Medicaid

Ron Paul Set to Unveil a $1 Trillion Budget Cut

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He'll cut you

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) today "will lay out a budget blueprint for deep and far-reaching cuts to federal spending, including the elimination of five cabinet-level departments and the drawdown of American troops fighting overseas," Politico is reporting. The $1 trillion in cuts aims to balance the budget within three years. Details:

Many of the ideas […] [include] tea party favorites like eliminating the departments of education and energy. But Paul goes further: he'll propose immediately freezing spending by numerous government agencies at 2006 levels, the last time Republicans had complete control of the federal budget, and drastically reducing spending elsewhere. The EPA would see a 30 percent cut, the Food and Drug Administration would see one of 40 percent and foreign aid would be zeroed out immediately. He'd also take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars.

Medicaid, the children's health insurance program, food stamps, family support programs and the children's nutrition program would all be block-granted to the states and removed from the mandatory spending column of the federal budget. Some functions of eliminated departments, such as Pell Grants, would be continued elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy.

B-b-b-b-ut -- we've already cut to the bone!

And in a noticeable nod to seniors during an election year when Social Security's become an issue within the Republican primary, the campaign says that plan "honors our promise to our seniors and veterans, while allowing young workers to opt out."

The federal workforce would be reduced by 10 percent, and the president's pay would be cut to $39,336 — a level that the Paul document notes is "approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker."

Paul would also make far-reaching changes to federal tax policy, reducing the top corporate income tax rate to 15 percent, eliminating capital gains and dividends taxes, and allowing for repatriation of overseas capital without tax penalties.

Whole thing here. Needless to say, this is quite different from politics as it is currently practiced.

Read Reason economics columnist Veronique de Rugy on how cutting spending is the most effective way to reduce deficits and debts, then check out her (and Nick Gillespie's) "19 Percent Solution" for bringing sanity back into federal budgeting.

Reason on Ron Paul here. Thanks to commenter Joe M for the link.

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  1. You can’t slim down the governmet,it make’s the econony roll .Think o of the children and the unemployed

    1. If there’s anything I don’t want, it’s a rolling econony caused by the governmet not thinking o the children

    2. Uh, sure thing, Michael. You’re Duke of Your Domain! A-#1!

      Honestly, the shit some people believe…

      1. I was being sacastic,I’d remove the EPA,DEA,ATF,,hHomeland Security,TSA,commerce,education,energy and cut defense by 50%.Then a flat tax at 15% for all income over 25,000,and eliminate with holding.

        1. Oh, well, then… you need to use some sort of “sarcasm” tag, dude.

          Not with you on the flat-tax part, though. Screw that, go to the FairTax.

          1. I think you need more coffee.

          2. That was freakin obvious sarcasm. He doesnt need a tag, you need a clue.

          3. Hey,I thouth it was obvious,sorry.On the fair tax.It’s a sale’s tax,right?If I’m wrong let me know.Why sould only business and the selfemployed colect and pay the taxes,and there are cost to that.Let’s keep most with skin in the game,and write their own check each year.

            1. It costs a retailer almost nothing to add another rate into their computers. Give the states 1% of the take to administer it and they’d be happy.

              1. There are accounting costs and making business responsible for all taxes,and the government enforcement that follows,is just plain wrong headed.Payimg withholding cost money.as will this.I do not understand why people do not want to write their own checks.It is eaiser,I guess,to have someone take care of you.

                1. Why cut a check, or four as I’m now doing, when I can simply let a retailer collect my taxes at each purchase? Do you have any idea the administrative costs of the income tax? It’s like thirty cents on the dollar.

                  1. For the FairTax/Flat Tax advocates: What happens to an individual if you do not pay said tax? If the response is that you would go to jail and/or have your assets seized, then I would denounce both plans as the initiation of force and therefore invalid.

                    1. Big fan of the 50 federal taxpayers approach myself (53 if you include the territories). Personally, with some minimal fed restrictions, this could provide the most equitable solution of all.

                  2. “force a retailer to collect,” I think you meant.

                    1. You say force, which it is. But they do provide compensation to the vendors for collecting state sales taxes.

      2. *ahem*

        That’s Duke of New York to you, bub. You either need more Snake Plissen or ATHF in your diet. Or both.

  2. A nice compromise plan.

    Not as much as I (or Paul) would really want to cut, but a well-played compromise.

    And it makes all the other GOP candidates look like pussies.

    1. Cue hyperventilating politcal hack…now!

      1. Libertarian, democratic or republican?

        Or all 3, for that matter?

  3. The EPA would see a 30 percent cut, the Food and Drug Administration would see one of 40 percent and foreign aid would be zeroed out immediately.

    FDA certification would have to become voluntary, or else I can see new medicines never making it to the sick. Cutting these departments and the budgets of others would not be enough. Overall, a substantial change in regulation would have to accompany it or else the reduction of regulators could be just as toxic to the country.

    1. I am sympathetic to your point, but I’m also wondering: perhaps the RP team intends to squeeze the FDA to change the way they approve things. That is, when your department gets a 40% cut, the message isn’t, “do what you were doing, but with less money,” the message is a very clear, “eliminate some of your services.”

    2. FDA certification would have to become voluntary

      Or return to the pre-1962 standards of safety only, not efficacy.

    3. How about the equivalent of an Underwriters’ Laboratories for drugs?

  4. With the large real increases in government spending over the last decade, why isn’t it feasible to start with a 10% across-the-board reduction in all department budgets (based on real 2011 spending). When everyone has to cut, it’s hard to claim special dispensation…then go after the departments and programs you want to eliminate entirely.

    1. Have the departments justify their budgets before congress, cut the ones least prepared to show what they provide.

    2. He should have just cut spending back to FY2005 levels, and balanced the budget immediately without any tax cuts. That would have been a serious plan, and much harder to argue against.

  5. We all know that the average person can’t tell the difference between fresh food and spoiled food.

    Without FDA inspectors the stores would put rancid mean on the shelf!

    Every can on the shelf would be bulging, every vegetable would be fuzzy with mold, every gallon of milk would be sour, it would be a nightmare!

    Without government inspectors food producers would try to kill us!

    1. I prefer my mean fresh.

    2. Without government inspectors how would we know which foods were Kosher?

    3. Do you think the number of human deaths would go up or down if we got rid of the FDA?

      Would you take responsibility for those deaths, or is it just not your concern, because some intangible measure of “freedom” has been attained?

      I wonder just how much money people would save by not paying the taxes to fund the FDA–but instead having to take the time to do their own inspections and then pay the occasional medical bill after being poisoned.

      1. “Tony|10.17.11 @ 11:35AM|#

        Do you think the number of human deaths would go up or down if we got rid of the FDA?”

        Down. Next question

        1. Either of you have a single rational explanation for why? Or is it just more antigovernment magical thinking?

          1. here

            The delay and large reduction in the total number of new drugs has had terrible consequences. It is difficult to estimate how many lives the post-1962 FDA controls have cost, but the number is likely to be substantial; Gieringer (1985) estimates the loss of life from delay alone to be in the hundreds of thousands (not to mention millions of patients who endured unnecessary morbidity). When we look back to the pre-1962 period, do we find anything like this tragedy? The historical record?decades of a relatively free market up to 1962?shows that voluntary institutions, the tort system, and the pre-1962 FDA succeeded in keeping unsafe drugs to a low level. The Elixir Sulfanilamide tragedy, in which 107 people died, was the worst of those decades. Every life lost is important, but the grisly comparison is necessary. The number of victims of Elixir Sulfanilamide tragedy and of all other drug tragedies prior to 1962 is very small compared to the death toll of the post-1962 FDA.

            1. Not to dismiss the argument out of hand, because I believe there are serious problems at the FDA (especially in the Bush administration when it became corrupted by industry influence), but from the other side is the argument that the FDA is too lax. That’s from the premier research body on health and medicine, under the national academy of sciences, and not a politically motivated think tank like the Independent Institute.

              As long as we don’t stop paying attention to deaths that might result from eliminating the FDA. I have the impression RP would not take responsibility.

              1. That is about safety AFTER approval. The point is deaths during the approval process far outweigh deaths from slack approval.

                If you read the research, you will see that the good deal is with the beta-blockers and other heart meds. Those delays KILLED 100s of thousands.

                There is just no way an unsafe drug can match those numbers.

              2. The FDA approval of drugs that have death and worse illness than the drug is treating as known side effects is very alarming to me.

                I know Ron Paul is very concerned about this as well. He knows that there are many well researched drugs waiting for approval that can’t get approved because of how crony capitalism has taken over the FDA. As it stands right now the FDA ought to change it’s name to Monsanto.

                The fact that Ron Paul is a physician ought to give you some confidence that he knows what is going on with the FDA

          2. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the FDA allows ammonia in our ground beef and there is an acceptable level of rat feces in all meat. Fuck off slaver.

      2. Do you think the number of human deaths would go up or down if we got rid of the FDA?

        Getting rid of the FDA would remove government barriers to bringing medicine to market, and thus save lives.

        Food producers and vendors have an obvious incentive to avoid selling food that will make people sick: Customers tend not to return to a place that made them sick.

        What would you do if you went to a store that had rancid food on the shelf? I don’t know about you, but I’d shop someplace else. So would most rational people. Next thing you know, that store is out of business because nobody wants to shop at a place that puts rancid food on the shelf.

        We don’t need food police.

        1. Customers tend not to return to a foodseller whose product kills them either. Magical market!!

          I don’t want to have to worry about every single restaurant or grocery store I go into. I don’t think you do either. Especially knowing that as businesses they’d cut corners unless forced not to. Having legally enforced standards doesn’t harm anyone’s freedom; it in fact greatly enhances freedom. I don’t want to spend all my time inspecting kitchens before I eat something, I want to go in to a place being reasonably sure I won’t die from their product. That is MORE freedom.

          The FDA is more complicated given the influence of pharma and such, but the principle of minimum standards still applies.

          1. You must have a really low opinion of people if you think that the only reason restaurants and groceries put forth an effort to not sicken or kill their customers is government regulation.

            Perhaps if you ran such a business you would knowingly sell food that would make people sick if the government didn’t tell you not to, and if so that’s beyond pathetic.

            1. I just know that statistically there would be more poisoning without legal standards. It makes absolutely no sense to believe otherwise. And you didn’t address the individual costs associated with this risk (having to inspect every new foodseller, or take your chances with getting sick every time you buy food).

              1. I just know that statistically there would be more poisoning without legal standards.

                I just know that businesses that sell food that makes people sick would not stay in business very long, regardless of legal standards.

                Sure there would be stupids like you who would give repeat business despite your getting sick from the food, but most people, even animals, are smarter than that.

              2. I just know

                “Well, there’s your problem, lady!”

                1. Above comment directed to Tony (obviously).

              3. You do understand that restaurants are subject to local health inspections, not the FDA, right?

              4. Of course we should have standards just not crony capitalism in a government ran agency.

                He wants to cut the budget to not eliminate the FDA. Maybe he would be cutting some of the corporate welfare that this agency dishes out.

                No way does Dr. Paul want food or drugs to become more unsafe than they already are.

          2. The FDA doesn’t go around inspecting every fucking restaurant and grocery store you fucking nitwit, that’s what city health inspectors are for.

            Sometimes I think you are just being an insufferable ass for the fuck of it.

            1. Excellent point, DesigNate.

            2. Also, most restaurants have at least some heads-up as to when said inspector will be around.

          3. Holy shit, Tony feels fine eating in a disgusting restaurant just because it has the government’s seal of approval.

        2. Plus I bet you foodsellers are perfectly fine with legal standards. Clarity is good for business.

          Of course once we abolish the FDA I somehow suspect we’d be in for tort reform next.

          1. A lack of legal standards is not a lack of standards.

            Maybe you are so stupid that you need someone from the government to tell you not to sell rotten meat, but most people aren’t that stupid.

            1. Even if most people were vigilant about selling and buying safe food, some wouldn’t be. We’d see an increase in problems, and you haven’t explain by what means anything else could possibly happen. It’s just minimum legal standards. It doesn’t cost society very much, and it’s much, much cheaper for individuals than the alternative.

              1. We’d see an increase in problems, and you haven’t explain by what means anything else could possibly happen.

                If you ordered food from a restaurant and the food was gross, what would you do?
                That happened to me on Saturday as a matter of fact. Despite all these magical rules and regulations, some really crappy food managed to slip through.
                I got my money back and I will never shop there again.
                Markets work.

                1. You’re right, even with regulations, sometimes people get sold bad food.

                  My question is what makes you think that would decrease in frequency if we got rid of the regulations?

                  1. Well since it isn’t the regulators that inspect the places we eat and buy food I wouldn’t expect that to change very much.

                  2. Just make selling spoiled food that sickens someone assault.

                    Problem solved.

                    The problem is that right now it’s not a crime to sell someone bad food. It’s only a crime to sell someone food without complying with the demands of the FDA.

                    So I can sell perfectly good food and be a criminal – and sell poison and be totally in a safe harbor.

                    1. The problem is that right now it’s not a crime to sell someone bad food. It’s only a crime to sell someone food without complying with the demands of the FDA.

                      Exactly.

                      Abolishing the FDA would make producers accountable directly to consumers, instead of to a government agency.

                  3. My question is what makes you think that would decrease in frequency if we got rid of the regulations?

                    I didn’t say that. Honestly, I don’t think there would make that much of a difference. I’ve got a lot of experience in restaurants, and only once have I ever seen a health inspector. I’ve seen places with crappy food shut down for lack of business, and places with great food expand.

                    Put out a good product and people will come back.
                    Sell crap and you find yourself without customers.

                    Markets work.

                    1. Has no one watched Kitchen Nightmares? All those places tend to be full of violations, yet have been running for months at a loss serving the shit.

                    2. Post-FDA abolition sarcasmic and Fluffy:

                      “We need tort reform to reduce the burden of frivolous lawsuits against food vendors!”

                    3. Well, I don’t favor standard tort reform, which usually consists of setting up artificial dollar amount limits on damages. I’m not even that big a fan of “loser pays”, although I concede that its advocates make a good argument.

                      I favor the elimination of punitive damages, which are an outrageous injustice, and I also favor liability reform, because I take issue with the way our current system finds liability in the first place – but I’d advocate for both of those things with or without the FDA repeal.

                      And didn’t you see that I advocated use of the criminal, and not the civil, law anyway?

                      If the justification for the existence of the FDA is “people will knowingly or recklessly sell poison food to consumers” just make that assault and/or murder.

                      Because as I said above, right now the system criminalizes the sale of PERFECTLY GOOD food to consumers, if it’s not sold in a bureaucratically-compliant way.

                      I don’t think you have the moral right to criminalize the sale of perfectly good food. Especially when you admit up front that your actual policy goal is to stop people from being sold BAD food. If that’s your policy goal, LEGISLATE THAT.

                    4. Because as I said above, right now the system criminalizes the sale of PERFECTLY GOOD food to consumers, if it’s not sold in a bureaucratically-compliant way.

                      Quite often rules are set up not to keep consumers safe, but to prevent competition.

                      The more rules one has to comply with before starting a business, the more expensive this business venture becomes.

                      The more expensive it is to start a business, the less likely it is that the business gets started.

                      That is how government creates jobs.

                    5. Adopt the English Rule.

              2. Meeting the minimum legal standards never removes one from liability.

      3. Do you think the number of human deaths would go up or down if we got rid of the FDA?

        Yes.

  6. How could President Obama be expected to live on only $39K a year?

    1. How could his wife afford to eat on only $30K a year?

      1. How could his wife afford to eat on only $30K a year week?

  7. This isn’t even a good start, Ron.

    I am disappoint.

    1. you haven’t even seen it yet!

      1. I’m a tough customer.

        Look, Paul’s plan sounds good, but like I said… it’s barely a good start. We’re MANY trillions in the shitter, y’know.

        1. deficit != debt

        2. To be fair, given Paul’s record, I suspect this is the palatable “Elect me” plan. The less palatable “Rape and strangle the government” plan will be instituted when he’s safely in office.

          Bet a President Paul would get impeached for trying to dismantle much of the government. Which would be insane, but I’d be surprised if he weren’t.

          1. But I doubt he would be removed by the Senate.

            1. Depends on how many goodies he tries to take away. Also depends on the type of Republicans who displaces the Democrats who lose their seats in 2012.

              1. Also depends on who the Veep is.

                1. Paul/Johnson Fuck Yeah!

                  1. Yes, kind of the reverse of the Biden defense. Instead of being scared by the VP’s stupidity, they’d be scared by the VP’s willingness to take away their goodies.

                    1. Paul/Bachmann.

          2. To hill conservatives, this is about as palatable as limburger cheese in a vinegar reduction.

  8. “…and the president’s pay would be cut to $39,336 ? a level that the Paul document notes is “approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker.”
    _
    this should be enacted for congress as well.

    1. Hey! You got one right! Good job!

      *claps*

      1. Obvious spoof. Way too coherent for Urine.

    2. Jesus, what are you aiming for?

      For people to stop trying to get into politics?

      *snicker*

  9. I’m sure this will get as far as all the other bills Ron Paul wrote.

    1. If he were chief executive he could do those things. After all, all these departments are part of the executive branch. An act of Congress is required to abrogate/delegate their Constitutional responsibilities to these departments, but no act is required for the president to close them.

      1. That is, at best, a dubious legal argument. If the Congress commands the Executive to, you know, execute the laws, then failing to do so (i.e. funding and staffing a Congressionally-mandated Department of Energy) is impeachable.

        Ron Paul won’t be a king, as much as the first picture kinda people would like that to happen.

        1. I wasn’t aware that one branch could command another.

          1. The president has the same power to interpret the meaning of what his office can do as any other branch does. If he chooses to take a narrow view of what is and isn’t constitutional, he can do so. The other branches can use their powers to force him to act, up to and including possible impeachment.

            1. It should also be noted that there is but one branch that has the power to remove members of the other two. Impeachment and removal is the ultimate power, as is the law-making power. Putting the power with “the people” was intentional (Sixteenth Amendment notwithstanding…)

          2. Then you need to brush up. When Congress passes a bill overturning a Supreme Court decision, what would you call that?

            1. The Supremes can still find the new bill unconstitutional.

            2. When Congress passes a bill overturning a Supreme Court decision, what would you call that?

              If the overturned decision is a Constitutional one, I call it unconstitutional.

              If the overturned decision is not a Constitutional one, I call it legislation.

              1. It should be noted, too, that all of the branches still tend to avoid constitutional crises.

          3. Congress has been determined to give the president that power with respect to the WOT.

        2. Of course its an impeachable act, but Marbury v Madison made clear that it is within the executives power.

        3. The issue of impoundment has never been so much as adjudicated at the most rudimentary level.

          We currently have no idea if the Congress has such a power over the Executive because no Executive has ever tried it and stuck with it all the way.

          Frankly, I think the Constitution is silent on the issue – for the simple reason that the Framers had no experience with a King who wanted to do LESS than the parliament would let him. The power of the purse was always seen as a restraint on the King. The idea of forcing the King to spend money would have been completely alien to their experience.

          1. Its almost exactly Marbury v Madison.

            Search and replace “judicial appointment” with “appropriated spending”.

          2. I thought a lot of the complaints in the DOI were about failures to act?

  10. Time until the first GOP candidate simply writes it off as “Crazy”?

    6 days. They’ll ignore it for as long as possible.

    1. Oh, I think it will be immediate – 1 day at most

      1. Exactly, I was thinking maybe 6 hours.

  11. Really, why should Paul get any media attention? He’s just another run-of-the-mill racist, rich-loving GOP candidate.

    Whatever Paul’s merits and failings, he’s putting a real plan to cut back government excess on the table. Almost no other candidate has the courage to do that, other than Gary Johnson.

    Strange, but it wasn’t very long ago that everyone seemed to agree that something had to be done about government spending and the debt. Nothing has improved, so why isn’t that the central issue?

    1. NRO calls this a “reality bomb” on the GOP field, which it really is. It is funny how moderate this plan is when compared to our problems. This is the minimum that needs to be done.

      1. I’m kind of surprised at how minimal this is. If anything it shows just how serious he is about getting elected. If he were just trying to shift the debate and make his views heard, he could have surely put forward a much more radical plan.

        1. Sadly this is a “radical” plan. He wants to be heard. But it definitely puts lie to the “Ron Paul is too crazy to win” bullshit. This is a plenty sane and serious proposal.

          1. The funny thing, I see this being taken a lot more seriously (and being given more attention) on non-libertarian sites than anything else Paul has done.

            If nothing else, this acts as a serious “driver” to the other GOP candidates. They’ve gotten away with being vague on their budget proposals up to now, but they may not be able to get away with it anymore.

            Yes, we all know that Congress would never approve 99.95% of this stuff, but it is important for the candidates to spell out more precisely what they actually want to do.

        2. This plan would cut more than double the yearly amount that anyone else in Congress or the WH has proposed doing. It’s pretty radical.

          1. It is radical when compared to the other plans. But that just shows how tame the other plans are. Driving 45 miles an hour is pretty radical when everyone else on the road is going 10.

          2. A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon it adds up…

          3. And the only one who has come up to even half this cut was…. Rand Paul.

  12. Only 1 trillion?

    Get real. Come back when you slim the Fed’s budget to 1 trillion.

  13. A $1.3 trillion deficit can only be fixed by cutting $1.3 trillion out of the budget. Just borrowing less is never going to turn the tables on the problem.

    1. Or cutting $1T and hoping revenue goes up $.3T (due to corporate tax cut?).

      Or, you know, the fact that is year 1 and he says its to get to balanced in year 3.

      One trillion is 77% of the deficit. That is a good start. Like I said above, a compromise budget plan.

      1. Good point about revenues going up. That’s the only thing I have against tax cuts; government may get even more money to interfere in our lives.

        1. A rising tide and all that.

    2. Often, the worst thing you can do to a stabbing victim is pull the knife out quickly.

      An immediate $1.3T cut is going to shock the system to the core. I know the resident anarchos would love to see that, but as for me I kind of like stability. We should definitely be agressive at cutting spending, but at least give it a couple of years to balance the budget.

      Luckily, the Euro crisis has probably given us the breathing room to do that as there’s really nothing else “safe” to invest in but the dollar now, so we don’t have to worry about being unable to borrow. (yet)

      1. Hand-wringing….COMMENCE!!!

        1. We’re not talking about trading a vorpal sword for a +11 axe here. The pain is real, the suffering is real, the despair is real, and the death is real.

          I apologize if my reality checks disrupt your debate club fun.

          1. The pain is real, the suffering is real, the despair is real, and the death is real.

            All of those are occuring now. All of those occur in “stable” situations. The level of “instability” that a $1.3T cut would cause wouldnt increase those at all, or not drastically, but would reduct them drastically in the long run.

            1. In fact, a 1.3T cut would probably be a good signal of future stability in the US, driving MORE jobs back.

            2. Balancing the budget in three years as opposed to immediately will also make little difference in the long run.

              The short-term costs of an immediate budget drawdown are huge and the long-term benefits are meager. I do agree we have to start making aggressive cuts now with a view of balancing in the next few years, not the “we have to reduce spending in 2030” crap that Orzag and et al are peddling.

              1. So you are okay with Paul’s $1T plan, but wouldnt be okay if it was $1.3T?

                Im kinda confused. Not sure how that extra 0.3T would be so destabilizing.

                Im fine with 3 years, I would prefer doing it in 1, but whatever, as I said its a good compromise. But Im not gonna freak out that $1.3T would be some giant destabilizing force that $1.0T wouldnt be.

      2. Im not an anarchist, but fuck stability.

        Hail Eris!

      3. It seems like he’s deliberately restraining the impact on the social safety net type programs and letting the bulk of it fall on regulatory agencies. The loss of employment may indeed shock the system, but loss of regulation may help the private sector absorb the losses more rapidly.

        1. “It seems like he’s deliberately restraining the impact on the social safety net type programs and letting the bulk of it fall on regulatory agencies.”

          Right it looks like the idea is to let the burden fall on trimming the public employee rolls. Now that’s going to have a big effect on said employees, but it’s also one of the few areas of the budget that should have relatively little effect on wider sectors of the economy.

          IOW, if you can cut $1 trillion without causing too much problems, that’s the area most likely to be able to do so.

          In any event the timing of the plan is important: this is a plan designed to win a Republican primary, and it’s hard to think that the Republican base is going to react negatively to these kinds of cuts. The folks outside that base may go apeshit over it, but they’re not the issue right now politically.

  14. Thanks to commenter Joe M for the link.

    I’m gonna keep working until I become beloved.

    1. I admire your stick-to-it-iveness.

    2. The only other guy who is in that category is Vennaman. I doubt you want to engage in the kind of depravity Vennaman engaged in to get the position.

      1. I want to bring dignity and honor to the title of beloved.

        1. Toni Morrison?

  15. THIS IS MADNESS! THE END OF THE FREE WORLD! GENOCIDE! HELL ON EARTH! FROGS RAINING FROM THE SKY! RIVERS RUNNING WITH BLOOD! CHILDREN KILLING AND EATING OLD PEOPLE IN THE STREETS! BANDS OF FERAL FEDERAL EX-EMPLOYEES LIVING OFF THE LAND!

    It’s a start.

    1. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!

      1. If you hadn’t said it, I would. Arguably Bill’s best line ever.

        1. Yes, it’s true…this man has no dick

    2. lol!

  16. I like the idea overall, but seriously?

    the president’s pay would be cut to $39,336 ? a level that the Paul document notes is “approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker.”

    That’s just a sop. $200K is barely an electron in the budget bucket. And frankly…difficult jobs that pay next to nothing are going to attract only people who plan to abuse them. The president should be paid well to avoid those problems.

    1. It is a total political sop. But it is a harmless one. I don’t see the big deal.

      1. Everything Ron Paul proposes is harmless because he’s not getting elected. That’s not the point.

        1. If you can’t survive the presidency (which is 90% stipend) on a $40,000/year, you’re doing it wrong.

          These days, presidents are expected to have atleast 1 book out (must be a bestseller for atleast a week) before you can seriously compete for te presidency.

          1. Book royalties, free housing, consulting fees after you leave the White House…remind me why the President even needs a salary?

            1. Oh, and there’s other perks, too. Like free transportation. And there’s a band playing every time you enter a room. And they give you a button which you can press if you want to blow up the world. And a bunker where you can hide if you don’t want to get blown up along with the world.

              1. I’ll go be President for 39,000 a year. Let me pack my stuff.

    2. Sure it’s a sop, but it shows he’s willing to tighten his own belt along with everyone else. And hey, over for years, that’s $1.44 million in savings right there.

    3. And frankly…difficult jobs that pay next to nothing are going to attract only people who plan to abuse them. The president should be paid well to avoid those problems.

      I didn’t even get to this part, which is hilarious. Were you joking here? You have to have been.

    4. That’s just a sop. $200K is barely an electron in the budget bucket.

      Who cares? Symbolism matters.

      What do you think the average person thinks of the fact the President has a 400,000 salary, private jets, private chefs, a giant house, huge parades, etc?

      1. That perception can be solved by a president being frugal and avoiding those lavish expenditures, and perhaps donating his salary to the treasury as Perot promised to do way back when.

        Writing a low salary into statute is dangerous.

        1. Tulpa, please – do you really think that John Huntsman spent 2.25 million dollars (h/t the Weegs nee WEIGAL!)to earn a 400,000 salary? It’s the power and post-Presidency opportunities that draws these people, not the salary.

          1. And reducing the salary is only going to exasturbate that perversion.

            Frankly, it might not be a bad idea to pay the prez $100M a year to ensure that all the good people want the job. It wouldn’t really affect the deficit.

            1. “exasturbate”: a portmanteau of “exacerbate” and “masturbate”? 🙂

        2. really!? OMG, think of all those $1/year CEO’s that are scraping by.

          1. Stock Options in the government?

            1. More like revenue options. The President gets to keep 1% of the budget surplus.

              1. That is a fucking brilliant idea! As long as there aren’t all kinds of accounting maneuvers to make it look like there’s a surplus when there isn’t.

      2. Symbolism matters

        Exactly.

        Who was the last president who needed the paycheck?

        Paul’s refusal of his congressional pension is a sop too, but its important to prove the point.

      3. The average person is probably OK with it, considering the president commands US armed forces. I don’t like the symbolism of paying the most powerful job in the world fry cook wages. It shows we don’t care about the position and we expect only independently wealthy people to take it on.

        1. First, only the independently wealthy ever get elected. Second, Presidents have lots of post office employment opportunities. Third, as pointed out above, the president doesn’t need money while in office.

          1. I thought we were talking about symbolism. A statutory wage of $40K would mean, symbolically and realistically, only wealthy people could possibly take the job on.

            1. What? You fucking tool that’s the median income. The median. There are well over a hundred million Americans who survive on 40,000 dollars a year.

              Fry cook wages? Jesus fucking christ you have no fucking idea what the real world is like do you?

        2. If you think fry cooks make forty grand you are very out of touch with reality.

          1. I know right more like $16,000 fry cooks usually have more than one job.

        3. It shows we don’t care about the position and we expect only independently wealthy people to take it on.

          And why should we? Heck, I only care about it because if Sean Hannity gets elected in 2020, and has a brain anneurysm (or stops taking his meds for 5 minutes) I could get thrown in Rape/Shank-Prison for something I commented on HIt’N’Run over a decade ago, let alone incinerated with my family by an Obama-Brand KillDrone 5000. No one should have that power. At best, the President should be like the chief ambassador to the world and that’s it. If the poisiton gets scaled back to that level, maybe perpetually shifting groups of people will stop worshipping each president like Jesus bringing us to the nastiest Coed fuck party in the universe. If that’s a negative, just ship me off to shanked already.

        4. The house, the car, the plane are still provided for free. $40k is just an allowance.

        5. Speaking for myself, i *don’t* care about the position, and i prefer no one at all takes a position in which he gets the right to dictate to me how to run my life, and forcing me to pay for the ‘privilege’.

      4. Yeah, I forgot about the free food. The White House is like Paul Prudhomme’s idea of public housing.

    5. Not that it changes your argument, but Clinton raised the presidential salary to $400K (for all presidents after him…i.e. GWB was the first to get that salary).

    6. Yes, but it could be an effective sop. I can’t count the number of times I see conservatives complaining about Congressional pay and benefits, as if it’s a significant part of the problem. “Know your marks’ stupid memes” seems like a good idea for any politician. When governing, your ideas are tested by reality. When campaigning, your ideas are tested by the “reality” your potential supporters inhabit.

    7. “And frankly…difficult jobs that pay next to nothing are going to attract only people who plan to abuse them.”

      This argument could rule if only there has been a president in recent memory that has NOT abused his power to do entirely unconstitutional things, despite being handsomely rewarded.

      Seriously. After Bush and Obama, how could a low salary the kind which Paul proposed attract anyone worse? Scumbags flock to power and money, not chicken feed.

  17. GENOCIDE!

  18. Lost_In_Translation|10.17.11 @ 11:19AM|#
    Have the departments justify their budgets before congress, cut the ones least prepared to show what they provide.

    At that level, most are already prepared out the wazoo to show they are essential.

    How about pop quizzing a whole bunch of Top. Men.? “Hello, Deputy Assistant Undersecretary for Miscellaneous Affairs. You’re live on C-SPAN. What exactly do you do for the taxpayer?”

    1. How about pop quizzing a whole bunch of Top. Men.? “Hello, Deputy Assistant Undersecretary for Miscellaneous Affairs. You’re live on C-SPAN. What exactly do you do for the taxpayer?”

      Yes!! At some point we’ll hear something to the effect of “I deal with the (engineers) bureaucrats so the (customers) taxpayers dont have to”

      1. So you deliver the forms to them?

        1. In triplicate, biotches!

    2. “I have people skills dammit! What the hell’s wrong with you people?”

  19. If this is taken seriously at all it may force the other candidates to play holier-than-thou with respect to cutting government, thus ensuring Barack Obama’s reelection. RP can play spoiler without even running third party!

    1. And Obama can campaign on the national bankruptcy followed by chaos and communism platform. Good luck with that.

      1. I somehow doubt that will be the strategy.

        1. That seems to be the strategy now. What is he doing? Running a ruinous deficit and appealing to and egging on communist protesters.

          1. Most Americans are on the side of the protesters. A large majority want to raise taxes on the rich. The Tea Party, on the other hand, is more despised than atheists and muslims in this country. Obama could do worse than picking winning issues.

            Yes it is a shame that Bush left Obama with a huge budget deficit. Why won’t your guys let anything reasonable be done about it?

            1. The Tea Party was millions of people in the entire country. This is a few hundred people in a few cities. You really do live in alternative reality if you think the protesters are anything but despised and laughed at by the majority of the country.

              Jesus Christ Tony even The Nation has come out against them.

            2. Yes it is a shame that Bush left Obama with a huge budget deficit. Why won’t your guys let anything reasonable be done about it?

              Our guys? The Democrats controlled the government, and extended the Bush tax cuts, renewed the Patriot Act, and increased spending even more.

              Why didn’t Obama govern like Clinton, with modest spending increases, or actually cut spending back to FY2008 pre-bailout levels? Huh?

              1. Because there was this major financial crisis thing that is one government cutback away from being a double-dip recession–also a major cause of budget deficits because of lost revenue, in addition to Bush’s tax cuts, wars, and pharma giveaway.

                1. There was a $400B deficit when Bush left office. Now it’s $1.3T. You do the math.

                    1. Math done.

                      1) So Obama’s not responsible for ANY spending in Iraq and Afghanistan?

                      2) Counting only Obama’s “new” policies is pretty much irrelevant when $1 trillion deficts are baked into the cake.

                      3) Real math:
                      1960 Federal spending, inflation-adjusted: $760 billion

                      2010 Federal spending: $3.5 trillion (this in an age, according to you, of massive government de-regulation)

                    2. When we’re playing the mindless partisan blame game, new policies would seem to be the relevant factor.

                    3. When we’re playing the mindless partisan blame game, new policies would seem to be the relevant factor.

                      Or, the relevant factor could be not continuing the policies of your predecessor.

                    4. God damn you are a hack Tony.

          2. While being the candidate of choice for the very people they claim to be fighting.

            If you look up “useful idiot” in the dictionary, they have a picture of OWS.

  20. Ron has to clearly explain to The American People? how eliminating the Dept. of Education actually plays out. Vast numbers of people cannot fathom how eliminating DoEd is other than crazy talk on the face of it.

    1. Step 1: A bunch of bureaucrats in Washington DC get laid off.

      Step 2: Local and state education continues as before, with less interference from Washington DC.

      Sounds pretty simple to me.

    2. He wants to eliminate education? How can he be against education? Madness!!!

    3. He just says “I’m trying to increase the percentage of the education budget spent on teaching” while omitting that he’s doing that by getting rid out of countless bureaucrats and administrators.

  21. I just read the comments over at NRO, and the response there is very favorable. Sounds like conservatives find the idea of serious budget cuts very appealing. Things could get interesting.

    How many questions do you think Paul will get about his budget proposal at tomorrow’s debate, compared to the amount of attention Cain’s 9-9-9 plan has gotten?

    1. Conservatives are going to freak at the defense cuts. They’re just seeing $1T per year in cuts and like the number, unaware of the details.

      1. So you think they are illiterate? They can read it just the same as you can. They clearly are not freaking out over the defense cuts or they would be freaking out. You just assume they are stupid because they are not living up to your stereotype. Sorry, life doesn’t always fit our prejudices.

        1. Never said they were illiterate, just that they probably skimmed it (like I often do with TL;DR worthy articles). I’d cream my pants if conservatives embraced a non-interventionist foreign policy. Well, if I were wearing any pants.

          1. Never said they were illiterate, just that they probably skimmed it (like I often do with TL;DR worthy articles)

            What evidence is there of this other than your prejudice in assuming they could never be reasonable about the defense budget?

            1. Their electoral and opinion leader choices, for one.

              1. In other words your prejudices. Sorry, but for the moment I am going to believe my lying eyes.

                1. I hope your lying eyes are truthful, but they’re probably not.

      2. All the news about this makes it clear his cuts include big cutting to military spending, e.g. “He’d also take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars.” from the quoted article, so they would already be freaking out.

      3. Not defense cuts, war cuts…

    2. A lot I think. Make Cain’s plan a 20 20 plan eliminating the VAT and combine it with Paul’s budget cuts and you would actually have a real plan to cut and reform government.

      1. But John, anybody supporting that is obviously some KKK-affiliated whack job. Don’t you know that cutting government = reinstating slavery?

    3. He’ll get a few, which he will handle well.

      I’d like to hear someone ask Cain about Phase 2 of his plan, which somehow never gets brought up: Fair Tax.

    4. Conservatives don’t like budget cuts. That’s just rhetoric. Most voters don’t like cuts either. They say they do, but they keep electing idiots who don’t cut. When is the last time a President actually REDUCED real federal spending?

      1. After WWII I think.

      2. Last time outlays were actually cut was 1955.

    5. except for the guy who thinks Iran is going to nuke us repeatedly, I was surprised at the level of favorable interest.

      1. And he was soundly refuted by a bunch of people.

  22. I liked the whole plan until the end:

    Paul would also make far-reaching changes to federal tax policy, reducing the top corporate income tax rate to 15 percent, eliminating capital gains and dividends taxes…

    Why cut corporate income tax rates? Why lower taxes on the wealthy, who make their income mostly from capital gains and dividends?

    He should have been a little more populist, and offered middle class tax cuts only, or just left tax rates where they are and balanced the budget sooner.

    1. Corporate taxes are double taxation anyhow. Their existences is based on economic illiteracy.

      As for eliminating capital gains and dividends, there’s a strong utilitarian argument for this based on strengthening the economy, which is why you see it in various tax reform proposals. But in my view, it loses on the fairness argument.

    2. Because he’s a free market libertarian, and not some class warfare waging hypocrite.

  23. Why respond to that power-worshipping lewinsky Tony? Please stop.

    Such an apologist for coercion and violence is either motivated by some psycho-sexual daddy problem, or is getting paid.

    1. Libertarians are for aggression too. They just whitewash it as “self-defense.”

      1. Yes, self-defense is synonymous with aggression. Except here on planet Earth, where words have meanings.

        1. Fail to ignore Pale Rider at your own peril.

    2. Libertarians think the ONLY thing governments should do is shoot people.

      But provide a safety net for the vulnerable? That’s just coddling laziness. Your problem is you think you are society’s daddies.

      1. But provide a safety net for the vulnerable?

        Well…by definition we have to shoot people to provide that as well. Oh, and around the monolithic Soviet-styled office we call it the “safety-net” or more appropriately, THE SNARE.

      2. Libertarians think the ONLY thing governments should do is shoot people.

        Progressives think that governments should do anything and everything, including shooting people.

      3. But provide a safety net for the vulnerable? That’s just coddling laziness. Your problem is you think you are society’s daddies.

        55% of federal spending goes towards social welfare programs, and the costs keep rising.

        Your problem is that you’re determined to make the rest of society suffer for your daddy issues.

        1. Costs are rising primarily because healthcare costs are rising. What do you propose to do about that? Nothing? Okay.

          1. Costs are rising primarily because healthcare costs are rising. What do you propose to do about that? Nothing? Okay.

            You’re proposing to put even more people on the system, which will hardly lower the final costs.

            College tuition’s rising at an even greater rate than healthcare costs, and I don’t hear you bitching about that.

      4. “Libertarians think the ONLY thing governments should do is shoot people.”

        What “libertarians” are you talking about, doofus?
        If anything, libertarians would like the government to do a whole lot less goddamn shooting, or tazing, or bombing, or assassinating…

    3. Simply stop arguing with the authority-apologizing toadies. When called on their toadyism and rationalizations for coercion, the lewinskies use the juvenile “everybody does it” defense to deflect. Power-worshippers want to project what is underneath – their cringing obsequiousness and daddy-clinging – onto others.

  24. Herman Cain, a proven liar at the debates, is an ex-Fed Chair, he’ll never eliminate the Fed (and his 9%+9%+9% plan = 27% tax rate as bad as Libs). Mitt equates corporations to people, killing his general election chances. Ron Paul is the only candidate that will end all the wars. Both Republicans and Democrats support endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here: http://www.amazon.com/America-…..1450257437

  25. This is an interesting series that I’ve been reading for months, and it’s the first time Ron Paul has placed in first:

    Iowa 2012 GOP Presidential Power Rankings

  26. Corruption Heartbreaker

  27. “Remember, Remember the 6th of November. The bail out, treason, and plot. I know of no reason why the bail out treason should ever be forgot!”

    ??? ????

    2 0 1 2

  28. I was wobbling back and forth between gary Johnson and Ron paul, but now I think I’ll vote for Paul. I’ll vote for you next time, Johnson. I think this election is too important though, and this will hopefully let Paul pull closer to Romney. His vagueness will hurt himewhen he’s next to Paul’s concrete plan.

  29. I don’t think many of the Ron Paul supporters really understand what he’s for. With this recent budget he’s proposing doing away with the department of the interior, which manages public land, like national park, national forests, BLM, etc… where you go camping, hunting, fishing, etc. Most americans that enjoy the great outdoors should be bothered by that. According to his ideology, these should be privatized, which would probably transfer ownership to the logging or fossil fuel industry, limiting our access.

    His budget also gets rid of the department that permits and regulates off-shore drilling. Unregulated drilling means more oil spills, including off the atlantic coast and off the pacific northwest coasts. What would happen to the NW salmon industry if we had a couple of those spills?

    Speaking of salmon, he also wants to get rid of the department that manages fish and wildlife, which would basically mean over-extraction of a lot of species to the point of extinction.

    In a lot of ways I like Ron Paul. He’s provocative. But I hope to god america is smart enough not to elect him.

    1. This is full of ignorance.

    2. Your problem, yet again, is the assumption that much of the dead weight can’t be cut without eliminating function.

      It’s always cheaper if done with fewer opposable digits resting in fewer anuses.

    3. This text seems vaguely familiar.

      Are you fucking copying and pasting other comments from other websites and passing them off as your own, Tony?

  30. well he sure topped Dr. Evil’s demands, eh?

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