Ron Paul vs. the Constitution

Really nice takedown of Ron Paul’s idiocy by Ian Milhiser in ThinkProgress. All these Paul followers think he’s so damn smart and principled in their libertarian fantasyland.  So not true.   After quoting Paul on how Social Security and Medicare are basically slavery, we get this nice explanation of how things really work:

As Chris Wallace tries to explain, Paul’s crankish view of the Constitution cannot be squared with the document’s text. The Constitution gives Congress the power to “to lay and collect taxes” and to “provide for the…general welfare of the United States,” which is exactly what Social Security does. Nor is this reading of the Constitution’s unambiguous words limited to “extreme liberals.” Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia recently told a gathering of Members of Congress that “It’s up to Congress how you want to appropriate, basically.”

Indeed, the overwhelming majority of Paul’s fellow House Republicans disagree with his bizarre view that Medicare and other government-funded insurance programs violate the Constitution. 207 Republicans voted in support of President George W. Bush’s proposal to create a federal prescription drug insurance program under Medicare, including such notables as future Speaker John Boehner, uber-tenther Scott Garrett, and future Budget chair Paul Ryan.

Oh, and for the record, the evidence is pretty clear that he’s a racist, too.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

4 Responses to Ron Paul vs. the Constitution

  1. David says:

    Funny how even Wallace, who presumably would support draconian cuts to those programs, is able to point out that his position on the constitutionality of such programs is just lunacy.

  2. Ed Willers says:

    Ron Paul didn’t compare Medicare and Medicaid to slavery, and by saying so Think Progress made their agenda quite obvious. A write-up on why Think Progress’ article is misleading can be found here: . Ron has also said numerous times that medicare and social security are not at the top of his agenda, our foreign policy is. He gets asked questions like these all the time just so groups like think progress and others can write up smear stories such as the one you linked. They don’t even ask him what he would do to these social programs, they merely ask him if he thinks that medicare, medicaid, and social security are unconstitutional and he’ll reply, “Technically yes.” As far as his alleged racism, I leave you with this:

    • Steve Greene says:

      You win on the “comparison to slavery” headline. TP was definitely wrong on that and I didn’t take the time to read the transcript closely. Given what his son was saying about government health insurance last week, though, it was not much of a stretch to think he would’ve made this direct comparison. Though I’m a big fan of the effective use of political satire, I’m still with Chait on the race angle.

      • Ed Willers says:

        While I agree that the newsletters were terrible, I am inclined to believe Dr. Paul about not having written them. I have never known him to be dishonest or inconsistent on any issue, he’s been saying the same things for 30 years. If you look at his voting record and any statements that he has made, nothing about them is racist. I’ve also read several of his books and the writing style from the newsletters is nothing like his own. It’s especially fishy that Dr. Paul is on the record many times saying how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of his heroes and yet one of the newsletters that he is accused of writing bashes Dr. King. The most extensive research and write-up on the topic that I’ve found is here: . Ron Paul himself insists that he didn’t write them and there is a video of him defending himself on CNN here:
        And also, here is a really great short clip of Ron Paul giving one of his best quotes on racism:

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