A message from Rand Paul (or, what pisses me off about the conservatives)

How to best organize a society is certainly an area in which I’m hardly qualified to offer opinions. That said, having studied economics for a couple of years, what I’ve heard that makes most sense to me are the free-market, small government ideas of Milton Friedman. For that reason, I tend to gravitate towards conservative political candidates like Ron Paul.

The thing that most bothers me about the conservatives, however, is that they seem to assume their “market” is composed of uneducated dimwits, and as such, the best communications strategy is to speak to them as simpletons attending a Saturday-night Baptist revival.

This morning, I received an way-too-long email from the Rand Paul team, full of comments like this:

And our national debt is a staggering $14.3 trillion. And you know what Obama is proposing as the solution? Raising the debt ceiling without a single cut! Trust me that I am doing everything I can to fight the foolish notion that adding debt will solve the deficit.

Raising the debt ceiling is a serious matter, and a complicated matter; there are trade-offs that must be very carefully weighed. On the one hand, the national debt level is at dangerous levels, on a dangerous trajectory, and history clearly demonstrates what can happen to countries in this situation. On the other hand, the debt situation is unique in the extent to which the US dollar is the reserve currency of the entire world.

Raising the debt ceiling will lead to an increase in the debt (obviously), but the timeframe and scope of the consequences is unclear. Not raising the debt level, however, threatens default on American debt — a very, very scary prospect considering the full faith guarantee of the US government is considered the highest of all security. I’m not sure what the answer is, but it’s a tough call.

So it is extremely disappointing, and insulting, for Rand Paul to insinuate that Obama’s consideration of raising the debt limit is his “solution to solve the deficit”. That’s a completely absurd statement.

Why can’t politicians simply speak the truth? Of course the challenge for everyone, in all fields involving communications, is finding a way to communicate complex subjects in simple, understandable, yet accurate terms. In this case, Paul has found simple terms, but they are anything but accurate.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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