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Free Minds & Free Markets

Oops, Republicans Did It Again

The GOP predictably fails to deliver on their small government rhetoric.

Republican Leadership KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/NewscomDespite a mountain of historical evidence that the Republican Party doesn't seriously stand for smaller government and individual liberty, I maintained some hope that this time would be different. With the GOP's retaking control of Congress and the White House, I actually thought Obamacare could be repealed and maybe even replaced with free market health care reforms. But though the night is still young in terms of the GOP's latest return to power, Republicans have quickly demonstrated that I should have trusted my usual pessimism, because it's clear that they're not guided by any principled support for limited government.

Though a few congressional Republicans sincerely believe in markets and freedom, the party is largely dominated by pretenders and outright statists. One need only look back to when Republicans last controlled Washington. Republicans and the George W. Bush administration massively increased spending and the federal debt.

Military spending skyrocketed to pay for dubious wars. Corporate welfare, including farm subsidies, thrived. The federal government became more involved in what should be local matters, such as education. And civil liberties were trampled on under the guise of "homeland security." The GOP not only failed to tackle unsustainable growth in federal entitlement programs but also expanded them by creating Medicare Part D.

An amazing thing happened, though, when Barack Obama was elected and the Democrats regained control of Congress. Republicans suddenly remembered the horrors of federal overspending, mounting debt and the endless intrusion by the federal government into every aspect of our lives. Republicans lambasted the notion that Keynesian-style big-government spending would boost the economy. They decried Obamacare and the Democrats' love for "socialized medicine." They bemoaned continuous growth in federal debt and conveniently laid the problem at Obama's feet.

Then another amazing thing happened: Donald Trump was elected, and the GOP was once again in charge. Almost immediately, Republicans began touting increased military and infrastructure spending to create jobs and spur the economy—the very Keynesian-inspired policies they attacked when advocated by Democrats. Even the small number of federal program terminations proposed by the Trump administration were too much for congressional Republicans. Nope—when it comes to the federal budget and yet another looming brush-up against the federal debt ceiling, Republicans reveal that they're content to maintain an untenable status quo, despite all the lip service paid to the dangers of big government over the years.

Yes, as part of the failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, the GOP did include Medicaid reforms intended to slow the spending growth for the federal/state entitlement program that provides health care for those with lower incomes. There are many problems with the program, which is in dire need of reform. But the same can be said about Medicare and Social Security, which congressional Republicans—and Trump, for that matter—have made clear they won't touch. (Remember then-vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's emotional attack on President Obama for allegedly cutting Medicare during the 2012 campaign?)

What about the GOP's supposedly bread-and-butter issue of tax reform? Regardless of how big or small the positive economic feedback to any tax cuts would be, the bottom line is that serious, permanent spending cuts must be part of the equation. But as we have repeatedly seen, Republicans are so unwilling to shrink the size of government that they already waved the white flag and are actively advocating a new source of revenue to "pay for" tax reform. Indeed, I fear that the recent fight over the inclusion of a border adjustment tax to generate revenues is only the beginning. At the rate we're going, it may not be long until the GOP gets on board with a value-added tax or carbon tax!

For all of the GOP's deriding of Democrats over the years for being "tax-and-spenders," the sad reality is Republicans are on their way to earning the same label. We might only be six months into the return of Republican rule, but it's already looking as if this second go-round of Republican control in Washington this century could end up being as disastrous—if not more—than the first one. But as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I don't intend to be fooled twice, and I hope I'm not alone.

Photo Credit: KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom

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  • Peter Duncan||

    Okay Roni, que up your best primal scream here. Don't forget to use your diaphragm (no, not that one, damn it) and really work on that gravlly, guttural sound. Wow, nice! Now screech in your loudest voice:

    "MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS!"

    FIFY

  • hseneker||

    Your story reflects the fact that the GOP establishment is the junior partner in the Inside The Beltway party - the Democrats being the monolithic senior partner. The 2016 election reflects the successful rebellion of the GOP grassroots against the GOP establishment.

    Putting Trump in the White House, whatever youmight think about Trump, was a great victory for the GOP grassroots.

    But it is not enough. There is still Congress. We still have to Drain The Swamp. The Congressional Republicans aligned with their own grassroots need reinforcements. This year, if you can, help Mo Brooks in the special election in Alabama. Next year, 2018, wherever you are, it is important to do everything we can to replace RINOs with Constitutionalists in the GOP primaries and caucuses (I'm not being partisan; the Democrats as currently constituted, are at present hopeless), and then replace Democrats with Republicans in November.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT! Please think what yu could do to help that happen next year. Then do it. This matters.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I suggest that we just get Mexico to pay for it all!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Don't tax you,
    Don't tax me,
    Tax the Mexican,
    Behind the tree!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Despite a mountain of historical evidence that the Republican Party doesn't seriously stand for smaller government and individual liberty

    Yet most of the H&R Peanut Gallery still believes that.

  • some guy||

    [citation needed]

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Noticing that you are a mentally unbalanced compulsive liar is not the same thing as backing the GOP, shreek.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You and others here only get angry when I am critical of the GOP.

    Dems suck too but you are TEAM RED! all the way.

    Like yesterday when you claimed Obama never supported a business tax cut and i proved you wrong. ONLY THE GOP CUTS TAXES!!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Your "proof" was an article that didn't say what you said it said. Also, that wasn't yesterday, that was Monday. Did you fugue again and lose a couple days?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It backed my claim that Obama proposed a business tax cut.

  • WakaWaka||

    And....? What happened? Did he ever attempt to stop Democrats from blocking corporate tax reform?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The GOP blocked corporate tax reform.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The way they blocked obamacare? Amusingly the dems vlockwd immigration reform a decade ago. Funny how you can't recall that.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Your "proof" was an article that didn't say what you said it said

    Shriek's methodology remains ironclad as ever.

  • Eric||

    I've lurked here all the way back to your Shrike days PB. It's not as much your politics as your approach that turns people off. I'll accept that you are fairly libertarian, but you're abrasiveness alienates you from any potential allies on this board. It's too bad too. This board could use more regular posters who don't approach libertarianism from the right of Genghis Khan.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That's fair.

    Look up the word "shrike" and you will find my approach is by design.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    So is not paying your bets, apparently, especially after Playa made you his bitch.

  • Eric||

    Speaking of the way-back-times of last year. What ever happened to these regulars?:

    SugarFree
    Almanian
    Nikki
    Warty
    Eddie

  • BYODB||

    I believe at least a subset of them are at Glibertarians.com or something along those lines. I could be wrong.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I believe Eddie and SF are at Glibs; Warty made an appearance here a couple days ago but I haven't seen him over there. Nikki vanished around the summer of 16, about the same time Irish did. Not sure about Almanian.

  • ||

    SF is a main figure over at Glibs. Eddie is a frequent contributor, but goes by The Fusionist, now.

    Nikki and Episiarch disappeared at roughly the same time in early 2016. There were speculations of a suicide pact.

    Warty had a kid, so is otherwise occupied.

    I believe Almanian, unfortunately, was having some fairly serious health issues, and may not be with us anymore : ( .

  • DarrenM||

    The Republican Party does stand for smaller government.....than the Democratic party stands for (which admittedly ain't that small). That's about the best we can do currently.

  • Conchfritters||

    Worthless President, worthless Congress, worthless party. These people could fuck up a bowl of cereal. Way past time to shut er down.

  • Conchfritters||

    Roni messed up that George W Bush quote at the end - - I believe he said: "There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, 'Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again!'"

  • geo1113||

  • maddarter||

    If the Tea Party was really about fiscal responsibility (as Nick G says), what would it take for the Tea Party to come out and protest Trump? Not touching entitlements? Big tax cuts that increase the deficit? Big increases in military spending? All the above?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Arguably, the Tea Party started as a movement for fiscal responsibility but by the 2010 midterms had been pretty heavily co-opted by less savory elements of conservatism.

  • Conchfritters||

    ..less savory elements of conservatism

    Go ahead, you can say Michelle Bachmann's name.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I'd rather not.

  • Eric Bana||

    We must not invoke it.

  • WakaWaka||

    "less savory elements of conservatism"

    The Kochs?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The tea party was about the less savory elements from the momment it started. The "fiscal responsibility" was just a bullshit excuse, and if you believe otherwise, you're either a useful idiot or one of the unsavory elements yourself, but still in denial.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That's a pretty hysterical overreaction to a minor observation, Stormy.

  • Rhywun||

    And also an incorrect observation for those of us who read beyond the MSM.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... the Tea Party started in April 2009, protesting President Obama over taxes set during President Bush's last year in office.

    As the saying goes, if you only discover your "principles" when the other team is "winning"†, then you really weren't that concerned about your principles to begin with.
    ________
    †For whatever you define as "winning"

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The first rallies that explicitly adopted the Tea Party moniker happened in April 2009, but some analysts consider the movement to have actually begun with a Ron Paul fundraiser in December 2007, and i've seen other sources that lump even earlier rallies into the TP movement.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Also, when TARP passed is another speculated origin point.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    Tea Party, first reference; "12/2007... 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Paul's presidential campaign supporters participated in a "money bomb," Now it's just a turd on the trail. Just avoid it.

  • DarrenM||

    When was the "bridge to nowhere"? I remember this was one of the things that led to the Tea Party.

  • ||

    There have been many, but I think the one you are thinking about was this one.

    Which, ironically, is one of those "Sarah Palin was for it before she was against it" items.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""if you only discover your "principles" when the other team is "winning"†, then you really weren't that concerned about your principles to begin with.""

    Those who play the partisan politics game have no shame about this. They wear hypocrisy like a badge.

    I think the best way to have a better political environment is for parties to clean up their own back yard before trying to clean up the other teams.

    Not gonna happen.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Though a few congressional Republicans sincerely believe in markets and freedom, the party is largely dominated by pretenders and outright statists."

    The replace vote was opposed by libertarianish senators led by Rand Paul.

    According to the CBO, the senate bill cut eligibility for Medicaid, which was to result in $772 billion in savings over ten years. It cut $321 billion from the deficit, eliminated the individual mandate, and eliminated the employer mandate.

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    Rand Paul ostensibly opposed the senate replace bill over giving people subsidies to buy private insurance on the open market, but moving people from Medicaid to private insurance with "subsidies" is exactly like moving students from public schools to private schools with vouchers--so libertarian.

    If "single payer" amounts to moving people from private insurance to Medicaid, then moving people from Medicaid to private insurance is "privatization", and opposing privatization on libertarian principles is absurd. It's like opposing capitalism on libertarian grounds because ending socialism requires government bureaucrats to distribute shares in nationalized industries--even worse since, again, moving people to private insurance with "vouchers" is so libertarian, Milton Friedman would have endorsed it with enthusiasm.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In short, I would love to blame the failure of replace on statist Republicans, but the truth is that when ostensibly libertarian Rand Paul and company had the opportunity to cut Medicaid eligibility for the first time ever, eliminate the employer mandate, and eliminate the individual mandate, Rand Paul and company voted with Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, and Bernie Sanders.

    It was the supposedly statist, establishment GOP that voted for capitalism.

  • WakaWaka||

    Don't ever utter a bad word about Rand Paul. Apostasy!

    Seriously, though, Paul had good reason to oppose the first attempt and he (along with the House Freedom Caucus) did get good additions to the bill.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Changes" to a bill that didn't pass aren't changes.

    They're ObamaCare.

  • WakaWaka||

    It got closer to passage

  • Ken Shultz||

    Rand Paul and his buddies voted against it.

    There were only three GOP senators that voted against both replace and repeal, Dean Heller from Nevada, the senator from Maine, who might as well be a progressive, and Mukowski, representing Alaska but originally from the planet Saturn.

    Rand Paul's crew were six libertarianish senators from red states like Kansas. If they hadn't opposed it, the vote count would have been 49 in favor, putting tremendous pressure on one of the three holdout (Heller, Maine, or Mukowski) to flip. If the senate bill didn't pass because of somebody, it was because of Rand Paul and company.

    The meaningful difference between replace and repeal was that replace moved some 11 million people from Medicaid to private insurance with vouchers.

    And, again, what I wrote was in response to the suggestion by de Rugy that congressional Republicans are insufficiently libertarian. The fact is that the bill didn't pass because of the efforts of supposedly libertarianish, Republican senators. The fact is that establishment GOP mostly voted for both replace and repeal.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How many votes did those changes lose?

    Sometimes you can outclever yourself.

  • Jerryskids||

    the senate bill cut eligibility for Medicaid

    IIRC, the senate bill merely promised to cut eligibility for Medicaid at some point in the future - i.e,, when pigs fly. Any time you've got a bill that says we're going to do this now in return for doing that later, you know they're lying their asses off, there's never going to be a later.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It capped payments and cost sharing. Right now the states get paid more (90%) to insure healthy, childless adults than disabled or elderly(50-80%).

  • ThomasD||

    Thus revealing Medicaid as largely a form of corporate welfare - along with illegal immigration just another way to keep costs down on the unskilled labor pool.

    Reason truly is kinder gentler statism.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Carbon taxes for all.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "IIRC, the senate bill merely promised to cut eligibility for Medicaid at some point in the future - i.e,, when pigs fly."

    I linked the CBO report.

    ObamaCare enlarged Medicaid eligibility.

    The senate bill cut that eligibility.

    That's why there is $772 billion in savings over ten years.

    You do no recall correctly.

  • Ken Shultz||

    FFS, look at the link.

    "In 2020, average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals would be about 30 percent lower than under current law."

    ----CBO link

    Maybe you're talking about how the cuts to Medicaid eligibility don't kick in until 2020?

    Opposing cutting Medicaid eligibility now because some future congress might reinstate it again in the future is absurd. Future congresses can always undo what past congresses have done. Should we oppose cutting spending because future congresses might undo the resolution?

  • BYODB||

    30% lower after an increase of ~200% is now 'winning', I guess, and make no mistake what we're talking about is slower cost inflation, not 'cost reduction'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So we should oppose moving more towards a market based system because the pro-market reforms don't solve the entire problem in the first year they take effect?

    That obviously doesn't make any sense.

    Meanwhile, the CBO predicts that insurers will need to raise premiums more than 20% per year until 2020 to break even--and the WSJ is reporting today that insurers are asking regulators for increases in that range for 2018.

    If premiums for a baseline policy compound by a 20% a year for two years, and the market reforms result in decreases of 30% from today's premium, then the reduction will be much more than 30%.

    Having said that, yes, getting a 30% reduction premiums in two and a half years from pro-market reforms is a substantial improvement. Why pretend otherwise?

  • BYODB||

    From the linked CBO Report:

    In 2020, average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals would be about 30 percent lower than under current law. A combination of factors would lead to that decrease—most important, the smaller share of benefits paid for by the benchmark plans and federal funds provided to directly reduce premiums.


    Under the Senate bill, average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals would be about 20 percent higher in 2018 than under current law, mainly because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated, inducing fewer comparatively healthy people to sign up. Those premiums would be about 10 percent higher than under current law in 2019—less than in 2018 in part because funding provided by the bill to reduce premiums would affect pricing and because changes in the limits on how premiums can vary by age would result in a larger number of younger people paying lower premiums to purchase policies.


    By 2026, average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals in most of the country under this legislation would be about 20 percent lower than under current law, CBO and JCT estimate—a smaller decrease than in 2020 largely because federal funding to reduce premiums would have lessened.

    I see no mention whatsoever of guaranteed issue or community rating, am I missing it?

  • Ken Shultz||

    The votes aren't there to get rid of the preexisting conditions exclusion.

    And the alternative, keeping ObamaCare, doesn't get rid of the preexisting conditions exclusion either.

    Because the bill doesn't get rid of the preexisting conditions exclusions is certainly no reason to keep the Medicaid eligibility expansion, the individual mandate, or the employer mandate.

  • BYODB||


    The votes aren't there to get rid of the preexisting conditions exclusion.

    And there never will be. Fact.

  • BYODB||

    So in other words all the things that would have been left intact that would still, inevitably, have destroyed health insurance completely and utterly would have still been in effect and would have crushed the system but Rand Paul refused to vote for such a bill and thus he is now solely responsible for the votes of other Congressional critters that would have still been enough to crush the effort.

    No offense, but the Republican 'replacement' left in place all those things that were going to inevitably torpedo healthcare. I don't know how you've managed to ignore that massive and clear issue, but apparently it's not important that the Government is literally destroying insurance markets. All that's important is that they should have passed a bill that trims around the edges of the apocalypse.

    Yeah, sorry Ken. I'm unable to give a shit. The most popular parts of the ACA were not touched in any way, shape, or form as far as I could tell. That type of incrementalism can go and suck an egg.

  • ||

    The most popular parts of the ACA were not touched in any way, shape, or form as far as I could tell. That type of incrementalism can go and suck an egg.

    ^ This.

    None of the Republican proposals have even come close to solving the core problems, so any of them would simply be Republicans taking responsibility for the mess. Whatever incremental victory is there to be had would be one step forward followed by several dozen leaps backward.

  • BYODB||

    Guaranteed issue has no place in any health insurance market. Period. You can whine, bitch, and moan about how that isn't 'humane' but that has nothing to do with it.

    Say it with me now, because it's a fact:

    You can not insure against a certainty.

    If you try to, you are going to have an insurance market that collapses.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You might as well say that you can't have EMTALA and a functioning health insurance system.

    Yes, you can have guaranteed issue but you have to allow other correctives like widening the community rating bands and waiting periods.

  • ThomasD||

    Then it is not insurance, it is a limited indemnity.

    Because, if not limited, it is a sure path to bankruptcy; either for the insurer or the backstop. But regardless of the path chosen then are both fascist in nature.

  • ||

    You might as well say that you can't have EMTALA and a functioning health insurance system.

    I don't think it's the same, really - EMTALA is very specifically defined - stabilize the person and release them. Guaranteed issue is essentially a blank check.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's exactly the same. What do you think is driving healthcare costs? Hint: it's not your flu shot or annual physical. EMTALA is a blank check if you can't stabilize them or better yet release them and run the risk of getting dinged when they come back as a frequent flyer.

  • ||

    EMTALA is a blank check if you can't stabilize them or better yet release them and run the risk of getting dinged when they come back as a frequent flyer.

    If you can't stabilize them, they die.

    Compare the numbers on EMTALA with end-of-life care. That's what I mean by EMTALA being "specifically defined."

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You mean the end of life care covered by medicare and medicaid? What was that about medicaid reform being pointless again?

  • ||

    What was that about medicaid reform being pointless again?

    Who said it was pointless? The topic under discussion is whether the incremental change to Medicaid in the Republican healthcare bill is worth conceding all the other stupid shit in the bill.

  • BYODB||

    Congrats, you've singled out another driver of health costs that helped destroy the insurance market that isn't being repealed. At least the EMTALA only caused costs for the insured to go up instead of actually destroying the market itself, but while we're at it yeah lets get rid of that as well.

    Or...are we saying we like the EMTALA so we should leave it in place along with guaranteed issue because we like to feel good about ourselves even while we make health care ludicrously expensive?

    Do you want single-payer? Because this is how you get single-payer.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You're right. Failing any incremental reform is how you get single payer. Brilliant strategy.

  • ||

    You're right. Failing any incremental reform is how you get single payer. Brilliant strategy.

    That's exactly right. Because this reform will fail. And when it fails, pointing to incremental savings in Medicaid is not going to stop the Single Payer people.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Right, but dogmatically stating that we have to go cold turkey full free market will. Makes sense.

  • ||

    Right, but dogmatically stating that we have to go cold turkey full free market will.

    No - what several people are saying is that you probably can't stop it at this point.

    What needs to be done is that AMA's monopoly on licensing doctors needs to be broken, state restrictions on hospital construction need to be done away with, and FDA compliance needs to be made voluntary.

    None of these topics are even being discussed, however. So, we're really only talking about what band-aids we want to apply where while on our careening path toward Single Payer.

  • BYODB||


    No - what several people are saying is that you probably can't stop it at this point.

    Correct, that is my point. There is around 1-2% interest in actually moving towards a system that won't explode by design.

    All of this useless mental masturbation on saving a few pennies here and there on Medicaid is simply deflection from the fact that the whole system is built to collapse and is exactly what we mean when we say 'kicking the can down the road'. So by all means, continue to masturbate folks. Just know that it doesn't make a single iota of difference on the eventual outcome.

    What needs to be done is that AMA's monopoly on licensing doctors needs to be broken, state restrictions on hospital construction need to be done away with, and FDA compliance needs to be made voluntary.

    That first idea especially is a great idea. I find it absolutely bizarre that no one at all talks about supply-side of actual healthcare.

  • ||

    Yeah - "guaranteed issue" is simply a euphemism for "paying for sick people's healthcare." It can't in any reasonable sense be called "insurance."

  • BYODB||

    Who knew that all it would take to get Ken on board with guaranteed issue and overarching regulations that are designed to crater the insurance market would be a modest new coat of paint on Medicaid.

    If you insure someone who you know for a fact is going to cost you more than they pay you then...well you're fucked. You can't say no to people that are going to be nothing but a source of loss unless, surprise, you force healthy people to buy insurance right along side those people who drive your costs.

    People seemed to understand the concept of a death spiral before Trump won office. I guess that's down the memory hole now.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well the good news is that we failed to improve the death spiral AND we're keeping all of the medicaid cost overruns. I don't know about you, but that sure looks like a win in my book. Good work guys. Now we can get back to preening about the other guys' preening.

  • BYODB||


    Well the good news is that we failed to improve the death spiral AND we're keeping all of the medicaid cost overruns.

    Mentions a death spiral and pretends that Medicaid cost overruns are somehow preventable if/when you're in one. That's gotta win a prize or something.

  • DarrenM||

    Republicans need to propose a serious bill after they get done with all this kabuki. Unless, they're going to nuke the filibuster for legislation, too, they will not be repealing Obamacare and they are severely restricted in what can be done using the reconciliation rules. They most likely would be able to do just enough to fix nothing, but at the same time take ownership of the mess and that's best case. Lose-lose.

    Propose a bill that actually works and forget whether it will pass or not, but do get support from all Republicans. Let Democrats shoot it down and take the heat for failing to work with Republicans.

  • ||

    ^ This.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Back to the schumer talking points. The worst fiscal problem with barrycare is medicaid. The mandate and minimum benefits get all of the attention but they're secondary. Paul torpedoed a serious improvement to the status quo. And a bunch of libertarians suddenly rediscovered their principles and stuffed their pragmatism coveniently away.

    I didn't like the bill because it was a modest improvement, but the idiotic analyses of the suderman ("reforming medicaid doesn't matter") crowd have pretty clearly demonstrated that so called libertarians don't really give a shit about cutting spending either.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    The most damning aspect of the libertarian commentary on that whole situation is that no one ever bothered to explain the functions by which an actual free market in healthcare would entail. It certainly wouldn't have any of the price opacity that's currently in place, and healthcare providers who practice price discrimination would actually be prosecuted for violating such principles.

    It's not just getting rid of things like EMTALA or the ever-growing Medicare/Medicaid behemoth that will swallow the entire budget within about 15-20 years, but Suderman never bothers to explain how the system would actually be ideally organized. Because as much as people here may not want to admit, the aging Boomer demographic is going to have their hands all over any system that is put in place.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What exactly did the replace bill leave intact?

    Why would cutting Medicaid eligibility, repealing the individual mandate, repealing the employer mandate, cutting taxes on cadillac plans, etc., etc., leave everything like it was?

    The difference between replace and repeal was that replace didn't simply leave 11 million former Medicaid patients with no healthcare, which is why moderates wouldn't vote for simple repeal. Republicans in swing states didn't want to let the Democrats beat them up for two years for cutting 11 million off of Medicaid--with nothing as a replacement yet.

    If the only major difference between replace and repeal was insurance "vouchers", and Rand Paul opposed replace, then he either a) opposed "vouchers" as unlibertarian or b) he wanted to save Medicaid spending in his state.

    It is not unthinkable that Rand Paul wanted to save Medicaid. His father opposed free trade agreements for similarly obscure ostensibly libertarian reasons--which were actually just pandering to his state's Democrat anxieties at the time. It was just an excuse. Kentucky, likewise, is a big beneficiary of Medicaid--among Rand Paul's favored demographic, too. And remember, the Tea Party wasn't libertarian. When they were fiscally conservative, it was often because they wanted to save entitlement spending on things like social security and Medicare--not because they wanted to eliminate entitlement programs like Medicaid.

  • BYODB||


    What exactly did the replace bill leave intact?

    So you accept that guaranteed issue and community rating is here to stay, which is another way of saying that you want all insurance companies to:

    A) Receive huge transfer payments from the government to cover that risk.
    B) You accept that insurance companies will go out of business.

    So, which is it? Honestly curious.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you talking about the preexisting conditions exclusion?

    Yeah, that reform is wildly popular, and the purpose of libertarianism isn't to seize the levers of power and use the coercive power of government to force libertarianism on everyone.

    Once again, a bill that will not pass is not a reform--it's ObamaCare.

    We change what we can and keep fighting for the rest.

    The senate replace bill also didn't completely balance the budget, repeal the capital gains tax, call off the drug war, or pull the troops out of Afghanistan either. Because a bill only does six things I want and not seven is no reason to oppose it--when the alternative is leaving six things in place that I do not want.

  • BYODB||

    So if those provisions are popular with Democrats, and popular with 'mainstream' Republicans, than who exactly is going to fix it? You? Paul? Doubtful. That's rather the point, Ken. The country wants things that are impossible and both Democrats and Republicans are promising them that it isn't impossible.

    Technically, it is possible, you just need to have the government in charge of the whole thing so that it becomes legal to deny people healthcare even while they have 'coverage'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Preexisting conditions are not the only problem with ObamaCare. The CBO notoriously skews left, and even they saw the senate bill taking premiums down by 30% from where they are now once the Medicaid cuts were implemented and market reforms came in place.

    Because a bill doesn't fix the entire problem is no reason to oppose fixing the rest of the problem.

    And, to the larger point, Rand Paul and his libertarianish gang of Republicans were the primary reason the replace bill failed. The establishment Republicans all voted to cut Medicaid eligibility, eliminate the employer mandate, and the eliminate the individual mandate.

    If the Republicans couldn't nix the preexisting conditions exclusion in this bill, then maybe they can change that in future congresses. Meanwhile, I'm not sure the solution to Rand Paul and company forcing people to suffer under ObamaCare needlessly is electing more ostensibly libertarian Republicans like Rand Paul.

    P.S. Rand Paul didn't even oppose the bill on the basis of keeping the preexisting conditions exclusion. He opposed it on the basis that it gave money "rich, insurance executives", by which he was referring to the "vouchers". Rand Paul's position on this is indefensible. Assuming that he was being disingenuous on this is giving him the benefit of the doubt. I assume he didn't really believe what he said because what he said was so incredibly stupid.

  • BYODB||

    You're right, preexisting conditions aren't the only problem even though that by itself is enough of one to sink insurance the way it has every time it's been tried.

    But no, since it's popular with Republicans I'm sure they'll repeal it if we just give them more rope to hang us with.

    And please, stop pretending that doing away with the mandates aren't going to cause problems in the system by leaving in place guaranteed coverage. It's like you think each of these pieces have no relationship to the others when that is patently not the case. It's a house of cards.

    Yeah, the ACA is horrible flawed piece of garbage that can and will destroy insurance but so is the Republican plan. Again, that type of incrementalism can go suck an egg. It's a slightly cheaper bullet to shoot ourselves in the head with.

    If Republicans want to cut Medicaid eligibility and the rest they could have done it outside the parameters of a replacement bill. Notably, that is not what happened and the reason why is because they want a replacement plan with this type of shit in it.

  • WakaWaka||

    The best argument for voting Republican is the Democratic Party. "We're not Democrats", pretty much sums up all they believe in anymore. The Republican Party platform might as well be: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    About the only good thing that can be said when Republicans take control of government is that they are so utterly incompetent that nothing significant gets done. All they do is 'conserve' big government, rather than expanding it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Republicans are the part of the state ratchet where the handle is turning back before the next Democratic crank forward.

  • WakaWaka||

    The amazing thing is that Republicans will probably control Congress for the entirety of Trump's term and they still won't accomplish anything

  • ThomasD||

    I give Trump a major pass just for being "not Hillary."

    Congress doesn't get that.

  • ||

    Democrats: "We Want to Spend More"
    Republicans: "We Want to Pay Less"
    Public: "Why is the Deficit Growing Out of Control?"

  • Mickey Rat||

    Public: "Wait, don't cut that. I like that!"

  • damikesc||

    And the press suddenly becomes interested in how overly powerful the government is. That's a plus, I suppose. I just wish the press wasn't such shit at their job.

  • DarrenM||

    And that's nothing to sneeze at.

  • damikesc||

    That's the dirty secret of the GOP.

    "Trump isn't really a conservative"? No doubt. Neither is most of the GOP.

  • Jerryskids||

    Welcome to the dark side. I went through the same sad realization when Reagan named Bush as his running mate.

    But I have some bad news for you - some day you might realize the rot that extends to the GOP extends further than you think. I stopped supporting the LP when they named Bob Barr their standard-bearer.

  • WakaWaka||

    The Libertarian Party is really good at recycling failed Republican politicians. Where are Wayne Allen Root and Bob Barr now?

    Take heed, though, considering the party's current embrace of SJW buzzwords and statist policies, they'll start recycling failed Democratic politicians soon enough.

  • ||

    Bernie Sanders (L) 2020?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Despite a mountain of historical evidence that the Republican Party doesn't seriously stand for smaller government and individual liberty, I maintained some hope that this time would be different.

    Those of us with a bit more experience didn't have any such hope.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    Republicans are huge advocates for limited government and reduced spending when they're not in power.

    Just like Democrats are huge advocates for individual liberty and free speech when they are not in power.

  • Rhywun||

    What about the GOP's supposedly bread-and-butter issue of tax reform?

    I suspect that the taxes we pay now already can't support the programs that no politician will touch - let alone all the other pork. Easier to just kick the can down the road than try to fulfill hopeless promises.

  • ThomasD||

    Indeed, the programs we have right now will eventually bankrupt us.

    Why delay the inevitable? And cutting taxes has the added benefit of not punishing those who are currently productive.

  • Rhywun||

    There's a certain fatalism at work here. Everyone knows we can't solve anything so might as well just keep throwing ever increasing amounts of money out the window.

  • Libertarian||

    "The GOP predictably fails to deliver on their small government rhetoric."

    Predictable unless you're a die-hard Republican (eg. Sean Hannity) who blames GOP failures on "stupidity" and political naivety rather than mendacity.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Sean Hannity has a hole in his head where his brain should be.

  • Longtobefree||

    Despite a mountain of historical evidence that the Republican Party doesn't seriously stand for smaller government and individual liberty, I maintained some hope that this time would be different.

    And that Lucy would actually hold the football for Charlie Brown?

  • Brian||

    Was there any doubt?

    Do Republicans even run on limited government anymore?

  • Tony||

    No, they mostly try to convince fat old white people that they can kick out all the Mexicans.

  • WakaWaka||

    ^ And this is why Republicans continue to win elections without actually living up to their principles. The best selling point to vote Republican is the Democratic Party

  • Tony||

    So the problem is me retelling exactly what happened in the last election?

    I suggest that if people are voting out of spite for being called fat racists, the problem is still with them, because that's a stupid reason to vote.

  • Brian||

    Now that you bring it up: you're not a very good ambassador for the democrats.

    When you're trying to convince people that everyone deserves a safety net, it's probably not good to remind them that a lot of people are assholes, simultaneously.

    Gee: when can I sign up for a 10-15% tax increase to support any random asshole?

  • ||

    Not just any asshole - fat, racist assholes.

  • Brian||

    And Tony.

  • Headache||

    I thought for sure that the Park Police shot Tony at some softball practice in the recent past.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Gee: when can I sign up for a 10-15% tax increase to support any random asshole?""

    Thus the problem with universal healthcare, free college, universal living wage, ect.

    They want it only when someone else is paying for. When you start talking about how much they will be forced to contribute via taxes, it becomes a non-starter. Most people that is being taxed feels the are taxed enough already. Then those who want it complain about how people who want to keep what income the government doesn't take are being selfish.

  • ||

    Well if progressives would stop assuming that they are self-evidently right and superior to their opposition and instead, actually try to convince people of that their positions are superior, rather then denigrate their ideological rivals by throwing their opposition into the same basket of "deplorables", they might not be a movement in decline. The fact that the vast majority of the progressive agenda's goals are to truncate individual liberty for the betterment of "society," aside, progressive wing of the Democratic party has completely given up on actually doing to the work of trying to bring people to their side and the 2000 seat swing in state legislatures over the last ten years is the predictable outcome.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Well if progressives would stop assuming that they are self-evidently right and superior to their opposition and instead, actually try to convince people of that their positions are superior, rather then denigrate their ideological rivals by throwing their opposition into the same basket of "deplorables", they might not be a movement in decline. "
    ... um, are you a libertarian/Libertarian?

    'cause if you are, this is pretty ironic.

  • ||

    Libertarian principles are hardly self evident, nor do I think that my politics make me inherently a superior being.

    I was pointing out the realpolitik of the situation, I don't like the idea of any sort of political hegemony.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Then you seem uniquely humble for a libertarian/Libertarian.

  • ||

    The relevant observation was "actually try to convince people of that their positions are superior, rather then denigrate their ideological rivals by throwing their opposition into the same basket of "deplorables.""

    Libertarians are famous for issuing lengthy lectures attempting to explain their positions. They may be self-righteous and superior just like Progressives, but increasingly Progressive arguments boil down to "you suck, so I shouldn't have to make my argument!" This is generally followed up by some version of "neener, neener."

  • A Thinking Mind||

    Actually I feel like Progressive arguments tend to fall into ad-hominem. "Racist! Sexist! Nazi!" There's no engagement with the idea, it's just deserving of a label because it's different.

  • AndrewJJ||

    "For all of the GOP's deriding of Democrats over the years for being "tax-and-spenders," the sad reality is Republicans are on their way to earning the same label."

    No no--you got it wrong

    Democrats--Tax and Spend
    Republicans--Cut Tax and Spend

    GOP will sometimes address the left side of the equation but still do little (sure some window dressing but bottom line increase deficits) on the right.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    But they like to spend more on the military rather than a bunch of useless research projects and leftist stuff, which is much better... somehow. Or no, no, not really. It's all pandering to various constituents and a giant waste of money.

    And of course, no one will touch the third rail of entitlements.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well given the trajectories of welfare spending and defense spending, yes, yes it is different.

  • ThomasD||

    Not merely the trajectories, but also the magnitude of each.

    Military spending, while bloated, wasteful, and excessive, is a minnow compared to the entitlement whales.

  • Jerryskids||

    I think there's evidence that a Democratic president with a Republican congress is the slowest-growing government, the president proposes all kinds of big new ideas and the congress opposes them. Any time you have one party in control of both Congress and the White House, shit gets done that doesn't need doing. Good thing is there's not a Republican in the White House, bad thing is there's a lot of not-Republicans in Congress.

  • Eric||

    "Republican" hasn't meant small government in almost two decades. There most-definitely IS a Republican in the white house.

    Parties evolve and shift positions over time.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Trump is about as republican as Sanders is democrat.

    Historically, Trump has been a big dem supporter and donor.

  • Glide||

    It's not so much an issue with the Republican platform as it is with the fact that "small government" polls great among Republican voters but "cutting Social Security" and any number of other actual small government policies have a 5% approval rating.

    It's honestly just the same shit as the Bernie bros in a different package. They want to cut government benefits to people who are not them (R: Welfare | D: Corporate welfare!) and help their friends and neighbors (R: Social Security | D: The minimum wage) and stopping people from doing things they don't approve of (R: drugs! | D: risky banking!)

    It would be great if John McCain was Justin Amash, but there's no statewide interest in a Justin Amash in Arizona because, like essentially all of America, Arizona Republicans love a tailored set of big government policies that fit their ideal of what America looks like. Even Justin Amash has idiots to satisfy and thus waffles when necessary.

    As annoying as libertarian purists are sometimes, I'll give them credit for at least matching their general rhetoric to their specific policy preferences, which Dem voters suck at and Republican voters suck at way more.

  • ||

    It's not so much an issue with the Republican platform as it is with the fact that "small government" polls great among Republican voters but "cutting Social Security" and any number of other actual small government policies have a 5% approval rating.

    ^ This. Criticisms of the two major parties often miss that it's their supporter who largely have inconsistent, hypocritical and self-serving worldviews. The rhetoric is audience-flattering denial and projection, not serious policy.

  • BYODB||

    A fair, and unfortunate, point to make. It's rather like hating the player but not the game.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Republicans have a bare majority in the Senate, and enough members that are lukewarm, at best, on free markets or more interested in grandstanding than in getting something out the door.

    What is the solution? Mostly, what we get in these articles is impotent kvetching and whining that if we do not get a perfect bill, no one in the GOP is for free markets. There is very little suggestion as to get something out of the current GOP lineup.

    In 2008, Reason's editorial position was that the GOP needed to be punished and they were. The result of punishing the GOP was Obamacare, which is proving difficult to get rid of because the Democrats have done a good job in convincing the public that universal coverage is a desirable goal, and by definition, universal coverage means no one can be free to refuse to be covered. How do we change that?

  • ||

    The Republicans did need to be punished in 2008. The Democrats needed to be punished in 2016.

    This is how our system works. Is there something wrong with it?

  • Mickey Rat||

    The immediate result of punishing the GOP was Obamacare. Was that a net gain or loss for liberty?

    Punishing the Democrats did not change any of their minds on the subject, they have just dug their heels in more.

  • ||

    I was being sarcastic.

  • Eric Bana||

    What is your point?

  • Mickey Rat||

    What can be done to get at least a partial win for liberty, instead of whining that you did not get a perfect bill.

    The simple fact is, we do not have philosophical majority, and likely are not anytime soon. How do we make the best of what's available instead of whining impotently?

  • Eric Bana||

    It's not about something being perfect. It's about something being good enough. I agree that if something is good enough, then the GOP should pass it. The problem is for the GOP to get something together that's good enough. Thus, Vero points to the root of the problem that the GOP isn't really committed to limited government aside from cutting taxes. That's why it's hard for the GOP to put together a bill that's good enough.

    The bill Rand Paul proposed was certainly at least good enough. It likely won't get anywhere unfortunately because the GOP isn't really interested in limited government. It sucks but that's the current situation.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "How do we make the best of what's available instead of whining impotently?"
    Step #1) Be publicly persuasive and convince people of the merits of your ideas.

  • Dillinger||

    I don't intend to be fooled twice

    that boat sailed.

  • Ron||

    Yea but at least they are our statist. of course as been mentioned before the last elections had little to do with party and more to do with who we don't want running our country and dam if we don't have the worse candidates maybe the failure of the two who ran will finally bring people to the table who actually have a brain. I laughed when I wrote that.

  • ||

    I don't know - this election was such a disaster that I think a lot of people really are seriously rethinking how we go about this. I don't know if anybody's going to have any fresh ideas for 2020, but I feel like people are going to be a little more careful about who they support going forward. People get defensive about their Teams, but deep down everyone knows that both 2016 candidates colossally sucked.

  • Ron||

    I hope so.

    Since i'm from California so I almost didn't vote since my vote doesn't count here. this last election I was a one issue voter for the 2A since that barely seems to be the only thing separating the D's from the R's and everything else they say is pure theater for their bases

  • Tony||

    It's worse than you think. Even if Republican voters once thought they liked the idea of small government, that concept practically no longer exists in mainstream politics anymore. People who voted for a guy promising to build a 2,000-mile border wall do not care about small government. So add Trump voters to Clinton voters, and what does that leave? Are all the small-government folks nonvoters? Surely they don't expect to get what they want, then.

  • Brian||

    As opposed to democrats, who are doing just peachy.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Millennials are collectivists. There is no support for limited government. America's future is feudalism, like most places throughout history. The 200 year experiment with exceptionalism is dead and gone.

  • Eric||

    The two parties increasingly stand for nothing more than opposition to the other party. Not bad from a libertarian standpoint. But you cannot govern an entire nation on absolutely no principles.

  • Zeb||

    But you cannot govern an entire nation on absolutely no principles.

    They are giving it a good try.

  • ||

    you cannot govern an entire nation on absolutely no principles.

    Our last 3 presidents beg to differ.

  • ||

    Our last 3 presidents beg to differ.

    You must be young.

  • ||

    Nope, just willing to give the benefit of the doubt to some.

    For instance, I'd say Reagan held a principled anti-communist stance.

  • Brian||

    That, and anti-slavery.

    Well, mostly. No 100% slavery. Or private slavery. Definitely no 100% income private slavery, no siree. That's bad.

  • ||

    OK

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    " At the rate we're going, it may not be long until the GOP gets on board with a value-added tax or carbon tax!"

    That would make them libertarians.

  • WakaWaka||

    Gay Jay approves

  • TexasFlyer||

    These asshat republicans are just as addicted to spending and big government as the democrats. The average middle class taxpayer is getting screwed from both ends.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Middle class and taxpayer are mutually exclusive terms.

  • ThomasD||

    Horseshit. Unless you think married schoolteachers grossing just over six figures are either not middle class, or not paying anything in the way of taxes.

    No they are not paying what the couple earning $250k are paying, but in terms of middle class existence, and disposable income they are taking a serious hit.

  • ||

    Yeah - it's generally the middle class that takes it in shorts. We may pay less in raw dollars, but the actual life-impact is far greater than the guy who only gets $25M of his $50M.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    How progressive of you...

  • ||

    I know - I'm just the essence of Evil, aren't I?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And what is their net payment after government goodies? The middle class is the most subsidized group in the country. Full stop. The middle quintile (and how best to define middle class?) Is basically a wash when it comes to net taxes minus benefits.

  • sarcasmic||

    I see what you did with the goalposts.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yeah, i dug a deep hole and poured concrete. You don't get to bitch that the food sucks and there's not enough of it. Friedman was 100% correct. Middle class welfare is where the money is.

  • sarcasmic||

    First you say that the middle class doesn't pay taxes, and then you say that they do actually pay taxes but that doesn't count because they get a lot of services. Whenever my boss increases my pay, I see just over half of it. And I'm still waiting for my welfare check.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, I'm counting transfer payments. If i give you 10k and you give me 12k back, did i pay you anything? A libertarian of all people should be able to understand this concept.

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/51361

    Middle quintile takes in 16.7k in transfer payments and pays 8900. Those are the kind of taxes I'll "pay" all day long.

    Incidentally, fourth quintile only pays 2.5k out of market income of 88k. It's not until you hit the 5th quintile (avg income 250k) that you start to see real payments.

    So if you make 250k, then yoir statment about taking home half could be correct, otherwise you're full of crap.

  • Rhywun||

    Government transfers, which include benefits from programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance, averaged approximately $14,000 per household.

    I must be doing it wrong because I sure don't get any of that, nor do I expect to.

  • ||

    I must be doing it wrong because I sure don't get any of that, nor do I expect to.

    Me neither. Where're all my subsidy checks? They must be going to the wrong address . . .

  • EscherEnigma||

    I dug into it his linked study.

    According to it, the mean before tax income of the middle quintile is $53,000 (market income) + $16,700 (government transfers) = $69,700 (before tax), with $8,900 in taxes, giving them a transfer:tax ratio of 1.8.

    The trick is, those "transfers"? 11% ($7,667) is social security, 7% ($4,879) is Medicare, 4% ($2,788) is Medicaid, and 3% ($2,091) is "other".

    The trick is, that for those who *do* get social security? They're getting more then the average "transfer" for the quintile just in social security alone. And they're probably also getting Medicare. And possibly some of that "other" from things like "meals on wheels" and other senior-citizen assistance programs.

    So for each retiree in the quintile, you're probably looking at two others that aren't receiving significant "transfers". Oh, and they pay less taxes too.

    So yeah, while his point is technically true, it sure looks like it's only true for individuals within the quintile that are retired. If you're not retired and you're in the middle quintile? You're probably paying more then you're getting.

  • EscherEnigma||

    To be clear, the 11%, 7%, 4% and 3% are of the total before-tax income for the quintile mean.

  • ||

    it sure looks like it's only true for individuals within the quintile that are retired.

    And it's a little disingenuous to pretend that those people weren't in a higher quintile before they stopped drawing income.

    But technically correct is the best kind, I'm told.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Good point. But is it common for folks to drop income bracket when they retire? I confess, this is an area where I'm more familiar with my own current retirement plans/expectations then those of others, and I'm on track to maintain my income after retirement. Admittedly, that's currently planned for about 35 years from now when retirement will be a myth we tell the interns, but a man can dream.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I am guessing that refers to Senior Citzen middle class, who are receiving SS, MediCare, and government pensions. Younger middle class people are paying the freight for all that.

  • ||

    I always find it amusing that wealthy conservatives only see federal income taxes when they're talking about what the Poors pay, but suddenly perceive all those other taxes when they're talking about their own burdens.

  • Lord_at_War||

    Tell me more about all the transfer payments I've taken.

    Never taken WIC. Never taken Medicaid. Never taken SNAP. Never taken Unemployment, a mortgage deduction, Section 8, and I'll die before I'm eligible for Medicare or Socialist InSecurity.

  • Zeb||

    So you have no idea what averages are? You think that all "middle class" people get exactly the same amount of goodies? Otherwise, your initial claim that "Middle class and taxpayer are mutually exclusive terms." is utter horse shit.

  • Tony||

    Well these leaked transcripts are fun. My favorite part is where Trump calls dairy farmers "milk people."

  • chemjeff||

    That call with PM Turnbull was just astounding. Trump really doesn't understand why those refugees are on those islands in the first place. He stubbornly continues to believe that it's because they are criminals and terrorists, but that's not why they are there. Even I could understand the logic behind Turnbull's point about outsourcing immigration policy to people smugglers. But Trump can't wrap his brain around it.

  • Brandybuck||

    " I maintained some hope that this time would be different. "

    Bwa ha ha! Good one! Tell me another!

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    The most disastrous thing is that libertarians are now lumped in with Trumpism in the general public perception. Self-proclaimed King of Debt will preside over the collapse of the bankrupt welfare state. He will not be able to deliver the return to the 1950s or 1980s that boomers and millennials expected from him. "Capitalism" will be blamed. Trump will be succeeded by another authoritarian socialist demagogue.

  • Red Twilight||

    The most disastrous thing is that libertarians are now lumped in with Trumpism in the general public perception.

    Only the reason.com libertarians. Most of them are Republicans, so that is easily explained

    Capitalism cannot be blamed, given that it is never practiced.

  • Mark22||

    The most disastrous thing is that libertarians are now lumped in with Trumpism in the general public perception.

    "The general public" is a mix of a wide range of beliefs and ideologies. And many of them don't know and don't care about libertarians.

  • Red Twilight||

    For all of the GOP's deriding of Democrats over the years for being "tax-and-spenders," the sad reality is Republicans are on their way to earning the same label.

    No, the Republicans are borrow-and-spenders. Taxing and spending at least punishes most of those whom the spending benefits. Borrow and spend? Your grandkids' problem

  • Bruce 6225||

    Can't imagine Trump fixing the Swamp or dealing with the Debt. He has some bravery and style but is dumb to the real issues.

  • Mark22||

    If by "dumb" you mean "doesn't have the kind of dirt on politicians that they usually use to blackmail each other", you're right.

  • Amogin||

    Republicans are all for small government unless they are in charge of it. Their mantra of "Tax cuts" for the rich help everyone and create jobs is just what George H.W. Bush,called it- voodoo economics-witness Kansas. As one of Gov. Brownback's supporters stated "for a while everyone had more money in their pockets until they didn't." Of course he blamed, the economic downturn but while other states recovered Kansas didn't. Their schools and infrastructure were gutted and won't soon recover- not to mention their sky-rocketing deficit. If people had more money for a while, why didn't the state do better then? Are there any economists besides Laffer and Milton Friedman who honestly believe that tax cuts are the answer to every problem?

  • hseneker||

    Your story reflects the fact that the GOP establishment is the junior partner in the Inside The Beltway party - the Democrats being the monolithic senior partner. The 2016 election reflects the successful rebellion of the GOP grassroots against the GOP establishment.

    Putting Trump in the White House, whatever you think about Trump, was a great victory for the GOP grassroots.

    But it is not enough. There is still Congress. We still have to Drain The Swamp. The Congressional Republicans aligned with their own grassroots need reinforcements. This year, if you can, help Mo Brooks in the special election in Alabama. Next year, 2018, wherever you are, it is important to do everything we can to replace RINOs with Constitutionalists in the GOP primaries and caucuses (I'm not being partisan; the Democrats as currently constituted, are at present hopeless), and then replace Democrats with Republicans in November.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT! Please think what yu could do to help that happen next year. Then do it. This matters.

  • Mark22||

    Though a few congressional Republicans sincerely believe in markets and freedom, the party is largely dominated by pretenders and outright statists

    True, but on balance, they're still better than the Democrats.

  • Tony||

    You just have to ignore the phony wars, busted budgets, total lack of concern for civil liberties, and the fact that they lie constantly about the very thing you're praising them for.

  • mysmartstuffs||

    That's the dirty secret of the GOP.

    "Trump isn't really a conservative"? No doubt. Neither is most of the GOP.
    My recent post: Flexy Review

  • mysmartstuffs||

    I thought for sure that the Park Police shot Tony at some softball practice in the recent past.
    My recent post: VideoWhizz Review
    My recent post: Local Lead Beast 2.0 Review

  • MichaelL||

    Yet, I see Rand Paul called crazy because he wants to decrease the over-budget spending...to start living within our means!? 1% 0f senators and 2% of Republicans seem to understand nothing about real budgets! I wish my bank would front me a million! I could set myself up, for survival, pretty well!

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Trump is so awful, just wait until he loses in a landslide to the most horrific progressive those of us under 50 have ever witnessed.

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