Saturday, June 30, 2012

Betting on a lame pony

The true remedy for most evils is none other than liberty, unlimited and complete liberty, liberty in every field of human endeavor. - Gustave de Molinari


What do we know about ObamaCare?

We know it infuses government with more power, including the government's domestic terrorist arm, the IRS.  We know it will be funded by more and higher taxes - some are calling it the largest tax increase in American history.  We know, or should know, that high taxes do not promote prosperity, in spite of the myths about the high tax/high prosperity of the 1950s.  Neither do high taxes promote private sector employment, a small detail the Act's sponsors apparently overlooked.  We know that after years of crushing interventions, the economy is in desperate need of relief, yet ObamaCare plunges another dagger in liberty's back.

If we go back 80 years, we can find an interesting parallel to today's failed policies.  Hoover's massive, across-the-board tax increase in 1932, the last year of his one-term presidency, delivered the knockout blow to the economy following years of government meddling.

So, will the "conservative" Mitt Romney oust the president and repeal ObamaCare?  Will he usher in a conservative renaissance?

There's always that chance, but it's a bet on a thousand-to-one pony.

In 1932 the Democratic Party was fitted for conservative outerwear and promised, among other things, to end the "indefensible expansion and contraction of credit for private profit at the expense of the public."  Students of Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek would like the sound of that.  Many "conservatives" today would eagerly support the party's platform - many at the time probably did.  Here's a sample:
The Democratic Party solemnly promises by appropriate action to put into effect the principles, policies, and reforms herein advocated, and to eradicate the policies, methods, and practices herein condemned. We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to achieve a proportionate result.

We favor maintenance of the national credit by a federal budget annually balanced on the basis of accurate executive estimates within revenues, raised by a system of taxation levied on the principle of ability to pay.

We advocate a sound currency to be preserved at all hazards and an international monetary conference called on the invitation of our government to consider the rehabilitation of silver and related questions.
". . . solemnly promises . . . an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures . . . a sound currency to be preserved at all hazards."  Are these not the words many free marketers long to hear from their government masters?

Would you have trusted FDR in 1932?  Did anyone really know their campaign would turn out to be the ultimate bait-and-switch?

Do you trust Mitt in 2012?  The Christian Science Monitor reports that many conservatives are "hopping mad" over the decision and are "flooding the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign coffers with cash."
In the 24 hours since the court handed down its decision Thursday, the Romney campaign took in $4.6 million from more than 47,000 donations online, according to campaign spokesman Andrea Saul, who tweeted the news at 10:20 Friday morning.
They're donating millions to the sponsor of Romneycare in the hope he will repeal ObamaCare.  The chief architect of Romneycare, MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, also "advised Democrats and the Obama administration on how to build the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare]."  He's already blasted Romney for criticizing ObamaCare, saying they're the "same f**king bill."

Maybe Mitt will take Gary North's advice and repudiate Romneycare while mounting a relentless attack on Obama's monstrosity.  Politicians are skilled at following the prevailing breeze, so his rhetoric between now and November 6 could sound reassuring.  But after that date, then what?

Do we have reason to trust any politician, except Ron Paul, whose long pro-liberty record matches his words?