March 22, 2019

Why does Ron Paul insist on a declaration of war?

TAMPA, August 14, 2012 – Ron Paul insists that the U.S. government shouldn’t go to war without a declaration of war by Congress. His son Rand has also taken this position, as have a few other libertarian-leaning Republican candidates. The U.S. Constitution delegates the declaration of war power to the Congress, but they have not exercised this power since WWII.

Why is this important?

Most people misunderstand the declaration of war power as “permission” to start a war. By that definition, George W. Bush argued that H.J. Res. 114 (October 16, 2002) fulfilled this constitutional requirement regarding the Iraq War. With that resolution, Congress authorized the president to use military force in the war on terror.

The declaration of war power is not the power to start a war. It is the power to declare that a state of war already exists. This can only be true if the nation in question has committed overt acts of war against the United States.

Each time the U.S. Congress has declared war, the resolution has followed the same format.

1. Congress cites the overt acts of war committed by the nation in question against the United States.

2. It recognizes the existence of the war because of those overt acts.

3. It directs the president to utilize the military to end the war.

The process is some what analogous to a criminal trial. The president “makes his case” to Congress that certain actions by a foreign nation amount to acts of war. Congress then deliberates, renders its verdict and passes sentence. The president is directed to execute the sentence.

Here is just one example. When James Polk asked Congress to declare war on Mexico in 1846, he said,

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The Mullen Minute: Audit the Fed

Audit the Fed first shot in Ron Paul’s revolution

TAMPA, August 3, 2012 – “When I was your age, I went to the movies for a dime and bought a big bag of popcorn and a soda for a nickel.”

My father said that to me a hundred times when I used to pay $2.75 to go to the movies and another $1.25 for the popcorn and soda. For five generations, Americans have understood steadily rising prices as an immutable law of nature. Yet history shows that this just isn’t true.

The Federal Reserve of Minnesota publishes historical inflation figures on its website going back to 1800. The attached chart from that website shows annual inflation rates from 1800 through 2008. I added the last column to calculate the price movements of a basket of goods that cost $100 in 1800.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in finance for the numbers to jump off the page. The basket of goods that cost $100 in 1800 only cost $58.10 in 1913 (the year the Federal Reserve System was created). For that entire first full century of American history, steadily decreasing prices were something Americans took for granted.

In the ninety-nine years since the creation of the Federal Reserve System, that same basket of goods has risen to $1,265.14.

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Morning Joe Wrong on Ron Paul and Social Security

TAMPA, June 21 2012 — Ron Paul appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday, giving one of his most succinct criticisms of the Republican Party to date. Host Joe Scarborough had recently endorsed Paul and explained why he had voted for him in his Republican presidential primary.

For most of the segment, the hosts concentrated on Paul’s ideas, policy positions and vision for the future of the party. However, near the end of the segment, Sam Stein decided to ambush Paul on Social Security. After Paul explained his position on letting young people opt out of the program, Stein asked Paul if he collected Social Security payments himself. When Paul replied in the affirmative, Stein implied that Paul was being hypocritical by collecting Social Security payments while asking young people to opt out.

Non sequitur.

Ron Paul’s plan to phase out Social Security does not ask people who have paid into the program to forego the benefits. Those he wants to give the opportunity to opt out would also not be taxed to support Social Security. Perhaps somewhat surprised by the line of inquiry, Paul did not give the best answer he’s ever given to this question. However, he explained it in detail in my own interview with him last year.

Under Paul’s plan, those who have paid into the program would continue to receive the benefits they were promised. The funds not collected from young people who opt out would be raised from savings realized by Paul’s cuts to overseas military spending and elimination of federal departments.

So, Paul is not asking young people to do something that he is not willing to do himself. As he pointed out on Morning Joe, he’s still paying into Social Security right now.

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Exclusive Interview: Rand Paul weathers endorsement storm

TAMPA, June 18 2012 – 218 years ago, George Washington signed the Jay Treaty, reestablishing economic relations with the British. Claiming that John Jay and the Federalist Party had sold America out to the British and betrayed France, Jefferson’s Republicans denounced Jay as a monarchist and a traitor.

His effigy was burned and one newspaper went so far as to print, “John Jay, ah! the arch traitor – seize him, drown him, burn him, flay him alive.”

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky might know how Jay felt. Since endorsing Mitt Romney for president on June 7, Paul has endured a barrage of criticism from his father’s supporters and those who consider themselves part of the larger “liberty movement.”

There have even been a few death threats.

I spoke to Senator Paul last Thursday. He was understandably concerned by the more outlandish reactions, but put them in perspective.

“The people that are over the top and even making death threats on the internet, I hope they are not serious, but they are a small number of people making a disproportionate number of the comments. A lot of those people may not even vote or may not have voted for my father. They don’t represent the majority of the people that support what we’re fighting for.”

Overlooked during the controversy is Paul’s promise to his constituents to endorse the Republican nominee. Paul won a decisive victory in Kentucky with far more than Ron Paul supporters behind him. Without promising to endorse the nominee, Paul may have never even won the Republican nomination, much less become a U.S. Senator.

“I’ve said all along that I would endorse the Republican nominee. I made that promise during my own campaign, because it was a concern for many Republicans that my dad hadn’t endorsed the Republican nominee in the past. People should understand that it doesn’t mean that I’ve changed my philosophy or adopted anyone else’s.”

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Ron Paul festival set for fairgrounds in Tampa UPDATED: June 13, 2012 12:25 PM EST

TAMPA, June 12 2012 – The rollercoaster ride for Ron Paul’s supporters continues amidst more delegate wins and Senator Rand Paul’s controversial endorsement of Romney.

Liberty Unleashed, the nonprofit group incorporated in Florida by Paul supporters specifically to organize Paul Festival, announced today that it had signed a contract with the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa to hold the event there August 24-26. The RNC starts August 27.

Paul Festival will be three days of music, entertainment and activism featuring nationally-known musicians, comedians and other entertainers.

It will also feature plenty of the ideas shared by those who make up what Paul’s supporters call “the liberty movement.”

Liberty Unleashed and the Fairgrounds needed approval from the RNC Committee on Arrangements (COA) in order to proceed with the event. Both major parties typically lock up hundreds of venues in the host city during the week surrounding their national conventions. Liberty Unleashed had claimed that the COA was blocking the event to alienate Paul’s supporters.

Coming on the heels of Rand Paul’s endorsement, this latest development may lead to speculation about a deal that included release of the fairgrounds.

The COA had maintained that they were not blocking the event and that the request was simply in line with many others. The Paul Festival announcement was made after the COA was closed for the day. An e-mail was sent asking for clarification and an update will be provided should they respond.

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Will Ron Paul delegates make Romney flip flop again?

TAMPA, June 10, 2012 – With all but one of the Republican primaries concluded, there are two things that are clear. The first is that unless something very improbable occurs, Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. The second is that Ron Paul will have an army of delegates at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in August.

The media continue to wonder what Paul hopes to accomplish with those delegates, although he has been clear from the beginning. His primary goal was to win the nomination. His secondary goal was to influence the direction of the Republican Party.

Paul has remained consistent in his strategy. In a June 6 e-mail to supporters, Paul said

“We stand to send nearly 200 bound delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa…What’s more, we will send several hundred additional supporters to Tampa who, while bound to Romney, believe in our ideas of liberty, constitutional government, and a common-sense foreign policy. When it is all said and done, we will likely have as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the Convention floor.

And while this total is not enough to win the nomination, it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP!”

Some of Paul’s supporters dispute that any of the RNC delegates are bound to vote for any candidate, citing Republican Party Rule No. 38. Obviously, Ron Paul doesn’t see it that way.

However, one thing everyone acknowledges is that no delegate to the RNC is bound to any candidate’s position on the issues. That means Paul’s 500 delegates can vote any way they want regarding the Republican Party platform.

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Republican Party blocking massive Ron Paul event in Tampa?

TAMPA, June 2, 2012 – Ron Paul may have stopped actively campaigning in primary states that have not yet voted, but his Revolution shows no sign of slowing down.

Just a few days after the media erroneously reported that Ron Paul had dropped out of the presidential race, he won 80% of the delegates going to the Republican National Convention (RNC) from Minnesota.

His supporters are now organizing a massive event on the eve of the RNC to celebrate their ideas and Paul’s 77th birthday. Not just a political rally, Paul Festival will be three days of music, entertainment and activism featuring nationally-known musicians, comedians and other entertainers.

It will also feature plenty of the ideas of what Paul’s supporters call “the liberty movement.”

Reminiscent of Paul’s Rally for the Republic during the RNC in 2008, the event may have the Republican Party concerned about being upstaged again. The 2008 event sold out the Target Center in Minneapolis.

This time, Paul’s supporters are attempting to secure the Florida State Fairgrounds, where they expect an estimated 40,000 people per day to attend. The Republican Party is trying to block them.

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Can a libertarian be pro life?

TAMPA, May 20, 2012 – Thanks to Ron Paul’s extraordinary presidential campaign, libertarianism is arguably getting its best hearing in decades. It’s catching on, especially with young people. While baby boomers prepare to retire and devour Social Security and Medicare to the bone, the generations succeeding them realize that they will be stuck with the bill for these financially insolvent social programs, along with an unsustainable foreign policy.

Proceeding from its central tenet of non-aggression, libertarianism sees government the way Thomas Paine did. “Even in its best state, [it] is but a necessary evil.” Some libertarians think Paine was only half right. Either way, a libertarian government would do far less and cost far less than the one we have now.

Ron Paul has presented one of the purest libertarian platforms of any presidential candidate in U.S. history. Paul absolutely refuses to consider preemptive war and wants to “march right out” of the Middle East, Germany, Japan and Korea. He doesn’t just want to reform Social Security and Medicare; he wants to let younger workers opt completely out.

He wants to end the drug war and pardon all non-violent drug offenders. He wants to repeal the Patriot Act and subsequent “war on terror” legislation.

Paul doesn’t pitch a watered down version of libertarianism to avoid ruffling feathers within his party. When asked about a federal prohibition on gay marriage, Paul responds that the government should get out of the marriage business altogether, even at the state level, except for enforcing marriage agreements like any other contract.

However, there are a few issues where Paul’s libertarianism has been questioned. The most consequential in terms of political impact is his stance on abortion. Paul is staunchly pro-life.

Some have said this violates the basic tenets of libertarianism. The government cannot be allowed to dictate what an individual does regarding her own body. All libertarian theory is rooted in property rights and the most basic, fundamental property right is self-ownership. This precedes modern libertarianism. John Locke, the philosopher that inspired Thomas Jefferson, established this principle before the right to any other kind of property.

“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.”

The progressive pro-choice argument rests firmly upon this foundation. A woman owns her body and has sole dominion over what occurs within it. While progressives generally go on to violate this principle with their support for government regulation of virtually every other decision one makes with one’s body, they are very libertarian on this issue.

Or are they?

While libertarian theory is built upon property rights, it also recognizes a natural limit to the exercise thereof. That limit is what Locke called, “the law of nature,” which is that “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”

Based upon this limit, the woman’s rights would seem to end before she can bring harm to the fetus. Yet, libertarians recognize that everyone has a right to forcibly remove an unwanted person from his or her property. What is the libertarian answer?

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Can Ron Paul supporters accept Gary Johnson?

TAMPA, May 15, 2012 — Ron Paul’s announcement today that he will “no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted” may finally have some of his supporters considering the possibility that he will not be the Republican Party’s nominee. That may be overly pessimistic considering that Paul also stated that he will continue to pursue his delegate strategy, which has been far more successful than his quest for a primary win.

However, even the most ardent supporter may find it prudent to have a “Plan B,” especially in states where the rules on write-in candidates are onerous. There is one man who believes he’s wide open in the Plan B end zone. He’s former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson.

Johnson secured the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president at its national convention last Saturday in Las Vegas, winning over 70% of the delegate votes.

Johnson supports Ron Paul, but doesn’t think Paul will win the Republican nomination. He wants Ron Paul supporters to know that he represents an opportunity to vote for a lot of the things they believe in.

“Ron Paul has always been about a message and so have I and it’s the same message. It’s about liberty and it’s about freedom, first and foremost, and when Dr. Paul’s candidacy comes to an end, there’s a viable alternative and I don’t think it’s a handicapped choice. I think it’s reloading. There’s no concession.”

So, do Paul supporters have to compromise to vote for Johnson?

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