I got this email from a group called Virginians for Life and Liberty:
Robert Sarvis has recently broken with Libertarians on key issues*
Recent interviews with Chuck Todd and Reason.com reveal:
Sarvis FAVORS higher taxes, including
- higher gas taxes and
- a new “miles-driven” tax and
- opposing any tax cuts, including the Cuccinelli Tax Cut Plan
Sarvis FAVORS expanding Obamacare
- Through massive Medicaid expansion in VA
- Adding 400,000 new permanent enrollees to this social program
- Price-tag to taxpayers: $3B per year.
Robert Sarvis: “I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere.”
Robert Sarvis: self-described “moderate” (Oct 26 forum)
SARVIS: not very Libertarian at all
Cuccinelli is the only choice for Liberty-minded voters
That’s why Robert Dean and other Libertarian leaders are backing Ken Cuccinelli for Governor Nov 5th
Authorized by Russ Moulton. Not authorized or paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
I was going to ignore it – similar, almost identical items showed up on RedState, JHPolitics, and several other sites.
But this is too much. Let’s start with Austrian economics:
First, Sarvis writes for GMU’s Mercatus Center. Here’s his bio:
Robert is a native of Northern Virginia and a lifelong believer in freedom, free markets, and the rule of law. He holds degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge and a JD from NYU School of Law. During law school, he co-founded a libertarian and classical liberal law journal, the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, dedicating the first issue to Friedrich Hayek, and he has been outspoken in arguing against government regulation of the tech industry. Robert has worked as a software developer, a lawyer, and a tech entrepreneur, and his research interests span a wide range of topics relating to law, economics, and public policy.
And here’s Sarvis praising Frederich von Hayek in his 2011 GOP campaign for state senate:
His libertarian philosophy is reflected in his answer when asked about his favorite economist. Without pausing, he named Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian Nobel laureate who taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago.
“Hayek is someone who really influenced my thinking,” Sarvis explained: “How to think about problems that face national economies and how public policy can influence it in many unintended ways,”
While a lot of people, such as talk-show host Glenn Beck, focus on Hayek’s 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, Sarvis said he “was more influenced by his ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society,’ which was probably the seminal paper that won him the Nobel Prize, and also [volume] one of Law, Legislation, and Liberty, where he talks about rules and order.”
In addition to Hayek, Sarvis cites Adam Smith as an influence in his economic thinking.
“In philosophy, they say, there’s Plato and all else are footnotes,” he quipped. “I think that can be said more truly of Adam Smith than of Plato.”
Adam Smith could be what Sarvis was thinking when he was talking about mainstream economics. How about more: Go here for a book review on a series of essays on economics (I need it – all I recall from economics 101 was the pretty brunette I say next to all quarter!) by Sarvis.
I certainly agree that Sarvis mentioned the mileage tax but only as one idea among many – he did not call for it. And Sarvis did not call for the Medicaid expansion but rather reforms and decentralization of the health care system. It is a distortion of his views.
Check out this from his issues page on taxes:
Second, we need to simplify and streamline the tax system so that revenue raising is transparent and least burdensome to individuals, families, and businesses alike. I propose:
- Eliminating the Car Tax, which is unpopular;
- Eliminating the BPOL, Machine & Tools, Merchant Capital and other business taxes that hide the cost of taxation, burden employers, and reduce business activity;
- Eliminating, or dramatically reducing, the income tax, which reduces employment and lowers take-home pay;
- Moving to a uniform consumption tax on all final retail sales of goods and services.
- Reforming property taxes by excluding, or lowering the rate applied to, improvements to land;
- Prefering, where possible, user fees to general taxes.
People might disagree with Sarvis on some aspects of tax reform but it is not accurate to say he is for raising taxes.
I am seeing this is so many places that I wonder: Is this a smear campaign and who is behind it?