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Why Rand Paul Is Wrong On Public Housing

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Newly-minted Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has a way to instantly save $53 billion from the federal budget. His plan? Eliminate HUD, cut its budget to zero.

According to Senator Paul, among other things, we need to end public housing and rental subsidies.

“Rather than providing a one-time stop for families on their way out of poverty,” says Paul, “public housing has largely been a failure. Public housing projects have become havens of crime and dysfunction, driving away the very business investment and homeowners that would revitalize a city block. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which subsidizes construction or rehabilitation of low-income housing, is a
perfect example of market manipulation that does nothing to further the mission of public housing.”

Alternatives

So what’s the alternative to public housing suggested by Sen. Paul?

There is none. If you slash the budget to zero there is no replacement program or policy.

Instead, what you will instantly have are large numbers of people who suddenly have no housing. They will be homeless. That is, they will be homeless if they peacefully move from such housing as they now have and then onto the streets. With their children.

If you think public housing is a bad idea, then no public housing is a worse idea.

The Social Contract

Unlike jobs, we can’t ship the poor overseas.

The truth is that we pay a price for the social contract. Part of that price is that we help people live indoors. We also support food stamps, public education, public roads, mortgage interest write-offs, subsidies for farmers, corporate write-offs and low tax rates for the upper crust. Everybody gets a little something, some get a lot.

No one in public housing has servants or dines on caviar. Instead, individuals have marginal shelter which most people would not want if they could avoid it. You just don’t see too many people with decent homes or apartments lining up to get one of those spiffy public housing units.

If we want to improve public housing then make employment or job training mandatory for virtually all adults who get housing subsidies — and then make sure we provide job training that will lead to employment and that jobs exist within our borders for everyone who wants to work.

The Lobbyist

As to Sen. Paul, call him a libertarian or an objectivist, in the end he’s simply a lobbyist for the rich.

The country did very well in past years when the top marginal tax rate was 92% under President Eisenhower, 91% under Kennedy, 77% under Nixon and Johnson, 69% under Reagan and 39.6% under Clinton.

The reality is that America has no budget short-fall. Instead we have a collection problem. The biggest subsidy of all is that we do not tax fairly — that’s why the tax code is so complex and that’s why the top 1 percent engage tax attorneys at great cost.

Between low rates and vast loopholes, especially for corporations, not everyone pays their fair share. Go back to the tax rates of the recent past and there would be no deficit, no need to toss the poor out on the street and no reason to think that a dangerous breakdown of the social contract is somehow acceptable, moral or decent.

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There Are 119 Responses So Far. »

  1. You obviously have no understanding of the term libertarian.

  2. Matt –

    Instead of innuendo, why not explain how the Paul plan will keep large numbers of poor people off the street and how his plan will prevent social anarchy. Or, do you think class-based social anarchy is an ideal for which we should strive?

  3. Unless you haven’t heard… our deficit financing problem goes beyond public housing. Our expenditures on future obligations due to the American people is up to 50 trillion dollars. We cannot tax enough to make up the difference. These cuts will have to come from all gov’t programs and will have to be substantial. RAND Paul doesn’t want to kick people out of public housing. There would have to be a transition period, which will either be helpful; the way he wants to do it. Or we will face the issue of kicking people out on the streets without warning when the system plays itself out to be unsustainable. This would be much worse don’t you think ? We’ve got to face the problems we have head on and stop pretending we are “not that bad off.”

    The fact that your headline says RON PAUL instead of RAND PAUL shows me how much thought you actually put into this article.

  4. There is no transition period. Take a look at the actual document. It goes from $53 billion to zero.

    Moreover, a transition period does not resolve the problem. The question is what happens to the social fabric of the country when large numbers of families are thrown on the street.

  5. Hey Pete, nice summary;”in the end he’s simply a lobbyist for the rich.”

    Its the market that will give homes to these people instead of having the government give these crime infested tenement buildings. Sorry Rand doesnt want to take our money and use it to build these ghettos. I didn’t know public housing was in the constitution…?

  6. Will –

    Driver’s licenses are not in the Constitution, but so what.

    I’m sure Sen. Paul does not want to build public housing but that’s not the issue: The question is how best to deal with the reality that large numbers of people are poor, that the economy is being undermined and hollowed out and that the social contact is coming apart.

    Alternatively, you might prefer Brazil where the rich and their children are routinely kidnapped.

  7. The fact that government does not forcibly provide it does not mean it won’t be provided. Libertarians in Pinellas, Florida have led the state in removing laws preventing people from providing pass through home sharinmg and more for the Homeless and are working on lowering taxes for low cost housing.

    For other activities of world Libertarians see http://www.Libertarian-International.org

  8. you are clueless. we have a spending problem, not a collection problem.

  9. So Desh, you do believe that corporations should be able to hide profits overseas and that Wall Street hedge fund incomes should be treated as capital gains? See:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-27/obama-tax-code-overhaul-may-raise-burden-on-some-businesses.html

  10. 1. Your title says Ron Paul (likely to get more visits) but your subject is obviously about Rand.
    2. Have you actually looked at HUD’s budget? $15 billion is used for the Public Housing project, and only $50 million of that $15B is budgeted to help get people off of the government dole. That’s less than 1/3 of 1 percent of their budget.
    3. You can argue that private ownership and local involvement is not the way to solve these problems (though it’s been shown repeatedly that it works), but you can’t argue that HUD has been effective in it’s use of resources.
    4. Please point to the line in the Constitution where the federal government is responsible for providing housing to people at near $0/well below market prices? Where is there a Right to Free Housing, because I want that too.
    5. How in the world did this go into a taxing tirade? Oh, right, because people who earn more money than you don’t deserve to keep the money they make.

    But I’ll give you this – I’m all for simplified tax codes to prevent cheating of the system but I think you’ll find that Rand Paul is on your side their too.

  11. “Driver’s licenses are not in the Constitution, but so what.”

    Wow, really? That is your reply?

    Do you even know what the constitution is?

    Hear is a hint why your reply makes no sense.
    article 10

    Now go read the constitution (here is a link http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm) and figure it out.

  12. Woo –

    If your idea is that government money can be better spent then I’m with you.

    The rationale behind the $500 billion budget cut proposed by Sen. Paul arises because we have insufficient income (tax revenues) to pay for federal programs.

  13. Adam –

    You can find better links to the founding documents at:

    http://www.ourbroker.com/library/060410/

  14. Ral –

    Thanks for the good news from Florida. If that were the end of the story we would all be in agreement.

  15. I think most of the time people are upset because there is no solution that a) provides poor people who cannot afford it proper housing AND b) gets enough taxpayers behind a solution that includes taking their money from them to give to people who do not have it.

    There is not only two solutions (in other words: taxpayer funded housing for the poor and kicking people out on the street) There can be more choices in our free society. Its the faith in our free society that is diminished and the confidence in our selves that SHOULD help to solve these social problems. Over the years we Americans have been conditioned to think that we either “subsidize” it or we “bomb it.”

    But I do agree that people who do not have the income to support themselves is a huge problem and I feel for those in need. But If I feel strong enough about it I can create a solution that allows people to donate money, as they wish, to help these people out directly without continuing a “solution” like the one that we have now with very little thought about whether this solution is doing more harm than good. The phrase “unintended consequences” comes to mind. These “gov’t funded” homes are not exactly the kind of place parents can easily raise children to become productive citizens. It’s hard enough to keep kids on the straight and narrow, but then to try to do this in a neighborhood where the wealthiest people around are selling drugs and are gang members, is next to impossible. NOT impossible but simply not the best solution.

  16. I would be in favor of a plan where we sell the public housing units to residents for $1, and I think this idea has been floated in the past by some politicians. This way, no one is put out on the street, but we prevent end all future budget holes from this failed program. This would also give residents ownership and incentive to take care of their property. It would give them a chance to take care of themselves, and place responsibility for success or failure in their own hands.

  17. It would appear your facts are out in left field and Ran Paul not Ron Paul just hit a home run.

  18. Dr. Paul is in no way lobbying for the rich. Instead he is proposes real solutions to a budget deficit that is growing at $47,000 per second. This budget crisis will be the death of the dollar and the USA as we know it.

  19. Frank –

    I share your concern. We would not have today’s budget deficit in large measure if President Bush did no rack up a $4.35 trillion deficit during his two terms in office, if he did not get us involved in two needless wars and if taxes for the rich had not been slashed. See:

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

  20. Very misleading article. No real journalism done with the intention of finding anything of value out. Not only is onle one side represented but poorly at that. What would people do without big government? Oh how oh how would we ever survive, lol. Yeah people will be homeless and starving if we dont loot others to give to the needy. As if the problem to poverty could be solved by just printing money and giving everyone a million dollars. When will dems and libs realize that money doesnt equate to wealth. Producing more products in a sustainable growing economy makes things cheaper and easier to acces for everyone, that is why capitilism has given rise to such higher life expectancy and standards of living. Taxing the top and middle only squashes real growth that can trickle down to the poor. The only equality that can ever be possible in wealth is everyone equally poor and we are well on our way, Thanks Left. RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012

  21. Hasn’t the deficit tripled in the last two years? I’m not rich, actually far from it.

    Here’s a solution you might like. HUD should employ every out of work american bringing unemoloyment to zero. Then we can raise taxes to fund HUD’s new budget.

  22. Frank –

    The deficit has risen in large measure because we have two wars started under Bush, an economic system that was left in tatters (remember, TARP comes from the Bush era) and a lower tax base for the rich in an effort to choke the government.

    It’s fair to say there are deficits and it’s also fair to ask how they arose.

    Remember that Clinton had four straight years of surpluses and there was talk of paying off the deficit entirely by now. See:

    http://money.cnn.com/1999/06/28/economy/clinton/

  23. Remember that HUD’s budget has only increased since then and had hud been abolished under clinton then we would be that much better off.

  24. First and foremost are government is broke. What happens when hyper inflation takes hold and everybody is out on the streets. Second, being a landlord that has extensive experience with subsidized housing (section 8) I can tell you the system is flawed and full of abuse. I live in a mid sized town 45 minutes north of Detroit, the city is roughly 70 percent rentals, with the vast majority being public housing or some other form of subsidized housing. People are flocking from the city of Detroit to our town. Our city is now known as Little Detroit and for good reason; the crime rate has sky rocketed. My point is this: government has no business being in the housing business. It’s not good for the people getting the free housing, because it creates a life style of dependency and it’s not good for the honest, hardworking people in those areas because it brings down property values and causes a significant increase in crime.

  25. Peter,

    Your bleeding heart mentality is so annoying. The fact that I should live for others is not a fact at all. Not only that, Clinton easily balanced the budget.. using IOU’s. I tried using that on my credit card bills but they don’t take IOU’s. Probably because in reality they’re worthless. As for public housing, how about we get away from the minimum wage and stop funding public housing. Then watch the unemployment numbers begin to fall. Slowly but surely. Of course for you I’m sure that’s not good enoughn you’d want to raise unemployment and then get pissed at corporations not hiring people over here then complain about high prices of things. Listen, public housing is just the first step. Cut that off. Then cut off regulations that prevent from hiring in the U.S. Also, your liberals have skyrocketed the deficit. And Obama has expanded government unbelievably while still extending tax cuts.

  26. Frank –

    Abolishing HUD is a problem. Where do all the people in subsidized housing go? What is the cost in terms of social tranquility?

    Do you really want to get rid of the FHA? It’s funded with borrower insurance premiums. Unlike private lenders it did not offer the toxic loans which are the central cause of the mortgage meltdown.

  27. I agree with JTribble that the government is broke. And so are most of the states.

    We can solve this problem by, gasp, raising tax rates.

  28. Toxic loans were not the central cause of the mortgage meltdown. Obviously the fed’s artificially low interest rates fueled that. Thank you obama for reappointing Bernanke.

    Where do the people in subsidized housing go? Well, once upon a time I was foreclosed on, jobless, and homeless. That was the most motivating time in my life. I worked hard and prevailed.

  29. We disagree.

    Had the loans been good the mortgage-backed-securities would have been good. The ratings would have been right (or at least on target). The “credit enhancements” (insurance for mortgage investors) would not have been faced claims, insurance where reserves had not been stockpiled. In the end the banks and Wall Street would not have had the liabilities which required federal intervention.

    Of course, there would not have been toxic loans had the Federal Reserve used its power to stop “unfair and deceptive acts or practices” such as option ARMs, interest-only loans and no-doc loan applications. See:

    http://www.ourbroker.com/featured/who-should-we-blame-for-the-mortgage-meltdown/

    and

    http://www.sigtarp.gov/reports/congress/2011/January2011_Quarterly_Report_to_Congress.pdf

  30. Damn you Google News! Need to change my search criteria to ignore retarded class-warfare editorials from random real-estate brokers.

  31. Why not have a system where people work for things they get? Why not let the market and charitable organizations fill in the gaps instead of tax payer dollars? Entitlement and social engineering programs remove incentive for people to help themselves and destroy their resourcefulness by making them dependant on the guaranteed charity of tax payers. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

    Cargo Cults are a great example of how subsidy can destroy a culture.

  32. Brian writes and says “Damn you Google News! Need to change my search criteria to ignore retarded class-warfare editorials from random real-estate brokers.”

    ““There’s class warfare, all right,” says Warren Buffett, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

  33. This man needs to read his history and maybe spend a little time with his mum… after all, she may know something about the consequences of writing bad checks… like printing fake money. Best to give the properties up to the tenants and let them be responsible for taxes and security… bet it gets better fast.

  34. So you want to force people to give up money they’ve worked for, so others can live in a home and not work for it. Peter, I’m not a slave. If you want to go pay for the homeless, no one is stopping you. Stop spending your time whining on here. Go make some money and give it to the homeless. Leave me alone.

  35. Why should I or anybody else be responsible for paying for someone else’s housing and what is your problem with the so called “rich” why should they be punished for being successful? I am sick and tired of people like you telling people like me that I shouldn’t have the right to the money that I EARNED through hard work and creativity.

  36. J –

    Why should anyone pay for the road that runs in front of your house? Or the school to which your children went? Or the police who patrol your neighborhood but not someone else’s.

  37. RON PAUL / GARY JOHNSON 2012

    We have a spending crisis! Nowhere in our Constitution provides people with government subsidized housing. IF people of a state so choose, they can have subsidized housing programs at the state level, for which their residents pay. We should NOT have it at the federal level!

  38. That has to be the weakest argument I’ve ever heard. I pay for such goods and services because they contribute to my family’s along with my own standard of living and quality of life. Paying for someone else’s housing, medical and food does not, the complete opposite, it lowers our standard of living and quality of life by having to pay higher taxes and therefore having to work longer hours in order to maintain our standard of living while at the same time lowering our quality of life because it means less time at home with my family.

  39. JTribble –

    Since the street in front of your house could be 1,000 miles from here, with your approach it would make sense for everyone else to want their road-building money back. After all, it doesn’t do us any good.

  40. Comment by Peter G. Miller on 1 February 2011:

    “The rationale behind the $500 billion budget cut proposed by Sen. Paul arises because we have insufficient income (tax revenues) to pay for federal programs”

    No, the rational behind the cuts is that the lazy people, the uneducated people, the 19 year olds with three kids, etc., are conditioned and encouraged by liberals in government to live off the rest of us. There’s personal and organized charity for the truly needy, soap kitchens for food, The United Way and Salvation Army and many others for a bed to sleep in. There’s temporary help out there and that’s all most down and out people need to get on their feet if they honestly want to. I’d have NO problem if social programs only served the truly needed instead of the lazy, who make up most recipients of all entitlement programs.

    I have first hand experience in the matter. My sister got pregnant young and had two kids. she lived in numerous housing projects for about 15 years or therabouts. At one point she was “forced” to get some sort of public training and get off welfare. She became a nurses aid, got a decent job, eventually bought a new car, had a credit card and seemed a shining example someone “getting it together”. Unfortunately that lasted about four years or so and now at 47 years old she’s been back in the entitlement system for the past 12 years, paying $60 month in “rent” (all utilities included mind you) and getting $200 in food stamps (access card?). She resorted back to the easy out, letting other people pay for her well being. This is how most of these people live, this is how most of their offspring will live. HUD is the devil in disguise.

  41. Glad to see the responses are pro-libertarian and anti liberal. Peter, Libertarians don’t support the Bush War and the Clinton surplus was a part of a housing bubble that was started by his “war on poverty.” I have friends that play xbox all day and happily collect an unemployment check. Are you happy paying his wage for playing xbox? Also the people who really need help should look to charities not gov’t programs. If we didn’t have all of this gov’t dependence charities would be more significant. My neighbors have a section 8 house that is two-story built in 2000 and have these fancy cadillacs on chrome paid for by you Peter. Yes this is America. And what about road tolls? People who use the roads should pay. Otherwise we have perfectly good roads being repaved needlessly.

  42. residential streets are maintained either privately or through local municpalities. Revenue to maintain these roads is accumulated privately or in most cases by property taxes payable to the county. I’ve never seen federal employees maintaining my neighborhoods roads.

    obamas making home affordable program is a perfect example of failed federal interference in the housing market. I’m sure with a little more spending though the government can save the day.

    free market economics is the answer to housing stablization. Housing would be more affordable if people had to pay for it. Having the government pay for it is another nail in the coffin for the US.

  43. As someone who endured living under section 8 tenants for a miserable year I can safely say in that specific case they had more rights than I did. Section 8 tenants who act out, do drugs, repeatedly cause noise violations, etc. cannot be evicted by the landlord, they need to take the case to a panel which is backlogged for months to be evicted. It was also interesting they could afford a more expensive apartment than I who made 45k a year at that time. Stop making excuses for bums.

  44. Eddie –

    Respectfully — if your sister did not have public assistance where would she live and how would she eat?

    It may be that public assistance is the best option in a difficult situation. Alternatively, no public assistance might not change her circumstances and could be worse.

  45. The author does not have an understanding of how economic systems work. The housing subsidies do not create wealth, whereas providing low income housing in a private, profit making way does create new wealth.

    The problem we are faced with is analogous to a tightly wound spring. No one wants to just let it go, but we know we cannot sustain the pressure for much longer or the consequences will be worse.

    The author makes no mention of the Section 8 housing vouchers, I quote the bill:

    “Families or individuals can stay as long as they want. And
    since the Section 8 voucher is linked to income, Section 8 recipients have very little incentive to expand their income
    or seek personal advancement. And why would they? The Section 8 benefit is large – the value of a New York City
    Housing Authority voucher for a two-bedroom apartment in 2010 was $1,543 a month.

    As a result, subsidized tenants remain stuck in public housing and Section 8 buildings for years, even decades. They
    remain tied to a low-income area, preventing the community from enjoying the natural changes and upgrading over
    time, and preventing themselves from improving and advancing their lives.”

    It is a long section, but spells out Paul’s point on this issue- people will take advantage of this program, causing the neighborhood and themselves to stagnate.

    Something Paul doesn’t point out is that if you are living in income-linked housing, you have an extra incentive to take place in the underground market, mostly the drug trade.

    I agree, there needs to be a transitional period allowing people to seek out employment, housing elsewhere, and for firms to figure out what the new rent prices would be in the buildings to which this program applies. The fact that his bill does not include this does not mean it wouldn’t happen- even if the bill passed tomorrow, they still have money to keep the system going until next fiscal year, during which people would be able to figure it out.

    These kinds of cuts have to happen all over, accompanied with tax cuts (starting with income from bottom to top) so we can take up the slack let out by the government in time to avoid having the spring slip out of our hands.

  46. Come on now mortgage people….we can’t go on like this forever; wasting our tax dollars to pay for people with no drive to succeed in life! There is a reason why these people live where they do; it is because they have become dependent on the government, and as long as they are offered the freebies, they will continue to take them! The days of “Big Government” are over!! The people are awakening from their 97 year sleep, and now realize that not only HUD, but also the departments of Education, Labor, Commerce, and Homeland Security are not needed, and not authorized in the Constitution. While we’re on the subject, let’s eliminate the biggest cancer on our society….the Federal Reserve. The barbarians are already at the gates on this one. It is now just a matter of time before the people rise up and march on Washington to the doorstep of the Federal Reserve, demanding that this dysfunctional sesspool of corruption be shutdown. The people who are displaced by shutting down HUD will be forced to take responsibility for themselves, and will improve their lives and their situation, rather than wasting away in some government sponsored housing project. Rand Paul is 100% correct!

  47. Ya Public Housing – HUD is a great idea. Just take a look at the Robert Talyor Homes and Cabrini–Green In Chicago! Where’s my free car, TV, give me my free stuff. Health Care too. You pay I don’t

  48. The problem with the entire argument is the fallacy that we can somehow cure our problems by increased revenue. As is evident by most government programs, more money does not equal more efficiency or results. This country does not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. And because we have spent so much, we now have to make difficult decisions to fix the problems. Bottom line

  49. It used to be family, friends, community and the church that took care of each other, now it’s the governments job. It’s not the governments job, plain and simple!
    “If any man will not work, neither shall he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

  50. Good. Eliminate HUD, cut its budget to zero.

  51. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” —Unknown.

  52. Rosco –

    You apparently missed a few biblical quotations:

    John 3:17 But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him–how can God’s love be within him ?

    John 3:18 Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.

    James 2:14 Dear brothers, what’s the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren’t proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone?

    Luke 3:11 “If you have two coats,” he replied, “give one to the poor. If you have extra food, give it away to those who are hungry.”

    Luke 12:33 Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will fatten your purses in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no rips or holes in them. Your treasures there will never disappear; no thief can steal them; no moth can destroy them.

    Tim. 6:18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.

    Source: http://www.friendships.org/Scriptures.html

  53. Well, you have quite a lot of nerve in describing the social contract in such a way. The contract we made in the Constitution is still valid and doesn’t have anything to do with the things you mention above (maybe you should read it, with particular attention given to the tenth amendment). Also, since when is allowing people to keep the fruits of their labor, be they rich or poor, a COST to the government (or nyone for that matter)? This idea is ourageous. Go back to high school civics class.

  54. PJ –

    Wow, someone has a “lot of nerve” for expressing an opinion with which you disagree.

    While you’re checking your fruits, to say nothing of your nuts, you might want to consider that the cost of anarchy is far greater than the cost of public housing.

  55. Good article and fine defense of the same in the comments section here Mr. Pete Miller. Looks like you riled up lots of folks brain-washed by the vast right wing conspiracy in the country over the last 20+ years. I voted for Ron Paul myself in the last election and I still follow what Ron and his son Rand or saying and doing now but, I’ve come to think they are way too ideological and very obscure in explaining the fallout from their radical propositions. By the way, I love the quotes from the Bible in your comments above. It is really nice to see examples where the Bible can be shown to support more liberal positions as well. Side-note: The merger of the Republican Party with the Religious Right and Right Wing Radio have turned the Republican Party into the party of hate and lies. The Old Republican Party had rationality now it’s emotional petulance – They now act out the shadow-image they have been accusing liberal American’s of for so long: whining, loser mentality, welfare for the rich, especially whining… wheh! Wheh! Wheh!

  56. Tim –

    Thanks. A number of posters make good points in defense of Sen. Paul. Their views are certainly welcome given that no one has a monopoly on good ideas.

  57. Peter, Tim,
    All of those biblical quotes mention nothing about the government helping your fellow neighbors in need but people helping those in need. Even the bible states that we should help eachother but not government. You are just making the point that there Ron Paul states where we help each other without the government. An example of this is how ron Paul and other doctors ran free clinics for the poor. We don’t have that anymore because of Medicare. One can see that you are confusing the bible with liberalism.

  58. Jason –

    So you’re willing to take in Eddie’s sister and her child?

  59. Peter, why don’t you go ahead and pay for my share for public housing. Since you’re so charitable. Thanks, brotha. Keep fightin’ the good fight.

  60. I donate money through church I am a big brother in the big brother big sisters of central Arizona. So I do donate time and money to help those in need without relying on the government. Without government programs and taxes we would see more of this. And the boy’s name is Brandon that I help out.

  61. I guess families and faith based organizations are going to have to re-assume their responsibilities in society. And the landlords may have to do with less rent if they want any rent at all. Houses are empty all over this country in foreclosure and selling for less then 10K in MI. The entire market and socity needs to readjust. Maybe more families with be living together again multi-generationally and that may not be such a bad thing for families or the country.

  62. Jason –

    That’s to be commended.

    The problem, of course, is that not everyone is so charitable.

    Peter

  63. Tyler –

    I’m not a fan of public housing and would prefer lower taxes. The issue is that a lack of public housing will inevitably lead to minor and major forms of anarchy and that’s not good for anyone.

    Societies are not cost-free. You have to decide if you would rather pay the cost of welfare programs or the far higher cost of less societal stability.

    For instance, what happens to the buying power of your savings if we have high rates of inflation because money does not flow into the US at a low cost because of instability? And if there is instability, what happens to your freedoms?

  64. Unfortunately the author fails to offer an alternative to the failure that is HUD. I also think the author wishes to bring everyone down to slums rather than bring everyone up economically through hard work and dedication.

  65. Mike —

    I’d like us to do a better job with public housing, not eliminate it.

  66. Peter,

    The argument that less public welfare will result in “less societal stability” is a strawman. Of course one has to wonder what “less societal stability” even means.

    One would have to conclude from your assumptions that the lack of a Federal Department of Shoes and Clothing would lead to people walking around barefoot and naked. How can we expect anything less?

    Just as the poor in the U.S. are not dying in the streets from the lack of free public health care, the number of people living in cardboard boxes would likely not spike by eliminating HUD.

    Just look at the facts: Among poor households, 73% own a car or truck, 30% own two cars or trucks, 97% have a color TV, 62% have cable or satellite TV, 78% have a VCR or DVD player, and 79% have air conditioning.

    Rand Paul and others with libertarian beliefs do not have less compassion for the poor and needy. Libertarians believe that the forceful taking from one person to give to another is immoral and counter-productive. Voluntary charity is less prone to corruption and abuse than government programs.

    You say not enough people are charitable. If one were truly concerned for the poor, they would focus their efforts on the truly poor in other parts of the world. Why do Federal legislators and bureaucrats get to decide where anyone’s charitable efforts and donations should go? Or that someone must make charitable donations or efforts at all?

    Someone such as yourself should be free to donate as much of your time and money to whatever free housing or charity as you see fit. Mother Theresa set a good example by dedicating her life to helping the world’s poor.

    You should not have the ability to use government to dictate to others what they should do or contribute.

  67. These people who live in projects urinate and deficate in their own buildings and you bleeding hearts want us to pay for that? And I am not rich I am a working class tax paying american. If people want to live like animals they deserve to be on the street

  68. Greg –

    I guess you believe that demonstrators in Egypt are seeking smaller bread subsidies?

  69. So, Isaiah, I gather you oppose indoor plumbing and would prefer that people urinate and defecate outdoors.

  70. Peter G. Miller -

    “Respectfully — if your sister did not have public assistance where would she live and how would she eat?”

    She would be forced to get a job, which would (and has in the past) get her out of her self imposed “depression” and on with life. The very fact she won’t work is the sole reason for her self imposed “depression”. As I mentioned above there are soup kitchens and charities and beds for the homeless in most cities, even small cities. I know there are several in our city of 70,000. When I was 18 I was homeless for a few months. My mother was sick with cancer and my parents were divorced and my father lived in a difference city and never knew of our plight.

    My brother and I slept in the basement of an apartment complex a friend of mine used to live in. We’d sneak in every night and every morning a maintenance man would come down the other side of the basement and check the furnace and fill it with water. One day he came to “our” side of the basement and we were caught. After talking, he told us he wouldn’t tell anyone, and he didn’t, he had a good heart. In time we got our act together, the exact sequence of events are foggy, but we found jobs and got out of that basement and got an apartment, we got our lives together. There was even one time, a SINGLE time, we went to the state building and got emergency food stamps. I’m glad we were able to, but we felt shame and after that we promised ourselves never to live off the government again. It was humiliating and embarrassing to walk into that state building and ask for a handout when we were both young healthy men perfectly capable of taking care of ourselfs. We were not like most of the other people there. Half of them had a small army of children with them, the other half spoke as if they had a fourth grade education.. and THAT! is the problem. Most of them were not like my brother and myself, most of them could care less and feel no shame or embarrassment living off other people and looking for the next handout.

    The truly needy are few and far between and if our tax dollars went to them and them alone we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    So to answer your question about my sister. If wanted to eat and a roof over her head she’d have o figure it out on her own like the rest of us. If that means she’s on the streets, then so be it, it’s her choice. Let me say that again, it’s HER CHOICE.

  71. Perhaps if we were not taxed at the astonishing rate we are today, with our money quite literally stolen out of our paychecks, there would be nowhere near the demand for these programs. I was paid today, with nearly 200 taken out of my check. I work 40 hours a week. I know many, many people on these section 8 programs and most are better off than me. The motive here is not to throw struggling families out onto the streets. The goal is to get the federal government out of our affairs and strengthen local governments. That is far more beneficial to struggling families than doling out money that was taken from them in the first place.

  72. Eddie –

    It’s an interesting story, thanks for posting.

    I have a different view. I have helped people in the past avoid foreclosure, eviction, etc. In time they have gotten back on their feet.

  73. Justine –

    For some time we have been hollowing out the economy by shifting jobs overseas and by having a financial sector which has absorbed more and more of our economic wealth. There is a huge need to invest in our country and get people into good jobs within our borders.

  74. One more thing–you are correct in that drivers’ licenses are not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States. They are also not administered by the United States government, but rather by the governments of individual states.

    You seem to lack a clear understanding of the difference in roles and responsibilities between the federal government and state/local governments.

    There are several key questions that need to be considered here:
    - What is the proper role of government in society?
    - What is the proper role of the federal government in the USA?
    - If we believe the role of the federal government deviates from the powers outlined in the US Constitution, is it more ethical to abide by the prescribed mechanisms for amending the Constitution, or to ignore these mechanisms and simply legislate (or, worse yet, regulate) as we please?

    If we choose the latter option (i.e. ignore and legislate/regulate), it must at least be recognized that this clearly runs counter to the very design of our nation’s governmental charter, which was ratified only on the condition of adopting the Bill of Rights, which, in turn, importantly includes a clarifying end note on the subject discussed above in the form of the Tenth Amendment. If you, predictably, would turn to the “general welfare” clause or the “[interstate] commerce” clause in justifying whatever act of benevolence or interference by the federal government, then you must ask yourself at that time, “What is the purpose of the Tenth Amendment if it can constantly be over-ruled by these two other ‘clauses’?” If you make this inquiry in earnest, I am confident you would arrive at the conclusion that the general welfare clause is merely preambulatory and contextual, while the commerce clause legitimately empowers the federal government to regulate interstate commerce (no more, no less). Since public housing is not principally a matter of interstate commerce, it should be dealt with by the state and local governments.

  75. PJ –

    Thanks. You raise an important perspective.

    The matter of housing and interstate commerce is less local than you might suggest.

    For instance, there was the Oxford House case which concluded that federal anti-discrimination rules trumped local bans against group houses. And the 1980 McLain decision said that real estate brokers in New Orleans could be tried under the Sherman Anti-trust Act because real estate inherently involved interstate commerce. How? Because real estate financing travels across state borders. As well, of course, there is the general concept of preemption. See:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/94-23.ZO.html

    and

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/444/232/case.html

    But, having said that, the proposal of Sen. Paul is centrally-related to deficit reduction. His proposal says nothing about Constitutional issues except that national defense is a federal matter.

  76. And Obama is not a tool of Wall Street bankers?

  77. The alternative to public housing that Senator Paul proposes is PRIVATE housing. You know the housing that us poor downtrodden surfs have to use. Since the housing crash it is a lot cheaper than before by the way.

  78. Montestruc –

    Wall Street continues to exercise vast power in Washington with both parties. Ask yourself, has anyone been indicted for perjury as a result of the robo-signing scandal? Why has the gift-tax write-off increased from $5 million to $10 million? See:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704062604576106171136583088.html

  79. “Everybody gets a little something”

    Are you out of your ever-loving mind? I didn’t buy real estate during the boom. I predicted the bubble burst. I’m self-employed, and I’ve always offered very competitive pricing for my services. My income has plummeted, in large part because I don’t have government contracts. I’ve been responsible in every way, and I’m getting economically crushed! So please explain it to me, Mr. Miller; what did I get out of all the government largess besides the shaft?

  80. Sanity –

    A lot of people are getting crushed. Let’s take a look: Did you complain when George W. Bush racked up a $4.35 trillion deficit? Did you object to two needless wars? Have you spoken with your Representative or Senators about the jobs going overseas? Or about the original TARP funding under the Bush Administration? Did you complain about the lack of regulation which allowed lenders to offer option ARMs, interest-only loans and no-doc loan applications? Did you know that regulation to stop such practices has been on the books since 1994?

  81. Peter,
    I think you will see more donations to charity if we had less government taxes. We would also have more jobs because businesses would have more capital to expand.

    And about George W. bush, has anyone on this board or any Libertarian supported George W. Bush? Ron Paul and Rand Paul or some of Bush’s biggest critics. So you ask if we complained. Oh yes we did!

  82. I 100% agree Wall Street, especially the bankers, have waaaay too much stroke in DC, in both parties. But, quite frankly much less so in the Tea Party.

    While the author of this puff piece rails about the “rich” by which he means the Koch Brothers, he should consider the fact that wealthy people are not a monolithic block in the USA, and are of wide divergence of opinion in politics. He seems to be happy with rich people donating to political parties and causes he favors, but rails against the “rich” when they support someone he disagrees with. What is wrong with a level playing field for all? Why is it ok for you to have rich benefactors supporting the Democratic Party, but not the Tea Party??

  83. Jason –

    I agree that Libertarians were among the earliest Bush critics, conservatives were not and a lot of people somehow believe that all the world’s problems began when Obama physically took office.

    That said, and forgive me, I don’t think less regulation will work. I think in terms of Wall Street, as one example, that existing regulation was ignored, some was effectively repealed (think of Glass-Steagall) and new forms of electronic trading plainly require new forms of regulation. Just look at Merrill Lynch’s paltry $10 million “settlement” with the SEC:

    http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2011/2011-22.htm

    As to charities, I agree with the principle that lower taxes would likely mean more charitable giving. I also think that all charitable giving, even if greatly enlarged, will not provide the program dollars now available through government.

  84. Yes but a huge percentage of those gov’t welfare dollars are wasted or scammed, or conned.

    The SEC and Wall Street bailouts are not free market principles. In a free market the Wall Street companies that took bad risks would be bankrupt teaching a lesson to the others not to take risky get rich quick moves. And Madoff and other scammers hid behind the SEC to avoid detection for so long.

  85. Jason –

    Part of the conflict is that while the SEC and Wall Street bailouts may not be free market principles they were championed by the Bush Administration which presented itself as a conservative proponent. That said, I am not certain the Obama Administration would do anything different.

    Madoff is a a minor figure compared with institutional rip-offs — think of credit card interest rates and fees.

    I imagine that government money is widely wasted, not just welfare but defense, agriculture, everything. Every political party explains how they will make things better and inevitably it doesn’t happen.

  86. Except for the political party that doesn’t want your money which are the ….Libertarians.

    I believe the correct term for Bush type Republicans is neo-conservatives. Not conservatives.

  87. Jason –

    Neo-conservatives it is, fair enough.

  88. Peter,

    Good article, but I don’t know why you bother responding to the “libertarians” – their amongst the most selfish, immature brats on the planet. They think Ayn Rand was a deep thinker. They’ve got the intellecutal and emotional maturity of an 8 year old. In fact, the mind of an 8 year is the core of their governing “philosophy” – a philosophy which is universally summed up as “I’ve got mine. F.U.”

  89. There is a difference between libertarians and the objectivism of Ayn Rand.

    As Rand herself explained, libertarians are “not defenders of capitalism. They’re a group of publicity seekers who rush into politics prematurely, because they allegedly want to educate people through a political campaign, which can’t be done. Further, their leadership consists of men of every of persuasion, from religious conservatives to anarchists. Moreover, most of them are my enemies: they spend their time denouncing me, while plagiarizing my ideas. Now, I think it’s a bad beginning for an allegedly pro-capitalist party to start by stealing ideas.”

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_campus_libertarians

    In 1957, writing in the National Review, Whittaker Chambers wrote of Atlas Shrugged that “out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal. In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/222482/big-sister-watching-you/flashback?page=3

  90. Why not just make the poor people property owners of the public housing they live in now? Eliminate the department and turn all the public housing to the people who use it. That way you get rid of all the terrible problems HUD has caused and you begin the process of really fixing the housing situation.

  91. Robert –

    There is the view that property ownership creates better citizenship. Alternatively, there are practical problems. For instance, if something goes wrong in an apartment building — if the heating system gives out — it costs dollars to fix, dollars which residents may not have. As well, some would see your suggestion as a transfer of wealth, as if lower tax rates for favored interests are not.

  92. Mont –

    >>>While the author of this puff piece rails about the “rich” by which he means the Koch Brothers, he should consider the fact that wealthy people are not a monolithic block in the USA, and are of wide divergence of opinion in politics.

    I agree that there is a divergence of political opinion among the rich. However, I think the impact the political process via Fox News, the Examiner papers, much of Wall Street and the assorted Koch brokers is unmatched by the liberal rich, much to their shame.

  93. Mr. Miller.

    I am not sure what planet you are from, but on earth in the USA, rich “Liberals” had a near death grip on control of the media, and politics from the time FDR was first elected. Only with their dropping the ball when Internet growth was so rapid in the 1990s did persons of other political opinions have much of a chance to express an opinion in electronic media.

    All the major old school media organizations (NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS) are and were liberal strongholds. I can recall in the 1988 presidential elections where I grew up, we (the Libertarian Party) pulled off the astonishing act of getting one precinct in that town to vote more than 10% Libertarian ( several hundred libertarian votes in one precinct) The main stream news organizations not only did not report it, the newspaper subtracted Libertarian votes

  94. Monte –

    Let’s see, 1988 was how many decades ago? Do you have anything in this century?

    Actual libertarians seem to be as rare as unicorns. Instead, what we typically see are selective libertarians, individuals who want no government business regulation, maximized profits and as little government as possible — except when it comes to their social and religious values regarding such issues as gay marriage and abortion. Then, somehow, government coercion and power are entirely and perfectly justified.

    If you want less regulation would it be okay if there were no government rules concerning dentists? Would it then be okay for your dentist to maximize profits by not cleaning his drills?

  95. Mr Miller,

    Libertarians are a lot more common than you credit. By polls made of political philosophy they are more numerous in the USA than philisophical progressives. Do all libertarians agree on all issues, of course not, neither does any other political group. You ignore their growing power in the press and at the ballot box at your peril. As to more recent, sure, pull your head out of the sand and look around you at left wing media belittling anyone who does not conform to their opinion. Calling the American People ignorant, and asserting they vote against their own interest in voting them out of office. Ignoring the avalanch of mail and phone calls objecting to Obamacare, then acting surprised when congress changed hands.

    You sitting here and blaming the “rich” for this when in fact more rich people ( insurance firms and bankers) supported your side than support the Tea Party. You sit here and assert HUD as being a good thing when the recent financial collapse can be laid on Fanny and Freddy creatures of of the mind set of intervention in the housing market.

    You are the one who is anti-democratic, in the philosophical sense. What you advocate is deeply unpopular. We need to cut federal spending a he’ll of a lot, and frankly HUD is a waste of taxpayer money.

  96. Monte –

    So are you going to regulate dentists or not? Those of us with teeth would like your response.

    As to the Tea Party, they have been substantially aided by the Koch brothers. See:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

  97. The free market would weed out the dentists with bad practices. If the dentist uses dirty drills people will find out and tell other people and then no one will go to that dentist. Making the dentist unemployed.

  98. Jason –

    You are willing to run up enormous hospital bills which result from dental infections while waiting for the market to identify a lousy dentist. I am not.

    “Dental infections have been known to cause serious illness, and yes, even death when left untreated. Infections do not “go away” they must be treated with the appropriate antibiotics.”

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070718143459AAxapZn

  99. This is honestly either the least thought-out article I’ve ever read or an honest opinion from the most ignorant person I’ve ever crossed.

    Either way, don’t waste your time reading it.

  100. “Eddie –

    It’s an interesting story, thanks for posting.

    I have a different view. I have helped people in the past avoid foreclosure, eviction, etc. In time they have gotten back on their feet.”

    Peter,

    I’ve gotten help and given help when I could. Most if not all of us need a little help at some point. A “little” being the point. My sister has gotten oh, about 25 years worth of help from the government, her family and friends (and she has helped me in others when she could in her own ways).. The question is, WHEN is enough enough? 25 years on welfare isn’t enough? Come on. You have a good heart, but at some point we all have to take care of ourselves. That point should have been at least 20 years ago for my sister.

  101. EJ contributes to the conversation by telling us “this is honestly either the least thought-out article I’ve ever read or an honest opinion from the most ignorant person I’ve ever crossed.

    Either way, don’t waste your time reading it.”

    EJ — an anonymous writer — has made a judgment on behalf of everyone else. Since we have his judgment but not any evidence of critical thinking, no explanation, the conclusion is that his note was quickly written before his mom takes back the computer.

    However, you might think that followers of Rand Paul would jump in and as a matter of principle and doctrine say that everyone should make their own decisions and do their own thinking. Alas, no such rebuttals to EJ appear.

  102. I fail to see the relevance of regulation of dentistry. Other that it is singularly inappropriate for the federal government to do it. The whole purpose of the federal government was to prevent wars between the states, and deal with nations outside our federal system.

    All of the sundry jobs added onto the federal scope of work are inappropriate, and better done by state and local government if at all.

    As to aid to the tea party by the Koch brothers, so what? Are you claiming that the Democratic party gets less in total from various in aggregate far richer persons than the Koch brothers? Examples would include Gates, Soros, Buffet and many others especially in the insurance and banking industries.

    On what rational basis is it ok for your political side to have rich benefactors and others not?

  103. Monte –

    I cannot imagine a better test of the lack of regulation than dentists. As Jason noted, “the free market would weed out the dentists with bad practices. If the dentist uses dirty drills people will find out and tell other people and then no one will go to that dentist. Making the dentist unemployed.”

    This, to me, is incredibly dangerous. It says it’s okay for potentially hundreds of people to get dental infections and great pain before the marketplace gets around to dumping the dentist. If you have ever seen the results — and dangers — of a dental infection you would know that such infections are terrible. The costs for medical care can be enormous. I hope that no one reading this posting, or a member of their family, ever has to deal with such an event.

    Alternatively, if you finally decide that dentists do indeed require regulation then you need to draw up rules, have regulators, and have mechanisms to enforce those rules. And the same is true in huge numbers of other situations, including mortgages.

    The question is not whether there should be absolutely no regulation, but how much. And once we dump the intellectual pretense of an ideal marketplace which does not exist, cannot exist and has never existed we can then get on to the real world, it’s imperfections, the need for government and the need to pay for government.

  104. Mr Miller.

    You are being incredibly short sighted. Nearly all professional regulation that exists is not designed to protect the consumer. It is rather designed to protect the professionals from what they see as unfair competition. Being a licensed professional myself and seeing how state licensing boards respond to complaints regarding consumer issues , my experience is they close ranks and generally defend a licensed practitioner regardless of how bad or dangerous his work is so long as it is not too offensive to the public, but attack without mercy someone
    practicing without a license regardless of the
    quality of his or her work.

    That is about protecting income an rates of pay from outsiders, not about quality of work sold to the consumer. The AMA in the USA has systematically made it harder to get a license as a physician here, totally based on reducing numbers of students studying medicine that are allowed to practice, regardless of the quality of their education or test scores. Medical doctors licensed to practice in most other nations of the world cannot be licensed in the USA without being admitted to a recognized medical school and graduating again.

    These doctors already have medical degrees and licenses and in many cases years of experience.

  105. Al –

    I am not especially a fan of licensed professions but they’re better than a profession with no barriers to entry. You are, I suspect, a fan of minimum government rather than no government. I say licensing dentists is well within the realm of minimum government while you apparently disagree. We draw the line of “minimum” government very differently.

    It’s something to chew over, at least for those of us with teeth.

  106. Peter,

    The idea that dentists only use clean drills because of government regulation is absolutely absurd. Why would you even imagine such a thing? And then you apparently think that regulations magically prevent such horrors from occurring?

    Do you also think that people only refrain from killing each other because of laws against murder?

    Your concepts of society, norms, and individual responsibility are naive. A useful place to start is to realize that law and legislation are not synonymous.

    Don Boudreaux discusses these issues in the following lecture:
    http://www.fff.org/comment/com1010c.asp

  107. Greg –

    If you believe that government power is coercive then you have to believe that regulation would compel an enhanced level of proper behavior from dentists.

    But, in fantasy world, the point is made that regulation isn’t perfect, as if imperfection were not widespread.

  108. Mr Miller,

    At the state level, professional licensing and economic regulation is tolerable, not at the federal. Their needs to be a rock solid firewall to stop the kind of corruption that close regulation of economic activity brings. The corruption can be contained to state governments if federal
    legislators and beaurocrats have no direct authority over the regulations that people who have a vested economic in them. They only would have the indirect authority to arrest and prosecute people for crimes like bribery or corruption. Then you leave such regulation to the states, with state legislators and regulators having no control over federal law enforcement. That makes bribery and corruption harder, but that is important.

  109. Monte –

    Or, we could have a situation like the mortgage meltdown where federal regulators pre-empted the states and arrested no one. See:

    TARP Report.

    State government is not necessarily a better choice than federal regulation. Think of segregation. Tammany Hall. The ability of organized crime to work across state borders.

    That said, I would agree that in many instances state regulation is a better option than federal regulation. Look at the strangle-hold big banks and brokerages have on Washington. Name one PAC that represents borrowers.

  110. Peter,

    Way to miss the point. You are the one living in a fantasy world by failing to see the hidden costs and unintended consequences of your beloved regulations.

    My point was that government regulation is not just imperfect, but that it is often unnecessary, counter-productive, hinders innovation, adds unnecessary costs, reduces consumer choices and shields existing providers from competition.

    You could pass a law requiring dentists to smile and be polite to their patients. And with enough inspectors and bureaucracy you could have an impact. But who wants to live in such a police state? And why do you even need such a law? Dentists have sufficient motivation to be polite to their customers and keep their instruments clean without a law to require it.

    Mere rumors of unintended acceleration of Audis in the early 90s nearly put them out of business in the U.S. Such is the power of the marketplace to promote safety and punish businesses that fail to give it adequate attention.

    Have you ever wondered why dental hygienists don’t open their own shops for cleaning and whitening services? Clearly dentists are the ones who wrote the regulations for their own benefit. Consumers pay more as a result.

    We both see government being used by big business but your answer is more and bigger government. The libertarian solution is less government for big business to buy and control.

    Walmart cannot compel me to walk into their stores or give them my money, but the government can take my money and give it to various businesses against my will. They do it all the time with subsidies, bailouts, and tariffs that protect local producers. The only answer is to shrink government.

    You are an unwitting co-conspirator by arguing in favor of more government. Google “bootleggers and baptists.” You may not be the bootlegger but you are most certainly the baptist.

  111. Greg –

    Big business has got to love you.

    We tried less regulation under Bush and it produced the greatest financial failure since the Great Depression.

    Under Bush we increased the deficit by $4.35 trillion

    We tried conservative judicial thinking and it gave us the Citizens United decision.

    We tried hands-off regulation at the Federal Reserve under Greenspan, regulation which if used could have prevented the mortgage meltdown. But nope, nothing there.

    “Mr. Greenspan met Rand when he was 25 and working as an economic forecaster. She was already renowned as the author of ‘The Fountainhead,’ a novel about an architect true to his principles. Mr. Greenspan had married a member of Rand’s inner circle, known as the Collective, that met every Saturday night in her New York apartment. Rand did not pay much attention to Mr. Greenspan until he began praising drafts of ‘Atlas,’ which she read aloud to her disciples, according to Jeff Britting, the archivist of Ayn Rand’s papers. He was attracted, Mr. Britting said, to ‘her moral defense of capitalism.’”

    See: Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism, The New York Times, September 15, 2007

    I have no desire to drive the country further into the ground with failed economic policies and flawed social philosophies.

  112. Wow. Maybe you could try actually responding to some of my arguments instead of just repeating your liberal drum-beat lines that have little or nothing to do with what I have said.

    Bush was no libertarian. To say that he reduced regulations is laughable. It is belied in your own post where you point out that he increased spending and thereby the deficit. Bush was a big government Republican. Obama might as well be Bush’s third term.

    Greenspan may have had a passing interest in Ayn Rand but he too was no libertarian. A free market advocate would not head one of the biggest central planning organizations in the world.

    I have no problem with big business. I voluntarily give them thousands of dollars every year. I am generally happy with what I get in return. I suspect you do the same. As I stated in my previous post, big business is not the problem.

    Of course more regulations only help ensure that businesses will only get bigger and bigger. It is time consuming and costly to comply with multiple licenses, forms, and taxes imposed on businesses. It is virtually impossible for a small business to jump through all the hoops required.

    It is ironic that people like yourself clamor for more regulations while bemoaning the loss of jobs and the dominance of big businesses. It is not a coincidence that more regulations have spawned bigger and bigger businesses.

    I speak from experience. I own two small businesses. Do you even know the kinds of stupid regulations that you seem to so blithely advocate? Have you ever read the laws? Have you ever looked at the thousands of forms that various businesses must file for one purpose or another?

    It is quite easy to advocate for “more regulations,” as if that will solve every problem. The financial markets are very heavily regulated. When you look at the laws that are passed you find that they often have nothing to do with the stated problem.

    More regulations will not stop the boom and bust cycle that is endemic to government policy. Do some reading at Mises.org to learn about the Austrian theory of the business cycle.

  113. >>> To say that he (Bush) reduced regulations is laughable.

    “George W. Bush was an ardent anti-regulator. He appointed the nation’s leading anti-regulators to run the regulatory agencies. Bush appointed Harvey Pitt, for example, to run the SEC because he was the leading opponent of vigorous securities regulation and effective accounting. On October 16, 2001, Enron announce massive losses and accounting restatements. On October 22, 2001, SEC Chairman Pitt addressed the AICPA Governing Council (his former client) and bemoaned the fact that the SEC had not always been a “kinder and gentler” place for accountants. He called accountants the SEC’s “partners.” (The FBI would later call the Mortgage Bankers Association – the trade association of the mortgage fraud perps – its partner against mortgage fraud.) Pitt blamed the SEC staff for purportedly intimidating accountants and refusing to listen to them. He explained his guiding rule: “I am committed to the principle that government is and must be a service industry.”

    See: What Happened to Financial Deregulation under Wallison’s Historical Rewrite?

    But, more dramatically, you could read about chainsaw James Gilleran.

    Banking Regulator Played Advocate Over Enforcer

    Of course you can even see a nice photo of regulator Jim with his chainsaw.

    Etc.

  114. You don’t seem to understand the way the game is played. Republicans talk about reducing regulations and government spending. Democrats talk about bringing the troops home and “re-instituting common sense regulations.” The truth is that it is almost all just talk.

    From: http://reason.com/archives/2008/12/10/bushs-regulatory-kiss-off

    “Some people still seem to think Republicans take a hands-off approach to regulation, probably because the party is always quick to criticize the burdens regulations place on businesses. But Republican rhetoric doesn’t always match Republican policy. In 2007, according to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, roughly 50 regulatory agencies issued 3,595 final rules, ranging from boosting fuel economy standards for light trucks to continuing a ban on bringing torch lighters into airplane cabins. Five departments (Commerce, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency) accounted for 45 percent of the new regulations.

    Since Bush took office in 2001, there has been a 13 percent decrease in the annual number of new rules. But the new regulations’ cost to the economy will be much higher than it was before 2001. Of the new rules, 159 are “economically significant,” meaning they will cost at least $100 million a year. That’s a 10 percent increase in the number of high-cost rules since 2006, and a 70 percent increase since 2001. And at the end of 2007, another 3,882 rules were already at different stages of implementation, 757 of them targeting small businesses.

    Overall, the final outcome of this Republican regulation has been a significant increase in regulatory activity and cost since 2001. The number of pages added to the Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached an all-time high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001.”

    The evidence does not support your claim.

    Another quote from the same article:

    “The Bush team has spent more taxpayer money on issuing and enforcing regulations than any previous administration in U.S. history. Between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2009, outlays on regulatory activities, adjusted for inflation, increased from $26.4 billion to an estimated $42.7 billion, or 62 percent. By contrast, President Clinton increased real spending on regulatory activities by 31 percent, from $20.1 billion in 1993 to $26.4 billion in 2001.”

    If you want to read about regulations in relation to the financial crisis, Arnold Kling has a sensible take on it here:
    http://www.american.com/archive/2009/september/regulation-and-the-financial-crisis-myths-and-realities

    A couple quotes from the above link:
    “There is a myth that financial firms were like teenagers who started a terrible fire because of a lack of adult supervision. In fact, Congress and regulators were doing the equivalent of handing out matches, gasoline, and newspapers.”

    “The biggest myth is that regulation is a one-dimensional problem, in which the choice is either “more” or “less.” From this myth, the only reasonable inference following the financial crisis is that we need to move the dial from “less” to “more.”

    The reality is that financial regulation is a complex problem. Indeed, many regulatory policies were major contributors to the crisis. To proceed ahead without examining or questioning past policies, particularly in the areas of housing and bank capital regulation, would preclude learning the lessons of history.”

  115. >>>The reality is that financial regulation is a complex problem. Indeed, many regulatory policies were major contributors to the crisis. To proceed ahead without examining or questioning past policies, particularly in the areas of housing and bank capital regulation, would preclude learning the lessons of history.

    Finally.

  116. Do you even understand the quote? Kling is saying that previous regulations caused or at least contributed to the crisis. Government policies were largely to blame.

    Kling has said elsewhere that when people say that de-regulation caused the crisis, he wonders why they don’t then just advocate re-instating the regulations that were repealed. But that is never what is proposed.

    Hayek said it best when he said “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design.”

    Central planning by the government through regulation and other controlling mechanisms is doomed to failure because of what Hayek called the “knowledge problem.” A group of legislators and bureaucrats in Washington DC cannot begin to know what 300 million people planning and acting for themselves know. The fact that they act as if they can decide policy that is best for the rest of us is what he called the “fatal conceit.”

  117. I liked the part about “examining past policies” with the hope that the lack of regulatory oversight by the Federal Reserve and other bank regulators will not be repeated.

  118. Re .by .01 22 06 11 19 AM…We have public housing and we shall have public housing. What we need is an end to the assumption that public housing is poorly maintanied and a haven for crime.

  119. Hey Miller, it will only temporarily send people out into the streets. Then they’ll be motivated to get themselves educated so they can get better jobs and be able to support themselves. You’d be amazed at what people can do when they have to.

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