A Nation Forged in Hardship

Thanksgiving is usually the day when we give a half-hearted, half-spoken “thanks” for our friends and family, and for some, to our God. But on Thanksgiving Day, we should give thanks to those who gave their lives to settle, create, and protect this nation in the name of liberty. This is a nation forged in hardship, in a long struggle for freedom. Generations of men and women struggled and died (and still do) to achieve this:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We are privileged to be Americans. Let’s be vigilant, and strive to keep this for future generations.

Barack Obama Springs A Leak

Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

Joe drives to Obama’s house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood and where it’s clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year. Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

Obama asks Joe how much it will cost.

Joe immediately says, “$9,500.”

“$9,500?” Obama asks, stunned. “But you said it’s an easy repair!”

“Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free,” explains Joe. “It’s always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law, and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It’s known as ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2008.’ Surprised you haven’t heard of it, senator.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves.

Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing.

The leak under Obama’s sink goes unrepaired for the next several days. A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return.

Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, and says “Let’s see – this will cost you about $21,000.”

“A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!” Obama quickly fires back.

Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. “Well, because of the ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act,’ a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I’m doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day. “Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they’re not being replaced – nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they won’t make any money. I’m hurting now too – all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”

Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: “Of course you’re hurting, Joe! Don’t you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you’ll be broke, and then what will you do?”

Joe immediately replies, “Run for president, apparently.”

H/T Boortz

Thomas Jefferson on the Bailouts and Fed

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of  Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.”

—Thomas Jefferson (Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 15 February 1791)

GOP should be quiet about Obama’s “change”

Obama ran on change. He promised to be a uniter, not a divider. He promised that he’d change the culture of Washington. That’s what most Americans voted for. Instead, I heard an advisor say that wasn’t accurate. We voted for a rollback of Bush to Clinton. Great spin!

But I don’t want to hear Republicans making jokes or feighning outrage over it. You had an entire election to hammer this point home, and you never once spoke up about it. The information was there.

A neo-con/libertarian riff that will kill the GOP.

Mike Kole has a great post on the war between neo-con/Rawlsian liberal + social conservative/modern Republicans and libertarian/classical libertarians/faux-cons.  Read it here. This is the battle for the “soul” of the GOP.

I maintain that if the GOP continues to deny rights in the name of religion, they will become a permanent minority with my generation. We are entering a time where the media and American popular thought consider being religious (especially Christianity) as insane a belief as 9-11 truthers, and people who believe the free masons control the world. (For the record, I am a believer in Christ and proud of it. I believe 9-11 was as we saw. I also believe that the free mason’s are really just a boy scouts for old men.)

I wrestled for a long while with the question of honoring my religious beliefs by writing it into public policy, but I never could quite accept that I was denying rights to others. You are either denying a person’s first amendment rights, or denying their pursuit to hapiness. Most Americans agree. Most Americans want to be left alone, and want as much of their money as possible.

Unfortunately for the GOP, they couldn’t stop hammering away at the Gay Rights issue. Most under 30 have many gay friends, and are accepting of this different lifestyle. To millenials, the GOP looks bigoted, and hypocritical when it preaches freedom. They also look completely hypocritical when they preach free markets, capitalism, less spending, and less government. See this great break down of Bush’s recent bailout speech by Matt Welch. So there should be no suprise that 80% of my generation voted Democrat, and many others were fans of Ron Paul or Libertarians. 

So if the GOP wants to ever see the majority again, they need to move to a more libertarian stance. Social Conservatives will dwindle as my generation moves up in years. But the GOP has no guts, and are afraid to take a stance on principles. They won’t fight for more freedom and less government, because one isn’t popular with the base (the Christian Right/donor base/talking heads), and the other part isn’t popular with the media. So they don’t want to lose power, and will continue to make mistakes, move left, and be made to look like fools. Principled libertarians like myself will figure it out, get frustrated, and leave in disgust. That is why I believe the Libertarian Party will be competitive with the GOP eventually. The GOP will soon be considered the whigs.

Libertarians on NRO

Derb is a good guy, and I like his podcast. Here is the link to this article. I am just going to post the note that was sent to him, because it sums up a lot of the sentiment that has been flooding the LPIN HQ.

“Mr. D — As a ‘young intellectual conservative’ mulling over factions in the coming Big Conservative Brouhaha, I’m thinking of jumping the USS GOP in favor of the Libertarian party. 3 quick reasons

  • It’s ideologically coherent. Or, at least, built on a strong foundation of promoting individual liberty and, y’know, actually deferring to the Constitution.

 

  • It’s ‘cool’. Libertarians are generally viewed as either uncompromising personal freedoms/open market zealots, or in the case of those just looking for a political party that justifies their bad behavior, party animals. Both are preferable to the ‘sexually repressed bigoted fundamentalist freakshow’ image the Republican party now engenders, thanks largely to the media and, well, Republicans in general lately.

 

 

  • Compassionate conservatism sucks. I don’t want a holy-roller welfare state any more than I want a degenerate welfare state.”

How did Hoosier Libertarians do in 2008?

From our Chairman, Todd Singer:

Friends,

The Libertarian Party of Indiana would like to thank all of those who ran as candidates. Their hard work has brought greater vote totals and legitimacy, and has grown the party significantly. We would also like to thank those who have helped our candidates. Running for office with no staff, little money, and few volunteers is a difficult task. When Libertarians stand up to help other Libertarians in their bid for office, it can be a richly rewarding experience for all. Thank you to those who gave their time and money to our candidates.

Above all, thank you to all those who voted for any of the LPIN candidates. We hope you will continue to support liberty in this way.

The LPIN had an impressive year in 2008. All corners of the state had significant gains despite the heaviest straight-ticket voting in recent memory. We competed and grew in an environment where the Big Two spent $5.3 billion to spread their messages. These numbers speak to the LPIN’s significant growth, and the public’s continuing desire for a third, liberty-minded option. Here is a snapshot of some of the LPIN’s accomplishments in 2008 as of October 7, 2008 (numbers are still coming in, and may be higher when certified.):

  • All of the Libertarian Party of Indiana’s Federal candidates won a total of 70,673 votes. This year, the LPIN had 6 candidates. In 2000, the LPIN fielded 11 Federal candidates, with a total of 59,188 votes (excluding that year’s Senate race.)

 

  • This year, the LPIN had 14 State-level candidates. They received a total of 84,047 votes. In 2000, the LPIN fielded 37 candidates, with a vote total of 80,574. This is a tremendous number, and speaks to the need to field a record number of state-level candidates in 2010.

 

 

  • In 2000, Harry Browne won 15,530. In 2008, Bob Barr won 25,358 votes. Indiana is the ONLY state that gave over 1 percent of their vote to the Barr/Root ticket.

 

 

  • In 2000, Andy Horning earned 38,458 votes. In 2008, Andy won 47,257 votes.

Now some numbers and facts from our individual campaigns:

In 2002, Rex Bell was only the second person to win a precinct in the history of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. Wayne County has added some new names to that honor this year:

  • Rex Bell, District 54 candidate, won 8 precincts, (6 in Wayne County, 2 in Henry County) polling as high as 64%. In the District 54 race, Wayne County percentages increased from 23% in 2006, to 37% this year. In the same race, Henry County percentages increased from 9% in 2006, to 32% this year. Overall, he took 33.5 percent of the vote in his race.

 

  • Cheryl Heacox, Wayne County Commissioner District 2 candidate, won a precinct, and finished second in 5 others.

 

 

  • Jon Bell, District 56 candidate, won a precinct in a heavily gerrymandered Democratic district, and finished with over 20% of the vote.

 

 

  • Gayle Bond, Wayne County Commissioner District 3 candidate, made a strong showing, finishing with over 40% in 5 precincts.

 

 

  • Wayne County Council candidates Jim Mikesell and Marvin Heacox made a good showing, finishing in double digits in several precincts.

 

 

  • In Madison County, Robert Jozwiak ran an energetic for the House District 37, a heavily Gerrymandered Democratic district. A Libertarian has never run in the district, and Jozwiak earned 1,197 votes, or 4.42 percent of the vote.

 

 

  • Another first time candidate was Ryan Liedtky in Northern Indiana. Marshall is an unaffiliated county with three Libertarians that meet once a month. Liedtky is the first Libertarian to run in the Republican-run county. He knocked on over 500 doors in his bid for election to the Marshall County Council. He earned 1,762 votes, or 3.59 percent of the vote against 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

 

 

  • In Hendricks County, both Michele Colson and I received over 19 percent of the vote in our bid for Hendricks County Commissioner.

 

 

  • In Southern Indiana, Eric Schansberg was in a highly contested race. Schansberg’s opponent’s both had a collective war chest of $3 million. Despite this, Schansberg increased his vote totals by 2,000 votes. Schansberg’s campaign raised an impressive $30,000.

 

 

  • In Marion County, Ed Angleton ran a two way race with a beloved Democrat, and finished with 15.8 percent of the vote. Ed knocked on countless doors, talking with residents of the district one to two hours a night. Ed wore out a pair of shoes, and one of his knees. Ed raised $4,500 from friends and neighbors, and put out a mailer that impressed local Democrats, Republicans, and members of the media.

 

 

  • In State Senate District 30, Steve Keltner managed to make a 16-year incumbent work to earn votes for the first time. Steve ran an aggressive campaign for two years, that rivaled his opponents in the last days of the campaign. Steve raised over $10,000, and used $6,000 for TV ads the last few days of the campaign. Steve won 7.2 percent of the vote.

 

 

  • Even the LPIN paper candidates saw a dramatic increase, with most averaging 5 percent in their races.

As you know, we have hired an Executive Director, Chris Spangle, within the last month. He has already begun to coordinate our 2010 elections. Our ballot access race is the Secretary of State race. If we achieve two-percent, we are considered a minor political party, which is our current status. We will remain on the ballot. BUT I believe our ideas deserve major party status, which is 10 percent. This is our aim in the coming 2 years.

There are some ways you can help:

1. Please join the 1994 Society. It is a monthly donation program to the Libertarian Party of Indiana. The money will be used for preparation for the Secretary of State race and other Libertarian Candidates. These preparations include organizing county organizations, organizing College Libertarian groups, and recruiting candidates. These activities cost our new Executive Director a lot of gas money! Please support our 2010 campaigns by signing up today. There is no set bottom. We suggest $10, $20, or $30 a month. That is a dollar or less a day to support liberty in Indiana! One can sign up on www.lpin.org, or call Chris Spangle at (317) 920-1994.

2. Join your county organization. Check www.lpin.org website for your county affiliate, contact them, and get involved! If there isn’t someone in your county, please consider organizing one. Contact Chris Spangle at cspangle@lpin.org if you need more information.

3. Consider running for office. A successful, active campaign should start today. Contact Chris Spangle or myself if this is something you’d like to explore. It is not a coincidence that the areas that run consistent, active campaigns have the strongest county organizations. Statehouse candidates will also be instrumental in achieving a higher vote total in the Secretary of State race.

Thank you for you support of the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

Sincerely,

Todd Singer
State Chair

Is the Ron Paul movement that big of a deal?

I’ve heard many say they were voting for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party because of Ron Paul’s endorsement. Some were even writing in Ron Paul, who was not a qualified candidate. Some Libertarians have expressed concern that the Constitution Party may be a threat to the LP. I think the numbers show that Paul’s endorsement has little effect on voters. It also shows the foolishness of the media attention that Ralph Nader always gets. It ALSO shows the importance of ballot access for Libertarians.

Many people were upset that Barr would not visit the kiddie table by showing up at Paul’s third-party press conference. While we are still not in the same league as the big two vote-wise, we are still something different than other third parties. We damage our party’s legitimacy by making ourselves “one of the third parties” instead of THE third option.

Let me say that Ron Paul was someone I voted for in the primary, and instrumental in my understanding of libertarianism. It is now time to take his advice and focus more on his message and principles, the same one our founders espoused, and not the man himself.

Candidate
Votes

Obama, Barack Joe Biden (Democratic)
1080584

25553

1180102

12

4

20

239

10

6

228

0

0

2

District
Statewide Barr, Bob Wayne A. Root (Libertarian) McCain, John Sarah Palin (Republican) Faith, Michael L. (W/I(Americas Independent)) Castle, Darrell L. (W/I(Constitution)) McKinney, Cynthia A. (W/I(Green)) Baldwin, Chuck (W/I(Independent)) Bone, Lawson Mitchell (W/I(Independent)) Mottus, Kevin (W/I(Independent)) Nader, Ralph Matt Gonzalez (W/I(Independent)) Plemons, John Leroy (W/I(Independent)) Kujawski, “Lou” (W/I(Republican)) Moore, Brian Stewart A. Alexander (W/I(Socialist))

Finally! Democracy has been practiced in Amercia!

I couldn’t agree more on this. Also, the notion that your side is the “Real America” is dumb, and you should stop saying it. Also the phrase “A President for all Americans” is equally stupid, and it shows your bias. The President of any party is the President. The media and Democrats now believe that since they are in power, everyone will finally be bipartisan. It will never happen.

I don’t like Obama, and I don’t really plan to unite with him to change this country, because his change is wrong. We need to quit acting like Senators, constantly pleading for bipartisanship. It isn’t going to happen.

Let’s argue our ideas with passion, but not hatred. Play tough, but all should be fair. And quit asking me to work WITH you. It isn’t going to happen.

On the End of America

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been scared to death recently by the prospect of a Great Depression Two. I’ve found myself waking up an hour early, staring at the ceiling, wondering if all of this could be true. It is more selfish than anything. I don’t want to give up my comfort.

I am not going to pretend like I know. I am not going to assign blame. I am not going to interject politics, because this is possibly a moment in America equal to, or bigger, than 9-11. I am comforted by one thought, and I am wondering if you feel the same:

Thousands of generations of men and women have fought, struggled, and bled to achieve the freedom and greatness of this country. Our nation was a nation born out of hardship. We have endured hardship, and have survived. If we are to face another hardship, the greatness of the American people will see it through as they always have.

We have to be vigilant. We can’t make the mistakes of other countries, and put our faith in politicians, businessmen, or those who promise to release the pain. Cycles in life, economies, and societies cannot be tamed, and we cannot fix what cannot be corrected by man. We have to hang together, or hang separately.

We have to honor what societies have worked towards for thousands of years: the freedom to pursue our own life, liberty, and hapiness. It’s written into our social contracts, the Declaration and the Constitution. It says that our freedom and liberty comes something bigger than ourselves. It is a right that we cannot create for ourselves, but also reminds us that it is only US who can take it away.

If we aren’t about to suffer a great depression, or total collapse, let’s be thankful for the brush that reminds us that this country isn’t perfect; that we CAN fail as a nation. If we do collapse or suffer hard times, lets keep a watch on those who say they’ll protect us. Those are usually the one’s who take it all from us. Our leader is the Constitution, the Declaration, and the spirit of freedom that is written within.

Call Your Congressman

Here are the numbers… We beat it once, but the second time is always the hardest.

Sen. Bayh: 202-224-5623 or 317-554-0750
Rep. Burton: 202-225-2276 or 317-848-0201
Rep. Buyer: 202-225-5037
Rep. Carson: 202-225-4011
Rep. Donnely: 202-225-2915
Rep. Ellsworth: 202-225-4636
Rep. Hill: 202-225-5315
Sen. Lugar: 202-224-4814 or 317-226-5555
Rep. Pence: 202-225-3021
Rep. Souder: 202-225-4436
Rep. Visclosky: 202-225-2461

Here is a script from Dave Ramsey:

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three steps:

Common Sense Plan.

I. INSURANCE

A. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.

B. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:

1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while
working with the borrower-again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.

2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.

C. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion-a small fraction of the current proposal.

II. MARK TO MARKET

A. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.

B. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks-and it costs the taxpayer nothing.

III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX

A. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous-and immediate-liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.

B. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down. This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

Give the Taxpayer Second Tier Loss, not First

I swear, I could almost teach an econ course after the last two weeks. I will be so glad when politics goes back to less complicated issues, like lipstick and guns. One of the issues I worry about with the Paulson Plan is the actual execution of the plan. Are we really going to let a low paid government worker with no vested interest manage trillions of dollars? We are begging for corruption, and a lack of focus. We are asking for another massive governmental failure that will cost us more. So let Wall Street manage it. Bill Gross of Pimco has offered to manage this, and he is a highly respected and successful guy.

I also highly recommend reading some of the papers over at Cato, found here. Arnold King’s article is a must read, or listen to a podcast here or below.

I would like to introduce a second plan that some economists are backing, and politicians are rejecting. I have copied and pasted from here.

A Matched Preferred Stock plan for government assistance

by Charles Calomiris

The US government is considering broad-based assistance to stem the financial crisis. Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary, and Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, have proposed the establishment of an entity that would purchase subprime-related assets from troubled financial institutions.

A broad-based approach is needed, but this is not the best way of achieving policymakers’ objectives. Government injections of preferred stock into banks, advocated by Senator Charles Schumer, inspired by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation’s policies in the 1930s, would be a better choice. Pricing subprime instruments for purchase would be very challenging, and fraught with potentially unfair and hard-to-defend judgments. If the price were too low, that could hurt selling institutions; if it were too high, that could harm taxpayers. Who would determine how much should be purchased from whom in order to achieve the desired systemic risk reduction consequences at least cost to taxpayers? How would the purchasing entity dispose of its assets?

Preferred stock assistance would leave asset valuation and liquidation decisions to the private sector, but would provide needed recapitalization assistance to banks in an incentive-compatible manner to facilitate banks’ abilities to maintain and grow assets. If executed properly, it would limit taxpayers’ loss exposure, and leave the tough decisions of managing assets, and deciding on how to allocate capital assistance from the taxpayers, to the market.

Preferred stock assistance would work best if it were required to be matched by common stock issues underwritten by the private sector, which would ensure the proper targeting of assistance, and force private parties rather than taxpayers to bear first-tier losses. Banks in need of capital would apply for Matched Preferred Stock (MPS) assistance. Initially, say for three years, there would be no dividend paid to the government on MPS. That subsidy would increase the net worth of the recipient and facilitate raising additional capital via common stock.

Any US-based financial institution could apply for US government-held MPS (foreign-based banks could also apply if foreign governments were willing to provide MPS financing). To ensure that MPS is only supplied as truly needed from a systemic standpoint, and to limit any abuse of the taxpayer-provided subsidy, the private sector would also be required to act collectively to help recapitalize undercapitalized banks, and share the risks associated with recapitalizing banks.

Specifically, to qualify for MPS assistance from the government, a bank would have to first obtain approval from “the Syndicate” of private banks (including the major institutions who would benefit from the plan as well as others who would benefit from the reduction in systemic risk) to commit to underwrite common stock of the institution receiving MPS in an amount equal to, say, at least 50 per cent of the amount of MPS it is applying for (at a price agreed between the Syndicate and the bank at the time of its application fro MPS). The Syndicate would share the underwriting burden on some pro rata basis. To support that underwriting, the Syndicate would have access to a line of credit from the US government (and from other countries’ governments, if non-US banks participate in the MPS system). By making the government’s underwriting support senior to the Syndicate, the taxpayer would be protected by the aggregate resources of the private financial system. For banks participating in the MPS plan that are based outside the US, foreign governments would have to provide the MPS investments. Presumably, those foreign governments would also provide the credit line commitment to the syndicate for its underwriting of common stock.

Crucially, matching ensures first-tier loss sharing by the private sector (in a properly diversified way), which in turn ensures that unless the bank is worth assisting for systemic purposes, and viable upon receiving assistance, it will not receive assistance. This arrangement also protects taxpayers (since they only bear second-tier losses – that is, the risk of loss on preferred stock, which is senior to the old and new common stock). First-tier private sector loss sharing alongside government assistance is a time-honored tradition, which incentivizes the private sector to limit its requests for government assistance. In 1890, for example, the Bank of England was willing to assist in the bailout of Barings only on condition that the London banks bore the first tier of losses resulting from such assistance. In the US today, the FDICIA legislation of 1991 required that any bailouts of uninsured depositors or bank creditors must be paid for by a special assessment on surviving banks, as a pro rata share of their deposits.

Additional safeguards would also be needed. Any bank receiving MPS must suspend all common stock dividends for the period that the MPS is on its balance sheet (shockingly, the Japanese banks receiving preferred stock injections in 1999 continued to pay common stock dividends). Any bank receiving MPS would also devise a “capital plan” within six months of receiving MPS. The capital plan would be a plan for reducing leverage and credibly limiting risk taking during the period in which the MPS is outstanding. This capital plan would have to be approved by the Syndicate and the Treasury Department (as the government’s representative in this transaction). If a capital plan cannot be agreed within six months of receiving assistance, then the MPS would be payable immediately. Making the MPS callable would also be desirable; by doing so, and by limiting dividends and requiring a capital plan, banks would have an incentive to retire their MPS as soon as possible after the crisis passes.

Charles Calomiris is Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School

 

Comments

 

 

  1. Willem Buiter: This would appear to be an excellent scheme for recapitalising banks. One problem I can see is the membership of the “Syndicate”. Clearly, any bank (and insurance company with investment bank habits?) that thinks it may have to use the facility would be part of the Syndicate. But what about banks that are viewed as systemically important but don’t want to be part of it? Could some public authority compel participation?

I would also stress the point that, from a longer-run perspective, we may well want less capital in the banking sector. The banking sector in the US and in the rest of the North Atlantic area should shrink quite signficantly after expanding to ridiculous proportions in the past couple of decades, and especially since 2001. While capital ratios may well have to rise, deleveraging in the banking sector should occur to the point that less capital is necessary overall.

Consolidation is overdue in the banking and shadow-banking sector. Capital needs to be shifted from the losers to the winners in the banking sector, through the liquidation of the inefficient, through mergers and takeovers.

The matched preferred stock scheme also does nothing to address the illiquidity problem of the lower tail of the RMBS markets. Perhaps nothing can be done: high-risk mortgages should simply not be commoditised/securitised and made tradable but should be held to maturity by the originator. I am not (yet) convinced of this. Perhaps a publicly financed Toxic Asset Dump (TAD) of the kind proposed by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve could, using reverse auctions as a price disovery mechanism, help to re-establish liquidity to RMBS and other ABS markets, as well as assisting the recapitalisation of the banks

Obama-McCain Fact Check

Copy and Pasted from an essential website: factcheck.org.

Summary

McCain and Obama contradicted each other repeatedly during their first debate, and each volunteered some factual misstatements as well. Here’s how we sort them out:

Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.

Obama denied voting for a bill that called for increased taxes on “people” making as little as $42,000 a year, as McCain accused him of doing. McCain was right, though only for single taxpayers. A married couple would have had to make $83,000 to be affected by the vote, and anyway no such increase is in Obama’s tax plan.

McCain and Obama contradicted each other on what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said about troop withdrawals. Mullen said a time line for withdrawal could be “very dangerous” but was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan,” as McCain maintained.

McCain tripped up on one of his signature issues – special appropriation “earmarks.” He said they had “tripled in the last five years,” when in fact they have decreased sharply.

Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.

McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.

Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.
McCain misrepresented Obama’s plan by claiming he’d be “handing the health care system over to the federal government.” Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.

 

McCain claimed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had drafted a letter of resignation from the Army to be sent in case the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy turned out to be a failure. Ike prepared a letter taking responsibility, but he didn’t mention resigning.

For full details, as well as other dubious claims and statements, please read our full Analysis section.

Analysis

The first of three scheduled debates between Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama took place Sept. 26 on the campus of theUniversity of Mississippi at Oxford. It was sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. It was carried live on national television networks and was moderated by Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of the PBS “NewsHour” program.

We noted these factual misstatements:
Did Kissinger Back Obama?

McCain attacked Obama for his declaration that he would meet with leaders of Iran and other hostile nations “without preconditions.” To do so with Iran, McCain said, “isn’t just naive; it’s dangerous.” Obama countered by saying former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger – a McCain adviser – agreed with him:
Obama: Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who’s one of his advisers, who, along with five recent secretaries of state, just said that we should meet with Iran – guess what – without precondition. This is one of your own advisers.

McCain rejected Obama’s claim:
McCain: By the way, my friend, Dr. Kissinger, who’s been my friend for 35 years, would be interested to hear this conversation and Senator Obama’s depiction of his — of his positions on the issue. I’ve known him for 35 years.
Obama: We will take a look.
McCain: And I guarantee you he would not — he would not say that presidential top level.
Obama: Nobody’s talking about that.

So who’s right? Kissinger did in fact say a few days earlier at a forum of former secretaries of state that he favors very high-level talks with Iran – without conditions:
Kissinger Sept. 20: Well, I am in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it. And, therefore, I actually have preferred doing it at the secretary of state level so that we — we know we’re dealing with authentic…
CNN’s Frank Sesno: Put at a very high level right out of the box?

Kissinger: Initially, yes.But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations.
Later, McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, was asked about this by CBS News anchor Katie Couric, and Palin said, “I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, ‘Yeah, I’ll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.’” Afterward Couricsaid, “We confirmed Henry Kissinger’s position following our interview.”

After the McCain-Obama debate, however, Kissinger issued a statement saying he doesn’t favor a presidential meeting:
Kissinger: Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain.

$42,000 per year?
McCain said – and Obama denied – that Obama had voted to increase taxes on “people who make as low as $42,000 a year.” McCain was correct – with qualification.
McCain: But, again, Senator Obama has shifted on a number of occasions. He has voted in the United States Senate to increase taxes on people who make as low as $42,000 a year.
Obama: That’s not true, John. That’s not true.
McCain: And that’s just a fact. Again, you can look it up.
Obama: Look, it’s just not true.

Yes, as we’ve said before, Obama did in fact vote for a budget resolution that called for higher federal income tax rates on a single, non-homeowner who earned as little as $42,000 per year. A couple filing jointly, however, would have had to earn at least $83,000 per year to be affected.A family of four with income up to $90,000 would not have been affected.

The resolution actually would not have altered taxes without additional legislation. It  called generally for allowing most of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire. McCain is referring to the provision that would have allowed the 25 percent tax bracket to return to 28 percent. The tax plan Obama now proposes, however, would not raise the rate on that tax bracket.
Timetable Tiff
Obama contradicted McCain about what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s said regarding “Obama’s plan” for troop withdrawals.
McCain: Admiral Mullen suggests that Senator Obama’s plan is dangerous for America.
Obama: That’s not the case.
McCain: That’s what …
Obama: What he said was a precipitous…
McCain: That’s what Admiral Mullen said.
Obama: … withdrawal would be dangerous. He did not say that. That’s not true.

Admiral Mullen did say in a Fox News interview that having a time line for withdrawal would be dangerous.
Mullen (July 20): I think the consequences could be very dangerous in that regard. I’m convinced at this point in time that coming – making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important.

However, interviewer Chris Wallace had just told Mullen to take Obama out of the equation.
Wallace (July 20): But I’m asking you in the absence – forget about Obama. Forget about the politics. If I were to say to you, “Let’s set a time line of getting all of our combat troops out within two years,” what do you think would be the consequences of setting that kind of a time line?

So strictly speaking Mullen was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan.” He did say a rigid timetable could have dangerous consequences.

Earmarks Down, Not Up
McCain was way off the mark when he said that earmarks in federal appropriations bills had tripled in the last five years.
McCain: But the point is that – you see, I hear this all the time. “It’s only $18
billion.” Do you know that it’s tripled in the last five years?

In fact, earmarks have actually gone down. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, there was $22.5 billion worth of earmark spending in 2003. By 2008, that figure had come down to $17.2 billion. That’s a decrease of 24 percent.

Taxpayers for Common Sense, another watchdog group, said in 2008 that “Congress has cut earmarks by 23 percent from the record 2005 levels,” according to its analysis.
$3 million to study the DNA of bears?

 

And while we’re on the subject of earmarks, McCain repeated a misleading line we’ve heard before.
McCain: You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don’t know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue, but the fact is that it was $3 million of our taxpayers’ money. And it has got to be brought under control.

McCain’s been playing this for laughs since 2003. The study  in question was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, and it relied in part on federal appropriations. Readers (and politicians) may disagree on whether a noninvasive study of grizzly bear population and habitat is a waste of money. McCain clearly thinks it is – but on the other hand, he never moved to get rid of the earmark. In fact, he voted for the bill that made appropriations for the study. He did propose some changes to the bill, but none that nixed the bear funding.
Iraqi Surplus Exaggerated
Obama was out of date in saying the Iraqi government has “79 billion dollars,” when he argued that the U.S. should stop spending money on the war in Iraq.
Obama: We are currently spending $10 billion a month in Iraq when they have a $79 billion surplus.

As we’ve said before, there was a time when the country could have had as much as $79 billion, but that time has passed. What the Iraqis actually “have” is $29.4 billion in the bank. The Government Accountability Office projected in August that Iraq’s 2008 budget surplus could range anywhere from $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion, depending on oil revenue, price and volume. Then, in early August, the Iraqi legislature passed a $21 billion supplemental spending bill, which was omitted from the GAO’s surplus tally since it was still under consideration. The supplemental will be completely funded by this year’s surplus. So the range of what the Iraqi’s could have at year’s end is actually $47 billion to $59 billion. The $79 billion figure is outdated and incorrect.
$700 billion for oil?
McCain repeated an exaggerated claim that the U.S. is sending $700 billion per year to hostile countries.
McCain: Look, we are sending $700 billion a year overseas to countries that don’t like us very much. Some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations.

That’s not accurate. McCain also made this claim in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. He’s referring to the amount of money the U.S. spends in importing oil. But the number is inflated. In fact, we actually pay more like $536 billion for the oil we need. And one-third of those payments go to Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

(Note: A few of our readers messaged us, after we first noted McCain’s mistake, with the thought that he was referring to foreign aid and not to oil. If so he’s even farther off than we supposed: The entire budget for the State Department and International Programs works out to just $51.3 million.)
Tax Cut Recipients
Obama overstated how many people would save on taxes under his plan:
Obama: My definition – here’s what I can tell the American people: 95 percent of you will get a tax cut. And if you make less than $250,000, less than a quarter-million dollars a year, then you will not see one dime’s worth of tax increase.

That should be 95 percent of families, not 95 percent of “American people.” An analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that Obama’s plan would decrease taxes for 95.5 percent of families with children. Overall, 81.3 percent of households would get a tax cut under his proposal.
Health Care Hyperbole
Obama and McCain traded incorrect statements on each other’s health care plan.
Obama: So you may end up getting a $5,000 tax credit. Here’s the only problem: Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you’re getting from your employer.

As we said before, McCain’s plan doesn’t call for taxing employers on health care benefits; it would instead tax employees. As the law stands now, employees don’t pay taxes on the dollar value of their health insurance benefits. Under McCain’s plan, they would.

McCain also misrepresented Obama’s plan when he said that his opponent favored “handing the health care system over to the federal government.”
McCain: Well, I want to make sure we’re not handing the health care system over to the federal government which is basically what would ultimately happen with Senator Obama’s health care plan. I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government.

McCain made a similar claim in his acceptance speech, when he said that
Obama’s plans would “force families into a government run health care
system.” We called it false then and we stand by that. Obama’s plan mandates coverage for children, but not for adults, and it does not require anyone to be covered by a nationalized system. Obama’s plan expands the insurance coverage offered by the government, but allows people to keep their own plans or choose from private plans as well.
Ike Was No Quitter
McCain mangled his military history:
McCain: President Eisenhower, on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letters.

One of them was a letter congratulating the great members of the military and allies that had conducted and succeeded in the greatest invasion in history, still to this day, and forever.
And he wrote out another letter, and that was a letter of resignation from the United States Army for the failure of the landings at Normandy.
The story is widely circulated in military circles but not entirely true. Eisenhower (then a general, not yet a president) did in fact write a letter taking responsibility should the D-Day invasion fail. But Eisenhower’s letter does not mention resigning. Here’s the full text:
Eisenhower (June 5, 1944): Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best informationavailable. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

No mention of quitting the Army, or his command.
A Longer Timetable

 

Obama stretched out his schedule for withdrawing troops from Iraq. During the debate, Obama said we could “reduce” the number of combat troops in 16 months:
Obama: Now, what I’ve said is we should end this war responsibly. We should do it in phases. But in 16 months we should be able to reduce our combat troops, put – provide some relief to military families and our troops and bolster our efforts in Afghanistan so that we can capture and kill bin Laden and crush al Qaeda.

But in Oct. 2007, Obama supported removing all combat troops from Iraq
within 16 months:
Obama (Oct. 2007): I will remove one or two brigades a month, and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months. The only troops I will keep inIraq will perform the limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda. And I will launch the diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives that are so badly needed. Let there be no doubt: I will end this war.

The quote appears in “Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Defense Issues“ – a
position paper that was still available on the campaign’s Web site as Obama spoke.

Still Soft on Iran?
McCain repeated the false insinuation that Obama opposed naming Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
McCain: There is the Republican Guard in Iran, which Senator Kyl had an amendment in order to declare them a sponsor of terror. Senator Obama said that would be provocative. …
Obama: Well, let me just correct something very quickly. I believe the Republican Guard of Iran is a terrorist organization. I’ve consistently said so. What Senator McCain refers to is a measure in the Senate that would try to broaden the mandate inside of Iraq. To deal with Iran.
Obama has in fact said that the IRGC should be named a terrorist group. He was a cosponsor of the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, which, among other things, named the IRGC a terrorist organization. What he voted against was the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which also called for the terrorist group distinction. But Obama said that he opposed the amendment on the grounds that it was “saber-rattling.”
Obama press release (Sept. 26, 2007): Senator Obama clearly recognizes the serious threat posed by Iran. However, he does not agree with the president that the best way to counter that threat is to keep large numbers of troops in Iraq, and he does not think that now is the time for saber-rattling towards Iran. In fact, he thinks that our large troop presence in Iraq has served to strengthen Iran – not weaken it. He believes that diplomacy and economic pressure, such as the divestment bill that he has proposed, is the right way to pressure the Iranian regime. Accordingly, he would have opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment had he been able to vote today.

Who’s Naive on Georgia?
McCain called Obama’s initial statement on the conflict in Georgia “naive.” It’s worth noting Obama’s words echoed those of the White House.
McCain: Well, I was interested in Senator Obama’s reaction to the Russian aggression against Georgia. His first statement was, “Both sides ought to show restraint.”
Again, a little bit of naivete there. He doesn’t understand that Russia committed serious aggression against Georgia.
It’s true, as McCain said, that during the conflict between Georgia and Russia, Obama said, “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to
avoid an escalation to full scale war” in his first statement on the conflict. But so did the White House. Press secretary Dana Perino said on Aug. 8, “We urge restraint on all sides – that violence would be curtailed and that direct dialogue could ensue in order to help resolve their differences.” We pointed this out when New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani mischaracterized Obama’s response to the crisis during the GOP convention.
Boeing Boasts
McCain was went too far when he said, “I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion by fighting a contract that was negotiated between Boeing and DOD that was completely wrong. And we fixed it and we killed it.”

McCain certainly did lead a fight to kill the contract, and the effort ended in prison sentences for defense contractors. But the contract isn’t exactly “fixed” yet. In fact, questions have been raised about the role McCain has played in helping a Boeing rival secure the new contract.

After the original Boeing contract to supply refueling airliners was nixed in 2003, the bidding process was reopened. And in early 2007, Boeing rival EADS/Airbus won the bid the second time around. But Boeing filed a protest about the way the bids were processed, and the Government Accountability Office released a report that found in Boeing’s favor. In the summary of GAO’s investigation, the organization said there were “significant errors” with the bid process and that the directions given to Boeing were “misleading.”

Further, the New York Times reported that “McCain’s top advisers, including a cochairman of his presidential campaign, were lobbyists for EADS. And Mr. McCain had written to the Defense Department, urging it to ignore a trade dispute between the United States and Europe over whether Airbus received improper subsidies.” A liberal campaign finance group ran an ad hitting McCain on the connections back in July and our colleagues at PolitiFact found their attacks to be true, saying: “Center for Responsive Politics prepared a report for PolitiFact that backs [the charge] up. U.S. employees of EADS/Airbus have contributed $15,700 in this election cycle to McCain’s campaign.”
Nuclear Charges
McCain said Obama was against storing nuclear waste. That’s not exactly his position.
McCain: And Senator Obama says he’s for nuclear, but he’s against reprocessing and he’s against storing.
Obama: I — I just have to correct the record here. I have never said that I object to nuclear waste. What I’ve said is that we have to store it safely.
Obama’s official position is that he does support safe storage of nuclear waste:
Obama fact sheet: Obama will also lead federal efforts to look for a safe, long-term disposal solution based on objective, scientific analysis. In the meantime, Obama will develop requirements to ensure that the waste stored at current reactor sites is contained using the most advanced dry-cask storage technology available. Barack Obama believes that Yucca Mountain is not an option. Our government has spent billions of dollars on Yucca Mountain, and yet there are still significant questions about whether nuclear waste can be safely stored there.

But the McCain campaign has attacked Obama before on this issue, going as
far as to claim Obama did not support nuclear energy at all, which was false. Obama has said he supports nuclear as long as it is “clean and safe.”
Against Alternative Energy
Obama said that McCain had voted 23 times against alternative energy:
Obama: Over 26 years, Senator McCain voted 23 times against alternative energy, like solar, and wind, and biodiesel.

Here’s the Obama campaign’s list of the 23 votes. We find they’re overstating the case. In many instances, McCain voted not against alternative energy but against mandatory use of alternative energy, or he voted in favor of allowing exemptions from these mandates. Only 11 of the 23 votes cited by the Obama campaign involve reducing or eliminating incentives for renewable energy.

Meanwhile, McCain was indignant at the suggestion that he’d voted against alternative energy at all.
McCain: I have voted for alternate fuel all of my time. … No one can beopposed to alternate energy.

But McCain’s record says differently. As we say above, he has voted against funding for alternative energy on 11 occasions. He may be in favor of alternative energy in theory, but he has declined opportunities to support it.

In McCain’s energy plan, he supports nuclear power and “clean” coal, which are alternative energies. But they don’t qualify as renewable energy, such as hydro,
solar and wind power. McCain’s plan makes a vague promise to “rationalize
the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial
feasibility.” The experts we talked to weren’t sure what exactly that meant.
Committee Oversight
Both candidates were right in talking about Obama’s NATO subcommittee.
McCain: Senator Obama is the chairperson of a committee that oversights NATO, that’s in Afghanistan. To this day he’s never had a hearing. …
Obama: Look, the — I’m very proud of my vice presidential selection, Joe Biden, who’s the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And as he  explains and as John well knows, the issues of Afghanistan, the issues of Iraq, critical issues like that don’t go through my subcommittee because they’re done as a committee as a whole.
As we’ve already reported Obama’s subcommittee on Afghanistan does have jurisdiction over NATO, which is supplying about half of the troops in Afghanistan. His subcommittee does not have jurisdiction over Afghanistan proper.
Getting the Dates Wrong
We also caught McCain getting his congressional history a little wrong.
McCain: Back in 1983, when I was a brand-new United States congressman,
the one — the person I admired the most and still admire the most, Ronald
Reagan, wanted to send Marines into Lebanon. And I saw that, and I saw the
situation, and I stood up, and I voted against that because I was afraid
that they couldn’t make peace in a place where 300 or 400 or several
hundred Marines would make a difference. Tragically, I was right: Nearly
300 Marines lost their lives in the bombing of the barracks.

This isn’t quite right. Marines were initially deployed to Lebanon in August 1982. McCain, however, was not elected to the U.S. House until November 1982, more than three months after Marines had already landed.

McCain is referring to a 1983 vote to invoke the War Powers Act. That bill, which Ronald Reagan signed into law on October 12, 1983, authorized an 18-month deployment for the Marines. On October 13, a suicide bomber destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut. McCain did in fact break with most Republicans to vote against the bill.

–by Brooks Jackson, Lori Robertson, Justin Bank, Jess Henig, Emi Kolawoleand Joe Miller.

Sources

”Statement Regarding the Bid Protest Decision Resolving the Aerial Refueling Tanker Protest by The Boeing Company” Government Accountability Office. 18 June 2008.

Isikoff, Michael, “McCain’s Boeing Battle Boomerangs,” Newsweek. 30 June 2008.

Laurent, Lionel, “Boeing Boomerangs on McCain,” Forbers Magazine. 4 March 2008.

Wayne, Leslie, “Audit Says Tanker Deal Is Flawed,” New York Times. 19 June 2008.

Tax Policy Center. “Individual Income Tax Brackets, 1945 – 2008.” 4 November 2007. Tax Policy Center, 7 July 2008.

”U.S. Imports by Country of Origin.” U.S. Energy Information Administration, accessed 5 Sept. 2008.

”Spot Prices, Crude Oil in Dollars per Barrel.” U.S. Energy Information Administration, accessed 5 Sept. 2008.

”S. 970: Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007.” 8 April 2008.
Thomas.gov. 2 June 2008.

”Sec. 1538 of H.R. 1585.” National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Thomas.gov. 2 June 2008

U.S. Senate. “Roll Call Vote on Senate Amendment 3017.” 26 Sept. 2007. U.S. Senate: Legislation and Records. 2 June 2008.

Grimmett, Richard F. “Congressional Use of Funding Cutoffs Since 1970 Involving U.S. Military Forces and Overseas Deployments.” Congressional Research Service. 10 January 2001.

Daggett, Stephen. Costs of Major U.S. Wars. 24 Jul. 2008. Congressional Research Service.

Adair, Bill. Obama “suggested bombing Pakistan”. Politifact.com.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Defense Issues. Obama for America.

Barack Obama’s Plan to Make America A Global Energy Leader. Obama for America.

Proof that Libertarians take more Democratic Votes

It is incorrect that Libertrians always “take away” Republican votes. Take a look at this poll from the 2006 Congressional race between Hill/Sodrel/Schansberg:

“Libertarian Eric Schansberg gets 5% in today’s poll, which, in a contest this close, will make a difference. Because Schansberg’s support is disproportionately Liberal, he appears to take more votes from the Democrat Hill than the Republican Sodrel.”

I encourage you to click the link so that you may fully educate yourself, and stop spreading myths.

P.S. Click here for the data of this cycle.

The Arrogance of the GOP on Libertarians

The best-named blog, Conservatibbs, touts a common theme when Republicans discuss Libertarians:

“Schansberg’s run for Congress as a Libertarian is actually an impediment to implementing a libertarian legislative agenda. The votes that Schansberg drains from Sodrel will help Baron Hill in his efforts to return to Congress. That would be destructive to efforts to limit government and protect the unborn, two issues where Schansberg and Sodrel are, for the most part, in agreement. Schansberg’s run for Congress is unwise and counterproductive.”

I’d like to remind all members of the Republican party that Libertarians are a different party, not a sub-group within the GOP. There are two types of Libertarians: Republicans who realized that the Republicans are no longer Conservatives, and Democrats who realized that socialism is wrong.

It’s time for Republicans to drop the incorrect line that Libertarians are just Republican votes. I am a Libertarian. I vote Libertarian. It is my vote. It isn’t a Republican vote.

And that is precisely the reason why many are leaving the parties. The average voter’s voice carries no weight with the party structure. If you espouse an idea different from the party platform, your voice is silenced, and you are labeled a traitor or a whacko. No debate or discussion is allowed within the party structure.

Neocons (Big Government Republicans) rule the Republicans with an iron fist. I’ll direct you to this post to highlight the treatment of Ron Paul. He is a Taft/Goldwater Republican. The Bush Republicans have effectively labeled him “crazy.”

The angry, socialist left rules the Democrats. Keith Olbermann is a Daily Kos contributor, and speech writer for Barack Obama.

Honest, thoughtful citizens lose their voice. As a result, you lose my vote.

It is my vote.