Ron Paul: A Grand Bargain for Liberty?




by Ron Paul

As I write this, it appears that the federal government is about to shut down because the House and Senate cannot agree on whether to add language defunding or delaying Obamacare to the “Continuing Resolution”. Despite all the hand-wringing heard in DC, a short-term government shut down (which doesn’t actually shut down the government) will not cause the country to collapse.

And the American people would benefit if Obamacare was defeated or even delayed.

Obamacare saddles the American health care system with new spending and mandates which will raise the price and lower the quality of health care. Denying funds to this program may give Congress time to replace this bill with free-market reforms that put patients and physicians back in charge of health care. Defunding the bill before it becomes implemented can spare the American people from falling under the worst effects of this law.

As heartened as we should be by the fight against Obamacare, we should be equally disheartened by the fact that so few in DC are talking about making real cuts in federal spending. Even fewer are talking about reductions in the most logical place to reduce spending: the military-industrial complex. The US military budget constitutes almost 50 percent of the total worldwide military spending. Yet to listen to some in Congress, one would think that America was one canceled multi-million dollar helicopter contract away from being left totally defenseless.

What makes this military spending impossible to justify is that is does not benefit the American people. Instead, by fomenting resentment and hatred among the world population, our costly interventionist foreign policy makes our people less safe. Thus, reducing spending on militarism would not only help balance the budget, but would enhance our security.

Yet both the House and the Senate continuing resolutions not only fail to reduce military spending, they actually authorize $20 billion more in military spending than authorized by the “sequestration” created by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Most of the supposedly “draconian” sequestration cuts are not even cuts; instead, they are “reductions in the planed rate of spending.” This is where Congress increases spending but by less than originally planned—and yet they claim to cut spending.

Under sequestration, military spending increases by 18 percent instead of by 20 percent over the next ten years. Yet some so-called conservatives are so opposed to these phony cuts in military spending that they would support increased taxes and increased welfare “military” spending. This “grand bargain” would benefit the DC political class and the special interests, but it would be a disaster for the American people.

Instead of grand bargains of increased spending and taxes, those of us who support limited government and free markets should form a coalition with antiwar liberals to reduce spending on both the military industrial complex and domestic welfare programs. Instead of raising taxes on “the rich” we should also work to reduce all corporate subsidies. This “grand bargain” would truly be a win-win for the American people.

Sadly, even if a congressional coalition to cut both warfare and welfare spending was formed, it would be unlikely to carry the day as long as the Federal Reserve is willing to enable Congress’s debt addiction by monetizing the debt. But this cannot last forever. At some point the Fed’s policies will result in hyper-inflation and an economic crisis that will force Congress to reduce spending. Hopefully, the growing number of Americans who are awaking to the dangers of our current path can convince Congress to reduce overseas militarism and begin an orderly drawdown of the welfare state before this crisis occurs.

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32 Comments:

  1. The court equated campaign contributions with free speech and corporations with people. An amendment to the constitution which drew a distinction between these things would therefore nullify the decision.

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  2. It seems to me you're saying that the Supreme Court Case of Citizens United could be overturned by congress? Is that what you're saying? Do you have an example of a Supreme court ruling that was overturned by a legislative amendment without a new case being presented?

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  3. In the case of Citizens United, portions of the BCRA were ruled unconstitutional, in violation of the first amendment. The court equated campaign contributions with free speech and corporations with people. An amendment to the constitution which drew a distinction between these things would therefore nullify the decision.

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  4. In the case of Citizens United, portions of the BCRA were ruled unconstitutional, in violation of the first amendment. The court equated campaign contributions with free speech and corporations with people. An amendment to the constitution which drew a distinction between these things would therefore nullify the decision.

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  5. Wow, you really are a dumb fuck, aren't you. The entire fucking basis of a court's decision are the laws, and if the constitution is amended, the body of laws interpreted are changed; therefore the decision affected. The supreme court is the last appeal within THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

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  6. Once the Supreme Court interprets the law in a case, additional legislation will not overturn their decision...The Supreme Court is the last appeal. The only possible way a Supreme Court ruling can be overturned is if a new, similar case, challenges a previous decision and the Supreme Court overturns the previous ruling. Ask an attorney. For example, I'm hoping that McCuttcheon vs FEC will lead the Supreme Court to overturn their decision in Citizens United (an amendment can not do that).

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  7. BTW, seeing as the constitution is what is interpreted by the Supreme Court, amending it most definitely CAN overturn a decision, as an amendment to the constitution that specifically forbids such conduct would negate any court's decision that allows it.

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  8. You said "I would agree we need to put pressure on the Supreme Court to overturn their decision on "Americans United"", so don't try and bullshit your own statements. And yes, new cases that challenge previous decisions are the most common form of overturning these decisions, however this is a format in which public opinion is fairly inconsequential, and, in the case of finance reform, one in which new decisions would likely result in half measures.

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  9. I was saying I agree with teror'feable that Ron Paul is disingenuous and not who he seems to be. I'd like to find out if it's permissible to write the Supreme Court justices and try to influence them like in the current case of McCuttcheon vs FEC" where citizens united is asking for unlimited private campaign contributions. BTW, a constitutional amendment can't overturn a Supreme Court Decision, only an appeal or a new case that challenges a previous decision.

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  10. Shit man you just made a whole lot of general statements which have little to do with anything I said. Also you just "agreed" with me on something I never expressed my opinion on. And you can't really "put pressure on the Supreme Court", because justices are not elected and are therefore effectively immune to public opinion. The only way to truly negate a decision like this is to amend the constitution.

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  11. Some of the issues Ron Paul discusses should be addressed but his solutions are not for the whole country. He signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes on the rich while he was in office. If he believes what he is saying is for anyone other than the elite, the rich, and corporate monopolies he is living in a dream world. I would agree we need to put pressure on the Supreme Court to overturn their decision on "Americans United" that, in essence, is allowing the rich to buy politicians

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