Ron Paul and the free market flip flop

   I hate to say it but sometimes this guy leaves me drooling.  I know that he means well, and I’m aware that a devoted following has put a lot of pressure on him to be the new Messiah, but you really can’t have it both ways.  In this speech, diatribe, mixed up message, he seems to be firmly against the NAFTA superhighway.  I’m ok with that.  I don’t like it either.  However, it flies in the face of his free market theories.  The Trans Texas Corridor is an inovative way of improving infrastructure in the state of Texas.  It involves private funding to build and maintain a toll road across Texas. While Ron says that it is not clear maintaining it will be the responsibility of the corporations involved, news reports say differently.  For information on the Trans Texas Corridor merely type that in your browser window.

     There are plenty of reasons to build this highway, and plenty of reasons not to.  The one salient factor that seems to be overlooked is that the STATE government elected by the people is entering into a deal that it feels is best for the state of texas.  You can muddy up the waters with talk of eminant domain, and toll splits and all the other little things that play a part, but the people elected these officials, and continue to elect them.  This is what you get from strong state government with limited federal oversight, which is also one of Ron Pauls big ideas.

   The free market is working in Texas.  Private industry combining with governments to fund a massive project that in the overall will improve things in that state. Ron Paul should be standing and cheering that two of his major premises are being practiced in his home state.

   I suppose the fact that its not running up through I-69, and therefore through his district, has nothing to do with his change of heart?  I mean, a Ron Paul as conspiratorial politico just couldn’t be possible.  This is what is known as flipflopping in a big way.  I’m for free markets, and strong state governments, except when they don’t do what I want them to.

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15 Responses to Ron Paul and the free market flip flop

  1. This is a very interesting catch.
    It is a very good example of state politics and the free market working together. Why on earth would he oppose it?

    It is curious to suppose he might be against this because it doesn’t directly benefit his district. And a politician compromising his principles, and his platform, for such a gain is nothing new.

    But what I think is more likely is he is diametrically opposed to NAFTA. Perhaps Ron Paul puts his new world order worries ahead of his free market ideals?

  2. If you think “this guy” leaves you drooling, as you say, the antisocialist once had relations with a gorgeous woman who was about 75 pounds overweight. Talk about your “flipflopping in a big way.” Just incidentally, what does “hoosier” refer to?

  3. hi fitness – one highway deal in Texas does not a NAFTA make.. Incidentally, how did Ron Paul vote on NAFTA?

    hi anti- i have no clue what hoosier refers to…i really don’t. I’m not a native…maybe hoosier daddy?

  4. Hey criminy. Hmmm, actually, his opposition to NAFTA might not be out of line with a free trade position (see here).

  5. nice find Fitness…I think where i diverge from that writing is that I don’t think what is going on in texas has anything to do with NAFTA. The company involved is from Spain. I’ll grant that the superhighway is a concern, but we should probably be fighting the open roads laws than one highway in Texas. Als, Ron Paul did try to get funds for I-69, and it worries me that that route was under discussion for the so called NAFTA superhighway. I agree NAFTA has little to do with free trade, but i think free trade is a misnomor. American companies are held to a far higher standard on pollution controls and environmental impact, and that makes our goods more expensive to produce. Hard to have free trade with say China, when they arbitrarily ignore all of the international agreements on environment.
    I appreciate that link. It was well said.

  6. bhday says:

    I don’t see a problem with Ron Paul’s comments in the quoted article.

    He states that private investment for infrastructure is a good thing, “if handled sensibly”.

    His specific objection to the Trans Texas Corridor is that we shouldn’t allow a private corporation to profit from the tolls and shirk maintenance responsibility: “The Spanish firm Cintra is set to take over toll collections after the TTC’s completion; however it is unclear that they’ll have any obligations for maintenance. The cost is being socialized, while the profit is privatized, effectively making the American people pay for it twice.”

    I’ve read through the planning documents released thus far (only for the I-35 portion: http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/projects/ttc35/contracts.aspx), and while they don’t paint such a picture, they are clearly written as preliminary and subject to change.

    So are Rep. Paul’s concerns justified? Well, has private enterprise ever taken advantage of relationships with government in the pursuit of profit?

    A healthy counterpoint is at the grassroots site http://www.corridorwatch.org.

  7. hi Barry…I found a couple of news reports stating that maintenance was company responsibility, and also the state will on a climbing scale end up with half the tolls. In dealings between corporations and governments, even on small projects, almost everything is subject to change. The entire idea that the american people pay for it twice is either a lie, or an error. Cinta will pay for the building of the road. So where does the people paying for it twice come into play? Dr. Paul has a real intense hard on for this particular project, and it makes me curious as to why.

  8. Good points criminy. Especially:

    Hard to have free trade with say China, when they arbitrarily ignore all of the international agreements on environment.

    This is a very good point. Personally, I don’t see free trade being reasonable with a country that doesn’t live up to the same set of social and environmental standards that we do(err, did).

  9. (and I mucked up my markup. Darn that ‘/’!)

  10. bhday says:

    CJ — I don’t particularly trust news reports, and official documents/contracts are still pretty sparse.

    The American people will pay twice if Cintas doesn’t pay to maintain the road, but keeps the toll collections — we pay to drive, and we pay to maintain.

    Although current reports don’t state that such a situation is planned, I am suspicious enough about situations where government grants monopolies to private companies to at least want to keep an eye on it. Rep. Paul says it’s “unclear”. I think that’s still a fair statement.

    As for why he’s so upset by this project… well, check out corridorwatch.org:

    “While CorridorWatch is not anti-toll, we are certainly distressed about the way TxDOT is single-mindedly focused on using Texas highways to generate revenue. We are concerned about a process where the state forces its will on every level of government with utter disregard for local and regional needs or concerns.”

    Whenever the state exercises the privilege of eminent domain and takes property from private landowners, a real debate is required. This just seems like a real, and healthy, debate — are these new roads justified, and are they being driven by real public need or the desire of Cintas and its investors to make a lot of money?

    Why is Dr. Paul so suspici

  11. Jimmy says:

    Why not look at the finer details which come with the super highway (SPP) and then decide if what he voted for was right or not.

    Middle class America would suffer when all our labour is in Mexico, money for big markets and resources from Canada.

  12. Barry: Cinta is not only paying to build it, but paying to maintain it…a similar contract has already started here in Indiana for I-80, and its created a lot of money for road projects. Besides, the state also gets part of the tolls. The underlying point is that this is a free market enterprise, in no way associated with NAFTA. Further, the state officials were elected, in many cases re-elected. It seems like the majority has spoken

    Jimmy…Ron Paul has no intention, or at least no position alleging intention to stop either of those things from happening.

  13. Jimmy says:

    Ron Paul has said on numerous times he wants nothing to do with the North American Union.

  14. hey Jimmy…but the jobs are already leaving, and in a free market that has an unlevel playing field regulations wise, they will continue to do so. The north american union has nothing to do with it.

  15. Jimmy says:

    No other politian that he is running against has better ideas for a free market than Ron, he wants to remove all government monopolies and lower taxes for starters. His plan is not perfect but much more promising than the others. Which other canidate has a better plan than his?

    Unfortunately he seems like the only thrust worthy politian availible besides maybe Denis.

    I am actually Canadian and will not be able to vote but dream Ron gets elected and goes through with the changes he suggested because I am hoping that democracy is for real in American, which gives me hope for my own country to one day wake up too.

    The media blackout is just proof on how corrupt things are, before this…we just thought it was.

    I believe Ron won’t win even if the votes go through just like Gore, and if he does win he won’t be around long enough to change anything like JFK. There will probably be and Iran crisis a week before voting anyways…

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