Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ Category

If there was any need for final evidence that US media is biased, here you are:

The Daily Show with John Steward – Ron Paul & the Top Tier

How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?

At least TIME Magazine presented a 4-page article on Paul’s growing influence on GOP politics:

The Prophet – by Alex Altman  (full text)

Ron Paul is that rare commodity in modern politics: a man of ideas, however unconventional they may be.

Though he represents a rural coastal district, Paul regularly votes against farm subsidies and flood insurance. He has never voted for a tax increase or an unbalanced budget. He opposed congressional medals for Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa as well as aid for Hurricane Katrina victims, all on the grounds that Congress has no business meddling in such matters.

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Instead of discussing how to solve America’s debt problem, most politicians in Washington spend their time arguing about which president is to blame for the disaster. Yesterday, Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, presented his answer to that question:

To be fair, Obama’s responsibility for the downgrade is only 15 percent.

However, I would certainly query his result. A brief look at the last decade seems to tell much more about who is to blame.

When former President Bill Clinton left office, the federal government actually had a fiscal surplus. Thus, the whole deficit and debt problem was caused by decisions made in the last decade. That is to say, the only point to discuss is what percentage of the blame has to be assigned to George W. Bush, and what percentage to Barack Obama.

US Federal Tax Revenues and Expenses

Certainly, both have massively increased government spending on warfare and welfare. All this at a time, when tax revenues did not allow to pay for three wars and new entitlement programs. Both presidents clearly wanted to forward the bills to their successors.

But well, instead of discussing how much blame belongs to Bush vs Obama, we should rather think about how to clean up the mess. The first (useful) proposal has already been presented.

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spending cuts

For the first time in US history, rating agency Standard & Poor’s has lowered its rating of long-term federal debt to AA+, one notch below the top grade of triple A. But instead of focusing on the roots of that historic decision, government officials complained about some technical flaws.

So, what has caused the United States to lose its top credit standing? The official statement puts it very precisely:

The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

Indeed, the budget deal basically does nothing to balance the budget and reduce government spending. As was shown before, those so-called spending cuts politicians have talked about are simply reductions in increases. These illusory cuts were brilliantly described by Texas Congressman and potential Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul:

This is akin to a family “saving” $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda.

The whole debate in Washington was also depicted in that same article:

If your family’s income did not change year over year, would it be wise financial management to accelerate spending so you would feel richer? That is what our government is doing, with one side merely suggesting a different list of purchases than the other.

But instead of simply criticizing Washington politics, Ron Paul also presents a simple solution to America’s debt problem:

Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the recession continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply returned to that year’s spending levels, which would hardly be austere, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending, and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever.

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ron paul 2012

Politicians and the media in Washington already prepare for next year’s presidential election. While President Obama intends to raise a humongous one billion dollars for his campaign by promising lobbyists another four years of support, most GOP candidates do not behave much differently.

The only candidate that stands out so far is Texas congressman Ron Paul. Recently, he has launched his first TV commercial.

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Just as democrats and republicans set up final meetings to raise the debt limit, Judge Andrew Napolitano explains the problem of federal debt. He also points out why any comprise will turn to be a rotten compromise:

What they don’t tell you is that ‘significant cuts’ means reductions in increases in spending, not cuts in actual spending.

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Recently, two Huffington Post articles by Robin Koerner got a lot of attention. He brilliantly describes the dilemma American voters will face in 2012. While Obama has brought nothing but a more lobbyism, a new illegal war and an ever growing debt crisis, the field of potential GOP candidates is rather disappointing. Except for one candidate, all of them are in favor of war and special privileges for their sponsors.

Giving this dismals situation, Koerner suggests disappointed Democrats to become “Blue Republicans“.

Again, this isn’t an endorsement of the Republican party or a claim that the Republican record is better than the Democrat on any of the issues discussed in this article. (It isn’t.) It is not even a statement that Dr. Paul is some kind of panacea of American politics. Rather, it is to recognize simply that the one potential Presidential candidate who wishes to stop killing innocent people in foreign wars and stop transferring the wealth of poor and working Americans to the corporate elites happens to be — this time around — a Republican.

In a second article, he expands on the idea of blue republicans.

Perhaps, then, the cause of the excitement about the “Blue Republican” idea is two-fold. First, the term has caught people’s imaginations because it subverts the paradigm that brought us here. Second, the stakes are high. In fact, they are the very highest stakes of all.

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Some politicians have to correct themselves on a weekly basis, most at least once every year. But some stick to their words, don’t change them. However, they usually don’t get that much attention.

I have no timetable for these predictions, but just in case, keep them around and look at them in five or ten years.

In 1998, Paul talked about the consequences of allowing aggressive wars (most politicians sugarcoat them as ‘preventive military actions’). Now, the U.S. is engaged in three wars with thousands of dead American soldiers and tens of thousands of dead civilians.

In 2002, Paul discussed the long-term consequences of printing money to pay for government spending. The economic downturn, exploding deficits as well as the dollar crisis have now arrived. Sadly, Paul was also right to predict both parties to welcome the idea of big government.

In 2003, Paul described the housing crisis that led to the 2008 financial crisis. So, he understood the causes of the crisis well before it happened while most people still don’t know them today.

Of course I don’t believe this guy to be a genius but what other major politician has such a record of sound economic policy analyses? And yes, you and I know the chances of Paul being elected in 2012 are closer to zero than to ten percent. So, the much more interesting question is why actual qualification, actual competence on topics such as economics and foreign policy seems to work against politicians’ electablity.

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One of mankind’s most intriguing questions is how to predict future outcomes. Regarding the plethora of efforts by dubious fortunetellers and their ongoing failures, the most promising approach seems to be the utilization of markets. Intrade offers exactly this service. What they do is basically the same as many other companies (e.g. bwin) offer for sports events. Intrade provides both real money (Intrade.com) and play money (Intrade.net) prediction market trading. Individuals can take positions (i.e. trade so-called contracts) on whether future events will or will not occur. The underlying idea of this website is to use the wisdom of crowds.

We can take Intrade’s share prices to reckon for instance the winner of the 2012 US presidential election:

Barack Obama  58.3 percent
Mitt Romney  12.5 percent
Donald Trump  4.8 percent
Tim Pawlenty  6.0 percent
Mitch Daniels  3.2 percent
Mike Huckabee  3.7 percent
Ron Paul  2.1percent

So, in all probability Obama will serve a 2nd term. Regarding potential Republican challengers, Mitt Romney (24%), Tim Palenty (16%), Mitch Daniels (8.5), Mike Huckabee (8.4%), and Donald Trump (7.5%) are the most promising bets.

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imagine

Yet another intriguing typography of a great Ron Paul speech:

Imagine if they elected a leader who promised to bring them home and put an end to this horror.

Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office.

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what if

Congressman Ron Paul raises some questions:

What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded – nothing!
What happens if my concerns are justified and ignored – nothing good!

The original video can be found here:

I’d like to add one more question:

What if Ron Paul became president in 2012?

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