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Please nominate Ron Paul
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        Now that the Georgia primaries are over we can all get ready for the last four months of the 2008 election cycle, which, by all accounts, started in the fall of 1978.
    Of course, we still have both the Democratic and Republican conventions with which to contend.  Fortunately, those only last about three days and one million balloons each.
    It’s at times like these when I wish Easter was in September. That way, we could all give up campaigning, talking about campaigning and reporting on campaigning for Lent.
    A Boyum can dream.
    What’s intriguing about this presidential race is that economic conditions have changed dramatically now that each party has narrowed the field to one candidate. Just since the beginning of the year, the price of oil has increased by over $40 per barrel, gas went from just over $3 to just over $4, rising inflation is now topping five percent and the number of housing foreclosures increases month after month.
    Basically, what we’ve ended up with is the war candidate — propped up by neo-conservatives and warfare-state supporters on the right and the big government candidate — propped up by socialists and welfare-state supporters on the left. Neither of these candidates is particularly well-equipped to handle the looming financial crisis.
    Why not instead nominate and elect a candidate who had the knowledge, experience and foresight to predict some of the problems were facing today? He did it in writing more than two years ago. I wrote about him in January and I’m going to write about him today.
    I’m talking about Ron Paul.
    Here’s what he had to say in March 2007, long before most economists and pundits had any clue about the size and scope of the mortgage industry mess.
    “When the bubble finally bursts completely, millions of Americans will be looking for someone to blame. Look for Congress to hold hearings into subprime lending practices and ‘predatory’ mortgages. We’ll hear a lot of grandstanding about how unscrupulous lenders took advantage of poor people, and how rampant speculation caused real estate markets around the country to overheat…the message will be explicitly or implicitly the same: free-market capitalism, left unchecked, leads to greed, fraud, and unethical if not illegal business practices.”
    (Sound familiar?)
    “But capitalism is not to blame for the housing bubble, the Federal Reserve is. Specifically, Fed intervention in the economy – through the manipulation of interest rates and the creation of money – caused the artificial boom in mortgage lending.”
    This position was not very popular when first espoused by Paul. But since last March, more and more people have realized the long-standing low-interest rate policy by the Fed made credit too-easily available and, correspondingly, caused the rise in the inflation rate.
    Another idea that’s been picked up by Obama over the past couple months and mentioned by all three U.S House District 12 Republican candidates is the repeal of federal gas taxes. However, Paul beat them to the punch almost two years ago.
    “If we want to do something about gas prices, Congress should greatly reduce federal spending, balance the budget, and eliminate regulations that interfere with the market development of alternative fuels. All subsidies and special benefits to energy companies should be ended. And in the meantime let’s eliminate federal gas taxes at the pump.”
    In the same article, he also predicted the effect that threatening Iran would have on international oil prices.
    “We must end our obsession for a military confrontation with Iran…An attack on Iran, coupled with our continued presence in Iraq, could hike gas prices to $5 or $6 per gallon here at home.”
    Mind you, he made this prediction in August 2006 when oil was around $70 per barrel and gas was under $2.80.
    Ron “Nostradamus” Paul.
    Truth be told, I would support either of the mainstream candidates if either had half the economic sense of Paul. Unfortunately, neither does.
    I’m going to end with Paul’s words, from two months ago, on the idea of a mortgage industry bailout.
    “Part of sound financial management should be recognizing untenable or falsified economic conditions and adjusting risk accordingly. Many banks failed to do that and are now looking to taxpayers to pick up the pieces. This is wrong-headed and unfair, but Congress is attempting to do it anyway….The solution is for government to stop micromanaging the economy and let the market adjust, as painful as that will be for some. We should not force taxpayers, including renters and more frugal homeowners, to switch places with the speculators and take on those same risks that bankrupted them.
    “Socializing the losses now will only create more unintended consequences that will give new excuses for further government interventions in the future. This is how government grows – by claiming to correct the mistakes it earlier created, all the while constantly shaking down the taxpayer. The market needs a chance to correct itself, and Congress needs to avoid making the situation worse by pretending to ride to the rescue.”


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