During the GOP presidential primary debate last night, one of the moderators asked Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) if he thought Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was a crony capitalist. Paul said he didn’t have enough information to respond, but then took the opportunity to opine about crony capitalism.
He explained that he supports Occupy Wall Street to the extent that it is against crony capitalism and that the beneficiaries of crony capitalism deserve to have their benefits removed and they deserve taxation:
PAUL: There is a lot of crony capitalism going on in this country. That has to be distinguished from real capitalism. This occupation stuff on Wall Street, if you’re going after crony capitalism I’m all for it. Those are the people who benefit from contracts from government, benefits from the Federal Reserve, benefits from all the bailouts. They don’t deserve compassion. They deserve taxation, they deserve to have all those benefits removed.
Paul — an ultra-capitalist who holds the most right-wing economic views in the race and who has equated taxation with theft — is advocating that we tax the recipients of crony capitalism, essentially demanding that taxpayers get the wealth back that crony capitalists have taken from us. Some of the biggest recipients of this crony capitalism are the big banks, who benefited not only from the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (the “bailout”) but also trillions of dollars of low-interest loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve.
It then logically follows that Paul should support taxing these banks. There are a variety of plans that have been drawn up for doing so. One is to impose a Financial Transactions Tax. If Paul supports reclaiming taxpayer wealth from the beneficiaries of crony capitalism, he should back up his words with plans to recoup American wealth from institutions like the biggest bailed out banks.