With a first place finish in Saturday’s California straw poll and a consistent third place showing in the national polls, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is officially a “top tier” Republican presidential candidate. With a message that is vastly different from both President Barack Obama and his fellow Republican running mates, it is no wonder his popularity continues to grow. A Paul administration would rein in wasteful overseas spending, lift a huge portion of the tax burden that is keeping the economy stagnant, and remove many powers from the federal government that violate our civil liberties.
Paul’s unique and consistent fiscal conservatism is perhaps the best way to push the country in a direction that is more sympathetic to limited government and individual liberty.
As someone who has spent the last three decades constantly warning about the costs and consequences of U.S. military intervention overseas, no doubt the first thing on President Paul’s agenda would be drastically scaling back the military across the globe, bringing troops home, renegotiating treaties, and focusing federal efforts and real defense and intelligence.
This includes ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Obama’s covert wars in Somalia and Yemen, stopping drone strikes in Pakistan, closing down some of the over 700 military bases across the globe, removing the U.S. Navy from other countries’ backyards, and reining in the CIA. Foreign policy is where the American president has the most authority, and given that the U.S. government has spent over $8 trillion on “defense” since 9/11, more money would be left to feed the U.S. economy.
The U.S. government’s extensive security and surveillance apparatus, too, would be on the chopping block. No more TSA scanners and pat downs or warrantless searches; for years, Paul has advocated free-market solutions to airport security and using letters of Marque and Reprisal to fight terrorism that would provide better security and cost far less than the Department of Homeland Security.
Next on Paul’s list would be the institution at the heart of the U.S. government’s spending problem: the Federal Reserve. Since its creation in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power and allows the federal government a way to finance wars, bailouts, and corporate welfare without directly taxing the American people. An audit of the gold in Fort Knox and the Fed’s very secretive dealings would follow. A repeal of “legal tender laws” that keep the American and world economy tied to a dangerous fiat currency would open up a market for sound, competing currencies.
Paul would end corporate and bank bailouts, create a huge reduction in taxes, and deregulate the economy to allow people to invest, create jobs, innovate, and find peaceful and voluntary free market methods to address the sagging rate of economic growth of the last few years. Although he is opposed to government-run welfare programs like Social Security and Medicare, the money saved from the military budget would be used to take care of those who currently rely on these programs for income or medical care. The transition to a free society begins with my generation, and Paul speaks often of lifting the tax burden off of the young.
The president is not a dictator, however, and President Paul would of course need the consent of Congress for his proposals. But given the mandate that a Paul win in 2012 would entail, it is likely that many congressional members would respond to these ideas.
What a Paul presidency represents is a drastic difference from what America has seen in some time. It would be a rejection of the idea that the president can wage war at his own discretion, that he can and/or should run the economy, and that an expansion of individual liberty is not only moral, but practical and prosperous.
This is why the mainstream media largely ignores him, as Brent Budowsky points out in The Hill. The left and right are threatened, too, as they should be, since Paul embodies the best of both sides while rejecting each side’s totalitarian features.
A Paul presidency — with a heavy focus on peace and an enforcement of the Bill of Rights — would see a renewed emphasis on the constitution.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons