A Libertarian Year Ahead?
Townhall.com ^ | December 28, 2011 | John Stossel
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 9:25:04 AM by Kaslin
As 2011 draws to a close, I wonder: Is freedom winning? Did America become freer this year? Less free? How about the rest of the world?
I’m a pessimist. I fear Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” That’s what’s happened. Bush and Obama doubled spending and increased regulation. Government’s intrusiveness is always more, never less. The state grows, and freedom declines.
But there were bright spots. We don’t yet know what will become of what people call the Arab Spring. But this year, for the first time in my life, there was hope that masses of people in the Middle East will embrace liberalism — in the original sense of people being left alone to pursue their own lives.
Another possible bright spot: President Obama declared the war in Iraq over. I don’t believe it because 17,000 embassy personnel remain, but at least he’s saying it, and troops have left. Some will also leave Afghanistan. But I’m confused. Obama was elected partly because he promised to end the wars. But then he almost tripled the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan, from 35,000 to 100,000.
I’m pessimistic about America going bankrupt, like Greece, thanks to ballooning spending on entitlements like Medicare. But terms of debate can change quickly. This spring, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan presented a timid plan that would have slowed the growth of government slightly. Even Republicans went bonkers. Newt Gingrich called it “right-wing social engineering.”
Free RepublicBrowse · Search Pings · Mail News/ActivismTopics · Post ArticleSkip to comments.Rand’s ReductionsThe American Spectator ^ | 1.31.11 | W. James Antle, IIIPosted on Monday, January 31, 2011 4:43:30 PM by SharpRightTurnRand Paul is trying to comprehend Washington’s bizarre customs, starting with the Senate breaking so soon after he was sworn in. “I told people back home in Kentucky that now that I’m a federal employee, I showed up for an hour and they told me to go home for two weeks,” the new Republican senator quipped.But instead of taking it easy, Paul has already engaged in a flurry of legislative activity. ….Paul’s most ambitious effort so far has been the bill he introduced last week to cut $500 billion from the federal budget in one year. You read that correctly — billion with a “b” taking place in a single year. That’s five times more than what the Republican leadership has promised and reduces the current deficit by more than even the Republican Study Committee‘s proposal.The Departments of Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development are abolished entirely, with federal energy and housing spending totally zeroed out of the federal budget. The Interior Department sees a 78 percent decrease in funding, State 71 percent, the Commerce Department 54 percent, and Homeland Security 43 percent.Foreign aid, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Government Printing Office, Amtrak, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Commission on Fine Arts are just a few of the programs and agencies that are gone, completely wiped out by these spending cuts. The Smithsonian is privatized…..Paul is also testing the seriousness of those who claim to favor fiscal responsibility and limited government. His bill cuts more in a single year than the president hopes to save after freezing non-defense discretionary spending for five years…..Excerpt Read more at spectator.org …