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Our Guide to the Best Coverage of Ron Paul and His Record

Ron Paul’s tiny-government ideals have become increasingly relevant. Here’s our guide to some of the best reading on the Texas Congressman.

Republican presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul speaks at the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13, 2011, in Ames, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This is the latest installment in a series of reading guides on 2012 presidential candidates. Here are the other guides.

Three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul is consistently disregarded by the media, a point made recently by comedian Jon Stewart and confirmed by a Pew Research Center analysis of news coverage.

But the 76-year-old Texas Republican congressman's tiny-government ideals have become increasingly relevant to the national debate. And despite some eye-rolling by television anchors, there's been plenty of substantive coverage of Paul's ideals and track record. Here's our guide to some of the best reading on Ron Paul.

The basics:

The best place to start is a 2001 Texas Monthly profile by Sam Gwynne, who explains why Paul remained such a viable Republican congressional candidate despite his refusal to toe the party line.

Paul, an obstetrician who has delivered an estimated 4,000 babies, is a pro-life Libertarian who believes that much of the federal government is unconstitutional. (His son, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, is a U.S. senator and Tea Party favorite.)

Ron Paul's 2012 campaign website summarizes his policy views, which include abolishing the Federal Reserve and the IRS, eliminating income and capital-gains taxes and refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

On principle, Paul supports ending federal bans on marijuana, heroin, cocaine and prostitution, although he says he’s never used marijuana himself, and is so conservative in his personal life that he does not travel alone with women. He says on his website that he avoids discussing his Christian faith publicly because he wants “to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain.”

As a doctor, he would not accept Medicaid or Medicare funds, reportedly treating patients for free instead. (He has argued that Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional.) He does not believe members of Congress should receive pensions, so he has opted out of receiving his own.

As an Atlantic profile explains, Paul’s views are defined by his affinity to Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, who opposed central banking and argued that most problems with the economy result from government interference. Paul believes that the United States should return to the gold standard, and describes Aug. 15, 1971, when President Nixon ordered that U.S. dollars no longer be backed by gold, as a watershed moment that inspired him to begin his career in politics.

Overview of his record as a congressman:

The Texas Monthly profile explores the tension between Paul’s principled approach to politics and his ability to get things done in Washington. He earned the nickname “Dr. No” for his tendency to vote against bills with wide Republican or bipartisan support. He voted against the USA Patriot Act and the federal ban on same-sex marriage—and also against congressional gold medals for Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa. (“It’s easier to be generous with other people’s money,” he noted at the time, and suggested that if his fellow legislators wanted to award medals, they should contribute $100 each.)

You can see the highlights of his congressional voting record on his Washington Post profile page, or look through the full list of his votes at GovTrack.us.

A second must-read profile on Paul ran in The New York Times in 2007. It focuses on how Paul’s opposition to the Iraq War—and his staunch resistance to foreign wars in general—raised his profile and contributed to his crossover appeal.

Characterizing Ron Paul's supporters:

Paul’s strong views and the integrity of his political record have won him supporters from many different camps, and reporters often dismiss his followers as a mix of geeks, weirdos and conspiracy theorists.

As Matt Labash wrote in the Weekly Standard: “For me, the Ron Paul Revolution is like a cozy winter fire. From a distance, the crackling flames of individual liberty and free-thinking libertarianism take the chill off sterile two-party politics. But get too near the searing embers, and they will cause blistering, profuse sweating, and all-around general discomfort.”

While there’s plenty of journalistic snark on this issue, similar questions about Paul’s mixed group of supporters have come from within. The New York Times profile quoted a revealing 2007 email message in which the organizer of a Ron Paul meetup group in Pasadena, Calif., asked for advice from Paul’s campaign headquarters:

“We’re in a difficult position of working on a campaign that draws supporters from laterally opposing points of view, and we have the added bonus of attracting every wacko fringe group in the country. And in a Ron Paul Meetup many people will consider each other ‘wackos’ for their beliefs whether that is simply because they’re liberal, conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, evangelical Christian, etc. ... We absolutely must focus on Ron’s message only and put aside all other agendas, which anyone can save for the next ‘Star Trek’ convention or whatever.”

Scandals and controversy:

In 1992, several issues of Ron Paul’s newsletter published racist remarks attributed to him, including the lines: "Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the 'criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal;” and "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."

During the 1996 elections, these remarks were brought forward and Paul stood by them, saying they weren’t racist. But in 2001, he told Texas Monthly that he had not written those phrases but had been advised to take responsibility for the comments anyway—an explanation that Texas Monthly’s Sam Gwynne found largely credible.

Following the money and digging deeper:

Ron Paul’s campaign finance statements are available on OpenSecrets.org, and his financial statements and election results records are part of his Texas Tribune profile.

While campaign finance records tend to lag behind current figures, Paul’s fundraising has been modest so far: $5.7 million as of June 30, a little less than Michelle Bachmann, and far less than Mitt Romney, who has raised more than $18 million.

Ron Paul is the only person that can save America and the free world.
Much love, from New Zealand xoxo

America’s best Hope.

I wonder if you realize WorldLovin that if New Zealand operated under Ron Paul’s ideology, no assistance would have come to the aid of the victims of the Whitechurch quake or any other social services you enjoy.

Looking at his track record and his objectives, I honestly see no alternative but to vote for him. A politician that’s actually earned the American people’s trust who is campaigning for peace and liberty?

George Washington

Aug. 23, 2011, 1 p.m.

Ron Paul 2012

john wheat gibson, sr.

Aug. 23, 2011, 1:03 p.m.

Ron Paul’s economic views are naive.  He cannot even understand the obvious elementary principle that concentration of wealth is concentration of political power, and therefore power to limit the liberties of others.  The racist statements attributed to him are disgusting.

But none of that matters if the US continues its endless wars to facilitate the murder of Palestinians and theft of their land, against any country that might assist the resistance.  The endless wars for Israel are fast destroying the economy of the US, so until they are ended it does not matter how naive the President’s economic view are.  The endless wars for Israel are the pretext for destroying the civil rights of Americans, from the PATRIOT ACT, Military Commissions Act, Real ID Act, Antiterrorist Effective Death Penalty Act, to proposed legislation to outlaw any criticism of Israel’s continuing mass murder of Palestinians.  Since the wars are the root of our evils, every candidate who opposes their continuation deserves our support.  My money is going to Mike Gravel, not a nickel to Ron Paul, but I hope Paul’s antiwar message reaches every person in the US, despite ruling class efforts to discredit him.

sitswithpenguins

Aug. 23, 2011, 1:04 p.m.

I am drifting towards Ron Paul mainly because I believe that he provides the best opportunity for reforming America’s terrible colonial and corporatist foreign policy, while changing very little on the domestic side.
So as somebody on the progressive left, Basically, I see Ron Paul as bringing an end to the Iraq and Afghan war. Even if he threatens important social programs, I would rather protest and put pressure on him rather than Obama, with whom nothing can be saved anyway.

Good article thanks. It nicley captures my feelings that half of what he says is no nonsense common sense to me, but the other half is pure crazy.  Return to the gold standard? Really? Really? has he studied economics at all?

We’ve been seduced by soundbite messengers. It’s time we gave serious consideration to the message.

This is very good summation of Ron Paul’s positions.

A renegade employee who was fired wrote those racial remarks. Paul was remiss in not vetting the newsletter properly. Hence, ever the gentleman, he takes responsibility, but there is not an ounce of racism in Ron Paul.

He opposes the death penalty. He noted in an interview that on the race issue we have come a long way in the US, but the judicial system is the one area that needs attention. He is against the war on drugs for ideological reasons, but he also objects to the manner in which the laws are administered in the case of minorities. He has promised to pardon all non-violent drug offenders.

Most importantly, Ron Paul is fiercely anti-war and against all our military operations abroad. This is the one area where he will save us trillions of dollars, which he said he would apply to secure Social Security and Medicare. Even though he is opposed to government entitlement programs, he believes the government should keep its promises and commitments in terms of these programs. He will put an end to the practice of raiding the Trust funds to balance the budget.

Ron Paul is in a class of his own. He has never taken a trip abroad at the taxpayer’s expense. He has never voted for an unbalanced budget. Only Ron Paul can say that he stood between us and the $14 trillion debt burden, but alas, he stood alone. He has never taken money from special interests. His only interest is us, We the People. His 30-year track record is truly remarkable.

The political establishment and their lapdogs in the media hate him, because he exposes their hypocrisy, their deceit, their double-dealing and greed.

The true and only Peace Candidate: Ron Paul

Ron Paul 2012!

It’s nice that all of you men are able to overlook his anti-choice stance, because it isn’t YOUR bodies he’s wanting to control.

I’m so conflicted on this guy; some issues like his stance on Separation on Church and state; the abolition of the federal reserve and central banking and possibly a few others.  I’m not sure how I feel about his pro-life stance; especially since it kind of contradicts a lot of his own “hand off” ideology…So that one kind of has me thinking.  All in all he seems interesting and I am open to any candidate and not locked in anyone party per se so I think he is def. someone to take more serious since he does have some (and I stress the some here) good stances and idea’s.

You missed a lot of top notch material.
For instance the Young Americans for Freedom recentlry threw Ron Paul off its board of directors after 20 years because he would not disassociate himself from the 9-11 truthers.  Their statement is quite damning.

YAF: Ron Paul “Blames America for 9-11”

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3756/YAF-Ron-Paul-ldquoBlames-America-for-911rdquo.aspx

And then there is this complete rundown:

The Ron Paul Campaign and its Neo-Nazi Supporters

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/the_ron_paul_campaign_and_its.html

Albert,

While your defense of Dr. Paul is appreciated, it is misleading if not downright incorrect.  It’s widely believed that Lew Rockwell, not “a renegade employee” wrote those words as well as others that were later brought to light for their racist tone. This article over at Reason Magazine goes into the whole sordid affair in pretty good detail:

http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/16/who-wrote-ron-pauls-newsletter

It’s worth a close read.

If the GOP would stand behind Ron Paul I do believe we’d be looking at our next president. Special interest and pocket lining has to stop. We need a president with a Constitutional backbone and a congress that actually works for the people.

@Will Clark : You are right that the government wouldn’t spend the peoples money by sending it to assist other countries, but are wrong to say that no assistance would come to aid victims of natural disasters. This is given the fact that people donate to help people in other countries all the time. If you think about it it makes more sense for people to do so out of the kindness of their hearts then a government who is currently spending more then their GDP to create more debt/inflation by spending even more money. Let the people decide where their dollars go, not the government. I can think for myself, & I would have never have allowed the government to fund al-Qaeda in Lybia like it has.

Beth,

If you listen to what he says his position personally is that he is pro life. That said, his libertarian principals insist that government not force his morals or anyone else’s on the body politic. So what does he advocate? He advocates the federal government stay out of the issue, let state and local government determine if they want to legislate for or against. Is that really so objectionable?

John Wheat wrote “Ron Paul’s economic views are naive.  He cannot even understand the obvious elementary principle that concentration of wealth is concentration of political power, and therefore power to limit the liberties of others.  The racist statements attributed to him are disgusting.”

John you are naive not Paul. If you follow the links provided (mises.org) and learn a thing or two about Austrian economics you would soon realize more similarities than differences in your and Paul’s beliefs.

As far as the racist remarks there not his. Anyone whom has read his books listened to or read his hundreds of speeches on the floor of the house understand he doesn’t have a racist cell in him. He believe in individual liberty always. I believe that issue was resolved long ago and there is no reason to rehash it here. However, overall this article seems to be a service to those whom are curious about Paul and his policies and as to why Paul’s supporters are so strong, determined and will only be voting for Paul.

Agreed we need to stop killing people for resources. There is nothing “green” about the current administration. Green would be stop spending money to perpetuate our addiction to cheap oil (middle east wars etc.) I have no issues with Israel per say however believe like Paul she should stand on her own as should all the other middle east countries we give foreign aid to.

Peace out

Join the revolution!

@Bethy

Ron Paul’s position might save your life, if it were your mother who were considering aborting you, in your pre-natal existence.

Dr. Paul takes his pro-life position personally as a Christian, he is an OB-GYN who has delivered over 4000 babies (including my next door neighbor !), as well as a congressman.

Politically, his position is consistently Libertarian, which has that violence in any form - including against an unborn baby, is a moral wrong.

The only time violence is defensible is in legitimate self-defense. 

That is why he opposes our foreign wars of aggression, war is only justified when they meet the high standard of Just War Doctrine, which holds pre-emptive war (as America currenly does in Iraq & Afganastan) is wrong.

I am a conservative Christian (former NeoCon Republican) who has been gradually converted to hold a consistent Christian Libertarian worldview, by Dr. Paul’s influence since I met him in 1992.

Dr Paul holds that the most important ‘governments’ are not civil (political) but rather Self / Family / Church / Private Association, and if these are functioning & healthy, civil (State) government can be very limited & small.

This challenges the Left, who favors the ‘Welfare / Big Government State” and the Right, who favors the ‘Warfare / Corporate’ State.

We agree hold that the most sacred possession of all individuals is their Creator endowed right to Life, Liberty & Property - and that the sole purpose of civil government is to safeguard those rights - to prevent us from injuring one another, but to otherwise leave us alone.

These rights come from God, and are described quite definitively in the ‘Declaration of Independence’ , as flowing from ‘The Law’s of Nature & of Nature’s God”.

So, I hope this somewhat brief reply to this article & your coment helps lay out the case for why Dr. Paul is literally ‘re-setting the nature of the debate’ !

I love you Dr. Paul, coming from a democrat family and one that was never involved in politics, you changed all that for me.  I am going to campaign hard for you and persuade my family that you are the real deal.

I like the man, and the very fact that he stands by principles is a wonderful change of pace in politics, but (a) while he seems to understand a lot of problems in this country, his solutions strike me as naive and (b) the President has a limited amount of power, and his voice is probably more useful in the legislature.

Bethy, I sympathize, but the world isn’t one issue.  I mean, take an international flight and tell me how much control Obama is giving you over your body:  You have the option of having naked pictures taken or some thug can grope you.  Copyright and patent extensions are threatening to control what you’re allowed to think, too, just for good measure.

All things considered, since nobody is pushing pro-Life legislation, despite what the Planned Parenthood mailings say (and I’m a proud donor, by the way, before you claim I’m against their mission and exaggerating their message), it’s probably safe, no matter who’s in the White House.

What it really comes down to is who owns the fruits of your labor, the government or you? If you feel that big government is the winner and should be allowed to continue confiscating what you work for, vote for Perry, Romney or Bachman, or just keep Mr. Obama. If you believe that what you work for should belong first and foremost to yourself, then Dr. Ron Paul is the only real hope you have. To steal a line from an advertisement: “It’s my money and I want it NOW.”
His stance on abortion is straight forward: life begins at conception and should be protected but the constitution has no power to regulate this, it is a State issue.

“It’s nice that all of you men are able to overlook his anti-choice stance, because it isn’t YOUR bodies he’s wanting to control”

Bethy, he does not believe the Federal government has any say in what we do with our bodies, hence his opposition to the war on drugs. He does not want to control your body, your wages, your marriage preferences, nothing, zilch. He wants to restore our personal liberties enshrined in the Constitution.

However, as an obstetrician, his concern rightfully is to protect the lives of both the mother and the unborn child. He believes that the matter of abortion should be dealt with at state level, but realizes that it well nigh impossible to legislate on the matter. In the end it is a moral issue. The government cannot legislate morality is his argument. I can see how you could make this an issue, but it will have no impact on his term in the White House.

Because of his views on these matters, the Religious Right has never come out in support of Ron Paul. Instead the Religious Rights supports the warmongering pro-lifers. As Jon Stewart correctly said, the ones that believe life starts at conception and ends at our borders. He also does not supports the Religious Rights’ anti-gay marriage agenda.

President Obama is pro-choice and he told us he’d bring the troops home. The “perfect” candidate. Instead he has expanded the wars and the killing continues. I’d give Ron Paul, the obstetrician, the leeway to hold to his personal beliefs, which he does not want to impose on you, rather than to vote for a President who did not keep his solemn promise to us. Ron Paul, as Commander-in-Chief, WILL bring the troops home and stop the killing - 1.4 million Iraqis at the last count. He values life, hence his opposition to the death penalty, another issue on which many in the Religious Right part company with him.

Libertys Lover

Aug. 23, 2011, 2:21 p.m.

@ Dave RE: Gold Standard

First of all, a gold standard would ward off inflation and deficit spending. 

Second of all, Ron Paul does not want to force us back to the gold standard.  He wants to eliminate capital gains tax on gold and silver, and allow gold-backed currency to compete with “Federal” Reserve notes.  That way, people can decide which they would rather use.  Do you object to having a choice?

Nancy McGovern

Aug. 23, 2011, 2:22 p.m.

I am for half the things Ron Paul believes in and opposed to the other half. For years I was a loyal democrat…at this point I don’t even want to vote. But I am inspired by Ron Paul and will probably cast what might be called a negative vote. A vote against a corporation-owned government that has become increasingly oppressive to people in the US and around the world.

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 23, 2011, 2:29 p.m.

Congressman Dr. Paul,

I pray you will read this and take action on the following evidence that I discussed with your Washington office on Monday :

(1)  WFAA-TV in Dallas wrote :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

During the time period of the suicides AIG increased their sales of Workers Comp policies by rigging so many bids they were fined 1.6 billion dollars but no one was prosecuted !!!!

The Securities Exchange Commission wrote :

“AIG will pay in excess of $1.6 billion to resolve claims related to improper accounting, bid rigging and practices involving workers’ compensation funds.”

Obama and Bush’s DOL and DOJ Directors have seen this evidence but they will not lift one finger to investigate !!

(2)  The same deadly same crimes are occurring in heath care and disability cases !! Obama protects medical doctors paid by his campaign contributors at MetLife who ignore brain lesions, Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac conditions of many patients, and a foot a new mother broke in five places.

MetLife attacks multiple Psychological claimants !! Here’s a quote you can see at deadlyorganizedcrimes.blogspot.com

In the case of Brenda Zanny, U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen wrote :

“Metlife and its henchmen should appreciate that such conduct may itself precipitate the suicide death of a person who has placed implicit trust in their organization. This record is an open indictment of MetLife’s practices and treatment of the mentally-ill and long-term disability benefits.”

Metlife Executive Vice President James Lipscomb gave Obama $30,000 for his victory party.

On Page five of MetLife’s third Non Prosecution agreement you will see the signature of Mr. James Lipscomb as seen at obamacontributorsfelonies.blogspot.com

Prudential, and Unum insurance also received Non Prosecution agreements for bid rigging group health, disability, life and related policies.

Please remember AIG’s bid rigging in Workers Comp !!

Obama is allowing the same destruction of lives to be committed in five different types of insurance as seen at treasonevidence.blogspot.com

(3)  Similar crimes are also being committed against severely injured War Zone Contractors.

Here is a quote from an injured contractor who had his leg, toes and fingers blown off in a car bomb blast :

“The Sheriff repossessed my wheelchair because CNA Global Insurance stopped payment on the check that they issued to the suppliers and my life really started spiraling out of control”

This severely injured contractor also had his bed repossessed.

Here are quotes from a ProPublica.org article :

“Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”

“CNA withheld portions of the investigators’ findings when it submitted the claims to the Labor Department, court records show.”

The CNA insurance mentioned above also endangers injured workers !!

Here’s a quote from the WFAA series :

An on-the-job car wreck in 1992 totaled the livelihood and mobility of a man who depends on the companionship of his two parrots and daily doses of morphine and other medications to survive.

“I herniated three cervical discs; I have nerve damage in C4 through C7,” Sallee said “I have nerve damage in the lumbar disc that has caused me to lose internal functioning. My intestines don’t function.”

For eleven years, the injuries were covered by his insurance carrier, CNA. But one year ago, he received a rude holiday greeting.

“The insurance companies had doctors write peer reviews claiming I had no injuries,” he said.

(end of ProPublica quotes)

And then there are all the Non prosecution agreements. You can see a few at bidriggingandhealthcarefraud.blogspot.com

Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, I am one of thousands who struggle desperately to make it through every day because Obama and Bush (and the leaders of their administrations) sold their souls to Psychopath corporate leaders !!

I have volumes of evidence and contacts who can provide much more. I pray you will help and I pray God will help us all !!

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 23, 2011, 2:31 p.m.

Here’s a final quote about AIG written by ProPublica :

“Terry Marshall suffered back and hip injuries in May 2005 when he fell from the top of his truck while working for defense contractor KBR at a U.S. base in Iraq.

His hip shattered, he went through years of surgeries and rehabilitation. KBR’s workers compensation carrier, American International Group, faithfully paid Marshall’s medical bills and disability payments.

Then, this March, Marshall was surprised when AIG cut off his disability payments without warning. AIG told the Labor Dept. that Marshall had failed to attend a doctor’s appointment arranged by the firm

The problem? AIG itself had cancelled the appointment, according to an email Marshall received from his case manager”

Labor officials can recommend cases for prosecution to the Justice Department–but have only done so once in the past two decades, according to Labor officials.”

Dave,

Paul never said return to the gold standard the link the author posted to Paul’s official web sight confirms this. Why the media parrots inaccuracies I’m not sure. Here is what he says EXACTLY.

“TIME FOR SOUND MONEY

As President, Ron Paul will work for passage of comprehensive audit legislation, and he will also fight to legalize sound money so Americans will have alternatives to the Fed’s inflated paper money.

Ultimately, he will lead the charge to end the dishonest, immoral, and unconstitutional Federal Reserve System, enabling America to take a giant step toward economic security, financial responsibility, and lasting prosperity.”

What that means is competing currency of which may include gold or silver coins. Ultimately a gold backed currency is a good thing for people whom are frugal, read actually green, so there savings doesn’t continuously get eroded by inflationary monetary policy. Kind of the opposite of consumerism which is not green even if you buying “green products”.

Find “Money Master” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXt1cayx0hs on Utube for a quick lesson on the history of Central Banks and what they do.

Peace out

For the record, I appreciate the comments by Albert Mayer.

In fact, all of them are very good, and thanks to ProPublica for a pretty good overview of him & his message.

Truth be told, there are some things to love about Dr. Paul for both folks on the traditional Left & traditiona Right, especially when they’re concerned about excess government power - which swings from left to right with every election cycle, so we’re all threatened by it sooner or later.

I think power is about to swing back to a Natural Law perspective, in favor of the Individual, away from the collective.

Collectvism has been used to strip us of our individual rights & make us fight each other for no just cause.

That can only be a good thing for all citizens of good conscience.

But I agree with Albert, the Religious Right needs to get back in touch with the right Principles, stop glorifying civil government power (Jesus warning about ‘Ye cannot serve God & Mammon [political power], comes to mind).  And stop thinking it can advance God’s Kingdom by using the US Military - it’s for National Defense, not National Offense !

For anyone who has some evangelical / religious right friends, please read this very, very balanced statement of faith by Dr. Paul -

http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/statement-of-faith/

This is helpful as it shows Dr. Paul is NOT hostile to core Christian beliefs, but he questions the faulty premises many Christians hold.

Thank you,  David Alan / East Texas

@Bethy
I am not overlooking his pro-life choice. He believes the states, not the federal government, should decide for themselves the laws regarding such matters.
It is also very unlikely that even if he was elected president he would be able to change the current laws on abortion. It is required for a constitutional amendment to have 2/3 support in both houses, and then it would still need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states. So Roe vs Wade isn’t going anywhere.
But as a commander in chief he would have the power to withdraw our troops, and save lives of our man and women in uniform, as well as of uncounted civilians that are dying from our drone attacks.
IF you are a progressive voter, you should vote for Ron Paul in republican primaries, to focus the debate on ending our wars and the patriot act (Kucinich agrees).

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, and please feel free, as JohnKSmith did, to post links of useful articles you think we missed.

The wealthy will get richer and the poor and middle class will suffer greatly under a Ron Paul led government.  Without controls on the wealthy class in this country or taxes on capital gains and income, there would be no medicare, medicaid, social security.  We would soon be at the bottom of the list of nations in disparity between rich and poor rather than 64th.

Bethy, I would take Congressman Paul’s views on abortion with a grain of salt. Much of what he has said recently is bravado in an attempt to bolster his political standing.

From earlier statements, Ron Paul’s ideal goal would be to overturn Roe v. Wade, which mandates that abortion is a legally OK procedure at any point during pregnancy on a federal level. Though this is perhaps a step backwards in many eyes (mine included), all it relly serves is to place the responsibility of it’s legallity to the States (which is Paul’s stated objective).

Frankly, though I can’t get behind this point completely, it makes sense. This issue has obviously been divisive, without strong consensus on either side. And when an issue is that polarized, the more local the laws, the more likely that the people will be happy with the laws.

In all honesty, Ron Paul’s views are much milder in regards to pro-life than any other republican candidate.

Will Clark, American is the most generous and kindhearted people on this planet. They don’t need government programs to force them to take care of earthquake victims and the like.

When government comes between us and our generosity, with their assistance programs, they dehumanize our acts of kindness and charity. Paul Koerner, Cambridge-educated journalist at Huffington Post, wrote about this phenomenon - look it up. 

The generosity of Americans towards their fellow human beings are best illustrated by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

Every government program starts of with the best of intentions, but pretty soon it degenerates into a program for those who really need the help and for those who find loopholes in the system to freeload, the latter group three times the size of the former

The least of our problems in America are government assistance programs, over which Ron Paul would have little say. Our biggest problem is our trillion dollar a year defense and war expenditures, expenditures that actually protect New Zealand and a 100 other countries.

Yes, you should not want Ron Paul in the White House. Your part of the world would have to raise defense budgets to about 5% of GDP, kind of in line with what we are now paying to “police and protect the world.”

As Commander-in-Chief he has the power to end this military largesse that makes earthquake assistance look like one day’s petty cash expenditures at a small business.

If government expenditures and budget deficits create jobs, then no country in the world has ever seen the kind of spending and deficits that we have experienced during the past decade, and we have the highest unemployment rate in 50 years… maybe longer.

Now, if you want more wars, more money for the war profiteers, more money for special interests, more deficits, more debt, more stimulus spending, more welfare, more warfare, go for the establishment candidates.

Fact is (self-evident) all George Bush and Barack Obama’s horses and men could not get this Humpty Dumpty economy together again, despite record deficits, record borrowing, record stimulus spending, record money printing, yeah, even a record number of trillion dollar wars (Paul Krugman’s favorite means of stimulating the economy).

Time to look at other alternatives. The smaller the government, the greater the people’s prosperity. Incontrovertible truth. Ask the folks in Cuba and Venezuela about big government spending. This is not unique to Venezuela, as the Soviet Union, East Germany and North Korea taught us.

The same special interests that fund the political campaigns of Republicans also bankroll Democrats.

The two parties both espouse welfare and warfare; maybe in varied proportions, but in the end it’s a wash.

Regardless of who is in power, the war profiteers, the bankers and special interests continue to loot the Treasury through lucrative contracts, tax loopholes and a host of others means in which they enrich themselves as our expense - as you so lucidly point out.

Congress (except for Ron Paul) is utterly beholden to special interests. Both parties bequeathed $14 trillion of debt to us, our children and our grandchildren. Heaven help us when interest rates start to go up. Our current $200 billion interest bill could reach a trillion dollars.

We need to look up and see who bankrolls the campaigns of our Representatives in Congress. Big business, big corporations and their CEO’s who have Congress in their pockets and pig out at the $3 trillion budget trough. I would say that the two parties (two wings of the same bird of prey) have so utterly failed us that any alternative looks mightily attractive.

Ron Paul espouses individual liberties, freedom of choice, no government interference in the way we live, marry or die; no infringements on our privacy. This puts him solidly on the liberal side of the Democratic Party. He believes in free trade and free markets. This does not put them in camp of the Republicans, because Republicans are in bed with big government and want nothing to do with the one libertarian in Congress, Ron Paul. They banned him from their National Convention in 2008. George Bush campaigned for his opponent in a primary, unheard of interference at primary level.

Until we accept the fact that you have been duped by the media and by the political machines of both parties, we will continue to labor under the illusion that those in government care about us, although there might be an exception here or there on both sides of the isle, but they are powerless.

@Bethy and Dan Donovan:
I think you are confusing Ron Pauls personal beliefs with his political stances, particularly on the abortion topic. Ron Paul has made it very clear that he believes life begins at conception, and that he is pro-life. However, his political stance on abortion is to let the states set their own policies regarding abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school, and many other issues as well and that it is not an issue for the federal government. This allows the people to choose what they deem is the best course of action for their communities and states.

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 23, 2011, 3:51 p.m.

Hi Lois,

I did not post my full links in the comment I made earlier but I did let Congressman Paul’s office know about this story, my comments, and the links to deadly crimes Obama and Bush enabled.

I hope when you post a story about Obama’s campaign you will review my comment above and the links.

I believe everyone should know that Obama took $30,000 from Metlife Executive Vice President James Lipscomb and then allowed Lipscomb to sign MetLife’s third Non Prosecution agreement for bid rigging to increase sales of policies …

BUT when patients file claims on these policies MetLife has a history of paying doctors who ignore brain lesions, Multiple Sclerosis, and a foot a new mother broke in five places, as seen in the Judges quotes linked in my first comment.

At the same time Obama leads prayers on TV and says we should “expand our moral imaginations”

DOL and DOJ are allowing crimes that are so severe four Professors wrote quotes like these :

John Marshall Law School Professor Mark Debofsky wrote :

“empirical evidence is now available that shows insurers operating under ERISA have systematically engaged in the wrongful denial of claims. Cases of abusive benefit denials involving other disability insurers abound.”

This quote was written by Joseph Belth, Professor Emeritus for Insurance at Indiana University :

“They’ve turned Erisa on its head,”  “It was supposed to protect employees, and it’s being used to protect insurers.”

“The most important federal insurance regulation of the past generation is ERISA,” says Tom Baker, deputy dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. “If ever a law backfired for the public, ERISA is the perfect example.”

Here are quotes from Aaron Doyle, a professor of sociology and criminology at Carleton University :

“What those numbers don’t measure is the trauma survivors face when wrongfully denied. Most survivors don’t have the stamina and knowledge to file a lawsuit”

President Obama’s DOL and DOJ Directors did nothing after reading my psychologists reports that confirmed the trauma mentioned by Professor Doyle.

I accepted possible death from cancer, but when MetLife completely ignored my cancer claim and played legal games for six years (while they knew I often had no money for medical treatment) they destroyed my mind and my life !!

My Psychologist wrote :

“I have conceptualized the severe and cumulative stress as traumatizing”

“Mr. Schmittou is in desperate situation”

“His intense emotional misery is a daily struggle. His concentration and sleep are impaired. His thoughts and emotions are so troubled he describes feeling “like my brain is on fire. I think he struggles to express the fullness of his distress.”

You can see how MetLife is much worse than cancer by going to mypsychologistsreport.blogspot.com

I have had cancer burned from one eye and orbital surgery and bone by the brain removed from the other eye and socket. The comment I left earlier today is the most succinct summary of thousands of pages.

I keep posting because there are so many lives being destroyed, and when I filed the complaint that led to the indictment of State Senator John Ford the news media coverage of that story in Tennessee, and the public’s response is what caused the indictment. They were taking the complaint very lightly until the media and public became very involved.

My Congresswoman Republican Marsha Blackburn and my Senator Republican Lamar Alexander have also failed to take action, so hopefully and prayerfully Congressman Dr. Ron Paul and the media will help !!

He maybe a little loose in the head but he seems principled, which makes him a rare politico

Josh,

Ron Paul did not write it. So, what’s all this straw clutching about?

“He [Ron Paul] told CNN last week that he still has “no idea” who might have written inflammatory comments…”

Other, including you, speculate that it was Lew Rockwell, but nobody dare say it, because Rockwell denies it. So, to escape a defamation suit, Rockwell is the speculative target.

“Rockwell has denied responsibility for the newsletters’ contents to The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchick.”

Fact is, Ron Paul did not write it, neither did Rockwell, and that is totally consistent with what we know of the integrity of both individuals. Ron Paul slipped up in his supervisory function. Big deal. It was an inconsequential newsletter with next to no circulation. Read his book on our foreign policy. Now that’s an eye-opener. That’s worth quoting from for a journalistic piece.

Ron Paul is so principled, so un-compromised, that the media would clutch any straw to somehow cast an aspersion - always fails. Focus on the man’s agenda. He never pushed himself. He always talk about his ideas and how we can be a free people again. He never attacks his opponents.

Ron Paul is not a Republican. He is not a Libertarian. The best way to describe him is as a Constitutionalist, which makes him the perfect President. The Constitution unites us, which is why Ron Paul has such a diverse following. There are only so many Sunday School classes that Palin, Bachmann and Perry can co-opt, which is why they will never come close to the nomination, let alone the White House.

I have never found a libertarian who can answer this question: name me a society that is closer to your libertarian ideals than the US and has a higher standard of living, or higher average happiness of its citizens.  The reason they can’t answer that question is that there isn’t one.  Although there are definitely societies that are closer to the libertarian ideal than ours, literally every other society that has a higher standard of living than ours has a stronger government and higher taxes.  The problem with libertarianism is simply that the empirical facts fail to back it up: it’s a simple, appealing idea that turns out to be wrong when measured against reality.

nlgtexasoklahoma

Aug. 23, 2011, 4:09 p.m.

<<The wealthy will get richer and the poor and middle class will suffer greatly under a Ron Paul led government.>>

This is true.  But it is exactly what is happening under an Obomber led government.  What’s your point?

john wheat gibson, sr.

Aug. 23, 2011, 4:22 p.m.

Here may be an antidote to Herr Promisberg’s amazing ignorance:

http://english.alresalah.ps/?action=showdetail&seid=635

Dan writes:

“I have never found a libertarian who can answer this question: name me a society that is closer to your libertarian ideals than the US and has a higher standard of living, or higher average happiness of its citizens.  The reason they can’t answer that question is that there isn’t one.”

If there isn’t one then it is because politicians love power, especially the power to tax. Hence, the libertarian idea of limiting the size of government is one that politicians do their level best to disabuse voters of.

However, Switzerland practices a mild form of libertarianism - some Cantons more than others. Erstwhile Hong Kong was, and to some measure still is a kind of a “libertarian paradise.”

First, we have to understand that government cannot spend anything that it does not confiscate from us. Every government program results in a net loss of jobs. If we give the government, say, a hundred million dollars of our hard-earned wages to spend on a government program, it would create jobs [A]. If we withhold the hundred million dollars and instead spend and invest it ourselves, it would also create jobs [B]. If [A] > [B], we should give government at least 90% of our hard-earned wages and, still, there would never be enough workers to go around to fill all the vacancies. (The Soviet Union was run on this myth that [A]>[B])

However, if [B] > [A], as is always the case, we should only give government our hard-earned wages to take care of essential service, not try and encourage home ownership, not subsidize education (government subsidies are the greatest cause of price inflation in education*), not wage wars abroad to democratize or build nations, change regimes and annex oil fields, etc. etc.

(*When the home-buy credit expired, home prices dropped. The tax credit just allowed sellers to ask more, because buyers were deluded in believing the government was paying $8,000 of the purchase price.)

Let’s look at Singapore as an example (not its social policies, just economic policies). Singapore’s GDP per capita was $600, below that of Guatemala, 44 years ago. They decided to keep the size of government at about 12% of GDP.  Such a small government means the highest individual tax rate is 20% and corporations pay 18%, but manufacturers get tax holidays. Hence, manufacturers, especially those in California, are relocating to Singapore. Malaysia is now copying Singapore.

Small government and low taxes meant that today, GDP per capita in Singapore is close to $43,000, making it the 4th richest country in the world. It has a population of 5 million and it generates $240 billion in GDP for a country one-eight the size of Delaware. Government spending does not create prosperity. Singapore is the 40th largest economy in the world. Greece’s GDP is $300 billion, so large that the global economy is being shaken by its economic woes. Imagine if Greece had adopted the Singapore model. Singapore has no natural resources and has to import all raw materials and agricultural products. United Emirates and Venezuela, just above Singapore in the GDP race have huge oil revenues, without which they would fall well below Singapore. Singapore produces more GDP than Egypt, Nigeria (with its 80 million population and huge oil reserves can’t match Singapore’s GDP), Israel, Chile, Portugal and Algeria. Singapore is still growing at 9% p.a., its long-term growth rate. At this rate, five years from now, Singapore will be in top 30 in the GDP contest. (Washington take note: the highest paid politicians in the world are is Singapore.)

As noted, many US corporations have moved their manufacturing facilities to Singapore, in part to enjoy the tax holiday and lower labor costs. Capital flows to areas where the returns are the highest. High labor costs and high taxes depress returns, hence capital goes abroad. We can’t create jobs without capital. Higher taxes chase capital abroad. It is self-evident logic.

So, there you have it, libertarian states are few and far between (and for about two hundred years, the US was a libertarian state - certainly started out like that), but the closer we move to a small government, free market model, the more prosperous the locals. Just the opposite when the size of government grows above about 15% to 20% of GDP.

steven Scharath

Aug. 23, 2011, 5:14 p.m.

I so agree with Dave Alan,  Thank you propublica for this and all your work in the past .........stay the course, we need you!

I consider myself a left-leaning progressive also and I left the Democratic party after 2004.  I was thrilled to stumble across Ron Paul in 2007.  Been in his camp ever since.  Don’t agree with him on abortion but I absolutely agree with him on our foreign policy.  Ever notice how our foreign policy never changes regardless of who we elect?  And printing gobs and gobs of money only seems to benefit the rich and powerful.  Count me in the The Revolution!  RonPaul2012.com

Walter D. Shutter, Jr.

Aug. 23, 2011, 5:36 p.m.

Ron Paul is the real deal.  Not only do I believe in what he says, I also believe that HE believes in what he says.  Unfortunately, the media dismiss him as a fringe candidate and refuse to publish his positions.  And without main stream media coverage he will never get the Republican Nomination.

Since Congressman Paul has declared that, after 12 terms in the House, he will not seek reelection to the House in 2012, let us hope that he can be persuaded to be the Libertarian Party candidate for President next November. 

I want to vote for this guy like a Wolf wants a Sheep.

Ron Paul will be the first free elected president of USA since JFK, that is not part of esablishment that has been slaving this country for 85 years. He is the only candidate that has no ties to Bildberg group, Trilateral Commision, or Skulls and Bones, or Masons.  In 2007 Obama attended Bildberg group meeting alongside Rick Perry, than and there was cast that Obama would be next president, and year later we all know what happend. All US presidents (besides JFK) were members of Masons, Skulls and Bones, Bildberg group, or Trileteral commission.  They were ALL puppets of those groups, having best interest for them, not for people of USA. ....RON PAUL will change it all, and free this country from chains we are in for past 85 years. This country will be “the land of free” once again!


Read more: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/texas/ron-paul-gets-an-invite-from-sen-jim-demint/#ixzz1VtyXaKPE

Louis Nardozi

Aug. 23, 2011, 7:19 p.m.

Ron Paul can and will end the millions of murders taking place in our names. He’s my favorite candidate, but I’d vote for him no matter what for that one thing alone. When you vote for Ron Paul you’re telling our government the following:

You find your own reasons to murder people - you’re not doing it on MY behalf.

@David Alan
With friends like you to explain his positions, Ron Paul needs no enemies. 
Although he professes a Christian belief that abortion is a moral wrong, he places a fire wall between that belief and any action by the federal government.  I have not heard or seen that he advocates for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade which is what it would take since that is clearly settled law which attempts to balance a woman’s right to determine reproductive choices with societies interest in preserving life. Roe is not perfect.  It is a compromise as is all law in a pluralistic society.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Buying Your Vote

Buying Your Vote: Dark Money and Big Data

ProPublica is following the money and exploring campaign issues in the 2012 election you won't read about elsewhere.

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