Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ron and Rand Paul to Host Fundraiser for Kurt Bills

Minnesota Republican Senate candidate Kurt Bills is off to Washington on a trip that includes a fundraiser held by Ron Paul and Rand Paul, reports AP.

Is this part of the new Paul plan? Help Paulite posers?

Bills won the Minnesota GOP's endorsement this spring, in part by tapping into a base of Ron Paul supporters at the state party convention, according to AP.

A spokesman for Bills said donors at Tuesday's fundraiser are being asked for $350 each, with a five-figure overall goal for the event.

Of note, Bills' issues page indicates softball libertarian positions that suggests he could sell out on any liberty issue at any time.

His position on the Federal Reserve is to audit the Fed, but he stops there. He attacks Fed money printing, but then calls for it, when he calls for the Fed to manipulate the money supply so that "price stability" stability becomes the role of the Fed, which indicates that he has no idea how the business cycle can occur, even with stable prices, as Murray Rothbard warned occurred before the Great Depression:
One of the reasons that most economists of the 1920s did not recognize the existence of an inflationary problem was the widespread adoption of a stable price level as the goal and criterion for monetary policy. The extent to which the Federal Reserve authorities were guided by a desire to keep the price level stable has been a matter of considerable controversy. Far less controversial is the fact that more and more economists came to consider a stable price level as the major goal of monetary policy. The fact that general prices were more or less stable during the 1920s told most economists that there was no inflationary threat, and therefore the events of the Great Depression caught them completely unaware.
Bills' "stable price" position on the Federal Reserve is both clueless and dangerous.

Note on taxes, Bills is in favor of a "simplified tax code." Bills says:
Simplifying the tax code and ensuring the best return on the taxpayers’ investment needs to be one of Congress’s top priorities.
Taxpayer investment? Yikes. Since when is taking money from citizens via taxes an investment. It is a politicians distortions of the words taxes and investment. And, btw, here's Rothbard on "simplified" taxes:
It was allegedly free-market economists for example who pioneered in and propagandized for the alleged Tax Reform Act of 1986. This massive change was supposed to bring us "simplification" of our income taxes. The result, of course, was so simple that even the IRS, let alone the fleet of tax lawyers and tax accountants, has had great difficulty in understanding the new dispensation. Peculiarly, moreover, in all the maneuverings that led to the Tax Reform Act, the standard held up by these economists, a standard apparently so self-evident as to need no justification, was that the sum of tax changes be "revenue neutral." But they never told us what is so great about revenue neutrality. And of course, by cleaving to such a standard, the crucial question of total revenue was deliberately precluded from the discussion...J.B. Say's policy recommendation was crystal clear and consistent with his analysis and that of the present paper. "The best scheme of [public] finance is, to spend as little as possible; and the best tax is always the lightest."
Under Foreign Policy, Bills does not even mention ending any of the current wars, drone strikes or U.S. empire building at all. He says zero about these great evils.

Bottom line: This guy is as libertarian as Barack Obama. It's understandable that Rand would endorse this guy, but what is Ron Paul doing in the same room with him?


  1. He's behind 24% in the polls. Save your money.

  2. I had this argument with Walter Block, who was kind enough to respond to me though we've never met.

    I contend that Libertarian thinking, like all thinking, is a process not a destination. The principles are primaries. The conclusions the primaries lead to require individual thought, growth, and therefore - time and effort.

    It is entirely possible to hold the right principles but to have not yet reached all the right conclusions.

    Flatly, NO ONE has reached ALL the right conclusions. That's why non-aggression is a process rather than a destination. You were not born with divine infallibility and neither was I.

    As such, I would prefer to encourage people who value libertarian principles to see for themselves how far down the rabbit-hole goes. And like Alice, I think they will find a whole new world there.

    I don't think it is constructive or advisable to call down from a libertarian pinnacle, "Nanny, nanny, boo-hoo, I am so much more libertarian than you! You're no libertarian at all!"

    In my view it is more reasonable to point out logical inconsistencies when people who want to be libertarian regress and insinuate state-collectivist concepts into their (presumably) principled libertarian attempts.

    Besides, it seems mightily inconsistent to declare support for individuality by casting others out of the libertarian collective.

    Notice how the above sentence is a collection of mutually exclusive terms lumped together in a cancerous mass?

    That's what I mean.

    Whether a person is libertarian or not is for that person and that person alone to decide. Any external assignment of identity is a violation of his free will.

    The consistency of any particular of that person's ideas is an entirely different matter, and subject to external debate.

    So, you can have - no, you ALWAYS will have - self-declared "libertarians" whose ideas are not wholly libertarian. If people were able to see through their personal blind spots there would be no need for debate, and all libertarians would be unanimous on all issues.

    That is not reality.

    Shortly, you can't live in a libertarian society if you insist on being the only libertarian in it - short of eschewing human contact entirely and declaring 'solitude' to be 'society'. (Again an oxymoron.)

    It is a question of priorities.

    1. @El Gordo: Excellent points. Harry Browne touched on this in his "Rule Your World" audio seminar. Paraphrasing, he basically said that no two people will ever agree on everything and that the only perfect society or government is when "I am the king".

  3. This site looks completely messed up for me in Firefox. Am I the only one?

  4. I hope that this attempt to "co-opt" the movement and move it into the Republican party blows up in there faces. RonPaul inc. (not the man himself) obviously thinks that we'll continue to throw money at them and go out and vote because we have no other choice. Like we ever voted before! HA

    1. I don't.

      I don't care where the bully pulpit comes from. I only care what is said and done from the bully pulpit.

      There exists no political party that will put principle before the acquisition of power for their own by any means. If there were there would be no need for a Party.

      When a party 'courts' an ideological constituency it is implicitly declaring the legitimacy of that constituency or, alternatively, its own illegitimacy in pursuing the constituency. This process of courting involves public illumination of the constituency for others to evaluate.

      Most people when asked about libertarian beliefs, affirm them as their own beliefs. There is a natural human longing to be free. But relatively few have been adequately exposed those beliefs as a system of thought and moral evaluation.

      The exposure is all to the good, so long as the libertarian community's public representatives advocate in ways more libertarian than the alternative. The main danger is the misconstruction of libertarian thought through the exemplar of a bad representative.

      But the danger is easily addressed - there's plenty of time to pillory the representative when he's actually transgressed. So, there's no need to do it preemptively.

  5. Mr. Wenzel,

    Do you enjoy eating your own? Kurt Bills is solid and yet you grasp for people like Ice-T who have one good thing to say about liberty.

    I'm counting the days to when you start to attack Ron Paul as a total sell out.

    BTW Rand Paul is trying to cut defense spending...


  6. He is also in favor of the state not only being in the marriage business, but using it to discriminate.
    In other words, using state aggression to impose his religious views on everybody.

    Typical conservative masquerading as a liberty-guy by riding the Tea Party/Ron Paul wave of popularity.

    At this point i have to start wondering about whether Ron Paul still has it in him to stick to his own principles. He seems to be weakening, with this and his less-than-inspiring comments about endorsing Mitt Romney.
    It's starting to look like he's in full "help my son's career" mode.

  7. Mr. Wenzel finds a few scraps of libertarian thought in the likes of Steve Jobs, Ice-T, and Robert Zoellick and he rejoices. However, he trashes people like Kurt Bills and Rand Paul because they only agree with perhaps 80 – 90% of his ideal.


    1. Nothing bizarre about it.

      Some people hold politicians - creatures who make lots of money they haven't earned by being productive - to much higher standards than civilians who work in the market place.

      Politicians get paid from forcibly extracted funds, and should get no leeway whatsoever in expectations that they at least do their jobs close to perfectly.
      They should be beaten up with criticism for every single 1% that they're not libertarian, because they are using tax money against innocent people by being a statist, even if only for just 1%. Every percent is one too many for those voluntarily working for the monopoly of violence.

      All Ice-T ever does is make music that sucks, but which nobody is forced to buy. Hence, every good thing he says or does is more laudable than what a politician does.

    2. I'm sure if Ice-T and Robert Zoellick (or if Jobs came back from the dead) decided to run as a libertarian politico and was asking us for money, at that point, Wenzel would be putting the same measure to them as he is now to Rand and Bills.

      Right now Ice-T ans Zoellick are displaying some unexpected libertarian principles, while Rand and Bills are displaying unexpected non-libertarian principles.

    3. "Banacek" and "Tony":

      So are you ready to call Ron Paul a sell out because he supports Rand Paul and Kurt Bills? I'm waiting for you two and Wenzel to make that tragic leap.

    4. Did i write that Ron Paul is a sell out?

      Him supporting Rand is obvious because Rand is his son.
      Him supporting Bills is a mistake in my honest opinion.
      Neither warrants calling him a sell-out.

      But i worship no man and don't do cults of personality, so whether or not i would call him a sell-out in the future is up to the decisions he'll make. As an AnCap it is a miracle i've managed to find a politician i like to begin with, but that is not unconditional.

      Either way, Rand and Bills are not people i support because in one way or another they support using state aggression against innocent people. The fact that Ron Paul supports them means nothing to me. I don't need Ron Paul to tell me how to think.

  8. Bills endorsed Ron months ago, and vice versa. He would be an improvement and after talking with him I think he'd attempt to shrink the size and scope of government. Is he committed to Austrian economics or fully understand/ascribe to libertarian principles? Probably not and that will ultimately be his achilles.

  9. How many candidates for office, even in the Libertarian Party, have read Human Action? Most candidates are economically illiterate which is an advantage over those who are economically literate because they are mostly Keynesians. You have little choice but to start out with candidates who are receptive to your views.

    A case in point would be Walter Jones, Ron Paul's colleage on the Banking Committee. He was once a conventional conservative Republican, but last I heard he had voted against Obama's programs more than any other Congressman including Ron Paul who finished a mere second. (Justin Amash was third).

    This does not represent a great departure for Ron Paul. He has endorsed non-libertarians before including Michelle Bachmann in 2008 when he also helped her raise money.

  10. I think kurt bills would be 150% better than Klobuchar and he is an economics teacher. Now I'm not sure if he is well versed on ABCT but my brother has spoken with him and he is really is a decent and nice guy who would make Rand Paul look like a Social Democrat. Yes he probably can't recite verses from Menger, Mises, or Rothbard but I'm not sure Minnesota could put up a better GOP candidate to run against Miss Consumer Advocate Blowhard.

    I respect the judgement of Ron Paul to speak at the GOP convention and endorse someone and I think it is unproductive to slam Bills because he isn't Ron Paul. No one is Or ever will be Ron Paul.

  11. It's easy to be let down when you put faith in external "authorities" and "leaders" which reminds me of this quote from Robert LeFevre's "A Way To Be Free" (http://tinyurl.com/4xwyycf):

    "Today the world is sick with the greatest social disease of all. It isn’t herpes or syphilis. It is, in fact, a pagan faith in the State."

  12. I've kinda got the same problem highlighted in this write up...my wife with good intentions donated a small amount here in SC so we can attend a fundraiser for a local politician named Tom Davis here in SC.

    Thankfully it was small! She did it because she knows I love Ron Paul and I used to believe you could get significant positive change in the system. I really hadn't told her that I'm now a full blow anarchist because I didn't want to explain the implications at this time....but of course now we've had the conversation.

    Anyway, I'm going if nothing else to say "Hi" to Dr. Paul and thank him for all he's done...but I hope the conversation doesn't drift toward politics...lol...at a political fundraiser....I think I'll need some luck on that.

  13. Look at some of the other endorsements made by Ron's LibertyPAC (which is headed by Jesse Benton and the treasurer is his mother-in-law). Here's their 2Q filing:

    Some might find the salary disbursements quite curious too. The LibertyPAC does not do any work. It just cuts a few checks every quarter. It got a huge chunk of money thru the 2011 President's day moneybomb, although donors mistakenly thought they were donating to Ron's campaign.

    Legally, this type of PAC can only give a candidate a max of $5K for a primary and the same for a general election.

  14. Politics of this kind (national level) is a pure waste of time.

    Best use of your time for the next five years.
    Get into providing food and water for yourself or the market.

    We have drought in half the US (in the heartland, naturally) and all over Mexico..

    You're better off making a veggie garden, boring a well, and getting that second passport than splitting ideological hairs.

    There is something really gross about anti-state people salivating over public office.

    Sorry if that offends.

  15. Bob, I think you are misreading Ron's support. It should never be taken as an endorsement of libertarian purity.

    Heck, let's see who he's supported in the past:
    - Ralph Nader
    - Cynthia McKinney
    - Bob Barr
    - Chuck Baldwin
    - Pat Buchanan

    And who he's formed legislative coalitions with:
    - Dennis Kucinich e.g. on foreign policy
    - Barney Frank e.g. on marijuana legalization

    I mean, I despise Barney Frank and Ron Paul's coalition with Frank (where by a coalition, you set aside differences and agree on specific things, which is different from bi-partisan compromising) does not change my respect for Paul one bit

  16. I live in MN, and Kurt Bills was 100% supported by the Ron Paul delegates for good reason. He might seem like a libertarian lightweight on the surface (I agree), but he is trying to have a chance of winning in this extreme socialist state where the GOP base of evangelicals is thin at best. Cut him some slack. You probably agree with him 80% of the time, which is leaps and bounds better than his decidedly statist opponent Amy Klobuchar. And, he's not a GOP insider. I suspect if he pulled off a miracle win, he would grow into being a better libertarian.