Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Libertarian Swing Vote Lost It for the Republicans on Big Government Binging

Cato Institute's David Boaz does an excellent job of pinpointing the rift within the Republican Party in this paper called "The Libertarian Vote." It is not just an anti-war vote; it is an anti-big-government vote as well.

Since Reagan's time, the Republicans have said they stood on a platform of smaller government, fiscal wisdom, and a non-inflationary monetary policy. They have won votes based on the swing voters' faith in the ultimate strength of the Republican politicians' intentions and character.

In truth, however, even during Reagan's presidency, the Republicans showed little backbone on the economic front and managed to lose the majority in the Senate in 1987. After getting it back in 1995, losing it in 2001, and gaining it back in 2003, they've lost it again in 2007.

In the House, Republicans gained the majority in 1995 for the first time in many years, probably thanks to Reagan's powers of persuasion. Without the follow-through, they have managed to lose it back in 2007.

[Thanks to Michael Hodges for the graph. See link below.]

Federal spending, a huge budget deficit and growing national debt are some key issues that are driving swingers away.

As the article says:

'There has always been a tension between Republican libertarians, who believe that individual choices should be unconstrained by received wisdom, and Republican traditionalists, who believe pretty much the opposite. ... But for a long time, the two wings of the party could paper over these differences. ... Would libertarians be more comfortable in the company of Democrats? On moral questions -- abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research -- clearly they would. But on economic issues, the answer is less obvious."'

To see exactly what kind of an economic mess government has gotten us into, see Michael Hodges's Grandfather Economic Report.


Blogger Idaho_Spud said...

If republicans are the answer, what exactly was the problem again?

Last thing I remember before the revolution was that there was a foreseeable budget surplus, we weren't in an expensive discretionary war, and all we had to worry about was a certain blue dress.

Didn't think it was possible for anyone to lower my opinion of gov't, but these guys have proven me wrong in spades. It seems there's very good reason they've been a minority party since 1932.

They don't *stand* for anything - it's all a pack of lies to get into power:

Limited government - patriot act, no child left behind, Medicare part D.

Fiscal responsibility - bridge to nowhere, no-bid contracts, war.

Free trade - steel tariffs, ag subsidies, lumber quotas.

Operating basic government programs that were already in place - Like FEMA and Regulating FNM and FRE... no luck there either.

Moral fiber - don't even get me started on these guys. The half that aren't in prison are under indictment for something or other.

What was the problem *these* guys were supposed to fix again? I forgot!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Idaho_Spud said...

Oh yeah - add to my previous post the fact that they outlawed re-importing cheaper prescription meds from outside the country.

Talk about anti-competitive, anti free-market, government interference! Good riddance.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Eric Dondero said...

We libertarian Republicans just had one of the most successful years ever for our movement. Over 80% of Republican Liberty Caucus backed candidates won election this cycle.

To suggest that right at the very time that we are having so much success, that libertarians link up with our enemies the Democrats is absolutely insane.

Eric at www.mainstreamlibertarian.com

4:51 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

Your comment piques my interest. I am glad to see that 80% of the libertarian Republican candidates won; however, this seems to contradict a piece I just read here.

You seem knowledgeable; could you enlighten us about the actual figures? Why is Mr. Boaz so negative about Republican losses in this piece?

3:34 PM  

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