Archive for August, 2012

Are Politicians Being Honest About Military Spending Cuts?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Originally posted at the Coalition to Reduce Spending

(Note: I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Reduce Spending)

If you turn on cable news these days, it’s likely that you’ll be bombarded by talk coming from all sides of the political aisle about “devastating cuts” to whichever government program happens to be a favorite of the individual pundit or politician on the television screen.

Many Democrats are often seen describing Paul Ryan’s budget, which takes 23 years to balance (assuming the long-term projections even hold out) as radical. An equal number of Republicans are up in arms about the so called “sequestration” cuts to military spending as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA).

But if we cut through all of the political rhetoric, what are we really looking at? Here at the Coalition to Reduce Spending, we’ve delved a bit into why the Ryan Plan is anything but “radical” in the face of a $16 trillion dollar national debt and $120 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.

And over at the Mercatus Center, Veronique de Rugy has an informative piece out that shows why the heated rhetoric about alleged cuts to military spending is essentially political theater.

Via de Rugy:

To understand the effects of sequestration on future defense spending, it is important to understand how the BCA spending caps and sequestration apply to the base defense budget alone and when war spending is considered.

She then goes on to share an extremely helpful graph that she put together:

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Government Spending is Fundamentally Unsustainable

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I hosted an episode of “Public Affairs, Public Access” a Houston Cable Access program, on behalf of the Coalition to Reduce Spending. I joined Felicia Cravens of the Houston Tea Party Society to discuss the pervasive problems with government spending money it simply doesn’t have.

A Tale of Two Paul Ryans

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Originally posted at United Liberty

As a libertarian, I approve of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential choice. Naturally, I expect this statement to inflame a certain subset of the movement – but to those of you who are invested in mainstreaming libertarian thought, particularly within the Republican Party, I hope you’ll consider why the Ryan pick is actually a victory for us – on an intellectual level.

The reality is that we’re contending with a tale of two Paul Ryans. The Paul Ryan that I like, and encourage other libertarians to embrace, is Vice Presidential candidate Ryan – the man with a natural gift for communicating; who articulates the dire need for entitlement reform and balanced budgets effectively (which I recognize and appreciate, even if I disagree with some aspects of his plans). Before we can enact the bolder reforms of, say for example, Senator Rand Paul, the public needs to be introduced to the notion that entitlement programs are no longer the third rail of politics. Vice Presidential candidate Ryan is different from his evil twin Congressman Ryan, whose voting record libertarians should rightfully reject. But we need to understand the difference between the two Paul Ryans, and how one can be our enemy while the other is our friend.

As libertarians, we often forget how many steps ahead we are of the average voter in understanding the breadth of the fiscal mess our nation faces. It can be difficult for us to remain patient. But if we truly want to see our ideas impact federal policy, we need to compromise to the extent that it furthers our longterm goals. In this instance, that means embracing the aforementioned notion of the two Paul Ryans; understanding that we can reject the voting record of Congressman Ryan, but embrace the rhetorical skills of Vice Presidential candidate Ryan, who will be traveling the nation, pushing the message that refusing to reform our entitlement programs means not only ending them in a catastrophic manner, but bankrupting our nation.

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