Sunday, October 10, 2010
In a press release last week, the Federal Reserve announced the delay of the new $100 bill after they discovered an error in the printing process.
While it isn't going to slow them down for long, it's just another item on a list of things that have gone wrong for the Federal Reserve over the past year.
Two years ago, most Americans knew little - to absolutely nothing - about the Federal Reserve, and that's the way the Fed liked it. However, times have changed.
And it's all because of you.
When we embarked on the challenge to Audit the Fed, no one, least of all the folks at the Federal Reserve, could have predicted how far it would go.
For over 30 years, Congressman Paul has attempted to open up the Federal Reserve and shed sunlight on its books. Never before had his bill made it out of committee, let alone received a roll call vote in both houses of Congress.
Even though the final audit included in the Dodd/Frank bill was more of a fig leaf to cover up Fed-loving congressmen than a real gain for liberty or transparency, it shows just how frightened the Fed and its enablers are becoming of a citizen outrage.
Thanks to your efforts, the Federal Reserve is now a household name and most people now recognize its actions as a cause of the recession rather than a solution, and its actions are frequently scrutinized in the media. No longer can the Federal Reserve go about its daily business without people asking questions.
Because of you, 80% of Americans are now in favor of a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
It wasn't easy for the Fed to water down the audit. It took everything they had, including hiring a powerful and well connected ex-Enron lobbyist and circulating letters signed by so-called “renowned economists” who made it sound as if we would bring on the apocalypse itself if the Fed were subjected to an audit.
Even the Obama administration was forced to come out in opposition to the audit to help the Fed save face.
Due to the immense pressure from grassroots activists, Ben Bernanke was reconfirmed with the lowest vote of any Fed Chairman.
Together, we were able to put senators and representatives on the record as being either for or against transparency at our nation's central bank.
With your continued support, Campaign for Liberty will put federal candidates on the record for sound money and auditing the Federal Reserve with our Federal Candidate Survey Program.
You can see how your candidates answered the Federal Candidate Survey by visiting your state page on our website.
If the candidates in your area haven't yet filled out our survey, call their campaign today and ask them to return Campaign for Liberty's Federal Candidate Survey.The liberty movement looked the Federal Reserve in the eye, and for a change, we made it blink.
We've given the Federal Reserve a rough time over the past year. Let's keep up the pressure!
Unlike the Federal Reserve and its broken printing presses, we can't magically print money out of thin air. Your contribution of just $10 will go a long way toward helping us keep pushing for sound money and transparency at the Fed.
BURNET, Texas - The greatest cost of the endless and needless wars the United States is engaged in can’t be measure in dollars and cents but in the expenditure of our most precious resource, the lives of our young people, said potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights.
“The greatest cost of war is the toll it is taking on our most precious resources, our young people,” said Wrights. “Every time a young American soldier, sailor, airman or marine is killed, another dream dies, another possibility dies, another prospect dies. Every time a young American is killed, another hope dies.”
One such precious resource was 24-year-old Robert J. Miller. The Special Forces soldier was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military decoration, for his action in Afghanistan in saving the lives of 22 American and Afghan soldiers.
“Staff Sgt. Miller gave his life for his fellow man, the greatest sacrifice any person can make,” Wrights said. “He should be honored, as should every American killed defending themselves or their comrades.”
“But the greatest honor we can bestow on these young people is to stop asking them to sacrifice themselves in endless and needless wars,” he said. “If we truly want to support the troops we should bring them home - now.”
“Most Americans are untouched by the war, other than having to endure invasions of their civil liberties when they try to get on an airplane,” Wrights said. “During the Vietnam war, the anti-war movement was galvanized by the images of death and destruction on their television screens. Sadly, today Americans are either numb or indifferent to very similar images coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has even acknowledged that this is not a shared cost. He told a group of students at Duke University recently that less than 20 percent of Americans know someone who has been in the military and that number is declining. Gates said that despite the “fond sentiments for men and women in uniform, for most Americans the wars remain an abstraction.”
Wrights said that America’s wars are now being fought by a professional military, the standing army that our nation’s founders feared and warned against. In his Duke lecture, Gates said that United States couldn’t sustain such “complex and protracted missions” like Iraq and Afghanistan without the dedication of “seasoned professional who choose to serve and keep on serving.”
The defense secretary also said that whatever mistakes were made in these conflicts were the result of failures and “miscalculations” at the top, not by the troops in the field. “It has taken every ounce of our troops’ skill, initiative and commitment to battle a cunning and adaptive enemy at the front while overcoming bureaucratic lassitude and sometimes worse at the rear,” Gates said.
“This is stunning,” Wrights said. “What the secretary is saying in effect is that these young people who choose to serve their country have more honor and integrity to do the right thing than the leaders who send them to fight and die. I am appalled at such callousness.”
Gates said that the wars are putting extraordinary stress on military members and their families, causing anxiety, increased domestic strife and a growing number of suicides. He said that the divorce rate among Army enlisted personnel has nearly doubled since the wars began.
“Yet neither the secretary nor President Obama offer any solutions to these problems,” Wrights said. “They piously praise the dedication and sacrifice made by America’s young men and women in uniform, yet they continue to promote policies that will cause them and their families to suffer and sacrifice even more.”
“Our military deserves better. Our military deserves a Commander-in-Chief who will honor and respect their devotion to duty by calling on them to fight and die only to defend America when we have been directly attacked,” Wrights said.
Wrights, a military veteran himself, is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. He has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Libertarians challenge 89 TARP-supporting incumbents in Congress
WASHINGTON - This November, Libertarian Party candidates are challenging 89 incumbent members of Congress who voted for the TARP bailouts in 2008. View the list here.
The list includes 27 Republicans and 62 Democrats.
LP Chair Mark Hinkle commented, "Few acts of Congress have evoked as much fear, ire, disgust, and disapproval from Americans as the 2008 TARP banker bailouts, passed with bipartisan support in Congress, and signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush."
Hinkle continued, "Bailer-in-chief John McCain, who famously suspended his 2008 losing Republican presidential campaign to rush back to Washington DC to vote for TARP, tops our list. He'll face Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan in November."
[Note and correction: An earlier emailed version of this release incorrectly stated the number of Libertarians at 97.]
According to Congressional Quarterly, twelve of these TARP incumbents are in close re-election battles (classified in the "tossup" or "leans" category). The Libertarian Party hopes to help kick them out of office. "They tried to justify TARP by claiming our economy was going off a cliff. Let's push their teetering careers off a cliff," said LP Executive Director Wes Benedict.
The twelve most vulnerable TARP incumbents in races with Libertarians:
Harry Mitchell (D-AZ, District 5)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, District 8)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA, Senator)
Dan Lungren (R-CA, District 3)
Kendrick Meek (D-FL, incumbent Rep. running for Senate)
Bill Foster (D-IL, District 14)
Brad Ellsworth (D-IN, incumbent Rep. running for Senate)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN, District 2)
Roy Blunt (R-MO, incumbent Rep. running for Senate)
Ike Skelton (D-MO, District 4)
Joe Sestak (D-PA, incumbent Rep. running for Senate)
Chet Edwards (D-TX, District 17)
Benedict continued, "The Tea Party revolt is one potentially positive reaction to TARP. But any Tea Partier who votes for a TARP-supporting Republican is a plain old hypocrite, just as bad as the incumbent he or she is pushing back into office. Every Tea Partier should take a pledge to vote against ALL incumbents who voted for TARP, period.
"Liberals should also vote against TARP incumbents. Hundreds of billions for Wall Street bankers and their stockholders and bondholders is not what Democrats are supposed to stand for. Any liberal-leaning voter who votes for a TARP-supporting Democrat, when a Libertarian alternative is available, sends a callous message to the middle class and poor: Thanks for your taxes! Get another job if you can find one -- we want even more of your money to pass up to the Wall Street fat cats!
"Fortunately, these voters have a better option: Libertarian candidates who would have proudly voted against TARP, and who will consistently vote against other foolish, unconstitutional, taxpayer-abusing measures.
"After the TARP bailouts passed, Republicans repeatedly tried to defend their support, sometimes saying that they hadn't done a good enough job explaining it to the American people. Now the recent pandering Republican 'Pledge to America' says 'End TARP once and for all.' Which is it, Republicans? Was it a bad sales pitch, or are you trying to pretend that you never supported it? I suspect that the Republicans don't know what to think. That's a problem with many ignorant and spineless members of Congress today.
"Some incumbents have tried to make the excuse that they voted for TARP because President Bush and Secretary Paulson scared them, or because drops in the stock market made them worry. Such worthless excuses are beneath the dignity of their office. Voters should not let TARP-supporters make excuses for themselves.
"Last year, William A. Niskanen of the Cato Institute wrote this article describing five instances in which the members of Congress caved in to executive-branch hysteria, leading to disastrous consequences. (TARP is #4 chronologically.) Each time, the members of Congress failed to uphold their crucial responsibility to view all executive requests with care and skepticism.
"If all it takes is for a president to shout 'The sky is falling!' to get Congress to pass whatever he wants, then we might as well make the president a king, and give him all the power.
"In addition to the huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to bankers, TARP created tremendous moral hazard by sending this loud message to bankers: 'Your goal is to get big, because then you can claim you're too big to fail, and you can get Congressmen to force taxpayers to bail you out for whatever stupid or self-serving decisions you make.'
"It's hard to think of another government program that did more to reward stupidity and punish prudence.
"TARP is both a short-term and long-term failure. We would be better off today if Congress had done nothing."
The Libertarian Party has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 170 candidates for U.S. House in the upcoming November 2010 elections.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
BURNETT, Texas - The war in Afghanistan may cost another 60 billion dollars and last ten more years, even if U.S. forces start leaving the country in 2011, potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights said today.
A NATO training-mission document recently uncovered by the Associated Press estimated it would cost about 6 billion dollars a year to train Afghani military and police forces. Gen. David Petraeus, the new commander in Afghanistan, has said that a successful counter-insurgency operation could last another ten years.
“That means this war will cost at least another 60 billion dollars to finish a job we never should have started,” said R. Lee Wrights. “No wonder our country is going broke.”
Even with the training the NATO document acknowledges that Afghanistan will remain largely dependent on U.S. forces for security for years. The document also includes plans for large-scale infrastructure projects for “establishing enduring institutions” and “creating irreversible momentum” according to AP sources.
“The only ‘irreversible momentum’ we’re creating is the irreversible momentum driving America deeper and deeper into debt,” Wrights said. “And the only ‘enduring institutions’ we’re creating is the enduring institution of a welfare-warfare State that supports corrupt governments under the guise of fighting terrorism.”
Wrights said he’s troubled by comments Petraeus has made about the withdrawal of American troops, which is supposed to begin in July 2011.
“He seems to be hedging his bets,” Wrights said. After nine years of war, Petraeus said that it is just now that the United States has the organization and people in place to fight a counter-insurgency operation.
“The general is reputed to be an expert on this type of warfare and has said it can take years, even decades, to wage successfully,” Wrights says. “So if we are just getting started now, it could take ten more years to ‘finish the job.’ That’s unacceptable.”
Wrights is also troubled by the fact that the general refers to July 2011 as the date “when a process begins, the pace of which is determined by conditions on the ground.” Petraeus characterized the process as a “thinning out” of U.S. forces, rather than a “turning over” of security for their own country to Afghanistan’s citizens and authorities.
“We have already endured one war where the generals and politicians kept telling us they were seeing the ‘light at the end of the tunnel,’ but that light never got any closer,” Wrights said.
Petraeus recently spoke out against plans by a Florida minister to burn the Qur’an, saying that the action would put American troops in danger.
“What is a greater danger to American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen is keeping them in a war we should not have started in the first place, helping prop up a corrupt government,” Wrights said. “If we truly want to keep our troops safe, we should bring them home now.”
Wrights is considering seeking the LP presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. He has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
It’s time do more than just “turn the page” on America’s foreign wars. We should close the book and put it pack on the shelf, said potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights in response to President Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday night.
“President Obama said he was announcing that ‘the American combat mission in Iraq’ has ended and that it was time to ‘turn the page’ on a ‘remarkable chapter in American history,” Wrights said. “It is time to do more than just turn the page. It is time to close the book of war, put it back on the shelf, and never refer to it again.”
“There is nothing remarkable about this chapter in American history,” Wrights said. “If the president really wanted to end the war he would simply tell the joint chiefs to draw up a plan to remove every last American solider, sailor, airman and marine from the region as quickly and safely as possible.”
“If the president really wanted to honor the sacrifices made by America’s men and women in uniform, he would not continue to put them in harm’s way unnecessarily,” Wrights said.
Wrights said that President Obama was elected on the expectation that he would end America’s interventionist foreign policy, but from the words he used in this address it appears he is going to continue this policy and use different language to obscure his intentions.
For example, Wrights noted that while the president said the combat mission is ending, he said our commitment to Iraq is not. The president also said a transitional force will remain to advise and assist Iraqi security forces, support Iraqi troops in targeted counter-terrorism missions and protect civilians. In fact, as the last “combat” troops leave Iraq, fifty thousand troops will remain behind.
“In other words, our soldiers and marines will still be going on patrol, getting shot at, and possibly getting killed, but the president won’t call it combat operations,” Wrights said. He noted that the infantry brigades still in Iraq have been renamed “advise and assist” brigades.
“It is shameful the way politicians will parse words in order to justify and obscure their actions; and, it is disgraceful that any president who refers to himself as the commander-in-chief would use such a tactic to disguise the service of the men and women he is supposed to command.”
“It is disturbing the way the president casually dismissed the fact that this war was fought for a lie,” Wrights said. The president said that what began as “a war to disarm a state became a fight against insurgency.”
“It is distressing that President Obama admitted that the war has cost us one trillion dollars, most of it borrowed for other nations, and contributed to our debt, yet he doesn’t miss a beat in calling for even more government spending,” Wrights said. “He shows absolutely no signs that he is going to change anything in American foreign policy when he said America ‘must use all elements of our power to secure our interests and stand by our allies.’”
Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud and unequivocal call to stop all war. He has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
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