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Ron Paul Economics: The Devil in His Details

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Aristophanes Posted: Sat, Oct 22 2011 2:52 AM


"Paul redlines all international assistance programs, as he has often promised to do.  He also redlines the Federal Aviation Administration with a note in his budget that says only, “FAA Privatized.”  That would save nearly $10 billion a year but would instantly create massive chaos in air travel. 

How exactly would Paul propose privatizing the air-traffic control system and managing the thousands of commercial flights in the air at any one time? What kind of transition would it take for airlines to create their own systems, and how much would it end up costing travelers as the carriers duplicate efforts and create communication barriers in traffic handling? Paul’s plan not only doesn’t explain that process or his end goals, but the thin amount of explanatory text never addresses the FAA conversion at all, nor does it explain Paul’s plan to defund TSA and require carriers to provide their own security."


I agree with privatizing the FAA, but the author is probably correct in that it will cause short term disruptions that could be fairly problematic and costly.  However, his qualm with the TSA is completely unfounded.  The author also brings up problems with the Dept. of Interior (Patents, etc) and the Dept. of Commerce (which he partly bases his view on the legitimacy of the "interstate commerce" clause) and the land the government has to sell.


"He eliminates the supplemental nutrition programs for women and children at the Department of Agriculture, along with “Food for Peace” grants without detailing the savings realized by doing so.  Paul also proposes to reduce spending at the Food and Drug Administration by 40% from fiscal 2006 levels without explaining which functions he plans to cut. Also at HHS, the woeful Indian Health Service gets a 20% cut from fiscal  2006, as does the Centers for Disease Control. LIHEAP, the energy-assistance program for low-income earners, gets tossed out altogether. 

There may be good reasons for these reductions and eliminations, but Paul never bothers to provide any specifics in his plan, and it won’t be too difficult for Democrats to paint this entire budget as an attack on the poor.

Paul’s plan encompasses the general concepts of downsizing government, but the details show it to be short on common sense and political reality – or any kind of reality at all.  Michele Bachmann warned about the “devil in the details” of 9-9-9, but Cain at least provides an argument in his proposal for how his tax reform could work. Paul’s plan looks more like a slapdash effort to claim $1 trillion in savings –credibility be damned."

This could be a problem if Paul gets the nomination.


Could there be credibility in Paul's starting where he started that the author of that article is not seeing?  His logic is strong in some areas but absent altogether in others.


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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 10:13 AM

Getting rid of centralized air traffic control will be very chaotic in the same way that getting rid of a centralized economy was chaotic in the soviet union. A slow and steady decentralization would probably be prefferable all round but that could well be impossible.

The rest of this article seems like knit picking, the majority of Paul's plan is extremely comprehensive, even though this author does well to point out the gaps.

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Sure, in the short run we might experience this 'chaotic' situation where air prices are high, airports would have to come up with different ways to control air traffic, etc. But this pays off in the long run, for it will lose the inefficiencies it had before when it was publicly ran. As Hayek implies in this video, the reason people do not like free market solutions to our problems is because we stress that in order to get back to a more market system, we have to experience these painful processes when the market is trying to fix itself, especially when the market is dealing with highly subsidized of centralized sectors in the economy. I love when free marketeers get criticized by others when we say this and generally others look at this as not a real solution, but its funny in the sense that free marketeers said right in the beginning, "dont subsidize or centralize certain sectors of the economy, for in the long run, it will turn to shit." Well the long run is here and the subsidized sectors have turned to shit, dont blame the free marketeers for not having 'real' solutions when they said right in the beginning how sectors of the economy turn to shit by government intervention.

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I agree with privatizing the FAA, but the author is probably correct in that it will cause short term disruptions that could be fairly problematic and costly.

I don't see why. If the FAA announces that in six months or a year the airlines are on their own, and offers the existing infrastructure for sale to the highest bidder, what's the big deal? The very same people would probably man the stations, since they have experience. So they only difference will be that the ones footing the bill [ultimately] are the folks actually flying on a plane, the customers of the airlines, and not every man, woman and child in the USA, as is the case now.

So yes, it will cost more to be a passenger on an airline, since your ticket is no longer subsidized. Of course, everyone else will get to keep more of their money. Bottom line, it is not more costly, just more equitable.

the details show it to be short on common sense and political reality – or any kind of reality at all.

And the specific backup for this assertion is?

His logic is strong in some areas but absent altogether in others.

In which specific area is the logic absent?



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