On the “Psycho Talk” segment of his MSNBC show tonight, Ed Schultz turned his attention to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who has suggested that the United States government should cut all funding that isn’t in the Constitution. Schultz pointed out that eliminating Departments like Education and Agriculture, would mean getting rid of food standards and safety.
Here is the video:
Paul said, “How about getting rid of the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, just go down the list, get rid of it, cut the budget in half, everything that is not constitutional, that’s a good place to start.” Schultz pointed out that there are a lot things that aren’t in the Constitution that people like such as traffic lights, food safety, and the FAA. Plus, I want to see how popular Republicans would be if they cut out programs like Social Security and Medicare.
It must be pointed out that Ed Schultz was wrong about something here. He defended the Department of Education by claiming that it was needed to help districts that are underfunded. This isn’t correct, as 91% of all education funding comes from state and local government, and most of the federal government’s 9% is spent on higher education. The debate over whether or not the nation actually needs a Department of Education has been raging on since the day it was created, and shows no signs of slowing down.
People on the left agree with much of Rep. Paul’s foreign policy, and his calls for personal and civil rights, but domestic policy is where they part ways with him. As much as Ron Paul would like to, he can’t drag the United States back to the 19th Century. Paul was advocating the old conservative myth that we can our way out of debt. We can’t.
In an ideal non-political world, we could spend less, but as the recent failure to get rid of subsidies for the big agribusiness firms illustrated, Republicans and Democrats won’t cut programs, because the American people love their big spending government. Americans always want to cut the deficit, but they don’t want their programs cut. This is a reality of American politics.