The Race for President: Ron Paul Analyzed

A couple of people have asked what I thought of Ron Paul. My initial exposure to Ron Paul, was in the early Republican debates, and honestly, he came across as a bit of a kook. Despite that initial bad impression, my opinion of him has now changed.

About the candidate: Ron Paul is a Republican United States Congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas, a physician, a bestselling author, and a former 2008 Republican presidential candidate. Paul considered becoming a Lutheran minister like two of his brothers, instead he decided to pursue a medical degree at Duke University. The medical training was soon interrupted when he received a draft notice and entered the U.S. Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He remained in the military during the early years of the Vietnam War. He served active duty as a flight surgeon from 1963 to 1965.

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family From Ron Paul’s Website:
-As President I will advance tax credits through the Family Education Freedom Act, which reduces taxes to make it easier for parents to home school by allowing them to devote more of their own funds to their children’s education.
From Wikipedia:
-Paul opposes federal regulation of marriage.
-His pro-life legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade.
-Paul has introduced several bills to apply tax credits toward education, including credits for parental spending on public, private, or homeschool students (Family Education Freedom Act).
-He has also introduced the Sanctity of Life Act

From Ron Paul’s Website:
-“My wife Carol and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary early this year. We are proud parents of five children and 18 grandchildren. We love them very much.”

1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion From Ron Paul’s Website:
-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.
-Once we allow federal control over abortion, we lose the opportunity for states to enact pro-life legislation. Numerous states already have laws that punish the act of murder against a fetus. Our focus should be on overturning Roe.
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
Can’t find anything on Paul’s website regarding this issue.
2. Defending Our Country From Ron Paul’s Website:
-When I voted for the authorization to use force against those who attacked us in 2001, I did not imagine that we would be getting bogged down for years in a nation-building exercise in Afghanistan
-A foreign policy of non-interventionism overseas will be the first step in reducing threats to the U.S. …An America-first defense policy will not go abroad seeking monsters to slay.
From Ron Paul’s Website:
-Paul introduced H.R. 3217 would prohibit the issuance of student, training, vocational, and diversity visas without presidential review to anyone from a country that repeatedly supports terrorism or does not cooperate fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts.

From Wikipedia:
-Paul voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11, 2001
-But he “voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002”
-Paul sponsored a resolution to repeal the war authorization in February 2003.
-Paul voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

2A. Defeating Terrorists From Ron Paul’s Website:
-“The United States invaded Iraq under false pretenses without a constitutionally-required declaration of war.”
-Re-focus the efforts of our military and intelligence services on locating those individuals who planned the terrorist attacks on the U.S. and who remain at large.
-Ron Paul wants to “earnestly attempt to understand what it is that motivates others to wish us harm and then to act upon those wishes.”
2B. Protecting Our Borders From Ron Paul’s Website:
-The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked.
-A defense policy designed to keep Americans safe should start with the idea that we must secure our borders from those who would cross them to do us harm.
3. Free Market Economic Policy From Ron Paul’s Website:
-“The true crisis facing us is not a physical shortage of energy, but rather the looming threat that socialist economic planning will replace market mechanisms and cause unnecessary shortages.”
-“We must understand that high oil prices are not the result of an unregulated free market. On the contrary, the oil industry is among the most regulated and most subsidized of U.S. industries. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves whether too much government involvement in the oil markets, rather than too little regulation, has kept the supply of refined gasoline artificially low.”
From Wikipedia:
-“Ron Paul has rejected a Congressional pension because the program is taxpayer-subsidized.”
-“Paul was the first member of Congress to propose term limits legislation in the House”
-Paul insists he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”
-Paul would abolish the individual income tax by scaling back the federal budget to its 2000 spending levels.
-He has written successful legislation to prevent several eminent domain seizures.
-Paul publishes a monthly newsletter, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, which seeks to create a greater public awareness of the principles of limited government.

3A. Lower Taxes From Ron Paul’s Website:
-“I certainly support President Bush’s tax cut initiatives, and I will vote (or have voted) for each plank in his tax cut plan. Lowering marginal rates, eliminating the marriage penalty, abolishing the death tax.”
-” Working Americans like lower taxes. So do I. Lower taxes benefit all of us, creating jobs and allowing us to make more decisions for ourselves about our lives… Lower taxes allow more spending, saving, and investing which helps the economy — that means all of us. ”
3B. Smaller Government From Ron Paul’s Website:
-“Today our national debt stands at $8.2 trillion, which represents about $26,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. It’s time for American taxpayers to understand that every dollar will have to be repaid. We should have the courage to face our grandchildren knowing that we have done all we can to end the government spending spree.”
-“Massive spending funds an unbelievable number of federal departments, agencies, programs, and personnel. Most Americans understand that the federal government is far too large, yet most of their representatives in Congress continue to vote for spending increases every year. As a result, the same unconstitutional agencies grow, the same counterproductive programs are perpetuated.”

Ron Paul scored much better than I initially expected. His 2.89 grade point average, puts him a little higher than John McCain in my ranking. Paul is strong on pro-life issues, but weak on other family and marriage issues. He is strong against illegal immigration and protecting the border, but weak on other defense issues. He is very good on economic, tax and limiting the power of government issues.

I’m not sure if Ron Paul is still running for president or not. Obviously, he did not get the Republican nomination, which he sought. If he ends up on the ballot, as an independent or third-party candidate, he may be my best option.

The Race for President: Mike Huckabee Analyzed

Next in this exercise of analyzing the presidential candidates we have Republican Mike Huckabee, who has been surging in popularity of late, though still a long-shot to win the nomination.

About the candidate: Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas, having served from 1996 to 2007. Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Prior to his political career, Huckabee was pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. He served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 to 1991 and as president of a religion-oriented television station.

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family From Huckabee’s website
My faith is my life – it defines me. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them. I don’t separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.
-While Governor, Huckabee signed the “Covenant Marriage Act”, which compels the couple to seek counseling if problems develop during the marriage, provides limited grounds for divorce or separation, and restricts lawsuits against spouses. Huckabee said the law, “offers couples a chance to be held to a higher level of marital commitment.”
-Huckabee opposes abortions, same-sex marriages, and civil unions
From Right Wing News
-Huckabee has a superb record on right to life issues, and supports an amendment to protect marriage
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion From Huckabee’s website
I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned.
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
From Huckabee’s website
I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
2. Defending Our Country From Huckabee’s website
-Our Founding Fathers wanted to guarantee our God-given liberties. They wanted us to be able to defend ourselves, and that’s why they gave us the Second Amendment.
-A nation must provide its citizens freedom and security. A nation must be able to defend itself and feed itself. We have learned how disastrous it is to be dependent on other countries for our energy needs.
-Huckabee supported a 2005 bill to make some illegal aliens eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition
-Regarding his position to give public benefits to children of illegal immigrants, he said, “I have always said you don’t punish a child for the crime of a parent”
-Huckabee supports the War in Iraq, the troop surge and the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp
-He believes the United States’ number one priority should be to secure America’s borders. However, Huckabee supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
2A. Defeating Terrorists From Huckabee’s website
I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness that it deserves.
2B. Protecting Our Borders From Huckabee’s website
My number one priority is to secure America’s border. I opposed the amnesty bill that was defeated by the Senate in June.
3. Free Market Economic Policy From Huckabee’s website
-I believe in free trade, but it has to be fair trade.
-Globalization, done right, done fairly, can be the equivalent of a big pay raise by allowing us to buy things more cheaply.
-We don’t need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funded through ever-higher taxes.
-As Governor, Huckabee signed into law a 3 cent per gallon increase in tax on gasoline
-He led a campaign to funnel 100 percent of the state’s tobacco settlement revenues into the health care system, rather than the general fund.
-He signed a tax on private nursing homes for $5.25 per day per non-Medicare patient
-He was named “Friend of a Taxpayer” by American for Tax Reform (ATR) for his cut in statewide spending
-Huckabee publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002

From Huckabee’s website

As Governor of Arkansas:
– I pushed through a $90 million tax relief package
– I doubled the standard deduction for taxpayers
-I eliminated the marriage penalty and capital gains tax on home sales
– I cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.
– When I left office, AR had a nearly $850 million state surplus
3A. Lower Taxes From Huckabee’s website
-I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes.
-I support the FairTax, a consumption tax, like the taxes on retail sales
3B. Smaller Government From Huckabee’s website
-To control spending, I believe the President should have the line-item veto.
-Government deficits are is not due to Americans’ being under-taxed, but to the government’s over-spending.

Mike Huckabee’s grade point average comes out to 3.56 on a 4 point scale, which is lower than I expected. I was surprised at Huckabee’s poor economic record relating to his support for tax increases. Also hurting Huckabee was his weak stance on illegal immigration. On the plus side, Huckabee is the first candidate I have examined to get a perfect score on the Strengthening the Family category.