Jeremiah suggests the problem with government programs: Among Joe Miller’s views: He wants to eliminate the Department of Education, believes the government shouldn’t pay for unemployment insurance and says of climate change on his campaign site that it “may not even exist.” Among the more mainstream GOP positions he’s taken: Miller would cut welfare; eliminate health care for the poor by scrapping Medicaid; and the Anchorage Daily News reported that he has has called for sweeping cuts to Medicare and Social Security with a goal of phasing them out entirely in favor of total privatization.
Stu responds with the solution for wasting money in government programs: Hi Jeremiah,
Eliminating the Department of Education is a good idea. First, the federal government does not have a constitutionally enumerated power to regulate education, so the agency and the funding it receives is illegal. Second, education is a municipal matter, requiring no assistance or interference from the federal government.
I was not aware of Joe’s view on unemployment insurance, but in a certain sense I agree that “cause specific” federal aid should be eliminated. I think the federal government could save a fortune in administrative costs if all needs based social payments were combined into a single system (unemployment, disability, pension supplements, etc.). None of these individual programs are legal right now, as they all violate the enumerated powers clause of the Tenth Amendment. But they could be made legal with a 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress, and ratification by 3/4 of the state legislatures. Then all the systems could be combined into a single streamlined system. Not only would there be massive administrative savings, but payments would only go to those who really need them (for example, Social Security pensions would be replaced with a needs based supplement, resulting in huge savings that would allow vast amounts of treasury assets owned by the SS administration to fund future obligations to be summarily ripped up). The basic idea is to focus on what people need, not why they need it, via an all-encompassing welfare system that is “cause-blind.”
Medicare/Medicaid are two of the most gigantic drains on the federal budget. You don’t see it directly, because treasury debt utilized to fund the anticipated future obligations of the two systems are “off balance sheet.” In other words, they are not included in the $15 trillion or so of official national debt (securities held by investors), but they still represent many tens of trillions of dollars that we don’t have the taxing ability to liquidate. The solution is to attack provider costs: tort reform, private market level fee caps for high cost procedures, smart hospital automation to reduce mistakes and duplication enforced by graduated lowering of fee caps ovre a few years, branded drug importation to increase competition and reduce prices, allowing Medicare to bulk negotiate drug discounts under Part D, cost/benefit rationing of heroic measures (say, procedures costing $250,000 or more), etc. After doing the above, Medicare premiums should be set at a level that is self supporting (i.e., no taxpayer subsidy). Existing federal bonds owned by the two GSE’s to fund liabilities that are eliminated due to the provider cost reductions could be torn up without technical default.
The climate change issue is subject to debate. We only hear one side of the story, because scientists who disagree with it sometimes get blackballed from the scientific community. The existence/extent of this problem has not been conclusively proven. While there is no question that excessive carbon emissions are a health hazard, the correct footprint reduction goals cannot be set until we know the true overall tradeoff between ecology and economy.
My Friend Stu’s Original Post on Sodahead
As you are probably aware, Tea Party hero Joe Miller won his primary election for US Senator from Alaska, beating out “Democrat In Disguise” Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski, about a week after losing the primary, announced that she was going to run as an independent “write-in” candidate. Despite the fears that this would split the GOP vote down the middle, and hand the win to Democrat Soctt McAdams, Murkowski’s skullduggery had minimal impact on the polls, until now.
At present, the latest CFG poll has Miller in the lead with 33%, Murkowski at 31%, and McAdams at 27%. Murkowski is rising so fast that it may not be McAdams who wins, but Murkowski. This would be a real tragedy, since Murkowski is an Obama liberal, not a mere GOP RINO.
I’ve been supporting Joe Miller financially both through his primary fight and his general election campaign. Murkowski’s “write-in” stunt is pure immorality, as she stated publicly after losing the primary she would stand down. To put it simply, she lied.
Joe Miller is running a purely grassroots campaign, and cannot count on big contributions from all the beneficiaries of Murkowski’s largesse (earmarks and pork), past and potentially future. Unlike the seedy Murkowski, Joe is endorsed by credible, trustworthy conservatives like Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham.
FEC reports show that McAdams has raised $685,000, meaning he has a chance to raise his poll numbers even higher. But Murkowski is in a class by herself regarding funding. A single liberal PAC is spending over $600,000 in “soft money” to run a massive ad blitz supporting Murkowski and attacking Miller. And this is just a small sampling of the support she is getting from the statists.
I know times are tough, and money is tight, but if you can help, this is one man worth fighting for. Joe Miller has an impeccable TPM platform, and will fight hard to put a stop to the Obama agenda. But time is short, and Joe needs extra money to fight Murkowski’s unethical backstab.
If you can afford to, please make a donation (small or large) to Joe’s campaign by clicking here, which will take you to Joe’s official contribution page. Please also go viral on this thread, so the maximum possible number of people see it.
Thank you for your patriotism. Sadly, freedom isn’t “free.” The only way to block the Obama program, before we throw him out on his ear in 2012, is to vote a Congress into place in November that Obama can no longer control. Joe Miller can and will meet this challenge, if we can rise up and prevent Lisa Murkowski from stealing his rightly won primary.