Nick Gillespie

Critics call for the opposite of a “clean” deal on debt ceiling

debt ceiling

President Barack Obama has made himself clear: he will not sign a debt ceiling bill unless it’s “clean,” meaning that he will not negotiate.

Under President Obama, the total federal debt increased by 57 percent. Once he took oath, the federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion. The total debt now stands at $16.7 trillion. Under President George W. Bush, the total federal debt rose 38 percent. President Bill Clinton’s term saw a 32 percent increase of the total federal debt.

Due to the current federal debt, critics of this administration’s pursue of an increase in the debt limit have been pressuring lawmakers to ensure that Congress does not allow for an increase. Expanding the amount of money the U.S. can borrow means one thing in the long run: that the money we now have will not be spent on useful programs that need the funding, and that more money will be necessary in order to have some, if any, of what we owe paid back.

Reason’s Nick Gillespie points out in this video for Reason TV that because of the significant growth of the federal government’s net interest payments, the government will have to find a way to obtain more revenue in order to pay some of its debt, which will inevitably lead to a reduction of private investment in productive resources, stifling the economy and keeping potential business owners from dedicating themselves to their ventures.

VIDEO: Alfonzo Rachel on Libertarians

I’ve long held that, to be effective politically, conservatives and libertarians (or center-right independents) need to find common ground, and that if libertarians want to see policy and political change, it needs to be an inside job.

While this video isn’t surprising, it’s sad to me to see an outspoken conservative like Alfonzo Rachel divisively deriding libertarians as the 2012 cycle begins to pick up. It’s the kind of stuff that makes me want to stay home on Election Day.

Consider this an open thread.

Republicans must abandon corporate welfare and learn to leave Americans alone if they want to win elections

The Republican Party has a fever, and Sen. Rand Paul has the cure. In an interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie at last week’s Lincoln Labs’ Reboot Conference, the Kentucky Republican explained that the GOP can find electoral success if they learn how to stay out of Americans’ personal lives and abandon corporate welfare.

Paul and Gillespie chatted about several topics — including the seemingly shifting political dynamics in Silicon Valley, innovation and regulations, and foreign policy — before moving onto

“I think Republicans could only win in general if they become more live and let live — ‘leave me alone,’” said Paul. “Grover Norquist will talk about this sometimes, this ‘Leave Me Alone’ Coalition.” He explained that the GOP may not be a “pro-choice, pro-gay marriage party,” but he envisions one in which people with differing views on social issues work together to limit the federal government.

“And I think that live and live, agree to disagree kind of amalgamation in the party will allow us to be big enough to win,” he said, adding that Republicans can reach out to reach out to Millennials with a pro-privacy, anti-NSA message. 

It’s time to end Ex-Im: This New Deal relic costs too much, doesn’t boost exports, and is rife with cronyism

President Barack Obama and Big Business have teamed up with politicians from both sides of the aisle to push reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, a New Deal-era federal agency that makes billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-backed loans to politically-connected businesses.

In a new video from Reason TV, Nick Gillespie gives three reasons why Congress should end the crony Export-Import Bank.

The first reason, Gillespie explains, is expensive. “In 2012 alone, Ex-Im authorized $36 billion in loans, guarantees, and insurance,” he says. “The bank can carry a portfolio of up to $150 billion, meaning that taxpayers could be on the hook that much money.”

Obama continues to slide with Millennials, young people avoiding Obamacare

Shortly after last week’s brutal Quinnipiac poll was released, we noted that there was a significant decline in President Obama’s support from young people, a generation frequently referred to as “Millennials.”

While this crucial bloc of Americans overwhelmingly backed President Obama in his re-election, their support began to wane in mid-to-late June, around the time the NSA spying controversy became public knowledge.

The Quinnipiac poll isn’t a one-off. The Obamacare disaster has, seemingly, intensified young Americans’ frustration with him, as the details of this week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll show, via Rare:

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday shows young adults, the voting bloc President Obama wooed and won by sweeping margins in 2008 and 2012, have withdrawn their support of the president’s pet project.

ObamaCare state exchanges open, users experience glitches

ObamaCare exchange site

The federal government may be “shutdown” but ObamaCare’s state exchanges kicked off on Tuesday. While President Obama insists that the user experience will be like making a purchase on or buying a plane ticket online, many people found that the exchange websites were glitchy and slow, making the experience frustrating:

Officials at the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services say that unexpectedly high traffic on federal and state Websites has created long online waiting times.
Whatever the reason — failure to build good technology or failure to account for the number of website visitors — the rollout was full of kinks.

In state after state, users weren’t able to sign up for new health exchanges on the Web, encountering messages like “error establishing a database connection,” “your account couldn’t be created at this time,” and “please wait here until we send you the login page.” The federal government’s Website advised customers that “the system is down at the moment” around 9:30 a.m.

The portal for Maryland’s version of the health insurance marketplace, one of those expected to be in the best shape because Gov. Martin O’Malley and the legislature embraced Obamacare early on, told folks to try again at noon — four hours after the advertised opening of the exchange.

What is Libertarian Populism?

See Video

Via Reason Magazine on YouTube, Nick Gillespie chats with Ben Domenech, Tim Carney, and Jesse Walker about “libertarian populism” and the potential appeal it could have to Americans who are tired of cronyism and big government.

It’s time to reform Social Security

Social Security

In a new video from Reason TV, Nick Gillespie explains that it’s time for Congress to get serious about Social Security reform.

Gillespie cites three strong reasons to tackle this problem now. First, Social Security is financially broke and will the surpluses it has amassed will be gone by 2033. That point was recently driven home by a report from the program’s trustees showing $23.1 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Secondly, Gillespie explains that Social Security is a bad investment because Americans will receive less in benefits than they pay in taxes. And lastly, Americans don’t have any control over their contributions, which is especially unfair to younger workers. This means that they can’t invest their money in retirement account that better suits their needs, nor can they leave what they’ve put in the system to their loved ones.

Check out the two-minute video below:

Reason Chats with Rep. Thomas Massie, a Liberty-Minded Republican

Thomas Massie

Nick Gillespie of Reason TV recently sat down with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who is one of the new libertarian-minded Republicans in the Congress, to discuss a number of issues, ranging from his support of the Keystone XL and his opposition to expansive government surveillance and the so-called “fiscal cliff” deal that was passed earlier this year.

On Keystone XL, which was recently approved by the House, Massie explained that he voted to support the project because he “thought that the government was trying to hold up the project.

“I sit on the committee that marked up the bill, and so I got a chance to hear the amendments that the Democrats offered,” explained Massie. “They had some good points, but most of their amendments were designed to kill the bill. I wish they had offered amendments that were actually constructive.”

Gillespie asked about passing more laws to protect Americans from onerous and overreaching proposals like CISPA and other forms of government surveillance. Massie said that Congress doesn’t really need to pass new protections because the Constitution already protects the rights of Americans.

“A lot of what I see Congress grapple with here is the introduction of new technology into society and trying to resolve that with existing laws. I don’t necessarily think we need new laws, we need to respect the Constitution,” Massie told Gillespie. “So just because we have a new type of technology like the Internet or drones, for instance, doesn’t mean that all of our constitutional rights have to go away. As Congressmen we have be sure that they’re preserved even with the advent of new technology.”

Reason TV offers some facts about the sequester

Chicken Little

We’ve all been told that the sequester is going to bring about the zombie apocalypse, but the idea that trimming $85 billion in spending from a bloated $3.8 trillion budget — and only half of those reductions will take effect the current fiscal year, meaning that the cuts are closer to 1% of the budget. To say that sort of a reduction in spending is going to have a substantial impact on the economy is laughable.

In a new video from Reason TV, Nick Gillespie gives us five facts about the sequester before it goes into effect on March 1st.

“Even with the sequester, the federal government is expected to spend more this year than it did last year,” Gillespie explains. “The largest chunk of cuts will come out of the defense budget, which has doubled over the past decade. The Pentagon will still have about $500 billion at its disposal, not counting war-related and emergency appropriations.”

And despite the recent talking points from the White House, Gillespie also notes that the “whole damn sequester was the Obama administration’s idea.”

“As the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward has reported, despite Obama’s denials to the contrary, ‘the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House’ as part of the deal to raise the debt limit back in August 2011,” notes Gillespie.

Check out full video:

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