I will vote for Ron Paul in the primaries because I do not want a complete goddamn lunatic running in the general election. That said, I will not vote for him in the general election. I am going to be honest: I disagree with Ron Paul on a staggering number of his policies. I do think he is more sensible than most politicians and genuinely cares about the citizens of this country. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I agree with Dr. Paul on these issues:
I agree that expensive wars with no clear terms of victory are ridiculous.
I partially agree with him on these issues:
I am cool with giving tax breaks to people for medical expenses and exempting people fighting terminal illness from payroll taxes. I am cool with stopping the FDA from interfering with doctors’ ability to inform patients about dietary supplements and alternative treatments. Most of our problems stem from corporate greed, and the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to deny people the knowledge and availablity of treatment that does not include patented chemicals is a deplorable example of this. I am happy he wants to attempt to lower the ridiculous costs of healthcare by reducing the burden of malpractice litigation, however I do not think this should be shifted directly to patients through “negative outcomes” insurance. I agree that a national database of personal health information is terrible. That’s it. All his other healthcare ideas still involve having to go through insurance companies, which is fucking stupid. We pay a company for a service, and that service is to pay for medical costs in the event that our health is compromised. But it is in the best interest of a for-profit company to do everything in its power to deny that service. That’s just fucked up.
I like that he would veto unbalanced budgets. I am in favor of fully auditing the Federal Reserve. More on that shortly. I am, to my own surprise, in favor of legalizing competing currency. Seemed weird at first, but it forces those in power to stop recklessly lowering the value of the dollar. I am against his platform of eliminating income, capital gains, and inheritance taxes (I refuse to call that the “death tax” because that is a stupid conservative buzzword meant to imbue the concept with an inherent sense of unfairness). Historically in economic crises, raising taxes was what brought our economy out of a slump. Capital gains = income. Here’s what I think on inheritance tax. The argument I usually hear is “that money has already been taxed.” Sure. All money has already been taxed. When you get money, you are taxed. I do not understand the confusion. Because it belonged to a relative does not mean it belonged to you. Following this line of thinking all the way through would lead to NO taxes, which is not a very useful idea to even mention. This is almost irrelevant anyway, as I believe inheritance tax rates should be low for the lower and middle class and only notable if the inheritor is gaining a lot. Like Warren Buffett, I am made uneasy by the concept of “dynastic wealth.” And finally, I am happy that Dr. Paul wants to “end the corporate stranglehold on the White House.”
Ending the Fed
The Fed is a shady organization that invests and lends taxpayer money with no congressional oversight. Completely opaque operation. That is what is wrong with it. Its existence is indeed debatable, but I support a completely transparent organization with oversight. If it is still deemed unnecessary or detrimental after being run in the public eye and regulated by Congress, then end it. My main concern is that with monetary policy and especially international monetary policy, America would be represented by the nation’s largest private banks. Additionally, smaller banks would depend on the larger banks for a lot of things, and historically larger banks see small banks as competition and have no real interest in their solvency.
I support the 2nd ammendment, I really do. It was more relevant and necessary when it was conceived, but I believe it is still valid. I believe in strict regulation, however, because people are selfish, stupid, and careless. There is a direct correlation between the high firearm murder rate in Texas and the availability and lax restrictions on firearms there. Not hard to get a license to carry a concealed weapon, which directly results in barroom brawls ending in death far more often than in states with tighter restrictions. I am wholeheartedly against his stance on assault weapons. Handguns, rifles, shotguns - these can be useful tools and good for protecting one’s self and family (possibly). Automatic weapons, kevlar-piercing bullets, etc… These should not be sold to just anybody over 21 who is patient enough to wait 48 or 72 hours.
Unions are not as necessary as they were during the industrial revolution. But I do not believe we can remove government oversight from business practices and disassemble unions. Unions have gotten pretty greedy and the system needs to be reformed. But if the government ceases to be involved in business and joining a union ceases to be a requirement, then we create an environment where the greediest companies will be able to hire desperate non-union employees, lowering the value of labor and the standard of living of the working class. I do agree that elections for union organizers should have secret ballots so workers are not intimidated to vote a certain way. I believe in unions, and I believe there should be regulations in place that keep them accountable and working for the common interest of both workers and employers.
This is a complicated issue. I agree that parents have a right to educate their children themselves, sure. I do not have any suggestions on this topic, but would just like to note that the most important thing children learn in schools is social interaction. As long as this unbelievably essential part of development is considered and addressed, and as long as children are taught things that are factual and useful for survival in society, then I do not care much who does the teaching. What public schools offer, however, is a relatively balanced, relatively unbiased presentation of core curriculum. Schools definitely do need to be run better. Different learning styles should not hinder a child from being academically successful. But a strong standard for education is a necessity for creating a prosperous, efficient future.
I disagree almost entirely with these policies:
Not that many people are pro-abortion. That is a silly thing to think. I think this can be a hard, emotional decision. The answer is not to cut funding to health clinics that provide uninsured women with their only opportunity for gynecological exams, but rather we must invest in education. Education about being as safe as possible with sex, about relationships, about self-esteem, and about making good decisions in the face of temptation and social pressure. A much higher percentage of Swedish teenagers than American teenagers are sexually active, but there is a much, much lower pregnancy-, and subsequently abortion-rate because they are taught extensively about contraception, which is made much more available than it is here. Al Gore said it best when he said abortions should be safe, legal, and entirely unnecessary. I think repealing Roe v. Wade is a very dangerous thing to do. It won’t stop people from having abortions entirely, but it certainly will make the process much more dangerous and emotionally damaging.
Adjusting for inflation, income tax is as low as it’s been since the 50’s. The flat tax might look equal on paper, but it leaves poor families with a much greater burden just to survive. I agree that government spending could be drastically cut, but even if we drastically cut spending and keep taxes exactly as they are now, it will take a very long time to pay off the unfathomable debt we are in (which, by the way, was caused by war and tax breaks, not public assistance programs).
I do not think illegal immigration is as much of a problem as people make it out to be. Illegal immigrants are not a significant drain on the system, they are not qualified to receive most benefits of the system, but a lot of them do pay taxes into the system. Paul’s policy that children of illegal immigrants who are born here would not be citizens seems to be lacking in compassion and care for our fellow man. We are all humans. Because Mexico’s government is corrupt, because living conditions are terrible for a sizable amount of their population, desperate people (people who love their families, have dogs, want a bright future for their children, and have almost every other quality in common with YOU) are doing what they can to provide for their loved ones. Most often by doing jobs most of us wouldn’t deign to do in the worst of circumstances. Face it, most American citizens would rather be on welfare or standing on a corner with a cardboard sign than work in the fields for 12 hours a day for well below minimum wage. This is cold, unethical, borderline-racist thinking, and I honestly expected better from Ron Paul.
That’s a great positively connoted buzzword. What he wants, though, is to remove restrictions on drilling for oil as well as coal and natural gas production. He wants to eliminate the EPA. From his web site: “Polluters should answer directly to property owners in court for the damages they create – not to Washington.” Yes, because property owners give a shit about the future of our world enough to stop making tons of money from people drilling on their land. Hydrofracking for natural gas is devastating to the environment and poisons local water supplies. Coal is an inefficient, highly destructive form of fuel. The only thing I agree with is that he wants to give tax credits to people who purchase and produce alternative fuel technologies. This should not be the last bulletpoint on his page about fuel, put there to appease progressives who are leaning his direction because everyone else running is a fucking moron. This should be the first, most important part of fuel policy. Because drilling on our priceless, amazing national parks for a resource that WILL RUN OUT is shortsighted, inefficient, and stupid. Because hydrofracking is reckless, dangerous, and wrong. We should not be removing regulations so companies can “tap into the vast amount of oil we have here at home.” We should be making it impossible not to invest in alternative fuels; our future as a species depends on it. One last often overlooked but incredibly important point I must make is that petroleum is incredibly valuable as a resource beyond fuel. Burning the limited resource necessary to make PLASTIC - among humanity’s most important achievements, one which touches and positively affects nearly every aspect of modern existence - is one of the dumbest things we could possibly be fighting very hard to keep doing.
There. That is why I cannot fully support Ron Paul.