Friday, July 15, 2011

Craziest Republican of the Day: Ron Paul

He's not running for re-election, focusing instead on what will inevitably be his losing campaign for president.

But whatever his personal political priorities at this time, Ron Paul, hyper-libertarian extraordinaire, is still certifiably insane.

The United States's top credit rating is "probably not" worth saving, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Thursday, less than a day after a major rating agency indicated it was considering a downgrade as the country hurtles toward the August 2 deadline without a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Yes, certainly, something (and something drastic) needs to be done to address America's massive debt. Tax increases to reasonable levels, particularly for the rich, and cuts to defence spending, I would argue, not the unravelling of essential entitlement programs that are part of the social fabric. While there needs to be shared sacrifice, the burden shouldn't, as it so often is, be imposed on the poor and others who are already struggling just to make ends meet, if they can even do that.

But it would be disastrous, if not apocalyptic, to let America go into default. Paul may not think it matters, but how about the tens upon tens of millions of Americans who need their Social Security cheques just to put food on the table? Interest rates would shoot up, effecting not just the federal government but everyone, including business.

Is American "bankrupt"? Well, not in the usual way, but obviously it can't continue like this. But what's clear is that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn't help at all -- and wouldn't just have a "short-term effect."
For Paul to suggest that it may all just be fear-inducing "political theater" shows just how little he actually knows about the economy, about anything. He is an extremist ideologue for whom, as is so often the case with such ideologues, the facts don't much matter.

And at a time like this, with the country teetering precariously on the brink of collapse, that sort of willful aversion to reality is not just irresponsible but dangerous. And it's not just Paul. This view, pushed by the Tea Party, is orthodoxy throughout the Republican Party, including notably in the House. Yes, the Republican Party, it would appear, is more than content to let the country fall into the abyss. Remember that the next time they talk about how patriotic they are. 

When it comes to Paul, the only good thing is that he's not in a position to do anything about it. He has a vote in the House, but that's it. What's far more worrying is that the GOP's view is more or less his view, at least in the House and for many Republican senators. And with that craziness infecting pretty much the entire party, America faces an enormous threat from within, a threat that could very well take the country down.

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  • This might actually be valid if not for the fact that the Foreign Corporation named UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was not about 600 Trillion (yes that's a T-$600,000,000,000)dollars in debt to themselves and having already defaulted several times - war of 1812, civil war, formation of the federal reserve, forcing the income tax, taking all the gold, bank bailout, etc.

    By Anonymous Donald Nelson, at 4:17 PM  

  • Interestingly enough, this know nothing "lunatic" correctly predicted the housing bubble long before you knew it ironic ...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 AM  

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