Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Joe Biden

I didn't want to blog too much on the subject, but Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his running mate is just a horrible, horrible choice. As Radley Balko noted on his blog, Biden isn't all that good on most of the issues liberals are usually good on. This about kills any chance of the lonely libertarian being even a closet Obama supporter. We'll see who McCain picks.


Anonymous rose said...

Wanted your take on something. You often rail against Bush for not actually adhering to small government, small spending ways and you've lumped McCain with him on that numerous times.

The CCAGW Council For Citizens Against Government Waste came out with a report today detailing McCain's record compared to Biden and Obama's in terms of wasteful spending. Apparently McCain has never once asked for an earmark in his entire time in the senate and the CCAGW hails him as one of the most important figures of the last few decades in terms of controlling spending. They rate Obama very lowly and actually give Biden the worst possible score available.

Just wanted your take on this. The numbers seem to contradict your sentiment.

3:26 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

McCain is very good on earmarks, or so-called pork barrel spending, which is a good thing ... sort of. The thing is, earmarks account for a very small portion of the federal budget and they basically amount to a transfer of money to state and municipal governments. It's a wasteful way to channel money, but the government does it all the time. (For example, let's just go back to my Department of Education example from a few weeks ago, where federal tax money is taken in and dispersed by the federal bureaucracy to states and municipalities.)

Earmarks make big news when the story is Alaska Senator Ted Stevens's "bridge to nowhere," but at the very least earmarks tend to produce tangible benefits for taxpayers, as opposed to the same money being dumped in the black holes that are most federal agencies.

For those of us who really believe in small government, it's not about controlling spending, it's about slashing the size of government. It's about drastically scaling back all the ways the federal government is involved in our lives, reducing the national government to it's traditional Constitutional roots. Truth be told, other than Ron Paul, very few politicians have a real record of commitment to small government.

At the very least, some of the conservative politicians of the past (like Reagan and like Newt Gingrich) paid lip service to the idea of cutting back what the federal government does. Reagan famously called for the elimination of our old friend, the Department of Education. McCain doesn't even bother to pay lip service.

And not just that, but when I accuse McCain of being a big government candidate, again, it's about what he thinks the federal government should be doing. He voted for and supports Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan, which is a huge entitlement boondoggle. He supports the federal government stepping in to regulate drug use in baseball and internet gambling, and like Biden, he's a big time drug warrior. McCain doesn't believe that government should be smaller, he believes that he can make it better and more efficient. What he's offering is liberal big government with a bit more financial discipline.

9:36 PM  

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