Republican candidate Ron Paul is an Internet sensation. He has raised more money in one day on the Internet than any other candidate — Republican or Democrat. He was on Meet the Press two weeks ago. The first question that Tim Russert asked was about his stance on income tax. (Please see video below)
Ron Paul would like to eliminate all income tax. On the surface, cutting taxes always seems like a good thing. We hear over and over again, how our tax dollars are being wasted. Wasted in Iraq. Wasted on a bridge to nowhere. Wasted on planes that the military never even asked for. But there are a lot of things that taxes go for that are necessary — maintaining veterans hospitals, maintaining roads and bridges, multimillion dollar radar invisible planes, energy subsidies to the poor and much, much more.
I guess that Representative Ron Paul would have looked better if he had specifics to his proposal. If you’re going to eliminate $1.1 trillion from the treasury how much would you say if by bringing all American troops home from abroad? Representative Paul did not know the answer. If you going to raise money from excise taxes and import tariffs, how much money could you raise? Would that hurt commerce and if so how much? What are you going to do with a half-million troops that you bring home from abroad? Honorable discharge? Are you planning on shrinking the military by a half-million troops? He had no answers to these very basic questions.
The fact that the United States existed for over 150 years without income tax, is not the issue. The world has changed (expectations for the government have changed. In the early 1900’s Americans mostly lived on farms, now we live in cities. Fire codes weren’t that important on a family farm. Now, we need the government to tell businesses put a fire exit here. Place sprinklers there.) The United States has existed for over 200 years without the Internet. I wouldn’t suggest you get rid of the Internet just because we didn’t have it 100 years ago. I would suggest that eliminating the income tax and transferring a lot of those taxes to the states is not practical. I lived in Texas for a number of years, a state which has no state income tax but does have property tax. Property taxes were ridiculous depending upon where you lived.
In my opinion, Republican candidate Ron Paul is truly a libertarian at heart. He believes in having a very small central government and believes that local governments should take care of local problems. This simple logic seems to make sense on the surface but if you look over the last 50 years at the problems that have divided our nation like civil rights. Local governments are unable to handle these issues. Ron Paul remains an interesting candidate with interesting ideas unfortunately, his ideas have gone the way of the dodo bird. He is fighting a battle that Thomas Jefferson lost to Alexander Hamilton and George Washington over 200 years ago.
Update: Ron Paul says that he wants to get back to a “constitutional size” government. Maybe I missed it but nowhere in the constitution have I been able to find any mention of the size of government. If you can find it please let me know. He uses this argument to cleanse his viewpoint. It is like him saying “See the founding fathers agree with me.” Thoughtful Americans understand that the founding fathers disagreed on almost ever issue. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are compromise documents. Just as Thomas Jefferson disagreed with Washington and Hamilton over the size of government and the power of the central government. Hamilton and Washington thought that a strong central government was needed to protect the colonies and pay for our collective debt (accumulated during the Revolutionary War). Jefferson saw a strong central government as the same as the English monarchy that we just fought to get rid of.