As much as Democrats try to demonize Republicans as being uncaring, small government, no regulation, crazy Tea Partiers, the reality is quite different. Just looking at their 2012 platform passed this week at the Republican Party’s national convention, one can see it is full of ways to regulate business and Americans’ lives while still spending wildly. It is hard to understand why even a few Ron Paul supporters are going to stay in the Republican Party to attempt to change the behemoth from within when many previous attempts have failed. Most libertarians have realized the false narrative offered by both older political parties and have either gone independent, registered or joined the Libertarian Party or have become politically inactive.
Even the Republican Party’s presidential nominee Mitt Romney, while Governor of Massachusetts, increased mandated taxes-fees while increasing regulation on business and citizens. Each of the four years Romney served as governor, he raised taxes – while pretending he didn’t. He claims he only raised mandatory government “fees.” But government mandatory fees are nothing but taxes, and taxes are nothing but mandatory government fees forced upon businesses and individuals. Romney’s new tax-fees raised hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue for the state government every year he was Governor. Romney increased government spending and mandated RomneyCare on citizens and businesses.
It is clear to see why Romney is the Republican Party’s presidential nominee and Ron Paul was forced out, as Romney is the champion of big government, much like most elected Republicans on the federal level. George W. Bush dramatically increased government spending not only on defense but on Medicare to a level we know to be unsustainable. Most Republicans in Congress continually vote for more spending, bailouts, increasing the national government debt limit and more intrusive government regulation into the lives of Americans and American business.
While the Republican Party talks free market, the reality is quite different. The Party calls for high regulation of American farmers, even paying farmers not to farm. Much like the Obama Administration and every Presidential Administration for the last few decades, Republican or Democrat, they proudly pick winners and losers. They decide what farmers should farm, subsidize some farming operations while not others and actively manipulate agriculture in America. The Republican Party is no different than the Democratic Party when it comes to farming operations and actively distorts the free market with federal government mandates and incentives. Republicans have proven themselves, they are not interested in seeing a free market in the agriculture industry.
Another example of elected Republicans picking winners and losers like Democrats can be seen in the many ‘free trade agreements’ our federal government signs with other countries. These agreements should all be renamed ‘managed trade agreements’ as they do not offer free trade between the countries and nearly every agreement decides which products will be ‘protected’ and which will not. This is anti-free trade and anti-free market.
Like Democrats, Republicans continue to advocate for forcing money out of one’s paycheck. Regardless of the rhetoric, Americans will not receive a full paycheck so long as Republicans or Democrats are in charge. While Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson has a plan for each American to receive their full paycheck, without mandatory deductions going to federal, state and local governments, Obama and Romney are fine with the status quo.
Republicans use the term “constructive regulation” in their platform to define their approach to regulation. As per Romney’s elective record, this seems contrary to the notion Republicans want an America free from regulation. In fact, when you look at most elected Republican’s voting records, they vote for more regulation of business and individuals, not less.
While their platform calls for “protecting Internet freedom”, the Republican Party platform advocates the opposite. They desire to regulate what Americans can see, do and store on their own personal computers and enthusiastically support legislation to snoop into American computers without the owner’s knowledge and without a warrant to do so. Some say such legislation is necessary to protect us from future terrorism, however this technology is being used for other purposes more so than investigating terrorism. Americans can no longer transfer legitimate and legal amounts of money without having to report it to the federal government. Americans can no longer purchase a new car on credit without a report going to Homeland Security. All legislation passed by Republicans and Democrats and all highly un-American.
The Republican platform calls for a reform of the U.S. Postal Service, yet whenever the Service attempts to make its operations more efficient, both Republicans and Democrats actively get government in the way of those efficiencies. An example of this can be seen in recent years when the Post Office desired to close many inefficient and overlapping Post Office facilities which would save it several billion dollars in expenses. Republicans grandstanded en mass caving to public pressure to keep them open.
The Republican Party nor Mitt Romney are offering any serious changes to our broken and complex tax system. They continue to advocate for picking winners and losers by using the current tax system to manipulate American’s behavior. For example, they will offer you tax incentives if you do this or buy this, but not do something else or buy something else. This is not an example of enabling a free market or free Americans to thrive. This is an example of the Republican Party acting like the Democratic Party to manage business and American lives and amounts to nothing more than central planning. To suggest Romney or Republicans advocate for a free, unfettered market is looking at political rhetoric, not reality.
There are dozens of other examples which can be extrapolated from either the voting records of elected Republicans or the new 2012 Republican Party’s platform which easily make the case; the Republican Party is interested in managing American’s lives, micro managing business behavior, believes in central planning, has tossed out the ideals of a free market society, is not interested in Americans being free to do what they want when they want so long as they are not harming another and clearly are not interested in having too much competition in the November 6, 2012 general election. The Grand ‘Ole Party of yesterday is not the GOP of today. It has many libertarian-minded Americans asking, “How can an self-respecting small government, freedom loving American remain in the Republican Party or Democratic Party?”