Ryan Not A Real Libertarian
August 22, 2012 by John Myers
Presumed Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney tagged a man named Paul for Vice President. There’s just one problem: He picked Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), not Ron Paul (R-Texas). The latter is a real libertarian, while the former is a big-government conservative.
Jane Aitken, founder of the New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition, wrote an opinion piece for Bedford Patch. The headline read: “Paul Ryan is no Ron Paul.”
The Daily Caller also weighed in last week: “It didn’t take long for libertarians to condemn Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan may have required his staffers to read Ayn Rand’s novels, but he’s no John Galt (a fictional character in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged). Over his nearly 14 years in Congress, Ryan has cast several votes unfit for an advocate of limited government. He voted for TARP, auto bailouts, and Medicare expansion. He also voted for No Child Left Behind and twice voted for stimulus spending.”
Paul cannot be excited about Romney tagging Ryan for the VP spot. In an interview given to Fox News last March, Paul called Ryan’s budget proposals timid and said that Ryan did not address the Federal government’s propensity for warmongering. Paul said he didn’t like that the Ryan plan might balance the budget in 30 years and did nothing to address America’s vast overseas military presence. Paul said instead of the Ryan plan he would slash overseas spending by first stopping “militarism” while maintaining spending for national defense.
As reported by Huffington Post, Paul said:
In my program… I address that first [cutting overseas military spending] I want to get home so that you don’t have to attack child health care or Medicare, even though those programs are bankrupt and you have to deal with them. But even in my first year of cutting a trillion dollars, I don’t touch that stuff [child health care or Medicare].
I’m not going after the benefits the Medicare, I’m not doing that initially… I would cut the money that they are screaming about, this overseas militarism.
I see people coming together… 67 percent people now want to come home from Afghanistan… I think the Republican lose the political argument immediately. [The Republican plan is] We want more weapons but we are going to deny the elderly for their healthcare.
Yet Ryan is likely a smart pick for Romney in that his nomination as Vice President will help Romney win the Presidency because it will garner votes from Tea Party supporters. That doesn’t mean that Ryan is anything other than a pretend libertarian. And he certainly isn’t alone in that category.
In his book Fed Up!, Texas Governor Rick Perry wrote: “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas. If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California.”
While Perry was running for the Presidency, a Des Moines Register reporter asked the former Texas A&M yell leader: “What yell would you give to urge on your campaign?”
Perry replied: “Rick Perry. Liberty. Rick Perry. Freedom. Freedom is working. Liberty is working. We’ve got to get America working again.”
I wondered: what does it mean to be free? I looked up the definition of “libertarian.” The Free Dictionary defines the word as: “One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state. One who believes in free will.”
Perry doesn’t have a clue what it means to be free. Freedom — and here is the key caveat — is doing what you want as long as you are not hurting another individual.
Let me say it straight: If my neighbor on one side is in a gay union and the neighbor on the other side smokes grass (and if is not hurting me or anyone else), why can’t they? That’s how I look at it; I am a true libertarian.
Perry dresses up in libertarian clothes, pretends to embrace individual freedoms and then at the first instance (when he doesn’t like what he sees) demands government intervention. That is not liberty my friends, that is pretend liberty and something very dangerous to the state of the union.
Romney may pretend to embrace smaller government and less taxation, but his track record as Governor of Massachusetts doesn’t support his argument. Nor does his businessman-first-and-foremost argument carry a lot of truth. As then-GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich pointed out to Romney during one of the GOP Presidential debates: “The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is because you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994.”
None of this makes the Romney/Ryan ticket less desirable than the alternative: another four loathsome years of Obama/Biden. It does, however, mean that this election isn’t going to give the sweeping changes that libertarians were hoping would come out of the grassroots Tea Party movement.
Barack Obama fashions himself an old-style Democrat, the likes of President John Kennedy. But what Kennedy wanted for the Nation half a century ago was affordable then. As the upsurge in Federal debt shows, it simply is not possible now.
If Obama looks to the Kennedy era, expect Romney to be a replay not of President Ronald Reagan, but his successor, President George H.W. Bush. That will mean continued excessive military spending and interventions overseas. It will mean continued large deficits.
Led by Romney/Ryan, the country may be 20 percent to 30 percent improved over what will happen if the Obama/Biden team is re-elected. But that won’t be a renaissance for America, and the end result will fall far short of making libertarians happy.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, while a Romney/Ryan victory is in the cards, I don’t think it will resuscitate the U.S. dollar. That inevitably means a continued deterioration in the greenback’s purchasing power — something you should consider before you buy any U.S. paper and before you sell any precious metals you have accumulated.
Yours in good times and bad,
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report