Monday, October 18, 2010

Will GOP pull plug on Granny or War?

With prospects of a Republican takeover of Congress, Libertarian Party (LP) Chair Mark Hinkle posed this question: "In order to balance the budget, where will the GOP pull the plug first: on Granny, or on foreign wars?"

Hinkle continued, "Of course, Republicans may have no serious intention of cutting federal deficits or spending, and their complaints about 'out-of-control spending' might be hypocrisy."

Over 60% of federal spending is in three areas: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and the military. It would be impossible to eliminate the federal deficit without cutting entitlements or military spending, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tea Party leader Dick Armey recently called Social Security a ponzi scheme.

LP Executive Director Wes Benedict said, "Social Security is universal mandatory welfare for seniors. It's very un-libertarian."

Benedict continued, "I suppose one way to maintain the Social Security scheme would be to rapidly grow the U.S. working population, such as by opening up our borders to increase immigration. However, Republican congressmen have tried to duck their responsibility for the bad economy by scapegoating illegal immigrants, so allowing a massive influx of immigrants is politically infeasible in the near future.

"Each child born in the U.S. immediately faces a debt of over $40,000. Ironically, it might not be long before American youth start ditching this debt foisted on them by their parents and grandparents, and start leaving America in search of better opportunity abroad.

"To make Social Security solvent as our population ages, the federal government either has to raise the tax, or cut the benefits. The last significant change to Social Security was a tax increase approved by Ronald Reagan. Libertarians favor cutting Social Security benefits, and we oppose tax increases. Libertarians would prefer to allow workers to opt out of Social Security. Perhaps entitlements can be cut gradually, rather than slashed abruptly, but that depends on taking action sooner rather than later.

"On the October 17 'Fox News Sunday,' I saw that Republican senate candidate Carly Fiorina was repeatedly asked what parts of entitlements she would cut to balance the budget, and she repeatedly dodged the question."

The recent Republican 'Pledge to America' makes no mention of cutting entitlements or the military.

Benedict continued, "Republicans refuse to say where they would cut entitlement spending, and of course Republicans oppose cutting military spending or ending America's foreign wars. Therefore, I'd say that Republicans are hypocrites who aren't serious about solving the federal debt problem."

A video lampooning John Boehner and the Republican 'Pledge to America' was created by Travis Irvine, Libertarian for U.S. Congress in Ohio District 12.

Benedict continued, "Only Libertarians recognize that we can't have it all for much longer. The longer Republicans and Democrats flush money down the toilet in Iraq and Afghanistan, the sooner the government will have to cut benefits for Granny. Of course, Congress may never have the courage to pass legislation to cut entitlements. In that scenario, Granny will eventually start experiencing 'rolling blackouts,' or perhaps a total system collapse.

"Libertarians stand ready to cut spending across the board. Perhaps the question Granny needs to answer is, 'Which do you love more: your Social Security check, or foreign wars?'"

The Libertarian Party has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 169 candidates for U.S. House in the upcoming November 2010 elections.

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