Libertarian Perspective: We are not safer or sounder than we were in 2008Written by Kenneth Sharp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Each presidential election we are supposed to reflect upon the past term and decide if we are better off than we were in order to decide our future course. Without debating how much power a president is supposed to have in the course of our lives, there are really just two issues to look at — financial well-being and security from external threats.
The actions of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, and many executive branch agencies had put our nation’s economy at risk by the time Obama was elected. The first of the bailouts (crony capitalism) and quantitative easing (QE) were already under way. It was and is bipartisan. They didn’t work. So they went for a second helping, this time under President Obama’s sole leadership. It didn’t work; now we are at QE3.
Essentially, we are printing money in an effort to add liquidity to the market and stimulate lending and spending.
When each dollar printed is not supported by a good or service provided by the marketplace, it dilutes the dollars that are. In other words, our dollars are worth less. Prices then rise on the uncertainty of what the actual value of each dollar is. If you or I attempted to add value without backing it by a good or service, it would be criminal (think counterfeiting). Government is allowed to do this very thing. How it affects the market is the same whether it is legal or illegal. Over the four years we have all had to pay more for our food and energy, the things we can’t avoid.
With Obama we have more czars, unelected bureaucratic heads under the sole direction of the president. These powerful and largely unaccountable persons have added reams of regulations and costs to businesses. These people are one of the largest reasons for lobbyists. Congress could be a check, except congresspersons generally benefit from the lobbyists. These regulators do not affect just large corporations. For example, they have raided small farms for selling raw milk and other products. We are all hurt at all levels of commerce. Our options and liberties have shrunk.
I can’t explain the insanity behind excitement at 7.8 percent unemployment numbers better than Gary Rathbun did last week in this paper (“7.8% — Really?” Oct. 14), so I won’t. Please read it.
Under the current administration we have reaped the results of the expansion of an operation, begun under Bush, at our southern border. It is known as “Fast and Furious,” where we supplied guns to drug cartels. It has left numerous dead, including at least one American. Attorney General Eric Holder, the man in charge, has not been forthcoming, nor has it made us safer. The president claimed no direct knowledge.
In Libya, we had four Americans slain in a coordinated attack. Requests for additional security amid escalating violence and threats were denied by the State Department.
Again it is claimed the president had no direct knowledge.
Even if it is reasonable that he had no direct knowledge, his choices as to who is in charge are certainly suspect. Our president is not responsible just for the actions he is directly involved in but also for those where he has delegated the responsibility.
The Transportation Security Administration has repeatedly made news for alleged mistreatment of passengers at airports and its highly questionable hiring practices. In the name of security we are to put up with egregious violations of our bodies and liberties. This will likely infuriate many, but we need to look at this correctly. The enemy, and yes there is one, does not act erratically. They see themselves as rational and moral under their tenets. Their targets are intentional and strategic. Their means are calculated. It is sad and horrific that, to them, a strategic target could be a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan. Their means cannot be condoned or tolerated. But, if they wanted to simply inflict casualties they could do that easily in a number of open-access areas in the U.S. They used planes as missiles. That won’t happen again. They will not gain access to the cockpit. Enhanced searches of children and leukemia patients and hiring sexual predators to do
pat-downs will not make us safer.
The expansion of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows for the indefinite detention and assassination of American citizens, and the use of drones that have killed civilians abroad while targeting terrorists, will not make us safer. It is a small minority in the Muslim world that threatens us; we must not enlarge their power while weakening the very values we seek to protect.
Our borders, our money and our values are not safer or sounder. Obama and Romney agree on all the above topics. Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson does not.
Email Kenneth Sharp at email@example.com.