President Trump's surprise move to make major changes in his Administration brings forth nominees for CIA director and Secretary of State that have been deeply involved and/or supportive of President Bush's torture program. Should they be confirmed...or in jail?
Mises Institute President Jeff Deist joins today's Liberty Report to take a look at the future of the libertarian movement. Plus special bonus: What's happening at the State Department?
By Ron Paul
President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians, instead of the preferences of consumers, to determine how resources are allocated. This reduces economic efficiency and living standards.
Some justify these economic inefficiencies as being worth it to save American jobs. This ignores how tariffs increase costs of production for industries reliant on imported materials to produce their products. These increased costs lead to job losses in those industries. For example, President Trump’s proposed steel tariff could cost nearly 40,000 jobs in the steel-dependent auto manufacturing industry. Tariffs also cause job losses in industries reliant on exports. This is especially true if — as is likely to be the case — other countries respond to President Trump’s actions by increasing tariffs on US products.
Many of President Trump’s critics do not themselves support true free trade, which is the voluntary exchange of goods and services across borders. Instead, they support the managed (by government) trade of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO). NAFTA and the WTO promote world government and crony capitalism, not free markets. Any libertarian or free-market conservative who thinks the WTO promotes economic liberty should remember that the WTO once ordered Congress to raise taxes!
Foreign manufacturers may make convenient scapegoats for the problems facing US industry. However, the truth is that most of the problems plaguing American businesses stem from the US government. American businesses are burdened by thousands of federal regulations controlling every aspect of their operations. The tax system also burdens businesses. Until last year’s tax reform bill, the US had the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. The tax reform bill lowered corporate taxes, but the US corporate tax rate is still higher than that of many other developed countries.
The United States not only spends more on military weapons than the combined budgets of the next eight biggest spending countries, but also spends billions subsidizing the defense of developed counties like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Bringing US troops home from these countries is an excellent place to start reducing spending on militarism.
The biggest cause of our economic problems is the Federal Reserve. America’s experiment with fiat currency has enabled a system based on private and public debt. This makes trade imbalances inevitable as the US government needs foreign investors to purchase its debt. Foreign investors get the money to purchase the US government’s debt by selling products to American consumers. A trade war could cause foreign investors to stop buying US debt instruments and could end the dollar’s world reserves currency status. This would cause a major economic crisis — but at least it would stop our shores from being flooded with “cheap foreign goods.”
President Trump’s claim that trade wars can be easily won is as credible as the neoconservative claim that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk. A trade war would likely push the global economy into a recession or worse. Instead of imposing costs on American businesses and consumers and putting those whose livelihoods depend on imports out of s job, President Trump should address the real causes of our economic problems: the welfare-warfare state, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.
By Jason Ditz
The longest war in American history, the US occupation in Afghanistan, now well over 16 years long, has often been called a ‘forgotten war.’ It may be fair to do so again, as the ongoing escalations are barely noticed, and not debated.
Senate hearings on America’s various wars over the past week covered a wide variety of topics. Afghanistan was mentioned four times, and then mostly in passing. Two hours of briefing by intelligence officials saw Afghanistan mentioned not even once.
All the while, more US troops continue to arrive. Exactly how many isn’t clear, as President Trump has made that a secret. Furthermore, US data that is coming out of Afghanistan is increasingly inaccurate, making it even harder to accurately cover the situation on the ground.
It’s not clear this is intentional dishonesty, or just laziness reflecting how little interest there is in Afghanistan in the first place. This far into the war, there is nothing even close to resembling an end-game strategy, officials are repudiating the idea of negotiating a settlement, and escalation continues, as ever.
This article was originally published at Antiwar.com
The Defense Department has sent Senate Majority Leader McConnell a letter informing him that even if Congress passes legislation limiting US military action in Yemen, the Pentagon will ignore it. Will Congress finally wake up on Afghanistan and Yemen and return to its Constitutional obligations? Time to smack down an out-of-control Executive Branch?
By Chris Rossini
You have a right to your life, your liberty, and the fruits of your labor. In short, as John Locke said --- life, liberty, and property.
But there's a problem.
There are always other people who want to take these things from you.
Their primary vehicle to do the taking? Government.
Their primary tool to convince you that they should take them? Propaganda.
The purpose of propaganda is to separate you from your life, liberty, and property. Propagandists want you to raise the white flag or throw in the towel. They seek to mentally beat you into submission.
Give it up! .......... To them.
Your money ... your privacy ... your liberty ... your property ... and maybe even your life ... Give it up.
In years past, a popular tactic was in saying that it was God's will for you to surrender your life, liberty or property to the authorities. The monarch was divinely ordained and it was your duty to submit to his will.
In modern times, that angle isn't used so much anymore .... at least not in Western civilization.
With the major accomplishment of the separation of Church and State, theocracies are no longer acceptable.
But governments are slick.
They now trot out "professors," "technocrats," "experts," and "scientists" to convince you, that in the name of science, you must give up your life, liberty and property.
You care about the world, right? ..... The environment?
Well, the "experts" have spoken....and guess what?
You have to surrender your life, liberty and property. By doing so, you will save the world.
Pretty slick, huh?
Finally, there's the ancient propaganda that almost never fails: The foreign boogeyman. Give up your life, liberty and property, and the boogeyman won't get you. He'll leave you alone. Just give it up.
This is the battle. This is the long march of freedom ... jumping over one hurdle, only to have another hurdle to jump over.
Governments are slick. They'll bob and weave in order to get you to give it up.
Don't give it up.
Peace is the foundation of Life, Liberty & Property. Yesterday, the news broke that President Trump will meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Never has a sitting American president met with a sitting leader of North Korea, making the event a historic one. Can we expect peace in our time? Will the warmongers surrounding the president, or even the president himself, derail it? Ron Paul talks about this important meeting on today’s Liberty Report.
We've recently learned that both Google and the computer repair company Geek Squad have been deeply involved with national security agencies to conduct illegal searches of their customers' computers and to help develop surveillance technology that may well be used against its customers. What are the dangers of "private" companies hooking up with the US national security establishment and even the "deep state"?
The head of NATO says the alliance's troops will stay in Iraq so long as that's OK with the Iraqi government. Ron Paul thinks it's time for the alliance to pull out its forces.