Borrowing From Paul

The Texas congressman's fiscal plan challenges his opponents to put up or shut up.

Next month the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a 12-member subset of Congress that Congress created to make the hard fiscal choices Congress itself has failed to make, is expected to propose $1.2 trillion in cuts from projected spending during the next decade. This week Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, unveiled a plan to cut nearly that much in 2013 alone, followed by similar cuts in the next two years, yielding a balanced budget by 2015. 

The contrast between the so-called super committee's goal and Paul's plan shows how pathetic official Washington's gestures of fiscal responsibility are, even in these supposedly straitened times. Paul's detailed numbers refute the myth that the budget cannot be balanced without raising taxes while challenging his opponents—none of whom has offered anything nearly as specific—to put up or shut up. 

Paul's plan not only extends the tax cuts enacted under the Bush administration; it reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent while abolishing taxes on inheritances, capital gains, and personal savings. It nevertheless manages to eliminate the budget deficit within three years, largely by reducing military spending, capping most programs at 2006 spending levels, converting Medicaid and other welfare programs into block grants, and eliminating five cabinet-level departments: Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Interior. 

As USA Today noted, Paul is "a longtime critic of federal spending not authorized by the Constitution"—a description that applies to sadly few members of Congress, all of whom take an oath to respect the limits imposed on the federal government by the document that created it. Yet Paul's plan would not return the country to the 1990s, let alone the 19th century. It calls for total outlays of $2.9 trillion in 2015, which is about as much as the federal government spent as recently as 2003, adjusted for inflation. 

You may not agree with Paul's priorities, but at least he has laid them out for everyone to see. Meanwhile, the vast majority of his fellow legislators continue to pretend there is no need to prioritize at all. 

Consider military spending. Counting savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Paul calls for $832 billion in cuts over four years, which would leave the Pentagon's base budget in 2016 about 2 percent lower than it is now. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, backed by both Republicans and Democrats, insists cuts of that magnitude would be "catastrophic." Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns that "indiscriminate cuts" would cause "potentially irrevocable wounds to our national security." Howard McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, complains that "too many appear to believe that we can maintain a solid defense that is driven by budget choices, not strategic ones." 

Indiscriminate cuts may be undesirable, but so is indiscriminate spending, which is what we have now, with the United States accounting for more than two-fifths of the world's military outlays. Budget choices should drive strategic choices, since we can no longer afford to squander defense dollars on projects that have little or nothing to do with defense, whether it's launching optional wars across the globe or protecting rich allies that are perfectly capable of protecting themselves. 

Paul's proposed abolition of various departments, agencies, and programs likewise should stimulate debate about the federal government's priorities. Aside from carrying out the decennial "enumeration" mandated by Article I, Section 2, does the Commerce Department do anything that is constitutionally authorized, let alone essential? What about HUD? Why should education be a federal responsibility at all, let alone one that requires an entire department? Is transportation security properly handled by the federal government or, as Paul argues, by the property owners whose interests are at stake? 

These are the sort of questions presidential candidates would try to answer if they were truly determined to get our fiscal house in order. 

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2011 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • If Ron Paul wants to economize||

    As Joseph Tainter took such pains to point out in The Collapse of Complex Societies, collapse is, above all, an economizing process.

  • Collapse is Economizing||

    White Indian say: Vote Ron Paul. Vote for Economizing. Vote for Collapse.

    Our fear of collapse is an irrational one; one that is projected onto us by our leaders, who truly do have something to fear. This is the same class of elites that are the drivers and architects of all the problems we have so far discussed (see thesis #10). Now that we can see that civilization did not give us medicine (see thesis #22), or knowledge (see thesis #23), or art (see thesis #24)–but it does give us illness (see thesis #21), makes our lives difficult, dangerous and unhealthy (see thesis #9), destroys the way of life to which we are most adapted (see thesis #7), and submits us to the unnecessary evil of hierarchy (see thesis #11)–the true nature of civilization should now be plain to see: it is the means by which elites maintain their power and privilege, at the cost of everyone else.

    Thesis #27: Collapse increases quality of life.
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/2.....y-of-life/

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Old news.
    "Though relatively harmless, there is something disturbing about these little adventures in New Age shamanism. They are symptomatic of a more general and potentially ominous recent phenomenon: a flight toward irrationality, a retreat to prescientific primitivism in an age that otherwise preens with scientific pride. ... They constitute a kind of a behavioral aftertaste, a ritualized residue of '60s psychedelia." -- Charles Krauthammer, Return of the Primitive, TIME, Jan. 29, 1996.

  • Civilization's Pyramid Power ||

    I don't think Joseph Tainter's analysis of the law of diminishing returns is related to pyramid power and astral travel -- which you dishonestly left out.

    But nice try at a smeer. Want to play again?

    We have had pyramid power, astral travel, channeling, tarot, crystal therapy, even homeopathy for decades now. They constitute a kind of a behavioral aftertaste, a ritualized residue of '60s psychedelia.

    THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE
    By Charles Krauthammer
    http://www.time.com/time/magaz.....31,00.html

  • Joe M||

    I have no idea what point you're even trying to make. Do you just google key words like "primitive" and "agriculture," and then copy/paste a chunk of whatever you find?

  • I have no idea||

    I have no idea what his point is either. Pyramidal power has nothing to do with primitivism, except to the Krauthammer.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Joe M,

    Just ignore him. White Imbecile, the girly-man who dreams of being like Grizzly Adams, would fall to his knees, crying like a little girl, for lack of food, if in his beloved "original affluent society."

    He's too much of a girly-man to fend for himself. Leave the pitiful girly-man be.

  • Reading is hard for you||

    Doesn't change his point in any way.

    Cry more.

  • WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!||

    Does that suit ya, Miss Nanny?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    My point is made very well in the first paragraph of the article. Placebo irrationality is old news. People took potions in the middle ages. A hundred years ago they took snake oil. Now they're taking shark cartilage. Your primitivist preaching is crap. There's nothing new in it. Cheering on collapse is cheering on demographic disaster - which you dishonestly leave out.

    If you wish to commit suicide on a rough-hewn stone altar, feel free. Don't expect me to join you.

  • some guy||

    Why do you keep hijacking threads here? You are clearly putting in a lot of effort, so you must have a reason. What is it?

  • Deregulation and less Statism||

    How is a clarion call for deregulation, free movement of free people, and less agricultural city-Statism hijacking anything?

    Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

  • tarran||

    She started posting under the name rather. She desperately craves attention. People rapidly figured out she was nuts. She started a blog called rctl (Rather Crazy Than Libertarian). She also started posting under numerous handles like "Umm No" writing remarkably vapid, weirdly abusive comments - the persona that Episiarch calls "Anonopussy".

    People mocked her and started calling her 'rectal'. Then they started to ignore her more consistently.

    She couldn't stand being ignored, at least people responded to the anonopussy persona. So she decided to ramp up the argumentation, and came up with the 'White Indian' persona.

    Rahter's problem is that she is too crazy to hold a long intellectual conversation with. Like Fry's brain cobbling together an ersatz D brain wave, she is faking it, usually cutting and pasting other intellectuals' writings as her responses in the debates.

    Her commenting life is an arms race - finding new places to post to evade bans; using new handles to evade the Reasonable plug in.

    I predict she will stalk the board until (a) she finds something else to stalk, (b) she ends up in jail or hospitalized, or (c) she ends up dead.

    I personally think the White Indian persona is expressing her fantasy of paradise - a land of milk and honey where all her physical needs are met, without the bewildering rules that her damaged mind cannot internalize.

  • cynical||

    lulz

  • newshutz||

    Collapse is the economizing process that takes place when all others have failed.

  • It'll fail||

    Economizing civilizations collapse.

    Wait...news just in...the Sumerian city-State economized and was able to stabilize it's existence.

    Not really.

    Want to try another 20 civilizations that couldn't successfully economize? None have successfully economized.

  • Sam Grove||

    The Roman empire fell, there are still plenty of Italians.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Still a lot more that could be done but RP definitely threw down a gauntlet.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    "too many appear to believe that we can maintain a solid defense that is driven by budget choices, not strategic ones"

    I think we should all run our households the same way. I'm telling the wife to forget about the ground chuck, I want Beef Wellington on Fridays. And it has to be Kobe beef, none of that USDA prime crap. And I'm getting rid of the '96 Suburban. I'll take a loan out on a Lexus GX. Anything less will be bad for my image as a neighborhood superpower.

  • Brian Tracy||

    Your self-image is a key part of pour personality.

    What the hell, do you want to economize (collapse) and be like Ron Paul or White Indian?

  • Less that 5 MPH||

    Used Geo Prizm: $2000
    New Lexus GX: $58,040
    Gamboling about plain and forest: Priceless.

    The model American male devotes more than 1600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy. The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour.

    Ivan Illich on Cars
    http://ranprieur.com/readings/illichcars.html

  • some guy||

    Have you ever tried to walk 7500 miles in a year? While carrying groceries, furniture and other supplies? It's much easier to go 5 miles an hour in a car than on foot.

  • some guy||

    Oh, also there's room in my car for other people. We can all not walk together!

  • Got me convinced now.||

    At least you can drive to the hospital and sit in a bed.

    Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think
    by Patti Neighmond
    https://www.npr.org/2011/04/25/135575490/sitting-all-day-worse-for-you-than-you-might-think

  • some guy||

    Yes, not wanting to walk 7500 miles a year with 100 pounds on my back is the same as wanting to sit in a chair all day. Captain Strawman strikes again!

  • someguystrawman||

    How did your great grandmother ever get along without a car. LOL

    Because we had not yet turned America into an ugly carscape dotted by parking lagoons.

  • some guy||

    My great-grandmother got along just fine without a car. When she finally got one, she refused to give it up.

    You don't seem to understand that most people aren't happy with simply surviving. That is main problem with all your arguments here. I suggest you overcome that problem if you want anyone to ever take you seriously.

  • ##||

    My great grandmother had a horse and lived in an ugly horsescape dotted by hitching posts.

  • CE||

    She had to watch where she stepped, too.

  • Nate||

    Gee, and I thought horses were a time consuming endeavor.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Ever wonder why Grandmother was such a clean freak? And her mother and Grandmother? Draft animals were a nasty part of life. One city horse produces 15 to 30 pounds of manure per day, and there were 120,000 horses in NYC in 1908. Oh, plus urine.
    "The presence of so many horses constantly moving through the streets is a very serious matter. The vitiation of the air by the presence of so many animals is alone a sufficient reason for their removal, while the clogged condition of the streets impedes business, and involves the safety of life and limb." -- Carroll D. Wright, United States Commissioner of Labor, 1892

  • Joe M||

    Close, but it's more like already owning ten SUVs and bitching that you can't by an eleventh, you know, for patrolling the neighborhood.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You're right. If I didn't have that eleventh SUV, my neighborhood would go to hell in a handbasket. It's my moral duty to bring my principles to (and enforce them on) the unwashed masses down the street. I just can't achieve it without that last vehicle in my fleet.

  • Old Mexican||

    You'd cry like a baby without that SUV.

  • Almanian||

    I'll reply to Scruffy to try to keep my commitment not to engage White Troll:

    I don't know where you get your figures - 7500 miles average? I don't think so. Now, consider those of us on the end of the curve - try more than 50,000 miles a year, every year, for about 20 or 25 years in a row now. Then add the walking on top of that.

    A human being can't do 50,000 in a year in any scenario without machinery. I don't care how much gamboling you do.

    I know you'll have a vaguely-related response about the need to travel 50K miles - that's just another diversion from reality that I won't engage.

    You have fun hunting and gathering - and please watch out for everyone else's cars and trucks when you gambol into the streets.

  • someguystrawman||

    50,000 miles a year gets you exactly what?

    How did your great grandmother survive without going 50,000 miles a year?

    We'll reach the singularity when it takes driving 170,000 miles a year just to take care of the basic necessities of life! Libertarian paradise!

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi||

    The readers at Chicago Sun-Times like the way Jacob Sullum thinks.

  • DJF||

    When it comes to military spending the first thing that needs to be cut is all the defense treaties that require the US to come to the aid of other countries. It is no use cutting defense spending if you then get dragged into a war. The US politicians have run around the world for more the sixty years giving out defense guarantees and they need to be ended

  • ||

    The odd thing is, as seen in 'Adventures in Uganda', we don't need a treaty with the country. We just need to believe that the World wants and needs our violent police power.

    Why don't you believe in Global Police America? You suck dictator's dicks don't you? Why won't you believe?

  • #RonPaul #W.IN #Afterculture||

    A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for White Indian!

    Complex societies, it must be emphasized again, are recent in human history. Collapse then is not a fall to some primordial chaos, but a return to the normal human condition of lower complexity. The notion that collapse is uniformly a catastrophe is contradicted, moreover, by the present theory. To the extent that collapse is due to declining marginal returns on investment in complexity, it is an economizing process.

    ~The Collapse of Complex Societies
    Joseph Tainter
    Cambridge University Press

  • ||

    Yeah, that's gonna last until next year; then you're gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    That suggests that the act of economizing itself is the equivalent of total political and societal collapse. You didn't do too well in logic class, did you?

  • Ron Paul doesn't understand...||

    ...his economizing goes against civilization game theory, spelled out by the Prisoner's Dilemma.

    Civilization must grow or die. If a nation accepts the level it is already at, and lowers its intensity, you'll be out-competed by those who do increase their intensity and complexity, and become a resource for others.

  • Fluffy||

    So what you're saying is that the Soviets defeated the US in "real" history, and that we're living in a false reality that's kind of a collective dream?

    Thank you Philip K. Dick.

  • some guy||

    No, he's just ignoring the private sector. He's assuming that only government can increase our society's "intensity and complexity".

  • No, that's what Fluffy says...||

    ...and it makes no sense.

    Typical.

    The Soviets "economized" in military spending relatively compared to the US spending. Then collapsed.

    That's no Philip Dick dream.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    So how do you explain New Zealand?

  • How do you explain Andorra?||

  • Explain the Vatican, NOW...||

    ...or LOLKITTEH will make your argument invalid.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This is getting boring. What about Andorra? It isn't a collapsed society last time I checked. Certainly not devoid of modern civilization. What's your point?

  • Bored Injun||

    This is getting boring. What about New Zealand? It isn't a competing superpower last time I checked. Certainly not on the scale of the US or Soviet empires. What's your point?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Your argument against civilization extends well past just the superpowers. New Zealand avoided collapse by economizing in the 90's. Yet, amazingly, the vestiges of modern civilization remain.

  • ||

    His argument is fucking retarded.

    Claim x: Agriculture is bad.
    Reason A: Because people live in cities.

    Claim Y:Civilization is evil and can't last.

    Reason B: No civilization lasts.

    That's like claiming there's no point to living because no one is immortal.

    If you're going to claims about "civilization", you might want to quantify what a "civilization" is. IF you mean a State, then you'd have something akin to an argument. IF you said "society" or "people of the nation", empirical evidence would hold the exact opposite to be true.

  • The Agriculture City State....||

    ....is Civilization. It's the standard definition.

    That you must deny to maintain your fantasy that civilization is good, and the State is bad.

    Here's libertard "logic:"

    Agricultural City State Civilization is good.

    Agricultural City State Civilization is bad.

    LOL

    Got blank-out?

    The word civilization comes from the Latin civilis, meaning civil, related to the Latin civis, meaning citizen, and civitas, meaning city or city-state. [wiki|civilization]

  • ||

    Generally accepted definitions of loosely-defined terms isn't your specialty is it?

    WIKI:
    Civilization (or civilisation) is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally urbanized..

    Where's that "agriculture" part that you keep talking about? Because you're the only one saying that.

  • CE||

    ...his economizing goes against civilization game theory, spelled out by the Prisoner's Dilemma... Civilization must grow or die.

    Ron Paul's plan to cut government spending (all the way back to 2006 levels) will help the economy grow more than it would under the continued debt burden planned by Obama and Romney.

  • newshutz||

    Agriculture is a key part of the less complex societies that occur after collapse. Tainter was not talking about a return to hunter-gatherer societies, but societies with less hierarchy.

  • Tainter sitting on my lap||

    I've got Tainter's book on my lap. I wonder why Tainter has charts about average and marginal returns of agriculture, and how agriculture is an increased complexity in a society.

    "...deterioration or depletion of a resource base (usually agriculture)..." p. 44

    He wasn't talking about just less hierarchy.

  • an observer||

    SO, are you lying about that like you admitted to lying last night?

  • Lying Liars Lie Lyingly||

    Your argument is therefore invalid.

  • newshutz||

    All of the cases that Tainter used for examples retained agricultural after collapse.

    All of them.

    No exceptions.

    If you really understood Tainter's book you would know that.

  • $6M RoboTorso||

    Herc, you can come back if you drive White Indian away.

  • White Indian counts coup...||

    ...on pathetic beggars.

  • newshutz||

    Tainter's book is great, but it does not say what WI thinks it says.

  • you can always hope so||

  • Rich||

    Paul is "a longtime critic of federal spending not authorized by the Constitution"—a description that applies to sadly few members of Congress, all of whom take an oath to respect the limits imposed on the federal government by the document that created it.

    It appears the mindset of most congresscreatures is something like: "Law, even the so-called Supreme Law of the Land, is for *little* people -- and *we* are better than that. Surely The Wealthiest and Best Nation on Earth™ can, indeed, *must* go beyond the arbitrary restrictions imposed by eighteenth-century farmers."

    Good essay, Jacob.

  • ||

    and eliminating five cabinet-level departments: Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Interior.

    God, this kind of language gives me a boner the size of Texas. Paul is right, why the fuck are we in South Korea anymore?

  • Tim||

    To keep Pakistani tribal warlords from moving in.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Crossbreeding?

  • ||

    The soldiers just can't get enough of that kim chee.

  • ||

    Because they love us long time joe

  • Military-Industrial Complex||

    Because.

  • Fluffy||

    The entire argument that the Paul budget would lead to "collapse" is based on a statistical lie or trick - the fact that government spending is included in GDP.

    That means that any time government spending is cut, people can point to the nominal reduction in GDP and cry out "Recession! Depression! Collapse!"

    But not all spending is created equal. If we don't want that spending anymore, treating its subtraction as a harm to the economy as a whole, and not just to the beneficiaries of the spending, is a flawed analysis.

    If in 1944 the Nazis had closed all their concentration camps and discharged every member of the SS and the Einsatzgruppen, they would have taken a significant hit to nominal GDP, because they would have been subtracting all those torturer salaries, cattle car bookings, Zyklon B purchases, and medical experimentation expenses from the government spending column of their GDP. Would this have been a major loss to their society? Would Keynesian newspapermen have written long, tear-stained articles about the plight of prison camp guards out on unemployment, and how the reduction in demand caused by the absence of their salaries was leaving us "all" worse off?

    Sorry about the Godwining, but if the government expenditures we're talking about aren't adding to the productive economy, they're either a net negative to the real wealth of the non-government-employee class, or they're mere shuffling of demand from one sector to another. If the Paul plan were enacted, there would be short-term spillover effects from reduced demand from government employees and transfer payment recipients, perhaps - but as Keynes went to great pains to argue, the rest of the economy can cauterize those wounds and function quite nicely without their participation.

  • Fluffy's statistical lies||

    statistical lie or trick - the fact that government spending is included in GDP.

    Hell, even the Heritage Foundation counts government spending as part of the GDP.

    The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal calculates 39% of government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP.)

    No lie.

  • some guy||

    How does this make Fluffy a liar? Is he associated with the Heritage Foundation in any way?

  • Turning Tricks||

    Fluffy claims it is a "statistical lie or trick" to say that "government spending is included in GDP."

    It's not a "trick." Everybody figures in government spending into GDP. Heritage. War Street Journal. Daily Kos. The Gummit. Eveybody except Fluffy, I guess.

  • some guy||

    A drop in GDP is always used as an excuse to increase government spending. Including government spending in GDP pretty much guarantees that government spending will never decrease. That's the trick. The lie is that all spending is created equal.

    It's not a "trick." Everybody figures in government spending into GDP. Heritage. War Street Journal. Daily Kos. The Gummit.

    A trick is still a trick, especially when all the powerful people are in on it, and many of the powerless people are taken in by it.

    Also: Why do you keep hijacking these threads? You must have a reason for putting in all this effort. I would like to hear it.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I find their research useful, and them an occasional ally. I'm not aware of the Heritage Foundation being particularly libertarian. Why is it being held up to us like we're a bunch of dyed-in-the-wool conservatives?

    As I understand it, government spending is included in GDP because it displaces other production. And yes, using it as a panic button item is a trick. Cut government spending and it becomes available for real productivity.

  • an observer||

    "Everybody figures in government spending into GDP. "

    "It's not a "trick." "

    It is qiote possible to be both, logic apparently is beyond your small intellect.

  • qiote possible||

    Ok, if you say so.

  • Dylan||

    The trick is that people act like GDP measures "gross domestic product" i.e. how much wealth a nation produces. But it doesn't. It measures how much a nation spends.

  • Joe M||

    The problem is that the way GDP is calculated is total bullshit.

  • Tim||

    Bullshit is the problem, always has been.

  • Bull Puckey||

    The problem is that the way [civilization's benefits] is calculated is total bullshit.

    [fixed]

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You're rather energetic this morning.

    If you civilization is so bad, why do you own a computer and participate in these forums which are obviously a product of modern civilized society? Certainly the development of computers would not have be possible without modern agriculture and factories.

    I'm going to take a guess and say that you're not out hunting for berries or wild game while you're composing your posts.

  • Backatcha||

    If you think taxes and government is so bad, why do you drive on roads and collect Social Security which are obviously a product of modern social democracy?

    I'm going to take a guess and say that you're not defying the IRS while composing your libertarian posts.

  • some guy||

    When did Scruffy Nerfherder say he was against all taxes and all government? Quit hitting the strawman. He's had enough!

  • the strawman||

    I really have.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Primarily because I know I would starve if I didn't drive on the roads to get to my business. I don't think roads should be abolished, just that the manner of development and maintenance should be changed.

    I can certainly decry the IRS while not outright defying them, since that would result in much lower living standard for my family while I rot in jail. I wouldn't work for them. Is that hypocritical? Probably.

    I only pay into SS, probably will never collect a dime from it.

    I've answered your questions. Now you consistently decry civilization, yet you use the products of and participate in the most modern forms of civilized culture to advocate for the end of the same. It begs the question of why.

  • Civilization is a prison||

    There are only a few marginal pieces of land that haven't been invaded and occupied by civilization.

    Hence, it is totally impossible to live the old lifeways of "hunting for berries or wild game."

    And you know that.

    Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plain?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    "Hence, it is totally impossible to live the old lifeways of "hunting for berries or wild game.""

    There's always the African Bush. I imagine you can get pretty close to the ideal there.

  • You want some African Bush?||

    It's disappearing, as anthropology has documented.

    Still, why only marginal land have freedom of movement without government regulation?

    Are libertarians for freedom only on the moon? LOL

  • the strawman||

    you said "Still, why only marginal land have freedom of movement without government regulation?"

    In response to

    "Hence, it is totally impossible to live the old lifeways of "hunting for berries or wild game.""

    There's always the African Bush. I imagine you can get pretty close to the ideal there.

    You were being called out for lying about available land, no one made any other point.

    Still bashing the shit out of me....

  • the strawman||

    "Hence, it is totally impossible to live the old lifeways of "hunting for berries or wild game.""

    Then why are there societies still doing it asshole?

  • Where?||

    Assholio strawman, civilization has invaded and occupied all but a tiny sliver of marginal land (and even those "uncontacted" peoples are being slaughtered) and placed the earth under heavy agricultural city-STATIST regulation.

    But why shouldn't the whole earth be free of regulation?

    It's funny you idiotic libertarians are so against freedom of movement.

    Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

  • the strawman||

    "Where?"

    The Amazon fuckwit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncontacted_peoples

    You fail.

  • an observer||

    You know he'll respond with some off topic straw man stupidity, because the mental illness he has.

    Even if he is provably wrong.

  • Libertarian Neo-Cons ||

    Weird how Libertarians demand somebody who wants freedom move out of the country.

    Just like a neo-con.

  • some guy||

    Weird how White Indian demands that everyone else on earth drastically alter their own happy lifestyles and risk disease, starvation and exposure just so he can be "free" to "gambol about plain and forest."

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Thank you. He wants to kill -- or at best enslave -- the vast majority so he can skip/hop/frisk/caper/cavort/jump/frolic in the Amazon. I know about the Amazon. I camped for two weeks in the rain forest with minimal supplies.
    As much as I enjoy natural places I won't be going back. Got a nasty rash there that took specialists months to cure.

  • Joe M||

    Pretty awesome that WI was literally arguing with the strawman.

  • Hey, White Idiot||

    "Impossible" - you said it yourself. Therefore, nonsense to discuss.

    STFU and go away.

  • Turnabout is fair play||

    Weird how Libertarians demands that everyone else on earth drastically alter their own happy lifestyles and risk disease, starvation and exposure just so he can be "free."

  • robc||

    Bullshit, you can gambol if you want. We have suggested you go off and do it, but you wont.

  • ||

    Horseshit. Come out to Montana, brother. Less than 30% of the state is private property, with large (3.5 million acres) sections designated as wilderness, or (6-7 million acres) at least roadless. Strip off your corporate "slave" clothes, fashion a spear, and head on in. Killing a few out of season deer or elk may be technically illegal, but it's very unlikely that FWP has the desire or resources to chase you, let alone catch you.

    Just don't try to "acquire" a wife who might be jogging along a mountain trail, or mail explosives to anyone, and I guarantee that you will be free to "gambol" for as long as you live.

  • squarooticus||

    Sorry about the Godwining


    Duh, Godwinning.

  • ||

    But not all spending is created equal

    Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, if the government doesn't take money from its citizen to buy, say, an M1 Abrams tank, those citizens might have the temerity to spend it on what THEY want. And they might waste it on a Britney Spear mp3 or tickets to a Detroit Lions game. The government know better where to spend the money.

    Secondly, there is the issue of velocity. It seems to me the velocity of a dollar spent on military shit is quite low. I.e., you can't buy a used M1 Abrams tanks or a Bradley fighting vehicle. I don't know how velocity is connected to GDP, but it seems to me that a dollar spent by one of us little people gets a lot more bang for the buck, if you will, than one spent by the feds.

  • ||

    MULTIPLIER EFFECT!?!

  • CE||

    You've partially identified the problem, but increased spending by the federal government doesn't take money away from the citizens, at least not right away. The government just borrows more, and increases future tax burdens.

    The problem is counting total current spending (including govt spending) as some sort of indicator of the health of the economy. Any dynamic system needs kinetic and potential energy. If you're just measuring kinetic energy and calling a higher number better, you're missing something rather important about the sustainability and continued operation of the system going forward.

  • ||

    Paul's plan is an acceptance of reality, which is harsh. All other plans are based on denying reality and creating a world we don't live in, hoping that somehow they'll become real.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Exactly.

  • Name Nomad||

    Boop! It's nine o'clock. Do you know where your morning links are?

  • ||

    Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns that "indiscriminate cuts" would cause "potentially irrevocable wounds to our national security." Howard McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, complains that "too many appear to believe that we can maintain a solid defense that is driven by budget choices, not strategic ones."

    Is it just my imagination, or are these two clowns stating unequivocally that they are simply not qualified for their jobs? After all, the job of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs should include being able to qualitatively analyze programs under his authority.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The potentially irrevocable wounds are to their personal egos and ambitions to build an even bigger military with more fingers reaching into every aspect of society.

  • TrickyVic||

    ""After all, the job of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs should include being able to qualitatively analyze programs under his authority.""

    It also includes keeping their old military buddies employed by giving them defense contractor business.

  • ||

    And I'm getting rid of the '96 Suburban. I'll take a loan out on a Lexus GX. Anything less will be bad for my image as a neighborhood superpower.

    Don't forget the gold-plated desert Eagle.

  • ||

    point five oh

  • ||

    Would Keynesian newspapermen have written long, tear-stained articles about the plight of prison camp guards out on unemployment, and how the reduction in demand caused by the absence of their salaries was leaving us "all" worse off?

    Nice.

    Also.... yup.

  • ||

    Ron Paul is a foreign policy loon. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, wants a 5'2", 76-year old fruitbat who can't tell our allies from our enemies near the 'button'. Does Ron Paul have his name attached to ANY legislation of any kind that's ever been passed? Sorry, but the Alex Jones crowd needs to stay right where it is, on the fringes, like Paul himself.

  • ||

    right, because I keep forgetting that this is a contest based on hair, smiles and soothing words, not which policies would best fix our problems.

    Shoo troll, come back with something original.

  • deathportal||

    Ron Paul is the loon? I watched that debate last night and heard Rick Santorum say he wouldn't cut a single penny from the military budget. I heard Michele Bachmann say, literally, "WE DON'T NEGOTIATE." Not "We don't negotiate with terrorists," just "we don't negotiate." THOSE two are loons, and I'm not convinced that Cain, Gingrich, Perry, or Romney have anything to offer other than the Bush doctrine...maybe we ought to be able to apply for dual citizenship with Israel since they all think we should fork over however much money they want because they're our "friends."

  • some guy||

    The button? Ron Paul would never go near the button. You should be comforted by that!

  • sevo||

    "Does Ron Paul have his name attached to ANY legislation of any kind that's ever been passed?"

    Oh, NOES!
    RP hasn't passed any 'free shit for my buds' legislation!
    How could anyone favor such a tightwad?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Correct. As I've pointed out to statists before, the fed gummit borrows .40 of every dollar it spends. When it gets to 1.00 of every dollar it spends, we'll see who is right.

  • CE||

    The bill to audit the fed, for one.

    He's proposed dozens of sensible and practical liberty-enhancing bills through the years. The fact that only small numbers of Congressmen have signed on to them is an indictment of them, not Ron Paul.

  • BRM||

    Questions:

    If the Dept of the Interior manages the mass of federal land west of Texas, where the fed owns up to 95% of the surface area of many states, and the national park system, and the management of native american reservations/treaties, then who will take these over once the Dept of the Interior is gone?

    And how will the BIA, BLM, or the NPS be any cheaper as part of some other department?

  • ||

    You wrap up the departments under a different secretary (like the treasury) and simplify the heirarchy.

    The fed could also give the lands to the states to manage and get out of the whole landowner business. They suck at it anyway (if you've ever dealt with the BLM, they are so poorly staffed and bureaucratic, its almost impossible to get work done on federal land ever).

  • sevo||

    Or they could sell the damn land t the highest bidder and go find a job.

  • ||

    Good question. DOI also handles the rogue bureau from FDR, Bureau of Reclamation. Getting rid of the Bureau of Reclamation would be great but unfortunately they're not our biatch to kick-to-the-curb. It's the other way around and we (west of the Miss. river) are their biatch.

  • BRM||

    Definitely agree that west of the Miss., the Fed rapidly turns into an occupation force. And, frequently a hostile one at that.

    Would be happy to see the DOI done away with, but we will still need some hierarchy in the other departments to handle the things we can't get rid of. Thus we will not really save that much by ending it.

    I would really like to see the Fed regionalized. The BIA should be HQ'd in Albuquerque. The BLM should be HQ'd in Las Vegas. Dept of Ag should be HQ'd in Omaha. All of these cities are far closer to the matters at hand so the hierarchy could be collapsed organically. If your office is in DC and your work is in NM, you either travel a lot or you need to hire a layer of people to work for you in NM to report up to you. If your office is in ABQ, then you don't.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Collapse also increases complexity. Folding gave us origami.

    But seriously, life is far more complex on your own than as a part of a operating society. Imagine covering your everyday needs without benefit of an operating economy. Air, light and sleep are pretty much "gimmes" where I live. We get more rain than Seattle, so water is plentiful so long as you treat for typical pathogens (see below). With all that water, hygiene isn't too tough either. That leaves shelter, heat, food, and sanitation.

    Shelter and heat are easy enough by themselves, together they kill and injure several times more people than all natural disasters combined. Modern smoke detectors and better heating and electrical systems have reduced this problem, but cooking fires are on the rise. Without electricity, we would have to return to cooking outside the home. That's pleasant enough during BBQ weather, but cold, precipitation or even a stiff wind can make that get old fast.

    No doubt "White Indian" thinks "nature will provide" his food. Wild edibles will fill his neighborhood and deer will present their throats for slitting. Good luck with playing hunter-gatherer. You'll need a minimum of 250 acres, maybe ten times that depending where you live. Seen that kind of space around you? (Especially with everyone else having the same idea where to go!)

    That leaves sanitation, the source of some of the greatest horrors in the history of mankind. Just in the category of diarrhea there's Amebiasis, Buruli Ulcer, Campylobacter, Cholera, Cryptosporidiosis, Cyclosporiasis, Dracunculiasis, Escherichia coli, Fascioliasis, Giardiasis, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Norovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella, Schistosomiasis, Shigellosis and Typhoid Fever. Primitive people die of things that are only words to most of us.

  • ||

    So what we really need is really need is a war on shit?

  • Love Diseases of Civilization?||

    The data reviewed in preceding chapters suggest that prehistoric hunting and gathering populations would have been visited by FEWER INFECTIONS and suffered lower overall rates of parasitization than most other world populations...

    Health and the Rise of Civilization
    Mark Nathan Cohen
    Yale University Press
    http://www.primitivism.com/health-civilization.htm

  • some guy||

    I'm sure you have cited the authority on this issue haven't you? No other research need be considered....

  • Libertarians hate references||

  • Fluffy||

    They experienced fewer infections because their societies supported so few people that there was no one around to catch a disease FROM.

    If I exterminate all of humanity but me, I will live the rest of my life totally free from infectious disease.

    But that data point won't mean that I have improved the world.

    If I lock you in a 7 x 7 steel cage right now and leave you there the rest of your life, you will never get an STD. (Or, at least, you won't get any MORE STD's.) But that will not constitute an improvement of your situation.

  • ||

    "Giardiasis, ...only words to most of us" ---Live Free or Diet

    Yeah, I know that one from Pine Creek, just north of Bishop, CA ('93). Giardiasis is serious shit. For about four days, giardiasis is some real serious shit. Honest. I wore a diaper made out of visqueen. Lost about 15 pounds in 4 days. Live Free or Diet? With giardiasis you can do both. No fun, that giardiasis crapolla. All I did was brush my teeth with creek water and I got 4 days of hell. Got no pity. Got no respect. Just 4 days of pure stinky, smelly hell.

  • ||

    And why not abolish the Night Watch, er, Homeland Security?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Does reasonable work against WI? I'm over it. It's not that entertaining engaging the modern nomad wanna-be. Thought it might be an opportunity to hone some argumentative skills, but it's just a well-developed troll.

    waffles/pancakes, if that's one of your alter-egos again, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits or something like that

  • tarran||

    It does - sort of; It's a trivial thing to click the ignore button.

    At this point rather is using a different handle for every post in a desperate attempt to have people notice her.

    In the end, though, she is making a futile gesture: once a handle is ignored, it stays ignored, and people can hold civil conversations with each other that don't involve her. It frustrates her immensely, but there's nothing she can do about it.

  • cynical||

    I can see a fairly obvious counter-strategem.

  • sevo||

    "Does reasonable work against WI?"
    NO!
    WI is the classic troll. The supposed argument has been debunked more times than any of us have fingers.
    WI is here for attention; that's all. And if you keep giving it to WI s/he will continue to shit on the threads
    Vermin + food = vermin shit. WI is vermin shit. DO NOT FEED.

  • Does Logic work on Reason?||

    Does logic work against libertarian bullshit? I'm over it. It's not that entertaining engaging the pulp science fiction fantasy wannabees. Thought it might be an opportunity to hone some argumentative skills, but libertarianism is just a well-developed troll philosophy of government for me, and not for thee.

    How's that working out for you?

  • some guy||

    Why are you here? I seriously would like to know why you keep hijacking these threads.

    Do you enjoy trolling? Are you trying to convert us? Do you enjoy debates?

    Why are you here and why do you keep coming back?

  • robc||

    Do you enjoy trolling? Are you trying to convert us? Do you enjoy debates?

    Yes. No. No.

    Well, the 3rd is unclear, he refuses to engage in one.

  • some guy||

    Never mind. I just caught up to some of your responses above. I see now that you are in it for the trolling. You probably don't even believe what you're posting...

    Adios.

  • Deregulation is hijacking?||

    Since when is a call for deregulation, unrestricted movement of free people, and freedom hijacking?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: There is no "we",

    but libertarianism is just a well-developed troll philosophy of government for me, and not for thee.


    This tells me you have no clue of what Libertarianism is or stands for.

    You can say the exact same thing about socialism, communism, fascism or national-socialism: Government for me but not for thee. All those are anathema to liberty and property, the foundations of Libertarianism.

    Before coming here to gleefully showcase your ignorance, you would do better to learn a bit more about teh subject you want to opine on.

  • ||

    God save Ron Paul.

  • ||

    Another thread covered in pixelated diarrhea.

    Fucking banhammer. How does it work?

  • Joe M||

    The ignore button sees me through these troubled times.

  • ||

    White Indian and all of his dupes have seriously devalued this comment board.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Ignore it. That's what I do.

  • sevo||

    "White Indian and all of his dupes have seriously devalued this comment board."

    Only with the cooperation of those who continue to provide the attention WI craves.
    WI can put on the sandwich board and stand on the street corner; people do NOT engage such whackos.
    Instead, he shows up at places like this and GETS that attention. Hell, some people take his 'arguments; seriously and (repeatedly) debunk them!
    Do not do so. DO NOT FEED VERMIN AND YOU WON'T GET VERMIN SHIT.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: sevo,

    Ok, I have made this promise many times before and broken it, buit this time I mean it: I promise not to reply to the girly-man who fancies himself being Grizzly Adams but would cry like a little girl when his potential food source outruns his fat-ass if in his beloved "original affluent society."

  • ||

    Do not do so. DO NOT FEED VERMIN AND YOU WON'T GET VERMIN SHIT.

    It's too late, the board has been infected beyond rehabilitation.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Yeah. Sorry about that.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Imagine if we combined Paul's spending plan, the low marginal rates of Cain's 999 plan, and regulatory reform including the passage of the REINS act.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If the constitution were a living document, it would be mowing motherfuckers down by itself.

  • Realist||

    Paul's plan is excellent....therefore ....not gonna happen.

  • ||

    Perhaps if Mr. Paul were to practice what he preached he would earn a little more respect.

    The man's integrigty is so miniscule, it would rattle around inside a gnat's @ss like a pebble in the Grand Canyon.

  • CE||

    You mean like not taking his Congressional pension, or returning his unused expense funds for his Congressional office each year?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Why do you feel his integrity is miniscule?

  • rex||

    hahahahahahaha oh man tyler nice joke :) There needs to be a sarcasm button . Everyone I know Tyler he is being sarcastic.

  • CE||

    A trillion dollars sounds like a lot, and it puts all the other "fiscally conservative" candidates on the hot seat to try to sound serious about deficit reduction in comparison to Ron Paul. But cutting a trillion dollars in federal spending only takes the budget back to FY2006 levels. How can that be radical? That's just pre-bailout spending levels. End the wars and we could cut even more.

    Yet no one in the media will ever mention that spending has increased by a trillion dollars in the past five years, and cutting it back to those levels should be a pretty reasonable idea.

    If Ron Paul had just said he would go back to the FY2006 budget directly, without ending any departments, he might have really confounded the liberals. I suppose that Social Security and Medicare "obligations" have increased since then, but those could be offset by ending the various wars Bush and Obama launched.

  • ||

    If Jacob Sullum is a senior editor, one would think he'd have at least a grasp of English grammar.

    These are the "sort" of questions? There is a difference between singular and plural, Mr. Sullum. These is plural. So then should be sorts.

  • ||

    I love Ron Paul but i have a question. This year the federal gov't spent approx 3.8T and brought 2.1T in revenue. Now if Paul cut 1.2 trillion in spending there would still be .5T dollar away from a balanced budget. If he did this an cut taxes it seems like revenue would also go down. How does this help the debt problem. It seems like we would be still adding debt. Hopefully, someone can help me out with this thanks

  • rex||

    I don't think he said that THIS would absolutely balance the budget. But it's the start and a helluva lot better then most of the alternatives is the point I think.

  • ||

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