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Ron Paul vs. Mike Huckabee

As the media continues to shill for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, touting him as the “real conservative” candidate among Republicans, it’s important to examine his positions on the issues. What better way to put his views in perspective than to compare them with the genuinely conservative champion of the Constitution, Ron Paul—the only true Republican hope for defeating Hillary.

IRS, Taxes, Spending

Ron Paul has fought continually for and championed the move to eliminate the IRS and the income tax. When Paul was asked about the possibility of a “flat tax” he reaffirmed his desire to “make it real flat, like zero.” Paul has repeatedly identified departments fit for substantial federal budget cuts. During his ten terms in Congress, Paul never voted to increase taxes and was consequently named “The Taxpayers’ Best Friend Ever” by the National Taxpayers Union.

Huckabee supports eliminating the federal income tax and replacing it with the “Fair Tax”, a 30 percent national sales tax. During his 8 years as governor of Arkansas, state spending increased by 65%. The Arkansas Times said Huckabee’s record on “taxing, borrowing, spending and expanding the activities of government makes him the biggest taxer and spender in Arkansas history.” Huckabee joined 2 Republican governors and 6 democratic governors in receiving an “F” from The Cato Institute’s 2006 national fiscal policy review.

Illegal Immigration

In 2005 Huckabee followed his pattern of indiscriminately handing out taxpayer’s money by supporting a bill by Arkansas State Representative Joyce Elliott making illegal aliens eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition. He also opposed a bill that would deny benefits to illegal aliens. Huckabee came under fire during his Arkansas governorship when he signed a contract with Mexico for one dollar to lease state property to Mexico— he arranged for taxpayer money to fund a Mexican consulate in Little Rock after having visited Vincente Fox in Mexico cementing the deal to establish the Mexican consulate and to exponentially increase the number of illegals entering the state. Note: the U.S. Constitution declares that “No State shall enter into an agreement with a foreign government.” This was totally illegal!

Ron Paul’s website states his position on immigration: “Physically secure our borders and coastlines, enforce visa rules, no amnesty, no welfare for illegal aliens, end birthright citizenship (which is currently an incentive to illegally immigrate). Pass true immigration reform . . . current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.” Paul’s voting record on immigration shows he has repeatedly voted against amnesty for illegals, voted in favor of securing the borders and in favor of enforcing current immigration laws.

Iraq War

Huckabee would continue the unpopular US military occupation of Iraq, arguing that the troops must remain in harm’s way to preserve our honor. Huckabee’s website makes it clear that he is completely against a troop withdrawl from Iraq. During the CNBC debate in Michigan, Huckabee showed an alarming disregard for the Constitutional separation of powers, arguing that he could launch a preemptive attack on Iran, with or without Congressional approval.

Ron Paul stands with the majority of American voters who feel that US forces should begin the withdrawl now and be brought home safely from Iraq. Don’t forget that Ron Paul receives more campaign donations from active military personnel than any other presidential candidate.

Paul has said, “Both Jefferson and Washington warned us about entangling ourselves in the affairs of other nations. Today, we have troops in 130 countries. We are spread so thin that we have too few troops defending America. And now, there are new calls for a draft of our young men and women.”

“We can continue to fund and fight no-win police actions around the globe, or we can refocus on securing America and bring the troops home. No war should ever be fought without a declaration of war voted upon by the Congress, as required by the Constitution.” (i.e. the War in Iraq) —Ron Paul

**Update** Further Analysis of Mike Huckabee

The American Thinker has done some interesting writing on Huckabee, his political history as governor of Arkansas, and the policies he would implement if elected. These articles ad further support to the conclusion that Huckabee is not the candidate best suited to be our next president.

James Lewis writes in Huckabee’s Amazing Coincidences:

Huckabee is not a conservative. He is a populist, like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Hewey Long. He started off as a very successful radio preacher. Huckabee has years of practice doing off-the-cuff repartee with radio listeners. He is a master of the exploding sound-bite. But Huck is no Rush Limbaugh, and he’s certainly no Reagan. He could be the Rush from the Dark Side, using those awesome talents to undermine conservatism, rather than build it up.


In The Church of Huck: Growing Government in the Name of Religion Selwyn Duke (himself a professed Christian) lays out evidence that Huckabee “would impose statism in the name of religion through government”:

It’s not that Huck would impose religion through government. No, his actions would truly offend you. He would impose statism in the name of religion through government.While Huck will say what you want to hear to win office, he will not hear what you want to say once there. He will make tone-deaf Bush seem like a maestro… Huck invokes faith to justify ambitions ranging from the insidious to the idiotic. For the former, look no further than immigration, where Huck espoused the Christian principle, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” while advocating an apparent open-door policy. This, despite the fact that if any good Christian were to find himself in a country illegally, he would expect its citizens to demand he return home.
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16 Responses

  1. Realistically, Paul’s “zero tax” replacement isn’t going to fly. The next best thing is to get the politicians’ hands out of our family pocketbook. Heck, even Ron Paul said, he’d sign the FairTax Act bill, if presented ( http://snipurl.com/paul4fairtax ). Here are its salient fundamental features, together with mission statement, to coalesce Huckabee *and* Paul supporters on this issue (after the nomination process concludes):

    Prices AFTER FairTax would look SIMILAR to prices BEFORE FairTax – NOT 30% HIGHER. This is because FairTax removes the cost of business income and payroll taxes currently embedded in prices. Economist Dale Jorgensen, Harvard University, was commissioned to find out what portion of prices were represented by costs for complying with the federal tax code. The figure he came up with, on average, was 22% at the retail level – a “hidden consumption tax,” on top of income tax and FICA.

    The FairTax rate on new items would be 29.9% on prices – declining 20% to 30% – or 23% of the “tax inclusive” price tag (comparable to how INCOME tax is figured, i.e., parts of a total dollar earned). Eliminating income and payroll taxes on business, as FairTax does ( http://snipr.com/irsgone ), reduces the cost of doing business and attracts competition to the market space – driving out excess profit.

    In order to make FairTax a PROGRESSIVE consumption tax (such as that called for, recently, by Warren Buffett), a citizen family is simply sent a “monthly consumption [tax] allowance,” called a “prebate.” This prebate is intended to reimburse taxes on necessities without need for record-keeping or reporting. Moreover, the direct payment bypasses the creation of a tax code specifying exempted products and services around which a lobbyist industry could grow. The amount is variable, based on family size, and is equal to the FairTax rate on poverty-level spending, as defined by the Dept. of Commerce. At present, a family of one would receive ~$200/month, a family of four, ~$500/month. Thus, the “effective” FairTax rate paid by citizens, will *never* equal the full 23%. Of course, U.S. visitors (legal, and illegal) will pay the FairTax when they purchase anything new, at retail (used goods do not carry the tax). Under FairTax, working families will have their whole paychecks (minus any state or local income tax withholding) plus their monthly family prebate.

    Additionally, citizens will no longer have to spend the average 50 hours per year preparing their federal tax returns. They will tend to use credit less, and they’ll save more. Saving more will make it easier to purchase a home, at a lower interest rate and monthly payment. (Thus, mortgage deductions are no longer applicable when income is not basis for taxation).

    But is FairTax “fairer”? To provide substantive answers, Prof.’s Kotlikoff and Rapson (10/06) have concluded ( from http://snipurl.com/kotcomparetaxrates ),

    “…the FairTax imposes much lower average taxes on working-age households than does the current system. The FairTax broadens the tax base from what is now primarily a system of labor income taxation to a system that taxes, albeit indirectly, both labor income and existing wealth. By including existing wealth in the effective tax base, much of which is owned by rich and middle-class elderly households, the FairTax is able to tax labor income at a lower effective rate and, thereby, lower the average lifetime tax rates facing working-age Americans.

    “Consider, as an example, a single household age 30 earning $50,000. The household’s average tax rate under the current system is 21.1 percent. It’s 13.5 percent under the FairTax. Since the FairTax would preserve the purchasing power of Social Security benefits and also provide a tax rebate, older low-income workers who will live primarily or exclusively on Social Security would be better off. As an example, the average remaining lifetime tax rate for an age 60 married couple with $20,000 of earnings falls from its current value of 7.2 percent to -11.0 percent under the FairTax. As another example, compare the current 24.0 percent remaining lifetime average tax rate of a married age 45 couple with $100,000 in earnings to the 14.7 percent rate that arises under the FairTax.”

    Further, per Jokischa and Kotlikoff (circa 2006? http://snipurl.com/kotftmacromicro ),

    “…once one moves to generations postdating the baby boomers there are positive welfare gains for all income groups in each cohort. Under a 23 percent FairTax policy, the poorest members of the generation born in 1990 enjoy a 13.5 percent welfare gain. Their middle-class and rich contemporaries experience 5 and 2 percent welfare gains, respectively. The welfare gains are largest for future generations. Take the cohort born in 2030. The poorest members of this cohort enjoy a huge 26 percent improvement in their well-being. For middle class members of this birth group, there’s a 12 percent welfare gain. And for the richest members of the group, the gain is 5 percent.”

    The current income-based tax system is also more expensive to run, because of the manner in which the tax code is gamed by politicians and lobbyists. Politicians realize great power, and attract constituencies for support, by granting tax favors (i.e., credits, deductions, exemptions) through lobbyists. Fully, fifty-three percent (that’s 53%!) of Washington lobbyists are there because of the tax code! The tax code is continually changing, making it more complex and more difficult to understand. And, the salaries and costs of tax lawyers and lobbyists end up in the prices of the products and services we buy. Additionally, the time and money required to keep records, file returns, report for audits, retain accounting and legal help, pay IRS penalties and interest, is time and money lost for other productive, or recreational, activities. Depriving us of the use of withheld wages increases our expenses through zero-interest withholding, inflation, return preparation time, and interest paid on credit cards and loans that otherwise may not have been necessary. Summed up, the cost of tax compliance, nationally, has been estimated to range anywhere from $265 billion to twice that amount, depending on the extent to which tax-avoidance consultation is sought and utilized. These expenses constitute a substantial “hidden tax” which is incomprehensible to the average working American. And the FairTax gets rid of all of it for most Americans, and most of it for business owners.

    It is our belief that government should serve We, the People, with a fair tax system that will not enable politicians to pit poor against rich (creating barriers to achieve wealth, adding tax penalty to the sacrifices made for personal success). Nor do we want politicians to continue using business as a tool to hide taxes from consumers, often villifying business, which discourages entrepreneuship, personal achievement, economic growth. Liberty and happiness depends on restoring the fruits of labor to those who produce them. We believe that the tax function should align with economic growth, not against it, that government should be paid for in the same manner as working Americans – when, and because, something is sold.

    As things stand at present, Americans labor under nothing less than “tax slavery,” having our wages confiscated every working hour, as reflected in our paychecks every two weeks.

    Many of us have joined FairTax.org ( http://snipr.com/becomeamember ) in order to build a national movement to free ourselves, our family pocketbooks, and our businesses from confiscation of income, and punishment of productivity. And this we say to our federal representatives, “Either scrap the code ( http://snipr.com/scrapthecode ) and enact the FairTax, or we intend on replacing you with someone who will.”

    (Permission is granted to reproduce in whole or part. – Ian)

  2. FAIR TAX FRAUD

    Nice cut and paste propaganda piece, Ian, but it really doesn’t mention the fact that Federal spending will still have the green light for uncontrolled spending.

    Also, in order to enforce the Flat Tax, a new government agency will have to be created.

    And Huckabee is a CFR endorsed candidate, which means he will do nothing about the Scam that is the FRAUDULENT Federal Reserve Bank. (which Paul opposes)

    watch this movie:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936

    and this:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5232639329002339531

    The fair tax is a horrible compromise.

    Our Personal income tax SHOULD be ZERO REALISTICALLY, and I will not compromise.

    see: fair tax fraud

    http://www.mises.org/story/1814

    Ron Paul said he wouldn’t sponsor the Fair Tax but would vote for it because he promised to do anything to get rid of the IRS.

    However, why make this compromise? And why endorse a slick snake oil status-quo salesman like Huckabee because of this? Believe me, Huckabee is not for the people.

    I am for Ron Paul because he is for the People.

  3. Plus the Fair tax will encourage a huge black market to form.

    Organized Crime will love it.

  4. I agree Paul. The Fair Tax may be a step in the right direction — at least in theory — but it is not a real solution.

    A Fair Tax would be more of the same nonsense dressed up with a brand new name. Huckabee is pushing it because it sounds good, it allows him to take a stance on taxes that sounds strong without requiring him to make the deep cuts and changes that are needed. On top of that Huckabee’s record and history give me no reason to have any confidence in him, he just isn’t trustworthy.

    The “Fair Tax” idea (and name) sounds suspiciously insincere, it’s another marketing ploy to sneak something by us that is actually bad for the country. It’s like the “Patriot Act”, you can’t question it or else you must be “unpatriotic” — never mind that it subverts the Constitution.

  5. Thats a good point, the name “fair tax” does seem very Orwellian, say one thing and mean the other. Bottom line is I just don’t trust Huckabee.

  6. It’s not so much that I don’t trust Huckabee because I think that I do. My problem is that he is just like Bush which means that spending will continue to be out of control.

    It’s not realistic that Ron Paul will win this nomination just as it’s not realistic that either one of them will be able to get rid of the IRS

    What I’d prefer to see is for Huckabee to say, I want to get rid of the income tax (and all non constitutional spending) and here’s my plan for incrementally accomplishing that.

    One positive side to Huckabee is that we really don’t have a prayer to beat Hillary with anyone other than Huckabee in my opinion and that’s in part because he is a big spender. Conservatives get what they care about most (social issues) and the middle roaders get what they want which is that they get to keep their pet program and the rest of the nation that doesn’t pay attention to the issues gets what they want…a slick speaker like Bill.

  7. Jamii, every time someone says “it’s not realistic” that Ron Paul will get the nomination his supporters dump another 4 million into his campaign or write another 200,000 letters to undecided voters or purchase a blimp with his name on it and fly it around the country or he wins another straw poll, online poll, or phone poll. Meanwhile Paul’s support base continues to grow exponentially and the mainstream media does their best to ignore it or limit the exposure he gets.

    I’m curious why you think its unrealistic. If you’re saying that the establishment is afraid of Ron Paul’s liberty-driven pro-American views and that they will resist him at every turn, utilizing their immense media and political influence to therefore ensure that he won’t get the nomination, then you may have a point. Otherwise I don’t see any other Republican candidate who has the real American grassroots voter support that Paul does, be it Republican, Democrat, or otherwise.

    Huckabee may very well be the Republican’s Clinton-equivalent. He seems to like spending a lot, has the southern sly charm that Bill had, seems to not care about border security and is happy to give citizen’s money to illegals. He also doesn’t seem to understand the Constitution and would do nothing to end the Iraq war, like Hillary. Instead, Huckabee would get us further entangled with Iran. So yes he may give Hillary a run for her money.

    However, Ron Paul would actually have something to offer that could defeat Hillary without resorting to unprincipled politics. He is for a complete withdrawl from the Iraq war, which the majority of Americans also agree on. He is the only candidate that would actually stay true to his word in reducing wasteful spending. Just look at his voting record. Paul has a real and substantial (and growing) support base that is politically active and that could in reality help him accomplish his stated goals of (among other things) eliminating the IRS, securing the borders without giving illegals amnesty, adopting a more just foreign policy that would secure our safety, and returning the U.S. to its former position as the defender of liberty both at home and abroad.

    I’m not at all in favor of appeasing the less-intelligent voting crowd with flattering words, socialist policies, or reckless spending on pet projects (while our country goes deeper into debt and further into an economic crisis). Please explain to us why this kind of spineless pandering is good for our nation.

    It’s simple, people need to wake up and realize we’re at a crossroads with our country. Do we want the principles of freedom to survive here? Do we want to maintain our national sovereignty or continue to incrementally give it away to foreign powers? Do we want to maintain the rule of Constitutional law that was given to us by our inspired founders or are we willing to let that slide away as well?

    “We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for our values and our traditions lest they be washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. . .Many have given up on America as an exemplar for the world, as a model of freedom, self-government, and self-control. I have not. There is hope for America. I ask you to join me, and to be a part of it.” — Ron Paul

  8. Jamii, if that was an attempt to recruit people (especially the Ron Paul faithful) away and into the Hucksters camp you are going to have to do a lot better than that! No offense but that was possibly the most illogical, convoluted and ridiculous pseudo-reasoning I’ve ever heard used as justification for supporting a political candidate.

    You THINK you trust the Huckster, who claims that he will get rid of the IRS and implement a “Fair Tax”. But in the same breath you admit that Huck will be just like Bush (yes, and we all know how trustworthy Bush is) and that spending will continue on its present course and stay out of control!

    You also believe that the Huckster will not actually get rid of the IRS if elected and you say that the main reason Huck even COULD be elected is because he is a big spender like Hillary and a slick talker/liar like Bill! Wow, so what is good about Huckabee again?

    Really you DON’T TRUST THE HUCKSTER to do what he is promising. Well I don’t trust the Huckster either so I guess when it comes down to it we actually agree about Huck! Oh, except for one thing — I will never, ever vote for him. 🙂

    Ron Paul 2008!

  9. I’m still undecided between Mike and Ron. Philisophically I lean closer to Ron and therefore my vote leans toward him also but he’s also pretty far over there on the fringe (which is a sad testimony to how far our country has shifted). My disagreement has to do with legalizing marijuana and pulling our troops out of Iraq.

    As for your comment regarding my post being the “most illogical, convoluted and ridiculous pseudo-reasoning I’ve ever heard used as justification for supporting a political candidate”. Perhaps there’s a misunderstanding so let me explain…
    I think that Mike would “like” to implement the fair tax, I just don’t think that he could pull it off. So that’s why I say I trust him in terms of what he says he “wants” to do. He himself has said that he doesn’t think that he could pull it off but then says “but the people could” do it by applying pressure to their representatives. I’ve never heard him “promise” that he would give us a fair tax.

    I don’t really have a problem with either one of them making these proposals because it brings the ideas some exposure, I’m just realistically saying that nothing will come of it in the next term.

    As for the chances of Ron Paul, unfortunately it’s not just the message that wins the presidency but the presentation plays just as much a role. Ron Paul just doesn’t have the “it” factor which is why despite beating Huckabee at raisning funds, he is behind 20% to 4% in the polls and Huckabee is really taking off.

    He’s so extreme that I don’t believe he is electable. I won’t not vote for Ron because of his inability to win (I voted for Buchanan twice), but most people will. I’m just saying it doesn’t look like he can win at this point in my opinion. But I would have told you the same about Mike a couple of months ago so what do I know ;^)

    Hopefully you WILL vote for Huck if he wins the primary or are you one of those that will encourage Ron to run as an indepent once he gets beat in the primaries?

  10. Well, first off thanks for clarifying your views. I was a little sarcastic in my last post and I’m glad you didn’t take it personally.

    To answer your question: I will never vote for Mike Huckabee. I am an independent with Libertarian and Constitutionalist leanings. I strongly believe in voting for the best person for the job (Ron Paul!) and will never settle for “the lesser of two evils” as many tend to do. Though Huckabee puts on a nice show at times, what he truly stands for does not come much closer to my views than what most of the Democrats stand for.

    If Ron Paul doesn’t get the Republican nomination I do hope that he runs as an independent. At the very least this would allow more people to hear his message and be educated on true principles. Even if Paul drops totally out of the race I will vote for him as a write in — you only throw your vote away if you vote for someone unworthy (or less worthy) of the office. Our country is too far gone to settle for anything less.

    I wish more people were truly informed and that they had enough integrity to vote this way, we could have a much better government and a much better country. Instead too many give up on the best candidates far too early and assume they can’t win. Even worse than this (as you imply above) many see politicians as celebrities. The shallow pop culture values of our society play much too great a role in politics and people vote like the presidential race is some sort of popularity contest with no consequences. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t care how slick someone talks or what their hair looks like or which famous people are endorsing them. I care about character, integrity, values and commitment to liberty.

    You make a good point about the “it” factor though, because for many people having “it” is instead having the shallow surface qualities I mentioned previously. This may partially explain Paul’s lower poll numbers. It all depends on what you’re looking for though, to me Ron Paul has “it” more than anybody else.

    I think a lot of the problem also is voter ignorance. The country is getting more and more dumbed down, people don’t understand how government works. They don’t know history, economics, world events, etc. This ignorance is easily exploited and people are manipulated by media and government propaganda. This manipulation of general voter ignorance and apathy is in my opinion the major reason Paul is not more popular than he is. If the mainstream media likes something (and the mainstream media definitely includes all of the fake conservative AM radio talk show hosts) automatically one should be suspicious of it.

    I do agree with most of what you just said though. It is sad how far our country has fallen. It is sad that the media tries to portray Ron Paul as extreme when he is not, his views should be the majority in this country given the principles of our Constitution. I also am a fan of Pat Buchanan. I agree that getting rid of the IRS will not be easy and will take some time, but I KNOW Ron Paul will do everything he possibly can to get rid of the IRS if he is our president. I don’t believe this is true of Huckabee, but like you said at least he is throwing the idea out there about reforming taxes.

    I’m curious, you are hoping people vote for Huckabee if he gets the nomination, but you also said you could vote for Ron Paul even if you think he isn’t electable. That sounds like a contradiction — is this just because you are still undecided between the two candidates?

  11. What I mean is that I will probably vote for Ron Paul in the primary but if he loses and doesn’t run as an independent then I’ll fairly happily vote for Huckabee for the election. I don’t see myself writing in a candidate.

    I agree completely about the media. More than a year out and they’ve already decided who the top tier candidates should be and they ignore everyone else. It’s so frustrating but the fact that Huckabee has been able to overcome that is further proof of his “it” factor.

    Our biggest disagreement with each other is probably based on how much difference you think there is between dem and rep. While they’re definitely closer than I would like, there truly is a significant difference in my opinion. You can take almost any controversial subject and the dems are almost every time on the wrong side at least in my view. Abortion being the most important to me. That means that if we cast a vote for someone who has no chance, we can potentially give Hillary the nod which unlike you, I see that loss as significant.

    I don’t see Huckabee as being evil. I don’t agree with him in terms of federal government envolvement but I don’t read that as evil. I see it as status quo at least since the new deal and perhaps a difference of opinion on how to interpret the constitution.

    There are a lot of “good” things that have come with the governments added involvement. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t see it as constitutional and therefore in my view it’s just wrong but I think sometimes in our quest to be black and white we over state the negative aspects of the other candidates. Even Ron Paul has things that we may disagree about and that could be said to be “evil” such as his support for legalized Marijuana.

    That being said, I can still respect your opinion to not vote for Huckabee based on his unconstitutional positions and who knows I may end up there myself someday but I’m not there just yet.

  12. It sounds like we have a lot in common in many areas. We do seem to differ in our views of Republicans vs. Democrats.

    I’ve always been an independent, but fifteen years ago or so my thinking was closer to what you are saying. The Republicans have lost all of their credibility though with their big spending and big government policies. On top of that they have gotten much worse in recent years with the neoconservative ideology that infiltrated and now dominates the party. Neocon Republicans are downright dangerous in my opinion, in their own ways they are at least as bad as the worst of the Democratic party.

    Concerning abortion, I do agree that it’s wrong and I am pro-life. No matter what pro-life Republican is elected though nothing seems to change in this area so I can’t say that this issue is really one of the things I focus on most when analyzing the platforms of political candidates. I hate to say it but abortion is here to stay unless people change their behavior and beliefs. The abortion problem is an issue of morals and personal responsibility. Even if you outlaw abortion you won’t stop it if the hearts of the people don’t change as well. But again, I trust Ron Paul to do everything he can to curtail abortion, and do it without overstepping the bounds of government.

    As far as marijuana goes I am in favor of legalizing it, especially for medicinal purposes. I also think it is silly that hemp cannot be grown in this country given its many benefits. I don’t agree with the recreational use of marijuana, but it should not be illegal. Similarly, I don’t agree with alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity and I think they are bad, but these actions are for individuals to decide for themselves — the government should mostly stay out of it. Marijuana is demonized by some factions of our culture, but it’s danger is roughly on par with alcohol, and alcohol has been legal and regulated for a long time. The overall “war on drugs” is a whole different subject, but there are some serious problems with it. (For the record I DO NOT and never will use or sell marijuana or any other drugs, and I don’t even drink alcohol or use tobacco.)

    I understand the tendency to want government control over certain things, and there are times where it is appropriate. I am not by any means anti-government. I love our country and an honest government that stays within the bounds of its proper role is not only desirable but absolutely necessary. The corruption in our government today is mostly the reflection of similar moral problems within our society. A free people must be a moral people to remain free, and they must take personal responsibility for their choices and actions. If our society continues to grow more decadent we will eventually lose all of our freedoms. Like others have said, if America falls it will be from within. There are still a lot of good people left though that are working to improve things so there are many reasons to be optimistic.

    Anyway, that’s my little soapbox speech. Like most people I try to do the right things but often fall short (and I will easily admit to that) so don’t mistake my opinions for self-righteousness. Also, just to clarify — I don’t mean to say that Huckabee as a person is evil. I use the phrase “lesser of two evils” mostly as a figure of speech. Presidents are very influential though and some actions and policies can bring about evil things, so in that sense I do want to vote for someone I can live with on my conscience.

  13. Well stated. I guess you’re a little more the libertarian than I but I’m definitely headed that way.

    I know what you mean about things not truly changing until people’s morals change and I definitely agree but it also doesn’t stop us from creating certain laws that prohibit bad behavior like murder. People will continue to murder people despite there being a law but that doesn’t mean having a law isn’t necessary.

    I’m sure you would agree with that so that means it’s just a matter of where we draw that line. I’m guessing that you draw the line where the actions of the other person consitently and directly negatively impact another and I must admit that’s a clean line to draw (and that would include abortion).

    I on the other hand think that almost every decision that a person makes has an impact on others and so my line isn’t quite as clean as yours.

    Perhaps you could address a couple of other things I’ve heard about Ron Paul that I may disagree with:

    1. He wants to get rid of OSHA – While I definitely think that organization gets a little over the edge at times, it does make sense to me to have minimum standards for job safety?

    2. I’ve heard that he wants to withdraw from the U.N. – While I’m not for submitting our sovereignty to another entity. It does make sense to me to have another organization that aids in countries working together to come up with agreements concerning the global environment and how best to deal with rogue nations in terms of sanctions and things. We could of course work directly with each country but as a manager in a fortune 500 company I can tell you that establishing standards with many people at the table at once is far more efficient that doing things one off.

    3. Ron Paul wants to leave Iraq – While I must admit that I’ve had second thoughts about whether we ever should have invaded Iraq (and I’m definitely leaning a lot more heavily toward what others call isolationism), now that we’re in, it does seem like we should do what we can to see if we can establish a seed of democracy that could eventually be a beacon to the whole middle east in 20 years.

    If I don’t speak to you again before next year, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

  14. Hi Jamii, thanks for the kind holiday wishes! I hope your Christmas and New Year’s were good as well. It’s been a busy past couple of weeks for me but fun. I don’t have time to thoughtfully answer your questions at the moment and do them justice. I’ll be glad to share my thoughts on those issues though soon (when I have a bit more free time) — hopefully I’ll hear back from you then.

  15. […] can I say about Huckabee, on my blog we’ve detailed his blatant disregard for the Constitution, his record level of spending while governor of Arkansas, his deliberate handing over of taxpayer […]

  16. OK, believe it or not Jamii I am finally answering your questions! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, if you gave up on hearing from me again I don’t blame you, but maybe you’ll still see this so here it goes…

    As far as passing laws to prohibit bad behavior that directly and negatively impacts others like murder, etc. I am all for it (as any sane person would be). Like you said, anything that harms another person or their property is fair game for regulation by law enforcement. To revisit a previous example above: alcohol is legal. People can buy and drink as much as they want if they are 21 or older. Abusing it is not healthy but it’s the individuals choice — it’s not illegal unless or until the behavior of the one abusing it hurts others, or poses a serious threat of hurting others. Also, if you are deemed too young to make decisions about drinking (or what you may do when drunk) then alcohol drinking is regulated. If you drink and drive then you are endangering others so that is regulated, etc. So yeah, when government attempts to legislate morality it’s wrong (like prohibition was wrong). But when government lets people make their own choices and then limits itself to protecting life, property, etc. that is within the bounds of their proper role.

    Like you said, that philosophy is a pretty simple, clear line. As far as laws go there are totally unregulated acceptable behaviors (individual liberties) and in some cases regulated, unacceptable behaviors (violation of others’ liberty). That is essentially my view of what limited government is — they have a specific and important yet limited role in most things.

    Of course it’s true that all individual behavior and choice in some way affects others. Someone who chooses to drink but never directly threatens the life or property of others could still affect them if they fail to live up to their potential as a parent, spouse, employee, etc. due to heavy drinking or if they eventually have more serious health problems requiring treatment or whatever. These issues go back to the necessity for morality and personal responsibility though as mentioned above. Whether we like it or not these attributes are required to be free. Areas in which one dramatically fails to control them self are areas that will ultimately be controlled by others.

    The things that are not the business of federal, state, or city government regulation (because they do not directly, negatively affect others) can still be regulated if necessary. But rather then from government, the appropriate source of the voluntary, non-forceful regulation could be from families, parents, religion, friends, communities, support groups, non-profits, etc. depending on the issue. Anyway, I’ve probably gone into this enough now.

    As far as OSHA goes: Ron Paul has said he wants to cut OSHA. Like you said they do go overboard at times and (as government tends to be) they are not always the most effective or efficient agency — therefore they waste taxpayer money. I think the primary motivation for Paul’s stance on OSHA is that it’s not in the Constitution. If something is necessary then a Constitutional amendment should be made, otherwise it is beyond the proper role of federal government. I would imagine that Paul also would argue that those minimum safety standards are important, but that they can be enforced more effectively by means other than through the federal government. I have to be honest though OSHA is not something I’ve specifically studied or something I deal with in my profession so I personally can’t provide much more insight than that on this topic without studying it more. You might go to ronpaullibrary.org to find out more about Paul’s ideas on this though. They let you access many of his writings on various issues.

    Well, this is already getting kind of long and I still haven’t gotten to your other two questions so I’ll have to get back to you. I promise it won’t take so long this time!

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