81 thoughts on “Libertarianism

  1. I do believe we have a bit of research on whether prohibition is effective, and whether it is a good idea to provide entire generations of black men with felony records.

    Compare the approach to AIDS.

  2. Not surprising. Our resident Libertarian has made it quite clear that anybody but Hillary is the prime objective.

  3. walto:
    Not surprising.Our resident Libertarian has made it quite clear that anybody but Hillary is the prime objective.

    I would bet a small amount of money at favorable odds that Hillary won’t be running. Say 1:3 against.

  4. Johnson is a walking gaffe factory. Following on his ‘Aleppo’ and ‘world leader’ moments, the New York Times asked him in an interview yesterday to name the leader of North Korea:

    In the Times interview on Wednesday, Mr. Johnson conspicuously sought to avoid another misstep. Asked if he knew the name of North Korea’s leader, Mr. Johnson replied, “I do.”

    “You want me to name” the person, he said, then paused, before adding dryly, “Really.” But he declined to supply the name.

    The inattention to detail is apparently nothing new:

    Years before ‘Aleppo moment,’ Gary Johnson showed little interest in details of governing

  5. BTW, I’m psyched that it looks like Trump and his buddies are intending to try to undo the legalization of pot and the ability of transsexuals to use whatever bathrooms they want. (A) because it shows just what kind of libertarian he is; and (B) because it will hit some of his deranged supporters right where it might actually hurt them.

    For those who think he’s a supporter of working people, I’m hoping he’ll try to repeal all the child labor and wage-and-hour restrictions–that should be awesome for all of you. And if you try to celebrate your new lower wages with a joint, maybe he can send you to jail too!

  6. Are you suggesting that people who commit felonies shouldn’t be prosecuted?

    Just asking, because Snowden is hiding in Russia, and Manning is still in prison. For a while.

    There was a hearing yesterday, and the director of the FBI said that leaking classified material was a ten year felony.

  7. This proposed budget isn’t extreme. Reagan’s proposed budget in 1981 was extreme. This budget is short-sighted, cruel to the point of being sadistic, stupid to the point of pure philistinism, and shot through with the absolute and fundamentalist religious conviction that the only true functions of government are the ones that involve guns, and that the only true purpose of government is to serve the rich. –Charlie Pierce

  8. We’re told that, with President Trump as our nation’s CEO, America will now be run more like a business. Well, the first thing our new CEO should do is stop the hemorrhage of cash in money-draining operations.

    One of our worst performing states is the very Republican (in 2016, Trump got 62.5% of its votes) State of Kentucky. It’s an embarrassing drag on our nation’s budget and economy. WalletHub identified Kentucky in 2017 as the state most dependent on the federal government, and a 2007 Tax Foundation Study (examining the period 1985-2005) found that Kentucky consistently received more from the federal government than it paid in. The numbers in Kentucky are dire.

    In fiscal 2016, which ended last Sept. 30, the federal government collected $34 billion in taxes from Kentucky but spent $89 billion there — resulting in a net benefit to Kentucky of $55 billion (about $12,500 for each person in that state). By contrast, the federal government collected $109 billion in taxes from Massachusetts in 2016, but spent only $62 billion there. That’s $47 billion less than it paid in taxes.

    To Make America Great Again,we can’t afford any namby-pamby political correctness — we need to tell it like it is. Low productivity states (subsidized by our more productive states) need to carry their own weight or go, and Kentucky looks like a good place to start America’s transformation. Given the GOP’s commitment to running America like a business, Kentucky shouldn’t get a dime more from the federal government than it pays to the federal government in taxes. If Kentucky can’t live on a budget, it should be shut down. That’s the way we’d do it in the private sector….

    Kentucky’s not only an economic loser, its leading representatives in Washington are disruptive and arrogant. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell recently used his position as majority leader to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (who represents highly productive Massachusetts) during a Senate debate.

    In the private sector, the representative of an under-performing unit (such as Kentucky) would never order the representative of one of the most successful business units to sit down and be quiet (and if he made such a blatant faux pas, he’d be forced to apologize or resign). If the GOP is truly committed to running America like a business, it should demand McConnell’s apology or resignation for his outrageous treatment of Warren. Given how much money Kentucky sucks in from high performing states like Massachusetts, an apology is the least McConnell can do.

    Leaving aside that kerfuffle, McConnell and fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul often pontificate about the virtues of small government. But they aren’t interested in getting their state off the federal gravy train, or explaining to Kentucky voters just how much their state is dependent on the federal government. As Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said in a 2015 GOP presidential debate: “If Senator Paul wants to start looking at where he’s going to start to cut spending … maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky.”….

    From https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/05/25/donald-trump-should-close-sell-states-like-kentucky-column/101989780//

  9. A complete list of per capita spending per state would be helpful. I saw one recently and was a bit surprised. It was not something that you could derive from intuition.

  10. walto: Low productivity states (subsidized by our more productive states) need to carry their own weight or go, and Kentucky looks like a good place to start America’s transformation.

    They tried that once.

    Wasn’t allowed.

    Glen Davidson

  11. It’s not just Kentucky, of course. Here’s some of one of Krugman’s pieces on West Virginia:

    You may recall Trump’s remark during the campaign that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Well, he hasn’t done that, at least so far. He is, however, betting that he can break every promise he made to the working-class voters who put him over the top, and still keep their support. Can he win that bet?

    When it comes to phony budget math — remember his claims that he would pay off the national debt? — he probably can. We’re not talking about anything subtle here; we’re talking about a budget that promises to “abolish the death tax,” then counts $330 billion in estate tax receipts in its rosy forecast. But even I don’t expect to see this kind of fraud get much political traction.

    The bigger question is whether someone who ran as a populist, who promised not to cut Social Security or Medicaid, who assured voters that everyone would have health insurance, can keep his working-class support while pursuing an agenda so anti-populist it takes your breath away.

    To make this concrete, let’s talk about West Virginia, which went Trump by more than 40 percentage points, topped only by Wyoming. What did West Virginians think they were voting for?

    They are, after all, residents of a poor state that benefits immensely from federal programs: 29 percent of the population is on Medicaid, almost 19 percent on food stamps. The expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare is the main reason the percentage of West Virginians without health insurance has halved since 2013.

    Beyond that, more than 4 percent of the population, the highest share in the nation, receives Social Security disability payments, partly because of the legacy of unhealthy working conditions, partly because a high fraction of the population consists of people who suffer from chronic diseases, like diabetics — whom Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, thinks we shouldn’t take care of because it’s their own fault for eating poorly.

    And just to be clear, we’re talking about white people here: At 93 percent white, West Virginia is one of the most minority- and immigrant-free states in America.

    So what did the state’s residents think they were voting for? Partly, presumably, they supported Trump because he promised — falsely, of course — that he could bring back the well-paying coal-mining jobs of yore.

    But they also believed that he was a different kind of Republican. Maybe he would take benefits away from Those People, but he would protect the programs white working-class voters, in West Virginia and elsewhere, depend on.

    What they got instead was the mother of all sucker punches.

    Trumpcare, the budget office tells us, would cause 23 million people to lose health insurance, largely through cuts to Medicaid — remember, the program that benefits almost a third of West Virginians. It would also lead to soaring premiums — we’re talking increases on the order of 800 percent — for older Americans whose incomes are low but not low enough to qualify for Medicaid. That describes a lot of Trump voters. Then we need to add in the Trump budget, which calls for further drastic cuts in Medicaid, plus large cuts in food stamps and in disability payments.

    What would happen to West Virginia if all these Trump policies went into effect? Basically, it would be apocalyptic: Hundreds of thousands would lose health insurance; medical debt and untreated conditions would surge; and there would be an explosion in extreme poverty, including a lot of outright hunger.

    Oh, and it’s not just about crucial benefits, it’s also about jobs. Coal isn’t coming back; these days, West Virginia’s biggest source of employment is health care and social assistance. How many of those jobs would survive savage cuts in Medicaid and disability benefits?

    Now, to be fair, the Trump budget would protect West Virginians from the ravages of the estate tax, which affects around 20 — that’s right, 20 — of the state’s residents each year.

    So many of the people who voted for Donald Trump were the victims of an epic scam by a man who has built his life around scamming. In the case of West Virginians, this scam could end up pretty much destroying their state.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/opinion/trumpcare-cbo-federal-budget.html

  12. I think we could get rid of Kentucky, one or two of the Dakotas, Alabama and Mississippi (don’t we have enough states with boot-heels) , plus maybe half of Utah; I don’t think anyone would really notice.

    I never cared much for Michigan either, but I guess we could keep the lakes.

    And screw you Delaware. You sound like an advertisement.

  13. walto,

    I know it reflects poorly on my character, but I really don’t have much sympathy with all the poor folks who are getting to be screwed (not to mention sick and die) if Congress passes the Trump budget (which I think is extremely unlikely — not enough of the GOPers are willing to go down with the U. S. S. Trump).

    As I see it, those people had ample opportunity to find out who Trump really is, esp if they have Internet access (and some rural parts of the US don’t).

    If they chose to follow Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and swallowed Trump’s snake oil because he appealed to their resentment and then made promises that no one could deliver on, then they’re suckers. I don’t have much sympathy for suckers.

  14. Kantian Naturalist: If they chose to follow Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and swallowed Trump’s snake oil because he appealed to their resentment and then made promises that no one could deliver on, then they’re suckers. I don’t have much sympathy for suckers.

    How about the children of suckers?

  15. newton: How about the children of suckers?

    Yes, exactly.

    And they didn’t all vote for Trump. Those that voted for Hillary will face the same problems as those who voted for Trump.

  16. Neil Rickert,

    I’m sympathetic to the argument that the elderly should be similarly disenfranchised. A friend, older than me, can you imagine, declared even though he voted against Brexit, it shouldn’t have counted as he was too old to be affected by the outcome. The young inherit whatever mess we leave.

    Applies to G7 too.

  17. Kantian Naturalist: If they chose to follow Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and swallowed Trump’s snake oil because he appealed to their resentment and then made promises that no one could deliver on, then they’re suckers. I don’t have much sympathy for suckers.

    Yeah, victims of fraud should just choke on it.

    Madoff’s investors can just shut up.

    Glen Davison

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