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Gov. Mark Sanford: Obama's Path to a Lost Decade ^ | 04/30/2009 | Gov. Mark Sanford

Posted on 04/30/2009 11:46:44 AM PDT by Tolik

For better or worse, many Americans invested a great deal of hope in President Obama’s election, and while we clearly can’t pass judgment on the entirety of Barack Obama’s presidency after just a hundred days, now seems like a reasonable time to take a step back and evaluate his administration to date.

Based on the campaign that President Obama ran, and the expectations that he therefore set for his presidency, it seems to me that there are two arenas in which it is fair to judge him -- on policy and on political terms On the policy front, those judgments are fairly straightforward: do we believe the decisions he’s made will in the end have a positive or negative effect on our nation?  On the political front we have a different metric, one set by the President himself: has he truly ushered in an era of the “new politics” we were promised or are we -- using words we heard a fair amount last year -- looking at more of the same?       

To those who have followed the spirited back-and-forth on the merits of President Obama’s stimulus plan the following should not come as much of a surprise, but I believe the policy prescriptions the President has chosen as the means to combat the economic crisis will prove disastrous for this country in the long-run.  

First, history shows us quite clearly that a government cannot spend its way out of an economic downturn. It didn't work in Japan in the 1990s, when the ten stimulus packages implemented over an eight year period failed to prevent the “lost decade.”  Nor did it work during our own Great Depression, when FDR’s own Treasury Secretary lamented the fact that massive spending had brought them little in the way of increased employment and much in the way of debt.  

Yet spending our way out of this situation is precisely what the President is attempting to do, and the nearly $800 billion stimulus package is merely the tip of the iceberg.  Bloomberg recently reported that our government has now “spent, lent, or committed” $12.8 trillion in its attempt to blunt the recession. Fairness demands that we point out this money was not all spent on President Obama’s watch -- his predecessor surely deserves a portion of the responsibility, but just as surely this President has exacerbated the problem at least tenfold.  

Second, the recent string of invasive actions by the federal government has completely altered the long-defined and successful relationship between the private sector and the government in this country.  In his well-regarded essay, “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism,” AEI scholar Michael Novak points out that “No state had so legitimated and separated the economic sphere [from government] as did the fledgling United States,” and that that was indeed central to the genius of America.    

I’d suggest that anyone observing what’s taken place recently would be hard pressed to argue that this administration has worked to maintain that separation.  To use just one example, a few weeks back President Obama effectively fired the Chairman and CEO of General Motors, the same company that was once revered as an icon of American economic prowess.  

An economic environment in which winners and losers are determined not by the market but by political fiat undermines the real stimulus of our economy -- private capital.  For entrepreneurs to take risks in the marketplace they need to have an understanding of what the rules are and that’s not possible when they see ad-hoc bailouts and the President taking unilateral action in the economy as he has.    

Third, the level of debt that the Obama administration is encouraging will have dire consequences.  I could quote an army of statistics on this front, but I’ll stick to one: according to the Congressional Budget Office the budget submitted by the President would double the national debt over the next decade.  Think about what that means -- a debt that took us over 200 years to accrue will be twice as large just ten years from now.  With debt levels of that nature you can paint a scary picture for things like the value of the dollar and the tax burden on future generations.           

So the bottom line is I’m not high on the policy component of President Obama’s first hundred days, and while I’d love to say I feel differently about the political front, unfortunately I can’t here either.

In his inaugural address, the President proclaimed “an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics,” something I joined with millions of Americans in hoping for as my years in public life have reinforced how needed that change is.  

Yet when I proposed using a portion of the stimulus dollars to pay down debt in South Carolina, under the notion that states are the laboratories of democracy and a one-size fits all approach dictated from Washington does not fit with the principles this nation was indeed founded upon, President Obama’s DNC launched attack ads against me.  Worse, these ads hit the airwaves before the White House even bothered to respond to our waiver request.  I’d suggest that actions like these shatter the idea of “change” the President so eloquently articulated in his inaugural.  

While there’s clearly been a lot to disappoint in President Obama’s first hundred days, for conservatives there may indeed be a silver lining.  It’s the notion that Newton’s Third Law -- for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction -- may not apply just to physics but to politics as well.  We’ve seen some of that reaction with the Tea Party protests that rose up organically across this nation, and as the President continues to overreach conservatives have a real opportunity to present an agenda centered on fiscal sanity that will become increasingly attractive to more and more Americans

Mr. Sanford is serving his second term as governor of South Carolina

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: economics; economy; marksanford; obama; realconservatives; sanford2012; socialism; statism; theleft

1 posted on 04/30/2009 11:46:44 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; SJackson; dennisw; NonValueAdded; Alouette; .cnI redruM; Valin; ...

Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.)

I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention.

You are welcome to browse the list of truly exceptional articles I pinged to lately. Updated on April 1, 2009.  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 04/30/2009 11:47:35 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik everyone who wants Obama to fail still an ‘idiot’?

3 posted on 04/30/2009 11:48:46 AM PDT by exist
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To: All
More from Mark Sanford: Today's Forgotten Man (the taxpayer)
4 posted on 04/30/2009 11:50:03 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

I admire Gov. Sanford for his courage, absolutely. I just sure wish that our leaders didn’t think our success was always assumed or necessitated simply by their overreaching. How about someone, anyone, articulately expressing conservatism?

5 posted on 04/30/2009 11:52:24 AM PDT by rightthinkingwoman
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To: upchuck

You might like it PING

6 posted on 04/30/2009 11:53:52 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
"On the political front we have a different metric"

7 posted on 04/30/2009 11:58:34 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: All


Statism (or Etatism) is a term that may refer to any (or all) of the following:
  1. Government having a major role in the direction of the economy, both through state-owned enterprises and indirectly through the central planning of overall economy.[1]
  2. The "concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government."[2]
  3. The Fascist concept of statism which holds that "basic concept that sovereignty is vested not in the people but in the national state, and that all individuals and associations exist only to enhance the power, the prestige, and the well-being of the state. The fascist concept of statism repudiates individualism and exalts the nation as an organic body headed by the Supreme Leader and nurtured by unity, force, and discipline."[3]
  4. Ideological passive or active support for any government and/or its practices, as a measure of degree. (Statism is the opposite of "support for anarchy" or "the abolition of government, or its practices or programs" when "anarchy" is properly defined as "the absence of government". Example: "I suppose that I am a statist, since I support the intermediary existence of a military, court system, and police force, but I'm not much of one, since I support abolishing all other government programs.") [4]

8 posted on 04/30/2009 11:59:57 AM PDT by Tolik
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The political expression of altruism is collectivism or statism, which holds that man’s life and work belong to the state—to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation—and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.

 “Introducing Objectivism,”
The Objectivist Newsletter, Aug. 1962, 35.

A statist system—whether of a communist, fascist, Nazi, socialist or “welfare” type—is based on the . . . government’s unlimited power, which means: on the rule of brute force. The differences among statist systems are only a matter of time and degree; the principle is the same. Under statism, the government is not a policeman, but a legalized criminal that holds the power to use physical force in any manner and for any purpose it pleases against legally disarmed, defenseless victims.

Nothing can ever justify so monstrously evil a theory. Nothing can justify the horror, the brutality, the plunder, the destruction, the starvation, the slave-labor camps, the torture chambers, the wholesale slaughter of statist dictatorships.

 “War and Peace,”
The Objectivist Newsletter, Oct. 1962, 44.

Government control of a country’s economy—any kind or degree of such control, by any group, for any purpose whatsoever—rests on the basic principle of statism, the principle that man’s life belongs to the state.

 “Conservatism: An Obituary,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 192.

A statist is a man who believes that some men have the right to force, coerce, enslave, rob, and murder others. To be put into practice, this belief has to be implemented by the political doctrine that the government—the state—has the right to initiate the use of physical force against its citizens. How often force is to be used, against whom, to what extent, for what purpose and for whose benefit, are irrelevant questions. The basic principle and the ultimate results of all statist doctrines are the same: dictatorship and destruction. The rest is only a matter of time.

 “America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 47.

If the term “statism” designates concentration of power in the state at the expense of individual liberty, then Nazism in politics was a form of statism. In principle, it did not represent a new approach to government; it was a continuation of the political absolutism—the absolute monarchies, the oligarchies, the theocracies, the random tyrannies—which has characterized most of human history.

In degree, however, the total state does differ from its predecessors: it represents statism pressed to its limits, in theory and in practice, devouring the last remnants of the individual.

Leonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels, 16.

The ideological root of statism (or collectivism) is the tribal premise of primordial savages who, unable to conceive of individual rights, believed that the tribe is a supreme, omnipotent ruler, that it owns the lives of its members and may sacrifice them whenever it pleases to whatever it deems to be its own “good.” Unable to conceive of any social principles, save the rule of brute force, they believed that the tribe’s wishes are limited only by its physical power and that other tribes are its natural prey, to be conquered, looted, enslaved, or annihilated. The history of all primitive peoples is a succession of tribal wars and intertribal slaughter. That this savage ideology now rules nations armed with nuclear weapons, should give pause to anyone concerned with mankind’s survival.

Statism is a system of institutionalized violence and perpetual civil war. It leaves men no choice but to fight to seize political power—to rob or be robbed, to kill or be killed. When brute force is the only criterion of social conduct, and unresisting surrender to destruction is the only alternative, even the lowest of men, even an animal—even a cornered rat—will fight. There can be no peace within an enslaved nation.

 “The Roots of War,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 36.

The degree of statism in a country’s political system, is the degree to which it breaks up the country into rival gangs and sets men against one another. When individual rights are abrogated, there is no way to determine who is entitled to what; there is no way to determine the justice of anyone’s claims, desires, or interests. The criterion, therefore, reverts to the tribal concept of: one’s wishes are limited only by the power of one’s gang.

 “The Roots of War,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 36.

Statism—in fact and in principle—is nothing more than gang rule. A dictatorship is a gang devoted to looting the effort of the productive citizens of its own country. When a statist ruler exhausts his own country’s economy, he attacks his neighbors. It is his only means of postponing internal collapse and prolonging his rule. A country that violates the rights of its own citizens, will not respect the rights of its neighbors. Those who do not recognize individual rights, will not recognize the rights of nations: a nation is only a number of individuals.

Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.

Observe that the major wars of history were started by the more controlled economies of the time against the freer ones. For instance, World War I was started by monarchist Germany and Czarist Russia, who dragged in their freer allies. World War II was started by the alliance of Nazi Germany with Soviet Russia and their joint attack on Poland.

Observe that in World War II, both Germany and Russia seized and dismantled entire factories in conquered countries, to ship them home—while the freest of the mixed economies, the semi-capitalistic United States, sent billions worth of lend-lease equipment, including entire factories, to its allies.

Germany and Russia needed war; the United States did not and gained nothing. (In fact, the United States lost, economically, even though it won the war: it was left with an enormous national debt, augmented by the grotesquely futile policy of supporting former allies and enemies to this day.) Yet it is capitalism that today’s peace-lovers oppose and statism that they advocate—in the name of peace.

 “The Roots of War,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 37.

The human characteristic required by statism is docility, which is the product of hopelessness and intellectual stagnation. Thinking men cannot be ruled; ambitious men do not stagnate.

 “Tax-Credits for Education,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 12, 1.

The first choice—and the only one that matters—is: freedom or dictatorship, capitalism or statism.

That is the choice which today’s political leaders are determined to evade. The “liberals” are trying to put statism over by stealth—statism of a semi-socialist, semi-fascist kind—without letting the country realize what road they are taking to what ultimate goal. And while such a policy is reprehensible, there is something more reprehensible still: the policy of the “conservatives,” who are trying to defend freedom by stealth.

 “Conservatism: An Obituary,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 193.

The statists’ epistemological method consists of endless debates about single, concrete, out-of-context, range-of-the-moment issues, never allowing them to be integrated into a sum, never referring to basic principles or ultimate consequences—and thus inducing a state of intellectual disintegration in their followers. The purpose of that verbal fog is to conceal the evasion of two fundamentals: (a) that production and prosperity are the product of men’s intelligence, and (b) that government power is the power of coercion by physical force.

Once these two facts are acknowledged, the conclusion to be drawn is inevitable: that intelligence does not work under coercion, that man’s mind will not function at the point of a gun.

 “Let Us Alone!” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 141.


9 posted on 04/30/2009 12:09:40 PM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Thanks for the post. Sanford is one of the few politicians who understands and can criticize articulately the economic mess that they’re creating.

10 posted on 04/30/2009 12:17:45 PM PDT by Swing_Thought (Ideal number of Keynesian economists required to "fix" the economy: -100%)
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To: Swing_Thought

Mark Sanford - Not Ready For Prime Time

July 14, 2008


FITSNews - July 14, 2008 - It turns out S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford isn’t being vetted for the Vice Presidency after all … which is only surprising to those of you who weren’t reading our little website back in February.

Anyway, after the governor’s shaky appearance on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer yesterday, he’s probably not being vetted for any job that requires talking to people or remembering things correctly, either.

Here’s an excerpt from the train wreck:

BLITZER: Are there any significant economic differences between what the Bush administration has put forward over these many years as opposed to now what John McCain supports?

SANFORD: Um, yeah. I mean for instance, take, you know, ummm, uhhhh, take for instance the, the issue of uhhh, of um — I’m drawing a blank, um, I hate it when I do that, particularly on television. But take, take for instance the contrast on NAFTA.

I mean, I think that the bigger issue is credibility in where one is coming from … on … are they consistent where they come from.

Yikes-a-roni. In addition to being incorrect (both George W. Bush and John McCain have consistently supported free trade in general, and NAFTA in particular), Sanford actually managed to sound marginally less intelligent than Miss Teen SC Caitlin Upton.

Remember her? She’s the Lexington County native who infamously bombed a beauty pageant question by bumbling incoherently about how South Africa, “the Iraq” and a bunch of Asians stole America’s maps.

Seriously, people. In case you couldn’t already tell from our education system, we put a whole lot of “stupid” in the water supply down here …

11 posted on 04/30/2009 1:30:50 PM PDT by SoCalPol (Reagan Republican for Palin 2012)
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To: SoCalPol

I’m a Palin man but that was harsh re: Sanford.

12 posted on 04/30/2009 2:04:22 PM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: nnn0jeh


13 posted on 04/30/2009 2:15:08 PM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: SoCalPol

“In case you couldn’t already tell from our education system, we put a whole lot of “stupid” in the water supply down here …”

And californians are political genuises for electing Der Austrian Corporal Schwazinogger as governor. The last time I visited CA I thought the plane had flown through a time portal and landed in the Soviet Union. Oops, it was Marin County. No difference, I guess. Never saw such a gang of diapered goosesteppers and hippy toad lickers. They could whistle “Imagine” through the holes in the top of their heads. Impressive.

14 posted on 04/30/2009 5:53:40 PM PDT by sergeantdave (obuma is the anti-Lincoln, trying to re-establish slavery)
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To: Tolik; upchuck

I am so proud that he’s my Governor.

15 posted on 04/30/2009 6:04:08 PM PDT by Grandma Pam
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To: sergeantdave

San Diego, population over 3 million is the largest city in the U.S. with a Republican Mayor.
Also 3 of our 5 congressmen are Conservative Republicans
including Marine Capt. Duncan Hunter who served several tours in Iraq and Afgh.

Because most of the population in Calif. come from other states, they bring their own politics with them.

LA and northern Calif is a lost cause.

16 posted on 04/30/2009 6:25:06 PM PDT by SoCalPol (Reagan Republican for Palin 2012)
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To: Tolik; Clemenza; rmlew; nutmeg; firebrand; Yehuda; neverdem

This is about a power grab, not about economics. Obama has no interest in fixing the economy. His only interest is in amassing power, whether we all starve or not is irrelevant. Did Stalin care about the 20 million Kulaks he starved to death in Russia? Of course not, all he was interested was the power. Obama is only interested in power. Our democracy is DEAD, has been for some time, Bush took out the coffin and Obama is putting us in it.

17 posted on 04/30/2009 7:44:35 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Tolik; 1010RD; Babsig; Clemenza; djsherin; Famishus; FreedomPoster; Livin_large; jmc813; nakutny; ..
    Gov. Mark Sanford Ping!

Want on or off this ping list? Just FReepmail me.

18 posted on 04/30/2009 9:39:01 PM PDT by upchuck (I'm glad I'm old. Thus I can remember when America was a decent, moral, God fearing country.)
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