Florida Debate Wrap-Up And Commentary

Given the fact that it took place only five days before the last big primary prior to Super Tuesday, and that recent polls show the race to be very tight, I was expecting last night’s Florida debate to be much more confrontational than it was. After all, if McCain wins in Florida, there’s a fairly good argument that the race for the Republican nomination will effectively be over — if Romney, Huckabee, or Giuliani are going to make stand, it needs to be in the sunshine state.

Despite all of that, though, this debate was, by and large, a snoozefest. Neither Romney nor Giuliani directly confronted McCain, and Huckabee, who is so obviously running for the Veep slot at this point, continued his John McCain love-fest. Like it or not, and I frankly don’t like it one bit, it’s looking more and more likely that John McCain will be the Republican nominee.

So here’s where I think the candidates stand as we head toward January 29th:

John McCain: The only thing McCain needed to make sure he did last night was not mess up, and he didn’t. He’s just come off a convincing victory in South Carolina, has a decent shot of winning Florida, and is leading in most of the major Super Tuesday states like California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. As I noted yesterday, it’s a mathematical certainty that no candidate will win enough delegates on February 5th to win the nomination, but John McCain is better positioned than any of the other candidates to come close to closing the deal before Valentine’s Day.

Mitt Romney: Of all the candidates, Romney is best positioned to benefit from John McCain’s rise. At some point, the Republican establishment is going to wake up, look around, and realize that the guy they stopped in South Carolina in 2000 is on the verge of blowing away the rest of the field. When they do, they’re going to look for a candidate, and, right now, the only real alternative to John McCain is Mitt Romney. Last night, Romney needed to look solid enough for these voters for them to start reconsidering guys like Giuliani and Huckabee. Whether he was convincing enough is something we won’t know until Tuesday, both January 29th and February 5th.

Rudy Giuliani: Considering that Giuliani once referred to Florida as his firewall, one would have thought that he would have come out fighting last night. Make no mistake, Giuliani can fight — he did it when he ran for office in New York, and it worked. At the very least, he needed to find a way to bring back the support he’s lost over the last month. And he failed miserably on both accounts. Giuliani will limp on through Super Tuesday, but he’s practically a non-entity at this point.

Mike Huckabee: Huckabee’s low on cash and falling in the polls, and one wonder why he’s still in the race. One theory is that he’s angling for the Vice-Presidential slot if McCain is the nominee. The fact that he’s been relative nice to McCain over the past week or so lends some credence to that theory. In either case, it’s fairly clear right now that Huckabee is not going to be at the top of the ticket. He’ll win some Southern states on Super Tuesday, perhaps, but that will be about it.

Ron Paul: Eighteen minutes into the debate, Paul was handed a nice, big fat softball question. All the other candidates had been asked their position on the “bipartisan” economic stimulus package and, predictably, they all endorsed it. Paul was asked the following question:

Congressman Paul, you often have a different view of these issues. So I’ll ask a vastly different question. Does government — should government, in your view, have any role at all in stimulating the economy like this?

And instead of answering it, Paul goes off on a rambling discourse about interest rates, the dollar, the Fed, and, yes, Iraq. And he repeated that hard-to-believe assertion that we could save $ 1 trillion from the Federal Budget by ended the American “empire”, whatever that is.

Don’t take my word for, it, here’s how Stephen Green put it:

7:18pm Woo-hoo! A question for Paul. “Should the government have any role in stimulating the economy?” A GREAT question for a libertarian candidate. And how does Paul respond? With a quickfire, rambling answer covering everything from the Fed to the weak dollar to a “trillion dollar a year foreign policy.” Folks, we have a two trillion dollar Federal budget, most of which is transfer payment. Paul is, in short, a big fat, high-pitched liar.

Nobody’s ever really challenged Paul on this trillion dollar claim, but the fact is that the numbers in the Federal Budget just don’t justify it.

I’m beginning to think that we’re seeing the beginning of the end of Ron Paul, at least as a visible candidate. He’s invited to the California debate before Super Tuesday, but I’d be very surprised if we see him in a single debate after that. It’s too bad, really, because he’s really the only guy on the stage who comes close to making sense when it comes to issues like economics.

In the end, I don’t think that the debate will have any appreciable impact on the race, either in Florida or nationally. Slowly but surely, this is coming down to a contest between the “maverick” and the Mormon, and I can’t figure out for the life of me why I should support either of them regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

  • Kevin

    I think it is you who did not understand Ron Paul’s reply. Before you venture into what the government can do, you need to know what the government is doing now that is wasteful and counteractive.

    So Dr Paul’s answer is that it is when the government and the federal reserve try to artificially “stimulate” the economy that things go wrong and bubbles are created.

    …and mentioning the Iraq war in this context is very important. The economy is being bled dry by the war, while more money is being printed to act as credit created to feed the demand brought about by even lower interst rates, which further devalues the dollar, which then causes further inflation and the need of more “stimulus”… do you see the spiral here?

    So do your homework before scribbling about Ron Paul economics, cos the man is much sharper than you could possibly imagine.

  • Vandie Williamson

    Gentlemen, Dr.Paul is the only one talking about the problem with the economy. In case you have not noticed there was a global stock market crash days ago. Do some homework boys.

  • Nathan

    The answer to your befuddlement of the trillion dollar issue is supplemental spending bills, those not taken into account in the original budget. Paul constantly repeats the phrase, “we could save hundreds of billions of dollars by bringing all of our troops home.” This is true.

  • http://anythingexceptthetruth.blogspot.com/ Iconoclast421

    If you dont know what the american empire is, then you should follow McCain on his quest to be steamrolled by Hillary.

    As far as the “trillion dollar claim” goes, yes, the numbers do justify it. But you cant understand that, because people like you dont want to understand it. You just want to bury your head in the sand, pretend to be amused by this complete and utter joke of a political system, and then scream bloody murder when we find ourselves in the middle of an economic depression like this country has never seen.

    Why is it a trillion dollars? Well, first you take the defense budget, which is 90% bloat, socialist bloat I might add. Then you take 90% of the interest we pay on the national debt, which is the percent that goes toward the principal we borrowed for previous years of bloat. Then you add the supplementals for Iraq. We’re already at about a trillion dollars just for all that.

    Then you look at the price of oil and how it reflects our foreign policy. And you have to look at how all the debt from this bloat has devalued the dollar. The dollar has lost nearly half its value since Bush “took” office. That means that our 2 trillion dollar budget has lost at least 700 billion of its value. Not to mention higher energy costs across the board. Higher food costs. Higher medical costs. Every single person living off social security has basically had their checks cut by 30~50%.

    Like I said, you could probably understand this stuff if you really wanted to. But I guess its easier just to lick boots and hope that The Great Tumble doesnt catch up to you too, as it has already caught up with millions of americans. I can assure you, it will catch up to you to eventually. And I hope it hurts, you dirty rat.

  • Tara

    It’s funny that you’re criticizing Ron Paul’s math when you obviously need to do a little adding of your own.

    Ron Paul has raised enough money that, even if he doesn’t win a single state caucus or primary, he can stick around right up to the convention (which may very well be a brokered convention, and his delegates will certainly give him a seat at the table.)

    It’s John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani who are running out of money, and as many as two of them might be gone by the convention, depending on the outcomes in Florida and elsewhere.

    Ron Paul is in it to stay, thanks to the three big “money bombs.” As Tim Russert put it a few days ago, “there’s no stopping him now.”

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    Don’t take my word for, it, here’s how Stephen Green put it:

    Umm, who’s Stephen Green and why do we care? A quick search of his site shows that he’s been hostile to Paul for awhile. Show me a neutral party’s response and I might care.

    he repeated that hard-to-believe assertion that we could save $ 1 trillion from the Federal Budget by ended the American “empire”, whatever that is.

    No, he said we could save hundreds of billions out of a total of $1 trillion.

    What is the American “empire”? We literally have troops stationed in most of the countries in the world. I’m not sure the British could have ever claimed that and they had a pretty impressive empire in their day. No, we don’t officially rule any of those countries, but do you really suggest we don’t use our long tentacles to sway their policy on important issues? Most of the British colonies were allowed a significant degree of self-rule so long as they didn’t cross the King on major issues.

    Look, Doug, RP is nowhere near as eloquent as he used to be and that does hurt him in the fast-paced debate format, but drop the needless strawmen.

  • John from Warren, MI

    You will get what you want. More jackboots to lick clean in Washington. Hope you enjoy it!

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    Oh and “hard to believe”? Military spending alone is over $500 billion per year and I don’t believe that includes the “supplemental” spending that happens every year. Nor does it include the State Department and other foreign policy expenses. Nor does it include the portion of the annual interest payments due to previous military expenditures.

    I would be very surprised if a thorough analysis of our foreign policy expenditures wasn’t in the neighborhood of $1t.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    There’s not going to be a brokered convention. It’s Romney and McCain to the end. Nobody else will come close.

    And what good is all the money going to be if he doesn’t actually win a single primary or caucus ?

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    It’s not a matter of what I want, its a matter of what will happen.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    Doug? I see you responded to the comments that were easy to refute.

    Do you stand by your claim that RP “assert[ed] that we could save $ 1 trillion from the Federal Budget by ended the American “empire””?

    Will you correct your post?

  • DefendTheConstitution

    Of course it sounds like a rambling answer if you don’t have even a basic understanding of economics and monetary policy. Let me explain to you what he was saying in simple terms.

    The government is a behemoth that is overspending and this puts a huge burden on taxpayers (that’s you Doug) and the economy. The huge cost of the US government is paid for by high taxation, borrowing from overseas and monetizing the debt via inflation. Inflation is just a more insidious form of taxation that too many people are completely ignorant of.

    The American empire that Ron Paul refers to is the immense military budget and huge array of unnecessary military bases and deployments around the globe. This is a huge financial burden that other nations around the globe do not have to carry.

    The US has just come to the end of a credit fueled bubble of economic growth all thanks to borrowed money from countries like China and Japan. The new era that Ron Paul was talking about was the era where the US will no longer have easy access to credit and where the US dollar has lost it’s primacy as reserve currency of the world and where the dollar’s value is on a continual decline. As the US dollar loses it’s value you become poorer. On top of that US inflation is much higher than the government says it is (with it’s Core CPI excl. food and energy). The disparity is like 2% to 10% if CPI were measured traditionally. That means our wages are not keeping up with inflation and who do you think is hurt the most by this? The poor and middle class!

    It really is a new era.

    If you want to understand more about the economy I would recommend “Crash Proof” by Peter Schiff. Until you’ve done your homework don’t go calling Ron Paul’s answer rambling simply because you didn’t understand it. In truth, Ron Paul was the only one of those guys that gave an answer that explained the heart of the matter.

  • http://www.ronpaulforums.com Kevin Houston


    The trillion dollar claim also includes the cost of foreign aid, not just direct military costs and associated interest.

    I agree with you that Dr. Paul answered the question poorly (with respect to presentation only.)

    He should have said “No.” with a pregnant pause (OB/Gyn pun intended) and then asked for the remainder of his time to be used by his supporters in the hall to cheer and applause. ;)

    After about only 20 seconds of wild cheering, and “Ron Paul, Ron Paul!” chants, he should have held up his hands to quiet the crowd, and then given a very, very short answer to the effect that the government is the cause of much of the economic problems we are facing, “as I have repeatedly discussed. I now yeild back the remainder of my time.”

    BTW, did anyone else catch Rudy Giuliani’s outing of his own blatant lie?

    The lie was when he infamously said in the May 15th S.C debate “I don’t believe I ever heard that before…” refering to Dr. Paul’s assertion that the terrorists motive (Nota Bene: motive, not justification) for attacking us was due to our foreign policy.

    But in this debate, Rudy said he gave back the check from the Saudi prince because “the prince then made a statement to the press about an hour later that the reason for the attack was related to our foreign policy.”

    So he *had* heard of it before May 15th. LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!!!!

    I just hope someone with video editing skills can do a quick mash-up of those two moments, and post it on youtube.

    Ron Paul’s question to John McCain, while sounding wonkish in the extreme, points out just how out of touch McCain is on economics. The president’s working group on financial markets, is also known as the plunge protection team, which almost everyone (who follows politics even somewhat closely) has heard of; McCain’s puzzled expression said everything that needed to be said on the matter.

    As an aside, I think McCain’s view on Anthropogenic Global Warming, and his repeated references to it will really hurt his chances in the primary.


    Kevin Houston

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford


    Dave Weigel over at Reason summed it up best, I thought. One of the biggest reasons that Ron Paul isn’t doing well in this election despite having the best policy platform is that he consistently does a terrible job in explaining it.

    I mean, let’s face it…Ron Paul is often shrill and manic in his presentation, he veers from tangent to tangent in conversations, in debates he often gets sidetracked on specific questions or myopic on general ones, and frankly he appears to fill a lot of his professional staff with idiots or amateurs who have no clue how to run his campaign or how to help him sell his message. Like Weigel said, once the Kool-Aid wears off it’s not too hard to see why people dismiss him as a kook.

  • Amyz

    Nobody’s ever really challenged Paul on this trillion dollar claim, but the fact is that the numbers in the Federal Budget just don’t justify it.

    The CBO (Congressional Budget Office)and David M Walker Comptroller General of GAO, agree with Ron Paul’s numbers. The difference, is that their analysis account for the debt service estimates.

    I imagine no one challenges Ron Paul because they have no clue what he is talking about.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    Here’s what Paul actually said:

    REP. PAUL: Well, sure, indirectly. They shouldn’t stimulate it by interfering in the market rate of interest. That’s where our basic problem comes from. And when you do that, you get into these problems, and then everybody wants to solve the problem by printing more money and spending more money and asking the Federal Reserve to, you know, lower interest rates. And that just makes the problem that much worse.

    The government does have a responsibility, but it’s supposed to lower taxes, get rid of regulations, and devise a monetary policy that makes some — makes some sense.

    But to continue to say that we just appropriate more money, which is more deficit, and then expect us either to borrow it or expect the Federal Reserve to monetize it, it makes our problems worse.

    Just look at what’s happening today. The dollar is crashing. And why — and — and — and Tim there suggests that we — we think of the economy, but not in foreign policy. You can’t do that. They’re — they’re one and the same. That’s where all the money’s going. We’re spending nearly a trillion dollars a year overseas maintaining this empire.

    And then there’s never been a war fought without inflation and destruction and devaluation of a currency. And this is what we’re doing today to ourselves, is we’re literally spending ourselves into oblivion.

    But nobody here is willing to even suggest that we cut something overseas. But we have to. We don’t need to cut anything here at home. I’d like to see things frozen. I’d like to see massive tax cuts. But we need deregulation. I was one of three people that voted against Sarbanes-Oxley. I knew that would be a problem, and it is a problem for the financial markets.

    So this is the kind of thing we need. We need the government out of the way, but it should have sound money, low taxes, less regulations, and a sensible policy where we’re not wasting our money overseas.

    Are you suggesting he didn’t say it ?

    All in all, Paul’s answer is good, if you’re making a policy argument at a Congressional hearing. When you’re running for President, you’ve got to remember who your audience is, and most of them aren’t true believers.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    That, and a tendancy not to disassociate himself from groups that are political dynamite, accounts, i think, for some of the reason that Republicans who might otherwise listen to him (i.e., Fred Thompson supporters) aren’t doing so.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    Ron Paul’s question to John McCain, while sounding wonkish in the extreme, points out just how out of touch McCain is on economics. The president’s working group on financial markets, is also known as the plunge protection team, which almost everyone (who follows politics even somewhat closely) has heard of; McCain’s puzzled expression said everything that needed to be said on the matter.

    To anyone outside of the wonkosphere, Paul’s question made no sense whatsoever.

    That was another golden opportunity that I didn’t mention. The campaign knew it was coming and that’s the question they choose to ask ?

  • Amyz

    To anyone outside of the wonkosphere, Paul’s question made no sense whatsoever.

    I get it… we are so dumbed-down that we need the presidential candidates to talk to us at our own level. I disagree.

    Ron Paul has the attention of the grassroots- he now needs to grab the attention of the financial markets sector. The financial industry is hurting as tens of thousands lose their jobs and or investments. The players know what Paul is talking about and McCain’s pitiful non-answer added another chink in his armor.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    Emperor:” Something… something… dark side. Something… something… complete. Something… something…electability.”

    It’s a shame RP didn’t have more time to himself during debates; perspectives aside this might be a reason for him seemingly packing in a lot of info. into his responses, which weren’t bad, btw.

    Humble pie will be served the naysayers when the dollars dies and the amero rises in it’s ashes, anyways. But no worries, the new union will be in our best interest; the state continues to look out for each and every one of us.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    Are you suggesting he didn’t say it ?

    That’s exactly what I’m suggesting and your quote only proves it as I’ll show below.

    You obviously didn’t read my first post, so I’ll repeat myself.

    No, he said we could save hundreds of billions out of a total of $1 trillion.

    Or to put it exactly, he said:

    We’re spending nearly a trillion dollars a year overseas maintaining this empire.

    Not once, not one single time has he said we could save a trillion dollars a year. He has said numerous times (including later in the debate) that we could save “hundreds of billions” by changing our foreign policy.

    He never said we could axe the whole damn thing.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    That was another golden opportunity that I didn’t mention. The campaign knew it was coming and that’s the question they choose to ask ?

    I was disappointed too. It clearly didn’t mean anything to most viewers. However, someone mentioned that it might have been targeted at Wall Street, which would be an interesting strategy.

    At this point, I’m not sure if they’re plotting a very sophisticated rope-a-dope strategy or if they simply don’t know how to appeal to mainstream voters. Or maybe they’ve given up on mainstream voters and simply want to maximize the size of their passionate base for use in future campaigns.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    Jim Cramer has been warming up to Ron Paul as of late, as well as calling for an investigation into the Fed. Then again, the day when Cramer said anything that made sense to me almost gave me a brain aneurysm. It would be interesting if the campaign is taking wall street into account; one hopes they would become powerful allies.

  • Warren

    When it comes to economics no other candidate even comes close to Dr. Ron Paul’s knowledge. Bring it on Mitt!

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford


    Ron Paul has the attention of the grassroots

    Respectfully, the “grassroots” you’re referring to does not include most mainstream voters. You’re talking mainly about volunteers for a political campaign who spend a significant portion of their time paying attention to policy arguments that most people outside of the “wonkosphere” who vote don’t care about. And Ron Paul does a horrible job of reaching those people…thanks mainly to his personal deficiencies as a public speaker and his incompetent campaign staff.

    You can make the argument that the mainstream voters should pay more attention to the issues than they do, and that they should care about the differences between what the candidates say and how they vote, and as far as I’m concerned you’d be right. But they don’t care and most of them never will…and that’s just the reality of it.

    The long and the short of it is that candidates who are likeable and can explain their ideas in understandable and engaging terms to largely disinterested voters are the ones who will win. So if you want a good pro-freedom candidate you need somebody who 1) has good ideas that 2) he intends to follow through on, and who 3) has the ability to get voters to buy into those ideas. And I hate to say it, but that’s just not Ron Paul…he’s got the best set of ideas, but he hasn’t formulated any kind of a plan on how to implement them and he’s not a good enough salesman to convince the public at large to give him the chance. Sorry.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford


    At this point, I’m not sure if they’re plotting a very sophisticated rope-a-dope strategy or if they simply don’t know how to appeal to mainstream voters. Or maybe they’ve given up on mainstream voters and simply want to maximize the size of their passionate base for use in future campaigns.

    I’d say that it would be the second choice more than anything…the Paul campaign has never, to my mind, given any indication that they put much thought into subtlety or long-term strategy. Ron Paul’s campaign staff actually reminds me a lot of Bob Dole’s campaign staff in that neither seemed to have a clue in how to effectively market their candidate or view the big picture. The thing that always frustrated me about Dole (who I actually liked) is that he’d keep hiring these same guys for every campaign even though they were the ones responsible for getting him killed in his previous campaigns. I mean, loyalty’s an admirable quality to a degree, but at some point if you’re not questioning why your staff isn’t getting the results and if you’re not looking to make tough choices on cutting non-performers and albatrosses loose then you really have no business running for President because chances are you’re going to have a tough time running an effective administration because you can’t hold the people you appoint accountable…even if you’ve got some great ideas and the best of intentions.

  • Henry

    First of all, you have to understand that you can go to the web site of the US treasury and download the country’s financial statement. In that, there is no budgeted expense called “War in Iraq expenses” or “War on terror expenses”. Does it mean that the US doesn’t spend a penny on it? It is covered in the off-budget expenses. We all know the commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan alone will cost 2.4 trillion dollars near term. So, unless you are extraordinarily arrogant and brazenly ignorant, you will understand that Paul’s statement on the trillion dollar expenses are accurate.

  • Amyz

    Ron Paul’s timing is impeccable. He released his economic plan this week and added two respectable economic advisers- Peter Schiff and Don Luskin.

    People only pay attention to economics when it affects them. Well… the time is here. Wall Street was rather shaky this week and it didn’t improve at today’s closing.

    I do not think we should underestimate the number of people outside the “wonkosphere” that understand where we are heading. They may not comprehend 6 syllable words, but they do understand input-output. It interesting that Paul is the only one talking about it. Not too long ago in a debate the other candidates laughed at the idea that we are on the verge of a recession. The people at home watching are not laughing, except to say to the nay-sayers … what are yoooou think’n?

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    I’d say that it would be the second choice more than anything…the Paul campaign has never, to my mind, given any indication that they put much thought into subtlety or long-term strategy.

    It sure seems like it, but he’s a pretty smart guy, so I’m very hesitant to assume he’s incompetent. It might be true, but I’m gonna wait until it’s all over before I pass judgment.

  • http://www.ronpaulforums.com Kevin Houston

    Ah Ha!

    Here is Dr. Paul in his own words on why he asked that particular question….


    You will have to wait until the end for the scene in the parking lot.

    When McCain touted his economic advidors, he named several people who are on the PWG. Ron Paul spotted an opportunity to trip McCain up, and he did.

    IMHO, Ron decided on his question up there on the stage. The quesiton was designed to show that McCain doesn’t have the foggiest notion about who these people are, or what they are doing in the stock market.

    A lot of what the PWG does, would be called collusion, or “Insider Trading” if it was done by any one of us.


  • UCrawford


    I think Ron Paul is actually a very smart person, I like his ideas, and I think he’s generally a pretty honorable person. But I think he’s somebody who’s not a very good judge of other peoples’ character or abilities. Everybody’s got their weaknesses and I honestly believe that’s Ron Paul’s. He’s not incompetent when it comes to understanding economics or legislation himself, which is why he’s a good legislator in the House, but when it comes to assembling a staff to whom he can delegate authority I believe that he falls short. And the ability to choose the right people to delegate to is critical with a president, which is why I’ve soured on Ron Paul in this race…especially since he hasn’t come up with specifics on how he plans to implement these ideas he has.

    A good man, but an ineffective leader basically.

  • Ken H

    I doubt there will be any more primary debates after the ones in California as I expect both major parties to have settled on their respective nominees after the February 5 voting is completed.

  • Nathan

    Oh, by the way, don’t say Ron Paul was rambling when answering the question about if the government should even stimulate the economy. Just because you don’t understand Misesian monetary theory doesn’t mean it’s not related to government involvement in the economy.

  • Linda

    Ron Paul will be a great leader and president!
    All the other candidates both rep./dem. are ego ridden clever politicians. Ron Paul is the only intelligent candidate.
    Here is a passage from Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth”, that truly defines Congressman Ron Paul: The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.

  • Kevin K

    You ar right about Dr Pauls “discourse” he does say a lot in a short amount of time. Because he does, its difficult to absorb much of what he says, as we are conditioned to have “short attention spans”.
    But as the other posts ahve mentioned, the message is indeed a good one. One we should be brave enough to embrace because no one is offering anything better. Our nations soveriegnty is at stake. Its being taken away through our money system. Once the money fails, we all suffer and our nation is purchased by the world. Sound interesting? Its happening in front of our eyes. This may very well be our last chance to stop it. Peace

  • RobertO

    Ron Paul is the only person to lead the US out of it’s current funk. The USA is broken, Ron Paul is the only who can Fix it. Wake up America and smell what the neo cons are cooking. If you don’t vote for Ron Paul you are doomed to spend all of you phony money overseas to protect your oil interests, instead of helping you economy at home. Get on with it, use you brain for good instead of stupid. You’re last hope is Ron Paul, vote for him…
    then again if you do vote for one of the establishment’s candidates, my Canadian Dollar will buy a really nice peace of real estate down south one of these days… Wake up kids save your country!!! Vote Ron Paul for gods sake…

  • Rolland

    Mataconis,you are a moron.

    The candidate that proved himself as a lier in the debates was McCain who bragged about his economic prowess but showed just how ignorant of economics he truly is by his complete inability to answer Dr Paul’s question to him. He was completely clueless, and all he could do was name names, some of whom sit on the very board that Paul asked if it should be discontinued.

    Your assessment of the debate proves just how stupid you are as well. Not surprising that you are a McCain supporter.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    Regardless of what will happen, there will always be those who claimed to have predicted the outcome far before it happens, despite their own previous words predicting something else entirely under different circumstances, made under different assumptions & observations. Typical punditry, in other words.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis
  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    Doug, do you still maintain that RP said we could “save a trillion dollars”?

  • JDG

    Certainly a Trillion Dollars is not out of the question.

    Our 2008 Defense Budget was:
    $ 481.4 Billion Baseline
    $ 93.4 Billion Supplemental (07)
    $ 141.7 Billion Supplemental (08)
    $ 50 Billion Allowance (09)
    Total = $ 766.5 Billion

    That alone is getting real close to a Trillion Dollars my (in the dark) friend.
    Don’t forget about Billions more that are appropriated to other departments like the Department of Energy which work on several military projects and funding to Universities. Then there are the Black Projects which are funded from thin air.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin


    You need to delete the 07 and 09 numbers first if you’re talking about 2008.

    The real foreign policy numbers for 2008 are:

    $696 billion (defense budget + Iraq and Afghanistan supplemental)
    $36.2 billion (State Department + Foreign Aid)
    $9.4 billion (Nuclear Weapons Program)
    $45-60 billion (Intelligence) Note: Some of this overlaps with defense and state budgets.

    Total: $801.6 billion at most

    Now I’m not saying that there are not cuts that can and need to be made in foreign policy, but to say that’s the cure of all of our ills is a bit disingenuous.

  • Riz

    Should you even be commenting on the American economy? You seem to have a really poor understanding of what Ron Paul is trying to say.

    Oh! And don’t worry about Ron Paul not surviving. In this endurance game, Ron Paul’s campaign is by far the healthiest.

    So when’s the next money bomb?