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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ron Paul For Vice President

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It's now a two-man race for the presidency: the incumbent and the challenger, Mitt Romney.  Let the games begin.  How about the selection of the Vice President?

If you believe in polls, you might want to consider this:
Romney-Santorum? Romney-Gingrich? Romney-Paul? Not so fast, voters say when asked about a potential Republican ticket for this fall’s election.  Just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters, in fact, believe the eventual Republican nominee should pick one of the other three remaining candidates as his vice presidential running mate. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephones survey finds that 37% of voters don’t think that’s a good idea, but a sizable 41% aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
For the most part, the selection of the Vice President has been a fairly cavalier matter... an afterthought... a ruse to strengthen the draw from a region of the country where the candidate for President might appear weak.  They seem to come from nowhere as did Sarah Palin.  Or they have an undistinguished record of public service as did Joe Biden.  Although they are supposed to be next in line if a President dies or is incapacitated, they seldom have any claim to popular support.

I don't see much advantage for Mitt Romney to select either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich as a running mate.  It's hard to see either of them working well in a Romney administration.  But Ron Paul might be a different matter.  He has independently polled very strong against Barack Obama.  His positions are clear, consistent and appeal to the conservative factions as well as a surprisingly high proportion of the younger voters and military... areas where Romney's support is questionable.

Dr. Paul's quasi-isolationist positions with regard to foreign policy and the military don't always sit well among conservatives who do not consider themselves Libertarians.  That, and his age -- 76-years old -- are negatives, although Ronald Reagan did quite well at that age.

It would be both a risk and a big commitment for Mitt Romney to choose Ron Paul as a running mate.  Dr. Paul is not known for his reticence on matters political.  He will speak his mind and his mind may not be in tune with Mitt Romney's on some key points.

But I could see Romney selecting Dr. Paul with the objective of having him chair a "Get The Economy Going" committee ... an in-depth spending and regulation review with the goal of reducing the waste, fraud, and abuse in government ... and streamlining agencies and eliminating onerous regulations so that the marketplace can work rather than stumble over incomprehensible regulatory obstacles.  If there is one person who would turn that into a personal crusade, it is Dr. Paul.  He may be the one person who could actually pull it off.  If Mitt Romney couldn't support that, his business background would be meaningless.

Can't you just imagine Dr. Paul at a press conference stating that his committee has identified $500 billion in waste and fraud and believes there are so many redundancies among agencies that many could be eliminated or combined and greatly reduced in complexity while simultaneously becoming more effective?  He would be the nightmare of every pork barrel congressman and special interest group... and bureaucrat.

It is likely, under this scenario, that Dr. Paul would choose to serve only one term and that during his term would groom a potential replacement... a Paul Ryan, for example.  At some point, the GOP has to make room for their young, dynamic corp.

Let's just say that Mitt Romney could do much worse than selecting Dr. Ron Paul for Vice President... and, unfortunately, that may be the case.  Dr. Paul would have to be thoroughly convinced that there was meat on the bone being tossed to him.


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
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“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
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FEDERAL RESERVE & HOUSING

SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
November 28, 2007 FED VICE CHAIRMAN DONALD KOHN
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."
http://www.reuters.com/

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
fed_rate_moves_425_small.gif
[Image from: CNNMoney.com]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)