by Ron Paul
The dangers inherent in the foreign policy advocated by the neo-conservatives are well known. While many Americans have become increasingly aware of those dangers, far less attention has been focused on the dangers of neo-conservative economic policies. This issue is of critical importance right now, because many are mistakenly pointing their fingers at the free market as the culprit behind our current economic plight.
There are only a few in elected office who have any real loyalty to free markets and limited government. The agenda of neo-conservatives in the economy calls for a very active central government. Indeed, while there are some neo-conservatives who continue to use the rhetoric of limited government, and who oppose increases in the federal income tax as a way to maintain the political benefits that apply to those who talk about free markets, it is now the neo-conservatives who promote fiat monetary policies even more than those on the liberal left.
While I have been a strong proponent of cutting taxes on all Americans, and therefore supported the tax reductions offered by President Bush, the neo-cons argue that tax rate reduction alone is the key to “getting the government out of the way” of economic growth. Moreover, they invariably argue for tax reductions targeted toward the wealthy, and toward multinational corporations.
Over the years, I have offered several tax plans designed to assist hard working middle-class Americans to pay for their needs, whether these needs be health-care related, educational or to pay the costs of fuel. A few years back when I introduced one such bill, a prominent Republican approached me on the House Floor and asked, half in anger and half in amazement “why did you do that?” Shortly after that, the committee chairman at the time, also a Republican, sent out a release strongly attacking my tax cut bill.
So, while the liberal economic agenda includes more taxes and spending, the neo-con economic program simply looks to target some tax cuts to preferred groups, but ignore the economic big picture. The neo-con economic agenda is to “borrow and spend” and it is that agenda, even more than the tax and spend ways of many liberals, that has cast us in economic peril at this time.
Simply, on spending, the neo-cons and the liberals share views, just as they share similar views on foreign policy. While each side tries to claim the mantle of change, reality is that more of the same is not change.
The fiat monetary policy we now follow is the most significant factor contributing to our economic peril, and it is central to the neo-con agenda. As we hear new calls to empower the Federal Reserve Board, we should be aware that underlying all neo-conservative policies is the idea of monetary inflation. Inflation is the technique used to pay for the regulatory-state and the costs of policing the world.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas.