Choosing Liberty: My Endorsement of Ron Paul for President in 2008

G. Stolyarov II
Issue CXXXVI - December 24, 2007
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My name is Gennady Stolyarov II. In August of 2002, I founded The Rational Argumentator, an online magazine that has consistently presented and promoted the ideas of reason and liberty and the emancipation of individuals from the stifling grip of political tyranny. Today, the United States of America is faced with an unprecedented opportunity to bring the goal of complete individual liberty to fruition. Never before have the prospects for reversing the onward march of statism and central planning looked so bright as today  but this may also be our last chance to avert an economic calamity of unprecedented proportions. Accordingly, I am pleased to announce my full, unreserved endorsement of Ron Paul for President in the 2008 election.

            If there is one word to describe the agenda of Ron Paul, it is liberty. If there is one text in which Ron Paul’s ideas are encapsulated, it is the U. S. Constitution. The unwavering consistency with which Dr. Paul has defended liberty and the Constitution is astonishing in a world dominated by ceaselessly flip-flopping, compromising, backstabbing politicians. Dr. Paul is known in Congress as “Dr. No” for his steadfast refusal to vote in favor of any act of government that is not explicitly authorized by the Constitution. Representative Paul recognizes that simply because a particular action or principle might be good or valuable does not imply that the government ought to use taxpayer funds to pursue that action or principle. Dr. Paul, having practiced medicine as an obstetrician for decades, understands the vital importance of medicine – but he rightly refuses to allow the government to usurp this field. Dr. Paul’s Presidency is one of our best hopes for reversing America’s plunge into socialized healthcare – a morass of bureaucracy, rationing, waiting lists, huge costs, low quality of care, and denials of treatment.

            Dr. Paul recognizes what John Marshall knew in the early 19th century, when he said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” Indeed, the federal government today is destroying the lives of millions of hard-working, honest middle-class Americans through onerous, inscrutable, and arbitrary income taxes. Not only do these taxes extinguish over 30 percent of most Americans’ incomes, but the time it takes to file them and fill out the relevant forms – or even to figure out which forms to fill out – numbers in the billions of hours each year. Imagine the colossal opportunity cost of these hours and the productive wonders that could be unleashed if they were put to good use! Dr. Paul’s desire to abolish the Internal Revenue Service is crucial to protect productive Americans from expropriation, intrusion, and abuse by the government.            

           Furthermore, even with all personal income taxes eliminated, it will be possible for the federal government to spend as much money as it did in 2001. Surely, it is not possible to make a compelling case for why the U. S. government should be bigger and more powerful than it was a mere six years ago. Even John Maynard Keynes, the 20th century’s leading proponent of government intervention, argued that total government spending should never exceed 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. In 2001, total government spending was approximately 30% of GDP. If he were alive today, even Keynes would agree with Ron Paul that the federal government has become far too profligate and far too powerful!

            But an even worse calamity than the income tax is the insidious but devastating inflation tax. The income tax takes a fraction of one’s earnings but then leaves the rest alone – renouncing all further claims to that money. The inflation tax keeps on taxing the same income – indeed, it is tax on the entirety of one’s holdings. Even under the ludicrously termed “mild” inflation of the 1990s, three percent of a person’s savings would disappear every year. That means that a man who worked hard for his money and frugally held on to it would lose half of it – with no compensation and no external benefits – in 24 years. As Milton Friedman pointed out – with extensive evidence to support him – “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” The sole fundamental cause of a general increase in consumer prices – in an age of ever-increasing technical productivity and material abundance – is the government’s feverish, frenzied printing of obscene amounts of new currency. Ron Paul will defeat inflation – the greatest threat facing Americans today – by first stopping the printing of new fiat money and furthermore by leading a transition back to the gold standard. Gold, because it must be mined from the ground and refined, cannot be created in indefinite quantities by the government. Therefore, the money stock under a gold standard will seldom, if ever, increase faster than the rate at which new goods and services are produced.

            A further ominous threat – one of the greatest threats ever faced by Western civilization – comes from radical environmentalists led by Al Gore and the United Nations. These anti-technology, anti-prosperity ideologues have concocted a global warming scare and used the power of censorship and the power of ridicule to silence hundreds of expert climatologists who question the existence of manmade global warming. Not only is the integrity of science and the scientific method at stake, but the very technological lifeblood of our comfortable, materially abundant lives is under attack. The regulations proposed by the environmentalists will raise taxes on energy so as to make it far less affordable to most Americans, shut down existing coal and gas power plants, block the construction of new power plants, impose economically onerous “cap-and-trade” schemes, and block the development of new energy technologies.

            If elected, Ron Paul will reverse the radical environmentalist threat via his unwavering adherence to the U. S. Constitution, which does not authorize the United States to be bound by colossal international regulations stipulated in the Kyoto and Bali accords. Ron Paul will veto any domestic attempts to impose environmental regulations, as the Constitution never authorizes the federal government to engage in such regulation. Furthermore, Ron Paul desires America’s withdrawal from the corrupt, ineffective, socialistic, and morally perverse dictators’ club that is the United Nations.

            Domestically, my agreement with Ron Paul’s proposed policies and principles is complete. For the sake of openness and honesty, I confess that I do not share Dr. Paul’s call for an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. However, I am still in favor of Dr. Paul’s election and his actualization of his campaign proposals, and I do not believe that an American withdrawal from Iraq, if Dr. Paul succeeds in bringing it about, will bring about substantial harm. I encourage all advocates of liberty who question the wisdom of an immediate withdrawal from Iraq to support Dr. Paul’s campaign nonetheless, for the following reasons.

            First, the “immediate” withdrawal Dr. Paul advocates will not in fact be immediate. If Dr. Paul gets elected, he will be inaugurated President in January 2009 – which will be the earliest time a full withdrawal will take place. Between now and then there are thirteen months for the American military to finish its job in Iraq. This is surely a sufficient amount of time – especially if the recent troop surge and the leadership of General Petraeus are as successful as many proponents of the occupation claim. If the American military remains in Iraq without substantive progress by January 2009, I, too, will call for an immediate withdrawal of troops – because by then the Second Persian Gulf War will have lasted longer than the entirety of World War II. If it took the Allies six years – three of which were losing years – to defeat the enormously powerful Axis dictatorships, then surely it cannot justifiably take longer to pacify a small Middle Eastern country over whose insurgents the U. S. army has every conceivable military and economic advantage.

            Second, I would rather have the United States abandon the entirety of its foreign military presence than to have the power of the federal government over my life increase by one iota at home. The greatest threats to America today are not external; the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists are weak and desperate, and their suicide bombings are acts of desperation, not of power. They cannot bring down the military, economic, and social power of the United States – but our own politicians can, through hyper-taxation, hyper-regulation, hyperinflation, and a new coming wave of nationalizations and restrictions on technological progress. No other candidate in either major party seems to have either the courage or the conviction to resist this onslaught of statism. Only Ron Paul has shown – through decades of an unimpeachable political record and equally impeccable personal conduct – that he has the virtues and abilities required of a statesman who would reverse the direction of American politics. Of all the candidates running, only Ron Paul can bring back a strictly limited government and a maximum of individual freedom.

            The choice before us is quite simple: runaway inflation and crushing taxes – or Ron Paul; socialized healthcare – or Ron Paul; environmental regulations that bring technological progress to a grinding halt – or Ron Paul; ever-growing government intrusion in our economic or personal lives – or Ron Paul; complete eventual socialism – or Ron Paul. I have made my choice. What choice will you make?

G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, contributor to Enter Stage Right, Le Quebecois Libre,  Rebirth of Reason, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Senior Writer for The Liberal Institute, weekly columnist for GrasstopsUSA.com, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. Mr. Stolyarov also publishes his articles on Helium.com and Associated Content to assist the spread of rational ideas. His newest science fiction novel is Eden against the Colossus. His latest non-fiction treatise is A Rational Cosmology. His most recent play is Implied Consent. Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at gennadystolyarovii@yahoo.com.

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Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.