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MONDAY   Less Hypocrisy For CA Lieutenant Governor
by Gary M. Galles
[author, academic] 10/23/06

As the California election nears, candidates ramp up accusations that opponents have huge hypocrisy gaps between what they say and what they do. But, until recently, the candidate who clearly wins any hypocrisy comparison has been largely overlooked

That is State Senator Tom McClintock, running for Lieutenant Governor against Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi.  In a long public life, he has remained consistent to the limited defensible role for government in our society, and hasn’t sold out that vision to “buy” votes from others to get some goodies he wants from Sacramento.  He may be the only one there with the consistent strength of his convic­tions to refuse to abandon them (and Californians), who truly represents those disenchanted with the ballooning size and scope of government.  

Gary M. Galles

Mr. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. [go to Galles index]

McClintock has often been characterized as irrelevant by those in the “mainstream,” including those in his own party, for failing to “go along to get along” or look the other way at poorly thought out proposals and policies.  Yet what better qualification is there for a state office-holder charged with benefiting all of us, rather than some of us at others’ expense? 

He is also not anti-government, as some have alleged.  He simply knows that, in a great many areas, both logic and evidence imply that better government requires far less government.

A fan of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, he echoes their underlying principle that government must be strictly limited to policies that clearly advance the “general welfare.”  Instead of fostering wasteful bureaucracies and boondoggles that erode individual rights and incentives, government’s role is to establish and enforce property rights, equally applied, so all citizens can increase their welfare through voluntary exchanges.  In that world, lobbyists could not use government to pick citizens’ pockets, and incomes would have to be earned by actually creating something worth more than it costs to others.

McClintock, perhaps alone among those plying their trade in Sacramento, recognizes and opposes the central danger of government: Its power will be captured by organized special interests and used to advance narrow objectives by imposing costs on others.  And it is impossible for all citizens to gain from this, as those that cannot compete as effectively in the political arena of special interest must lose from the government transfer game.

McClintock is best defined by what he would not do.  He has steadfastly opposed government subsidies and beggar-thy-neighbor policies, despite strong pressures to do so from those who would benefit.  He would not support government policies that, while depriving taxpayers of income and restricting citizen choices, do not achieve their intended results.  He does not support government redistribution of wealth, as it forces involuntary, harmful “trades” on citizens without their consent.  He doesn=t want to “soak the rich,” as he recognizes that the way for sellers of goods and services to get wealthier in a market economy is to make others better off, and therefore willing to voluntarily buy from them (a characteristic not shared by government interventions). 

Essentially, McClintock wants to treat Californians as adults, rather than as children constantly begging their parents to give them what they want.  He believes in freedom from taxes that fund wasteful and ineffective programs and freedom from a government powerful and intrusive enough to routinely override individual choices, when those choices do not infringe on the rights of others.

Tom McClintock is the only candidate running for any office in California who has demonstrated what so many of us say we want--the consistent commitment to give up access to their slice of the government pork barrel in order to abolish that pork barrel altogether.  He has resisted the explosion in state power and intrusion at every turn.  As the candidate with the clearest commitment to Californians’ general welfare, he is a clear choice for Lieutenant Governor, not to mention the state’s best hope for Governor in 2010. CRO


copyright 2006 Gary M. Galles



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