Speeches And Statements

Before the U.S. House of Representatives 

September 7, 2006

Big Government Solutions Don't Work/ The Law of Opposites

Politicians throughout history have tried to solve every problem conceivable to man, always failing to recognize that many of the problems we face result from previous so-called political solutions.  Government cannot be the answer to every human ill.  Continuing to view more government as the solution to problems will only make matters worse.

Not too long ago, I spoke on this floor about why I believe Americans are so angry in spite of rosy government economic reports.  The majority of Americans are angry, disgusted, and frustrated that so little is being done in Congress to solve their problems.  The fact is a majority of American citizens expect the federal government to provide for every need, without considering whether government causes many economic problems in the first place.  This certainly is an incentive for politicians to embrace the role of omnipotent problem solvers, since nobody asks first whether they, the politicians themselves, are at fault.

At home I’m frequently asked about my frustration with Congress, since so many reform proposals go unheeded.  I jokingly reply, “No, I’m never frustrated, because I have such low expectations.”  But the American people have higher expectations, and without forthcoming solutions, are beyond frustrated with their government. 

If solutions to America’s problems won’t be found in the frequent clamor for more government, it’s still up to Congress to explain how our problems develop-- and how solutions can be found in an atmosphere of liberty, private property, and a free market order.  It’s up to us to demand radical change from our failed policy of foreign military interventionism.  Robotic responses to the clichés of big government intervention in our lives are unbecoming to members who were elected to offer ideas and solutions.  We must challenge the status quo of our economic and political system.

Many things have contributed to the mess we’re in.  Bureaucratic management can never compete with the free market in solving problems.  Central economic planning doesn’t work.  Just look at the failed systems of the 20th century.  Welfarism is an example of central economic planning.  Paper money, money created out of thin air to accommodate welfarism and government deficits, is not only silly, it’s unconstitutional.  No matter how hard the big spenders try to convince us otherwise, deficits do matter.  But lowering the deficit through higher taxes won’t solve anything.

Nothing will change in Washington until it’s recognized that the ultimate driving force behind most politicians is obtaining and holding power.  And money from special interests drives the political process.  Money and power are important only because the government wields power not granted by the Constitution.  A limited, constitutional government would not tempt special interests to buy the politicians who wield power.  The whole process feeds on itself.  Everyone is rewarded by ignoring constitutional restraints, while expanding and complicating the entire bureaucratic state.

Even when it’s recognized that we’re traveling down the wrong path, the lack of political courage and the desire for reelection results in ongoing support for the pork-barrel system that serves special interests.  A safe middle ground, a don’t-rock-the-boat attitude, too often is rewarded in Washington, while meaningful solutions tend to offend those who are in charge of the gigantic PAC/lobbyist empire that calls the shots in Washington.  Most members are rewarded by reelection for accommodating and knowing how to work the system.

Though there’s little difference between the two parties, the partisan fights are real.  Instead of debates about philosophy, the partisan battles are about who will wield the gavels.  True policy debates are rare; power struggles are real and ruthless.  And yet we all know that power corrupts.

Both parties agree on monetary, fiscal, foreign and entitlement policies.  Unfortunately, neither party has much concern for civil liberties.  Both parties are split over trade, with mixed debates between outright protectionists and those who endorse government-managed trade agreements that masquerade as “free trade.”  It’s virtually impossible to find anyone who supports hands-off free trade, defended by the moral right of all citizens to spend their money as they see fit, without being subject any special interest.

The big government nanny-state is based on the assumption that free markets can’t provide the maximum good for the largest number of people.  It assumes people are not smart or responsible enough to take care of themselves, and thus their needs must be filled through the government’s forcible redistribution of wealth.  Our system of intervention assumes that politicians and bureaucrats have superior knowledge, and are endowed with certain talents that produce efficiency.  These assumptions don’t seem to hold much water, of course, when we look at agencies like FEMA.  Still, we expect the government to manage monetary and economic policy, the medical system, and the educational system, and then wonder why we have problems with the cost and efficiency of all these programs.

On top of this, the daily operation of Congress reflects the power of special interests, not the will of the people- regardless of which party is in power.

Critically important legislation comes up for votes late in the evening, leaving members little chance to read or study the bills.  Key changes are buried in conference reports, often containing new legislation not even mentioned in either the House or Senate versions.

Conferences were meant to compromise two different positions in the House and Senate bills-- not to slip in new material that had not been mentioned in either bill.

Congress spends hundreds of billions of dollars in “emergency” supplemental bills to avoid the budgetary rules meant to hold down the deficit.  Wartime spending money is appropriated and attached to emergency relief funds, making it difficult for politicians to resist.

The principle of the pork barrel is alive and well, and it shows how huge appropriations are passed easily with supporters of the system getting their share for their district.

Huge omnibus spending bills, introduced at the end of the legislative year, are passed without scrutiny.  No one individual knows exactly what is in the bill.

In the process, legitimate needs and constitutional responsibilities are frequently ignored.  Respect for private property rights is ignored.  Confidence in the free market is lost or misunderstood.  Our tradition of self-reliance is mocked as archaic.

Lack of real choice in economic and personal decisions is commonplace.  It seems that too often the only choice we’re given is between prohibitions or subsidies.  Never is it said, “Let the people decide on things like stem cell research or alternative medical treatments.”

Nearly everyone endorses exorbitant taxation; the only debate is about who should pay—either tax the producers and the rich or tax the workers and the poor through inflation and outsourcing jobs.

Both politicians and the media place blame on everything except bad policy authored by Congress.  Scapegoats are needed, since there’s so much blame to go around and so little understanding as to why we’re in such a mess.

In 1920s and 1930s Europe, as the financial system collapsed and inflation raged, it was commonplace to blame the Jews.  Today in America the blame is spread out:  Illegal immigrants, Muslims, big business (whether they get special deals from the government or not), price gouging oil companies (regardless of the circumstances), and labor unions.  Ignorance of economics and denial of the political power system that prevails in D.C. make it possible for Congress to shift blame. 

Since we’re not on the verge of mending our ways, the problems will worsen and the blame games will get much more vicious.  Shortchanging a large segment of our society surely will breed conflict that could get out of control.  This is a good reason for us to cast aside politics as usual and start finding some reliable answers to our problems.

Politics as usual is aided by the complicity of the media.  Economic ignorance, bleeding heart emotionalism, and populist passion pervade our major networks and cable channels.  This is especially noticeable when the establishment seeks to unify the people behind an illegal, unwise war.  The propaganda is well-coordinated by the media/government/military/industrial complex.  This collusion is worse than when state- owned media do the same thing.  In countries where everyone knows the media produces government propaganda, people remain wary of what they hear.  In the United States the media are considered free and independent, thus the propaganda is accepted with less questioning.

One of the major reasons we’ve drifted from the Founders vision of liberty in the Constitution was the division of the concept of freedom into two parts.  Instead of freedom being applied equally to social and economic transactions, it has come to be thought of as two different concepts.  Some in Congress now protect economic liberty and market choices, but ignore personal liberty and private choices.  Others defend personal liberty, but concede the realm of property and economic transactions to government control. 

There should be no distinction between commercial speech and political speech.  With no consistent moral defense of true liberty, the continued erosion of personal and property rights is inevitable.  This careless disregard for liberty, our traditions, and the Constitution have brought us disaster, with a foreign policy of military interventionism supported by the leadership of both parties.  Hopefully, some day this will be radically changed. 

The Law of Opposites

Everyone is aware of the Law of Unintended Consequences.  Most members of Congress understand that government actions can have unintended consequences, yet few quit voting for government “solutions” -- always hoping there won’t be any particular unintended consequences this time.  They keep hoping there will be less harmful complications from the “solution” that they currently support.  Free market economics teaches that for every government action to solve an economic problem, two new ones are created.  The same unwanted results occur with foreign policy meddling.

The Law of Opposites is just a variation of the Law of Unintended Consequences.  When we attempt to achieve a certain goal-- like, “make the world safe for democracy,” a grandiose scheme of World War I-- one can be sure the world will become less safe and less democratic regardless of the motivation.

The 1st World War was sold to the American people as the war to end all wars.  Instead, history shows it was the war that caused the 20th century to be the most war-torn century in history.  Our entry into World War I helped lead us into World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Even our current crisis in the Middle East can be traced to the great wars of the 20th century.  Though tens of millions of deaths are associated with these wars, we haven’t learned a thing.

We went into Korea by direction of the United Nations, not a congressional declaration of war, to unify Korea.  And yet that war ensured that Korea remains divided to this day; our troops are still there.  South Korea today is much more willing to reconcile differences with North Korea, and yet we obstruct such efforts.  It doesn’t make much sense.

We went into Vietnam and involved ourselves unnecessarily in a civil war to bring peace and harmony to that country.  We lost 60,000 troops and spent hundreds of billions of dollars, yet failed to achieve victory.  Ironically, since losing in Vietnam we now have a better relationship with them than ever.  We now trade, invest, travel, and communicate with a unified, western-leaning country that is catching on rather quickly to capitalist ways.  This policy, not military confrontation, is exactly what the Constitution permits and the Founders encouraged in our relationship with others.

This policy should apply to both friends and perceived enemies.  Diplomacy and trade can accomplish goals that military intervention cannot-- and they certainly are less costly.

In both instances--Korea and Vietnam-- neither country attacked us, and neither country posed a threat to our security. In neither case did we declare war.  All of the fighting and killing was based on lies, miscalculations, and the failure to abide by constitutional restraint with regards to war.

When goals are couched in terms of humanitarianism, sincere or not, the results are inevitably bad.  Foreign interventionism requires the use of force.  First, the funds needed to pursue a particular policy require that taxes be forcibly imposed on the American people, either directly or indirectly through inflation.  Picking sides in foreign countries only increases the chances of antagonism toward us.  Too often foreign economic and military support means impoverishing the poor in America and enhancing the rich ruling classes in poor countries.  When sanctions are used against one undesirable regime, it squelches resistance to the very regimes we’re trying to undermine.  Forty years of sanctions against Castro have left him in power, and fomented continued hatred and blame from the Cuban people directed at us.  Trade with Cuba likely would have accomplished the opposite, as it has in Vietnam, China, and even in the Eastern Block nations of the old Soviet empire.

We spend billions of dollars in Afghanistan and Colombia to curtail drug production.  No evidence exists that it helps.  In fact, drug production and corruption have increased.  We close our eyes to it because the reasons we’re in Colombia and Afghanistan are denied.

Obviously, we are not putting forth the full effort required to capture Osama bin Laden.  Instead, our occupation of Afghanistan further inflames the Muslim radicals that came of age with their fierce resistance to the Soviet occupation of a Muslim country.  Our occupation merely serves as a recruiting device for al Qaeda, which has promised retaliation for our presence in their country.  We learned nothing after first allying ourselves with Osama bin Laden when he applied this same logic toward the Soviets.  The net result of our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been to miss capturing bin Laden, assist al Qaeda’s recruitment, stimulate more drug production, lose hundreds of American lives, and allow spending billions of American taxpayer dollars with no end in sight.

Bankruptcy seems to be the only way we will reconsider the foolishness of this type of occupation.  It’s time for us to wake up.

Our policy toward Iran for the past 50 years is every bit as disconcerting.  It makes no sense unless one concedes that our government is manipulated by those who seek physical control over the vast oil riches of the Middle East and egged on by Israel’s desires.

We have attacked the sovereignty of Iran on two occasions, and are in the process of threatening her for the third time.  In 1953, the U.S. and British overthrew the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the Shah.  His brutal regime lasted over 25 years, and ended with the Ayatollah taking power in 1979.  Our support for the Shah incited the radicalization of the Shiite Clerics in Iran, resulting in the hostage takeover.

In the 1980s we provided weapons-- including poisonous gas-- to Saddam Hussein as we supported his invasion of Iran.  These events are not forgotten by the Iranians, who see us once again looking for another confrontation with them.  We insist that the UN ignore the guarantees under the NPT that grant countries like Iran the right to enrich uranium.  The pressure on the UN and the threats we cast toward Iran are quite harmful to the cause of peace.  They are entirely unnecessary and serve no useful purpose.  Our policy toward Iran is much more likely to result in her getting a nuclear weapon than prevent it.

Our own effort at democratizing Iran has resulted instead in radicalizing a population whose instincts are to like Americans and our economic system.  Our meddling these past 50 years has only served to alienate and unify the entire country against us.

Though our officials only see Iran as an enemy, as does Israel, our policies in the Middle East these past 5 years have done wonders to strengthen Iran’s political and military position in the region.  We have totally ignored serious overtures by the Iranians to negotiate with us before hostilities broke out in Iraq in 2003.   Both immediately after 9/11, and especially at the time of our invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iran, partially out of fear and realism, honestly sought reconciliation and offered to help the U.S. in its battle against al Qaeda.  They were rebuked outright.  Now Iran is negotiating from a much stronger position, principally as a result of our overall Middle East policy.

We accommodated Iran by severely weakening the Taliban in Afghanistan on Iran’s eastern borders.  On Iran’s western borders we helped the Iranians by eliminating their arch enemy, Saddam Hussein.  Our invasion in Iraq and the resulting chaos have inadvertently delivered up a large portion of Iraq to the Iranians, as the majority Shiites in Iraq ally themselves with Iranians.

The U.S./Israeli plan to hit Hezbollah in Lebanon before taking on Iran militarily has totally backfired.  Now Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, has been made stronger than ever with the military failure to rout Hezbollah from southern Lebanon.  Before the U.S./Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Hezbollah was supported by 20% of the population, now it’s revered by 80%.  A democratic election in Lebanon cannot now serve the interest of the U.S. or Israel.  It would only support the cause of radical clerics in Iran.

Demanding an election in Palestinian Gaza resulted in enhancing the power of Hamas.  The U.S. and Israel promptly rejected the results.  So much for our support for democratically elected government.

Our support for dictatorial Arab leaders is a thorn in the side of the large Muslim population in the Middle East, and one of the main reasons Osama bin Laden declared war against us.  We talk of democracy and self-determination, but the masses of people in the Middle East see through our hypocrisy when we support the Sunni secular dictators in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan and at one time, Saddam Hussein.

In the late 1970s and the 1980s the CIA spent over $4 billion on a program called “Operation Cyclone.”  This was our contribution to setting up training schools in Pakistan and elsewhere, including the U.S. itself, to teach “sabotage skills.”  The purpose was to use these individuals in fighting our enemies in the Middle East, including the Soviets.  But as one could predict, this effort has come back to haunt us, as our radical ally Osama bin Laden turned his fury against us after routing the Soviets.  It is estimated that over 12,000 fighters were trained in the camps we set up in Afghanistan.  They were taught how to make bombs, carry out sabotage, and use guerilla war tactics.  And now we’re on the receiving end of this U.S. financed program-- hardly a good investment.

It’s difficult to understand why our policy makers aren’t more cautious in their efforts to police the world, once it’s realized how unsuccessful we have been.  It seems they always hope that next time our efforts won’t come flying back in our face.

Our failed efforts in Iraq continue to drain our resources, costing us dearly both in lives lost and dollars spent.   And there’s no end in sight.  No consideration is given for rejecting our obsession with a worldwide military presence, which rarely if ever directly enhances our security.  A much stronger case can be made that our policy of protecting our worldwide interests actually does the opposite by making us weaker, alienating our allies, inciting more hatred, and provoking our enemies.  The more we have interfered in the Middle East in the last 50 years, the greater the danger has become for an attack on us.  The notion that Arab/Muslim radicals are motivated to attack us because of our freedoms and prosperity, and not our unwelcome presence in their countries, is dangerous and silly.

We were told we needed to go into Iraq because our old ally, Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction-- yet no weapons of mass destruction were found.

We were told we needed to occupy Iraq to remove al Qaeda, yet al Qaeda was nowhere to be found and now it’s admitted it had nothing to do with 9/11.  Yet today, Iraq is infested with al Qaeda-- achieving exactly the opposite of what we sought to do.

We were told that we needed to secure “our oil” to protect our economy and to pay for our invasion and occupation.  Instead, the opposite has resulted:  Oil production is down, oil prices are up, and no oil profits have been used to pay the bills.

We were told that a regime change in Iraq would help us in our long-time fight with Iran, yet everything we have done in Iraq has served the interests of Iran.

We’re being told in a threatening and intimidating fashion that,  “If America were to pull out before Iraq could defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable and absolutely disastrous.”  I’m convinced that the Law of Opposites could well apply here.  Going into Iraq we know produced exactly the opposite results of what was predicted:  Leaving also likely will have results opposite of those we’re being frightened with.  Certainly leaving Vietnam at the height of the Cold War did not result in the disaster predicted by the advocates of the Domino Theory-- an inevitable Communist takeover of the entire Far East.

We’re constantly being told that we cannot abandon Iraq and we are obligated to stay forever if necessary.  This admonition is similar to a rallying cry from a determined religious missionary bent on proselytizing to the world with a particular religious message.  Conceding that leaving may not be a panacea for Iraqi tranquility, this assumption ignores two things.  One, our preemptive war ignited the Iraqi civil war, and two, abandoning the Iraqi people is not the question.  The real question is whether or not we should abandon the American people by forcing them to pay for an undeclared war with huge economic and human costs, while placing our national security in greater jeopardy by ignoring our borders and serious problems here at home.

In our attempt to make Iraq a better place, we did great harm to Iraqi Christians.  Before our invasion in 2003 there were approximately 1.2 million living in Iraq.  Since then over half have been forced to leave due to persecution and violence.  Many escaped to Syria.  With the neo-cons wanting to attack Syria, how long will they be safe there?   The answer to the question,  “Aren’t we better off without Saddam Hussein,” is not an automatic yes for Iraqi Christians.

We’ve been told for decades that our policy of militarism and preemption in the Middle East is designed to provide security for Israel.  Yet a very strong case can be made that Israel is more vulnerable than ever, with moderate Muslims being challenged by a growing majority of Islamic radicals.  As the invincibility of the American and Israeli military becomes common knowledge, Israel’s security is diminished and world opinion turns against her, especially after the failed efforts to remove the Hezbollah threat.

We were told that attacking and eliminating Hezbollah was required to diminish the Iranian threat against Israel.  The results again were the opposite.  This failed effort has only emboldened Iran.

The lack of success of conventional warfare-- the U.S. in Vietnam, the Soviets in Afghanistan, the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel in Lebanon-- should awaken our policy makers to our failure in war and diplomacy.  Yet all we propose are bigger bombs and more military force for occupation, rather than working to understand an entirely new generation of modern warfare.

Many reasons are given for our preemptive wars and military approach for spreading the American message of freedom and prosperity, which is an obvious impossibility.  Our vital interests are always cited for justification, and it’s inferred that those who do not support our militancy are unpatriotic.  Yet the opposite is actually the case: Wise resistance to one’s own government doing bad things requires a love of country, devotion to idealism, and respect for the Rule of Law.

In attempting to build an artificial and unwelcome Iraqi military, the harder we try, the more money we spend, and the more lives we lose, the stronger the real armies of Iraq become:  the Sunni insurgency, the Bardr Brigade, the Sardr Mahdi Army, and the Kurdish militia.

The Kurds have already taken a bold step in this direction by hoisting a Kurdish flag and removing the Iraqi flag-- a virtual declaration of independence.  Natural local forces are winning out over outside political forces.

We’re looking in all the wrong places for an Iraqi army to bring stability to that country.  The people have spoken and these troops that represent large segments of the population need no training.  It’s not a lack of training, weapons, or money that hinders our efforts to create a new superior Iraqi military.  It’s the lack of inspiration and support for such an endeavor that is missing.  Developing borders and separating the various factions, which our policy explicitly prohibits, is the basic flaw in our plan for a forced, unified, western-style democracy for Iraq.  Allowing self-determination for different regions is the only way to erase the artificial nature of Iraq-- an Iraq designed by western outsiders nearly 80 years ago. It’s our obsession with control of the oil in the region, and imposing our will on the Middle East, and accommodating the demands of Israel that is the problem.  And the American people are finally getting sick and tired of their sacrifices.  It’s time to stop the bleeding.

Instead we continue to hear the constant agitation for us to confront the Iranians with military action.  Reasons to attack Iran make no more sense than our foolish preemptive war against Iraq.  Fictitious charges and imaginary dangers are used to frighten the American people into accepting an attack on Iran.  First it may only be sanctions, but later it will be bombs and possible ground troops if the neo-cons have their way.  Many of the chicken-hawk neo-conservative advisors to the administration are highly critical of our current policy because it’s not aggressive enough.  They want more troops in Iraq, they want to attack Syria and Iran, and escalate the conflict in Lebanon.

We have a troop shortage, morale is low, and our military equipment is in bad shape, yet the neo-cons would not hesitate to spend, borrow, inflate, and reinstate the draft to continue their grandiose schemes in remaking the entire Middle East.  Obviously a victory of this sort is not available, no matter what effort is made or how much money is spent.

Logic would tell us there’s no way we will contemplate taking on Iran at this time.  But logic did not prevail with our Iraq policy, and look at the mess we have there.  Besides, both sides, the neo-con extremists and the radical Islamists, are driven by religious fervor. Both are convinced that God is on their side-- a strange assumption since theologically it’s the same God.

Both sides of the war in the Middle East are driven by religious beliefs of omnipotence.  Both sides endorse an eschatological theory regarding the forthcoming end of time.  Both anticipate the return of God personified and as promised to each.  Both sides are driven by a conviction of perfect knowledge regarding the Creator, and though we supposedly worship the same God, each sees the other side as completely wrong and blasphemous.  The religiously driven Middle East war condemns tolerance of the other’s view.  Advocates of restraint and the use of diplomacy are ridiculed as appeasers, and equivalent to supporting Nazism and considered un-American and un-Christian.

I find it amazing that we in this country seem determined to completely separate religious expression and the state, even to the detriment of the 1st Amendment.  Yet we can say little about how Christian and Jewish religious beliefs greatly influences our policies in the Middle East.  It should be the other way around.  Religious expression, according to the 1st Amendment, cannot be regulated anywhere by Congress or the federal courts.  But deeply held theological beliefs should never dictate our foreign policy.  Being falsely accused of anti-Semitism and being a supporter of radical fascism is not an enviable position for any politician.  Most realize it’s best to be quiet and support our Middle East involvement.

Believing we have perfect knowledge of God’s will, and believing government can manage our lives and world affairs, have caused a great deal of problems for man over the ages.  When these two elements are combined they become especially dangerous.  Liberty, by contrast, removes power from government and allows total freedom of choice in pursuing one’s religious beliefs.  The only solution to controlling political violence is to prohibit the use of force to pursue religious goals and reject government authority to mold the behavior of individuals.

Both are enamored with the so-called benefit that chaos offers to those promoting revolutionary changes.  Both sides in situations like this always underestimate the determination of the opposition, and ignore the law of unintended consequences.  They never consider that these policies might backfire.

Declaring war against Islamic fascism or terrorism is vague and meaningless.  This enemy we’re fighting at the expense of our own liberties is purposely indefinable.  Therefore the government will exercise wartime powers indefinitely.  We’ve been fully warned to expect a long, long war.

The Islamic fascists are almost impossible to identify and cannot be targeted by our conventional weapons.  Those who threaten us essentially are unarmed and stateless.  Comparing them to Nazi Germany, a huge military power, is ridiculous.  Labeling them as a unified force is a mistake.  It’s critical that we figure out why a growing number of Muslims are radicalized to the point of committing suicide terrorism against us.  Our presence in their countries represents a failed policy that makes us less safe, not more.

These guerilla warriors do not threaten us with tanks, gunboats, fighter planes, missiles, or nuclear weapons, nor do they have a history of aggression against the United States.  Our enemy’s credibility depends instead on the popular goal of ending our occupation of their country.

We must not forget that the 9/11 terrorists came principally from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, or Syria.  Iran has never in modern times invaded her neighbors, yet we worry obsessively that she may develop a nuclear weapon someday.  Never mind that a radicalized Pakistan has nuclear weapons; our friend Musharraf won’t lift a finger against Bin Laden, who most likely is hiding there.  Our only defense against this emerging nuclear threat has been to use, and threaten to use, weapons that do not meet the needs of this new and different enemy.

Since resistance against the Iraq war is building here at home, hopefully it won’t be too long before we abandon our grandiose scheme to rule the entire Middle East through intimidation and military confrontation.

Economic law eventually will prevail.  Runaway military and entitlement spending cannot be sustained.  We can tax the private economy only so much, and borrowing from foreigners is limited by the total foreign debt and our current account deficit.  It will be difficult to continue this spending spree without significantly higher interest rates and further devaluation of the dollar.  This all spells more trouble for our economy and certainly higher inflation.  Our industrial base is shattered and our borders remain open to those who exploit our reeling entitlement system.

Economic realities will prevail, regardless of the enthusiasm by most members of Congress for a continued expansion of the welfare state and support for our dangerously aggressive foreign policy.  The welfare/warfare state will come to an end when the dollar fails and the money simply runs out.

The overriding goal should then be to rescue our constitutional liberties, which have been steadily eroded by those who claim that sacrificing civil liberties is required and legitimate in times of war-- even the undeclared and vague war we’re currently fighting.

A real solution to our problems will require a better understanding of, and greater dedication to, free markets and private property rights.  It can’t be done without restoring a sound, asset-backed currency.  If we hope to restore any measure of constitutional government, we must abandon the policy of policing the world and keeping troops in every corner of the earth.  Our liberties and our prosperity depend on it.