The Return of Big Spending Republicans?

Under President Obama, Republicans grew accustomed to their role opposing the prevailing winds of Big Government. Apparently the fastest way to turn conservative hawks into libertarian doves is to elect a national security hawk and Democrat as president. Now, the Right’s small-government rhetoric will be put to several key tests. Chief among them is whether they will bring military and entitlement spending under control, or let the national debt grow to even more unsustainable levels. Ivan Eland (Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute) spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, and served as Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office; he knows a national security threat when he sees one. He joins Bob to point out the elephant in the room – one that's not going anywhere just because of the new “elephant” in the oval office. Eland identifies the United States’ precarious fiscal situation as the single greatest threat to our security, citing retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen as one authority who can read the writing on the wall. President Trump may talk a big game when it comes to cutting wasteful military spending, but will he keep his promises to scale back U.S. intervention in the Middle East and elsewhere?

Alan Axelrod on the National Debt

According to author and historian Dr. Alan Axelrod, ISIS isn't the greatest threat to American security. Our leaders are. This might sound sensationalist, until you recall that our national debt is quickly approaching $20 trillion, and has already surpassed the total GDP of the United States. This Sunday, Halloween comes early with the scary message Axelrod brings in his new book, *Full Faith and Credit: The National Debt, Taxes, Spending, and the Bankrupting of America.* Axelrod, author of more than 140 books, joins Bob to discuss his sweeping examination of the origins of the U.S. national debt, its beneficiaries, and (hopefully) its possible solutions. Axelrod finds the source of fiscal irresponsibility in the core architecture of the growing "administrative state," in which unelected career bureaucrats carve out fiefdoms, going beyond the powers prescribed by the Constitution. After tracing the gradual rise of the current administrative state, Axelrod devotes special attention to the dangers of the military-industrial-(congressional)-complex, and shows how support for major spending categories transcends partisan divides (as long as the members of congress are "getting theirs"). Be sure to tune in to get your weekly fix of libertarian ideas. Bob and Alan will take your calls at (424) BOB-SHOW, on the Bay Area's 860AM – The Answer. [CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN LIVE, 10/16, at 8am PACIFIC]

Norm Singleton on Rand Paul, the Senator

Rand Paul has followed in his father Ron Paul's footsteps in more ways than one. The Kentucky Senator’s presidential campaign began soon after the elder Paul's aspirations faded. Rand remains a champion of his father's core issues – sound money, a balanced budget, and limited government interference with individual liberties. His critics contend that a recent filibuster over the endlessly expanding debt ceiling was "grandstanding," but his supporters will tell you that his legislative principles are the main reason they #StandwithRand. Campaign for Liberty's Norm Singleton worked closely with Ron Paul from 1997-2012, and is one of the most prolific commentators and keenest observers of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He joins Bob live for the full hour to talk about the latest battles in the Senate, specifically, the grassroots movement to Audit the Fed, and why so many in the media and politics just don’t get it.

Jerry Brown's Time to Shine? Lawrence McQuillan on Pension Reform

The State of California is dreaming, according to Lawrence McQuillan – an economics and finance expert with the Bay Area’s own Independent Institute. His new book (California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis) points out that Governor Brown and the Democrats in the legislature are failing to deal plainly with the reality of economic trade-offs: it’s either worker pensions or government services. There's simply not enough revenue for both with the promises we're slated to make to public sector workers. Perhaps the Golden State has gotten away with tax hikes for so long because of its natural beauty and ideal weather, but McQuillan says this is no longer an option. He joins Bob to discuss the real reason behind UC tuition hikes and cuts to state and local services. Learn how politicians like Gray Davis sold out future generations, raising pensions during the dot-com boom, bankrupting California both financially and morally. Let’s hope Governor Brown is listening.

Chris Edwards on Why Federal Government Fails

Every once in a while, it’s good to be reminded of how bad the government is at its job. In the private sector, we occasionally learn about crooked CEOs cooking the books. In the public sector, mismanagement and corruption practically seem like requirements. Chris Edwards, curator of the Cato Institute’s Downsizing Government project has masterfully documented the waste, graft and abuse across all Federal departments and agencies, from the Post Office to the Department of Defense. He joins Bob to talk about a new Cato Policy Analysis on the reasons why government fails so consistently, in spite of the mountains of money it receives from taxpayers. Wonder why Mitch McConnell has gone to such efforts to keep funds flowing to the pointless and wasteful Export-Import Bank? Chris will explain. As a bonus, Bob and Chris will discuss Bob’s proposal to gradually replace most of the government workforce with private contractors, who opt to work for fewer benefits and perform select services more efficiently. Call in with your questions or tell us about a government failure you’ve witnessed, at 1-800-345-5639.

Links and Other Resources

 Mount Vernon - A model of private sector park management

The Cato Institute’s Downsizing Government platform, exposing Federal waste and abuse

"Why Federal Government Fails," Chris Edwards' July 2015 Cato Policy Analysis

 

America’s Student Loan Problem

Evidence from the student loan crisis would lead us to believe that a root cause of our economic doldrums stems from a shortage of anthropologists, fine arts majors and women’s studies experts.  That must be why our federal government subsidizes the loans taken out by students with these majors.  The reality is that college graduates owe almost a trillion dollars in student loans and almost all of it is guaranteed by Washington.  If the holder of an ethnic studies degree cannot find meaningful employment (how could they?) and defaults, you and I pick up the tab.    In this episode, Bob welcomes Arvin Vohra to his show.  Arvin is the Libertarian candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 5th CD, the seat now held by Stenny Hoyer: the Democratic House Minority Whip.  Arvin is an educator and a published author including “Lies, Damn Lies and College Admissions.”  Bob and Arvin discuss student loan bailouts, bank bailouts and retail politics.  Meet one of the rising Libertarian stars. 

The Second American Revolution – NOW

The current budget/deficit/spending fight among the President, the House and the Senate is setting the stage for the election of 2012.  The Jefferson/Adams election contest of 1800 affected the size and reach of the federal government.  2012 will be a rerun, but the stakes are even higher.  What is the current battle really all about?  Money?  Yes, but only to a point.  Please join Bob Zadek and Libertarian economics professor and prolific blogger, as well as frequent media guest Don Boudreaux in this episode, when the answer to the key question is demystified.  “Do we look to Modern Europe Government for guidance, or to the Enlightenment? Sarkozy or Locke?”