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Sore Insiders

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Party politics is often underhanded.

Many of our country’s founders knew this all too well, and tried to avoid the factionalism of party politics. But still, two political factions emerged, and our politics has been dominated by two parties ever since.

And believe me, the two insider parties work mightily to rig the system in their favor. The presence of “sore-loser laws” is a case in point.Gary Johnson

Now, political parties are private entities. They can choose whomever they want. Ideally, the ballots wouldn’t even list party affiliation. But “sore-loser laws” stretch in the other direction, preventing individuals from running in one party after losing a primary as a candidate for another party.

In this way, the parties use the law to secure their own positions. It has nothing to do with “democracy” or “voting rights,” everything to do with privilege.

In Michigan, whilom New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson ran in the primary as a Republican candidate for the presidency. Now, the Secretary of State is disallowing him from running as a Libertarian. You see, he’d filed some paperwork withdrawing his candidacy three minutes too late last November.

An amusing work-around may be in the offing, with a Texas businessman named Gary Johnson being groomed for the Michigan nomination. Take that, partisan insiders!

But regarding the Secretary of State’s ruling, the Libertarians smell a partisan rat, and are suing. It turns out they may have precedence on their side, since John Anderson had technically run afoul of the same law back in 1980, but nothing had been done to exclude him.

This time, Johnson’s more feared than Anderson was then. And, this time, the Secretary of State is a Republican.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

So Goes the Ancient Chinese Curse

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Election news from the weekend tells us that Ron Paul won the majority of delegates at Maine’s GOP state convention, with a sizable hunk of Republicans saying, yet again, “no” to Mitt Romney.

In France, Nicolas Sarkozy got ousted, as French voters put in a self-declared socialist for the second time since World War II.

Meanwhile, in beleaguered Greece, elections gave no clear majority to any party.

Since the new French president, François Hollande, has pledged to fight back against German “austerity” measures, and since Greece, too, resists those “bailout” procedures, it looks like the collapse of the European Union may be at hand.Stop Overspending

On one level, Greek and French voters seem to prefer to live in that special fantasy land where you can grow government and debt indefinitely and expect good times to roll on forever. On another, they are reacting, at least in part, to the idea that austerity is being pushed by foreigners, that they have been forced not by reality to reform, but by . . . Germans!

Americans wouldn’t be happy about having a policy shoved down their throat by France. Or Germany. Or (more likely) Beijing.

It’s not easy accepting less than one is used to.

Which is why, here in America, neither Obama nor Romney talk seriously about measures to balance the budget. Obama lives in la-la land, and Romney thinks that Rep. Ryan’s plan — which allegedly would balance the budget scores of years from now — is a responsible fix for the irresponsible reality of the day.

Only Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are really taking reality seriously. Perhaps that’s why they are still in the race.

Thus it is, in interesting times.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Townhall: Bad to Worst

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Variation on a by now well-worn theme: “Bad to Worst” on Please visit, then come back here to comment, and look for more links:

Note: These links are thematically related to this weekend’s Townhall column, not (like usual) source material upon which the column was based. The source material can easily be found by scrolling back through last week’s Common Sense.

Oh, and not covered in the Townhall column was Gary Johnson’s winning the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. Reason? The column was written in advance of Johnson’s Saturday win.

Veto Washington

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

When former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson sought the Republican nomination for president, he was unequivocally told “NO” — not by voters, who had little chance to consider his candidacy, but by media outlets refusing to give him a place on their debate stages.

Mr. Johnson didn’t garner enough support in public opinion polls, debate organizers said. But his name didn’t even appear in many of those media-designed polls. Catch-2012.
Gary Johnson, 750 Vetoes as New Mexico Governor
But his campaign continues. He’s in Las Vegas this weekend, seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party. Most observers expect Johnson to become the minor party’s presidential nominee . . . and to wind up on as many as 49 state ballots this fall.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul — who is also still in the race, betting long odds on a brokered Republican convention — polls 17 percent in a hypothetical three-way race with Obama and Romney. Admittedly, Johnson doesn’t have Congressman Paul’s following, but given the commitment of Paul’s supporters to civil liberties, a non-interventionist foreign policy and ending the drug war, they are far more likely to opt for Johnson than Romney . . . or Obama.

Moreover, on the biggest issue facing the country, out-of-control federal spending, Johnson has the best resumé of any candidate. He pledges to submit a balanced budget and to veto any congressional spending that we can’t afford without more borrowing.

Believe him. Johnson issued 750 vetoes in his eight years as New Mexico’s governor — more than the other 49 governors combined.

So, in all likelihood, it’s a choice between Romney or Obama . . . or a guy who would veto Washington.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Got Jobs?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

New jobs come from entrepreneurial insight into new ways of profitably producing goods; they are paid for with investments. After a bust, old ratios of prices and wages cease to work, requiring time for entrepreneurs to refigure. But capitalism’s basic scenario — savings, investment, productivity gains, trades — still applies.

Some folks prefer to short-circuit all this, simply robbing Peter to create a job for Paul.

They’re known as politicians.

President Obama proposes spending an additional $447 billion to create jobs, even though our economy is already gummed up with debilitating debt. The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell argues that taking money from the economy’s right pocket (taxes) and putting it in the left pocket (spending) doesn’t create economic growth or long-term employment, but, for those who happen “to be sitting in the left pocket . . . [i.e.], a state or local politician that’s getting money from the so-called stimulus,” they think “it’s a good thing.”

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Illinois) says that the “only way out” of our current mess is to offer every one of the 15 million unemployed Americans a $40,000-a-year job . . . with the federal government.

Most Republican presidential candidates pitch their (quite mythical) job-creating skills, too.

The Republican presidential candidate banned by the national news media — no, not Ron Paul, the other one, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson — put it best. “The fact is,” he said at the only debate he was allowed to appear in, “I can unequivocally say that I did not create a single job while I was governor.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.