Government Spending

Aloha, Regulatory State!

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Arnold Kling of TCSDaily and the Cato Institute sees nothing but darkness come November:

In November, the United States may take its strongest lurch to the left since 1933. The Republicans easily could lose 10 seats in the Senate. The relative turnout numbers in the Democratic and Republican primaries are consistent with a landslide victory for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Assume that this scenario plays out, and that the Democrats sweep into office behind either the nation's most aggressive nanny or its most liberal senator (or both). What sort of consequences can we expect?…

Many Americans will welcome the regulatory state. Many others will accommodate it. Only a minority of us will oppose it. Somewhere down the road, as people see the indignity of the many intrusions and the adversity of the consequences, I hope that there will be a backlash. Otherwise, if the era of mandates emerges as I fear it will, then the engine of capitalism in America may run out of the fuel of competition.

Whole thing here.

I'm not questioning what he's saying–and certainly I'm as down on the regulatory state as Dr. Congressman Ron Paul is down with the Constitution.

But here's a real question, informed by the past decade-plus of GOP control of Congress and/or the White House: Would it really be worse than what we've seen under Bush and the Republicans or Bush and the Democrats?

I'm almost ready to believe some variation of the Nixon Going to China argument that the Dems would feel more constrained in being Big Gummint idiots than, say, George W. Bush and Tom DeLay ever did precisely because that's what everyone expects of them. Would, say, Bill Clinton have gotten away with creating a massive new entitlement? He tried and failed, right, with a Dem Congress, too. And god knows Clinton intervened militarily in a very promiscuous manner, but when it comes to foreign quagmires, there's the former Yugoslavia and then there's the former (future?) Iraq…

NEXT: Before the House Folds

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  1. Nick,

    I would love to believe that a Democrat would be like Nixon to China on regulation. The problem is that neither the President nor Congress write the regulations; the agencies do. When one party wins an election, it gets to appoint the heads and deputy heads of all of the agencies. It is not even the cabinet posts that are important. It is all of the lower level political appointees that get appointed without much or any scrutiny. That is where Presidents get to really pay back their base and the ideological hardliners in their party. Yeah, a President will do everything to look reasonable and trustworthy. Meanwhile, any number of ideologues will be out making havoc with the executive branch.

    To give you an example, think about the Bush political appointees in Justice and OLC and DOD and the things they did regarding the war on terror. Now imagine those same kinds of appointees only in areas important to the Democrats like EPA and the Department of Education. See what I mean?

  2. The one thing I’m sure of is that with a Dem in the White House the Congressional Republicans would pull out every procedural trick in the book.

    Democrats, if you’re reading this: You might want to get your hands on copies of whatever rulebooks the GOP uses, and actually try some of those tactics. When Bush tells you to jump, the correct response is “Fuck you”, not “How high, sir?”

  3. Nick looks at all the dark clouds and says ‘there must be a silver lining in there somewhere’.

  4. Here’s hoping Arnie is correct, 61 dem senators & a President Obama.

    ::bwahahahaahaha::

  5. Given its past performance, it is easy to believe that Democrats promote big government. But look at the Bush record.

    The Patriot Act is not just about torturing people at Guantanamo. The Patriot Act includes very intrusive financial controls, particularly concerning currency transfers. The War on Drugs promoted by Repubicans also gives the federal government powers to examine financial transactions.

    In the name of opposing illegal immigration, many Republicans back “employer sanctions” – as do many Democrats. This is another excuse to have the feds inspect your factory, this time looking for undocumented workers.

    And, of course, National Guardsmen who lose their business after their third tour of Iraq might prefer regulation to bankruptcy, not that either is a good choice.

    The issue is not that we should be optimistic about the Democrats. It is that the Republican record leaves me very pessimistic.

  6. Democrats, if you’re reading this: You might want to get your hands on copies of whatever rulebooks the GOP uses, and actually try some of those tactics. When Bush tells you to jump, the correct response is “Fuck you”, not “How high, sir?”

    It won’t work from the Dems. The GOP has something that the Dems don’t. Party loyalty.

    Obstruction only works if you have an effective party whip who can keep a caucus together and a caucus who faces repurcussions to break ranks.

    Moderate and even some liberal GOP members still vote with their party on most/all important votes. Conservative Dems do not.

    Say what you will about Tom “The Hammer” DeLay, but the guy knew how to keep a caucus together. There is no Hammer on the Dem side. On the Dem side, they gave commitee leadership posts on Joe Lieberman who is currently endorsing McCain for president and is thinking of pulling a Zell Miller at the GOP convention.

  7. I completely agreed with Arnold until six years ago. After witnessing the Republicans in charge of both houses of congress and the presidency (and the supreme court) for the last six years, I now completely agree with Nick.

    The sort of people who want to run for office are the sort of people who want power and want to hand out goodies and want to tell other people what to do. This is true from student government in junior high all the way up to the POTUS.

    The fundamental point is that there are not good guys and bad guys. There are just two groups of bad guys.

    Jeff

  8. What Chicago Tom said.

    In Illinois we have one party rule…by democrats. They bicker and undercut each other and get nothing much done.

    Here’s to hoping for undivided government that accomlishes nothing. The far left would seem uniquely qualified to get nothing much done.

  9. So basically there’s no situation that isn’t a complete clusterfuck.

    GOP Congress + GOP President = all the shit we got in the last several years. Horrible.

    Dem Congress + GOP President = all the shit we’ve gotten in the last 2 years. Horrible.

    GOP Congress + Dem President = the only possibly slightly positive scenario. Also completely unlikely.

    Dem Congress + Dem President = most likely tremendous movement towards socialized medicine, punishing taxation, and regulation. Horrible.

    Sorry Nick, I don’t see how your idea, which essentially boils down to the Bill and Opus campaign slogan “This time, why not the worst?”, is going to end up as anything but horrible.

  10. With the dems, the big government is accompanied with fewer war crimes.

  11. How about 75 Democratic senators and an Obama as President? Sounds like a good number to me. That would be enough to weed out the Republican moles in the Democratic congressional representation.

  12. Would it really be worse than what we’ve seen under Bush and the Republicans or Bush and the Democrats?

    The answer is yes, insofar as the Dems, even if they feel restrained, will simply continue to make the pile of federal regulations higher and deeper.

  13. “Would it really be worse than what we’ve seen under Bush and the Republicans or Bush and the Democrats?”

    Why anyone would vote for any of them is a mystery to me. …all vanity and chasing the wind.

    Enjoy the fruit of your labor with your friends and family. Eat well and drink of the vine with a merry heart, for the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. New insect overlords await us, be they of one species or another.

    All is vanity.

  14. the United States may take its strongest lurch to the left since 1933.

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Thunk. [TWC laughs his head off]

    The ship of state has been steadily listing further and further to the port side since 1933. Those lurches, are just the occasional storm surge slapping the exposed keel.

    ….. consistent with a landslide victory for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

    Certainly was the case in Californicate where about twice as many D’s as R’s voted in the primary.

  15. Richard Bentley, I need some of my paycheck left to pay my bills. I’d love to pay everyone else’s bills, including their health care, but I cannot afford it.

  16. With the dems, the big government is accompanied with fewer war crimes.

    Unless, of course, you don’t count Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Dresden.

  17. Hey, the Australians just turned out a business-friendly conservative coalition for a party that over the last forty years has evolved from doctrinaire socialism to a more social democratic platform.

    And what are they getting. Deep spending and tax cuts, that’s what.

    Any chance that Hillary or Obama will imitate Kevin Rudd?

  18. On the bright side…under Democrat rule we would have full employment. In fact, many of us will be working full and part time jobs to support those who work neither.

    How do you apply for the Wic card? I saw a woman buying a cart-load of groceries with one last week. The Republican bastards made her pay cash for her sons Guitar Hero game, though. Some people do not have a heart.

  19. This is exactly what the liberals wanted, hoped for, and now it’s looking likely to come true.
    They’re salivating at the thought of taking your money. They’re jerking off to the thought of more regulations, more money to failed public schools, more welfare, more socialized medicine, and greater control over how you run your life.
    It’s fucking scary.
    I’m going to cheat the IRS out of every goddamn penny I can. It’s the only thing I can do.
    Obama + strong Senate Dem majority = fucked U.S.A.
    Liberty, it was nice to have kind of enjoyed some of thee. Bye.

  20. Nick looks at all the dark clouds and says ‘there must be a silver lining in there somewhere’.

    No silver lining, man.

    It is always…..Pay attention here, boy……

    It is Always Darkest Before The Blackest.

  21. They’re jerking off to the thought of more regulations,

    Yeah dman those Democrats they passed Sarbanes Oxley when they controlled Congress and the Presidency then! Oh wait, that was in 2002? Nevermind.

    more money to failed public schools,

    Yup, No Child Left Behind sure was their idea! Oh, wait.

    more welfare,

    Damn liberal Democrats with their prescription drug benefit. Oh wait, that was Tom Delay’s idea.

    Sorry, I just don’t see a glimpse of daylight between them.

  22. OK, we have Jamie Kelly down for one count of conspiracy to defraud us, the government, of what is not ours by right.

  23. Cesar,
    I get your drift. But when I say “more” of all those things, I mean “more” than was Bushco did to the raw, bleeding asshole of this country already.

  24. IRS Agent,
    Suck my fat, veiny cock, you cunt-slab.
    And Jamie Kelly isn’t my legal name.
    Figure out what it is, and I’ll rape your daughter and seal up your mom’s sphincter with a blowtorch.

  25. And while I’m a shitty mood, mainly because I’m not drinking, let me add this:
    What the fuck is up with those Google ads, Reason? Fuck you! Fuckin’ annoying.
    Fuck!

  26. They’re jerking off to the thought of more regulations…..

    Jamie Kelley, although your posts ought to come standard with one of these, I just keep shooting coffee out of my nose all over the monitor. I will learn not to take a sip if I see your name.

    I’m going to cheat the IRS out of every goddamn penny I can…….

    [wags index finger]

    We buy you books, buy you more books, and all you do is eat the covers. Never, Never, Never, Never say that in public.

  27. Cesar, you forgot ADA under King Bush the 1st.

    Ain’t that sweet?

    But, the Dems gave us Rico and all the money laundering statutes, which were the foundation for the Patriot abuses.

  28. Cesar, you forgot ADA under King Bush the 1st.

    No fuck about that shit.
    Cost all noncompliant businesses thousands of dollars, even mom and pop shops that did nothing but sell bean dip and shitsticks.
    And for what? So three roadkill could get their crippled asses through a door?
    Jesus.

  29. In Illinois we have one party rule…by democrats. They bicker and undercut each other and get nothing much done.

    Ya! Illinois the economic tiger of the mid-west and a great climate for business.

    Excuse me while I move my business to Atlanta or Huston and while I am at it I will take your work force with it.

  30. Somewhere down the road, as people see the indignity of the many intrusions and the adversity of the consequences, I hope that there will be a backlash.

    I’m hoping that happens in November.

    As to future fiscal irresponsibility, both parties are about growth for their own ends. It amazes me that the GOP has managed to maintain this narrative that only the Dems are reckless notwithstanding the glaring example that is GWB.

  31. No doubt – both parties will rape and pillage to get the money to fund their special projects. It’s just a matter of allocation – under the Democrats you pay your tax directly through a higher tax rate and/or higher costs due to regulation and those excess tax dollars are probably going to go to fund patronage jobs in the inner city, frittered away on education for kids who don’t want to learn, crazy art projects, environmental studies, etc. Under the Republicans you are taxed indirectly – because the Republicans spend just as much as the Democrats but fund through deficits rather than pay as you go, either your earnings will be chewed up through inflation or you’ll be screwed by higher interest rates. Your excess tax money will now go to fund corporate welfare, pay mercenaries or be transferred abroad as the dollar continues to lose value. So America as a whole is probably screwed either way, but there is a difference – if you’re rich you’ll choose the Republicans because you can probably avoid those Republican indirect taxes by investing wisely. If you’re poor to middle class you can probably avoid most of the Democrats direct taxes – and although the new regulatory costs may still bite you in the ass, you may actually benefit from the social programs and have a chance of finding a job.

  32. I don’t want either party in sole control. Not the ways things are right now. I will say that the Democrats have shown zero backbone to Bush on anything tangible, so I expect more of the same if they retain control during the McCain administration. We’re likely screwed to new levels of pain.

    Someone above mentioned that this administration and Congress gave us the gift of financial spying–KYC, enhanced BSA, etc., etc. True, but it took 9/11 to make that happen. Without 9/11, a Democratic administration tried to force that crap down our throats. A GOP-run Congress killed it. Our best hope, other than libertarian pod people taking over the government, is for a split government, with a D in the WH, and R control of the C.

  33. with a D in the WH, and R control of the C.

    How about a large, greased-up P in our collective A? ‘Cause that’s all we’re gonna get.

  34. Unless, of course, you don’t count Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Dresden.

    Japanese internment camps, forced draft, 3 million dead in Vietnam.

    I like this game.

  35. Jamie,

    Well, it’s all bad without the Founding Fathers rising from their graves and giving us good, enlightened, zombie government. Even then, they had some ideas that they’d need to work on. Unless you’re a white, property-owning male. Then everything’s groovy.

    Democrats gave us Jim Crow laws and segregation, too. And they started the Civil War, if you don’t want to blame Lincoln and the GOP.

  36. Pro Lib,
    Are you saying the Dems at one point didn’t like them niggers?
    Shocked, I am!

  37. Here’s hoping Arnie is correct, 61 dem senators & a President Obama.

    Helloo, gun control.

    Good-bye, secret ballots in union elections.

    Helloo, tax increases.

    Good-bye, economic recovery.

    Helloo, hard liberal judges.

    Good-bye . . . aww, fuck it.

    Somewhere down the road, as people see the indignity of the many intrusions and the adversity of the consequences, I hope that there will be a backlash.

    No chance at all. If it hasn’t happened in the past 50 years, why does anyone think it will happen in the next four?

  38. Its a very, very sad commentary on our politics that the most fiscally conservative regime was Clinton/Gingrich.

  39. So next year it’ll be eternal war (McCain) or extreme socialism (Obama).

    Sounds like a good time to emmigrate.

    Yeah, there aren’t really any places with BETTER government but there are many places where the government is smaller and you don’t live under constant surveillance.

  40. So next year it’ll be eternal war (McCain) or extreme socialism (Obama).

    At least its less likely it will be HRC. She would give us both.

  41. property-owning male

    Leaving aside gender and slaves for the moment, in THE DAY there was little to be voted on that adversely affected non-property owners.

    In today’s America, where every school kid with a gripe is told to write her CONgressdork for a solution, maybe it makes more sense to let everyone vote.

    The problem isn’t really that everyone gets to vote, it’s that everyone gets to vote on about anything they want to. That’s the rub.

  42. Right now, the greatest threat to our freedom is the war on terror. Obama is our best hope to improve that situation both at home and abroad.

  43. It doesn’t matter whether we get Democrats or Republicans anymore; the only difference left between the two parties is which excuse they use to take your freedom away. If you’re losing freedom in the name of God, morality or fighting terror, it’s generally a Republican. If you’re losing freedom in the name of the environment, public health or The Children it’s a Democrat. Republicans fight the war on drugs to do away with evil drug dealers; Democrats fight the war on drugs to protect helpless drug addicts from themselves. To-may-to, to-mah-to, it’s the same rotten fruit no matter what you call it.

  44. On the other thread I just commented about how goofy it is to consider both parties equally to blame for the FISA bill just passed, when 31 Dems (and only Dems) voted for the Dodd/Feingold version and every single Republican voted for against it.

    Here I can use the same principle to beat the Dems on the head. Have the GOP been bad on regulation? Sure. But the Dems will surely be for more of it than the Repubs will be…

  45. At this point I’m hoping Obama wins. The reason is twofold and partly devious.

    1) Obama doesn’t completely suck on civil liberties and foreign policy. Hillary and McCain also suck on the economy so there are no positives for voting them in.
    2) His socialist solutions will fail horribly, the economy will go into the gutter and in 4 years maybe a real conservative can actually challenge him like Reagan did Carter.

    If McCain or Hillary become president we’ve got another 8 years of warmongering ahead of us, more Patriot Act and FISA authoritarianism and we won’t even get a decent conservative challenger until 2016 since no one will run except Ron Paul will run against them.

  46. Still waiting for the calls of divided government that we heard from the reason staff as justification for Kerry votes in 2004…

  47. Welp….We’re boned.

    I feel worse for my kids. They are going to inherit one giant, shit pie of a nanny-state clusterfuck.

    I’m fairly certain about this, since outside of libertarian forums, no one seems all to concerned about the slow, inexorable erosion of personal freedoms. And that’s OK, because we did it for the [insert cause ‘o the day here].

    I for one welcome our new smoke/meat/drug/trans fat/sodomy/free speech/pillow-humping/animal testing/carbon/incandescent bulb-free, bio-fuel pimping overlords.

  48. “””Its a very, very sad commentary on our politics that the most fiscally conservative regime was Clinton/Gingrich.”””

    I think they did welfare reform too.

  49. Right now, the greatest threat to our freedom is the war on terror. Obama is our best hope to improve that situation both at home and abroad.

    Symfono Apolita

  50. A lot has been written of how the Wall St. Republicans have used the Evangelical Republicans. Taking their time, energy, and votes and never returning the SOTUS picks that will actually bring God’s kingdom to the U.S. But not much is written how the same group has taken Libertarian votes for even longer, all the while doing more to bloat the Gov’t then any Democrats. I still see Libertarians on the internet blogs discussing the Commerce Clause. The Wall St. Repubs must just laugh themselves silly.

  51. lol @ angry Jamie Kelly

    Seriously guys, I’m voting with my feet in the next few years. I don’t want to be in the States when the Boomer-shit hits the fiscal-fan. There is no longer a non-authoritarian political impulse in the USA, and we can’t do jack to change that.

  52. What is Bush II’s record on regulation, other that terrorism related financial stuff (granted, a big other)? I honestly don’t know, but I seem to recall Virginia Postrel noting that the Federal Register has grown much more slowly on Bush II than under Clinton (or Bush I, IIRC).

  53. “sef | February 13, 2008, 4:54pm | #

    Here’s hoping Arnie is correct, 61 dem senators & a President Obama.”

    This is not an unlikely scenerio. It’s not guaranteed by a long shot, but it’s definitely realistic. It’s where the American public are at at this point. Ron Paul’s failure at the ballot box proves they don’t want his style of conservative libertarianism.

    Now, nobody has really tried a “Libertarian Democrat” policy platform. That is, feed the poor, health care for all, but stay out of people’s lives otherwise. Legalize drugs and other victimless crimes (and tax them a bit). Scale back the military; no invading random countries at a whim, no permanent overseas bases. Let businesses have limited regulation. Give up on gun control. Respect citizens’ privacy.

    I think a “Libertarian Democrat” series of policies, as I described, would be a winner (note that Libertarian modifies Democrat and not the other way around-this is a modified form of the principles the Democrat Party currently stand for as opposed to a modified form a libertarianism).

  54. Indeed Bingo; might be time to look into opening a little brewery/restaurant on some lost Costa Rican coast soon.

  55. Jennifer, I completely agree. The Democrats have governed as liberal authoritarians and the Republicans have governed as conservative authoritarians. Now, Obama is no Libertarian, but I think he has some libertarian tendencies (at least more than Bush, Kerry, Gore, Delay, McCain, or HRC). Throw in the fact that GenX and GenY seem to be economically conservative but socially liberal, and the fact GWB has been the biggest Liberal Authoritarian post-WW2, and I think over the next decade Democrats will become more Libertarian and the old Liberal/Conservative labels will no longer be the battle lines. You will see the next century fought along Libertarian/Authoritarian lines.

    Like national Republican policies came from the Southeast and converted Dems (which is where LBJ was from), I think this Libertarian wave will come from the West.

    The Rs have purged most of their libertarian/moderate Senators. I think over the next 6-10 years, most of the pro-telco immunity Dems will be Repubs or out of office.

  56. “Richard Bentley | February 13, 2008, 5:25pm | #

    How about 75 Democratic senators and an Obama as President? Sounds like a good number to me. That would be enough to weed out the Republican moles in the Democratic congressional representation.”

    That’s basically not possible. Only one third of Senators are up for re-election each term, plus a signficant number of those are shoo-ins for the Republican party.

    Best case scenerio for the Democrats is about 60-61, and that’s if just about every close race goes their way. Now, that’s exactly what happened in 2006, so it’s perfectly plausable. But no one party will ever have 75 Senate seats. (Although, if the country actually likes what the combination of a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Presidency does, we will see what happens in 2010.)

  57. That’s what I’m talking about. The governments in many of those places are at least up front about their corruption.

    They also lack the resources to keep you under surveillance 24/7, and track your money in other countries, etc.

    So, here you have lip service to rights and none IRL.

    There you have no such lip service but they aren’t in a position to keep you under thumb constantly.

  58. Seriously guys, I’m voting with my feet in the next few years

    Seriously, Bingo, where will you go to?

  59. There you have no such lip service but they aren’t in a position to keep you under thumb constantly.

    Oh, like Hawaii? They’re a socialist paradise but they’re also way to laid back to care all that much.

  60. “ktc2 | February 13, 2008, 7:11pm | #

    That’s what I’m talking about. The governments in many of those places are at least up front about their corruption.

    They also lack the resources to keep you under surveillance 24/7, and track your money in other countries, etc.

    So, here you have lip service to rights and none IRL.

    There you have no such lip service but they aren’t in a position to keep you under thumb constantly.”

    Most countries fall into one of two broad categories:

    1. They are third world shitholes without an effective government. They also don’t have paved roads or running water in most of the country, and are subject to the whims of whatever warlord has taken power this week.
    2. They have high restrictions on business and the population at large.

    Sometimes you get a little bit of both (China for example).

    The United States is probably in the top ten of countries with the least amount of restrictions of all sorts that actually has electricity and indoor plumbing.

    Name a country that is more “free” than the United States that isn’t a complete shithole. Japan? The UK? France? Canada? China? Russia? India? Italy? Spain? Norway? Finland?

    Nope, nope, nope. There are few countries that even remotely qualify. Maybe Australia and a few of the tiny countries in Europe like Liechtenstein, but that’s about it.

  61. Look at the Electoral college.

    There is very little chance Obama would win.

    Hello President McCain.

  62. The War on Drugs promoted by [both] Repubicans [and Democrats] also gives the federal government powers to examine financial transactions.

    Fixed that for ya Gene.

  63. TWC:

    Someone mentioned Czech Republic on here a while back and the more I look into it the more I like it. Very liberal drug laws, liberal gun laws, low crime rate (gee, coincidence?), trends toward privatization and markets, great education system (can’t find the ranking list I had before), also a huge population (50%) of Atheist/Agnostic people, so no wars in the name of Jesus.

    Plus its got an Apple Store and an Ikea, so its obviously a member of the civilized world 😉

    Unfortunately, the language is a bitch!

  64. It won’t work from the Dems. The GOP has something that the Dems don’t. Party loyalty.

    ChicagoTom, the differences are minor. Both parties push very hard for party loyalty. I believe Reason did an entire article on this very subject within the last 72 hours?

    It’s funny how partisans on both sides of the isle strongly believe the other party has strong party loyalty.

  65. It appears some people are still optimistically searching for a liberaltarian pony in a sea of statist crap.

  66. I think Obama has tendencies to give me free oats and make sure I won’t have to give children rides.

  67. Bing, didn’t Matt Welch live and work in the Czech Republic for several years. I’m thinking yes.

    In one of my few forays into actual journalism I wrote a piece for the OC Register’s Sunday OP-Ed page on the newly emergent Czech Republic. I just tried to google it but it’s so old I think you’d have to go to Lexxis Nexxis to find it. [takes a bow]

    For those who don’t know, the OC Register has the only explicitly libertarian opinion page in the majors of the newspaper business. Always has been and hopefully always will be.

    That gun article you linked to almost sounds like NY bitching about how easy it is to get guns in Virginia. However, I didn’t get the impression that it was particularly legal to buy guns in CR, just easy to get them on the black market. Did I miss something?

  68. If you need anymore convincing on the Czech Republic I’d do an image search of Veronika Zemanova (not if you’re at work of course).

  69. I think that Nixon to China reasons might mean that McCain might give the best shot of getting the US out of Iraq.

  70. TWC:

    Here’s a summation of gun laws from a Czech citizen: http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-136408.html. Anecdote not the singular of data, etc, but as a common person’s view of how to obtain a gun it sounds pretty decent for a European country.

    Basically if you want to own a gun you need to get an official to sign off on something. It reminds me similar of how CCW’s are handled in gun-friendly states. If its semi-auto the burden is on them to prove why you shouldn’t have it, if its an auto or silenced the burden is on you to prove why you should have it.

    No mag restrictions, no manufacturer restrictions. If you own it you can carry it (concealed) no special permit needed.

    In some ways worse than the US, but in some ways a lot better too.

  71. “It won’t work from the Dems. The GOP has something that the Dems don’t. Party loyalty.”

    Tell that to McCain – who is now (probably) going to be the OGP’s nominee. When Lieberman bucked his own party he had to run as an indy to stay in office. McCain does it and he has no such trouble.

  72. Libertarian Librarian | February 13, 2008, 8:37pm | #

    Tell that to McCain – who is now (probably) going to be the OGP’s nominee.

    Oh thit, you telling me my Original Gangster Party has already endorsed him? I thought we were backing Nicky Barnes

  73. oh yeah, also, if Obama takes Ohio OR Texas, i’m prepared to make standing $50 bet to up to first 5 takers that he’ll win the presidency.

    Im looking at you chuky

  74. I’ll bet $500 McCain wins regardless of the Dem.

    If Hillary wins at this point, all the BaRobots will get pissy and not show up for her. McCain wins all the close states.

    If Obama wins, McCain will win Florida, Ohio, Missouri and all the swingy states (maybe not Iowa) because the Reagan Democratish ones aren’t voting for Obama.

    Plus the odds of something that’s exciting in February remaining exciting in November is nil.

    My lord, I’ll get so much pleasure out of seeing the Democrats fumble this election after 8 years of one of the worst Presidents in history. Why? Because I’m a hater and y’all can suck my ass.

  75. If the Dems hold LA and SD and they pick up the endagered R seats in Maine, Oregon, Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New Mexico that would leave the count at 56 Dems, 1 (avowed) Socialist, 1 CFL (Connecticut for Lieberman Party) and 42 Republicans.

    For the Dems to get to a Filibuster-proof 60 they are going to have to get two more non-obvious seats (Alaska, Nebraska, 2nd Mississippi seat)

    Additionally if McCain decides to retire like Dole did in ’96 the Democratic Arizona governor will name his replacement.

  76. Nick,
    Great minds think alike.
    I’m referring to yours, of course (and mine?)
    For one thing, Democrats are so sensitive about inclusion. President Obama will surely want to reach out to all the Ron Paul voters, won’t he?

    Ruthless

  77. I’m not a huge LP fan, but I have to admit this is kind of funny…
    http://www.lp.org/media/article_564.shtml

  78. I should add that the 2009 Republicans in the Senate will still include my Senator Arlen Specter, that chick from Maine and that clown from Ohio who all would happily roll over for the democrats

  79. Hillary says it’s undemocratic to disqualify FL and MI’s vote but is cool with superdelegates voting however they want.

    Obama says superdelegates should represent the will of the voters but says FL and MI’s vote shouldn’t count.

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee, both would lose to John Mc-C

  80. Chuky (or Cheeky?)

    Come maine or texas win by Obama, i’ll take your money. Will let you know.

  81. Wait, Obama did win Maine caucus, right?

  82. $$$ for health care > $$$ for wars. Always and forever.

    Also, sheeeeeeeee-it, how many of my fellow libertarians are rich or business owners? Sure, I’m against taxes, but wow, I’d rather have tax increases than a continuation of this war. (Of course I’d rather have neither.) I’m not saying y’all aren’t justified — gotta look out for #1, that’s fine — just… damn. Sometimes it sucks to be a poor libertarian.

    I’ve got a plan: if the democrats increase taxes, they should do it on the top 1% only. And if you’re in the top 1%: Cry Me A River. Yes, I’m against “insane taxes” on that %1, but that’s pretty far down the list of priorities. In the grand scheme of things the culture of surveillance and executive overreach is far more detrimental to liberty than higher taxes.

    (And I love the argument: “You think Bush abused his executive power, just wait for the Dems!” Uh… so we should *reward* the Repubs? Because that’s what causing the Dems to lose would be: a reward, an “attaboy”, a “What you did for the last 8 years is what I want more of”. Just come out and admit it: you would rather have Bush for 4 more years — were it possible — than Hillary “Apparently Satan Himself” Clinton.)

    Actually, I don’t understand why the Dems don’t just tax the richest of the rich. “They’ll leave the country.” For… where? exactly? Wanna live in Hong Kong or Malaysia? Hope you’re not gay, a woman, a recreational drug user, a religious or racial minority, a fan of any civil right, etc. etc. (Which is to say, if you’re a rich, white, straight male who is also a square: again, Cry Me A River. Betcha you’re happy you don’t have to deal with cops kicking in neighbor’s doors on drug raids or having your kids being sent off to the mid-east to die for nothing. Gotta love them loooow taxes.)

    Actually, I’m probably just desperate for any change, and I’m hoping that the Dems will do *anything* different, because the last 8 years were… well, worse than living in Europe (oh noes! that’s like Hell, almost, right?)! Gotta love that war, going on in my name.

  83. Mr. Laffer would like a word….

  84. Now, Obama is no Libertarian, but I think he has some libertarian tendencies

    Like what? Name one domestic issue where he is going to lighten the boot on my neck.

    I’ve got a plan: if the democrats increase taxes, they should do it on the top 1% only.

    No one who thinks “tax the other guy” is anything but profoundly corrupting and destructive of a free nation should consider himself a libertarian.

    Yeah, I know, purging the unbelievers, but seriously, give me a break.

  85. I for one welcome our regulatory overlords.

    Now, come shower me with the money of rich and poor alike! If I support this thing does it guarantee that I come out on top or that I’m stupid enough to think that it makes me come out on top?

  86. Many Americans will welcome the regulatory state. Many others will accommodate it. Only a minority of us will oppose it.

    And are we to assume he has routinely been motherfucking and otherwise heaping abuse and opprobrium on the party in power for the past two Presidential terms? Or has he taken up residence in that special cloud-cuckoo-land wherein Rs are for freedom and Ds are doing the devil’s work?

    Another beltway ass-sucker, would be my guess.

  87. For the country I’d move to, it would be-

    Holland for civil liberties

    Singapore for economic liberties

    I still haven’t figured out a country in the middle. Switzerland maybe?

    Czech Republics is cool cause I hear they have good bear. But they are a part of the EU, which sucks big time.

  88. “jethro is just jaded” has to be either a Team Blue plant or a really bad parody.

  89. If Ireland had any decent ski areas, the choice would be easy.

  90. No one who thinks “tax the other guy” is anything but profoundly corrupting and destructive of a free nation should consider himself a libertarian.

    Amen Brother Dean, now drink!

  91. My opinion has changed with time, but right now, I think we’re looking at President Obama.

  92. Cesar, I know a chick that lives in Singapore. She’s pretty happy about it too. I’m thinking the weather is pretty good and I hate chewing gum.

  93. ‘m almost ready to believe some variation of the Nixon Going to China argument that the Dems would feel more constrained in being Big Gummint idiots than, say, George W. Bush and Tom DeLay ever did precisely because that’s what everyone expects of them.

    The last time I believed an argument of this form on the Federal level, I thought that reformed drug user GWB would make real, substantial progress in reforming/liberalizing our nation’s inefficient, ineffective, overly punitive, and cruel War on Drugs.

    Dear God, Nick, learn from my mistake. Never EVER put any trust in an elected official unless you know them personally.

  94. I would love to believe that a Democrat would be like Nixon to China on regulation.

    Could happen. After all, it was Carter that de-regulated the airline and trucking industries, and engaged Paul Volker’s monetary policies, even though Reagan popularly gets credit for those things.

    Anyway, at this point it’s obvious no salvation is coming from the Republicans. Might as well just relax and enjoy the ride….

  95. Amen Brother Dean, now drink!

    I really try not to read anyone out of the Big Tent of Libertarianism, but I have limits.

    And yes, I did have a nice snort of Oban shortly after that post.

  96. How about a large, greased-up P in our collective A? ‘Cause that’s all we’re gonna get.

    Oh, all of a sudden its gonna get greased up, huh?

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