Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ranking the Republicans: 7) Ron Paul

This article is the first in a series of seven articles analyzing the major Republican candidates for President. Be sure to check back over the next nine days as we continue ranking the candidates.

Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate I feel would be worse than Barack Obama. Ron Paul gives us many good reasons why we should consider his ideas, but a Ron Paul presidency would become a disaster for America.

On the budget and economy, Ron Paul might have the best plan. His plan includes abolishing five departments (Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, and Education) and the TSA. He also calls for a 10% reduction in the federal workforce and will reduce congressional pay and benefits. He plans to lower the corporate tax rate to 15% and make the Bush tax cuts permanent. He also wants to require an audit of the Federal Reserve and strengthen the dollar by authorizing competing currencies. Finally, Paul promises a balanced budget by his third year in office.

The only area where I disagree with Paul's economic plan is on entitlements. Paul's plan allows younger workers to opt out of the Social Security and Medicare programs. The problem with Ponzi schemes (I mean, pay-as-you-go systems) is that the plan collapses when the money dries up. The effects of allowing participants to opt out will be felt on taxes immediately, but it will not be felt on the benefits paid out for years. Making these programs optional will only dry up the money supply more quickly and force the federal budget to make up the difference. Eventually, this reliance will spoil the balanced budget and force the government to increase publicly held debt.

On social issues, Ron Paul is also a great candidate. He has a 78% rating with the National Right to Life organization, but two of the three times he voted against the organization's views were due to his support of state's rights. While I may disagree with Paul's viewpoint on the basis that government exists to protect "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," I will respect his decision without allowing it to affect my opinion of his pro-life stance. Ron Paul has defended the right of Americans to own guns, and he also stands in favor of right-to-work and homeschooling.

However, Ron Paul and I begin to greatly disagree on foreign policy and the military. Paul's libertarian views cause him to take an isolationist stand on foreign policy. While this view may be along the lines of what our founding fathers intended, this is an area where the Constitution fails to keep up with technology. In a world where a country can threaten our nation from the other side of the world, isolationism will not solve our foreign relations problems. Allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon is a recipe for the destruction of America and Israel. In a world where an e-mail can travel around the world in seconds and a missile can arrive from Russia in an hour, isolationist policies will only lead to destruction.

On foreign aid, I agree with Paul that much of our foreign aid should be cut, but we must continue to support our strongest allies. Most importantly, we must support Israel. The enemies of Israel view her destruction as the first step, and destroying America is the next step. We must do everything in our power to ensure that Israel maintains safe and secure borders and can live free from attacks of other nations.

If elected, President Paul would do a wonderful job at stimulating the economy and creating jobs. In fact, I think that his economic policies could lead America to one of its greatest times of prosperity. However, that prosperity would be short lived given President Paul's foreign policy. Failing to take the steps necessary to keep our nation safe will ultimately result in the destruction of America. While we must not allow America to be destroyed economically, we can also not allow our nation to be destroyed by other nations.

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