RON PAUL'S REALISM
The national media continues to give Congressman Ron Paul little credence, yet Paul commands the most loyal, intellectually refined, dedicated, and potentially influential following of any candidate. Paul alone has provided voters with a well-informed, unvarnished description of the economic crisis befalling America, and an equally detailed plan, “Restore America,” that includes the cuts in spending that must take place if we are to avoid an economic collapse.
At a time of economic crisis, of unsustainable debt, one would think that serious journalists would hound the candidates with questions concerning precisely how each plans to cut the trillions necessary to avoid the projected $23 trillion in debt coming within a decade. Oddly, that penultimate question is missing from the debates and largely missing from media coverage, although it is very much on the minds of tens of millions of Americans. President Obama and his chief economic advisers, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, have presented no plan to cut the trillions required to achieve a balanced budget. As Ron Suskind so brilliantly reveals in his book Confidence Men, Obama has singularly failed the nation by failing to lead and by deferring to advisers who are effectively proxies for the very Wall Street interests largely responsible for our endless recession. While Obama’s advisers have given Wall Street close to a trillion dollars on the theory that certain firms are “too big to fail,” the President has repeatedly avoided making essential decisions because he is “too afraid to lead.”
That fear of leadership is alien to every fiber in Ron Paul. Leadership in a crisis requires the courage to take bold steps to save the nation. In his “Restore America” plan, a proposal similar to the one I offered in a prior newswithviews.com article, Congressman Ron Paul cuts federal spending sufficient to balance the budget within three years. That three years he knows to be our last best hope for saving the republic. If we do not dramatically cut spending within the next three years, the United States will accelerate (even faster than its presently rapid pace) toward economic collapse, to debt so monstrous that interest upon it will consume all discretionary spending. Ron Paul understands this well, and he appreciates that we must cut the budget now not by tens of billions but by over a trillion just to survive.
Ron Paul would abolish the Transportation Safety Administration; the Department of Energy; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Department of Commerce; the Department of Interior; and the Department of Education. He would reduce the federal workforce by ten percent. He would repeal Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He would make Medicaid a block grant program and would permit young people to opt out of Social Security. He would cause the food stamps, child nutrition, and other income support programs to revert to the states. He would eliminate all foreign aid. He would end many wasteful federal programs.
On the tax side, Congressman Paul would drop the corporate income tax to 15% and would eliminate taxes on personal savings, estate, and investment income. He would extend the Bush era tax cuts.
A man who practices what he preaches, Congressman Paul has announced that if elected President he would reduce his own salary from $400,000 per year to $39,336, an amount equivalent to that of the average American worker. That move raises an essential question that the media has not asked President Obama but should: Mr. President, you have railed against high executive compensation on the theory that those in Wall Street responsible for capitalizing on junk mortgages and loans should be embarrassed to pay themselves high salaries and bonuses because they have contributed to America’s economic woes; how then can you justify receiving a $400,000 per year salary when you have left the nation with trillions more in debt and substantially higher unemployment than existed just three short years ago?
Congressman Paul’s proposed measures would cut over $1 trillion from federal spending and would inspire an economic revival to save the nation. In typical Ron Paul fashion, he makes a courageous move. He is certainly not your typical politician. He is inexorably courageous in an age of political cowardice. Few candidates dare alienate powerful interests that are capable of ensuring that their campaigns receive large contributions. Fewer still are willing to tell the American people just how dire circumstances really are, as well as precisely what needs to be done to restore the nation’s solvency. Ron Paul has a long history of telling it like it is regardless of the fall-out and demanding real solutions to real problems even if those solutions alienate powerful special interests. Misrepresented to be a man out of touch by the mainstream media, Ron Paul is in fact the only candidate who truly appreciates just how close the nation is to financial ruin and just how deep the spending cuts must be to save the nation from economic collapse.
Regardless of whom the Republican Party chooses as its standard bearer, Ron Paul’s persistent demand that politicians face reality is having a sobering effect. It is helping to refocus the debate on the need for realistic solutions to America’s all too real problems. It is educating the electorate and simultaneously placing pressure on the other candidates to explain precisely what they intend to do to overcome the avalanche of debt now burying the nation.
For those who would criticize Ron Paul’s plan, I have a simple request. Before you complain, try stating an alternative that will also balance the budget within three years. It is no longer sufficient to condemn spending cuts because spending cuts are essential, not optional, if the nation is to survive. An argument against Congressman Paul’s plan must, therefore, proceed on proof of an equally effective means to bring about the same savings. Remember, nearly all sound projections give us little hope for significant growth in the gross domestic product into the foreseeable future.
Consequently, reliance on tax receipts to reduce the debt is unrealistic. Raising taxes sufficient to cover the $1.4 trillion in deficit spending each year would destroy the already floundering private sector. Spending hundreds of billions more in stimulus programs is also proven by recent history to be incapable of bringing about economic recovery. Truth be told, there is no realistic alternative to Congressman Paul’s plan if we are to save the nation from economic ruin.
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Moreover, at a time of pervasive government corruption, the wresting of sovereign power from the people by those in government, and an abdication of governing control from the constitutional branches of government to the federal bureaucracy, only Ron Paul’s plan produces the salutary benefit of restoring our system of checks and balances and ending delegation of power run riot. Ron Paul gets it. If the media and pundits do not give Ron Paul’s Restore America plan serious consideration now, they will regret that decision later because the truth and wisdom of his plan will only become more apparent over the next several years.
© 2011 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved