Archive for politicians
Introducing Christians for Liberty Conference keynote speaker Rep. David Simpson of the Texas Legislature. David is a personal friend of mine and I respect him deeply. He has been elected twice to the Texas legislature, but he hardly qualifies as a politician in my estimation. In fact, I like to call him “the Ron Paul of the Texas Legislature.” For those who don’t know, David was the man who led the charge against the TSA in Texas in 2010 and 2012, and I consider it an honor to have worked with him on those projects. Here is a short bio for David.
Republican State Representative for East Texas
David Simpson was grateful to be elected State Representative of House District 7 in 2010, defeating a seven-term incumbent, by running on a platform of defending the Constitution, preserving our East Texas family values, and restoring government to its proper, limited role. He was re-elected in 2012 by a large margin and is now the Republican nominee in 2014. District 7 is comprised of Gregg and Upshur Counties. Rep. Simpson serves on the County Affairs Committee and the Land and Resource Management Committee.
In just his first session, Simpson earned the “Taxpayer Champion” award from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and the “Freshman of the Year” award from Young Conservatives of Texas; he was also named “Co-MVP of the Freshman Class” by Capitol Inside for his effectiveness as a legislator.
The Independent Institute recently hosted a special seminar with Dr. Ron Paul to talk about the future of freedom in America. He spoke of America’s “increasingly dysfunctional political system” and the need to curtail dramatically the power of the state. From their event announcement:
The author of numerous #1 New York Times bestselling books, Dr. Paul is a leading advocate for individual liberty, privacy, limited constitutional government, low taxes and spending, free markets, restrained foreign policy, and sound money. The New York Post has called him a man who “cannot be bought by special interests. There are few people in public life who, through thick and thin, rain or shine, stick to their principles.” And, Judge Andrew Napolitano calls him “The Thomas Jefferson of our day.”
One of the main tenets of conservatism is supposed to be fidelity to the Constitution. Let’s see how Republicans in the U.S. Senate who tout their conservatism at every election measure up.
Democrats have controlled the U.S. Senate since the 110th Congress began in January of 2007. The Senate is currently composed of 52 Democrats, 46 Republicans, and 2 Independents (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine) who both caucus with the Democrats. But even though Republicans in the Senate are the opposition party, they aren’t living up to the conservative principles they claim to adhere to.
So, my question for every Republican is simply this: How “conservative” is your senator?
Fortunately, this is an easy thing to determine. But since most Republicans don’t bother to check the conservative credentials of those whom they put in office, I will do it for them.
Every three months, the New American magazine publishes a congressional scorecard based on the Constitution called “The Freedom Index.” It rates congressmen “based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.” The first index for the 113th Congress has just been released.
Since Republicans are always talking about their fiscal conservatism and fidelity to the Constitution, “The Freedom Index” seems like a good way to put them to the test.
A senator’s score is determined by dividing his good; that is, constitutional, votes on ten representative bills by the total number of good and bad votes he cast, and then multiplying the answer by 100 to turn it into a percent. The closer a senator’s score is to 100, the more “conservative” he is.
The votes tracked this time were concerning Hurricane Sandy disaster relief, increasing the debt limit, the Keystone XL Pipeline, a balanced-budget resolution, the UN Arms Trade Treaty, an “assault weapons” ban, a high-capacity clip ban, Internet sales tax, product labeling for genetically modified food, and farm programs (including funding for food stamps).
The average Senate score is 41 percent. Only two Democrats (Begich of Alaska and Manchin of West Virginia) received a passing score of 60 or above. A few Democrats scored a big fat zero—as we might expect.
But what we don’t expect is for the average score of Republicans to be a dismal 70.64 percent. Eight Republicans have a failing score; that is, below 60. Eleven of them have a 60—just barely above failing. This means that 19 Republicans scored lower than the 2 Democrats who received a passing score. Only 1 Republican senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona, scored a 100. The darling of conservatives, Marco Rubio, only scored an 80—that is a B-. Even Utah’s Orin Hatch scored an 80. Poor John McCain—he scored a 56. I wonder how many conservatives voted for him for president in 2008? Would McCain have been any better than Obama? I argue no here.
Senate Republicans would have scored even worse had “The Freedom Index” tracked any votes this time that related to foreign affairs. Just look at the recent 86-13 vote in the Senate against Rand Paul’s proposal to cut off foreign aid to Egypt. The Republican vote was 33-13.
It is a myth that electing more Republicans to the Senate so that the GOP can control both houses of Congress would make the country better off. If you think Republicans are bad as the opposition party, you ought to see how bad they are when they are in the majority. Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency for over four years under George W. Bush and what did it do for America but put us on the road to bigger government, further indebtedness, increased spending, and more tyranny. Almost every bad policy of Obama can be traced back to the Bush years.
But it’s not just the national government. We have had more Republicans elected to office on the federal, state, and local levels in the last twenty years than at any time in recent memory and probably not since Reconstruction. Republicans even control the House, Senate, and governorship in several states. Yet, we have more government, more government debt, more government spending, and more government tyranny at all levels than ever before—EPA, TSA, DHS, NSA, DEA, IRS, FBI, foreign military interventions, drone strikes, drug war, police brutality, etc.
Why on earth would anyone, and especially libertarians, think that voting Republican at any level would solve any problem or make things any better?
Originally posted on LewRockwell.com on August 14, 2013.
Anthony Gregory explains the significance of the Rand Paul Filibuster in two minutes:
This is an exciting time for liberty, so major props to Rand Paul for taking this stand and letting the establishment know that civil liberties really are sacred. (Now, if only he’ll give LCC the interview he promised! )
Today, Ron Paul gave his farewell address to the U.S. House of Representatives. Here is the text of his speech. Or, watch the entire address at C-Span Video.
Farewell to Congress
This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.
The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.