Posts tagged Ron Paul

Re: Should We Let People Die If Unrelated Government Policies Tend To Drive Up The Costs Of Health Care?

dsatyglesias writes: “If you oppose universal health care, you by definition support letting people who can’t afford health care die.”

Maybe so. (Certainly, there are plenty of conservatives who are all too comfortable with — or even enthusiastic about — a lot of needless suffering in the world.)

But I hope that you realize that not everyone who supports universal healthcare supports government healthcare, and not everyone who opposes government healthcare opposes universal healthcare. The one might follow from the other if the only way to get universal coverage were by means of a political guarantee of coverage. But that’s not so: there are folks who oppose government healthcare because they think corporate healthcare is awesome and they don’t mind if people die; but there are also folks who oppose government healthcare because they support non-governmental, non-corporate universal coverage through grassroots social organization and community mutual aid. (See for example or the closing sections of .)

Of course, that leaves open the question of whether they (we — I’m one of ’em) are right about the best means for getting universal coverage. Maybe social means are inadequate; or maybe there is some reason, which has yet to be mentioned, why governmental control is preferable, as a means for getting it, to voluntary associations for mutual aid. But whether the position is right or wrong, it’s certainly not one that can be answered simply by defining it out of existence, as you do when you pretend that the only alternatives available are (1) corporate coverage of only those who can afford it; or else (2) universal coverage by means of government mandates; as if there were no (3) universal coverage by non-governmental means.

Re: @Nick Ford

On majorities and moving forward:

  1. I agree that anti-statists are in the minority. But, perhaps unlike you, my primary goal isn’t to convince a majority of people to believe something like what I believe. Of course, it’d be nice if more people believed in some form of antistatism, but achieving anarchistic goals is not generally a matter of winning an election, and so does not necessarily depend on winning majority support.

  2. What I am interested in doing is radicalizing and working together with a smaller, somewhat self-selected group of people and encouraging them to act on the beliefs that they mostly already have. As a matter of strategy, I am interested in equipping and organizing the minority so that we will become ungovernable by the majority, not in convincing the majority to stop supporting government. But in order to radicalize you need to be radical and consistent; dropping out the critique of monopoly policing or government war or government borders just as such, and redirecting my outreach towards praising smaller-government candidates, or talking about only the subset of issues where I can agree with an LP voter or an Oath Keeper or Ron Paul’s presidential platform, hobbles my ability to actually communicate what I’m trying to communicate to the folks I’m trying to communicate it to.

  3. As a teacher, setting aside questions of political strategy, I would of course like to educate more people about the right views. But to the extent that I’m not talking about strategy anymore, and just talking about education, I think that the core principles are the most important for people to learn, and I’d rather someone who really understands what freedom is and rejects it, than have someone who thinks they believe in freedom, but only because they continue to be confused about what it entails, and to believe in myths like “limited government,” or to believe that police and taxation are compatible with individual liberty. My goal here is not to jump into the debate just as it is and try and nudge them towards some confused approximation of libertarian ideals; rather, it’s to change the terms of the debate, and reorient it towards the fundamental issues at stake.

Re: Against Fiscal Conservatism: On Inpropriating the Expropriators


Yes, Ron Paul gives his money back to the Government, because he’s demonstrating he’s fiscally responsible.

How does returning money back to the thief who stole it demonstrate fiscal responsibility?

It seems to me that if you want to demonstrate fiscal responsibility with stolen money, the way to demonstrate it would be to return it to the owner it was stolen from. Not to spend a bit off the top and return the rest to the thief.

By returning money to the treasury that is superfluous in his budget, is he actively contributing towards the excesses of Government vis a via his actions

Sure: he’s providing them with more money to use in violating innocent people’s rights. So am I, through taxation. But I don’t have a choice in the matter; I get taxed whether I want to be taxed or not. Ron Paul does have a choice in the matter: he has a budget, and he could do everything he can to make sure that the money gets returned to the tax victims it was extracted from, or at least gets spent on things which, while wasteful, do not involve committing violence against innocent people. Or he could turn it back over to Treasury, which will use it to commit violence against innocent people. Doing the latter doesn’t make the violence his fault, exactly — it’s the fault of the people who commit it. But he would be doing more good for the world if he piled up all the surplus money on the National Mall and set it on fire than he does by returning it to the federal government for their future use.

Ron Paul believes the same thing, which is essentially why he does it? I get what you’re saying, I really do, but I just don’t think this is a valid reason to be opposed fiscal conservatism, because fiscal conservatism isn’t causing the problem, it’s actually the opposite–it’s antithetical to out of control government spending

If you think that “out of control government spending” is my primary concern here, then I don’t think you’ve really gotten what I’m saying. My point is that government spending is a secondary issue. The primary issue is government violence.

what’s the alternative?


I’m not really interested in figuring out a way for Dr. Paul to keep his government job. If there isn’t any way for him to honestly handle the loot that he’s been allocated, then he ought to resign. That said:

Give it away? Keep it?

I’d prefer he give it away to a randomized selection of the tax victims it was stolen from. (Returning the money is the only honest thing to do when you come into some money that you know to have been stolen from living victims who you could identify and return the money to.) But, failing that, keeping it and using the surplus to buy beer and pizza for his office staff would still be preferable to returning it to the Treasury.

Re: Against Fiscal Conservatism


This suggests it is a matter of principle,

No doubt. But what’s the principle?

If it’s something like “The U.S. government should be as efficient as possible in spending what it steals from innocent victims,” I can’t see why that principle is worth defending or acting on. The primary problem isn’t profligacy; it’s the stealing.

The money he sends back only delays the theft and destruction that has to occur for the government to continue

No, it doesn’t. It is not as if the IRS is going to collect $100,000 less in taxes or the Treasury is going to issue $100,000 less in government bonds thanks to the windfall. It’s not as if government returns surpluses back to taxpayers when they have surpluses; they just look around for new things to spend the extra money on.

Well I didn’t see this was just for his office budget, but if he inflated the value of staff labor just because he had extra money lying around he would be abandoning his market principles.

What market principles? In my view, there is no way whatsoever to live up to “market principles” when you are distributing stolen loot. All government spending is by definition a command economy, not a market economy, and no price that Paul chose to pay for labor or goods in his office budget, whether small or large, would be a “market” price, because (as Mises teaches us) there’s no way for a command economy to approximate market outcomes.

but you’re acting like what the Fed spends money on is worse than what Paul would spend money on locally

The money went to Treasury, not to the Federal Reserve. In any case, what the U.S. government spends money on is definitely worse than what Paul would have spent it on locally. Paul’s spending would merely be wasteful. The U.S. government’s spending is actively evil and destructive; it goes towards imprisoning, surveilling, hurting, maiming, and killing innocent people, both within the United States and abroad.

Paul spending money that is neither his nor should be spent is central planning as well.

Yes, I agree. There’s no way around central planning when government allocates money. All you can do is get the money away from government as quickly as possible — and, preferably, try to get it into the hands of some those net taxpayers it was originally stolen from. But that’s precisely why Paul shouldn’t give the money back to Treasury for more government allocation.

But I get what you’re saying and it’s not a bad thought, he could have paid himself the $100,000 and spent it at every business in town or something…

I think that would be better than giving it back to Treasury, but the best thing for him to do would be to just give it away directly to randomly selected net taxpayers without demanding any consideration in return.

@Sir Elliot:

He can’t keep the money. If he doesn’t use it, it must be returned to whatever general office staff budget is in place, since the books have to be balanced out.

I’m aware. What I’m suggesting is that it would be better for Ron Paul to use it on something wasteful but non-destructive, rather than giving it back to the U.S. government, which will use it for something both wasteful and destructive.

Maybe if the featherbedding gets too egregious, it would make it difficult for Ron Paul to keep his government job. But then, I’m not especially interested in figuring out ways to help Ron Paul keep his government job.

Maybe I’m not understanding OP’s point?

Maybe not. If it helps, my primary point is that it’s misleading (and indeed stupid, if not dishonest) to describe paying $100,000 back to the U.S. Treasury as “paying back the American people.” What it is, is paying back the American government, which is a different entity, and one which happens to be antagonistic towards, and parasitic on, the “people” it claims to rule.


That’s a pretty massive leap in logic to suggest that Ron Paul’s fiscal conservatism is aiding bankers.

I didn’t say it’s aiding bankers. I said it’s aiding the U.S. government. (The U.S. government, of course, does aid bankers — hence my mention of them — but it also does lots of other things. Like blowing up Afghan children.)

So in an essence, you’re faulting Ron Paul for sticking to his ‘guns’ (Being an honest politician).

No; I’m faulting those who claim that giving stolen money back to the pirate who originally stole it is a form of “honesty.” There is no “honest” way for any politician to spend tax monies; the only thing to do is to get them out of political hands.

Re: The Doctor Is In (Or Near, Anyway)


I’m not saying there aren’t storm troopers now, but I doubt Paul would vote for increasing them, since they’d have to be paid out of federal moneys.

Again, Ron Paul has already voted for bills to increase the number of Border Patrol storm-troopers. As he himself has said,

I have also supported the strengthening our border and increasing the number of border patrol agents. It is an outrage that our best-trained border guards are sent to Iraq instead of guarding our borders. For national security, we need to give more attention to our own border which is being illegally breached every day, and yet the government shirks one of its few constitutionally mandated duties, namely to defend this country.


And there is a libertarian argument for closed borders.

There are some arguments for closed borders which are advanced by people who happen to be libertarians. But I deny that the arguments are libertarian arguments.

Ron Paul’s own favorite arguments on the topics are barefaced appeals to legal positivism, belligerent nationalism, and utilitarian arguments about the allegedly disastrous results of combining welfare statism and freedom of immigration. The kind of Hoppean argument that Rothbard favored is, I think, dead wrong, and obviously so, but it does at least attempt to justify exclusionary immigration policies in terms of individual liberty rights (generally, the right to exclude from either private or common property); the kind of arguments Ron Paul has been pushing, on the other hand, simply stomp all over libertarian principle in the name of desiderata (like uncritical deference to standing law, nationalistic strength-through-unity, sacrificing the moral rights of the minority in the alleged interests of the majority, etc.) which are, if anything, the exact opposite of genuine libertarian goals.