My State of the Union Address

Let's win the future by cherishing individual liberty


President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty and gave his report on the state of the union this week. Here's mine:

We're in deep trouble.

You know why. Our debt has passed $14 trillion, and yet our current spending plans will make that worse. The U.S. debt will reach Greek levels in just 10 years.

But do not despair. If we make reasonable cuts to what government spends, our economy can grow us out of our debt. Cutting doesn't just make economic sense, it is also the moral thing to do. Henry David Thoreau had it right when he "accepted(ed) the motto … that government is best which governs least."

So what should we get rid of?

We start by closing the Department of Education, which saves $100 billion a year. Education ought to be in the free market. It's insane to take money from states only to launder it through Washington and then return it to states.

Next, we should close the Department of Housing and Urban Development: $41 billion. We had plenty of housing in America before a department was created. Let's get government out of that business.

Then we eliminate the Commerce Department: $9 billion. A government that can't count the votes accurately should not try to negotiate trade. Trade should be free. Free trade creates prosperity. And since trade should be free, we should eliminate all corporate welfare and all subsidies. That means: agriculture subsidies, green energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies, and subsidies for public broadcasting. None of these is needed.

I propose selling Amtrak. Taxpayers will save money, and riders will get better service. Why is government in the transportation business? Let's have private companies compete to run the trains.

And we must finally stop one of the biggest assaults on freedom and our pocketbook, the war on drugs. The drug war is really a war on our own people. The ends do not justify the means.

Now the biggest cuts. Republicans propose to cut discretionary nonmilitary spending. Good. But why stop there? That's only 15 percent of our budget. We must cut more. That means cutting Medicare, Social Security, and the military.

I know. Medicare and Social Security are popular, but they are unsustainable. We must privatize Social Security and slowly replace Medicare with vouchers.

And that brings me to ObamaCare. The only way to cut costs and still have medical innovation is to free the market. So I propose that we repeal ObamaCare immediately. Then we must do more: We must repeal all government interference in the medical and insurance industries, including licensing. All that impedes competition.

Now, military spending. Do you recall what candidate Obama said about the war in Iraq?

"I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don't be confused."

But I am confused. We're two years past 2009, but we still have 48,000 troops in Iraq. We must shrink the military's mission to truly national defense. That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy, and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the entire world. We can't afford it, and it's not right.

Those cuts will put America on the road to solvency. But that's not enough. We also need economic growth.

Our growth has stalled because millions of pages of regulations make businesses too fearful to invest. Entrepreneurs don't know what the rules—or taxes—will be tomorrow. This discourages hiring.

All destructive laws must go. I again propose the Stossel Rule: For every new law passed, we must repeal two old ones.

We need to progress to an America that cherishes individual freedom. That means a government limited by the Constitution, one that protects our shores and our persons but otherwise stays out of our way. We should take seriously the words of another president, Thomas Jefferson, and embrace "a wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned—this is the sum of good government."

That's my State of the Union address.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at www.johnstossel.com.


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  1. After the collapse. the fucking President left holding the bag will calim that “no one could have foreseen this”.

    1. You should have invented another fiat currency to back up the first one.

    2. “After the collapse. the fucking President left holding the bag will calim that “no one could have foreseen this”.”

      Oh, no he won’t. He’ll claim it was the market and those nasty republicans who caused it.

      1. And the libertarians.

  2. President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty and gave his report on the state of the union this week. Here’s mine:

    We’re in deep trouble.

    That’s not the tone I got from the President. In fact, any of the Union’s economic rough patches can be smoothed over with a little bit of global competitiveness and a shitload of taxpayer money.

    1. Let my people go!

    2. One shitload of taxpayer money is no longer sufficient.

      At least ten shitloads will be required plus repeal of the first ten amendments. (Not that they pay any attention to those pesky things anyways.)

    3. That’s the price you pay to win the future

  3. Calling BattleStar Eterniaflower, to “shoot” fragance to the bhoneolibtical&rinoliphant; govba$e$hip$, govbailedoutre$urrection$hip$ from the 2 govtower$: I$engov… and… Moregov… HHHHH!!!!!, MMMore…gov?, yes preciou$ drivebymedia… you’re a LIAR and a thief… psst: murderer (ABORTION “THINGS”)…
    wao, on miamidade the dade arcaidefuete mayor&gralattny; police resources, actualy “helped” by the assymetrical oportunist of the moment (lastone: castroagent yoelvis, who ordered along castrocoyote by dade law lourdezmartinez (singlename), PSST, I HAVE NAMES OF POLICE WHO KNEW ALL THE
    S(BEEP)T: cptn noel, offcr dominic, judge pedrasa, on my sister “legal” “self” kidnapping&tortures;, to be gifted to 7-11 big changer “thing” ahsan, powerfull before police I SAW ENOUGH!!, and to “my” records, brieffings, and all GOV INFO on my bloodline family… slaved by carlosrichards&gaypredator; trying to open my door, gunpoint (to me not to the gays) police comes after I “loose control and… scream WHY ARE YOU HERE?!…
    DO YOU C O P Y?…

    1. Can I have a toke of what you’re smoking?

    2. Sugarfee is on the Bong again…

      1. It’s clearly a message being sent backward through time. The future is trying to tell us not to feed Warty after midnight.

        1. “Put …on…the ….damn….GLASSES….”

          1. I insist on the longest fistfight in movie history first, please.

            1. South Park’s cripple fight replication of that scene was fantastic.

              1. You can’t go wrong with Carpenter. I don’t watch much South Park, but I do recall thinking during the first season that they should do an episode entitled Escape from South Park. The reason that occurred to me, was, of course, the presence of Isaac Hayes.

    3. What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

    4. 10 to 2 AM, X, Yogi DMT, and a box of Krispy Kremes,
      In my “need to know” pose, just outside of Area 51
      Contemplating the whole “chosen people” thingy
      When a flaming stealth banana split the sky
      Like one would hope but never really expect
      To see in a place like this.
      Cutting right angle donuts on a dime
      And stopping right at my Birkenstocks,
      And me yelping…

    5. Roger, copy. Uh, friendly advice… Do not scream at the cops in the Miami-Dade area for a while. They’re like to be jumpy for a couple days after those cops got killed down there. ASK. In a reasonable tone.

    6. “… slaved by carlosrichards&gaypredator;”

      That can’t be good…

    7. Probably one of those frackin’ toasters…

      …oh, wait. Frack me, I’m a Cylon.

  4. “We must repeal all government interference in the medical and insurance industries, including licensing. All that impedes competition.”

    Stossel, if we discontinue licensing standards, how will we know it that doctor is a trained in medicine or just a reason commenter playing gynecologist?

    1. Neither of those sets of people want to touch your greasy cunt, so why should you care?

      1. Thread winner!

      2. “greasy cunt” + 1 for creativity but that may not be the most effective insult; are you saying I taste like bacon? That even turns me on

        1. Nice half deflection.

          Since you have never known any different, I guess it is my sad duty to point out that the vast majority of women can get a PAP smear without their gynecologist having to wear a hazmat suit. Or call in the CDC.

          1. Oh Please, please don’t tell me you’ve been giving yourself pap smears.

            1. That doesn’t even make insult sense. You really are quite pathetic.

            2. if there was a “like” button, it would clicked, and the bacon comment. THat’s the best way to respond to ignrant people’s “insults”. That’a a way to beter this country…hating on each other? @Oh please, oh please.

    2. Hey, if you can’t tell the difference, why should we?

    3. Ever heard of Consumer Reports? Or PRIVATE licensing companies. You know, the famous JD Powers & Associates isn’t part of the government.

      1. UL?

      2. We also have this thing called ‘the internet’ that pretty much guarantees you can find out more than you ever wanted to know about anyone.

    4. Damn government making sure our doctors are qualified! Down with it!

      1. So Harvard, Stanford and Duke aren’t good enough for you? I mean, I have a family full of doctors, it’s not the goddamm government that made sure they’re qualified, it’s their education, experience and their patients.

        1. Ahh, yes, because we all have doctors from such esteemed universities.

          1. Even doctors from less esteemed universities are quite good. In fact, bad doctors are THE EXCEPTION, you statist.

        2. Harvard was good enough for me.

    5. If we end up needing such a thing setup something smiler to bar exams/SCUBA certs, where practicing doctors and hospitals test candidates. Thus the ones who know the field best determine if anybody is qualified to play in their sandbox. Just make sure the State stays out of it. Seems to work well enough for SCUBA and that has life and death implications if you screw-up.

      1. Yeah we have that, specialty board certification. The medical boards try to influence the hell out of the government, but they are private entities and have written and oral exams along with periodic re-testing for maintenance of certification. Would do as an alternative to state licensure nicely.

        State licensure boards currently mainly function to make sure that if you have a substance abuse, ethics, or serious quality problem that you can have your right to practice taken away. Anticompetitive? Certainly to some degree, in that they restrict people from without credentials from practicing medicine.

        Just for perspective, physicians receive on average 10 cents from each medical dollar spent. Competition is great, but we are not talking about a majority or even a significant minority of medical costs. Reduce physician income 30% through competition, you have saved 3% of each medical dollar spent. Not saying its not worth doing. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking healthcare costs are mostly from physician fees. It’s 10%.

    6. Stossel was discussing the state of the union, as in the federal government. State governments license physicians, not the feds, though the feds do make us jump through enough hoops where they might as well. Got two federal identification numbers that I need to practice. In any event, getting the federal government out of the regulation of physicians is something I would support, since it can be done at the state level quite well. Whether or not states should regulate is another debate entirely.

      1. Why should the states be allowed to “regulate” and license? If it’s wrong for the fed to do as a violation of our individual rights, then it’s just as wrong for any state to do so.

      2. Agreed… I have several meetings a week to figure out meaningful use, federally mandated Accountable Care Organizations, constant federal changes from CMS, etc… Literally the bureaucracy is so complex that once we figure it out we are going to sell our expertise to others. Not that I like swimming in this sea of crap, but the progressives and bureaucrats are in charge and we seemingly must embrace their arbitrary decrees.

  5. Education ought to be in the free market.

    How would that work? Since you can’t offer an argument as to how education would be made universally available even to poor children, would you propose a Paul Ryan-esque voucher system that will probably be more expensive and less efficient?

    1. There is no right to education enumerated in the constitution.

      1. Oh well. Good thing we found out how to provide it, right?

        Good god I wish we could experiment with your precious antigovernment definition of freedom for a while just so you could see the feudal hellhole that would result.

        1. Because without government schools…SOMALIA!!!111!!

        2. Because private schools instead of government schools = SOMALIA!!11!!!

          1. Okay so once you start issuing vouchers to ensure that all children have access to a private school, I bet you those private schools start resembling public schools in every way.

            1. No, because unlike government schools, they would have to compete with other private schools on the basis of cost and results, and if they failed to deliver, they would lose out to the more efficient schools. Since they couldn’t just ass-rape the taxpayers for more money whenever they wanted, they would have to be effective or go out of business in the face of superior competition.

              1. Umm WTF how would that work since we’re talking about kids getting government checks to go to schools? How is that market competition?

                1. Because the money goes with the student instead of straight to a school district. Schools that do a poor job will quickly lose students to better schools- and lose the money that those students brought. Parents will generally choose to send their kids to a better school… you know, if they have a choice.

            2. Tony|1.27.11 @ 1:29PM|#
              “I don’t have any evidence but it’ll be worse if you do something.”

              Thanks for the worthless opinion, asshole.

              1. How about this Tony: Introduce a voucher program (in an area), but by statute recognize the corresponding state’s right to divide all the money evenly between any other cities that also do a voucher system.
                This way poor cities won’t have crappy schools

                And I’m not saying that as a compromise. Unlike these sociopath fucks I actually care about not fucking over the poor.

                1. Edwin, you seem to have very little empathy for sociopaths; those poor people born with an inability to empathize with others. And you seem to believe that you have the right to tell others how to live, what causes to support and how to spend their money. Maybe you’re the sociopath?

            3. I will bet you, here and now, any amount, in the currency or commodity of your choice, that you are completely wrong. Of course, that’s a safe bet almost any time you open your yap.

              Federal dollars spend just like any other. It’s not the source of funding that makes public schooling so fucked up. It’s the monopoly position they occupy.

              1. x 1000000000000000000000000000000000000

          2. PublcK skools like LAUSD!

          3. “Because private schools instead of government schools = SOMALIA!!11!!!”


        3. You’ve certainly provided something, but I would not call it education. And judging by the truancy rates, you really don’t have universal education because kids from every class don’t show up. I think it had something to do with the fact that public school generally sucks(bullying, suffocating atmosphere, a sense of your self-esteem eroding, other juvenile bullshit inherent in a system where you can only interact with people your age and sexless failures at life i.e. teachers) and that the truants could genuinely be doing something more productive with their lives. I remember kids back in HS who would be “sick” for at least a quarter of the school year. I found it amusing when a couple of them were making a shit-load of money selling pot and acid. At the rate they were going they could have retired at 30-35, “education” be damned. Too bad it’s illegal and they have probably been prison-raped for years at this point. Le sigh.

      2. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. –The Ninth Amendment

    2. WRT to poor people, you do have a point. It is possible that in a completely free market, they might be denied a chance at schooling (note that I do not say “an education”). OTOH, it is hard to imagine how they could be worse off than inner-city children in many US cities today.

      The vast sums of money spent on ‘public education’ have not solved the problem; the educational bureaucracy and teachers’ unions have consistently fought against any form of evaluation.

      As for the relative “efficiency” of public schools, I am incredulous that you could believe that they are.

      1. You know, American charity and compassion don’t come from the government. To the extent that we allow the government to take on charitable roles, it reflects our values, not the other way around. Without government, we’d have other options for doing the same thing. Mutual aid societies, private charities, schools and other institutions run by charitable organizations, etc.

        We did have a lot of this before the growth of the welfare state, which displaced quite a bit of the private options once it got large enough to dry up funding.

        1. I wasn’t trying to imply that there would be no source of schooling for poor people absent state subsidies. My comment was more aimed at the low quality of education that is presently provided to the poor, which is one of the major reasons that poor kids have trouble raising their economic status.

          WRT the issue of government programs capturing what would be charitably given, I think that it is clear that one of the aims of government benefit programs is to create a sense of entitlement on the part of the recipients and also create resentment on the part of those who are forced to fund them. IOW, governments seek to exacerbate class warfare so that they can pretend to be “relieving” it.

          1. I wasn’t really disagreeing with you; just noting for our resident progressive that there are alternatives to government welfare programs.

    3. How would it be more expensive and less efficient?

      1. Because it always is. How are government vouchers better for freedom anyway?

        1. Because it always is is not an answer. Answer that and I will answer your question.

          1. Okay Paul Ryan wants to do away with Medicare as we know it and replace it with a voucher system. Meaning that instead of one system with a single administrator in which qualified recipients are guaranteed a certain amount of health coverage, they get to take their government checks and buy healthcare on the open market. Is that an increase in individual freedom? Is it cheaper?

            1. ..they get to take their government checks and buy healthcare on the open market. Is that an increase in individual freedom? Is it cheaper?


            2. If you weren’t so irredeemably stupid, you would know you answered your own question.

              The telltale line?

              “in which qualified recipients are guaranteed a certain amount of health coverage” (emphasis mine)

            3. What does that answer have to do with education. Are you ADD?

            4. Obviously yes & yes.

            5. qualified recipients are guaranteed a certain amount of health coverage

              A guarantee can be enforced. You’re talking about a government promise. That’s not going to be enforced.

              You can’t evade the fact that health care has a cost. If you lower the costs you have more health care that may be afforded. Government planning raises costs so there is less available.

              Honest progressives, like the ones in the Obama administration, at least admit that much.

              So yes a voucher system would save lives.

    4. Actually, Tony, it won’t.

      Getting the federal government out of education wouldn’t move it to the free market since just about every state’s constitution requires the state to provide education.

      But here’s a question. Why not just leave it up to the states to do their job and leave the feds out of it.

      It’s not like the federal government actually has money that the the states don’t have. After all, the states are where the federal government gets its money.

      Oh, except the stuff they borrow, that is. But we could do with a lot less of that.

      Of course, then state legislators would have to face up to their responsibilities wouldn’t they?

      But in reply to this “Since you can’t offer an argument as to how education would be made universally available even to poor children…” I say I don’t but the neither can I offer an argument as to how shoes would be made universally available to poor children. Oddly enough, I have not noticed hordes of unshod children, have you?

      But one thing I can say is that if I was trying to provide shoes for children I certainly would not insist that every child had to wear identical shoes in the same size color and material as every other child. And I certainly wouldn’t make so that every shoe was as expensive as it could possibly be.

      1. Certainly there’s some wisdom to keeping education a state matter, but there should also be some national minimum standards. The feds do this not by regulating of course but sort of by bribing. States are free not to take federal money if they don’t want to meet the standards. I don’t see anything wrong with that arrangement.

        Education is a very, very expensive multiyear commitment. Without public education vast hordes of children simply would not go to school. And that’s not freedom. They didn’t choose poor or unsupportive parents. Apart from the economic argument for universal education, that’s the unavoidable moral component. How do you require people to compete in the free market to get ahead when they, through no fault of their own, are forced into not getting an education unlike the children of wealthier or more supportive parents? The expense of education is what makes it unlike shoes.

        1. How about this Tony: don’t have a damned child if you can’t afford to clothe, feed, house, and educate him yourself? Yeah, we’re the anti-Jesus. We’re libertarians.

          1. Good advice. So if someone does have that child, do we punish the child for his parents’ irresponsibility?

            1. As opposed to punsihing taxpayers who had nothing to do with the child by forcing them to pay for it?

              1. I don’t consider it a punishment to ensure that children in your community are offered minimum services to correct for any poor parenting. Having a child is a basic right. Unless you want to do away with that right, you either have to accept social support for children or you have to say you’re OK with punishing children for their other people’s misdeeds.

                1. I don’t consider it a punishment to ensure that children in your community are offered minimum services to correct for any poor parenting.

                  I don’t see it as my responsibility.

                2. …in Los Angeles by forcing them to attend school in the LAUSD.

              2. WTF-yes. These children are a part of our whole/of our future just as every other child that was born to parents who give a damn about them. So yes, wouldn’t we want to pay to give these children a future? Unless you have some other plan to just “off” these kids. Now there’s a powerful society… by just weeding out the less fortunate.

              3. Bingo. Society is not punishing the child of a bad parent. The parent is punishing the child.

                But society is obligated to protect the child’s rights and freedoms. We walk a fine line when it comes to children because they have the freedoms of an individual without the responsibilities.

            2. Are most parents that irresponsible ? I was born in the 50’s, and I can recall the kids I grew up with who’s parents weren’t that great. And there were a few, but like 2 kids out of my grade school class of 25. Most parents were trying to raise their kids right. And of the handful with the lowlife parents, I know one who started his own trucking company, and is doing quite well. So I’m just not convinced that there are that many irresponsible parents, or that if the Federal government isn’t controlling eductation, there will be a massive cohort of children being punished with a sub standard education.

              1. To be fair, back then a lot more homes had a parent that could stay home with the kid to raise them right, instead of a lot of 2-income households like you have now. That doesn’t mean I’m buying Tony’s argument, however. I quite agree that no, I do not have a responsiblity to pay to correct a problem which I did nothing to create.

        2. “Certainly there’s some wisdom to keeping education a state matter, but there should also be some national minimum standards.”

          Why? Is there any compelling evidence that national minimum standards increase the quality of education? More directly, is there any evidence that in the absence of national standards that states do a lousy job of setting their own? Your point seems like a solution in search of a problem. An expensive solution at that. Note that prior to the creation of the Department of Education, state governments did just as good a job educating kids as they do now. Please enlighten me as to how stacking federal bureaucracy on top of the state system did anything at all to improve matters. States still have disparities in terms of graduation rates, literacy, etc. as they did before the feds got involved. Maybe you can explain how I’m wrong on this, but if a government entity spends a ton of money but generates no measurable improvement over the system it replaced, and indeed possibly makes the system worse, shouldn’t we go back to the old, less expensive and equally or possibly more efficacious system?

        3. fuck morality. It’s basic common fucking sense. A nation needs an education system.
          It’s so fundamental it’s basically a form of infrastructure. Start getting into moralizing and you get to become like these fucking retarded assholes who think… well they just don’t even give a shit what would happen without some widespread, cheap or free schooling system. The entire philosophy is handwaving

          1. “A nation needs an education system.”

            Well, then let’s just do away with nations and just have individuals forming voluntary associations. Problem solved.

      2. Isaac, while I sympathize with your larger points and perspective, you are just dead wrong about the money that states and the federal government do and don’t have. The federal government creates all of the money of the United States. It can create as much or as little of it as it wants. The individual states can’t do that. The people can’t do that. All money that you or I have to spend or to save, or that states have in their accounts, was created by the Federal government. Money is created by making an electronic entry into a spreadsheet, such as the direct deposit into Granny’s bank account for her Social Security check.

        What you probably meant, but what you didn’t say, was that real wealth is created by the people. And that we can’t conjure actual goods and services out of thin air. That would be true. But money comes out of thin air, and the Federal government creates every last dollar of it.

        The question here is whether you need Federal control over education in states and localities, and how much that control should cost in a sane world, even if it were found to be advantageous.

        1. The federal government creates all of the money of the United States. It can create as much or as little of it as it wants. The individual states can’t do that. The people can’t do that. All money that you or I have to spend or to save, or that states have in their accounts, was created by the Federal government. Money is created by making an electronic entry into a spreadsheet, such as the direct deposit into Granny’s bank account for her Social Security check.

          Please tell me that this is deliberate trolling and that you are not that stupid.

          1. You haven’t been here long I guess?

            What I’ve said is factual. My blog has references, or you can go to moslereconomics.com and take a look at the mandatory readings there.

            Fiat money is created by government spending. The money we use to pay our taxes comes from government spending. It’s just the way the world works.

            1. “Fiat money is created by government spending.”

              WRT fiat money, I agree with you.

              I was thinking of ‘money’ in the ‘medium of exchange’ sense, which is clearly implied in your original post. If moeney is regarded as a receipt for value that may be exchanged for value, then I cannot agree that it is ‘created’ by government.

              1. Ok, that’s cool. I’m talking modern monetary theory here (MMT). People have a hard time accepting the reality that our money (US Dollars) has no ultimate value except as a credit against tax obligations. Most people think of money as a medium of exchange and store of value (like gold coin used to be). You could run out of that kind of money. You can never run out of fiat money – which would be like a bowling alley running out of “points” to award bowlers.

                Most people wrongly assume that the US Govt can go “bankrupt” or run out of money. No sovereign issuer of fiat money can ever go bankrupt or run out of money (note that Greece had surrendered its right to create fiat money when it joined the Euro).

                I find all of this fascinating, not only in its own right, but because it is so non-intuitive and contrary to widely held belief.

                1. They can’t go bankrupt or run out of money, but they sure as hell can devalue it to the point where the currency system collapses and revolution results.

    5. You’re boring, Tony. I’m awesome.


    6. Psst! Public education predates the Federal Department of Education. But don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.

    7. “…a Paul Ryan-esque voucher system that will probably be more expensive and less efficient?”

      …and you know this how? The US spends more than any other country per student and a lot of that money goes to ‘administrative’ costs which would greatly be reduced by decentralizing the system.

    8. *yawn*

      Did you say something important, Tony?

    9. probably be more expensive and less efficient?

      ‘Probably’? Every bit of evidence shows just the opposite. Private school costs per student are always much less than public. In fact in most areas the most expensive private schools are cheaper per student then the worst public schools.

      Bad monopoly is bad.

      Of course a voucher system would be cheaper and educate children better. That’s why the rent seeking teacher’s unions fight it so hard.

    10. Can you offer proof that it wouldn’t? Pizz off.

  6. Ah!, the authority shooted raid, came after bho was benefited like on the oilspill, and comunistic czar$&team;$, acorn, newblackpanters-hammas-ayers-alinski-etc WHERE EVEN ON HIS SITE DEEP INTO THE 08 campaign… oops, SELECTION, WHERE DID THE MONEY COME?… $ELECTION, with a teleprompter reader in chief, who matches on intelect with any drivebymedia “journalist”, acorn, aclu, rinoliphants, etc…
    but… they face THE TEAFLOWERS… ridding over them more than orc$, oops, org$…

    1. I’m Sarah Palin and I approved this message.

      1. If she were that awesome, I’d campaign for her.

    2. Tell me more.

    3. I think Sarah Palin’s facebook page is attempting to achieve sentience.

      1. I LOL’d

  7. Not bad, really. Stossel suggests a lot of cuts. Some would hurt the “middle class”, but they would not do a whole lot of damage to people on the bottom rungs. This fairly confirms that you can advocate a small government agenda without a lot of dog-whistling about “welfare queens,” and it just might make libertarianism viable outside of the country’s white male exurban nerdcore compulsive-monkeyspanker demographic.

    1. That should be the white male exurban nerdcore compulsive-monkeyspanker community.
      Or as we activists say, WMENC-M.

      1. Women cum?

        1. DOStip: Don’t use that as a pick-up line.

    2. Are you saying there is no such thing as a welfare leech?

      I’m not going to use the term “queen” here – not out of PCness, but because it just flows better to say “welfare leech”.

    3. Man, my first thought was, “how can he paint all libertarians with such a broad brush…” but before I could even finish the thought, I looked in a mirror. It saddens me that I am a stereotype.

  8. The problem with this is that liberals think many of their provisions protect our persons (FDA, EPA, BL regulations) and our shores (foriegn aid, peace corps) as do conservatives (drug prohibitions, border control).

    1. How is this an argument against Stossel’s proposal to shutter the Department of Education?

      We have a concrete proposal here: save $100 billion by closing the Dept of Education.

      WTF does the FDA have to do with that?

  9. Stossel’s brilliant as usual. Too bad he doesn’t work in politics.

    1. No private mass transit companies?
      * Adirondack Trailways
      * Bonanza Bus Lines
      * Bus USA
      * Coach USA
      * Coach America
      * Concord Coach Lines
      * Express Transportation
      * First Group
      * First Transit
      * Greyhound Lines
      * Intercape
      * Jefferson Lines
      * Megabus
      * Peter Pan Arrow
      * Orange Belt Stages
      * Palmer Bus Service
      * Peter Pan Bus Lines
      * Stagecoach Group
      * Trailways Transportation System – 63 independent bus companies in a franchising agreement
      * Vamoose Bus

      Also a plethora of “Chinatown Buses” Operating between DC and Boston

      Now, even with gas taxes, these companies are subsidized by the taxpayers (Federal, State, Local) every time a road is plowed, built, widened, or repaved. Privatize all roads and then you’ll have an argument.

      1. Wrong message… see below 🙂

  10. I propose selling Amtrak. Taxpayers will save money, and riders will get better service. Why is government in the transportation business? Let’s have private companies compete to run the trains.

    “The fact that nobody asks you to sing is not an indication that you should sing louder. This sounds obvious until it’s applied to matters like mass transportation. There are virtually no private mass transit companies. This does not represent the failure of the market to provide a needed service, it represents the failure of an unneeded service to go away!” -L. Neil Smith

    1. Lord, I hate to use THE ROADS example, but would there be a huge market for car transportation absent government roads? That’s the argument I hear from mass transport supporters: if you build it they will come kind of thing.

      1. In the early days of the automobile, Henry Ford would pay to pave one random mile of road here and there, so that drivers would go from muddy, rutted dirt roads, onto a smooth mile of pavement, then back to dirt. Thus creating demand for paved roads.

        Not sure that means the government should pay to build the roads, but the entrepreneur did work to create demand for his product.
        To create demand for roa

      2. My fear in all this is not “build and they will come” but rather “if we build it and they don’t come, we will start wrecking the car infrastructure to make them.” We have that going on here. Every year they get rid of more parking or build parking so far away that you have to get on a bus to get to work. And the bus line keeps growing and ridership is flat. Hell, a 3/4 empty bus trundles past my house every 11 minutes 7am-10am.

        I’m not against public roads or public funding of some types of mass transit, but they just plain don’t work very well outside certain situations and dense population areas. I live two miles away from my office. That’s a 45 minute walk, a 20-30 minute bus ride, or a 5-7 minute drive in a car that I have to have anyway to do everything else in this part of the country. Which would you choose?

        1. A bicycle.

          1. Which is, the last time I checked, still not a bus.

            1. Exactly. Another non-bus choice.

      3. Roads would exist without government. And they would be paid for by people that actually, use roads. It’s not like roads aren’t paid for. They are and they cost more than if the people using them paid, it’s just that environmentally minded people have to subsidize the planet killers.

    2. The interstate highway system and the resulting car-centric culture was not a product of the free market either.

      1. Route 66 is pre-interstate highway, and damn famous. Same thing with the PCH. Same with the LIE. LA isn’t the result of the interstate system. It wasn’t a tiny little town until 1952. It was alwyas a sprawl.

      2. The car centric culture was already here BEFORE the interstates were built.

      3. You are semi-correct (which is a huge improvement). The inter-state system was primarily a function of national defense, not commerce. Although it was sold as a civilian improvement. Commerce was a side-benefit.

        However, the U.S. already had more miles of paved road than any other country in the world BEFORE inter-states.

        1. The Nazis loved big highways, you know.

          1. Where do you think Ike got the idea? Watching Patton beat his ass into Berlin, I’m sure.

            1. Highway envy rears its ugly head once again.

            2. Actually, Brett, Ike got the idea for a national highway network when he accompanied the 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy.

              And it’s not like the US had not superhighways like the autobahns. Planning for the Pennsylvania turnpike started in the late 1930s and IIANM construction started before the US entry into WWII.

              The forerunners of the modern freeway were the Long Island Parkway (built privately by the great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt) and the Bronx River Parkway which opened in 1908. Though neither meet any kind of modern standards for freeways (but then neither does most of the interstate system built before 1980 or so*) they were ultr moder at the time.

              Believe me, as proud as I am of my German ancestors, we really didn’t need no stinkin’ squareheads to teach us how to build roads.

              *As I might have said before, I’m in the business (more than likely Pro Lib has driven on roads I designed and certainly those here in Taintsville have) and getting some of those roads up to current design criteria is a challenge.

        2. True but it would have been an equal amount of government intervention to build an interstate rail system.

          1. Except that the interstate rail system was built already using largely private dollars.

            1. The rail companies may have been private, but they were given MASSIVE subsidies by the gov’t, esp. post-Civil War.

              1. Yeah, and from what I understand, the problem now is most railway easements are government-owned, or a lot of them are. I think that they say it would be too expensive for a private company to buy the rights to run transit trains on a regular basis? That’s what I heard

                Hell even Europe’s trains are government susbsidised, and their continent is PERFECT for train travel – people are clustered densely in cities because most of the cities were built way back when. If anybody could do it private it would be them, but apparently not
                Then again, they are pretty socialist and would love the turn anything into government-run

                1. Railroad rights of way belong to the railroad company.

                  They only belong to the government if it’s a government owned railroad. Just as highway rights of way belong to the agency that owns the road.

                  That said most of those rights of way were acquired through a complex land grant system that also included grants of numerous parcels for quite a distance on each side of the route.

                  This made RR companies among the largest landowners in the country.

                  For the most part the only RR easements are for sidings or spurs to adjacent industries or mines or the like. In these cases the easement belongs to the subject RR but the underlying fee title remains with the property owner.

          2. Tony, are you presenting us with False Choices?

      4. Catch-22, Tony… that same “car-centric culture” is, according to whiny enviropussies, killing Mother Earth.

  11. Everybody who thinks that we’re not declining rapidly and falling way behind need to read this article:


    1. Dang, first them yellow slant-eyed bastards is gonna steal our jobs and then they’re gonna come and fuck all our white women, or something.

      As near as I can tell that’s what’s in that article.

      Just like the Japs did in the eighties. Oh, wait.

      The Chinese won’t have “beaten” us at anything if they become rich.

  12. Which viable potential 2012 presidential candidate could deliver Stossel’s speech ? Because we need someone in power who will be that honest. Chris Christy comes to mind.


    1. None living. Possibly if there were some Calvin Coolidge or Grover Cleveland cells around that we could use for cloning.

    2. Has said it, and will continue to say it. Which is precisely the reason why the Republican establishment will make sure he never gets elected.

    3. John Stossel

  13. would there be a huge market for car transportation absent government roads?

    I think you’ve got the causation arrow pointing in the wrong direction. I think the real question is:

    “Would there be a government road network absent a huge market for car transportation?”

    You will note that, in developing countries without a developed road network, there is nonetheless a huge market for car transportation. Its not like people feel no desire for a car until they see their first divided highway.

    1. Bingo.

      Although talking about this too much entails a risk of Joe coming back to spew some more blather about how people were government engineered into moving to the suburbs against their will – kicking and screaming all the way.

    2. If the government got out of the road business, we’d probably go to flying cars. Building AI and fliers that were extremely reliable (have to be pretty much automated and foolproof, right?) would be far cheaper than maintaining millions of tons of road materials.

      1. There would have to be some sort of “track” system (laser or microwave) that would create travel corridors.

        Look at how much difficulty the FAA has now with the relatively miniscule number of planes. Can you imagine a couple 100 million cars all free-lancing in our air space? LOL It would be raining bodies.

        Of course, it would be a private system. RHOADES!

        1. It would be raining bodies.

          Sometimes the unintended consequences are just additional benefits.


          1. MALTHUSIAN! ;^)

        2. It’s why excellent AI, networking, and failsafe fliers are a precondition to any mass use of flying cars.

          1. What if I want to zip down to McDonald’s, and my fucking AI car goes all health-nazi on me? I demand an override switch.

            1. Yes, the problem with good AI is that the government will want it to make other safe decisions for us. I agree.

              Which is why the hackers are our future.

            2. “What if I want to zip down to McDonald’s, and my fucking AI car goes all health-nazi on me? I demand an override switch.”

              Funny on so many levels.

      2. Doubtful. The energy input and the construction costs of building, operating and maintaining flying cars would probably be an order of magnitude greater than the present costs of car ownership, even with current road taxes factored in. I’m not defending government roads, just pointing out a practical matter.

        1. Nah. We just need better AI, more reliable flying cars, and rock-solid networks. I think that would be far cheaper than building and maintaining a highway system.

          Though the energy issue is a valid concern. So we’ll need nuclear flying cars until Mr. Fusion is available.

          1. Simpler solution: Give everyone their own personal Pegasus, genetically modified to poop confetti.

            1. Naysayer.

  14. I love cars.

  15. ‘President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty and gave his report on the state of the union this week.’

    Cut the guy some slack, all right!

    He has done his duty for the year, and can now get on with the non-constitutional parts…

      1. If the President spent the next 22 months on the golf course and not signing new legislation, he’d have my vote.

  16. “That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy, and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the entire world. We can’t afford it, and it’s not right.”

    I don’t disagree that it is too expensive, but I do believe that defending these countries is also part of our National defense. However, we could and should be charging them for our services. If they refuse, then and only then can we withdraw and form an alternate plan. I suspect that they would immediately agree to pay or would very soon decide to invite us to return. In the case of Iraq, we should have been extracting their oil for import to the U.S.A. in lieu of payment.

    Otherwise, John, you were spot on as usual.

    1. How is having troops stationed in England, Germany, Japan, Guam, etc. defending the United States? I realize that we’d have a harder time projecting military power immediately to all corners of the globe absent overseas bases, but from a purely homeland defense perspective, why would we need to do that?

      1. I don’t want to sound condescending, but defending the US includes defending her interests and the arrangements throughout the world that enable her to pursue her interests, for example, to import oil or conduct trade. There’s a reason that the US has a dozen or so carrier battle groups, and it has little to do with defending the shores of the US.

        Now the argument becomes whether those interests are worth the cost of defending them. You can put me in the camp of those who think 12 carrier groups is worth the price.

        1. “You can put me in the camp of those who think 12 carrier groups is worth the price.”

          I’d be more inclined to agree if some of the folks for whom those weapons provide defense were to kick in a bit, rather than use the dough to buy votes in their countries.
          IOWs, I’m tired of the EU in particular free-riding on the US defense.

    2. Why would someone with “anarcho” in their name want ANY military? Why not PDAs, as the vast majority of other ancaps advocate?

      And anyway Draco, I have to disagree. Defending our interests does NOT give us the right to interfere in other nations affairs in order to “import oil”. A small, strong military could intervene against piracy, or a country which nationalizes US-owned capital or kidnaps our citizens, but that’s it. We spend massively more than the next 10 nations combined on “defense”; is the entire world classified as “our interest”? Beginning to use an overly broad definition of that is like congress ruling everything through an expansive interpretation of the commerce clause.

      We do not have a “right” to anything other than commerce with willing partners. If the Arabs want to stop selling us oil for whatever reason, they can. It is not our oil, it’s theirs, and we do not have a right to it.

      If we start defending power projection, we are just republicans. “Cut everything, except our ability and our right to police the globe as we see fit, and as we define ‘our interests’!”

      1. What if one Arab wants to sell you oil, but another Arab won’t let him and punches him in the face every time he complains? Then you have a willing partner in commerce who is being prevented from trading with you by violence. Then is it okay to police the world?

    AND… “I’m smoking “something”?, imbeciles, I can tell the same EVERYBODY KNOWS ALREADY, bho’s innercircles, and foreign circles… ring$… ayers alinski dorne rezco hammas… why the enemy prefferes carter, bho, anamontes, dade POLICE
    MEANWHILE, IMBECILES, OUR BATTLESTARS EDENIA, ETERNIA AND ATLAS POSITION THEIR SELVES BEYOUND YOUR WRONG MIND REACHINGS… (THAT’S WHY YOU NEED MASSIVE BLOGGIN, LIKE ON CASTROTOILETPAPER granma, only there… you shall be “tolerated”… till “when the gringos are supposedly destroyed, you’re eaten alive on the Caribean Morgov gov copies bho is even risking hell just for trying to “change America into”…

  18. Gigantic scissors are the future of entertainment

  19. you got some palce better to be BOEHNER?!?

  20. One obvious way to save that Stossel did not mention is eliminating the federal Justice Department–or, at least, most of it. The job should be given back to the states, which could do it at much less cost.

    The expensive and largely redundant Federal justice bureaucracy could be reduced to a fraction of its size by restoring to the states their traditional role of prosecuting crimes that fall under state jurisdiction. Returning criminal justice functions to the states would not only reduce the impact and effective reach of Federal power but would also achieve a surprisingly substantial decrease in Federal spending.

    A small change in the wording of an existing Federal statute could accomplish the restoration.

    For more information, see article at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1690267


  21. my oh my, what planet is stossel from?

    it is easy to say we should get rid of whole departments of the government and let the “free market” take care of it.
    just cut the taxes and we will grow our way to prosperity. never happened, never will.

    the case can just as easily be made that we are not taxing the right things enough…

    As soon as the sacred “private sector” steps up as promised, i will be the first to work to eliminate taxes.

    trouble is, there is so much wealth out there that is only working to build more wealth instead of building our country….

    meanwhile mr. stossel, don’t wrap yourself in the “constitution” as though us progressives don’t understand it, appreciate it or live by it.

    give me a break….

    it is easy to be against the government “taking” “ours” when you have yours

    1. Increased prosperity from decreased taxes has never happened because no one has ever tried it. True, undiluted laissez-faire capitalism is the only system not yet tried.

      You want the private sector to step up before you will support lowering taxes, but less regulation and lower taxes are necessary before the private sector can hope to try.

      And don’t even get me started on progressives living by the Constitution. There is nothing in there that gives them the power to regulate the kinds of things they do.

  22. Leave commerce. It’s real value is tracking unfair regulatory practices by foreign governments and it is pretty helpful there. But how about Energy? $28 billion annually and it was supposed to make us energy independent. Talk about a total failure.

  23. Thanks Mr. S. Your voice continues to be one of the few rational and inspiring out there.

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