Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), best known for his three quixotic bids for the presidency, appears to have had his last run during this election cycle. By now it has become apparent that the long-time congressman had unique reasons for running for the office — it was never about being elected. It was about building a movement, raising the profile of classical liberalism with the Republican Party, and establishing individuals and organizations to carry on his torch after he is gone.
Although Paul will never be president, it's nonetheless intriguing to ask, what would a Ron Paul presidency have looked like, had he actually won?
If everything went according to his Plan to Restore America, he would have balanced the federal budget by his third year in office. This is, of course, barring congressional opposition to the measures he intended to take to accomplish this feat. Undoubtedly the opposition to his proposed cuts would have been fierce, especially since it touches the most sacred cows in American government.
The first $1 trillion would have been cut during his first year in office and would have completely eliminated five cabinet departments — Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior and Education. It also would have abolished the Transportation Security Administration, which notably harassed his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in January.
Paul’s plan would have also unilaterally abolished corporate subsidies, completely stopped foreign aid, and ended America's global military presence.
All of this would’ve been accompanied by comprehensive, but careful Social Security and Medicare reform — phasing out these programs while honoring those who were forced to depend on it.
Could he have accomplished all of these ambitious cuts as president? Likely not. Making the cuts described above would have undoubtedly disenfranchised too many of the political elite and thus his plan would have been fiercely opposed.
The only area he would have had direct control in would have been our foreign policy, and considering that military spending currently accounts for a sizeable amount of our debt, this is no small matter.
Despite how little of his plan would have been enacted, it would have been refreshing to have a leader who is willing to insist upon drastic action. I would argue that it is even necessary. Too often we have politicians that promise cuts that aren’t really cuts at all, who argue over irrelevant sideshows while ultimately allowing the debt to balloon out of control and unfunded liabilities to run amok.
Considering the state of our finances, a Ron Paul presidency is exactly what we need, even if it would have only accomplished half of the items on his agenda. It certainly would have been a more palatable option than the current contenders for the office, who seem to rarely differ on some of the most important issues facing us today