Yesterday, in Las Vegas, Rep. Ron Paul unveiled his campaign’s economic plan, which greatly reflected his views of peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy, the need for small federal government, states’ rights, low taxes, and strict constitutionalism.
‘Tis the season for economic plans, with Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan, Obama’s current “jobs” bill, and Mitt Romney’s 59-point jobs plan all on the table. Paul’s plan differs from each of these drastically.
- Cain’s plan creates a new 9% national sales tax, 9% income tax, and 9% corporate tax. While he wants to first eliminate the entire current tax code, his plan would likely mean sales taxes of 16-20%, unless he plans to overrule all state sales taxes, an impossibility without either an abusive executive order or violating the 10th Amendment. In addition, Cain’s plan would provide the federal government with close to the current amount of revenue, meaning no reduction in the size of government would be necessary.
- Obama’s “jobs” bill has rightly been critiqued as simply a new tax bill, providing no real way of creating jobs, only increasing the revenues of the federal government. In other words, if any jobs were created through Obama’s bill, they would be government jobs. This would only guarantee an increase in both the size of the federal government and the tax burden for American citizens.
- Romney’s 59-point jobs plan calls for five executive orders and the introduction of five new bills on his first day as President, a far cry from Paul’s call for smaller executive power. The plan also called for some new taxes and for imposing sanctions on China for “cheating” on trade practices and “manipulation” of their currency.
None of the above has any intention of reducing the size of government, overall taxes, or foreign wars and intervention. In other words, Cain, Obama, and Romney all propose plans that isolate economics and domestic concerns from foreign policy, a dichotomy that simply does not work or make sense. How can these be separated when $1.5 trillion American dollars are spent paying for wars and foreign bases?
Ron Paul’s plan was highly anticipated by his supporters, thousands of whom tuned in to the live feed of yesterday’s press conference. But, how did the media respond to Paul’s plan?
CNN covered the unveiling with a Wolf Blitzer interview, in which Paul was given some time to expound on several points of his plan. The headline, however, revealed what CNN took away from Paul’s plan: “Dept. of Education, HUD gone under Paul.” No mention of balancing the federal budget in 3 years, reducing the salary of the President, or ushering in a foreign policy of peace? Nope.
ABC News put forth their response with a similar headline – “Ron Paul’s Economic Plan Eliminates Department of Education and 5 Others.” Both CNN and ABC made sure to mention that the Department of Education would be eliminated. Why? Well, public education is a sizable golden calf in the United States and if you cannot frighten people with the Social Security scare (“grandma will be homeless and without prescription drugs”), you can always scare them with education (“Johnny can’t read because of Ron Paul!”).
These portrayals miss the point entirely. Paul’s plan to cut the Department of Education is motivated by the fact that the department is unconstitutional and ineffective and that education, if it is to be regulated by any government, should remain in the hands of individual states – which performed far better before the Department of Education came into existence.
ABC’s write-up also included some strange comments from Harvard University’s Richard Parker, who even claimed to know the hidden motives behind Paul’s plan:
“The ideas that Congressman Paul espouses are not unique to him,” said Richard Parker, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. “They are kind of standard fare for libertarians.”
Parker said Paul’s plans are aimed more at educating the public about Libertarian policies than laying out a solution that could feasibly get him elected. While Paul is running as a Republican this presidential campaign cycle, as he did in 2008, the Texas congressman campaigned as the Libertarian Party nominee during his 1988 bid for the White House.
“His agenda right now is to get that political philosophy floated,” Parker said, ”whereas Romney is cobbling together what needs to be cobbled together to create policies that will assure his election as president of the United States.”
How Parker knew the deep-seated motivations behind Paul’s plan was not explained, though the reader is assumed to believe him because, after all, he is from Harvard.
MSNBC only included Paul’s plan as part of an overall article on the GOP candidates in Nevada, saying:
In a ballroom at the Venetian with a cheering crowd of students behind him, Paul outlined his plan to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget and eliminate five Cabinet departments as soon as he takes office. (The losers: Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior and Education.) He would immediately end all foreign aid and end America’s involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Paul also wants to let young workers opt out of Social Security. He would repeal President Barack Obama’s health care legislation as well as major banking and campaign finance regulations. He would reduce corporate taxes, and he also wants to eliminate the Transportation Security Administration because he’s concerned that airport screenings violate civil liberties.
Fox News reported Paul’s plan simply as a “$1T Spending Cut Plan” rather than an overall economic plan.
In other words, the major news outlets largely missed the point. Paul’s plan involves far more than simply cutting departments. The plan corrects America’s imperialistic foreign policy and militarism. It eliminates over-taxation and the overreaching of the federal government, particularly in the creation of unconstitutional departments. It eliminates oppressive regulations on citizens and businesses. And, it restores personal responsibility and liberty from the hands of the American “nanny state.”
In short, Ron Paul’s plan signals a return to the Constitution.