Spreading The Gospel Of Paulism

Ron Paul

Ron Paul has his fans in Hawaii. AP photo

The man had set up with a table and many signs on the downtown Hilo public sidewalk and was giving away samples of fresh-pressed sugar cane juice.

His name is Ted Shaneyfelt, and what he was selling was Ron Paul for president, no more Federal Reserve and no more federal income tax.

He had Ron Paul campaign signs, Ron Paul literature and a lecture for anyone who would listen about how the income tax amendment was never legal, the Federal Reserve has ruined America and why we should be allowed to keep 100 percent of our gross income.

Thumping for Republican Ron Paul for even party nominee is a hopeless task. Paul’s deep in political purgatory with only 55 delegates. He’d need 1,144 to win. He’s toast.

But that “no Fed, no IRS” pitch resonates with a lot of young people and the long-in-the-tooth anti-taxers who’ve always claimed that paying federal income tax is voluntary, not mandatory. Of course the ones with taxable income who don’t volunteer generally go to prison. But did you know that last year 46 percent of Americans did not owe any federal income tax? Yep, we 54 percent are keeping the country going!

But listen to what Paul proposes:

“I want to abolish the income tax, but I don’t want to replace it with anything. About 45 percent of all federal revenue comes from the personal income tax. That means that about 55 percent – over half of all revenue – comes from other sources, like excise taxes, fees and corporate taxes. We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s. We don’t need to replace the income tax at all. I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax.”

Wow!! No income tax, no consumption tax and everything is hunky-dory. Obviously, we’d have to quit funding Medicare, most government offices and the military.

Not many people seemed that interested in my man’s sugar cane juice, but a lot picked up Ron Paul literature.

I guess some tax money of some source paid for that nicely designed Hilo sidewalk my man preempted for his free speech and table for his sugar cane press. But that’s another issue for another day. We have all manner of much more commercial happenings on our Waikiki sidewalks and at the summit of Diamond Head. So why not a little sugar cane juice and Paulism in Hilo?

Perhaps in my lifetime a Hula Spring will sweep the Merrie Monarch competition in Hilo and dislodge the stodgy dance judges so blinded by tradition that they cannot see people’s tastes changing.

They are the dictators of kahiko, so they keep innovators such as Oakland kumu hula Mark Ho’omalu under a kind of “house arrest” – making sure that if there are 30 halau in the competition, his will be rated 30th best. They can’t tolerate his syncopation, unorthodox choreography, dark glasses and/or white-gloved pahu hand.

The audience, however, gives Ho’omalu thunderous applause each time he appears in Hilo.

A Hula Spring will come. Remember when the judges couldn’t stand Hilo’s own Johnny Lum Ho, his extravagant costumes and foot stomping Hula Kane?