The Trump Administration is twisting arms in Europe and in the Middle East in its ongoing determination to crush Iran. It seems a singular obsession. But the push-back is coming from and EU that remains (for now) dedicated to the Iran nuclear deal and from places like Iraq, which is being asked to act against its own interest to please Washington's Iran goals. Is it all coming apart?
By Ron Paul
Last week’s bipartisan Senate vote to rebuke President Trump for his decision to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan unfortunately tells us a lot about what is wrong with Washington, DC. While the two parties loudly bicker about minor issues, when it comes to matters like endless wars overseas they enthusiastically join together. With few exceptions, Republicans and Democrats lined up to admonish the president for even suggesting that it’s time for US troops to come home from Afghanistan and Syria.
The amendment, proposed by the Senate Majority Leader and passed overwhelmingly by both parties, warns that a “precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from the on-going fight…in Syria and Afghanistan, could allow terrorists to regroup.” As one opponent of the amendment correctly pointed out, a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is hardly “precipitous” since they’ve been there for nearly 18 years! And with al-Qaeda and ISIS largely defeated in Syria a withdrawal from that country would hardly be “precipitous” after almost five years of unauthorized US military action.
Senators supporting the rebuke claim that US troops cannot leave until every last ISIS fighter is killed or captured. This is obviously a false argument. Al-Qaeda and ISIS did not emerge in Iraq because US troops left the country – they emerged because the US was in the country in the first place. Where was al-Qaeda in Iraq before the 2003 US invasion the neocons lied us into? There weren't any.
US troops occupying Iraqi territory was, however, a huge incentive for Iraqis to join a resistance movement. Similarly, US intervention in Syria beginning under the Obama Administration contributed to the growth of terrorist groups in that country.
We know that US invasion and occupation provides the best recruiting tools for terrorists, including suicide terrorists. So how does it make sense that keeping troops in these countries in any way contributes to the elimination of terrorism? As to the “vacuum” created in Syria when US troops pull out, how about allowing the government of Syria to take care of the problem? After all, it’s their country and they’ve been fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda since the US helped launch the “regime change” in 2011. Despite what you might hear in the US mainstream media, it’s Syria along with its allies that has done most of the fighting against these groups and it makes no sense that they would allow them to return.
Congress has the Constitutional responsibility and obligation to declare war, but this has been ignored for decades. The president bombs far-off lands and even sends troops to fight in and occupy foreign territory and Congress doesn’t say a word. But if a president dares seek to end a war suddenly the sleeping Congressional giant awakens!
I’ve spent many years opposing Executive branch over-reach in matters where the president has no Constitutional authority, but when it comes to decisions on where to deploy or re-deploy troops once in battle it is clear that the Constitution grants that authority to the commander-in-chief. The real question we need to ask is why is Congress so quick to anger when the president finally seeks to end the longest war in US history?
By Jacob G. Hornberger
While conservatives are criticizing socialist Congresswoman Alejandra Ocasio-Cortez for her “Green New Deal” proposal, their critiques revolve around what they consider is an inappropriate use of New Deal tactics to solve environmental problems. Unfortunately, however, conservatives do not challenge the underlying premise for Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal — Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The New Deal was Roosevelt’s revolutionary program to address the Great Depression. While Roosevelt billed his program as one intended to save “America’s free enterprise system,” it was a lie. In actuality, the New Deal was a combination socialist-fascist program that ended up destroying America’s free-enterprise system.
FDR claimed that the 1929 stock-market crash demonstrated the failure of America’s “free enterprise system. It was lie too. The 1929 stock-market crash was caused by the Federal Reserve System, a socialist agency employing monetary central planning that had come into existence in 1913 and that had never before been a part of America’s founding system of free enterprise.
Throughout World War I and then through the 1920s, the Federal Reserve had inflated the supply of federal debt instruments. At that time, the United States was operating under a gold-coin, silver-coin monetary system, a monetary system that the Constitution had called into existence and that had been in place for more than a century. Thus, those federal debt instruments promised to pay people in gold coins or silver coins.
In the late 1920s, the Federal Reserve realized the monetary danger that it had engendered with its inflation of federal debt instruments. What if everyone suddenly decided to redeem their debt instruments and demand the gold coins and silver coins promised by those debt instruments? The Fed realized that the federal government might not have the gold coins and silver coins necessary to satisfy all those demands for redemption. The resulting chaos could produce runs on the banks, with people rushing to withdraw their deposits by taking possession of gold coins and silver coins.
Panicking, Fed officials over-contracted the supply of debt instruments, which is what brought about the 1929 stock-market crash. That, in turn, led FDR to claim that this showed the failure of America’s “free-enterprise system.”
The idea was that because the United States was founded as a free-enterprise system, anything bad that happened in the economy had to be the result of the failure of such system. But the Federal Reserve was never part of that founding system. Instead, it was part and parcel of the socialist programs that progressives were importing into the United States and attaching to America’s governmental system.
America’s founding economic system was one based on genuine free enterprise, one in which people were free to accumulate wealth in market activity that was free of government control and management. Equally important, people were free to decide for themselves what to do with their own money. That is, no mandatory charity.
FDR’s New Deal revolutionized America’s economic system by converting it into what is called a “welfare state,” which is nothing more than a variation of the socialist concept. Based on the concept of mandatory charity, a welfare state entails the power of the federal government to forcibly take money from people to whom it belongs and give it to people to whom it does not belong.
That’s how we got Social Security, which is the crown jewel of America’s welfare state. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not a retirement program in which people “contribute” money. It is nothing more than a socialist welfare-state program, no different from food stamps, education grants, farms subsidies, aid to dictators, and all the rest. Like all other welfare-state programs, under Social Security the federal government takes money from those to whom it rightly belongs and gives it to people to whom it does not belong.
The welfare state succeeded in converting America to a dole society, one in which millions of dole recipients are fighting to get their hands on the income and wealth of other people to fund their dole. It also succeeded in creating a dole mentality in millions of Americans, most of whom are scared to death of losing their dole, convinced that they would die without it.
Unfortunately, Roosevelt didn’t stop there. He revolutionized America’s economic system in another major way — by adopting the fascist concept of the government-managed or government-controlled economy. That’s what his infamous National Industrial Recovery Act and his infamous “Blue Eagle” campaign were all about. The NIRA was a fascistic program that called for the cartelization of American business and industry, all under government management, supervision, and control. Although the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, Roosevelt nonetheless succeeded in bringing the managed-economy concept to America after the Supreme Court made it clear in 1937 that it would never again declare any of Roosevelt’s economic schemes unconstitutional.
Roosevelt’s socialist-fascist scheme unnecessarily prolonged the Great Depression that the Federal Reserve had brought on in 1929. The entire Great Depression ordeal and Roosevelt’s New Deal demonstrated not the failure of America’s free-enterprise system but rather the failure of both socialism and fascism.
The last thing America needed in the 1930s was the New Deal. The last thing America needs today is a Green New Deal.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. turned from pro-war to an antiwar firebrand after he discovered how Administrations lie us into war. His passing yesterday is deeply mourned by all who value peace and honesty over war and deception. He was an original Board Member of the Ron Paul Institute. What kind of a man was he? We remember Walter Jones in today's Liberty Report...
During President Trump's latest State of The Union speech, he stated that "America will never be a socialist country." However, America is bankrupt precisely because of the massive Socialist policies that it already has. The president then went on to advocate a few new Socialist policies of his own! Ron Paul discusses on today's Liberty Report!
By Robert Wenzel
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has released an overview of her “Green New Deal.”
She calls it "a massive transformation of our society" and it is, but it is far more than a "battling climate change" proposal, it is an attempt, on steroids, to move the United States in the direction of hardcore central planning.
It calls for building "on FDR’s second bill of rights by guaranteeing":
AOC is using a slick Leninist type ploy here, use a "crisis" in one area to advance a major wholesale change in society.
She knows exactly how transforming her mad plan would be, she writes (my bold):
The level of investment required is massive. Even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they would make would not be sufficient... we’re just saying that the level of investment required will need every actor to pitch in and that the government is best placed to be the prime driver.
She wants to (my bold) "upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency."
Every building in America!!
Assuming for the moment that climate change needs to be fought and that the U.S. can do something about it, this woman has no understanding of the concepts of marginal costs and benefits. Under any program where basic economics is understood, you would never call on upgrading or replacing every building in the country. This plan is a plan for the introduction of a remarkable level of central planning into the fibre of the United States private property system. It is not overly aggressive to call it a strong march toward communism.
Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on NPR on Thursday:
This is really about providing justice for communities and just transitions for communities. So, really the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.
This article was originally published at EconomicPolicyJournal.com
The first Senate bill of the year has taken on those who seek to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. In a complicated maneuver, the Senate has voted to allow states to boycott the boycotters. Is it a free speech/First Amendment issue? Supporters of the bill say no. Many civil libertarians disagree.
By Liberty Report Staff
Lew Rockwell on the one campaign promise Trump shouldn't break if he wants to be re-elected:
You asked....Ron Paul answered! Please enjoy another edition of #AskRonPaul!
By Jacob G. Hornberger
One of the principal aims of the progressive (i.e., leftist, liberal, socialist) movement is equalization of income and wealth. They think it’s unfair, even immoral, for some people to have more when others have less. They especially decry the existence of billionaires but their lament oftentimes extends to millionaires as well, sometimes even to anyone who has more wealth than someone else. They want to the government to equalize income and wealth by taking away money from those who have it and either give it to others or simply retain it in the government’s coffers for general expenditures.
Leftists have convinced themselves that people are poor precisely because other people are rich. Of course, under a tax-and-redistribute political-economic system, theoretically that could be possible. That is, the state could tax people and then give the largess to, say, a corporation, enabling it to become wealthy through this corporate-welfare largess. Or the state could grant a monopoly to a firm to provide some good or service, enabling the firm to become wealthy owing to the lack of competitors.
In an unhampered market economy, however, which is what we libertarians favor, the only way that someone can become wealthy is by providing goods or services that other people are willing to buy. The more successful the seller is in satisfying consumers, the wealthier he becomes.
Thus, financial success in a genuine free market society cannot conceivably be the cause of someone’s else’s poverty. In fact, it’s the opposite: The more successful the firm, the better off people at the bottom of the economic ladder are.
First, consider the jobs the firm is offering to people. Those jobs provide income and security to employees. As the firm succeeds in satisfying consumers, it expands its operations. That means offering jobs to more people.
Second, consider the products and services the firm is offering to people in their role as consumers. The more products and services the firm is offering, especially if prices begin diminishing owing to increased supply, the better off consumers are.
Third, by increasing revenues and profits, the firm is adding to the overall level of capital in society, which brings about increased productivity, which means increases in prosperity and the overall societal standard of living.
Thus, in a genuine free market there is a harmony of interests between business owners, investors, employees, and consumers. They all have the same interest in maintaining and expanding the success of the firm. The fact that some people are getting wealthier than others is quite irrelevant when we consider that everyone is better off than they were before.
What really is the real driving force behind the socialist movement for equalization? Envy and covetousness. Leftists simply cannot stand the fact that some people have more money than they do. Even if forced equalization through the power of the state to tax the rich makes everyone, including the poor, worse off, that’s okay with socialists. All that matters is that the rich no longer are rich.
We have seen the socialist equalization mindset play out in communist countries. For example, when Fidel Castro took the reins of power in Cuba, he didn’t settle for just taxing the rich. He knew that that would reduce wealth inequality but not eliminate it. He decided to go for full equalization. He took everything — everything! — from the rich. Money, bank accounts, homes, and businesses. The communist government took ownership of everything. Everyone went to work for the government.
After a while, most everyone was equal in terms of income and wealth — that is, equally poor. In fact, most everyone was now on the verge of starvation. (The exception, of course, entailed certain privileged Cuban government officials.). By taking control over all the businesses and having government bureaucrats run them, the government destroyed not only the entrepreneurship that drives a free-market economy but also the private accumulation of capital, one of the keys to rising standards of living and prosperity.
Thus, the socialist equalization obsession ends up destroying the economic foundation for a genuinely prosperous society. More important, it destroys the liberty of the citizenry. That’s because in a genuinely free society, people have the natural and God-given right to accumulate as much wealth as they want and to do whatever they want with it.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.