Musings, Quotes, and Observations on a conservative argument

Musings, quotes and observations: how to debate your liberal friends.  A collection of quick and descriptive concepts.  Some quoted, some from unremembered authors, and some just floating around out there

We’re robbing selective Peter to pay for collective Paul

Individual rights are what we need to mobilize all the knowledge it takes to run a successful society- William Easterly

Democracy is the institutional building of freedom and the institutional building of the rule of law- Condi Rice

If the US stops attempting to influence the direction of liberty and dictatorial cultures and governments, then one of two things will happen: chaos, or someone else (China, Russia, an Islamic Caliphate) will take our place.  This has been relegated to us from Britain- Condi Rice

The costs of federal spending are diffused throughout the population so no one has an incentive to push back.  So therefore the greater federal spending becomes- Larry Arnn interviewed on the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge” podcast

Protecting the equal and inalienable rights of people is the government’s primary responsibility- Larry Arnn

The modern bureaucracy is NOT a disinterested/unbiased/neutral organization.  As in self-interested, self-perpetuating, and self-justifying

Originalist interpretation of the Constitution.  Two ways of looking at it:

–      What the founders intentions were

–      What the original public meaning was

 Your representative [congressman] owes you not his industry but his judgment- Edmond Burke

John Taylor from his book First Principles:

  • Predictable policy framework

  • Rule of Law

  • Strong incentives

  • Reliance on Markets

  • Clearly limited role for government


“Is there no word in English [coming from a German elite] for gelehrt [cultivated]?” “Oh yes [from a Brit], we call it a prig.”

“There is no power but the State and the State can’t sin when following it’s own higher interests.”- Descriptive statement of how Central Planners think

Mediocre souls trapped in material enjoyments will readily trade their political liberty for peace and security in those enjoyments

In reaction, they withdraw from the public, forgetting they are citizens, and concentrate their lives on family, friends, and themselves. Losing sight of the public, they become oblivious to any distant goal and welcome the benevolent aid of big government, “the immense being”, that acts on their behalf with their passive consent because it knows better and offers to take over responsibility for the trouble of thinking and the pain of living”- D’Tocqueville

 Religion combats the shortsightedness and fecklessness of democracy, and gives it something to be proud of, above the mediocrity of material enjoyments. D’Tocqueville

 The scientific materialism that deprives citizens of their belief in the possibility of self-government is used to justify instead, the rational control of citizens by experts with knowledge of such science”. D’Tocqueville

Legal positivism definition: Judicial opinions based on the utilitarian authority of the govt. vs. constitutional originalism

These proceedings may at first appear strange and difficult; but, like all other steps which we have already passed over, will in a little time become familiar and agreeable; and, until an independence is declared, the continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity-  Thomas Paine, last sentence of “Common Sense”

Our country’s stumbles are the result of human frailty, not a crack in our foundation of inalienable rights and our bedrock of constitutional republican government

State planners always plan for the result they would most like to see, not the one that is most likely to happen.– Friedrich Hayek

We are objects of liberals enlightened interest; then their pity; then their wisdom, then their coercion

Something destructive at its core can’t be fixed at its margins

Property, prices and prof/loss = incentives, information, and innovation. – Ludwig Von Misis.

Liberalism = something between defective temperament and malign intent

WA State income tax failed: People understand wealth destruction = job destruction. Also, they don’t believe they won’t be subject to the tax in the near future

Welfare programs are the oxygen that fuels social pathologies.

Needs morph into rights

Egalitarianism sounds warm and fuzzy but it ain’t necessarily so

NAZI = National Socialist Worker’s Party.  The left throws out this word all the time, but there is not a modicum of difference between the NAZI party and the Soviet Union re: genocide, central planning and authoritarianism

Freedom means the freedom to be unhappy as well

A civilization that feels guilty for defending everything it sees and does lacks the conviction to defend itself.  Blame America first

The Yellow Pages test.  Anything in the Yellow Pages has no business being administered by government

The control of production means the creation of privilege

Liberals’ four states of conservative theory acceptance (when a liberal is forced to admit a conservative theory is proven correct)

1. This is worthless nonsense

2. This is interesting but perverse

3. This is true but quite unimportant

4. I always said so

(As in Bill Clinton‘s statement that “The era of big government is over”.)

Promote vs. provide the general welfare. Not as in provide for the common defense

The Supreme Court thinks that California’s attempt to limit welfare payments to new residents is a violation of the 14th Amendment Privileges and Immunities clause, as in limiting welfare payments limits someone’s right to travel.  How bizarre

A study of math skills showed Koreans first and Americans last. But when asked if you consider yourself “good at math”, only 23% of Koreans said they did, but 66% of Americans said they did. Thank you Democrats for instilling self-esteem in our students

Nothing is more guaranteed to attract govt. money than repeated failure

In the “decade of greed/1980s”, charitable giving grew at an annual rate 55% faster than the rate at which it had grown over the previous twenty-five years

Today, wanting someone else’s money is called need, wanting to keep your own money is called greed, and compassion is when politicians arrange the transfer-  Joe Sobran

The MSM newsrooms are filled with those insulated from what is considered common knowledge by those reading the WSJ and other conservative media sources. Therefore the ethos self perpetuates

Where there is a crowd there is untruth- Kierkegaard

Dystopian. No dictionary definition. Means the opposite of utopian.  See Mark Levin’s new book

One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors- Plato

A lie will go around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on

The constitution stands for fixed principles, a gift from the founding fathers. Legislators, as stated by Lincoln, must look backwards, not forwards for guidance. Lincoln was wary of what he called “progress in govt.” I would call this an anti-progressive explanation of conservative (and by inference) constitutional principles.  The Democrat party/liberal alliance views constitutional principals as quaint and out of touch with progressive legislators’ superior abilities to socially engineer society for an entitlement addicted class dependent on the largess of  “forward looking” progressives

Secular Humanism is blind to the concept that there just might be something greater than us out there

Conservatives must wander somewhere between the ideal and the prudential- William F. Buckley

Free markets, property rights and enforceable contracts will always be at the tip of the spear of prosperity

The “Prohibitive precautionary principle”: An excuse to regulate based on the “just in case concept”, without regard to unintended consequences. A philosophy institutionalizing problems that might otherwise be transcended by time if just left alone

“The gifts of heaven are legitimate. The gifts of the state are suspect”- Andrew Jackson

Classical liberalism (as opposed to the current meaning of liberalism) stands as a corrective to utopian arrogance

Conservative ideology bears antipathy towards state sanctioned privilege


Milton Friedman MCs the 26th Legislative District Kilmer-Driscoll debates. Driscoll extolls the benefits of an economy unfettered by debt and restrictive drilling policies. Sen. Kilmer announces his ability to micromanage our economy via his ability to manipulate and micromanage every possible sub-sector, while completely divorced from any visibility on infinitely complex daily price signals occurring at the rate of about 10B per sec. All while standing on one leg and juggling.

Last Friday night at the Gig Harbor, WA Peninsula High School, 6th Congressional District candidates Bill Driscoll-R and Derek Kilmer-D debated, fielding questions from former County Councilman Terry Lee, Gateway and Puyallup Herald editor Brian McClean, and former GH City Council member Bob Dick.  

State Sen. Kilmer argued that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would raise 1 trillion dollars, equivocated on Keystone Pipeline construction, attributed the 1990s economy to Clinton’s fiscal policies, and employed the oft-used non sequitur “government investment”.

Regarding tax cuts, the 1 trillion-dollar increase in revenues is based on a “zero sum assumption”.  Meaning taking 1 trillion dollars away from “the rich” – a populist pejorative – will result in no offsetting decrease in spending and hiring by many of those small business owners passing through business profits to their 1040s.  Democrats’ proposals to raise taxes on these households, not accounting for the negative effects on revenue and employment, would cover about 1.1% of the national debt.  Only a middle class tax hike will produce their desired results.  The middle class is seeing annual $4,520 decreases in income and $2,500 increases in health care premiums.  In the debate Sen. Kilmer praised forcing insurance companies to insure 26-year-old dependents.  This is a prescription for higher premiums.  (He also bemoaned the loss of forestry jobs when he lived in Pt. Angeles, ignoring his party’s deference to the environmental lobby that precipitated this tragic blow to Olympic Peninsula employment.)

Regarding Sen. Kilmer’s equivocation on the Keystone Pipeline, even the current State Department (approval is needed due to the Canadian border crossing) could not show potential hazardous consequences.  The pipeline might go to the B.C. coast instead of Louisiana, the oil ending up in China instead as candidate Driscoll said, should Sen. Kilmer and his party prevail on Nov 6th.  Sen. Kilmer also demurs to the anti-domestic-energy lobby about developing our recently discovered, poorly utilized vast resources of oil and natural gas, e.g. the Marcellus and Permian Basin formations.  Estimates show 100+ years of gas resources, including a shift to a net energy export.  Any extraction increases have been on private and non-federally controlled land.  Current drilling on Federal land operates under Bush-era permits.  I assume Sen. Kilmer would support the administration’s policies denying and reducing permits?

Regarding Sen. Kilmer’s admiration for the Clinton era, the deficit improved only after the Republicans retook congress in 1994 and forced conservative fiscal policies like capital gains cuts and welfare reform, which Pres. Clinton signed only due to the pending election.  A briefly balanced budget resulted from this action, as well as from Clinton’s defense and intelligence cuts, and also from capital gains influxes due to the brief Internet day-trading craze, which then crashed.

Pres. Bush’s deficits, which I wasn’t pleased with but which were mostly wartime vs. entitlement caused (and the market based therefore under budget Medicare Part D prescription drug program), decreased to 162B after his tax cuts.  Following the Democrats’ 2006 congressional takeover, it increased to 450B.  Since 2008, we’re at annual deficits of about 1.3 trillion a year.  Even the current Senate majority refuses to pass the White House’s budget proposals.

Regarding Sen. Kilmer’s favored term “government investment”, transfer payments aren’t, as economist Milton Friedman said a free lunch.  Top-down central planning invariably results in misallocation of resources and quid pro quo distribution to unions, and to business via crony capitalism.  Not to mention budgetary sinkholes like light rail and alternative energy, which lack science-based and cost-effectiveness-based justification.

The marketplace, via billions of daily price signals, is the only practical method of resource allocation.  It’s impossible for government bureaucracies (or the most powerful supercomputer) to react to these infinite price signals.  Nor do these officialdoms have a profit-motivated incentive to do so, given never-ending taxpayer subsidies supporting this vicious cycle of damaging economic manipulation.

For our local politicians like Sen. Kilmer who think regulations such as the 9,000 page Dodd-Frank Act are required interventions, please investigate the root causes of this recession.  The Community Reinvestment Act, created under Carter and accelerated under Clinton, sought to guarantee home ownership regardless of creditworthiness.  This, combined with Fed’s then (as now) low-interest rate policy, and the creation of a secondary market for collateralized mortgages by government-created (and taxpayer-bailed out) entities like Fannie Mae, created the perfect storm that caused this recession.

Misguided government attempts to efficiently allocate resources fuel the self-fulfilling natural expansion of these bureaucracies.  This is why famous economist Friedrich Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom.  Hayek’s last book The Fatal Conceit, also illustrates Sen. Kilmer and his party’s conviction in government’s ability to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

“Government investment” is an oxymoron. 

Published in: on November 4, 2012 at 23:47  Leave a Comment  
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