Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ron Paul's economics are not so nutty

On the economics front, Paul is a delightful paradox. If you crack the nut shell and look objectively at what Paul is really advocating, conservatives will find that Paulonomics looks an awful lot like Reaganomics. Paulonomics emerges as a refreshing return to conservative roots: small government, low taxes, deregulation, and sound money. If Paulonomics seems nutty, that may say more about the sad state of events today, with "big government conservatism" having become the new touchstone.

The core concept of Paulonomics is the reduction in the size and cost of the federal government. Irking many of today's conservatives, Paul emphasizes how this should include scaling back what he calls American "militarism," beginning with a pullout of Iraq.

But embracing a more classic fiscal conservatism, Paul would outright eliminate what he believes are wasteful and counterproductive federal programs, such as the departments of Education and Energy. Nutty? Most Republicans wouldn't dare talk about eliminating the Department of Education in the age of "No Child Left Behind." But Paul reminded me in a recent interview that it wasn't so many election cycles ago that scrapping this department was an official plank of the GOP platform.

And if you mean it about cutting the cost of government, you've got to after the big-ticket items. As to the biggest-ticket items of all, Paul would decommission Social Security and Medicare by honoring obligations to those who are utterly dependent, but letting young people opt out of both systems entirely. Nutty? Let's be honest: Most conservatives want to do exactly this, but are afraid to say so in a political environment where even mandatory personal accounts are vilified as a "risky scheme," as Al Gore famously put it.

With all that and more gone from the federal budget, it's not so nutty for Paul to talk about eliminating the individual income tax and the intrusive bureaucracy that administers it. Paul points out that today's level of federal tax revenues, without the income tax, is sufficient to meet all the government's expenses as they stood not so many years ago. The problem is that the size, scope, and cost of government has grown so much. Would it be such a nutty trade-off to roll back the clock on government expenditures if it meant eliminating income taxes for all Americans?

Paul deplores the federal deficit, but insists the only way "to solve that problem is to cut spending, not to raise taxes - or to not lower taxes when you get a chance." As a first step he advocates the elimination of all taxes on capital - estates, capital gains, interest income, and dividends. He told me, "It's capital that you need to make capitalism work." He says the idea that most excites young voters is his proposal to eliminate income taxes on tips: "It's a big deal if you're a family struggling and if a second member of the family is working and trying to pay the bills." Nothing nutty about any of that.

Paul may be the anti-Reagan when it comes to foreign affairs and the military. But he out-Reagans Reagan in his unwavering opposition to the government regulation of business. He may have seemed like a nut when he was one of only three congressmen to vote against the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. But weren't the real nuts the conservative congressmen who got swept up in a witch-hunt against "corporate crooks," and voted to impose the most sweeping, burdensome, anti-competitive, and costly financial regulation in a generation? ....

More here



Now McCain Must Convince The Right: "John McCain has a problem. After winning South Carolina's primary last Saturday, he should be the overwhelming favorite to capture the Republican presidential nomination. He's not, at least not yet, and the reason is that he's alienated so many conservatives over the past eight years... His victory speech in South Carolina marked a new step. Rather than dwell on the hardy perennials of his campaign message, national security and patriotism, Mr. McCain spoke more broadly about his conservative goals. "We want government to do its job, not your job," he said, "and to do it with less of your money." He praised "free markets, low taxes and small government." Moreover, Mr. McCain intends to go beyond conservative boilerplate and actually campaign as a conservative. His congressional voting record is predominantly conservative (ACU rating 82.3%), qualifying him to do so. He's already stepped outside his comfort zone on taxes, endorsing a cut in the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%... Another point to stress: "Winning in November" is crucial to putting conservative judges on the Supreme Court." .. The McCain campaign claims that it's only a handful of conservative luminaries who oppose him. Not true. Complaints about him are rife among grassroots Republicans."

The blind leading the blind: "During a "Good Morning America" interview aired Monday, Obama said, "Bill has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts. Whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas. This has become a habit and one of the things that we're gonna have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate'." Hmmm "Statements that are not factually accurate." Well, this is almost a humorous development. Suddenly, Democrats have discovered the truth?"

Obama's Clinton Education: "One of our favorite Bill Clinton anecdotes involves a confrontation he had with Bob Dole in the Oval Office after the 1996 election. Mr. Dole protested Mr. Clinton's attack ads claiming the Republican wanted to harm Medicare, but the President merely smiled that Bubba grin and said, "You gotta do what you gotta do." We're reminded of that story listening to Barack Obama protest his treatment by the now ex-President Clinton on behalf of his wanna-be-President wife... Now he knows how the rest of us feel. The Illinois Senator is still a young man, but not so young as to have missed the 1990s. He nonetheless seems to be awakening slowly to what everyone else already knows about the Clintons, which is that they will say and do whatever they "gotta" say or do to win. Listen closely to Mr. Obama, and you can almost hear the echoes of Bob Dole at the end of the 1996 campaign asking, "Where's the outrage?" This has been the core of the conservative critique of the Clintons for years. So it is illuminating to hear the same critique coming from Mr. Obama"

Bill Clinton's dream: "The campaign is taking its toll on former US president Bill Clinton. He fell asleep yesterday during a ceremony to honour Martin Luther King Jr at a church in New York. Mr Clinton was seated behind a speaker delivering a speech on the inspiration of Dr King. He was caught repeatedly nodding off, fighting the urge to nap and checking his watch" What an uproar the media would have created if a conservative did that!]

Hillary in the pocket of the Arabs: "Should the Saudi monarchy be permitted to purchase an important equity position in some of America's leading banks? How can Hillary be objective when the very same monarchy donated $10 million to the Clinton Library and Foundation? Should the UAE be allowed in? How can Hillary decide fairly when Bill - and therefore herself - have been getting a reported $10 million per year from a fund that administers the investments of the Emir of Dubai, the largest component state in the UAE? The Dubai Ports deal compromised our national security by putting key points of entry in that nation's control. But the infusion of capital and the acquisition of equity in our key banks has the potential to make that encroachment on our sovereignty seem piddling by comparison."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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