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Archive for August 19th, 2010

Here’s my debate on Larry Kudlow’s show about Social Security personal retirement accounts. 

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Walter Williams looks at the terrible job Republicans did when they last held power and asks whether they deserve to win the House and/or Senate this November. Or perhaps the real question is whether it would make a difference for Republicans to regain control? The real test, Walter explains, is whether they would use their power of the purse to de-fund the implementation of Obamacare.

…what can liberty-minded Americans expect from a Republican majority? Maybe a good starting point for an answer might be to examine how Republicans have handled their majority in the past. …The 1994 elections gave Republican control of both the House and Senate. They held a majority for a decade. The 2000 election of George W. Bush as president gave Republicans what the Democrats have now, total control of the legislative and executive branches of government. When Bush came to office, federal spending was $1.788 trillion. When he left office, federal spending was $2.982 trillion. That’s a 60 percent increase in federal spending, closely matching the profligacy of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. During the Republican control, the nation was saddled with massive federal interference in education through No Child Left Behind. Prescription drug handouts became a part of the Republican-controlled Congress’ legacy. And it was during this interval that Congress accelerated its interference, assisted by the Federal Reserve Bank, in the housing market in the name of homeownership that produced much of the financial meltdown that the nation suffered in 2008. …If Republicans win the House of Representatives, there are measures they should take in their first month of office, and that is to undo most of what the Democratically controlled Congress has done. If they don’t win a veto-proof Senate, they can’t undo Obamacare but the House alone can refuse to fund any part of it. There are numerous blocking tactics that a Republican-controlled House can take against those hell-bent on trampling on our Constitution. The question is whether they will have guts and principle to do it. After all, many Americans, including those who are Republicans, have a stake in big government control, special privileges and handouts.

I’m skeptical about the benefits of a GOP takeover. Look at the GOP leadership in the House and Senate and you will find a bunch of politicians who supported Bush’s big-government policies. They have been fighting against Obama’s statist schemes for the past two years, to be sure, but are they saying and doing the right thing now because they genuinely believe in freedom, or are they fighting Obama merely for partisan purposes? Needless to say, I’m not very confident about the answer to that question.

I’ve had conversations with people about whether it might be best for the nation to have Republicans go up to 215 seats in the House and 48 in the Senate. That would be enough (particularly in the Senate) to block any new Obama schemes such as cap-n-trade, but it would leave Democrats in the majority and give Republicans more time to purge the big-government virus that infected the party during the Bush years. But if I genuinely had confidence the GOP would de-fund the implementation of Obamacare, that might change the calculation.

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