Not raising the debt limit = balancing the budget

Not raising the debt limit is simply running a balanced budget.

Yes, that’s right: The President and Congress may have to balance the federal budget in the next few days! Horrors!

Let’s get some clarity here. When the federal government hits the debt limit it does NOT mean that it can’t borrow or that it can’t pay existing debts. It just means it cannot continue to run a deficit. Spending becomes limited by revenue, and existing debt may be replaced by new debt. The government just can’t add MORE debt.

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Internet Sales Tax Could Crush Small Businesses

by Ron Paul

One unique aspect of my homeschool curriculum is that students can start and manage their own online business. Students will be responsible for deciding what products or services to offer, getting the business up and running, and marketing the business’s products. Students and their families will get to keep the profits made from the business. Hopefully, participants in this program will develop a business that can either provide them with a full-time career or a way to supplement their income.

Internet commerce is the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the American economy. Not surprisingly, the Internet is also relatively free of taxes and regulations, although many in Washington are working to change that. For example, earlier this year the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, more accurately referred to as the national Internet sales tax act. This bill, which passed the Senate earlier this year, would require Internet businesses to collect sales tax for all 10,000 American jurisdictions that assess sales taxes. Internet business would thus be subject to audits from 46 states, six territories, and over 500 Native American tribal nations.

Proponents of the bill deny it will hurt small business because the bill only applies to Internet business that make over a million dollars in out-of-state revenue. However, many small Internet businesses with over a million dollars in out-of-state revenues operate on extremely thin profit margins, so even the slightest increase in expenses could put them out of businesses.

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How Do Local Mole Hills Become National Mountains?

People in general, but especially politicians, like to make MOUNTAINS out of a bunch molehills.  The key word is “bunch.”

Politicians use phrases like “Americans have the right to clean air and water”, “National Health Care” and “National Education System.” But are these really “national issues?” How do we know when an issue is “global,” “National,” state-wide or local?

Now please, don’t think I mean a molehill isn’t a problem or difficulty, and that many individual molehills couldn’t cause plenty of headaches.  They certainly can – and do. But the way we handle problems best, as any productivity guru would tell you, is one small item at a time.  Or in this case, one small, local mole hill at a time.

Washington DC doesn’t like small items because those items don’t justify a big “solution,” and I use the term solution loosely.  The reality is that Washington doesn’t solve national problems, it creates them. Then DC tells us there is just ONE OPTION – implement their “Big solution.” The feds sell the public through the piling of the millions of small molehills ever higher into one big mountain.  They hail from their ivory towers, “LOOK AT THIS MASSIVE MOUNTAIN, BUT FEAR NOT WE HAVE MASSIVE EARTH MOVING EQUIPMENT.”

At this point, people buy in to DC’s solution because the problem is just so big and complicated. And then it gets really awkward…seriously.  It’s awkward to use massive earth movers for backyard mole hills.  The breaking of the driveway as they back-up, the smashing of trees you planted with your kids, the clipping of your rain gutters, and the list goes on.

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Nullification: The Natural Way to Grow the Economy

So often, when some people think of Nullification, they think of a formal process involving a smaller government or individual taking action by producing documents, or sending requests, or petitioning to nullify the action of a larger government. I have to admit that much of the work I do with Florida Tenth Amendment Center follows that exact template. The “formal process” idea of nullification was certainly in view when Jefferson and Madison formulated the Principles of ’98 and encouraged states to block unconstitutional federal acts. So, that’s one way to nullify, to be sure.

However, Rosa Parks nullified laws without issuing a single formal document, and there are certainly  many other examples of personal nullification, both informal and frequent.  So, we see that nullification is hardly a formal process. It’s any act or set of acts the makes a law null, void or simply unenforceable.

We tend to think of nullification as simply stopping a government act, but would you believe that nullification can actually BOOST the economy?

In a recent TED video by writer Robert Neuwirth, he talks about the power of the “informal economy.”  He also has some other terms for this “informal economy,” like “System D” and “DIY.”  He’s talking about the economy of people unhindered by government edicts restricting human interaction. What I believe he means to communicate is how vast the power of the people’s economy can be when not regulated through codified governmental laws, licenses, patents and other government regulating processes.  He’s not saying the laws don’t exist, but his experience is that  individuals and businesses can’t succeed by knowledge of, or submission to, all of those regulations. So, they essentially nullify them through non-compliance.

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‘We’re Actually in Charge’

This past month I had the great privilege of attending the Ludwig von Mises Institute‘s summer program, Mises University. The week-long seminar in Austrian economics featured some of the best minds in free market academia and the most dedicated proponents of individual liberty. Among the lectures was “The Economics of the Drug War,” taught by Mark Thornton.

Primarily a course on the economics of prohibition, he spent some time on the recent efforts of state nullification via medical marijuana, and on the recreational use of pot in Colorado and Washington last year. Dr. Thornton explains not only the method by which state legislatures refuse to comply with unconstitutional and inhuman federal meddling, but he also covers the ways an individual can exercise restraint on federal overreach through jury nullification.

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Must Read: Hayek’s Why the Worst Get on Top

Cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center.

If you can only ever read one thing by Hayek, may I suggest: “Why the Worst Get on Top“, chapter 10 from “The Road To Serfdom“?  I can’t say it better than he did, so I’ll just give you some highlights to whet your appetite.

“…We must here return for a moment to the position which precedes the suppression of democratic processes and the creation of a totalitarian regime.  In this stage it is the general demand for quick and determined central government action that is the dominating element in the situation, dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome course of democratic processes which make action for action’s sake the goal….

… If the ‘community’ or the state are prior to the individual, if they have ends of their own independent of and superior to those of the individuals, only those individuals who work for the same ends can be regarded as members of the community. …

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Feds and the States Tag-Teaming on Corporate Welfare

In a recent op-ed for the Indianapolis Star I discussed the symbiotic relationship between federal and state government when it comes to doling out corporate welfare subsidies. The focus was primarily on Indiana, but the issue is a national concern.

A good example is the $2 billion Shepherd’s Flat wind farm in Oregon that was largely financed with federal and state taxpayer support. Ted Sickinger, a reporter for theOregonian, has done an excellent job of digging into details behind the project (see here thenhere then here) and it appears that Shepherd’s Flat was one big taxpayer handout. In fact, the Obama administration signed off on the federal government’s share of the subsidies even though it knew the project didn’t need any support from taxpayers: 

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