Saxby critical of PBO budget, but thinks some cuts are ill-advised

Posted: May 9, 2009 in Politics
Tags: , ,

On Friday, May 8, 2009, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) wrote to his constituents in an email newsletter that the “President Proposes Cuts to Key Ag Programs.” He writes that the proposal “includes ill-advised cuts to the farm safety net without a serious attempt to trim back the bloated federal budget and reduce our national debt.” This is probably a valid point. I don’t pretend to know the nuances of our “farm safety net”, having never heard of it. But I am certain that we need a serious attempt to cut spending and reduce our national debt. I might have just deleted the email, but there was one glaring example of the systemic problems we battle when it comes to a huge, imperial federal/central government and career politicians.

At one point he writes, “Time and time again, we have seen the administration unfairly target agriculture programs to achieve savings and completely discount the hardworking men and woman that rely on these programs for their livelihood.” Read that again, especially the last bit. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I really want to know what programs provide “hardworking” folks their “livelihood”. I’ve tried to imagine what that really means. I know that many (if not almost all) people who work in the ag industries are hardworking. Farming ought to be the fundamental example of how entrepreneurship, hard work, personal responsibility and the free market works. But it bothers my work ethic to picture anyone using any Federal program as a regular and primary means of support, and this is worded in a way that assumes just that scenario. It also assumes a permanent flow of funds, rather than temporary assistance through a tough season.

I think he may have simply overstated the level of their reliance (I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt), but it does highlight a point or two that should be made.

First, Chambliss the politician is typical in that he hates to see a cut in programs that benefits his own constituents, even if the benefit is actually a shackle that keeps them from moving on to better things. From a libertarian point of view, this type of welfare, by keeping entrepreneurs locked into an unsuccessful business model, hinders freedom and the creation of new products, services and industries and is therefore not an actual benefit at all.

Second, Chambliss can display outrage at the kind of unprecedented spending we’re witnessing, but the Federal government has been overstepping it’s fiduciary authority (and thereby enslaving people while buying their votes) for generations – even when the Republicans were in charge. Saxby’s Republicans differ only in a) to whom the funds are targeted and b) what the size of the check will be.

Now that the Democrats won so handily in 2008 there seems to be some legitimate remorse in the Republican Party, and they are beginning to (perhaps desperately) look at many issues now in the same way that the Libertarian Party already does and always has. But there’s no guarantee of his continued contrition once a Republican returns to office. There are, however, extraordinarily good odds that a Libertarian Party candidate will adhere to libertarian principles once in office. Why would he run as a libertarian if he didn’t already hold those values as his own?

The two major parties are different only in degree. Voting Libertarian is the real vote for change.

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