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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 11/ 8/2007

Ron Paul Faces $1.1 Trillion Budget Shortfall

By Michael Dobbs


Ron Paul is attracting increasing media attention.

"You don't have to get rid of all of the government. If you got rid of the income tax, you would still have enough revenues which were about equivalent to what we had in the year 2000."

--Ron Paul, Jay Leno TV show, October 31, 2007.

"I realize that Ron Paul doesn't lie enough to make for entertaining reading on this site, but at least put his name on the Candidates' list."

--Aaron Hanson, Ron Paul supporter from Minneapolis, message to the Fact Checker, November 7, 2007

Ok Paulites, we hear you. Your man has not been getting enough MSM attention. A candidate needs at least three Pinocchios from the Fact Checker to be taken seriously in the 2008 campaign. Now that Paul has raised more money on-line in a single day than any other candidate in the current election cycle, he deserves a good, hard look from the fact-checking fraternity. So what have we got?

The Facts

It took us about five minutes to find a questionable statement from the good doctor. We began with last week's Leno interview, which can be found on You Tube here. Expounding on his proposal for abolishing the income tax, Paul claims this would still leave the U.S. Treasury with roughly the revenues it had in 2000, in the final year of the Clinton administration. A post on the Paul campaign website explains that individual income taxes account for "approximately one third of federal revenue."

Unfortunately for the tax slashers, the one-time Libertarian candidate for president is wrong on both counts. According to the Congressional Budget Office, individual income taxes represent between 45 and 49 percent of federal tax revenues, depending on the year. For financial year 2007, total receipts from individual income tax were in the region of $1.1 trillion dollars. If you eliminated all that revenue, the federal budget would shrink to the size it was around 1995.

Take a look at the following chart, compiled from figures supplied by the U.S. Treasury and the Congressional Budget Office. You can find the latest budget figures for 2007 here, and the historical tables here. Imagine the revenue crunch that would result if the orange line federal income tax expenditures were eliminated, in accordance with the Paul plan.

Could America exist without an income tax? Here is Ron Paul's answer:

The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of her history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck...Does anyone seriously believe we could not find ways to cut spending back to 2000 levels? Perhaps the idea of an America without an income tax is not so radical after all.

The $1.1 trillion in receipts from individual income tax represents the entire discretionary spending of the federal government, according to Roberton Williams, a budget analyst at the Urban Institute. That does not include social security and Medicare spending, which is mandatory, but it does include the entire defense budget, federal education spending, agriculture subsidies, and so on.

"It's a non-starter politically," said Williams. "I don't think it has a snowball's chance in our climate, much less a warmer climate."

In attempt to figure out where the $1.1 trillion in annual savings is going to come from in a Paul administration, I talked yesterday afternoon to the candidate's policy director, Joseph Becker. He pointed out that Paul has promised to bring troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, eliminate the foreign AID bill, eliminate agriculture subsidies, and get rid of the U.S. Education Department. A President Paul would, however, leave a residual miitary in place, to defend the homeland.

The Pinocchio Test

Do Ron Paul's figures add up, or is this a prime example of voodoo economics? Let us know what you think.

The candidate appears to be off by at least four-five years on the shrinkage that would be caused to the federal budget if income taxes were eliminated. Paul has not explained how he is going to plug the $1.1 trillion annual shortfall. Becker has promised to supply us with a pie chart, detailing precisely what parts of the federal government will be eliminated under a Paul administration, together with the savings gained. We will post the pie chart when it arrives.

As a courtesy to a newcomer to this column, we are giving the Paul campaign a short grace period to show us their calculations. This gives us an opportunity to unveil our snappy new VERDICT PENDING icon.

By Michael Dobbs  | November 8, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, Economy, Verdict Pending  
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Comments

Obviously you have to cut spending BEFORE you cut the taxes, and it would probably involve a gradual decrease in both spending and taxes until the income tax was gone. Of course it's workable if he cuts spending enough, and a constitutional federal government could probably run on a pretty small percentage of what our current federal government budget is.

Posted by: Jason | November 8, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse


Cutting Government down to the size allowed by the Constitution and elimination of the unnecessary programs would do the trick .
Ron Paul knows what he's talking about .

The waste in Government is astronomical

Posted by: James | November 8, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting an article about the issues. This represents a new phase in the Ron Paul Revolution. Rational thought by the media on his policies.

My take on it is that at worst Paul's comparison was off by 10%. Regardless, the money doesn't dissappear, it is in the hands of Americans.

Posted by: DCUPtoejuice | November 8, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

YOUR calculations are ignoring the tariffs that have been eliminated since 2000.

Plus returning to the actual collection of passenger duties (now you have to almost argue with Customs to get them to take your money) would add millions of dollars to the government coffers.

Go back to your calculations and put those income producers back into the mix and you will see that Ron Paul is not that much off.

Also cutting out the "it's the end of the fiscal year so send in your wish list so we can buy buy buy" attitude of federal agencies would almost take care of a big chunk of the budget.

And return to realistic bond amounts and fines for illegal aliens instead of the small or zero amounts now, would increase public funding without a personal income tax.

Posted by: Stephen Coffman | November 8, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Paul's right, we did manage to run a country just fine prior to individual income tax. Additional revenues could be raised by user fees for governmental services, selling unused federal assets and lands, etc.

All it takes is a little innovation and free thinking, a concept foreign to most Americans these days.

Posted by: therebel | November 8, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

2 facts you missed.
1) Taxes can't be lowered enough.
2) The federal government can't get small enough.
Two other facts you seem to have missed are a) a personal income tax is unconstitutional and b) there is NO LAW REQUIRING Americans to pay a federal personal income tax. Anyone that tells you otherwise is simply lying.

Posted by: DWayne | November 8, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

So the good doctor wants to eliminate the Department of Education?!? Wonder how he got his degree.

Posted by: Lex | November 8, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@Lex:

The Department of Education was created in 1979, and began functioning in 1980. Seeing as Dr. Paul is 72 years old, I highly doubt the Department of Education had anything at all to do with him getting any degrees. Since we made it from 1776 to 1979 without one, I highly doubt the Department of Education is critical for good education... especially when you consider the comparatively poor results of today's schools to schools some 50+ years ago.

Posted by: Jason | November 8, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes Lex, how would one go about doing anything without government intervention!

Such a scary scary world out there without big brother!

Fact Checker: Thanks for the article and I'm looking forward to Paul's response. He seems to know his economics so I'm staying positive.

Posted by: Adrian | November 8, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I love Ron Paul. He says it straight and with a total lack of double speak. His apparent humility is so very strange in politics. Eliminating all that money that the federal government wastes would effectively eliminate many of those money-gulping lobbyists that we all decry. Ending farm subsidies would actually go a long way to stopping the poisoning of our children's food supply (read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollen). Getting our own house in order and letting that be the way the world forms its opinion of us (as opposed to going to other countries and kicking the crap out of them) would be amazing. The possibilities for the future under his policies are endless, and yet.....it all sounds too good to be true. It's too simple. Something doesn't ring true. Therefore it's a good thing to be fact checking.

Posted by: lkd | November 8, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

There are three political philosophies that are internally self-consistent.

Fascism: Government should control everything it can.

Libertarianism: Government should control nothing, except that which absolutely no one else can.

Moderate: Government should control those things which, when under government control, result in the best cost/benefit ratio compared to a lack thereof.

We're experimenting with the first right now. An experiment with the second should do just enough damage to finish the job, and make the third option moot.

Posted by: Wow. | November 8, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

SO GO AHEAD AMERICANS BE WEAK, THIS IS COMMING....IT IS TIME FOR A REVOLUTION,TIME TO STOP BUSH/CHENEY


The violence broke out after an estimated 80,000 ant-iBUSH demonstrators - led by university students - marched peacefully to the Supreme Court to protest constitutional changes that would greatly expand BUSH/CHENEY power if voters agree to the changes in December. Unrest, if it continues, could mar a Dec. 2 referendum on the controversial reforms
The amendments being protested would abolish presidential term limits, give the president control over the Central Bank and let him create new provinces governed by handpicked officials.
The protesters demand the referendum be suspended, saying the amendments would weaken civil liberties and give BUSH AND CHENEY unprecedented power to declare states of emergency.
``Don''''t allow AMERICA to go down a path that nobody wants to cross , during the march to the Supreme Court.
BUSH, who was first elected in2000, denies the reforms threaten freedom. He says they would instead move AMERICA toward what he calls ``21st century socialism.''''''''
In televised comments prior to the unrest, BUSH urged ALL AMERICANS to turn out en masse to vote for the reforms. In reference to the opposition, he said: ``Don''''t go crazy.''''''''

SO GO AHEAD AND VOTE HER IN AMERICA, AND SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT...

WITH 250 MILLION AMERICANS THEY CANT KILL US ALL..TIME FOR A REVOLUTION.

Posted by: david a belanger,veteran | November 8, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

DWayne: income tax, including personal income tax, has been constitutional since 1913--check out the 16th amendment. The amendment was specifically passed to address Supreme Court rulings that declared income tax unconstitutional. You may not like the income tax--who does?--but it is constitutional. That's what amendments are for.

Posted by: KMR | November 8, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

You are far too kind to Dr. Paul. Your figure on revenues is not corrected for inflation. The same $ 2.8 trillion buys less now.

Also the claim that, if the personal income tax were eliminated, the Federal Government would refrain frpm "ever touching a worker's paycheck" is a total blatant 100% lie.

Dr Paul is claiming that there is no FICA (payroll taxes) which are withheld from paychecks and provide much of the revenue he would allow the government.

That is not a 1.1 Trillion shortfall, it was for 2002 a $532.5 billion lie http://tinyurl.com/2sf282 (sorry for old data the google doesn't sort by date).

Dr Paul might argue that the employer's contribution doesn't count, since that argument makes no sense at all and he likes arguments which make no sense. Even so, about half of FICA is explicitly withdrawn from paychecks. Look at your latest paycheck and see how blatant the lie is.

I'd say a solid 4 Pinocchios.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann | November 8, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Here's to hoping Ron Paul can be the Ross Perot of 2008...ooh, RP/RP...Clinton/Clinton....it's eerie.

Posted by: Jenn2 | November 8, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@KMR:

What about the Supreme Court rulings AFTER the ratifacation of the 16th ammendment, which ruled that the ammedment gave no new power to tax, and that if you weren't taxable before the 16th ammendment, you weren't taxable after?

Posted by: Jason | November 8, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Fact Checker, I want you to ask Ron Paul's campaign these questions, also welcome reader comments please. This is a message I sent to the Ron Paul campaign, but got no response:

Since discovering Ron Paul in a George Will column early last spring, I've been following his great success in fundraising and huge support on the internet. I am extremely excited that he is in the race and I was leaning toward supporting him. HOWEVER, you need to be fair and post these major concerns that are flying under the radar so that people have all the information. (I wonder if you could use your influence to get a personal response to these questions from the man himself?) PLEASE POST these - a FAQ page on the main website is urgently needed to keep everyone informed! Running a generally positive campaign is admirable, but these specific issues are huge dealbreakers for many potential Ron Paul supporters like myself. THANKS!!

1) As of 11/7/07, RP's website still displays his hard-line stance against abortion. Internet rumors say this has softened recently - what is the truth? A woman's right to choose during the first trimester is supported by the majority of Americans. I realize delivering babies would affect a person's views here, but RP's history of proposed legislation restricting abortion looks incredibly backward and stupid to most Americans.

2) RP has said gay people are a "social problem". What are his views on gay rights? Is this a personal view that would not result in legislative discrimination or something else? How is this a Libertarian position?

3) Separation of Church/State (display of the Ten Commandments on public property? prayer in schools? US a Christian nation?) How is this a Libertarian position?

4) Race and Immigration. Again, the stuff easily found on the internet makes RP sound like a total racist idiot. Need immediate clarification. Are black people mostly criminals? Are immigrants welcome in the USA? Can we make attaining citizenship easier or simpler? The Neo-Nazi campaign contributions must be addressed (talk radio is slaying him daily!), though not necessarily returned. Is a Mexican border wall built by government imminent domain a libertarian idea? Is it a good way to extend the hand of fellowship to our neighboring countries?

5) Respond to: Ron Paul was not antiwar. He was all for war in both Iraq (#1) and Kosovo. (this is probably a good thing because he's not the isolationist people are making him out to be, just doesn't like dumb wars?)

6) Civil Liberties: *Ron Paul did not vote on the FISA/wiretap bill?- please confirm and state position on this issue. Need more clarification on his stance on torture, and a concrete strategy to prevent terrorist attacks.

Posted by: Ryan Julian | November 8, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

uhm I see the claim was an accurate historical claim about the way things were before the income tax not a false claim about Paul's proposal. Thus the argument is deliberately misleading, but not a lie.

After noting my mistke I think that ,for the attempted deception and referring (incorrectly as you note) to nominal dollars, Dr Paul earned a solid 4 pinocchios.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann | November 8, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

There you go again. And this applies to the media in general: You are manipulating the story by using selected sound bites and other short clippings out of context to tarnish (or improve) the public image of an candidate.

I'm not surprised. This is how the media attacks. This is how the media wields its power. But in this instance, you are wrong and Ron Paul is right.

His aim is to cut spending overseas to forestall the United States from becoming bankrupt. Then he will attend to internal affairs, the economy, etc. AND ONLY AFTERWARDS will he act, at an appropriate time to balance the financial burden imposed by the government on the people.

Dr. Paul's priority is to bring back civil liberties immediately and enforce the Constitution.

You are being biased, in favor of the more 'popular' (sic) candidates like Clinton or Obama.

My point is, please err on the side of preserving the United States. Rome and the USSR are no more - even if their leaders never intended their countries to fall.

The events that triggered the fall of Rome and the USSR are all present today, in our country. Guess what? Your bias is no different too from that of media equivalents in Rome or the USSR back then. You seek to provide entertainment rather than provide the truth.

Posted by: rexsolomon | November 8, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse


I think it's excellent to have objective reactions to Ron Paul, especially to question what he says and promises (this applies to every single person running, of course). The fact that "The Fact Checker" found that without income taxes, the money generated for the government would still be at 1995 levels still says a lot: that you can run a government successfully without making people pay for working hard.

Good work and good comments, everyone!

Posted by: Dude from Canada | November 8, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

i'd also like to point out that, should ron paul be unable to eliminate the income tax, but able to slash it in half - do you think people would really be all that disappointed?

Posted by: mike | November 8, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

So, if we got back to the spending levels of 1995 instead of 2000 wouldn't that be even better, as the govt would have less money and could cause less trouble?

Am I the only reasonable person who sees this?

Posted by: Jeffrey Henderson | November 8, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Belanger, As far as I am concerned, I think we should allow untill May-Day of 09.

IF, the DAMNED federal Government of this TRAITOROUS Country has not begun enforcing the Oaths they have sworn to, and begun enforcing Immigration and espescially LABOR Laws to END the DAMNED destructive Invasion of wage destroying Middle Class Annihilating Un-Documented Invaders, THEN it is time for Us to tell them Adios! As in SAY YOUR PRAYERS!

Now, talk of Middle Class-Or what used to be, REVOLUTION aside, Dr. NO is absolutely right about this one thing! Just he is once again going too far in his radicallized thoughts.

Dr. NO has some good Ideas, but is most definitely NOT the exectutive.-Cabinet!

The Income Tax collected by the Unionized and highly wasteful and loop-hole filled IRS, is squadered supporting the Damned IRS! Something like 40% is spent on the IRS it'self! No-LOL! Try Shamefully ridiculous!

Then, we get INSANE policies like Raping the productive to socialize the Lazy!-Or Coniving-Under the Table illegal cash wages for llegals! Not to mention the one I personally have come to HATE-the Capital Gains Waiver on homes FLIPPED in two years!

Retail Tax!-With credits for a few years for Assets already Taxed.(Effectively making those Taxes collected "Bonds")

This "Fair" tax is one of Dr. NO's few Great Ideas!

Just to be able to never again hear a debate about how much one Class should pay Vs. the others, is worth it!-It's called Pandering to Classes!-Or Buying Votes!

Sorry Dims!

IRS Agents need work-retrain them and tell them their paychecks are working the Legally residing American's Jobs. At 1,000 Dollars a Pop, or Mammacita, that's a lot of revenue for the Busting!

Reality Check for the truly stupid!

At $10/ Hr-the Employee should lose around $2.50 to Taxes(However if the "Fair Tax" get's put into effect, even the Illegals will now be paying, and this will be a Moot Point!), and the Employer would be Paying an additional $2.50-3 /Hr.

With the situation like we have it-For every Illegal that is currently taking Home $10/Hr Tax Free($2,000/Month), the Government and our Infrastructures are being ROBBED of $5-6/ Hr!

Do some math fools. At just $10/ Hr(SLAVE WAGES!-For Americans, but Fair for Illegals getting Cash) 8 X $6=$48/Day X just 260/Days/Year=$12,480.

$12,480 Per Invader times just 10 Million Invaders that have stolen Construction, Landscapping, and Domestic Jobs,

IS ONLY ONE HUNDRED,TWENTY FOUR BILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION FRIGGING DOLLARS WE ARE LOSING WHILE SUPPORTING THE INVADERS ILLEGAL-BUT SOME CITIZENIZED SPAWN!

To Re-Hash, first, the Fair Tax could eliminate the un-Fair edge the Cash Collecting Invasorios are currently getting.

Second, I don't want Illegal Invaders getting to take over MY Country!

Third, Dr. NO has a few Good Ideas, but is too ignorant to be the President!

Flat Fair Tax, Retrain the IRS people to hand out fines to employers of Un-Documented Workers and drive Invasorios home(Their original).

Restore the American Middle Class standards for AMERICANS!

Or REPRESENTATIVES, Get ready to pay the Piper soon!

This should NOT have to wait for a NEW set of REPS, these are GREAT ideas for LIKE YESTERDAY!

Your Welcome!

Posted by: RAT-The | November 8, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Again, with the STUPID Sytem we have now, creating an Opportunistic Market for Un-Documented workers, who have ussurped TEN MILLION JOBS(At least),

WE are NOT COLLECTING-Only-

And AT LEAST-

124 BILLION, 800 MILLION $$$$$$$$$$/YEAR!!!

While inversely losing Billions in Infrastructure Costs!


Even without Collecting a Single Thousand Dollar fine from the Criminal Employers burning this Country Sooooooo Badly(And believe me-THEY deserve to be fined into submission!),

A "Fair" Retail Tax would get the Money into our Coffers anyway!-At least MOST of it!

Posted by: RAT-The | November 8, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It's about time that the only viable Republican candidate started to get the attention of the national media. Giuliani is a nightmare for America -- no one is going to vote for another Bush. Romney wears magic underwear, seriously folks. Fred Thompson is an empty suit, all the intelligence of Ronald Reagan with none of the charisma. This race boils down to Clinton vs. the Republican nominee, and whoever is more anti-war will win the office. Ron Paul is, therefore, the only Republic candidate with a snowball's chance of winning the office.

Posted by: Ally Kendall | November 8, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Could it be that by personal income tax Paul is referring not to total income tax receipts but instead wage taxes (which are not taxable, and not income) - as opposed to capital gains (which *are* actually income)?

That might make up for the 30% of the Tax receipts that would be needed to have the 2000 budget numbers.

Posted by: Perhaps | November 8, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

What about the fact that when people have 33% higher incomes, they will buy more taxable goods and pay more for real estate thus creating more tax revenue?

I would venture to guess a high proportion of that extra money would trickle back to the feds after so many transactions.

Posted by: Willie | November 8, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

According to the GAO we already have a $20.9 trillion shortfall thanks to Medicare / Medicaid.

Posted by: Thom | November 8, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

This is more like it - solid, rational analysis.

I'd love to see the numbers for inflation, adding new tariffs, the reduction of foreign aid, and cessation of out-of-borders military activity rolled into this data. If we're going to understand how accurate Dr. Paul's ideas are and if they will fly, we've got to take the entire picture into account, including Paul's solutions to generate new money in a constitutionally-consistent manner.

This also means taking into account that this money *does not disappear* at all, it remains with the people. Such a surge in income must surely have benefits we are not talking about - how does that boost in revenue help a minimum wage worker? Do we still need to raise the minimum wage if this works out? How does it affect the economy when there is more money to invest, or more money to meet a mortgage during the housing crisis, or more money to pay off the people's own debt or pay for their own education, health insurance, and retirement funds? This to me seems to be the elephant in the room that no one is talking about.

It is also worth pointing out that Dr. Paul's own plans to remove the IRS would take 28 months. He's patient. If circumstances prevent total elimination of the IRS, Dr. Paul would cut what he could get away with.

Make no mistake, however. Dr. Paul would eliminate nearly everything government spending is directed towards right now. In my view this is not a bad thing. The only things he would try to spare, for the time being, are services people are dependent on - and only so long as no better solution could be found to take care of their needs.

The federal government, like any corporation with no hard reality checks to keep it in balance, has grown and spiraled out of control. A corporation is always subject to the market to keep it balanced. A government is only subject to its people. It's about time we called for a downsizing, a house cleaning, and a general regrouping of what we the people want in our government in this age. Since Dr. Paul is the only candidate willing to stick up for that, he'll have my vote even if his economic policies are too optimistic for reality.

Dr. Paul is a smart man. As President, he would have more access to experts and government data than he does in his current position. I honestly think he would study the problem anew, long and hard, and weigh in the opinions on every side of an issue before deciding how best to move forward.

It'll be interesting to see what he says when, inevitably, some of his ideas end up being unrealistic or just no-starters. Hopefully he'll step right up and say so, and help us to understand why.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 8, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I just want to thank a web site for doing an actual, honest piece on Paul and his policies. As a Paul supporter, I like the fact that you challange him and the discussion it brings up. Sadly, it seems rational discussion is no longer part of the presidential process.

Posted by: Dave | November 8, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the big difference is Ron Paul is looking to do something about the spending. We have seen a Bush Administration that pays for everything by passing it on the the next generation. In reality Bush is taxing the next generation to pay for his war and his mistakes. All the other candidiates from both parties would continue either passing the expenses on to the the next generation or taxing the people while keeping the large overextended government in place. There may be some questions on how a President Paul would get it done but at least he would make an honest attempt at fixing a bloated government and getting rid of the special interests that has taken the government from the people. Only Ron Paul has the record to stand up to special interests and stop the corruption in Washington.

Posted by: Scott | November 8, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

While I support Ron Paul (and the idea of checking facts), both Ron Paul's and the Fact Checker's calculations are way off.

None of the figures are inflation-adjusted, which turns out to matter a great deal. After adjusting for inflation the numbers are (in year 2000 dollars):

2007 revenue without personal income tax: $969,826

The last year we had total receipts similar to that figure: 1976

1976 total real revenue: $904,910
1976 total nominal revenue: $298,060
1976 to 2000 inflation rate: 223.99%

Regardless, I still agree with the abolition of the personal income tax. To fund it, get rid of Social Security and Medicare. That would give every employee (on average) an extra $8,000 per year (2007 dollars). That's enough to fully fund an IRA and pay for private health insurance for the whole family.

Posted by: m | November 8, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that Ron Paul was correct in the actual percent that income taxes make up of our overall tax budget, but he has repeatedly said that there will be a transition period. He has only ever voted for a balanced budget, and I would assume that he would continue that as president. I am a Ron Paul supporter because I support Libertarian ideals, but I also believe that he is the one candidate who would do real work to right many of the wrongs of the last 7 years.

Posted by: Ben | November 8, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the program with the worst cost/benefit ratio likely to be slashed: The War On Drugs.

Posted by: JT | November 8, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@people arguing about lawfullness of the income tax

The income tax is constitutional because there is a law, and that law is contract law. When you endorse private credit (Federal Reserve Notes) you are then made liable for a "tax" on them. You can non-endorse your paychecks which tells the banker you are requesting US Notes instead of Federal Reserve Notes. Even though they are the same piece of paper, your non-endorsement keeps you free from filing an income tax return.

Posted by: aaron | November 8, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of her history."

Yes, let's all return to the golden age of 1913, where the poverty level was up and the # of college graduates was down. And don't you worry, women and minorities, the sudden drop in federal funding won't affect you at all. The states (wink-wink) will look out for your best interests.

I'm just wondering if Paul can keep his cult going past 2008 and become the next Larouche.

Posted by: Noman | November 8, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The year 2000 versus the year 1995. Wow! We can't live without 5 years worth of spending increases. Our country has been in existence for 231 years and yet we cannot roll back our spending a decade worth to balance our budget, save some of the programs that have been promised to the older generations, and give my generation and the generations after me a country that is more salient and in a better economic position? By stopping the devaluing of our currency alone we could make up most of the difference.

Posted by: eaberwick | November 8, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ryan Julian:
1) Ron Paul's position is the federal courts have no jurisdiction to rule on the legality of abortion. This should be a state issue. Hence, his legislation focuses on nullifying Roe v. Wade.
2) That is taken way out of context. Ron Paul clearly states all individuals should be valued as individuals with individual liberty, and no group should be given special consideration. Targeting races, religions, sexes, or sexual preferences, for whatever reason, is collectivism that should be minimized.
3) The Constitution clearly states the Congress shall pass NO law with respect to religion. So then, what right does government have to restrict references to 'God' in courtrooms, schools, etc.
4) Again, see #2. Ron Paul opposes all forms of collectivism.
5) Ron Paul wasn't even in Congress during the first Iraq conflict. Read Ron Paul's many Congressional speeches against our participation in Kosovo.
6) LOL. You question Ron Paul's support of our civil liberties. Oh my. Visit ronpaullibrary.org and read. Read.

Posted by: Mike | November 8, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a good start. But Ron Paul wants to eliminate a lot more than the Dept of Education. He wants to gut most Federal programs and let corporations pretty much manage themselves. Find out more about his anarcho-capitalist agenda when we interview one of his supporters and ask some real tough questions at podcasts.bsalert.com

Posted by: Pile | November 8, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

From what I've heard Ron Paul say in the past, I don't believe he "excludes" entitlements from his calculations as you did. It's basically an accounting fantasy that separates them from the general budget in the first place, by the government pretending to put money away for your retirement when in fact of course it spends it all. Include entitlement revenue and expenses in your calculations and you'll probably find that he's correct.

Sure, one can make political judgments about whether it's a good idea to include so-called non-discretionary spending in the computation, but I'm pretty sure you'll see that that's how he got his numbers, so at least he is being totally honest

Posted by: Conrad | November 8, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

You have not taken into account that many of us do not want many of the things that the government is forcing us to take.

Specifically Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

Then there is the school lunch programs.

When they told me I had to fill out the paperwork for the school lunch paperwork because "It's the law!", I asked them to arrest me.

How many people have to be employed to review paperwork for programs that people don't want to participate in?

Posted by: Chris B | November 8, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The US Department of Education started operating in 1980, long after Dr. Paul had completed his education.

Posted by: James | November 8, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to thank you for calling Ron Paul's economic ideas "Voodoo Economics" -- would you PLEASE use that phrase a lot more. What would be really great is if you would combine it as a meme with his name something like "Voodoo Economics advocate Ron Paul". And make sure everyone else writing for the MSM uses this label as well.

This is so important for people to know -- whenever they thing "Ron Paul" they also need to think "Oh, that's the guy with the Reagan-like Voodoo Economics stuff"!

An of course, for the primaries, it is especially old-guard Republicans that still have over-fond memories of Ronald Reagan learn this and memorize it.

Because if they associate Ron Paul with Ronald Reagan in their subconscious, then we can make certain that he will WIN the GOP nomination.

So, please, PLEASE continue this meme!

Posted by: JKHutz | November 8, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

We need to cut the size of the federal government down, and have more of the work done by the states.

This bloated national government, which is wasting trillions overseas cannot go on for much longer. Let the states run the welfare programs they want to, cut foreign involvement and spending there, and let the youth get out of social security.

Getting rid of the income tax is something he'll have to work for, but at least you know he will.

Unlike certain other groups which offer major reforms when running for congress, then do nothing substantial when elected...

Posted by: Joby | November 8, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

At least Dr.Paul tries to offer some functional, rational solutions.

EVERY other candidate does nothing but dodge the obvious and pander to the typical. (some are actually getting about 5% better because of RP)

The trouble is, his solutions scare the numb and the temporarily comfortable. Most of the anti Dr.Paul posts are as predictable as they are ignorant. They subsidize the giant pink elephant in the room - in hopes it will stay quiet, unchanged and tethered. It won't, read the news.....

"Americans used to howl for freedom...now they bleet like sheep for security"

Posted by: Dean | November 8, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about quibbling about the nuances of these calculations? Even by YOUR calculations, government spending increases have accounted for the entire amount of income tax in a little over a decade. How much more has YOUR government done for you since 1995? Are you driving on better roads? I'm not. Do you feel safer? I don't. Are your kids doing better in school? When's the last time you got something you actually wanted in the huge pile of crappy mail that the government delivers to your house every day? I would suspect that the only people that feel like they cannot get along without the government are those who depend on immoral and unconstitutional hand-outs to subsist day to day.

Since I pay roughly 35,000 per year in income tax (yeah, thats what happens once you finally finish that expensive degree and get a good job -- they take away a third of your money)I will personally commit to giving all that money to a PRIVATE charity to support the daily needs of a welfare or social security family for the first year if the income tax and welfare state are abolished. There is nothing wrong with expecting people to work a little for their money.

Posted by: craezie | November 8, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Ron Paul has voted against the war from the begining, voted against both versions of the patriot act, has never voted for a war-funding bill (unlike all the hypocrites in the Democratic Party), and has never voted for any bill he views as unconstitutional.

Posted by: Joby | November 8, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL "anarcho-capitalist agenda" - Are you aware the most heavily regulated and subsidized industries are the ones with the least competition and rising prices? Today's system is closer to anarcho-capitalist: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_welfare/real_tax_rates_plummet.php
Corporations are getting huge tax breaks and WTO agreements are only making it worse.

Posted by: Mike | November 8, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@Jason: See http://evans-legal.com/dan/tpfaq.html#nonewpower for discussion of the Supreme Court cases that arose after the ratification of the 16th Amendment.

The 16th Amendment didn't give Congress any new powers; it didn't need to, because Congress already had that power to tax individuals without needing to apportion taxes to the states.

That whole page is an interesting read.

Posted by: Greg | November 8, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There's no doubt that Ron Paul in the white house would bring about a lot of change, and there would be a lot of unknown effects of his policies that would have to be dealt with. But he has said in several debate spots that he's not going to just abolish the income tax right off the bat. It takes time to gradually change the policies.

The reason that Senator Paul is enjoying such popularity is that change is now being demanded by more and more of the US population. We don't want another candidate who is willing to flip-flop on their talking points just to get elected, only to have them completely ignore the population and proceed with the government status quo. We want someone who will work to actively right the wrongs that have built up over the past 20 years.

Posted by: Ryan | November 8, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm rather uncomfortable with the all-too-common (mis)perception that Ron Paul could actually do all of the things that he wants to do.
I think the confusion stems from the fact that Ron Paul often speaks in terms of ideals and goals--his vision for the ideal federal government. What he doesn't have a chance to explain very often (though he has talked about it) is the fact that he realizes that as president he would have to work together with Congress, the Supreme Court, etc. to really get much done (though he would have a good deal of control over the military--which would be a good thing! Support the Troops! Bring them Home!). And so, being the brilliant man that he is, he has plans for gradual changes.
As far as I understand, just because he says that he aims for a Constitutional federal government that doesn't spend the People's money on useless, often detrimental, and always wasteful departments and programs, it does not follow that he would really be able to do much of anything about them by his own volition alone.
Such "remodeling" will have to be a team effort.
And you know what? Congress may actually start taking their jobs more seriously, acting more responsibly, and even obeying their oath of office with Ron Paul as President! He is without a doubt the most disciplined, principled, sincere, respectable Representative in the House. And I imagine that some of his outstanding qualities would begin to rub-off on those around him once he is in a position that demands respect.

President Paul won't put up with "business as usual" in D.C.

If you want see a truly better America, then do all you can to get Ron Paul in the White House.
I guarantee you that the whole world will change for the better.

There may actually even be some positive stories in the news for a change.
I can see the headlines now: "Ron Paul: Gettin' it Done!" -- "Ron Paul 'Delivers' Again!" and so forth.

Ron Paul may not be able to do most of what he would like to do as president as far as treating the federal government's severely out-of-control obesity and OCD when it comes to spending, but at least he has high, principled expectations for himself. If he didn't aim for the stars, he wouldn't be where he is today!

Not to mention that the education level for all Americans will probably skyrocket in response to exposure to Dr. Paul. It's so much easier to understand when you can see clearly.
Americans have to get focused on the real issues, and Ron Paul is the best source for the "inside scoop," since he doesn't skimp on the truth.


The most important fact to realize: Things will get better with Ron Paul as President. No one knows for sure the kind of impact he might be able to make as President, but at least we know he's aiming for the right goals!
Even if all of the numbers don't work out the way they've been suggested, even a little bit of improvement and cutting-back would be a huge improvement over what we've had to put up with for far too long in the USA.

If nothing else, Ron Paul will at least be able to pull a Superman and get our economic train back on its tracks before it totally topples over and crashes.

The fact is that Ron Paul is by far the most qualified, able, knowledgeable presidential candidate on any of the stages.

If you want a good President, then vote for Ron Paul.
If you're content with socialism and disaster as usual, vote for someone else.

Posted by: Richard | November 8, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If you cut income tax and not sales tax, suddenly you will have a public with a bit more cash on hand -- which they will spend, thereby increasing the revenues from sales tax -- maybe enough to account for the "5 year" discrepancy. Just a thought.

Posted by: Noah | November 8, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

i do believe "Fact Checker" has relied on data that is not supported by the GAO or any reliable econometrics model (forecasting true total present and future value costs of empire building and maintenance and redundant Federal departments> While Paul is speaking of eliminating wage taxes he is also speaking of eliminating significant expenditure and debt.

Posted by: CeeCee | November 8, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Why has nobody mentioned the bizarre pirate in the photo foreground?

Posted by: Jim Franklin | November 8, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting this - what shocks me is that Ron Paul's idea could actually work.

Once you cut the programs he mentions (and get rid of the IRS) that would reduce a huge percentage of Gov spending. For example, conservative estimates place the Iraq war at a cost of 100,000 per minute, which would mean a $52 billion immediately saved.

Posted by: Josh Farkas | November 8, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

There are two things to consider here

1) The gub'ment would get back a large portion of lost income tax because people would use that extra money to buy things.

And this isn't just a one-time 5% sales tax; Sales tax gets computed at every stage of distribution. For example, a farmer grows corn and sells it to a processor, who in turn sells it to a cattle-feed company, who in turn sells it to cattle raisers, who sell their beef (or milk) to wholesale processors, who package and distribute it to retailers, and finally the consumer gets it. That's 7 iterations for a gallon of milk!

2) The removal of income tax for the 7 step chain above makes a gallon of milk that much cheaper, resulting in even MORE consumer purchases and their resultant supply chain taxing.

Posted by: Matt W | November 8, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think it's time somone fact checked fact checker because you snuck the big old gigantanormous WARONTERRORFOREVERANDEVERAMEN into the post 2001 figures without so much as an eye blink.

You do understand that the premise of RP's comment excluded the trillions of taxpayer dollars poured down that black hole, don't you?

Hello?

Anyone there?

*sound of furiously scuttling fact checker feet*

Posted by: frank parker | November 8, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm hopeful to see what the response is. Good reason to get another well written article from him addressing the subject.

Ag subsidies especially would be a fine thing to offer a cost/benefit analysis and fraud/waste assessment. Rather than the current line involving the assumption that we increase year by year at set levels.

Posted by: Michael Costello | November 8, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

How can I be the only one seeing (and horribly distracted by) the red-headed pirate wearing half a dozen shirts, in the photo with Ron Paul! This is creepy...

Posted by: Jim Franklin | November 8, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

hold the phones a second, they take over a trillion dollars a year from taxpayers?

anyone who doesn't vote for Paul deserves to get robbed. that's unconscionable. thanks for doing the maths.

Posted by: frank parker | November 8, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused by this "Fact Checker". If read it correctly, basically the above article says that if we continue to spend in the manner we have been then RP is off by several hundreds of billions.

I think Dr. Paul's point was that by eliminating several gov't agencies/entitlements it would then be possible to eliminate the IRS and income tax.

So far the only candidate that is interested in cutting the Fed, not feeding it.

I am liking the fact that the MSM is starting to report some real talking points not which candidate isn't wearing a pin on his/her jacket or who didn't put their hand on their heart for the pledge. Who's the best dressed and where someone got their hair cut.

Posted by: Some Random American | November 8, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

THE Fact Checker must not realize that the Iraq War is NOT IN THE BUDGET. It is an appropriation.

Add in 400 billion dollars and you suddenly get to $3.1 trillion total government spending, making Ron Paul's assertion that $1.1 trillion is approximately a third of the governments spending fairly accurate.

Sorry, Fact Checker... you're wrong

Posted by: Matt W | November 8, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: sales tax

"And this isn't just a one-time 5% sales tax; Sales tax gets computed at every stage of distribution. For example, a farmer grows corn and sells it to a processor, who in turn sells it to a cattle-feed company, who in turn sells it to cattle raisers, who sell their beef (or milk) to wholesale processors, who package and distribute it to retailers, and finally the consumer gets it. That's 7 iterations for a gallon of milk!"

You're incorrect. When you buy something that you plan to resell, you can purchase it without paying sales tax. But it must be for resale. So, the feed may be taxable (though the tax paid is an offset against income). The beef that is sold to a wholesaler and then a retailer is not taxed. You're thinking of something like a value added tax, not a bad idea as a replacement of income tax as it doesn't have to be regressive.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 8, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

War is the ultimate big-government project, and with that comes big-government waste.

Just before his resignation (IIRC) Rumsfeld told Congress that the DoD could not account for 2.3 TRILLION (Yes, with a T!) dollars in spending.

Add that money back into the equation, since we won't be in wars in a Paul administration (unless we are directly attacked, which was not the case in Iraq), and that throws say ($T 2.3/5 years) half a trillion dollars a year back into the government coffers.

Numbers looking better yet? :)

JM

Posted by: James Maynard | November 8, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Question on GRAPH: Please explain the dip in 2003 and its relevance to corporate tax revenue and individual tax exposure. Could you break down what corporate taxes pay for versus individual taxes. This is your 800lb gorilla in the room. Don't go all off being a Luntz.

Also could you check the FEDs 2% inflation figures?

Posted by: Moron | November 8, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade,

Yes you are right about the current wholesellers not being taxed, and I should have clarified that I meant this new tax would replace our existing structure...

Posted by: Matt W | November 8, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Thank you WP for looking into the facts - rational thinking is what got most of us Ron Paul supporters on his side, we love seeing it from the media as well.

Posted by: RP Support, Iowa | November 8, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

In your Opinion can America exist without a Personal Income Tax, as Presidential Candidate Ron Paul suggests?
----> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=917

Posted by: PollM | November 8, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for doing the piece on Ron Paul! It appears to have gotten a
lot of attention, and that's always a good thing.

On your graph, it would be very helpful if you included another line
for the federal budget. It appears that Paul misspoke on Leno when he
said we would have as much money as we had in 2000. 2000 was a year
with a $236 billion dollar federal surplus. On Paul's webpage, he says
we can still have income that matches the 2000 budget, not the 2000
reciepts. He was not clear about that point on Leno.

Reciepts, 2000: $2025 billion
Surplus, 2000: $236 billion
Federal Budget, 2000: $1776 billion

A Reciepts, 2007: $2568 billion
B Income Taxes, 2007: $1096 billion
C IRS Budget, 2007: $10.7 billion
A-B+C = $1481 billion in federal revenue if the IRS were eliminated

That's still a $294 billion hole to fill. I'm not sure exactly how
much we're spending on the war in Iraq and rebuilding their
infrastructure, but the numbers get a little closer.

Posted by: Aaron Hanson | November 8, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So your numbers would have federal spending cut to 1995 levels... that's a good start... then as more and more of the federal government is eliminated and brought in line with the Constitution there can be even LESS government... maybe even back to 1895 levels.

Posted by: Armondo Petty | November 8, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I trust a great leadeer like Ron Paul to figure out the best way to phase out the income tax.

Posted by: Galileo | November 8, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

How can Ron Paul figure out how to phase out the income tax, when he doesn't even seem to notice he's being filmed by Carrot Top dressed up as a pirate!

Posted by: Jim Franklin | November 8, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Dr.Ron Paul will simply close the US military bases around the world,put tariff where needed and there is the money,lots of it.No need to rob the people out their hard earned money.

Posted by: JK | November 8, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You're looking at revenue figures, he was talking specifically the expenses the federal government has. It's simple math really. If you reduce the current budget of 2.7 billion by the approx. 1 billion that comes in revenue from personal income taxes, you get 1.7 billion dollars in government expenses. 1.7 billion dollars is how much the government spent in 2000. So if the government could operate on it's expenses of 1.7 billion in 2000, why can't it now? You accurately point out that there is a discrepancy in regards to revenue in those figures and that's because there was a budget surplus in 2000 and a huge budget deficit this year. Ron Paul would absolutely not pass an unbalanced budget, so there are some numbers that would have to be adjusted in order to get a balanced budget... but when asked "What would the government look like without the personal income tax", it's pretty fair to say "It could operate like it did in 2000".
I'm not even going to get into the issue of "reducing taxes increases tax revenue because of growth" as can be seen in those graphs pretty clearly even though I think it's pretty clear that corporate tax revenues would increase if everyone had a few spare thousands to spend without an income tax... Regardless, thanks for covering Ron Paul. It's much appreciated!

Posted by: Andrew Douglas | November 8, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Mike, thanks for answering my questions in your post at 12:49. I read a lot more on RP's website, and also the link you posted: http://ronpaullibrary.org
I don't think you have his stance on abortion right at all. According to his own words: "The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle. In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, HR 1094. I am also the prime sponsor of HR 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn. I have also authored HR 1095, which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called "population control." Many talk about being pro-life. I have taken direct action to restore protection for the unborn. As an OB/GYN doctor, I've delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion. Many of you may have read my book, Challenge To Liberty, which champions the idea that there cannot be liberty in a society unless the rights of all innocents are protected. Much can be understood about the civility of a society in observing its regard for the dignity of human life.
He also is quoted as saying on 6/04/03: "The alternative is an outright federal ban on abortion, done properly via a constitutional amendment that does no violence to our way of government." You convinced me on all the other concerns - there are lots of hateful mudslinging out there. RP is likely to lose a lot of potential young female votes for his rigid stand on banning abortion. Not saying this is not a consistent libertarian position to defend life at all stages of life, just that most of the country disagrees with him. Am I missing something?

Posted by: Ryan Julian | November 8, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Jim Franklin-LOL! Have'nt you ever wondered what a Ron "Dr. NO" Paul supporter looks like?

I'm talking about people who sit around duplicating numerous posts from duplicated ID's to try to dupe people into thinking Ron "Dr.NO" Paul, is anything other than a National Version of a Kinky Friedman Spoiler!

I wondered why the Building on Ben White was not re=occupied after Kinky's Campaign. I bet It's occupied now!

Dr. No is a SPOILER!

His biggest Supporters are just out to ussurp attention towards a Candidate that most Politicians would never work with if elected.

IF Dr. NO ever won, he would be a Four Year Lame Duck!

Left Click User ID's of his Supporters to realize they are all mostly 1 day old!

The "Pirate" is what a person that is that desperate looks like!

Posted by: rat-the | November 8, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Ron paul is quite correct about the U. S. doing quite well without an income tax. The income tax was put in when the Republicans finnally decided that they wanted more foreign trade, and would have to do away with the protective tarriffs to get it.

Does Mr Paul suggest we go back to the McKinley Tarriffs? Hawley Smoot?

I love the thought of a minimum 50% tarriff on EVERYthing.

Does he?

Posted by: cefllynline | November 8, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I almost had a heart attack when I saw that the Washington Post FINALLY gave Ron Paul some attention. Are the editors finally listening to us readers?

Posted by: Tirade | November 8, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

There is no Federal sales tax. All sales taxes are collected by the States, counties, cities, and other local tax authorities. Five states have no sales tax. Since the Federal governemnt does not collect sales taxes, there would be no increase in Federal sales tax collections with an increase in spending from income tax reductions. Any number times zero is still zero.

Posted by: wsl | November 8, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What a brazen attack on Ron Paul.

"If you eliminated all that revenue, the federal budget would shrink to the size it was around 1995."
I believe that Ron Paul would like to see the federal budget shrink to the size it was before 1913. Its the principles of the man that count. Of course since he provides direct statistics and not just vague rhetoric like the other candidates he leaves himself open to 'creative accounting' attacks like this. I am sure that the RP campaign will provide a pie chart of their economic plans, but I doubt that it will be put in print from the Post.

I wonder if this newspaper will ask Rudy where the money for the next war on Iran will come from...

Posted by: phil | November 8, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

While I disagree with Ron Paul on several issues, he absolutely correct in his basic premise about runaway government spending. Taxes and revenue are not the problems in this country. Spending is. Until we wrap our heads around that fundamental fact, any debate regarding "fiscal responsibility" is pointless.

Posted by: bwright110 | November 8, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@the rat: Um, I know it's uncomfortable to be a dissenting voice amongst a very large crowd - but I take your attacks on Ron Paul supporters personally as I am a Ron Paul supporter.

A. I "look" like a pretty typical guy. A life long republican. Father. Husband. etc. etc.
B. I am not trying to dupe anyone and I use my own name so I'm certainly not trying to be deceitful in that regard either.
C. I've been supporting the Ron Paul campaign in whatever ways I can, including the occasional mention on my blog http://imrepublican.blogspot.com
and I've contributed several hundred dollars to the campaign. I DON'T sit around all day posting copy and paste messages everywhere but I do try to engage people in useful discussions when I feel it's helpful...

Now, regarding your points against Ron Paul:
1. In one breath you say he's never going to be elected and if he was he'd be a useless lame duck for his one term. I won't go into how silly that argument is, but I will say that his message of personal liberty (and responsibility), adherence of the federal gov't to it's constitutional limits and his "trade with everyone, entangling alliance with none" foreign policy brings people together. It's when people want/get special treatment and get the "raw deal" with inflation and taxation and reductions in personal liberty that people become divided. WHEN he wins, it will be because people will have united from all sides to back him, and he will have a very productive presidency. Freedom brings people together.
2. Ron Paul is not running a spoiler campaign. If he wanted to be a spoiler he'd be attacking those he was spoiling... which he's not. If he wanted to be a spoiler in the general election, he'd already be running as an independent/libertarian, which he's not. He is running to win, and that's exactly what he's going to do.

Posted by: Andrew Douglas | November 8, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ryan Julian:
Yes, Ron is pro-life. That is his personal conviction. A president, however, doesn't have the power to make abortion illegal. Only Congress can pass such an amendment to the Constitution.

In the past few decades, since Roe v. Wade, presidents can directly affect the legality of abortion at the federal level. Since the president appoints Supreme Court justices, he can choose pro-life justices when the positions are available.

Ron Paul's position, to remove the abortion issue from federal jurisdiction, makes the president's ability to appoint Supreme Court justices no longer relevant to the abortion debate.

Thus, while you may have to squirm if he publicly professes the horrors of abortion, he will have disavowed any power for himself or future presidents from affecting your right to have an abortion.

Posted by: Mike | November 8, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Finally, someone is calling Ron Paul out on his simplistic, populist ideas.

Please, people -- use some critical thinking in evaluating candidate proposals -- don't just dance to idealistic ideas that have no practical chance of working.

Posted by: Robert | November 8, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I hate to call names, but you Ron Paul supporters are fools. His economic and foreign policies would spell doom for this country. Retreating in the foreign arena and purposefully isolating ourselves will make us worse off. On the economic front, "free markets" are not the answer to our problems. Markets have one goal and one goal only, which is maximizing profits. Do you think if we suddenly deregulate everything we can expect better health care, education, or any kind of services? You can expect more dangerous and contaminated products and worse care, because money matters not the consumer.

Posted by: InMoCo | November 8, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

As a free trade, race to the bottom, Libertarian, wouldn't he also eliminate tariffs making the nationas debt even larger? The answer of course is yes.

Posted by: Peter | November 8, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Last post... I swear. InMoCo: if you hate to call names, don't. Let's keep the debate civil.

1. I think you've confused Markets with Corporations. Corporations are about profits, but Markets are about an exchange of goods and services where the *consumer* has what the corporations want - the money. So a free market are actually the best way to provide the best goods at the cheapest prices. It's when the government (manipulated through "special interests" ie. corporations) start interfering that the market doesn't operate effectively. Exhibit A: our medical services/insurance industry where was perfectly fine in the free market until governments gave incentives to remove the consumer from the market place by having "employers" (again, corporations) choose insurance providers (you guessed it, corporations) who now are responsible for determining medical care costs.
Ron Paul's solution: get government out and let people become the direct consumers again so that free market forces can work to provide the best care at the lowest prices.

2. contaminated/dangerous products - the problem is you have put too much faith in the government and you get burned just as badly (if not worse) then you will by those evil corporations. See, if you think the government is going to keep you safe from products, then why haven't they done it already? Because they can't and/or they won't. So why does it surprise us when bad products get put on store shelves? Instead of being complacent and letting the always benevolent government handle product safety, the free market should do it instead. Why? Because A. consumers who take product safety into their own hands will be more informed consumers and will not take product safety for granted. B. consumers can hold companies responsible who sell dangerous products (the walmarts, etc.) so companies can put pressure on their suppliers to produce quality products and C. private "consumer safety" companies do a better job of guaranteeing quality (think UL and such) then the government due to competitive forces of the market.

Ron Paul is very much aware that we have an "education" problem in the country and it's not just about schools either. It's about understanding our own personal responsibilities and that when we give up our personal responsibilities in favor of government control we aren't better off in the long run. It's time for people to wake up.

Posted by: Andrew Douglas | November 8, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

So Paul supporters refuse to see reality and the flaws in their candidate instead of trying to help fix them. Classic mob mentality.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 8, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The most important aspect of Ron Paul is that he has a clear and concise plan that benefits BOTH America as a whole and its citizens. What other candidate stands upon a platform with such honesty and conviction? This man has shown his desire and integrity to do good time and time again while in congress.

Every other presidential hopeful is either hopelessly corrupt, interested in lining their pockets, and those of their business partners, or is simply useless and handcuffed by their own political correctness and ineptitude to take a meaningful stance on issues of profound importance.

To the educated and well informed, wether you're a loyal democrat or republican, the choice is simple; Ron Paul is the best man for the job!

Posted by: Damascus | November 8, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Crap. Sorry for splitting up the post (and my grammatical errors, I was rushing!)
3. Foreign policy: Paul is not an isolationist. He's a free trader; he wants to talk with everyone; he advocates travel and commerce with everyone not just those countries that our government likes. He advocates the Bush 2000 campaign policies of "Stop policing the world. No nation building." It wasn't this policy that caused 9/11, it was the policies of intervention - of the US's involvement in propping up governments, in overthrowing democratically elected leaders, in "playing favorites" by financing and giving arms to other countries (every country is some other countries enemy... but Israel and Saudi Arabia are the ones that made us the most enemies). Ron Paul's position is stop giving aid, stop invading countries that pose no threat and without declaring war, stop dictating how other countries handle their internal affairs... pretty much: treat others as we'd like to be treated. Will it undue all the hatred? No. But there are millions of people around the world who are fed up with the arrogance of Bush and Co. and who want the US out of their affairs... you could easily make the argument that our current foreign policy is causing us to be more isolated than ever.

The ground swell of support and the renewed respect the US would have with a Ron Paul administration can't be underestimated. None of the other candidates on offer will cause the world to respect us again...

Posted by: Andrew Douglas | November 8, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...

Hasn't Bush co. been telling us that a million new businesses have been created since 2000?
Wouldn't all these new businesses still pay tax on their profits?
I don't think your shrinkage graph is straight line equation.
As a matter of fact, according to your own posted graph, total revenues have increased much more than revenues derived from the taxation of income over the last 7 years.

Posted by: Hoof Hearted | November 8, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The information about the supposed "shortfall" is factually incorrect as it does not take into account that Dr. Ron Paul wants to withdraw from Iraq - as soon as safely possible - and completely (unlike most of the other candidates - both Democratic and Republican).

In 2006 Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, has suggested the total costs of the Iraq War on the US economy will be $1 trillion in a conservative scenario and could top $2 trillion in a moderate one.

Source:
Linda Bilmes; Joseph Stiglitz (2006). The economic costs of the Iraq war: an appraisal three years after the beginning of the conflict. National Bureau of Research. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.

In 2006 the Congressional Research Service estimated weekly spending at almost $2 billion per week, and that total expenditures have now topped half a trillion dollars.

Source:
http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/09/28/cost_of_iraq_war_nearly_2b_a_week/

In 2007 the U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates $2.4 trillion long-term war costs:
"The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion by 2017"
"CBO estimated that between 2008 and 2017, the wars could cost slightly more than $1 trillion, assuming overall troop strength is cut to 75,000 by 2013."

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2450753720071024

Hence, even _completely_ _ignoring_ all the other proposed sources of savings - problem is solved. Furthermore, when we actually include these, it seems that in fact Ron Paul Faces Budget Surplus! :-)

Posted by: Matt | November 8, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I almost had a heart attack when I saw something in the Washington Post about Ron Paul. Are the editors finally listening to the readers?

Posted by: Tirade | November 8, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Did you count cost of IRS departments and agencies?

Posted by: cement | November 8, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm encouraged by these responses. The article was full of arrogance and conceit. The responses are well-balanced and intellectually honest. I'm glad if the only fault you can find with Ron Paul is that he is overly ambitious in his projections of how quickly he can shrink the size of government. To most of us that is an enduring quality. This man is out of this world. I just listened to his interview with the editorial board of the NH telegraph. It was riveting. The man's grasp of issues is phenomenal.

Posted by: Albert Meyer | November 8, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Great article! Ron Paul loves a debate and I look forward to seeing the science behind the numbers. RP knows his stuff - thanks for asking the questions.

Posted by: Mike Robinson | November 8, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

This (poor) article picks one of Ron Paul's goals (get rid of the income tax) while ignoring related goals (end our empire, cut spending, shrink the government, etc.) to come to a conclusion that the government will be short a trillion dollars. How 'bout next time they ignore his income tax goal and focus on his spending cut goals and announce: Ron Paul's presidency will result in trillion dollar surpluses!

Posted by: Jay | November 8, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Ahh the numbers. Cutting back to year 2000 levels is actually rather difficult because of the entitlement expansion.

But let's see. Year 2000 "budget surplus" was 236 billion. So spending would have to be cut somewhere around 900 billion dollars for that target. For a balanced budget it would have to be cut another 200 billion dollars. That's actually rather difficult considering how awful Congress will be about getting their money.

#1 Iraq and foreign military engagements.
#2 Slow weapons and weapons development systems
#3 Repeal Medicare Part D
#4 Department of Education, Department of Transportation, IRS, EPA, etc.

Some of the infrastructure in #4 will be necessary until states figure out how to replace them, and then that still won't be enough. At least according to the current numbers. It's still a step in the right direction. It will probably have to be done in slow arduous manner to achieve fiscal responsibility culminating with the repeal of the IRS.

Posted by: TanGeng | November 8, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm.....it looks like Bush's big tax cut of 2001 not focused on the wealthy only continued an existing revenue decline for a year or two, then when combined with Bush's small tax cut of 2003 that WAS focused on the wealthy revenues actually did increase sharply.

Revenue also increased pretty steadily in the Clinton years, accelerating in 1997, when he cut taxes for the wealthy.

I always believed the Laffer Curve stuff was a bit of an exaggeration, maybe that's not so.

Posted by: AnDoug | November 8, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

A few questions for the economic geniuses posting above:

1. Slashing federal spending would most likely involve slashing federal employment. Who will employ those laid off, and how will the lower spending by those laid off (lower sales tax revenues) be offset? Hint: the "free market" is not an answer. Specific industries, please.

2. A common theme is elimination of Social Security and Medicare. Leaving SS alone for the moment, how do you propose that medical care for seniors be provided? Shall we let them die in the street?

3. The United States before 1913 (the magic date cited above) is generally considered by historians to be a Third World country, brought into the First World by the economic benefits wrought by our leadership in foreign affairs (WWI) and adoption of measures such as the income tax. Can RPs supporters explain why the most prosperous nations over the last 100 years have been those with the strongest social programs and foreign involvement, and why we should expect continued progress with regressive policies?

Thanks in advance for your specific and factual responses.

Posted by: Sam | November 8, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Atleast someone is now trying to reduce the crazy spending incresing budget that nver seems to br enough. It would be nice to have a budget that would decrese the income taxes that come out of our pockets every day. However, I do not think is very likely, considering all of the debts and expenses that the country caanot afford. If the money for the taxes does not go to the intended objections, the government would be happy to have 1.1 trillion dollars to pay spend on other exspenses.

Posted by: Big 11 | November 9, 2007 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Can you just IMAGINE how rich the government would be if we:

1) Quit with the empire building already.

2) Quit with the extortion. Our "aid" to foreign nations is akin to giving a kid antifreeze and telling him it's Koolaid. The entire objective is to make it impossible for countries to pay back their debts, at which point the US has a new puppet. See "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" for more info.

3) Make corporations pay their g*ddmn taxes. So many of them don't, and that's billions in revenue right there. And break up the conglomerates. Stop the corporate welfare!

4) Israel is prosperous and competent. Israel's military is the best in the region. So, why are we giving them foreign aid as if they were some third world country? For heavens sake they're grownups now. Which reminds me: Stop fighting other countries' wars for them.

5) Flat tax anyone? If we can't eliminate it, that is.

6) I'm a prochoice, feminist, Federal employee (DoD, covered by the Constitution, so it's OK). I'm not bothered by Ron's ideals, not at all. The idea of the loss of Roe v.Wade no longer bothers me the way it used to. I actually think we'd do better without that Supreme Court decision, as 67% of the country is pro-choice and would probably push for a state law guaranteeing access to family planning services.

7) I really do think individual states would do all the social services and education business at the state level with much less red tape. A state health plan maybe, like Massachusetts has. The option to pay into a state retirement plan perhaps. States could decide for themselves how to raise revenues for whatever THE PEOPLE want to do.

8) OR, how about a municipal tax instead of a state tax? Why not? It would sure get the community involved in how it spends it's tax money, and what's not to like about that?

9) Even if for whatever reason I still have to give nearly a third of my income away in taxes (it hurts, seriously I'm a single parent in an expensive part of the country), I'd much rather see my taxes serving my state or community. THE PEOPLE could decide for THEMSELVES how to compensate for income disparities in their states.

Governing should be done from the bottom UP, not from the top down. Meaning the people decide, not a cabal or corporatist elites. We're supposed to be a REPUBLIC. Think of the states as little countries. Think that would be too complex? Oh for heavens sake they speak different LANGUAGES in Europe and they do just fine. No one is confused. SOVREIGNITY was highly valued by our Founding Fathers for a good reason.

Posted by: The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker | November 9, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

To SAM who posted at 11:58, 8 Nov.

I am not an Economic Genius, nor do I play one on TV, but:

1. You are correct, federal employment would likely decline. But why is it assumed that those who lose jobs will not find employment in the private sector? Of course those would be jobs that actually produced something, not just a bureaucracy that provides wages for nothing - at taxpayers' expense.

2. Social Security. Ron Paul has never said he plans to let seniors "die in the street". This is simply fear mongering and I expect such attacks will increase along with Paul's popularity. Paul has consistently stated that those who are currently reliant on the entitlement programs will not be cut off. However, younger workers can be taught to be more self-reliant and given the opportunity to opt out of a failing system.

3. Can you provide the historians who considered the United States a "Third World" country in 1913? While perusing the internet, I have found that "Third World" seems to be generally defined as a nation which is economically underdeveloped, has high poverty, high birthrates, and is economic dependent on advanced countries for aid (often nations that were colonized by a European nation).

I'm not sure how that definition describes the United States in 1913. In that year, the United States' share of the world's GDP was 19.1. Second only to the British Empire. (This was up from a 9.1 share in 1870). So our economy was growing.

Birth rate in U.S. in 1913: 29.5/1000. Remained approximately level until 1918. (the 1946-1960 avg was 26.4). This is certainly higher than today (approx 14.5), but I can not find how this compares worldwide in 1913.

We certainly were not reliant on other counties for our survival. If anything, other countries were becoming more reliant on the U.S. Trade was expanding.

Posted by: MDLaxer | November 9, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Please, check your math:
Total revenues (2007) 2.6T
Income Tax revenues (2007) 1.1T
____
Net (minus income tax) 1.5T

Federal Expenditures (2000) 1.8T
in 2007 dollars, that's 2.1T
Subtract Net revenue 1.5T
____
0.6T

That leaves a $600 Billion shortfall, not $1.1 Trillion. How much is the war in Iraq alone going to cost us this year?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 9, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow stated, "There are three political philosophies that are internally self-consistent.

Fascism: Government should control everything it can.

Libertarianism: Government should control nothing, except that which absolutely no one else can.

Moderate: Government should control those things which, when under government control, result in the best cost/benefit ratio compared to a lack thereof.

We're experimenting with the first right now. An experiment with the second should do just enough damage to finish the job, and make the third option moot."

However the Pres only has so much power if you elect a person with the Libertarianism philosophy you end up with the moderate. Anything else results in the overuse of Government.

Posted by: John | November 9, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't "The Fact Checker" raise the issue regarding Clinton and Romney misrepresenting their highest one day contributions after Ron Paul raised 4.2M. They should really look into this. The comments made were very deceptive. I look forward to this being added to "The Fact Checker"

Posted by: John | November 9, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

With more money, people wouldn't just keep it under their mattress. You need to give some allowance for other taxes raking more in as people spend their money. Also, you haven't considered both sides (employer/employee) of eliminating FICA.

Posted by: Alex | November 10, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The RP post was wrong - they meant to say 1/3 of expenses, not receipts. If you check Table 14.1 on the link, individual tax revenues are consistently 1/3 of federal expenditures.

Posted by: Dale | November 11, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I can cut a trillion off very easily. Taking 2007 numbers, eliminate grants to states and foreign countries, eliminate subsidies, cut the defense budget to 36% of the current amount and nondefense to 34% of the current amount. Boom, that's $998B, and I did it in 5 minutes.

Posted by: Fazsha | November 11, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

To rexsolomon

I hate the media as much as the next guy. And, I firmly blame the media for only "moderating" some of the ridiculous debate, instead of squashing it or detailing it, like Fact Checker does.

But, your tirade is completely out of place HERE. Just because FC didn't state EVERYTHING Paul has said and done... or worded it EXACTLY as you would have, does not mean they are "biased," as you've so easily and quickly smeared them.

You need to take your battle elsewhere... to CNN, FOX and other media organizations that are continually more worried about losing their access than setting the record straight or giving (or even bothering to look up) concrete facts.

Your point is valid. Your examples in this instance are petty and pointless. Think bigger.

Posted by: Sam | November 11, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Mike, the First Amendment does not say "Congress shall make no law with respect to religion," it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion," which, in that archaic usage means that the government may not in any way prefer any religion. What this means historically, as Jefferson knew in 1802, that a nation predominantly Christian needed to level the playing field by prohibiting religion from state contexts unless all could be served. All cannot be served so therefore Jefferson rightly interpreted the 1st Amendment as a "wall of separation."

Posted by: Becks | November 12, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"For financial year 2007, total receipts from individual income tax were in the region of $1.1 trillion dollars."

Is that before or after they've given back what little they allow?

There are many factors and figures that are not being calculated in here.
____________________________________

The 16th amendment was never legally ratified by enough states to make it a law.(look up a guy named Benson, he holds court certified documents proving this) However since most of the population as been brainwashed to believe it was, Why don't you try reading the tax code yourself. The tax code, or law, says that only corporate gains are taxable for U.S. citizens. Foreigners, businesses owned by foreigners and if you work for a foreigner... can all be "income" taxed.

That's why AFTER it was (supposedly) made a law the supreme court said it didn't change anything for the average citizen and added no new tax.

Posted by: Sue | November 12, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse


It's Ron Paul, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I BELIEVE!

Posted by: joe zweber | November 12, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy didn't make $12 million from donors in the past two quarters, now did they?

Posted by: Karl Schipul | November 12, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Great blog can't add much, man that was a lot of posts to read. Thanks Fact Checker. Thanks to poster both pro and con.

"The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science."
Albert Einstein

Join the Revolution.

Posted by: paul t | November 13, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Total revenues (2007) 2.6T
Income Tax revenues (2007) 1.1T
____
Net (minus income tax) 1.5T

Federal Expenditures (2000) 1.8T
in 2007 dollars, that's 2.1T
Subtract Net revenue 1.5T
____
0.6T


Couldn't have put it better myself. Fact-checker PWNED.

CAN'T BELIEVE FACT-CHECKER DIDN'T FACTOR IN INFLATION!

Du'h! 2007 dollars are not worth 2000 dollars! Even if you suggest an extremely modest 2.5% inflation rate, that's 17.5% you have to factor in.

Posted by: Jonathan | November 13, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Fact-checker forgot to factor in 18% inflation.

Posted by: John | November 13, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Who's fact-checking the Fact Checker?

As many here have pointed out (some credible some...not so much), you've missed some implicit savings from eliminating the income taxes. Other cost reductions to consider:

--The majority of the Iraq fiasco is deficit-based and adding interest-bearing debt.

--Dr Paul would cut between $300 to $400 billion by leaving the Middle East, and $100 billion minimum by closing foreign military bases. The cost of the debt we would incur compounded over 4 years with no principle payments (that's a given)? A lot. The debt and interest savings over four years would be well over $1 trillion if we pulled out of the MidEast in early 2008.

--Eliminating corporate subsidies and tax shelters would net over $200 billion.

--The Depts of Energy, Commerce, Education ("Is our children learning?"), Agriculture, the FCC, and Homeland (In)Security are only there to enforce laws, policies and regulations nationwide which benefit giant conglomerates and "special interests", and handcuff local govts and communities from making their own decisions. Gut them and save another $100 billion. Federal subsidies to states for schools, tuition and small farmers would have to be reduced slowly over several years.

--There are also huge hidden costs to these giant deficits in the form of inflation. The massive short-term federal expenditures financed at artificially low rates put trillions into circulation and devalue the dollar substantially over time. What is the total savings to taxpayers and consumers for each 1% reduction in inflation? Frankly I have no idea, but I'd guess it's somewhere between "big" and "huge".

Posted by: JB in Chicago | November 14, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Didn't somebody last century observe that big lies were more appealing than small lies?

Posted by: Doug | November 16, 2007 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul has repeatedly mentioned closing some 700 military bases around the world.

This article only mentions pulling all U.S. troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

This article deserves its own Pinocchio for failing to mention the savings if the US stopped playing "Risk" with our taxes dollars.

Posted by: Chip Vogel | November 17, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The day before 911, donald rumsfeld held a press meeting and disclosed that $2.1 trillion, TRILLION ,with a T dollars(1000 billion is a trillion)was missing somewhere at the pentagon. This is not the only time that an amount like this was known to be missing. Just think 20 percent of the national debt could be paid off with that kind of money. Sad is it not? Just think what that stack of money would look like.
Now if that money was spent or even wasted on local issues we would not have to worry about 30,000 nuclear weapons the fed. gov.
wasted money on. How much does one of these weapons cost. Just 200 or 300 weapons would be enough to return the world to the dark ages.You would think that ,that many would be enough or even 5000 or a 100 but 30,000 is a lttle overboard.(They call Ron Paul looney) Talk about enormous waste.What would that kind of money do to the US economy.The thing the federal government seems to do best is waste money.
Then you have newspaper like this one that did not even protest the lead up to the war.Telling us that Ron Paul is no good for us. Now why would we trust you when you cannot even do your job straight. Here is another example 150,000 people march in Wash. d.c. and the MSM does not even cover
the story.So why would we trust with the facts and the story.It is clear that you follow a Soviet media style doctrine rather than any thing like a free press.It seems to have been like this for a long time.
It is time to end the bull and take our country back.

Posted by: andrew | November 18, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The day before 911, donald rumsfeld held a press meeting and disclosed that $2.1 trillion, TRILLION ,with a T dollars(1000 billion is a trillion)was missing somewhere at the pentagon. This is not the only time that an amount like this was known to be missing. Just think 20 percent of the national debt could be paid off with that kind of money. Sad is it not? Just think what that stack of money would look like.
Now if that money was spent or even wasted on local issues we would not have to worry about 30,000 nuclear weapons the fed. gov.
wasted money on. How much does one of these weapons cost. Just 200 or 300 weapons would be enough to return the world to the dark ages.You would think that ,that many would be enough or even 5000 or a 100 but 30,000 is a little overboard.(They call Ron Paul looney) Talk about enormous waste.What would that kind of money do to the US economy.The thing the federal government seems to do best is waste money.
Then you have newspaper like this one that did not even protest the lead up to the war.Telling us that Ron Paul is no good for us. Now why would we trust you when you cannot even do your job straight. Here is another example 150,000 people march in Wash. D.C. and the MSM does not even cover
the story.So why would we trust with the facts and the story.It is clear that you follow a Soviet media style doctrine rather than any thing like a free press.It seems to have been like this for a long time.
It is time to end the bull and take our country back.

Posted by: andrew | November 18, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

There's quite a few comments, so someone may have already addressed this, but I'll add it anyway:

If income tax is cut, then Americans will have more income and we will see sharp increases in tax revenues collected on consumption goods (sales, excise, and sin taxes). This does not even account for the removal of numerous dead-weight losses in almost every sector of market competition, or the astronomical accounting and compliance costs of the current tax system. Nor does it include the lifting of economic disincentives to consumption that are created by income tax.

To say that we could remove the income tax and fully fund all non-discretionary government spending is being economically conservative. There would likely be a surplus in this situation, provided discretionary spending was cut back to constitutionally legal levels. It should be noted that this would only include defense (for 2 years only), post office, roads, and coinage of money.

This cannot be done overnight, and no one is claiming that it can be (no one credible, anyway). The shock to aggregate demand would be horrendous if we simply fired all IRS employees (and relevant accountants, attorneys, etc) and soldiers at once. It will take time and effort and there will be a transitional period. Fortunately, many economists and thinkers (Friedman comes to mind) have laid out plans for how this can be done to make the transition as smooth and quick as possible.

Posted by: Keenan | November 19, 2007 2:22 AM | Report abuse

The thing that is most refreshing about Ron Paul is that you always know where he would stand on an issue, or "WWPD?" without even asking him about it. All you have to do is ask "What does the Constitution say?" [CONSISTENCY]

Also something that has not come up here yet, is what could potentially be the BIGGEST BUDGET BALANCER: the AMERICAN SPIRIT. The disenchantment and disenfranchisement in our citizenry & residents - resulting from government's actions, inactions, greed, waste, fraud and inconsistency - is a huge damper not only to our attitudes but to the ECONOMY! The reason America because great was because it was FREE, free to be INNOVATIVE. Being productive was PROFITABLE, not just a way to survive as it is now for most Americans who find themselves with never enough time or money. But when the Spirit is lifted and there is HOPE, we will COME OUT SWINGING and RALLY back to #1 and again be ADMIRED and RESPECTED by the world! The Bushtapo absconded with our our freedoms and we woke up robbed, but our hope can be MAGICKED back. THERE is your 'Voodoo Economics!'

I was bummed to learn the max individual contribution is only $2300. On the bright side, it solved my dielema. I ASKED MYSELF "HOW MUCH IS MY FREEDOM WORTH?" and could't a high enough number to it. I was going to give my whole bank account - if he doesn't win, it won't be worth anything anyway!

I JUST PRAY WE CAN DELAY BUSH's setting himself up as DICTATOR/EMPORER/CZAR/KING/KEIZER long enough to install another president. Did anyone even notice the bill that people are marching in protest to, would ELIMINATE THE MAXIMUM TERM??? Does anyone else have a hard time IMAGINING BUSH ACTUALLY relinquishing his "throne?" YIKES!! Oh wait, now I guess I can have all my assets taken away for opposing the war in the Middle East...ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO "GIVE IT ALL FOR PAUL!"

It's time for sound PAULICY!

Posted by: Melody | November 21, 2007 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Here's another Fact you can Check: Ron's Paulicy of governing is built right into his name!

(from babynames.com:
.............
The meaning of the name Ron is Counsel Rule The origin of the name Ron is English

The meaning of the name Paul is Small The origin of the name Paul is Latin
.............

Who needs a middle name when you've got it all right there: Rule Small!

PAUL RULES!

Posted by: Melody | November 21, 2007 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey Fact Checker: I'd like to see you restudy your numbers using an apples to apples comparison. Ron Paul has said what the Supreme Court has said 7 times: That the tax on salaries that employees receive, was illegal for the Feds to collect.
Your data assumes the loss of "TOTAL RECEIPTS from individual income tax" which sounds to me like the bottom line on the tax form, which as I'm sure you know, includes taxable income from dividends, investments, interest, small business single proprietor income, Sub Chapter S flow through profits, etc. Those taxes which the courts have agreed ARE legitimate, would still be in place.
So rework those numbers if you want to be credible, and let's see if Ron Paul is really that far off the mark.
I'm betting he's not.

Posted by: Ron on LI | November 22, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

America Speaks! All the issues and views posted will never end with a final and correct answer. We must all step back from the issues which, as a single citizen, we are most passionate. We as Americans, in a country which was built on freedom, have to acknowledge that these very freedoms are being stripped from us. We, as a nation, can see the destruction that prior administrations have done to our country. "We the people" can not allow OUR country to be decicrated, by a "special interest" administration, any longer. Now, with that said, Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate willing to listen to the people of this great nation, help the people of this great nation and restore the pricipals which OUR great nation was built. As far as deficits, budgets, immigration and all other issues... They will never be solved easily. These are all very complex issues and will take alot of hard work to solve. We can't solve the budget by running numbers back and fourth. We can't agree on issues by screaming views at each other. We must stand proud, as a nation, and vote on each issue. We must allow majority rule to decide what is good for ALL OF US. Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate willing to fight for the good of this nation. All other candidates will only furthur our demise. Ron Paul will follow the constitution with his decisions, will listen to the peoples' majority for complex issues, will restore hope to a nation that has been plagued with fear and follow the guidelines which were written by our forefathers. This is the Presidents job and Ron Paul is the man to do it! RON PAUL "The Peoples President"!

Posted by: Gary | November 25, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with looking out for over-worked, little holiday having, self-sufficient Americans?

Why must we involuntarily pay for a world of ungrateful no-loads? Who made these rules and who really benefits?

Looks like Ron Paul is prepared to answer these questions. Mitt...Rudy...Hillary...

P.S. We've already seen the worthless, twice the price nothing that our tax dollars have paid for. Thanks World for letting us buy your love, you do love us don't you?

Oh, I forgot the world is trying to KILL US. Give them more money! And do it fast!

Posted by: Venting Derek | November 27, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Under a Ron Paul Administration, you would need to take into account that workers that are not taxed for their labor, now have much more money to spend. That would generate greatly increased sales and corporate tax income for the government, increasing their estimated intake from non-income tax sources. This would put us back around the ratio between the tax collected for income and all other non-income tax sources to around 2000 levels.

Posted by: Jason | November 29, 2007 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Besides inflation, which was left out and pointed out by others, the estate tax will return in 2011. Note that the treasury has forfeited about a trillion dollars with this tax holiday. http://www.cbpp.org/3-16-05tax.htm

I think your article was not bad at all, and thanks for not call us "looneys and kooks".

I do believe that you still need to do more fact checking and look at the effects of inflation, the reduction in spending, the removal of tax breaks for corporation to exist outside of the US, which is really sad that they exist.

Also, if I were Ron Paul's team I would not respond to your request as the other GOP'ers are trying and steal his thunder.

At the last debate, and I know this article was written before that debate, yet another candidate is calling for the elimination of the IRS. (Not the Income tax but the IRS).

I suggest that you consider the Grace commission an their take on governmental waste in the Reagan era and then consider FEMA and the department of homeland security as there is a full $724 billion listed as other expenditures.

Either way Ron Paul's reasons can be challenged as can your reasoning. This is a good thing as you and others have mentioned.

As a personal opinion I believe that Ron Paul's idea still seem more sound than your fact checking. On the other hand well done as you have done more work looking at this issue than people such as Jeffery Tobin.

May I suggest that you look into to the issue more and read Ron Paul ideas in its totality. Where complex issues such as removal of the IRS are approached, I can only say none of us will get a full grasp on all the issues; however, to to even start considering the ideas and analyzing it, as you have done, is a step in the right direction.

I humbly disagree with your conclusion but love the fact that you have hit on the very heart of Ron Paul's success as it is about ideas, hope and the ability to question the status quo.

Josh

Posted by: josh | December 1, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The tax issue is really very simple. The vast bulk of federal income tax goes to service (interest on) the national debt. But Dr. Paul proposes to get rid of the Federal Reserve banking system, which was established by fraud in 1913. No more Fed means no more interest payments to foreign bankers, and no more need for a federal income tax.

The need for a federal income tax cannot be objectively evaluated while assuming that the Fed is somehow untouchable, and that astronomical vig must forever be paid to its crooked, plutocratic, anti-American shareholders. Obviously, the Fed is the first thing that has to go. Once that happens, America is back in the shade.

Posted by: Chris | December 2, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul received contributions from over 100,000 different people this quarter. He received $18,000,000 from those 100,000 people. His support is wide and deep. Look around your town and notice you see RP signs everywhere. Grab a cup of coffee and go to http://freeme.tv

Posted by: Mayberry | December 23, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Have any of the figures in the graph been adjusted for population, which has been growing rapidly? If the taxable population rises by 10% and the tax receipts rise by 10% then there has been no real tax increase.

Also, from what other people have said the figures are not adjusted for inflation. I'd like to see the *real* figures so that I can make an informed evaluation of Paul's proposals.

Posted by: Bodhi | December 28, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Not many people know about this. And Ron Paul cannot discuss it, but the CAFR of the federal government doesn't diclose every dime it brings in. The federal Government actually makes alot more money on investments from China and other countries.
Remember a year or so ago, when China cut off Americans investments in China, and wouldn't allow anymore. Funny, how we still allow them to invest in our business' and property. But we can't theirs.
www.cafr1.com

Posted by: Lane | January 4, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I would say that Ron's information on the monetary committee his numbers are more accurate than yours. Now why don't we talk about the 1.4 trillion lost by the Bush/McCain S&L mess. Todays mortgage crisis is going to dwarf the S&L thing.. If you had to forecast the shortfall at 1.1 trillion you may be correct today. Now the big issue if they firm the dollar and use his policies oil will drop. You have 40% drop in the dollar. If you listen to Jim Rogers or anyone credible there are not any choices. Paul has the only policy that has a chance..The rest are just tinkering.

Posted by: John | January 6, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Wake up America! Educate yourself! If you want to know why Ron Paul wants to get rid of the Federal Reserve and the IRS, visit freedomtofascism.com and check out Aaron Russo's documentary, "America, From Freedom To Fascism" Bulk order it for $1.25 each and send it to your non-computer literate baby boomer friends, heck, all of your friends and relatives!
WE THE PEOPLE need to take back our Republic!
(BTW, I'm 62 years old)

Posted by: OneTuza | January 12, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

When I read "2000," all I could think was that's not what I remember him saying. I don't know about the Leno show, but on Meet the Press in Dec. 2007 he spoke of the elimination of the income tax returning us to revenue levels of 10 years ago.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22342301/

Perhaps Dr. Paul just misspoke in the Leno interview.

Posted by: Kevin | January 15, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

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