Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What Would A Libertarian Do?

President Obama really alienated me last night with his press conference/sales pitch for the 'stimulus' package, going out of his way to single out people who would prefer we did little or nothing in terms of government intervention. This had to be a jab at libertarians, because Republicans had made an Exhibit 'A' case for their brand of economic interventions and 'stimulus', especially in the first 6 years of the Bush Administration.

When is it better to do nothing? When the 'solution' is worse than the malady. In the words of Harvard's Jeffrey A. Miron, via CNN:
When libertarians question the merit of President Obama's stimulus package, a frequent rejoinder is, "Well, we have to do something." This is hardly a persuasive response. If the cure is worse than the disease, it is better to live with the disease.

In any case, libertarians do not argue for doing nothing; rather, they advocate eliminating or adjusting policies that are bad for the economy independent of the recession.

Biron's actions would include the following:
  1. Repeal the Corporate Income Tax
  2. Increase Carbon Taxes While Lowering Marginal Tax Rates
  3. Moderate the Growth of Entitlements
  4. Eliminate Wasteful Spending
  5. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan
  6. Limit Union Power
  7. Renew the U.S. Commitment to Free Trade
  8. Expand Legal Immigration
  9. Stop Bailing out Businesses that Took on Too Much Risk
That's hardly a list of 'do nothing', in any case.

American leadership has gotten positively batty with overreactions and crisis. In this sense, Obama is a real continuum from Bush.

Is it bad out there? Sure, it's bad. Is the solution the same as taking all the money and going to Vegas and putting it all on 'red'? No, but it isn't far off, either.


varangianguard said...

Miron, perhaps?

And, don't be so narcisisstic. President Obama probably doesn't even think about Libertarians. He was speaking to Republican intransigence.

Mike Kole said...

*Perceived* Republican intransigence, then. The Bush years bear out their willingness to back borrow-and-spend, and 'stimulus' foibles.

Libertarians are the only ones consistently taking this line. I'm just not willing to fill in Obama's factual or logical gaps for him.

Mike Kole said...

Doh! Miron. Now corrected. Thankee!

Eric Schansberg said...

If Var is right, then Mike is right: Obama is either ignorant on this or using rhetoric.