Tonight’s Republican debate is, like the Washington Post-Bloomberg debate last month, focused on economic policy. “Your Money, Your Vote” is the debate’s name. Although organizers have said that there will be questions on other topics, that angle gives Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) a great platform to promote his bold economic plan.

The “Plan to Restore America” would eliminate five cabinet agencies, along with the Transportation Security Administration. Spending and staffing would be slashed across the board and make Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits voluntary.

It’s a plan even many conservative economists say could have dire consequences, at least in the short term. But there’s a lot in it for small-government advocates, who appreciate that Paul truly tackled the system instead of nibbling at the edges.

Paul will likely say as much on Wednesday night, challenging his opponents to come up with $1 trillion in budget cuts in a year.

While Paul may not be terribly likely to win the GOP presidential nod, he could expand his fan base a little and push the economic policy debate in a more libertarian direction.


Herman Cain will be on the hot seat

Mitt Romney must be cool and steady

Rick Perry gets another chance

Does Jon Huntsman have game?

Newt Gingrich tries to break through

Michele Bachmann ready to attack

Rick Santorum searches for spark