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Left And Right Politics

…plus the cream in the center.

Fannie And Freddie Are Looking For More Handouts

Posted by Billy On August - 10 - 2011

That’s right the government sponsored mortgage entities are looking to borrow more money from the tax payers of America. Only hours after being downgraded by standard and Poors on Monday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they would need to ask for a $1.5 billion injection to help balance their books. I am not surprised at the fact that these two businesses (I use that word loosely) can not pay their obligations to the debt holders, the American tax payer. To add insult to injury, they want to take more from the same people who have been keeping them afloat for the last three years.

Both of these companies have been poorly run and not regulated properly for the past 10-15 years. It’s only in the last three years that all the dirt is being revealed. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd started the ball rolling in 1995 drafting a bill, The Fair Housing Act, later signed by president Clinton. The bill was meant to help lower income families to get a mortgage to buy a home. Unfortunately, the politics of Washington strong-armed the mortgage industry into approving just about anyone who wanted a mortgage, even if they couldn’t even afford the down payment and/or the monthly payments. Of course many of the issues didn’t really kick into high gear until years later when more and more people started to realize how easy it was to get a home without any money down and with low interest rates (for the first 2-3 years). Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) started to pop-up throughout the United States. All of these factors added to the entire housing market collapse as well as the financial situation with both Fannie and Freddie.

In the last three years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received over $170 billion and they are no where near getting their heads above water. There is so much leverage within the financial/housing market that it will takes years to correct. Because of that reason, the federal government can not just close the doors on Fannie and Freddie. It would cause major declines in the housing market throughout the country as well as causing the interest rates to skyrocket out of control.

Plans have to be made to start transferring the assets of these two government subsidized programs to the private sector. It’s not something that can be done immediately, it will take 5-7 years to do so, but the idea is to start now so in a few short years America’s housing market will be stable again and more in line to how the mortgage industry needs to be operated.

With private companies running the show, stricter rules will be in place to manage the mortgages as the qualification to getting one. Owning a home should be looked at as a benchmark of a person/family’s success, not as a right to own one because you exist. When the federal government is involved, it becomes more of a political tool to help get a candidate or a particular party into office. Washington has never operated as a business and I doubt they would know how to in the first place.

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The Libertarian Idea

Posted by Billy On January - 29 - 2010

The Libertarian Idea

Libertarianism is both a philosophy and a political view. The key concepts defining Libertarianism are:
Individual Rights as inherent to human beings, not granted by government
A Spontaneous Order through which people conduct their daily interactions and through which society is organized independent of central (government) direction
The Rule of Law which dictates that everyone is free to do as they please so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others
A divided and Limited Government, checked by written constitution
Free Markets in which price and exchange is agreed upon mutually by individuals
Virtue of Production whereby the productive labor of the individual and any translation of that labor into earnings belongs, by right, to the individual who should not have to sacrifice those earnings to taxes
Peace which has, throughout history, most commonly been disrupted by the interests of the ruling class or centralized government.

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Libertarian Response To State Of The Union Address

Posted by Billy On January - 28 - 2010

WASHINGTON – Libertarian Party (LP) Chairman William Redpath issued the following statement today in response to President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union address:

“Tonight’s speech was a reminder that, for decades, the policies of Republicans and Democrats alike have failed. Libertarians are asking people to take matters into their own hands. Instead of just complaining, we’re encouraging ordinary Americans to step up and run for Congress on the Libertarian Party ballot line.

I can say exactly the same thing about President Obama’s speech tonight that I said about George W. Bush’s State of the Union speech in January 2008: ‘Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy.

I am weary of the President’s unspoken premise that only government–indeed, only the federal government–can accomplish good in our society.

President Obama seems to be totally blind to the concept that government can cause problems rather than solve them. His speech was filled with ‘More’: more handouts, more spending, more programs, more bailouts, more regulations. We Libertarians want less government, not more.

Not to be outmatched by the Democrats, the Republican Party conveyed its lack of seriousness in addressing this nation’s government spending problems by having Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor for eleven (11) days, deliver its rebuttal to the President. If they were really serious about addressing the dire fiscal circumstances of this nation, they would have had Paul Ryan, a six-term congressman from Wisconsin, who has proposed the most serious plan of anyone in the two older parties to keep us from going off a fiscal cliff.

Last week, Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law at UC Berkeley and US government fiscal policy expert, said that the Democratic and Republican parties are in a ‘death embrace’ with their government spending. The only political party that is rationally and forthrightly addressing the need to cut government spending and end our culture of ever expanding entitlements is the Libertarian Party.

As Americans lose hope in Obama, we Libertarians are warning voters against running back to the Republicans who got us into such big messes in the first place. Republicans started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans made the false intellectual case for bailing out banks and car companies. Republicans argued that deficits don’t matter. Republicans gave us the giant Medicare expansion bill.

The President’s suggestion of a ‘spending freeze’ was especially ludicrous and insulting to the intelligence of Americans. The amounts involved are minuscule, and Congress won’t accept them anyway. Will Obama sign the spending bills that ignore his ‘freeze’? You bet he will. Instead, the President should demand across-the-board cuts in all areas, including entitlements.

The President talked a lot about jobs. Unfortunately, the policies he supports are responsible for most of the unemployment we see today. High taxes, minimum wage laws, hiring regulations, firing regulations, mandatory unemployment benefits, and other government interference make it much more difficult for businesses to hire and keep employees. As expected, the President’s prescription is to increase the dosage of this government poison.

While our nation is declining dangerously right now, a turnaround could be straightforward and simple with steps like these: 1. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; 2. Stop rewarding failed companies with bailouts; 3. Cut taxes and spending and let the free market work.

Finally, on the matter of political rhetoric, I call upon the two older parties to stop spoon feeding politics to the American people as if we are a bunch of overgrown children. These are difficult times that call for more than rhetorical flourish or positioning a group of diverse people around a politician. Older party politicians need to be specific about their proposed policies, as Libertarians are.

And, I know I’m probably just wasting electrons, but can’t we go back to the days in which the President sent a copy of his speech to Congress and left it at that. The speech last night took 1/7000th of an entire year. I think the vast majority of the American people would agree that we have better ways to spend our time.”

William Redpath has served as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party since 2006. For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties.

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The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane. It is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institute is named for Cato’s Letters, a series of libertarian pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.

The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.

To celebrate Independence Day, the Cato Institute is giving away our popular Pocket Constitution for a limited time. Limited to one copy per person for U.S. addresses only. Offer expires July 3, 2009.

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