Yesterday, Matt, Debbie and I and a group of friends participated in a Cato Institute Policies Initiative at The Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. What a highly energized and masterfully organized event it was. The policy event was attended by over 600 of the most focused, serious folk I have ever seen assembled at such an event. Cato is a libertarian-influenced policy think tank founded on the liberty and freedom principles of Cato’s letters. The headline speaker was Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott.
Governor Scott was well received by the huge audience and he made it clear that Florida was (a) on a strict fiscal diet and (b) hard at work on a well-defined battle plan to add 700,000 jobs. Tax cuts for business would be the order of the day.
As for Obamacare, it is unconstitutional and the state of Florida will make no effort to implement any of the components of an unconstitutional bill. Governor Scott also made it clear that he was helping to build a powerful team of like-minded conservative governors, including New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie. Governor Christie received big applause when his name was mentioned, and clearly has made a strong impression on both Governor Scott and the highly informed audience in attendance.
The smell of states’ rights was in the air. And I got the sincere impression that Governor Scott means business. I also got the opinion at the enclave that this group was not operating under the umbrella of the Republican Party. Quite to the contrary. Tea party enthused, yes. RINO impressed, no way. Remember here, Cato is a small government, anti-nation-building policy think tank that was against the militaristic, big spending initiatives of the Bush administration. I spoke with a number of attendees and was much impressed with the seriousness of intent from this sophisticated and focused group. Cato President Ed Crane spoke with the type of enthusiasm one might expect from a leader who knows well that he is delivering the type of liberty and freedom message his audience wanted to hear.
Bob Levy, Cato’s chairman, is a distinguished gentleman. I first met Bob decades ago when we were both associated with the New York-based institutional research and trading firm Hoenig & Co. Bob does a wonderful job leading the Cato effort, and it is thanks to Bob that I have become a Cato benefactor and supporter of its small government, non-interventionist policy.
Libertarian radio host Neal Boortz was the featured lunch speaker and further energized the crowd with the type of upbeat and on the message address one would expect from Mr. Boortz. I can tell you that Americans, as represented by the folk I just spent some time with, are fed up. And I mean real fed up, not only with the Marxist-influenced Obama/Pelosi/Reid crowd, but also with the big government/nation-building Republican leadership. The audience was very much a states’ rights group, which has become increasingly incensed with government in Washington and is trying to do something about it.
Governors Rick Scott and Chris Christie, from what I heard, look to be among the individuals Federal Republic minded citizens want to hear from. And for the record, I did not hear the names Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney mentioned once. If you find yourself inclined to a Federal Republic, small government, non-interventionist way, check out The Cato Institute at its website. For Dick Young’s money it is Cato, FreedomWorks, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party movement, and our conservative state governors that offer Americans hope for the future. I plan to do my part! Not since the days of Barry Goldwater have I found myself so energized and ready to go.
A Podcast of Governor Scott’s speech and an interview with Cato’s Caleb Brown: