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Against fiscal conservatism: on inpropriating the expropriators

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 14 years ago, in 2010, on the World Wide Web.

(Via Lew @ The LRC Blog.)

In which Chairman Ron does his bit to fill the coffers of the U.S. Department of the Treasury:

Like him or hate him, Dr. Ron Paul doesn’t just talk a big game about fiscal conservatism, he lives it. In 2008, his congressional office returned $58,000 to the Treasury. In 2009, his office returned $90,000. Now, according to an official press release, Dr. Ron Paul’s congressional office has just paid back $100,000.

— Ryan Jaroncyk, California Independent Voter Network (2010-03-01): Congressman Ron Paul returns a whopping $100,000 of his office budget to the US Treasury

… And that’s why I’m against fiscal conservatism. Why the fuck would I think it’s a good thing for the U.S. government to get back $100,000 more to spend on bailing out failed bankers or on hurting and killing innocent people? What I’d like most is for that money to get back into the hands of innocent working people (whether under the cover of Congressional featherbedding, or by any other means). But failing that, we’d still all be better off if Ron Paul took the $100,000, piled it up on the National Mall, and set it all on fire, rather than giving it back to the United States Treasury.

At a time when Wall St is running wild, the national debt is $14 trillion, and the federal government is running $1.4 trillion deficits, Dr. Ron Paul’s congressional office is running a surplus and paying back the American people.

No, he isn’t.

He’s paying the American government. The American people, if that means American people like you and me and our neighbors, will get back not one cent of it. Instead, the money will go directly into the operational budget of the government that oppresses and robs us.

Of course, none of this is to say that I like big government spending. But the problem with government spending is not the fact that money goes out of the Treasury; it’s that government spending is financed by expropriation from working people (whether through direct taxation or through the effects of the financial-political complex’s coercive money monopoly). And that government spending goes to fund more expropriation and more violence — in the form of government wars, government borders, government surveillance, forced development schemes and eminent domain seizures, police brutality, prisons, tax-men, hang-men, or the arming, training, and employment of government law-enforcers to inflict their myriad unjust laws on the rest of us without our consent. The problem, in short, is not government spending at all; it’s government violence. But just giving surplus money back to the government, without doing anything to constrain the violence that the state commits — going out of your way to help government balance its budgets and get leaner and meaner in the use of the resources that it has on hand — is as nice an example as you could want of exactly the kind of stupid conservative trap that limited-statism passes off as if it had something to do with freedom.

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8 replies to Against fiscal conservatism: on inpropriating the expropriators Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. c.t.mummey

    thats funny i saw that thought the same thing.

  2. Gabriel

    It’s always confusing to me when people talk about the American Government as if it were the American people, or vice versa; I tend to be rather careful such people.

    To play Devil’s Advocate though, suppose that Ron Paul did find some way to return that money to the taxpayers, e.g. through tax refunds or some such scheme. In any event the government/corporate complex exerts complete control over the financial system and the currency. So when people get that money back and spend it, they will be supporting businesses that are “too big to fail”, or the Fed can ramp up inflation to collect the difference. When there are rigged dice, the only way to win is not to play the game!

  3. c.t.mummey

    BUT we might disagree in that i think the ron paul phenomenon is on net good for leftlibertarianism&anarchism based the # of people that have come to it via ron.

  4. MBH

    Fresh air. Sweet. Fresh. Air.

  5. Bob Kaercher

    Yyyyyyeeeeaaaahhhh…I had pretty much the same reaction when I saw this, too.

  6. Discussed at forum.grasscity.com

    Against Fiscal Conservatism: On Inpropriating the Expropriators - Grasscity.com Forums:

    […] Fiscal Conservatism: On Inpropriating the Expropriators taken from Rad Geek People's Daily (Via Lew @ The LRC Blog.) In which Chairman Ron does his bit to fill the coffers of the U.S. […]

  7. Chris

    A giant block party would have been a better way to give the money back to the people.

— 2012 —

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