The Morality of Cash for Clunkers

I received an email from a friend recently talking about how they traded in their old car for a brand new one and made use of the government’s cash for clunkers program to sweeten the deal by $4,500.  My first reaction was to sarcastically think to myself, “I’m glad my taxes could help you get a new car.”

This got me thinking about  the morality of cash for clunkers, and if I would have the fortitude to turn down such an offer if I had a car that qualified (which I don’t). Since then, I have been debating myself on the pros and cons of participating in the cash for clunkers program.  Below are my thought; I’d be interested to hear yours.

Argument Against Cash for Clunkers

As a conservative, classic liberal, and constitutionalist, the cash for  clunkers program is nothing more than a re-distribution of wealth.  The only way for the government to have money to fund this program is by taking it from other Americans.  Cash for clunkers is an unnecessary expansion of the power, scope and reach of the federal government.  It is just one more step down the road to socialism our country has taken.

Argument in Favor of Cash for Clunkers

But while I would never enact for such a program and I would never support a politician who did, it would be very difficult not to participate in this program.  The program exists and will be utilized whether I participate or not.   They take my money, through taxes, without my permission, so I would feel justified in taking some of it back.

And besides, where do you draw the line?  Every government program is funded by tax payers (well, except the trillions in spending the China is funding, but we’ll get to that in a minute).  Is it immoral to receive any benefits from the government?  What about Pell Grants?  Those got me through college.  What about driving on publicly funded roads?  That would be silly not utilize those services that our tax dollars fund.

A Line Must be Drawn

But a line must be drawn somewhere, or our already out-of-control government will continue to grow larger and larger, and erode more and more of our freedoms.  This year’s federal deficit is projected to be $1,800,000,000,000 (yes, that’s 1.8 TRILLION dollars). President Obama’s pork-filled stimulus spending is one of the primary reasons for this tremendous debt being inflicted upon all Americas.  (see US deficit forecast to be four times last year’s record)

Experts say the poor economy and lower tax revenues is the other main reason for the shortfall, but if you ask me the two are linked.  Studies have shown that ill-conceived government programs prolonged the Great Depression and this is exactly what is happening again.

Asian Countries Benefiting Most from Cash for Clunkers

The problems with cash for clunkers and other excessive government programs doesn’t end with power grabbing US politicians.  Just today I read this story by Stephen Manning of the Associated Press called Asian companies see Cash for Clunkers boost.  It turns out that when people turn in their clunkers, eight of the top-10 vehicles purchased in exchange are made by Japanese and South Korean companies.

This means that the money used to fund cash for clunkers, which was borrowed largely from China, is flowing right back out of America into Japan and Korea.  In other words, cash for clunkers isn’t jump starting the American economy, but it is helping China, Japan, and Korea.  It seems our country is committing suicide, and supporting evil Communist regimes like China in the process.


With every government program that spreads the wealth, as Obama admittedly wants to do, we become a little more addicted to big government.  Socialism and Communism have failed everywhere they have been tried, but that’s not stopping China and other countries from benefitting from our countries sharp turn left.  Obama, the Democrats, and Socialists that support his agenda are saddling Americans for generations to come with massive debt and government control that will be difficult to ever scale back.

I know it’s a hard choice to make, but let’s do everything we can to fight unnecessary expansions of federal government like the cash for clunkers program.

Ronald Reagan on Socialized Medicine

If you have ten minutes, please watch/listen to the following speech by Ronald Reagan on socialized medicine. The speech comes from a 1961 campaign against government run health care and was distributed via a long play (LP) record album called Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine. It’s amazing how prescient his comments were. And now, nearly 50 years later, his logic and reasoning are just as applicable to the political battle currently being waged on this same subject.

Here is the transcript:

My name is Ronald Reagan. I have been asked to talk on several subjects that have to do with the problems of the day. It must seem presumptuous to some of you that a member of my profession would stand here and attempt to talk to anyone on serious problems that face the nation and the world. It would be strange if it were otherwise.

Most of us in Hollywood are very well aware of the concept or the misconception that many people, our fellow citizens, have about people in show business. It was only a generation ago that people of my profession couldn’t be buried in the churchyard. Of course the world has improved since then, we can be buried now. As a matter of fact, the eagerness of somebody to perform that service gets frightening at times.

Now back in 1927 an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.

There are many ways in which our government has invaded the precincts of private citizens, the method of earning a living. Our government is in business to the extent of owing more than 19,000 businesses covering 47 different lines of activity. This amounts to a fifth of the total industrial capacity of the United States.

But at the moment I’d like to talk about another way, because this threat is with us and at the moment is more imminent.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We had an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.

So, with the American people on record as not wanting socialized medicine, Congressman Furan introduced the Furan Bill. This was the idea that all people of Social Security should be brought under a program of compulsory health insurance.

Now this would not only be our senior citizens, this would be the dependents and those who are disabled. This would be young people if they are dependents of someone eligible for Social Security.

Now Congressman Furan brought the program out on that idea of just for that particular group of people. But Congressman Furan was subscribing to this foot in the door philosophy because he said, “If we can only break through and get our foot inside the door, then we can expand the program after that.”

Walter Ruether said, “It’s no secret that the United Automobile Workers is officially on record as backing a program of national health insurance.” And by national health insurance he meant socialized medicine for every American.

Well let’s see what the Socialists themselves had to say about it. They say, “Once the Furan Bill is passed this nation will be provided with a mechanism for socialized medicine capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population.” Well, we can’t say that we haven’t been warned.

Now Congressman Furan is no longer a Congressman of the United States Government. He has been replaced, not in his particular assignment but in his backing of such a bill by Congressman King of California.

It is presented in the idea of a great emergency that millions of our senior citizens are unable to provide needed medical care. But this ignores the fact that in the last decade 127 million of our citizens, in just ten years, have come under the protection of some kind of privately owned or hospital insurance.

Now the advocates of this bill when you try to oppose it challenge you on an emotional basis, they say what would you do, throw these poor old people out to die with no medical attention?

That’s ridiculous, and of course no one has advocated it. As a matter of fact, in the last session of Congress a bill was adopted known as the Kerr/Mills Bill. Now without even allowing this bill to be tried to see if it works they have introduced this King Bill, which is really the Furan Bill.

What is the Kerr/Mills Bill? It is a frank recognition of the medical need or problem of our senior citizens that I have mentioned. And it has provided from the federal government money to the states and local communities that can be used at the discretion of the state to help those people who need it.

Now what reason could the other people have for backing a bill which says we insist on compulsory health insurance for senior citizens on a basis of age alone, regardless of whether they are worth millions of dollars, whether they have an income, whether they’re protected by their own insurance, whether they have savings.

I think we can be excused for believing, that as ex-Congressman Furan said, “This was simply an excuse to bring about what they wanted all the time, socialized medicine.”

James Madison in 1788, speaking to the Virginia Convention said, “Since the general civilization of mankind I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

They want to attach this bill to Social Security, and they say here is a great insurance program now instituted now working.

Let’s take a look at social security itself. Again, very few of us disagree with the original premise that there should be some form of savings that would keep destitution from following unemployment by reason of death, disability or old age. And to this end, social security was adopted, but it was never intended to supplant private savings, private insurance, pension programs of unions and industries.

Now in our country under our free enterprise system we have seen medicine reach the greatest heights that it has in any country in the world. Today, the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied any place. The privacy, the care that is given to a person, the right to chose a doctor, the right to go from one doctor to the other.

But let’s also look from the other side, at the freedom the doctor loses. A doctor would be reluctant to say this. Well, like you, I am only a patient, so I can say it in his behalf. The doctor begins to lose freedoms; it’s like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors aren’t equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you can’t live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go some place else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go.

This is a freedom that I wonder whether any of us have the right to take from any human being. I know how I’d feel if you fellow citizens decided that to be an actor I had to become a government employee and work in a national theater.

Take it into your own occupation or that of your husband. All of us can see what happens once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it is a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do.

In this country of ours took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in worlds history, the only true revolution. Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another.

But here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man, a little group of men, the founding fathers, for the first time established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God-given right and ability to determine our own destiny. This freedom was built into our government with safeguards.

We talk democracy today, and strangely we let democracy begin to assume the aspect of majority rule is all that is needed. Well majority rule is a fine aspect of democracy provided there are guarantees written in to our government concerning the rights of the individual and of the minorities.

What can we do about this? Well, you and I can do a great deal. We can write to our congressmen and our senators. We can say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms. And at the moment, the key issue is, we do not want socialized medicine.

Now you may think that when I say write to the Congressman or Senator that this is like writing fan mail to a television program, it isn’t. In Washington today 40,000 letters, less than one hundred per Congressman are evidence of a trend in public thinking.

Former Representative Halleck of Indiana has said, “When the American people want something from Congress, regardless of its political complexion, if they make their wants known, Congress does what the people want.”

So write, it’s as simple as finding just the name of your Congressman, or your Senator. Then you address your letter to that individuals name, if he’s a Congressman, to the House Office Building, Washington D.C. If he’s a Senator, to the Senate Office Building, Washington D.C.

And if this man writes back to you and tells you that he or she too is for free enterprise, that we have these great services and so forth, that must be performed by government, don’t let them get away with it. Show that you have not been convinced. Write a letter right back and tell them that you believe in government economy and fiscal responsibility; that you know that governments don’t tax to get the money the need; governments will always find a need for the money they get and that you demand the continuation of our traditional free enterprise system. You and I can do this. The only way we can do it is by writing to our congressmen even we believe that he is on our side to begin with. Write to strengthen his hand. Give him the ability to stand before his colleagues in Congress and say “I have heard from my constituents and this is what they want.”

Write those letters now; call your friends and them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. Until, one day, as Normal Thomas said we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.

Source: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum

Godless, the Church of of Liberalism

I just finished reading this book, and enjoyed it very much. I thought Coulter she did an excellent job of highlighting the hypocrisies and and down-right lunacy of the liberal mind-set. Here are some good quotes from the book:

“If a martian landed in America and set out to determine the nation’s official state religion, he would have to conclude it is liberalism, while Christianity and Judaism are prohibited by law.”

Liberalism requires taking so many things on faith that it amounts to a religion with “its own explanation for why we are here, its own gods, its own clergy. The basic tenet of liberalism is that nature is god and men are monkeys.”

Liberalism has “its own miracles, its own beliefs in the supernatural, its own churches, its own high priests, its own saints, its own total worldview, and its own explanation of the existence of the universe. In other words, liberalism contains all the attributes of what is generally known as ‘religion.'”

“Liberals’ creation myth is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor. It’s a make-believe story, based on a theory that is a tautology, with no proof in the scientist’s laboratory or the fossil record—and that’s after 150 years of very determined looking. We wouldn’t still be talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution disproves God.”

I love the title of Chapter 9 called “Proof for How the Walkman Evolved into the iPOD by Random Mutation.”

“Nor are intelligent design scientists looking at things they can’t explain: Quite the opposite. They are looking at things they can explain but which Darwin didn’t even know about, like the internal mechanism of the cell, and saying, That wasn’t created by natural selection—that required high-tech engineering. By contrast, the evolution cult members look at things they can’t explain and say, We can’t explain it, but the one thing we do know is that there is no intelligence in the universe. It must have been random chance, or it’s not ‘science.'”

“Because of liberals druidical religious beliefs, they won’t allow us to save the Africans dying in droves of malaria with DDT because DDT might hurt the birds.”

“Liberals are more upset when a tree is chopped down than when a child is aborted. Even if one rates an unborn child less than a full-blown person, doesn’t the unborn child rate slightly higher than vegetation?”

“Water. Liberals are worried we’re going to run out of something that literally falls from the sky. Here’s an idea: Just wait. It will rain.”

“In the 1970s, Paul Ehrlich wrote the best-selling book The Population Bomb, predicting a global famine and warning that entire nations would cease to exist by the end of the twentieth century — among them England. “[I]t is now too late,” he wrote, “to take action to save many of those people.” In 2001 — despite the perplexing persistent existence of England — the Sierra Club listed Ehrlich’s Population Bomb as among its books recommended by Sierra readers. How many trees had to be chopped down to make the paper for all those copies of The Population Bomb?”

“Assuming you aren’t a fetus, the Left’s most dangerous religious belief is their adoration of violent criminals.”

Liberals say, “(w)e’re the only modern democracy with the death penalty. I think that should be treated as a selling point: “come to the United States for the economic opportunity, stay because we fry our Ted Bundys!”

“One year after Miranda, New York County district attorney Frank Hogan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that confessions in his district alone had fallen from 49 percent to 14 percent solely as a result of the Miranda decision. Federal Judge and former law professor Paul Cassell has calculated that one decision alone, Miranda, has led to the release of about 100,000 violent criminals a year. Instead of hanging their heads in shame and trying to make up for the needless suffering and death inflicted on America by their policies, liberals are proud of releasing violent criminals.”

“At private schools, 80 percent of the personnel are teachers. By contrast, at public schools only about 50 percent of the personnel are actual teachers — most of the rest are cogs in the endless layers of machinery of the “education” bureaucracy. This would be like having 26 full-time coaches for a 26-man baseball team.”

“Between 1982 and 2001, spending on New York City Public schools increased by more than 300 percent, clocking in at $11,474 per pupil annually. Only Washington, D.C., that hotbed of educational achievement, spends more per student. By contrast, the average tuition for private elementary schools is less than $4,000 and around $6,000 for private secondary schools.”

“As Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace explained, “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” No set of facts can disprove the environmentalists’ secular religion. In 2004, former vice president Al Gore gave a speech on global warming in New York City on the coldest day of the year. Warm trends prove global warming. Cold trends also prove global warming. This is the philosophy of a madman.”