by James W. Harris
Stunner: Ron Paul Wins CPAC Presidential
it's a long time before the 2012 elections. And Ron Paul hasn't even said
whether he's running yet.
it was a dramatic indicator of Paul's growing influence and popularity when he won
the annual presidential straw poll at the 2010 Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) February 20.
one of the largest and most respected conservative gatherings in America. This
year, over 10,000 people attended, and the event drew massive media coverage.
annual straw poll is highly anticipated, and is widely recognized as a
important indicator of how the GOP's conservative base views the upcoming
was uncompromising in his speeches
prior to the vote, denouncing the war in
Iraq as unconstitutional, calling for an end to U.S. intervention abroad, and
urging attendees to oppose conservatives who would further weaken fundamental
Bill of Rights freedoms.
this -- or perhaps because of it? -- Paul captured a whopping 31 percent of the
2,400 votes cast. Trailing Paul were such GOP headliners as Mitt Romney,
(winner of the last three polls in a row), with 22 percent); and Sarah Palin (7
victory margin was the largest in many years of any candidate. CNN.com called Paul's upset win "a blowout victory" for "the 74-year old
everyone at CPAC was happy with Paul's stunning win. Loud booing from unhappy
neo-conservatives and other non-libertarians was heard when the results were
announced. However, Paul won praise from such unlikely sources as the
conservative magazine National Review and right-wing columnist Ann Coulter.
year, a sizeable group of self-declared Tea Party activists attended CPAC. So
did a large number of young people: 48 percent of the participants were
students, 54 percent of participants were between the ages of 18 and 25. They
provided a perfect audience for Paul's libertarian message of free markets,
personal freedom, and peace -- and offer a great source of optimism for the
future. Shouts of "End the Fed!" and "Ron Paul!" echoed in
In a survey
of CPAC attendees, fully 80 percent of respondents said their number one
issue is "to promote individual liberty" and "reduce the size of
government" -- again, a perfect audience for Paul.
does this victory mean? One thing is sure. As Paul said in his speech following
the vote, "The rEVOLution is alive and well!"
Government is Biggest Enemy of Small
the biggest problem facing America's small businesses?
In a new survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 31
percent of respondents said the single most important problem facing small
businesses is "poor sales."
that was "Taxes" at 22 percent, then "Government Regulations and
Red Tape" at 13 percent.
two and three are clearly direct manifestations of the government. Combined,
the libertarian Cato Institute, they add up to 35% -- making government the biggest problem small businesses
say they face today.
U.S. Postal Service Meltdown Good for a
U.S. Postal Service monopoly is falling apart right before our eyes. Demand is
down, and, despite its government-granted monopoly, it is losing money like a
leaky armored car.
March 2 Postmaster General John Potter announced
that the USPS is facing losses
of $238 billion over the next 10 years.
fice isn't going down without a fight. It's already proposing a full
menu of Big Government "solutions." You can probably guess them:
ending Saturday delivery, aggressively raising prices, slowing delivery time,
reducing customer service, and so on.
libertarians know the answer to this problem: end the government mail monopoly
and open up the delivery of mail to competition. This will quickly bring an
increase in quality, lower prices, and constant innovations to meet consumer
needs, as it has in so many other industries.
arguments for this are strong, but we're not going into them today. (But if you
want to see some, here
's a fine recent article from the libertarian Cato
today we're just going to... laugh. Because this latest USPS debacle has
reminded us of our all-time favorite Post Office "innovation."
2007, a Post Office survey revealed -- surprise! -- that people were not happy
about the long waits they were forced to endure in many post offices.
Post Office set out to solve this problem -- in classic Big Government style.
Associated Press, they removed clocks from the retail areas of all 37,000
want people to focus on postal service and not the clock," Stephen
Seewoester, a Postal Service spokesman, explained to Associated Press.
just surprised they didn't outlaw the wearing of watches inside post offices,
too. Maybe that's on this year's reform list?
Federal Employees Earn Far More Than
Comparable Private Sector Workers
this for a kick in the teeth?
of Americans are paying taxes so that people doing the same kind of work they
do -- but for the federal government -- can make a lot more money than
employees earn higher average
salaries than private-sector workers in more than
eight out of 10 occupations," USA TODAY reports. "Accountants,
nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide
range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in
the private sector.
federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations
that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of
Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private
sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available."
that doesn't even include health, pension and other benefits, USA TODAY
reports, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 versus only $9,882
per private sector employee. ---------------------------------------------
LENO ON OBAMA'S HEALTH:
"President Obama had his first physical exam as
president over the weekend. The doctor said he was in much better shape than
the country." -- Jay Leno, March 2, 2010.
LENO ON KARL ROVE'S NEW BOOK:
"Well, in his new book, Karl Rove said that
the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq badly damaged the Bush
administration's credibility. It's all in his new book here, it's called
'Duh.'" -- Jay Leno, March 2, 2010.
OUT THE CLOWNS:
"I voted Republican almost every time, and I don't even
know what they stand for anymore. And they've got to realize that they
problem: 'Hello, my name is the Republican Party, and I've got a problem. I'm
addicted to spending and big government.' But as of yet I haven't heard anyone
say that. All they're talking about is: 'We need a big tent. We need a big
tent. Can we get a bigger tent? How can we get a big tent?' What is this, a
News host Glenn Beck
, keynote speech at the 2010 Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) February 20.
LEGALIZE IT, AMERICANS SAY:
"Eight in 10 Americans support legalizing
marijuana for medical use and nearly half favor decriminalizing the drug more
generally..." -- ABC News
, "High Support for Medical Marijuana:
ABC News/Washington Post Poll," January 18, 2010.
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"Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" is written by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. His articles have appeard in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."