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Debates? Let’s Call Them the Agreements


Are you expecting Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to express any significant difference of opinion or policy on almost any issue you can imagine?

Here’s one libertarian’s view: Not bloody likely. The broadcasts of the presidential contenders facing off are far more “Agreements” than they are “Debates”.

Jobs? At much lower median wages that four years ago. That’s “recovery” for you.

Unemployment? Don’t worry. Be happy. We’ll assume you have dropped out of the work force and aren’t looking for work. That will get the numbers down.

Health care? Penalty or tax, individual mandate or not, waivers for some states and many unions, they now seem mostly agreed. One aspect is certain: the costs will continue to go up and the quality of care will go down. You will not hear any mention of that.

Inflation? America’s paper currency, backed by nothing, was worth a dollar when the Federal Reserve first turned on its printing presses 100 years ago. One dollar now is worth four cents. You think either Obama or Romney wants to address that issue? Move along, citizen. Nothing to concern you.

Deficits? Who cares? It’s only numbers. Mostly zeroes. Sixteen trillion! We’re number one!

National-debt limit? It is almost time to raise that again, as Republicans and Democrats have done some 90 times already. Ceiling? Nah; the sky’s the limit.

Wars? The CIA kill squads and drones operate in at least a dozen countries these days. The incumbent asserts that he has the right to order the incarceration or death of anyone, anywhere, at anytime, so long as he’s labeled a terrorist. Any foreign male who appears to be of military age — 16 to 45 — is presumed to be an enemy combatant. What better way to limit civilian casualties? His opponent does not challenge any of that and believes that the military ought to be stronger and meddle even more in other nations.

Freedom for people of other nations to live without the interference of the U.S. government? Obama and Romney agree: they will not hear of it.

Taxes? Democrats and Republicans agree they have the right to confiscate a share of your income and presume they can change what percentage they’ll allow you to keep at their whims and without your consent. Agreed: there will be no mention of freedom here.

Spending? One has no apparent plan to reduce spending. The other claims his plan will balance the budget — in 30 years. What bunk! That’s 15 congressional and seven presidential elections away. Trying to predict what politicians and the economy will do in the meantime is sheer folly.

Your ability to live your life in any peaceful, voluntary, honest way you choose is simply not on their agenda. Surveillance, spying, travel restrictions, yes; freedom, no.

The old, old joke is that you can tell when a politician is lying because his lips are moving. Boy, will that be true again when Obama and Romney get on the same stage!

Anywhere else in America, lying on your job application will usually get you disqualified from the job — perhaps even prosecuted. For those who want to win election to Congress or the White House, lying — oops, sorry, misstating facts — may make you the winner.

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    Ken Sturzenacker is an author for The Future of Freedom Foundation. We'll have a more detailed bio for them soon.