Mitt Romney, Big-Government Man

If the Republican candidate won't even eliminate intrusive bureaucracy, there's little hope.

(Page 2 of 2)

He also said he'd "make government more efficient."

Gee, haven't other politicians thought of that? The claim is meaningless. That promise is made and broken year after year. Efficiency requires a market test, but since government gets its money by force, there is no market test.

He said he'd "combine some agencies and departments" and cut back the number of employees." But he quickly added: "through attrition." Attrition! That isn't leadership. It isn't even management. "Attrition" means good people leave and the deadwood stays. I suppose Romney fears losing votes from government workers. Much of the time, Romney endorsed government spending. "I do not believe in cutting our military."

Never mind that we now spend at Cold War levels and that our military tab is as big as the rest of the world's combined.

He criticized the federal government's many worthless job training programs, but did he call for repeal? No: "We got to get those dollars back to the states."

On America's useless Education Department: "I'm not going to cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and grants that go to people going to college. I'm planning on continuing to grow."

Geez. Grow? What good would that do? The feds already suck $100 billion from state taxpayers only to return it later with strings. It hasn't improved test results. The department has been a complete waste of money. If the Republican candidate won't even eliminate that intrusive bureaucracy, there's little hope.

Maybe Paul Ryan will do better at the vice presidential debate tomorrow night.

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  • John||

    There is big government man. And then there is giant bankrupt civilization government man. Your choice.

    I have said this before and I still think it is true. Mitt Romney as he is now could have been a serious contender for the Democratic nomination in the 1980s or 1990s. But now he is, at least according to the Democrats, a nihilist woman hating libertarian. But remember it is the Republicans who have become the most radical major party in US history.

  • Question of Auban||

    Or ... you could vote for someone who actually supports limmited government like Gary Johnson. There are more than two candidates on the ballot.

  • John||

    The problem with Johnson is that he still wants to keep a trillion dollar government that does things like provide medicare and social security. I have to say I was massively disappointed when I read his website and found out how big he wants to keep the government. He really isn't much of a radical. It is pretty damned sad that even our protest candidates, sans drug policy, would be run of the mill Republican forty years ago.

  • Proprietist||

    Dude, every time you bring this up, I mention that rolling back Medicare Part D (which both Romney and Ryan supported) is a huge cut, and block granting to the states enables states to get rid of these programs if their voters want.

    And you don't answer because it doesn't fit your fallacious narrative that Johnson is just as bad as Romney.

  • ||

    Under John's thinking, doesn't that mean he's just as GOOD as Romney too?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    He's not saying Johnson is just as bad as Romney. He's saying that he's not close to being perfect from a libertarian POV.

    What's the point of voting for a candidate who has no chance of winning if you don't agree with him on almost everything?

  • ||

    He's saying that he's not close to being perfect from a libertarian POV.

    Alas, he isn't.

    What's the point of voting for a candidate who has no chance of winning if you don't agree with him on almost everything?

    To build support for a movement in the right direction, rather than a movement in the same direction toward the cliff.

  • Proprietist||

    a.) I agree with him on 90% of things. That's about as good as I'll ever get.

    b.) Johnson is for consistently moving in the right direction, unlike Romney. That's far more important than expecting a Libertarian president to throw all the senior citizens and mentally ill out of government hospitals and legalize heroin and private nukes on their first day in office.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Even Gary Johnson supports some regulation. Which is all Romney was actually talking about.

    Obviously MR supports a lot more, but this tack of attacking Romney's statement about garage banks as a horrible advocacy of statism is nearly as pathetic as the left's attacks on his Big Bird comment. I'd hate to think that cosmotarians are just as desperate to find something to use against MR as the leftists are.

  • Proprietist||

    Even Gary Johnson supports some regulation. Which is all Romney was actually talking about.

    Where did Gary Johnson ever say he didn't believe in the right to voluntarily contract for basic services? Johnson is an incrementalist/pragmatist, but unlike Romney he wants to consistently move us in the right direction.

    I'd hate to think that cosmotarians are just as desperate to find something to use against MR as the leftists are.

    I'm pretty desperate for him not to be elected. I don't want a new major war, continuance down the path of bankruptcy and authoritarianism, etc. I also don't want libertarians to be blamed for his policies, Rand Paul to become a black sheep/unable to run in 2016, etc.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So you're objectively pro-Obama.

  • Proprietist||

    And your objectively a sheep fellator.

  • Proprietist||

    "you're"

    After all, if you don't like being with other men, that means you must like being with sheep.

  • The Craig||

    We get it, lesser of two evils. Not sure why we should feel good about that though.

  • sarcasmic||

    Let's see...

    Vote for the guy who will continue the war on drug users or the guy who will continue the war on drug users?
    They guy who will keep dropping bombs on brown people or the guy who will keep dropping bombs on brown people?
    They guy who will attack Iran or the guy who will attack Iran.
    They guy who will attack Syria or the guy who will attack Syria.
    They guy who supports an individual mandate or the guy who supports an individual mandate?

    Fuck, man! I can't decide!

  • sarcasmic||

    *The* x 4

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Pick the one with the hotter wife, I guess.

  • sarcasmic||

    Dennis Kucinich is running?

  • John||

    I was going to vote for Johnson. But then I saw that he is the candidate of medicare. He plans to save it for all time.

    Now I will probably stay home. If I wanted to vote for a guy who pledged to save medicare, I would just vote for one of the other two.

  • sarcasmic||

    I won't be staying home. I've got to vote on Olympia Snowe's replacement and a few other issues. Luckily there is a liberal Independent spoiler in the race that may allow the Republicans to keep the seat.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I'm doing what John says, but only because they're forcing me to buy a stamp to send home my ballot.

    Sorry, GarJo, you'll lose Florida by one extra vote.

  • Proprietist||

    John, you are a consistent liar. Rolling back Medicare Part D, not restoring funding from Obamacare and block granting the remainder to states is far, far more libertarian than any plan Romney or Ryan are advocating.

    Stop lying.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Gotta get some popcorn to watch the GJ supporters deploy lesser evil thinking.

  • Proprietist||

    Wow. So no one can compare equivalencies of any two candidates now without resorting to fallacious thinking? You really are a tool, Tulpa.

    In my state, Texas, write-ins count for nothing anyway, so I am voting for the best candidate that represents my views on the entire ballot. If everyone did that, we'd have a better system.

    I'm not voting for the marginally better of the two parties simply because the media tells me those are the only two with any chance of winning.

  • John||

    Vote Libertarian. Vote for a trillion dollar government. I am still trying to figure out how Johnson got the nomination. I thought Libertarians were for small government? Hell, Johnson is left of Goldwater.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    We decided we wanted someone 'electable'.

    And GayJay was the only candidate not wearing a boot on his head, so it was kind of tough.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Johnson would actually reduce government. He would also get rid of Obamacare, not just the parts he doesn't like. Once that helped the economy rebound, it could actually help make the case for even smaller government.

    Johnson is by no means the libertarian purity dream. But he has had actual success in limiting government, and thereby improving the governance of a state, something which neither other candidate can say.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    No one's repealing OC as long as there are 41 Dem senators who don't want to. The best we can hope for is an executive who can gut it from the inside out.

  • ||

    I thought there was a good chance Republicans would be dominating Congress come the next elections?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Neither major party is likely to have 60 votes in the senate any time soon.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Jesus. John's now playing the role of a "Purity Now, Purity Forever!" Libertarian? Is this the same John?
    Maybe the Mayans were on to something.

  • $park¥||

    No, John is Team Red all the way. He just doesn't want people taking votes away from Romney. And if the L candidate isn't exactly L then you might as well vote for the R candidate that can win.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Nothing wrong with pointing out when people you disagree with are inconsistent.

    Reason is not a leftist magazine, yet they rip leftists for not following their own civil rights principles all the time.

  • Proprietist||

    John's not "ripping" us anything. He's simply lying about Johnson's record and policies to erect a false equivalency fallacy that we are just as statist as the Republicans and Democrats.

  • Robert||

    Then why didn't he run for governor of a state, which he's already shown that he can win?

  • Proprietist||

    Liar.

  • The Hammer||

    John, do you realize that even in your straw man, Gary Johnson's government would still be 25% of the size of Mitt Romney's?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Vote for the guy who will appoint justices to reverse Heller and Citizens United or vote for the guy who won't?

    Vote for the guy who will grant waivers to Obamacare for all 50 states or the guy who won't?

    Vote for the guy who will push for the UN Small Arms Treaty or the guy who won't?

  • Calidissident||

    The Senate approves treaties pal

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Unless BO defines it as an international agreement rather than a treaty, as he's already done with things he knew would never pass the Senate.

  • Calidissident||

    He can call it whatever he wants. That treaty isn't getting enforced in this country any time soon. Gun rights is the one area where I really am not concerned about significant federal intrusion in the near future. And Romney doesn't exactly have a gun friendly record

  • Anomalous||

    Giant douche, or turd sandwich?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why does 'brown' people matter?

    Why not "They guy who will keep dropping bombs on people or the guy who will keep dropping bombs on people?

    What does their skin color matter? When a bomb hits, everyone's chunky red goo.

  • PapayaSF||

    The guy who was mentored by, pals with, or hires Marxists and admirers of Mao and Stalin and Qaddafi (Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, Anita Dunn), or the guy who understands and likes free(ish) enterprise?

    The guy who wants energy prices high, or the guy who wants them lower?

    The guy who appoints leftists to the Supreme Court, or the guy who might appoint some people who actually believe in the Constitution?

    Plus: even if there were absolutely no difference between Obama and Romney at all, we should still fire Obama on general principles. Obama is a failure by pretty much every libertarian measure. He doesn't deserve to be rewarded with a second term.

  • Calidissident||

    Except what proof is there that Romney is going to spend substantially less than Obama. The problem with Obama hasn't been gigantic annual increases in spending. The problem is the solidification of the giant spike in spending that occurred around 2009. Romney has given no indication that he will do anything to reverse this spike. He wants to drastically increase military spending (and that doesn't even count a war with Iran and/or other countries), and would anyone be surprised if he was willing to renege on whatever "cuts" he'd push for in domestic areas to compromise with the Dems in exchange for military increases?

  • califernian||

    Not only will Romney keep spending levels the same, I believe he is FAR more likely to raise taxes than Obama is.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Apparently Romney is an unprincipled hack who will do whatever it takes to get elected... and will also completely piss off the people who voted for him by not mitigating OC and raising taxes.

    A man of contradictions.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The problem with Obama hasn't been gigantic annual increases in spending. The problem is the solidification of the giant spike in spending that occurred around 2009.

    Who was president in 2009?

  • Calidissident||

    The key word there was "annual." Spending has increased all that much every year. There was just a huge jump in 1 or 2 years that hasn't been reversed, and won't be reversed under Obama or Romney

  • Tulpa Doom||

    BO's only had 3 years in office.

  • Calidissident||

    Are you this dense in real life Tulpa? First off, it's been more than 3 and a half, going on 4, secondly, my point remains. Look at this table - the big jump occurred in fiscal year 2009 (the chart misleadingly attributes all this to Bush, but Obama's policies contributed as well, and he also has increased spending since in other areas that make up for temporary programs from that time no longer in effect).

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/budget.php

    Especially with a Republican congress, he's not going to get massive increases in his next term. It will go up, but not to the extent of the past 5 years. He can't even get a single Democratic senator to vote for his budget. Romney hasn't proposed anything to reverse this jump, and you know damn well that he would compromise with the Dems in exchange for his military budget. And Republicans care a lot more about the budget and deficit when a Democrat is in the White House. It is not at all clear cut and dry who would spend more. Especially given the fact that we're electing a president, not a dictator

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So if BO had jacked up spending by 1/3 the 2009 increase each year, that would have been bad, but since he jacked it way up in the first year and then left it that way, it's OK?

  • Calidissident||

    And whoosh the point sails over your head. The point is that the increase has been solidified. I'm not making excuses for Obama. I'm just pointing out that that increase is the main problem, and Romney is not going to do anything to reverse it

  • Robert||

    Romney's a moderate, which is about the best we can get at this time. He may be a little better than his father, though.

  • ||

    " Nothing better protects consumers and workers than free choice in a competitive marketplace."

    Sadly, any candidate preaching this line, that people would be held responsible for their own good/bad decisions, would never be elected. Yeah, the majority of the commentariat over at HampersandR would vote for them......

  • Robert||

    I love it: Hampers and R[acks].

  • Question of Auban||

    Romney contradicts himself when he says, "I will eliminate all programs by this test: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I'll get rid of it."
    And then says:
    "I'm not going to cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and grants that go to people going to college. I'm planning on continuing to grow."
    If the federal Department of Education does such a great job why are we near the bottom in terms of results in our public schools?

  • John||

    If the federal Department of Education does such a great job why are we near the bottom in terms of results in our public schools?

    Because we have starved them of funding silly.

  • The Craig||

    No contradiction. Shanghai has a great education system. We'll just outsource public education!

  • sarcasmic||

    China isn't borrowing that much money anymore. Now it's mostly intra-governmental borrowing.

    So it's all good.

  • Robert||

    He didn't say the criterion was doing a great job, he said it was being critical.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    We tried a big, intrusive, expensive government of the right under Bush; and a big, intrusive, expensive government of the left under Obama.
    Now Romney wants us to try a big, intrusive, expensive government of the center. We've tried everything else, haven't we? HAVEN'T WE?

  • Lord Humungus||

    it's big, intrusive, expensive government all the way down

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Bush's govt was certainly big and bad, but NOTHING compared to BO's.

  • ||

    In terms of absolute spending, no. But Bush IS the guy who really jacked up that spending. Obama's government wouldn't be close to as big as it is now without Bush's massive spending increases.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    So regale me idiots with the big intrusive govt. under Bush and how it fucked everyone's life from the ground up, like say Obamacare does?

    Anyway some true Libertarian asswhipe way up above says it all: we can't vote for Romney. We won't FEEEEEL good about it.

    Aww, politics. It's all about feelings and making yourself warm and fuzzy. Fuck moving the country in a better direction. The world revolves around me!

  • Whiterun Guard||

    So regale me idiots with the big intrusive govt. under Bush and how it fucked everyone's life from the ground up, like say Obamacare does?

    Well, the PATRIOT act is a good start. Intelligence Fusion centers. Bail outs, Medicare increase, No Child Left Behind.

    But then again you think Romney will move the country in a better direction, so whatever.

    At least I get to enjoy your salty ham tears come election day.

  • The Craig||

    Don't forget the TSA! The reason I lost my warm and fuzzies!

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The worst parts of the TSA were done at the insistence of Democrats during the Bush admin (ie, making them federal workers) and the ramping up of the humiliation index of the search process has mostly occurred under BO.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The Patriot Act, bad as it is, has not impacted the country for the worse in the way that OC has. The most impactful parts were the banking security regulations, which are annoying as hell, but way less harmful than OC.

    No one's getting cut back to part time work because of the Patriot Act.

  • $park¥||

    Plus we're catching all those terrorists living in our own back yard. So don't be so down on the PATRIOT Act.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Note that I said the Patriot Act is bad.

  • $park¥||

    Just not bad enough to be bad bad.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I really don't get what your point is here. Particularly since BO tried to strengthen the P-Act.

  • tarran||

    Aww, politics. It's all about feelings and making yourself warm and fuzzy. Fuck moving the country in a better direction. The world revolves around me!

    Dude, you've made an important breakthrough; the first step with fixing a problem is an acknowledgement that it exists.

    So, why are you opposed to moving the country in a better direction? Why are you supporting Mitt Romney and thus expressing a preference for keeping the horrible status quo?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You have to win the election to move the country in a better direction via the election. Johnson's not going to win. You might as well write in Ron Paul.

  • Calidissident||

    That would be important if your vote could actually affect the outcome. I actually know a few things about statistics, so I realize that basing your vote on who's going to win (if you bother to vote at all) is stupid

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If your vote doesn't matter for Romney, how does it matter for Johnson?

    I would respect the "vote your conscience" position of GJ supporters if I didn't see how they treated people who want to write in Ron Paul.

  • Calidissident||

    It's not going to change anything. I fully understand it won't. Nonetheless, I vote to do express my political desire and do my part to fix the the system, even if I know enough people won't join me. However, I do totally understand people who don't bother voting and as I've said on multiple occasions, people who want to write in Ron Paul (Personally, I'm not doing that because he isn't running. If he was, I'd vote for him), so you can't use that argument against me, as you always do

  • Proprietist||

    Writing in Ron Paul won't even count for anything except in a few handfuls of states. In such a case, you might as well stay home.

    Voting for Gary Johnson moves the LP closer to automatic ballot access and increases third party recognition in the media analysis of the election. If increasing the number of voices at the table is your goal, voting third party is far more practical than assuming your one vote will determine the election and resorting to the lesser of the two major party evils.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If a vote for GJ moves closer to ballot access, a vote for MR moves closer to defeating Obama by an equal amount. And the latter is much closer to being reality than the former.

  • Calidissident||

    But the odds of your vote affecting either is the same. And I notice that you replied to Proprietist, but ignored my post. Which is what you typically do every time we get to this part in the argument

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I have limited posting resources which must be deployed in the best manner possible.

    You seem to be making the case for voting in a principled manner, which I find wrongheaded but not something rationally arguable. Proprietist is attempting to encroach my pragmatic turf.

  • Calidissident||

    And what I'm saying (and you always ignore this every time I bring it up) is that voting "pragmatically" is stupid because your vote is so insignificant. You cannot refute that no matter how much you try

  • Proprietist||

    The difference is that if you take away one vote for Johnson, the LP will merely be one vote further away from qualification, whereas if you take away your vote for Romney, the winner or Romney v. Obama in your state will still most likely be the winner.

    If you're voting for the sole purpose of determining the final outcome, you are truly wasting your vote if you think there is a better third party candidate out there.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The difference is that if you take away one vote for Johnson, the LP will merely be one vote further away from qualification, whereas if you take away your vote for Romney, the winner or Romney v. Obama in your state will still most likely be the winner.

    ?????

  • Proprietist||

    There are multiple motivations to vote.

    Primarily I am voting for Johnson because he is simply the best candidate on the ballot. This requires no pragmatic reasoning or further explanation. I wish everyone voted based on this factor solely.

    But if you are expecting your vote to result in some specific outcome (which is automatically unrealistic based on the law of numbers), contributing to the possibility of future ballot access is a far more reasonable expectation than expecting your one vote will determine the final outcome of the whole election.

    Gary Johnson is polling well enough to qualify in many states, if the poll numbers translate into vote totals he will. I agree he's just as unlikely to fall short of ballot access by your one vote as Romney is to fall short to Obama by my one vote. That's why it's not a great argument to vote based on expected outcomes and why the lesser of two evils is not really a valid argument.

    The difference is that I'm not throwing away my vote on a significantly inferior candidate. The ballot access contribution is really just icing and I make the point to show equivalence to people here who like Johnson better than Romney but are still stuck in the illogic of expected outcome voting.

  • Robert||

    Primarily I am voting for Johnson because he is simply the best candidate on the ballot. This requires no pragmatic reasoning or further explanation. I wish everyone voted based on this factor solely.


    If they did, all elections would end in a tie, everyone with the 1 vote they cast for themselves. The point of elections (all group decisions) is compromise, settling on somebody who doesn't agree with you on everything -- maybe not even on much of anything!

  • Robert||

    Voting for Gary Johnson moves the LP closer to automatic ballot access and increases third party recognition in the media analysis of the election.


    If you want to increase 3rd party recognition in the media, get on board a 3rd party that consists of more than radicals, if there is one where you are. I'm in the Conservative Party in NY, which has had ballot access for decades and -- surprise -- has more than libertarians in it, so there's a chance to move it in a more libertarian direction. What are you going to do in the Libertarian Party, make it so libertarian that you're its only member?

  • Robert||

    They're not for voting your conscience, they're for aggrandizing the Libertarian Party and hence themselves. After I quit LP (after decades of activism in it) I decided not to vote again on their line, because I don't want to encourage them in this vain effort. There are plenty of ways for them to do serious politics and/or non-political activism; their childish insistence on having a political party their very own, their own little sandbox to play in and show off, is not one of them.

  • Proprietist||

    I felt the same way for a while and was ready to ditch (Badnarik was the final straw), until they actually started to move towards incrementalism and pragmatism with the platform changes back in 2006.

    Johnson is arguably the most qualified third party candidate in history, and I consider it a good sign that the LP is starting to put politics and realism before purity. The decades of anarchocapitalism severely hurt the libertarian political movement and allowed the major parties to marginalize us easily. With legitimate candidates like Johnson, that becomes harder to do.

  • Robert||

    If you mean "qualified" in the sense of experience in office, Theodore Roosevelt must've been the most qualified 3rd party candidate for president ever.

  • Proprietist||

    Yeah, right after posting, I realized that old Teddy was the most qualified, having already been president and all. But then Johnson still makes a compelling #2, considering he has more executive experience than Obama and Romney combined.

  • Applederry||

    You have to win the election to move the country in a better direction via the election.

    More than that, you have to have a candidate who will actually move the country forward to win.

    And that's not Romney. He will, at best, shuffle to the right.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    "I would hit the brakes before slamming in to that brick wall, but that would only slow down my hitting the wall rather than sending me in the right direction. So I'll shift to reverse instead!"

  • Applederry||

    Sorry. Romney ain't the brakes either.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    He may have a nasty hydraulic leak, but he is the brakes.

  • Calidissident||

    Not. at. all.

  • Proprietist||

    If Romney is elected, I'll be willing to make a bet with you that his federal outlays in four years will be worse than Obama's currently projected outlays.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If you hit the brakes, your distance to the wall is still decreasing.

  • Robert||

    But if you shift to reverse, you'll strip your gears.

  • ||

    If Romney or Obama is elected, I'll be willing to make a bet with you that his federal outlays in four years will be worse than Obama's currently projected outlays.

  • Calidissident||

    A better direction? More war, more spending, and more erosion of civil liberties doesn't sound like a better direction. At best, you could claim Romney moves the country in the wrong direction at a slower rate

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I think he means "a less bad direction".

  • Calidissident||

    It's the same direction. As I said, at best, Romney would take us down that path at a slower rate

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Life on earth is going to go kaput in about 300 million years due to CO2 sequestration. Is that the same direction as life ending in 300 hours?

  • Calidissident||

    Direction. Yes. Toward the end of life on Earth. It's not the same rate. But once again, this a terrible analogy, cause Romney to Obama is not a more than a million to one ratio. It's not even certain that it's greater than one to one.

  • MWG||

    You really think the differences between Romney and Obama are analogous to 300 million years vs. 300 hours?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Most important election ever.
    Worst president ever.
    Lesser of two evils.
    Don't waste your vote.
    Rinse and repeat.

  • ||

    Yup. It's the same thing. EVERY. TIME. That will ALWAYS be the argument, and it will always have the same effect, unless you get someone like Rand as a major party candidate. If he gets the nomination in 2016, I might vote Republican. But this year, it's Gary Johnson all the way.

  • $park¥||

    Our deficit is a spending, not a tax revenue, problem.

    Poor Stossel, it's unfortunate that you don't know what you're talking about. Tony told me it's actually the opposite of this.

    America shouldn't have "government TV" anyway. But the cut would be only $445 million out of a nearly $4 trillion budget. Big deal.

    Do you or don't you believe in incremental changes?

  • sarcasmic||

    One tenth of one percent isn't incremental, it's infinitesimal.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Symbolism. The impact of someone finaly putting an end to state TV would be enormous.

    And nothing would happen.

    Big Bird would still galumph around Sesame Street and things would still be considered on NPR--all thanks to viewers like you.

    Cutting spending would suddenly seem to be something that doesn't hurt.

    Think about that.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    He added the obligatory, "Regulation can become excessive," but showed no sign of understanding that free competition -- unrestricted by government monopolistic privilege -- is the best regulation. Nothing better protects consumers and workers than free choice in a competitive marketplace.

    I'll reiterate that the inherent self-correcting tendencies of the free market are not regulation in the usual understanding of the word. It's especially strange that libertarians are in one breath ripping Romney for saying regulation can be a good thing, and then in the next one claiming that the inherent machinations of the market are regulation. Don't libertarians think the inherent machinations of the market are good? If they count as regulation, then how can you criticize Romney's pro-regulation statement?

  • Calidissident||

    Because Romney doesn't mean the same thing as libertarians do when he says the word "regulation?"

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I have never heard libertarians use that word to describe, for instance, the law of supply and demand before. It always implies a rule imposed on the market from outside.

  • Calidissident||

    Except that you explicitly referred to examples where libertarians were clearly using it in that sense. Say what you want about how often libertarians say "regulation" with that meaning, it doesn't change the fact that Romney does not mean it in that sense. Period.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Where did I refer to such examples? I mean, BEFORE the debate. Suderman's and Stossel's pieces from after the debate don't count.

  • Calidissident||

    "It's especially strange that libertarians are in one breath ripping Romney for saying regulation can be a good thing, and then in the next one claiming that the inherent machinations of the market are regulation"

    What am I supposed to interpret this as? The bottom line is that when libertarians use the term "regulation" positively, it's referring to market mechanisms acting as a sort of non-authoritarian regulator. That doesn't mean libertarians support regulation in it's most common meaning. Whether or not you think libertarians should refer to these market mechanisms as "regulation," Romney is referring to the latter, not the former. You can't dispute that

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I've never seen a libertarian use the bare word "regulation" to mean market mechanisms.

    It's almost always used in a negative manner in libertarian circles, and when it's used positively it refers to govt activity that minarchists consider legit. Not internal market mechanisms.

  • Robert||

    Romney is referring to it in whatever sense voters in the audience think it means something good. Mainly, you could substitute any word the fuck you want for "regulation", and he would've said it. What Romney wanted to convey is that he's for the happy medium of whatever the fuck the subject is! Not too much whatever, as my opponent wants, but just the right amount, because some of anything is good, and too much is bad. Why do even ostensibly sophisticated analysts try to read more into such statements than that?

  • Proprietist||

    Libertarians don't believe regulation should have anything to do with the law of supply and demand, unless force or fraud are used to create the supply or demand. In which case, regulation would be justified, since the action violates individual rights.

    Setting up a bank in a garage does not inherently require force or fraud, therefore should be an unregulated activity unless force or fraud are actually conducted.

  • sarcasmic||

    When Romney says "regulation" he means "arbitrary rules enforced by menacing armed men", which is not the same thing as "self-correcting tendencies of the free market".

    False equivocation much?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    As stated above, libertarians never used the word regulation in that manner until after the debate.

  • 0x90||

    Is calling something self-regulating a use of the word regulation?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    No, that's a different word. The existence of which underlines the fact that "regulation" by itself does not connote self-regulation.

  • 0x90||

    "free competition [...] is the best regulation"

    And in what way can this statement be taken to mean anything other than self-regulation?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Stossel is trying to expand the meaning of the word there. When you hear regulation, you think of external regulation. The immediate reaction to Romney's statement in libertarian quarters shows that most libertarians understood the word to mean external regulation.

    It was only after a couple of days passed and writers decided to get "clever" that the inherent tendencies of the market suddenly got defined as "regulation".

  • ||

    It was only after a couple of days passed and writers decided to get "clever" that the inherent tendencies of the market suddenly got defined as "regulation".

    I suppose you think dictionaries are being "clever" too.

  • Proprietist||

    Libertarians support one five word regulation: "Force and fraud are illegal." Any legislation that expands upon these principles without banning or restricting voluntary, contractual, consensual and/or private actions not involving force or fraud would probably be acceptable to a libertarian.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So you're against noise ordinances, peeping tom laws, requirements that banks have a certain amount of deposits in reserve, requirements that automobile drivers have insurance and license plates, etc?

  • Proprietist||

    Noise ordinances

    Violating your neighbor's property rights is a form of force.

    peeping tom laws

    If you're on your neighbor's property, that is a form of force. If you're not, you have the right to look through your neighbor's open window all day.

    requirements that banks have a certain amount of deposits in reserve

    That should be up to the contract between the bank and the customer. If the bank does not represent it's reserve policy accurately, it's fraud.

    requirements that automobile drivers have insurance and license plates

    If you have enough money to drive without insurance and risk a lawsuit in the event of a wreck, be my guest.

    counterfeiting

    Fraud

    perjury on behalf of a criminal defendant

    Fraud

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Counterfeiting, perjury on behalf of a criminal defendant, etc

  • Whahappan?||

    Counterfeiting and perjury aren't forms of fraud?

  • 0x90||

    And the point of doing that would be? Surreptitiously running cover for Romney's statement?

  • 0x90||

    (threaded comments. that was in response to Tulpa @ 2:48)

  • ||

    I'll reiterate that the inherent self-correcting tendencies of the free market are not regulation in the usual understanding of the word.

    I'll reiterate that you're wrong, by the common meanings of the word. Regulation isn't defined by whether it was imposed by a human or not.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    From Merriam-Webster:

    1
    : the act of regulating : the state of being regulated

    2
    a : an authoritative rule dealing with details or procedure
    b : a rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law

    3
    a : the process of redistributing material (as in an embryo) to restore a damaged or lost part independent of new tissue growth
    b : the mechanism by which an early embryo maintains normal development

    (2) seems to be the most relevant meaning in the context.

    You could shoehorn Stossel/Suderman's definition into (1) but that's not what people think of in this context.

  • ||

    From Merriam-Webster.com:

    a : to govern or direct according to rule
    b (1) : to bring under the control of law or constituted authority (2) : to make regulations for or concerning "regulate the industries of a country"
    2
    : to bring order, method, or uniformity to "regulate one's habits"
    3
    : to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of "regulate the pressure of a tire"

    1a is relevant. 2 is also somewhat relevant, being relevant to self-regulation.

    Self-regulate, also from Merriam-Webster.com

    regulating oneself or itself; especially : automatic "a self–regulating mechanism"

    Definitely relevant. No "shoehorning" necessary.

    but that's not what people think of in this context.

    Apparently it is, since many of the people who comment here agree with it. And I'm not sure the most common use of the word (e.g. "economic regulations") should be the only understanding to the word. As I've ably shown, self-regulations certainly count as regulations.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You're not looking at the word we're talking about. "regulation" not "regulate".

    In any case, if Stossell is claiming that the market needs no external regulation to function he's batty. The most devout nightwatchman-state-minarchist will agree that regulations preventing fraud are necessary. And if you have bankruptcy law involved in the system (which is another sort of regulation) you need a shitload more regulation to prevent that from being exploited by the unethical.

  • ||

    You're not looking at the word we're talking about. "regulation" not "regulate".

    Your first definition is still relevant, then. "The state of being regulated."

    In any case, if Stossell is claiming that the market needs no external regulation to function he's batty.

    If you think laws against fraud are the same as economic regulations, YOU'RE "batty".

  • ||

    And anyway, to a certain extent we're just arguing semantics. The bottom line is you, as well as some others I'm sure, don't think that free-market self-restrictions should count as "regulations", while I, as well as Stossel and others, DO.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    PBS-like programming will thrive without taxpayer handouts

    Then why doesn't it? What's holding this back?

    Sesame Street is an outlier because it's well-established, and frankly that's all that matters when you're talking about something marketing to kids. All it takes is getting in their heads and you've got a free annoying advertisement following their parents through the store.

    But the rest of PBS programming is totally dependent on donations. I agree that those should be from private sources, but it's one of the least offensive federal spending outlets out there.

  • Calidissident||

    "Then why doesn't it? What's holding this back?"

    Because they like free handouts, and politicians like giving free handouts?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    How does that hold anyone back? Why aren't the airwaves filled with PBS-like programming, whatever that is.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    'Cause there's only 5-6 broadcast channels in a market?
    As for cable, it's absolutely full of PBS-like programming.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, I don't even know what he's arguing at this point

  • Tulpa Doom||

    As for cable, it's absolutely full of PBS-like programming.

    Sorry, no.

  • Proprietist||

    Isn't Sprout like all educational programming for young kids?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    PBS is a lot more than kids' programs.

  • Proprietist||

    For the res, there's Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery, History, BBC, etc. Are you kidding?

  • FD||

    Level of subjective offensiveness doesn't matter.
    By a strict reading, it's unconstitional, as is the majority of check-cutting from the U.S. Treasury.

    The quibbling on amounts is absurd.
    Reminds me of why there is no turning back. It's the acquiescence of even political conservatives who have no balls when it comes to drips and drabs: "Well, with everything they spend, this here doesn't really make a dent, so what the hell, leave it."

    And so here it is, here to stay, and nobody cares.

  • Robert||

    Stossel y everyone else here, it seems, missed the big picture. Democrats have painted Romney as an extremist, hard as that may be for you to believe. I heard it months ago from my friend Nadine, and I was flabbergasted about what she'd come to believe. All Romney had to do was establish that it was Obama, not himself, who was the extremist, which was fairly easy to do. And that's all that matters, since people will be voting on their opinion of Obama, not Romney.

    The issue wasn't, and isn't, regulation, but moderation. Romney painted himself as a moderate, which he is.

  • ||

    Romney painted himself as a moderate, which he is.

    Yes, he has. A big government moderate, which is the point of this article. Considering this is a libertarian website, that's considered a big deal here.

  • Robert||

    Big compared to what? Compared to what libertarians want, sure. Compared to the avg. person, about the same as avg., which is what you'd predict of a moderate.

  • ||

    Why should that carry any weight with us? This whole website is about a libertarian approach to politics, and you want to argue that's not important? Good one.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I don't think you get the purpose of this website. You keep citing the fact that Reason is a libertarian publication to justify adopting a very skewed version of reality, where libertarians are a force that everyone has to kowtow to.

  • ||

    I don't think YOU get the purpose of this website. Since Reason IS a libertarian publication, WHY would we care more about Romney being a big government "moderate" than we would about the absence of more limited-government talk?

  • Crimson Alliance||

    I just want to say John Stossel is my hero. Reading his books 6 years ago really opened my eyes. I was transformed from clueless, stuffy republican to an informed, sexy libertarian. Thank you John Stossel, you freed my mind.

  • tipuasher||

    You can also send him suggestions on his official site.
    http://everyoneslawschool.mobi

  • jeffm8||

    Absolutely no regulation whatsoever eh?

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