Hillary Clinton goes off the deep end

Hillary Clinton goes off the deep end:

During a video conference of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, she asked, “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” Could it be because she is a loathsome, dishonest human being?

The Democrats have long claimed to be for the working man of this country, but the Democrats’ greatest loss of support has been among white working class families. Why? It’s simple: you can be the party of the working man, or you can be the party of the non-working man, but you cannot be the party of both, because their interests are diametrically opposed. The Democrats chose to be the party of welfare, and thus they are losing the people who have to work to support welfare recipients.

In the meantime, the Democrats’ greatest supporters are rioting in Charlotte, North Carolina. What a great way to turn a close race in Carolina — and elsewhere — strongly toward Donald Trump!

Why Federal Reserve policy is failing They don't succeed because they can't succeed

We said yesterday that it’s better if the government quits trying to ‘direct’ the economy. Today, from The Wall Street Journal:

Central Bank Tools Are Losing Their Edge

Central banks have shown the will to hit their growth and inflation targets. But do they have the way?

By Greg Ip | September 21, 2016 7:52 p.m. ET

Central banks have shown the will to hit their growth and inflation targets. But do they have the way?

That question is more pointed after the Bank of Japan on Wednesday announced two new central bank firsts. It now wants inflation not just to meet its 2% target, but to overshoot it. And it will now target not just short-term interest rates, but long-term government bond yields.

The moves affirmed Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s reputation for monetary experimentation, but also raised the more troubling question of why his previous innovations have fallen short.

Japan’s monetary travails matter to all central banks since so many countries are coming to resemble Japan, with slow growth and too-low inflation—factors that make it difficult for an economy to tolerate interest rates much above zero.

Hours after the Bank of Japan’s announcement, the Federal Reserve left its own interest rate target unchanged, while saying the case for an increase had strengthened. Though U.S. job growth is healthy, inflation is stuck below the Fed’s 2% target and bond investors expect it to stay there.

There’s much more at the original, but I absolutely disagree that “U.S. job growth is healthy.” The U-6 unemployment rate stood at 9.7% in August, meaning that for every ten people who are employed, one person is out of a job or is working only part time because that’s all he can find.

The Fed has sought to push up inflation to around 2% for years now, and can’t seem to get it done. Despite monstrous deficit spending, which, in the past, led to inflation, we have been below the inflation targets for years. Despite the Fed using what is essentially phony money during three rounds of “quantitative easing,” and Stephen Williamson, vice president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, published a white paper calling the theory behind QE “not well-developed” and that “causal evidence suggests that QE has been ineffective.”

The Journal article continues with examples of actions various central banks — not just the US’s Federal Reserve — have taken, and notes that none of them are coming up with policies or actions that actually accomplish what those central banks say they want to accomplish. The central bankers are not stupid, or at least not all of them are stupid, yet none of them are managing to do what they set out to do.

Of course, in at least one area, the Fed has been successful:

In late 2015, the Federal Reserve owned $2.394 trillion in U.S. government debt, far more than China or Japan or any other foreign holder. More importantly, the Fed made it incredibly cheap for the government to borrow. Total U.S. debt was $9.986 trillion in 2008, just 67% of GDP. These figures skyrocketed to $18.151 trillion in 2015 and 101% of GDP.

In effect, the Fed, writing checks — and not even doing that, but just transferring funds electronically — bought up a lot of existing government debt. That was debt that would be in the hands of other investors had the Fed not bought it up. But the Fed was engaging in transactions that would have been illegal had anyone else done them. There is one simple fact that no one likes to talk about, that allows the Fed to do this: if the Fed writes a check, and there are not sufficient funds in the accounts to cover the checks, there is still no one there to bounce the checks!

The creation of money is a basic, Economics 101, concept. Let’s say that Joe Blow has $1,000 in demand deposits (savings or checking) in Whitaker Bank in Mt Sterling, Kentucky. Then Cherie Smith comes in and wants to borrow $300, to open up a music store. Whitaker bank lends Miss Smith the $300, which she then deposits in Whitaker Bank, to draw from as her business needs it. The total amount of money in the bank is now $1,300: Mr Blow’s $1,000 and Miss Smith’s $300, and thus Whitaker Bank has created $300. The Fed sets reserve requirements, the amount of money that the bank must retain, on hand, to cover all demand deposits, and that is what limits how much Whitaker Bank can lend.

Well, the Fed has been, in a way, creating money itself. Since there is no one to bounce the checks, the Fed was able to buy up that more than $2 trillion in debt, without anyone questioning it. As long as the previous debt holders accepted the funds that the Fed said it had for their debt instruments, and the banks accepted those checks or electronic fund transfers, the money really was there, regardless of whether it had actually been there previously. In effect, the Fed created money out of nothing.1

So, what have the results been?

  • The federal government has been able to continue to borrow, to finance the deficit, at low costs.
  • Because the Federal Reserve “owns” a substantial part of the national debt, there is no worry that that debt holder will try to do something harmful to American interests.
  • Because the Federal Reserve “owns” a substantial part of the national debt, even if the government fails to make its debt service payments, the Fed won’t care, and will act like the payments were made.

If the federal government doesn’t have the funds to pay the debt service, it will have to borrow that money from somewhere. The Fed then lends the money to the Treasury, and bank balances change on paper, but, in a practical sense, no money changed hands. Technically, that part of the national debt still exists, but it just plain doesn’t matter anymore.

The Fed has been cautious with its programs, to avoid triggering rampant, Zimbabwe-style inflation, and has gotten away with it so far. As the Fed buys Treasuries, it increases demand, keeping Treasury yields low.

Since Treasuries are the basis for all long-term interest rates, it also keeps auto, furniture and other consumer debt rates affordable. The same is true for corporate bonds, allowing businesses to expand more cheaply. Most important, it keeps long-term, fixed-interest mortgage rates low. And that’s important to support the housing market.

The Fed’s own actions with quantitative easing have hurt its efforts to push inflation higher. To achieve one goal, the Fed sabotaged its ability to achieve another.

Commercial banks are awash with money, they have plenty of money to lend, and interest rates are lower than they’ve been in generations. One result: initial public offerings are at their lowest point in twenty years. Despite the banks having plenty of money to lend, the rate of new business creation has fallen by 30%.

Janet Yellen is a brilliant, educated economist, but she is trying to do something that really cannot be done. The Fed can tinker with interest rates, at least somewhat, but it can’t make entrepreneurs start businesses and create jobs. The Fed can try to increase inflation, but hasn’t shown any ability to do so. It’s not just the Fed: the other central banks have been trying to do the same things, and failing. Maybe it’s time for them to quit trying.

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  1. Marshall Gittler argued that quantitative easing isn’t the same thing as just “printing money,” in that the reserves aren’t money, but I found his arguments unpersuasive. You might see it differently.

Sometimes it’s better to just leave things alone

Yeah, I believe this one!

And another one from Heather Long, who’s fast becoming one of my favorite economic reporters:

So, Dr Yellen says that the Fed doesn’t “see the economy as overheating now.” Yeah, I guess that’s right!

Fed leaves interest rates alone; dials down 2016 forecast

by Patrick Gillespie | @CNNMoney September 21, 2016: 2:49 PM ET

The Federal Reserve is still waiting for the right moment to raise interest rates.

Fed leaders decided not to increase the bank’s key interest rate on Wednesday at the conclusion of a two-day meeting. The decision was largely expected by economists and investors who bet there was very little chance of a move.

“Our decision does not reflect a lack of confidence in the economy,” said Janet Yellen, chair of the Fed. “It’s better to err on the side of caution.”

The Fed downgraded its forecast for economic growth in 2016 for the third time this year. It now projects growth this year to be 1.8%. In June it forecast growth of 2%.

As the Fed has hesitated to raise rates, there is a growing debate about its credibility. Many economists and investors say the Fed’s hesitancy to raise rates — and conflicting messages from its top leaders — has eroded public confidence in the central bank.

There’s a lot more at the original, but no, I wouldn’t say that a projected annual growth rate of 1.8% is exactly an economy that is overheating!

In June of 2015, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors told us that they estimated real GDP growth for 2-16 to be in the 2.4% to 2.7% range, with the range of estimates from all of the Governors being between 2.3% and 3.0%. How did they arrive at those numbers?

Each participant’s projection was based on information available at the time of the meeting together with his or her assessment of appropriate monetary policy and assumptions about the factors likely to affect economic outcomes. The longer-run projections represent each participant’s assessment of the value to which each variable would be expected to converge, over time, under appropriate monetary policy and in the absence of further shocks to the economy. “Appropriate monetary policy” is defined as the future path of policy that each participant deems most likely to foster outcomes for economic activity and inflation that best satisfy his or her individual interpretation of the Federal Reserve’s objectives of maximum employment and stable prices.

FOMC participants generally expected that, under appropriate monetary policy, growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 would be somewhat below their individual estimates of the U.S. economy’s longer-run normal growth rate but would increase in 2016 before slowing to or toward its longer-run rate in 2017 (table 1 and figure 1). Participants generally expected that the unemployment rate would continue to decline in 2015 and 2016, and that the unemployment rate would be at or below their individual judgments of its longer-run normal level by the end of 2017. Participants anticipated that inflation, as measured by the four-quarter percent change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), would be appreciably below 2 percent this year but expected it to step up next year, and a substantial majority of participants projected that inflation would be at or close to the Committee’s goal of 2 percent in 2017.

Think about that: there are twelve members of the Federal Open Market Committee, and every single one of them projected much higher economic growth than we are seeing; the lowest projection was 2.3% growth, which is a full half percent higher than what the FOMC currently sees, with the year not quite through three quarters. These highly educated economists are supposed to be guiding the US economy — as much as it can be guided, which, in my opinion, isn’t very much — and they are continually getting things wrong. From The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2016:

Declining business investment is hobbling an already sluggish U.S. expansion, raising concerns about the economy’s durability as the presidential campaign heads into its final stretch.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the U.S., grew at a seasonally and inflation adjusted annual rate of just 1.2% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday, well below the pace economists expected.

Economic growth is now tracking at a 1% rate in 2016—the weakest start to a year since 2011—when combined with a downwardly revised reading for the first quarter. That makes for an annual average rate of 2.1% growth since the end of the recession, the weakest pace of any expansion since at least 1949.

So, the economy has been growing at rates far below what the Fed projected, and the statement that the second quarter readings were “well below the pace economists expected” tells us that not only don’t the professional economists know what the economy is going to do, they have problems understanding what the economy has already done.

The Fed wants to tweak the economy into increased growth, but can’t. The Fed wants to see inflation at around the 2% mark, but can’t achieve that, either. The problem is one that the government and the professional economists never want to admit, that the economy is more than two hundred million economic actors taking over a billion economic decisions every single day. There is no way that twelve members of the FOMC, or the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, or the Congressional Budget Office, or Nobel laureate Paul Krugman can anticipate and guide an economic leviathan like that. But part of the problem is that they think that they can, and they keep trying.

The best thing we could do for the economy is to just leave it alone, stop trying to meddle. That might not help, but at least it won’t hurt the economy.

Economics 101: When more low-skilled refugees are accepted, more low-skilled Americans see their wages decrease

We asked previously why we should bring in 110,000 Syrian refugees when we already have a too-high U-6 unemployment rate. Now this from The Wall Street Journal:

What Happens to Wages When Refugees Arrive? More Than You Might Think

An influx of refugees can hurt the economic prospects of natives with similar skills, but benefit other workers

By Jeffrey Sparshott | September 21, 2016 7:07 am ET

The U.S. is accepting 85,000 refugees this fiscal year and the Obama administration plans to raise that figure to 110,000 next year.

The plan is controversial amid worries that terrorists could slip through a rigorous screening process. But what about the economic implications?

A new study by Harvard University’s George Borjas and the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies’s Joan Monras looks at evidence from four earlier refugee surges and finds they worsen prospects for one segment of the population while bettering the lot of another.

“In short, refugee supply shocks have sizable distributional consequences in the labor markets of receiving countries,” the authors said.

Mr. Borjas is generally considered an immigration skeptic, though his work is careful to avoid political judgement or policy prescriptions. His work is often cited as evidence that immigration erodes wages for lower skilled U.S. natives. His latest work is surprising because it shows clear benefits as well—though not for everyone.

There’s more at the original, but the results are exactly what anyone who had passed Economics 101 would guess: for workers with the same skill sets as the refugees, wages are depressed.

The problem with the Syrian refugees is that few will have job skills which relate to the American labor market other than simple, manual labor, and those are the jobs where we can least afford an influx of new workers.

As far as the burden on our already overburdened welfare system, since we have a surplus of Americans who can only do manual labor jobs, every job that a Syrian refugee takes is one that an American cannot get. That might keep that refugee off the welfare rolls, but it means that another American will be on the dole.

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Related articles from The Wall Street Journal:

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Of course the United Nations is irrelevant! It's run by idiots

Utterly laughable!

International Day of Peace
21 September

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rings the Peace Bell at the annual ceremony held at UN headquarters in observance of the International Day of Peace (21 September 2015).

“Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”

Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace. Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper.

Every single one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a building block in the global architecture of peace. It is critical that we mobilise means of implementation, including financial resources, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, as well as the role of partnerships. Everyone has a stake and everyone has a contribution to make.

On 16 September 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General celebrated the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquartersby ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence. Women Nobel Peace Prize laureates and the United Nations Messengers of Peace were invited to participate in the ceremony. The United Nations Education Outreach Section held a global student videoconference on the same day, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., also at United Nations Headquarters.

Let’s see, Da’ish is running wild in the Middle East, killing everyone they can, Islamist terrorists from barbarian lands are striking in the civilized countries, Syria is involved in a years long civil war, Israel must remain on constant guard against Hamas terrorists, North Korea is testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, while threatening to destroy the United States and South Korea, freedom is an unrealized dream for billions of people, and the UN calls tomorrow an International Day of Peace?

The real challenges to peace aren’t “poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia.” The real causes of war are not lack of resources, but the unbridled lust for power. Men start conflicts, start wars, because they wish to gain power and wealth. It takes a liberal to be unable to see that.

And I regard it as a personal insult that this clown is President!

I received an e-mail from Barack Hussein Obama:

I’ll see it as a personal insult, Dana
From Barack Obama democraticparty@democrats.org

Dana —

I’ve run my last campaign.

But the things that I’ve fought for my entire career — tolerance, democracy, justice, the progress we’ve made — they’re all on the ballot in 50 days.

I’ll see it as a personal insult to my legacy and the work we’ve done together if we fail to step up and make sure that Hillary takes my place in January.

So please, chip in $3 or more to make sure Democrats can get the folks on the ground that they need to turn out the voters who will win this thing.

If President Obama will see it as a personal insult to his legacy if Hillary Clinton isn’t elected, then I very much hope that he winds up feeling very insulted come the evening of November 8th!

Is Hillary Clinton’s campaign engaging in systematic fraud?

First, the story, from The Observer:

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Campaign Systematically Overcharging Poorest Donors

Wells Fargo fraud department inundated with calls from low-income Clinton supporters reporting repeated unauthorized charges

By Liz Crokin • 09/15/16 2:35pm

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.

The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud department told the Observer. The source claims that the Clinton campaign has been pulling this stunt since Spring of this year. The Hillary for America campaign will overcharge small donors by repeatedly charging small amounts such as $20 to the bankcards of donors who made a one-time donation. However, the Clinton campaign strategically doesn’t overcharge these donors $100 or more because the bank would then be obligated to investigate the fraud.

“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the fraud specialist explained. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.” The source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over 10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign “varies” but the bank usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1,200 per day.

The fraud specialist said that Clinton donors who call in will attempt to resolve the issue with the campaign first but they never get anywhere. “They will call the Clinton campaign to get their refund and the issue never gets resolved. So they call us and we just issue the refund. The Clinton campaign knows these charges are small potatoes and that we’ll just refund the money back.”

The source said that pornography companies often deploy a similar arrangement pull. “We see this same scheme with a lot of seedy porn companies,” the source said. The source also notes that the dozens of phone calls his department receives daily are from people who notice the fraudulent charges on their statements. “The people who call us are just the ones who catch the fraudulent charges. I can’t imagine how many more people are getting overcharged by Hillary’s campaign and they have no idea.”

The source said he’s apolitical but noted that the bank’s fraud department is yet to receive one call from a Donald Trump supporter claiming to have been overcharged by Trump’s campaign. “I’m only talking to you because what Hillary’s doing is so messed up, she’s stealing from her poorest supporters.”

There’s more at the link, including a lot of documentation concerning such shenanigans by the Clinton campaign of 2008. An obvious point: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

A Google search of Clinton campaign overcharging returned 144,000 hits, but at least through the first five pages, none of the sources shown included the professional media. Still, the story is out there, and now the media cannot ignore it: either The New York Times will have to investigate this and prove or debunk it, or we’ll know that the Times and the rest of the professional media are going to try to ignore it away.

Remember how the professional media ignored John Edwards affair with his ‘videographer’? It was only after The National Enquirer broke the story, with enough evidence, that the rest of the media were willing to look at it.

Me? I don’t know what to believe. The story reports an action which is just so plain stupid as well as criminal that it’s difficult to believe that anyone in the Clinton campaign would be dumb enough to do it. On the other hand, the whole Clinton clan has been so dishonest that I wouldn’t put anything past them.

Personally, I hope that it’s true, to put yet another nail in the Clinton coffin.

Maybe this is how a socialist country fights obesity?

From The Washington Post:

In a hungry Venezuela, buying too much food can get you arrested

The Washington Post | Mariana Zuñiga, Nick Miroff | September 15, 2016

BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela – The hunt for food started at 4 a.m., when Alexis Camascaro woke up to get in line outside the supermarket. By the time he arrived, there were already 100 people ahead of him.

Camascaro never made it inside. Truckloads of Venezuelan troops arrived in the darkness, arresting him and nearly 30 others seemingly pulled from the queue at random, according to his lawyer. Camascaro, 50, was charged with violating laws against interfering “directly or indirectly” with the production, transportation or sale of food. He has been in jail for three months, awaiting a hearing.

“I went to see the prosecutors and explained that he was just buying some food for his family. He’s not a bachaquero,” said Lucía Mata, Camascaro’s attorney, using the Venezuelan term for someone who buys scarce, price-capped or government-subsidized goods to resell on the black market.

Camascaro was snared in a new crackdown on Venezuelan shoppers, part of President Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to assert greater control over food distribution and consumption. Maduro blames this oil-rich country’s chronic scarcities on an “economic war” against his government waged by foreign enemies, opposition leaders, business owners and smuggling gangs.

There’s more at the original, including a statement that the Defense Ministry is using fingerprint scanners to insure that Venezuelan shoppers don’t exceed their purchase limits. Maybe that’s how a socialist country fights obesity?

Meanwhile, in the good (sort of) capitalist United States, grocery shelves are crammed full and television is full of weight-loss advertisements.

Perhaps Venezuela can get advice from North Korea on how to feed its people.

Gary Johnson on job creation

From the Johnson-Weld campaign website:

As governors, both Gary Johnson and Bill Weld supported policies that incentivized job growth. In 2012, Gov. Johnson was praised as having the best “job creation” record of all presidential candidates. And Weld transformed Massachusetts from having the highest to the lowest unemployment rate of any industrialized state in less than 8 years.

OK, a huge pet peeve for me here, using the non-word “incentivized.” The dictionary says that it was first used in 1970, but as far as I am concerned, you don’t “incentivize,” you provide someone with an incentive. The WordPress software indicates this word as being misspelled.

Yet, Johnson has said that, “As Governor, I didn’t create a single job.” His point, of course, being that government doesn’t “create” jobs. Entrepreneurs, businesses, and economic prosperity are the building blocks for job growth.

On this, I am in complete agreement with Governor Johnson. Government can make things easier for businesses, or harder for businesses, but the only jobs that government “creates” are government jobs, and we need fewer, far fewer of them, not more.

Governors Johnson and Weld believe that we must allow a regulatory and tax environment that incentivizes fairness. Not one that picks winners and losers. The purpose of government regulation is to protect citizens from bad actors and the harm they might do to health, safety, and property. But regulation should not be used to manipulate the economy, to manage private lives and businesses, or to place unnecessary burdens on those who make our economy work.

That is pretty much straight Libertarian philosophy, that government exists to provide a few essential services, and to protect the rights of people from violation by others. It is not the purpose of government to manage the economy.

Today, the reason so much corruption and power thrive in Washington, D.C., is that powerful corporate interests actually benefit from over-regulation. After all, they have the resources to comply with onerous laws. But for the average American, entrepreneur, or small businessperson, they don’t have teams of high-priced attorneys to help them navigate the bureaucracy.

The Wall Street Journal noted that the average cost for employer-provided health insurance has now topped $18,000 per year, and while the growth rate has slowed a bit, part of that is due to employers providing higher-deductible health insurance plans. The higher costs for providing health insurance has a depressing effect on job creation, especially for small businesses. This includes a long term decline in the percentage of small businesses providing health insurance. “Among employers with 10 to 49 employees, 66% offered health benefits this year, down from 76% in 2012.” Under the Obama Administration, health insurance costs continue to rise, with health insurance benefits continuing to fall.

We simply need to apply common sense to regulatory policy. Let’s get rid of the unnecessary laws and taxes that siphon the resources businesses use to create the jobs we need.

Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld helped create the conditions for job growth in their states. In the White House, they will create the conditions for massive job growth across the entire country.

This last bit is really just the the expression of platitudes, but they are, at least, platitudes which express a philosophy of moving government in the right direction, not the wrong one. Hillary Clinton would increase the size of government, and increase the intrusiveness of government in all of our lives. Donald Trump, well, who knows what the heck he would do? But Governor Johnson, whatever his specific legislation and regulations would be, would at least move in the direction of less intrusiveness in our economy and our lives.

I do not agree with Governor Johnson on everything, but, then again, I don’t agree with anybody on everything. There is an alternative to voting for the lesser of two evils; the Libertarian ticket is that alternative.

Gary Johnson on the ballot in all fifty states

From The Wall Street Journal:

Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson to Appear on Election Ballots in All 50 States

No third-party presidential ticket has qualified for all 50 state ballots since 1996

By Byron Tau | September 14, 2016 12:49 a.m. ET

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign said Tuesday that he will be on the ballot in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, marking the first time in two decades a third-party presidential ticket has appeared on every state ballot.

“With a majority of Americans wanting a choice other than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, today we now know for certain that on Election Day, every voter in America will have that alternative option,” Mr. Johnson said.

No third-party presidential ticket has qualified for all 50 state ballots since 1996, when Libertarian Harry Browne and Reform Party candidate Ross Perot were on every state ballot. Mr. Browne nearly achieved universal ballot access again in 2000, but was stymied by an intraparty dispute where the Arizona Libertarian Party put a different candidate on the state’s ballot.

There’s more at the original.

The interest in Gary Johnson’s campaign derives from one simple fact: between them, the Democrats and the Republicans have nominated two of the worst people on earth. Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar, a woman who’d tell a lie rather than the truth even if the truth couldn’t hurt her while discovery of the lie would. For her, lying must be like a challenge, something she just has to do to see if she can get away with it. The “pneumonia” episode is just more evidence: if she really was diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday, and she or her campaign had just said so, then, they’d have gotten ahead of the whole mess; now there are some reports that the Democratic National Committee is wondering what to do if she cannot finish the campaign.

Donald Trump? Another liar, though perhaps not a pathological one. A phony, a con man and a flip-flopper, who would never be able to deliver on his promises if he were elected. A leftist on abortion, a leftist on a lot of things, with a few conservative positions thrown in. The best that I can say about Mr Trump is that he might, might not be worse than Mrs Clinton.

Which leaves me supporting a third party candidate. Governor Johnson is by no means perfect, and there are several of his positions for which I don’t care. But at least he is a small government conservative, someone who doesn’t believe that the government exists to tell you what to do.

Oh, he won’t win, won’t come close to winning. But I can vote for Mr Johnson without feeling that I have soiled myself. He is an honest man, which makes him different from either Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton.