Tag Archives: Ron Paul

Ron Paul’s Budget Proposals: Fiscally Irresponsible

By Simon Johnson, co-author of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters To You, available from April 3rd.

Representative Ron Paul sees himself as an independent thinker – not afraid to confront the conventional wisdom, whether in the form of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke or mainstream views within the Republican Party.  As I have written elsewhere recently, we should take Mr. Paul seriously – and not simply dismiss his proposals out of hand.

However, Mr. Paul’s current proposals for the federal budget can only be described as fiscally irresponsible.  This is completely at odds with his more general stated principles (including in the hearing with Mr. Bernanke this morning), including his well-articulated concern about inflation. Continue reading

Ron Paul And The Banks

By Simon Johnson

We should take Ron Paul seriously. The Texas Congressman had an impressive showing in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday and his poll numbers elsewhere are resilient – he is running a strong third nationally, but looks like to come in second in New Hampshire.  He may well become the Republican politician with populist momentum and energy in the weeks ahead.

Mr. Paul also has a clearly articulated view on the American banking system, laid out forcefully in his 2009 book, End the Fed.  This book and its bottom line recommendation that we should return to the gold standard – and abolish the Federal Reserve system – tends to be dismissed out of hand by many.  That’s a mistake, because Mr. Paul makes many sensible and well-informed points.

But there is a curious disconnect between his diagnosis and his proposed cure.  This disconnect tells us a great deal about why this version of populism from the right is unlikely to make much progress in its current form. Continue reading