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The “P-factor” is a force that cannot be ignored by the pilot of an airplane. Depending on the directional rotation of the propeller, it causes the airplane to yaw to the left or right during take off.

The Republican party has a “P-factor” of its own that cannot be ignored.

Say what you will about Ron Paul. He is and will be a factor in the 2012 presidential election. He will not win the GOP nomination. He is running to advance his core beliefs, and he must be heard within the party or he will be heard as an independent outside the party. This would virtually assure Obama’s re-election.

A simple pat on the head will not satisfy Ron Paul, nor should it.

A speaking slot at the convention will not satisfy Ron Paul, nor should it.

He will not be satisfied with the promise from the eventual nominee that he will audit the Federal Reserve or set up a commission to study going back to the gold standard as Newt Gingrich has suggested.

A commission is a way to kick the can further down the road. President Reagan set up a commission on gold in the early ’80s. Dr. Paul was a member. Been there, done that.

If Gingrich is sincere about looking at a return to the gold standard, all he has to do is read Paul’s book “The Case for Gold.” It will set him back $5.

On Jan. 25, Romney, in an interview with Lawrence Kudlow on CNBC, hedged: “I’m happy to look at a whole range of ideas on how to have greater stability in our currency and in our monetary policies. I know that, in the past when we had a gold standard, the idea that somehow it was detached from or free from any interference by Congress was simply wrong because, even with the gold standard, someone has to decide what is the conversion rate between the gold and the dollar.”

Santorum, is willing to audit the Fed but believes we need it.

Clearly, Dr. Paul is not going to settle for empty promises on these issues.

None of the other candidates are likely to embrace Dr. Paul’s foreign policy prescriptions or his stand on prostitution or drug use.

Is there any ironclad promise that Dr. Paul could extract that would be meaningful and move the country a giant-step in the right direction?

There is one such issue that would be extremely popular with voters of all political stripes. It would be consistent with GOP promises to balance the budget, and it would virtually assure that the GOP nominee win the election. It needs no explanation: End all business subsidies. That means no more taxpayer-funded loans, grants, targeted tax breaks or outright cash to private entities. No more picking winners and losers!

It is ludicrous to expect that a group of politicians, with little or no business experience, doling out favors, will do better than individual investors. Even if they could, it would be wrong.

If the companies on the receiving end of the government largess lose money or go bust, we lose. If these companies make money, the companies keep the money and reward shareholders. We still lose. What is the point in that?

End corporate welfare such as the Advanced Technology Program, Small Business Innovative Research Program, the Export-Import Bank, federal crop subsidy programs, fishery promotion and development subsidies, the Overseas Private Investment Bank, rural business grants, community development block grants and services, commercial space transportation grants, essential air services payments, fossil energy and green energy research and development loans and grants, the Coal Research Initiative, railroad research and development and high-speed rail. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Why should we take money from waitresses, auto mechanics and store clerks and give it to companies like IBM, General Electric, Honeywell, Xerox and Dow Chemical? If these folks invest their own money in these companies, they can expect a return. When the government invests their money in these very same companies, all they get is a higher tax bill.

Let’s face it. Corporate welfare is a win-win for elected representatives and their large political donors. It’s a lose-lose for taxpayers.

Obama is always defining and redefining the term “fairness.” End payments, loans, subsidies and targeted tax brakes to private business. Let them sink or swim on their own. This is a definition of fairness that all of us can understand.

Ron Paul is in a perfect position to extract a pound of flesh, and this is a pound of political flesh worth pursuing. I hope he hangs tough and does just that.

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