Just wanted to make sure that everybody caught Ben Bernanke’s description of Social Security, because it provides a pretty clear illustration of why people consider it to be a pyramid scheme.
On entitlements, you’re also correct that they’re not true insurance programs – I think many Americans think the money they put in Social Security is, or in Medicare is, “somewhere in the bank” someplace–that’s not really quite right. What’s happening mostly is that younger generations are paying for their taxes for older generations’ benefits, and that worked OK as long as the population was shaped in a (gesturing), more like a pyramid, instead of like–(gesturing) more like a rectangle as it’s becoming now, the case.
7/13/2011 Remarks of Ben Bernanke before the House Financial Services Committee, Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Here’s the video:
At 4:00 into the video, Chris recounts that he was enthusiastic about libertarianism in his youth but no longer espouses those views “because the idea of total freedom doesn’t seem to work.” You can tell by the way Chris moved on from that statement so quickly that he was caught in a candid moment. Ron Paul’s principled position on all the issues, informed by a single theory of government, brings out the fundamental question: do you believe in freedom? If you believe total freedom is “disgusting,” understanding that total freedom is the ability to do anything you want so long as you do not cause harm to others or infringe the property rights of others, then Ron Paul is probably not your candidate.
Does Chris Matthews really believe that if the federal government did not criminalize heroin, that heroin use would be any greater a problem than it is today? Doesn’t government cause more problems than it solves by telling people what they can and cannot put in their own bodies? Does Chris Matthews believe that property owners would brandish their stores with “whites only” signs if the government did not tell them to do so today? Were not government laws mandating segregation and “whites only” signs the reason why those practices persisted well into the 1960s? Are these failures of freedom or failures of government?
If the only ideological counter to Ron Paul is that freedom is a broken system, he has an entirety of human history to soundly refute those arguments. This candid moment in Chris Matthews’s interview sums up the entire debate so succinctly that Dr. Paul’s ideological opponents should simply adopt this “freedom fails” philosophy as their campaign slogan:
Update: Bumper sticker now on sale!
On the May 6, 2011 edition of Freedom Watch, Judge Napolitano interviewed Ron Paul and followed that interview with Mike Huckabee. At 3:30 of the following video, the Judge tosses a question to Huckabee about Ron Paul’s stance on the de-federalization of drug laws.
In the first republican debate of the 2012 campaign season, Ron Paul had the following to say about “legalizing” drugs:
Another excellent video from our Keynes v. Hayek rappers:
In view of the following exchange between Ron Paul and Elliot Spitzer, we should revisit the meaning of the Constitution’s “general welfare” clause. Take a look:
Let’s say you are an account receivables worker in a small business. On your first day on the job, your boss walks up to you and says “Jimmy, as an accounts receivables manager at this company, you have the power to charge our clients and send them bills to provide the operating income of our widget factory, to pay our debts, and to provide for the general welfare of this company, but all bills you send out must be according to the the number and price of widgets that the client has purchased.”
Did your boss just give you permission to set up a retirement plan for all the company’s workers? Modern constitutional law scholars say yes, but Thomas Jefferson thinks they’re wrong.
For those of us who are aware that the Federal Government has run up an astounding $14.3 trillion dollar debt (http://www.usdebtclock.org/), it might come as somewhat of a surprise that there is such a thing as a “debt ceiling”–which is a maximum amount which the Treasury can borrow. Of course, this is a surprise only if you’ve been living under a proverbial rock for the last six months (or during any of the political wrangling over the last 79 changes to the debt ceiling). As a sum of all the hemming and hawing by political figures such as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, we are led to believe one thing: failure to raise the debt ceiling will lead to certain financial armageddon.
To address the problem with the Federal Budget and the debt ceiling, let us consider a few points.