The World Under President Ron Paul

by Laura Bramble on March 12, 2012

A few days ago I was a guest on RTtv’s CrossTalk, a political debate show. The topic was the GOP nominees for president, the race and how they would fare against Obama in November. During the show, no one spoke about Ron Paul since he is trailing a very distant fourth (depending on who you ask) and does not appear to be a viable candidate. After the show was posted on YouTube, the comments started pouring in from Ron Paul supporters, some of which were extremely(!) passionate. You would think the man could walk on water—in fact one commenter compared Paul to Jesus Christ in how he is apparently being persecuted and denied by the powers that be. Since Paul is, according to these supporters, the Great Hope for our nation, I wanted to take a moment to explore what a Ron Paul presidency could look like.

 

The main feature of a Paul presidency would be gridlock at a level never before seen in Washington. If you think it is bad now, you ain’t seen nothing! Ron Paul has made a career out of refusing to compromise on what he believes is right according to the Constitution. According to the Constitution, Paul cannot unilaterally pass a law, let alone dismantle government, repeal laws, implement tax cuts, slash budgets or add new amendments to the Constitution. Only Congress can pass these types of initiatives, in cooperation with him. Congress contains members who will disagree with his initiatives out of principle and a belief that they are wrong, as well as others who will fight his initiatives out of sheer self-interest. So unless Paul is willing to compromise and find a way to work with these members, his initiatives will go down in flames, he will achieve nothing and spend the next four years as a lame duck president. Nothing in Paul’s career shows that he will make these necessary compromises—even though as President for the entire United States he must govern according to the wishes of all, not just those that agree with him. There goes that $1 trillion in savings that will pay for all the tax credits and cuts he plans to offer along with the abolition of the gasoline, income, capital gains and death taxes!

 

If you waved a magic wand and placed all of Congress on the same page as Paul, willing to give him whatever he wants, how would such a stripped down version of everything work? Is it even feasible or practical? After you eliminate the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Education, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, who would administer the FHA loan program, ensure that lenders follow fair housing and lending laws, oversee the national park system, monitor that drilling and mining is being done safely, and that corporations are following laws safeguarding the environment? Without the EPA, do you, as a private citizen, have the ability to build and pursue a case against a corporation that has polluted public waterways that do not belong to you? Will you be able, as a private citizen, be able to perform and oversee the tests on offshore drilling equipment to ensure that another spill like the BP spill does not happen again—or monitor the ones hired to do it? What would the long-term costs and possibly irreversible damage be if the worst happens? If states are left to handle educational decisions without any input on a federal level, would there be any minimal standards in place across the country? What about educational consistency between states in a nation that is increasingly mobile? These are just a few of the many issues that would come up with a stripped down version of government Paul advocates.

 

The other main question is if the majority of Americans truly want a smaller government and all that would entail? If how Americans have voted on ballot initiatives limiting the size of government is any indication, the answer is no. In the last 7 years, voters have routinely rejected Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) initiatives beyond the local level that would require government to ask voters for increases in spending over defined, set levels and keep the size of government in check. In 2005, voters in Colorado even voted to put a 5-year hold on a TABOR they approved in 1992 because they felt it was restricting governmental effectiveness. Americans like having their favorite programs in place to provide or guarantee the quality of life they desire; they just don’t like paying for them. According to Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, there is “a fundamental mismatch between the benefits Americans expect to receive from the government and the revenues government collects.”  Once Americans got a good look at what protections and services they were no longer receiving, along with the consequences of their disappearance, many Americans would be highly upset. We, as a nation, have not lived with a truly limited government system for over 100 years and rely on our federal government to keep our food, money, environment and property safe—a state which did not exist 100 years ago and required the establishment of many of these protections. That’s not to say that Americans do not want governmental reform or that it is not necessary, because they do and it is. But instead of a bare bones version of government, Americans want a more efficient, more effective version of the government they already have and rely on. For Paul, this is unacceptable.

 

Personally, I don’t think Ron Paul really wants to be president. I think he likes being able to dissent and pursue his personal philosophy without running the risk of causing damage or gumming up the works as a member of the House. I believe his plank is more “what I would do if I were president” more than “what I will cause to be when I become president.” This puts it more in the neighborhood of wishful thinking, which does not have to be practical, feasible or reflective of possible consequences. In dreams, anything can happen– including world peace, the elimination of hunger and an instant D-cup bust line for every woman in America. By staying in the race and fueling his cadre of rabid supporters, Paul keeps fiscal responsibility in the forefront rather than in the rear view mirror and has the ability to influence the agendas of his more viable competition. For this reason, while Ron Paul should not be ignored, he should not be put up on a pedestal to the point where no other candidate can receive the support of his devoted fans. He cannot walk on water nor would he be allowed to if he could, so the Paul crowd needs to seriously consider the nominees who could get enough support from Congress and the rest of America to make some real change happen.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Excuse me but where in the post does it say that people do not need to take responsibility for themselves? Do you personally have the ability to oversee the FHA program or monitor companies to ensure they are not polluting the environment? Some jobs are too large and complex for any one person, small group or smaller governmental unit to handle effectively. Do they just not get done? Or do we outsource them, which involves a cost and raises security issues?

This article is not a rant or plot against Paul nor is it an endorsement for any of his competitors. It is simply a valid examination of the possible consequences of a Paul Administration. Since many supporters do not seem to look past the rhetoric and the unrealistic expectations expounded by the Paul camp, someone had to say it.

Please take the time to read a post and keep them in context before insulting the person who writes it.

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Malcolm March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Wow, you really want Romney or Santorum to be your next best choice for the republican nominee! Sounds to me like you’re running interference to try to push Paul and his supporters off the platform.
Nice try, Ron Paul really wants to be president and he wants to force the ‘real’ hard issues concerning this country and it’s lack of accountability… Paul threatens the president because in a debate he could flatten Obama, we know that and so do you! Romney and Santorum can’t get past their religious rhetoric long enough to be bothered to answer any real questions.
It seems that no one wants the country to work as it was originally designed. I’m lucky I actually provide a lot of things for myself and my family at least if we turn off all the free food and free money I won’t be overly effected by any of it other than making sure that I’m locked and loaded so that my neighbors don’t try to force from my property (as you attempt to assert when you mentioned Federal control for 100 years) Wow what a bunch of drivel, please stand up and slap the shit out of yourself for fearing to take responsibility into your own hands! This is suppose to be a free country, not a country that depends on a flawed accounting system and corrupt trade practices to float the nation upon. States should be allowed to make their own decisions without interference from the federal government.

Also, schooling, it will be just like it always has been, where you go to school counts. If you’re from Montana and the school system is inadequate, it is upon that state to address. National Standards? Are you kidding, the national standard is a disaster, state exams for children? Growing up we had no such thing, and I’m not even an old guy we just took the SAT or ASFAB according to your ambition and or desire, that is a free choice made by a free citizen not insisting that the government make it all fair for everyone! If you want to succeed in life, you will. If you’re happy where you are, you don’t need D.C. to tell you to come and take a test and answer a bunch stupid question about if you felt you were treated fairly.

I’m tired of seeing EVERYONE getting a prize for just showing up and so is Ron Paul and so are his supporters.

Personal I am not a Ron Paul supporter because I don’t see how he’s going to get any of this to fly, it will be more of the same as the current president gridlock. We need another nutcase in the Whitehouse to shake things up and make our gas cheaper! I have spoken with quite a few people on this issue, as of this year I am no longer a Democrat, I wanted this Obama thing to work, he has tried and failed miserably so I will vote for ANYONE else but him… maybe Paul? We’ll see and good luck with your smearing Ron Paul hype!

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