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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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Panic Time for Liberals


Liberals seem to be getting bent out of shape over the fact that increasing numbers of people are challenging their statist paradigm. They’re suggesting that anyone who questions their beloved welfare-state socialism must be crazy, insane, irrational, greedy, selfish, and evil.

What’s starting to frustrate them is that they’re realizing that for the first time since the New Deal, people are not automatically accepting the liberal siren song for socialism and the standard liberal excuses for the economic woes facing our nation (e.g., greed, free enterprise, selfishness, big business, OPEC, capitalism, speculators, etc.).

From the first grade on up, for example, liberals have told Americans that the Great Depression was caused by the failure of America’s free-enterprise system and that the solution was Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, which were “socialist and fascist to the core.

Now, I’m not suggesting that liberals sold the New Deal by arguing the purported virtues of socialism and fascism. On the contrary, liberals were smart enough to realize that average Americans would never overtly embrace socialism and fascism.

So, what FDR and his statist cohorts did is couch their socialist and fascist programs in terms of “saving America’s free-enterprise system.” In that way, they were able to induce Americans to support a wholesale transformation of American life — from one based on the principles of economic liberty to one based on the principles of welfare-state socialism.

Consider Social Security. What do liberals say? They claim that this much-vaunted program simply evolved out of America’s free-enterprise system. It’s a retirement program, the statists say, one in which people deposit their money into a retirement fund, which earns interest, and then is available for withdrawal on retirement.

Yet, it’s all just a lie and a delusion. The Social Security program is nothing more than a straight socialist transfer program, one in which the government takes money from the young and productive and gives it to old people (and keeping some of it for itself).

The principle is the same, of course, with Medicare and Medicaid, which liberal icon LBJ, inspired by FDR’s Social Security program, brought into existence. Medicare and Medicaid are nothing more than socialistic programs than entail forcibly taking money from some people and giving it to others. Yet, it’s sold as just part and parcel of America’s “free-enterprise system”

This life of the lie — this life of delusion — is the same with respect to the Great Depression. But thanks to libertarians, Americans are learning that the Great Depression wasn’t caused by the failure of free enterprise at all. Instead, it was caused by monetary manipulation by the Federal Reserve, a governmental enterprise.

And they’re learning from us libertarians that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the entire panoply of welfare-state programs are not part and parcel of free enterprise but instead socialist violations of free enterprise.

So, give the manifest failure of socialism all over the world, why should it surprise anyone that socialism has failed here at home too? A defective system is a defective system, regardless of who’s running it.

According to an article entitled “Will the USS Budget Go Down? A Titanic Budget in an Ocean of Icebergs” by Jo Comerford, “59 percent of the budget’s spending is dedicated to mandatory programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, and now Pell Grants. 34% is to be spent on ‘discretionary programs,’ including education, transportation, housing, and the military.”

So, isn’t the solution to America’s woes rather obvious? Abolish (don’t reform) all those socialist and interventionist programs, bring all the troops home and discharge them, and dismantle the military-industrial complex. That’s 93 percent of the budget right there. Wouldn’t that constitute a considerable savings in spending, one that would even enable Americans to abolish the federal income tax, a tax that our American ancestors lived without for more than 100 years?

Sure, liberals would go ballistic, just like conservatives would. But what better way to solve the woes of socialism and imperialism the statists have foisted on our country, along with the soaring spending, debt, taxes, and inflation, than to restore America’s heritage of economic liberty and a limited-government, constitutional republic to our land?

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.