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Feb-18-2010 14:49printcomments

Libertarians Criticize CPAC Conservatives

Some claim these big-government supporters aren't "true conservatives."

Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict
Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - As the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) holds its annual conference, Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict offered the following statement:

I'm sure we'll hear an awful lot about "limited government" from the mouths of CPAC politicians over the next few days. If I had a nickel every time a conservative said "limited government" and didn't mean it, I'd be a very rich man.

Unlike libertarians, most conservatives simply don't want small government. They want their own version of big government. Of course, they have done a pretty good job of fooling American voters for decades by repeating the phrases "limited government" and "small government" like a hypnotic chant.

It's interesting that conservatives only notice "big government" when it's something their political enemies want. When conservatives want it, apparently it doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants a trillion-dollar foreign war, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants a 700-billion-dollar bank bailout, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants to spend billions fighting a needless and destructive War on Drugs, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants to spend billions building border fences, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants to "protect" the huge, unjust, and terribly inefficient Social Security and Medicare programs, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants billions in farm subsidies, that doesn't count.

It's truly amazing how many things "don't count." Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh can't ever be satisfied with enough military spending and foreign wars.

Conservatives like Mitt Romney want to force everyone to buy health insurance.

Conservatives like George W. Bush -- well, his list of supporting big-government programs is almost endless.

Ronald Reagan, often praised as an icon of conservatism, signed massive spending bills that made his the biggest-spending administration (as a percentage of GDP) since World War II.

Some people claim that these big-government supporters aren't "true conservatives." Well, if a person opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opposes the War on Drugs, opposes border fences, and opposes mandatory Social Security and Medicare, it's hard to believe that anyone would describe that person as a conservative at all. Most people would say that person is a libertarian (or maybe even a liberal).

Obviously, most liberals don't want limited government either. It's just that their support for big government leans toward massive handout and redistribution programs.

The fact is, liberals and conservatives both want gigantic government. Their visions sometimes look different from each other, but both are huge. The only Americans who truly want small government are libertarians.

An article posted at CNS News, linked prominently from the Drudge Report, noted that the Obama administration is on track to beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration in terms of average federal spending as a percentage of GDP. However, the article failed to note that the Reagan Administration already beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration easily. Roosevelt's average was 19.4 percent of GDP, while Reagan's average was 22.3 percent of GDP. (Source: White House OMB data)

Source: The Libertarian Party, America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971.

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malcolm kyle February 19, 2010 11:55 am (Pacific time)

The incredibly high prices of these drugs, which is caused by prohibition, force many drug addicts to turn to robbery in order to pay for their drugs. Legalized regulation would drop drug prices to an affordable level. Drug addicts would no longer then need to rob/assault innocent people in order to support their drug habit. This violence against innocent people would end if drugs were legally regulated. At present, the prisons and jails are full with nonviolent people. --Nearly 50% of all people in prison and jail are not addicts, but users serving time for nonviolent drug charges. To house just one prisoner for one year costs the taxpayer more than 40 thousand dollars! The result; Drug use has increased to a level where drugs are now easily obtained even in prison cells; there is not a single prison in the whole nation that does not have a serious drug problem! Terrorists, organized criminals, and corrupt secret government agencies (see above) thrive off the enormous profits generated by drug prohibition. These organizations are responsible for thousands of murders. Many of the people killed or hurt are innocent people who "get in the way" These violent organizations will never be put out of business unless drugs are legally regulated. Underground illegal cocaine and methamphetamine labs use toxic chemicals to produce those drugs. The wastes are recklessly dumped in forests and streams. These highly toxic chemicals are causing major environmental damage in South American rain-forests and now also in the US national forests. This environmental destruction will stop only if drugs are legally regulated. Thousands of inner-city youths drop out of school to make enormous profits by selling drugs. This "quick and easy" cash incentive to drop out of school would end if drugs were legally regulated. In spite of what you may have been led to believe, keeping drugs illegal does not keep drugs away from children. Drugs are easily obtainable in almost every school in the US. Legalized regulation would put schoolyard drug dealers out of business! There would be less drugs in US schools if drugs were legally regulated. Prohibition is not regulation; prohibition is a dangerous "free-for-all" where all the profits go to the most dangerous elements threatening a free and democratic society. It really doesn't have to be this way!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.