Time to Consider Paul
Many conservative Republicans have tried looking at anyone except Ron Paul in their search to find an alternative to Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination. They have faced repeated let downs. I argue that it is time for them to give Paul a serious look. Let me take a few minutes to explain why here.
While the other candidates pretend that the biggest domestic problem we face is the way tax revenues are collected, Paul understands that the real threat is the amount that is spent. His plan reduces government spending by one trillion dollars in the first year, and eliminates five federal departments for which there is no constitutional authorization anyway. The others babble on about changing the way government collects taxes and steer clear of how many dollars they will cut from federal spending immediately.
It is junior high school thinking to believe that Herman Cain’s “999” plan will make any difference in drawing America back from the precipice of financial ruin. That “plan” is the initial conditions setting on the video game “Sim City.” Teenagers who play the game are expected to build a better virtual city by improving on those initial conditions. It is delusion to entertain the idea that this will improve the economy. Instead, it will add a burdensome new tax for businesses to collect that will make it the federal government’s business to track every dollar you spend (to see if tax has been paid on it) without first eliminating the income tax (which makes every dollar you earn their business). Herman Cain is a likable, entertaining, good talker who lacks the public policy acumen to make a good state representative, much less President. As much as I dislike the current system, President is not an entry-level elected position.
Texas Governor Rick Perry also tried to make it about the way taxes were collected rather than the amount that was spent when he floated a flat-tax plan. When that could not get traction, he tried to rip off a lite version of Paul’s spending cut plan. His would have only eliminated three federal departments instead of Paul’s five. Perry could not even remember the name of the third department he wanted to eliminate!
Ron Paul will never have that problem, because his ideas are part of the same philosophy of government he has been preaching and practicing for 30 years. He knows what departments are unconstitutional and ought to be eliminated because he has been targeting them for decades. It’s not just something thrown together by his campaign staff because it played well with focus groups two weeks ago. If Paul just got religion on reducing government spending during the campaign like the rest of them, the system would not be so afraid of him. His problem, from their perspective, is that he means it.
One likely reason Perry was so late to shift focus from how taxes are collected to the amount that is spent is that he has a very poor record of spending in Texas. State government spending and debt grew enormously in Texas under his administration. Ron Paul has never voted for an unbalanced budget and returns a portion of his office expenses to the Treasury each year. Four years ago, Paul was mocked at the debates, now in every area except foreign policy, they are shamelessly ripping off his ideas as their own despite their record of doing the opposite.
The same thing goes with the Federal Reserve and the consequences of monetary policy. Rick Perry started talking tough on the fed for the first time when he ran for President, but I see no indication he has any depth of understanding on the issue. Herman Cain is worse. He claimed there was no housing bubble a week before the collapse started. Ron Paul predicted it in 2001, seven years before it occurred. The best crisis managers are the ones who understand the big picture well enough that their company never even enters the crisis.
Newt Gingrich is at least within shouting distance of Dr. Paul in intelligence, and far better at presenting the ideas which he holds. When he rips off Paul’s ideas, unlike Perry he grasps them well enough to make it seem as if they are his own. But he has also held some very bizarre ideas and that very recently.
More fundamentally, Gingrich has exhibited a persistent pattern of immorality. There is a good reason he fights so hard against the media’s attempts to get the candidates throwing stones at each other- he sits in a huge and delicate glass house that will be easy to blast to bits at the media’s leisure. All available evidence shows that in terms of personal morality as a husband and father, Barack Obama is a far better man than Newt Gingrich. Until now Gingrich has been so far down in the polls that he has not been worth attacking, but that may change if his poll numbers keep rising. If it happens, Gingrich won’t last long enough to be the next flavor of the month.
This brings us back to foreign policy. I said that the other candidates mocked Paul’s policy positions four years ago, now they are stealing them except in foreign policy. Five years from now, it will be obvious that Paul was right on foreign policy too. We simply cannot afford our current foreign policy, which amounts to borrowing as much money as the Chinese will loan us in order to initiate multiple undeclared wars at once. This policy will soon leave us bankrupt, out of bombs, and facing a very angry world full of people that we have bombed and occupied thirsting for vengeance. In other words, it makes us less safe and is not sustainable even if it did. Ergo, the policy must end.
I am well aware of Paul’s short comings. I wish he had a better speaking voice and had better hair. I wish he were prettier. He doesn’t. He is just right almost all the time and the times he is not right he means to leave the policy-making to the states anyway. He’s not perfect, but Ron Paul is the adult choice for President. The sooner conservative voters face this fact the better chance our nation has of survival.
“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them. “