From Rep. Ron Paul's "Statement in Opposition to H Res 1021, Condolences to Haiti": "I believe that the American people are very generous on their own and fear that a US government commitment to reconstruct Haiti may actually discourage private contributions. Mr. Speaker, already we see private US citizens and corporations raising millions of dollars for relief and reconstruction of Haiti. I do not believe the US government should get in the way of these laudable efforts." I'm not endorsing Dr. Paul's view by quoting it here, but I do think it's newsworthy, and that paying attention to voices on the extremes or fringes of the American political debate -- whether it's Ron Paul or Ralph Nader -- can be useful in helping or provoking people to think about and sometimes even reassess their unstated assumptions. Dr. Paul is an unusual creature in politics; he actually votes pretty consistently according to his stated principles.
For those interested in more, the full Ron Paul program is available in his "State of the Republic" address on January 21: "The only way that we can prevent blood from running in the streets is to offer a better idea of the proper role of government in a society that desires first and foremost liberty. And that is impossible without a firm commitment by our thought leaders to the ideas of freedom, the source of all creative energy and prosperity. An all-powerful state is the threat to that ideal. The prevailing attitude of the people-as it once was in early America-must be that of liberty and self reliance, rather than the nanny state and dependency relying on government force to mold all private choices.... What is it that we must do? We must immediately:.. A full audit and more supervision of the Federal Reserve leading to abolishing the Federal Reserve; Legalize competition to the Federal Reserve with competing currencies;... Abolish crony capitalism—no subsidies, no bailouts, no regulatory or tax privileges to protect the powerful elite especially the military industrial complex; Eliminate the income tax, inheritance tax and taxes on savings and dividends."