Ron Paul

There's been a huge buzz lately about Ron Paul, and I must admit I've been keeping an eye on him throughout the campaign. His popularity all over the internet seems to cut across party lines and he's been a fund raising machine, especially on his single-day events that have raised millions of dollars. So I figured I'd give a quick breakdown of where he stands, and my take on that. The breakdown text is taken directly from his campaign website. Prefer to hear it from the source?

Debt and Taxes

Working Americans like lower taxes. So do I. Lower taxes benefit all of us, creating jobs and allowing us to make more decisions for ourselves about our lives.

I agree with this entirely. Tax cuts have been proven time and time again to stimulate economic growth. Tax cuts allow people to have more money in their pockets to spend. Employers have more money to hire new people. Tax cuts result in greater revenue generation for the government. It's only logical. More working people means a larger tax base. The more money they spend, the more sales tax is generated. The lower rates get offset by a greater number of people paying them. Lowering taxes by itself isn't enough though, you need to couple it with reduced spending in government, and Ron is also in favor of that as well. Taking care of these two problems will cause the debt issue to vanish on its own with no intervention needed.

Border Security and Immigration Reform

The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked.

Anyone who has visited my blog over the last year knows full well I am for securing the border FIRST and taking care of the rest of the problem after that. Securing the border isn't just about keeping the illegals from Mexico out or punishing the law breakers who do make it in. It's also about national security and keeping out any terrorists who might take advantage of our open borders to do us harm. Many conservatives, myself included, were thrilled to death when the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was signed into law. But we all know what happened there. The basic gist of Ron Paul's plans are:

* Physically secure our borders and coastlines.
* Enforce visa rules.
* No amnesty.
* No welfare for illegal aliens.
* End birthright citizenship.
* Pass true immigration reform.

Physical security would have been the border fence we're no longer getting. Angry about that? I am too. You can't do the rest without a secure border.

Enforcing visa rules only makes sense. All of the 9/11 hijackers were here on expired visas. How many others have slipped through this way that we've now lost track of?

Amnesty. Reagan's most glaring mistake. The amnesty bill that became law in 1986 has proven itself to be a monumental disaster. Why would you ever reward criminals for criminal behavior?

Does it then make sense to provide taxpayer funded social benefits to the criminals who are already here stealing our welfare, education, and jobs? End the welfare magnet and you'll see a significant drop in the number of illegals willing to break the law to get here. It's already working wonders in Oklahoma and Arizona.

Birthright citizenship is a perversion of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. That amendment's intention was to grant citizenship to the freed slaves after the Civil War, but activist judges on the Supreme Court have since broadened it to the point where anchor babies become instant citizens of this country, regardless of the legal status of the parents. The result is many illegals run for the border at the end of the 9th month for the sole purpose of giving birth.

Only once all this is done should we consider reforming the rest of the immigration system.

All in all, I can't find fault with anything Ron Paul has to offer on this issue.

American Independence and Sovereignty

So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation.

Again, I can't really find fault with this stance. Pretty much every free trade treaty we've entered into up to now has been a disaster. Companies close plants here at home and ship their factories to Mexico, or overseas, all so they can reap huge profits from screwing their workers. I only depart from this line of logic when he starts touching on conspiratorial crap like the North American Union. Ron, if you're listening, knock that off. It makes you sound stupid.

As far as the ICC, I can't stress enough how bad an idea that is. Giving a world body the authority to try our citizens for crimes? Try our soldiers as war criminals in some other country? Allow trade rulings to ban certain medications from being used in the US? Even so far as to made you get a prescription for taking VITAMINS? No thanks guys, fascism isn't very appealing. You can all take that shit and shove it. I am 100% in favor of US sovereignty and independence.

Privacy and Personal Liberty

The biggest threat to your privacy is the government. We must drastically limit the ability of government to collect and store data regarding citizens’ personal matters.

I'm a big supporter of privacy rights. I would even support a constitutional amendment that laid out what those rights are. No, it doesn't currently provide for any, no matter what the media tells you, other than search and seizure protections laid out in the 4th Amendment. Though I'm no big fan of the Real ID Act, I would support it with limited information. Who you are, where you live, when you were born, and a current photo. An uber-drivers license if you will. Nothing more would be attached to that. No link to your SSN, bank accounts, or anything else. However, as Ron more or less points out, that's not what the Real ID Act truly aims to be.

There's also the little matter of triggering an alert if you happen to drop $10,000 or more into your bank account in one shot. The IRS and the FBI are notified of this immediately as it happens and you're immediately under suspicion. That's simply wrong. It's none of the government's business what I do with large sums of money. Besides, criminals will deposit their ill-gotten gains in $9,999 chunks to avoid this trigger.

I depart with Ron on his Patriot Act position. To date, it's never been proven, much less seriously alleged, that anyone has had their rights as a citizen violated through the act. Folks may have forgotten that we were attacked, and it's partly because we were not allowed to gather certain types of information. Nor were certain agencies allowed to communicate with each other. So Ron, bring some proof to the people that the Patriot Act has been used to oppress the rights of anyone and you'll get somewhere with trying to reform it.

Property Rights and Eminent Domain

We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches.

Amen to that. My property is my property. I could care less if some endangered rat fly thing live on it. If I want to grow stuff on it, I should be allowed to. If I want to build apartments on it, I should be allowed. To hell with enviro-nazism. You wackos don't own my land. I do.

As far as Eminent Domain, there is a purpose to it and that's why the founding fathers included the provision for it in the Constitution. That purpose was corrupted by a recent Supreme Court ruling in which private developers can get an eminent domain ruling declared by having property declared a blight - then sold to the developer far below cost so they can bulldoze peoples' homes and build fancy hotels instead. Government goes along with this because of the tax base it creates. But it has to stop. Eminent domain was supposed to be used for necessary improvements - like a new freeway. Not for a new hotel.

Life and Liberty

The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.

What more needs to be said here, really? Abortion is murder. A life is a life. Don't want that baby? Give it up for adoption. Then next time keep your pants on.

Health Freedom

Americans are justifiably concerned over the government’s escalating intervention into their freedom to choose what they eat and how they take care of their health.

I've no problem with this position either, as long as someone's destructive health habits don't intrude on my right to live a healthy life. Or at least a relatively healthy life. I don't want to breathe up cigarette smoke for example, but I'm down for a nice greasy cheeseburger or pizza ( or both combined! ) any day and I don't want some obesity nazi telling me to eat rabbit food instead.

The Second Amendment

I share our Founders' belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms.

I am wholly in favor of gun rights. Though I don't own a firearm myself, I'm not going to stop someone else from owning one if they feel they want to. The only restrictions I'd place on that are more or less the same as restrictions on voting rights. If you're a convicted felon, tough luck. No guns for you.

Gun control laws only server to punish law abiding citizens, and place them in danger from criminal elements. We have any number of school shootings, mall shootings, gang killings, and other situations where someone else carrying a firearm would have been able to save lives, even that of the gunmen, had they been allowed to carry a weapon into the situation.

Home Schooling

My commitment to ensuring home schooling remains a practical alternative for American families is unmatched by any Presidential candidate.

Home schooling is rapidly showing itself to be the only way many parents can be assured their children are given a quality education. While I applaud Ron Paul's support of home schooling, I'd take this a lot further. The federal government should be withdrawn from any involvement in education. Ronald Reagan once campaigned on a platform that included the abolishment of the Dept. of Education, and this is something I totally support. Leave these issues up to the states, or to county and city officials. But under no circumstances should any of them be allowed to trump the wishes of the parents.

Social Security

Our nation’s promise to its seniors, once considered a sacred trust, has become little more than a tool for politicians to scare retirees while robbing them of their promised benefits. Today, the Social Security system is broke and broken.

While again, I applaud Ron's efforts at reforming a broken and worthless system, what he proposes simply isn't a solution. Social Security is a drain on the economy no matter how solvent it is, no matter how high or low the taxes are that support it, no matter how few people are on it, and regardless of whether illegals collect from it or not. Simply put, the government is in no position to know what's best for me when I retire. My position on this would be to abolish the welfare-state program entirely and leave it up to individuals to plan for their own future. To that end, we have plenty of IRA, 401K, and other retirement savings systems already running in the private sector. Eliminate the Social Security tax all together and folks would have more money to invest this way. People who are too irresponsible to save deserve the fate they make for themselves later in life.

Some of Ron Paul's other points probably should have been merged with the larger issues he stands for, but in brief, education should be up to parents and not bureaucrats, the environment should not trump private property rights, and there should be no tax on tips/gratuities. All of which I agree with.

If Ron Paul stopped here, then he'd be as close to an ideal candidate as one could possibly hope for. Everything he stands for is either true conservatism or libertarianism and would provide for a strong, safe, and free America that could stand proud. But it doesn't end here. I've saved the best part for last.

War and Foreign Policy

The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them.

As many of you know, I'm a major supporter of the Iraq War. I believe that what we did there was right, noble, and just. Though the intelligence which led us into the war later turned out to be more wrong than right, there can be no argument that liberating 25 million people from the iron rule of a ruthless dictator was somehow wrong. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove that George W Bush lied to get us in there. Think about it for one second - if the intelligence was what he had to go on, and it was wrong or partially inaccurate, how could he have lied? Does that mean that the 15 or so agencies around the world that all contributed to the collective intelligence were also liars? Including the Russians and Arab states?

Also, Ron Paul apparently needs to go talk to David Petraeus. He's not been paying much attention to reports on our current wave of progress there. The surge worked. Violence is drastically reduced. Attacks against our soldiers have dropped off considerably. Shiites, Sunnis, and others are uniting to drive Al Quaeda out of Iraq. The country is rapidly being turned over to Iraqi security forces. Basra has become so stable the British were able to move up their own withdrawal plans. Baghdad has become so secure that people have returned to more or less normal lives. Folks comment on how they can now walk from place to place without heavily armed military escorts. That includes the reporters who are there. No, it seems that for all his smarts in everything else, Ron Paul has fallen for the liberal defeatism.

What Ron Paul is proposing goes much further than surrendering in Iraq though. His general stand on foreign policy reminds me an awful lot of the isolationist movements of pre-WW1 society. Where we shouldn't get involved in anything in other countries. Even if that involvement would lead to greater national security back home. He would have us abandon our commitments to our allies around the world and have us isolate ourselves from the world we're now a part of. Unfortunately, this attitude toward foreign policy casts a taint on the rest of his domestic policy issues. It more or less paints him as a reckless xenophobe.

So, despite a lot of great positions on domestic issues, Ron Paul is a dangerous isolationist who would ultimately leave us vulnerable to our enemies. National security is #1 on my issues list, and Ron Paul fails miserably in that regard. So when it comes to primary time, he's not getting my vote.

All that said though, if Ron Paul manages to win the primaries, I'd be forced to vote for him over any of the offerings from the Democrat side of the aisle. Their socialistic agendas would do far more damage to us back home than Ron Paul ever could overseas.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Dec 22, 2007 2:44 am by Samson in: | 3 comment(s) [Closed]
Imagine that, a few months back you told me that offering my support to Ron Paul's campaign was a mistake.. As I said at the time, no, he's not an ideal candidate, but from what I've seen, so far he beats the hell out of the competition. Yes, he's got an issue or two that could stand some improvement to my, and apparently your, thinking, but overall, he's the closest I've seen in many years to a candidate that appears to actually respresent what I'd like the White House to represent.

Well as I pointed out, unless he changes his foreign policy stance in a hurry I'd have a hard time supporting him in the primaries. But weighing him against the Democrat offerings is a whole other matter. I'd much rather have him in there and risk global isolation than have Hillary in there and risk becoming Soviet America.

Exactly, I'm not saying he's "the man for the job" either, but he's a whole lot better than the "lesser evil" that we're usually forced to vote for.

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