Saturday, October 5, 2013

Libertarian Thoughts on the Government “Shutdown”

First off, it’s not really a shutdown. At best, it’s a slight shutdown. Only a small fraction of government workers are sent home and only a fraction of government activities are reduced or stopped. I am not aware of any regulations or taxes that will cease. Worse, it’s not clear that we will come through this paying less net taxes. Government workers may well be getting a paid vacation, depending on what Congress does.

In other words, this shutdown is hardly libertarian in the end- certainly nothing to get too excited about. We’ll have to see what happens. At the same time, it doesn't seem to be anti-libertarian. And the longer it lasts, the more ridiculous media and government hysteria will look. We frankly don’t miss what is shut down as much as they would like us to. And the only reason Americans will miss it at all is because the state has monopolized some services we want, not allowing them to be provided in the private sector.

Republicans, including Rand Paul, sadly want to fund all of the government except Obamacare. Anyone that wants even a small move towards libertarianism is foolish to put their hope in the GOP. The party is nowhere near ready to deliver anything except more government.

It is, however, not accurate to hold Obama and the Democrats blameless for the shutdown, as many try to do. The fact is, Republicans have offered to fund just about everything and the Democrats have taken up the role of obstructionists and absolutely refused any compromise. Republicans have even offered to reduce their demands but the Democrats won’t budge from my way or the highway. An objective look at this situation leaves the majority of responsibility for the shutdown on the shoulders of Democrats.

Every talking point offered by the Democrats crumbles easily, usually by flipping it around. The GOP is holding us “hostage”, they say. Yeah, just like Democrats are holding us “hostage”, by preferring shut down over giving up even part of Obamacare. But Obamcare is a “law”, they say. It’s also the law the House can fund what it wants. But funding the government is too important and should never be connected to other agendas. Cute opinion, but it can be, so deal with reality. If funding the government is so important you wouldn't prevent it over not getting everything you want on Obamacare.

Now that Republicans have gone this far, they had better go all the way and actually get something in return. If they cave now, they did the shutdown for nothing. The longer Democrats refuse negotiation, the worse they will look. If Republicans have any political smarts they will wait and get something out of this. Hopefully, they manage to get something libertarian, even if just a delay of Obamacare.

As for really shutting down the government, we will accomplish that one mind at a time. Ron Paul’s new curriculum and book is another exciting development in that process.


  1. Seriously? Now you're shilling for Ron Paul's ridiculous "curriculum"? You think that's how you're going to convert enough Americans to your anarchist cause to eliminate all government? Ron Paul is still up to his old tricks, scamming the fringes just like he did back in the days of his infamous newsletters.

    Gary North, Director of Curriculum Development, is a Christian Reconstructionist who wants to institute a theocratic government based on the Old Testament, including stoning women who have abortions, homosexuals, blasphemers, etc.

    If these are the sorts of degenerates you're going to ally yourself with and shill for, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. I'm sure it bothers you that we're training the next generation with liberty instead of sending them to your public schools to be fed a heavy does of keynesianism, nationalism, and statism. This curriculum aids in that task. And there won't be any pro-theocracy indoctrination in it.

    2. You know what they say about laying down with dogs, Matthew. You should be ashamed of yourself. You're probably not, but you should be.