Presidential candidate Ron Paul has released a fiscal reform plan that would dramatically cut spending and rein in the size and scope of the federal government. My reaction to the proposal can be summed up in one word: hallelujah.
Republican policymakers – including the current GOP field of presidential candidates – talk a good game about reducing spending, but very few are willing to spell out exactly what they’d cut. As NRO’s Kevin Williamson puts it in the title of his write-up on the plan, “Ron Paul Dropping a Reality Bomb on the GOP Field.”
The following are some of the plan’s highlights:
- Paul would immediately eliminate five cabinet-level departments: Commerce, Education, Energy, HUD, and Interior.
- Paul says his plan would cut spending by $1 trillion in the first year alone, and balance the budget in three years without increasing taxes.
- Funding for the wars would end. That’s not isolationism – it’s a common sense position that also reflects popular opinion. In addition, foreign aid spending would be zeroed out.
- Intelligent government reforms are proposed, including privatizing the Federal Aviation Administration and repealing costly Davis-Bacon rules.
- On entitlements, younger people would be given the freedom to opt out of Social Security and Medicare. Spending would be frozen for Medicaid and other welfare programs and they would be converted to block-grant programs.
That’s an ambitious agenda to say the least, and one that the press is likely to dismiss as a pipe-dream. Then again, Paul has managed to single-handedly turn the Federal Reserve into a campaign issue, which nobody could have foreseen just several short years ago. In fact, several of Paul’s fellow candidates for the GOP nod have taken to echoing his anti-Federal Reserve sentiments. Hopefully, the other candidates will copy Paul again by getting specific on what they’d cut. If not, they should be prepared to explain to the electorate why taxpayers should keep funding the departments that Paul would ax.