THE REALITY BEHIND D.C. “BRINKSMANSHIP“
By RON PAUL || The political class breathed a sigh of relief Saturday when the U.S. Senate averted a government shutdown by passing the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. This year’s omnibus resembles omnibuses of Christmas past in that it was drafted in secret, was full of special interest deals and disguised spending increases, and was voted on before most members could read it.
The debate over the omnibus may have made for entertaining political theater, but the outcome was never in doubt. Most House and Senate members are so terrified of another government shutdown that they would rather vote for a 1,774-page bill they have not read than risk even a one or two-day government shutdown.
Those who voted for the omnibus to avoid a shutdown fail to grasp that the consequences of blindly expanding government are far worse than the consequences of a temporary government shutdown. A short or even long-term government shutdown is a small price to pay to avoid an economic calamity caused by Congress’ failure to reduce spending and debt.
The political class’ shutdown phobia is particularly puzzling because a shutdown only closes 20 percent of the federal government. As the American people learned during the government shutdown of 2013, the country can survive with 20 percent less government.
Instead of panicking over a limited shutdown, a true pro-liberty Congress would be eagerly drawing up plans to permanently close most of the federal government, staring with the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies not only degrade the average American’s standard of living, they also allow Congress to run up huge deficits. Congress should take the first step toward restoring a sound monetary policy by passing the “Audit the Fed” bill, so the American people can finally learn the truth about the Fed’s operations.
Second on the chopping block should be the Internal Revenue Service. The federal government is perfectly capable of performing its constitutional functions without imposing a tyrannical income tax system on the American people.
America’s militaristic foreign policy should certainly be high on the shutdown list. The troops should be brought home, all foreign aid should be ended, and America should pursue a policy of peace and free trade with all nations. Ending the foreign policy of hyper-interventionism that causes so many to resent and even hate America will increase our national security.
All programs that spy on or otherwise interfere with the private lives of American citizens should be shutdown. This means no more TSA, NSA, or CIA, as well as an end to all federal programs that promote police militarization. The unconstitutional war on drugs should also end, along with the war on raw milk.
All forms of welfare should be shut down, starting with those welfare programs that benefit the wealthy and the politically well connected. Corporate welfare, including welfare for the military-industrial complex that masquerades as “defense spending,” should be first on the chopping block. Welfare for those with lower incomes could be more slowly phased out to protect those who have become dependent on those programs.
The Department of Education should be permanently padlocked. This would free American schoolchildren from the dumbed-down education imposed by Common Core and No Child Left Behind. Of course, Obamacare, and similar programs, must be shut down so we can finally have free-market health care.
Congress could not have picked a worse Christmas gift for the American people than the 1,774-page omnibus spending bill. Unfortunately, we cannot return this gift. But hopefully someday Congress will give us the gift of peace, prosperity, and liberty by shutting down the welfare-warfare state.
Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.
All forms of welfare should be shut down, starting with those welfare programs that benefit the wealthy and the politically well connected.
I’ll take “Things Ron Paul Doesn’t Actually Believe” for $800, Alex.
Why would you say that? He’s always said the social safety net should come last and be scaled out over time out of deference to those dependent on it.
You really are cynical at times(which I understand) where it doesn’t warrant it.
He’s not doing it out of deference to those dependent on it, he’s doing it out of deference to voters who would call for his head if he did it all at once.
Ron Paul takes a page out of the typical Republican tripe of block granting most welfare programs and shrinking them into oblivion. This isn’t “saving it for last” or “slowly phasing it out”, this is fundamentally changing the programs right off the bat, and to a system that does less to guarantee societal problems are solved effectively and efficiently. From three years ago:
The plan would freeze spending for Medicaid and a few other social programs like the Child Nutrition Program, changing them into block grants to the states and moving them from the mandatory spending sectionof the federal budget to the discretionary spending section, which means the programs’ budgets would need to be approved by Congress annually.
What block grants ultimately result in:
What Paul wants to do is immediately change welfare into a program with limited funds, less oversight, and something that isn’t protected as mandatory and has to be approved each year, so that the program is far, far, far less successful at doing its stated goal. This failure doesn’t get touted as an epic fuck-up on Paul’s part per his own grand design, but as an “inevitable failure of government to uphold it’s promises to the people” as Ron Paul proceeds to curb stomp what’s left of the programs, much like how his son’s campaign people curb stomp protesters.
(This has been Republican strategy for decades now, mind you. Break government as much as possible, gasp in shock at how government just can’t seem to get it right, demand government be torn apart. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat.)
Also, a lot of Paul’s other cuts would be to government agencies that actually protect us from corporate fuckery and would actually benefit the wealthy more than it would the rest of us. I mean, yay, he’s for killing oil subsidies, but who gives a shit if he’s gutted the EPA and it results in us having similar air quality to China?
Besides that, he takes on the mantle of the Republican party, which said party will hamstring each and every attempt at killing corporate welfare to such an effective degree that the only thing that Ron Paul’s support on the issues ever amounts to is (surprise!) gutting spending on programs that assist the poor. Every time Ron Paul runs with an (R) next to his name may as well be an open admission that he doesn’t actually believe half the shit he spews.
No, Ron Paul may profess to be something different than a duck, maybe he truly believes he’s not a duck, but he still quacks like one.
“He’s not doing it out of deference to those dependent on it, he’s doing it out of deference to voters who would call for his head if he did it all at once.”
WTF? Are you out of your mind? He’s not even in office, your claim makes no sense.
Obamacare just returned reimbursement to physician’s for Medicaid to original levels (Jan 1, 2015).
Typical dem/soc/liberal ‘tripe’ at the national level of starting/expanding a welfare program and promising money then cutting off funding and bankrupting states.
Can’t trust a Democrat anymore than you can trust Obama,Putin and Iran.
Pols will never let gov’t shut down for any length of time, because if they did, after a week or more of shutdown where everyone saw the world didn’t come to an end, the tax cattle would realize they don’t need the parasites.
But the idea that they can’t even let 20% shut down is even funnier. You better believe that if it ever happened it would be the 20% most people care about…which tells me that 80% of gov’t is unnecessary in the least.
gotta wonder if this man has ever even visited america. he sounds like he knows nothing about the place.
I totally agree this bill should not have been passed, one thing that was not noted was the FDIC insurance on the derivatives, that was slipped through in this bill. Which means the the American people get stuck with the gambling debt of the banks.
Not to mention the section that would allow existing pension benefits to be cut.
One would hope pensions would be cut. Actually, no pension has been cut, only the percentage of contributions by the taxpayers to g’ment employees have been cut.
Now, if g’ment/administration/congress were to put a special tax on government employees, then pensions would be cut, but only modestly.
FYI: Most government employees do not make contributions to the Social Security “Trust” Funds … Most government employee pension benefits are completely tax free, Social Security Benefits, Not!
Nancy Pelosi said they needed to pass Obamacare legislation so they could find out what was in it. Congress just passed the Omnibus without reading it so they could spend it.
Ron Paul is so full of crap. You actually think this guy is any different than other long serving establishment politician?
He’s no longer serving, so the question is, what drives him from continuing to issues statement/opinions?
Yeah, I think he’s way different.
I think we should have a national referendum whether to change government in this manner. Let the voters decide. Each politician gets on the podium and shouts that the American people do not want this bill or the American people do want this measure. I always wonder whom they are referring to. So let’s let the American people decide whether they want the Ron Paul type of world or not. Let’s have one big vote. Then we can all shut up and sit down.
Shut it down and fire the g’ment Helots who disagree.
Funny how the most “extreme” political voices on both sides are the most moderate and reasonable–and how much they have in common. I am talking about Ron Paul (“extreme right”) and Elizabeth Warren (“extreme left”) neither of whom are extreme at all but state the obvious common sense that giving unbridled power to bankers runs against the liberty of all the other people. I think the most extreme politicians are the ones who vote for something they have not read, out of fear, peer pressure, coercion, laziness, greed, or all of the above.
The media often associates Ron Paul with the tea party movement, but the two are very distinct. Ron Paul has been around since long before the tea party movement began. I remember when I first learned about the tea party and it caught my interest because it sounded like people who were supporting dissent, who did not trust their leaders, something like the original Boston Tea Party who were protesting taxation without representation. But it turns out that the modern Tea Party are not dissenters. For me, the key problem cited by the Boston tea partiers was the “without representation.” For modern tea partiers, they don’t really care about representation in government. They just don’t want to pay taxes, even if the majority have chosen it. And modern tea partiers want to EXPAND the role of government by legislating morality. Ron Paul, on the other hand, really wants to limit government. A lot. And he cares about the liberty of the people, like the original Boston tea partiers but unlike the modern ones. I wish that his son Rand would get that memo, but Rand really does fit in with the modern style of tea partiers. The son did not really listen well to the father.
RonBo Baby, just slip a free market policy under the tree for me;
Been an awful libertarian boy, RonBo baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight
RonBo baby, legal marijuana too, Labradorian blue;
I’ll wait up for you, dear; RonBo baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.
Think of all the fun I’ve missed;
Think of all the un-smoked spliffs;
Next year I could be a libertarian… if you check off my pro liberty list
RonBo baby, I want legal prostitution and really that’s not a lot;
Been seeing a hooker all year; RonBo baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.
Is it just me or does anyone else get tired of this website posting the musings of a nutcase on a near daily basis?
If you’re tired of it, why are you still here?
I suppose I like the abuse…it’s cheaper than going to a dominatrix.