Big Government libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas released an attack ad this week against his intra-state rival, Gov. Rick Perry.
Paul has been running for president off and on for a quarter of century, but, according one-time Paulestinian Dave Weigel at Slate.com, this is the first attack ad ever released by a Ron Paul campaign.
The Paul campaign’s attack ad pointed up Perry’s support in 1988 for Al Gore, who ran as a conserva-Dem in the primaries that year. The Perry campaign fired back by releasing the text of Paul’s letter from the same presidential cycle explaining that he was leaving the Republican Party to run for president on the libertarian ticket. Included in his rationale was his disappointment in the policies and performance of Pres. Ronald Reagan:
President Reagan, as governor of California, had a line-item veto and virtually never used it. As President he has failed to exercise his constitutional responsibility to veto spending. Instead, he has encouraged it.
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.
Candidate Reagan in 1980 correctly opposed draft registration. Yet when he had the chance to abolish it, he reneged, as he did on his pledge to abolish the Departments of Education and Energy, or to work against abortion.
Under the guise of attacking drug use and money laundering, the Republican Administration has systematically attacked personal and financial privacy. The effect has been to victimize innocent Americans who wish to conduct their private lives without government snooping. (Should people really be put on a suspected drug dealer list because they transfer $3,000 at one time?) Reagan’s urine testing of Americans without probable cause is a clear violation of our civil liberties, as are his proposals for extensive “lie detector” tests.
Under Reagan, the IRS has grown bigger, richer, more powerful, and more arrogant. In the words of the founders of our country, our government has “sent hither swarms” of tax gatherers “to harass our people and eat out their substance.” His officers jailed the innocent George Hansen, with the President refusing to pardon a great American whose only crime was to defend the Constitution. Reagan’s new tax “reform” gives even more power to the IRS. Far from making taxes fairer or simpler, it deceitfully raises more revenue for the government to waste.
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.
Ron Paul did not mention back than that Reagan also raised taxes at least seven times when he was president or that one of his first acts as governor of California in the 1960s was to raise both spending and taxes, with a $1 billion tax hike that would represent over $6 billion in today’s dollars.