I’ve heard a couple of people I know on the right describe their beliefs as “Libertarian”, but the policies they support seem to me to be a lot closer to Neo-Conservatism. There is a big gulf between Ron Paul and John McCain, so I decided to make a chart, so people know the difference:
· Libertarians are uber-doves. Neo-Cons are uber-hawks.
· Libertarians fear our government. Neo-Cons fear foreign governments.
· Libertarians are for isolationism. Neo-Cons are for expanding the empire.
· Libertarians believe we should not have entered the Second World War. Neo-Cons blame the Left for losing the Vietnam War.
· Libertarians are for getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Neo-Cons are for going into Iran and Georgia.
· Libertarians are obsessed with civil liberties. Neo-Cons are obsessed with demonizing Communism, despite the fact that their intellectual father, Irving Kristol, was a former Trotskyist.
· Libertarians inherited their tolerance for sexual taboos from Robert Heinlein and the hippie movement. Neo-Cons are 60s reactionaries who believe homosexuality and pornography brought down the Roman Empire.
· Libertarians are for ending the war on drugs. Neo-Cons believe the border patrol should shoot Mexican drug smugglers on sight while protecting inflated drug prices so that it can be used to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua or support Afghani poppy-growers.
· Libertarians are against sending foreign aid to Israel, along with every other country. Neo-Cons are for destroying any probable future threat to Israel.
· Libertarians are for completely opening the borders. Neo-Cons are for building a giant wall along the border and financing a mass relocation of illegal aliens.
· Libertarians believe it should be legal to burn the flag. Neo-Cons believe it’s un-American to not wear a flag pin made in China.
· Libertarians follow the Austrian school of economics based on Carl Menger’s Prinicples of Economics. Neo-Cons follow Supply Side economics based on a line graph Arthur Laffer scribbled on a napkin for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
· Libertarians believe in balancing the budget and want to go back to the gold standard, which would entail a massive gold buying program that would cause the value of the dollar to fall and the price of gold to rise, amounting to a massive transfer of wealth from the United States to those who own gold. Neo-Cons believe tax cuts increase government capital and spend more than Libertarians or Liberals on military budgets.
· Libertarians are hard-line economic Darwinists who would allow the banks to fail despite the financial consequences. Neo-Cons are corporate socialists who want to bail out all of Wall Street but allow the lax regulation that helped cause it to continue unabated.
Here’s a quick list of priorities for the four political positions:
Liberal: Save lives (capital punishment, etc.), help the poor, save money, defeat evil
Conservative: Save lives (pro-life, etc.), save money, defeat evil, help the poor
Libertarian: Save money, save lives, help the poor, defeat evil
Neo-Conservative: Defeat evil, save lives, help the poor, save money
“[Conservatism] is so influenced by business culture and by business modes of thinking that it lacks any political imagination, which has always been, I have to say, a property of the Left…. What’s the point of being the greatest, most powerful nation in the world and not having an imperial role? It’s unheard of in human history. The most powerful nation always had an imperial role…. [Previous empires were not] capitalist democracies with a strong emphasis on economic growth and economic prosperity…. It’s too bad, I think it would be natural for the United States… to play a far more dominant role in world affairs. Not what we’re doing now but to command and to give orders as to what is to be done. People need that. There are many parts of the world—Africa in particular—where an authority willing to use troops can make a very good difference, a healthy difference…. [But with public discussion dominated by accountants] there’s the Republican Party tying itself into knots. Over what? Prescriptions for elderly people? Who gives a damn? I think it’s disgusting that… presidential politics of the most important country in the world should revolve around prescriptions for elderly people. Future historians will find this very hard to believe. It’s not Athens. It’s not Rome. It’s not anything.” -Irving Kristol, Father of Neo-Conservatism and William Kristol
“The hard part of the supply-side tax cut is dropping the top rate from 70 to 50 percent—the rest of it is a secondary matter. The original argument was that the top bracket was too high, and that’s having the most devastating effect on the economy. Then, the general argument was that, in order to make this palatable as a political matter, you had to bring down all the brackets. But, I mean, Kemp-Roth was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate.” -David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director
“None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers…” -David Stockman
“Do you realize the greed that came to the forefront? The hogs were really feeding. The greed level, the level of opportunism, just got out of control. [The Administration’s] basic strategy was to match or exceed the Democrats, and we did.” -David Stockman
“Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” -John Kenneth Galbraith, economist
“The extreme promises of supply-side economics did not materialize. President Reagan argued that because of the effect depicted in the Laffer curve, the government could maintain expenditures, cut tax rates, and balance the budget. This was not the case. Government revenues fell sharply from levels that would have been realized without the tax cuts.” – Karl Case & Ray Fair, Principles of Economics (2007), p. 695
“You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.” -Dick Cheney
“It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues.” -George W. Bush
“You are smart people. You know that the tax cuts have not fueled record revenues. You know what it takes to establish causality. You know that the first order effect of cutting taxes is to lower tax revenues. We all agree that the ultimate reduction in tax revenues can be less than this first order effect, because lower tax rates encourage greater economic activity and thus expand the tax base. No thoughtful person believes that this possible offset more than compensated for the first effect for these tax cuts. Not a single one.” -Andrew Samwick, Chief Economist on Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2003-2004
Recent Interview With McCain on 60 Minutes:
Pelley: “In 1999 you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?”
McCain: “No, I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.”