Young Voters Aren’t Buying What Ted Cruz Is Selling

Ted Cruz kicked off his presidential run on Monday with a speech at Liberty University. And while the Texas senator hailed liberty as the goal of his campaign, his view of liberty doesn’t comport with that of most Millennials.

Thomas Jefferson defined liberty as “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” That is a timeless sentiment with which most young people largely agree. Today’s youth increasingly support economic freedom, individual liberty, and a peaceful foreign policy.

Unfortunately, Cruz only embraces the same limited view of liberty as failed Republican candidates of the past.

Were Cruz truly a principled champion of free markets, he would seek to advance a more open immigration process, thus allowing worthy immigrant workers to freely trade their labor with American businesses. Instead Cruz makes Latinos the scapegoats of his attack on illegal immigration and grandstands about building a wall along the southern border.

Moreover, Cruz isn’t friendly to personal liberties, as are most forward-looking Millennials. The Texas senator wants to restore the Justice Department’s prosecution of non-violent marijuana users in states where it is legal, despite the fact that more than 60 percent of young Republicans support marijuana legalization.

Worse is the senator’s demagogic opposition to same-sex marriage. Almost 70 percent of Millennials support marriage equality.

The Millennial spirit is decidedly cosmopolitan and forward-looking; the principles of liberty happen to be so as well. But Cruz’s campaign seems to prefer a cloaked agenda of freedom for me but not for thee.

Read the rest at Rare…

The Growing Debt Problem That No One Is Talking About (Except This Guy)

Jared Meyer interviewed former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio on March 24 on the subject of what can be done to solve the growing problem of the state and local pension debt crisis. DeMaio now chairs Reform California, a political action committee seeking to place pension reform on the ballot statewide.

JM: Could you describe the pension reforms that you instituted in San Diego and what they accomplished?

CD: The public sector government pension programs are Ponzi schemes—there’s no better way to describe them. The formulas and the benefits used are unsustainable, and the financial forecasts and models use erroneous numbers and assumptions. At the end of the day, taxpayers will be left holding the bag with fewer services, higher taxes, and billions in debt.

What we did in San Diego was shut down that failed system and moved public sector retirement funds to 401(k)s. These 401(k)s shield taxpayers from losses and force politicians to pay for bills in the year in which services were provided. With a 401(k), employees pay their own contributions in that year. This means no hidden debt. Defined contribution plans also provide for a public sector worker’s retirement that’s benchmarked against what the local labor market provides private sector employees—no better, no worse.

JM: How large is this problem right now if we’re looking at the entire United States?

CD: This is a huge problem in three ways.

No. 1, we’re talking billions of dollars in debt, and it’s not just the official debt. When you true up the numbers with realistic assumptions, you find that the amount of debt is far greater than government officials are willing to admit. In California, the official number is around $150 million. But, with realistic return on investment assumptions and mortality rates, you find that the real number is closer to $500 billion—half a trillion dollars—just for California alone. In San Diego, they say the debt is $2 billion. Well it’s more like $4 billion.

Second, to pay the debt service, you are seeing services cut and taxes and fees increased. This unfunded liabilities problem is having an immediate effect on the quality of life, and it will continue to have a growing negative effect as the costs rise.

Third, we’re talking about retirement security that is not going to exist. You will have systems that go bankrupt, and, when the Ponzi schemes collapse, who will be responsible? What these unions are doing to numerous members is unconscionable. The union bosses know that they’re going to get their fat checks. Their attitude is “who cares about what’s going to happen to the next generation?”

Well, I care. And I think that taxpayers want affordable pensions for government employees to protect the quality of their services, but they also want to know that we treat our employees properly and that they have retirement security.

Read the rest at Townhall…

World Health Organization vs Personal Choice

The ideological agenda of the World Health Organization (WHO) was on display this week, with WHO Director General Margaret Chan calling for tobacco companies to be driven “out of business”.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, Chan stated explicitly her desire to eradicate the entire tobacco industry.

From Sky News Australia:

“It’s going to be a tough fight… (but) we should not give up until we make sure that the tobacco industry goes out of business,” she said.

Chan also gave an unequivocal statement about the efficacy of plain packaging legislation:

the train has already left the station. The evidence base is strong, empirical and comes from well-qualified, respected, and credible sources… We know that plain packaging works.

This statement on plain packaging is an extraordinary misreading of the available evidence. As an econometric analysis co-authored by the IPA’s Sinclair Davidson found:

there is no evidence that household expenditure on tobacco has changed following the introduction of plain packaging legislation.

Chan’s speech highlights exactly what is wrong with the priorities of the WHO.

Read the rest at FreedomWatch…