Five Minutes Five Issues: TSA Kills, Chris Kyle, Granite Nation, Marijuana Billions, McAdams/Raimondo 2020
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
The infuriating harassment to which the Transportation Security Administration subjects travelers regularly is reason enough to oppose its existence. But, did you know that TSA actions may also result in the deaths of hundreds of people each year?
Pace University Economics Professor Joseph T. Salerno relates in a Ludwig von Mises Institute article this week that, while the TSA has not stopped even one terrorist attack, there is plenty of reason to conclude that TSA actions cause people to substitute driving for the relatively safe flying option.
Salerno writes, “In sum, the benefits of the TSA are negligible and the costs include — in addition to an annual budget of $7 billion — possibly hundreds of deaths per year.”
Though Chris Kyle wrote in his book American Sniper that he was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars while in the United States military, Navy documents received by the Intercept show that Kyle was awarded less: one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars.
Inflated and made-up claims of military activities or awards are seen by many people as serious misdeeds and are included in the pejorative designation “stolen valor.”
This isn’t the first time Kyle’s boastful claims have been rejected. In their Wednesday report on the medals count inflation, the Intercept writers Mathew Cole and Sheelagh McNeill note, “In 2014, just over a year after Kyle’s death, a Minnesota jury found that he had lied in American Sniper and defamed former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura by claiming to have punched Ventura out at a bar in Coronado, California.”
When she was president of the Free State Project, Carla Gericke encouraged people to pledge to move to New Hampshire so they could work in the state toward dramatically limiting government power. She was the Free Sate Project’s president in February, when it reached 20,000 pledgers, triggering the migration of pledgers to the state.
Now Gericke is working on making New Hampshire independent from the United States. On Wednesday, the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence announced Gericke has become the organization’s president. On its website, the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence proclaims that it seeks “to promote New Hampshire’s peaceful separation from the United States through educational initiatives and the fostering of conversations between all New Hampshire citizens with an interest in freedom from the Federal government.”
Christopher Ingraham reported last week at the Washington Post on a new Tax Foundation analysis concluding that the US government and the vast majority of state governments that have not legalized marijuana for recreational use may be missing out on over $18 billion dollars in marijuana tax revenue each year.
Marijuana prohibition is bad. So also are high taxes on the plant. I addressed marijuana taxes last year in my Ron Paul Institute article “End the Marijuana ‘Sin Taxes’.” In the article, I wrote that marijuana tax revenue “feeds the government machine that tramples on individual rights, including through enforcing laws against other drugs that are still illegal and even through clamping down on marijuana activities that take place outside the marijuana regulatory system.”
The loss of tax revenue due to marijuana prohibition is an illustration of the saying that “every cloud has a silver lining.”
Via Twitter this week, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams and antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo were chatting about a “what if” scenario. What if they had run together for the Libertarian Party presidential ticket this year?
Maybe it is too late for McAdams and Raimondo to throw their hats into the ring given the Libertarian National Convention is this weekend. But, guys, there will be another presidential race in 2020.
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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