Among the lies that the Paul campaign staff, including the Official Ron Paul propagandist Jack Hunter is propagating are the claims that Ron Paul is the only candidate offering any kind of spending cuts and the only candidate offering Pentagon budget cuts. Both of these claims are patently false.
Let’s start with the first one: “only Paul offers any spending cuts.”
Paul is NOT the only candidate to offer them. Let’s look at what other candidates propose.
Rick Santorum, as stated on his website, proposes budget cuts of $5 trillion over five years, i.e. $1 trillion per year. Among the cuts he calls for are: implementing Lean Six Sigma reforms ($700 bn savings per year), immediately cutting nondefense discretionary spending to FY2008 levels, and furthermore, he proposes to:
- Freeze defense spending levels for 5 years and reject automatic cuts.
- Freeze spending levels for social programs for 5 years such as Medicaid, Housing, Education, Job Training, and Food Stamps, time limit restrictions, and block grant to the States like in Welfare Reform.
- Repeal and Replace ObamaCare with market based healthcare innovation and competition to improve America’s and Americans health, control costs, improve quality and access, and to keep and create jobs which provide resources for healthcare.
- Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution capping government spending at 18% of GDP so that Congress and the President will need to balance the budget like Governors are required to do.
- Pass legislation to reform the Congressional Budget Process and support legislation to require Congress to pass constitutionally required spending bills on time or not get paid the next fiscal year.
- Implement Medicare Reforms and Innovation proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan and speed up their implementation to control healthcare costs and improve quality.
- Reform Social Security and place on a sustainable path by a combination of reforms such as addressing adjusting CPI, dependent benefits and disability income benefits reforms, moving back the retirement age for younger workers, means testing benefits, annual adjustments as needed, and dedicating Social Security payroll taxes to Social Security.
- Implement reforms and cost savings of up to $100 billion in March 2011 GAO report requested by Senator Coburn listing 34 areas of duplication and waste.
- Stop implementation of any remaining federal stimulus spending.
- Freeze pay for non-defense related federal employees for four years, cut workforce by 10% with no compensatory increase in contract workforce, and phase out defined benefit plans for newer workers.
- Eliminate all energy subsidies and most agriculture subsidies within four years.
- Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and use half of the dollars to support adoption instead.
- Cut EPA resources for job killing regulations and return focus to commonsense conservation and safe and clean air and water.
- Cut in half the number of State Department USAID employees and US funding for United Nations programs.
- Eliminate funding for implementation of Dodd/Frank regulatory burdens.
- Eliminate funding for implementation of ObamaCare.
- Cut funding for National Labor Relations Board for decision preventing airplane factory in South Carolina.
- Eliminating funding for United Nations’ agencies which oppose America’s interests and promote abortion and cut the US contribution to the UN in half.
- Phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years.
- Sell unproductive and wasteful federal properties.
- Transition Team will review all spending cut proposals and restructuring reforms of the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute, and the Simpson-Bowles Commission for additional savings.
Next we have Newt Gingrich. The former House Speaker was the first candidate to propose Lean Six Sigma, which would save $700 bn per year. He proposes stopping paying Medicare and Medicaid benefits to crooks, which would save $120 bn per year by his own estimates. He proposes to dramatically cut the Department of Education (although, unfortunately, not to abolish it entirely). He wants to get rid of the EPA. He also recognizes that the US cannot balance its budget without economic growth, and has put forward a dramatically simple economic growth, centered on dramatic tax cuts and a flat tax, one that has been endorsed by Arthur Laffer (the father of supply-side economics), the Wall Street Journal, and Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s eldest son.
Mitt Romney‘s plan is timid, of course – just like Mitt Romney himself – but even Romney proposes some cuts, such as entitlement reform, privatizing Amtrak, and defunding ACORN and PP. Those are not big cuts, but they would be cuts, so the claim that he hasn’t proposed them is a lie.
Jon Huntsman proposes to make cuts in many agencies of the federal government, and the first agency he has targeted for cuts is the DOD. He wants to subordinate America’s defense policy to arbitrary budget restrictions. He wants to maintain the sequestration mechanism and gut the military. Just like Paul.
Michele Bachmann, who dropped out of the race on Tuesday night after losing the Iowa caucus, has put forward huge spending cuts as a member of Congress, including a bill to repeal socialized medicine completely and another bill that proposed to make big cuts in every agency of the federal government, including the DOD, and called for total abolition of the Education Department.
Rick Perry offered by far the best spending cuts and limited government plan. Perry supports the immediate abolition of 3 Cabinet Departments, is open to the abolition of the EPA, and wants to abolish the TSA as well. He wants to eliminate funding for PP and ACORN. He wants to audit every agency of the federal government, including the DOD. He wants to rein in all branches of the federal government. He wants a part-time Congress, wants to cut its pay, benefits, and staff in half, and do it again if they don’t balance the budget by 2020. (Although it’s hard to see a Congress doing that to itself, it’s also hard to see a Congress agreeing to Ron Paul’s $1 trillion a year cuts). That’s because, unlike all others, Perry sees a need to rein in ALL three branches of the federal government, not just the executive branch.
So why did CATO’s Tad DeHaven claim that most candidates’ websites are light on details of cuts and why did he claim that Ron Paul website stands out?
Why did he falsely claim “former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s website “doesn’t offer many details or elaboration, but he does list a number of proposals to cut spending,” including the elimination of subsidies for agriculture and energy”, or that Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s website “provides a lot of information, but his spending proposals are a mixed-bag. He is heavy on ideas and reforms, but it appears that the federal government’s hand would also remain heavy.””? Why did he falsely claim that “unlike Paul, Perry proposes to eliminate departments without also eliminating the functions contained within them”?
Two explanations are possible. Either he simply hasn’t read the candidates’ websites and hasn’t followed their legislative proposals during the last several months, or he’s simply lying for the sake of his preferred candidate, Ron Paul.
DeHaven, who works for a Soros-funded libertarian institute which supports deep defense cuts, is also extremely hostile to defense spending, and apparently considers deep defense cuts a necessary component of any spending cuts package. Not only that, he even LIES about some of the candidates’ position on the subject. Alex Pappas of the DC says that DeHaven claims this about Rick Santorum (without providing any source):
“in terms of defense, he said Santorum clearly favors more military spending.”
Where does he have any evidence for this? Santorum does NOT support more military spending – he merely wants to prevent it from being cut. His website says: “Freeze defense spending levels for 5 years and reject automatic cuts.” By “automatic cuts”, he means those that the sequester would make – which would amount to a whopping $1.065 trillion over a decade!
Similarly, DeHaven lies about Michele Bachmann, again without providing any source:
“it’s evident that she supports increased military spending given her hawkish statements on foreign policy.”
This is utter gibberish. She has made hawkish statements on foreign policy to be sure, but she does NOT support increased military spending. Furthermore, she actually supports significant defense cuts, as evidenced by the legislation she introduced in 2011 and her statements during debates, such as “defense must be on the table” and her agreement to the $500 bn in cuts scheduled by the debt ceiling deal.
DeHaven is simply a biased libertarian cheering for Ron Paul. He’s lying for Ron Paul’s sake.