; value that exceeds the value he perceives in staying with what he knows.

    If we simply run it out and not to try and change his tune and we instead just play whack a mole with every press release, we lose him, his supporters (some of whom are more principled than he) and all the future people he might have attracted with no gain except the satisfaction of kicking down someone else’s sand castle.

    I do not think that strategies that distill down to internal ablation are smart for any of us. It feels not only like the default gambit that we resort to but maybe the only game we know how to play.

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    Be Rational @57,

    You write:

    “You think no one in the US would decide to set up a competing site for gambling if it were legal? No one would want to get a piece of the action?”

    No one? I wouldn’t go that far. A few probably WOULD decide to do it. And they’d stay decided to do it until they saw the regulatory costs and the tax rates, and remembered that Congress can and will crater them on a whim, at which point they’d either do it outside the US or nowhere at all. Several Caribbean countries are making big bank on Internet gambling. Why would you locate your establishment in the territory of a whimsical bandit gang when the welcome mat is out elsewhere and when the Internet makes “travel” to your establishment, for all practical purposes, instant?

    “You think everyone who wants to play online poker or some other method of online gambling is willing to break the law to do so?”

    In my experience, yes, most of us are. The risk is so minimal to the players that I’d classify it as less likely to result in prosecution than littering or jaywalking is.

    I find it hard to believe that there are very many people who are so risk-averse that they wouldn’t gamble because of a virtually unenforced (versus the players) law, but who are balls-out crazy to spend their time going all-in on large cash pots. The two attitudes tend to be mutually exclusive.

    Furthermore, the big poker outfits already have US “play money” operations (with some real prizes, just not actual monetary betting). Their official policy is that US players can’t hop over to the “real money” versions of their sites … but it’s not that complicated and presumably anyone who’s so gambling-motivated that tourney poker doesn’t make the grade for them will expend the very minimal effort involved in getting to “the real deal.”

    I’m not saying any of this because I oppose legalizing online poker. I support that 100%. But the economic case for it is pretty much complete bullshit.

  55. Be Rational

    @62

    The reason that hundreds of gambling sites would open up in the US proper is because the people who would create the sites live in the US. They would see this as an opportunity to make money and they would go for it – just like the millions of others who open up their own small businesses in the US. The cost of entry is low relative to many other kinds of small businesses, there is a large pool of unemployed and underemployed individuals with the talent to perform the start up site creation, and many of them would create their own sites if not working for others.

    That you claim to only associate with a criminal element that is willing to break the law to play poker is not relevant. The fact is that there are millions of Americans who will engage in gaming when it is legal and who refrain when it is not, even if they are not your friends. Millions of individuals gamble when they have the opportunity to go to a legal casino, but do not gamble illegally the rest of the time.

    Most people obey the law even when they don’t agree with the law. That is one of the conundrums for the LP you see … We often applaud tax resisters, draft resisters etc. and praise them for standing up to the state, but they are not popular among the general public, even when that same general public might support repealing the income tax or abolition of the draft.

    Although the relative amounts are miniscule for the whole US economy, the economic argument for legalized gaming is 100% sound. Thousands of jobs would be created and billions of dollars of earnings and tax revenues would be generated. It would increase, slightly, the size of the overall US economy.

    Your personal views are biased, based on a desire to flame Wayne Root, illogical and just plain stuck in the muck.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    Be Rational,

    You write:

    “Your personal views are biased, based on a desire to flame Wayne Root, illogical and just plain stuck in the muck.”

    My personal views on this having nothing to do with Wayne Root, which is why I haven’t mentioned him in expressing them.

    Yes, my personal views on this are biased, though. The particular forms of bias are “knowledge” and “experience.” I’ve gambled in online casinos, I’ve worked for online casinos, and I’ve written about online casinos under my own name and pseudonyms for, well, years.

    Your personal views are biased, too. You have a dogma you want to apply, and can’t be bothered to find out whether the facts conform to the outcomes you expect that dogma to produce.

    Just as a “for instance,” let’s take your claim that “[t]he cost of entry is low relative to many other kinds of small businesses.”

    Chances are about 99.99% that any legalization of online gambliong in the US will require sites to conform to some representative set of regulations like those applied to meatspace casinos, if for no other reason than that those casinos will consider online gambling startups (as opposed to their own operations, which they can back with substantial operating capital) a threat and will lobby for those regulations as an entry barrier.

    If that set of regulations is similar to, e.g. Atlantic City, the online casino will be required to have, at all times, cash reserves equal to the amount of money in play on the “floor” (that rule nearly brought Donald Trump to grief — he had to borrow several million from his father and have it delivered by truck when some high-rollers cleaned up one day at the Taj Mahal).

    Nearly every offshore online casino offers some kind of initial deposit matching bonus. They can do that without having the cash on hand because it’s just a credit in their system and because they know that most of the players are going to play with it and lose it right back to the casino.

    The US online casino, on the other hand, will have to put up $50 cash for a $50 “matching bonus deposit credit.” 10,000 customers on the floor? There will have to be half a million dollars on hand to cover it.

    How many “small businesspeople” are going to be able to establish substantial casino presences under those kinds of regulations? I can count the number on the fingers of one thumb. If an online gambling presence competes with the existing offshore casinos, it will be a presence owned by the existing big players in the casino industry.

  57. Lex Luthor

    The online gambling thing is an interesting aside, but I don’t think it was the main point of the article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *