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Dr. Ron Paul calls Obama's H1N1 swine flu program a 'total failure'

Ron Paul speaking

Rep. Ron Paul, the 11-term Republican congressman from Texas who mobilized millions of supporters and about $35 million for his unsuccessful presidential run last year, has added the federal government's faltering flu immunization program to his list of things worthy of denunciation.

A medical doctor himself, Paul, who at 74 is older even than John McCain, sees the Obama administration's oft-delayed H1N1 swine flu immunization plan as typical of many government-run programs -- poorly planned, overloaded, inefficient, too expensive, late and quite possibly not even necessary.

Just another government grab for more federal power, as he puts it in a video (see it just below here), newly posted for supporters by his Campaign for Liberty. Paul calls this year's vaccine distribution "a total failure" because some 120 million doses were to have been available by mid-October and only about 10% of that were.

Paul says reports of 1,000 U.S. deaths from the H1N1 may be true but....

...come from the same federal government running the vaccine program and remain unverified.

And anyway, the doctor asks, is that really such a "catastrophe" worthy of declaring a national emergency as President Obama did last weekend? The onetime Libertarian says that last winter, 13,000 Americans died from the regular flu, which he says few people mention while approving of a vast new wasteful federal H1N1 program that then fails.

As The Ticket reported here recently, a new poll indicated that 62% of adult Americans say they have no intention of getting the new vaccine anyway.

Paul says he also believes there is....

...much to be concerned over natural immune systems "being knocked down" by immunization. And he has criticized some previous immunization programs for actually endangering those receiving the vaccine. He does admit, however, that the polio vaccine wiped out that dreaded disease during his lifetime.

Unlike most presidential candidates, Paul's 2008 campaign not only ran no deficit, it ended up with about a $5-million surplus, which Paul is using to organize and support like-minded libertarian-style candidates around the country and making some bids to seize control of local Republican operations.

As The Ticket reported here the other day, Paul is gearing up for a speaking campaign in coming days, including South Carolina and Iowa (yes, that Iowa, where Mike Huckabee surprised Mitt Romney in the GOP 2008 caucus.) And all this has added up to speculation that Paul is planning another hopeless presidential run in 2012, when he would be 77, still older than John McCain.

In a new opinion column published by CNN, Paul warns that the expansionist policies of the Federal Reserve, a frequent, favorite target of his, is endangering the entire fiscal position of the United States.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has embarked on an ambitious program of monetary expansion, more than doubling the monetary base to almost $1.9 trillion and doubling the size of its balance sheet to over $2 trillion, placing the American economy in a precarious position.

If all this excess money begins to be loaned out, the Fed risks creating a hyper-inflationary crisis similar to 1920s Germany.

Warning of "a complete collapse of the dollar," Paul also calls for "a strict audit" of the Fed and all of its actions, if not outright abolition of the institution, which Paul considers way too powerful, corrupt and unconstitutional.

In fact, not coincidentally, Paul has a new book just out titled "End the Fed," which makes just that argument. The book costs $21.99 (or $26.99 if you're a Democrat -- or Canadian).

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press
 
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Firstly, Andrew thanks for writing an article on Ron Paul. However, I wonder whether the article would be so entertaining if you replaced the name Ron Paul with that of Barrack Obama and the phrase " still older than John McCain" with
say "still blacker than O.J. Simpson". Why should it be any more acceptable to denigrate Ron Paul for his age than Barrack Obama for his color?

Waiting to hear if Congressman Paul runs in 2012. We need him. Someone with morals, ethics, knows the economy and how to fix it, knows our contitutional rights and freedoms.

Oh yeah, what a nut!!! I mean where does this guy get off saying crazy things like "we need to be careful about printing so much money, it might devalue the dollar", or "the government should stay within the limits of the constitution", or "we shouldn't get involved in wars against sovereign countries that haven't threatened the US". I mean, good for you on going after a guy like that. He is a dissenter in our glorious march to becoming a socialist country that bullies the world.

and the New York and Los Angeles Times wonder why their reader base continues to decline...

"another hopeless presidential run"

What a thoughtless statement. Before Congressman Paul's run, I (and probably millions more) never new what the Federal Reserve was or how truly evil their ability to *create* money is. I thought inflation was just some sort of natural occurrence in economics!

I am still simply amazed that our journalists around the country continue to fail at getting out this simple truth... the Federal Reserve can *create* money.

Andy, Long time no see, Well I can see you are back to old tricks again,
Your lack of objective writing ,though rather subtle still shines through
Reminding everyone that Dr. Paul is even older than John McShame, and You also consider Ron Paul campain "Hopeless" really? Well zogby took a poll across the country out of the 3000 people polled 93% said he should run for President! 6% said no and 1% said does not know.
Coinsidentally? Dr. Paul has been educating people about the FED for years!
Your lame attempt at trying to bring an motive of pure profit into your readers mind about the book "End the Fed" is typical in your anti Ron Paul
Hachett jobs. Man why don't try and get a job that does some good in the world instead of trying to besmearch the only honest poltiction in Washington! Oh incase you missed it, Dr. Paul was right about everything he warned us about! I guess being right about something in your eyes does not give the man the slightest bit of credibilty with you does it!

I like his point about a government power grab. The powers that be use fear to access power and control over our lives. The "War on Terror" is one such example. I hope he does run because he adds substance to the debates unlike most of the other candidates. While I didn't vote for him last time, I certainly will this go around.

"another hopeless Presidential run"...just like a woman or a black man trying to become president...oh wait..

It's unclear why Mccain's name was in this article, as Mccain only knows about war and more war.

Ron Paul has intelligent ideas about reducing foreign intervention, sound monetary policy, and medical issues.

Mccain is a gun grabber (see his ammendment to S.1805 in 2004) who sends our neighbors and siblings to die for oil.

End the swine flu hoax,end the bailouts,end the regulation of car companys,medicare,end the fed,end the costly unconstitutional wars in the middle east, end the bankers dream of a NWO , end the deconstruction of the constitution! These are the things i would do for America if i was president????!!!

I generally like Ron Paul and he has some good ideas. But in this particular case, I think he's playing the role of dissenter because he thinks that is what his supporters expect him to do, and not because what he is saying makes sense.

First, the concept that immunization "knocks down" the body's immune system is pure fantasy. He even admits the polio vaccine stopped polio, so he knows he's talking BS now, maybe to get that oh-so-crucial Jenny McCarthy vote?

Also, calling the government's reaction and spending to combat H1N1 wasteful and unnecessary is sure easy to do now that it seems this virus is not going to be as deadly as the flu of 1918.

However, we did not know that when we set into motion the plans that are only now coming into action.

What do you think the US population's reaction to the H1N1 pandemic would have been if they decided it would "probably" not be that big of a deal, and so did nothing, and the virus turned out to be 10 times more deadly that it is now? We've already had twice the number of child deaths as normal for the flu season, and that is causing great concern among many parents. Imagine of that number was ten times the number of normal flu-related child deaths.

Then I guess Ron would be vilifying the government for doing nothing.

It's easy to complain when you are not the one responsible for making the decisions. It's a lot harder to make those decisions. I think the government made the right call with the evidence they had at the time.

"another hopeless presidential run in 2012, when he would be 77, still older than John McCain."

I remember when mainstream media outlets like the L.A Times tried to hide their bias. Believe it or not, the problem with McCain wasn't his age, it was his politics. Dr. Ron Paul is the only advocate of true Constitutional government in Congress. As long as Republicans run big government neo-cons like Bush and McCain, than the Republicans chances are indeed "hopeless." Thankfully, many people are waking up and realizing the Constitution is the solution. Obama is expanding the unconstitutional undeclared wars by bombing Pakistan and sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Given that Ron Paul has been consistantly against our foreign interventionism from day one, I'd say he definitely does have a chance and will have my vote and millions more if he chooses to run in 2012.

Uhh, Rob, I somehow doubt that Ron Paul would ever criticize the government for doing nothing... what a bizarre statement on your part.

That said, his broader point, which is correct, is that the federal H1N1 vaccine program is a complete and total mess, is inefficiently run, and has failed to deliver the goods, do you disagree?

Also, what's with the "another hopeless" stuff? I'm not his biggest supporter, and in fact I'm more traditionally conservative than pure libertarian, but the man proved he can muster a lot of support last time, and if we're still stuck in quagmires abroad and with growing government at home his non-interventionist foreign policies and small government local policies might just strike a wider chord.

FYI,"coincidentally", Dr. Paul stated he was donating the proceeds of his book.

So, an inch at a time, the LA Times blogs back away from their position a year ago where they mocked Ron Paul as being a nut. Now, he is merely entertaining, no longer absurd. I suppose this counts as some kind of progress.

Face it, most journalists are pack animals incapable of making individual assessments. If the pack savages someone, they all participate. Mindlessly.

Andrew Malcolm,

One day, when your paycheck buys you nothing worthwhile, and social security and our socialized medicine programs have gone bust, you will have no choice but to be much less tongue-in-cheek when reporting on Dr. Ron Paul.

Dude, Malcolm... you're so obvious. Why don't you just rename the Times to the "Los Angeles Ron Paul shouldn't be taken seriously."

Rob.. since when is the government my doctor? people don't want their welfare cheese shots. Welfare cheese shots should never have been made and on this, Ron Paul is correct... again. He should change his name to "Ron Correct-Again Paul".

Andrew, such a well thought out article. Down to the very details of the truth of Ron Paul and to the psychic assumption of it being a "Hopeless" run.... Didn't you hear of the RECOUNT of the NV GOP State Convention?

Hey Andrew, this isn't politics like you grew up with. We got smarter with the Internet. So your stupid statement about Democrats having to pay more is so way off base that it just marks you as a constitutional terrorist.

AUDIT THE FED

Up to your old tricks again, hey Andrew? ...vilifying Ron Paul with such laughable transparency.

You MSM whores must really be afraid of Ron Paul as evidenced by your pointing out his age twice. And, oh... making the "speculation that Paul is planning another hopeless presidential run" statement before anyone is even campaigning and ignoring how much the electoral mindset has changed dramatically in the past two years (in Paul's favor) shows you are not just a MSM whore, but a stupid one for thinking people don't see your obvious propaganda.

I've read that newspapers' readership continues to plummet in America. If that means a pink slip for you, I can't wait for them all to tank.

Ron Paul is the most honest politician in the Congress. He has been harping on the Fed and printing money for over 25 years. He commented on the problems starting with taking gold out of backing the dollar and where it would lead. He's been absolutely right on. One democrat totally gutted his "audit the fed" bill in committee. I think that tells you everything you need to know - there is no balance of power, it's becoming a banana republic. Why shouldn't all Americans know where there money is being spent? This is lunacy. RON PAUL!!

Another hit piece on Ron Paul by Andrew Malcolm. Why is anyone surprised? He writes about Congressman Paul because he needs hits for his articles. He knows that this will be picked up by all the internet news readers,etc.

Allan Bartlett
OC Campaign For Liberty Coordinator

We, in Canada, watch closely as the swine flu story plays out in the US. As you know, much of what happens north of the border (even with socialized medical care) mirrors what takes place south of the border.
Many here are grappling with the question of whether to get the shot at all (if and when it becomes available). Media personalities like Bill Maher and politicians like Rep. Ron Paul often serve to muddy what's already a grainy picture.
Ultimately, the decision to proceed with vaccination depends on trust, as is so clearly started in Kate Johnson's Medical Musings blog:
http://tiny.cc/71ZRM

Another article doubting Ron Paul. Wow. I would think with what is happening in the small but telling NY23 with Doug Hoffman, you wouldn't be saying these sorts of things. Maybe you failed logic class.

I don't think Dr. Ron Paul will run in 2012 but we never know. I think he should just use the money to spread the message of liberty. I think his son, Dr. Rand Paul is a good candidate and I am sure he will eventually take over.

i hate how biased the media is towards ron paul...they wont agree or disagree with his actual points, but they find it necessary to throw in things like "...about $35 million for his unsuccessful presidential run last year"....his run was very successful, he even says it....just look at things now...before his campaign nobody had any idea about him....now the word is out...troops want to come home from iraq...he has exposed lies and half truths coming from other candidates (Obama).... and its time to start changing things correctly....if its not too late already...ron paul for life...a man with experience, knowledge and balls

Swine flu is a hot topic now but let's not forget the rest of our healthcare and economic problems. I found a website that asks the questions we whould be forcing policians and business to answer. It is somebodyshouldask.com Check it out. It is new and I hope these guys can keep it going.

i voted for and continue to support barack obama. i do agree with ron paul that the money being spent on h1n1 vaccination efforts is outrageous, exorbitant, and unnessary. i work in public health and believe in the necessity of vaccination, but the federal tax dollars being thrown around is disgusting.

Thank you for the kind words Andrew!
But, We Should Be Prepared for the Worst

Any number of pundits claim that we have now passed the worst of the recession. Green shoots of recovery are supposedly popping up all around the country, and the economy is expected to resume growing soon at an annual rate of 3% to 4%. Many of these are the same people who insisted that the economy would continue growing last year, even while it was clear that we were already in the beginning stages of a recession.

A false recovery is under way. I am reminded of the outlook in 1930, when the experts were certain that the worst of the Depression was over and that recovery was just around the corner. The economy and stock market seemed to be recovering, and there was optimism that the recession, like many of those before it, would be over in a year or less. Instead, the interventionist policies of Hoover and Roosevelt caused the Depression to worsen, and the Dow Jones industrial average did not recover to 1929 levels until 1954. I fear that our stimulus and bailout programs have already done too much to prevent the economy from recovering in a natural manner and will result in yet another asset bubble.

Anytime the central bank intervenes to pump trillions of dollars into the financial system, a bubble is created that must eventually deflate. We have seen the results of Alan Greenspan’s excessively low interest rates: the housing bubble, the explosion of subprime loans and the subsequent collapse of the bubble, which took down numerous financial institutions. Rather than allow the market to correct itself and clear away the worst excesses of the boom period, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury colluded to put taxpayers on the hook for trillions of dollars. Those banks and financial institutions that took on the largest risks and performed worst were rewarded with billions in taxpayer dollars, allowing them to survive and compete with their better-managed peers.

This is nothing less than the creation of another bubble. By attempting to cushion the economy from the worst shocks of the housing bubble’s collapse, the Federal Reserve has ensured that the ultimate correction of its flawed economic policies will be more severe than it otherwise would have been. Even with the massive interventions, unemployment is near 10% and likely to increase, foreigners are cutting back on purchases of Treasury debt and the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet remains bloated at an unprecedented $2 trillion. Can anyone realistically argue that a few small upticks in a handful of economic indicators are a sign that the recession is over?

What is more likely happening is a repeat of the Great Depression. We might have up to a year or so of an economy growing just slightly above stagnation, followed by a drop in growth worse than anything we have seen in the past two years. As the housing market fails to return to any sense of normalcy, commercial real estate begins to collapse and manufacturers produce goods that cannot be purchased by debt-strapped consumers, the economy will falter. That will go on until we come to our senses and end this wasteful government spending.

Government intervention cannot lead to economic growth. Where does the money come from for Tarp (Treasury’s program to buy bad bank paper), the stimulus handouts and the cash for clunkers? It can come only from taxpayers, from sales of Treasury debt or through the printing of new money. Paying for these programs out of tax revenues is pure redistribution; it takes money out of one person’s pocket and gives it to someone else without creating any new wealth. Besides, tax revenues have fallen drastically as unemployment has risen, yet government spending continues to increase. As for Treasury debt, the Chinese and other foreign investors are more and more reluctant to buy it, denominated as it is in depreciating dollars.

In Liberty,
Ron

That's pretty childish Andrew, but thanks for mentioning Paul!

Quit being a hater. No one thinks you are cool.

The funny part about this writer mindlessly towing the party line through corporate media is that in a year or so every dollar he earned writing this article will be worth half its current value. But then again, a dunce like this probably doesn't save anyway.

Stop trying to play it both ways. You actually pay attention to Ron Paul, a moderately brave move, then denigrate him like a boot licking coward of the establishment. Get some class.

Hey Andrew- Do you know what's funny about this? Paul was well aware that he wasn't going to get elected, the reason he ran in the first place was to inform and warn the American people. And it worked.

And now that more Americans see what he says is true and realize that Obama is a fraud, when you try to slam him the general public responds by slamming YOU.
Read through these comments, Andrew. 98% of your readers are basically telling you to go to hell.

How does that feel?

Does the author here not realize that the polio outbreak was a result of a higher level of sanitation in the United States?

It's weird that people write off Paul as loony because they have such ignorance. I am constantly surprised how I managed to retain a lot of what I learned in school and seem nearly alone in this.

People that work for the LA Times don't even appear to have the curiosity to check a Wikipedia article either.

I think that the panic associated with this grip - it's planned action. His goal - to earn money on people's fears.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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