Monday, October 14, 2013

Libertarians, Don’t Get Too Excited About the Shutdown

Furloughed workers pissed off at us

While Republicans have been nearly giddy about the government shutdown—hailing this as a victory over the Obama Administration—the libertarian crowd has been all kinds of excited about the debacle for different reasons.

The primary reason libertarians have been happy is the seeming anarchy ensuing from the shutdown.  By no means has this been a chaotic anarchy, but rather an orderly one.  While state and local police continue their regular law enforcement duties, the overwhelming majority of federal agents—of all departments and agencies—have been on an indefinite furlough.  Yet the market economy has shown that life goes on.

Most of American society has been running quite smoothly, and after a week-long dip from the shock of the shutdown, the Dow Jones has actually consistently risen.  Libertarians and conservatives alike are also glad that the furlough of nonessential employees has shown us exactly where the federal government can be cut in the future in order to lower national spending.

This is all fine and dandy, but there are reasons for libertarians and conservatives alike to beware the shutdown and not to jump on the excitement bandwagon.  Frankly speaking, this government shutdown will have negative consequences for the liberty movement.  One example:

It’s most unfortunate that Senator Ted Cruz has been painted as the mastermind of the shutdown, since it was really the brainchild of eighty Republicans from the House Neo-Fascist Caucus.  Nonetheless, Cruz is getting massive heat following his filibuster to prevent the passage of the Affordable Care Act, so affectionately known as ObamaCare (which Mitt Romney actually invented).  This is a perfect example of how the liberty movement is to be seen.

The LIBERTY Republican blamed for this unpopular mess
Many from the left gave Senator Rand Paul a nod of approval when he pulled his thirteen-hour filibuster over the drones subject.  The same was not so for Cruz’s filibuster.  Remember, the left is the left for a reason; there’s a huge difference between protesting so the government will stop assassinating its own citizens, and protesting so the poor won’t be offered cheap health insurance.

Yes, I know the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea.  I know it will destroy jobs and businesses, ultimately make health insurance more expensive, and lower the overall quality of health care.  Trust me people, you’re preaching to the choir.  It still doesn’t change the reality of the present situation.

The whole idea of shutting down the government—at this time, in the way it was done—was stupid.  No other word can describe such a hair-brained scheme by House Republicans.

The truth is that a lot of people are hurting. The government created a situation where 800,000 public workers are directly dependent on government for their livelihood. Much as I believe we should cut those jobs in the near future (with enough notice for the workers to find another job), we have to face the here and now.

As a libertarian, I'm all for limiting government and doing it fast, but we can't just bury our heads in libertarian economic theory. We have to face the reality: shutting down the government the way it was done this time means 800,000 families are getting no income for making ends meet.  They’re going to blame someone for their stopped income, and I doubt they’ll magically turn libertarian and blame their source of income—government.

I'm libertarian through and through, but this government shutdown was a BAD idea. Let's face it: the GOP made this shutdown happen and the shutdown's been incredibly unpopular.  That means it's discredited the entire party, which now makes it 100 times harder for libertarian Republicans to run for office in 2014.

We’re no longer the crowd who passionately fought against two dictatorial administrations to preserve everyone’s civil liberties.  We’re now the bullies who prevented poor people from getting health insurance and who put 800,000 people out of work with no warning.

Many who have fallen under the spell of the Democrat Plantation and the promises of the Affordable Care Act honestly can’t distinguish between a neoconservative and a Constitutional conservative/libertarian.  Simply having an R after one’s last name on the ballot will cost a great many votes in the 2014 midterm elections.  Even worse, if the liberty movement doesn’t go into overdrive NOW to distinguish between our movement and the neo-fascist Republicans, this shutdown will cost Rand Paul a LOT of votes in 2016.

Face it, Obama won the election and his party controls the Senate and the Supreme Court.  ObamaCare is happening whether we like it or not.  If Congressional Republicans wanted to score a victory, it would have been wise to argue from the beginning only to remove the individual mandate.  They should have just let ObamaCare happen so it would take effect and be a total disaster.  THEN they could have said "We were right all along!"

Unfortunately, the economy further tanking from excessive government intervention will now be blamed on the GOP for shutting the government down.

In review, the shutdown did show which jobs can be cut in the future, but it also resulted in the following:
--It failed to prevent ObamaCare from launching
--It failed to repeal the individual mandate
--It severely weakened Republicans’ collective bargaining power in Congress
--It made the Republican Party severely unpopular, strengthening statist Democrats by default
--It will make 2016 elections incredibly difficult and 2014 elections a suicide mission for the liberty movement

The inevitable increase of seats won by statist Democrats in upcoming elections will result in more government, a national economy further harmed, and more of our liberties stripped away.

So, are you still happy about the shutdown?

The great leader whose presidential candidacy just got 100x harder

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Protest photo by Congressman Keith Ellison (CC BY 2.0 license). Ted Cruz photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 3.0 license). Rand Paul photo by Allison Stillwell (public domain).

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