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Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Articles by Jacob G. Hornberger

How the Constitution Constrained Federal Spending and Debt

7 days ago

Given that the debt-ceiling debate is likely to continue for a few months, examining the Constitution provides us with the reasons our nation has been plunged into this monetary morass. 
Federal officials have now run up the federal government’s debt to more than $31.5 trillion. That’s a lot of money. And it’s also a lot of interest payments. 
Too much debt is not a good thing, either for a family or a government. Even the big-spending members of Congress acknowledge this. That’s the point of establishing a maximum amount of debt that the federal government is permitted to incur — or a “debt ceiling.” The problem, of course, is that every time that limit is reached, Congress raises it, thereby enabling more debt to be piled onto the previous debt.
Nonetheless,

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The U.S. Stealing of Russian Yachts

18 days ago

Given the U.S. government’s increasing financial difficulties, we can expect extremely vicious behavior on the part of federal officials to bring money into the regime. What U.S. officials are currently doing to Russian billionaires provides a clue as to what they are likely to do Americans as the federal government’s financial situation worsens.
The federal government is spending more than $1 trillion per year than it is bringing in with taxes. That means that, every year, it adds more than $1 trillion dollars to the federal debt load. There is no possibility that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA will permit Congress to significantly reduce the largess that is being flooded into their section of the federal government. There is also no possibility that

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Will China Force the U.S. to Restore Gold as Money?

20 days ago

In response to the U.S. government’s weaponization of the dollar through such measures as sanctions and trade wars, China, along with Russia and other nations, are making efforts to dethrone the dollar as the world’s international reserve currency. For example, Russia and China are now using the Chinese yuan, rather than the dollar, for payment for Russian oil. Saudi Arabia is now talking about doing the same thing. 
One of the interesting aspects of this process involves gold. According to an article at Forexlive, China has purchased 62 tons of gold in the last two months. China’s gold reserves now total 2,010 tons.
An article at BNP Paribas Asset Management by Chi Lo, the company’s senior market strategist for Asia and the Pacific, speculates that China might

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Will Biden’s Trip to the Border Win the War on Immigrants?

22 days ago

Immigration-control advocates are ecstatic over President Biden’s visit to El Paso. Maybe — just maybe — Biden’s trip will be what finally — finally! — brings victory in the decades-long U.S. war on immigrants.
Except that it won’t. The hope of the immigration-control advocates will be dashed once again. The decades-old immigration crisis, along with the deaths, suffering, and police state that come with it, will go on, notwithstanding Biden’s trip to the border.
But there is a positive aspect to Biden’s trip. It helps to dispel the delusion under which conservatives have suffered ever since Biden became president. That delusion is that President Biden has supposedly adopted a policy of “open borders.”
Let’s first examine what is meant by the concept of open

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Ukraine’s War with Russia Has Nothing to Do With Freedom

December 22, 2022

Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared before a joint session of Congress to plead for more billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to help Ukraine in its war with Russia. 
One particular sentence in Zelensky’s address caught my attention: “We Ukrainians will also go through our war of independence and freedom with dignity and success.” The sentence prompted an enormous applause from the members of Congress.
There is one big problem with Zelensky’s statement, however. The war between Ukraine and Russia has nothing to do with freedom. Instead, it has everything to do with NATO, the old Cold War dinosaur that ginned up the crisis that led to this highly deadly and destructive war.
Operating through NATO, the Pentagon was insistent on

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The Fed’s Destructive Guessing Game

December 16, 2022

As expected, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a point yesterday. It was a drop from the .75 point rate increases that the Fed has been implementing for the past several months. 
A big reason the Fed is going slower is the longstanding fear among Fed officials of bringing about another Great Depression by raising interest rates too high and too fast. That’s, of course, what happened in the late 1920s, when the Fed’s actions brought about the 1929 stock-market crash, which then led to the Great Depression.
Yes, I know, most everyone is taught in their public schools and state-supported universities that the Great Depression was caused by the failure of America’s free-enterprise system. But it’s a lie. And it’s been a lie ever since U.S. officials

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The Statist Victory on Trump’s Tax Returns

November 30, 2022

The mainstream media is celebrating big time over a recent ruling by the Supreme Court that forces the Treasury Department to deliver President Trump’s income-tax returns to Congress. A good example is the Washington Post, which published an editorial last week praising the ruling. Since there is still the possibility that Congress will fail to disclose Trump’s ( tax returns to the public, the Post is calling on Congress and the states to enact laws that force presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns to the public. 
The Washington Post was founded in 1877. I wonder what the Post’s editorial board felt about the fact that the following presidents failed to disclose their income-tax returns: James Garfield (1880-1884), Grover Cleveland (1884-1888),

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Fallacious Rightwing Justifications for Immigration Socialism

November 20, 2022

REMINDER: This is our end-of-year fundraising drive. Your support today will help us advance liberty in the year head. We could never do our work without those of you who help us out in a bigger way. If you are already an FFF donor, we hope you will renew your support with a generous end-of-year donation. If you have never donated to FFF, we hope you’ll change that situation by making a generous donation to FFF. Here is my end-of-year message seeking your support. Thank you for your consideration, your commitment to liberty, and your great support of our work.–Jacob Hornberger, president, FFF.
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One of the popular rightwing justifications for America’s socialist system of immigration controls is that there is a supposed Democratic Party conspiracy to

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Expanding IRS Tyranny to Reduce Inflation

November 3, 2022

One of the interesting aspects of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act was the allocation of $80 billion in increased funding for the Internal Revenue Service, one of the most powerful and tyrannical agencies in U.S. history. The money is intended to be used for enhanced tax enforcement, especially through the potential hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents who, to borrow a phrase from the Declaration of Independence, will be further eating out the substance of the American people.
Using soaring prices of gasoline, food, cars, and most everything else as a way to seize more money from the American people should not surprise anyone. Government officials know that most people have been schooled in public (i.e., government) schools and, therefore, have no idea that

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The Pentagon Brought on Both Nuclear Crises

October 27, 2022

I fully realize that when it comes to Ukraine, one is supposed to focus exclusively on Russia’s invasion and not on what the Pentagon did to gin up the crisis, a crisis that has gotten us perilously close to a world-destroying nuclear war with Russia. 
Nonetheless, the Pentagon’s role in this crisis needs to be emphasized, over and over again, just as the Pentagon’s role in ginning up the Cuban Missile Crisis also needs to be emphasized, over and over again.
Yes, what I am emphasizing is the Pentagon’s role in ginning up both of these crises that have gotten us so close to nuclear war with Russia. 
At the end of the Cold War racket, there was absolutely no reason for NATO to remain in existence. Its purported mission of protecting Europe from a Soviet (i.e.,

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Alex Jones Got What He Deserved, Part 3

October 23, 2022

There are five additional points that have been made about the Alex Jones case that I wish to address, four of which were expressed in emails to me and one of which was expressed in an article published today by Judge Andrew Napolitano. (See part 1 and part 2 of this series here and here.)
1. Some of Jones’s supporters say that the Connecticut trial was a “kangaroo” proceeding because the judge excluded matters that Jones wanted to tell the jury.
But it’s important to point out that a trial is not some sort of anarchist battleground. It is governed by rules of procedure and rules of evidence that have been developed over centuries of case law. Sometimes these judicial rules are codified into law by the legislative branch of the government. For example, see The

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The Anti-Communist Interventionist Racket Continues

October 21, 2022

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega
New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires is complaining about financial aid that international agencies are providing Nicaragua under what he says is “the pretext of poverty reduction, disaster relief and small business support.” He points to Nicaragua’s dictatorial regime headed by socialist Daniel Ortega as the reason for his complaints. 
Sires is right to complain about foreign aid to Nicaragua, but why limit a critique of governmental aid to Nicaragua? Why not terminate all U.S. foreign aid to every international agency and every foreign regime, including regimes that do the bidding of U.S. officials? Wouldn’t the American people be better off keeping their tax monies for themselves rather than have it sent to foreign agencies and

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Alex Jones Got What He Deserved

October 17, 2022

Reminder: Our online conference “End Inflation and at the Fed,” continues this evening at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) with the third talk of our series. Our speaker will be Kevin Dowd, professor of finance and economics at Durham University, much of whose work revolves Austrian and Public Choice economics. The title of his talk is “Central Bank Digital Currencies.”
Speaker: Kevin Dowd, professor of economics and finance, Durham UniversityTime: 7 pm – 8 pm Eastern Time tonight, October 17Where: Online via Zoom.Admission: FREE.Register here and receive your Zoom link by email.
We hope you will join us for what promises to be another great talk and Q&A session on one of the critically important burning issues of our time — the Federal Reserve’s continued

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Price-Gouging Hypocrisy Among Republicans

October 7, 2022

As most everyone knows, Republicans have been celebrating the clownish antic of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for using hundreds of thousands of Florida taxpayer dollars to ship 50 immigrants from Texas and dump them in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The thuggish act, which appears to include fraudulent representations made to the immigrants, was intended to expose the hypocrisy of rich, liberal residents of Martha’s Vineyard for having sympathy for immigrants but opposing letting them live in their homes.
Perhaps Republicans would be better off, however, spending their time looking in the mirror and confronting their own acts of hypocrisy. 
A good example occurred just recently during Hurricane Ian, when Republican governors from Florida, South

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The U.S. Destroyed Iranian Democracy

September 28, 2022

NOTE: Our upcoming online Zoom conference “End Inflation and the Fed” kicks off on next Monday, October 3, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time with Richard Ebeling. Richard teaches economics at the Citadel and is co-host of FFF’s weekly Internet show, the Libertarian Angle. He is former president of The Foundation for Economic Education and former Ludwig von Mises Professor of Economics at Hillsdale College. He is also the author of FFF’s book Monetary Central Planning and the State. I hope you will join us for a great talk on a critically important issue facing our country as well as a lively discussion. FREE! Register here.
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Given the protests by Iranian women that are roiling Iran, the response of the U.S. mainstream press is predictable — that the U.S. government

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Right-Wing Hypocrisy on DeSantis’s Clownish Thuggery

September 20, 2022

Right-wingers are making a big deal out of the decision by people in Martha’s Vineyard not to take into their homes the immigrants that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shipped to them a few days ago. The right-wingers are saying that feeding the immigrants and caring for them was not sufficient. The people of Martha’s Vineyard, they say, should have taken them into their homes rather than let them be taken and housed at a nearby military base. They’re saying that this reflects the hypocrisy of the left.
What the right-wingers conveniently forget, however, is that under their beloved socialist system of immigration controls, it’s a felony to harbor illegal immigrants. While the immigrants that DeSantis shipped to Martha’s Vineyard have some sort of special “parole”

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Military Self-Delusion on the Constitution

September 15, 2022

Several former U.S. defense secretaries and retired generals recently published an open letter about the current political environment in America. The letter stated, among other things: “Military officers swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not an oath of fealty to an individual or to an office.”
That’s just pure nonsense and self-delusion. Oh, sure, technically it’s true that military officers swear such an oath, but they don’t follow it. Instead, they faithfully and blindly follow the orders of the president, which means, as a practical matter, that their oath is one of fealty to the president, not to the Constitution.
Let’s look as some examples:
1. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Everyone acknowledges that the Constitution requires a

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Why Not Just Abolish the IRS?

September 3, 2022

While some conservatives are criticizing President Biden for hiring 87,000 new well-armed IRS agents under the guise of fighting inflation, I’ve got a better idea: Let’s just abolish the IRS and, at the same time, end the federal income tax. 
The idea is actually not as radical as it sounds. It certainly wouldn’t have sounded radical to Americans who lived here in the United States from 1776 to 1913. For virtually that entire period of time, Americans lived without federal income taxation and an IRS.
That’s right — for more than a century, Americans were free to keep everything they earned, and there was nothing the federal government could do about it. 
No deductions to keep track of. No income-tax returns to file. No withholding. No IRS to audit, terrorize, and

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87,000 New IRS Agents Will Reduce Inflation?

September 2, 2022

REMINDER: I will be speaking at the Ron Paul Institute’s annual conference, which this year is being held at the The Westin Washington Dulles Airport. The theme of the conference is “Anatomy of a Police State.” See my blog post of yesterday. If you can make it, I am sure you’ll be happy you did. If you do attend, please come up and say hello. Register here. — Jacob
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Just about everyone, including the most ardent proponents of public (i.e., government) schools, would say that America’s educational system is a chaotic disaster. But as Sheldon Richman observes in FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families, America’s public-school system is actually a tremendous success. That’s because the system achieves precisely

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Are You Attending the RPI Conference This Saturday?

August 30, 2022

The Ron Paul Institute is holding its annual conference at the Westin Washington Dulles Airport this Saturday, September 3. It stands to be another outstanding one. I have the honor and pleasure of again speaking at it. I will also be speaking at the conference’s program for young scholars the day before.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Anatomy of a Police State.” As the conference’s web page states, “Authoritarianism on the march. The police state advances. In near-darkness we find the greatest opportunity to make the case for liberty!”

The conference will feature several speakers with whom FFF readers are familiar. John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, is one of them. Practically very week, we feature John’s article in our FFF Daily.

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America’s Perpetual Foreign-Policy Crises

August 24, 2022

Ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II, America has lived under a system of ongoing, never-ending, perpetual foreign-policy crises. That’s not a coincidence. The national-security establishment — i.e. the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — need such crises to justify their continued existence and their ever-growing taxpayer-funded largess. 
An interesting aspect of this phenomenon is that oftentimes the crises are ginned up by the national-security establishment itself. Once the crisis materializes, the Pentagon and the CIA play the innocent. “We had nothing to do with ginning up this crisis,” they cry. “We are totally innocent.” 
After the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon

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“Russian Bad!”

August 2, 2022

One of the benefits to the U.S. national-security establishment of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is that it has enabled the U.S. mainstream press to focus on the evils of the Russian regime rather than on the evils of the U.S. regime. 
Consider, for example, the invasions and long-term occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which, most everyone would concede, were riddled with official lies. Given all the attention of the mainstream press on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, those two U.S. invasions and occupations have gone down a memory hole. It’s as though they just didn’t happen.
But they did happen, and, in the process, hundreds of thousands of people were killed. In fact, the Pentagon and the CIA wreaked much more death and destruction in Afghanistan and

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No Need to Meet With Dictators

July 20, 2022

By now, most everyone knows about President Biden’s famous “fist bump” with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi dictator who has been accused of orchestrating the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi when he visited a Saudi consulate in Turkey. The fist bump took place during Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with bin Salman.
Biden supporters claim that meeting dictators is sometimes a necessary part of being president. Since Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest oil producers — one that could easily become friendly with Russia or China (who are labeled as America’s “adversaries” or “rivals”), they say — it is imperative that Biden travel to Saudi Arabia to play nice with its dictator.
In a libertarian world, such unsavory

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Musical Chairs in Washington, D.C.

June 24, 2022

Republicans are licking their chops over the Federal Reserve’s ostensible plans to raise interest rates aggressively in the months ahead to combat soaring prices. They view a coming big recession as a grand opportunity to win control over Congress in the upcoming November elections. 
Of course, we have gone through this political musical-chairs nonsense for decades. If the Fed is filling the balloon with newly printed money, the economy appears prosperous. Whoever is president claims credit for “good management of the economy.” Voters reward him with reelection. They also elect members of his political party to Congress. 

But woe to any president who happens to be in office when the Fed starts to reverse course, especially in a big way, as it is ostensibly now

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Bribe Money for Ukrainian Officials?

June 16, 2022

In my blog post of May 18, 2022, I raised the possibility that the $40 billion aid package that Congress quickly approved for Ukraine was going to be used, at least in part, to pay multimillion dollar bribes to Ukrainian officials. After all, why else would the members of Congress, as well as the Pentagon’s assets within the mainstream press, react so vociferously against the idea of having the Inspector General monitor how the money is being used? And what better way to ensure that Ukrainian officials remain on board for perpetual war than the payment of bribes to officials serving in what is perhaps the most corrupt regime on the planet?
For skeptics, I refer to an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal whose title pretty much tells it all: “High-Ranking

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What If the U.S. Had Invaded Ukraine?

June 9, 2022

Let’s engage in a thought experiment. Suppose that Ukraine was headed by a pro-Russia regime. After repeated failed attempts at assassination by the CIA, the Pentagon finally decides to invade Ukraine for the purpose of bringing about regime change — i.e., ousting the pro-Russia regime from power and replacing it with a pro-U.S. regime.
What then would be the response of American statists, especially those within the U.S. mainstream press?
There is no doubt about the answer. Everything would be different than it is today with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The media would be proudly embedding itself within the U.S. military’s invading forces. Mainstream papers would be reporting and commenting on the courage of U.S. troops. There would be no sympathetic

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The Fed, and No One Else, Is Responsible for Inflation

June 8, 2022

According to commentators in the mainstream press and various federal officials, inflation is like the coronavirus. It spreads around the world, hitting different countries in different ways. Sometimes a country will  experience only mild symptoms and sometimes more severe symptoms, like what happens with Covid. Now that the inflation virus has hit America, the mainstream media, along with public officials, are coming up with all sorts of remedies to address the problem.
This is all sheer nonsense, of course. There is one — and only one — entity that is responsible for inflating the money supply. That entity is the Federal Reserve. 
Let’s put things in a larger context. When America’s economic and political system was converted to a welfare state and, later, a

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Will the Pentagon Induce Russia to Use Tactical Nukes in Ukraine?

May 10, 2022

For the past 25 years, the Pentagon has moved inexorably toward admitting Ukraine into NATO, which would then permit the Pentagon to install its nuclear missiles in Ukraine — that is, on Russia’s border. Thus, the Pentagon has progressively used NATO, an old Cold War dinosaur, to place Russia into a position of making a choice: Either (1) accept the fact that our nuclear missiles are going to be placed in Ukraine pointing at your cities, or (2) invade Ukraine to prevent that from happening.
Russia, of course, could have simply acquiesced in the installation of the Pentagon’s nuclear missiles on Russia’s border. But for the last 25 years, Russia has made it clear that it had no intention of letting that happen. The Russian position has been the same as the U.S.

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Is It “Disloyal” to “Side with Russia”?

May 8, 2022

Last week, I received an email from a conservative-oriented libertarian who suggested to me that it is disloyal to “side with Russia” because Ukraine was “just sitting there” when it was invaded by Russia.
Are you kidding me? “Just sitting there”? As in just innocently minding its own business?
I don’t think so. 
Sure, most everyone would concede that Russia had no legal authority to invade Ukraine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Ukraine was “just sitting there” innocently minding its own business. 
The fact that that conservative-oriented libertarian honestly thinks that Ukraine was “just sitting there” innocently minding its own business goes to show how much the U.S. national-security state has succeeded in imbuing people with such an extreme

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Is Putin Right About a U.S. Proxy War?

April 29, 2022

On the surface of things, it appears that Russia is at war with Ukraine. But Russian president Vladimir Putin is saying that in actuality it is the United States that is warring against Russia and is simply using Ukraine as a proxy to conduct that war. Putin, therefore, is also saying that given that the United States is waging war against Russia, the possibility of nuclear war continues to rise with each passing day.
That raises an important question for the American people, one that the U.S. mainstream press is loathe to ask: Is Putin’s accusation correct? Are U.S. officials simply using Ukraine as a way to weaken or even destroy Russia without directly participating in a war against Russia?

U.S. Bay of Pigs invasion. Licensed under Creative Commons.

It

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