Archive for the ‘libertarian’ Tag

Tyrant in Chief?   8 comments

This is my series looking at the Democratic candidates from a libertarian perspective. There are 23 declared candidates. I’m working off the following list of 13 because they have qualified for the debates later in June. I’m looking at them from lowest rating to highest.

The 2020 Democrats: Jay Inslee

Unlike Amy Klobuchar, I knew who Jay Inslee was before I started this series. He’s the controversial governor of Washington State and I have relatives living in Washington State, so I’ve heard them mutter his name a few times. Make no mistake, some of them — mostly the young ones who don’t pay taxes — sing his praises. But, I decided to look at his policies rather that take a broader overview simply because I haven’t paid a lot of attention to him. Why do my relatives who don’t like him not like him? Hmm … well, let’s look at it.

Medical Insurance

Inslee introduced legislation that would provide public health care through Washington State’s Health Benefit Exchange. During the announcement, he expressed his gratitude to the Obama administration for passing the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, my relatives tell me that if you didn’t want to go on the government dole for your health care, your insurance premiums climbed precipitously, so you were forced to go on the government dole for health care. They report long way times, forced doctor changes, and other problems they believe are caused by the ACA and, specifically, by how Inslee has advanced it in Washington State.

Immigration

†In 2018, Inslee put $1.2 million into legal services for immigrants who were being separated from their families at the SeaTac federal detention center. In light of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, Inslee said, “The horrific separation of children from their parents at our southern border is just the latest in an ongoing effort by the president’s administration to terrorize immigrant families and those seeking asylum or refuge. Everyone is entitled to a fair and due process, and this funding will help make sure Washington is doing everything it can to protect that system of justice for all.” Inslee is against Trump’s national emergency declaration at the southern border and called his border wall agenda a, “wasteful vanity project.”

I kind of agree with Inslee on this topic. While I support more regulated immigration (I am not an open-borders libertarian), I think the wall is a distraction that ignores real reforms that need to be made. I absolutely agree with the Trump administration that asylum-seekers should wait their turn in a safe country rather than be allowed into the United States before they are properly screened. Sorry, but my Indian ancestors cry from the grave about what happens when there is uncontrolled migration.

Environment

Climate change is Inslee’s #1 priority in his presidential campaign. He wants to see “streamlined legislation for combating climate change – such as removing the Senate filibuster and allow Senate votes for Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. He has signed his state into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which forces their electoral votes to go to the winner of the non-existent presidential “popular” election (circumventing the established methods of amending the US Constitution). He has commended Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal in an interview with Vox’s David Roberts. He said while the Green New Deal doesn’t reflect what plans he wanted in 2007, he thinks AOC’s plan is, “necessary and suitable to the times. It’s a major reindustrialization of America and we should talk about it in these terms. We need to build things again, all around the country. We’ve got to get communities involved in that. I think the youth movement on this is fantastic.”

His scientific and economic ignorance on this issue is astounding! All you really need to know is that he supports AOC’s Green New Deal which would force the retrofit of every existing building in the United States and outlaw air travel to just get a little inkling of what a dictator this man would be if he became president.

Gun Control

As governor of Washington State Inslee signed a 2018 bill banning bump stocks on firearms. As the governor of Washington State, Inslee signeda bill in 2018 banning bump stocks on firearms.

“Devices that turn legal guns into weapons of war have no place in the hands of civilians in Washington state,” Inslee said. “And sensible gun regulations, including banning these devices, can help reduce violence in our communities.”

Yeah, the ignorance is deep here. It would be lovely if the people making decision like this had any actual practical knowledge of what they’re talking about. I’ve fired an AR-15 with a bump stock. It didn’t turn it into a machine gun. That’s not how it works. Inslee is welcome to his opinion, but that’s not what he’s asking for if he becomes President.

Abortion

Inslee is extremely pro-abortion, voted against a ban on federal healthcare coverage to include abortions and has voted against prohibiting partial-birth abortions.

Economics

State governors are remarkably easy to research on their economic policies.

As Governor, Inslee was responsible for giving Boeing an $8.7 billion tax break (the largest in US corporate tax break history). Boeing then laid off 20,00 jobs in five years because the deal contained no job guarantees.

I’m opposed to government giving companies tax breaks, but seriously, no job guarantees? What was the money for then?

Conclusion

I think Inslee is a horrible idea for President. I get why the majority of my relatives who live in Washington state don’t have good things to say about him. He has largely conducted himself in Washington State as a tyrant and I don’t expect that he would act any different in the White House.

Moderate by Some Standard   11 comments

I’m continuing my rundown of the massive Democratic primary field, starting with the lowest ratings and working my way upward.

Admittedly, I had never heard of Senator Amy Klobuchar before her name came up on the CNN list above. She is characterized by the main stream media as a “moderate” candidate, but my favorite libertarian sources haven’t paid a lot of attention to her and I’ve already admitted my ignorance. It’s hard to have an opinion on a candidate you’ve never heard of. So I decided look at her policy positions to see what I think of them. What you stand for says a great deal about who you intend to be if you become president.

Amy Klobuchar

Health Care (Insurance)

At a recent CNN town hall, Klobuchar said that while she wants to see universal healthcare insurance become a reality in the US, she does not support Medicare for All, calling it an “aspiration.” She does, however, support lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55, and co-sponsored a bill introduced by Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii that would create an expanded public option to allow people to buy into Medicaid or Medicare at a reasonable price. Klobuchar has also sponsored bipartisan legislation that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, and allow Medicaid to directly negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. We’ve talked about how much some of these proposed programs would cost, but hey, this crop of candidates doesn’t seem to be interested in looking at reality. Apparently they believe good intentions will fill the coffers.

Immigration

Klobuchar voted for the 2013 immigration legislation that provided a path to citizenship for almost all undocumented immigrants without criminal records and an increase of skills-based visa availability while allocation more funding for border security. That shouldn’t be so surprising since Minnesota is a farm state and they already rely on large numbers of illegal migrants to staff their farms. She does not support abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but believes the agency should be reformed.

Climate Change

Klobuchar does not currently support the Green New Deal, but says she wants to see the US re-join the Paris Accords President Obama signed onto without Congressional support. The international agreement — which the Trump administration pulled the US out of — aims to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 45% by the year 2030 and expand renewable energy output. It ignores economic realities and may be ignoring the geophysical science of solar system warming.

Election Reform

Klobuchar supports automatic (dictatorial) voter registration for Americans, and introduced legislation in 2017 that would have automatically registered people who interacted with government agencies. As a member of the Senate Rules Committee, Klobuchar also introduced bipartisan election security legislation last year. She opposes the Citizens United decision and has sought to decrease the influence of money in politics. Her own campaign is refusing donations from corporate political action committees. I applaud her for walking her talk on that issue.

Abortion/Social Issues

Klobuchar has consistently supported the belief that a woman can abort her child up until labor begins, earning a 100% alignment rating from Planned Parenthood . Klobuchar supports same-sex marriage, and has pushed for measures to combat LGBTQ discrimination, writing in a 2013 report that discrimination is “not only morally wrong” but “bad for business and hurts our economy.”

Education

Klobuchar doesn’t support taxpayer-financed four-year college for all, but she does support reducing student debt burdens and increasing option for Americans to refinance their student loans. She also supports expanding access to technical and vocational training, including introducing legislation to allow 529 education savings accounts to be used to fund vocational education. She praised rival Kamala Harris’s plan to give US public school teachers an average $13,500 pay raise . Good grief! She was doing pretty well on education until that point. That would push starting teacher salaries in Alaska up to $55,500 annually and experienced teachers would be making close to $100,000 a year.

Guns

Klobuchar is from a rural state with a strong hunting culture (Minnesota), and says she doesn’t want to hurt her “Uncle Dick in the deer stand”, but they she supports instituting universal background checks that would track Uncle Dick and a ban on the most popular hunting rifle in America — the AR15, because she believes it’s an “assault rifle”. I think she needs to have a conversation with Uncle Dick because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She also supports Extreme Risk Orders— also known as “red flag” laws — which allow law enforcement to remove guns from people they determine to be a threat, generally without any sort of due process. Ever hear of “Minority Report”, guys? Yeah!

Criminal Justice Reform

Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, recently came out in support of marijuana legalization, saying she believes that “states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders.” She previously supported the STATES Act, which would have prohibited the Department of Justice from cracking down on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug.

Trade

Klobuchar has previously supported US tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports, but she criticized the Trump administration, however, for the damage retaliatory tariffs imposed by China have caused to Midwest rural farmers. So is she pro-trade or not? I don’t know. Maybe she’s pro-trade when it helps her state and anti-trade when it doesn’t? I’m just guessing.

Foreign Policy

Klobuchar opposed Trump withdrawing troops from Syria earlier this year. She criticized Trump for becoming friendlier with US adversaries like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un while distancing himself from traditional American allies, saying she believes America must “stand as a beacon of democracy.” She took a dig at Trump’s foreign policy at her campaign launch, saying “we must respect our front line troops, diplomats, and intelligence officers … they deserve better than foreign policy by tweet.”

She sounds like a typical Democratic neo-consertive on that topic — for war when her party is conducting it, but anti-war when the other party does it.

Taxes

Klobuchar’s website says she supports legislation that would “simplify the tax code, close wasteful loopholes, bring back money U.S. companies are holding overseas to fund infrastructure projects here at home, and provide incentives to keep jobs in America.” She criticized the 2018 Republican tax reform bill, saying it “created a terrible incentive to move jobs and operations abroad to take advantage of tax havens.”

Jobs & the Economy

Klobuchar supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. She supports expanding export markets for US goods, especially those made by small businesses that will be driven out of business by those increased minimum wage laws. She claims she wants to decrease red tape and burdensome regulation that hinder small business growth. She recently rolled out an ambitious $1 trillion plan to upgrade and invest in America’s infrastructure, which she says will create thousands of good-paying jobs. History might argue she is wrong.

Conclusion

I like some of her policies like criminal justice reform. She displays the typical Democratic economic ignorance. I think she’s a typical warmonger. And she is apparently unfamiliar with the US Constitution. Her health insurance and education policies ignore economic realities. Typical of most modern progressive-liberals, she’s willing to sacrifice basic rights because she is sure she is “right”.

But other than that – she probably qualifies as a modern “moderate Democrat” which means she is quite a bit left of center from the main stream of the country. Her 4% poll ratings suggest people might agree with me on that.

Subsidizing Everyone   14 comments

I’m running down the top 13 candidates in the Democratic Game of Thrones, in reverse order of their polling, and today I’m looking at Andrew Yang. You can catch my earlier posts in the hyperlinks below.

freedom dividend

Ten days after the midterm election, Andrew Yang gathered a group of about forty people, mostly college students and active community members, in Iowa City, Iowa, to discuss the 2020 presidential election.

Yang seems intelligent, articulate, and he’s done his homework. His website has his views on more than 70 different issues and policy proposals. He could talk in depth on just about all of them. The biggest piece of his platform is a Universal Basic Income, which he calls a “freedom dividend,” but it isn’t the only idea he’s trying to bring to the forefront of political discussion. He also wants to modernize the metric for national success, which is currently the Gross Domestic Product, and provide an alternate currency for community involvement. He’s definitely not a libertarian, but his ideas ought to be discussed.

If I was a Democrat and could only have five candidates to choose from, I’d want Yang to be one. His ideas are new and different, and still boldly progressive. He’s a genuine, intelligent, and well-spoken man.

If I was a Trump supporter and wanted a sure victory, I would not want Andrew Yang to be nominated. Trump could defeat him on the fringe ideas alone (UBI is largely untested anywhere, let alone in the US, except in Alaska and it’s failing here), but it wouldn’t be the sure win as he could manage against Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker, polarizing politicians with a wealth of public garbage to pick through.

Yang is not a career politician (sound familiar?), so he lacks that incredible baggage train of just about everyone else in the race, including the one Trump has now accumulated, and he’s focusing on solutions for blue-collar swing-state voters who handed Trump the 2016 victories. I’m not saying Trump wouldn’t win, but that he’d have a headwind with Yang that he wouldn’t have with most other candidates.

And if I were a conservative Republican (which Trump isn’t), I’d be gearing up for 2024 on a platform of cleaning up the mess Yang’s UBI would cause. Trust me. Check out the Alaska Legislature if you want to see what that might look like on the national scale.

Yang is definitely more qualified to lead than Marianne Williamson and if I weren’t living through the mess in Juneau, I might think UBI was a tempting idea. But I just know that it makes no sense to tax one group of American who produce a lot in order to subsidize another group of Americans to sit on their rears. There’d never be enough money to support everyone who wanted to sit around watching daytime television.

My big libertarian issue with Yang is that his proposals require a LOT of aggression to accomplish. The math on UBI requires tremendous redistribution and redistribution is nothing more than hiring government agents to stick up your wealthier neighbors in the park. It’s a violation of the non-aggression principle.

Final 13   1 comment

This is an update as I decided to add some of the other Democratic candidates who are trying their shot at the nomination for the general election, still over a year away.

John Delaney

Yeah, 21. (Picks up jaw from floor). So, who would you vote for and why? Yes, you can vote if you’re not an American. This is my unofficial poll of sentiment on the Democratic field. But please say why you’d vote for the candidate you’d vote for.

According to an ABC News analysis, among the 21 qualifying candidates, 13 have cleared both the polling and grassroots criteria set by the DNC, clinching a secured spot on the stage for the first debate (June 26-27).

The qualifying candidates are –

  • -Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • -New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • -South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • -Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • -Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • -California Sen. Kamala Harris 
  • -Washington Gov. Jay Inslee 
  • -Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar 
  • -Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke 
  • -Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 
  • -Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • -Tech Entrepreneur Andrew Yang 
  • -Motivational speaker Marianne Williamson

I’ve decided to research these candidates to see if any of them are worth voting for. I’m going to take a libertarian view of this, so let’s see where that takes us.

Posted June 5, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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Another Good Reason to Distrust Government   Leave a comment

Posted March 14, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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She’s No Hamilton   Leave a comment

by Randal OToole 02/15/2019

http://www.newgeography.com/content/006224-she-s-no-alexander-hamilton

The Antiplanner might be behind the times, but has anyone else noticed that it is the Democrats who are playing the role of Alexander Hamilton — the conservative who wanted to centralize government and concentrate power in New York banks — while the Republicans are playing the role of Thomas Jefferson — the civil libertarian who wanted to keep economic and political power decentralized? I always wondered why Lin-Manuel Miranda picked such a conservative historical figure to be the hero of his left-leaning musical.

Now we know. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is going to cost tens of trillions of dollars, but she just blithely says we’ll pay for it “the same way we paid for World War II”: “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.”

The complete article is available at the link above.

Posted February 15, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide

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Short Stories   Leave a comment

From “An Investment Returns” by Lela Markham.
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