La crème de l’idiotie

When one considers Rand Paul is among the more viable candidates the Republicans might offer in 2016 … well, let’s just say the GOP has come a long way since the days of Dwight Eisenhower and Thomas Dewey. And that long way is mostly downhill and into a big tar pit of stupid.

Here’s a bit of a recent Rand Paul interview:

You’re a big reader of Austrian economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who don’t believe in stimulus and say the economy can return to health only through austerity.
You can stimulate prosperity by leaving more money in the hands of those who earn it. If you want to stimulate the economy in Louisville, leave more money in Louisville and send less to Washington. My plan has a 17 percent flat tax with very few deductions, and it would leave $600 billion in the economy. But it would work better than a government stimulus because of the Milton Friedman proposition that nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as they spend their own. I think you’d have a boom like you’ve never seen in this country.

Who would your ideal Fed chairman be?
Hayek would be good, but he’s deceased.

Nondead Fed chairman.
Friedman would probably be pretty good, too, and he’s not an Austrian, but he would be better than what we have.

Dead, too.
Yeah. Let’s just go with dead, because then you probably really wouldn’t have much of a functioning Federal Reserve.

This is not someone I’d trust with sharp objects, never mind the country.

In this same interview, Paul said,

…what I would say is extreme is a trillion-dollar deficit every year. I mean, that’s an extremely bad situation.

But Paul Krugman says the deficit is now at about $600 billion and falling fast. He also said,

I think it’s pretty clear that Paul actually has no idea that the deficit is falling; it’s quite possible that neither does Cantor. The whole incident reminds me of 2011, when supposedly well-informed candidates like Tim Pawlenty went on about soaring government employment during a time of unprecedented cuts in the public payroll. Once you’re inside the closed conservative information loop, you know lots of things that aren’t so.

Yes, and I suspect a President Rand Paul would make George W. Bush look like a genius. Dubya was, I suspect, sort of willfully stupid; he seems to have believed thinking was a job for the help. But I doubt Rand Paul had a choice in the matter. See also Jonathan Chait, “Rand Paul Not So Good With Numbers.”

17 thoughts on “La crème de l’idiotie

  1. And, though Randy doesn’t know it, money sent from Louisville to Washington in taxes doesn’t actually leave the economy, so his flat tax with few deductions won’t actually leave any money in the economy that wouldn’t be there anyway. As most intelligent grade schoolers could tell you, the government takes that money and spends it on things like highways and military bases in Kentucky, and the salaries of border patrol agents and a whole host of things in “the economy”.

    It’s quite impressive (in a negative way) that after the most dramatic set of real-world experiments has disproven the idea that austerity is the way to prosperity, as countries around the world have failed to prosper from austerian poliicies, Rand Paul still believes in the fairy tale. Clap harder, Rand, or Tinker-hayek will die! Oh, wait. He’s dead already.

    Frickin’ moron.

  2. We had a record surplus when W took office. Then, after we had eight years of a Republican President and a Republican Congress, we have record deficits. Why isn’t this fact stated everyday by Democrats? If it were stated everyday until the election, who to elect President and to Congress would be a no brainer.

  3. AAHH those sonorous Austrian names, Von Mises and Hayek. They make him sound SOOO intellectual. Well, I wonder who this dude, Englebert Dollfuss is on Von Mises’ c.v.

    To paraphrase Sam Elliot’s character in “The Big Lebowski”, “Austrofascist isn’t a way anybody would self identify, at least not where I come from anyway.”

  4. I’m surprised that this putz can operate his zipper, and doesn’t either pee himself routinely, or wear a Depends.

    The current Republican Party is a cluster (-f*ck) of syphilitically-insane parrots. They squawk the same talking points and meme’s at one another, and at the MSM, without understanding any thing at all about what they’re saying.

    When I was a kid, I was very naïve. I thought that to be a politician, especially one who serves in the House or Senate, one had to be very smart. Now I know better. All it takes is a massive ego, a good line of simplistic BS, and a mug that looks good on the TV set.

    And yet, there are some smart politicians out there.
    I saw my Junior Senator, Kirstin Gillibrand, interviewed by John Oliver last night. And I wonder how she manages not to laugh in the faces of utter morons like Rand Paul or Mike Lee, or hold up a cross when some sociopathic egotist like Ted Cruz comes near her.
    How is it that the smarter ones in both Houses, don’t, when they rise to speak, drop the old “I would like to point out how wrong my esteemed colleague from…”, and instead, rise and say something like, “I would like to point out to the brain-dead feckin’ eedjit from…”?
    Now that I’m much older, I realize that throughout our history, we’ve had many dunces in our government. But I’ll maintain, that this present ‘confederacy of mostly Confederate dunces,’ is unique for both the quantity, and the quality, of it’s sociopathic arrogance, stupidity, and ignorance.

  5. Not OT at all, Gulag. More money in the hands of the middle-class will stimulate the economy. Pay workers more and they will spend more so that companies will produce more and sell more….. It’s just that these idjets think that the piddly tax cut is going to do that. Here in Cheeseland (sorry for always referencing WI, just that these days it is ground zero for stupid republican tricks) Scottie cut funding dramatically for public workers to the point where my wife and I will be taking home about $1,000 less a month, and that’s net. The savings to each tax paying household was $60. Which do you think has had the greater impact? But since it’s a religious belief that tax cuts stimulate the economy, you get people like Rand Paul running around saying even stupider things. Would jesus please come back and take these people away, the world would be a much better, and nicer, place.

  6. Buckyblue,
    Why would Jesus want to have anything to do with this crop of racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and/or homophobic, feckin’ eedjits?

    Maybe I can see him taking them up to Heaven, showing them around the place, and asking them if they like the joint?
    And when they say they do, he says, “Well then, it’s too bad you were such feckin’ jackasses and hateful eedjit’s, so you can’t stay here. And where you’re going, it’s nowhere near as nice. C’mon up, Satan! Take them, they’re yours to do with what you will. I’d crank-up the heat on this bunch – they’re American Christian politicians, who threw my name around an awful lot, but knew nothing of my work. Bye! Oh, and don’t worry about the door hittin’ ya on the way out, where my Father splitcha, ’cause Satan has crews at the ready with all sorts of un-Godly – GET IT: UN-GODLY!!! – tools to splitcha! Enjoy the Hell of your won making. Get them out of my sight, Ol’ Scratch!!!”

  7. Trotting out Hayek and Friedman – well known names among those on the right who can read – is like stating “I believe in the Good Market Fairy”. There’s no need to think or test any of these wack-a-doodle ideas, because if they come from the Good Market Fairy, they must be true. “I think we’ll have a boom like you’ve never seen in this country” is on the same level of a child hoping the tooth fairy leaves them something nice under their pillow tonight.

  8. Yeah, Gulag, a good portion of Jesus’ writings revolve around people who think they’re religious, but who jesus even says won’t make it to heaven. The biggest scorn is reserved for the Pharisees who were the establishment religious people, I call them the equivalence of pastors at big evangelical churches and the politicians who pal around with them. Or ‘religious people’ whose religion is republican orthodoxy. Jesus was a supply-side, flat tax advocate. Who knew?

  9. I completely agree about Rand vs. W. Bush I think is more lazy, arrogant, and incurious than unintelligent (although his intelligence is middling at best). Rand Paul, on the other hand is not only profoundly stupid, he is also the son of a semi-literate racist crackpot with a weird gold fetish.

    At any rate, I’ll see his Von Mises and Hayek and raise him one Alexander Hamilton. It’s just astounding to me that the greatest champions of American capitalism know so little about the man who founded the whole system.

    It’s not even that complicated: to have a capitalist economy, you need capital. Where does capital come from? The Pauls are so transfixed by the Yellow Rock that Shines that they don’t realize that’s not what capital is.

    As far as the American capitalist economy, though, again, it isn’t that complicated. In the 1780s there was basically no capitalism in the United States because there was no capital. Instead there was a gigantic mess of debts from fighting the war that nobody had any way to pay. (So it’s actually not that hard to see why libertarians don’t want to face the reality that our independence was bought with borrowed money.) So you had situations like this letter I once read from Thomas Jefferson where he’s ordering groceries for Monticello and offering to pay with nails from his nail factory because nobody has any money.

    And then we get to the part that the libertarians really don’t want to talk about where Alexander Hamilton uses the power of the federal government to magically turn all that debt into an equivalent amount of capital. If Rand Paul was to take a break from the Austrians and read the Report on Public Credit–well, actually nothing would change, because he’s too stupid to learn anything from it, but it isn’t much of a stretch to say that the Report on Public Credit is the founding document of our capitalist economy. And here’s the fiat lux right here:

    It is a well known fact, that in countries in which the national debt is properly funded, and an object of established confidence, it answers most of the purposes of money.

    The debt stood at about $54 million at the time, so by funding it properly Hamilton injected $54 million into the economy, which then grew rapidly. That’s where the capital came from.

  10. And here I always thought Jesus’s message was, “Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.”
    Now, from today’s crop of Conservative Christians, I see that I was wrong, and it was always, apparently, “Comfort the comfortable, and afflict the afflicted.”

    In other words, these Evangelicals believe that Jesus always wanted everyone to kick-down on the poor and downtrodden, and kiss-up to the rich and powerful.
    I must have the Bible that was translated by Liberals.

  11. In other words, these Evangelicals believe that Jesus always wanted everyone to kick-down on the poor and downtrodden, and kiss-up to the rich and powerful.

    What’s really amazing to me, is when you confront conservatives about this, and are able to quote the bible back at them (Matthew 25 is my favorite), refuting their country club Christianity, is the level of outrage they throw at you. When you can box them into the corner with their own scripture, it absolutely drives them nuts. Nothing else quite does it like this.

  12. moonbat,
    There’s nothing religious hypocrite’s hate more than to have their religious hypocrisy exposed – especially, using the religious words they claim to revere.

    I’m an Agnostic, and I know that the Christ preached about in “Prosperity Theology,” or “The Prosperity Gospel,” is a BS version aimed at spreading that ‘comfort the comfortable, and afflict the afflicted’ belief that the rich deserve what they have, and the poor deserve their fate.
    I, an Agnostic, can see that. That basically Christ’s message, is to treat people the way that you would want to be treated. And that to do his, and God’s will, is to comfort the afflicted, who need it – and to afflict those too comfortable to care about the needy and afflicted by fate, or circumstances, or birth, or even errors of their own making.

    But too many “True Believers” either, can’t, don’t, or won’t.
    And they can’t, don’t, or won’t, because it won’t show them a very Christian reflection in the mirror.
    And, after all, everyone at their church tells them how “Christian” they are.
    What they are, is hypocrites!
    And ignorant ones at that. Because if they really sat down and ever read the Bible, Christ’s message is very, very obvious. He talks about the poor, and helping them, all of the time. He never mentions how wealth means that you’re a Godly person deserving of Heavenly favors – and he never, ever, not ONCE, talks about sex, abortion, race, or homosexuality.
    The Reich-Wing has hijacked, Christ and his message, to serve their purpose – not his.

  13. The important thing, gulag, is to be able to speak their language. It blows their minds when you can throw scripture back at them. They have to listen to you then. Understanding Christ’s real message is all well and good, but to be able to expose their hypocrisy from within their own belief space, using words and language they’re very familiar with – well, it’s an extremely powerful, razor-sharp tool that is rarely used. The whole conservative/liberal fight would be over with if liberals only knew the bible, and knew how to use it. And it’s so simple.

    Begin by internalizing Matthew 25, the section that begins: “For I was hungry, and you fed me..” Memorize the whole passage so you can quote it back easily – this will completely over-awe them. Be prepared for the conservative counter argument that “Jesus never said the government should do this”. One rebuttal is: In a democracy, WE are the government, and WE will be held accountable for what our government does. And have fun watching their heads explode.

  14. There’s nothing religious hypocrite’s hate more than to have their religious hypocrisy exposed – especially, using the religious words they claim to revere.

    Gulag…It can’t be done! Their minds are impenetrable. Once they’ve put on their helmet of salvation and their breastplate of righteousness and taken up their shield of faith…there’s no fucking reasoning with them. Hypocrisy is an alien concept to them.

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