Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
OZARKS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Saturday Morning, October 11, 2008, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address
Click here to listen to a replay of the October 11, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Notes and Summary of the President's Address: Bailing out Foolish Investors
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market -- much of it driven by uncertainty and fear. Many Americans have serious concerns about their economic well-being. (continued below)
How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":
- America was founded on the philosophy of "Liberty Under God."
- "Liberty" means freedom from government suppression of ideas and confiscation of wealth
- "Under God" means we have a personal responsibility to love God and neighbor.
- Human beings are endowed with the right to property by God, not the government.
- The original American Dream: Everyone dwelling safely under his own Vine & Fig Tree
- America's Founders spoke of this as "an Experiment in Liberty" (1787-1887)
- The "experiment" was a success: a Free Market made America the most prosperous and admired nation in history
- In the 20th century, the experiment in liberty was replaced with another experiment: an experiment in central planning
- The original American dream of personal, private ownership, has been replaced with private indebtedness and public control.
- Nothing in the President's Agenda reduces socialism and promotes Free Markets.
- The President has forgotten the limits placed on his authority by the Constitution. He does not have the Constitutional authority to spend a trillion dollars.
- The central problem in this "crisis" is a system of "false weights and measures." Banks create "counterfeit" money to lend. The debt (and the interest) is sold to investors, who stand to lose money if the borrower does not repay the "fiat money." If the government were not fraudulently debasing the currency, creating new money to be loaned out at interest, the debt-pyramid would never be created in the first place.
Saturday Morning Radio Address
"Liberty Under God"
|THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market -- much of it driven by uncertainty and fear. Many Americans have serious concerns about their economic well-being.
|Here's what the American people need to know: The United States government is acting -- and will continue to act -- to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets. The Federal government has a comprehensive strategy and the tools necessary to address the challenges in our economy.
|| The Federal Government needs to stop acting. It's not like the current crisis was caused by Islamic terrorists, and the federal government must respond. The current crisis was caused by previous government action. Rather than more government action in response to previous government action, we need the government to go away and let a Free Market purge government manipulation and intervention from itself
|Here are the problems we face and the steps we are taking: First, key markets are not functioning because there is a lack of liquidity. So the Federal Reserve has injected hundreds of billions of dollars into the system. The Fed has joined with central banks around the world to coordinate a cut in interest rates -- a step that should help free up credit. The Fed has also announced a new program to provide support for a vital tool that many American businesses use to finance their day-to-day operations -- the commercial paper market, which is freezing up. As this program kicks in over the next week or so, it will help revive a key source of short-term financing for businesses and financial institutions.
||"Lack of liquidity" means nobody wants to buy what you're selling. Nobody wants to buy bad debt. The government created this bad debt by pressuring lenders to make loans to people who could not afford them. The government encouraged "liquidity" with government-backed promises that bad debt would be bought up. Behind the manipulation of interest rates is government creation of new money.
This is obviously not a laissez-faire free market. This is socialism or fascism, call it what you wish. And the importance of "short-term financing" means that government is driving businesses to the brink of extinction, and businesses are living week-to-week.
|Second, some Americans are concerned about whether their money is safe. So the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration have significantly expanded the amount of money insured in savings accounts and checking accounts and certificates of deposit. That means that if you have up to $250,000 in one of these insured accounts, every penny of that money is safe. The Treasury Department has also acted to restore confidence in a key element of America's financial system by offering government insurance for money market mutual funds.
||Deadly Assumption #5: My Bank Accounts Are Fully Insured
|Third, we are concerned that some investors could take advantage of the crisis to illegally manipulate the stock market. So the Securities and Exchange Commission is launching rigorous enforcement actions to detect fraud and manipulation in the market.
||"illegally manipulate" means "try to overcome government intervention." Which, of course, is exactly what needs to happen if the market is to survive. What Bush is saying is like a virus accusing antibodies of "illegally manipulating" the patient.
|Fourth, the decline in the housing market has left many Americans concerned about losing their homes. My Administration launched the HOPE NOW Alliance, which brings together homeowners and lenders and mortgage servicers and others to find ways to prevent foreclosure. We're also making it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance into affordable mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Americans listening today can know that if you're struggling to meet your mortgage there are ways you can get help.
|These actions are helping to address a key problem in the housing market: The supply of homes now exceeds demand. And as a result, home values have declined. Once supply and demand balance out, our housing market will be able to recover -- and that will help our broader economy begin to grow.
||This never happens in a Free Market. Prices relentlessly push supply and demand together. Government-manipulated prices distort the market, creating shortages or "illiquidity."
|Fifth, we have seen that problems in the financial system are not isolated to the United States. So we're working closely with partners around the world to ensure that our actions are coordinated and effective. Today, I'm meeting with the finance ministers from our partners in the G-7 and the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. And Treasury Secretary Paulson is also hosting finance ministers from the world's 20 leading economies.
|Finally, American businesses and consumers are struggling to obtain credit. So my Administration worked with Congress to pass a $700 billion financial rescue package. This new law authorizes the Treasury Department to use a variety of measures to help banks rebuild capital -- including buying or insuring troubled assets and purchasing the equity of financial institutions. The Department will implement measures that have maximum impact as quickly as possible. Seven hundred billion dollars is a significant amount of money, and as we act, we will do it in an effective way.
||"Rescue," not "bailout."
Government never does anything as effectively as the Free Market.
|In the short term, we'll continue to face challenges. But in the long run, Americans have reason to be confident. We have the strongest and most resilient economy in the world. When we have faced difficult tests in the past, the American people have always risen to meet them. And that is exactly what we're going to do again.
||One definition of "resilient" is: "returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched." The question is not whether the economy can withstand such assault, but, why is government doing these things to the economy? But that's the most fundamental question one can ask about government: why does it seek to benefit special interests at the expense of the general welfare?
| Thank you for listening.
Kevin Craig's Platform:
- "Vine & Fig Tree" - the original American Dream - work, profit, save, invest, enjoy - not "easy to borrow," perpetual debt.
- Pursuit of Happiness, not right to happiness - risk-takers must take personal responsibility. "Free Enterprise" means profit and loss.
- Allowing irresponsible businesses to fail is good.
- Econonomic Theory for the American Free Enterprise System
- My Message to Leaders
- The Doctrine of "Enumerated Powers" - Government only has those powers delegated to it by "We the People" in the pages of the Constitution. Bailing out Wall Street was not one of those powers.
- Government causes bankruptcy.
- Government causes inflation.
- Government caused "The Great Depression"
- Government bails out special interests, does not promote the "general welfare."
- Why do people need to get a loan? Government takes more than half of everything you earn, leaving you with less than you need. The average family now pays more in taxes than it spends for housing, clothing, and food combined.
- Thinking Biblically about the Banking Crisis
- How Much Red Ink in a TRILLION Dollar Bailout?
- Interest Rates Should be Higher
From the Blog
Is there a "Crisis?" Really?
- The drying up of credit is a myth, as Robert Higgs explains: Credit Is Flowing, Sky Is Not Falling, Don’t Panic.
- Credit for the uncreditworthy should be allowed to dry up. The flood of such credit was created by the government to gain votes.
- On The Media: Transcript of "Rescue Mission" (September 26, 2008)
- Sheldon Richman asks, Is This What It's All About? He quotes business reporter Ali Velshi of CNN, talking about the alleged credit drought on Tuesday when he stopped and said (roughly), "When I say 'dried up,' I don't mean there's no money. But you'd better have good collateral and good credit." In other words, "credit worthy."
In other words, a trillion dollar bailout is designed to prevent a resurgence of responsible lending.
- Bernanke's Hype - Forbes.com
Additional "Liberty Under God" Resources
See our 2008 Bailout page for more resources.
It would probably be depressing to compare the average university economics curriculum (and the understanding the average university economics student has of the current "bailout" crisis) with the following worthwhile links:
- The Bailout Reader - A Collection of papers from the Mises Institute, listed below.
- Notablog: A Crisis of Political Economy - Another "reader" by Chris Sciabarra, a Visiting Scholar at New York University - a complete course in economics relating to the current "crisis," if you follow the links.
- Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending - New York Times, September 30, 1999, describing efforts by Democrats in the Clinton Administration to create the current crisis.
- Barney Frank's fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco - Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe
- Media Mum on Barney Frank's Fannie Mae Love Connection
Barney Frank is a homosexual. One of his "lovers" was a Fannie Mae executive. (Could this be an argument for homosexual "marriage?" After all, if they were officially, legally "married," there might have been some "conflict of interest" issues. But there are undoubtedly a large number of similar conflicts with heterosexuals in and out of Congress who are not "married" to each other.)
- The Corporate State Fails
"According to popular myth, the current financial turmoil is the result of Bush administration deregulation. One problem with that theory: there was no deregulation. The last banking deregulation, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1999. Oops."
"Let’s hear no more about Republicans’ loving limited government."
- Government Failure
To hear the media pundits and presidential candidates tell it, you’d think Adam Smith has been president for the last eight years and, with a Congress full of free-market advocates, had enacted an agenda of full-blown laissez-faire.
But believe it or not, the problems in the financial and housing industries are not a market failure. They are a government failure.
- Photo of House Bailout Leader.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Freddie Mac: A Mercantilist Enterprise, by Paul Cleveland, March 14, 2005
- Fannie Mae: Another New Deal Monstrosity, by Karen De Coster, July 2, 2007
- How Fannie and Freddie Made Me a Grumpy Economist, by Christopher Westley, July 21, 2008
- Who Made the Fannie and Freddie Threat? By Frank Shostak, March 5, 2004
- Are Fannie and Freddie Too Big to Fail? By Frank Shostak, September 17, 2008
- Fannie Mae Distorts Markets, by Robert Blumen, June 17, 2002
The Housing Bubble
- The Housing Bubble in Four Easy Steps, by Mark Thornton, September 27, 2008
- The Real Cost of a Full Bailout, by Don Rich, August 22, 2008
- The Subprime Mortgage "Crisis" Will Fix Itself, by Steve Berger, May 30, 2007
- Did the Fed Cause the Housing Bubble? By Robert Murphy, April 14, 2008
- The Mortgage Market Mess, by Christopher Westley, May 17, 2007
- Housing Bubble: Myth or Reality? By Frank Shostak, March 4, 2003
- What's Behind the Financial Market Crisis? by Antony Mueller, September 18, 2008
- Our Financial House of Cards, by George Reisman, March 25, 2008
- Will Central Bankers Become Central Planners? by Robert Blumen, July 31, 2008
- Inflation is a Policy that Cannot Last, by Thorsten Polleit, March 14, 2008
- The Widening Safety Net, by Christopher Mayer, March 19, 2004
- The Fed's New Tricks Are Creating Disaster, Frank Shostak, March 18, 2008
- The Fed's War on the Middle Class, by Mark Thornton, June 4, 2008.
- Austrian Economics and Financial Markets conference at The Venetian Hotel Resort Casino, Las Vegas, 02-18-2005
Community Reinvestment Act
The Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle
- The Idiocy of Wall Street, by Don Rich, September 24, 2008
- The Fed is Culpable, by Hans F. Sennholz, November 11, 2002
- Skyscrapers and Business Cycles, by Mark Thornton, August 23, 2008
- Economic Outlook 2008: Darkening Clouds, Dominick Armentano, January 2, 2008
- Business Cycle Primer, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. February 8, 2001
- Economics Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, by Murray Rothbard
Who Predicted This?
- The Financial Apocalyptics are Back, Robert Blumen, July 25, 2007
- Sowing the Seeds of the Next Crisis, Thorsten Polleit, April 25, 2006
- Credit Crisis: Precursor of Great Inflation, by Thorsten Polleit, February 7, 2008
- Mr. Bailout, by Anton Mueller, September 30, 2004
- America's Unsustainable Boom, by Stefan Karlsson, November 8, 2004
- Who Predicted the Bubble? Who Predicted the Crash? By Mark Thornton, July 14, 2003
What To Do
- The Rescue Package Will Delay Recovery, September 29, 2008
- Don't Bail Them Out, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., September 10, 2008
- How to Avoid Another Depression, by Mark Thornton, September 10, 2008
- Taking Money Back, By Murray N. Rothbard, June 14, 2008
- Beware the Alchemists, by Ludwig von Mises, February 3, 2006
- Reflation in American History, by H.A. Scott Trask, October 31, 2003
- Money and Freedom, by Joseph Salerno, February 2, 2002
- The Case for a Genuine Gold Dollar, by Murray Rothbard
- Interview with Frank Shostak, September 30, 2008
Books to Distribute
- The Theory of Money and Credit, by Ludwig von Mises
- America's Great Depression, by Murray Rothbard
- The Mystery of Banking, by Murray Rothbard
- Prices and Production, by F.A. Hayek
- Causes of the Economic Crisis, by Ludwig von Mises
- Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays, by Ludwig von Mises, et al.
- Understanding the Dollar Crisis, by Percy Greaves
- The Case Against the Fed, by Murray Rothbard
- Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, by Jesus Huerta de Soto
- History of American Currency, by William Graham Sumner
- Banking and the Business Cycle, by C.A. Phillips
- Fiat Money Inflation in France, by Andrew Dickson White
What Would America's Founding Fathers Do?
The men who threw tea into the Boston Harbor over a tax of 3 pence per pound would not be happy with a tax ten times greater on every gallon of gas. Those who took up muskets over a total tax burden of less than 3% would not be happy with the fact that the federal government now takes more than half of everything you earn.
Today it is illegal for public school teachers to teach their students that the Declaration of Independence is really true (and not just an outdated historical document). The federal government is clearly at war with everything the Founding Fathers stood for.
America's greatest Americans would abolish today's federal government.
Muskets are Not an Option
There are two reasons why we should not take up arms to pull off the violent overthrow of the federal government, even if America's Founders would surely do so. First, the feds have nukes. Second, violent revolution is unChristian and unBiblical. We must beat our swords into plowshares and use persuasion to abolish tyranny. This is time for a revolution of ideas.
Revolution Won't Come in a Day
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 Internet Can Speed up the Revolution
Here are ways you can help.
Support This Campaign
Send emails. Find out how this free tool can change everything.
Vote Against Every Politician Who Voted for the Bailout, No Matter What
Communicating with Government and Media
- Contact Congress -- this is from the JBS website, powered by "CapWiz," from Capitol Advantage. Lots of organizations use capwiz. If you don't want to go through the JBS, search for capwiz on Google and find another organization that uses it.
Notice that you can also contact media through this webpage.
- Action E-List
Sign up for the JBS Action E-List and be notified when you can make a critical difference on important issues.
||Make Congress Read Their Bills Before Voting
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
|TWIC - A Backdoor Real ID Card|
Real ID is dying. But the Department of Homeland Security has a new plan to subject every American to a national ID card anyway. They plan to pick off one occupational field at a time, starting with the maritime industry. One man is fighting back. Meet him, and help stop this backdoor Real ID plan.
||Stop the Killer Horse Hormones
The FDA "outlawed" the use of Estriol, an estrogen medication that's bio-identical to human estrogen. Doctors must now prescribe animal-derived estrogen instead. Are bio-identical hormones dangerous, while animal-derived hormones are safe? No. The practice of medicine is moving to chemically identical to human hormones and away from animal hormones. Learn why the FDA decided to endanger women's health in this way, and take action.
|End Asset Forfeiture|
If the government suspects you used your house or car in a crime, they can take it and sell it at auction. They don't even have to prove your guilt. They call this practice civil asset forfeiture, but it's really theft. It violates the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th Amendments. It also encourages law enforcement to put profits before justice. Tell Congress to end civil asset forfeiture.
Support an Iraq Referendum
Americans keep debating when, how, or if to leave Iraq. Maybe we should ask the Iraqi people what they want. After all, it's their country. Tell Congress to request that the Iraqi government hold a public referendum on the U.S. occupation. Learn more »
"Cap and Trade" is not the way
The politicians seem to be unifying around "cap and trade" as a way to cut CO2 emissions. If they take this step it may be the largest increase in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government since the creation of Medicare. Worse still, it may not even achieve its purpose. Please tell Congress to oppose "cap and trade." Learn more »
Big government prospers through failure. Each new failure is used to justify more spending and new powers. Wasteful spending in Iraq is the latest example. One way to change this is to hold government accountable. A new bill in Congress seeks to provide some of the needed accountability. Please support it. Learn more »
Stop the War for Terror
U.S. policy has inflamed the Middle East. It has made terrorism more likely rather than less. We seem to be fighting a war for terror, rather than on terror. This policy must stop. The place to start stopping is with Iran. We must not attack Iran. War with Iran would devastate our economy, disrupt world oil supplies, and recruit more terrorists. Click here to stop this war before it starts.
The Democrat Party Radio Address:
The The Democratic Radio Address was a campaign commercial delivered by Delaware Senator and Vice-Presidential nominee Joseph Biden. He claimed that he and Obama are going to change things. He didn't mention that they voted for the policies that created the present crisis. He said Democrats will create jobs by "investing" in energy and education.
Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall