I am a Libertarian. Of course, that doesn't mean that I endorse every single principle that a majority of libertarians endorse, but I agree with the fundamentals of the party - since the Libertarian Party stands for Liberty, Life, and the right to property.
I hear many say to me (and I used to say it myself) that a vote for a third party is a vote for XYZ - whichever candidate the objector is trying to villify. The reality is that a vote for a third party is a vote of principle. I will admit that I have only voted for one Democrat in all my voting years - that was Atty. Gen. Frank Kelley of Michigan. I have voted Republican in many elections, mostly because I falsely believed that they were for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and freedom.
You see, Democrats used to be for protecting the working poor. Although I disagree with many of the programs that they implemented, and how they have become an eternal black hole in which trillions of dollars have been sucked into, without benefit to society, I believe that they were well-intentioned - wrong...but well-intentioned.
Lately though, the Democrats have been about welfare for the middle class - expanding government intervention into the health care industry, increasing funding and the power to government schools, increasing spending on getting middle class kids who used to pay for their own education to borrow or get grants in order to go to college. Entitlement after entitlement is going to the middle class - all while the new tax laws continue to impoverish them.
Many of us in the liberty movement felt that the GOP was the best alternative. We thought that when a Republican claimed to be for the little guy, they meant it. They lied. Looking at the last few years is all the evidence I need: bailouts, subsidies, corporate welfare, sucking off the lobbyist teat, just to name a few...
While the GOP talks a good game about privatizing government services, they are doing so for the wrong reasons - and in a more cowardly way than one can imagine. Most of us who are for limited government first look to see if a particular program is constitutional or not: education, corporate subsidization, etc. After that, we try to determine if the proper function can be privatized. Two things are necessary to justify privatization: 1) more efficient use of the taxpayer money, and 2) saving the taxpayer money.
The second should be a natural conclusion of the first. Businesspeople know that to increase productivity is to lower costs. Privatizing should lead to more efficient, less bureaucratic, ways of doing things. Private agencies are entrepreneurial, creative. They can find ways that the government agency is prevented by bureaucracy of finding.
So, what's set me off today? The realization that the Michigan Republican Caucus at the State House is not interested in efficiency, nor in the lower middle class workers providing the services within the private agencies. They are merely looking for a way of "slashing costs."
Republicans no longer examine an issue to see if bureaucracy might be causing the dysfunction. They no longer do any kind of cost-benefit analysis on their programs. They just want the status quo - plus a little privatization to make us libertarians and conservatives think that they are "on our side." But they are not.
The State of Michigan recently settled a lawsuit that an advocacy group brought on the state. Part of the settlement included lower case loads, and better oversight of the children in foster care. This was an opportunity for private agencies to "show their stuff." We've already found more efficient ways of spending the taxpayer's money; we had to, the state had already stacked the deck bureaucratically several years ago. But, now with the new rules, we have no choice but to follow the bureaucratic dictates - it is LAW!
Some senior people within DHS found some extra money (I know, is that possible?) and they convinced the powers that be to increase the daily rate paid to private non-profits to care for the children. This was a happy day for our workers, they have been working for about 2/3s of what their state counterparts were making. This increase would have allowed us to hire more staff (thus lowering the caseloads and improving the services to the children and families), as well as getting the pay up to acceptable levels (although still only about 80% of what the entry level state employee makes at DHS).
Now, the GOP Caucus has joined with the UAW to try to take this increase away. Of course, this is while NOTHING is being done about the annual pay increases at DHS, or the continuing hiring at the state level. In other words, the State agencies, who have historically been deficient at providing the services to children and families, continue to be paid better for less work (they pass the work off to us, the Private non-profits), are not the target of GOP "budget cutters;" their target is private industry.
So, why should I vote for Republicans? Can't think of a reason! I'll be voting third party, because the two major parties are only concerned with their own self-promotion. That's bad for Michigan, and bad for the country.