True North: Rediscovering Our Compass

If the Culture War is a conflict of ideologies, anyone who rejects ideology is engaging in this battle totally unarmed.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) rose from its grave on Thursday, shambling through the House of Representatives on a party line vote. It now awaits for action from the Senate, where the Republicans have a much slimmer majority for anything like it to be passed. While the Republican Party continues to claim it is a “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare, it is nothing of the sort. There’s a word for the American Health Care Act: “reform“, and “reform” is neither a “repeal” nor a “replace“.

Just six short years ago, American conservatives fought and failed (by betrayal) to end ObamaCare through constitutional challenges. In the intervening years, Republicans in the House and Senate made numerous largely empty attempts to repeal or at least defund ObamaCare. All of those attempts came up short. Now, in control of both the House and Senate, and, finally, the White House, the GOP snatches defeat from the jaws of victory and gives us what is clearly a reform, while looking us right in the eye and saying “repeal… and replace“.

A fair part of the Republican voters are in line supporting the AHCA, though support for it remains weak overall, even within the GOP itself. Amazingly, many of these people supporting the AHCA will enthusiastically attack socialism on social media, unloading on anyone they perceive as “un-American“. And yet they are still supporting a bill that empowers the government to interfere in the private contracts of individuals (the very definition of collectivist socialism).

How did we come to this?

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

We live in an age of polarization, where what someone believes to be true has more to do with their political identity as their actual experience. For example, take two totally different individuals: Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow. Both are simultaneously perceived as extremely credible and totally dishonest depending solely on which side of the political aisle the listener sits. Even when either presents an incontrovertible fact, skepticism is the first (and often only) response from politically hostile listeners.

On top of this rampant “echo chamber” factionalism, we have become accustomed to the ceaseless drumbeat of the 24-hour news cycle. Many Americans, listening only to their approved media source, have come to believe that their political identity derives from their political policy positions. You have people who believe being on the “Left” simply means they must support ObamaCare, expansive tax policy, and welfare programs. You have people who believe being on the “Right” simply means they must support the AHCA, lower taxes, and cutting spending. And you have people who believe they are in the “Center“, because they believe in some combination of these things.

To many, being “Left“, “Right“, or “Center” has everything to do with political positions, and thus their political positions somehow inform their place on the ideological pole. Piece by piece, point by point, Americans cobble their political opinions together, based on little more than their feelings, their existing prejudices, and who they get their information from and think this is “ideology“, or, worse, they reject ideology altogether as bad. They could not be more mistaken, on either count.

“For I do not do the good I want to do,
but the evil I do not want to do—
this I keep on doing.”
-Paul the Apostle, Romans 7:19-

Our political positions do not inform our ideology; our ideology informs our political positions. Without ideology, we can only contradict the objectives of our political aims, by infringing on moral precepts in one hand that we claim to be vehemently protecting with the another. It’s how these people who viciously attack the evils of socialism in one breath will in turn viciously defend government policy that interferes in wages, work regulations, retirement insurance, and health insurance with their very next breath.

Ideology is a clear, coherent, vision by which we can know what is good and what is not. For this reason, why you believe what you do is often more important than what you believe. If the Culture War is a conflict of ideologies, anyone who rejects ideology is engaging in this battle totally unarmed. So the only real question is which ideology will you arm yourself with today?

Liberty is For The Win!


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Running Out of Rails: Trump’s 100 Days

So 100 days later, how have Donald Trump’s central campaign promises held up?

Every president has 100 days with which to set the stage for his administration, setting the tone for the rest of his tenure as president. Couple this with the great political, economic, and social dilemmas that are rending our nation apart, and that tone grows that much more important to a nation gnawing on anxieties and divisions that spilled over from the previous administration into this one. Let us not forget, however, that this man, so his most ardent supporters assured us, was a political ringer.

Donald Trump was supposed to be a titan of deal making, quite literally “writing the book” on it. His ran on getting things done, ahead of schedule, with everyone involved a winner. In a deeply divided political year, to the true believers, this was exactly what the doctor ordered. After all, for most of eight years, the Republican Party has been playing underdog in practically every political fight on Capital Hill. Finally armed with not only the White House, but a high octane deal making machine White House, the sky was not only the limit, it was promised.

When the starting bell rang and the gates opened on January 20, 2017, what we were told to expect was a thoroughbred champion-to-be. What crossed the finish line, however, has been a horse of a completely different color. With zero significant legislative victories, a handful of largely meaningless executive orders, nosebleed inducing 180º flip flops, a clown car of personnel changes indicative of vicious infighting, and a growing foreign policy scandal that simply will not go away, the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency clearly has not gone as planned.

“We’re going to win so much. You’re going to get tired of winning.”
-Donald Trump-

Let’s start with what we were promised. First, Donald Trump and his stalwart supporters promised us that, despite his numerous flaws, the smash mouth real estate developer tycoon was a brilliant and strategic negotiator, the likes of which has never been seen. His pedigree as a successful deal broker that his vocal supporters claimed made him worth the gamble. With his Midas touch deal making, he promised he’d unify not only the Republican Party but the entire country. After eight years of scorched earth demagoguery in Congress and from the White House, Americans yearned for this.

Second, Donald promised to deliver on priorities that all Americans cared about: jobs. While on the campaign trail, not a week would go by without Donald eviscerating the Chinese for cheating and stealing American jobs through “unfair trade deals”. Donald promised to get America back to work by getting forceful with the Chinese. Once and for all, Donald Trump promised to not allowing China to “rape our country” anymore. He promised, on “day one“, to formally declare China a currency manipulator in breach of international law.

Third, Donald promised to secure the homeland, once and for all. His trashing of the Obama’s demonstrably feckless foreign policy, especially when it came to dealing with ISIL/ISIS. The Donald made a big show of being willing to say “Islamic terrorism“, over and over again, announcing that not only could he defeat ISIS, where Obama had proven to be totally ineffective, he said that he would do so in less than 30 days. He would not only defeat ISIS, he would do so without involving the United States in the Middle East or getting involved in Syria.

Finally, among many policies that Donald Trump (and the Republican Party) promised to do immediately was to repeal (and replace) ObamaCare. Even though legislation repealing and defunding ObamaCare has passed the Congress on numerous occasions, faced numerous court challenges, and has been the source of deep political outrage from Republicans and conservatives ever since it was passed without a single Republican vote, it withstood all of this, largely through the veto power under Obama, and helped along with a shocking betrayal by the Supreme Court. If there was ever a low hanging pitch begging to be smacked out of the political park, this was it.

So 100 days later, how have Donald Trump’s central campaign promises held up?

“…[Donald] is a chaos candidate, and he’d be a chaos president.”
-Jeb Bush-

Take just five minutes to browse any social media site, and you’ll find that the virtual (or too often very real) blood letting has only gotten worse under Trump, far surpassing even the worst days under Obama. After “The Donald” angrily declared war on the House Freedom Caucus, with several of his surrogates openly threatening political retribution, any illusion that Trump is interested in unifying either the party or the nation are simply gone. Quite simply, as far as his promise to unify party and country in his first 100 days is concerned, Trump has been a fantastic failure to the point that it defies description.

In regards to China, Trump’s drumbeat of hard line rhetoric and tough talk has turned into a soggy bowl of noodles. Very obviously, Donald Trump failed to deliver on his “Day One” promise of formally declaring China a currency manipulator. Twenty-four hours quickly became forty-eight. Days and weeks passed. Other than an executive order calling for an investigative review of trade balances, China falls completely off of Trump’s radar. Then, suddenly, Trump has done a complete 180 and said China isn’t a currency manipulator after all. On dealing with China, Trump has failed spectacularly.

Trying to deliver on tough talk on Islamic Terrorism, Donald began his administration by green lighting a military operation in Yemen that cost an American serviceman his life and killed left women and children noncombatants dead. Even after Trump has done several victory laps after the Yemen raid (that has yet to have produced any actionable intelligence) and then dropping a MOAB on some terrorists in Afghanistan a few weeks later, ISIS remains very conspicuously no “defeated“. Then, after promising not to get involved in Syria, he gets involved in Syria. After 100 days, Trump has not only failed to deliver on his promise, he’s broken those promises while getting people killed in the process. Looks kind of like a fail to me.

And as far as the low hanging pitch right in the middle of the strike zone? To be fair, he had help with the aborted “Trump Care” plan. Despite having months to come up with a plan, after conspicuously challenged by Marco Rubio to give details about his big plan to replace the failing ObamaCare, and the Republicans having years to devise their own plan, the American Health Care Act was rolled out onto the launch pad, then quietly rolled back off of the launch pad without a vote. ObamaCare was the one thing Trump and the Republicans were voted in, election after election to do something about. Honestly, 100 days is about 99 more days than should have been necessary to have fulfilled this promise.

“You know what they say about men with small hands…”
-Marco Rubio-

Trump was billed as the king of deal makers. He ridiculed his opponents as being “low energy” politicians that didn’t have what it takes to get the job done. It should be crystal clear 100 days into Trump’s phony phoned in presidency that, if there is one thing that Donald Trump knows a lot about, it’s not having what it takes to get the job done. As far as what tone Trump’s first 100 days in office have set? Probably somewhere along the lines of a flatbed of bag pipes being slowly fed to a rush hour bridge collapse.

Yes, that bad.

Liberty is For The Win!


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The Economics Quarterly: 2017Q1

The economy has been moving upward since about 2015, but, from a purely political standpoint, much of this growth could be attributed to the general impression that the political winds were going to change in Washington.

In 2016, I started a monthly article commenting on US economic data called Economics Speed Round. Though I ended up retiring the format this year, since monthly data tends to be so volatile in the short-term, I remained interested in commenting on the economy and the political climate that surrounds it. To that end, I introduce The Economic Quarterly, which will focus on economic data by quarter on a longer 15-year mean and 4-year trend perspective that will ideally allow comparisons of economic climates between previous administrations. This should allow for a broader view of the economic data and better illustrate the impact different governing ideologies have on markets and the economy.

So, without further ado…

GDP GROWTH DATA

The GDP Growth Rate for 2016 Quarter 4 was officially 2.1%, per the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This puts it just above the 15-year mean, which includes the 2007-2008 recession, but below (not shown) the non-recessionary mean. The 4-year trend from 2013 through Quarter 4 of last year shows a slight downward trend, though 2013 and 2014 were the strongest economic years of Obama’s 8 years in office, and the economy cooled off considerably in 2015 and 2016. Presently, the 1st Quarter forecast is a solid 2.5% GDP growth, however poor initial job numbers for March may reflect a possible slower GDP growth at the end of Quarter 1.

GDP Growth Rate – 15-Year (1/1/2002-4/7/2017)
united-states-gdp-growth

GDP Growth Rate – 4-Year Trend (4/1/2013-4/7/2017)
united-states-gdp-growth (4-year)

FEDERAL FUNDS RATE DATA

The Federal Reserve announced another interest rate hike, bringing the Federal Funds Rate to a full percentage point for the first time since the end of 2008. This move reflects a series of positive moves that date back to the end of 2016, though the Fed had been making noises about raising the Federal Funds Rate as far back as 2015. At 1.00%, it is still at a historically low level, far below its peak of 5.25% in 2006-2007, and well below the 15-year mean. The Interbank Rate is at 1.16%, which is also pretty well below the 15-year mean and has been creeping upward since early 2016.

Federal Funds Rate Rate – 15-Year (1/1/2002-4/7/2017)
united-states-interest-rate

Interbank Loan Rate – 15-Year (1/1/2002-4/7/2017)
united-states-interbank-rate

INFLATION RATE DATA

Inflation has climbed above the 15-year mean to 2.7% and has been moving steadily upward since 2015, with only a slight hiccup in the first two quarters of 2016. It is still well below the rates seen in 2005-2006 or the hot market leading to the crash in 2008. The last time the inflation rate began climbing like this was in the presidential election year, 2012, cooling off rapidly after Obama’s reelection.

Inflation Rate – 15-Year (1/1/2002-4/7/2017)
united-states-inflation-cpi

CAPITAL GOODS NEW ORDERS (Non-Defense) DATA

New Orders of capital goods is above the 15-year mean, but measurably below the heights of 2013 to 2014, and even 2015. There has been an upward trend since mid 2016, however, fairly in line with the up tick in Labor Force Participation.

Capital Goods New Orders – 15-Year (1/1/2002-4/7/2017)
united-states-new-orders

JOB NUMBER DATA

The jobs numbers for 2016 Quarter 4 totaled 443,000 net jobs. Compared to 716,000 net jobs in 2016 Quarter 3 and 832,000 jobs in 2015 Quarter 4 a year prior, so job numbers in Q4 were considerably lower. The job numbers for 2017 Quarter 1 totaled just 533,000, as of the preliminary numbers for February, which were revised downward, along with January, and for March. The March numbers of 98,000 jobs is the third time job numbers have dropped below 150,000 mark in last calendar year. It should be noted that annual net jobs have been on a downward trend since 2014, where they peaked at 2,998,000 jobs for the year.

Job Numbers – 4-Year (1/1/2013-4/7/2017)
latest_numbers_CES0000000001_2013_2017_all_period_M03_net_1mth

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE DATA

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) remains at historic lows, hitting its lowest level in late 2016 at 62.4% in September of 2015. This number, which had been at a record high as recently as 2000-2001 at 67%, slid slightly after the 2001 terror attacks but stabilized and was climbing until 2008. From 2008 until the end of 2015, the LFPR dropped 3.5% as older workers retired, experienced workers lost their jobs, and younger workers found few available jobs in their fields. The 4-year trend continues to show a decline, though the trend has been positive since April 2015 (not graphed).

Labor Force Participation Rate – 15-Year (1/1/2002-4/7/2017)united-states-labor-force-participation-rate

Labor Force Participation Rate – 4-Year (4/1/2013-4/7/2017)united-states-labor-force-participation-rate (4-year)

GOVERNMENT DEBT TO GDP DATA

Finally, a stat that used to be an important conservative political point, but has since dropped off of the political radar, the National Debt to GDP ratio. As of 2012, the National Debt exceeded 100% of the GDP and has not been below 100% since. The last official number for the debt was at $19,959,594,000,000.00, which is technically over the 104.17% Debt to GDP number from 2015 and growing.

Debt to GDP – 4-Year (4/1/2013-4/7/2017)
united-states-government-debt-to-gdp

THE READ

The economy has been moving upward since about 2015, but, from a purely political standpoint, much of this growth could be attributed to the general impression that the political winds were going to change in Washington. Much of the capital that’s been sidelined for much of the Obama administration was starting to move back into the market as it became clear the GOP was assured a political victory in 2016. The primary concern for these investors was ObamaCare, which has been a dead weight around the necks of American companies since its passage in 2010, even before the serious negative economic impacts of the legislation went into effect.

As consensus that a GOP “Repeal and Replace” bill was a foregone conclusion, since Repeal measures have repeatedly passed Congress several times before, the only question employers had was what would the new legislation look like, not if it would pass. With the build up and infighting that was sparked almost as soon as the ill fated American Health Care Act was announced at the beginning of March had to cool the expectations of success, even though the total failure of the GOP to deliver on its single unifying political purpose didn’t come until the end of the month.

So the question is, how hot did the the economy get in expectation of the GOP’s move to kill ObamaCare and how much did the economy get chilled after it became clear that there wasn’t a lot of support for the plan the GOP had cobbled together? Does the economy keep its gains made over the last campaign year, now that the central expectation of that political year is back at square one, or do industries walk back their bulking up in expectation of political gridlock in Washington over ObamaCare’s future. If the capital flows out to sea again, so to speak, it won’t come back in until after some sort of clear consensus is found on the job killing ObamaCare.

Look for markets to be split on the question. Some larger players will likely carry the load, expecting some sort of action in the next calendar year. Other players, especially those that can’t carry the extra expense that comes with additional hiring, will likely cut payrolls either through layoffs or reduced hours to run leaner until Washington moves. If the GOP can’t deliver the end of ObamaCare while in control of both halves of Congress and the White House, look for serious downturn potential as markets will have to play defensive in the mid-term. The weak 98,000 net jobs created in March, blamed partly on inclement weather, is also likely from uncertainty over the AHCA misfire.

Taking all of this into consideration, I’m calling bear. I believe The weaker than expected job numbers reflects employers tapping their brakes on growth expectations. Look for the inflation number to cool off as well. I expect the GDP Growth Rate to miss the 2.5% target, though the number may look good with the initial estimate, which will be based on data from January and February, when hopes for action on ObamaCare were higher, with March data cooling that number down by the time the second and third estimates roll out in May and June.

This has been the Liberty Is For The Win Economic Quarterly. Catch you all in a few months.

Liberty is For The Win!


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Health Care Reform: The Mouse Trap

The Republican Party has, at long last, revealed the final iteration of their grand health care reform plan to “Repeal and Replace” the failing Affordable Care Act.

The Republican Party has, at long last, revealed the final iteration of their grand health care reform plan to “Repeal and Replace” the failing Affordable Care Act. Listening to the Republicans trying to sell this reform plan, you can tell they’re playing a game of political cat and mouse, scurrying between hungry cats on the left that want Washington to do something to address the cost and accessibility of health insurance coverage and angry cats on the right that wanted to get Washington out of the health care business.

So, what will the Republican American Health Care Act plan actually do?

  • It eliminates the taxes and fines of the Affordable Care Act. Good.
  • It eliminates the ACA individual and employer mandates. Good.
  • It retains the pre-existing condition requirements for insurers. Bad.
  • Allows adults to stay on their parents coverage until age 26. Bad.
  • Creates a $100 billion political slush fund. Catastrophically bad.
  • Allots federal Medicaid funding on per capita basis. Better, but not good.
  • Changing tax law to broaden Health Savings Accounts. Better, still theft.
  • Create a tax credit that subsidizes insurance purchases. Bad.

So let’s break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of the GOP plan. The GOP plan will eliminate the tyrannical taxes and fines put in place by the Affordable Care Act. It will also supposedly eliminate the tax penalties for not buying health insurance for those that either do not want health insurance or simply cannot afford it. From a Liberty standpoint, this is a win for conservatives. Unfortunately, this is the last good news for conservatives in the plan.

The Republican plan will still prohibit insurers “discriminating” against individuals with preexisting health conditions and coverage for adult children up to age 26 on their parent’s plans. By eliminating the individual and employer mandates, as well as their punitive fines and taxes, there will be less revenue from healthy insureds needed by health insurance companies to counter balance the higher costs of insureds with preexisting conditions. Unless the federal government is going to pick up the tab for these higher costs, however, this necessarily means drastically higher monthly premiums.

One of the most questionable aspects of the GOP plan is the $100 billion fund that will be allotted to “design programs that meet the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans afford health care“. That sounds exactly like a federal slush fund or subsidy program that politicians will miraculously discover is inadequate to cover all of the costs and will become a political football in a few months, requiring constant cash dumps from Congress every year. There’s nothing for conservatives to be excited about here.

While “modernizing” Medicaid sounds great on its surface, and creating a per capita allotment will arguably be better for the federal budget overall, from a Liberty standpoint, the federal government will still be writing checks for a large and costly entitlement that Americans simply cannot afford. And while Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are also a great way of dealing with health care costs for middle income families, low income families will have zero use for it, because they have no savings to begin with. Further, the implementation of HSAs requires the continuation of government theft through personal income taxation.

Finally, the tax credit formula that the GOP is depending on to help offset the cost of insurance are meaningless. Low income Americans don’t pay $2,000 of taxes a year anyway. Only the middle class will have any use for such tax credits, and the vast majority of them will already have insurance coverage through their employer. This will largely only benefit small business owners, which was the target of the GOP plan, but only tangentially. It also means, however, lower business tax revenue for the government, which means larger deficits.

The final verdict for the GOP plan? Despite moving to repeal the most onerous parts of ObamaCare, the individual mandate and the tax fines associated with that mandate, the GOP plan fails utterly on the promise to “repeal” the ACA. What we are getting instead is an Affordable Care Act Lite, clinging to the popular elements of the ACA which caused the steep premium increases that consumers hated in the first place. Conservatives will hate it, because it doesn’t get Washington out of health care. The Left will hate it, because it got rid of their taxes, which was all they really cared about in the first place.

The Liberty answer to the health care problem remains the same but also remains politically unpopular. True political and economic freedom requires government inaction. The federal government should be kept out of the business of health insurance. Period.

Clearly, on this issue, we’ve a long way to go.

#RepealWashington

Liberty is For The Win!


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A Short Word: Restoring Order

It has become abundantly clear that instead of trying to restore constitutional rule of law in government, the GOP is content to join the Democrats in redefining it.

“I’ve got a pen to take executive actions where
Congress won’t, and I’ve got a telephone to
rally folks around the country on this mission.”
-President Barack Obama-

By the time ObamaCare was passed in March 2010, there was little room for doubt that the the Democratic Party was no longer interested in a pluralistic power sharing government, representing all of the people. Despite intense opposition from across the aisle, when given the opportunity, the Democrats unilaterally passed ObamaCare, a constitutionally questionable law that forced millions of Americans to participate in the health insurance industry, whether they wanted to or not.

Under Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leadership continued to dismantle rules that had been established for generations to effectively force the majority party to work with the minority party to find common ground. This caustic political climate reflected the shrill radicalization of mainstream American Leftism lead by Michael Moore, Kieth Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow, who mistook Barack Obama’s political ascendancy as the final crumbling of the Conservative movement.

In November 2010, after bitter midterm campaigning, the Republican Party retook the House of Representatives, armed with a mandate from American voters to dig in against the tyrannical Democratic Party. Without the House, then President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate suddenly had no legislative path to push forward their radical agenda, of which the “Affordable Care Act” promised to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Instead of meeting the GOP Congress halfway, Barack Obama and Harry Reid pursued 6 years of unprecedented executive and legislative overreach, setting the stage for the very backlash that would lead to Donald Trump’s 2016 election win.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste.
And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity
to do things you think you could not do before.”
-Rahm Emmanuel-

Incredibly, the same GOP voters, pundits, and politicians that once clutched their pearls over Democratic majority tyranny a few years ago are now defending Donald Trump as he and the GOP do exactly the same unconstitutional nonsense? That phone and pen so exercised under the Obama administration find themselves just as exercised now, as Trump signs executive orders infringing on the Liberty of the people and violating his oath to faithfully uphold the laws of the United States by ordering the government to not enforce the admittedly onerous ObamaCare law without congressional action.

It has become abundantly clear that instead of trying to restore constitutional rule of law in government, the GOP is content to join the Democrats in redefining it. Conservatives must demand a restoration of constitutional order, including the reassertion of States Rights, allowing states to control which insurers may contract within their jurisdictions and which, because of poor performance or complaints, may not. Instead, the GOP and Donald Trump prove they are enemies of the 9th and 10th Amendments by continuing the federal infringement of political authority into powers “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people“.

Congress must fully repeal ObamaCare without any unconstitutional replacement.

Liberty is For The Win!


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Tug of War

The fight for conservatism has devolved into a fight for the very soul of the conservative movement.

“We are five days away from fundamentally
transforming the United States of America.”

-President Barack Obama-

In 2008, President Barack Obama, then the Democrat presidential candidate (spoiler alert: he won), announced in a passionate stump speech before a cheering crowd that the stated position of his Democratic candidacy was “fundamentally transforming” America. If his goal was a dominant Democratic super majority for years to come, the election results from 2016 are enough to show that he clearly failed. If, however, this “transforming” was merely shifting the political goal posts leftward, then clearly he succeeded far beyond his wildest expectations.

Sure, the fact of Republican victories of numerous governorships, state legislatures, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and now the White House fly in the face of this. I’m not going to argue that point. What I’m going to argue is that the days of “Government is the problem.” and laissez-faire economic policy, once core to the national platform of the Republican Party, are clearly over, sacrificed to an oligarchy of bankers & billionaires who seem poised to reshape the country into an extension of their corporate hegemony.

As it becomes increasingly uncertain what the party of “Honest Abe” stands for anymore, or if it stands for anything at all, there can be no doubt that the Republican Party is no longer an effective opposition party in any sense of the word. Even after maintaining six years of political (off and on) ascendancy, it has failed to act as though the Congress is coequal to the presidency, almost as if noone in the GOP has read the Constitution or, at the very least, really believe in it anymore.

“We have a plan.
-House Representative Phil Roe-

Does anyone actually remember how outraged we were when a lame duck Democratic Congress passed the Affordable Cair Act in the middle of the night without a single Republican vote? Does anyone actually remember the bitter taste when the Supreme Court ruled not only once but twice on the supposed constitutionality of the ironically named Affordable Care Act? Does anyone actually remember the betrayal of the GOP Congressional leadership failing to defund the ACA in budget fight after budget fight and continuing resolution after continuing resolution? It sure doesn’t seem like it.

Now, while the Republican Party is making a great show of repealing and replacing the ACA, I can’t help but notice that the Republican leadership seems to have assumed the federal government has any role in telling the American people and the States what kind of insurance they should have or should be available, despite the continued absence of any such enumerated power in the United States Constitution. Who in the Republican Party is leading the fight to dislodge this obvious federal overreach into the private affairs of the people beyond the Constitution? Exactly no one.

For years now, the Republicans have made a great show of chasing their own political tails, but the debt ceiling has continued to rise, the deficit has continued to bankrupt future generations, and the policy direction of the country has continued to lurch leftward. Now we’re supposed to abandon every principle of constitutional conservatism and just go along with it, because we are supposedly on the same “team“? I’m afraid that I have to respectfully decline.

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that
he himself does not become a monster.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche-

The fight for conservatism has devolved into a fight for the very soul of the conservative movement. If, as a political movement, we do not stand for limited federal government, constrained to a few enumerated powers within the United States Constitution, then we’re merely arguing about the color and placement of deck chairs as the Titanic sinks beneath the waves. By failing fighting on this issue, the Republican Party is simply agreeing with the tyrants, albeit via a very circuitous and theatrical path.

If the left’s position is government has the duty and necessary power to intervene in the private choices of the people in their business, their labors, their health, and even their beliefs, then the natural opposition position of the right must necessarily be government does not have a duty and necessary power to do these things. If the left’s position is government has the duty and necessary power to confiscate and redistribute capital, the natural opposition position of the right must necessarily be government does not have a duty and necessary power to do these things.

How many people “on the right” hold actual opposition positions? In the tug of war of politics, there is a left end of the rope and there is a right end of the rope. Are you certain which end of that rope you are pulling?

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW

A Short Word: You Are Here

American voters have put a gun to the head of America’s future in an ultimate game of Russian Roulette.

I’m a natural born cynic, so I have to at least acknowledge the clouds that surround the silver lining that everyone else seems to be focused on. So while a lot of Republicans seem to be under the impression that things are going to go swimmingly over the next few years and the party is in a great position, I must look at the bigger picture. The Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, which is obviously better than a lot of other options, but the Republicans came two elections shy of losing control of the Senate.

The Republicans went from a 54 to 44 Senator advantage to a 51 to 46 advantage, retaining control of the Senate by their fingertips, which means they need every Republican vote, which invites an absolute mess in compromises and backroom dealing. Even the House of Representatives lost 6 seats, going from 246 majority to a 239 majority. This doesn’t change the game as much as many other obviously much worse possibilities, but it’s still a weakening of the Republican position.

This was the cost of Donald Trump deciding to run for office, just so he could win only after alienating millions of Republican voters then immediately backtrack on practically every campaign promise months before he even gets sworn in. His success will depend on keeping corporate interests happy, with his tax cut program, subsidies, and brute force protectionism, while also keeping working class whites happy, by coming through on his campaign promises to bring back American manufacturing jobs that have all but vanished since the 1970’s.

If he fails to solve illegal immigration, fails to repeal ObamaCare, fails to prosecute Hillary Clinton, and fails to restore the American economy in 4 years, he’s very likely going to lose reelection in 2020 and set the stage for the gutting of what remains of the Republican Party. That’s a tall order, even with the backing of a Republican Congress. He’s already put fixing the deficit and doing anything about the run away US debt on the back burner, betting the nation’s future on his economic vision.

Cutting corporate tax rates is the correct solution to a big part of the equation, but he’s already rolled back on his opposition to increasing the minimum wage, and his promises to working class whites that defected from the Democratic Party is going to hinge on increasing wages and salaries, which are the main reason American manufacturing has been leaving the United States in the first place. It still costs twenty times as much to manufacture anything in the United States, and protectionist tariffs fly in the face of the last 30 years of Republican policy.

American voters have put a gun to the head of America’s future in an ultimate game of Russian Roulette. There’s no turning back now. America rises or falls on the good behavior and business foresight of a man who tried (and failed) to sell $1000.00 meat beside electric nose hair clippers. God help us.

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW