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Monday, January 04, 2010 4:53 PM

Ron Paul "No Longer Fringe"

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Mainstream media and the public are both at long last starting to realize Ron Paul's ideas no longer fringe. From the LA Times ...

For three decades, Texas congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul's extreme brand of libertarian economics consigned him to the far fringes even among conservatives. Not a few times, his views put him on the losing end of 434-1 votes on Capitol Hill.

No longer. With the economy still struggling and political divisions deepening, Paul's ideas not only are gaining a wider audience but also are helping to shape a potentially historic battle over economic policy -- a struggle that will affect everything including jobs, growth and the nation's place in the global economy.

His warnings on deficits and inflation are now Republican mantras.

And with this year's congressional election campaign looming, the Texas congressman's deep-seated distrust of activist government has helped fuel protests such as the tea-party movement, harden partisan divisions in Washington and stoke public fears about federal spending and the deficit.

"People are wondering what went wrong. And they're not happy with what the government is offering up," said James Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, offering an explanation for why seemingly wonkish arguments over interest rate policy and the money supply are spilling over onto ordinary Americans.

And so far, Paul and his fellow conservatives are on the offensive. President Obama and congressional Democrats are repeatedly pledging not to increase the deficit and to begin cutting back soon.

"I think we're going to be in for more revival of fiscal responsibility," said William Niskanen of the Cato Institute, who headed the Council of Economic Advisors under President Reagan.

Niskanen sees the Texas Republican's increasing influence as stemming from the continued economic weakness. "To this extent, Ron Paul gains voice," he said.

Paul would go a lot further in cutting back the government's role than even free-marketers like Niskanen support. If Paul had it his way, for instance, he would do away with the Fed entirely. In his bestselling book "End the Fed," he lambasted the central bank as an "immoral, unconstitutional . . . tool of tyrannical government."

Such rhetoric might once have been dismissed as extremism. But Paul's anti-Fed message has drawn broad support because of the central bank's failure to restrain the flood of cheap money and excessive risk-taking in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

Paul's ideas are grounded in the work of economic thinkers from an earlier era who focused on problems similar to those besetting the U.S. today.

In particular, Paul is a disciple of Ludwig von Mises, an Austrian theorist born at the end of the 19th century who contended that government intervention in an economy would fail because free markets were better at allocating resources and fueling growth.

Paul contends that Austrian economics explains the most recent financial meltdown: "It says if you inflate too much, if you have no restraint on monetary authorities, you're going to bring on a crisis." Now, Paul says, administration policies are leading the country toward disaster.
One By One

Legislative representatives need to be won over one by one by one. We are at critical mass regarding Audit the Fed. However, bankers and the Fed will continue to fight this tooth and nail.

Fiscal issues will be the same slow arduous process with more defeats than victories.

Please keep the pressure on your legislative representatives and strive to do what you can to get rid of the mindless zombies doing the most damage. These are battles that must be fought if there is any hope for our future.

Here are Phone, Fax, and Email numbers from the Online Directory for the 111th Congress.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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