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Ron Paul Strikes Gold

Why the oft-marginalized congressman is the greatest threat to Obama’s regulatory plan.

Ron Paul’s legislative history is a lesson in principled failure.Among the bills he has co-sponsored: ending U.S. cooperation with theUnited Nations, a repeal of antitrust law “to restore the inherentbenefits of the market economy,” and stripping the government of theright to set a minimum wage. Just last week, he again introduced a bill”to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990,” which wouldpresumably make schools less safe but which would reinforce our rightto bear arms. For Paul, ideology almost always trumps politics.

None of these bills, I should note, have picked up much support. AndPaul’s track record with economic legislation isn’t any better. Hisperennial efforts—shifting the country back toward a gold standard,abolishing the personal income tax, and dismantling the FederalReserve—are nonstarters. They so change the very fabric of this countrythat Paul can’t marshal his colleagues to his side.

Which is why Paul’s most recent legislative accomplishment is soimpressive. He has rallied the majority of the House to support his newcause: an audit of the Federal Reserve.Legislators are sick of not knowing what’s going on inside Bernanke’sfortress, especially as the Fed becomes further enmeshed in thenation’s fiscal policy. Paul’s little bill has become emblematic of alarger movement, one that could spell trouble for Obama’s troubledregulatory plan. Ron Paul—always an enemy of regulation—is now an enemyof Obama. And a mighty powerful one at that.

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2009-07-07

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