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Abolish Legal Plunder-End the Empire-Restore Free Enterprise

End-of-Year Update

New Jersey:

Bridgegate: I live one mile south of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee where the notorious three-tollbooth lanes designated for local traffic were restricted to only one for a few days in early September.   Traffic in Fort Lee was horrendous.  Gov. Christie asserted that these three tollbooths were used only for Fort Lee residents. This is a gross mischaracterization of the traffic going to the bridge during rush hour.  Motorists from Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Fairview, Edgewater, Guttenberg and probably other communities use that particular entrance to the GW.

What were Port Authority officials thinking when they restricted access to the bridge claiming they were conducting a traffic study to see the impact of closing two lanes?

Transportation studies can be conducted using a computer simulation to determine the effects of the lane closures without disrupting the actual traffic of an area being analyzed. In short, there was no need to close two of the lanes. Whatever the motives were of Messrs. Wildstein and Baroni, two smart Christie appointed officials who resigned in the wake of this brouhaha, the fact is politicians should not run key sectors of the economy.  Why? Because their motives and goals are much different than managers of businesses who have to satisfy shareholders or risk their own capital.

The bottom line is very simple government should get out of the transportation businessAt the very least, transportation professionals not political appointees should be making decisions about the use of bridges, tunnels and highways.

Tuition EqualityGov. Christie recently signed the bill giving children of illegal aliens the right to pay in-state tuition at state supported institutions of higher learning. This has upset some New Jerseyans who feel this is rewarding illegal immigration.

This is yet another example of why state colleges and universities should become financially independent.  If all institutions of higher learning did not receive taxpayer funds, then each institution would set its own policy regarding what to charge tuition to children of illegal aliens.

As far as Gov. Christie’s support for tuition equality, it may hurt his putative run for presidency in 2016. In the grand scheme of things, tuition equality is one of the least important issues facing the nation. The more important issues are war and peace, the Federal Reserve, taxation, regulations, healthcare, and the size and scope of the federal government.  Illegal immigration may get some peoples’ blood pressure up, but in the final analysis, we will be facing more financial crises in the future if the federal government does not get its fiscal house in order and the Federal Reserve keeps enabling the Congress to spend money it doesn’t have.

If Gov. Christie becomes a presidential candidate, he will have to address these issues and demonstrate whether he supports crony capitalism, a bloated federal budget, the Federal Reserve’s legal counterfeiting and an interventionist foreign policy.  If Gov. Christie is the second or third or fourth coming of another failed neoconservative presidential candidacy, then a strong third-party candidacy may emerge to challenge both the big government Democrats and big government Republicans in 2016.

Murder and Carjackings:

The murder of a young attorney at the Short Hill Mall by four allegedly carjackers is a sobering lesson for the people of New Jersey. We are defenseless outside our homes and apartments because it is virtually impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit in the state of New Jersey.

This is not to say that everyone should or must carry a firearm to protect himself and his loved ones in public. But responsible firearm owners should have that choice in a society where some sociopaths show no value for human life.  Why legislators and their allies in the so-called gun control community have such disregard for human life is astonishing. There ethic boils down to one proposition: it apparently is better for innocence to be targets then have the ability to protect themselves from these marauding murderers.

As far as the proper punishment for these alleged murderers, I no longer believe in capital punishment. The proper punishment for individuals who commit capital crimes such as murder, armed robbery, armed carjacking, brutal assaults, rape and other heinous crimes is deportation to the farthest ends of the Earth.  There would be no need for prisons costing taxpayers $20-$40,000 per year per prisoner to keep them fed, housed and clothed.  Taxpayers, especially victims of crime, should not be punished once or twice for the egregious acts of violent criminals. It is time to reconsider the proper punishment for the sociopaths among us.

The Federal Government:

We are witnessing the last chapter or chapters in the welfare-warfare state experiment.  The recent budget deal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Murray is another example of bipartisan “head in the sand” deal making regarding the federal government’s fiscal policies. We desperately need to debate the proper role of government in a free society. Instead, the Republicans who claim to be great champions of limited government and free enterprise, are really nothing more than caretakers of the welfare-warfare state.  In other words, electing get along (moderate) Republicans to Congress will not change the status quo.

The hundredth anniversary of the Federal Reserve came and went, and at Ben Bernanke’s last news conference none of the reporters asked the outgoing chairman of the Fed is he proud of the fact that his policies literally stole hundreds of billions of dollars of interest from seniors and other savers who keep substantial funds in banks across America?  Why no one asked the really tough question, why the Federal Reserve has undertaken the greatest transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street in American history?  The chairman’s answer would have been revealing, to say the least.

In addition, we should have a thorough review of the Federal Reserve’s policies to determine how it creates the cycle of boom and bust.  People can start by viewing the documentary, The Federal Reserve:  100 Years of Boom and Bust available on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFBkFxKMesQ&feature=youtu.be.

Obamacare is the nightmare that free market economists predicted it would become. This is yet another example why government should get out of healthcare completely and leave it to the people to arrange their healthcare needs through voluntary exchange. That means the private sector and nonprofit sector must be given the freedom to meet the American peoples needs.

In 2015, the 50th anniversary of both Medicare and Medicaid, would be an ideal time to reflect on these financially unsustainable programs.

On the international scene, the warmongers in both parties are whooping it up for an attack on Iran, a nation that poses no threat to America nor has it issued threats against the American people.  People of goodwill across the political spectrum must say no to the proponents of military intervention who keep asserting that there are numerous nations around the globe that are threat to the American people’s security.

The truth of the matter is presidents for more than 100 years have lied to the American people using every devious method to get us involved in wars. It is time to say no to the military industrial complex that seeks to maintain and expand America’s overseas empire. Like all nations that engaged in empire building in the past, maintaining troops around the world in the name of national security is not only financially unsustainable but also morally reprehensible.

In the final analysis, statism is a failed philosophy.  Liberty and free enterprise create prosperity not the Federal Reserve’s printing press nor the federal government’s spending.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Chris Christie’s 2016 game plan

In a closed-door meeting with the Republican National Committee in Boston on August 15, Chris Christie laid out the template of how the Republicans can capture the White House in 2016. According to the Wall Street Journal, Christie made the case for “a pragmatic form of conservatism.”  In other words, Christy is signaling he does not hold any deeply held beliefs, and that his current huge lead over Democrat gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono in this year’s New Jersey race shows how he can attract women and minorities in a state where Barack Obama easily beat Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

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Alieta Eck’s remarkable campaign

Despite losing to perennial candidate Steve Lonegan in the Republican United States Senate primary on August 13, first-time candidate Dr. Alieta Eck garnered 21% of the vote.  With virtually no statewide name recognition and a paltry campaign war chest, Alieta received nearly 30,000 votes.

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Steve Lonegan again is not ready for prime time

According to Politico, a Lonegan campaign account tweeted “Cory Booker’s foreign policy debate prep notes” showing areas of Newark circled with names of African, Middle Eastern and other nations. Lonegan campaign spokesman, Rick Shaftan, stated that a campaign worker made the unauthorized tweet.  Nonsense.  No communication leaves the Lonegan campaign unless Shaftan wrote it or authorized it.  End of story.

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Dr. Eck’s radio ad

Alieta Eck’s first radio ad, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp9f_LZcl3A

 

Eck versus Lonegan: the choice is clear

Below is a letter I sent to The Record about its profile of Steve Lonegan on August 6.

Re “Lonegan would stick to his principles,” (August 6) about the former Bogota mayor’s never ending quest to win a statewide race, Republican voters have to ask, which principles?

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Steve Lonegan is a neoconservative. Why is Paul Mulshine supporting him?

Steve Lonegan is getting good press—again–from Star-Ledger pundit Paul Mulshine.  Mulshine asserts that Lonegan, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in the August primary, is a hard-core civil libertarian and advocate for limited government constitutional principles.

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To Know Steve Lonegan is to Say No Steve Lonegan

Guest Column: Scott St. Clair

Purported conservative Steve Lonegan  is running for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey. I know Steve Lonegan. I worked for Steve Lonegan. I’ve seen Steve Lonegan in action, including the way he treats people.   I wouldn’t vote for Steve Lonegan if he was the last and only candidate on the planet.

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Steve Lonegan: political huckster

“On the House side, John Boehner intends to prove the crony capitalist critique of the GOP correct.  He’ll vote for a bloated farm bill that subsidizes, funds, and kicks back whole industries that could not exist but for the congressional porkers in Washington.”

That was Eric Erickson, in this morning’s RedState.  Yesterday afternoon, there was another GOP crony capitalism lovefest here in New Jersey.

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Republican primary voters have a choice to make

When he ran for Governor in 2005, Steve Lonegan finished in fourth place.  Then he took a job with Americans for Prosperity and outside money flowed into New Jersey.  With AFP’s money, Steve Lonegan did some good things for the conservative movement in New Jersey, but along the way it became more about Steve Lonegan and less about the movement.

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Call me a crackpot libertarian

In his Star Ledger column, “Crackpot libertarianism at the convenience counter,” Paul Mulshine tries to make the case that Senator Richard Codey’s bill to increase the age to legally buy cigarettes from 19 to 21 is not an infringement on individual liberty.  He fails miserably.

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My letter in The Record (April 20) about the anti-gun violence rally in Bergen County

Anti-gun rally likely to miss the mark

The upcoming Bergen Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence rally on Sunday is an attempt by well-meaning individuals to address a serious problem in our society. However, the approach is naive and counterproductive.

The coalition says that the majority of people “support common sense legislation to prevent homicides, suicides and mass murder.”

One sure way to reduce “gun violence” in America is to decriminalize such drugs as marijuana and narcotics. In one stroke, gang violence would end in inner cities, where heavily armed drug dealers protect their turf, causing death and destruction in their communities.

There is another common-sense way to reduce crime in our society. Pass legislation that puts citizens and non-citizens on notice that the punishment for committing a violent crime will be deportation, not prison. No ifs, ands or buts. No more career criminals; one strike and you are out.

Lastly, the coalition ignores an important principle, which is the right of self-defense. In New Jersey, however, the only place you can exercise that right is in your own home or apartment. It is virtually impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit to protect oneself in your automobile, mall or street. That means violent individuals can prey on the rest of us. In other words, a defenseless crime victim is at the mercy of the bad guys, a fact that the coalition is comfortable with.

Murray Sabrin

Fort Lee, April 18

The writer is a professor of finance at Ramapo College and a former candidate for statewide office as a Republican and a Libertarian.

Chris Christie gives a great big bear hug to expanding Medicaid

In his budget address to the legislature, Governor Chris Christie announced that New Jersey would participate in an expansion of Medicaid as part of Affordable Care Act known to most people as Obamacare.

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Oy Gevalt! New Jersey Republicans are really Democrats

A recent Quinnipiac poll of New Jerseyans revealed that 76% of voters support raising the minimum wage.  Not surprisingly, 94% of registered Democrats favor the use of coercion —the law– to raise the wages of unskilled workers, while a whopping 55% of Republicans also support the state driving wages higher than allowing markets, supply and demand, to determine the appropriate wage for workers who demonstrably have few value added abilities.

In addition, 56% of voters favored a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage while 38% feel that the minimum wage should be raised by law.

Economic ignorance is rampant in the White House, in the Congress, in the Supreme Court, throughout state legislators, among mayors, within the economics profession and the media.  Now we have further proof that the public, the last hope in a “democracy” to support common sense ideas, is shamelessly ignorant of the basic principles of economics.

Minimum wage laws cause higher unemployment among the least skilled workers in society than otherwise would be the case, most of whom are young inner city minority youth.   So the question we should ask, why is racism so prevalent in our society, especially among Democrats?

Blue laws, minimum wage laws and gun control

The Record’s Sunday Business section (Feb. 2) contains two articles on the front page, “Foes of blue laws gear up again,” and “Minimum-wage battle could cost GOP candidates.” Both articles highlight two laws that reveal how the government abuses its powers to address two economic issues.  In addition, the Opinion section published about two-dozen letters to the editor about gun control and the Second Amendment, most of which criticize the ownership of so-called assault weapons and firearms ownership in general.

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