As the odds improve that Ron Paul might win the Iowa caucuses, there’s been an increase in scrutiny for the strange Texas congressman. In particular, the Republican’s history of publishing racist newsletters in the 1990s has received quite a bit of attention.

But as Reuters reports today, it’s worth remembering that Paul’s list of problems goes well beyond some newsletters.

The man who might win the Republican Party’s first presidential nominating contest fears that the United Nations may take control of the U.S. money supply.

Campaigning for the January 3 Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul warns of eroding civil liberties, a Soviet Union-style economic collapse and violence in the streets.

The Texas congressman, author of “End the Fed,” also wants to eliminate the central banking system that underpins the world’s largest economy.

The report added that Paul’s “unorthodox vision,” according to many, may not “work in the real world.”

You don’t say.

Reuters noted plenty of recent rhetoric from Paul, but of particular interest was his argument that United States may surrender control of its own currency to the United Nations. This isn’t quirky nonsense Paul published in the early 1990s; this is something Paul told voters in Iowa this month as part of his presidential campaign.

Making the case that Paul is “seriously whacked,” Josh Marshall also highlighted a Paul quote from a recent debate in which the congressman argued that a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border might be “designed” to “keep us in.” As Paul sees it, in the event of an economic collapse, Americans might want to flee to Mexico “with their capital,” creating a situation in which this fence would be “used against us.”

Josh added, “This wasn’t twenty years ago. It was three months ago. And if you know the kind of mindset this stuff comes from, in some ways I find it more worrisome (though certainly less offensive) than the newsletters.”

If Paul manages to win the Iowa caucuses, the embarrassment to the Republican Party will be severe.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.