Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Good Appearance on Abdul's Show

I sat in this morning with the state Executive Directors from the Democrats and Republicans today, and was pleased with my performance in reviewing yesterday's State of the Union Address. Big thanks to Abdul, Andrew, and WXNT for having me on the show! Top points made:
  • President Bush is asking for the line-item veto. There's hardly a track record backing the idea that he would use the tool if it were given to him. No President has used the regular veto less in my lifetime.
  • Bush spoke of the need to curtail spending. I described that as hard to believe, as he could have been instrumental in curbing spending by using the veto, and by using the prestige of his office to direct the Congress to do so in the previous five years of his Presidency. I pointed to poor Mike Pence, who said essentially what the President said, and who was taken to the woodshed for it by Tom DeLay.
  • The President spoke of improving health care in America, but then spoke of deeper government involvement with health care insurance. That's a mistake, as the government involved with mandatory insurance is the problem. Elective, uninsured procedures like Lasik have seen prices drop while quality of care improves. The opposite is true of everything mandated insurance has touched.
  • With the past two Administrations, Clinton & Bush, both parties have labored to characterize the other as corrupt and unethical. Consider me sold! Both parties are correct. It's time to trust Libertarians.
  • The partisan divide between Democrats & Republicans is vast. Each should get real and begin to acknowledge that each side has merits. Both need to get away from substituting ethical charges for policy solutions. Libertarians are putting good, substantial ideas on the table, especially when we say 'no' to another party's policy proposals.
One caller asked me and Republican Jennifer Hallowell where we stood on the Fair Tax. Jennifer said she was unsure. I told the caller that I am a supporter of the Fair Tax, and have helped to host a presentation on the Fair Tax in Noblesville, back in November. I don't think the Fair Tax is perfect, but it is an excellent way to eliminate the hidden taxes imbedded in the goods & services we buy, which would be an enormous boost to our economy.

There were other points I would have made, had the show been longer, or had I gotten more time to keep on:
  • President Bush spoke of not retreating into protectionism. I couldn't agree more, so it has been a source of frustration for me that Bush has backed protectionist tariffs and quotas on steel, lumber, cotton, textiles, sugar, corn, wheat, and a host of other commodities.
  • The President urged us not to retreat into isolationism. I agree that now that we have gotten into Iraq, we cannot simply cut & run. We have a responsibility to leave the country in the best shape possible. However, is American internationalism going to take us to war with Iran? South Korea? Communist China has nuclear weapons. Are they on the list? Where will it end? The President had no details on this.
  • I think a certain isolationism is well overdue. We have American military protecting developed western nations for free. It's time for Japan, Germany, France, Spain, and a host of others to start defending themselves, or at least footing 100% of the bill for us to do the job.
I hope the performance was well-received. Federal issues are not my strong suit, but I think I turned in a good showing on behalf of the Libertarian Party today.


Michael said...

You are a braver man than I, to be able to sit through that dog and pony show, Mike.
Sorry I missed your appearance this morning, got busy doing other things and just plain forgot about it.
I did read the transcript of the speech, as I usually do and find I agree with you. Bush speaking about retreating into protectionism is strange considering his mercantilist attitude towards international trade.
Any credibility he had in the speech evaporated away for me when he spoke of cutting spending and then talked about growing government, programs and commissions. Did anyone other than the faithful believe this? That's some strong Kool Aid they have there.

Mike Kole said...

No way! That was big fun! I'd love to do that 365 days a year!

It's actually a real hoot to sit with Ds & Rs in a debate or roundtable format because they never seem to see us coming, which is funny because I think Libertarians are fairly predictable. You know what we stand for- smaller government, lower taxes, free trade, etc. The hired guns from the other parties were so loaded for bear for each other, but endlessly caught off guard by me, especially when I backed their side on things. They don't expect agreement, ever, because they are so antagonistic with each other as parties.

Besides, whatever messes we have, and they are numerous, have been caused by Republicans and Democrats. Libertarians carry no blame, but only possible solutions.