Asterisk Free Libertarianism (The Solution Ron Paul Missed)
By: J.J. Jackson
Well, it was predictable. The talking points used by supporters of Ron Paul (i.e. Paulbots, Paulites, etc.) have now changed.
You can always tell when the marching orders are given to a group by the sudden shift in the common language they use to refer to a certain situation. Itâ€™s like when Rush Limbaugh compiles montages of several media types from different organizations all using the exact same (and often obscure) term or description for an event. You know there was a memo sent out somewhere.
Well the same thing has happened among members of the Paul Collective.
Prior to Mr. Paulâ€™s propensity for unconstitutional spending becoming widely known, the talking points were that Mr. Paul was the only â€œtrue Constitutionalistâ€ running for President and that anyone who supported the Constitution had to support Mr. Paul based on that. Now that his status as a â€œtrueâ€ believer in the Constitution has been utterly shattered, the new line in almost every email sent to me by a rabid, foaming at the mouth Paulbot is that Mr. Paul is still the man because he is the â€œmostâ€ Constitutional of all the candidates.
For the Paulbots, trying to defend his use of the Constitution as toilet paper simply has not flown as well as they would have liked. So now they are now trying to convince conservatives and libertarians that the liberaltarian ways of Ron Paul are still best because they are â€œmoreâ€ Constitutional than other candidates. Call me skeptical of that.
I donâ€™t see how anyone can say that Mr. Paul is â€œmoreâ€ Constitutional than other candidates when he has violated the Constitution the same as others have. Sure he might have done it for different pet programs that spend federal money on shrimp and trolleys rather than Social Security and Medicare, but it is still a violation of Constitution. This defense is like saying that a man who robs a 7-11 for $50 and gives it to his mother to pay for her hospital bills is less guilty of theft than a man who holds up the bank, takes $1,000,000 and flees to the Bahamas.
A duck is a duck no matter how it quacks. And I reiterate that no true libertarian would defend Ron Paulâ€™s actions and those that are simply are showing their own fatal flaws and blind loyalty. However to the credit of some within the Ron Paul camp they are admitting that this is a problem their candidate will need to overcome and correct.
Saying that Paul is â€œmoreâ€ Constitutional than other candidates however puts me in mind of the old George Carlin bit about preheating the oven:
â€œ[P]re this, pre thatâ€¦.. place the turkey in a preheated ovenâ€¦. itâ€™s ridiculousâ€¦ there are only two states an oven can possibly exist in, heated or unheatedâ€¦. preheated is a meaningless ****ing term!â€
Maybe Ron Paul is a â€œpre-Constitutionalistâ€? Does he exist in a state of believing in the Constitution while not believing in it just like the â€œpreheatedâ€ oven exists in a mysterious state between being heated and unheated?
Much like the oven, there are only two states in which you can exist with regards to the Constitution; for it or against it. There is no â€œmostlyâ€. Yes, you can certainly disagree with parts of it, but you still have to abide by it. Itâ€™s the law of the land so deal with it.
On a side note, this is about the time in my articles when the Paulbots are rushing to their keyboards to pound out inane emails full of slurs like â€œneo-conâ€ and â€œfascistâ€ simply because this is too much truth for them to handle. So for all you members of the Paul Collective that havenâ€™t done so yet, get to typing!
Of course I predicted they would stand by him and defend his indefensible acts in my article The Constitution For Dummies (i.e. Ron Paul Supporters) even though he was not what he or they claimed he was. See, it doesnâ€™t matter â€¦ Ron Paul is â€œthe oneâ€. He could go on live television and shoot a cute little puppy in the head and the Paulbots would still worship at his feet.
Iâ€™ve said it before and I will say it again. I like Ron Paul on a lot of issues. However that does not mean I think he is the most qualified candidate to be Commander in Chief of our military and Chief Executive of the United States. I donâ€™t think he is strong enough on taking the fight to any enemy that threatens America and Iâ€™ve known about his unconstitutional funding requests for some time as well as his dubious (at best) libertarianism which has more asterisks than Barry Bondâ€™s home run record.
If you want to spend money on studying shrimp then use the amendment process to make such idiotic spending constitutional. Otherwise you are just a hack like any other politician would be who espoused certain beliefs while acting contradictory to them.
Paul supporters like to claim that his requests for spending for a variety of illegitimate reasons were ok, and I am not saying that every single request he made does not or could not pass Constitutional muster. Although most, if not all, are of dubious merit at best I am afraid.
But there is a true libertarian solution Ron Paul could have embraced and hopefully will consider next time he ponders violating the Constitution. That is, if he is serious about being a true Constitutionalist. See, Iâ€™m also about ideas and solutions, not just complaining which is something Paulbots have also accused me of in order to remove the spotlight from their candidate.
Instead of taking taxpayer dollars and redistributing them to others in the form of unconstitutional spending, what Ron Paul should have done was use an actual power granted to Congress in the Constitution to â€œserve his constituentsâ€ which is a typical canard Paulbots use to defend his actions. That power? The power of taxation of course.
Congress is unquestionably granted this power. It takes no reading between the lines or mental gymnastics to discover.
So, since Congress has the power to levy taxes and set the rates of such taxes here is what Ron Paul should have done.
First he should have compiled a list of every earmark and the amount of each earmark requested by each of the members of Congress for pet projects in their districts. Then he should have divided each by the number of constituents each member of Congress serves to find out who was getting the most dollars per person. Then he should have taken the maximum amount per person and multiplied it by the number of constituents in his district.
He then should have appended language to the yearly budget requesting this amount of money be set aside in the form of a tax rebate for members of Texas’s 14th congressional district and to be refunded to those who paid income taxes based on how much they paid. In other words, someone that paid $500 in federal income tax would obviously receive less of a rebate than someone that paid $15,000. To do otherwise would of course violate libertarian principles against wealth redistribution.
After all, if the members of Joe Blowâ€™s district are entitled to a certain number of tax dollars per person, then so should Mr. Paulâ€™s. His office would then issue a check to every resident of the district that qualified, by paying taxes, for this rebate of monies he prevented the federal government from spending on unconstitutional programs and which was over collected. And it does not have to just be limited to income taxes either. He could refund the money to anyone that paid any sort of federal tax such as federal gas taxes, etc. although income taxes would certainly be the easiest to go back and verify and track year to year.
Now, of course no one would be able to get back more money than they paid to the federal government. That would amount to some sort of Welfare program which also be very un-libertarian and we just cannot have that either. So we would have to cap the refund at the maximum dollars in taxes paid by each constituent.
But then again, this solution would actually be constitutional and amount to actually serving oneâ€™s constituents by upholding the Constitution, returning over collected tax dollars back to them and not lining the pockets of local governments and private industry. And it would be truly libertarian.
What do you say Ron Paul? How about all you Paulbots? Want to be true libertarians in the future?
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.