MD Senate: A Race to Watch

Those of us watching the Zeese for Senate race in Maryland knew that it would be tough for him to gain Libertarian Party support, but I would not have guessed how close the vote was going to be. I hadn’t seen Zeese since shortly after the Nader/Badnarik campaigns were winding down. He looked (and sounded) good on stage. I think he’s lost a few pounds, and he certainly seemed younger than he did while we were doing press conferences and interviews on the Ohio recount efforts. I probably look a bit younger than I did then, too. It was an exhausting time for everyone in third party presidential campaigns, but the Nader crew (because of the ballot access stuff) may have had it the toughest.

While he runs a left-libertarian campaign, most of his positions fall within the normal range of other anti-war Libertarian candidates. Nationalized healthcare (which Zeese supports) is the issue which could have done him in, and almost did. Zeese never hid his position from the Maryland Libertarian Party convention. Instead, he argued that there may be better solutions — he was “all ears” about them — but finds a socialized plan superior to the fascist plan in existence today. He made some valid points, but missed on others, IMO. While I’m a political incrementalist, I don’t think the free market solution is totally DOA (within the American political scene — obviously I prefer the free market solution philosophically) and would have much prefered that option — but I don’t live in Maryland and had no say in that matter.

He impressed the audience with the fact that he may have three different lines on the ballot (Populist, Green and Libertarian) while the Republican and Democratic candidates will only have one each. As one might surmise, the MD legislature is working hard to ensure this does not happen.

Doris Gordon (no relation — sort of reminds me of Helen Thomas, at times) asked her typical questions about abortion. There was no real hawk oppostion, although I know a couple people in the room who (at least at one time) supported the Iraq War.

NOTA was nominated, and Zeese won by a fraction of a vote. As I understand it, it takes 60% of the vote to be nominated in MD, and Zeese pulled it out with 60.8%.

From Zeese’s press release:

“Voters are uniting to challenge the two old parties. Both parties have higher negative ratings than positive ratings, voters do not see either as having solutions to their problems, see them as equally corrupt and the vast majority feel unrepresented,” said Zeese. “We need a positive vision that represents the interests of Maryland voters and works for their welfare. Voters across the political spectrum are uniting for positive change.”

A Gallup Poll this week found that the largest group of U.S. voters consider themselves independent of the two parties — 38% consider themselves independent, while 33% consider themselves Democrats and 29% consider themselves Republicans. In Maryland the fastest growing group of voters are registering independent of the two parties.

“Despite differences on issues like health care, Libertarians recognize that we agree many issues. This includes the need to withdraw from Iraq, end the failed drug war, stop corporate welfare, protect and expand civil liberties as well as reinvigorate our democracy with more choices, more parties and more candidates for voters,” said Zeese. “We are coming together with disaffected Democrats and Republicans, to present voters with a candidate that answers to them, not to corporate donors.”

For good or bad, Zeese is now the duly decided candidate of the Maryland Libertarian Party. He’s a damned sight better than Kweisi Mfume — who is favored in this race at the moment. With Zeese’s very long list of credentials, media access, name recognition, and the fusion-style campaign — he has a chance of doing fairly well in his race. My wife and I wish him the best of luck — however, she’s a medical doctor and is more than willing to take the time to speak with Kevin about his healthcare position. I’ll add that I see this as a choice of three positions: the socialized one, the free market one, or the fascist one. Zeese’s arguments were strong against the fascist postion, but failed to realize the potential of free market solutions.

Kevin, you know the number — gimme a call so we can set up a meeting. :)

63 Comments
  1. The Healthcare issue is complicated as it is by no means market based now, IMO. I admit I don’t really know the best solution. Obviously not socialized medicine.With the way insurance is regulated ( I suppose thats the key) and all the gubmint programs, it’s hard for a regular self-pay guy like me when I end-up paying 10 times as much to apparently “subsidize” both the public and private insurances. In my ideal world, only catastrophic insurance would exist (and they would be free to cover/exclude whatever), govt would be out of it completely, and people paid for a doctor’s visit the way most non-welfare recipients pay for groceries. I like my “healthcare” like I like my car insurance- high deductible, low cost, self-paid. I pay out of my own pocket for my house,food,gas, oil changes, and tune-ups-all essential in my life. Why should healthcare(non-emergency, especially) be any different.

  2. Socialized healthcare is not an incremental approach. The fact that an incrementalist can tolerate steps backward (!) provides an example of their lack of a principled and moral backbone. And, this is not small matter; socialized healthcare would result in the unnecessary death and suffering of countless people, even more then those suffering under our current system. To vote for this man would render the voter complicit in the death and suffering of these people.

    Zeese sounds like a horrible candidate with no sense of libertarian (or any) values and I therefore hope his campaign is an outright failure.

  3. Personally, I favor a single-payer system. I’ll be the single payer for my health care, you be the single payer for your health care, etc.

    However, Gordon gets it right. The current system has all the defects of a socialist health care system and a forced one-sided distribution of the benefits of a free-market system. There’s a socialist health care sector that serves a significant population, and the rest of us get to pick up the tab, AND pay for our own, AND suffer the “rationing” effect, the monopoly effect, etc.

    I won’t advocate a plain, unvarnished socialized health care system on principle, but it would in some ways be better than the “some serfs are more equal than others” abomination we’ve got now that harms the free market by impersonating it badly.

    Tom Knapp

  4. For someone to say that they prefer universal coverage
    without specifying why doesn’t solve the problem. Yes there are problems with the present system, BIG ONES in fact, but there are also problems with the single payer systems also BIG ONES in fact.

    One undiscussed problem with the system in the U.S. has to do with licensing, of people, doctors and nurses, equipement such as CT and MRI machines, drugs and as well as proceedures.

    But then again something like 30% of the U.S. healthcare dollars are spent in the last 90 days of patient’s lives.

    There are a number of problems with the current system, but each problem has its own solution and government mandated universal coverage will not solve them.
    M.W.

  5. Milton Friedman wrote an excellent article on how to cure health care in the United States.

    One of the depressing truths is that a totally free-market system and a totally socialized system are both more efficient than the bastardized system we currently have in the U.S.

  6. He rails against a facist health care system but likes a socialist system. Am I missing something here, but the major thing behind both of these is that they are essentially government controlled. If you get one you will get the other. Personally I would like to know what the difference is between the two. IMO they will come to resemble each other no matter which type you get in the first place.

    Our current system is much closer to a socialized/facist system than a free market system. They talk about the problems with the current system. We will just inherit those and put a few more on top with either a socialized/facist system.

    The only system that will do away with the current problems is a free market system. It is the only system that will not have government controlling it. It is the only system where the individual person will be in charge. It is the only system where providers will have to compete and inovate to get your business.

  7. I would much rather stay with our current system than moving to a socialist health care system. It will be much harder to unravel that system than it would be our current system and get to a free market system. At least at the moment there is just a bit of free market in the health care system.

    My guess is that if he gets elected the one thing that he does have a very good chance at passing is his socialized health care plan. What he doesn’t have a chance at and most likely won’t push is everything else that we as libertarians believe in. If he believes in a socialized health care system, his other libertarian beliefs I doubt are very strong. It sound like he aligns much closer to the greens and the populists. We just happen to agree on a few things.

    Have you read his take on issues. He is a true socialist. In everything he wants more public/gov’t interference if not control. If this is what the libertarian party is coming to I don’t want anything to do with it.

  8. If Zeese’s departure from core libertarian/free market beliefs were only limited to healthcare, I might be inclined to give him a pass and see what he can do. But, after a quick perusal of his site, I see no evidence whatsoever that he favors free market solutions to government solutions in *anything*. Obviously, his stances on the social/civil rights issues are perfectly libertarian, but I find it a bit disturbing that the MD LP would nominate someone who apparently has little or no faith in letting the marketplace work.

    If I’m missing something here, I’d appreciate someone pointing it out to me.

  9. If I’m missing something here, I’d appreciate someone pointing it out to me.

    Well, the first thing is that we don’t have another Senate candidate.

    Secondly, Zeese is much better than the alternatives and actively sought our nomination.

    He’s not perfect, but he’s not bad.

  10. Nicholas,

    Zeese is obviously not all bad, but I’m a bit concerned that he could end up mis-representing the LP by advocating more government rather than less. My guess is that he has downplayed this side of his views in favor of his left-libertarian views simply to gain the endorsement of yet another political party.

    I’ve always been in favor of cooperating with other parties on issues where there is compatibility, but I think we have to set a fairly high standard of consistency with any candidates who represent us. Zeese, from what little I’ve seen so far, appears to be about 50% libertarian, which doesn’t meet the standard I would expect.

  11. Robert,

    Zeese’s positions on deficit spending, the Second Amendment and the drug war are consistent with libertarian views. On some issues, he uses “lefty” wording, but the position is consistent. From what I know of him, I’d say he is 80% libertarian.

  12. DAP,

    I’d argue (and my wife is a private practice doc) that considerably less than 10% of our current healthcare system is even remotely free market based.

    While I’m obviously not happy with a socialized plan, I see it (economically) as no better or worse than the current fascist system. Zeese pointed out that a nationalized plan would at least minimize some of the administrative demand on healthcare workers (each company, agency, department has a variety of reporting functions, forms, and requirements). I’m not sure this would be the case, but it is a reasonable argument.

    A real argument he made was to remove the tie between employment and insurance. I just don’t like his solution.

  13. One of the depressing truths is that a totally free-market system and a totally socialized system are both more efficient than the bastardized system we currently have in the U.S.

    I’ve got to agree with Nick on this one.

  14. Thanks for the info, Stephen. Zeese’s Second Amendment support certainly raises his libertarian quotient. Furthermore, it is highly doubtful that any other candidates in the race could be considered even close to as libertarian as he, so he probably is the best choice, particularly when compared with the likes of Crazy Mfume.

  15. Nick — you did have NOTA

    Yep, and a good nomination speech for NOTA too. But Zeese was better than NOTA.

  16. Here is Mr Zweese take on some of his most important issues:

    “my peace plank will also include a focus on the root causes of so many military conflicts — our dependence on more resources than we produce — especially oil (of course that also has energy and environmental impacts as well which will also be emphasized in my campaign). We need to be more responsible in our use of natural resources, break our addiction to oil and encourage new technologies to make us more efficient and to develop cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy”

    This doesn’t sound to bad, but how is he going to reduce our dependence on oil. Do I here government regulation creeping up in this plank.

    continued

  17. About Drugs

    “There are public health-based alternatives to current policy that are less costly and more effective. We can protect health, reduce crime and prevent adolescent drug abuse by developing new methods of drug control.”

    Two words pop out at me in this section public and control. Doesn’t sound very free-market to me.

  18. On economics

    “Other justice issues I will focus on include economic justice — ending the rich poor divide, stopping corporate welfare for national and international businesses that create unfair competition for local entrepreneurs and ending big business control of government. We need an economy that creates entrepreneurs where all Americans have a stake in the economy because the share the wealth.”

    Ending corporate welfare sounds good to me but how exactly is he going to make sure all Americans “share the wealth” and end the “rich poor divide”. I am guessing by some wealth/income transfer system much like what we have today.

  19. Social security:

    “He’s not creating a real ownership society and a Social Security fix is really not urgently needed. The Social Security fund is secure until nearly the middle of the Century. With one change to Social Security, it would be protected throughout the Century and beyond. Currently, 6.2 cents out of every dollar of salary is taxes for Social Security up to $90,000 –a limit put in place in 2003. This is a flat tax that is particularly burdensome on low and middle income workers. By lifting this ceiling and taxing all income, Social Security will be secure and the U.S. will take a small step toward correcting the tax imbalance created over the last two decades where the wealthiest have gotten huge tax breaks while the rest of us have paid more of the cost of government.”

    So he doesn’t believe there are any problems with social security that raising taxes won’t solve. And here we get an idea of how he is going to handle the rich/poor divide: raise taxes on the rich.

  20. All this is beginning to get a familiar ring as it sounds like the democrats and greens talking not libertarians.

    I do not know Mr. Zeese but from his planks he doesn’t sound very libertarian to me. And if he is 80% libertarian as Mr. Gordon suggests than I have know idea what a libertarian stands for. I thought they stood for individual rights, property, and responsibility, but maybe I am wrong.

    This says nothing about his health care where if we move to a socialist plan, a complete takeover of healthcare by the government is not far behind. It would be inevitable and enormously costly. Individual people will have absolutely no say in their health care decisions. A bureacrat will be making it for them. Granted we have insurance companies doing some of that now, but I believe it is much more possible for us to turn our current system around to where the individual is making decisions than a socialist system.

  21. Terry,

    I was basing that comment on personal conversations with Zeese, not his fusion platform positions. What strikes me the most is his strong support of the 2nd Amendment, his lifetime of work trying to end the drug war, his opposition to the war in Iraq and his opposition to a military draft.

    I’ve never claimed this is a totally libertarian campaign, but a fusion one with Libertarian support.

  22. I’m conflicted.

    Clearly the guy stands a chance. Probably not a good one, but better than most of our candidates. It’s also safe to say that whoever will be sent to Washington from Maryland is going to support Soviet healthcare.

    I’ve always said that you can’t “educate” the electorate as a politician, you have to meet them where they are and find whatever’s good in them and run on that, and only if you’re successful can you MAYBE start chipping away at their bad points. If I were an LP candidate in MD, I wouldn’t run against socialist healthcare… but I wouldn’t run FOR it by any means. I’d leave that to LP candidates from areas where it wasn’t so popular.

    The purists have a purpose in this party-keeping us focused on the destination while the pragmatists figure out how to get us there. I don’t think this nomination will help the LP or liberty.

    “Nomination” was probably too strong an honor. “Endorsement” would have been better… meaning he’s not one of us, but we’d rather he win.

  23. Stephen,

    While I favor the end to the drug war and support the 2nd amendment they are not at the top of my list when looking at a candidate. Health Care, social security, education, individual and personal property rights rank ahead of those other items for me, though they are not far behind. He seems to fail on all these accounts just by looking at his planks. As far as finding someone against the war in Iraq, over half the population is against the war so we don’t need to be pushing for a socialist to get that job done. While he seems to favor ending the drug war he also seems to favor public means and drug control, not freedom.

    You didn’t claim that he was 100% libertarian but you did say in your opinion he was 80%. IMO based on his planks he is far from that (maybe 20-30%). Maybe he is pushing something different than what he is saying in his planks. That doesn’t give me much comfort, though, as it only says that he will probably say one thing and do another.

  24. I agree with the 80% assessment, and he is stressing the issues the LP should be stressing: the need to withdraw from Iraq, end the failed drug war, stop corporate welfare, protect and expand civil liberties as well as reinvigorate our democracy with more choices, more parties and more candidates for voters. See http://www.lpalabama.org/node/360

    It’s an added bonus that he is pro 2nd Amendment. His views sound like mine circa 1993; and the LP would do well to attract more people with such views – I believe there are a lot more out there that would be willing to consider a party switch, or voting at all, of such persuasions than there are of the Republitarian crowd the LP is always going after.

    And Steve makes a good point about fascist health care not necessarily being better than socialist.

    The LP will benefit from endorsing Zeese, and I hope Zeese will become more libertarian from the association.

    I endorse Zeese and wish him good luck in his race.

  25. I ran for Governor in 2004 and reached out to the Greens and Progressives in Vermont particularly on health care. I’d suggest Zeese take a look at the Swiss model of health care for the US.

    The Swiss have a universal free market health care system. Benefits: covers everyone, 33 percent cheaper than ours, and one of the best systems in the world.

    How it works in a nutshell is the government recommends a minimal health care policy — like most states do for auto insurance, then instead of a bureaucratic Medicaid system the government gives the poor vouchers/health (food) stamps so the poor can buy insurance in the free market.

    Before the Swiss made it mandatory they had 99% of the population covered and had 3000 insurance companies competing of all different sizes and styles.

    Adopting a Swiss style approach will allow us to move from Medicaid to free markets by putting responsibility back into hands of users.

  26. Great debate. I may not have enough to say all this in one post, so bear with me.

    I consider myself as someone who takes liberty issues very seriously, probably in agreement with at least 80% of the Libertarian platform. And, I listen closely to the Libertarians on my campaign committee regarding every issue.

    I’m looking into the Swiss model mentioned above — but even it does not sound Free Market. I was not impressed with Milton Friedman’s solution — health savings accounts — because that will only cover those who can save. And, in our current economy that is a tiny percentage of workers. One in three full time workers in the US earn less than $8.50 an hour. While critical of single payer even Friedman acknowledges “In terms of holding down cost, one-payer directly administered government systems, such as exist in Canada and Great Britain, have a real advantage over our mixed system.”

    Kevin

  27. I don’t see national health care as socialized medicine. In fact, I do not favor doctors and hospitals being
    made government doctors and government hospitals — that would be socialized medicine. One of the advantages of a single payer system is that it will actually increase competition among doctors and other health care providers.
    Right now competition is stilted by private health insurance carriers who tell patients which doctor or provider they can go to. Any system based on private insurance will undermine competition.

    I am open to a ‘free market’ solution but to compete with single payer it must provide: health care for all that is affordable, comprehensive and transportable for every Americans lifetime.

    Kevin

  28. The problem with relying on the private insurance approach — called “all-payer” — is that insurance
    providers will fragment the market. Healthy, young people (not children but young adults) will probably have affordable insurance, but anyone who is too young, too old or has a chronic illness will be priced out of the market.
    Private insurance will just be too expensive for them.

    Regarding health care here are some issues to consider:

    — the U.S. spends more per capita than any other country in the world yet tens of millions go without insurance,
    — employers get massive corporate welfare through tax breaks when they provide health insurance,
    — the health insurance and the pharmaceutical industries get massive corporate welfare,
    — politicians of both parties are corrupted as they take money from these sources (as does Ben Cardin, so don’t expect him to advocate single payer),
    — we spend nearly $200 billion — 25% of the cost of health care — on insurance bureacracy.

  29. Hardy, the Swiss health care program sounds pretty good. It would be a major move in the right direction, unlike the socialist brand of health care. We need to look into this more.

    Another option instead of vouchers would be a HSA type of plan for the poor including the elderly poor, but at the same time drop most of the regulations to allow people choice in their health care matters. For one this would take many of the rich elderly off the taxpayers bill. It would also give an incentive for people with HSA accounts to lead a healthier lifestyle as the money in the account would be there to use for retirement or to bequest at death if not spent on healthcare. The other key is to get rid of the regulations. This is what both the socialist and facist systems have in common, a huge amount of regulations. Pushing for one will get you the other as well. A free market such as what you are suggesting is the only way to go.

  30. Kevin,

    With your “one-payer” system we will eventually get to what you say you don’t want gov’t hospitals and doctors. We aren’t that far away from that right now with all the regulations that are in place. Once it is a one-payor system the gov’t will dictate who will stay in business and who will not. At some point to lower costs they will advocate a one-provider system as well (just as you are doing now with the payer side). With unlimited access to healthcare people will want every test run and come in for every sniffle. The costs will skyrocket. To lower the costs will come rationing just as in most other countries who have tried socialist health care.

    The only way to keep cost under control and give people the choices they need is to advocate for freedom on both sides of the issue. Your advocating for freedom on neither side. You want a gov’t monopoly on the payer side and you couple that with the gov’t regulated provider side and you get govt health care.

  31. Paulie, I agree that the LP needs to reach out to “lefties” more than they have in the past, but not at the cost of alienating every “rightie” at the same time. From what I can tell Zeese agrees with the LP on many of the issues “lefties” support the most such as ending the drug war, Iraq war, civil liberties. Though I am guessing he won’t go about it the way most libertarians would like. The other problem is he is completely against most of what the “righties” support such as freedom in healthcare, retirement, lower taxes & spending. My guess is it will be one step forward for the “left” side of our platform and two steps back for the “right”.

    We need to be reaching out to both sides while maintaining our principle of freedom in both the financial and personal side. It looks like from now on I will have to make sure the libertarian candidates actually believe in freedom, because it doesn’t look like that will always be the case.

  32. Kevin,

    If you don’t think the gov’t will be as bad as the insurance companies about telling people where they can go for service or what type of service will be covered you are living in a dream world.

    We will also just be transferring a insurance bureacracy for a gov’t payor bureaucracy and I can guarantee you businesses are more efficient at keeping down costs than the government and most of these costs are due to gov’t regulation. Work on reducing that side.

    I agree with you on getting rid of corporate welfare, especially in regards to the health care system. That is where ending the tax break on giving health insurance and replacing that with a tax break for HSA’s that everyone can get will even the playing field for everyone. Employers could still put money in these accounts that would be income tax deductible. Our medicare/medicaid programs could also be switched to a HSA plan so that we ensure poor people will be covered but have freedom at the same time.

  33. My guess is it will be one step forward for the “left” side of our platform and two steps back for the “right”.

    We need to be reaching out to both sides while maintaining our principle of freedom in both the financial and personal side.

    I lay out why we should be reaching out more to the left here:

    http://www.lpalabama.org/node/150

    Check out the embedded links.

  34. I’ve asked Stephen to post a longer message on the health care issue.

    How do we break our addiction to oil — the first step is stop corporate welfare to these wealthiest corporations. The last energy bill gave them $12 billion of our money — and they are already rich. Every penny increase in price is $1.5 billion more in their pockets. Level the playing field and conservation, efficiency and alternative, sustainable energy will be able to compete.

    How do we end the wealth divide, I like the Alaska Permanent Trust Model, where all Alaskans share in the oil wealth resulting in up to $2k annually for each Alaskan. If taxpayers were investors when we gave corporations our money then we would have a more ‘share the wealth’ economy. Of course they could always choose not to take tax payer dollars as well — that would be fine with me too.

    We need to unrig the system – which is currently rigged for the wealthiest, resulting in the rest of us getting poorer.

    Kevin

  35. Kevin,

    You mention that one in three workers make less than $8.50/hr. My guess is the majority of these people come in two classes. (1) young people just entering the workforce who will soon earn more than this and (2)Spouses of people who make more than $8.50/hr. An additional group could be people who make $8.50 or lower but get their healthcare paid for by their employer. The remainder portion of these people can be covered by our current medicaid type program or a more reformed HSA type program. This is exactly who the medicaid system is supposed to help. We don’t need another program to cover the same people unless you get rid of medicaid.

    One regulation I probably would endorse in some fashion is something to the effect that if a company offers insurance it has to offer it to all, thereby insuring coverage for chronically ill people.

    IMO a single payer system will eventually be less affordable and less comprehensive after rationing than a free-market system.

  36. Paulie

    After reading your link, so what you are saying is that you want any right leaning libertarian “jettisoned” out of the party so that the party can go after more left leaning people.

    I don’t know these libertarians that are using war, empire, and global governance to promore human liberty. That sounds more like a democrat to me. I am certainly against the war, empire building, and global govt.

    I don’t understand why you think it is much easier to pull a leftie away from the democrats then a rightie away from the republicans?

    What is the problem of going to conservative conferences. I think we should be going to some lefty conferences as well to reach out to people who may have some things in common with us.

    I agree the Iraq exit strategy was weak but at least it was a strategy to get out of Iraq, something neither party has still come up with.

    I’m all for impeachment of Bush. Vouchers were never mentioned in the transitional action (tax credits were).

  37. I don’t know these libertarians that are using war, empire, and global governance to promore human liberty.

    Check out Anthony Gregory’s archive arguing with them

    http://www.anthonygregory.com/prowarlibertarians.html

    I don’t know these libertarians that are using war, empire, and global governance to promore human liberty. That sounds more like a democrat to me.

    Actually it’s the agenda of NSGOP Red State Fascists.

    I don’t understand why you think it is much easier to pull a leftie away from the democrats then a rightie away from the republicans?

    Several reasons. One is that right wingers tend to be, on average, older and wealthier and more conservative by temperament – ie less into change. Another is that libertarian outreach has been tilted to the right, so the “low hanging fruit” have been picked. Then there’s the direction the right is heading – see the Red State Fasci

  38. Also, see the Logan Ferree research

    http://freedomdemocrats.org/node/526

    http://freedomdemocrats.org/HouseScorecard01Total

    What is the problem of going to conservative conferences. I think we should be going to some lefty conferences as well to reach out to people who may have some things in common with us.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if both were being done, but they’re not. I think it’s more important, especially right now to reach out to the left.

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=2333

  39. Who do you think is more likely to be a non-voter or an independent voter, or not strongly tied to a political party – a young person or an old person? Now, who is more likely to see themselves as a liberal and who is more likely to see themselves as a conservative?

    Which issues are more likely to be important to young people: peace and civil liberties, or economic issues? Which issues are they more likely to agree with libertarians on?

  40. Recommended issues for candidates

    http://www.lpalabama.org/node/360

    more paulie cannoli

    http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14

    On the healthcare issues,

    Posted by Norman Singleton at 09:30 PM Apr 4
    LRC blog

    Donald Devine exposes how the federal government discourages doctors from providing charity care. If a doctor bills a patient less than the doctor would bill Medicare/Medicaid for the same treatment, the government will accuse the doctor of fraud. Thus, doctors are
    understandably reluctant to reduce their fees for lower-income patients.

    Rubbing salt in the wound, doctors are forced to hire additional staff (and thus increase the amount they charge patients) solely to ensure they are in compliance with federal rules and regulations.

  41. How do we end the wealth divide, I like the Alaska Permanent Trust Model, where all Alaskans share in the oil wealth resulting in up to $2k annually for each Alaskan. If taxpayers were investors when we gave corporations our money then we would have a more ’share the wealth’ economy. Of course they could always choose not to take tax payer dollars as well — that would be fine with me too.

    This honestly is not a bad idea at all… very consistent with geolibertarian principle. If you were in my district, sir, I would volunteer for your campaign.

  42. Lefties are more likely young people becasue they were indoctrinated in the public schools to be such. Once they start having to pay the piper many start realizing what a mistake they have made at least in that area and move more to the right IMO. Young people in our public schools are also taught that freedom and individualism is a bad thing.

    As far as reaching out to the left take note that Stephen was just at a leftie rally on the war. If you look at many of the activists on these blogs they are left leaning in their top priorities.

    You are ripping on vouchers (tax credits) because the gov’t is paying but then you are all for the gov’t paying health care premiums. What gives? The gov’t will be calling the tune in health care with Zeese’s plan.

    So what was your comment about from your link about “jettisoning” right leaning people from the party so we can attract more left leaning people? I want both right and left. You seem to only want lefties.

  43. I checked out your recommended issues for candidates and I am for most of those but not one of the issues sighted would likely be one of the top priorities of a rightie libertarian. They would likely be for those issues sighted but not as passionately as some other issues such as education, social security, health care, property rights, spending, etc.

    I want freedom on the personal and economic side not just the personal/civil liberty side as your candidates issues seem to suggest.

    To be quite frank I think we need to take different routes in different parts of the country. I live in a very conservative state. Pushing the leftie agenda just won’t get you to far. We have many disgruntled righties that could be plum for the picking. I am sure in other states it is just the opposite. I think it will be very hard to pull a leftie from the democrats right now though because they are out of power and want to oust the current republican regime.

  44. You are ripping on vouchers (tax credits) because the gov’t is paying but then you are all for the gov’t paying health care premiums. What gives? The gov’t will be calling the tune in health care with Zeese’s plan.

    I’m not for it. See post 43. I thought I made it clear Zeese and I don’t agree on all the issues?

    So what was your comment about from your link about “jettisoning” right leaning people from the party so we can attract more left leaning people? I want both right and left. You seem to only want lefties.

    Did you read the links?

    We have many disgruntled righties that could be plum for the picking.

    Illusion. It may seem that way, but they won’t budge.

    I think it will be very hard to pull a leftie from the democrats right now though because they are out of power and want to oust the current republican regime.

    Not all of them are Dems. Many are Green or non-partisan, or just not sure yet. For many peace and civil liberty..

  45. Paulie the problem is that the Greens and to some degree the democrats are giving these young people what they want with regards to peace and civil liberty. They are also probably giving them what they want on the economic side of the issue as well because they have been indoctrinated in the public schools that we should help the needy by taking (taxing) everyone else, especially the rich. Our freedom/individualism side of beliefs falls on deaf ears for many young people coming out of public schools. The greens actually have a much better chance of getting these kids from the demo party than we do.

    I do agree that we need to reach out to them, however, as we need voices from both sides of the aisle so that we do not get to one-sided and forget our core belief of freedom for the individual in all areas.

  46. Paulie

    I did read your link and this is the last sentence.

    “to reach out to the libertarian left, The Republitarians need to be JETTISONED, since they serve to chase off the larger group we should be allying with.”

    My take on this is that you want to get rid of anyone in the party that is more passionate about “rightie” issues than they are about “leftie” issues. As I mentioned earlier all of your issues that you said a candidate should run on are more than likely more important to a leftie than a rightie. You are leaving a rightie with no place in this party. The complete lefties already have a party they can go to it is called the greens, the complete righties do to, it is called the constitution party. The people who believe in freedom in all areas have the libertarian party. Please don’t try and make the LP party into the green party, and I hope the righties will not try and make the LP into the constitution party as well.

  47. My take on this is that you want to get rid of anyone in the party that is more passionate about “rightie” issues than they are about “leftie” issues.

    No, but people like Boortz who support the war, domestic spying, and fake “solutions” like the national sales tax won’t get my vote or support. Likewise, I’m not fond of political rhetoric which sounds racist, prejudiced, etc – we already have enough problems attracting diversity. Yet another problem is Libertarians who make it sound like we actually don’t care about the environment or poor people, etc, and that confuse big corporations today with a real free market.

    the problem is that the Greens and to some degree the democrats are giving these young people what they want with regards to peace and civil liberty.

    Then it remains up to the LP to demonstrate there is another party which stands for these things with a different economic perspective.

  48. The greens actually have a much better chance of getting these kids from the demo party than we do.

    As things currently stand, yes, but there is nothing intrinsic in libertarian philosophy as to why this has to be – just the way it is usually marketed.

    Please don’t try and make the LP party into the green party,

    Wouldn’t dream of it. Actually, I have the opposite idea; I think the Green Party can be taken over a lot more easily. I read in 2002 they had 58 attendees at their national convention. I would like to re-write the Green platform to make it ZAP/NAP compatible while remaining true to the Green Key Values.

    http://anti-state.com/forum/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=1013

    see post from “Irishman”

    “and I hope the righties will not try and make the LP into the constitution party as well.”

    They already mostly have, in my estimation. Time for some balance.

  49. Paulie

    I am guessing that you and I actually agree on most of our beliefs, it is just that I am a little bit more passionate about “rightie” issues and you are a little more passionate about “leftie” issues. You are willing to let some rightie issues slide if you get what you want on the leftie side (hence your approval of Zeese). I on the other hand might let some leftie issues slide if I can get what I want on the rightie side (hence my disapproval of Zeese).

    Our other difference is that I don’t want to get rid of the lefties as I think they are a big part of our party and a big reason why I am part of the LP party as I want freedom in both personal as well as financial issues. You on the other hand seem to think the party should just get rid of the righties as you seem to think they are holding the party back in getting your issues pushed through. I disagree with that as many righties believe in your leftie “issues” they just aren’t as passionate about them as you are.

  50. Again – I don’t won’t to get rid of people who feel more passionately about ending gun control or eliminating the income tax than they do about ending the war or protecting free speech.

    I would, however, distance ourselves from people who support and wish to expand the war, make excuses for abusive cops, want a crackdown on businesses which employ “illegal” immigration, support the national sales tax, etc.

    It doesn’t mean I would never support them for any office; it would depend what they are running for. If they are good on economic issues, I would support them for Auditor. If our only disagreement is on foreign policy, they could get my vote for county sheriff. If I didn’t feel the LP was already tilted too far to the right in emphasis, they wouldn’t really bother me at all. I just think they have reached the point where they actively impede larger outreach to the left.

  51. “and I hope the righties will not try and make the LP into the constitution party as well.”

    They already mostly have, in my estimation. Time for some balance.

    I disagree with you. The main issues at the forefront of the LP right now are the Iraq war, terrorism, drugs, and other civil liberty issues. The debt just hit a new milestone and we hardly heard about it from the LP. As you know the Maryland LP just elected a person for the senate race that beleives in socialism at least in health care. When is the last time you heard anything about social security from the LP. Massachusetts just pushes through state-wide gov’t health care and we hardly hear anything from the LP. If anything IMO the LP may be veering to far left at this point in the issues that they are concentrating on.

  52. “When is the last time you heard anything about social security from the LP. ”

    When they were applauding Bush’s “reform” plan, which basically involved further government intrusion into “private” companies through government-directed retirement investment in the stock market.

    With all the typical bureaucratic restrictions on the trading, this plan amounts to more fascism – that is, an economy having the outward form of free enterprise, but with heavy government involvement.

    It is confusing stuff like this with a real free market privatization of retirement which I call Republitarian.

    Another example of Republitarianism is the Iraq Exit Strategy, which starts with the wrong premises and calls for continued US regime intrusion into the Middle East and its affairs. Of course, there are many prominent Libertarians who are much more pro-war than that.

    I could go on for a long time here, but there are the 1000 character limits….

  53. You said

    I would, however, distance ourselves from people who support and wish to expand the war, make excuses for abusive cops, want a crackdown on businesses which employ “illegal” immigration, support the national sales tax, etc.

    I believe in the same token that we should distance ourselves from people who believe in socialism (ie Zeese), people who want to just raise taxes on the rich (Zeese), people who believe gov’t regulations are a good thing, and people who believe that the gov’t should be running our schools, our retirement, and healthcare (Zeese).

  54. Well this has been interesting and IMO worthwile. I am going to move on to other things now as my wife is going to get pissed off at me if I spend any more time at this computer.

  55. Take your time, no need to answer today as this is not a live chat and isn’t going anywhere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_zeese

    Looks like he’s done a lot of good work over the years, and I hope the LP endorsement will lead to a more serious in depth consideration of libertarian solutions.