There are many areas where progressives and libertarians agree and can cooperate to the benefit of both. These include more ballot access for third parties, illumination of the futility of supporting the democratic-republican Uniparty, supporting constitutional rights, skepticism of getting involved in foreign wars, and more openness in economic matters. The NPA has cooperated with libertarians in increasing ballot access. In Georgia Tea Partiers and the environmentalists have joined forces, called themselves "Green Tea," and opposed nuclear while encouraging solar energy. In Wisconsin a similar story. While we encourage cooperation where possible, we should not forget that there are significant differences between us. Much of what libertarians claim is an intellectual fantasy. We should keep in mind this article by Anthony Noel, one of our founders. If you would like to also read some excellent comments on this article, see Don't Fall for Ron Paul.
This is an edited version of a diary posted months ago, when batshit-crazy Rand Paul won the Senatorial primary in KY. With the Rand Daddy now garnering praise from erstwhile thoughtful people including Bill Maher, Cornel West, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, it seems more pertinent than ever that we ACTUALLY LOOK AT HIS LEGISLATIVE RECORD. You know, that thing we SHOULD HAVE DONE before we bought Dr. Obama’s Snake Oil Cure-All (TM).
Despite being vaunted in many quarters by supposedly freedom-loving, government-distrusting, reform-minded people, a look at the bills Ron Paul co-sponsored in the 111th Congress reveals a brand of discrimination only slightly less blatant than that of his Senator son.
Some are self explained in their summaries, below (in quotes). Others are inadequately or obfuscatorily summarized, so to these summaries I’ve appended plain-language revelations (outside the quotes). Lastly, I’ve noted parenthetically the parties against which each bill discriminates.
Enjoy Paulites – enjoy.
HR 391: “To amend the Clean Air Act to provide that greenhouse gases are not subject to the Act.” (Discriminates against – well, pretty much all living things.)
HR 470: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for permanent tax incentives for economic growth.” Misleadingly titled the “Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009,” this bill aims to cut both corporate and individual tax rates. Read far enough in, however, and you discover that beyond cutting the capital gains tax on corporations, the cuts for individuals are an across-the-board 5 percent. (Perpetuates the tax code’s inherent discrimination against middle- and low-income people.)
HR 664: “To make the 2001 and 2003 tax relief permanent law.” Refers to the Bush tax cuts. (Again, perpetuates the tax code’s inherent discrimination against middle- and low-income people.)
HR 687: “To amend titles 23 and 49, United States Code, to repeal wage requirements applicable to laborers and mechanics employed on Federal-aid highway and public transportation construction projects.” (Because, you know, they’re laborers and mechanics. And we don’t want those putting in our highways or rail lines to take their work seriously.)
HR 968: “To amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to provide regulatory relief to small and family-owned businesses.” Includes the following: Relieves a manufacturer from the requirement to test or certify a product regarding lead content if the manufacturer has tested and certifies each component of the product. (Beyond the obvious – isn’t total lead content what matters? – this discriminates against manufacturers with consciences.)
HR 983: “To preserve open competition and Federal Government neutrality towards the labor relations of Federal Government contractors on Federal and federally funded construction projects.” (It’s anti-union, pure and simple. Apparently the freedom-loving Rand Daddy supports freedom to supress wages and benefits for employers, but not employees’ freedom to oppose such practices.)
HR 1228: “To provide that Executive Order 13166 shall have no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes. Declares Executive Order 13166, ‘Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,’ to be null and void. Prohibits the use of funds for the promulgation or enforcement of an executive order that creates an entitlement to services provided in a language other than English.” (Discriminates against not just ESL speakers – its not-so-veiled intent – but, unwittingly, against anyone who struggles to speak due to physical or mental disability. Of course, if the bill were to make an exception for those folks, its real, discriminatory intent would be indisputable.)
HR 2808: “To amend the National Labor Relations Act to protect employer rights.” The bill’s aim is to stop “salting,” job-seeking by union organizers with the intent of unionizing a company from within. (Discriminatory because this is America, and – we can seek jobs for any reason we choose.)
HR 3309: “To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to postpone the increase in the minimum wage for 1 year.” (Discriminates against low-income individuals.)
Last but certainly not least, The elder Dr. Paul is the sponsor, along with two – count ‘em: one, two – others, of HR 1146: “Repeals the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other specified related laws. Directs the President to terminate U.S. participation in the United Nations, including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other affiliated body. Requires closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Prohibits: (1) the authorization of funds for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contribution to the United Nations; (2) the authorization of funds for any U.S. contribution to any U.N. military operation; and (3) the expenditure of funds to support the participation of U.S. Armed Forces as part of any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation. Bars U.S. Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command.”
The John Birch Society must be so proud.
Paul does a great job of hitting all the populist themes on TV and the campaign trial, and the fact that some well-known lefties are giving him credence purely because he agrees with us that the wars suck – well, didn’t we JUST LEARN this lesson in 2008?
7-My libertarian vacation nightmare: How Ayn Rand, Ron Paul & their groupies were all debunked. My family and I traveled last month to a Honduras city known for its libertarian ideals. Here's what happened next.