News reports from Iowa are unsurprising; Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are locked in a close race which, in the end, will make little or no difference. So let’s take a moment to consider Ron Paul’s candidacy. I have already explained, here and elsewhere, why I think that Ron Paul is not just a fringe candidate, but a bad guy. I now want to add another point: he is not a Republican.
Who says so? Ron Paul does. Here are excerpts from the letter that he wrote in early 1987, when he resigned from the Republican Party because of his disgust with Ronald Reagan:
Since 1981, however, I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the Republican Party’s efforts to reduce the size of the federal government. Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. …
Tax revenues are up 59 percent since 1980. Because of our economic growth? No. During Carter’s four years, we had growth of 37.2 percent; Reagan’s five years have given us 30.7 percent. [Ed.: This is absurd. I have no idea where Paul got these numbers.] The new revenues are due to four giant Republican tax increases since 1981.
All republicans rightly chastised Carter for his $38 billion deficit. But they ignore or even defend deficits of $220 billion, as government spending has grown 10.4 percent per year since Reagan took office, while the federal payroll has zoomed by a quarter of a million bureaucrats. …
Instead of cutting some of the immeasurable waste in the Department of Defense, it has gotten worse, with the inevitable result that we are less secure today.
Paul wrote this just two years before Communism collapsed. He is urging the same theme today: all of our efforts to defend ourselves against Islamic terrorism have only made us less secure.
Monetary policy has been disastrous as well. The five Reagan appointees to the Federal Reserve Board have advocated even faster monetary inflation than Chairman Volcker, and this is the fourth straight year of double-digit increases. The chickens have yet to come home to roost, but they will, and America will suffer from a Reaganomics that is nothing but warmed-over Keynesianism.
This if from outer space. By 1987, the phenomenal success of the Reagan administration and the Fed in suppressing inflation was long established. “Fourth straight year of double-digit increases?” Increases in what? I don’t know; certainly not inflation.
Then as now, Paul was utterly clueless with regard to foreign policy:
Knowing this administration’s record, I wasn’t surprised by its Libyan disinformation campaign, Israeli-Iranian arms-for-hostages swap, or illegal funding of the Contras. All this has contributed to my disenchantment with the Republican Party, and helped me make up my mind.
These complaints are virtually identical to those that Paul lodges today, including his gratuitously including Israel in the Iran-Contra controversy. Paul concluded by resigning from the Republican Party, on the ground that he wanted to utterly disassociate himself from the Reagan administration:
I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy.
After years of trying to work through the Republican Party both in and out of government, I have reluctantly concluded that my efforts must be carried on outside the Republican Party. … I therefore resign my membership in the Republican Party and enclose my membership card.
It is quite remarkable that a man who renounced his membership in the Republican Party because he so despised the Ronald Reagan administration could now be running for the GOP nomination for president. We can only hope that most of his votes are coming from non-Republicans who are crossing over, out of mischievousness, in open caucus or primary states.