Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Robert Wenzel - An Open Letter to Libertarians: Don't Be Fooled By Rand Paul

I'm still on the fence about Rand in 2016.

His endorsement of Romney really put a bad taste in my mouth and gave me pause as to where he is at.

A lot of Rand apologists have said that it was a necessary move to stay on the good side of the GOP elite, if he wanted to have a chance in 2016. They say that this is just a means to an end as a way to further the r3VOLution that his farther started.

But that has never been the Ron Paul way. Dr Paul never played ball and was frequently the lone voice of dissent in the GOP. Ron Paul always was guided by his principles and never did what was politically expedient.

The jury is still out on Rand.

While I wholeheartedly supported his 2010 Senate run and think he is still one of the most libertarian leaning members of Congress, I completely agree with Wenzel that Rand will get nowhere in the GOP if he casts himself as too libertarian.

What we need to realize is that the liberty movement gets nowhere if Rand, or any other of the other young guns, go along to get along with the GOP establishment.

EconomicPolicyJournal.com
Dear Libertarians,

There is a big difference between Ron Paul and Rand Paul that appears to be missed by many. Ron Paul was not hungry to be president of the United States. If he would have been hungry, he would have booted his grandson in-law and that entire gang out early on in the primaries when it was clear they were positioning themselves not to advance Ron Paul and liberty, but to advance their own  careers. Ron Paul just wasn't that hungry to do that and be president. He was satisfied getting the libertarian message out.

Rand Paul is different. It appears that he wants to be president. Wanting to be president changes a man, wherever they start off from.

This was Rand at the start of his political career, on the Federal Reserve and  Bilderberg.

After Rand settled in, this is what Rand did when questioned about Bilderberg.

Rand also enthusiastically endorsed elitist loser Mitt Romney. Remember this?

If you want to become president, you have one thing in mind, you need to get to 50.1% If you hold libertarian views and run on those views you are not going to be president. I dare anyone to run on completely libertarian principles and believe they are going to win. Go ahead. Tell voters you are in favor of legalizing heroin and LSD. Tell them that the U.S. government should default on its debt and relieve taxpayers of the burden. Tell them you want to end welfare and food stamps. Tell them you want to end the DEA, TSA, FDA, DOE, FAA, SEC, CFTC and the rest of the government alphabet soup agencies.

Tell them you want to end medicare. Tell them you don't want to fight Muslims, or anyone else, anymore. Go ahead, see how far you are going to get. As I have stated before, there is nothing wrong with running, as long as you stick to principles and lose. It can be a method of spreading libertarian views. Winning, given the current voter climate, is when you become suspect.

Rand Paul is about winning.

Every time I point out Rand moves that are away from liberty, I get emails and comments telling me I am too  harsh on Rand. I received many again today because of this post (Scroll down to the comments).

What these commenters are looking at are Rand's pro-liberty stances, i.e. he says he is against raising taxes and for cutting government spending. Whoopee, that would have been great if he stopped there and been consistent, but he didn't stop and that is the problem. He isn't going to get himself in much trouble with the masses in moving towards 50.1% by being against higher taxes--and just saying this, this early in the 2016 race, helps make him stronger with his libertarian and Tea Party base. But notice what else he said. He said he would be in favor of reforming the tax code, in response to a question about closing loopholes.

As Joe Salerno pointed out:

Republicans condemn them as major barriers to the implementation of a more business- and investor-friendly flat tax.  Even free market economists oppose tax loopholes as inefficient and “non-neutral” to the market economy’s allocation of resources–as if there existed an optimal pattern of coercive redistribution of income from productive, private  taxpayers to parasitic, political tax-consumers  that was neutral to the market.
Salerno then pointed out what Mises said about loopholes:
 Needless to say Ludwig von Mises, who never took his eye off of  the larger politico-economic issue of capitalism versus socialism,  freedom versus statism, did not share the modern aversion to tax loopholes founded on baseless economistic concerns about “ efficiency” and “tax neutrality.”.. 
[Mises said] “Capitalism breathes through those loopholes.”  
The issue shouldn't be about reforming the tax code. It should be about lowering taxes, right from where they are now. When Rand talks about tax reform, he is talking code to his new supporters, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin and the like. They all know that tax reform always ends up raising taxes. It did under Ronald Reagan and it sure as hell would under the crew now in Washington. Rand also mentioned "saving" social security, in the video clip at my earlier post.

This isn't the first time "libertarians" were all in on "saving" social security. Here's Murray Rothbard on the last time "libertarians" and Republicans teamed up to "save" Social Security:

We should also say a word about another of Ronnie [Reagan]’s great "libertarian" accomplishments. In the late 1970’s, it became obvious even to the man in the street that the Social Security System was bankrupt, kaput. For the first time in fifty years there was an excellent chance to get rid of the biggest single racket that acts as a gigantic Ponzi scheme to fleece the American taxpayer. Instead, Reagan brought in the famed "Randian libertarian" Alan Greenspan, who served as head of a bipartisan commission, performing the miracle of "saving Social Security" and the masses have rested content with the system ever since. How did he "save" it? By raising taxes (oops "premiums"), of course; by that route, the government can "save" any program. (Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket.) 
Rand also commented that, under his supposed lower tax scheme, the economy would grow quicker and result in even higher revenues for government. How is this small government thinking? Can you imagine Ron Paul ever saying, "Well my plan will be good because it might increase government revenues even more."

In the clip, Rand also talked about making the Republican Party a bigger party. Just how is he going to do that? By an outreach program promoting more libertarian views, in conjunction with John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and John McCain? Oh yeah.

Bottom line: Watch more than the libertarian talk from Rand, he will use it when he can and when it won't hurt him going into 2016. Watch Rand on the edge, where he can be hardcore libertarian like his father or be signalling to the Republican establishment. As we get closer and closer to 2016, it will be easier to spot Rand support moving toward intrusive government measures, that's the only way he will get anywhere close to 50.1%.

And don't think Rand is going to snooker the elitists and then become libertarian when he becomes president. The elitists don't like those kind of games.

They sit you down when you have a reasonable chance of winning and tell you what they expect, and you better not cross them. Ask former presidential candidate Gary Hart, he was going to do a movie about "The Talk." Guess who shut that movie idea down.

No libertarian is going to get elected president until a lot more people start thinking favorably about libertarianism. As I said, libertarians can run for office, if they want, but only if they speak principle and lose. It is the Rand Paul types that are dangerous. They will cast themselves as libertarians, but at the same time, to get elected, they will talk increased government interventionism  by promoting "tax reform," "saving" social security and other sneaky interventionist moves.

As Rothbard put is about the last "savers" of social security:
The way Reagan-Greenspan saved Social Security is a superb paradigm of Reagan’s historical function in all areas of his realm; he acted to bail out statism and to co-opt and defuse any libertarian or quasi-libertarian opposition.
Let's not let it happen this time, in any shape or form, with any expansionary government proposals or plans, by anyone. Let's stay principled and call out politicians who are hungry to get elected and veer from the liberty message--even Rand Paul. Liberty shouldn't be co-opted by anyone, in anyway at anytime. The only way Rand would ever get elected president in the current environment is if he bows to the elitists and he becomes their tool. The only value he is to us then is to point out, as an object lesson, how he veers from true libertarian principle.

Yours in liberty,

Robert Wenzel

1 comment:

  1. If we had 51 Rand Pauls in the Senate the nation would be saved.

    ReplyDelete

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