Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What if Ron Paul won the '08 election?

ronpaulgoldsmallPaul supporters are euphoric over their libertarian leader's record-setting fund raising success. It only took the Texas Congressman a day to take in $4.2 million. To tell the truth, when I first heard him talk about the Iraq War I was swept up with the sparkling allure of Ron Paul-mania. And the novelty of an anti-war Republican grabbed me by the lapel.

But if people knew what Paul meant by small government most would bounce him out on his ear quicker than you can say Ronald Reagan. Imagine if the devil started serving snow cones and Ron Paul won the Presidential election. What would America look like after the first 100 days? What would happen if he, just like the current Republican President, got everything he wanted?

First, Mr. Paul would pull the troops out of Iraq, dissolve the Federal Reserve and close down the IRS. So far, so good. This is what people want -- less war and less taxes. President Paul becomes the most popular Commander-in-Chief in a generation and the people rejoice.

What happens next? Well, if Ron stays true to his principles, which history has shown he does, the department of education will vanish. Let the free market decide. Now, those too poor to send their kids to school won't have a publicly-funded means of educating their children. That way the richer you are the more education you'll receive. Sounds fair, right? Next, those very same working class laborers can expect to whip out their Visas in the emergency room because that island of socialism needs to go. He'll probably achieve something President Bush never could, the privatization of social security. Public health care of any type will be abolished. Those who can't work like the elderly and the crippled won't be able to build up their "nest eggs" and consequently will be denied proper care.

When government shrinks something needs to take its place. Instead of empowering people, Ron Paul extols the marvels of the free market. Once corporations fill that power vacuum unions will be busted, and because there will be no public space workers can't organize and demonstrate on the sidewalks in front of their workplaces as the companies will own those sidewalks. Businesses will be allowed to reinstate Dickensian working conditions. The 8 hour day and overtime will be a fuzzy memory. In a truly free market economy the threat of unemployment can and will be used to coerce workers into humiliating contracts. Dollars will be a person's way of "voting" therefore those with more cash have more freedom. Welcome to Ron Paul's America.

Be careful because I believe Ron Paul's message is dangerous. There are other anti-war candidates (Kucinich, Gravel) who have a better domestic plan for the country. Let's reject Mr. Paul's libertarian revolution and start moving America further from a Corporatacracy, not closer to one.


Amy Miller said...

$42.5 million in one day? I thought it was $4.3 million--but if you say so.

I've decided to vote for Mitt Romney so I can worship him as my God and live on his planet!

Rich_Of_Spirit said...

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It's actually $4.2 million -- I've corrected it in the article. By the way, I hope you have fun living with Mitt on his planet, don't forget your magic underwear!

ryanshaunkelly said...

colbert gravel kucinich paul nader [conyers?] united for truth elicit fear smear blacklist.

honesty compassion intelligence guts...

JWCosby said...

You're making a lot of assumptions and most of them are naive or misinformed.

First of all, the President cannot "dissolve the Federal Reserve", as it is not part of the US Government, in any way, shape or form. It's a group of private banks that act together to effectively form a US Central Bank, but it is NOT a central bank and is NOT part of the government. The US Treasury then borrows money from the Federal Reserve and pays interest on each dollar the Federal Reserve prints.

So Ron Paul CANNOT simply dissolve the Fed, nor can he return us to the Gold Standard by an executive action. The only way to go back to the Gold Standard would be to have an act of Congress passed, something the President has no control of.

Similarly, in order to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service, Congress would have to pass legislation in order for it to happen.

Needless to say, there would be a huge amount of opposition to both ideas, as the Fed and the IRS have a LOT of clout in Washington.

As for the Department of Education, perhaps you should read this:

"A previous Department of Education was created in 1867 but soon was demoted to an Office in 1868. Its creation a century later in 1979 was controversial and opposed by many in the Republican Party, who saw the department as an unconstitutional, unnecessary federal bureaucratic intrusion into local affairs.

Unlike the systems of most other countries, education in the United States is highly decentralized, and the federal government and Department of Education are not heavily involved in determining curricula or educational standards (with the recent exception of the No Child Left Behind Act). This has been left to state and local school districts. The quality of educational institutions and their degrees is maintained through an informal private process known as accreditation, over which the Department of Education has no direct public jurisdictional control.

Rather, the primary function of the Department of Education is to formulate federal funding programs involving education and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights."

Dissolving the Department of Education wouldn't change much, as there isn't much federal involvement in schools. Federal funding would be gone, but states would simply increase sales tax. It really wouldn't change a thing. The schools would still be funded just as well, and you'd probably be paying just as much in taxes in the long run, the money is just coming from somewhere else.

As for privatized healthcare, it's not like he's abolishing Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. Ideally, he'd like people to be responsible for themselves and not rely on the government to manage their retirement and healthcare, but he recognizes the fact that many people DO rely on the government. He's simply in favor of giving people the option to opt out of the programs - he's not eliminating them. There's no sense in making everyone pay in to Medicare and Social Security if they don't want to, especially if they can get privatized healthcare for less and have properly managed their retirement. He's not throwing anyone out on the streets, he's giving you a choice.

Ron Paul is in favor of reducing the size of federal government and giving control back to the states because there's little need to have redundant layers of government. It's simply a waste of money. He's also in favor of letting the people decide what to do with their money, rather than taking it and giving it to a bureacracy. Even if he were to have his way and have the appropriate legislation passed, people would not be left out in the cold. The power would simply be returned to the states where they could manage the needs of the populace at a much more local, rather than nationwide level. It's more efficient, and the interests of California are not the same as those of Alabama, and they shouldn't be governed as such.

Anonymous said...

Social programs wouldn't be removed so quickly, and the cost of schooling is far less than the money we'll save from not paying taxes.

Socialism is extremely wasteful because you're taking the money from the consumer to be lobbied for in Washington.

And there was a day when places offered free health care. That doesn't exist now because of Medicare and other socialist programs drive the cost of healthcare through the roof while the PC-civil-litigation culture we've allowed to flourish makes everyone afraid to touch anyone else, *especially* if they are hurt.

Ron Paul wants to put our country back to it's roots, back to the constitution. This will correct the economy. No one will have school or medical care when the socialist programs collapse under our eroding economy.

Rich citizens means more consumers, more consumers means demand for products, demand for products creates jobs.

Rich_Of_Spirit said...

If there is one lesson we should take away from Bush's presidency it is that a President gets what a President wants. If he wants to bulldoze the Congress he can. You know just as well as I how much Ron Paul reviles the Fed, and will eventually shut it down along with the IRS, and return us to the gold standard. I'm not wagging my finger at the guy for this, it is just something that would be done sometime over the duration of his term.

But I don't want to spend too much time on that as it is more shadow than substance. Your quote concerning the DoE is wholly irrelevant. You point out, as I correctly note in the article, the funding for schools, not the curriculum, originates from the Federal Government. You argue as the size of government is scaled back on the Federal level the States' control will proportionally increase. I wish this were the end of the story, because if it were I'd be the first to support Dr. Paul, but this is merely step 2 of a 3 step process. On a Federal level only gigantic corporations can exert any kind of influence, however, at the State level mid-sized businesses can more easily manipulate these smaller centers of power. That way publicly owned institutions, like public schools, can fall prey to the predatory nature of corporations. This would naturally hold true for health care which would be bought out by big business almost immediately. Ron Paul has said Bush should be "commended" with the way he's addressing the social security "crisis". How would those currently without health care benefit from privatization? Health care needs to be distanced from the private sector as much as possible so patients aren't treated like customers.

Yet, what I found most interesting about your critique is how you avoided commenting on the devastation Paul's policies would have on laborers. Without a strong Federal Government to regulate corporations unions would be punished, our environment would be polluted, and wages would be slashed even more than they currently are. Nobody would be getting rich off of this economic system accept the already-wealthy. Right-libertarians want to create a culture of narcissism. This compassion-less society is something I fully reject.

JWCosby said...

He can only do it with the support of Congress, and it's not in any politician's interest to abolish institutions that can or do contritube to their campaigns. I think you'd find Congress united against any legislation that would eliminate the Federal Reserve or the Department of Education or the IRS. Each has too much clout in Congress for any such legislation to pass.

I've not heard anything from Ron Paul suggesting that having a free market means no federal regulation of the market. Subsidies would be gone, something that IS in the interest of the people, and some of the things that the government currently does can be done by a free market better and more efficiently, which is also in the interest of the people. I'm not sure why you have the impression that a free market is an unregulated market. Ron Paul hasn't said anything about deregulating any industries.

Derek said...

Ending the department of education wouldn't be the end of education for the poor. the federal government is not responsible for educating our youth. Let local and state governments fund and regulate education. That eliminated a layer of buearacracy and government waste. The same goes for many of the other social programs that Paul wants to eliminate from the federal governments control.

Big Brother said...

Ahem... When Ron Paul talks about eliminating the FEDERAL Department of Education, he isn't talking about shutting down your local STATE funded public school. Don’t feel bad – I have seen many other ill-informed people make the same mistake that you just did. Very few Americans understand the difference between State and Federal government, and what the proper role of each of these entities is in our educational system.

American education has always been a "local" thing. School boards are elected by the local community, and most of the funding for public schools comes from local city/county governments. In Illinois, for instance, the state provides 37.7% of total education funding, local entities provide 51.9%, which leaves a mere 10.4% as the Federal government’s share ( Some people (such as Paul) believe that this 10% isn’t worth the trouble of having a centralized Federal bureaucracy interfering in the educational system. The DOE is pretty much an unnecessary waste of $67.2 billion a year.

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