Great article by Rand Paul

One of Rand Paul’s strengths is that he connects well with his audiences. This article is addressed to college students but has a good message for all of us.

The federal government now attempts to micromanage American life at practically every level.

The government tells you what kind of lightbulbs you can buy, what kind of toilet can be in your home, how much water can come out of your showerhead. Privacy is seemingly an antiquated notion, with government snoops able to access third-party records, such as phone records, e-mails, financial records, and pretty much any other personal information they want, without a judge’s warrant.
America has drifted away from the constitutional principles of limited government, separation of powers, and individual liberty.
We need to do a better job of communicating why big government is the problem—why it is bad for the economy, freedom, and a restrained, yet strong, foreign policy.
conservative solutions are tangible too. We’re not just saying no to more government. Our proposals will lead the way to more prosperity, more stable families, political decisions made at the local level, a dollar that holds up in a global marketplace, an education system that puts students and parents first, a vibrant culture supported by religious institutions, and opportunities for young people like you to grow and lead America into a renewed age of freedom.
Our political opponents and the media like to portray conservatives as unconcerned about the poor, senior citizens, and minorities. Nothing could be further from the truth. But we need to do a better job of communicating the promise of conservatism, not simply the failures of liberalism. We advocate not for special privileges for “the rich” but rather for a flourishing economy that lifts everyone up, creating millions of jobs and lessening the burden of taxes and government regulation.

We need to shout to anyone who will listen, “More freedom and less government means more jobs, more wealth, and a better life for everyone.” Despite the trillions of taxpayer dollars spent on bailouts and “stimulus” plans over the past several years, the economy hasn’t fully recovered from the Great Recession.

One in six Americans lives in poverty, more than at any other time in the past several decades. This is unacceptable.
Decentralization of power is the best policy. Government is more efficient, more just, and more personal when it is smaller and more local. By decentralizing government, we strengthen communities, allowing people to depend on and care for one another, rather than on some distant, incompetent bureaucracy masquerading as defender of the common good. This is a message we need to do a better job communicating.

Read the whole thing.

Government solutions often have disastrous consequences

The problems of Obamacare’s or the negative consequences of the law should come as no surprise. … Government-program incentives tend to favor interest groups instead of rewarding success or punishing failure. … The health care law was designed to expand health care insurance coverage rather than to improve health outcomes — a choice that benefits the insurance industry without necessarily producing better and more affordable health care.

Those are just a few observations in a recent column by Veronique de Rugy. You probably haven’t heard of her but she is a brilliant scholar at the Mercatus Center. Here’s more:

Obamacare, like Medicare and Medicare Part D, is yet another law that concentrates benefits on older Americans (who are often active voters) at the expense of young and healthy ones (who aren’t as active voters). … government institutions themselves are inherently prone to bad decision-making, often choosing the interest of politically favored groups. … The institutions of government themselves are inherently incapable of performing certain tasks well even when the people in power are smart, compassionate and well-intentioned.

Read the whole thing. It’s short and very readable.

“unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy”

[They] see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded. They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy. They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they’ll try anything to bring that about. (my emphasis)

That Brit Hume commentary has it just about right. Too many Republicans, especially in Washington, are content with Big Government as long as they have a hand in running it. The grassroots and, polls show, the American people prefer smaller government:

far more voters continue to favor a smaller government with fewer services than a bigger government that provides more services. — Pew Research Center


The Declaration of Dependence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people should be made equal, that they are endowed by their government with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are jobs, healthcare and housing.–That to secure these rights, Governments must rule over the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the elite, –That whenever the people becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Elite to alter or to abolish it, and to institute more Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the power and control of the elite. …We, therefore, the Representatives of the political elite, in faculty lounges, Assembled, appealing to the United Nations for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of government, solemnly publish and declare, That the American people ought to be governed by the United Nations; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Constitution, and that all political connection between them and the Founding Fathers, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as highly-taxed and dependent States, they have full Power to levy taxes, disrupt Peace, contract new departments and agencies, regulate Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which the political elite may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the establishment media, we mutually demand your Lives, your Fortunes and your sacred Honor.

Via the great Dan Mitchell.

Just ignore Anthem’s new narrow network

Re “ ‘Just give me the option’: Anthem’s narrow-network plan spurs frustration, confusion” (Monitor front page, Sept. 27):

There is a very simple solution to the problem. Don’t find a new doctor. Stick with the doctors you like. Ignore the insurance company’s network. You don’t need the insurance company’s permission to visit the doctor of your choice any more than you need anyone’s approval to buy whatever food, clothing or housing you prefer.

If you have a high deductible, the insurance company is not going to pay anything anyway, so why let it interfere with your choice of doctor? Just tell your doctor that you are bypassing the insurance company. He or she won’t have to fill out any insurance paperwork, won’t have to wait months for partial reimbursement from insurance. You will pay with a debit or credit card, or with check or cash – the same way you pay for almost everything else you purchase. Most doctors will give you a discount for paying directly and avoiding the insurance hassle. More and more doctors are deciding not to accept insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid. By skipping all the paperwork, they are able to reduce their overhead by 40 percent and are able to reduce their fees while providing better care to their patients.

Eliminate the insurance company middleman. Get the care you want from the doctor of your choice. Let your doctor and you decide your treatment, not an insurance company or government bureaucrat.

(My letter published in Concord Monitor, October 7)

Should these bureaucrats be shut down permanently?

Bureaucrats at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service average $120,000 in pay and here are some of the things they buy for themselves with their federal purchase cards:

  • leased a $53,000 car for private use
  • rented a storage locker near a top officer’s home – filled with the employee’s personal goods
  • ditto, a storage area for a second employee’s goods. Nobody at the agency had keys for either storage area.
  • $58,000 to what appears to be a sham company set up by one of the top officers, and which did absolutely nothing
  • hundreds of dollars every month for phone, internet, and cell service for one employee at his home office, his second home, and for his wife

The FMCS is one more example of Mitchell’s First Theorem, that government is a racket for the enrichment of bureaucrats.