Ron Paul and the Killing Machine By Mike Whitney + Ron Paul: Save Social Security by Cutting Spending

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
Information Clearing House
December 30, 2011

Enough! Stand for Peace and Justice!

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Ron Paul is the only antiwar candidate who has a (microscopic) chance of winning in 2012. He’s also the only candidate who will make an effort to restore the Bill of Rights and reverse Congress’s decision to allow the president to “indefinitely” imprison American citizens without due process. For these reasons alone, Paul should garner the support of leftists, liberals, and progressives. But he won’t, because liberals are convinced that Paul will try to dismantle the social programs upon which the elderly, the infirm, and the vulnerable depend.

These concerns are not without foundation. Paul opposes government meddling in the market and sees Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as steps towards socialism. That means, there’s a good chance that these programs will come under fire if Paul is elected. The question is: How should we balance our concerns about Social Security with our opposition to the war(s)? To answer that question, we need to create a “hypothetical”.

Let’s say, Paul surprises his critics and wins the presidency in a landslide victory in November 2012. Then–in his first public appearance as president–he issues an executive order to stop all Social Security payments immediately, thus cutting off the meager revenue-stream that millions of the nation’s elderly need to scrape-by.

Isn’t this the worst-case scenario? Isn’t this what liberals are really worried about?

Okay, so let’s say it all goes-down just as we said. Let’s say Paul tries to strangle Social Security from Day 1. Isn’t that still infinitely better than another Falluja, another Haditha, another Abu Ghraib, another bombed-out wedding party?

Yes, it’s wrong to deprive the sick and elderly of some pittance so they can eek by, but is it as wrong as blowing women and children to bits in their own country, in their own cities, in their own homes?

It’s a question of priorities, right? So, what’s more important; ending the bloodletting or some potential threat to Social Security?

Paul will stop the killing. We should use our vote to do the same.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. He can be reached at”>


[DS added the videos.]

Note: replaced videos July 28, 2012

on Nov 20, 2011

Ron Paul Save Social Security by Cutting Spending


on Oct 19, 2011

Ron Paul: Preserve Social Security Benefits, Cut Foreign Spending, End


The Lion and the Ox: The Winter of Our Discontent By Gary Steven Corseri

Barack Obama signs H.R. 1540, NDAA into law

Ron Paul: Propagandist or Prophet? by Jeremy R. Hammond

Why Progressives Should Support Ron Paul + With 13,111 New Peace Voters, Ron Paul Can Win the Iowa Caucus by Robert Naiman

How You Can STOP Republican Militarism: Vote for Ron Paul

Is It Immoral to Vote for Obama? by Mike Whitney

Ralph Nader: Obama is a Dictator! + Nader, Ron Paul, Kucinich Speak to Occupy Wall Street

Ralph Nader Explains Why Ron Paul Is An Excellent Presidential Candidate

Noam Chomsky defends Ron Paul – Same position as the Pentagon

Ron Paul: Drop Federal Penalities for Marijuana


see also:

Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies –

47 thoughts on “Ron Paul and the Killing Machine By Mike Whitney + Ron Paul: Save Social Security by Cutting Spending

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    • Abe already suggested that link.

      I don’t think that Ron Paul is a progressive or “represents progress”, I think he is the best candidate running on the Republican Party ticket in the Primary election.

  13. It’s clear that the Obama campaign was a bait-and-switch. People were fed up with the neocons. They were promised “hope and change” but ended up bringing in an even more dangerous and Wall Street-dominated administration.

    I call bait-and-switch on Ron Paul. People are rightly fed up with Obama, the wars, and the ever-escalating assaults on civil liberties. They’ve been promised peace and liberty, but are ending up supporting someone whose program calls for brutal austerity which will decimate what’s left of the middle class and unions, wreak havoc on the real economy, and cast countless millions into destitution.

    This isn’t simply a matter of “liberal fears” – this is his program. His plan to “Restore America,” which anyone can read for themselves.

    RP’s austerity plan is more severe than that of Heinrich Brüning, which bankrupted Germany and paved the way for Hitler taking power. RP calls for deflationary monetary policy, which would force debtors to pay back the cheap dollars they borrowed with expensive dollars. (If you’ve got say twenty or thirty or a hundred thousand in credit card or student loan debt, just imagine if the dollar strengthens and you now have to pay that back in dollars worth twice as much!) He also calls for union-busting measures which would destroy one of the only organized forces left in this country to resist fascism and totalitarianism.

    In terms of the military industrial complex, it’s worth nothing that RP’s plan calls for only a 15% cut to the massive military budget while programs like Food Stamps, which people’s very survival depends on would be cut up to 63%. If nothing else, this should tell you a lot about his priorities!

    Progressives considering supporting RP really need to take a careful look at the DETAILS. This Guns and Butter episode is a good place to start:

    It’s vital that we remember just how potent of a weapon economics can be. As bloody as the past fifty years have been in terms of war, there were actually a lot more people killed by starvation and deaths from easily preventable diseases than those killed directly by guns or bombs. (Note, RP would completely eliminate all foreign food aide, so any lives saved overseas by temporarily stopping the wars could easily be offset straight away by starvation deaths.)

    It’s easy to lose sight of the human face behind the numbers. When they talk about billions being cut from programs like Medicaid, Food Stamps, and WIC – which millions depend on for their very survival – we’re talking life and death issues here.

    Austerity right now is a VERY REAL THREAT. Banksters are taking over European governments and destroying their social safety nets. These very people who caused our economic crisis and have continually been bailed out and subsidized are demanding brutal cuts which will wreck havoc on society, the real economy, and human lives.

    Here in the US, both Obama and the Wall Street Dems and the reactionary Repubs are calling for massive cuts and neither support any real FDR-type recovery program which would actually improve things instead of making us fall deeper into poverty and depression.

    We need to be organizing to fight this, not supporting an austerity-pusher who happens to be somewhat anti-interventionist.

    Let’s remember what the ultimate enemy is. It’s not the government, or even the military industrial complex. It’s “Wall Street” – the Finance-Capital-Oligarchy. We need to get on the offensive and go after them directly by demanding that they be taxed (Wall Street Sales Tax – aka “Tobin,” “Robinhood”) and regulated.

    We can keep chasing after red flags or we can charge directly at the matador.

    I certainly can understand the concerns about totalitarianism and the loss of civil liberties, those are indeed very real and dire threats in today’s world.

    But I would ask civil libertarians to consider a couple things:

    1. In the midst of a global economic depression, RP would cut much of what’s left of our social safety net and at the same his spending cuts would further swell the ranks of the unemployed. This would mean countless millions cast into destitution.

    This is a recipe for enabling a fascist (or other totalitarian) takeover.

    2. RP (in spite of his general “states-rights” stance) would federally impose “right to work” laws – effectively making it impossible to maintain labor unions. A general strike would be one of our last lines of defense against tyranny, but RP would make such resistance much less feasible.

    I could go on even longer, but I would simply encourage readers to listen to the broadcast I linked to above (from KPFA’s “Guns and Butter”), consider the arguments made and decide for themselves.

    I should note that the guest on that program, Webster Tarpley, is certainly no shill for Obama or the Democratic Party establishment. He’s been an outspoken opponent of Obama from day 1, a leading 9/11 Truth activist from day 1, and a longtime opponent of imperialism and the finance-capital oligarchy behind it.


    Let’s hope that one can emerge which unlike “Occupy” (thus far) will not be dead-set against leadership and will not value empty rhetoric above serious focus on real issues. Then that might actually become a real threat to “the 1%.”

    • ABE — You think that you have grasped the severity of the situation we are in in America .but i think that you have missed it .

      First off , with the detention law that was passed in the last few days , the governement can take any American citizen away ( US ! ) for as long as they want . do some real thinking about that . Ron Paul is the only person who would turn that around by bringing back habieas corpus . no one else will turn that around . no one . that means that any one of us can be sent to Gitmo without trial .

      second — more wars , mean more bloodshed , and more of this country going broke which effects poor people much more than any libertarian platform can begin to . ..( i am not a libertarian ).but i see things clearly for what they are in the exact moment of history as to where we are at… regardless of any Ayn Rand scare on the part of anti progressive Liberals.

      last but not least as Nader points out — Ron Paul has what it takes to bring conservative constitutionalists and progressive constituionalists together . this will cut across the left/right divide and unite a constitutionalist broad based coalition against the corporationalist hegemony that presently rules this country with its shredding of the 4th amendment .

      need i say more?

      • @Rocket,

        From reading your response there I think it’s you who hasn’t understood what I detailed in my post. You may have missed the part about economics killing more people than guns and bombs in the past fifty years. You may have missed the part about shock therapy being imposed in the USA.

        You certainly must have missed the part about how when you make major cuts to the social safety net when there’s already a global economic depression/breakdown crisis this paves the way for fascism. Even if civil liberties were temporarily safe for a few years, the worsening economic breakdown under a RP administration could easily pave the way for a Hitler type to come to power. You talk about history, but are you familiar with the history of the Weimar Republic? Do you know about Heinrich Brüning and the effect his austerity had?

        I’m curious, Rocket, if you actually listened to the broadcast I linked to.

        I suggest you listen to that program, carefully consider the points he makes and those which I make here and then respond to them.

      • Oh, and one more point. You talk about bringing together “conservative constitutionalists and progressive constituionalists.”

        What exactly is a “conservative constitutionalist?”

        I would look critically at both words there.

        First, “conservative.”

        Today’s Republican mainstream isn’t conservative at all but is right-wing reactionary. RP’s economic plan is reactionary in the extreme.

        What’s a real conservative? A real conservative values and prioritizes stability – both in government and the economy and in other institutions such as family and religion. The archetype of a modern American conservative is Dwight Eisenhower. He maintained the institutions setup by FDR, built the Interstate Hwy system, and didn’t wage any major war.

        A progressive, on the other hand, will prioritize advancements in equality. While these goals sometimes will conflict with conservative goals, there’s often a lot of common ground and room for compromise.

        In contrast, a reactionary or regressive wants to actively undo social and economic progress. They want to give finance capital and other predatory capital free reign. They’re not concerned so much with stability. They’re ready to see the institutions of government broken down and for us to revert to a more feudalistic system.

        While reactionaries will often use appeals to Christian conservativism in their demagoguery, their social-Darwinist beliefs are in reality the antithesis of Christianity and indeed all of the major religions. They’re ready to let millions die. To give a simple illustration, their philosophy is that of Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge (before his conversion).

        Now, regarding “constitutionalist,” many who claim to be constitutionalists like to ignore certain parts of the constitution which don’t fit with their ideology. In particular, libertarians and other economic reactionaries like to ignore the General Welfare Clause.

        Of course they’re quick to argue that this clause doesn’t mean that everyone should be on welfare, but then what does it mean?

        It’s clear that “general welfare” includes building and maintaining infrastructure to allow for economic prosperity – both physical infrastructure like roads and ports and bridges, and other societal institutions like schools and libraries. It’s also clear that it includes regulating finance capital, which unregulated can have disastrous consequences for society.

        So then I take issue with someone like Ron Paul being described as a “conservative constitutionalist” – both with the constitutionalist part and the conservative part.

        • Abe , thank you for your thought out responses . and sorry i have been late in reply .

          A few things that i would first like to bring to your attention . the first is the 2 joint interviews with [Paul and Nader . this will explain more of where i am coming from on building ”broad based coalitions ” against corporatism , loss of national sovernty , ending war , etc. See:

          also , Bill Kauffman’s book “America first :its culture and politics”, and how Ron Paul is an extension of that long history against interventionism .

          In the main i would like to stress the historical impasses that we are at now as a nation . most of what you say in general i do agree with , however , we are in such a unique place in history concerning the absolute loss of all our civil libertys and the ever expanding American Empire that will collapse if it does not end and goes back to a republic , that like it or not Ron Paul really is the only antidote . the economic collapse itself will do more than any libertarian in the white house that wont get his programs thru congress anyway . but what he can do is stick his finger in the dike and stop the damn from breaking . this will save lives overseas , and here. also , we cannot forget that he is against the death penalty and abortion . along with his stand against war , that consistency is vital to a life ethic that is so needed in our culture of death .

          The main thing is that we must see the best we can that we are at this impasse in history . If we dont act now , despite our ideological purity , we will have no civil libertys , and the loss of life will by economic collapse by the banks and war machine will be catastrophic . you are right to see into the future and see the possible pitfalls of a Ron Paul presidency . But the pitfalls of him not getting there will be 100 times more horrific . only he can stop the present Fascist dictator we have in power now . Both partys know that and that is why they will do everything they can to stop him .

        • @Rocket, I appreciate you taking the time to continue this discussion. I respect your opinion here, though I disagree. You can see my reply to Dandelionsalad on the other article – – so I’ll try not to repeat too much from there…

          Regarding the “America First” book and coalition-building, yes, I think building coalitions is important, but what should these coalitions be based on?

          I would argue that without economic populism you’re missing a huge swath of the US population. For better or for worse, the first question most people are gonna ask is “how does this affect me?” People will join mass-movements in large numbers when they know there’s a program which will benefit their pocketbooks – jobs, economic security, etc.

          You need only look at the recent referendum in Ohio to see the huge base of popular support behind the union-rights, the New Deal, and economic populism.

          You talk about the “American Empire that will collapse if it does not end and goes back to a republic,” and I agree with that, but someone like RP wants to dismantle, further-privatize, and asset-strip our republic, not save and strengthen it.

          Again, I agree that imperialism and totalitarianism are urgent concerns, but why should we trade police-state totalitarianism for the economic totalitarianism of debt-slavery (in the deflationary crash), union-busting, and deregulated corporate feudalism?

          Of course RP stands very little chance of being president, so why should we be rallying behind a reactionary?

          Also, if RP were interested in building a big-tent coalition with progressives, then why is he not making any sort of compromise in that direction? Why does he insist on cutting food stamps by almost two thirds while only cutting the military by 15%? Why does he insist on Federal union-busting in spite of his state’s rights stance?

          It seems clear to me that he has no interest in compromising with progressives and building a larger coalition, so again, why should the coalition building center around Ron Paul of all people?…

        • Or for that matter, why not support something that would be completely consistent with his tax-cutting ideology but also have populist appeal, like say raising the standard personal deduction from $9,000 to $15,000? This would give everyone an extra $6,000 a year but disproportionately benefit the poor and middle class.

          Instead he calls for eliminating capital gains tax and the estate tax, but there’s no relief for poor or middle class working people.

  14. All you ron paul detractors sound like glenn beck , sean hannity , and rush limbaugh . which indicates to me that you all still want to keep this milititary empire intact that has killed in cold blood so many innocents around the world and drained our treasury. Only Paul would bring the troops home , shut down the bases , close down gitmo , bring back habias corpus , give amnesty to non violent criminals in prison for drugs, shut down the CIA , and the FBI . … and you want to demonize him for this ? you want to pass up an historic oppurtunity like this ?

    go ahead and unsubsribe from this blog and spend your time listening to rush , and hannity , and beck . you have ignored the fact that Nader and sibel edmunds and many others see ron paul as a viable alternative to the prevailing winds of war. but dont forget if you do ,that blood speaks loudly , and you had your chance to stop the carnage.

    • you are naive to believe Ron Paul can and will do any of those things. he is running on a platform of only very modest cuts in defense spending. his real agenda is to bust labor unions and dismantle the few remaining structures that can oppose plutocracy.

      • repeat for Rocket, Ron Paul is running on an antiwar platform, but is not in favor of significantly reducing military spending. stop your irrational accusations and look honestly at what you are advocating. ron paul is far more palatable to the MIC and Paul Ryan’s constituency than GW Bush.

        • cpm , the heat he has been taking from his own party and those running against him for his anti-interventionist views ( on Iran ) alone earns our vote. then when you add the fact that this prez and congress pulled a coup over the holidays by passing this nightmare of a detention act that allows our govt to come and take you or me away for no reason without trial or lawyer and detain us for as long as they want , even torture us at Gitmo ….well wake up and smell the Kafka and vote for the one man who will restore Habeas Corpus !!!!!!!!!

  15. [edited]
    So eliminating the Departments of the Interior, Education, HUD, Energy, and Commerce are acceptable to you? I’m with cpm. Paul would be even worse.
    Department of the Interior? Crap, it just oversees all our trusts with the Native Americans who happen to possess 70% of all the resources in the US in their reservations, nothing important there! I’m sure some equitable arrangement will be worked out with all the reservations! Just like his apple. tree upstanding son Rand proposed: [edited] After all the Bureau of Indian Affairs (part of the Dept of the Interior) only oversees 66 million acres of Native lands. If those Natives lose their 66 million acres like 130 tribes lost theirs through similar budget cutting back in the 40s, it’s just the hand of the free market on those redskins, oops, those uh, oh, never mind, it’s not like that would be a declaration of war or anything.

    • My first link that you cut was to an actual Ron Paul campaign add confirming his desire to eliminate these departments.
      My 2nd link was to probably the largest Native American online news blog, with this article: Sen. Rand Paul Set to Ignore Treaty Obligations to Indians by By Rob Capriccioso February 8, 2011.
      You don’t think Native Americans ought to be able to express their views I take it? How very progressive.

      • Rand Paul has nothing to do with this Primary election.

        Ron Paul needs to receive the Republican nomination FIRST, then WIN the race against Obama, neither is very likely.

        Out of the Republican candidates, who do you see as the best candidate? Have you looked into the other Republican candidates’ platforms for issues related to the Native Americans?

        And to repeat from another comments: Ron Paul would need Congress’ support to enact his economic policies. Unilaterally he can bring the troops home, etc. and restore our civil liberties.

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  18. It is naive to suggest that a candidate who is for COMPLETE AND TOTAL DEREGULATION OF CORPORATIONS and the military industrial complex is anti-war. He will simply lift the controls to allow them to make war even more profitable.

      • There are two ways a candidate can be pro MIC, the first is to allow and subsidize crony capitalism by not enforcing laws, and anti-trust provisions etc, which nearly all our current politicians have done. If Ron Paul has a solution to this he certainly hasn’t voiced it, in fact removing oversight is his prescription to every problem. He’d make it a lot worse, removing funding to enforce every protection of the modern era overnight. The only sector that would possibly want this is industry, specifically manufacture of military hardware which is one of our only remaining industries. The kind of deregulation Paul promotes is absolutely absurd and has never worked in any society. The results has always been disastrous.

        The second and more damaging would be to make things that are now illegal legal. Just one of many examples: Ron Paul proposes to eliminate EPA. If you don’t understand the implications of no Clean water Act, no Clean Air Act, unregulated mining, alteration of watercourses, etc etc. you are quite blind. A market is only legitimate if business/consumers pay as they go for the costs of the pollution that they create, including the hidden costs that do not get counted. The results of a Ron Paul presidency would be positively toxic and do long term harm. It’s hard to believe he calls himself a doctor.

        Please look at the candidacy of Rocky Alexander former Mayor of Salt Lake City, and founder of the Justice Party before you state that there is no other alternative that is rational.

        • This is the Primary election for choosing a Republican nominee for president. Ron Paul is the best of those running in this primary election. Rocky Anderson is running on a third party ticket and is irrelevant to the Republican primary race.

          As others have commented before on this and previous posts on this topic, there are things that a president can do unilaterally and things that need the support of Congress.

          See these previous posts’ comments:

          Why Progressives Should Support Ron Paul + With 13,111 New Peace Voters, Ron Paul Can Win the Iowa Caucus by Robert Naiman

          How You Can STOP Republican Militarism: Vote for Ron Paul

          Is It Immoral to Vote for Obama? by Mike Whitney

          Ralph Nader: Obama is a Dictator! + Nader, Ron Paul, Kucinich Speak to Occupy Wall Street

          All are listed at the end of the article.

        • No, Ron is worse than the others for the reasons I have stated, You have provided no argument, none whatsoever.

        • You are stating that Ron Paul is worse than Mitt Romney? Newt Gingrich? Michele Bachmann? Rick Perry? Rick Santorum?

          I repeat: there are things that a president can do unilaterally and things that need the support of Congress.

          Paul can bring all the troops home from all the overseas military bases (~800+), end the wars, abolish the CIA, etc. He would need Congress’ support for other issues.

        • The overwhelming majority of Ron Paul’s support comes from people who who have no understanding or idea what he plans to do and the impacts. His followers jump on a single issue, and blindly follow the charismatic cult figure, perhaps not unlike the Obama phenomenon. That is the reason he is more dangerous than the others. None of them are any good, some are more dangerous. I gave you a rational alternative, stick with your irrational arguments if you must.

          I assure you I am antiwar, as you are. A Paul presidency will likely cause more death and destruction here and worldwide as we race to the bottom as feudal economies dominate and the will of the people is voided..

        • Now, we don’t support whomever because of their followers, that’s ridiculous. People use that argument against knowing Jesus because he has some troublesome followers. Do you not like a particular music band because of their fans? No, you either like the music or don’t like the music.

          Actually if you watch some of the Ron Paul videos (see link at end of the post), many of his followers know exactly why they support Dr. Paul. I don’t view his followers as “blind” cult followers, this is a revolution and it is not the person of Ron Paul, it’s more than that.

          Your “rational alternative” is not running in the Republican Pres. Primary. Please answer my question on which of the other Republican candidates you would choose over Ron Paul and why?

          Please specify what “argument” I made that was “irrational”?

          The economy as it stands is racing to the bottom towards feudalism worldwide. I don’t agree with Paul’s economic platform but his other stances on the issues make him a viable candidate to support in comparison with the other Republican candidates and verses Pres. Obama’s platform (more of the same; corporate control, etc.).

          In order for Paul’s economic platform to become reality, he would need Congress’ support (not likely). On the other hand, Paul’s foreign policy could be enacted by him if he were to become President (also, not likely).

          Remember this is the PRIMARY Election, not the General Election. Paul has to secure the nomination from the Republican Party before becoming the nominee. Then we can continue the conversation during the General Election campaign. But right now, Paul is the BEST candidate running for the Republican Party in the Primary.

          Personally, I am so anti-war that I will not vote for a war criminal or a would-be war criminal, so I cannot even consider voting for Obama and did not support/vote for him in 2008. I know you are also anti-war, so please look into Paul’s platform for his foreign policy, you may just agree with it.

  19. You, sir, are a delusional fool. Should Dandelion Salad post another of your thoroughly asinine commentaries my reading of and support for their site will be withdrawn immediately. Only a moron would use the rational presented for support of a very dangerous individual like Mr. Paul and his extreme limited government ideology. Sickening.

    • Charles, please leave out the name calling.

      And you do not support Dandelion Salad as I NEVER EVER ask for financial support. If you’d like to unsubscribe, there is an unsubscribe button at the end of all the email newsletters.

      Also, Mike Whitney is not a writer for Dandelion Salad, I reposted this piece from ICH (copyleft policy).

      In your emotional rant, you did not mention anything specific. Let’s keep to the issues, please.

  20. Paul is not “anti-war”. He is anti-U.S. interventions. In a recent interview in Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, he basically said Israel can go ahead and attack Iran if it decides to, but the U.S. should not assist Israel (see One who is truly “anti-war” would never give the “green light” to another nation’s war of aggression.

    His anti-interventionism is an improvement over Empire, though, and that is why he will never be allowed to be a nominee from his party. Those who really control our economic/political system, the corporate imperialists, will never allow such a candidate to get that far.

    Obama and Romney are “safe” candidates for the Empire. No one candidate can save this country, in any event: remember what happened to JFK once he began to doubt the wisdom of deeper U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Only dismantling the Empire can truly make a difference to us and the planet, and that will not happen easily, if at all.

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