Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, May 3, 2008, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the May 3, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the President's Address -- Looming Recession

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, the Commerce Department reported that GDP grew at an annual rate of six-tenths of a percent in the first quarter. This rate of growth is not nearly as high as we would like. And after a record 52 months of uninterrupted job growth, April was the fourth month in a row in which our economy lost jobs, although the unemployment rate dropped to five percent.  (continued below)

How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":

  1. America's Founding Fathers created a nation they called "an experiment in Liberty"

    • The Experiment in Liberty made America the most prosperous and admired nation in human history.

  2. During the 20th century, numerous nations experimented with government central planning.

    • The experiments in government central planning resulted in poverty and mass death (USSR, Red China, etc.).

  3. The Free Market -- "capitalism" -- creates prosperity; the government inevitably creates recession, depression, poverty.

  4. In America, under the Constitution, the Federal Government only has the powers which "We the People" delegated to it in the Constitution.

  5. The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights summarizes the philosophy of the Constitution:
    • "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
  6. In Federalist 45, Madison described the relationship between the federal government and the states in these famous words:

    The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]

  7. Tinkering with the economy through a "stimulus package" was never considered a function of the government, especially the federal government.
  8. The voluntary transactions entered into by Americans at home and at work, based on the combined knowledge of millions of investors, business owners, and managers of households, all of them accountable to the discipline of profit-and-loss, organizes the nation's economic activity better than a handful of politicians trying to please special interests and get re-elected.
  9. Everything the President proposes in his Saturday Morning Radio Address is unconstitutional, and represents a form of socialism rather than capitalism. Our problems are caused by political intervention in the economy, and further political intervention to "cure" past political intervention will only make the economy worse.

President Bush's
Saturday Morning Radio Address

Another Perspective:
"Liberty Under God"

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, the Commerce Department reported that GDP grew at an annual rate of six-tenths of a percent in the first quarter. This rate of growth is not nearly as high as we would like. And after a record 52 months of uninterrupted job growth, April was the fourth month in a row in which our economy lost jobs, although the unemployment rate dropped to five percent. Cato senior fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale comments:

"National output grew during the first quarter of the year by 0.6 percent at an annual rate--much faster than expected based on earlier comments by some analysts that the economy had entered a recession. The estimate shows that the economy is down but not out. It demonstrates a flexible private sector at work--re-allocating resources quickly and efficiently in response to turmoil in financial and credit sectors. Now that the Federal Reserve appears to have quelled fears of cascading failures among financial firms, it should not over-do cuts in the fed funds and discount rates. Keeping those rates steady today would help to maintain investors' faith in the Fed's commitment to contain inflation, revive a sagging dollar, and relieve upward pressures on energy and food prices."

My Administration has been clear and candid on the state of the economy. We saw the economic slowdown coming, we were up front about these concerns with the American people, and we've been taking decisive action. The government claims to be able to prevent a depression. Obviously the government is not strong enough or smart enough to prevent even a little "economic slowdown" such as we are experiencing right now, much less a more powerful economic contraction like a Depression. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that the government caused the Great Depression in 1929, just as libertarians like Milton Friedman have long alleged.
In February, I signed an economic growth package to put more than $150 billion back into the hands of millions of American families, workers, and businesses. This week, the main piece of that package began being implemented, as nearly 7.7 million Americans received their tax rebates electronically. Next week, the Treasury Department will begin mailing checks to millions more across the country. And by this summer, it expects to have sent rebates to more than 130 million American households. These rebates will deliver up to $600 per person, $1,200 per couple, and $300 per child. The government should not have taken this money out of the paychecks of hard-working Americans in the first place.

Now the government re-packages our money and tells us to spend it like it was a gift, rather than allowing us to have made that money a part of a responsible budgeting process. This encourages consumerism rather than disciplined investment and growth.

Is Saving Your Stimulus Government Check UNAMERICAN? - The Mises Community

This package will help American families increase their purchasing power and help offset the high prices that we're seeing at the gas pump and the grocery store. It will also provide tax incentives for American businesses to invest in their companies, which will help create jobs. Most economic experts predict that the stimulus will have a positive effect on the economy in this quarter and even a greater impact in the next. And Americans should have confidence in the long-term outlook for our economy. High prices at the pump are caused by government obstacles placed in the way of producers, at the request of environmentalists who want human beings to live in teepees rather than skyscrapers. If government would allow producers to produce, including the use of oil in Alaska and nuclear power, the supply of energy would be greater, and the price would be lower.
While getting more money back in the hands of Americans is a good start, there are several additional steps that Congress needs to take to ease the burdens of an uncertain economy. Americans are concerned about energy prices. To increase our domestic energy supply, Congress needs to allow environmentally safe energy exploration in northern Alaska, expand America's refining capacity, and clear away obstacles to the use of clean, safe nuclear power. Dr. Arthur Robinson publishes and edits Access to Energy: He responds to the President's rosy energy picture:

In fact, we do not even have the engineers and industrial infrastructure to build the nuclear power plants and coal fired power plants needed to replace the foreign energy we can no longer afford. In our review article (it is at - please read it carefully), we point out that the energy problem can be solved by building one nuclear power installation in each state.

The chairman of one of our few remaining nuclear engineering schools commented on our text (before publication) that the text was right except that we should propose that the building of these 50 plants be staged over a period of 50 years. He says we would need to first rebuild the engineering schools, then educate the engineers, and then build the plants. The U.S. no longer even has a single iron foundry capable of casting the casing for a nuclear reactor. The wait for these from abroad is many years.

Nuclear engineers are in such high demand - we do not graduate enough to replace those retiring from our current nuclear installations - that the schools cannot induce them to remain in school for PhDs. With BS or MS in nuclear engineering, they are deluged with very high paying job offers.

There is no way whatever to prevent the loss of the 30% of our energy that is now imported. We simply do not make the goods and services required to purchase this energy in the world market. After that 30% is lost - coming to every community near you in the near future, Americans will begin to learn what they have thrown away over the past 40 years. With much of the remaining 70% is required for food production, heat in the winter, and other essentials, so the loss of 30% will mean a loss more than 60% of discretionary energy use. Air conditioning, recreational computer use, and summer vacation car trips are going to end. At least, we'll save a lot on road maintenance.

There is only one relevant question. When Americans are squeezed by this huge reduction in the technology that they have come to take for granted, will they finally understand that taxation, regulation, and litigation - put in by the politicians they elected - have caused this problem and then throw the baggage out?

More likely, the baggage will convince them to blame the industries that remain - tax the oil companies higher, etc. If this happens, we will descend to third world status, food rationing, and the danger of foreign conquest.

The only thing we can do for our country is to redouble our efforts to educate our people about the taxation, regulation, and litigation that is destroying their lives. As the crunch comes - and it is coming fast - they must understand. If they do not and the wrong choices are made, they will lose their country and their freedom.

In short, the government dug us into this mess, and now claims to be able to get us out by digging faster.

Americans are concerned about rising food prices. Yet, despite this growing pressure on Americans' pocketbooks, Congress is considering a massive farm bill. Instead, they should pass a fiscally responsible bill. The squeeze on food prices is caused in part by diverting corn to government-subsidized ethanol. This is bad energy policy, bad agriculture policy -- in short, government planning as usual.
Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments and keeping their homes. Yet Congress has failed to pass legislation I have repeatedly requested to modernize the Federal Housing Administration that will help more families stay in their homes, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow state housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance sub-prime loans. The housing crisis is also government-generated.

restrictions on home-building to please environmentalists,

"easy credit" and "fiat money."

Americans are concerned about their tax bills. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about the Federal government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. So Congress should eliminate this uncertainty and make the tax relief we passed permanent. Congress could slash the budget by 50% tomorrow if it wanted to. It doesn't want to. The number of constituents who whine for more money is greater than the number of Americans who whine about high taxes. So Congress won't bother looking at the Top 10 Examples of Government Waste, slash that waste and lower your taxes.

Taxation is theft.

America is now facing a tough economic period, but our long-term outlook remains strong. This week we saw evidence that our economy is continuing to grow in the face of challenges. This should come as no surprise. No temporary setbacks can hold back the most powerful force in our economy -- the ingenuity of the American people. Because of your hard work and dedication, I am confident that we will weather this rough period and emerge stronger than ever.      The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the first three months of 2008 recorded the fastest growth in government hiring in six years. The previous high occurred in the months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
     During this same period, according to the BLS, private firms cut 286,000 Americans from jobs they previously held.
     It can’t be said too often that wealth is productivity and government produces nothing. Mostly, government inhibits productivity. Hiring more government workers when the number of manufacturing jobs is shrinking is suicidal.
Thank you for listening.  

Kevin Craig's Platform:

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John Adams once wrote that the American Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but "American independence," Adams wrote, "was then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15 years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence (1776). Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was signed (1783), and then six years before the Constitution was finally ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson said we shouldn't go 20 years without another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."

The Democrat Party Radio Address:

Indiana Congressman André Carson delivered the Democratic Radio Address.

Five years ago Bush said "Mission Accomplished." Obviously it hasn't been accomplished, and our continued presence in Iraq is hurting our economy here at home.

Libertarian Response:

Democrats supported "nation building" in Kosovo under Clinton. They would be supporting the War in Iraq if it had been led by a Democrat. Democrats control Congress. They can de-fund the war tomorrow. They aren't going to. Their opposition to Bush's nation-building is partisan talk.

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall