When one considers Rand Paul is among the more viable candidates the Republicans might offer in 2016 … well, let’s just say the GOP has come a long way since the days of Dwight Eisenhower and Thomas Dewey. And that long way is mostly downhill and into a big tar pit of stupid.
Here’s a bit of a recent Rand Paul interview:
Youâ€™re a big reader of Austrian economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who donâ€™t believe in stimulus and say the economy can return to health only through austerity.
You can stimulate prosperity by leaving more money in the hands of those who earn it. If you want to stimulate the economy in Louisville, leave more money in Louisville and send less to Washington. My plan has a 17 percent flat tax with very few deductions, and it would leave $600 billion in the economy. But it would work better than a government stimulus because of the Milton Friedman proposition that nobody spends somebody elseâ€™s money as wisely as they spend their own. I think youâ€™d have a boom like youâ€™ve never seen in this country.
Who would your ideal Fed chairman be?
Hayek would be good, but heâ€™s deceased.
Nondead Fed chairman.
Friedman would probably be pretty good, too, and heâ€™s not an Austrian, but he would be better than what we have.
Yeah. Letâ€™s just go with dead, because then you probably really wouldnâ€™t have much of a functioning Federal Reserve.
This is not someone I’d trust with sharp objects, never mind the country.
In this same interview, Paul said,
…what I would say is extreme is a trillion-dollar deficit every year. I mean, thatâ€™s an extremely bad situation.
But Paul Krugman says the deficit is now at about $600 billion and falling fast. He also said,
I think itâ€™s pretty clear that Paul actually has no idea that the deficit is falling; itâ€™s quite possible that neither does Cantor. The whole incident reminds me of 2011, when supposedly well-informed candidates like Tim Pawlenty went on about soaring government employment during a time of unprecedented cuts in the public payroll. Once youâ€™re inside the closed conservative information loop, you know lots of things that arenâ€™t so.
Yes, and I suspect a President Rand Paul would make George W. Bush look like a genius. Dubya was, I suspect, sort of willfully stupid; he seems to have believed thinking was a job for the help. But I doubt Rand Paul had a choice in the matter. See also Jonathan Chait, “Rand Paul Not So Good With Numbers.”