Posted Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, at 4:58 PM
Last week, Ron Paul scheduled a "major announcement." Given the kind of year we'd had, I was worried that Paul would be announcing a surprise endorsement -- all in for Gary Johnson! -- or a sex scandal involving tattered posters of The Passion of Ayn Rand. I shouldn't have worried. This was the announcement: A plan to cut $1 trillion in the first year of a Paul presidency. How?
[E]liminating five cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education), abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels.
Well, done and done. But the rest of the plan is surprisingly modest. There's only a subtle privitization of Social Security: Paul allows "young workers to opt out." The Fed is not ended: Paul audits it and "implements competing currency legislation." There is no major tax reform: Paul cuts the corporate rate to 15 percent, eliminates the estate tax, extends the Bush rates, and calls it a day. This plan is not as far right of the GOP mainstream as you'd first think it is. Heck, it's not as radical as Herman Cain's.