Tag Archives: Ron Paul

On Ron Paul

An eCache reader, Shirley, has declared her support for Ron Paul. She’s been making the case for Paul pretty well in the comments of several posts here.

I was a bit sarcastic and dismissive at one point and should apologize. I expect discourse and need to engage in it as well. Shirley deserves better from me. For that I apologize.

I’ve been looking into Paul a bit more closely this afternoon. One thing that can be said (and admired) is he sticks to his stated principles well. I still have reservations.

War
First, despite the Monday morning quarterbacking, we are at war in Iraq. Paul has been consistent that we should have never gone. I applaud his sticking to the Constitution and the need for Congress to declare war. Yet, our troops are fighting and dying in Iraq. That he would not have sent troops is inconsequential at this point. We are there and Iraq is a mess. To leave without having a strong Iraq will have been American failure. We cannot permit that to happen. Iraq deserves better.

The hang-up with this is withdrawal. I am unwilling to commit to leaving Iraq until things are in much better shape; Shirley argues there should be a withdrawal plan now, even if troops do not come home until later. While an exit strategy is important, that it be set now is not important to me. I see too much war in front of us to be concerned with the endgame today.

This is a legitimate disagreement. I suspect this is most people’s (conservative folks, anyhow) with Ron Paul.

Education
Paul is dead-on with some of his education positions:

The federal government does not own our children. Yet we act as if it does by letting it decide when, how, and what our children will learn. We have turned their futures over to lobbyists and bureaucrats.

I support giving educational control back to parents, who know their children better than any politician in D.C. ever will.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to fund or control schools. I want to abolish the unconstitutional, wasteful Department of Education and return its functions to the states. By removing the federal subsidies that inflate costs, schools can be funded by local taxes, and parents and teachers can directly decide how best to allocate the resources.

That’s beautiful! It really is. I wish others would be so bold on education. And it once again is consistent with Paul’s adherence to the Constitution. If only he had stopped there.

Paul continues on:

To help parents with the costs of schooling, I have introduced H.R. 1056, the Family Education Freedom Act, in Congress. This bill would allow parents a tax credit of up to $5,000 (adjustable after 2007 for inflation) per student per year for the cost of attendance at an elementary and/or secondary school. This includes private, parochial, religious, and home schools.

Another bill I have sponsored, H.R. 1059, allows full-time elementary and secondary teachers a $3,000 yearly tax credit, thus easing their financial burden and encouraging good teachers to stay in an underpaid profession.

Huh? Where in the Constitution does it empower the federal government to use tax breaks to fund education? If the federal Department of Education is to be abolished because the feds have no reason to interfere in education, then why is the federal government going to jump into the tax break business of the same issue?

Furthermore, why will a Ron Paul Administration play socialism by improving public teacher salaries? Who is the president to state public school teachers are underpaid? What criteria were used for that determination? Twenty-one year old rookie teachers will earn $50,000 (plus benefits) in my district next year. I do not conclude those teachers to be underpaid. Why should my tax dollars be used to offer those teachers a tax break? FWIW, I too am a public school teacher.

Ron Paul’s site claims:

Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.

The above legislation does not jive with that assertion.

Racism
Paul used to publish a newsletter in which he stated:

If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.

(I’ll leave alone for now his other remark about D.C. black males.) What did a would-be president Paul mean by fleet-footed? Is this an example of the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals?

Ron Paul is an interesting candidate. He and I agree on many issues. I suspect most conservatives agree with him on many issues. The war is the sticking point. Our sons and daughters are fighting and dying. To pull them home or insist there be an exit strategy before Iraq can stand on its own is a mistake in my view. From what I gather, that is the point with most conservatives who oppose Paul.

As I posted earlier today in a comment of another piece:

From an AP article today:

Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi said preparations had begun for a military operation in Diyala, a province northeast of Baghdad that on Friday saw more than 20 people killed in two suicide bombings.

“If we succeed in controlling areas of Diyala close to Baghdad, the rate of incidents in Baghdad decreases by 95 percent,” he told The Associated Press. The area has seen numerous attacks in recent weeks, as militants flee for more remote regions to escape the security campaign in the capital.

and

Smith, the U.S. military spokesman, said at a news conference that intelligence gleaned from Iraqis who have turned against al-Qaida and American efforts to track down insurgents’ financing and bomb-making facilities were key to a decline in violence around the country.

It’s an article like this that tells me the US is still needed in Iraq.

No candidate that I have seen is perfect on all the issues. Paul, for me, is wonderful on many, but wrong on an important issue. This issue is a deal-breaker, as it were.

Florida Republican Debate

The debate format used and the number of participants prevents true meaning from being had. That said, I was impressed with Mike Huckabee. And for as wild as Ron Paul is, he and I agree that the federal government has no role in education, health care, or retirement. Tancredo nailed this point when he stated we should not be debating what role the federal government will have in this or that. Simply, there is no role.

Fred Thompson was once again mediocre. He performed better than he had in Michigan, but he did not command the stage. He needed to hit big tonight and he did not.

The line of the night was McCain’s rip on Clinton, Woodstock, and the bill she supported to spend tax dollars on a museum commemorating the event.

I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time.

The audience gave Sen. McCain a standing ovation. He does not play up being a POW, but that was a perfectly delivered line.

I was quite disappointed with Fox’s debate. The opening round of questions dealt with the theme of “Who is the most conservative candidate?” Sigh . . . “I am more conservative than he is.”

Later, there was a round that asked the candidates to attack Hillary Clinton. This was bush league. Huckabee handled this question perfectly. He stated that while everyone is having fun at her expense, there is nothing funny about a Clinton presidency. She will raise taxes, weaken our defense, and bring our country to a “comfortable mediocrity.”

I thought Huckabee had the best answers tonight. However, he had so little time it is hard to call it in his favor. It makes me wonder how effective this debate format actually is.

It is time for the front runners to debate on a smaller stage. Romney, Guiliani, Huckabee, and Thompson (I suppose) need to sit down at a table and debate issues with a single moderator.

Update: fixed grammatical error.  How embarrassing to be quoted with a grammatical error!