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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Of War and Social Security

Ron Paul and the Killing Machine

by MIKE WHITNEY

Ron Paul is the only antiwar candidate who has a (microscopic) chance of winning in 2012. He’s also the only candidate who will make an effort to restore the Bill of Rights and reverse Congress’s decision to allow the president to “indefinitely” imprison American citizens without due process. For these reasons alone, Paul should garner the support of leftists, liberals, and progressives. But he won’t, because liberals are convinced that Paul will try to dismantle the social programs upon which the elderly, the infirm, and the vulnerable depend.

These concerns are not without foundation. Paul opposes government meddling in the market and sees Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as steps towards socialism. That means, there’s a good chance that these programs will come under fire if Paul is elected. The question is: How should we balance our concerns about Social Security with our opposition to the war(s)?

To answer that question, we need to create a “hypothetical”.

Let’s say, Paul surprises his critics and wins the presidency in a landslide victory in November
2012. Then–in his first public appearance as president–he issues an executive order to stop all Social Security payments immediately, thus cutting off the meager revenue-stream that millions of the nation’s elderly need to scrape-by.

Isn’t this the worst-case scenario? Isn’t this what liberals are really worried about?

Okay, so let’s say it all goes-down just as we said. Let’s say Paul tries to strangle Social Security from Day 1. Isn’t that still infinitely better than another Falluja, another Haditha, another Abu Ghraib, another bombed-out wedding party?

Yes, it’s wrong to deprive the sick and elderly of some pittance so they can eek by, but is it as wrong as blowing women and children to bits in their own country, in their own cities, in their own homes?

It’s a question of priorities, right? So, what’s more important; ending the bloodletting or some potential threat to Social Security?

Paul will stop the killing. We should use our vote to do the same.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com