Tag Archives: Libertarian

Rick Santorum tries to channel Reagan but as for libertarianism: it is my way or the highway

Santorum is always quick to reach for the mantle of Reagan, and to paint himself as a modern day successor.

Reagan was of many strong opinions but he did not try to impose his social beliefs on Americans. Reagan openly embraced his libertarian streak.

‎”I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement. I don’t think the libertarians have it right when it comes to what the Constitution’s all about. I don’t think they have it right as to what our history is.”
—Rick Santorum

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism . . . The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”
—Ronald Reagan

It is also good to know that one constitutionalist readily recognizes another. Not only do we have issues identifying real conservatives and real Republicans but the different constitutional fanclubs don’t seem to recognize the realness of the fandom on one another.

Thanks to Aaron Alghawi for sharing these quotes.

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Bill4DogCatcher to launch his own political party. All dogs in the neighborhood invited. Cats also welcome … maybe.

As DogCatcher in a good neighborhood, I don’t always have a lot of critters to be chasing down.

Now if I were in your neighborhood I would be concerned.

That’s the way politics works. My stuff is OK but you have problems.

Since dogs aren’t good at observing boundaries it often seems that your problems become mine, and mine yours.

Have tried TEA. Have tried coffee. Have met a lot of good people. Haven’t met a lot of other dog catchers.

So I was thinking: what if there was a group for fiscally conservative, socially liberal and pragmatic people. Centrists. Whether they lean right or lean left matters less than they all believe that we are one people of different hues all in this together. What if?

We could be a party. We could be an advocacy group called a party. We could be a philosophical grouping of people that became a party. We could just have a party and draw straws as to who does what next.

My line of thought is to form something called a party and to work out the details when we have a second member. We would endorse candidates in 2012 and look to run candidates and/or endorse candidates in 2014.

We do not even have to be an exclusive party. Whether now or in the future, if a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent fits the bill then we could endorse them and they can remain whatever they are, or want to be. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Let’s get people of 80% likemindedness together where they have a political home without having to lean left or right.

(And it is amazing how some have managed to avoid tipping over the edges of known reality.)


The BIG Question

I posed the question on Facebook: Who is for starting the LDP – Libertarian Democratic Party?

Don’t worry about the name too much. We can fix that. Suggestions welcome.

All the good names are taken: Beer Party, Coffee Party, Tea Party, Fizzy Cola Party.

My thoughts about the LDP – Libertarian Democratic Party.

Libertarian – there needs to be a solid focus on both freedom of the individual and on personal responsibility. I do believe in minimal government, but that requires that people and institutions be responsible for their actions. With freedom comes responsibility. Let’s talk and focus on that. Let’s also recognize that Americans come in different colors and often prefer to hold hands with different people than you or I might choose. Let’s balance budgets, build roads, foster great schools and not focus on excluding people because of their preference for strawberry ice cream with lime over just vanilla or chocolate.

Democratic – this word makes some people crazy. My thoughts here are that it needs to be understood that we are open and working for all Americans. You could be conservative. You could be liberal. You could be permanently undecided. You could be so independent that your vote changes 4 times between your car and the voting booth. The question though is whether you are willing to work for the greater good of all Americans.


George asks …

Over the last year or so while exploring I met George. George is one tough guy.

You know the two cranky guys up in the balcony in the Muppets? George can out-critique the both of them.

Just as Pinocchio had Jiminy Cricket to keep him on the straight and narrow, I have George.

Not that I am Pinocchio but hopefully you get the drift of where I am going with this … George keeps me honest in a grumpy 24/7 reviewer-in-the-balcony kind of way. He never seems to run out of tomatoes and slightly aged eggs.

So George read my Facebook entry and asked:

I suppose if you are serious about running for office, you must first decide at what level. If it is to be at the federal level, how do you plan to:

A. Solve the debt problem?
B. Create jobs?
C. End the wars?
D. Fix Social Security and Medicare?

Next question–if you do run for office at any level–what are you going to do on the second day you are in office?

A. Start working on getting reelected?
B. Start working on the problems as you perceive them?
C. Go on some lobbyist sponsored trip/cruise/flight to see ???

If you don’t have answers to these questions–why bother?

George is dependable like that. He has questions and he already doesn’t like the answers … even before he gets them.

I like George … we all need Georges in our lives.


Dear George and Bill4DogCatcher.com Readers:

Assuming that people elect you to fulfill some level of promises made during the campaign I would start to work on those promises.

As for the four issues that were raised by George:

Federal Debt and Deficits

How to solve the debt problem — the shortterm fix is to slow or halt the growth of the debt. The U.S. paid out approximately $436 billion just in interest payments during 2010. Should our credit rating be downgraded to AA then the interest rate on our borrowing would probably rise to 3-4% and the interest paid out could almost double … we are only paying 1-2% now with our AAA rating.

>> How to slow: require that all expenditures have a funding source.

There are two major challenges here: war expenses and entitlements. It would probably be fruitless to insist that the black hole known as national defense actually be paid for but it we should try. Almost half of 2010’s deficit spending — $840 billion — went just to discretionary spending for defense and security. Add the regular defense budget to that and about 1/10th of American GDP went just to funding war in 2010.

The second major challenge is entitlement spending. Medicare is beyond broke on the financial side of the house, with an estimated $38 trillion never collected for the trust fund but which will be needed over the next 20 years. Put another way, to rescue medicare as we know it will require about 1/7th of annual U.S. GDP for 20 years. Medicare needs triage: it needs to become means tested, higher copays, and the basic medicare tax needs to be raised.

>> Whatever we can do make it more efficient just goes without saying as medicare is not a program full of pork.

On the debt in the longer term, we need to raise taxes by 5-7% and rescind the Bush tax cuts. The 5-7% tax increase should be sunset provisioned so that the tax goes away automatically once the debt can be serviced via other measures such a increased revenues or when it falls below a certain level.

Jobs Creation

How to create jobs — this is a tricky question for me. I believe that we are undergoing a permanent realignment of how people work and that the very definition of ‘work’ and ‘career’ is changing. The skills are changing too.

>> I firmly believe that we are in a period where new jobs in raw numbers will be almost non-existent between now and 2024. Jobs for junior professionals will begin to open up in 2016-2017. Maybe. Our market will not reach equilibrium until we begin to reach the end of the Boomer generation leaving the work force.

Creating jobs — my immediate focus would be on getting credit markets to provide low cost loans to small businesses. Small business finds credit hard to come by, yet small business has created 2 out of 3 jobs since 2007.

I would also focus on infrastructure and education as a way to create jobs.

Infrastructure — very high speed internet needs to be everywhere. It must be so common that no one evens thinks about having access to it. The Internet is a huge enabler and cost reducer for business.

Physical infrastructure also needs attention. I believe that states, counties and cities should take the lead in this. Rather than block grants I believe that very low cost loans need to be made to these more local governments to fund specific projects.

Education — There is no good reason that a college degree should be so expensive. We can not dictate to schools what they should charge for a quality education, but we should encourage certain behavior via funding low cost education loans for students that attend schools with high graduation rates for those skills that are in demand within communities.

Ending the Wars & War in General

The wars — Thomas Jefferson said that the best way to prevent most wars from happening is to ask people to pay for them as they occur.

>> Jefferson “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

Short of a declared war, and short of our ability to pay for it, we should pay for defense in full, just like all other parts of the federal budget should be paid for via balanced budgets.

We do not need credit card wars except with threat is imminent and we have not had time to prepare.

I would also encourage the greater use of special forces, remote and standoff attack capabilities such as drone warfare and drone overwatch, and I would grow the capabilities of our human intelligence elements on the ground.

I am not an isolationist. We should be very proactive in the world and I would like to see our forces prepositioned and stationed around the world as much as possible. This is good not only for having a highly experience force but also for developing an understanding of the world.

We need to stop reacting. We need greater cultural awareness and relationships with other countries. The world needs to know that we are not going to become isolationists due to our overreach in both Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Social Security and Medicare

>> Medicare I’ve addressed as part of national debt.

>> Social Security — there are issues but they are not insurmountable. Social Security is now an American institution and absolutely essential to the prosperity of the country as a whole — we cannot return to the days when retirement often meant a lowered quality of life for many Americans, perhaps 1 in 3.

To stabilize Social Security, I would support:

— raising the retirement age to 69, or unchanged for those that are disabled and prevented from working before age 69.

— means testing for two levels of benefits. Social Security survived its 1937 Supreme Court challenge because the Roosevelt Administration argued that it was not an insurance program. It was to be a tax that provided assistance to those that needed it — that was the argument.

We can probably make sure that those need it actually get it by means testing.

I would also consider capping the annual payout so that it matched available trust funds. For example, if someone were scheduled to receive $1750 per month and the trust funds fully supported that with no red ink projected then $1750 would be the check received.

However, if trust fund were low and the trust only supported $1600 then the payment would be lowered to $1600.

This would be adjusted monthly.

This approach could be seen as ‘not keeping the promise’. Payout according to funds availability is much better than the program collapsing due to lack of funding.

People need to feel the effect of their economic decisions. If the trust fund is running low and Americans support higher taxes or alternative funding methods then good, else the budget must be balanced.

… as for what I am really going to do on my second day in office, the questions that George gave me were:

A. Start working on getting reelected?
B. Start working on the problems as you perceive them?
C. Go on some lobbyist sponsored trip/cruise/flight to see ???

My answers, having been a DogCatcher for awhile:

A — Day 2 is always the first day of your next campaign.

B — Yes, start working on problem solving … and learning the ropes of how things work once the door is closed. As someone that is independent minded it will take a while to gain the trust and the shared insight of those that are reelected incumbents and that control the real processes at work.

C — =^) … with my luck and junior status a junket for me would probably be to watch potatoes grow in Idaho as I move up the agricultural committee foodchain.


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April’s Fools – paper or plastic? They both carry the goods.

For April Fools Day I am going to pretend that I belong to all political groups.

As a Democrat I am going to rob from the rich and give to the poor.

As a Republican I will rob the poor and give to the rich.

As a Libertarian I will decry both, support lower tax laws and socially responsible groups that want to raise taxes.

As an Independent I will just cry. Please, I’ll pass on both the tea and coffee. Anyone got a beer?!

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I’m not Satan, and you ain’t Lucifer … even though you drink coffee, tea and/or koolaid.

OK, so I did it. I went to the local Coffee Party on Saturday, March 13th.

I’m conservative with a long track record of supporting whatever walks the right side of the street. Although born a Democrat, back in 1972 I even joined the ‘Democrats for Nixon’ campaign as a highschooler — in Florida there were no Republicans elected to state office until 1978. None. Long story short: I have never identified with liberal or Democratic groups, even though I was born a Democrat — registering as a Republican only when that other former Democrat ‘God bless Ronald Reagan’ ran for president.

Bottomline: I wasn’t sure how these Coffee folks would take to someone with an NRA ballcap, who openly describes themself as conservative, or how they would deal with someone willing to discuss issues from a more conservative perspective. Certainly I have seen how more liberal-minded people were treated by the opposing view in my community — not a pretty sight.

There were a few things said by fellow attendees that made my ears twitch. At one point a group moderator even pointed me out and said “OK, so you smiling. So why the smile?” Blink. Blink. “Oh, crap” thought I. “She mistaked my smirk for a smile.” Time to put up or to shut up. So I did. Blink. Blink. “OK, well that’s a helpful perspective to understand a different view”, said she … and on we moved in the conversation. Hmmm …

Our group conversation focused on issues that we all individually believe should be of interest and worthy of group investigation. The issues added up: 15, 20, 25 … perhaps 30 different issues got listed. Then each participant got two votes to select two issues that they personally would like the group to focus on. Issues with the most votes were rolled into four study groups.

Hmmm … so the rumors that I heard beforehand that this was just a disguised group pimping for liberal causes or the Democratic party were … they were … bogus. Solidly bogus.

By the day’s end I found myself in the ‘Financial Oversight’ issue study group responsible for issues such as taxation, banking regulation, etc.

Boom! So now we would get our agenda if it were ever to happen. Someone would surely guide the study groups to what breadcrumbs should be followed. Nope. Didn’t happen.

We six group members decided what topics we wanted to study, set our own agenda for meeting, created a Facebook page to exchange info and to build whitepapers that can be used within the group and for approaching our legislators. The Coffee leadership didn’t even get involved in asking what we had decided upon. They’ll find out when we report back later in the month.

I’m not Satan, and you ain’t Lucifer … even though you drink coffee, tea and/or koolaid.

America stands at a crossroads. We are always arriving at some crossroad but the issues today are huge and imminently in front of us. The outcome will directly affect our children and grandchildren, leaving them incredible debt.  We owe trillions to foreign countries and investors (and to Americans, too) — almost $2 trillion is due in October 2010 to pay back money borrowed in the early 2000s.

We have major healthcare issues that are at an impasse; our system is one of the best medicine that people can buy. Yet we rank just ahead of Cuba in the general health of our population. Obamacare to me is an abomination that will bankrupt the country and yet the alternative is “personal responsibility” — even though healthcare insurers are a monopolistic industry and some recently announced hikes of 25-36% in annual premiums.

Enough of labels. Enough of political party hacks and support groups — both the Democratic and Republican parties are focused on the next election. Neither can be trusted to hold real discussions and to make hard decisions. Each put party before country.

As for all the liberals, moderates, conservatives and wingers of every stripe: I’m not Satan, and you ain’t Lucifer … even though you drink coffee, tea and/or koolaid.

If you want to sit down with me and discuss issues then good. Check your name calling and label machines at the door — I don’t have time for you or that if that is what you are about.

Here is what I am about: God bless the U.S. Constitution, the 10th Amendment has real meaning, don’t put your hands in my pockets to pay for programs — unless we are both paying the same, and we should pay as we go. I don’t believe that “cut taxes” is the answer to everything, but taxes should be minimal and government intrusion into our lives should also be. But be assured “we” includes both you and me. We are both Americans — and I’ll drink any beer that you buy me. …  :^)

I’ll meet with you any time and any place — except Sunday afternoons when I’m either enjoying my Second Amendment rights or playing soccer, or doing both.

BTW – I drink both tea and coffee. Both are OK with me.

This post by Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent observer of American political life, economics, and workforce issues.


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So what is … a Left-Winger, a Liberal, a Moderate, a Progressive, a Conservative and a Right-Winger?

American politics are so much fun.

The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.” (Will Rogers, Illiterate Digest,1924, “Breaking into the Writing Game”)

One of the things that really bothers me about American politics is the passion for tagging someone: ‘Oh, he’s a left-wing socialist … or they’re a bunch of conservative right-wing fascists’ … or whatever.

What happened to just being plain about it?

Why not just say: ‘He’s a wuss that refuses to take the same position as me.’

Be a man about it. Just admit that the other guy is a moron because he doesn’t want to do it your way.

We Americans are just so into ‘us and them’. ‘Them’ is always the bad guy.

Republicans have long possessed a lockstep mentality (or did until recently). That’s probably the reason that they are so late to the game with proposed solutions when the call for ideas go out.  However, with things being what they are we really need the Republicans to get into the game so we can come up with American solutions to the problems facing us all.

Hopefully the Republicans find out soon what the party line is … or start thinking on their own.

Democrats on the other hand span the spectrum of beliefs. They come available and ready for all occasions.

As a party, the Big D challenge is that many of them generally hold in poor regard anything to the right of the center. Not that you can always blame them when a key statesman for the other side is known as Darth Vader and ‘my way or the highway‘ is considered an entire political philosophy.

Historically the Democrats have opened themselves up to critique. The tail often wags the Democratic dog. (And the same can be said for the red R dawg, too).  As Will Rogers once noted about his own political views: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.

On Sale. Cheap! Political Labels Are Now Meaningless

Once upon a time you could call someone a liberal and it would almost end the political career of that person. Not any more. The Republicans so misused, overused and abused the term that since 99% of America is now labeled liberal then what’s to hate about being liberal?!

Of course, the remaining 1% of real Americans are arguing about what is a Republican?! Good luck with that.

Recently, many Democrats have taken the same tack by smearing right of center folks as being conservative and right-wing. Conservative and Right-Wing are being used interchangeably.

Technically that may be true; conservatives are normally to the right of center.

I am conservative and NOT right-wing … just as many liberals are to the left of center, or even in the center, but are not left-wingers.

Definitions of Left, Center & Right Americans

Left-wing and Right-wingers often sound like liberals and conservatives. The difference is that the wingers are not afraid to trample truth in order to achieve their political goals. “Propaganda” looks like gospel compared to what these folks put out. Propaganda is the truth with a little but important lie stuck in there somewhere. It is political spin. The facts and the tales that come out of the mouths of wingers are usually much closer to a big fat lie than it is to being good quality propaganda. Wingers have logic and veracity issues cloaked as liberalism or confused with being conservatism.

Liberals and Conservatives both have principles and represent what is best in America. They just disagree. And while they may see truth differently, they both try to put America first. America is not a victim when these two meet — preferably over a beer or some other wholesome American pasttime. America is blessed because at the end of the day we all, liberal and conservative alike, are challenged in our views and there is wisdom and answers from both — with compromise usually encouraged upon us by moderates and progressives.

Moderates are absolutely the finest blending of red, white and blue. Moderates are perhaps the most practical of all Americans — their focus is on consideration of the facts and selecting the best solutions. Unlike liberals and conservatives they seldom have the hurdle of needing to get past their pride before getting on to finding an answer. Moderates seldom lead the way forward, however — which is hard to do when you are standing in the middle of American’s political intersection with heavy traffic coming and going both ways — the probability of the blue car hitting me is .04% less than that big truck coming … so I’ll … oops, need to recalculate. God bless them and protect them.

Progressives share many of the same challenges that moderates do, except they’ve figured out how to run like hell across the street when they see the lights change. Progressives are proactive, and made up of liberals, moderates and conservatives. Progressives live in the land of ‘why not?!’ … and are usually at the forefront of coalition building. Progressives often lead from both the left and the right at the very same time — because they are goal focused, yet take in consideration the bigger picture of not just tomorrow but the day after, too.

Warning: Progressives tend to be American independents. Don’t include them in your little party unless you are prepared for the occasional food fight. “I don’t think so” and “you are full of … stuffing” are two of their favorite phrases. Blend in some moderates that believe they are being taken advantage of and your party will be a big l-o-s-e-r.

I know that my definitions won’t suit everyone. But if you hear or read me using a political label then … please see above.

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.
-– Will Rogers

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