Having seen Ron Paul and Ralph Nader agreeing with one another in a cordial way on some video clip or other, I was prepared to take a closer look at Mr. Paul, without prejudging him. Having learned a little more, I have to say — the guy makes my skin crawl. He’s your worst nightmare.
I went over to ronpaul2012.com, his campaign website, and read through some of the pages outlining his positions on matters of public policy. What follows is all the analysis I could manage without throwing up.
The problem with conservative ideologues like Ron Paul is that they adopt positions based on abstract doctrine, without examining whether their positions are likely to lead, in the real world, to justice and happiness. Sometimes their doctrines may have this effect, but often their doctrines will surely lead to misery, or simply make no sense at all. Conservatives can’t tell the difference.
Ron Paul’s position on national defense is sensible (though I’m not sure about the idea of securing the national borders, which he strongly favors). He wants to end wasteful military spending and bring troops home. Good!
In every other area, unfortunately, the guy is a basket case. He’s a brainless turd. Let’s take a closer look. The quotes below are drawn from the ronpaul2012.com page, which presumably has his endorsement.
We should probably note at the outset that ronpaul2012.com has no Issues page on the environment. It’s not hard to see why. The results of letting private corporations destroy our air, water, land, and oceans are plain for anyone to see, but reining them in would require government action. It would mean a reduction in freedom — freedom, in this case, for giant corporations. Like other Libertarian-oriented conservatives, Ron Paul positively worships freedom. (Except when he doesn’t — see the section on Abortion, below.)
According to the web page, “…much of the ‘pain at the pump’ Americans are now feeling is due to federal policies designed by environmental alarmists to punish traditional energy production — like oil, coal, and natural gas — in hopes of making energy sources they favor more ‘economical.'” Shorn of rhetoric (the word “alarmist” and the quotation marks around “economical”) that statement is not too far off the mark. Yes, Ron — gas would be cheaper if it weren’t taxed. And yes, a modern nation needs a comprehensive energy policy that includes the development of alternate forms of energy production, even if they are not currently economical.
More than half of the gasoline and diesel tax, however, is levied by states, not by the federal government. And more than half of the federal fuel tax goes to pay for highway and bridge construction, as is, I’m sure, a good deal of the state fuel tax. Thus, if the federal government stopped taxing gasoline, the primary result would be that our highway system would become decrepit more rapidly than it is doing already. (The website has no statement on infrastructure maintenance.) We should also note that the federal fuel tax is not indexed to inflation, so in constant dollars it has been steadily declining for a number of years.
“As President, Ron Paul will lead the fight to remove restrictions on drilling, so companies can tap into the vast amount of oil we have here at home.” There it is, in black and white. Ron Paul wants Read the rest of this entry »