Dicky's Doodles &Scribbles

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Ron Paul Is Not A Deep Thinker

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This morning, Libertarian Republican Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said that FEMA should be abolished because it is not in the Constitution. Appearing on CNN he also said federal funds should not protect citizens from natural disasters and concluded, “It’s a moral hazard to say that government is always going to take care of us when we do dumb things“
BLITZER: On the whole issue of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, do you want to see that agency ended?
PAUL: Well, if you want to live in a free society, if you want to pay attention to the constitution, why not? I think it’s bad economics. I think it’s bad morality. And it’s bad constitutional law. Why should people like myself, who had, not too long ago, a house on the Gulf Coast and it’s – it’s expensive there and it’s risky and it’s dangerous. Why should somebody from the central part of the United States rebuild my house? Why shouldn’t I have to buy my own insurance and protect about the potential dangers? I mean it’s – it’s a moral hazard to say that government is always going to take care of us when we do dumb things. I’m trying to get people to not to dumb things. Besides, it’s not authorized in the constitution.

Apparently he thinks it is a 'dumb thing' to live on the East Coast, or anywhere near a body of water, or an earthquake zone, a flood plain or an area where tornadoes might strike.
Ron Paul is wrong on this, just as he is on most issues. All he offers is simplistic, wrong headed plattitudes and no ideas. To constantly argue something is bad or unconstitutional because it is not listed specifically in the document is ignorant.
Another bad argument is often made when someone prefaces their statement with "The founding fathers believed..." this or that. That's a load of bunkum. The founding fathers were every bit as contentious as today's politicians but they found ways to compromise, some of which were not so good, but they moved the business of the nation forward. The way Ron Paul talks it seems he believes that we should be a nation no longer.
There are many arguments opposing such jurists as Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia and others who argue the dis-credited view that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the "original intent of the framers" as if they were able to somehow divine a collective mind at work in the long ago Constitutional Convention.
A good argument against such backwards looking thought may found in the words of Alexander Hamilton writing in The Federalist, #34.

Excerpt from The Federalist, #34
(Alexander Hamilton)
To form a more precise judgment of the true merits of this question, it will be well to advert to the proportion between the objects that will require a federal provision in respect to revenue, and those which will require a State provision. We shall discover that the former are altogether unlimited, and that the latter are circumscribed within very moderate bounds. In pursuing this inquiry, we must bear in mind that we are not to confine our view to the present period, but to look forward to remote futurity. Constitutions of civil government are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies, but upon a combination of these with the probable exigencies of ages, according to the natural and tried course of human affairs. Nothing, therefore, can be more fallacious than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government, from an estimate of its immediate necessities. There ought to be a CAPACITY to provide for future contingencies as they may happen; and as these are illimitable in their nature, it is impossible safely
to limit that capacity. It is true, perhaps, that a computation might be made with sufficient accuracy to answer the purpose of the quantity of revenue requisite to discharge the subsisting engagements of the Union, and to maintain those establishments which, for some time to come, would suffice in time of peace. But would it be wise, or would it not rather be the extreme of folly, to stop at this point, and to leave the government intrusted with the care of the national defense in a state of absolute incapacity to provide for the protection of the community against future invasions of the public peace, by foreign war or domestic convulsions? If, on the contrary, we ought to exceed this point, where can we stop, short of an indefinite power of providing for emergencies as they may arise? Though it is easy
to assert, in general terms, the possibility of forming a rational judgment of a due provision against probable dangers, yet we may safely challenge those who make the assertion to bring forward their data, and may affirm that they would be found as vague and uncertain as any that could be produced to establish the probable duration of the world.
Observations confined to the mere prospects of internal attacks can deserve no weight; though even these will admit of no satisfactory calculation: but if we mean to be a commercial people, it must form a part of our policy to be able one day to defend that commerce. The support of a navy and of naval wars would involve contingencies that must baffle all the efforts of political arithmetic.


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