Friday, January 25, 2008

Ron Paul

Ron Paul was on Glenn Beck the other morning, talking about economics. The main place where Ron & I disagree is the bit about pulling out of Iraq & Afghanistan immediately. Remember, I have voted for Ron Paul for President once before. Glenn and I agree on the Iraq/Afghanistan bit, but Glenn had him on to talk economics and they stuck to that.

The most enlightening thing I got out of the interview -- and this came from Glenn himself, Ron didn't bring it up... in this interview. But he'd interviewed Ron on another show and Ron said that if we eliminated the federal income tax completely in 2005 .... the Federal Government would still be bringing in the same amount of money it brought in in 1995.

Glenn said that he wanted to correct him on that point, that that couldn't be true. But he didn't have the facts and he thought he'd bring it back up and correct him later. He went back and did his research, and found out....

Ron Paul is technically correct on this point.

Think about that. 10 years ago all federal taxes, income taxes & otherwise, totalled the same amount as all federal taxes today, without counting income taxes.


How much better is government today than it was 10 years ago? It's bigger. It's nosier. But what about it has made life enough better to account for ALL of the income tax we pay today?

Still, it's only technically correct. Because apparently right now the 1 trillion dollar difference would only be worth a 700 billion dollar difference back then, leaving a good 300 billion dollar deficit.

It begs the question ... what is the budget of the IRS? Because if it's anything close to 300 billion dollars.... it's a wash. I'll admit, that sounds a bit high to me, but I have no idea.

But suppose ... just suppose everybody paid only 1/4 of the taxes they pay today. Oh hell let's be generous and say 1/3 of the federal income taxes we pay today. Even the most die-hard Libertarian would have to say it would be a gigantic step in the right direction. And if a $600 tax "rebate" for everyone will stimulate the economy... imagine how much more just plain cutting our taxes by 2/3 would do for it!

Here's the sad thing. Except for Iraq and Afghanistan ... Ron Paul is mostly right in my book and could easily be my next choice down the list of candidates if it weren't for that big "except".

I'm not opposed to a military isolationist policy. It has a lot of merit, a lot going for it. It's a very respectable position.

It's just that my sense of responsibility won't allow us to suddenly and prematurely disengage from Iraq and Afghanistan. We started what we started and we need to see it through. We can talk about not going in to help anywhere else after this. But after this, hey, I'm open.

I do find it ironic that a lot of America critics even long before 9/11 complained that we go in to places and then pull out and leave a mess. Most of those same people are the ones screaming loudly that we need to pull out of Iraq and/or Afghanistan -- without regard as to what happens to Iraqis and Afghans as a direct result.

And I think that's because they want to be able to "prove" to the world that BushHilter-CheneyHalliburton are evil, genocidal, blood-for-oil-thirsty Crusaders for Jesus. In other words, it's not about doing what's right. It's about vidication.

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