History

Ronald Reagan at 100: His Most Interesting Q&A Ever!

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Whether you love Dutch, hate him, or really hate him, take a few minutes to check out this great 1975 interview Ronald Reagan did with Reason. This was conducted after Reagan had left the California governorship but before he emerged as a national candidate for president (and nearly taking the '76 GOP nod from Gerald Ford).

Snippets covering libertarianism, communism, the draft, Ayn Rand, his successor in Sacramento, Jerry Brown, and more:

I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is….

I cannot go along with the libertarian philosophy that says that all of the sin laws can be ruled out as simply trying to protect us from ourselves. You can take the case of the father who gambles his money away and thus leaves his family dependent on the rest of us….

Fortress America is just what Lenin wanted us to have–whether it is world policeman or not. You know, Lenin said the Communists will take Eastern Europe, they will organize the hordes of Asia, he said they will then move into Latin America, and he said the United States, the last bastion of capitalism, will fall into their outstretched hands like overripe fruit. And that's all that Fortress America is. Now, you don't have t o come through someone's beachhead–you just go over them with missiles; and one of these days, under the present policies of the Congress, the United States will stand alone as Lenin envisioned it and then face the ultimatum from the enemy….Lenin said that he would force the capitalist nations to maintain military conscription until the uniform became a symbol of servitude rather than patriotism….

I haven't read Ayn Rand since The Fountainhead. I haven't read Atlas Shrugged. The last few years, I must say, have been a little rough on me for doing that kind of reading–for eight years I found that when I finished reading the memorandums and reports and so forth, then I found myself digging into nonfiction, economists and so forth, for help on the problems that were confronting me….

[Gov. Jerry Brown] is an enigma. I am overjoyed, of course, at his budget approach. And I just assume that that probably stems from his Jesuit training– that that has him thinking in terms of property and economy. I think he's going to find that some of his own appointees are not sympathetic to his budgetary approach. They've got their own constituencies and pretty soon they're going to be wanting to do things for those constituents and that's going to call for spending and then he's going to find that he might be battling the legislature on one side and his own appointees on the other.

Whole thing here.

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  1. He wasn’t perfect, so obviously all his policies must be opposed.

    Actually, he was spot on about J Brown term #1, which makes me wonder about J Brown term #2:

    1) Did he learn nothing from his last term, which would make him stupid?

    2) Is Brown doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome, which would make him crazy?

    3) Does Brown not care, which would make him dangerous – and possibly effective?

    1. Crazy, but not stupid. In some ways Brown is actually brilliant and a cut above his tribe. But, yes, he is crazy, but at the very least his failures this time around will be useful to underline what may be instructive of what should have been written in bold print the first time around.

      1. i fear j brown’s suede denim secret police. they are coming for my uncool niece

      2. Crazy, but not stupid. In some ways Brown is actually brilliant and a cut above his tribe. But, yes, he is crazy, but at the very least his failures this time around will be useful to underline what may be instructive of what should have been written in bold print the first time around.

        The statewide print media has no motivation to have written that in bold print.

        Patterico exposes how the L.A. Times covers for illegal aliens . It is reasonable to assume they would whitewash failures from persons from the “right” party.

        1. Yes Micheal, I find it astounding since that Moonbeam screwed it up the first time, only he is qualified to fix it and will get a pass, only because of the “D”, for going against party grain to fix his Grand California Experiment (and soon to be bailed out, you watch after Obama wins his second term). Hell, even the progressives are fleeing the state. California’s greatest export now is rich progressives intent on continuing the fool’s errand of making the socialist utopian paradise work in flyover country: this is nothing short of a biblical pestilence.

          1. Yes Micheal, I find it astounding since that Moonbeam screwed it up the first time, only he is qualified to fix it and will get a pass, only because of the “D”, for going against party grain to fix his Grand California Experiment (and soon to be bailed out, you watch after Obama wins his second term)

            The root of the problem is a dishonest print and network media with too much influence on public opinion in the state.

  2. Just for the record, there’s no doubt about how I came to libertarianism. It was because of Ronald Reagan.

    George Bush, Sr. broke his no new taxes pledge, and I wanted to find some way to register my protest. I couldn’t imagine registering as a Democrat. The Democrats were absolutely deplorable from a free market perspective at the time. So, when I got old enough to register, I registered Libertarian.

    In other words, George Bush Sr. had betrayed Ronald Reagan’s libertarian legacy–as far as I was concerned–and I haven’t looked back since. Once I registered Libertarian, I figured I oughta know more about what that was… The rest is history.

    Reagan may not have been as libertarian as I would have liked, but every president who came after him has been a disgrace by comparison. If Reagan wasn’t everything his supporters made him out to be, he was a hell of more than his detractors make him out to be.

    If we ever have a president half as libertarian as he was in our lifetimes, we’ll be lucky.

    1. Reagan was a conservative, not a libertarian, you stupid fucking philistine retard.

      1. I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.

        —Ronald Reagan

        1. I’m not one of those many people who believe that if Reagan thought it, it must be wrong, but I think he was wrong on this one. No l/Libertarian could have inflicted the WOSD on us like he did.

        2. And one day we’ll act like libertarians. Promise!

        3. I was just messin’ with John. He came dangerously close to calling me a Canadian the other day.

          1. You fucking twat. NEVER contradict me.

            1. wow. we are so impressed.

      2. “Reagan was a conservative, not a libertarian, you stupid fucking philistine retard.”

        I went door to door for Ronald Reagan when I was too young to vote.

        Ronald Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70% to 28%. Ronald Reagan slashed the capital gains tax all the way down to 20%. Anybody who thinks registering for the draft or gay marriage is more important than slashing taxes and ridding the world of the Soviet Union, should call themselves Southern Democrats–if they’re honest.

        If Ronald Reagan were running for the nomination today–he couldn’t win the Republican nomination. He was too libertarian…

        Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater and Jack Kemp and Phil Gramm–have no parallels in the Republican Party today.

        George W. Bush stood for many of the things Ronald Reagan was against–and until the Republican Party rids itself of all the Christian inflected stupidity that plagues the party today, it will never come close to achieving what those libertarians did under the libertarian leadership of Ronald Reagan.

        P.S. In addition to being a disgrace to the party of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, George W. Bush was a disgrace to Christianity too–especially after authorizing torture and standing by his decision even after it made us and our freedom a laughing stock around the world.

        I hope there really is a Judgment Day. George W. Bush quoting his lawyers won’t do him any good then!

        1. He also grew the government, dramatically increased the imprisonment of harmless drug users, and…wait for it…worked tirelessly to fund, arm, and train terrorists in order to overthrow a democratically elected (though repugnant) government.

          So, yeah, I kind of think that actively helping to torture, rape, and murder innocent men and women kind of outweighs the “slashing taxes” thing.

          Fuck. Ronald. Reagan.

          1. Yeah, I remember all about that.

            He campaigned on torturing, raping and murdering the innocent–didn’t he?

            No, actually, I don’t remember that at all. I remember him coddling some vicious dictators along the lines of the Kirkpatrick Doctrine. I remember him making some terrible mistakes along the way too…

            I remember when the left said he was being stupid because he walked away from Reykjavik with nothing. I remember when the right said he was being stupid for later embracing Gorbachev–at just the right time. I remember him challenging Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

            I also remember him wining the Cold War. …without an ICBM fired! I remember hundreds of millions people freed from the tyranny of the USSR. I remember seeing Germans jumping on top of the wall in joy and tearing at it with their bare hands.

            As far as the Drug War? That was mostly Bush Sr. who escalated the Drug War domestically. “Just say no” just so happens to my Libertarian take on the Drug War! If you don’t want to do drugs–you don’t have to!

            I think much of Reagan’s involvement with the Drug War was international–with Communist revolutionaries in Latin America, especially, financing their terrorism and expansion with drug profits…

            If you’re keeping score, you may have noticed that I didn’t say he was perfect. Only that he was better and more libertarian than any other president we’ve had since World War II–and that all the presidents who came after him were pathetic by comparison.

            If we had a Fed that would crank rates up right about now? …and a President who would fight to slash income taxes and capital gains taxes right now? It’s hard to imagine a president who could bring union workers into his coalition–and thought that capitalism was the solution to pretty much everything?!

            We won’t get another president as libertarian as that elected in our lifetimes.

            1. I don’t see cutting taxes (what sounds good) as cutting government (what matters). Borrowing more increases the cost of government.

              1. I might feel the same way in other circumstances, but given our budget history afterward, it’s hard to ignore the fact that we managed to balance the budget shortly after Reagan left office.

                “Starve the Beast” just makes sense. The government won’t stop spending until it has no other options–we’re seeing the same thing happen with the states right now. And slashing tax rates, among other benefits, adds impetus to cut spending.

                My first choice is to both cut tax rates and spending. My second choice is to slash tax rates–and not just to “starve the beast”.

                Making it less expensive to hire unemployed people by slashing taxes on their take home pay makes sense by itself. Making our economy more efficient has immediate benefits all by itself… I think my all time favorite criticism of Reagan is that by slashing rates, he made the middle class pay more in taxes! As if the Reagan Administration and the Laffer Curve had never heard of each other!

                Anyway, if so long as the government can find money somewhere to spend, they’ll keep spending, then why advocate primarily the very last thing the government ever actually does? …when we can do something like slash taxes and get a ton of benefits?

                You’d think the easiest thing, for instance, the government would have done when the Tea Party got to Congress was retire the debt that the TARP recipients paid back–but nooooOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo.

                They’re taking that $700 out of our future paychecks–just because the government got paid back, doesn’t mean I got paid back! You want to cut $700 billion in future spending?

                Give us a $700 billion tax cut.

                1. “…why advocate primarily the very last thing the government ever actually does? …when we can do something like slash taxes and get a ton of benefits?”

                  Because we still have to pay for ALL that spending, only now plus interest. And as long as we have a Fed, out-of-control debt makes currency destruction that much more likely. The Fed just passed China as a holder of US debt. Lower taxes have some pleasant effects in the now, but I also enjoy skipping work and ordering stuff on Amazon.com…until the bills come and I have to print a bunch of hundreds. 😉 Finally, because sky-pie tax cuts make Republicans feel like they’re accomplishing something. It’s like giving a D student a gold star. So long, homework!

          2. worked tirelessly to fund, arm, and train terrorists in order to overthrow a democratically elected (though repugnant) government.

            Like the war FDR supported Stalin to fight Hitler?

        2. P.S. In addition to being a disgrace to the party of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, George W. Bush was a disgrace to Christianity too–especially after authorizing torture and standing by his decision even after it made us and our freedom a laughing stock around the world.

          To whom did it make us a laughingstock?

          Some people in the world view us a laughingstock because we do not kill all Jews or oppress all women. Should we change our policies so that we are not a luaghingstock to them?

          Anybody who thinks registering for the draft or gay marriage is more important than slashing taxes and ridding the world of the Soviet Union, should call themselves Southern Democrats–if they’re honest.

          Yeah, as if all the gay marriage supporters in the California legislature favor cutting taxes and eliminating crushing regulations on business.

          1. “Republican” as a brand name is dead in California.

            It’s become so associated with anti-immigration activism, bans on gay marriage, being pro-life and other wedge issues from the South, that Republicans couldn’t get their budget balancing, tax cutting message out–even if they had one!

            California isn’t alone that way. In much of urban America, the GOP is the party of the South–with Baptist values. It wasn’t that was before Reagan. Before Reagan, Southern Democrats–like George W. Bush was in all but name–were the party of wedge issues. Those Southerners came and took over the party of Goldwater and Reagan–and so their traditional anti-New Deal message has been convoluted beyond recognition.

            Until the Republicans kick the Southern Democrats to the curb–with their other people’s rights should be ours to vote up or down on wedge issues rhetoric–they’ll remain marginalized in most of Urban America.

            The Tea Party is a chance to re energize the GOP’s economic message going back to Goldwater and the Gipper–I hope they don’t blow it by focusing on wedge issues.

            I see Rand Paul squandering political capital on a Pro-Life bill, and I can’t say I find that encouraging.

            1. It’s become so associated with anti-immigration activism, bans on gay marriage, being pro-life and other wedge issues from the South, that Republicans couldn’t get their budget balancing, tax cutting message out–even if they had one!

              Banning gay marriage is an effective wedge issue- for those who support such bans. After all, thirty-one states ban gay marriage.

              Furthermore, Republicans have consistently defended traditional marriage. Remember that their 1856 platform called polygamy a “relic of barbarism”.

              As for anti-illegal-immigration activism, it is pretty popular in Arizona. It would be more popular in California if the statewide print media was honest about the issue.

              Those Southerners came and took over the party of Goldwater and Reagan–and so their traditional anti-New Deal message has been convoluted beyond recognition.

              A lot of those Southerners were New Deal Democrats who were fed up with the takeover of the Democratic Party by abortionists and counterculture hippies.

        3. Just for bookkeeping purposes, cutting taxes is irrelevant without cutting spending; it’s merely transferring the cost to future taxpayers rather than current ones. This is completely unjustifiable for much of the federal spending that is consumption-based and designed to have an immediate short-term impact (Social Security if you follow its funding structure, Medicare, defense vs infrastructure or education). I’d argue it’s less libertarian because it’s not just a forced usage of wealth, but it’s financed entirely by intergenerational transfer.

          1. Please see my response @ 12:23PM.

        4. “Anybody who thinks … gay marriage is more important than slashing taxes and ridding the world of the Soviet Union”

          “until the Republican Party rids itself of all the Christian inflected stupidity that plagues the party”

          “George W. Bush was a disgrace to Christianity too”

          Just who is it that is obsessed with social issues? You were right in the first of the above statements. If a country loses a war, especially against an implacable foe such as the USSR, it loses its culture and any pre-defeat squabbling about social issues mean nothing.

          Incidentally, it is the political fringe that is demanding that their anti-traditional values be imposed on society who are the political and legal aggressors. It is they who started the cultural fight and they who complain because the rest of society pushes back against their attempts to redefine societal standards of behavior. It gets tedious listening to the aggressors blame the defenders for causing conflict because they don’t passively let the weirdos have their way.

          1. I’m not sure that’s a contradiction.

            Just because Baptist theology shouldn’t be as important to national politics as slashing taxes and defeating the Soviet Union? That doesn’t mean George W. Bush’s torture policy wasn’t a disgrace to Christianity.

            1. Just because Baptist theology shouldn’t be as important to national politics as slashing taxes and defeating the Soviet Union?

              The cultural fight to redefine marriage was started by homosexual fundamentalists. Before then, everyone assumed that marriage was a union between a man and a woman.

              Furthermore, your implication that opposition to gay marriage harms Republicans is clearly wrong. DOMA passed by veto-proof majorities in both houses. Even Maine, a state without enough social conservatives to fill the bleachers in a high school gym, voted down gay marriage.

              1. Republicans in California “as a brand,” said former GOP party chair Duf Sundheim, “are dead.”

                Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..z1DIkoYL00

                1. Republicans in California “as a brand,” said former GOP party chair Duf Sundheim, “are dead.”

                  Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..z1DIkoYL00

                  Nothing in that article implies it was because of their opposition to redefining marriage.

                  How exactly would Republicans in California reach out to Hispanics by supporting gay marriage? If anything, it would alienate them even further.

                  As for illegal immigration, what proportion of Hispanics in Arizona oppose the illegal alien law there?

                2. Republicans in California “as a brand,” said former GOP party chair Duf Sundheim, “are dead.”

                  Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..z1DIkoYL00

                  Nothing in that article hints that opposition to gay marriage was what made Republicans as a brand dead.

      3. uh, like, wow…we’re so impressed.

    2. Hey,

      That wasn’t me BTW. Sorry Ken. Someone is trolling me. Jerks.

      1. It took a while, but I figured that out eventually.

        I was the one getting trolled!

    3. “Just for the record…”

      Which record?

      1. My record.

        When my biographers do their research, they’re gonna need to know this stuff!

  3. Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy
    By Murray N. Rothbard, 1989

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rot…..ard60.html

    Excerpt:

    Reagan’s Legacy

    Has the Reagan Administration done nothing good in its eight ghastly years on earth, you might ask? Yes, it has done one good thing; it has repealed the despotic 55-mile-per-hour highway speed limit. And that is it.

    As the Gipper, at bloody long last, goes riding off into the sunset, he leaves us with a hideous legacy. He has succeeded in destroying the libertarian public mood of the late 1970’s, and replaced it with fatuous and menacing patriotic symbols of the Nation-State, especially The Flag, which he first whooped up in his vacuous reelection campaign in 1984, aided by the unfortunate coincidence of the Olympics being held at Los Angeles. (Who will soon forget the raucous baying of the chauvinist mobs: “USA! USA!” every time some American came in third in some petty event?) He has succeeded in corrupting libertarian and free-market intellectuals and institutions, although in Ronnie’s defense it must be noted that the fault lies with the corrupted and not with the corrupter.

    […]
    In our age of High Tech, I’m sure that his mere physical death could easily have been overcome by his handlers and media mavens. Ronald Reagan will be suitably mummified, trotted out in front of a giant American flag, and some puppet master would have gotten him to give his winsome headshake and some ventriloquist would have imitated the golden tones: “We-e-ell…” (Why not? After all, the living reality of the last four years has not been a helluva lot different.)

    Perhaps, after all, Ronald Reagan and almost all the rest of us will finally get our fondest wish: the election forever and ever of the mummified con King Ronnie.

    Now there is a legacy for our descendants!

    1. What about cutting taxes? No credit for that?

      1. Re: Britt,

        What about cutting taxes? No credit for that?

        He (or rather, Congress) cut the tax rate to 28% but only after closing a great deal of so-called “loopholes” that actually INCREASED the burden on many Americans.

      2. “Credit” is exactly the key word, because if there’s one thing worse than paying for too much spending via inflation and/or high taxes today, it’s paying for too much spending with credit that will necessitate even more inflation and/or even higher taxes later. Reagan and his (mostly-Democrat-controlled) Congress nearly tripled the federal debt by doing the latter.

    2. USA! USA! USA! USA!

    3. There you have it: Murray Rothbard, professional asshole.

      (Not criticizin’: assholes can be funny! But they should never be mistaken for brains.)

      [Seriously, Reagan only managed to do one good thing over 8 years? Bullshit! What about breaking the PATCO strike?]

  4. “The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is….

    “… except when one has the power. Then those principles are thrown out the window.”

    1. I remember my mom and my high school Vice Principe making me sign up for the draft.

      What makes it worse is my older brothers never signed up for it.

      WTF?!?!

      1. And ending draft registration was part of RR’s 1980 campaign. Quickly forgotten in 1981.

      2. My mum had to call my brother, a martial arts tourney champion in his Navy days, to come up from Charleston to make me sign up. Man was he pissed. He held me down and gave me a buzz cut afterward to show his displeasure. He is still pissed about it to this day, as he reminded me of the event just a half hour ago when I talked to him. Good times.

        I’m likely the most stubborn person you’ll ever meet. My sixth grade teacher noticed I was late on a few homework assignments, so the next time she assigned one she told me that if I didn’t complete it on time I would not be allowed to sit with my friends at lunch. Miffed, I did the assignment but refused to turn it in. She had me sitting alone for two weeks, until she finally gave in, at which point I gave it to her. She was exasperated, and couldn’t believe I had not turned it in. She just asked, ‘why? Why?’

        I hate being threatened to do anything against my will no matter the consequence, that’s why. Well, same with Reagan’s draft registration. As an adult, I have mellowed a bit. I only cooperate with the powers that be to the extent that it keeps me out of jail, and no more. Though in several areas, particularly tax policy and contraband, I’m pushing even that most days.

        1. “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free, because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything that I do.”

          1. Great quote. He was my first introduction to libertarian thought as a wee lad reading his juvenile series.

      3. And ending draft registration was part of RR’s 1980 campaign. Quickly forgotten in 1981.

        Registration was reinstated during his presidency. It is something that I will never forget. See above.

        1. Sorry, that was Carter.

          1. I should thank you for pressing that upon me. I just cross checked and found not only are you right, but the source of my error — Reagan signed and executive order around the time of my eighteenth birthday that expanded upon the previous legislation signed by Carter.

            However, married men with children or other dependents and men married before the Executive Order went into effect were still exempt. President Reagan revoked both of them with Executive Order 12553 (signed on February 25, 1986).

            That was why his action was in the fore front in my mind before I had to do the dirty deed myself(though I would have still qualified under the Carter action alone).

        2. Right it was Carter not RR but under RR there were increased enforcement efforts.

          1. Looking back, I would not be surprised to find the media played up the Reagan executive order while minimally reporting the previous Carter action. I had to have gotten that impression of Reagan’s culpabilaty at the time from some where.

      4. Ficking draft. I still remember thinking I’d be a smartass and not include my SSN on the registration.

        It took ’em a couple years, but someone tracked me down and I provided it. My 101st Airborne little brother never let me forget, of course…

        Good times 🙂

        1. “Ficking”? Preview, how does it work…?

      5. It was required for financial.aid

  5. I sneak cigarettes to be like Reagan — don’t I look just as cool?

  6. I don’t get the Reagan love. He talked a good game (like Obama, natch) but didn’t deliver. His WOD acceleration alone is enough to make him a monster for civil liberties. Iran-Contra. Deficits.

    You can try and make the argument that he “won the cold war”, I suppose, but that was based on totally wrong estimates by the CIA on the capabilities of the Soviet Union.

    Even Thomas Jefferson became an asshole when he became president; of course lesser men like Reagan will also become assholes.

    1. Although following John Adams made Jefferson look much less assholish.

      I think Reagan gets some of the same benefit from following Carter.

    2. I don’t get the Reagan love.

      he cut taxes.

      Before he did that the top rate was something terrible like 70% or more.

    3. You can try and make the argument that he “won the cold war”, I suppose, but that was based on totally wrong estimates by the CIA on the capabilities of the Soviet Union.

      Defeating the U.S.S.R. was important, just as defeating Nazi Germany was important.

      FDR is far from perfect, and most commenters are very critical of his New Deal policies; he did lead the U.S. to victory in WWII.

      1. “FDR is far from perfect … he did lead the U.S. to victory in WWII.”

        Any US President could have lead the victory in WWII, especially given the newness of the power of mass broadcast media at the time. A good argument can be made that FDR was a lackluster and even a terrible leader during WWII and helped to set up the USSR as the master of eastern Europe in the post-war.

        1. A good argument can be made that FDR was a lackluster and even a terrible leader during WWII and helped to set up the USSR as the master of eastern Europe in the post-war.

          Our choices back then were limited.

          We had to prop up Stalin to deal with the more immediate threat of Hitler.

    4. OK, I don’t get “he talked a good game (like Obama)”. From a libertarian perspective? Obama’s entire platform was basically “For every problem X, I am going to create a new Cabinet-level Department of X.”

  7. Way to go plugging “The Killers,” Nick…Reagan’s actually wonderfully badass in that movie. Just watch him beating the snot out of Angie Dickinson as a cold-blooded SOB and tell me the guy couldn’t act.

    OR MAYBE IT WASN’T AN ACT AT ALL…

    [CUE SCARY ORCHESTRA HIT]

  8. Wow. What a nostalgia trip. I forgot how wacko he was.

    If Reagan did any great disservice to Libertarianism, it was in convincing a large chunk — maybe a majority — of Libertarian-oriented voters that lowered taxes had some kind of operational significance apart from lowered spending and borrowing — such that one who lowered taxes even while increasing spending and borrowing was “doing something” of Libertarian significance.

    This was, in my estimate, the ultimate “con job” of the 20th Century. Lowered spending and borrowing never followed from lowered taxes. It even looks like lowered taxes helped facilitate more spending and borrowing. Ask yourself this: what would have happened if every single bit of increased spending over the past thirty years had to be paid, in full, to the penny, using immediate tax increases? Probably a lot less increased spending, don’tcha think?

    Lower taxes are an evergreen aspiration of everybody who pays them. Lower taxes should not be a “principle,” or even an “issue,” in any true sense of those words, for a Libertarian. Issues are things like legalization and deregulation.

    The rate of taxation is only incidental to the amount of government we decide is consistent with our principles and our estimate of the needs posed by the issues of the day. Adopt a Libertarian view of what government should be doing, and lower taxes naturally follow. Reject a Libertarian view, and there is no way to really lower (as opposed to defer and delay) taxes, however fervently you may wish to do so.

    1. Good comment.

    2. The ultimate “con jobs” of the 20th Century are the shit social programs you progs love like SS
      and Medicare/Medicaid

      1. dave, I agree about the Ponzi schemes, but Danny has a point. While the Laffer curve is true, it is not a basis for governance.

        Reagan talked a good game about cutting spending, but didn’t do shit about it when he was in power – as governor, or president.

        Jesus, even “Newcular Titties” Gingrich put up more of a fight against government spending than Reagan did. He eventually caved, but he at least made some sort of effort until he felt his political career in jeopardy.

        And spending is the issue. Because where there is spending, the taxation will eventually come. It may come now or later, it may come in real adjustments to tax rates, or stealthily through inflation, but it will come. And any politician who talks about “cutting taxes” while federal deficits are measured in trillions of dollars per year is just a fucking liar. Someone is going to pay those taxes.

        1. SS & Medi worked fine when we had a fast-growing young population and a lower life expectancy. The programs can yet be salvaged with individual accounts and a universal Bismark-Plan insurance regime.

          But cutting tax revenues while increasing spending and borrowing will always come to a bust. You can’t repeal arithmetic.

        2. Reagan talked a good game about cutting spending, but didn’t do shit about it when he was in power – as governor, or president.

          The talking point from some members of the Reagan Administration is that Reagan cut a deal with the Democrats to reduce spending in exchange for some tax increases, but they double-crossed him on the spending reductions.

          True or not? I don’t know, but the reality is that Congress controls the purse strings and, ultimately, Reagan couldn’t cut spending all by his lonesome.

          As I recall the 80s, the budgetary pattern was that Reagan would submit a budget to Congress, the Democrats who vilify Reagan as heartlessly wanting to starve children and little old ladies, etc., the partisan Democrat media (pretty much all of the major national media at the time) would condemn Reagan, frequently in an extremely dishonest way, the Democrats would throw Reagan’s budget in the trash, add his suggested defense spending increases to their own spending increases and then Reagan would sign the result.

          The Democrats liked the defense increases as pork and Reagan saw them as essential for his desire to confront the Soviets from a position of strength. The American people, after having listened to an incessant drone of commentators declaring that the USSR had reached military parity with the US and that the ideological triumph of communism was all but a certainty, seemed very supportive of the increases in military spending and Reagan’ firm anti-communist stance.

          1. who vilify -> would vilify

    3. Lower taxes should not be a “principle,” or even an “issue,” in any true sense of those words, for a Libertarian.

      Disagree with JUST this. Income taxation (at minimum) is slavery. Being anti-slavery is a fucking principle. And one every libertarian should be.

      1. But it is only fractional slavery. (~_^)

        1. If you are only a slave 3 days per week, you are still a slave 3 days per week.

      2. ???

        “Income” taxation and just “income” taxation? What is a property tax? “Serfdom?” What about a sales tax? “Indentured servitude?”

        1. To a degree yes.

      3. Assume that paying for the things you buy isn’t slavery, for the sake of argument.

        1. What are you?

          A) Citizen of Utopia

          B) Slave

        2. Doesn’t buying something imply you had a choice to do so?

    4. This was, in my estimate, the ultimate “con job” of the 20th Century. Lowered spending and borrowing never followed from lowered taxes.

      Sorry, dude. I have to disagree about the greatest con job of the 20th Century.

      Federal Reserve Act

    5. Lower taxes should not be a “principle,” or even an “issue,” in any true sense of those words, for a Libertarian.

      Lower taxes gives individuals freedom. Lower spending on the other hand is community good.

      On this alone lower taxes trump lower spending for a libertarian.

      1. And the money borrowed to cover the gap … is taken care of by the pants gnomes!

    6. The Dems controlled Congress.

      Deficits and spending was on them. That Reagan got taxes cut was nearly a miracle.

    7. Re: Danny,

      Lowered spending and borrowing never followed from lowered taxes.

      Yes, it did, Danny: Look up Coolidge and Harding.

      Lower taxes are an evergreen aspiration of everybody who pays them.

      Brilliant deduction, Sherlock.

      Lower taxes should not be a “principle,” or even an “issue,” in any true sense of those words, for a Libertarian.

      You are right – it should be “no taxes”, not just “lower taxes”, just like “low levels of rape” is not a principle but “no rape” is.

      The rate of taxation is only incidental to the amount of government we decide is consistent with our principles and our estimate of the needs posed by the issues of the day.

      What’s with this “we” business, Kimosabe? “We” don’t decide the size of government – GOVERNMENT decides the size of government. Always had, always will.

      1. Government = Voters.

        As for Coolidge and Harding, whatever. The relevant time frame is the modern incarnation of the federal income tax regime. The fact you had to stretch back so far in history just underscores the modern reality.

    8. I think simplifying or flattening the tax code, whether is a libertarian issue. Otherwise strong post.

  9. Anyone else going to join me for Puppy Bowl VII on the Animal Planet? Warty? Anyone?

    C’mon – adorable puppies running around on a fake football field! IIRC, they then show adorable kittehs for halftime (yes, I’ve watched this before).

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    OK, I’ll switch to the Stupid Bowl @ 6:00, but I’m watchin’ Puppeh Bowl VII till then!

    1. Oh, I’m obviously going to watch that. Fucking shit, what kind of monster wouldn’t?

      1. It’s REALLY awesome after loads of Jager shots…

        1. The puppy cam is making me disoriented.

      2. It’s on right now!!!

        Holy crap is this stupid. But funny.

    2. Up with pups and down with jocks.

      PB for me!

    3. This is fan-fucking tastic.

      1. Uh-oh…there will be kittens for the halftime show. I think Warty’s head may explode.

  10. He was a perfect example of a politician who ways one thing and repeatedly does the exact opposite.

  11. Puppy Bowl?

    Why aren’t you watching MSNBC’s “sex slavery” expozay?

    1. I actually did flip to that earlier – lol!

  12. The Reagan hagiography machine has been so successful, not only has his rather disastrous presidency been whitewashed, it’s now all but forgotten that he was widely disliked for years after his presidency. And also, independent-minded nonpartisan libertarians are singing his praises. Strange world.

    1. IMO, his only good points are a) shitcanning the 55 MPH speed limit and b) shitcanning the Fairness Doctrine, though not necessarily in either order.

      As for Max’s stupid fucking post of the moment, the “drug war” was started in the 1930s.

    2. The Reagan hagiography machine has been so successful, not only has his rather disastrous presidency been whitewashed, it’s now all but forgotten that he was widely disliked for years after his presidency.

      Yes, his presidency was disastrous- for the Communists.

      In the same way, Roosevelt’s presidency was disastrous- for the Nazis.

      1. He was also disastrous for capitalists.

        1. Why are you griping about disaster for capitalists?

    3. “his rather disastrous presidency”

      Reagan was not perfect and one might argue that his presidency was on-the-whole negative, but to call it disastrous is absurd. If you want disastrous, check out the current one.

  13. Didn’t Reagan start the drug war? That that make him worse than a purtid piece of shit for libertarians?

    1. Reagan did not start the drug war, although he was a “fierce advocate” for it.

      1. Okay, doesn’t Reagan’s being a fierce advocate for the drug war make him worse than a purtid piece of shit for libertarians?

        1. For me it does.

          1. i wouldn’t use such harsh language cause i’m all genteel and shit. but i’m not a big fan of reagan or ANY politician that props up the WOD

            note also reagan was a “fierce advocate” for gun control, mostly for racist reasons

            see: the mulford act

    2. No Max. The original drug warrior president was Rutherford B. Hayes who made a deal with the Qing Dynasty to stop the import of opium to the United States. Then you have the Pure Food and Drug Act (Roosevelt; required labeling of alcohol, cocaine, heroin and cannibis) and the Harrison Narcotic Act (Wilson;banned distribution of cocaine and opiates by unregistered corporations and individuals). The New York Times had an amusing piece in favor of the act entitled “Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends’ Are New Southern Menace:Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower-Class Blacks.”

      That’s right, ban cocaine or a big, burly negro is going to come rape your wimmins.

      Thanks Woodrow.

      1. That’s very interesting AC. Thanks.

        1. What is even more interesting is the fact that the war on drugs qua the “War On Drugs” was begun under Richard Nixon’s administration. His boys are the ones who came up with that phrase. As AC says, drugs had been illegal for many years, but Nixon is the one who began intensified enforcement efforts and militarization of our police departments.

          1. 1. That can’t be a Max post above. Too short, and no “suck Ron Pual’s cock”.

            2. IMO, the WoD started with that prick Anslinger.

            1. Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.

              You’re welcome.

      2. Interesting AC, Wikipedia credits Nixon for commencing that battle

        1. Period guy explained that Nixon is the one who made war on drugs because drugs are, in and of themselves, “bad” (except for the ones pushed by Big Pharma, but I digress).

          The previously mentioned drug warriors battled the “scourge” of drug use as part of the Progressive campaign to curtail the Yellow Menace, the Black Menace, the Italian Menace, the Irish Menace, the Jewish Menace, and whatever other group of racial undesirables was allegedly roaming America, wantonly killing, raping and pillaging while hopped up on cocaine purchased from the Sears-Roebuck catalog or the local goods and sundries store.

          1. I noticed after I posted. I guess I missed a period-it happens

            BTW, I read an article that said the Irish ‘Need Not Apply’ meme was non-existent-fascinating

      3. The New York Times had an amusing piece in favor of the act entitled “Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends’ Are New Southern Menace:Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower-Class Blacks.”

        The New York Times actually wrote that?

        The very same New York Times that honored Walter Duranty, perpetuated the Duke University rape hoax, and criticized Citizens United?

        1. The New York Times actually wrote that?

          The very same New York Times that honored Walter Duranty, perpetuated the Duke University rape hoax, and criticized Citizens United?

          But, but, it was written by a MEDICAL DOCTOR. Properly educated, properly credentialed, who assured us that cocaine makes negroes bullet-resistant and better marksmen.

          Apparently cocaine is not merely a stimulant; it is, in fact, a supersoldier serum.

          1. So THAT’S what that was!

    3. Re: Max,

      Didn’t Reagan start the drug war?

      That was Nixon – pet yorkie.

      Somebody bring me a rolled-up newspaper! There’s a lot of snout-rubbin’ to be made!

  14. American Football explained for limeys
    Quote: “Downs are the most fundamental, and confusing, part of the NFL rulebook.”

    but nothing on the tuck rule.

    1. They should have explained how alcohol can make watching 3 hours of teevee commercials fun.

    2. It’s “offense” and “defense”, Limeys.

  15. It seems Reason drags out this interview at least once every year.

  16. Stupid Bowl looks to be all over w/9:00 to go – GB28 Stillers17.

    When do the Detroit Lions get to play in this game?

    1. Puppy Bowl VII was also teh awsum. Haftime – I didn’t think it was possible for anything to suck as much as The Who did, but Black Eyed Beans came close. Out of tune, off tempo AND weird for the trifecta of scukitude.

      On the other hand, there was an e-trade baby commercial, so that made up for the shitty halftime show.

      1. I think they invited Usher (whose incredible display of ego and lack of any competence in his endeavor on the field was mind blowing) just to make them look good in comparison. It didn’t. All the properties of suckitude were additional not subtractive.

        1. Hmm, my next punk metal band will be called Club Girls and Flame Throwers.

          1. Shouldn’t that be Club Girls and Throw Flames to preserve parallel structure?

            1. No, because that would change the meaning of the words and their implication.

        2. Hmm, my next punk metal band will be called Club Girls and Flame Throwers.

    2. …and just that quick it’s 28-25 – way to not play D Green Bay. Don’t choke now, chokers.

      1. I put cash on GB. Therefore they won’t win.

        1. I had the Stillers, but I kind of wanted GB to win. Dunno – this may be an exciting ending after all!

  17. You dumb fucks registered for the draft?!!???

    When I was a snot nosed punk I used to brag about not registering…then I shut up. I get security clearances, pass background checks and all whatever but I never fucking registered. I wish that rabbit had bit the fuck out of Jimmuh and gave him the tularemia.

  18. Libertarianism would be a lot better without Libertarians, or at least the ones who call themselves that. Just like atheists, even if you agree with them, they make you wish you didn’t.

    1. What’s the matter? Someone told you that you look like a degenerate humping the corpse of Ronald Reagan?

      1. And thank you for being may assistant tonight. Without your help, I’d just talking shit.

        1. Glad to help, but you’re still a shit talker. There is only so much I can do for you.

  19. NFC! NFC! NFC! NFC!! NFC!!!

  20. NFC! NFC! NFC!

  21. Jesus Christ – the fucking spam filter doesn’t like that I type “NFC! NFC! NFC!” gloatingly mimicking the USA chant.

    Stupid spam filter – what, did you have $20 on the Stillers? Suck it, bitch.

    1. Also, Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VII was once again teh awsum, with many cute puppehs and stuff.

      1. I don’t think I can possibly take enough drugs to subdue the pain of that suckass halftime show, though.

        I didn’t think anything could compare to The Who for sucky halftime shows. I was mistaken…

        1. Did you get the express written permission of the NFL to type “NFC!” repeatedly?

          1. Oh, shit, I’m right foked…

  22. I hate the reason server. I left a comment and I come back a few hours later and it has been deleted and someone trolled me and left behind some asshole comment at Ken Schultz in my name. WTF happened to my comment?

    1. I knew that couldn’t be you. Likely you and a troll submitted around the same time, leaving the troll’s message and your name attached to it. Something like that happened to me a few days ago.

    2. Yeah that’s happened to me too.

      1. They have spoofed me on two threads now. It is probably Rather. The Edward/lefiti franchise hates me but has never spoofed anyone that I know of. Rather seems to be a new and lower breed of troll.

        1. I wouldn’t expect it to be you, John. Kerry Howley is the only form of life that would elicit such invective from you. Plus, the emotion from such a post would cause your submission to look like my spellchecker threw up.

        2. John, I admit it if it was me, and no I never troll under someone’s name-I may have been John’s wife, John’s boyfriend but NEVER John.

          BTW, if I’m asked; I always admit to the troll.

          1. John, since you fucking accuse me of posting, I’d like to see the comment.
            And Helle, I want to read the ‘troll list’ YOU accused me of adding your name to, and BTW, no one has spoofed me more than you

            1. Rectal, first I want to see the “proof” you have that I posted on your dumbass blog.

              I guess I’ll be waiting here for a while.

          2. Fair enough. Don’t know who it was then.

            1. Show me. I can tell most of the posters by style-a hobby of mine

              1. More like an obsession. Get a life.

                  1. Ananonpussy,

                    I would strongly advise you never to come to a Reason event. If you ever do and I am there, I will beat you within an inch of your life.

                    1. Ananonpussy, I’ll pay for the flight, hotel, and any DEFENSE bills for the ass-kicking 😉

                    2. OK, I’ll split the proceeds of the take.

    3. What I hate is that it takes forever for all those Tweet and Facebook links to update. This is one of the slowest pages I have found.

  23. Just got home from my super bowl party. hung out with my future wife and Maggie Gyllenhaal. My future wife was the hottest chick there. That is all….

    1. Was it Rectal?

    2. Didn’t your being there violate the restraining order? Or do those things run out eventually?

  24. Remember Reagan was thought by all right thinking people in the 70s to be stupid, an actor, a dunce. He was the Sarah Palin of his day. If you didn’t live through it, you have no idea how hated and dismissed he was in the 1970s. The hatred of Palin is the only thing I have seen like it since. People hated Bush, but they hated him after he became President. I have never seen a non President held up to such scorn and dismissal like Reagan was.

    I would also note if you read the article, agree with him or not, it is remarkable how sharp Reagan was and how high of an intellectual level the interview is. Can you imagine a politician today like Pelosi or McCain or the “Willey Coyote Super Genius” in the Whitehouse giving an interview at that level? I can’t.

  25. Can’t say I can envision that, John.

    The paternalistic brown rot that Pelosi belches forth still makes me ill; she’s like herpes: intractable and scorching. Her last cogent thought dried up with her putrid ovaries.

    And John “Beavis” McStain? Whatta fraud! That old goat should have been put to pasture long ago. That decrepit old goat couldn’t wheeze his way past any high priced earmark if his political, much less his physical, life depended on it.

    Yet these two emmy award winners are held up as “visionaries” and “models of bipartisanwhip”; heh, I’d like to see either of them put their personal fortunes where their gum gaped pie holes are.

    And this government today has temerity to bastardize and distort Reagan’s administration, yet invoke his memory to lend legitimacy to this clusterfuck in soft-core Marxism we see developing before our eyes? Why, because he fails ideological purity tests? May I remind the crowd that Reagan started out as a democrat, and changed his views after dealing with unions early on as pres of the SAG. Libertarians would be wise to take a good look at Reagan’s 80-20 rule.

    We deserve the government we get. Kicking Reagan’s legacy may be great for libertarian street cred and fashionable, but it sure doesn’t win elections. Bob Barr and Wayne Allen Root? Get real. When was the last time any president actually FIRED federal workers en masse?

    1. He also had the courage to let Paul Volker restore faith in the dollar. Rather than continue with horrible monetary policy in hopes of a cheap short term recovery, Reagan let Volker finally kill inflation and set the stage for the boom that followed. No way does anyone today have that kind of guts.

      Oh and he pardoned Merle Haggards. Doherty can fuck off as far as I am concerned. Beltway liberal wannabe.

      1. And my personal favorite, John: “Tear down this wall!!!!” That still gets me to this day when I hear it. Let the monarch-in-chief attempt to grow the stones to back up, much say, such a strong statement.

        And I agree with you on Volcker, 100%. The main reason spending increased under his admin was Tip O’Neal and the demand that social spending increase in conjunction with the increase in defense spending. I still remember John Chancellor and David Brinkley subtly at first and then openly ridiculing Reagan.

        1. I remember when he said it. He was called a war monger for it. Of course now we know that his words did have an effect and were driving communists crazy and encouraging dissidents. But at the time in the US, all the media and everyone who was smart and sophisticated thought Reagan was a war monger. How dare anyone call the Soviet Union evil.

          Reagan called out communism for what it was when it was not popular to do so. You would think Reason would give him a grudging respect for that alone.

          1. They overall don’t, I think, because Reagan promoted conservative social values. God forbid that it is essentially what libertarianism espouses: personal responibility and the idea that one has the freedom to fail; and if you fail, why should the government, i.e. us, pay for it. Since that’s what galvanized “dixiecrats” with his agenda, he was effective in getting effective fiscal legislation passed.

            I differ with his approach to abortion, but I respect his consistency. I am christian and pro-life, but abortion is here to stay. That’s fine. If one wants access to one, or eat a bowlful of morning after pills, great. Don’t make me pay for it. Pregnancy is 100% preventable; if you have the right to consensual sex then you have the right to it’s consequences, good or bad. 80-20.

          2. But at the time in the US, all the media and everyone who was smart and sophisticated thought Reagan was a war monger. How dare anyone call the Soviet Union evil.

            A lot of the media sympathized with Communism.

            I swear if there was a campaign to eliminate freedom of the press, the media will happily cheer it on if the campaign were waged by the “right” people.

  26. Reagan sure LIED about ending the military draft registration didn’t he?

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