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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 11/16/2007

Four Pinocchios for Ron Paul

By Michael Dobbs


Ron Paul in his Concord, NH, headquarters.

"I lean toward a flat tax. But I want to make it real flat, like zero."


--Ron Paul, Jay Leno show, October 31, 2007.

"Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of her history."


--Ron Paul website.


Responding to pleas by Ron Paul supporters to take their man seriously, I devoted a post last week to his plan to abolish the federal income tax, which provides Uncle Sam with $1.2 trillion in annual revenue. Paul's policy director, Joseph Becker, said he would get back to me with pie charts and other data, demonstrating how a President Paul would achieve this seemingly miraculous feat. I have now received the Paul Campaign response, which I am posting in full below, so that readers can better understand the intellectual rigor underpinning the Texas Congressman's ideas.


The Facts

Before giving the floor to the Paul team, let us review the state of the debate. During an October 31 appearance on the Jay Leno show, the Republican candidate said that he would abolish the IRS and introduce a "zero" flat tax on the incomes of U.S. citizens. He told Leno that the abolition of the income tax would leave the federal government with roughly the revenues it was able to gather in 2000, before the overseas adventures of the Bush years.

This seemed too good to be true, and it was. Without the revenues from individual income tax, the federal budget would shrink to the size it was in the early 1990s, not the year 2000. The discretionary share of the federal budget--the money the government spends on defense, the federal bureaucracy, the environment, education, and health--would dwindle to zero. All remaining federal revenues would be earmarked for mandatory entitlement spending such as social security--which Paul has said he would not touch--and interest on debt.

The following graph provides a breakdown of the $2.6 trillion in revenues collected by the federal government in financial year 2007. (I got the figures from the Final Monthly Treasury Statement for September 2007.) It shows that income tax accounted for roughly 45 percent of the total, not 33 percent, as Paul claims on his website. The next largest chunk--34 percent--comes from social security taxes. Customs and excise duties--which formed the bulk of federal revenues in the pre-1913 period which Paul praises so highly--account for less than four per cent of total revenue.


The next graph shows outlays. If Paul is going to get rid of the federal income tax, he will have to find $1.2 trillion in savings on today's budget. He says he will not take this money from social security. Instead he will focus on the "costs of empire." But even if he pulled all U.S. troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan ($152 billion), abolished the entire foreign aid budget, ($22 billion), got rid of the State Department, ($6 billion), and withdrew from the United Nations, ($2 billion), he would only save around $180 billion. If he stopped all federal spending on education and ended agricultural price subsidies, as he has also proposed, he might save another $100 billion.

That's still a long way from $1.2 trillion.


So how will Paul perform the miracle? Drum roll, please, for Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton. Here is his full, unedited, response to my request for data to support the candidate's claims about abolishing the income tax:

"Over half of federal government revenue presently comes from sources other than the personal income tax. Policy wonks can go back and forth arguing over budget specifics. The point Dr. Paul was making, during an interview on an entertainment program, is that we can eliminate the income tax and fund a level of government from the recent past. Whether that year is 1995, 1997 or 2000 is irrelevant. These levels are of course statically scored. Real world dynamic scoring would drive revenues substantially higher. A Paul administration would not be able to end the IRS on January 29th, 2009. President Paul would work with Congress to phase out the income tax and cut budgets to sensible, constitutional levels, focusing foremost on eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars of excessive overseas expenditures."

So that's it, folks. It will all be done through "real world dynamic scoring." Don't worry about the details. Just keep the faith and repeat the mantra.

The Pinocchio Test

Prior to receiving the Paul campaign's response, I was beginning to develop a soft spot for the Paulites. Judging from their comments on this blog, they combine passion with good manners, and enjoy a good debate. They have posed some great questions about America's core principles and values that deserve serious attention. But I am disappointed by Paul's refusal to provide factual and analytical support for his sweeping policy proposals. By failing back on incomprehensible jargon and disdaining "budget specifics," he loses the argument by default.

The doctor's figures just don't add up.


(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | November 16, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  4 Pinocchios, Candidate Watch, Economy, Iraq, Other Foreign Policy  
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Comments

Well, of course there are no specifics from the Paultards running his campaign. Ron Paul exists in a fantasy world, where government ought to be just as it was in the 1890s. Trouble is, what he says *sounds* nice. Right up until you start to look at facts.

Posted by: AndrewMc | November 16, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Why do you show only that small piece of the federal government's expenditures as slated for elimination under President Paul? Wouldn't Medicare/Medicaid and poverty programs be gone too? If so, 47 percent of expenditures, together with 45 percent of revenues, would be eliminated.

Posted by: Alexander | November 16, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Interesting graph and conclusions. But I think you left so thing out.

What happens to the graph & figures when you close ALL U.S military bases around the world - Europe & Asia?

What happens to Federal Revenues when large corporations can no longer get away with offshore evasion?

What happens when the Departments of Education,Energy,Agriculture,Homeland Security,CIA and FEME are dissolved?

I would also like to see what happens when 75% of "poverty" programs are cut?

As a small farmer I can tell you that the USDA, FEMA and HLS has made my life miserable and made YOUR food unsafe.
Anywhere President Paul cuts will be good as far as I'm concerned

Posted by: Granny Miller | November 16, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

What those who attack Ron Paul on this and other issues do not realize is that he is a true originalist [not the faux variety like Scalia, Roberts, etc.], and hence he will sharply/dramatically cut back the role of the national government, which was never intended to have the pervasive influence in the Republic that it has asserted since at least Franklin Roosevelt. If the national government returns to its intended territory defined by narrow applications of Article 1, section 8, which it would under Ron Paul, we would not need an income tax. So, the question is not whether the same revenues can be obtained without the tax; the question is whether a proper functioning limited national government needs the income tax, and the answer, to true constitutionalists, is clearly "no."

Posted by: capmotion | November 16, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

The answer to the question of whether a proper functioning limited national government needs the income tax is CLEARLY "no"?

Not so clear. Explain it.

To the Ron Paul supporters above who are saying (essentially) "You are just not getting his point", I say, "Then please explain it (precisely)."

Wishing something to be so, repeating that it is so, even telling me it was so once, does not convince me it can be so now. If Ron Paul, and his supporters, believe it is possible to the US to operate properly in today's day and age without a personal income tax, please explain precisely and accurately how it would be done, what would be cut, how those cuts will not harm us substantively, etc.

Or don't. That's fine. I just wont vote for him. It's his proposal, so it's his burden of proof.

Posted by: Skeptical-of-assertions | November 16, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I think your analysis overlooked the category of "Bake Sales for Bombers".

Posted by: Jim S. | November 16, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The gov't imposed itself on us long ago. Now we are scared toddlers to leave the nipple.

It won't be perfect, easy or comfortable to transition to our intended purpose as America and Americans.Buts as events painfully tell us, it's becoming very necessary.

Why don't these articles and reviews ever mention any other candidates solutions...to anything! Why don't their views deserve the serious scrutiny Dr.Paul's get?

All we seem to notice are the naysayers dissecting (usually with satire and jabs) Dr.Pauls solutions, but never comparing another candidates views and proposals.

It's just too easy to bully the one who really really tries to find some solution and ignore the others who steer this ship more blindly and dangerously every election.

Posted by: Dean | November 16, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Last time I checked a Corporation is not a person and should be taxed accordingly and money is not free speach despite what our corrupt courts say...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The neocon swords are out, I see. Ron Paul must be a threat.

He has my vote, whether IRS goes or not.

Posted by: dixie golden | November 16, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who fills out their own 1040 knows that the income tax is a collosal affront to clarity or efficiency. Too much effort goes into convoluted tax avoidance schemss that distort behavior and yield little. Government expenditures can also decline. The entitlements are a time bomb. Much of public education is a jobbery scam. The defense and national security complex are a pyramid of graft, scare mongering, and dubious expenditures. Most of the pieces of the budget pie appear to have noble objectives, but the waste factor is staggering, and the income tax is gradually going to squeeze and distort the rest of the economy.

Ron Paul may have some gaps in his case, but will the rest of the status quo candidates help us any? Five Pinnochio noses for them, wheter Publicoons or Dummokrats.

Posted by: jkoch | November 16, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I love Ron Paul. I want to eliminate those parts of the federal government that are wasteful, both financially and morally. Our system is SO corrupt that it almost doesn't resemble anything of the country that was born over 200 years ago, except for the rhetoric (Hands over hearts for the natl anthem, flag pins in lapels...)We could be doing SO mcuh better - we have the brains in this country, we have the skill and we have the decency.

But, please, Dr. Paul, be specific. I will vote for you if I can see more clearly exactly what you are proposing. Are the Fact Checker's numbers right?

Posted by: lakd | November 16, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Can't help but comment that if Paul were POTUS and did the honest thing - cut all that spending FIRST - he would have to deal with a variety of large angry mobs in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Not that Congress would go along with the 'suggestions' that have been made. They might have just a teensy weensy interest in re-election even if Paul doesn't. Eliminating Medicare and Medicaid would be especially conducive to political suicide.

Given this harsh reality of how things work in Washington the economically unsupported fantasies being spun out by the Paulites seem far more like a hazy daydream than an honest political platform.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Judge Crater is absolutely correct. A President Paul would introduce complete gridlock into Washington--there is no way Congress would every go along with his plans. One only has to observe how jealously members of Congress guard federal investment in their districts (e.g. military bases) to realize they'd never go along.

There are a few other points the Paulites refuse to acknowledge. This scheme would wreck the U.S. economy as hundreds of thousands of people would be out of work (government employees, contractors, and those individuals that sell goods/services to the gov't). Not only that, the Feds do offer substantial small business loans, incentives, and training that add to the economy. Don't forget all the people who won't be able to afford college once student loans evaporate (another drag on the economy). I guess they can join the military for the GI Bill... uh, guess not.

Lastly, President Paul's goals probably wouldn't affect the amount of money the average person pays one iota. Do you honestly believe the states would be idle while a major source of revenue dries up? State tax rates would skyrocket to cover the gaps President Paul's policies would create.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul wants us to go back to the glory days of breadlines and 25% unemployment.

Posted by: TheGribbler1 | November 16, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Sure the U.S. government can operate without the individual income tax, but that would me eliminating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaide, most of the Defense budget, agricultural subsidies, veterans benefits, etc. Doing this would be political and economic suicide. The unemployment and poverty rates would double or triple. Even if all this happened, the State governments would then have to dramatically grow to provide all these necessary services. Then the libertarians would begin denouncing the evil State tax authorities. Do they really want a 25 percent sales tax? Paul's meaningless response to the hard numbers tells it all. Rhetoric with no factual backing.

Posted by: realist | November 16, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

We as a nation are facing many growing problems that must be dealt with. Sure, Dr. Paul's solution(s) may sound incongruent at first, but at least he's taking an approach. What are the other candidates offering, from either party? I think they'd rather ignore the 800lbs gorilla, or worse, marry it to another and have it reproduce! Bring the troops home, then blow that money on something else. Bring the troops home, then redeploy them to somewhere else.

Posted by: Mark/PWC | November 16, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

First, there are MAYBE 4 Dr.NO Posters.

They log in for one day with their comments. Then Log in AGAIN as a new User ID and make more Comments, and again, and again...

Don't Believe Me?!!! Left Click their User ID's and go to the Home Page.

Of course, on the Fact Checker and especially the Trail-That can't be done!

Golly Gee Tennesse! I guess that might be why they(It) likes it here so much!

In Texas, it is now generally assumed, that a group that went over-board promoting Kinky Friedman for Governor, was doing it to help Lame-Lame Perry get his Toll-Roads and Coal Plants in, along with himself.

In other Words-Friedman and his Staff were "Spoilers"

I do not know if Dr.NO's Staff is the same, but strongly suspect the same Game!

Just enough Republican Support can be ussurped by a Dr.NO type, to let some congressional Clowns steal the White House.

Squawk-Dr.NO! Dr.NO!

Squawwk-NO!NO! Dr. NO-NO!!

Posted by: RAT-The | November 16, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You left out the hundreds of BILLIONS in PORK. You left out the Trillions in missing from "secret"projects from the DOD. You left out the hundreds of BILLIONS Georgie provides for his oil pals.

As IF George Bush or his father had a plan (FOR ANYTHING)...other than how to get rich and make their "pals" rich (esp. the Saudis, whom own them lock,stock,and barrel)

I like the idea of less...it makes MORE accountable.

Ron Paul just got my VOTE!

Posted by: Cino | November 16, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

What is going to happen to all the meds these posting fools won't be receiving from their Medicaid prescription program when it is eliminated? Because the majority of the people posting on this site are obviously on hallucinating drugs. Dr. or Congressman Paul should team up with Dennis Kucinich and run as a team. Wacky world.

Posted by: C.MORE | November 16, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

you only included iraq and afghanistan. how about korea, germany...and most of the other 130 countries we're in. figure would more likely be 2.1 trillion saved.

btw - you have a better plan?

Posted by: pdubya | November 16, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Better, Mr Dobbs.

This...
"So how will Paul perform the miracle? Drum roll, please, for Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton."

however, was unnecessary and inappropriate.

Posted by: david | November 16, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So Dr. Paul has a plan... that's nice. The real question is "Is it a good plan?" Most people have a plan for their personal lives and just about all politicians have a "plan" for government. The Democrats plan--broadly and somewhat inaccurately--is to expand (or maintain) government for the benefit of the people. The mainline Republican plan--again, broadly and somewhat inaccurately--is to limit (not eliminate) government's reach to certain necessities. Dr. Paul's plan seems to be to dramatically reduce the federal government to virtual non-function. I'm not criticizing Dr. Paul for having a plan, I am saying his plan is poor. It ignores fundamental economic realities, it ignores the commitments and responsibilities the United States has made in the larger world, it ignores the fact that this is 2007 and not 1807. To me, even the status quo is better than this plan which seems to be a prescription for national economic and geopolitical suicide. Why not just dissolve the federal system completely and let the 50 states go their own way? That's a plan too...
I got a plan too... I am going to dig a whole through the earth and import products from China cheaply! Too bad this whole would wind up in the Indian Ocean, but hey, it's a plan!

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I see a lot of hypocrites in here who don't care about Congressman Dr. Ron Paul planes, the are here for bashing, discrediting him, are you afraid! YES THERE IS A RISK HE COULD WIN! Yes I will vote for him, because I am smart enough to decide for my self!

Yes, he has many plans. Yes he wants to shrink the gov. :
A small government, cut cut and cut budget wherever he can without hurting the American people nor the economy.
He wants that the fruits of your labor stay with you: so every one can afford a health care coverage and take care of themselves, the government is not your NANY! Grow up and take responsibility for yourself and your family.
He doesn't want to put anybody who is dependant on the Medicare or Social security on the street, but give the ones who want to get out of it the possibility to do so.
He wants to let you choose, make your own choices, that's called liberty: Are you now afraid? Because since you were born you were used to the gov. taking your hand and showing you the 'RIGHT' way!? The way they think it is good for you!?

If we stop printing money out of the thin air and sending it overseas for useless wars, and an empire that is so costly (To the 'fact checker': the us has more than 170 army bases overseas) we are going to save more than what we are getting out of the income taxes MR. Pinocchio!

Dr. Paul is a man with integrity, a honest man, his folk in the different texas districts he is being elected since 10 terms, are not a single issue voters like the most of you! All they care about is that they have the chance to have a representative that is honest and close to them, is there when they need him and is not a puppet of the lobbies.

Sure, you got used to liars and dishonest people, who will never serve your interests but the interests of those who pays for their campaigns. You got in love with the hypocrites that you don't care any more about the person and their plans!!

Fortunately, people are waking up, they can't believe there luck, that there is a man out there, a honest man with integrity and principles, who is ready to sacrifice the next years of his life to restore the constitution, restore the republic and give you America back. WE THE PEOPLE.

Vote Congressman Dr. RON PAUL and be part of it.

Live free or die

Posted by: soule | November 16, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"There are a few other points the Paulites refuse to acknowledge. This scheme would wreck the U.S. economy as hundreds of thousands of people would be out of work (government employees, contractors, and those individuals that sell goods/services to the gov't)."

you mean they'd have to get REAL jobs?? THE HORRORRRRRR!!!!!!

you mean they'd actually have to go back to school for engineering or physics or learn a trade that actually contributes to society???? THE HORRORRR!!!!

you mean they'd have to GET OFF THE DOLE like most of the country and WORK???? OH THE HORRORRRRRR!!!!!

Posted by: Legion, for we are many | November 16, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Paul won't be elected, or even nominated...and yet VOTES for Paul in the GOP primary will have more power to move POLICY than votes for any other candidate (including the eventual winner)... that is in part because future candidates of the losing party in this election (likely the GOP) will be looking to capture the votes the front-runners DIDN'T get this time around... this is an old pattern, most easily seen in 3rd party campaigns of the past... and it will be Paul's most salient positions (vs the Iraq war, big government generally, spying on Americans) that will be adopted (co-opted?) by those future candidates.

Posted by: M Levi | November 16, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Legion, guess what: working for the government, either directly or by supplying goods and services, IS necessary work! Try your sneering moron act on the next cop or firefighter you need.

Never trust anyone who wants to run the government who also believes government is the problem. Like buying a car from someone who thinks it's a lemon, and tells you it's a lemon. Makes no sense.

The government is all of us, and if we could get the robber barons and me-me-me Libertarians out of the way, we might get back some of the communitarian spirit we saw after 9/11, at home and abroad, that was utterly crushed by Bush & Cheney.

Posted by: citizenjane | November 16, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Facts are funny things, they don't go away just because a plan authored by someone you admire says they should. I have no idea if Ron Paul has integrity, is a good man, or even means well. I don't know him but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt (there is no evidence to assume otherwise). Nonetheless, his plan is terrible.

So, if all the people currently working for the government (as employees or contractors) or in a related industry (e.g., a company with a contract to supply paper and pencils to the paper and pencil pushers) are let go to find "real jobs" what kind of burden will that place on the economy? Even assuming *all* their jobs are worthless (which I highly disagree with) can private industry absorb that number of individuals? How can they go back to school if there are no student loans? What about the ripple effect as these people default on mortgages, car payments, their kids' tuition, and other debts?

If you don't care about these people and their economic (as opposed to professional) contributions, what about the federal funds used to help people open small businesses, put their kids in daycare while they work, build highways (bridges to somewhere) and other infrastructure improvements, and humanitarian aid to impoverished countries? What happens when the next Hurricane Katrina hits? Granted the Bush response was poor but at least there was a response...

Federal funds also supply much of the research and development grants used by colleges and universities which are the envy of the world. Even our public education system is fairly decent when compared to other countries.

The Paul plan appeals to some at first glance due to the promise of "no more taxes! No more gov't waste! Traditional Constitutional Doctrine!" but its really a recipe for disaster. How will middle to low income students go to college? Who will inspect the nation's food supply? Who will aid communities when disaster hits? Who will make sure employers pay a decent wage? Taxes are onerous. There is government waste. Nonetheless, I'd rather live with our current system than a laisse faire robber baron era that Ron Paul would return us to. He'd make Upton Sinclair quite current again...

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Why does Michael Dobbs still have a job? These are the rankings Dobbs will give regardless:
Ron Paul = 4 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on the guy)
Actor Sean Penn = 4 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on the guy. hey everyone is doing it)
Michael Moore = 3 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on the guy, but he's got a lot of admirers).
Moveon.Org = 3 Pinocchios (got a lot of supporters)
Obama = 2 Pinocchios (the guy may be president)
Hillary = 2 Pinocchios (may be elected president)
Guiliani = 2 Pinocchios (may be elected president)
McCain = 1 Pinocchio (Bad tempered Vietnam war hero)
General Petreus = No Pinocchios (Too important. Can offend my editor)
George W Bush = No Pinocchios (President. Can offend my editor)
This fact checking column was a good idea. But having a spineless coward like Dobbs write it has made it a joke. Dobbs, you're a bigger joke than the people you write about.

Posted by: Playa | November 16, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This blog post reminds me of a friend who criticized "Star Wars" because laser guns wouldn't work the way they are depicted to work in the movies. The Paul website page you link to is a speech in which Paul says that income tax accounts for "only approximately one-third of federal revenue"; you take that to mean precisely 33% and then attack Paul when his "approximate" figures don't match your precise math. Earlier in the speech, Paul says that "it's useless to discuss tax reform without spending reform," but you and other commenters chide him for cutting taxes without spending.

Ron Paul has a voting record in which he repeatedly votes against federal spending that would help his Congressional district. Unlike past Republicans, when he says he wants a smaller government, he means it. He doesn't say that he would cut taxes without cutting spending, but rather that he would cut spending first and then cut taxes to match.

What's so crazy about that?

Posted by: Joe Magarac | November 16, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Granny Miller is right. The USDA and the DOA are ruining the American farmer, poisioning our food supply, destroying the earth, and making gigantic food conglomerates like Tyson, Cargill and ADM richer and ever more unaccountable. It's time to STOP the farm subsidies.

Posted by: lakd | November 16, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Playa, You seem to know how to castigate someone: What's completely hidden from us is whether or not you can think - it's doubtful from your entry.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

CitizenJane said:

"Try your sneering moron act on the next cop or firefighter you need."

those are STATE and COUNTY employees, NOT FedGov, you're an idiot. thanks for adding nothing to this conversation.

Sean- the FedGov can also fit you with a diaper cradle to grave if you like. it's called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. the American spirit is strong, it adapts/overcomes. it also suffers if you smother it. folks won't get off the dole if there's no motivation which is what we have right now.

If all those FedGov contractors were put out on the streets, maybe they'd form a new company and PRODUCE something instead of just shuffling paperwork in our massive bureaucracy. the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in this country (see Silicon Valley) but it'll never be fully fulfilled b/c there's no motivation.

Also, ask yourself why everything's so expensive that so many people NEED FedGov subsidies just for basic needs? The free market is efficient, it provides where there is a need and eliminates waste. It can also be distorted due to intervention and regulations. History has shown that Command/Control economies do not work. I don't pretend to have the answers and neither does RP, the people have the answers, the individual has the answer, the free market has the answer. end of rant.

Posted by: Legion, for we are many | November 16, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

great analysis, this speaks for itself, MR. Dobbs, or shall I better say: Mr. Pinocchio!

Ron Paul = 4 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on the guy. The traditional Media hate him because he says the truth)
Actor Sean Penn = 4 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on the guy. hey everyone is doing it)
Michael Moore = 3 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on the guy. Beause he brings the real topics the american people care about but not the traditional manipulative media).
Moveon.Org = 3 Pinocchios (Safe to beat on them since they took on Gen. Betrayus)
Obama = 2 Pinocchios (Not Safe to beat on the guy. He is a man of color)
Hillary = 2 Pinocchios (NOT Safe to beat on the girl. she is a women and a first lady)
Guiliani = 2 Pinocchios (NOT Safe to beat on the guy. He is the noon, verb and 9/11 guy, Bush on steroids)
McCain = 1 Pinocchio (Bad tempered Vietnam war hero. His mom will take care of kicking your butt)
General Petreus = No Pinocchios (NOT Safe to beat on the guy. Time of war, your editor want exclusive stories from iraq. Stick to the course)
George W Bush = No Pinocchios (NOT Safe to beat on the guy. Too afraid of the neocons who pay your bills)

Posted by: soule | November 16, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The answer to Dean's question "Why don't these articles and reviews ever mention any other candidates solutions...to anything! Why don't their views deserve the serious scrutiny Dr.Paul's get?"

The other candidates have no solutions, and no plans to do anything differently from how it is being done now. There is no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. They both seek to exploit those beneath them to acquire wealth and power. I'm not so sure Dr. Paul isn't of the same ilk, but the only way to find out is to put him in office. It can't possibly be worse than the other choices now, or who has been in that office for the last 50 years.

Posted by: Greg | November 16, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

this article just shows to me how terrified elite the status quo is of Ron Paul "cleaning the House"...

he gets my vote!

Posted by: Tom | November 16, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

An incredibly misleading piece.

Congressman Paul has NEVER said specifically that getting rid of our foreign policy expenditures, farm subisidies, and expenditures on education would be enough to cover the loss of revenue from the income tax. He has just cited these as examples of things he would cut.

Here's what he SPECIFICALLY said would be needed to be done in order to get rid of the income tax:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peBGJwE9NXo

"Question: Would you work to phase out the IRS?
Paul: Immediately! But you can only do that if you change your philosophy on what you think the role of government should be. If you think the role of government has to take care of us from cradle to grave, and if you think our government should police the world and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a policy that we cannot manage, then you can't get rid of the IRS."

So, there you have it. He implies that cutting foreign policy expenditures won't be enough to do it, but that there would need to be a fundamental change in the role of the federal government in order for the IRS and income tax to be abolished.

Posted by: Paige | November 16, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Ron Paul economic plans (Of course he is the only candidate with plans, don't mistake about it)

Lower taxes and smaller government

Paul believes the size of federal government must be decreased substantially. He supports the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service, most Cabinet departments, and the Federal Reserve. Paul's campaign slogan for 2004 was "The Taxpayers' Best Friend!". He would completely eliminate the income tax by shrinking the size and scope of government to its Constitutional limits, noting that he has never voted to approve an unbalanced budget; he has observed that even scaling back spending to 2000 levels eliminates the need for the 42% of the budget accounted for by individual income tax receipts. He has asserted that Congress had no power to impose a direct income tax and supports the repeal of the sixteenth amendment. Paul has signed a pledge not to raise taxes or create new taxes, given by Americans for Tax Freedom. Paul has also been an advocate of employee-owned corporations (such as employee stock ownership plans). In 1999, he co-sponsored The Employee Ownership Act of 1999, which would have created a new type of corporation (the employee-owned-and-controlled corporation) that would have been exempt from most federal income taxes.

John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union, an organization that promotes lower tax rates, has said, "Ron Paul has always proven himself to be a leader in the fight for taxpayer rights and fiscal responsibility .... No one can match his record on behalf of taxpayers." Paul has been called a "Taxpayer's Friend" by Berthoud's organization every year since he returned to Congress in 1996, scoring an average percentage of 100%, tying Tom Tancredo for the highest score (1992-2005) among all 2008 presidential candidates from Congress. National Federation of Independent Business president Jack Farris has said, "Paul is a true friend of small business.... He is committed to a pro-small-business agenda of affordable health insurance, lower taxes, tort reform, and the elimination of burdensome mandates."

Paul has stated: "I agree on getting rid of the IRS, but I want to replace it with nothing, not another tax. But let's not forget the inflation tax." In other statements, he has permitted consideration of a national sales tax as a compromise if the tax need cannot be reduced enough. He has advocated that the reduction of government will make an income tax unnecessary. Paul would substantially reduce the government's role in individual lives and in the functions of foreign and domestic states; he says Republicans have lost their commitment to limited government and have become the party of big government. He would eliminate most federal government agencies as "unnecessary bureaucracies", such as the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Paul would severly reduce the role of the CIA; reducing its functions to intelligence-gathering. He would eliminate operations like overthrowing foreign governments and assassinations. He says this activity is kept secret even from Congress and "leads to trouble." He also commented, "We have every right in the world to know something about intelligence gathering, but we have to have intelligent people interpreting this information."

Paul's opposition to the Federal Reserve is supported by the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, which holds that instead of containing inflation, the Federal Reserve, in theory and in practice, is responsible for causing inflation. In addition to eroding the value of individual savings, this creation of inflation leads to booms and busts in the economy. Thus Paul argues that government, via a central bank (the Federal Reserve), is the primary cause of economic recessions and depressions. He has stated in numerous speeches that most of his colleagues in Congress are unwilling to abolish the central bank because it funds many government activities. He says that to compensate for eliminating the "hidden tax" of inflation, Congress and the president would instead have to raise taxes or cut government services, either of which could be politically damaging to their reputations. He states that the "inflation tax" is a tax on the poor, because the Federal Reserve prints more money which subsidizes select industries, while poor people pay higher prices for goods as more money is placed in circulation.

His warnings of impending economic crisis and a loss of confidence in the dollar in 2005 and 2006 were at the time derided by many economists, but accelerating dollar devaluation in 2007 has led experts like former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan to reconsider hard money policies such as those of Paul.


Opposition to inflation and the Federal Reserve

Paul adheres deeply to Austrian school economics and libertarian criticism of fractional-reserve banking, opposing fiat increases to money in circulation; he has written six books on the subjects, has pictures of classical liberal economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises hanging on his office wall, and is a distinguished counselor to the Mises Institute. Paul opposes inflation as an underhanded form of taxation, because it takes value away from the money that individuals hold without having to directly tax them. He sees the creation of the Federal Reserve, and its ability to "print money out of thin air" without commodity backing, as responsible for eroding the value of money, observing that "a dollar today is worth 4 cents compared to a dollar in 1913 when the Federal Reserve got in." In 1982, Paul was the prime mover in the creation of the U.S. Gold Commission, and in many public speeches Paul has voiced concern over the dominance of the debt-based monetary system and called for the return to a commodity-backed currency through a gradual reintroduction of hard currency, including both gold and silver. A commodity standard binds currency issue to the value of that commodity rather than fiat, making the value of the currency as stable as the commodity.

Paul condemns the role of the Federal Reserve in creating inflation. The Minority Report of the U.S. Gold Commission states that the federal and state governments are strictly limited in their monetary role by Article One, Section Eight, Clauses 2, 5, and 6, and Section Ten, Clause 1, "The Constitution forbids the states to make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debt, nor does it permit the federal government to make anything a legal tender." The Commission also recommended that the federal government "restore a definition for the term 'dollar.' We suggest defining a 'dollar' as a weight of gold of a certain fineness, .999 fine." On multiple occasions in congressional hearings, Paul has sharply challenged two different chairmen of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.

Paul has also called for the removal of all taxes on gold transactions. He has repeatedly introduced the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act since 1999, to enable "America to return to the type of monetary system envisioned by our Nation's founders: one where the value of money is consistent because it is tied to a commodity such as gold"; it has received virtually no mainstream news coverage. He opposes dependency on paper fiat money, but also says that there "were some shortcomings of the gold standard of the 19th century ... because it was a fixed price and caused confusion." He argues that hard money, such as backed by gold or silver, would prevent inflation, but adds, "I wouldn't exactly go back on the gold standard but I would legalize the constitution where gold and silver should and could be legal tender, which would restrain the Federal Government from spending and then turning that over to the Federal Reserve and letting the Federal Reserve print the money."He supports parallel currencies, such as gold-backed notes issued from private markets, competing on a level playing field with the Federal Reserve fiat dollar. He believes this would restrain inflation, limit government spending, and eventually eliminate the ability of the Federal Reserve to "tax" Americans through inflation (i.e., by reducing the purchasing power of the currency they are holding),which he sees as a sneaky and silent form of theft.

Paul suggests that current efforts to sustain dollar hegemony, especially since collapse of the Bretton Woods system following the United States' suspension of the dollar's conversion to gold in 1971, exacerbate a rationale for war. Consequently, when petroleum producing nations like Iraq, Iran, or Venezuela elect to trade in Petroeuro instead of Petrodollar, it devalues an already overly inflated dollar, further eroding its supremacy as a global currency. According to Paul, along with vested American interests in oil and plans to "remake the Middle East", this scenario has proven a contributing factor for the war against Iraq and diplomatic tensions with Iran. National Journal rated Paul's economic policy as 51% conservative in 2006 (46% in 2005).


Support of nonviolent tax resistance
In an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, June 26, 2007, in speaking of income tax resistance, Paul said that he supports the right of those who engage in nonviolent resistance when they believe a law is unjust, bringing up the names of Martin Luther King, Lysander Spooner, and Mahatma Gandhi as examples of practitioners of peaceful civil disobedience; but he cautioned that those who do should be aware that the consequences could be imprisonment.[84] He said that current income tax laws assume that people are guilty and they must then prove they are innocent, and he believes this aspect of tax law is unfair. However, he said that he prefers to work for improved tax laws by getting elected to Congress and trying to change the laws themselves rather than simply not paying the tax.


Social Security protection

Paul says that Social Security is in "bad shape .... The numbers aren't there"; funds are depleting because Congress borrows from the Social Security fund every year to fund its budget. He considers himself the rare member of Congress who has voted for such little spending that it has never required borrowing from existing Social Security funds. To stem the Social Security crisis and meet the commitment to elderly citizens who depend on it, he requires that Congress cut down on spending, reassess monetary and spending policies, and stop borrowing heavily from foreign investors, such as those in China, who hold U.S. Treasury bonds. Paul believes young Americans should be able to opt out of the system if they would like not to pay Social Security taxes.


Minimization of market interference

Paul opposes virtually all federal interference with the market process. He also endorses defederalization of the health care system.

Paul was one of only three members of Congress that voted against the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: it "imposes costly new regulations on the financial services industry [that] are damaging American capital markets by providing an incentive for small US firms and foreign firms to deregister from US stock exchanges."

In an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Paul said he favors ending the United States Post Office legal monopoly on first class mail delivery by legalizing private competition.


Limiting spending to Constitutional powers
In order to restrict the federal government to its Constitutionally authorized functions, Paul regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes, often opposed by a heavy majority of his colleagues. On January 22, 2007, Paul was the lone member out of 415 voting to oppose a House measure to create a National Archives exhibit on slavery and Reconstruction, as an unauthorized use of taxpayer money.

In a speech on June 25, 2003, criticizing giving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, Paul said, "These medals generally have been proposed to recognize a life of service and leadership, and not for political reasons -- as evidenced by the overwhelming bipartisan support for awarding President Reagan, a Republican, a gold medal. These awards normally go to deserving individuals, which is why I have many times offered to contribute $100 of my own money, to be matched by other members, to finance these medals." He has also been criticized for being the only dissenting vote against giving Pope John Paul II, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa the medal. The medals and ceremonies held to bestow them on recipients are expensive. Texas Monthly awarded him the "Bum Steer" award for voting against a congressional honor for cartoonist Charles Schulz, but also noted, "When he was criticized for voting against the [Parks] medal, he chided his colleagues by challenging them to personally contribute $100 to mint the medal. No one did. At the time, Paul observed, 'It's easier to be generous with other people's money.'"

Posted by: manu | November 16, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

As a concerned citizen, I must say I am glad to see the discussions in this thread. It amounts to an informed debate between people about THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING THIS COUNTRY.

I am a Ron Paul supporter, and I recognize that there are smart people who have a problem with his ideas. I think it is GREAT that we are trying to have a discussion about his platform.

Really, wouldn't it be great if we had politicians who were willing to have this type of disucssion in a national debate?

I think all of us recognize the massive issues facing the US economy: Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are failing financially. What is anybody going to do aobut it?

The war in Iraq is a failure that has cost thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians lives, and over $1 Trillion that we've had to borrow from the Chinese just to fund the effort.

I just think this country needs to seiously address the massive issues facing this country, and I applaud Dr. Paul for his stated goals. FWIW, I like Kucinich too.

Again, I disagree with you folks, but I think the discussion you are generating is wonderful.

Regards.

Posted by: Andy R | November 16, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The hit piece was not the written part but the picture.

Posted by: K. Burns | November 16, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Rat-the-- While you are no doubt hitting at some truth behind the success of the Friedman campaign in Texas I also think what you suggest raises larger questions. How do you push for change without being supported by another group who wants to promote you for all the "wrong" reasons? And should one reject people who support a cause but for the "wrong" reasons? What are the "right" reasons and who determines that? Ron Paul essentially believes that the Federal government has overstated its Constitutional purpose in a variety of ways. I think this is a valid position supported by many citizens, scholars and Constitutional authorities. In Texas, Kinky Friedman was making the point that in principle any qualified citizen is perfectly entitled to run for office and serve but it is up to the voters to decided who they wish to elect. Yet in reality election law is tilted against running for any office as anything other than a Democrat or a Republican so that in effect the law which supports a two-party system determines the electibility of a candidate and not the voters or the issues facing the voters. These are legitimate and serious issues that deserve greater recognition and discussion and if Kinky Friedman and Ron Paul are able to accomplish this then more power to them but that does not mean that they are spoilers for one party or another. I would also assert that by labeling the Ralph Naders, Kinky Friedmans, Ross Perots, and Ron Pauls as "spoilers" then we reduce the our own ability to have a meaningful dialogue about important issues facing us all.

Posted by: ngray2 | November 16, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Just not getting in wars around the world would be enough not to have income tax. Or you forget how much money this war is costing?. We are borrowing billions of dollars on a daily basis from China to finance it and that means we have to pay interest. So basically you eliminate wars, plus eliminate departments, eg Dept. of Homeland Security, stop subsidizing farmers, etc, and you won't need income tax. Plus the more money congress has the more they spend.
Dr Paul also talks about eliminating the Federal Reserve and if anyone wants to have an idea why, please go to this webs on you tube and you'll learn why. Very interesting. It's a documentary on why and how the Federal Reserve was created.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWR3rZDOnA4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9wgciOWp3c

The more the journalists criticize Dr Paul the more I realize we are on the right tract.
Dr Paul you have my vote!!! I love you!!!

Posted by: Lucia | November 16, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Again, I think that the rating system is being used in a fashion inconsistent with its description. As you correctly point out, the response you got from Paul's campaign doesn't really say much of anything. That makes it kind of hard for it to be a 'whopper.' It is of course a negative that they have been unable to substantially back up their claims, but that's not the same thing.

Posted by: /b | November 16, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

First of all, all Paul supporters are missing a very essential issue that kills their argument. It is this:

You all say that our government looks nothing like it did at its inception. I don't think any sane person will argue that. The problem for you is that the world at large doesn't look the same as it did 200 years ago, so why the hell would we use an outdated system? This logic is the equivalent of trying to run Windows on a Turing machine.

That aside, does anyone else find people proclaiming their love for ANYONE on a message board to be entirely creepy? Have respect for the days of old if that's what you're into. If you truly love a political figure, get help fast.

Posted by: morgan | November 16, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how many of these posters think federal contractors contribute nothing. Silicon Valley? Well, if it hadn't been for a WWII Army research contract, ENIAC would never have been created by the University of Pennsylvania. The Internet that makes this discussion possible? More federal contracctors.

Government didn't force itself on us. Go back and read Locke again. Government is something *we* created. And all of those aspects of government you guys can't stand were ushered in at the request of the people. In 1932, the American people did indeed want the New Deal. And if you think letting the states run everything is by default a good idea, take a look at the state of the US military before the Dick Act reorganized the various state militias into the (federally-funded and -trained) National Guard.

Oh, wait. You don't want facts. You want your pipe dreams and ideology.

Posted by: oilhistorian | November 16, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

First of all, the fact that we created government is not mutually exclusive with the fact that government can become a beast unto itself and gain independence from the public. This was something the founders knew, and they specifically tried to form a limited government that would serve and fear the people.

We have since moved away from that, and though our government is in no way completely independent of the governed, it is far removed from the ideals of the founders and has far more autonomy then some on here seem to think. The power of incumbancy, media filtering, advertising and money, voter apathy...all these things and many more are part of the reason. The result is a fed that is bloated and far too often self-serving.

Now, to address the post itself: as several mentioned above, you are ignoring cutting funding to other overseas bases, you are ignoring cutting funding to entitlements, you are ignoring paying down the debt. None of this stuff is going to happen in one presidency. The first thing Paul wants to address is Social Security...phase it out by allowing young people to opt out, but ensure everyone gets their due benefits by taking money saved cutting back our super-expensive foreign policy. Continue to make other necessary cuts. This is a long-term plan, but in the long run it saves us tons on Social Security (just look at Dobbs pie chart). Cuts to other bloated programs, such as medicare/medicaid, will aid this if they make it through Congress (and if they don't then it's not a threat), as well as allow us to work towards paying of the debt, which in turn saves us more money every year.

Will Paul get all of this done? Of course not. Will he get some of it done? Certainly. With a democratic Congress some of this is going to be simply impossible. Some, though, (such as ending expenditures in Iraq and cutting the bloated defense budget) will be practically automatic. Voting for Paul is voting for a direction for the country, it is voting for a new ideological goal. Don't confuse ideological goals with poor policy. We vote in Paul to get a administration that will shape policy in this direction.

Nobody, not even Paul, is saying it can happen overnight or in one Presidency. Paul is laying out his goals. He will create an administration that gathers the brightest minds who will work on this problem, create specific plans that go in this direction (unlike Mr. Dobbs intellect and energy, which just seems to be focused on possible reasons it won't work).

How about becoming part of the solution, Mr. Dobbs? How about discussing how things COULD work, things we COULD do, like Paul is doing?

I want to close by saying that, while I support Paul, I am under no impression that his will be a perfect presidency. Or that even half of these ideas will get accomplished. I am a supporter because I agree this is the direction our country needs to turn, because want to put in a president who will craft an administration that is serious about attaining cuts. Of all the candidates Paul is clearly the most serious about this issue. OF COURSE CONGRESS WILL BALANCE HIM OUT, that the entire point of checks and balances. Poor policies will get shot down, that is well and proper. Some good ones will make it through.

Why focus on what congress will never allow when it won't happen? How about focusing on what would or could happen? Such as: an administration of integrity, dedication to the constitution, and dedication to shrinking the size of government. If they make any headway on that at all I would consider it a huge success.

It seems that this article is both complaining that Paul could never go as far as he wants while simultaneously saying Paul can't/shouldn't go as far as he wants. Well, if he can't...then why stress it? Focus on what WOULD happen...that's why I do, and that's why I'm voting for him.

Posted by: Li | November 16, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul means it when he talks about local control and unfathomable federal spending. His votes in Congress prove this. He was right on the war from the beginning. On the Patriot Act. On No Child Left Behind. Certainly we're not going to abolish the IRS or get rid of the federal income tax, no matter who is elected president. But wouldn't it be nice to have a president who embraces the constitutional limitations on federal power and understands that we've created our own reality in the Middle East?

Posted by: Carey | November 16, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

NGRAY2-What you are failing to realize, is that of most of the loose promises Kinky was making, he drew Libs.

Perry, the Republican't, WON-With less than a Majority!

Now, how did the Libbies benefit in any way shape or form?

But, the tricks do not stop there. The entire concept of a Primary, where Dims can vote in the Republican't they want, and vice versa-allows spoiling of the opposition by the other forces. It becomes little surprise we have two sides of the same stupid coin running over and over. It is all the Opposition will allow! We would do much better without the Primaries reducing the fields.

NOW, having said my little RAT-Bites against the Doc, let me say, I think he would be a great addition to a much better Statesman's Cabinet.

Dr. NO,the Medical Expert, McCain, the Military Expert, Tancredo, the Labor Law advocate, and possibly even Huckleberry-if for no other reason than to promise he'll try to Evangelize the Statesmen, should TEAM UP behind Romney and Thompson! They are all the Functional Minds, who would be free to function behind the Statesmen Pressing Flesh and Photo-Op'ing!

Ronnie Ray-Gun proved that a figurehead President can work better than Try-To-Know-it-NOT-alls like Jimminey Cahta and Shrub!

Yeah, Giuliani the cross dressing Dim in disguise has been thrown under the Bus!

IT'S AN EMPLOYMENT ISSUE RUDY!

NOT, an Immigration thing!


Whump!

Posted by: RAT-The | November 16, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I give the Fact Checker FIVE Pinocchios.

This article is just a scare tactic. We CAN phase out the income tax, and I trust Dr. Paul to figure out how to do it. I certainly don't trust the Washington Post.

Can the Washington Post provide any evidence that we can't phase out the income tax?

Posted by: James Madison | November 16, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Well! Like any good Paul supporter I decided to go ahead and take things into my own hands. I went back to the FY 2000 budget, adjusted it for inflation (it's closer to 2 trillion than 1.7), then looked at how much revenue was received in FY 2007 less the income tax receipts (about 1.4 trillion).

Then, armed with the knowledge that people can solve their problems closer to home, that states can more efficiently solve their own problems, and that we don't need to police the world, I started cutting costs as I thought Ron Paul might (even though he's never said that he'd cut it over night).

And you know what? I got within 47 billion dollars without touching Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Interest on the National Debt, or Veterans Benefits. That's right, I cut nearly 600 billion from the budget. Figures will be forthcoming (it's pretty hairy figures) but it can be done. Sure, there's still a 47 billion dollar deficit, but I just dumped 1.1 trillion back into the hands of the American taxpayer. Back into the economy. I'll get you my numbers soon (Mr. Dobbs already has them).

Ron Paul cured my apathy!

Posted by: dannyspraks | November 16, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

What poeple who read this article should notice is the RIDICULOUS finance distribution that this country is currently using. This is just more of the same Paul bashing. It takes time to phase out the income tax. Sales taxes would surely increase to offset this, and all government programs would be gradually downsized. He is the only candidate that promises to take us in that direction.

Posted by: DCUPtoejuice | November 16, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Micheal Dobbs is a smoke-and mirrors artist. Why don't you you use facts like the IRS and the Federal Reserve are unconstitutional as hell.That means they are not lawful.The Federal Reserve is not even a government entity! Micheal,no matter how noble your cause, you are still trying to perpetuate a fiction! Now lets talk about fractional banking and the abilities of bankers to conjure money out of thin air. Any government that would turn its people over to corporate bankers to slaughter is in need of a doctor! He is here and his name is Ron Paul.

Posted by: Charles1123 | November 16, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting you want specifics on how a President Paul would make his lack of tax work but you don't take any of the other candidates to task on their plans or lack of plans. Here is a question I always want the debate moderator to ask and so maybe you would use your blog to ask each of the other canidates this question.

The Iraq war has cost billions of dollars how do you plan to pay for the Iraq war without passing the costs on to the next generation which in effect is taxing the next generation for your continuation of the war?

And for those that wish to mandate healthcare add how they would pay for the war and healthcare?

At least Ron Paul has a plan all the other candidates' plan is to pass the cost to the next generation. Is that really what we want from a president, passing the buck to the next generation?

Posted by: Scott | November 17, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

dardrone

Posted by: oumond | November 17, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Consider the Source! This is just more of the Status Quo maybe Goldman Sachs can show all the Stock certificates it holds! That would be funny! Ron paul is the the only Issues Candidate! If you want more of the same fuzzy math vote for somebody else.

Posted by: Stan | November 17, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

--------------------------------------------------
The next graph shows outlays. If Paul is going to get rid of the federal income tax, he will have to find $1.2 trillion in savings on today's budget. He says he will not take this money from social security. Instead he will focus on the "costs of empire." But even if he pulled all U.S. troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan ($152 billion), abolished the entire foreign aid budget, ($22 billion), got rid of the State Department, ($6 billion), and withdrew from the United Nations, ($2 billion), he would only save around $180 billion. If he stopped all federal spending on education and ended agricultural price subsidies, as he has also proposed, he might save another $100 billion.
---------------------------------------------


You're mixing two different things together and thereby painting an inaccurate picture of Ron Paul's positions and this.

1) He has said that if you went back to 2000 spending levels, the income tax today could be eliminated.

- This is arguably true. Perhaps you would need to cut back to 1995 spending levels, but the point is that you could still have a substantial federal government (the federal government in 1995, and in 2000, was substantial) without an income tax.

2) He has said that he wants to eliminate the income tax.

-This is true, but he did not say he wants to eliminate the income tax in 2009: the first year he is in office. He has acknowledged it would require the cooperation of Congress, and therefore the elimination of the income tax is a goal he will towards, not a promise he can make as a presidential candidate.

3) He says that he his priority is not cutting social programs at home, but cutting empire abroad.

-This means that while 1) is true (the income tax COULD be eliminated right now with serious cuts to federal spending to return to 1995~2000 levels), he would not aim to do that as he would want to make huge cuts to social programs that people have grown dependant on.

Conclusion:

A Ron Paul administration, if it got its way, would eliminate the empire abroad, check th growth in government spending on social programs at home, but not cut them, and gradually see deficits decrease as the economy grows. Eventually, when the deficit is gone, the income tax can be decreased each year as the economy gets larger (and by consequence tax receipts increase) until it is eliminated altogether.

Posted by: Mike | November 17, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul has repeatedly mentioned closing some 700 military bases around the world, its a cornerstone of his campain.

This article only mentions pulling all U.S. troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

It doesn't say they let Jesse Benton read the artilce and respond to the inacuracies, only that Benton was asked for data to support the claims.

This article deserves its own Pinocchio for failing to mention the savings if the US stopped playing "Risk" with our taxes dollars.

Posted by: Chip Vogel | November 17, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Dynamic scoring means that the effect of a tax cut on the economy is greater than the dollar amount of the tax cut, and they plan to assume that. When taxes are cut, people use that money in other ways:spending on domestic products(economic growth) or imports(tariffs) or it is saved(investment).
Also, social security is an off budget program. It has a seperate tax(FICA)and not the income tax. Dr. Paul only tsaid a 0% income tax. His plans for social security are seperate.

Posted by: Eric Deichman | November 17, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Read the Grace Commission Report, conducted by President Reagon. NOT ONE DIME OF THE INCOME TAX COMES BACK TO THE USA.

Resistance to additional income taxes would be even more widespread if people were aware that:

* One-third of all their taxes is consumed by waste and inefficiency in the Federal Government as we identified in our survey.
* Another one-third of all their taxes escapes collection from others as the underground economy blossoms in direct proportion to tax increases and places even more pressure on law abiding taxpayers, promoting still more underground economy-a vicious cycle that must be broken.
* With two-thirds of everyone's personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their Government.


http://www.uhuh.com/taxstuff/gracecom.htm

Maybe you like working for taxes that don't benefit you.

Posted by: It makes absolute sense, moron. | November 17, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, because Dr. Paul has been more honest than any candidate at this level in a generation or longer, the media is already holding him to a different standard than everyone else. Does Hillary or Mitt or Rudy have an economic plan that is balanced to the last dollar? Of course not. All are proposing significant increases in government expenditures even as the Social Security and Medicare crisis is upon us. Paul's campaign is being careful with the information it is sharing with an unfriendly media because it knows that no matter what answer it gives, the media will smear and ridicule.

Even on the pie chart presented on this page, there are huge chunks waiting for massive cuts that Paul is openly in favor of. Poverty programs, science, environment, transportation -- all but defense needs to go away entirely, and defense spending should be reduced by several orders of magnitude.

And of course the remaining funds coming into the Treasury from Constitutionally approved sources would skyrocket when an income tax is gone. How well would the economy do when every American's income is no longer subject to the IRS?

These are questions that those with an understanding of economics can answer - we don't expect the old guard Washington Post to get it.

Posted by: Stewart | November 17, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

made it to reddit just another biased article, ron paul is the future, if not president his ideals are, Get Informed!

Posted by: remember115 | November 17, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Paul proposes removing ALL US troops from overseas. Many new or proposed weapons systems and troop levels would be eliminated. Additionally, there is military spending that is not counted as such (Dept. of Energy, for example). The interest on the debt would be reduced as US borrowing needs are reduced along with interest rates. The IRS could not be abolished overnight but it is more feasible than you make it appear.

Posted by: skeptic | November 17, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Just how much money do you think it takes to run the government as defined by the U.S. Constitution? Now you understand!

Posted by: S. Tuttle | November 17, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Just to begin with the charts, first it seems they didn't remove the 9% from financing debt (if we are talking long term) if debt is removed then this 9% interest will no longer exist. This is especially true since Paul never claimed to do everything at once. His statement about the IRS being gone in his first week I think was more to mean if he had that full ability, but he would work to phase out the IRS as soon as possible. So in the long run this 9% has to be removed, because Paul has never voted for an unbalanced budget and for deficit spending.

Regarding the current income from corporate taxes being 14% this will also change in the long run. Nearly all economist agree and have concluded that decreasing taxes increases government revenue in the long run. First people will have more money to spend on products which will increase profits and increase the amount of taxes corporations are paying. Second many new small corporation will spring up from new investment due to small business investment of savings of taxes. Please do not bring up the inflation issue, because a competing hard currency will counteract any inflation caused by the tax cuts.

Another point to be made is that current military spending is $532.8 billion, not including the $120 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan (which is really the only main cut this article mentions) and finally the black budget which no one even knows how much it is but probably is another 100 billion. If the US ended Iraq and Afghanistan and cut the standard military budget down to 232.8 billion (which is still about 3 times larger than the next greatest budget in the world) and the secret black budget. Please don't forget that Paul will close all military bases in 130 countries.

After these military cuts that would be about $520 bilion less. Now add that 9% which is $240 billion and your total of 5% for education, training, agriculture and other (additional $60 billion). After an unbiased calculation, suddenly the total is $820 billion. Now thats alot closer to 1.2 billion wouldnt you say? If you factor in the additional revenues from corporate taxes... you can begin to see how realistic it is. We need these changes, all empires eventually fall, so will this one, if we don't make serious changes.

Posted by: Dt14 | November 17, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

sorry that was suppose to be 1.2 trillion above

Posted by: dt14 | November 17, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for writing about the good doctor. Not sure that your 4 pinochios is warranted considering Ron Paul says that realistically he can not get rid of the IRS on his own.

He admits that the mood of the country would have to shift dramatically before we can eliminate the IRS.

Posted by: Matt, Alabama | November 17, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I find it depressing when people argue in favor of statism. The cheerleaders for contemporary America insist that times have changed and therefore it has become necessary to have a monolithic federal government controlling everything.

That is a specious argument. Tyranny and wastefulness are horrible things, no matter what year is on the calendar. Low taxes, minimal government intervention in life, open government, personal responsibility, freedom of choice, self-reliance...those are some of the principles America was based upon.

If those principles are what made this country great, it confuses me why some people think they are no longer necessary. Monolithic oppressive government has existed throughout all of human history. It has always been a failure and a blight on the earth. This nation is going backwards, not forwards. How can America be great when we have discarded everything that made it that way? What sets her apart from other first-world countries?

Material wealth and a powerful military...that is all we have left. We don't even truly have those things. Our wealth is a debt-based mirage, and we bought the tanks and bombs on credit. Wake up. America has nothing but empty promises and failed mission statements. The country is nothing but an empty husk, running on the fumes of long-forgotten wisdom.

We have violated everything that our country stood for. It disgusts me that there are people who insist that we need more socialism, more nanny-state government, more surveillance, more centralized power, and more aggressive military action around the world.

A technological world makes it necessary and beneficial to have an oppressive centralized government that micromanages our lives and treats us like serfs while lavishing their wealthy friends with favors and prestige?

God Bless America...because she needs all the help she can get. :P

Posted by: Disgruntled Patriot | November 17, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul was on Jay Leno on Tuesday October 30th. I was there! It was not October 31.

Also Ron Paul knows that Congress controls the budget. He mainly wants to avoid deficits in the budget without raising taxes. Just because he would like to have no income taxes put on the people, it does not mean he is going to turn into some crazy man and have huge deficits in the budget like the current and past regimes of president and legislatures.

Posted by: Clif | November 17, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

If you are still reading the comments, sir,

You may want to reconsider putting a little more effort and imagination into your "analysis".

First of all, payroll tax is for SS. So remove that from the equation. Payroll tax is not the issue here.

You need to consider much deeper cuts in military spending. "Empire" means a lot more than the Middle East. We spend billions and billions and billions overseas in other countries.

Medicare/Medicaid is a budget problem either way. Paul, no doubt, has ideas on bringing health care under control and getting them down.

Besides, all that, you ignore a few things:

States can raise taxes to fund shortfalls. This would much easier to do in light of the enormous burden lifted on taxpayers without the IRS.

A lack of income tax is giving most taxpaying citizens a huge raise. Expect corporate taxes to rise dramatically from increased commerce.

Many poverty programs are wasteful and could be trimmed in a new reality of no income taxes. Again, states could shore up shortfalls.

I could go on. You need to think a little broader.

Posted by: John | November 18, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

One has to listen to what Ron Paul espouses. He would use Article 2, Section 8 of the Constitution to balance the budget and prohibit the practice of using the Preamble phrase, "promote the general Welfare," for being used to justify aid programs.

It all sounds great, but we can't undo more than 70 years of moderate socialism in 4 or 8 years, if ever. His plans would require terminating SS, welfare, Medicare & Medicaid, US troops abroad, and perhaps repudiating the national debt. As a result his plans would leave the US in economic ruin and perhaps in revolution.

By the way, Ron Paul is hardly a conservative; rather, he's a libertarian and close to an anarchist in the original sense of the word. He would probably feel far more comfortable with the Articles of Confederation rather than the Constitution.

Posted by: Recce1 | November 18, 2007 7:11 AM | Report abuse

In your Opinion can America exist without a Personal Income Tax, as Presidential Candidate Ron Paul suggests?

------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=917


.

Posted by: PollM | November 18, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Michael, while this starts a good conversation and I thank you for that, it won't do much good to take the time respond in the comments since the response is fairly lengthy. I, and I'm sure numerous others, will respond thoroughly to each of your questions. Some of the previous commenters have already mentioned that you have failed to include the hundreds of billions of dollars it costs to keep troops in Europe, Asia, etc.. You have also left out the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend on "foreign aid" to countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt (you get the point). And, finally, you forgot to mention that the income tax isn't paying for any of those things now. You have a pie chart on federal expenditures but that has nothing to do with the income tax since we have to "borrow" the money for those federal expenditures. I'm sure in your research you came across the Grace Commission Report which was the last exhaustive government commissioned report to track where income tax revenues are spent. The report showed that 100% of income tax revenues went to paying the interest on the national debt (like an interest only mortgage payment). So, are you a closet RP supporter? Based on the batting practice pitch you just threw, it appears the answer may be "yes". Hopefully, when you read my rebuttal (I'll send you a link), you'll provide an update to this post to acknowledge you overlooked a few things.

Posted by: Andrew | November 18, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Recce1, you need to read about Dr. Paul's ideas instead of assuming you know what he wants to or could do. Dr. Paul knows he couldn't eliminate these programs. There are too many people dependent on them that can't be thrown out on the streets. There would have to be a transistion period where people could opt-out of programs like Social Security while the hundreds of billions saved on empire and foreign aid alone would cover the people who are currently dependent on these programs. As for your "economic ruin" comment, you obviously aren't a economics major. Our current form of gov't already has us heading for economic ruin and barring some major change (like Ron Paul is suggesting), economic ruin is a certainty in our future. In the time it took you to write your comment, you could have done enough research to find out your assumptions are wrong. Before spreading information, you should make sure the information you're spreading is correct. Otherwise, you're doing a dis-service to yourself and anyone that chooses to take your comment seriously.

Posted by: Franklin | November 18, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry in advance for the long post.

As promised, here's how you can trim the FY 2000 budget so that you don't need an income tax. Remember, the total expenditures from FY 2000 were 2.093 (in 2006 dollars), and in FY07, without income taxes, the government pulled in 1.40 trillion. Let's cut 600 billion from the 2000 budget shall we? (note: the source for all these outlays is the FMTS from FY 2000 provided by the government, primarily pages 28 and 29. It was the basis for this budget. Line items starting with a -- are subitems.)

All figures are in millions of dollars
- Dept of Ag. - cut 75,240, leave enough for only the Forest Service and
other basic Agricultural needs
- Dept of Commerce - cut 3,000, the Nat'l Oceanic & Atm. Admin, as well as
the Promotion of Industry & Commerce
- Dept of Defense - cut 186,844 total
-- Mil. Personnel - cut 8,927.69 because with troops home you don't have to
pay hardship for living abroad
-- Op & Maint. - cut 83,961, as most of this goes to the Navy and Air Force,
which are head and shoulders above the rest of the world. Again, it's easier
to perform this when our forces are home.
-- Int. Reconstruction (was zero in FY 2000)
-- Procurement - cut 50,435, again, most of this spending goes to the Navy
and Air Force, which are already the strongest in the world by far.
-- RDT&E - cut 37,534, same reasoning as above
-- Mil. Construction - cut 2,000, bases are cheaper when you're not overseas
- Dept of Education - cut 38,999, let the states manage their own education
- Dept of Energy - cut 15,574, our nuclear arsenal does not need to be
increased. Let private enterprise research new technology for generating
power.
- Dept of Health cut 125,671 total
-- Public Health - cut 13,113, remove everything but the CDC, FDA, and NIH
-- No spending cuts to Medicare or Medicaid
-- Other - cut 88,746, until these costs are further clarified
-- Admin for Child. & Fam. - cut 23,811 as a further cut in welfare. The
states can perform this function if they wish.
- FEMA (which still existed in 2000 w/o DHS) - cut 3,709, as states can
manage their own emergencies
- Dept of HUD - cut 36,097, this is another role the states can perform
- Dept of Labor - cut 28,275 in Unemployment costs, as states can perform
this role as well
- Dept of State - cut 1,019 as we remove ourselves from International
Organizations
- Dept of Transportation - cut 29,190 by removing the Coast Guard which will
be redundant with the Navy home, and by cutting funding for more highways
(we have enough already)
- Dept of Treasury - cut 28,596 as we won't need the IRS anymore
- Corps of Engineers - cut 1,156 which brings them to the outlay requested
for FY'07
- Other Defense Civil - cut 12,427 as this would also bring it to the outlay
requested for FY'07
- EPA - cut 8,472, as enforced private property rights and local efforts can
curb pollution (ask Dr. Paul about growing up in Pittsburgh)
- International Assistance - cut 13,848.81 total, cut everything but the
Peace Corps
- National Science Foundation - cut 682, leave the educational mission to
others
- Social Security Admin - cut 600, which is currently allotted for disabled
coal miners. Why the special attention? Leave the rest of SS untouched
- Ind. Agencies - cut 6,514, which is the Railroad Social Security
equivalent benefit account. Again, why the special treatment?

So! with all that we've reduced the FY 2000 budget to 1.451 trillion, which means a deficit of 47 billion. Not bad when you just put 1.1 trillion back into the economy. While it's just a quick citizen's estimate as to what you could cut, it hardly seems like a whopper of a lie to me. What do you think?

Posted by: dannyspraks | November 18, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Paul looks about right. If you follow his radical-federalist, 10th amendment-loving philosophy, it looks like you can get rid of about 55% of the budget, and he only needs to cut 45%.

Posted by: Jacob | November 18, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU for an article that treats Ron Paul's argument for the elimination of the personal income tax seriously.

I hope the issue continues to be a part of the political debate.

It seems clear enough, from this article, that there is plenty of room to eliminate the personal income tax and still fund government at a level matching some year in the recent past, whether that year is 1996, or 1990, or even into the 1980s.

Whatever the year, I'd be willing to get rid of much of today's mammoth state in return for no income tax.

In the early and mid 1990s I don't remember anyone saying there wasn't enough government. Even Clinton declared "The era of big government is over."

If we could vote to go to a 1990-size government and NO personal income tax, I expect the income tax would be gone immediately.

I'd like to hear more on this, and I hope this discussion leads to both sides presenting their best arguments.

Posted by: James W. Harris | November 19, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

What was the federal tax revenue for 2000? The article glosses over the specific number and I can't find it through an internet search. That is the only fact that should be checked and would be a minor mistake if say he needed to go back to the early 90's instead of 2000. And perhaps he based the comparison on his the idea that the income tax is 1/3 of total revenue which is also a minor mistake.

Paul has consistently said that he would work to phase out the income tax by reducing spending. It is bad journalism to suggest that once elected he claims he will immediately get rid of it. I would agree with his campaign spokesperson...does it matter if the 2007 tax revenue minus income tax would be equal or greater than say the early nineties vs. 2000? Anyway, I would love to know the federal tax revenues for each of the past 20 years or whatever, just to actually check the facts.

Posted by: Nick | November 19, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

If you look at how much total tax people pay in states with no income tax, a family of four with similar incomes is going to end up paying about the same overall. Here in CA, we have a marginal top income tax rate of about 9% (oh, no!) and sales taxes of over 8% (yow!), but here in LA county I pay 1.25% property tax. In TX, with no income tax, property owners can pay over twice that rate, making up for what the state doesn't bring in in income tax. It all balances out, which means it quite simply costs a certain amount to run a government, and changing how you pay for it is mostly a shell game. If you don't value living in the US and the benefits you reap, go find another country with a low tax rate and see if you enjoy living there as much!

Posted by: kemurph | November 19, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Also note how Paul's representative says that whether the rate of spending matches that in 1995, 1997 or 2000 (all Clinton years) is irrelevant. Is he implying that the important thing is to go back in time before the Bush administration's "spend and spend" (as opposed to "tax and spend") tactics evolved?

Posted by: kemurph | November 19, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The figures the article uses are from 2007 and the 45% is correct for that year but only for that year.

Ron Paul made his statement on 10 April 2006 and the figures he would have had available at that time are from 2005 when income tax was 37% of revenues which absolutely is "approximately one-third" as was stated in his article.

Considering that the figures are so easy to get (2007 -- http://fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0907.pdf, 2006 -- http://fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0906.pdf, and 2005 -- http://fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0905.pdf) it makes it clear who the "pinocchio" is here and it's not Ron Paul.

Posted by: Peter H Hoffman | November 19, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul ftw

Posted by: Jam | November 19, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

First there was the Roman Empire, then there were King George and the British expanding the British Empire on the shores of America, and then came the patriots Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, George Washington and the rest of the founders of our Republic. Their chances to break away from the tyranny of the British were against the odds, but they succeeded. It was because of their courage and there willingness to bring change that today we have the right to freely express ourselves, but those days are fading fast. Today we have big-big and now bigger government telling us what to do. Do we really want this, any of us? So when a man of integrity comes along and offers a solution to restore our freedoms by cutting back or cutting out institutions imposed upon us, We The People, the internet posters against Ron Paul spring up and cheer for more big government. Shame on you for believing the controlled media. Go to End Game and see the new documentary on who wants to control us and THEN see if you still feel the same way. Perhaps being a puppet on a string is appealing to you. Those that would control us all pit us against one another; then every four years for their entertainment offer us a chance to vote for one of their hand picked, already bought-and-paid for candidates. So before you fire back with more useless rhetoric go learn about what those who would have us in line under their "new world order" have in store for you. If you don't get mad as hell then just sign over your paycheck to them because it is checkmate and you lose. The Government is run by the People and not the other way around.

Posted by: Ben Midulla | November 20, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll
http://www.votenic.com
The Only Poll That Matters.
Results Posted Every Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | November 20, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

And of course their pinocchio test on the media turned out squeaky clean. ;-)

Reality is that the writer of this story left out many details about Ron Paul's campaign response. Who deserves a few raised noses? You didn't include pulling troops out of Japan, South Korea, Germany... You also didn't raise that many of the departments would be phased out. Of course your living in a fiat dream world where maybe we'll just grow ourselves out of our governments spending habits. WAKE UP! The baby-boomers are beginning eligibility for social security January 1st, 2008. You will see only a drop in the hat this next year as to what it will be like if the healthcare system isn't given back to the private market before 2011 when they become eligible for Medicare. The costs will be so enormous that you might as well just start calling us a 3rd world country if the Doctor doesn't make a house call to the White House this next term.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

screw it then, lets just create 100 new government agencies with a mainstream candidate...let's create an agency to tell the president what new agencies are needed..

If he can cut spending enough to lower income tax by even 20% I would be a happy man...

He is the ONLY true conservative running..we declared our independence from an empire back then to live free....not to create our own.

Posted by: annoyed | November 21, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Many government employees will have to find new work to do. This is an inconvenient result of a government that has grown like a tumor. How in the world did the government get to be the largest employer in the country in a republic? Isn't this contradictory. And also, if the government is made smaller and income taxes are eliminated, it does not mean that the money is gone, just that you get to decide how to spend it rather than some government employee deciding for you. The same amount of money is still circulating. You just get an automatic 32% raise.

Posted by: driller | November 21, 2007 1:26 AM | Report abuse

And to the brilliant contributor who suggests that if I don't like America having a huge oppresive government, that I can simply go to another country with less government and see how I like it. Well, I have been exploring this for quite sometime and traveled to a couple of these countries that you recommend, and this election is the last straw for me. If we elect another power mad, self interested president who is willing to sacrifice our freedoms and liberty for their dripping power addiction, then, I will be leaving.

Posted by: driller | November 21, 2007 1:39 AM | Report abuse

"yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of her history."

That statement is false. In truth there was a national income tax introduced during the Lincoln-presidency, in 1862. It was in effect until 1872.

So saying that America (US) did just fine without a federal income tax in the first 126 years of her history is an invalid statement, as it did not happen, and we can not know how well it would have gone.

The public transportation, universal education, social security and poverty programs that we have now is also something most people would see as essential, and that a society without it would not be seen as "doing just fine".

Posted by: EspenM | November 21, 2007 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dodd, you've convinced me! I'm voting FOR Ron Paul! Talk about BACKFIRE!

Posted by: DallasMsl | November 21, 2007 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Dobbs writes, "If Paul is going to get rid of the federal income tax, he will have to find $1.2 trillion in savings on today's budget." This is false. He could also increase revenues. Taxes can be levied on sources other than income. Four pinocchios, Mr. Dobbs.

Posted by: iopulykg90092004 | November 21, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

granny miller wrote: "I would also like to see what happens when 75% of "poverty" programs are cut?

As a small farmer I can tell you that the USDA, FEMA and HLS has made my life miserable and made YOUR food unsafe."

Well, there's be millions more poor Americans. But I guess you won't be among them, so who cares.

Oh, and as a small farmer with such disdain for the USDA... I'm sure you'd give up any federal subsidies you and your neighbors receive? You'd also be willing to forego any relief when struck by drought or flood right?

Posted by: corbett | November 21, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Dt14 said:
"Nearly all economist agree and have concluded that decreasing taxes increases government revenue in the long run."

[Citation Needed!]

Posted by: Josh | November 21, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Talk about fudging the numbers. You ought to be ashamed of this distortion you've just made of Dr. Paul's position.

Okay, so maybe you aren't really dishonest; perhaps you're just clueless.

Let me put it to you this way: if I tell you that I'm cutting my Christmas budget in half this year, will you automatically insist that I must remove half of my family and friends from my Christmas list, or will you entertain the possibility that I'll just be downsizing the presents, not the list -- unless we're talking about that postman who always delivers my mail to the wrong address...or the paperboy who always throws my paper into the bushes...

Posted by: AfricanAmericans4Paul | November 21, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

While this post did in no way dissuade me of my support for Ron Paul, it does bring up several important points which he should take into account. At the present time, I'm willing to give Dr. Paul a pass on in-depth policies, especially because the primaries haven't even occured yet. However, I would like to begin hearing more specific policies which the Ron Paul administration would promote.

Posted by: JacobRiley | November 21, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit surprised that more hasn't been said about the Washington Post's (and/or Michael Dobb's) choice of photo for this article. Compare this to all the other photos used in the Fact Checker. It seems readily apparent that this photo is the least "presidential". I can only assume that was done on purpose. What a sham.

Posted by: MDLaxer | November 26, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I good statistician can make numerical data say anything they wish. Whilst it is good that you brought up the smudgy fincancial plan's outline. Since the article is about Dr. Paul you did not include any other candidates, of which, I have not seen that anyone else's plans that were any clearer or in some cases had them at all.

At least Dr Paul is talking about financials and spending. The other candidates, Rebulican and Democrat do not want to even discuss it.

Posted by: Sierra | November 27, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The question here is simple: Billions and billions of dollars have just been handed over, no questions asked, to the federal government for decades. Yet, we still have complete incompetence in almost every major area. American public education is a joke, health care is a complete mess, our soldiers are dying for nothing and even the environmental issues have been largely ignored. DO WE REALLY WANT THAT TO CONTINUE? Each of the other candidates who have a chance of winning are tied, like all those before them, to big money interests. Nothing will change with them. It is time to give Americans a chance to fix these problems with their own money, rather than handing over money to an organization (govt.) that has perpetually failed. When I look objectively at the field of candidates, it is clear that Ron Paul is the only one who provides even an outline of a real plan. Moreover, he is getting money from normal people who want their freedoms. I truly believe if neocons actually stopped being so defensive and listen to Ron Paul they will realize that when he is the president, local governments can acctually have an influence, people can live the way they want to. You, yes you, not just your vote, can have a large say in the way your local government functions. Without him, America is just lost again to the large government machine, a machine that gives us just enough so we don't get too upset, but in the long run is robbing us blind. WAKE UP, this idea is not so radical. It simply means more individual responsibility.

Posted by: nick | November 27, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What is getting lost in all this..is the fact the Govt. borrows 1 billion dollars a day to fund the "war on terror", here and abroad. On Sept. 10, 2001.. Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon could not account for 2.3 Trillion dollars!!! (Not blaming Bush..because he just took office).. but that is over $8,000 dollars for every man, woman and child in the US. Now..the average family in the US needs to pony up over $45,000 pay off the debt. Our dollar is crumbling, and China, Japan and a few other countries are holding about 4 Trillion dollars of Treasury bonds that are becoming worthless..if they panic and want them redeemed..we're screwed. Of course, the Federal Reserve will just lower interest rates again, and print more money. This is the problem. Dr. Paul at least recognizes this and thank God to him, has awaken millions of people to the plundering of our society.

Posted by: Bob | November 27, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Paultards are freaking nuts. Wow.

Posted by: More than two brain cells | November 27, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to just doing what's right, no matter what the consequences will be?

I here a lot of people saying thing's like "IF" we do this, this will happen.

How about looking at what we "ARE" doing currently?

We can assume that if Paul becomes President and certain actions are carried out that they will have certain outcomes.
But that doesn't make us right.
No one can predict the outcome of doing something revolutionary.
I think we all know the outcome if we continue what we are currently doing.

I think Ron Paul has a lot of "RIGHT" answers.
And personally, I don't care if a bunch of people that work for corrupted agencies go unemployed.
What I care about is getting rid of the corruption.

Are we going to let bad people continue to keep doing bad things because we don't know what we'll do with them if they become good people?

Analogy:
You're in 3rd grade.
You're parents work hard for their money and they give you a $1 a day lunch allowance for school.
Every day some bully takes your lunch money.
He does it because his parent don't give him any money and he's twice everyone else's size.

Some will argue that if you do not let the bully take your money than what will the bully do when he's hungry.

Some will point out that those hard working parents only come home with 60% of their earnings and when they spend what they do get they get taxed then too.

Some will say you should just home school.

If you don't know the correct answer to this issue, you're an idiot.

Obviously it's plain wrong for the bully to take your money, even if he does need it for his own survival.

In short, STEALING IS WRONG.

The government has been stealing from the people for ever, and we're debating on how it will operate if we do not let it steal from us anymore?
You have to be kidding me.
Of course it can not operate at the capacity it has been for the last decade or so!
Does that make it okay for them to keep stealing from us?

WAKE UP AMERICA.

Posted by: Mr. Right | November 27, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The following responses have been generated by an automated Paultard spambot -

To AndrewMc

"Well, of course there are no specifics from the Paultards running his campaign. Ron Paul exists in a fantasy world, where government ought to be just as it was in the 1890s. Trouble is, what he says *sounds* nice. Right up until you start to look at facts."

Translation of AndrewMc's post:

"I'm a statist locked into my statist paradigm. In order to sustain that paradigm, I have to label any challenges to it as fantasy."

You want specifics, Andrew? You want facts?

Specifically, the very monetary issues that Ron Paul talks about, fiat currency, excessive government and personal debt - these things are driving this credit crunch we're in the middle of, and they're also the reason we're in a recession which is deepening by the day.

We specifically have to go back to sound money, like Ron Paul says, hopefully before a complete currency collapse occurs.

The fact is that government is failing catastrophically, right under your nose pal, and you're lucky Ron Paul even exists for you to vote for.


to morgan

"First of all, all Paul supporters are missing a very essential issue that kills their argument. It is this:

You all say that our government looks nothing like it did at its inception. I don't think any sane person will argue that. The problem for you is that the world at large doesn't look the same as it did 200 years ago, so why the hell would we use an outdated system? This logic is the equivalent of trying to run Windows on a Turing machine"

Yeah, you've totally caught us Paultards out with your razor sharp analysis, dude.

Not. Very simply, the system the founders devised was based on human nature, and in case you haven't noticed, human nature doesn't change. People still can't be trusted to boss each other around, and government still fails catastrophically.

Individual Freedom never goes out of style, and it never works better in moderation. Example - some say that a right to bear arms is ok, but not in schools, workplaces, or other large gatherings of people. Certainly we don't want any guns on planes, right?

Wrong. Failing to honor the Second Amendment costs lives, and the more disarmed environments we create, the more lives are at risk. Time and place do not matter. Not only was this true in 1776, and still true today, but it also doesn't matter whether you're talking about Virginia Tech, Washington D.C. or on the Sept 11th planes.

to Recce1

"It all sounds great, but we can't undo more than 70 years of moderate socialism in 4 or 8 years, if ever."

You don't get it do you? We don't have the option to continue on as we are. Socialism will be undone because it will fail anyway. Paul is just saying let's be our own masters and act before these welfare systems break down or bankrupt the nation.

"His plans would require terminating SS, welfare, Medicare & Medicaid, US troops abroad, and perhaps repudiating the national debt. As a result his plans would leave the US in economic ruin and perhaps in revolution."

You call fixing wrong, unconstitutional, failed programs a path to economic ruin? Yeah, and a crackhead feels pretty ruined when they have to set down the pipe too, but it's the only thing left other than death. No, what we're heading for NOW is ruin.

"By the way, Ron Paul is hardly a conservative; rather, he's a libertarian and close to an anarchist in the original sense of the word. He would probably feel far more comfortable with the Articles of Confederation rather than the Constitution."

Where do you get off saying something like that? He's never said he prefers the Articles to the Constitution. You just pulled that out of your butt to try and make him look radical. Paul is a constitutionalist - period, so kindly leave the Articles of this please.

to EspenM

""yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of her history.""

"That statement is false. In truth there was a national income tax introduced during the Lincoln-presidency, in 1862. It was in effect until 1872."

Your statement is false too. We have had an income tax consistently from 1862 to the present day. It was an excise tax before 1913, and it remains an excise tax to this day. Please read Cracking the Code, by Peter Eric Hendrickson, or visit losthorizons.com for the details on this.

"The public transportation, universal education, social security and poverty programs that we have now is also something most people would see as essential, and that a society without it would not be seen as "doing just fine"."

If most people see public education as essential, they are sadly misinformed about the state of education at public schools. There is tons of evidence that public schools are a miserable failure that contributes directly to the problems in this country.

Social Security is a ponzi scheme and it's going down. How can such an ill-conceived failing program be seen as essential? ON the contrary, it's essential that it be eliminated so that our children won't be enslaved by it.
Poverty programs have contributed to the decline of America too, by holding back those who become dependent on them, and pitting those who fund them and those who benefit from them against each other.

to JacobRiley

"I'm willing to give Dr. Paul a pass on in-depth policies, especially because the primaries haven't even occured yet. However, I would like to begin hearing more specific policies which the Ron Paul administration would promote."

The specifics? Government is raging out of control and needs to be cut now or we're in deep trouble. Don't get caught up in expecting Ron Paul's proposals to look like everyone else's. The only specifics you need are what stuff he's going to cut, and he's been very clear on that. Don't expect him to cut a bunch of government and then give you social programs to retrain and support those who lost their jobs.

We just can't afford that anymore. We can't really afford any of the big unconstitutional things government does anymore. We never really could to begin with. It was done on borrowed money, and our credit is tapped out.

to More than two brain cells

Paultards are freaking nuts. Wow.

Yeah, we do know what we're talking about, don't we? Why don't you stop your insults, put down the pipe, and learn something. When you're done, vote for freedom!

Paultard Spambot message over -

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Spambots for Ron Paul!

Posted by: Tom deSabla | November 27, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I am politics' buff and I understand that most candidates will say anything to get elected. However, I just noticed something quite amazing... EXCEPT FOR JOHN EDWARDS AND BARAK OBAMA, THE REST OF THE CANDIDATES FROM BOTH PARTIES ARE SO DAMNED UGLY!!!!!!
Hey! I am not being superficial here, it is just quite discouraging to have such ugly people representing our country! Yeak!

Posted by: P. Hess | November 28, 2007 6:48 AM | Report abuse

You may not find Dr. Ron Paul the answer to all of our needs, but then you need not look very far to realize he is the best at this time. He will not be a status quo president.

Posted by: Samuel Adams | November 28, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I want Ron Paul to be right, but I need convincing. I need more facts on how much more we would have to cut, beyond what he has outlined, and of the consequences.

One of appealing things about Ron Paul is that he typically calls the other candidates on their lack of candor when it comes to explaining how their programs will work.

The avid Ron Paul fans advocate a leap of faith in their candidate that they are rightfully unwilling to extend in other candidates. We should all be skeptics when it comes to any politician, even Ron Paul. He might be right on this issue, but his program seems about half baked at best. While that might be expected of any program that radically breaks from the dreaded status quo, fact is he needs to tell us the rest of the plan if he has one. If he does not have the rest of it worked out, he needs to do so--and then come back hitting hard on the issue.

Posted by: Jerry Beller | November 28, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

RP's rhetoric is as empty as the rest of them. His supporters are on here debating what he really meant, whether it was taken out of context etc - well he had the chance to set all that straight and the best he could manage was "real world dynamic scoring." Where are HIS figures, where are his specific plans on Iraq, where are his plans for getting any of his dreams through Congress.

He reminds me of Jefferson's warning -

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment... laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind... as that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, institutions must advance also, to keep pace with the times.... We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Posted by: Bob | November 28, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so the Ron Paul campaign doesn't have clear cut plans for how to cut these programs effectively but it's a long, drawn out process that will depend on how much or how little support he gets from Congress. Remember guys, he plans to phase out everything, not just cut it all on the spot. As his rep said in the email, he's not going to cut all income taxes January 29 2009. This is a long, gradual process. As people have been commenting, everything he wants (if not most things) will not come happen just because he wills it. But at least he will veto the bad and scary things and we will be moving in the right direction.

Posted by: Keith | November 29, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul makes no logical sense. He intends to give tax credits to people and repeal taxes at the same time... Is that possible to reward people with tax cuts to do good when there are no taxes to cut? Yes, if the government gives a positive amount of money to the not-really-taxpayers-but-close-enough, which isn't possible because that would require taxation in order to raise the revenue necessary.
I'm confused... As a mathematician, I don't see how this works.

And the person who said, "This blog post reminds me of a friend who criticized "Star Wars" because laser guns wouldn't work the way they are depicted to work in the movies," aren't you contradicting your argument because Star Wars is fantasy, much like Ron Paul's plan?

I like tax credits and tax cuts, but Ron Paul should really do the math necessary first. He's a doctor, so there's no excuse for his inability to do so.

Posted by: armaetin | November 29, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I you want a rational discussion, at least play fair. You seem to base your entitle argument on todays numbers, and then rule out one of the larger chunks (Social Security/Medicare). Ron Paul did not say he would never touch Social Security/Medicare, he just said that would be one of the programs he phased out last. He has stated multiple times how he would allow young Americans to opt out of Social Security.

It took us almost 100 years to get to this point of Federal Reliance, you can't expect someone to change it overnight, but you can start shifting it back in the right direction. As Social Security and Medicare are slowly phased out of the budget, the need for an income tax becomes obsolete.

Posted by: Gustogus | December 1, 2007 3:40 AM | Report abuse

That's just beautiful.

The U.S. federal government, engine of the biggest money-suck in the history of the world, is undeniably the biggest Pinocchio on the world stage. The federal income tax is taxation without representation on a truly fantastic scale; most of the programs it supports serve only special interests and/or exigent monorities, doing nothing for the vast majority of American citizens.

To make matters even worse, the federal government is directly answerable to, and dedicated to the obscene enrichment of, one of the world's most corrupt private corporations, the "U.S." Federal Reserve, which was established by fraud and returns no benefit whatsoever to the electorate. If the U.S. government were Pinicchio, then the Fed would be the smirking puppeteer atop the scaffold.

Just one presidential candidate has the guts to stand up against this extortionist conspiracy on behalf of the American people and their Constitution: Dr. Ron Paul.

And yet, Michael Dobbs bases his entire idiotic critique of Dr. Paul on the following absurd premises:

(1) Federal revenue is limited to just what the government receives in the form of taxes and other monies extracted from the salaries and profits of individuals and corporations. (In fact, the federal government parasitically derives a very great deal of money from investments and royalties which have already been paid for out of the pockets of the American people.)

(2) The US government honestly reports its expenditures to the victims of its extortion. (This is true only on very rare occasions. For example, former government face-man Donald Rumsfeld openly admitted the disappearance of *trillions* of taxpayer dollars the day before 9/11, and this may be only the tip of the iceberg.)

On this basis, Mr. Dobbs and "The Fact Checker" choose to impugn not the greed and deceit of the extortionists, but the honesty and integrity of Dr. Paul!

It seems clear that Pinocchio is indeed the right mascot for not only the federal government, but "The Fact Checker" itself.

Posted by: Chris | December 4, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

am I missing something or does Ron Paul also support ending spending on heatlh care and welfare, making his proposed spending cuts...drum role...another 36% of that pie:D

Also I'm pretty sure he wants to end social security spending as well. He only said we could ease the transition with funds saved elsewhere. So what kind of fact checker is this?

Posted by: RONPAUL2008 | December 5, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

people should get your facts straight, Dr Paul isn't proposing eliminating social security the government is contractualy obligated to pay an enuity to the people who have payed into the system. Social security taxes are not part of the federal income tax. The bottom line is the federal income tax is not constitutional, the federal Governemnt has no right to tax the fruits of one persons labor an give it to another or for that matter for another country in nation building and policing the world or some political pet project.

Dr Paul is saying it should be a choice as to how people spend "their" money, I for one don't choose to spend my money on all this crap. this isn't a democracy its individual rights.

If they can't live on 500 billion dollars thats tough, don't come crying to me.

Posted by: Brian | December 10, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Yet another Jesse f-up.
Cant this guy do anything right?
Wonks? Come on kid...what experience did you have before becoming a communications director?

Posted by: WhyJesseWhy | December 15, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey! you need to add the interest on the debt there buddy. That's your shortfall. Be accurate before you publish, thank you.

Posted by: Treber | December 15, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Dobbs's whole criticism stems from confusing revenues with expenses. Receipts did not rise so much in 7 years, but expenses DID. Paul's claim has always been that expenses rose 75% in 7 years, which they did. The fact that Paul was compelled to speak quickly on Leno and to telescope his observations with the word "revenues" does not warrant Dobbs to respond with accusations of deliberate lying.

Paul radio ad: "If we reduced federal spending to the levels of just a decade ago, we could get rid of the income tax and replace it with nothing." Note that when writing in an authorized ad, he uses the word "spending", not revenue (and, of course, moots the question of 7 versus 10 years); the validity of his point is completely unaffected. Also Wikipedia, citing a former page of ronpaul2008.com, says: "Paul would abolish the individual income tax by scaling back the federal budget to its 2000 spending levels."

Paul's actual quotes on Leno: "If you got rid of the income tax you'd still have enough revenues, that were about equivalent to what we had in the year 2000 .... Before 1913 .... we weren't policing the world, so we weren't wasting a lot of money." In conjunction with his former statements, it is clear that "what we had" in 2000 refers to EXPENSES, not revenues. That is, revenue neutrality is simply achieved by dropping the $1 trillion of income taxes, and simultaneously dropping the $1 trillion 7-year rise in expenses. I recognize the budget would still be unbalanced, of course, which is where the cost-cutting comes in and more than covers the deficit. But aside from that, the good doctor's math is perfectly valid within the margin of error for such off-the-cuff comments.

The actual numbers the report Dobbs cites are: 2000 expenses, $1,789,216 million; 2007 expenses, $2,770,097 million (difference, $1,000,881 million); 2007 individual income taxes, $1,096,366 million (or in 2006, $997,599 million). There is about $95 billion to be made up using this particular baseline, but that is a whole factor of magnitude below the rough numbers Paul has been working with.

Dobbs piles it on with another bald-faced distortion: "Income tax accounted for roughly 45 percent of the total, not 33 percent, as Paul claims on his website." Paul's site actually says: "Even today, individual income taxes account for only approximately one-third of federal revenue." Paul did NOT use the level of precision "33%"; on the former page of his site, he actually said "42%", and on the very Leno show quoted by Dobbs, he said, "About 40%"-- not 33%. All three estimates are comparable with a final number of 45%. To change "approximately one-third" to "33 percent" is math abuse of the exact sort Dobbs is castigating Paul for. Projection, anyone? This was noticed by others, as well as Dobbs getting the Leno date wrong and not accounting for how long ago Paul first started making such statements.

Posted by: Libera_me | December 15, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

We tried the more taxes are good thing, and we are about to topple our currency.

So , you bastard jerkoff, whats your solution to the runaway spending? Tax more, jerk-off? No, you cut the spending and get the government back under control.

This blog and this smarmy piece makes me sick, and its a simple lie.

And now with run-away inflation we are all ending up in higher brackets and STILL, they want more.

You people would have been tarred and feathered and KILLED in the 1700's. Jerk off traitors.

Posted by: Mick Russom | December 18, 2007 2:50 AM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. Do you really think we believe you when you say we're only spending $152 billion on the war in Iraq? We have troops in 130 countries. THAT is where Ron Paul will bring our troops home from, not just Iraq and Afghanistan. Two countries, an eighth of the alleged "budget gap". Your numbers don't add up, WashPost.

Posted by: Jeff B. | December 20, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker should read the Jan 2008 article in Reader's Digest titled "The Government is Wasting Your Tax Dollars". In it, the writers have outlined how 1 trillion dollars a year is spent on government waste. Ron Paul simply eliminates the waste, then he just has to find .2 trillion, that shouldn't be a problem. He can do that by saying to our military, "Just come home."
Problem solved. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Posted by: Suzy R | December 20, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

America is Dieing!

Our economy is slowing, our currency is failing, and our tyrant like efforts to fix these problems is causing the world to hate us more and more every day. Because of this oil prices are rising just as tensions are. All the media touted candidates are the same BS, corporate bought out, establishment approved, and straight up puppet candidates that have been forced down our throats for to many years now. If Hillary or Giuliani or any other "front runners" get elected the status quo will at best remain the same and most likely get worse, which is not enough. I myself am very unhappy with the direction my county is going right now and so therefor the status quo must change, drastically. This is why Ron Paul must be elected. He is the only candidate with a real message, a real plan, and any common sense. Sure his ideas are radical and obviously wouldn't take place over night, but they are at least sensible and propose a logical solution to problems that must be addressed. We must not question whether he can do it be cause the the fact of the matter is he must do it. Otherwise the globalist elite will continue to tighten its tyrannical grip on unsuspecting Americans. PLEASE for the sake of freedom and liberty and what this country stands for, vote Ron Paul.

Bottom line, things are not going well, things must change, Ron Paul offers that change.

Posted by: mike w | December 21, 2007 3:23 AM | Report abuse

yeah, um...

you missed the point.

He isn't saying that he has a way to raise the trillions of dollars that are now collect from income tax (a.k.a. taxation without representation.)

He is saying he will ABOLISH THE NEED for all that money.

If he cuts unnecessary spending, he will decrease the budget, and therefore the amount of money needed will be less.

Only an idiot would draw the conclusions stated in this article. If you don't understand it, or think that we need those programs, that's one thing. But if you are just plain ignorant, that's something totally different.

The writer's figures just don't add up.

Four dunce caps are awarded:
* * * *
/_\ /_\ /_\ /_\

Posted by: Ben | January 2, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Paul is trying to honor our roots with the elimination of the income tax. The Constitution never called for an income tax. The Revolution was all about unfair taxation. While your graphs are probably correct, you have not set the correct rules for the playing field. Changing government (a slow process I am fairly certain) is never easy. As we eliminate waste in the budget, overseas spending, reduction of military and the welfare state, an increase in "other" revenue streams (including a tax on imports equivalent to the differential - i.e. balance for wages, insurance and money manipulations) we will eventually find ourselves back in the black. And back to the ideals of our Founding Fathers rather than living the dream of the corporate raiders and traders.

By the way, our spending in China just supports a Communist government that enslaves people, restricts media and communication, and uses child labor as well. One day you will all wake up and wonder how China became our masters.

We should keep our eye on the ball. The ball should be to maintain our freedoms, a gift that was fought for and that people died for all through our history. Right now, between economic policy, administration policies through the executive branch and the so called Patriot Act (I like to call it the Fear Act to Control Americans) we are giving our freedom away. Stand up people ... eye on the ball. Forget minor details and let's go for the goal. We are almost to 1984. Let's stop that before we can't turn back.

Posted by: janmarie | January 13, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that the Federal Reserve is complete bogus. The government is indebted to the system. That's why we don't even have a gold standard anymore. Ron Paul is trying to eliminate taxes that there never was a law to support anyway.
The reason our country is in a deficit is because of the Reserve system. We owe the Reserve (which is a separate entity from the government)money and tons of intrest on that money so they developed those taxes as a means of paying off the reserve system. Eliminate the reserve system which by the way prints so miuch currency now they have made the numbers private and in a matter of years you essentially resolve the recession our economy is in as well as a number of other problems that our world faces today. Yeah... that's right even the "green issue" which is linked in part to the fact that the bastards won't release hydrogen powered cars and let off the oil reserves because it brings in too much cash.

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