I am willing to say that some ideas from libertarians aren’t half bad. Yet this guy is so far out in left field, he has circled the globe and come back. Lets ignore the fact he is stuck in 1776 and has no idea how modern society works much less how it should work and look at some of the bovine excrement he decided to heap on with his farewell Congressional address. These are his examples of what is wrong with America and how we are a dying country unless we revert back to 1776.
1.Undeclared wars are commonplace.
Talk about over simplification. Just because troops shoot at others troops doesn’t make it a war. Just because Fox News calls something a war doesn’t make it a war. Calling something a war doesn’t make it a war. Believe it or not there is a legal distinction for a war and a principle of war that determines what is a war and what isn’t. Technically the War in Iraq was not a war. Neither was is the War in Afghanistan. You can argue the merits of either one and that’s fine, but that isn’t the issue. The issue is that making a statement that “Undeclared wars are commonplace.” only serves to dumb down the whole concept of warfare. Congress is the only body that can declare war under the U.S. Constitution. I don’t think anyone can argue that fact. However Congress is just not giving their authority away they understand what war is and what a declared war is. War is the total sublimation of a economy and society to destruction of an enemy. If Congress declares war, Ford no longer produces cars but bullets and we switch to a wartime economy. It isn’t as simple of saying the word “war” it is much more involved and complicated. I realize that many libertarians don’t see it that way but just because they refuse to see it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You have to remember, war and warfare has a very long history and to deny those concepts would be the same as denying our country’s founding. Why do you think the Founding Fathers went to such lengths with Declaration of Independence. They were forming a legal basis for the American Revolution. It wasn’t as simple as some colonist picking up a gun and going hunting red coats. If a person wants to complain about the merits of the War in Iraq (used for simplicity sake.) or any of the others, fine just don’t confuse the issue by over simplifying and saying using that as a reason for our country going to hell in a hand basket.
2. Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
Not sure where he is getting the rich entitlement part so I will by pass that part for now. Yes, welfare for the poor is considered an entitlement. To be honest, I am not sure what his problem is with this part. What that we spend money on helping the poor? That the government is the one in charge of the program? Does he not realize the states administer the program as well? More than likely he doesn’t like the fact that money in the form of taxes is being taken out of a persons check and being used to elevate the poor. This must mean that he doesn’t understand that poverty is a society killer. I am not for the total redistribution of wealth as some libertarians like to refer to it as, but I do see the point of entitlements programs such as welfare, food stamps and the like. Want to claim they are spending to much money and they need to be reformed. Sure, I can get behind that. There is no doubt that administrative costs are to high, (7 percent as opposed to other nations who is 2 percent.) Waste and fraud need to be eliminated and duplication of the various programs needs to be addressed. The same could be said for Social Security and just about every government program. So making an issue of smaller government by streamlining it, making it more affordable and responsive great. Yet to go after entitlement programs cause you think it hurts the prosperity of the country when time and time again poverty levels have worked against countries is a denial of facts.
3, The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
This right here shows how out of touch this guy is with reality. Of course he is one that wants us back on the gold standard. Further proof of his lack of understanding of economics and his adherence to a debunked school of economics. I have to say that this guys distaste for the Federal Reserve System is legendary. Yet, lets break his statement down. First of all we are not over taxed. The Tax Foundation has shown that taxes as a percentage of the GDP are at the lowest since 1955. Now, I will be honest and say no one likes taxes but this myth that seems to keep playing over and over again is just that a myth. Coupled with his statement that the economy is over regulated. In what way? Obamacare? If that was his sole argument I might be willing to see his case but this guy is anti all regulation. I have news for him some regulation, up to and including environmental regulation is necessary. Furthermore it is a prudent governmental interest to regulate commerce. I am not going to say that there aren’t parts that could stand improvement or that don’t need fixing cause I would be lying through my teeth. However, that is not what he is talking about. It makes it worse when you add his opinion of a deeply flawed monetary system. Well the Federal Reserve was founded before we left the gold standard and moving back to the gold standard would destroy the economy straight away. The boom and bust cycles would be worse and the threat of more depressions would increase. I do understand one part of his issue with the Federal Reserve and that is the fact that the Fed did not help and in fact made worse the Great Depression but the Fed did not cause the Great Depression and part of the reason why we had the stimulus and the quantitative easing is because they did learn that lesson. Also is statement does not take into account the global and interwoven nature of economies now. His idea is to move backwards and that would be a panacea for the problems in the economy and that just isn’t based in fact.
4. Debt is growing exponentially.
I admit this is a statement of fact. However I differ in interpretation of this fact. Admittedly something has to be done about the debt. Also it won’t be fixed with a band aid and it will take real leadership to accomplish this. Will it happen? I can say yes, you can say no but the truth is we will just have to wait and see. Will it destroy America and our liberties? I don’t have that answer. Hopefully as long as we all work together to find a solution and be willing to compromise we can avoid that. I do know that going back to an isolationist economy won’t solve anything.
5. The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
I am not a fan of either the Patriot Act nor the FISA legislation, although I can get behind FISA before the Patriot Act. Do I think it has eroded our 4th Amendment Rights? Honestly, I think it has to a certain extent. At the same time however, I don’t think the full legality of the Patriot Act has been challenged in the Supreme Court and I think it might be decades till it is finally gutted. I realize that parts of the Act has been addressed but not all of it has and that is what needs to happen to help remove the Patriot Act. Also some parts have been diminished and limits placed by the court but not enough. Even with the Patriot Act I don’t see how this is destroying liberties as it is trying to balance liberty with security. Perhaps this is the only part Ron Paul and I could agree on and that is people looking to replace liberty for security deserve neither.
6. Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
As I mentioned above this guy has very little understanding of geopolitical realities or situations. Also I think he could use a lesson in definitions. Preemptive War is not aggression. Technically you could call all war, aggression. I can’t say if the American people understand the realities of geopolitical science or that preemptive strikes and engagements are a necessary evil. I doubt they think of it that far to be honest with you. Backing out of the global economy and shirking out commitments overseas won’t change the fact that preemptive “aggression, is sometimes necessary. I could list example and produce studies and papers written about the subject but to be honest, there isn’t time, nor room, nor do I have the inclination to go to that trouble in this post. Perhaps a different one. Needless to say this again is an oversimplification of a dynamic global reality and further indicates Ron Paul’s willingness to take America backward not forwards.
7. The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
Sometimes I wonder if this guy even understands current events. 1. International Laws have not be flaunted and the fact that he brings it up to make the claim is ridiculous. He has made claims in the past how international law should not apply to the United States but then invokes them here. We call that being hypocritical. Also, we had a lot of resentment thrown our way before we had drones and that hasn’t changed much.
8. It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial
FINALLY! We get something he is right about. Granted it took him eight tries so far but he got there. This will be the law of the land till it is challenged in court. The bad part of that is that it has to happen before it can be challenged. Honestly I don’t think it will stand muster. I don’t think any side of the political aisle thinks this is a good idea and I am stunned it actually passed Congress. Even worse, it was their idea. Ok, Ron Paul, I’ll give you this one.
9.Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington. • Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
I put these two together since they basically say or imply the same thing. Free trade does not mean free from all regulation. Free trade is minimal regulation. Sanctions and WTO filings are all necessary in a global economy. So yes… his definition of free trade, which is trade with no restrictions is an isolationist attitude. Sanctions are a necessary policy tool and same with WTO filings. Of course just cause you file a case with the WTO doesn’t mean that it will go your way and you could come out losing the case that you hoped to win. I will add however, that in the situation of sanctions they should be applied in extreme cases or under international agreement. Case in point, Iran. At the same time I don’t think a large number in Washington support hostility towards free trade. I do think that some use it as a manipulation technique to promote their own views on other countries.
10.Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.
And should be. Centralization of economic and monetary policy are necessary for the continuation of prosperity in this country. Times have changed where national economies are now interwoven into a global economy. Yes, there are failings as the system tries to adapt. An example of the supposed trade deficit with China. In fact if you look at the real numbers there is a trade surplus. Under the system that is used currently and based in older economics only the final product for export is counted. Yet China imports most of the components that are then assembled into a final product like a Ipad or Iphone. Those import components are not counted as part of the trade differential. If they were it would show a trade surplus. This is part of my contention this guy doesn’t understand modern economics or geopolitical realities.
This isn’t 1776, and I can not emphasis that enough. Neither it is the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The days of isolated national economies are over. I guess one could make the claim that the New World Order that some folks were worried about is already here. Global interconnection and intercommunication has changed how business is conducted and it will continue to change. Economies that refuse to adapt and deal with their situations i.e Greece on one extreme and France on another, will find themselves economically deficient. Yet going backward and isolating the economy is not a solution, neither is attempting to frighten people with over simplified ideas that make great sound bites but don’t tell the whole story. I don’t think anyone can deny that there are issues that need to be addressed but taking us back to the good ole days, isn’t going to work and only make matters worse. Working to eliminate waste and fraud in government spending, addressing programs that need reform. Looking at other avenues where regulation and free marketisms can work together are how we move forward. What Ron Paul wants to do is travel back in time. Good for him but even there he meets resistance. The Laws of Physics prevent that from happening. I guess one more liberty taken away for him to complain about.