The Paul-O-Meter... Bob Barr's Turn

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 10:13am.

Rating Bob Barr and Ron Paul on the issues...

It is now Libertarian candidate Bob Barr's turn to be spun through the Paul-O-Meter. We rate the candidates on 20 criteria to see how closely they match up with Ron Paul on the issues. Thus far we have rated Barack Obama and John McCain. Read all about the Paul-O-Meter here.

Our rankings for Bob Barr are below.

  1. Liberty-based Voting Record - Barr voted for the Patriot Act and for the Iraq War Authorization back in his days in Congress. Those two votes alone should earn him a zero here, however he has denounced those votes and worked towards repealing portions of the Patriot Act almost immediately after passage. Score: 1 
  2. The Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy - Barr was interviewed on Glenn Beck's radio show and denounced the Fed and stated that if he could wave a magic wand and make it go away he would. He says nothing of competing currencies like Ron Paul. Score: 4
  3. Foreign Policy and Iraq - Barr is virtually identical to Ron Paul on this issue. He advocates for a safe immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and switching to a non-interventionist foreign policy. He also advocates bringing our troops home from South Korea, Europe, and Japan. Score: 5
  4. Taxes - Barr advocates radical tax reform similar, but not quite exactly in line with Ron Paul. Barr advocates for repealing the 16th amendment and replacing the income tax with either a low flat tax or perhaps a consumption tax (like the FairTax), but he has made clear he has reservations about a consumption tax. Score: 4
  5. Government Spending - Barr is identical to Ron Paul on limiting government spending. He advocates for getting rid of earmarks. He also details federal departments he would phase out or abolish such as the Department Of Education and the Department of Commerce. He always couples his lower taxes rhetoric with also cutting spending. Score: 5
  6. Privacy and Civil Liberties - Barr is a Ron Paul twin on this issue. He supports repealing the Patriot Act. He is against the recent FISA bill. He is against the Real ID Act. He is for leaving same-sex marriage to the states. Score: 5
  7. Immigration - Barr is against any kind of fence on the border. He is for reducing government incentives for illegal immigrants to come to the U.S. He has a voting record of being against amnesty, but lately he has been non-committal regarding amnesty. Score: 4
  8. Gun Control and Second Amendment - Barr is almost perfect on gun rights. He lauded the recent Supreme Court Heller decision and has a very pro-Second amendment voting record. He has wavered though, on a limited number of gun control provisions. Score: 4
  9. Internet Regulation - There is not much out there about Barr on this issue, but he has worked with the ACLU on protecting data privacy. He has a record of voting against specific internet regulations.  Due to his record it is likely that he is against Net Neutrality like Ron Paul. Score: 4
  10. Adherence To The Constitution - Barr has transformed from a compassionate conservative to a Libertarian. He advocates federalism on issues he personally disagrees with. His continued criticism of the Patriot Act and FISA along with his fight for bringing back habeus corpus suggest he is now identical to Ron Paul on Constitutional issues. Score: 5
  11. Religion vs. Public Policy - Barr rarely mixes religion with his politics. He has been critical of those who do. Score: 5
  12. Environment - Barr is identical to Ron Paul here. He is skeptical of global warming and advocates utilizing the courts and property rights rather than government regulation to handle environmental disagreements. Score: 5
  13. Energy Policy - Barr advocates for allowing drilling both in ANWR and off our coastlines. He is a strong supporter of nuclear power. Score: 5
  14. U.S. Sovereignty - Barr spoke out against the potential for the NAU during his interview with Glenn Beck on television. He sounded just like Ron Paul on the issue. Score: 5
  15. War On Drugs - Barr has been criticized for his drug warrior past by some Libertarians, however; he now is a strong advocate for ending the war on drugs and decriminalizing marijuana. However, he has only hinted at pardoning non-violent drug prisoners. Score: 4
  16. Education - Barr advocates abolishing the Department of Education. He promotes the idea of school choice and is an advocate for home schooling. Score: 5
  17. Welfare Programs - Barr does not directly advocate ridding ourselves of Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. He does promote the idea of strong reforms and allowing for private accounts. Much of what he has directly said about welfare programs could be construed as "tinkering". Score: 3
  18. Abortion - Barr is similar to Ron Paul on abortion. He'd like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned. He wants to leave it up to the states though he is personally pro-life. Score: 5
  19. Health Care - Barr is against socialized national health care. He would like to get government regulation out of the health care industry and return the free market. He believes this will lower costs and put health care decisisons back into the hands of doctors and patients. This is exactly like Ron Paul. Score: 5
  20. Ability To Spread The Liberty Message - Bob Barr is alone at the top among the third party/independent candidates at spreading the liberty message. He has been on CNN, ABC, FOX News, The Colbert Report, countless radio stations, and the media appearances keep coming. He also actually has a liberty message to spread. Score: 5

Bob Barr's final Paul-O-Meter Score: 88 out of 99 possible points

It is true we at Liberty Maven are Bob Barr supporters and we even had some disagreements on how to rate Barr on certain criteria. In one case we marked him down (Welfare Programs) and in another we marked him up (Health Care). In all cases we tried to solely focus on how close his current positions are in line with Ron Paul's current positions. We could not overlook his poor voting record where he earned a 1. In the end when one looks squarely at the issues, Bob Barr is about as close to Ron Paul as you can get.

The next candidate has a chance at scoring even higher than Barr on the Paul-O-Meter. He fully and officially endorsed Ron Paul and has take a very similar stance on many of the issues. He is Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. Look for his rating next week.

Marc Gallagher - July 11, 2008 - source LibertyMaven

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 10:13am.