Try as they might, the GOP can’t keep Ron Paul down- or out of the news.
While Paul may toe a significantly conservative line, the 2012 candidate has appealed to fringe Democrats as well as Republicans for some of his no-nonsense policies on fiscal issues as well as a refusal to embrace spending on issues like defense. Paul has been maligned by the Republican establishment for his assertion that excessive military spending is putting America in the poorhouse, and is unlikely to draw new fans from a pro-defense spending GOP base with a trillion dollars in proposed budget cuts.
Politico obtained information about Paul’s proposed spending cuts, and Democrats and Republicans alike have reason to be fearful about pet issues. Defense is one area in which Paul proposes massive cutbacks, but social programs and government agencies in general were put up for deep slashes or overall elimination. Also on the docket is a reduction in Presidential salary- a mostly token measure bringing the six-figure number down to just under $40,000- in line with median US income.
The political blog pinpoints areas in which Paul’s plan targets spending:
…immediately freezing spending by numerous government agencies at 2006 levels, the last time Republicans had complete control of the federal budget, and drastically reducing spending elsewhere. The EPA would see a 30 percent cut, the Food and Drug Administration would see one of 40 percent and foreign aid would be zeroed out immediately. He’d also take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars…. Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program, food stamps, family support programs and the children’s nutrition program would all be block-granted to the states and removed from the mandatory spending column of the federal budget.
While Paul’s program could appeal to many Libertarians based on its government shrinkage, it’s unlikely he’ll win any fans from the Occupy Wall Street movement. In addition to “reducing the top corporate income tax rate to 15 percent, eliminating capital gains and dividends taxes, and allowing for repatriation of overseas capital without tax penalties,” Paul’s plan allows for an extension to the controversial Bush-era tax cuts that many say unfairly favor the very wealthiest Americans.