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## Ron Paul's candidacy

 Quote by JonDE 2008 federal budget was 2.9 trillion. 2012 is set to be around 3.7T. If you adjust 2008's budget for inflation and population growth at a fairly conservative method of 4% per year you end up in 2012 with 3.39T. So from your perspective, increased government spending is only about 300B of the problem, which doesn't differ too far from my previous post, when I said 900B was because of the recession. Which would leave about 300B to being the problem of taxatation.
In the latter part of 2008 the large jump in deficit spending had already begun. The inflation corrected 2007 spending of $2.73 trillion becomes$3.0 trillion in 2011, against the $3.6 trillion that was actually spent, an increase of$600B over inflation in a time reduced revenue, large debt loads, and entitlement obligations. I don't know why population growth must correlate with, say, defense spending. So as I said above it is the spending increase that is dramatic.

BTW:
 Quote by JonDE laying off 2M military personel ...
Nobody is talking about laying off 2m military personnel. The size of the active duty US military is ~1.5m, another 1.5 m in the reserves. Paul's proposed 2013 defense budget of $500B is still greater than Reagan's (in today's dollars) at the peak of his defense spending in the cold war. Also note that the military downsized 12 million to 1.5 million in 1945 to 1947 without putting vast numbers in the soup lines.  Quote by JonDE The projected future deficits are around 600B per year... The 2012 deficit is forecast as$1.1 trillion per the White House's OMB. Predictions further out are hand waving bets on the economy and reflect no spending reforms.

 Quote by D H If that's true, that is yet another reason the Republicans may well get squashed 10 months from now. We are often taught that George Washington was the first president of the United States. That depends on what you mean by President and what you mean by the United States. In a very real sense, Washington was the eighth president, preceded by John Hanson, Elias Boudinot, Thomas Mifflin, Richard Henry Lee, Nathan Gorman, Arthur St. Clair, and Cyrus Griffin. So why don't we here of Washington's predecessors? The answer is simple: The US under the Articles of Confederation was a failed experiment. We're seeing a repeat of that failure right now in western Europe. Repeating those failed experiments a third time (at least a third time) would be insane. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." That insanity is exactly the path along which Paul and the Tea Party want to lead us.
Not sure how this is relevant to the "End the Fed" quote in your post. The U.S was doing just fine before the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. Ever heard of the depression of 1920, and how it was dealt with as opposed to the tactics pursued by the Fed with the Great Depression?

 Quote by ThomasT Apparently Paul is leading in some polls now. But there might be a problem, at least down the road, with his old newsletters. My personal opinion on that is that he should just be honest about it. He's a WASP. No secret there, and it appeals to LOTS of Americans. We're, all of us, predjudiced and racist to certain extents. If you deny it, then you're just lying to yourself. But now Paul is caught in an interestingly ironic dilemma. He's running for president in the most transparently racist and predjudiced party, and yet he's forced by currently politically correct dialogue to deny his biases. Personally, I would just rather have him say that he doesn't want blacks or hispanics or Jews, whatever, to run things. I don't think that most Americans want that either -- because MOST Americans are still of European/English descent. But that's changing -- at least it was, perhaps also somewhat ironically, until the more strict enforcement of immigration by the Obama administration. If America goes back to the pre-Obama status quo wrt immigration, then projections indicate that the US will be a Spanish speaking country by about 2070 -- with the WASP population only about 25% to 30% of the total population of the US. It appears that neither Paul nor Obama would let that happen.
As regards the newsletters, I researched this issue quite a bit the last time around. Here is the conclusion I came to. Ron Paul released a popular newsletter while he was a libertarian gadfly in congress In 1985, he quit congress, and in 1988 he ran for president under the libertarian ticket. After that was unsuccessful he retired from politics and went back to being an obgyn. The newsletter subscriptions dwindled. Sometime around 1990, a new editorial staff took over, renamed it the "ron paul surivival report" and changed the tone of the newsletter. A certain author was employed from 1992 to 1993, who wrote extremely inflammatory articles with racist rhetoric (to be fair the letters sound a little, but not much, better in context.) At this point, Ron Paul had stopped paying attention to the newsletter, he hadn't payed much attention since his failed presidential run. When he ran for congress again in 1996, the issue came up, and he basically ducked it.

The Paul campaign has handled the issue poorly. They have not given enough in the way of explanation. I certainly don't think Paul wrote the letters, as it sounds nothing like anything he has ever said at any other point. I don't think he read them either. I doubt he knows the name of the writer. What he might know is who was on the editorial staff that allowed it to go out in the first place. Many in libertarian circle suspect Lew Rockwell, although I see this as largely speculation.

The thing with Paul's campaign is that has always been about spreading the message rather then about the individual Ron Paul. I think Paul has no interest in personal mistakes and scandals (which he has avoided talking about in regards to other candidates). He wants to talk about political issues. I think if his campaign was in a serious position to make a run, he has to address the issue thoroughly, and probably ultimately throw somebody under the bus.

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So how does Ron Paul invest his money?

 Quote by WSJ ...Ron Paul’s portfolio isn’t merely different [from other Congressmen]. It’s shockingly different. Yes, about 21% of Rep. Paul’s holdings are in real estate and roughly 14% in cash. But he owns no bonds or bond funds and has only 0.1% in stock funds. Furthermore, the stock funds that Rep. Paul does own are all “short,” or make bets against, U.S. stocks. One is a “double inverse” fund that, on a daily basis, goes up twice as much as its stock benchmark goes down. The remainder of Rep. Paul’s portfolio – fully 64% of his assets – is entirely in gold and silver mining stocks. ...
about which, an investment manager says:
 At our request, William Bernstein, an investment manager at Efficient Portfolio Advisors in Eastford, Conn., reviewed Rep. Paul’s portfolio as set out in the annual disclosure statement. Mr. Bernstein says he has never seen such an extreme bet on economic catastrophe. ”This portfolio is a half-step away from a cellar-full of canned goods and nine-millimeter rounds,” he says.

http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/201...aul-portfolio/

Thanks for your research. and your assessment (which is, imo, reasonable, and which I adopt in lieu of supported info to the contrary). I do remember Paul saying, to his credit, that he was still "responsible" for the content of the newsletters during the period when he apparently wasn't paying attention to that content.

Personally, I don't think Paul is anywhere near being a racist. I think that, like most of us (I'm assuming), he has a natural affinity for his own culture and maybe has some sort of personal ethnic identity. But, like lots of us, but maybe not most (again, just assuming), I think that he's aware of how this could bias his judgements and therefore tries consiously to not let that happen.

So, for me, the newsletter thing isn't important (though, as you mention, if he does become a serious contender, then he's going to have to "address the issue thoroughly" -- probably on national tv). Imo, there are other, much more important issues wrt which Paul's positions, while consistent with libertarian values, are contrary to the well-being and improvement of America.

 Quote by mheslep So how does Ron Paul invest his money? ( ... snip interesting stuff from post #242 ...)
Does any of this constitute a conflict of interest?
 I like a lot of Ron Paul's idea, but my main beef with libertarianism is that it sometimes equals, and shouldn't equal, lack of taking responsibility.

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 Quote by MarcoD I like a lot of Ron Paul's idea, but my main beef with libertarianism is that it sometimes equals, and shouldn't equal, lack of taking responsibility.
I think differently, I think libertarians are forced to embody the height of responsibility. Individuals become responsible for their actions. I think most people dislike libertarianism because it tends to take away the control they have over their neighbors. Everyone loves to control "the other guy."

 Quote by FlexGunship I think differently, I think libertarians are forced to embody the height of responsibility. Individuals become responsible for their actions. I think most people dislike libertarianism because it tends to take away the control they have over their neighbors. Everyone loves to control "the other guy."
We probably agree. Nobody should meddle into the affairs of others when they have no right to do so. But that's the thing, libertarianism ends with the question: If your neighbors are starving what are you going to do?

I personally have the feeling that we are at a junction in global problems. Roughly described as A) either people shape up, and take some responsibility to solving things, or B) at some time in the future the military will shape up, and nuke all global existential problems out of existence.

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 Quote by MarcoD We probably agree. Nobody should meddle into the affairs of others when they have no right to do so. But that's the thing, libertarianism ends with the question: If your neighbors are starving what are you going to do?
As someone who just donated time in a food shelter AND a soup kitchen over the holiday season, I often insulted by the question of "what would we do for our starving neighbors." Weirdly, the question is most often asked by people who are not involved in charity at all. The reason people ask that question is because they NEED TO BE FORCED to help people in need.

When someone says "without welfare, people would starve!" What I really hear is "if you don't take money from me at gunpoint, I refuse to help other people!"

 Quote by MarcoD I personally have the feeling that we are at a junction in global problems. Roughly described as A) either people shape up, and take some responsibility to solving things, or B) at some time in the future the military will shape up, and nuke all global existential problems out of existence.
It won't be "the military" it will be many militaries. The fact is that some unnamed religious groups will continue to exert their maximum influence for the maximum amount of time.

Either we (as a species) will continue to tolerate that behavior under the auspices of "religious and cultural diversity" or we (as a species) won't.

 Quote by FlexGunship As someone who just donated time in a food shelter AND a soup kitchen over the holiday season, I often insulted by the question of "what would we do for our starving neighbors." Weirdly, the question is most often asked by people who are not involved in charity at all. The reason people ask that question is because they NEED TO BE FORCED to help people in need. The answer is "feed them." When someone says "without welfare, people would starve!" What I really hear is "if you don't take money from me at gunpoint, I refuse to help other people!"
Our grand neo-liberal leader, our prime minister, of our private soccer support group agrees with you. He's very well-known for a quote: "The government is not a good-fortune machine."

But that begs the question, if a government isn't a good-fortune machine [for the public], then what is it?

I expect my government to solve the problems I cannot. That's why I pay taxes. They should specialize in solving my neighbor's problems since I have no rights there, and for the rest they should have the determination to solve the problems of the next century, since I cannot.

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 Quote by MarcoD But that begs the question, if a government isn't a good-fortune machine [for the public], then what is it? I expect my government to solve the problems I cannot. That's why I pay taxes. They should specialize in solving my neighbor's problems since I have no rights there, and for the rest they should have the determination to solve the problems of the next century, since I cannot.
What is government? Its a group of officials elected to carry out tasks too large for individuals in society. Building interstates, for example, is a task too large to be organized by individuals; feeding your neighbor, as another example, is not.

I'm not actually explicitly against welfare and certainly not against public food programs. But I am against the compulsory charitable contributions. I'd feel better if I could choose how my money was spent.
 This year you spent \$1400 on welfare programs. How would you like those funds dispersed?Directly as nutritious food Directly as housing subsidies Directly as heating subsidies As a check
Guess what, I wouldn't choose "as a check."

 Quote by FlexGunship Guess what, I wouldn't choose "as a check."
The reality probably is that it doesn't matter. People [with low income] will need to spend their income on food and housing. I personally would say it's irrelevant.
 A libertarian wouldn't have welfare even in place. The government is in place to uphold civil liberties

 Quote by Woopy A libertarian wouldn't have welfare even in place. The government is in place to uphold civil liberties
Which is my point. If the government doesn't work anymore for the welfare of the public, the public ends up starving. It's their role, weaseling out of it just shows lack of responsibility.

[ I personally think (extreme) libertarianism is a defeatist stance against: Hey, we tried to solve some problems the last decade, and failed. Lets stop solving, and see where that gets us. I personally would say: God, man, don't give up, just try again. ]
 social darwinism man. When you say the government needs to spend money to fix my neighbor's problems, that just translates to me having to pay for my neighbor's woes. I'm a rugged individualist and do not believe in any form of aid and everyone can forge their own destinies. The lazy are the ones asking everyone else to fix their problems

 Quote by Woopy social darwinism man. When you say the government needs to spend money to fix my neighbor's problems, that just translates to me having to pay for my neighbor's woes. I'm a rugged individualist and do not believe in any form of aid and everyone can forge their own destinies. The lazy are the ones asking everyone else to fix their problems
Social darwinism is a perversion of humane goals. You'll end up with fascism down that route. If your neighbor is starving, you either take care of it yourself, or you organize a public 'decent' endeavor to solve the problems in a professional, and just, manner. And the latter is preferred, since individuals have little to no rights intervening in the matters of other individuals, the collectivized public government, after pondering a lot about the ethics of intervening, on that other hand, does have that right. [ Since the public gave them that right after determining that individually, people just suck at ethics. ]

Btw. As I said before, I agree with a lot what Ron Paul says, certainly with civil rights. But not with economics, the role of the government, or international policy.