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Problems with Maverick Ron Paul's Policies

Politics / US Politics Jan 01, 2008 - 03:06 PM GMT

By: Joel_S_Hirschhorn

Politics It's as if a whole lot of people have caught a virus that I have escaped. People that I thought had correctly rejected the current corrupt two-party controlled political system have flocked to Paul. So I went back and re-read most of his published columns and examined in detail his voting record. I can understand why such a maverick politician is so attractive to people fed up with the current system. But I consistently have seen so many problems with Paul that I cannot support his candidacy and I still maintain that he never stood a chance of getting the Republican nomination.

First, Paul's minimalist view of what the federal government should do would wreck the country. Sure, I understand why so many people love his proposal to eliminate the federal income tax. And his response to what would follow such a loss of huge revenues is to cut spending. That means cutting a vast array of programs that the vast majority of Americans like and want, and that the states could not afford to take over without increasing their taxes. And if anything characterizes Paul it is his glibness. What would happen to the millions of Americans who would lose their jobs from the IRS, military and many other cuts, and the inevitable cascading economic impacts on the nation? Paul has never been big on details; he has spent his whole glib career spouting the same few principles. Paul has no depth. He had never run any program or had any executive experience.

Even worse is that his entire congressional career has been marked by a complete absence of any actual successful lawmaking or oversight. Though he has been a loyal Republican when votes were important (and often did not vote on bills that his party wanted passed but that he did not support) he has accomplished nothing in Congress. Talk about experience and a track record. All Paul has had is rhetoric, but no legislative accomplishments either when Democrats or Republicans controlled Congress. It boggles my mind how so many politically engaged people could possibly support a man with so little proven capabilities. Do most of his supporters really understand all the things that Paul has been for or against? I think not. How many of his supporters shared his opposition to increasing the minimum wage?

Paul's clear anti-Iraq war position is admirable, but if he has so much independence and integrity, then why has he not explicitly spoken out against his rivals for the Republican nomination? Why has he not said very publicly that if the Republican Party does not give him the nomination, then he wants all of his supporters to NOT vote for anyone else who gets the nomination simply because they have supported the war?

And all I hear from his supporters is the usual garbage justification for all the earmark, pork spending that Paul consistently gets for his district, as if pork spending is anything other than the currency of corruption in Congress. He probably has diverted several billion dollars of federal spending to his district so he could keep getting elected. And what crap it is for him to justify it by saying he votes against the spending bills that contain his earmarks. And why is it so hard for his supporters to understand that the way things work in Congress, Paul has had to trade his votes to get those earmarks placed in spending bills? Pork spending does increase federal spending, contrary to what Paul says.

Finally, the great irony is that most of his pork dollars would be cut if he actually ever had the power to shrink the federal government. But he rationalizes why he should get his fair share of awful, unjustified federal spending for his district. I don't see this as integrity. I respect the very few members of Congress who refuse to play politics as usual and get earmarks for their district.

And last but not least, this self-professed champion of the Constitution, who supposedly believes in trusting the actual language in it, has behaved like every other member of Congress. He has refused to honor the provision in Article V for a convention to propose constitutional amendments. This makes no sense for Paul for several reasons. An Article V convention was created by the Founders exactly because they anticipated the day when the public would rightfully lose trust in the federal government. Is there any more obvious aspect to Paul's entire political mindset other than the failure of the federal government?

Also, Paul believes in the constitutional rights that states have. Yet the whole basis of the Article V convention option is to place power back in the hands of the states by creating an alternative to Congress holding all the power for federal lawmaking and proposing constitutional amendments. So, on the basis of fixing what is wrong with the federal government and on restoring the balance with the states, Paul should have been fighting for many years to get the nation's first Article V convention. But he has not. That behavior is totally and shockingly inconsistent with his entire political belief system.

So now, when this is published, the army of Kool-Aid drinking Paul supporters will have yet another opportunity to flood any site that publishes this with their usual passionate screams justifying their cult-like adoration for Paul. This is what I most look forward to in coming weeks and months: Enough sanity among Americans so that Paul does not win any caucus or primary and never gets close to winning the Republican nomination. And what then? Exactly, what then? What will Paul do and say? How will he channel all the righteous political unhappiness and anger among his supporters so that something positive is actually accomplished?


By Joel S. Hirschhorn

Joel S. Hirschhorn has been widely published; his previous book is Sprawl Kills - How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health and Money - see He has published many articles and oped pieces in major newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune) and on progressive web sites such as CommonDreams, The Progress Report, SmirkingChimp and Opednews; Google Joel S. Hirschhorn to see his writings and achievements and see link below.  Before becoming a writer and consultant, he was a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress (Office of Technology Assessment), Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources at the National Governors Association, a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and head of an environmental consulting company.

Joel S. Hirschhorn Archive

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Luke McGuire
01 Jan 08, 15:57
Ron Paul

You are soooooooooo wrong! If you are a freedom loving loving American. However, if you're a socialist you are soooooooooo right. Ron Paul stands against ponzi schemes and obviously you have a problem with it.

RI for RP
01 Jan 08, 19:05
It is bigger than Ron Paul

One thing I think you're overlooking Ron, is the bigger picture... This whole Ron Paul phenomenon represents a power struggle.

The growing mass of Americans on Paul's side have awaken to the facts-- they are losing their country to a power hungry force. They are losing thier freedoms like never before.

Rather than let America slide further into oligarchy, they have chosen to back the only candidate who can turn back the tide. We want America back and Ron Paul is our representative.

We don't care about pork. We don't care about ex-IRS agents who cannot find a job. We don't even care about "the details." We see the details about what is going on now and we know we're losing it all. We want American back.

If Ron Paul does not win, it matters very little. America has still won. He has awaken America again, because this is a movement that is rooted in freedom and truth (as a 911 truther yourself Joel, you should realize this) and thanks to this last bastion of truth, the Internet, we will not be lied to any longer.

Ron Paul


Hope for America

01 Jan 08, 19:25
Goverments do nothing better.

Governments better do nothing except defending our borders and some major regulations in the economy. I just can not trust this corrupt system any more. I believe that socialism is good in essense but unfortunately under such distorted and unbalanced political arena, running towards a socialistic direction means nothing but a more powerful corrupt goverment. I am just a prammatic and I believe and see that only practical solution to todays American politucs is simply to make the goverment smaller such that it can be controlled and directed by people easily. We the people do not need a leadership of the goverment that leads nothing but wars, taxes, a huge gap between poor and rich.

I only support Ron Paul just for this reason. It may sounds a very simple solution yet it is a reasonable and practical one to me. Just reduce the bid goverment to a constitutional size . We do not need a big ones as long as the goverment goes with such current qualities.

01 Jan 08, 21:21
Ron Paul

Paul's lack of "success" as you call it in Congress is exactly what I look for in a candidate. You seem to measure success by passing bills and supporting others doing the same. Every bill that is passed is another chunk of money that will be taken from the taxpayer, and another law imposed on the people that they really don't need. Most of the bills are fostered and grown to maturity by special interest groups with nothing in mind but the few constituents they serve. If success is growing the size of our bloated government through more bills and laws, I want failure.

Daniel Morin
02 Jan 08, 00:52
People will find jobs easy

By cutting taxes, the money taken from taxpayers to hire IRS agents and military personel will be spend directly to hire those [unemployed] people for productive work. The government does not create jobs; it takes money from the taxpayers to hire someone to work on the behalf of politicians. The same money could have been spent from the taxpayer directly to the individual for productive work.

You should read Frederic Bastiat about employment.

USAF Vet Dan
03 Jan 08, 19:23
Comment not posted?

I replied with a comment yesterday in response to Mr. Hirschhorn's article and it was never posted. While my comment disagreed with his statements, it was far from inappropriate. What's up?

03 Jan 08, 21:11

Hi Dan

Unfortunately the problem we have is that for every genuine comment, we recieve an additional 99 spam comments, therefore in the process of filtering genuine comments can

also be deleted along with the spam.

What I can suggest is that you repost the comment again twice to the same thread as before or email it to me to post for you.

As you can see from the thread most of the comments posted disagree with Joel. But we do edit abusive comments for obvious reasons.

Kind Regards

Sarah Jones,

Site Administrator of The Market Oracle (

04 Jan 08, 15:51
Ron Paul It's ALL in the details

I agree with the article. I’ve searched out looking for some substance behind RP's ideals, more than any other candidate thus far, but no matter the outlet including his library you get the same 30-60 second sound bite with no explanation of how to get there from the reality of today. Quit glossing it over and look deeper. How easy will it be to erase the last 100 + years of government and the American mindset? Everyone seems to get excited with the sound bites, but I need to know that as president he has the plans and real world explanations to achieve his goals. I have no confidence that he carry out any of his ideals if he is elected. If were it were as easy as he says I should run or why not you. Until then it’s all theory.

Mike Lorrey
05 Jan 08, 18:05
Ron Paul no record is a feature, not a bug

The fact that Ron Paul has not authored a single law while in congress is a feature, not a bug, of his candidacy. We need far fewer laws in this country, fewer regulations, fewer taxes. As "Dr. No", he walked the walk that other repuglicans only talked about: he refused to contribute to the growth of government. We need a president like him who will use his veto pen a lot more often than his bill signing pen.

07 Jan 08, 08:51
PORK - Makes You Fat

He secured 31 Billion since 2000 for his district. Of course he didn't vote for it...he just put it in. "Dr. No" knows how to work the system.

Go ahead and spin away.

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