Ron Paul was the only Congressman yesterday to vote against a resolution to authorize government reconstruction plans for Haiti. His explanation for his vote is here, in which he argues that a US reconstruction plan is just a gateway to establishing Haiti as a long term US protectorate. This concern has been echoed by the non-profit Doctors Without Borders.
But even if we grant the US government the best of intentions, even if we dismiss these concerns as conspiracy, however dubious our reasons for doing so, we should still oppose US aid to Haiti. Extreme cases like this have a certain educational value, in that they separate the libertarian wheat from the chaff. They separate those whose libertarianism is rooted in a philosophical adherence to the non-aggression axiom and those whose libertarianism is only an emotional predisposition toward less government.
Libertarians and conservatives are right to argue that government welfare programs are immoral because they rob a certain subset of taxpayers for the benefit of a subset of tax consumers, and because the taxpayers never consented to the redistribution. Welfare programs are therefore legalized theft. No doubt many of the 411 congressmen to vote in favor of the Haiti resolution (I'm looking at you, Michelle Bachmann) have argued thusly. So how is the same extorted welfare for Haitians morally justifiable?