Why Ron Paul is Wrong About Almost Everything

Ron Paul appeals to some voters because he seems to be genuine and consistent in his views. He’s not as consistent as he seems. And his policies would have disastrous consequences if he ever had an opportunity to implement them.

Following are some core principles of Ron Paul, which I’ve taken from a Wikipedia article entitled “Political Principles of Ron Paul”.

“The proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.” Paul will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expre ssly authorized by the Constitution.”

What’s wrong with that?

Government today performs many functions that can’t be performed as well by anyone else. Many of those functions aren’t spelled out in the Constitution, but the broad principles of the Constitution (like “interstate commerce”) authorize them.

For example, the interstate highway system connected America, and is an essential part of our transportation system. The VA, Medicare, and Medicaid have provided care to millions in ways no state could. The Federal Government prohibited racial segregation, which the southern states resisted.

The economy and the world are far more complex than in 1789, and the position of the US is much more critical. We can’t return to some mythical past.

Specific positions

Paul would eliminate FEMA and the Departments of Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education and cut the federal workforce by 10%.

Those agencies perform important work. It’s simplistic to say that all of those functions wouldn’t be missed.

A conservative economist said, “At the scale he’s talking about, it’s unlikely you could have an immediate reduction in government without hurtling the economy into recession.”

Paul would completely eliminate the income tax and the IRS. He would permanently extend the Bush adminilstration tax cuts, eliminate capital gains and dividends taxes, and eliminate estate and gift taxes.

The income and estate taxes are the most progressive tax in our system. Eliminating them would make the tax system far more regressive and would require elimination of programs that are critically needed by many Americans. Eliminating the IRS would give people a license to cheat on their taxes.

Citizens would be able to opt out of all government involvement if they simply pay a 10% income tax.

Most of us need government services. If we don’t now, we’re one job loss, divorce, or medical emergency away from needing them. Only the wealthy can say they’ll never need help from government.

Paul considers Social Security unconstitutional, and he has sought for many years for the program to be phased out.

Social Security has eliminated poverty among the elderly. It’s efficient, and it’s solvent as long as we make a few minor changes.

Paul would repeal the new healthcare law (“Obamacare”) as well as the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley financial services and banking regulations.

Those laws were passed to protect the majority of Americans. How would Paul solve the problems they were designed to solve? Repealing Obamacare would leave 40 million Americans without health insurance and return us to pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps. And young people couldn’t stay on their parents’ health insurance to age 26.

Paul would eliminate mandated hospital emergency treatment for illegal aliens.

Whatever you think of illegal immigrants, most of us wouldn’t let them die at the door of the emergency room. Ron Paul would.

Paul would eliminate almost all foreign aid and would withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, NATO, the WTO, and the Law of the Sea Treaty.

This is old-fashioned isolationism. The US is too much a part of the world, and the world depends on the US, for us to withdraw to “fortress America.”

Paul voted against bank bailout.

President Obama had the courage to take this unpopular but necessary action. We would be in a prolonged depression without it. Ron Paul would have let the banks fail. They deserved it, but the effect on our economy would have been disastrous.

Paul would abolish the Federal Reserve and would eliminate money that’s not backed by gold.

Eliminating the Fed would make it impossible for the government to stop prolonged downturns.

The president’s salary would be cut from $400,000 to approximately $39,000 per year (the median personal income of the American worker).

Only a vmery wealthy person could afford to be President.

Paul opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act. He opposes laws against sexual harassment unless force is involved.

Civil rights is one of the greatest accomplishments in our lifetimes. It’s an example of something only our Federal government could do.

Paul supports abolishing all federal financial aid for education. He sought to abolish all public schools (although he later moderated that position). He supports prayer in public schools.

Public schools prepare students for the knowledge jobs of the 21st Century and allow working people to move up in society. Public schools and the separation of church and state are critical to our “melting pot” culture.

Paul supports all corporations having the same rights to participate in elections.

He voted against anti-spam bills and bills to help catch online child predators.

He opposes gun control.
He supports selling off national parks.

He opposes federal environmental regulation, including air standards.
Paul said that climate change “is not a major problem threatening civilization.”

Paul would not have ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

These are extreme positions, out of sync with common sense and the view of most Americans.

Inconsistent policies of Ron Paul

Paul opposes budget deficits, but he requested $400 million in earmarks for his district in 2007.

Paul has signed a pledge not to raise taxes or create new taxes.

But every serious economist agrees that we can’t eliminate deficits without increased taxes.

Paul supports the Defense of Marriage Act and sponsored federal anti-abortion legislation.

These positions are inconsistent with Paul’s claim to be for smaller government that only does what the Constitution requires.

Paul has called for a Constitutional amendment to revise fourteenth amendment principles and “end automatic birthright citizenship.”

So much for following the Constitution.

Issues where I think Ron Paul is right

Paul would cut the Department of Defense budget by 15%.

Paul opposed the Patriot Act and domestic surveillance.

Paul voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Paul opposed legislation to prohibit stem-cell research.

Paul has voted against federal subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

Paul favors allowing medicinal marijuana use.

Paul opposed the Iraq War.

Paul advocates ending the United States embargo against Cuba.

Following an abstract ideology sometimes leads to good decisions. But it’s more likely to lead to disaster.

We need (and have) a President who will consider all options, not just those that fit a simplistic, utopian ideal.

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