If there is one thing that the recent Republican Party Debates have shown us, it is that there is still a no real viable option from the Party to win the 2012 election. The infighting has just begun and it’s going to get dirtier in the weeks and months ahead. If you’re a Democrat, you’ve just been handed an early Christmas present watching the nominees tear each other apart in public.
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Now, some of you have written in about me ignoring Ron Paul as the candidate that will emerge from the mess as the Republican Party nominee. That’s true, I have left him out. It’s not that I don’t like Mr. Paul – I do. Some of his ideas are out there in left field, but most of what he has to say is right on the money. That’s the problem. He is too honest, too frank and sometimes too logical to become the candidate of choice. Politicians don’t win by telling the truth. If that were the case, the Libertarian Party would actually be a party today. It’s not.
Americans want to hear the truth, but they don’t want to vote for it. The truth is painful. It means economic contraction. It means sacrifices. It means austerity. Listen, the only way to lower our national debt is to cut spending and raise taxes. That is the truth. If you look at the plans put forth, they all sound good…but they are all meant to move the deficit to a more manageable position and keep the debt at current levels and shrink it over the next two decades. According to Ron Paul, even the most conservative Republican proposals require raising the debt ceiling by $9 trillion dollars by 2021.
Yes, I am talking about both the Republican and Democrat plans. Can you imagine if there was a real plan on the table, one that actually cut spending and reduced the debt? It would look something like what Ron Paul is saying. Massive cuts to defense. Massive entitlement reform. Massive reform of the Federal Reserve, the return of the gold standard, full withdrawal of the US from all foreign conflicts, anti abortion legislation, right to work for all people (de-unionization)…the works.
You may agree with some or all of what Mr. Paul has to say, but you are not in the majority and there are not enough votes out there to carry his platform. Consider that if he ran on this platform, he would face opposition from his own “party”. The Republican base is not going to stand for slashing defense spending by more than half, just as a starter. The gold standard is a non-starter as it would require massive re-valuation of the dollar or a massive economic contraction. Folks, we have more than $15 trillion in debt and more than $60 trillion in unfunded future liabilities. All the gold in the world today would be a drop in the bucket, even at today’s prices. In order to un-dollarize, the US would have to either buy all the gold or decrease the dollars in circulation in order to push up its value. Neither is probable and even if it was, it would result in a seismic shift in the global markets which would create financial pain for the likes of you and me that would make 2008 look like a great option.
Truth is, we can all talk a good game, as the Republican Candidates are trying to do, but putting that plan into action is much, much harder. Look at Social Security and Medicare reform. It’s needed, and needed badly. Yet when any candidate or even politician brings it up for debate, he or she is shot down – not by the opposition but my members of his/her own party or constituency.
There are no easy answers and sound-bytes from the far left or far right (Tea Party) are not solutions. They are talking points that may need to be studied. But, radical ideas from either side will not take the day when it comes to the final vote for President in 2012. Radical ideas mean pain, lots of it. Ron Paul is a physician and he knows about pain. But, he also knows that you can’t be a great doctor if your consultation with every patient you see involves talk of radical surgery and amputation of limbs as the only solution.
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