Reason.tv: Give Us Liberty?—Q&A with Dick Armey & Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks


Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is the latest victim of the Tea Party insurgency that's trying to take over the Republican Party. Tea Party favorite Joe Miller defeated Murkowski in The North Star State's The Last Frontier's primary by hammering away at (among other things) her support for TARP and lack of zeal for overturning Obamacare.

Miller joins a new breed of anti-spending candidates such as Maine's Paul LePage, Kentucky's Rand Paul, Florida's Marco Rubio, and South Carolina's Nikki Haley, who promise to bring a new passion for shrinking government to D.C. and state capitals.

Here's how Freedom Works' Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe sum up what the Tea Party stands for in their new book, Give us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto: "It doesn't take a lot of words to say that we just want to be free. Free to lead our lives as we please, so long as we don't infringe on the same freedom of others."

Armey and Kibbe say that the Tea Party coheres around spending and that other issues are not central to its mission. Perhaps. Joe Miller is also pro-life, pro border fence, and wants to outlaw the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research. Maine gubernatorial hopeful LePage believes the "traditional definition of marriage should be preserved." Haley, who will probably be South Carolina's next governor, has campaigned on tough enforcement against illegal immigrants. And the closest thing to a Tea Party spokesperson is Sarah Palin, the former "Bridge to Nowhere" supporter who oversaw a 16 percent increase in spending during her time as governor of Alaska.

Can this coalition stay together, stick to its anti-spending message, and actually change American politics? Or will it be co-opted by the very party upon which it seeks to perform a "hostile takeover?"

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie sat down with Armey and Kibbe to discuss these issues and more.
The interview was shot by Jim Epstein and Meredith Bragg, and edited by Epstein and Joshua Swain.

Approximately 9.30 minutes

Visit Reason.tv for downloadable versions of the video and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.


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  1. One reason I haven’t “joined” the tea parties, is that most of the people there are anti-freedom conservatives. We can agree on cutting spending, but beyond that we won’t get along too well. Liberty is not about building walls along the borders. Liberty is not about cops demanding to see your papers. Liberty is not about continuing the war/occupation in the middle east. Liberty is not about hating Muslims and protesting the building of a mosque.

    I am really glad some conservatives are finally getting serious about spending cuts. But that doesn’t make them libertarians.

    1. The point of the Tea Party is to protest the irresponsibility of the current Federal government. They are (as Kibbe says) focused on fiscal issues. Many folks who join these protests have wildly differing views on the various issues you listed, but they agree with the one that brings them together in the first place. I think you are being a little too judgemental to say that “most” of the people at these protests are anti-freedom (?) conservatives.

      1. the drug war is no less of a fiscal issue than the farm bill. they both cost way to much of taxpayers money and have perverse incentives. maybe dickmatt can get sen grassley to vote against the farm bill and for defunding the war on drugs. yea riiiiiiiiiight.

    2. This is where I part company with Libertarians…”open borders” is stupid!

      1. I don’t understand anyone that believes in property rights and yet denounces national borders.

        1. it stems from not wanting to ever have to cower in fear as some jackboot says “give me your papers!”

          1. not neccessarily agreeing with the view, just trying to help you understand SOME of the people who advoocate open borders.

          2. It is not an either or situation. You can have a controlled border without checking everyones “papers”. I am sure those that beleive in open borders won’t mind if I walk into their homes.

            1. Should read believe.

            2. The difference between walking into someone’s home and walking across the border is the difference between private and public property. People from another country are not inherently more dangerous to the public welfare than people from this country. Prima facie, there is no reason not to let whoever wants to immigrate into the country, and only punish them for breaking the law after coming in. That’s kind of what libertarianism is about: the government shouldn’t interfere with people so long as they don’t initiate force/fraud/theft/coercion against each other. By placing artificial limits on the movement of free people, the government is intruding into their lives unfairly. Borders also, of course, hurt free markets.

              1. The difference between walking into someone’s home and walking across the border is the difference between private and public property.” Not if it is my property you are walking on to when you cross the border.
                This country is fucked up enough with out letting everybody on the planet come here.
                “That’s kind of what libertarianism is about: the government shouldn’t interfere with people so long as they don’t initiate force/fraud/theft/coercion against each other.” Who the hell is going to stop them from initiating force/fraud/theft/coercion against each other.”??? The idea of anarchy and open borders will assure that libertarianism never gets off the ground.

                1. Except Libertarianism isn’t anarchy.

                  1. Quite a few libertarians espouse anarchy

                    1. The vast majority of those that do espouse it do so as a means to an end. The end is the same: a libertarian society.

                      Anarchist libertarians simply believe that a society with no government is more likely to achieve and maintain a libertarian society than one that has a government.

        2. I don’t understand anyone that believes in property rights and yet denounces national borders.

          Most open borders advocates don’t denounce national borders. They simply believe that a government acting legitimately — i.e., securing individual rights rather than abrogating them — would not prohibit the crossing of national borders by people who pose no threat.

          1. How the hell do you know they pose no threat??? And what do you mean….”No threat”? Do you mean no burden on our economy???

            1. By “no threat” I mean they are not terrorists, foreign agents, violent felons, or carriers of contagion.

              And they aren’t a burden on the economy so long as they consume less than they produce. Issue a new class of visa that allows unlimited entry, exit, residence, and employment with the explicit condition that neither the holder nor any of the holder’s children get any targeted welfare.

              1. Who the hell is going to control this and pay for it?

                1. Current visa application fees run $600 or so. That should pay for something this simple.

                  The goal is to permit people to migrate as freely as public safety allows. Most of today’s expense of USCIS is in spending months to years looking for reasons to exclude people. Make the admission of the vast majority of prospective migrants easy, and all those now-wasted resources can be used to detect and pursue people who are actual threats.

                  1. You mean all these ILLEGAL immigrants are paying a visa application fee? I don’t think you have a clue!

                    1. Many are coughing up $3000 to be brought in by coyote. Others are forced to collect ransom when less friendly crime rings get a hold of them.

                      $600 for the privilege of legal and trouble-free exit and entry and employment and maintaining their family in a cheaper country and being in the US only during profitable seasons? Cheap.

                      The reason illegal immigrants don’t immigrate legally is that the quota prevents it. Eliminating the quota eliminates the reason.

  2. “The North Star State”

    I thought that was Minnesota.

    1. Minnesota
      “L’Etoile du Nord” or “The Star of North” is the state motto of Minnesota. The “North Star State” has given people a sense of direction over the course of time.
      Minnesota is known on its license plates as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but Minnesota actually has 12,000 lakes.
      source: http://www.state.mn.us/aam/aamp1-6.html


      Alaska is called “The Last Frontier”, because of its opportunities and many lightly settled regions, and the “Land of the Midnight Sun”, because the sun shines nearly around the clock during Alaskan summers.
      source: Encarta

      1. Came here to say this. Hence, the Minnesota North Stars.

  3. Armey and Kibbe say that the Tea Party coheres around spending and that other issues are not central to its mission. Perhaps.

    C’mon. These people are going to have opinions, and have to cast votes, on other issues as well. Don’t act so surprised.

    Can this coalition stay together, stick to its anti-spending message, and actually change American politics?

    Can they resist the rip currents of social issues and stick to slaughtering the Beast? Probably not, and at the end of the day it will probably be because the voters back home are too stupid to set aside their insistence on conformity to social dogma and focus on the issue at hand. When the Tea Party candidates see their coalitions fracturing around the classic wedge issues, it will be over.

    Or will it be co-opted by the very party upon which it seeks to perform a “hostile takeover?

    It depends on how quickly the new gang can take over leadership.

  4. Nick, Larry’s name is pronounced Sab-a-toe.

  5. How is awesome is the name “Dick Army”?

    Almost as good as “Magic Johnson”.

    1. Dick Assman

    2. His wife’s name is “Vagina Coastguard”.

  6. @ 1:37 dick armey and lambchop boy didn’t like the idea of cutting war spending.

    1. Yup. And that is why this ‘Tea’ Party experiment is dead after the elections.

      1. I don’t really agree…things will keep getting worse…80%-95% incumbent victories will fall to below 50% incumbent victories by 2012…whatever/whoever stamps a trademarked name on the rising middle class anger …the anger is not going away until we get a regime change…and we are not even close to a regime change as of yet.

    2. This is where i part company with Dick Army. I hate useless wars, which covers most.

  7. dick’s role: divert public energy away from cutting taxes and ending wars…take the attacks on the elite and redirect it towards cutting spending on the middle class.

    Lambchops role: do all the actual writing and provide some naive true believer zeal to make themselves believable to people who want less government.

    Nicks role: introduce wedge issues to sap the energy of the attack on the elite.

    The role of all three: to once again assign leadership responsibilities towards Sarah Palin and John McCain.

    taboo…don’t talk about the Fed, JP Morgan don’t mention Kissinger/Zbig/military industrial complex.

    You can tell that if all this public anger only results in cuts to entitlements while leaving taxes the same, foreign policy the same etc….all participants in this kind of show will be happy.

  8. Great, just what we need. A Dick Army replacing an Asshole Army.

  9. You cannot deal with fiscal issues unless you also deal with foreign policy, defense, wars, etc.

    1. Care to elaborate why not? Or did you mean to write, “You cannot comprehensively deal with fiscal issues unless you also deal with foreign policy, defense, wars, etc.”

  10. without a Dick Armey!

  11. Keep in mind when talking Palin and budgets: The first budget she signed as Gov was for FY 2008 (elected 11/06, FY08 starts 7/07). She vetoed more than a half-billion from the two budgets she signed to much weeping and gnashing of teeth. She reduced requests for fed funds each year.

    Bridge to Nowhere: Ketchikan is up against the mountains, the sea, and Tongass National Forest. There is limited room for development and growth. Gravina Island has the room, hence the bridge proposal. Personally, I’d rather build a bridge to nowhere so that it could become somewhere than build additional reliever bridges in already-developed and bridged municipalities, instances of which are numerous nation-wide.

    I never voted for Mrs. Palin (I was miffed at her “click it or ticket” ads back in the mid-aughties), but she deserves credit for the things she did accomplish, her talents, her savvy and her ongoing political maturation.

    1. “…. her savvy and her ongoing political maturation.” Of which she has a long way to go.

  12. Dick Armey makes me sick. People like him are the reason why the Tea Party is destined to fail.

  13. Why is Nick Gillespie always wearing a leather coat? Does he have difficulties regulating his body temperature? I wonder if he has really big nipples and they obnoxiously protude out of his black t-shirt. If there is anything I don’t like in this world, its a male reporter nippin out on camera. I’m just saying.

    1. Nick doesn’t wear the jacket, The Jacket wears Nick.

  14. “Why is Nick Gillespie always wearing a leather coat? Does he have difficulties regulating his body temperature?” Yes, he is a salamander.

  15. “Tea Party” is not an appropriate name for these cowards.


  16. I would Like to start a Debate about the USA Monetary Policy and Our WTO Trade Policy which has been a failure and has been continuing to fund trade deficit after trade deficit without the people in America having control of the Federal Reserve because of its Independence but continued to keep running up these huge deficits and Congress not being forced to have to be Constitutionally obligated to the Sound Dollar policy because of the Federal Reserves Independence vs. the American People through their Congressional District elected officials so more better Local improvements can be achieved for the Community levels of our society , we the people need to be In Charge of our Monetary Policy and Not the Federal Reserve , this would serve we the people better and allow for debate about how to solve the Trade gaps one way or the other , not Run our Country Over the Cliff , and do nothing . And I believe that if the Federal Reserve was retired and the Monetary Policy in control of we the people , we would see the Congress work together better to solve the issues , because after all its all about the Money and who control the purse strings , and if we the people can directly be better able to direct the congress to hold policies effect on sound dollar results Trade Policies would balance , as well as the Pork barrel issues would be debated better , it would lead to way better Transparency I bet and we the people would be heard and served again !!!!
    There is a lot of Back Door Policy making going on that a law passed is a nail in the Coffin of the US constitution as it stands in the way of the idealists plans I believe ….
    Click this link scroll down to The Rockefeller Plan – \”Tricky\” Dick Nixon and Trickier Rockefellers The USA was taken off the Gold Standard in 1971 for a Very evil reason They are Lying about it all being a Free Market , LYING !! http://www.globalresearch.ca/i…..p;aid=7735 , scroll to the last paragraph in the segment and read the proof about my claim that we were taken off the Gold Standard for a Very strategic reason , but read the whole segment on why they did it ….

    1. The High Cost of the China-WTO Deal: Administration’s own analysis suggests spiraling deficits, job losses; By Robert E. Scott; February 1, 2000: http://www.epi.org/publication…..efs_ib137/ And http://www.epi.org/publication…..ers_bp147/ It has also taken Mexico\’s Jobs away over the years too. Europe\’s Jobs too. This is all because of a Simple Currency manipulation that does nothing to promote quality in our products.

    2. There are to many things out there in the progressive circles that points to a fear of earths carrying capacity being reached and they have to save us all from ourselves , this is where we the people better wake up and get the debate going or we will lose Liberty ; http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..-teachers/ and then couple what Gates is plans are with this ……. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/…..resources/

    3. the Trilateral Commission was formed during this study NSSM200 , Was it Planned , I believe this plan of debasing the US dollar standard base value as was described here in this Link , http://www.globalresearch.ca/i…..p;aid=7735 , like Nixon did in 1974 was all part of the plan to consolidate the wealth of free people for fear of a future of unsustainable population growth all laid out in this study: http://www.population-security.org/11-CH3.html
      This is why we the people need to take control of our Federal Reserve and put the decision making of Monetary Policy back in the hands of the republic , so we can redirect the money usage and trade policies to be within the confinements of the US Constitutions sound money principles

    4. When I see these CIA video links out there you have to think they want us to pick up on these as they trickle them out into the forums , for what reason ?

      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/…..opulation/ But the elite are idealistically forcing we the people in to a one world society that they then can control the use of worldwide resource use over , and thats a Stalinist Leninist movement thats sure to be a failure too , http://www.cpusa.org/party-program/

  17. Bare with Me on the concept of a State Owned Bank , which can work if the control is Local government rather than Federal , the Federal Grip on Our society has got to be isolated and the only way to do it is to control the Monetary Policy at the state level and the State owned banking system would be that conduit rather than the Multi-national banking firms like Goldman , who are Operating from the outside , or are about too , because of the vacuum thats now on that sectors growth , which is all thats left in the US capital system which just went through a final series of Quantive easing which the Gold Market is signaling us this fact , but as that final blow to the dollar currency value is being sucked down to the China currency value , we have to save our Republic or die by the fraud of currency manipulation by our own choosing , or we can put together a banking system that we the people control through our congress and it be a Joint Venture system with private enterprise as a means to create a way to put the funding of a Monetary Policy back in control by , for and of the People of this Country . WE the people can be our own Board of Governors that decide weekly , quarterly , yearly our Monetary Policy and interest rate conditions just the same and more fairly analyze our tax and trade structures FAIRly than a Independent board of governors that are made up of such a small Group of Individuals that the ease of Conflicts of Interest and behind the senses activities that favors are made of , is why we are in the shape we are in , the problem is sustaining equally opportunity for all , and this trade policy has NOT DONE this for 16 years , and enough is enough , remember Obama saying that in the 2008 campaign about this Unfair Trade Policy and then he did Nothing !!!!!! So I guess our choices are do nothing and default on our Capital systems process of building valuation through Fair Trade Policies or , Renegotiate a Free and FAIR Trade Policy thats sustains a sound Dollar Policy that grows a Economic value for we the people , COMMON Mr. President Get off your Printing Press thats all about just Dominating everyone\’s wealth creation and BE and AMERICAN FIRST SIR !!!!!!! Print this words instead of paper money Mr. President they have more worth !!!!!!!
    We need to End the Fed its Ridiculous at this point in time and has been taken over by the fascist Goldman banking firms which are only finalizing the end of consolidation of the finite resource base in the world by the currency manipulators China , http://finance.yahoo.com/news/…..amp;ccode; , and they have hamstrung the USA congress , I mean they are operating like a Communist state inside the union , having access to the Money they Need with the Independence of the Fed without the will of the people and this stinks to high heaven , they Talk a Big story for Votes , but do Nothing about recapitalizing a USA industrial segment like Renewable could be , we are doing nothing but writing phony unemployment checks and how much longer can we do that ? Retire the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and put the control of Monetary Policy back in the hands of the People and through their congress write a New Monetary Policy with a state owned banking industrial complex , that is responsible for the health care facilitation and security of fund portfolios that then is used in Bond fund structures , and provides state municipalities the funding structures that feed economic stability into the state economies . Plus reward the health care beneficiary with a premium reduction for every year they show on their health care that because they live a more healthier life style that reduces their use of the health care system they see and increase of the benefit towards their retirement health care account , and this trend overall bends the healthcare costs of our society through the beneficiaries accounts by way of financially rewarding the growth of the overall account by the interest it generates from the retention on the fund from the healthier life styles practiced . And Another reason we need to tie the State Owned banking concept together with the health care system and allow that structure to be managed at the state level of the bureaucracy rather than the Federal level and people would be more Included to see this as a debatable topic I bet .

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