Media coverage of national politics would lead you to believe that there is gaping chasm between the two political parties. One party pretends to be fiscally sound while the other pretends to strive for a peaceful foreign policy. If you observe the actions of our representatives and ignore their words, the small degree of difference between the Democrats and Republicans is painfully obvious. They often argue about issues where the federal government should hold no position. Thankfully most people agree with me on one thing: the approval rating for CONgress is around 13% right now. These positions of power naturally attract those who desire control over others. Some people think that most of our public servants have our best interests at heart. According to Nobel Laureate, F. A. Hayek, this trust does not stand up to reason. Here is an except from Road to Serfdom.
“There are three main reasons why such a numerous and strong group with fairly homogenous views is not likely to formed by the best but rather by the worst elements of any society. By our accepted moral standards, the principles on which such a group would be selected will be almost entirely negative.
In the first instance, it is probably true that the higher education and intelligence of individuals become, the more their views and tastes are differentiated and the less likely they are to agree on a particular hierarchy of values.
It is a corollary of this that if we wish to find a high degree of uniformity and similarity of outlook, we have to descend to the regions of lower moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive and “common” instincts and tastes prevail.
This does not mean that the majority of people have low moral standards; it merely means that the largest group of people whose values are very similar are the people with low standards.
It is, as it were, the lowest common denominator which unites the largest number of a numerous group is needed, strong enough to impose their views on the values of life on all the rest, it will never be those with highly differentiated and developed tastes it will be those who form the “mass” in the derogatory sense of the term, the least original and independent, who will be able to put the weight of their numbers behind their particular ideals.”
When looked at objectively, modern politics is an abhorrent practice. Those who hold steadfast to their party will admit to this somewhat, but of course it’s always the other side that is corrupt, negligent, power hungry, etc. In reality both parties are doing their best to polarize the public on trivial differences, while acting virtually the same in all the areas that are most damaging to the future of the citizens of the United States, such as fiscal policy and overuse of military force.
Republicans claim to be light on taxation and public spending. Under Reagan, the constant threat of the Cold War greased the skids for big spending on national offense. Reagan’s tax cuts also were nothing of the sort. The following except is from a Murray Rothbard article:
“The much-heralded 1981 tax cut was more than offset by two tax increases that year. One was “bracket creep,” by which just inflation wafted people into higher tax brackets, so that with the same real income (in terms of purchasing power) people found themselves paying a higher proportion of their income in taxes, even though the official tax rate went down. The other was the usual whopping increase in Social Security taxes which, however, don’t count, in the perverse semantics of our time, as “taxes”; they are only “insurance premiums.” In the ensuing years the Reagan Administration has constantly raised taxes – to punish us for the fake tax cut of 1981 – beginning in 1982 with the largest single tax increase in American history, costing taxpayers $100 billion.”
The now famous “Read my lips: no new taxes” lie by George H. W. Bush is a great example of the myth of tax busting Republicans. Though his son, GW, was relatively easy on taxes, the increase in the rate of debt accumulation under a new president had never been greater since LBJ. The failed “No Child Left Behind Act” cost tens of billions. He passed MediCare Part D, a program obviously targeted at getting the votes of elderly citizens. The estimated cost of this program has far exceeded the estimate by the Congressional Budget Office. This kind of underestimate is not an uncommon occurrence. As a despicable bonus George junior uttered the phrase “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” What kind of BS is that? I’ll tell you. It’s the same kind of BS that says we have to spend massive amounts of money to cure a problem that is the result of spending too much money.
Democrats are not historically peace makers as they are purported to be. Woodrow Wilson got us into World War I, and it is his pro-imperialist example of foreign policy which is getting us into trouble today. Franklin D. Roosevelt knew about the planned attack on Pearl Harbor and basically let it happen so that the public would consent to entering World War II. More recently, Bill Clinton approved missile launches on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory that resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of lives of innocent civilians. He got the U.S. military involved in a questionable intervention in Kosovo, sent some bombs to Iraq, and presided over sanctions that killed an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children. When his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright was questioned about this figure, she estimated that the price was “worth it” to keep the previous CIA lackey, Saddam Hussein, under their thumb. Obama holds the distinction of being the first president to ever order the death of a US citizen and his 16 year old son. Hundreds of innocent children have been killed by drone in Pakistan and Yemen. No doubt, terrorists commit horrific acts. I only argue that killing innocent civilians with a drone is no more civilized than with a suicide bomb or IED. Obama claims responsibility for getting us out of Iraq, when in fact, GW committed to that date during his term when he was pressed by Iraqi officials to do so. Both have poured resources into Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” -H. L. Mencken
What I propose is that we figure out how to live without the state wherever possible. We really can’t afford to let the parasites in fancy buildings live off of us any longer. Unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and public pensions are around 200 trillion dollars. That means we would have to come up with that much right now, and earn around 5% on it in order to make all the payments that are promised. This debt will be defaulted on through inflation or other, more direct means. There is no other way around it.
The budget for the military is larger than the next 10 countries combined. I hope everyone can agree with me that this is insane. I think most would agree that “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a great command to live by. Is it the large scale of war that supposedly makes murder a heroic act? For the most part, citizens of other countries are just over there trying to eke out an existence…same as you and I. Unfortunately there is one group of psychopaths who claim to be in charge of us and another set of psychopaths who claim to be in charge of them.
Politics is definitely a dirty business. What is seen could be compared to professional wrestling. What is unseen resembles the dealings of organized crime. The real two parties are them and us, and it’s the us party that is getting raked over the coals while they live the high life. This is not democracy, it’s plutocracy.