Barr on the bailout and bailing out of Iraq

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

 

The Libertarian candidate for President, Bob Barr, turned out to be a mediocre public speaker but quite good at answering questions.

When he spoke last Thursday evening at Oberlin College, Barr rambled a bit. His partisan audience was looking for excuses to cheer, but he didn't give them as many applause lines as he should have.

But when the appearance switched to questions and answers, Barr seemed more focused.

He answered more questions after the speech, when he met with three reporters, including me. My tape recorder was running, and I've transcribed some highlights:

On the government financial bailout and the economy:

The first thing would be not to go running around saying it's the end of the world. That becomes in large measure psychologically a self-fulfilling prophecy. It just drives me crazy. ... 'The sky is going to fall, the sky is going to fall,' and the only solution is to give us all of this power. It's a typical standing operating procedure for government.

As I mentioned to the group here this evening, there is a role for government. It is not the role of the government, though, to manage the economy or to control the economy or to dictate the economy, which is precisely what the government is now doing. They've been doing it in bits and pieces over the years. They're jumping with both feet now into central planning for our economy. I know the European countries and the European banks have been trying to move the U.S. in this direction for a long time, and now it looks like they have us in a position where they're pulling us in. Very, very, bad policy.

What the administration should have done, and what I as president would do, would be first and foremost to enforce the laws that are on the books, and to tell the SEC, for example, enforce the regulations. Don't loosen them. These regulations are there for a very good reason, and that is to ensure transparency and integrity in our financial institutions. The American people have a right to rely on that. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Nobody can tell me that there has not been trillions of dollars of bad paper floating around our economy for several years now. And there hasn't been cooking of the books? That there hasn't been some fraud here in terms of overvaluing assets? First and foremost, I think that would have sent, and would send, an important signal to the country that our government is serious about protecting the integrity and the transparency of these financial institutions.

We ought to be encouraging, not discouraging which we're doing now, other companies, other financial institutions and other individuals of means, like Warren Buffet, from stepping in and buying up these assets that are there. What we're doing though, is the federal government is undercutting Warren Buffet, and trying to undercut Wells Fargo, for example, when they step forward and say, 'We see some worthwhile assets here, with Wachovia, or Goldman Sachs,' or whatnot. Now the federal government is discouraging the market from operating to correct itself. That's wrong.

Getting out of Iraq

The Iraqi government and the Iraqi people don't want sectarian violence. There has always been some of that simmering under the surface there. But it really has only been since the U.S. entered the scene over there in 2003, and started to artificially impose a different view of society, and started favoring different groups over the others. And of course, the idiocy of disbanding the miltary and the police forces, so there was no mechanism to control to keep the sectarian animosity in check. It guaranteed pretty much there would be a great deal of violence and sectarian animosity, and indeed there has been. But that was largely the result, I think, of the way the U.S. basically destroyed the mechanisms that would have kept it in check over there in the first place.

If we remove ourselves from it, begin I think very quickly removing the U.S. military presence and the economic presence over there, I think the Iraqi people will do fairly well by themselves. Will it be perfect? No. But they get along with Iran pretty well. The Maliki government and the Iranian government seem to get along pretty well.

Staying out of Iran

I think the administration is very clearly considering it. I hope they don't. I think it would be a huge blunder. It would make the problems we had in Iraq pale in comparison.

Is a vote for the Libertarians a wasted vote?

It's just the opposite. Voting for the Republican or the Democrat, hoping that things will change, is throwing your vote away, because it guarantees that nothing will change.

There certainly are rhetorical differences between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain. And there are differences in how they would implement policy, certainly between them. But fundamentally, there's very little difference between the two parties, between the two candidates.

They both support, with some nuanced differences, massive government involvement in our lives. Whether it's education, whether it's the economy, whether it's the environment, whatever it is, they want to use the government to channel our lives the way they see fit. McCain wants to do away with obesity in schools, so he'll use the Department of Education for that. Sen. Obama believes everybody has a right to health care, so he'll use the mechanisms, and the money the government gets, to do that. The only way that that system is going to change is not to vote for a Republican or Democrat. It's to vote for a Libertarian. That will guarantee that things will change.

Even if I don't win, if we get enough votes, similar to what Ross Perot did back in 1992, that will dramatically and positively begin to influence public policy. And we build on that.

Get rid of the income tax, pass a national sales tax instead

I would absolutely seek to abolish the income tax, that is the 16th Amendment. I think it would be foolhardy to implement a consumption tax without first repealing the 16th Amendment. Otherwise inevitably, you are going to wind up with both an income tax and a consumption tax, which is what's happened in I think Canada, if I'm not mistaken, and I think some of the European countries that have a VAT and an income tax.

It would encourage investment. It would encourage saving. That would encourage employment. It would encourage production.

Reforming Social Security

With regards to the Social Security tax, my preference would be not to have it. My preference would be individuals should rely on themselves for their retirement. The fact of the matter is, though, we have a Social Security system, and we have a FICA tax. And it is part of the status quo. You can't just wave a magic wand and do away with it.

What we have proposed, and we have a fairly lengthy paper on our Web site on Social Security reform, is to begin to dramatically reform it, and change it, particularly for younger workers. Folks my age, those who are in their 50s and above, leave the system the way it is. You don't have the time to change it, you don't have the resources to change it, much as I would like to be able to do that. But for younger workers, begin to implement a system of real individual retirement accounts, and where they have an ownership. It is absolutely immoral for the government to take money from an individual by force, to force them to put it in a government controlled retirement account, which is what Social Security has become, even though it wasn't intended initially to be that, and then tell the person, Oh by the way, you have no possession, you have no ownership in this. And if you die before you get these benefits, that's tough luck. That's immoral for the government to do that. Our plan provides that the individual putting money in that individual retirement account owns it.

Comments

Anonymous (not ...

A third party candidates debate is on C-Span2, Thurs., 10/23 at 9:00 EST.

See: http://inside.c-spanarchives.org...

Watch:

http://wwitv.com/portal.htm?http...

Anonymous (not ...

Of course Barr would be boring to most audiences.

Firstly in this case, the students and most sheeple would have to dispel the notions of collectivism with which they've been inculcated throughout their lives.

Then they'd have to believe in and understand the basic principles of limited govt. and individual freedom and responsibility as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

Give up the nanny state blankie? Heaven forbid!

Anonymous

you sucka my cocka

Anonymous

“Watch what they do, not what they say” is an axiom too many libertarians keep forgetting. The Libertarian Party should be spanked at the polls for offering a CIA-trained wordpusher who honed his oratorial skills through 3 terms in Congress. On top of that, Barr was targeted by the Libertarian Party of Georgia's media campaign in his try for a fourth term in Congress, and he subsequently lost his Congressional seat. The Libertarians put Barr out of office when he was a Republican, so Barr turns around and joins the Libertarian Party.

If Barr was genuine about libertarianism, he would have never sought the LP nomination in the first place. He knows that he comes with statist baggage and that he would be asking too much of us libertarians to trust their former enemy. After he talked his way to a victory in Denver with the help of Columbia-educated Wayne Root, scores of Libertarians, including LP state officeholders such as the Libertarian Party of Ohio's Northeast Region Chair Todd Maher, quit the LP. Many of those are now libertarian independents supporting Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, since he is the most libertarian of the candidates.

Rudyard Kipling put it well - “words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind”. Too many of us Libertarians also forgot Robert Ringer's warning of Demopublican infiltration. Ringer had made the libertarian case for one term limits in his 1979 book “Restoring the American Dream”, but we offer Barr who has served three terms! Go figure.

ANYbody sounds good to people who have never heard of libertarianism if they talk libertarianism! Even Barr sounds good to people who are hearing about libertarianism for the first time in their lives. But libertarianism is not Bob Barr, and Bob Barr is not libertarianism.

So what's Barr's game?

A SHORT HISTORY LESSON: After Andre Marrou beat Bush, Sr and Clinton after the first primary returns in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire back in ‘92 (Marrou made the front page of dailies across the nation), then Daddy Bush’s longtime friend H. Ross Perot, who became the ninth wealthiest man in America by milking government contracts, began talking the very same libertarianism that Andre Marrou had been talking - only Perot said it $50 million dollars LOUDER. After a few short weeks, when Marrou was mentioned by Libertarian campaigners, people responded - “Oh yeah, that billionaire”. The campaigners said, “we said Marrou, not Perot”. “He’s not that billionaire?” they asked. “NO”. “Well who’s Marrou?” THE POINT is that Bush’s buddy got 17% of the vote talking libertarianism, but because he had NO PARTY, he saved America’s Demopublican one-party system (a mere 5% of the vote is all a third party needs for permanent ballot status). But it cost that filthy rich man $50 million (4 years later Perot ruined the Reform Party that had gathered around him thereby insuring 4 more corrupt years of Demopublican one-party rule).

Bob Barr is cheaper than doing a Perot. He will do to the LP what the statists have always done. Barr said he would get them publicity, and folks believed him because when he announced his candidacy for the LP nominaton, USA Today and other Big City papers publicized Barr’s bid but kept silent on the other candidates. At the convention, too many delegates forgot that the voluntary matrix - mass media, is a cartel controlled by a mere 5 very wealthy billionaires. Those 5 billionaires did not want to spend $50 million to talk OVER the Libertarian candidate - it was a lot cheaper to print a few plugs on Barr and then let Barr do the rest.

In short, we will probably learn that the LP was infiltrated by an ex-CIA official (and he’s not the only ex-CIA employee, or ex-NSA employee, in the party). We libertarians in the Libertarian Party are remiss for allowing him to represent libertarianism and we are further remiss for not subsequently, at least state by state, UNendorsing him in the same way we have unendorsed other candidates. Again, we, the members of the Libertarian Party should be spanked at the polls on November 4th. We should never again turn to a statist wordpusher to preach our agenda. Your cooperation as a voter in this request would no doubt prove beneficial to the future of American Liberty and the Libertarian Party. www.fff.org and www.fee.org

Anonymous

Free market advocate Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has endorsed Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party for President. Barr snubbed Paul when Paul held a press conference for third party candidates, which no doubt played a part in Paul's endorsement. Barr's snub of Ron Paul virtually guaranteed that the Ron Paul vote, which is considerable, would not be going to the Libertarian Party on November 4th. www.Baldwin08.com

Anonymous

Ron Paul is a backslider. He ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian but slid back to the Republican party. If Paul is good, how can he stomach the stench of the lying Neocon Nazis that surround him in the GPO? Any normal person would have left and stayed away. An endorsement from Ron Paul is not saying much.

Bob Barr has repudiated everything he did wrong as a Republican. History shows that people can suddenly wake up and find they have been going through life with their eyes wide shut. The Apostle Paul is a good example of a bad man who saw the light.

Bob Barr can stop the Neocon Nazis in both sides of the Demopublican party, with just a little help from us voters. He only needs five percent of the vote to have the Libertarian Party permanently on the ballot. Then the LP will not be broke trying to get on the ballot all the time. The LP can take its money and fund campaigns for Libertarian candidates, who can oust the Democruds from offices nationwide.

Bob Barr doesn't need a lot, just five percent, to stop the Demopublican screwing of the working man.

www.BobBarr2008.com

Anonymous

More and more people are losing their jobs.

The failed policies jointly crafted by Democrats and Republicans have bled the economy nearly dry! Banks are failing. Costs are rising. College tuition is skyrocketing. Medical costs and insurance is going up. Food is up!

Retirees are looking for jobs again. People are losing their homes. Businesses are closing.

The Demopublican statists in the House and Senate of Congress have no plan to help us. They instead are making matters worse: they are socializing the banking industry as McCain and Obama both voted for; they are taking on trillions of dollars in bad debts to paid for by our grandchildren; they are raising taxes while lying about tax cuts!

Government money is nothing more than your money. Tax victims pay 100% of everything that the over government does (covert government activities are not paid for by taxes, but by drugrunning).

Bob Barr will abolish the IRS. Taxation is theft. He will end corporate welfare. People will keep their money instead of subsidizing the same failed policies that Demopublicans have been shoving to us. Bob Barr is our best hope for a future in Ohio.

Anonymous