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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Conservatives Are Responsible for the Plummeting Dollar


Since yesterday, I caught snippets of interviews by two well-known Fox News conservatives — Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. The interviews showed once again what strange and unusual creatures conservatives are.

Both of them were criticizing the libertarian position of non-intervention in foreign affairs, actually arguing that the U.S. government needed to continue intervening in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

At the same time, Hannity was lamenting the precipitous fall in the value of the U.S. dollar in international markets, a point with which O’Reilly would undoubtedly agree.

Come again? Hello, this is Earth calling Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity!

Don’t these guys have any earthly idea of what causes a monetary system to collapse? It’s not just some mysterious economic disease that strikes a nation. The collapse of a monetary system is a direct result of out-of-control government spending.

When a government pays for its bills by simply printing the money, the value of the money is going to drop. Haven’t we seen this phenomenon in Latin American countries time after time? To pay their ever-mounting expenses, both welfare and warfare, Latin American regimes simply print the money — that is, they inflate the currency — which then causes the value of the money to drop. The drop is reflected in the rising prices of things that money buys.

This economic phenomenon is now afflicting the United States, compliments of the federal government. For those who think that what the government has done to our money will only adversely affect Americans who travel to Europe, think again. Any middle-class American knows full-well that he is having a much more difficult time making ends meet than he was six or seven years ago. Any housewife will tell you that it’s not just gasoline prices that have soared. It’s also the prices of groceries, restaurant outings, movies, vacations, and most everything else.

What does this have to do with O’Reilly and Hannity and other conservatives? They have one of the strangest blind spots in their minds that I’ve ever seen. On the one hand, they glory in the overseas military adventures of the U.S. government. They argue incessantly that the U.S. government must continue its imperial ways, intervening all over the world in order to set the world right.

On other hand, they lament the massive federal spending that has caused a 50 percent drop in the value of the dollar in the last five years alone.

Earth to O’Reilly and Hannity: Your mind is split by a contradiction. The reason the dollar has dropped is because of soaring federal expenditures. The reason for soaring federal expenditures is the ever-growing U.S. Empire overseas, which conservatives support, as well as the ever-growing welfare state at home, which conservatives also support.

Earth to O’Reilly and Hannity: Does it make any sense to oppose a falling dollar while, at the same time, support the government programs that cause federal spending to soar? Isn’t that like saying that you love lightning but oppose thunder? Have you people forgotten how Ronald Reagan supposedly brought down the Soviet Empire: by causing the Soviet government to spend the Soviet Union into bankruptcy?

Even worse, the conservative mind will not permit itself to accept what a mess that the federal government makes when it intervenes in foreign affairs, both for the victimized nations and the American people. That’s precisely why conservatives can’t see any inconsistency with killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for the sake of “democracy” while, at the same time, sending billions of dollars to a brutal unelected military dictator in Pakistan who took power in a coup and who jails judges and lawyers who oppose his dictatorship.

No matter how much of a mess that U.S. interventionism has made, hope springs eternal in the mind of the conservative. Just let U.S. officials continue invading, occupying, sanctioning, embargoing, bombing, shooting, assassinating, torturing, and sending foreign welfare into the pockets of brutal dictatorships. In the mind of the conservative, everything will work out, sometime.

After many decades of this nonsense, things are worse than ever, and the reality is that more interventions will only make things worse and worse and worse, including those interventions that are intended to fix the problems arising from previous interventions. More interventions will produce more foreign crises, more economic crises, and more anger and hatred toward the American people.

With political candidates repeating the standard pabulum calling for “change” in Washington, D.C., how about real change for a change? How about rejecting the paradigm of empire and intervention that is leading our nation toward bankruptcy and ruin and embracing the paradigm of non-intervention and republic on which our nation was founded?

At the very least, wouldn’t it be nice if just one conservative — perhaps even O’Reilly or Hannity — took personal responsibility for the damage their programs have wrought both here and abroad? Don’t count on it. While conservatives love preaching the importance of personal responsibility to others, actually taking personal responsibility is anathema to them.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.