Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Pipe Dreams, Left and Right


It amazes me how liberals and conservatives remain so committed to the welfare-state, warfare-state way of life and honestly believe that there is still some magical formula that someone is going to come up with that is finally going to make it work. Or, better yet, that some president with a magic wand, such as Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, is going to bring long-awaited success to America’s socialist, interventionist, and imperialist experiment.

It’s not going to happen. When enough Americans finally come to that realization, that will be the day that we achieve a libertarian society and the peace, prosperity, harmony and economic liberty that comes with it.

Look at conservatives and Obamacare. It is absolutely hilarious to see them going through all sorts of machinations on President Obama’s healthcare reform now that they control the presidency and both houses of Congress.

What’s the problem? Haven’t conservatives been pounding away at Obamacare for seven years, telling us, over and over again, how they would repeal it if they were in charge?

Then, why aren’t they doing it? Suddenly, conservatives have lost the urge to repeal Obamacare. They are scared to death. They don’t know what to do.

The reason for their fear and paralysis is what I have been emphasizing ever since Obamacare was adopted: If you repeal it, then what? There is a reason why Obamacare was enacted in the first place. There was an enormous healthcare crisis, one involving ever-increasing prices for healthcare and medical insurance, that caused people to support Obamacare.

So, if you repeal Obamacare, you’re still faced with the enormous healthcare crisis that preceded Obamacare and that precipitated its enactment. What then? Moreover, the problem is aggravated by the fact that lots of people have become dependent on Obamacare, just as many Americans are hooked on Medicare and Medicaid.

But those conservatives don’t want to hear such things. They don’t want to hear that there is only one solution to America’s healthcare woes: repealing Medicare and Medicaid, which were — and are — the root cause of America’s healthcare crisis.

The reason that conservatives don’t want to hear that is because they remain wedding to socialism in healthcare, which is precisely what Medicare and Medicaid are. Socialism, as any citizen of the Soviet Union or Cuba can tell us, is an inherently defective system. It produces nothing but chaos, conflict, crisis, and disorder. That’s why America’s healthcare system has been in chaos, conflict, crisis, and disorder for decades — because of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society socialist programs of Medicare and Medicaid, which conservatives (like liberals) just cannot bring themselves to let go of.

And so now conservatives find themselves in a nice little fix. What do they do now? Do they repeal Obamacare, as they have promised to do for the past 7 years, or do they leave it in intact? Either way, of course, there will be ever-increasing chaos, conflict, crisis, and discord in healthcare, that is until Americans finally pull the weed out by its root by repealing Medicare and Medicaid.

It’s no different when it comes to the warfare state.

It’s no surprise that conservatives support the warfare state. They have long been wedded to omnipotent government in the form of militarism, imperialism, foreign interventionism, wars of aggression, assassination, secret surveillance, regime-change operations, sanctions and embargoes, coups, support of military dictatorships, and ever-growing military spending, all in the name of “a strong national defense.”

What about liberals? They rail against regime-change operations, assassinations, torture, wars of aggression, coups, support of foreign dictatorships, secret surveillance schemes, excessive military spending, and other actions that have come to characterize the national-security establishment.

But notice something important: Just as the right is committed to retaining the welfare state, the left is just as committed to retaining the warfare state.

Ask any liberal whether he would favor the dismantling of the old Cold War-era national security establishment, and you will see him have a conniption fit. “Who would protect us from
ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the terrorists?” they cry, blocking out of their minds that it is the actions of the national-security establishment that is the root cause of anti-American terrorism.

The liberal whistleblower Edward Snowden is a perfect example of this phenomenon. If anyone should recognize and understand the evil nature of the national-security state and why it plays no role in a free society, it’s Snowden, the man who has risked his life to disclose to the American people and the people of the world the secret evil actions of the NSA.

Yet, ask Snowden whether he favors the elimination of this old Cold War-era dinosaur, and he will give the same answer that other liberals give: “Oh, no, Jacob. That would be too radical. The NSA has made some mistakes but we need it to keep us safe.”

You see, the liberal pipe dream is that the old Cold War national-security establishment — a type of governmental structure that characterizes totalitarian regimes — can be reined in, reformed, and made to work. It’s the same pipe dream that conservatives have with Medicare and Medicaid.

But that’s precisely what they are — pipe dreams. The welfare-state and the warfare state way of life will never work, no matter who is running it and no matter what reforms are enacted. As long as Americans continue to retain these socialist, interventionist, militarist, and imperialist apparatuses as part of their federal governmental structure, things will only continue to get worse, producing ongoing and perpetual chaos, conflict, disorder, crisis, and even tyranny.

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.