Friday, April 20 , 2018, 6:09 pm | Fair 60º

 
 
 
 

Ron Paul: Will Donald Trump Continue the George W. Bush-Barack Obama Legacy?

This week, Congress passed a budget calling for increasing federal spending and adding $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. Most so-called “fiscal conservatives” voted for this big-spending budget because it allows Congress to repeal some parts of Obamacare via “reconciliation.”

As important as it is to repeal Obamacare, it does not justify increasing spending and debt.

It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Obamacare repeal would be used to justify increasing spending. Despite sequestration’s minor (and largely phony) spending cuts, federal spending has increased every year since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.

Some will attribute this to the fact that the Republican House had to negotiate with a big-spending Democratic president — even though federal spending actually increased by a greater percentage the last time Republicans controlled the White House and Congress than it did under President Barack Obama.

The history of massive spending increases under unified Republican control of government is likely to repeat itself. During the presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump came out against reducing spending on “entitlements.” He also called for a variety of spending increases, including spending $1 trillion on infrastructure.

One positive part of the infrastructure proposals is their use of tax credits to encourage private sector investments. Hopefully, this will be the first step toward returning responsibility for building and maintaining our nation’s infrastructure to the private sector.

Unfortunately, the administration appears likely to support increased federal spending on “shovel-ready” jobs. Claims that federal spending helps grow the economy rely on the fallacy of that which is not seen.

While everyone sees the jobs and economic growth created by government infrastructure projects, no one sees the greater number of jobs that could have been created had the government not taken the resources out of the hands of private businesses, investors and entrepreneurs.

Despite what some conservatives seem to think, this fallacy applies equally to Republican and Democrat spending.

Trump has criticized the past two administrations’ reckless foreign policy, and he has publicly shamed the powerful Lockheed Martin company for wasting taxpayer money. Yet, he continues to support increasing the military budget and has called for increased military intervention in the Middle East.

The fact is the United States already spends too much on militarism. Not only does the United States spend more on the military than the combined military budgets of the next eight highest-spending countries, but Pentagon waste exceeds the total Russian military budget.

America can no longer afford to waste trillions of dollars on a militaristic foreign policy. Trump should follow up his attacks on wasteful military spending by dramatically changing our foreign policy and working to cut the Pentagon’s bloated budget.

If the new administration and Congress increase spending, they will need the Federal Reserve to monetize the growing debt. The need for an accommodative monetary policy gives the Fed and its allies in Congress and in the deep state leverage over the administration.

This leverage could be used, for example, to pressure the administration to abandon support for the Audit the Fed legislation.

Fed action can only delay the inevitable day of reckoning. Raising levels of federal spending and debt will inevitably lead to a major economic crisis. This crisis is likely to be reached when concerns over our national debt cause more countries to reject the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

The only way to avoid this crisis is to stop increasing spending and instead begin reducing spending on all aspects of the welfare-warfare state.

Ron Paul is a retired congressman, former presidential candidate, and founder and chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @RonPaul, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >