On March 25th, 2010, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, will be turning 70. In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, John Dennis, who is running for Pelosi’s seat in the 8th District representing San Francisco County, will be holding a “Birthday Bomb” raising funds to help defeat her.
What a great way to celebrate Pelosi’s birthday!
Dennis, a former entrepreneur and businessman, is a libertarian-leaning Republican trying to unseat Pelosi (here is his website).
Dennis is a rare type of Republican: he is anti-war and pro-civil liberties. He also wants a gradual reduction (and eventual abolition) of the 16th Amendment and the income tax, supports a free market in money and an end to the Federal Reserve’s private monopoly, warns of the dangers of inflation, is against the bailouts, staunchly supports gun rights, and wants a market-based health care system.
He is a Republican in the Ron Paul/ Robert Taft tradition, of limited, constitutional government, peace, and personal and economic liberty.
Now let’s take a look at how well Nancy Pelosi has represented San Francisco and the rest of the country as the Speaker of the House:
- Pelosi was briefed on the gulag-esque torture the US was committing and condoning during the onset of the “war on terror,” and not only said nothing, but cheered it on.
- She removed the section of a bill passed by the House which would have barred the US from going to war with Iran without congressional approval.
- Has never met a government bailout of large banks that she didn’t like
- Although she called the Iraq War “a mistake,” she has consistently refused to end or even cut its funding.
- Supported the “Share the Sacrifice Act,” a proposed tax increase on Americans to help cover the costs of the largest expansion of the war in Afghanistan since the intitial October 2001 invasion.
- Is in favor of more and more government intervention into the health care industry.*
Dennis, on the other hand, is a supporter of peace, free markets, and smaller government; he is the anti-Pelosi!
Dennis also makes some great, although unfortunately rare, points about the health care industry, and understands that our health care system is broken and needs to be fixed. He argues that it’s hard to blame “capitalism” for the problems of a 60% state run system.
Here he is on his website:
“Currently about 60 cents of every health care dollar goes through the government. If you think health care is expensive when the government is involved at 60 cents on the dollar, wait until they’re involved at 100 cents on the dollar.”
He’s right. Government intervention into the health care sector has created the cartelization of insurance and the deliberate restriction of doctors by the AMA’s licensing monopoly. Government intervention tends to make problems worse, which then justifys more intervention; a cyclical snowball of rising costs and lower quality.
A true free market healthcare system, like Denniss proposes, would look a lot like the largely “unregulated” technological industry: lower costs and higher quality. Without the presence of a coercive monopoly (the state), Hayek’s “spontaneous order” arises, an order built on voluntary actions in a free marketplace. This has given us millions of inexpensive goods at our fingertips (Amazon, eBay, Overstock) and recycling centers for old laptops and cell phones (since they’re always improving in quality). Health care is a service far too important to be left to a state.
He would work to allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, end subsidies and tobacco subsidies, make out-of-pocket payments tax deductible, tort reform, and loosening medical licensing requirements (my personal favorite). He understands that we don’t need “free” health care, but a freer health care industry.
I will be donating $10 to his Pelosi “Birthday Bomb” on March 25th, (or you can donate to his campaign anytime here), and though it isn’t much, lots of smaller donors have been shown to make an incredibly positive, grassroots, and populist influence.
John Dennis 2010!
*UPDATE: I couldn’t resist adding this gem from Miss Pelosi.