By Chris Rossini
Republicans and Democrats have a good thing going when it comes to increasing the size and power of government. They have the Good Cop - Bad Cop routine down pat.
Democrats play the anti-war and pro-civil liberties card when out of power, and then wage war and wipe out civil liberties while in power....just like Republicans.
Meanwhile, when Republicans are out of power, they play the "limited government" and more individual freedom card, only to out-tax, out-spend and out-regulate the Democrats when the crown is placed on their heads.
They just rinse and repeat.
Today, Senator Rand Paul was on the Liberty Report, and he gave us an update on Obamacare/Trumpcare (my emphasis):
I think something will pass. It'll be imperfect and it won't fix the problem. Two years from now insurance rates will continue to go up and we'll still have the disaster that we have in health care.
Senator Paul has summed up the Republicans since at least the time of FDR. They ranted and raved (correctly) about FDR's Fascism/Socialism, but then kept it all intact.
Since then, Americans have been programmed to have an entitlement mentality.
Jimmy Carter created the Dept. of Education (i.e., the Dept. of Indoctrination).
Ronald Reagan was going to immediately abolish it....just like Donald Trump was going to abolish Obamacare.
Reagan did no such thing, and neither will Trump.
This is the how the scam works, and with each Administration the noose gets tighter and tighter around our necks.
Shouldn't Republican voters be up in arms?
They've been scammed for the thousandth time!
Ahhh.....but they are instead very busy sticking up for Trump and defending him against the fanatical left. Who has time to pay attention to anything else? The left will keep Trump voters busy for a long time.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government expands as it always has. It makes no difference who the president happens to be.
What's the latest on Trump's arms deal with Saudi Arabia? Senator Rand Paul visits Texas to be a live guest on today's Liberty Report! We get an update on Rand's bill to block the arms sale, as well as a thorough look of the U.S. government's total lack of good judgement in providing arms to the world's leading state sponsor of terror.
Wars do terrible things to people who fight them. Physical injury and psychological injury are well known. Veterans commit suicide at an alarming rate. But perhaps less understood is the moral injury that goes along with war, especially unjust wars. Former State Department official Peter Van Buren joins the Liberty Report to discuss his important new book, Hooper's War, which uses fiction to explore and address a very non-fictional problem.
The States vs. The Federal Reserve
By Mike Maharrey
In just the last week, three states have moved measures forward that chip away at the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money by facilitating and encouraging the use of gold and silver.
In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that eliminates states capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie. Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson) sponsored HB2014. The legislation eliminates state capital gains taxes on income “derived from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender.” The bill defines legal tender as “a medium of exchange, including specie, that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.” “Specie” means coins having precious metal content.
In effect, passage of HB2014 “legalized the Constitution” by treating gold and silver specie as money.
Important legislation relating to gold and silver also moved forward in Louisiana and North Carolina. The Louisiana House unanimously passed a bill to repeal state sales and use taxes on the purchase of gold and silver. The North Carolina House overwhelmingly approved a similar measure.
Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $5 bill and he charged you a 35 cent tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another. Essentially, this is what taxing the “sale” of gold a silver. As Ron Paul said during testimony in favor of the Arizona bill, “We ought not to tax money – and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money.”
Of course, this is all good news for gold and silver dealers and investors. But it has much broader implications. These bills effectively remove taxes from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender – after all, gold and silver are money. In other words, individuals buying gold or silver bullion, or utilizing gold and silver in a transaction, would no longer be subject to state taxes on the exchange. This will encourage and facilitate the use of gold and silver in everyday transactions.
Paul said he considered the Arizona bill to be “very important” because it would also serve as an educational effort for other states. But it will also have a practical effect. Passage of HB2014 in Arizona, and efforts in other states to eliminate sales taxes, mark an important first step toward currency competition. If sound money gains a foothold in the marketplace against Federal Reserve notes, people would be able to choose the time-tested stability of gold and silver over the central bank’s rapidly-depreciating paper currency. The freedom of choice expanded by repealing gold and silver taxes allows residents to secure the purchasing power of their money.
It also sets a foundation for future efforts. In 2011, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the Utah Legal Tender Act making gold and silver legal tender.The following year, the legislature followed up, approving a bill clarifying several tax measures, and more importantly, expanding the definition of specie to include gold and silver coin approved by the state.
With the path clear, the United Precious Metals Association (UPMA) set up the state’s first “gold bank.” It offers publicly available accounts denominated in gold and silver dollars in Utah. According to the UPMA, in the past year it has grown 700 percent in assets under management and made up 2 percent of the market for U.S gold and silver coins. You don’t even have to live in Utah to open an account, and an account-holder can conduct business in gold and silver with any other account-holder across the country.
These “bullion banks” can seriously undermine the Fed’s monopoly on money. They allow for the easy transfer of physical precious metals, meaning everyday people can easily transact business using gold and silver. The option to use sound money can force rapidly depreciating Federal Reserve notes out of the marketplace. Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.
“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”
This year, Rep. Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) introduced a bill to facilitate the operation of “gold banks” such as UPMA. The bill didn’t advance this session, but Ivory set the stage to push the issue further next year. Ideally, Utah will pass this bill next session and other states will follow suit.
In Texas, a state-sanctioned bullion depository continues to move closer to completion. Gov. Greg Abbot signed a law creating a state gold bullion and precious metal depository in the summer of 2015. Since then, the state has moved forward in establishing the depository.
Once operational, private individuals and entities will be able to purchase goods and services, using assets in the vault the same way they use cash today. Exemption from taxation of precious metals stored in the vault will further facilitate the use of stored bullion as money. This would incentivize the use the Texas Bullion Depository. If they then start allowing checks and debit cards to be used in conjunction with the bullion accounts – likely the next step – it would essentially create a specie- and bullion-based bank introducing currency competition with Federal Reserve notes.
The explosion in efforts to encourage sound money in the states goes beyond mere monetary policy and finances. It’s more broadly about liberty. During an event after his Senate committee testimony in Arizona, Ron Paul pointed out that it’s really about the size and scope of government.
“If you’re for less government, you want sound money. The people who want big government, they don’t want sound money. They want to deceive you and commit fraud. They want to print the money. They want a monopoly. They want to get you conditioned, as our schools have conditioned us, to the point where deficits don’t matter.”
These state efforts open the door for a serious push-back against the Fed and its monopoly on money. But state action alone won’t accomplish anything. Ultimately will be up to everyday Americans to take advantage of these state laws and actually start using gold and silver when possible. This is the perfect opportunity to engage in acts of individual nullification. Without individual action, the politics really won’t matter. The bottom line is it’s up to us.
This article was originally published at the Tenth Amendment Center.
Memorial Day: What Should We Remember?
Memorial Day should not be a celebration of militarism. It is intended to be a day to memorialize those who have died in battle. What to memorialize? Watch the program!
By Ron Paul
When we think about terrorism we most often think about the horrors of a Manchester-like attack, where a radicalized suicide bomber went into a concert hall and killed dozens of innocent civilians. It was an inexcusable act of savagery and it certainly did terrorize the population.
What is less considered are attacks that leave far more civilians dead, happen nearly daily instead of rarely, and produce a constant feeling of terror and dread. These are the civilians on the receiving end of US and allied bombs in places like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere.
Last week alone, US and “coalition” attacks on Syria left more than 200 civilians dead and many hundreds more injured. In fact, even though US intervention in Syria was supposed to protect the population from government attacks, US-led air strikes have killed more civilians over the past month than air strikes of the Assad government. That is like a doctor killing his patient to save him.
Do we really believe we are fighting terrorism by terrorizing innocent civilians overseas? How long until we accept that “collateral damage” is just another word for “murder”?
The one so-called success of the recent G7 summit in Sicily was a general agreement to join together to “fight terrorism.” Have we not been in a “war on terrorism” for the past 16 years? What this really means is more surveillance of innocent civilians, a crackdown on free speech and the Internet, and many more bombs dropped overseas. Will doing more of what we have been doing do the trick? Hardly! After 16 years fighting terrorism, it is even worse than before we started. This can hardly be considered success.
They claim that more government surveillance will keep us safe. But the UK is already the most intrusive surveillance state in the western world. The Manchester bomber was surely on the radar screen. According to press reports, he was known to the British intelligence services, he had traveled and possibly trained in bomb-making in Libya and Syria, his family members warned the authorities that he was dangerous, and he even flew terrorist flags over his house. What more did he need to do to signal that he may be a problem? Yet somehow even in Orwellian UK, the authorities missed all the clues.
But it is even worse than that. The British government actually granted permission for its citizens of Libyan background to travel to Libya and fight alongside al-Qaeda to overthrow Gaddafi. After months of battle and indoctrination, it then welcomed these radicalized citizens back to the UK. And we are supposed to be surprised and shocked that they attack?
The real problem is that both Washington and London are more interested in regime change overseas than any blowback that might come to the rest of us back home. They just do not care about the price we pay for their foreign policy actions. No grand announcement of new resolve to “fight terrorism” can be successful unless we understand what really causes terrorism. They do not hate us because we are rich and free. They hate us because we are over there, bombing them.
An American businessman is elected to head a bankrupt government. Instead of using business sense, the new president decides to increase both government spending and debt! Meanwhile, even though spending is increasing, his opponents are hysterically up in arms about "unconscionable cuts"! Ron Paul speaks truth about the insanity on today's Myth-Busters.
The NSA admitted last October that its monitoring of Americans was far more widespread than believed. Even the normally compliant FISA Court was shocked. Will "reform" do the job? Or should the authority to spy on us without a warrant be totally removed?
By Jacob G. Hornberger
The latest terrorist attack in England, which has killed or injured dozens of teenagers, raises a question for every British, French, and American parent: Is continued interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan worth it?
In 1996 Leslie Stahl of CBS’s 60 Minutes, asked that question of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright.
We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.
What Stahl was referring to the massive death toll among Iraqi children caused by U.S. interventionism in Iraq during the 1990s, specifically the attempt by the U.S. government to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and replace him with a U.S.-approved ruler.
To accomplish that end, the U.S. government employed a brutal system of sanctions that operated against the Iraqi citizenry. The idea was that by bringing maximum economic suffering to the Iraqi people, Iraqis would rise up and remove their ruler from power without the U.S. military having to invade the country and suffer casualties among the troops.
As Joy Gordon detailed in her Harper’s Magazine article “Cruel War: Economic Sanctions as a Weapon of Mass Destruction” and her excellent book Invisible War: The United States and Iraq Sanctions, the Iraq sanctions were tremendously successful in bringing economic harm to the Iraqi people. The entire country was squeezed into extreme poverty, with Iraq’s middle class being entirely destroyed.
That wasn’t the biggest success of the sanctions, however. The biggest success was the massive death toll that it brought to Iraqi children, with deaths mounting into the hundreds of thousands, especially from infectious illnesses. That’s partly because during the Persian Gulf intervention, the Pentagon, after concluding that the destruction of Iraqi’s water and sewage plants would help spread infectious illnesses among the Iraqi populace, issued the order to destroy the plants, an order that U.S. military pilots carried out, notwithstanding the clear and obvious war crimes implications. After the war was concluded, Iraqi officials were unable to repair the plants because of the sanctions, which then succeeded in bringing the high death toll among Iraqi children.
While successful in bringing economic harm and death to the Iraqi people, the sanctions, however, failed in removing Saddam from power. It would be another 7 years of death and destruction before the U.S. government finally gave up on the sanctions and just decided to resort to a military invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam from power and replace him with a U.S.-approved regime.
The essence of the question posed to Albright in 1996 was: Were the deaths of those estimated half-a-million children worth U.S. interventionism in Iraq? That is, were they worth the U.S. attempt to bring regime change to Iraq by ousting Saddam from power and replacing him with a U.S.-approved regime?
What Albright was essentially doing was weighing the deaths of the children against the interventionism. At the time she answered the question, she was essentially saying that the interventionism was, in fact, worth the deaths of those half-a-million children.
In the wake of the latest terrorist attack in England, a variation of the question 60 Minutes posed to Albright is one that confronts every American parent and every parent of children whose government is partnering with the U.S. government’s interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan: Is continued interventionism worth the deaths of children who are killed as a result of terrorist retaliation?
Not surprisingly, that’s not a question that British officials are asking or requesting their citizens to ask. Like U.S. officials, they don’t want people to be questioning or challenging the U.S. and British interventionism. Thus, British officials are responding to the terrorist attack in the same way that U.S. officials and the U.S. mainstream press respond to anti-American terrorist attacks. They’re saying the terrorists are evil and cowardly, that people shouldn’t succumb to fear, and that the government is going to have to take some measures that infringe on liberty in order to keep people safe.
We can concede that British and U.S. officials are right in their assessment of the terrorists — that they are evil and cowardly and that they have no right to engage in terrorism in retaliation for the death and destruction that the U.S. government has wreaked and continues to wreak in Iraq, Libya (where the suspected British bomber’s parents were from), Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
But isn’t that all besides the point? The point is that no matter how evil and cowardly the terrorist retaliation is and even if we concede that people don’t any right to retaliate against U.S. interventionism with terrorism, the fact is that it’s going to happen.
“But Jacob, I want the U.S. government to be able to continue killing people in the Middle East and Afghanistan without terrorist retaliation!”
Okay. I understand that that’s what you want. But that’s not what you’re going to get. That’s like saying, “But Jacob, I want lightning but I don’t want thunder.” No matter how much you want lightning without thunder, you’re going to get thunder with lightning. And no matter how much you want U.S. interventionism without terrorist retaliation, you’re going to get terrorist retaliation with continued U.S. interventionism.
Here is something else to keep in mind: The government cannot keep you safe and it can’t keep your children safe from terrorist retaliation. Go ahead — put metal detectors at the entryways for sports events and concerts. What’s to prevent suicide bombers from waiting outside the exits when crowds of people are leaving the venues? Indeed, what’s to prevent suicide bombers from hitting crowded malls or subway stations? What’s to prevent them from striking at Sunday church services, given that churches are mandatory gun-free zones? They can’t put metal detectors everywhere.
For more than 25 years, U.S. officials have said that the terrorists are coming to get us and that they have to kill them over there before they come over here. That’s sheer nonsense. The terrorists are not coming to get us. They never were coming to get us. The terrorists come to retaliate for U.S. interventionism in the Middle East, which, interestingly enough, began when the U.S. national-security establishment lost its old official enemy, communism, when the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly ended in 1989.
Is all the death and destruction worth continued U.S. interventionism? That’s the question facing the American people, including every single parent. It’s the question facing the British people. It’s the question facing the French people. It’s not a question facing the Swiss people because they’re not partnering with the U.S. government’s interventionism and, therefore, are not the targets of terrorist retaliation.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.