I am Dr. Ron Paul, the champion of the Constitution. In ten terms in Congress, I never voted for an unbalanced budget or tax increase. I have never voted to raise congressional pay, increase the power of the executive branch, or regulate the internet. As a medical doctor, I delivered more than 4,000 babies and advocate a health care system where patients have choices including alternative care and where competition will drive costs down. I want to stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas and use those funds to pay down our burgeoning debt, reduce taxes, shore up Social Security and strengthen Veterans' benefits. I would immediately bring the troops home from Iraq. My six point immigration plan is to: (1) Physically secure our borders; (2) Enforce visa rules; (3) Not allow amnesty; (4) Provide no welfare for those here illegally; (5) End birthright citizenship; and (6) Create true reform that is fair for all. I will continue to oppose a North American Union. I favor repeal of the Patriot Act, would stop the national ID card, and would end the erosion of our privacy rights and civil liberties. I will stop corporate polluters and end corporate welfare. I would also move immediately to return to sound monetary policy, to end the "inflation tax," and to protect our dollar. I will act to end irresponsible government spending which is threatening our future. I am committed to ending the personal income tax and the IRS.
Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Carol, who reside in Lake Jackson, Texas, are the proud parents of five children, and have eighteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Ron graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s.
As a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies.
Ron served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s.
Founder, FREE and the National Endowment for Liberty
Founder/Honorary Chairman, The Liberty Committee.
While serving in Congress during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Paul's limited-government ideals were not popular in Washington. He served on the House Banking committee, where he was a strong advocate for sound monetary policy and an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve's inflationary measures. In 1984, he voluntarily relinquished his House seat and returned to his medical practice.
Dr. Paul returned to Congress in 1997 to represent the 14th Congressional district of Texas. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee, the International Relations committee, and the Joint Economic Committee. On the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Paul serves as the vice-chairman of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. He continues to advocate a dramatic reduction in the size of the federal government and a return to constitutional principles.
Ron Paul serves on the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, and the International Relations committee. On the House Committee on Financial Services, Rep. Paul serves as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology. He continues to advocate a dramatic reduction in the size of the federal government and a return to constitutional principles.
Dr. Paul is the author of several books, including Challenge to Liberty; The Case for Gold; and A Republic, If You Can Keep It. He has been a distinguished counselor to the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and is widely quoted by scholars and writers in the fields of monetary policy, banking, and political economy. He has received many awards and honors during his career in Congress, from organizations such as the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Council for a Competitive Economy, Young Americans for Freedom, and countless others.
He has been on the National Taxpayers Union's "Taxpayers' Best Friend" list for the last ten years and has been named a "Guardian of Small Business" by the National Federation of Independent Business. Taxpayers for Common Sense named him a "Treasury Guardian" for his work against environmentally-harmful government spending and corporate welfare.
Reforming our monetary policy, ending our interventionist foreign policy, securing our borders, and ending the IRS and abolishing the income tax.
Source: Ron Paul (02/27/2008)
My concerns for the future of this country are deeply held. The Republican Party has not fulfilled its promise to shrink the size of government and restore our Constitutional Republic. Instead, deficits have exploded, entitlements are out of control, and our personal liberties are threatened. We have strayed from the free society the Founders secured for us in our Constitution. The other candidates only wish to address symptoms of the overall problem. I believe that the solution to our societal woes can be found in allowing people to be as free and prosperous as possible. In other words, we need a president who will hold the federal government to abiding by the rule of law - the Constitution.
Source: Ron Paul (02/25/2008)
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.
Source: www.ronpaul2008.com (12/02/2007)
The heated debate about abortion is filled with emotional arguments that usually center on secondary considerations such as sexual morality, religious beliefs, women's rights, or purely on pragmatic reasons: if abortion were made illegal it would still take place - under unsanitary conditions that would endanger additional lives.
However, a rational evaluation of abortion must be built upon one single question: When exactly does human life begin? At conception, at birth or somewhere in between?
Not even the most radical feminist would find it okay to tear apart a recently-born baby just because it is not wanted by its mother. All other considerations aside, the only reason many individuals can support abortion with a good conscience is because they believe it's not murder… and that unborn babies do not count as human beings.
Ron Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. He believes that human life starts at conception, and that casual elimination of the unborn leads to a careless attitude towards all life.
Recalling his personal observation of a late-term abortion performed by one of his instructors during his medical residency, Ron Paul stated, "It was pretty dramatic for me to see a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket."
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/abortion (10/31/2011)
I am an unwavering advocate of pro-life values. The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.
Many talk about being pro-life. I have taken direct action to restore protection for the unborn.
I do not believe that the federal government should fund stem cell research of any variety. Under the Constitution, this issue is left to states, private businesses, and individuals.
I am opposed to federal abortion funding.
In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, HR 1094.
I am also the prime sponsor of HR 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn.
I am opposed to any federal funds for any form of cloning.
I have also authored HR 1095, which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called "population control."
Any policies on this issue must, under the Constitution, be settled at the state and local levels.
Source: Ron Paul (02/26/2008)
Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.
The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence - not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.
The "Patriot" Act, which was supposed to fight terrorism, allows the government to snoop on average citizens, obtain nationwide search warrants without local judicial oversight, monitor private Internet usage (that includes our emails and surfing habits), search our homes and offices without our knowledge, and force libraries and bookstores to turn over our reading records.
There is no financial privacy left in this country. Banks have become a one stop shop for overzealous government snoops and other privacy violators, and we've been working overtime to impose our paranoid "Know Your Customer" standards on the rest of the world.
Medical privacy has deteriorated in a similar manner. Our medical records are being transcribed in India and insurance companies and other entities have the right to access our medical history any time they choose. Ron Paul is one of the nation's foremost defenders of our privacy. He keeps fighting against misguided Know Your Customer rules and the misnamed "Patriot" Act.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/civil-liberties (10/31/2011)
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business's workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judge's defined body of potential employees. Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.
Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/civil-rights-act (10/31/2011)
We must stop the move toward a national ID card system. All states are preparing to issue new driver's licenses embedded with "standard identifier" data - a national ID. A national ID with new tracking technologies means we're heading into an Orwellian world of no privacy. Ron Paul voted against the Real ID Act in March of 2005.
Remember the media's hysterical outcry when Obama's passport details were illegally accessed during the Democratic primaries in 2008? The fact that the privacy of regular citizens is routinely subjected to much more serious abuse was conveniently ignored.
Medical privacy has deteriorated in a similar manner. Our medical records are being transcribed in India and insurance companies and other entities have the right to access our medical history any time they choose. Ron Paul is one of the nation's foremost defenders of our privacy.
Ensure that those harmed during medical treatment receive fair compensation while reducing the burden of costly malpractice litigation on the health care system by providing a tax credit for "negative outcomes" insurance purchased before medical treatment.
Source: www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/health-care (10/29/2011)
The biggest threat to your privacy is the government. We must drastically limit the ability of government to collect and store data regarding citizens' personal matters.
We must also protect medical privacy. Right now, you're vulnerable. Under so-called "medical privacy protection" rules, insurance companies and other entities have access to your personal medical information.
Financial privacy-- Right now depositing $10,000 or more in cash in your local bank account will generate a federally-mandated report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the United States Department of the Treasury.
We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches.
Today, we face a new threat of widespread eminent domain actions as a result of powerful interests who want to build a NAFTA superhighway through the United States from Mexico to Canada.
We also face another danger in regulatory takings: Through excess regulation, governments deprive property owners of significant value and use of their properties -- all without paying "just compensation."
Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society. Without the right to own a printing press, for example, freedom of the press becomes meaningless. The next president must get federal agencies out of these schemes to deny property owners their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.
We should eradicate all these hate laws. They indicate that some people would receive a different penalty on others.
Source: GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate (09/17/2007)
The only real and lasting way to stimulate the economy is to reduce the amount of money government takes out of the private economy. The only way to do this is by cutting taxes. When taxes are reduced on individuals, they have more money to spend, save, or invest. When taxes are reduced on companies, they have more money to hire new employees, increase wages, or pay dividends to investors. Since all economic growth depends on private capital, the goal of any economic stimulus plan must be to leave more private capital in the hands of investors. When too much American wealth is tied up in government coffers, investment and job growth suffer.
My plan to revitalize the economy for the long-term can be found here: http://www.ronpaul2008.com/prosperity/ It involves four points: tax reform, spending reform, monetary policy reform, and regulatory reform.
The Federal Reserve, our central bank, fosters runaway debt by increasing the money supply -- making each dollar in your pocket worth less. The Fed is a private bank run by unelected officials who are not required to be open or accountable to "we the people."
Ron Paul works towards the elimination of the inefficient Department of Education, leaving education decisions to be made at the state, local or personal level. Parents should have the right to spend their money on the school or method of schooling they deem appropriate for their children.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/education (10/31/2011)
Another bill I have sponsored, H.R. 1059, allows full-time elementary and secondary teachers a $3,000 yearly tax credit, thus easing their financial burden and encouraging good teachers to stay in an underpaid profession.
To help parents with the costs of schooling, I have introduced H.R. 1056, the Family Education Freedom Act, in Congress. This bill would allow parents a tax credit of up to $5,000 (adjustable after 2007 for inflation) per student per year for the cost of attendance at an elementary and/or secondary school. This includes private, parochial, religious, and home schools.
Many parents have already shown their desire to be free of federal control by either enrolling their children in private schools or homeschooling them. And students enrolled in these alternatives have consistently performed better and tested higher than those in state-run schools.
Returning control of education to parents is the centerpiece of my education agenda. As President I will advance tax credits through the Family Education Freedom Act, which reduces taxes to make it easier for parents to home school by allowing them to devote more of their own funds to their children's education.
I am committed to guaranteeing parity for home school diplomas and advancing equal scholarship consideration for students entering college from a home school environment.
We must have permanency in the Department of Defense Home School Tier 1 Pilot Program, providing recruitment status parity for home school graduates. I will use my authority to prevent the Department of Education from regulating home school activities.
I will veto any legislation that creates national standards or national testing for home school parents or students. I also believe that, as long as No Child Left Behind remains law, it must include the protections for home schoolers included in sec. 9506 (enshrining home schoolers' rights) and 9527 (guaranteeing no national curriculum).
Federal monies must never be used to undermine the rights of homeschooling parents. I will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to encourage a culture of educational freedom throughout the nation.
On November 14, 2008 Ron Paul said in a New York Times interview:
"First, the Constitution does not authorize the Department of Education, and the founders never envisioned the federal government dictating those education policies.
Second, it is a huge bureaucracy that squanders our money. We send billions of dollars to Washington and get back less than we sent. The money would be much better off left in states and local communities rather than being squandered in Washington.
Finally, I think that the smallest level of government possible best performs education. Teachers, parents, and local community leaders should be making decisions about exactly how our children should be taught, not Washington bureaucrats.
The Department of Education has given us No Child Left Behind, massive unfunded mandates, indoctrination, and in some cases, forced medication of our children with psychotropic drugs. We should get rid of all of that and get those choices back in the hands of the people."
I have cosponsored legislation designed to encourage the development of alternative energy. H.R. 550 extends the investment tax credit to solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property, and H.R. 1772 provides tax credits for the installation of wind energy property.
Government regulations, taxes, and corporate subsidies have distorted the energy market, causing some prices to rise above what they would be in the free market, while artificially lowering other prices and discouraging conservation. The costs of energy subsidies are hidden in your tax bill so the government can silently withhold them from your wallet with each paycheck.
As president, I will work to restore a free-market in energy. In particular, I will work with Congress to repeal federal regulations and taxes that impede the development of new energy sources. Such policies give government bureaucrats the power to pick winners and losers, and cause resources to be devoted to those producers with the most political clout rather than to the producers who are best able to meet the needs of consumers. Alternative sources should prove their viability in the free market. Any source that truly is cheaper and cleaner, yet still reliable, will not need government help to develop or sell.
Returning to a free market in energy will encourage conservation as well as the development of new forms of energy. In a free market, conservation occurs naturally when property rights are strictly enforced to prevent pollution and because resources become more costly as they become scarcer.
I am a co-sponsor of legislation designed to encourage the development of alternative and sustainable energy. H.R. 550 extends the investment tax credit to solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property, and H.R. 1772 provides tax credits for the installation of wind energy property.
Nuclear energy can also provide the American people with a reliable and environmentally sound alternative. Therefore, I will repeal federal regulations that hinder the development of nuclear energy. However, I will also repeal all federal subsidies and privileges granted the nuclear industry. Nuclear power should prove its worth in the free-market.
I consistently vote against using tax dollars to subsidize logging in National Forests.
After additional consideration and analysis and shortly before the release of the Climategate emails in late 2009, Ron Paul identified the artificial panic around Global Warming as an elaborate hoax:
"The greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on [...] global warming." - Ron Paul on Fox Business, Nov. 4, 2009
"[The Copenhagen treaty on climate change] can't help the economy. It has to hurt the economy and it can't possibly help the environment because they're totally off track on that. It might turn out to be one of the biggest hoaxes of all history, this whole global warming terrorism that they've been using, but we'll have to just wait and see, but it cannot be helpful. It's going to hurt everybody." - Ron Paul on the Alex Jones Show, Nov. 5, 2009
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/global-warming (10/31/2011)
The federal government has proven itself untrustworthy with environmental policy by facilitating polluters, subsidizing logging in the National Forests, and instituting one-size-fits-all approaches that too often discriminate against those they are intended to help.
The key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights. The strict enforcement of property rights corrects environmental wrongs while increasing the cost of polluting.
In a free market, no one is allowed to pollute his neighbor's land, air, or water. If your property is being damaged, you have every right to sue the polluter, and government should protect that right. After paying damages, the polluter's production and sale costs rise, making it unprofitable to continue doing business the same way. Currently, preemptive regulations and pay-to-pollute schemes favor those wealthy enough to perform the regulatory tap dance, while those who own the polluted land rarely receive a quick or just resolution to their problems.
If you want to change people, you change them through persuasion, through family values and church values, but you can't do it through legislation because force doesn't work.
Ron Paul is an unwavering advocate of pro-family values.
Source: Candidate Website (01/05/2008)
Too many politicians and lobbyists are spending America into ruin. We are nine trillion dollars in debt as a nation. Our mounting government debt endangers the financial future of our children and grandchildren. If we don't cut spending now, higher taxes and economic disaster will be in their future -- and yours.
Worse, our economy and our very independence as a nation is increasingly in the hands of foreign governments such as China and Saudi Arabia, because their central banks also finance our runaway spending.
We cannot continue to allow private banks, wasteful agencies, lobbyists, corporations on welfare, and governments collecting foreign aid to dictate the size of our ballooning budget. We need a new method to prioritize our spending. It's called the Constitution of the United States.
Fully recognizing the harm caused by printing money to cover budget deficits might create public pressure to restrain spending- something the two parties don't want. The Fed is solely responsible for inflation by creating money out of thin air. It does so either to monetize federal debt, or in the process of economic planning through interest rate manipulation. This Fed intervention in our economy, though rarely even acknowledged by Congress, is more destructive than Members can imagine. The Fed's great power over the money supply, interest rates, the business cycle, unemployment, and inflation is wielded with essentially no Congressional oversight or understanding. The process of inflating our currency to pay for government debt indeed imposes a tax without legislative authority.
My message to my colleagues is simple: If you claim to support smaller government, don't introduce budgets that increase spending over the previous year. Can any fiscal conservative honestly believe that overall federal spending cannot be cut 25%?
When government borrows money, the actual borrowers- big spending administrations and politicians- never have to pay it back. Administrations come and go, members of congress become highly-paid lobbyists, and bureaucrats retire with fat pensions. The benefits of deficit spending are enjoyed immediately by the politicians, who trade pork for votes and enjoy adulation for promising to cure every social ill. The bills always come due later. For government, the federal budget is essentially a credit card with no spending limit, billed to somebody else. By contrast, responsible people restrain their borrowing because they will someday have to repay the money. It's time for American taxpayers to understand that every dollar will have to be repaid. We should have the courage to face our grandchildren knowing that we have done all we can to end the government spending spree.
Bankers and politicians have worked hand in hand for many decades to obscure their activities from the public. They hide behind elaborate structures designed to inflate the money supply while creating the false impression that they are looking out for our best interests.
Inflation is a very simple concept to understand: More money = less value. The money is officially a loan (credit), but they know they never have to pay it back… they just "roll it over", i.e. take up even more debt. With all that easy money in their accounts, and after hearing on TV that stocks only go up and that real estate prices will continue to rise forever, they tend to get a bit lightheaded and start making bad investment decisions. They know that if anything happens to their investments they will be bailed out by the government, so they do not hesitate to take huge risks with their new found "wealth".
Well, that's inflation at work. Who benefits from inflation? Only those who are at the top of the pyramid and receive all that new money directly from the source. As you might have guessed by now, the source is the Federal Reserve, and its recipients include the government which "borrows" a lot of new money each year, without any intention of ever paying it back.
What, then, is fiat money? It's exactly what we just talked about: money that can be inflated or increased at the push of a button at the say-so of a powerful person or organization. Nowadays most dollars are just blips on a computer screen and it's extremely easy for the Federal Reserve to create money out of thin air whenever they want to.
Ron Paul believes that the first step towards monetary freedom is to allow open competition in currencies. Ron Paul has been an advocate of the gold standard and open competition in currencies for many years. He is the Federal Reserve's most outspoken opponent in Congress and has frequently questioned Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke about the Fed's actions.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/fiat-money-inflation-federal-reserve-2 (10/31/2011)
As president, I will veto any unbalanced budget.
The federal government lacks constitutional authority to mandate labeling of products containing genetically-modified food. Furthermore, those who do not wish to consume genetically-modified products should be leery of federally-mandated labeling because history shows that federal regulatory agencies are susceptible to "capture," where the regulators end up serving the interest of the business they are supposed to control. In the case of labeling, federal agencies could redefine the meaning of "modified" to allow genetically-engineered food on the market without fully-informing consumers of the presence of genetically-engineered ingredients.
Instead of federal regulation, consumers should demand that manufactures provide full information and refuse to buy those products that are not fully labeled. Once producers see there is a demand for non-genetically-engineered products they will act to fulfill that demand. Of course, makers of genetically-engineered food should be held legally responsible if they fraudulently market their products or harm anyone.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in order to comply with standards dictated by supra-national organizations such as the UN's World Food Code (CODEX), NAFTA, and CAFTA, has been assuming greater control over nutrients, vitamins and natural health care providers to restrict your right to choose the manner in which you manage your health and nutritional needs.
I oppose legislation that increases the FDA's legal powers. FDA has consistently failed to protect the public from dangerous drugs, genetically modified foods, dangerous pesticides and other chemicals in the food supply. Meanwhile they waste public funds attacking safe, healthy foods and dietary supplements
The ICC wants to try our soldiers as war criminals.
UN wants to impose a direct tax on us. I successfully fought this move in Congress last year, but if we are going to stop ongoing attempts of this world government body to tax us, we will need leadership from the White House.
Under no circumstances should the U.S. again go to war as the result of a resolution that comes from an unelected, foreign body, such as the United Nations.
If you hit someone and kill their family, they will hate you and probably hit you back in the future.
That's what blowback is all about. It seems like such a simple concept, but many of Ron Paul's former opponents for the Presidency vehemently denied its validity. Instead of securing our borders, we've been planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression. Within a few short years, we turned Iraq into the world's leading breeding ground for terrorists. Our military is spread thin all across the planet, yet we remain involved in dangerous power plays that unnecessarily put the lives of our soldiers at risk. And we brazenly squandered the wealth of our nation as if there were no tomorrow.
It doesn't make any sense unless you consider increasing the profits of the military-industrial complex to be in the "national interest", no matter what the cost to the rest of us may be.
America first. That is what Ron Paul's national defense proposal is all about. And with America he means all Americans, not just the elite. If elected President, Ron Paul will continue his efforts to secure our borders, hunt down the 9/11 terrorist planners (who are still at large), safely withdraw our troops from Iraq and other countries around the world, and finally overhaul the intelligence apparatus in cooperation with intelligence professionals rather than political opportunists.
Ron Paul loves America. He is one of the very few true patriots left in Washington who are actively working on protecting our freedoms, our lives and our dignity.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/national-defense (10/31/2011)
An America-first defense policy will not go abroad seeking monsters to slay, but will deter through strength and lead by example. We can best "export" our values by setting a good example and maintaining a non-interventionist foreign policy.
If you believe in federalism, it's better that we allow these things to be left to the state. My personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony. And it should be dealt with religiously. The [government] really shouldn't be involved. The government got involved mostly for health reasons 100 years or so ago. But this should be a religious matter. All voluntary associations, whether they're economic or social, should be protected by the law. But to amend the Constitution is totally unnecessary to define something that's already in the dictionary. We do know what marriage is about. We don't need a new definition or argue over a definition and have an Amendment. To me, it just seems so unnecessary to do that. There's no need for the federal government to be involved in this.
Source: GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida (10/21/2007)
Earmarks seem to be the hot topic this week, and as a fiscal conservative I am dismayed so many people deliberately distort the earmarking process and grandstand to make political points. It is an easy thing to do with earmarks. It takes a little more time and patience to grasp the reality of what earmarks really are.
To be sure, if earmarks were the driving force behind explosive government spending as some have been led to believe, that would be a good reason for all the fuss. The misconception seems to be that members of Congress put together a bunch of requests for project funding, add them all together and come up with a budget. The truth is, it is not done that way. The total level of spending is determined by the Congressional leadership and the appropriators before any Member has a chance to offer any amendments. To eliminate all earmarks would be to further consolidate power in the already dominant executive branch and not save a penny.
Furthermore, designating how money is spent provides a level of transparency and accountability over taxpayer dollars that we don't have with general funds. I argue that all spending should be decided by Congress so that we at least know where the money goes. This has been a major problem with TARP funding. The public and Congress are now trying to find out where all that money went.
The real issue is that the overall budget is too big, by far, which is why I always vote against it. But attacking the 1% that was earmarked solves nothing. The noise over "earmarks" is a red herring and a distraction from the real issue of uncommitted spending.
It is time to attack the entirety of government spending. We especially need a full account of the activities of the Federal Reserve that spends and creates trillions of dollars with no meaningful oversight. This is a huge problem that needs immediate attention.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/2009-03-16/more-earmarks-less-government (10/31/2011)
I also recently opposed H.R. 2640, which would allow government-appointed psychiatrists to ban U.S. veterans experiencing even mild forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome from ever owning a gun.
I believe that manufactures and dealers should not be held liable for criminal misuse of firearms by others.
I have always supported the Second Amendment and these are some of the bills I have introduced in the current Congress to help restore respect for it:
H.R. 1096 includes provisions repealing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the Federal Firearms License Reform Act of 1993, two invasive and unconstitutional bills.
H.R. 1897 would end the ban on carrying a firearm in the National Park System, restoring Americans' ability to protect themselves in potentially hazardous situations.
H.R. 3305 would allow pilots and specially assigned law enforcement personnel to carry firearms in order to protect airline passengers, possibly preventing future 9/11-style attacks.
H.R. 1146 would end our membership in the United Nations, protecting us from their attempts to tax our guns or disarm us entirely.
You have the right to protect your life, liberty, and property. As President, I will continue to guard the liberties stated in the Second Amendment.
I share our Founders' belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms. They ratified the Second Amendment knowing that this right is the guardian of every other right, and they all would be horrified by the proliferation of unconstitutional legislation that prevents law-abiding Americans from exercising this right.
The Founders themselves wrote in the Federalist papers about the need for individuals to be armed. In fact, James Madison argued in Federalist paper 46 that common citizens should be armed to guard against the threat posed by the newly proposed standing federal army.
Today, gun control makes people demonstrably less safe-- as any honest examination of criminal statistics reveals. In his book "More Guns, Less Crime," scholar John Lott demolishes the myth that gun control reduces crime. On the contrary, Lott shows that cities with strict gun control--like Washington DC--experience higher rates of murder and violent crime. It is no coincidence that violent crime flourishes in the nation's capital, where the individual's right to defend himself has been most severely curtailed.
Understand that residents of DC can be convicted of a felony and put in prison simply for having a gun in their home, even if they live in a very dangerous neighborhood. The DC gun ban is no joke, and the legal challenges to the ban are not simply academic exercises. People's lives and safety are at stake.
Gun control historically serves as a gateway to tyranny. Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control. Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right. This is the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate. Only armed citizens can resist tyrannical government.
In the past, I introduced legislation to repeal the so-called "assault weapons" ban before its 2004 sunset, and I will oppose any attempts to reinstate it.
There is only one solution that will lead to true health and true freedom: making health care more affordable. Ron Paul believes that only true free market competition will put pressure on the providers and force them to lower their costs to remain in business. Additionally, Ron Paul wants to change the tax code to allow individual Americans to fully deduct all health care costs from their taxes.
Through these measures and the elimination of government-sponsored health care monopolies a much larger number of people will be able to finally access affordable health care, either by paying for medical insurance or by covering their medical expenses, which are now much lower, out of their own pocket.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/health-care (10/31/2011)
I have introduced the Health Freedom Protection Act, HR 2117, to ensure Americans can receive truthful health information about supplements and natural remedies.
I support the Access to Medical Treatment Act, H.R. 2717, which expands the ability of Americans to use alternative medicine and new treatments.
* Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines.
* Provide tax credits and deductions for all medical expenses.
* Exempt those with terminal illnesses from the employee portion of payroll taxes while they are suffering from such illnesses or are incurring significant medical costs associated with their conditions.
* Give a payroll deduction to any worker who is the primary caregiver for a spouse, parent, or child with a terminal illness.
* Ensure that those harmed during medical treatment receive fair compensation while reducing the burden of costly malpractice litigation on the health care system by providing a tax credit for "negative outcomes" insurance purchased before medical treatment.
* Guarantee that what is taken from taxpayers to pay for Medicare and Medicaid is not raided for other purposes.
* Make all Americans eligible for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and remove government-imposed barriers to obtaining HSAs.
* Stop the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from interfering with Americans' knowledge of and access to dietary supplements and alternative treatments.
* Prevent federal bureaucrats from tracking every citizen's medical history from cradle to grave by prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds for a national database of personal health information.
Dr. Ron Paul spent his entire career in the medical profession working to uphold this simple principle by ensuring his patients received the best care he could give them, even if they could not afford it.
Dr. Paul understands the key to effective and efficient medical care is the doctor-patient relationship. Yet, federal bureaucrats continue to believe that their one-size-fits-all policies will lower costs, increase access, and cure an ailing industry.
Instead, excessive regulation, immoral mandates, and short-sighted incentives have created a system where no one is happy, doctors pass quickly from one patient to the next, insurance is expensive to get and difficult to maintain, and politicians place corporate interests ahead of their constituents.
I also opposed the Homeland Security Bill, H.R. 5005, which, in section 304, authorizes the forced vaccination of American citizens against small pox. The government should never have the power to require immunizations or vaccinations.
I have sponsored H.R. 3305 in Congress, which would allow pilots and specially assigned law enforcement personnel to carry firearms in order to protect airline passengers, possibly preventing future 9/11-style attacks.
That's what blowback is all about. It seems like such a simple concept, but many of Ron Paul's former opponents for the Presidency vehemently denied its validity.
They professed that what our military does abroad has no effect on how the citizens of the world feel towards us. Rudy Giuliani in particular believed that the 9/11 terrorists hated our wealth and freedom so intensely that they sacrificed their lives to prove it. (Of course, our government bombing their countries, propping up their dictators and supplying their enemies with money and weapons had nothing to do with it.)
Instead of securing our borders, we've been planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression. Within a few short years, we turned Iraq into the world's leading breeding ground for terrorists. Our military is spread thin all across the planet, yet we remain involved in dangerous power plays that unnecessarily put the lives of our soldiers at risk. And we brazenly squandered the wealth of our nation as if there were no tomorrow.
An America-first defense policy understands the need to rationally assess the threats that do exist to the United States and then figure out what we can do to minimize those threats. We must be willing to ask and answer the hard questions. Has our foreign policy of interventionism overseas increased or decreased the threats to our security? When we interfere in a foreign election or foment unrest abroad, are the people more or less likely to harbor ill-feelings toward the United States and the American people?
As president, I would re-focus the efforts of our military and intelligence services on locating those individuals who planned the terrorist attacks on the U.S. and who remain at large. It must be made clear that the United States cannot be attacked with impunity. When I voted for the authorization to use force against those who attacked us in 2001, I did not imagine that we would be getting bogged down for years in a nation-building exercise in Afghanistan while the perpetrators remain at large. Efforts in that part of the world should be exclusively focused on apprehending those responsible for the attacks against the United States.
The issue is not whether one supports medical marijuana or not. The issue is whether Washington decides or local voters decide. For most issues, the Constitution leaves decision-making to the states. For most of the 20th century, however, the federal government has ignored the Constitution and run roughshod over state sovereignty. As a result, the centralizers of both parties in Washington cannot imagine a society not dominated by the federal government.
Ron Paul opposes the War on Drugs.
On November 20, 2008 Ron Paul said in a New York Times / Freakonomics interview:
"[...] the federal war on drugs has proven costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime. But if you question policy, you are accused of being pro-drug. That is preposterous. As a physician, father, and grandfather, I abhor drugs. I just know that there is a better way -- through local laws, communities, churches, and families -- to combat the very serious problem of drug abuse than a massive federal-government bureaucracy."
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/war-on-drugs (10/31/2011)
I believe that this issue needs to be resolved at the state and local level, and that the federal government has no constitutional authority to intervene in these decisions.
No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
A nation without borders is no nation at all. After decades of misguided policies America has now become a free-for-all. Our leaders betrayed the middle class which is forced to compete with welfare-receiving illegal immigrants who will work for almost anything.
If these policies are not reversed, the future is grim. A poor, dependent and divided population is much easier to rule than a nation of self-confident individuals who can make a living on their own and who share the traditions and values that this country was founded upon.
Ron Paul's six point plan puts a stop to illegal immigration:
Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That's a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.
Every day that passes makes it more difficult to reverse the damage that has already been done.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/border-security (10/31/2011)
We must stop the move toward a national ID card system. All states are preparing to issue new driver's licenses embedded with "standard identifier" data -- a national ID. A national ID with new tracking technologies means we're heading into an Orwellian world of no privacy. I voted against the Real ID Act in March of 2005.
Iran's history is being ignored, just as we ignored Iraq's history. This ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of our recent relationship to Iraq and Iran is required to generate the fervor needed to again attack a country that poses no threat to us. Our policies toward Iran have been more provocative than those towards Iraq.
In 1953 our CIA, with help of the British, participated in overthrowing the democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh. We placed the Shah in power. He ruled ruthlessly but protected our oil interests, and for that we protected him - until 1979. We even provided him with Iran's first nuclear reactor. Evidently we didn't buy the argument that his oil supplies precluded a need for civilian nuclear energy. From 1953 to 1979 his authoritarian rule served to incite a radical Muslim opposition led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who overthrew the Shah and took our hostages in 1979. The hostage crisis and overthrow of the Shah by the Ayatollah was a major victory for the radical Islamists. Most Americans either never knew about or easily forgot our unwise meddling in the internal affairs of Iran in 1953.
During the 1980s we further antagonized Iran by supporting the Iraqis in their invasion of Iran. This made our relationship with Iran worse, while sending a message to Saddam Hussein that invading a neighboring country is not all that bad. When Hussein got the message from our State Department that his plan to invade Kuwait was not of much concern to the U.S. he immediately proceeded to do so. Of course, this time our reaction was quite different, and all of a sudden our friendly ally Saddam Hussein became our arch-enemy. The American people may forget this flip-flop, but those who suffered from it never forget. Labeling the Iranians part of the axis of evil further alienated them and contributed to the animosity directed toward us.
There is no evidence that Iran is a threat, and no reason to plan and initiate a confrontation with her.
We need to remember that decision-making power under Iran's government is not all concentrated in the president. We are all familiar with the inflammatory rhetoric of President Ahmadinejad, but there are other governmental bodies in Iran that are more moderate and eager for dialogue. We have already spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a war in the Middle East. We cannot afford to continue on the path of conflict over dialogue and peaceful resolution. Unnecessarily threatening Iran is not in the US interest and is not in the interest of world peace.
Iran doesn't have a nuke and is nowhere close to getting one, according to the CIA. If they did have one, using it would guarantee almost instantaneous annihilation by Israel and the United States. Hysterical fear of Iran is way out of proportion to reality. With a policy of containment, we stood down and won the Cold War against the Soviets and their 30,000 nuclear weapons and missiles. If you're looking for a real kook with a bomb to worry about, North Korea would be high on the list. Yet we negotiate with Kim Jong Il. Pakistan has nukes and was a close ally of the Taliban up until 9/11. Pakistan was never inspected by the IAEA as to their military capability. Yet we not only talk to her, we provide economic assistance-- though someday Musharraf may well be overthrown and a pro-al Qaeda government put in place. We have been nearly obsessed with talking about regime change in Iran, while ignoring Pakistan and North Korea. It makes no sense and it's a very costly and dangerous policy.
Sanctions are unmistakably a move toward war, particularly when a demand is made that the other nations of the world similarly isolate and blockade the country. Those who wish for a regime change in Iran should especially reject sanctions - just look at how our Cuba policy has allowed Fidel Castro to maintain his hold on power for decades. Sanctions do not hurt political leaders, as we know most recently from our sanctions against Iraq, but rather sow misery among the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society. Dictators do not go hungry when sanctions are imposed.
On my first day as commander-in-chief, I will direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our commanders on the ground to devise and execute a plan to immediately withdraw our troops in the safest manner possible.
Shortly after 9/11, I voted for the authorization to go into Afghanistan because it told the president to do what he already had the authority to do: go after the ones who directly hit us. I was extremely disappointed that the mission there changed to one of nation-building, and I support immediate withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan.
I favor an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.
We can continue to fund and fight no-win police actions around the globe, or we can refocus on securing America and bring the troops home. No war should ever be fought without a declaration of war voted upon by the Congress, as required by the Constitution.
Instead of securing our borders, we've been planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression. Within a few short years, we turned Iraq into the world's leading breeding ground for terrorists.
This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again.
I believe that the Iraqi people must make the decision to do this or not.
All rights are individuals. We do not get our rights because we belong to a group. Whether it's homosexuals, women, minorities, it leads us astray. You don't get your rights belonging to your group. A group can't force themselves on anybody else. So there should be no affirmative action for any group.
Guarantee that what is taken from taxpayers to pay for Medicare and Medicaid is not raided for other purposes.
The current system is most definitely broken, and it must eventually be abolished if we want to regain both our health and our freedom.
But Obamacare is the worst possible answer. All it does is perpetuate a flawed system by forcing everyone to become a client of insurance companies, even those who don't want to or need to participate.
Why should anyone be forced to subsidize the medical care of others? Very few individuals would personally assault their neighbors at gunpoint and steal thousands of dollars to pay for their own medical needs. How could any freedom loving person agree to delegate such criminal acts to the government by supporting a compulsory health insurance system?
Few people realize that Congress forced Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) on us. HMOs rose to prominence through federal legislation, incentives, and coercion.
Unfortunately, the current medical monopoly corrupts many doctors by rewarding practices that are not in the patients' best interest. Pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in not curing people, but getting them permanently addicted to expensive drugs that have many side effects, thereby requiring additional drugs to suppress those side effects. Many doctors are afraid to speak up and question the system for fear of being ostracized by their peers or even losing their license.
Under a liberated health care system prices would come down and additional options would become available, thereby making health care much more affordable. Moral corruption would give way to true compassion, and many doctors would remember their implicit obligation to provide free medical care to those in need, just like they did in the past.
Make every American eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA), and removing the requirement that individuals must obtain a high-deductible insurance policy before opening an HSA.
As a medical doctor, Ron Paul swore the Hippocratic Oath many decades ago. His entire person and career is a monument to the beauty and sanctity of human life. Ron Paul knows that life without health can be very difficult and is not what it was meant to be. He has personally cared for the poor for many years, without asking anything in return.
The government's original role is to protect our freedoms and restrain itself from causing too much harm. Ron Paul is working to prevent greedy bureaucrats, opportunist politicians and corrupt pharmaceutical companies from having any sort of unhealthy influence over our bodies and minds.
As for the poor and the severely ill who can neither obtain insurance nor pay for the medical care they need, Ron Paul offers the following solution in his book "The Revolution: A Manifesto":
In the days before Medicare and Medicaid, the poor and elderly were admitted to hospitals at the same rate they are now, and received good care. Before those programs came into existence, every physician understood that he or she had a responsibility towards the less fortunate and free medical care was the norm. Hardly anyone is aware of this today, since it doesn't fit into the typical, by the script story of government rescuing us from a predatory private sector.
Illegal aliens already receive de-facto free health care. Why can't poor Americans have the same… not as a right, but as a charitable benefit provided by doctors who feel a personal responsibility for their fellow citizens?
Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines.
I support free trade and friendship with all nations, meaning that my administration would treat Israel as a friend and trading partner. Americans would be encouraged to travel to and trade with Israel.
I do believe that our current policies toward Israel are doing more harm than good to those we profess to support. Our foreign military aid to Israel is actually more like corporate welfare to the U.S. military industrial complex, as Israel is forced to purchase only U.S. products with this assistance. We send almost twice as much aid to other countries in the Middle East, which only insures increased militarization and the drive toward war.
We have adopted a foreign policy that has left Israel surrounded by militaristic nations while undermining Israel's sovereignty by demanding that its foreign and defense policies be essentially pre-approved in Washington. That is a bad deal for Israel, as sovereign nations must determine on their own what is a most appropriate national defense. On foreign policy as well, the U.S. steps in to prevent Israel from engaging in dialogue with nations of which the U.S. administration disapproves -- even though achieving a lasting peace in the region is the best guarantor of Israel's safety. The United States should take care of its own sovereignty while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of nations like Israel. That is the best way to preserve security and prosperity for all.
The best thing we can do for the Middle East region is to allow them to be in control of their own affairs once more.
To put this in a proper perspective, consider how Americans would feel if the Gulf of Mexico were patrolled and protected by warships of a foreign power, say the Russians. What would we then think if that same power patrolling the Gulf built air bases in Texas and Florida with our government's complicity with the argument that this was necessary to protect "their" oil? This would anger many Americans and this anger would be directed to both the foreign occupiers of our territorial waters and our own government that permitted it. Yet this is exactly what has been happening in the Persian Gulf region. For religious, historic and sovereignty reasons, the Muslim people harbor great resentment toward us.
With American forces either occupying, threatening, or subsidizing nearly every country in the Middle East, we have unintentionally made it easier for Islamic terrorists to recruit followers to their radical ideologies.
Our long term goal should be trade and diplomacy with all Middle Eastern nations, along with a complete cessation of any interference in their internal affairs.
I adamantly oppose any attempts to re-institute the draft. The danger of a draft looms large as many call for expanding the current war.
A draft violates the very principles of individual liberty upon which our nation was founded. Former President Ronald Regan eloquently expressed the moral case against the draft in the publication Human Events in 1979: "...[conscription] rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state--not for parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers--to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our society. That assumption isn't a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea."
I believe wholeheartedly that an all-volunteer military is not only sufficient for national defense, but also preferable. It is time to abolish the Selective Service System and resign military conscription to the dustbin of American history.
A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.
The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.
It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism.
We must also address the desire of younger workers to save and invest on their own. We should cut payroll taxes and give workers the opportunity to seek better returns in the private market.
Imposing any tax on Social Security benefits is unfair and illogical. In Congress, I have introduced the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act (H.R. 191), which repeals ALL taxes on Social Security benefits, to eliminate political theft of our seniors' income and raise their standard of living.
I have never voted to spend a single penny from the Social Security Trust Fund on anything other than Social Security and believe that Trust Fund money should only be spent on Social Security.
Solvency is the key to keeping our promise to our seniors, and I have introduced the Social Security Preservation Act (H.R. 219) to ensure that money paid into the system is only used for Social Security.
Excessive government spending has created the insolvency crisis in Social Security. We must significantly reduce spending so that our nation can keep its promise to our seniors.
Our nation's promise to its seniors, once considered a sacred trust, has become little more than a tool for politicians to scare retirees while robbing them of their promised benefits. Today, the Social Security system is broke and broken. Those in the system are seeing their benefits dwindle due to higher taxes, increasing inflation, and irresponsible public spending. The proposed solutions, ranging from lower benefits to higher taxes to increasing the age of eligibility, are NOT solutions; they are betrayals.
I oppose any income taxes on seniors.
I am opposed to the marriage penalty.
Ron Paul supports the elimination of the income tax and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He asserts that Congress had no power to impose a direct income tax and has introduced legislation to repeal of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified on February 3, 1913.
An income tax is the most degrading and totalitarian of all possible taxes. Its implementation wrongly suggests that the government owns the lives and labor of the citizens it is supposed to represent. Tellingly, "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax" is Plank #2 of the Communist Manifesto, which was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and first published in 1848.
To provide funding for the federal government, Ron Paul supports excise taxes, non-protectionist tariffs, massive cuts in spending.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/taxes (10/31/2011)
I favor abolishing the IRS and ending the income tax once and for all by repealing the Sixteenth Amendment.
Ron Paul supports the elimination of the income tax and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He asserts that Congress had no power to impose a direct income tax and has introduced legislation to repeal of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified on February 3, 1913. To provide funding for the federal government, Ron Paul supports excise taxes, non-protectionist tariffs, massive cuts in spending.
While better than our current system, I believe that a national sales tax is not necessary. We can abolish the IRS and end the income tax if we simply cut spending.
I am in favor of tax credits for children's health care, and have also introduced a bill that would make all medical expenses tax deductible.
He voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), holding that it increased the size of government, eroded U.S. sovereignty, and was unconstitutional.
Source: www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/free-trade (10/31/2011)
WTO is a threat to our independence as a nation. Both the WTO and CAFTA could force Americans to get a doctor's prescription to take herbs and vitamins. Alternative treatments could be banned. The WTO has forced Congress to change our laws, yet we still face trade wars. Today, France is threatening to have U.S. goods taxed throughout Europe. If anything, the WTO makes trade relations worse by giving foreign competitors a new way to attack U.S. jobs.
Ron Paul is a proponent of free trade and rejects protectionism, advocating "conducting open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations." He opposes many free trade agreements (FTAs), like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), stating that "free-trade agreements are really managed trade" and serve special interests and big business, not citizens.
He voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), holding that it increased the size of government, eroded U.S. sovereignty, and was unconstitutional. He has also voted against the Australia-U.S. FTA, the U.S.-Singapore FTA, and the U.S.-Chile FTA, and voted to withdraw from the WTO. He believes that "fast track" powers, given by Congress to the President to devise and negotiate FTAs on the country's behalf, are unconstitutional, and that Congress, rather than the executive branch, should construct FTAs.
He voted against the Australia-U.S. FTA, the U.S.-Singapore FTA, and the U.S.-Chile FTA, and voted to withdraw from the WTO. He believes that "fast track" powers, given by Congress to the President to devise and negotiate FTAs on the country's behalf, are unconstitutional, and that Congress, rather than the executive branch, should construct FTAs.
I oppose any attempts to create a North American Union and have been working in Congress to stop these plans.
I support immediately ending the requirement that disabled veterans give up their military retirement pay in order to receive VA disability benefits.
Many politicians talk about honoring our veterans and their sacrifices. Yet so often the rhetoric obscures the reality that the federal government treats veterans badly. Congress wastes billions of dollars on countless unconstitutional programs, but fails to provide adequately for the men and women who carry out the most important constitutional function: national defense.
Any nation willing to ask its men and women to risk their lives serving overseas must also be willing to fulfill the promises that were made to them when they enlisted in our country's service. We cannot provide adequate care with a VA that is run like the IRS.
Having served in the U.S. Air Force for five years, I feel an obligation to our veterans and current armed forces. As a congressman, I have fought hard to make sure veterans receive the care and respect they deserve. I will continue that fight as president.
I support restoring health care coverage to retired service members and reducing their out-of-pocket costs, and I also support fully investigating the causes of Gulf War illnesses and providing all necessary treatments to veterans suffering from those illnesses.
Raising living standards for all Americans is an admirable goal; however, to believe that Congress can raise the standard of living for working Americans by simply forcing employers to pay their employees a higher wage is equivalent to claiming that Congress can repeal gravity by passing a law saying humans shall have the ability to fly.
Economic principles dictate that when government imposes a minimum wage rate above the market wage rate, it creates a surplus `wedge' between the supply of labor and the demand for labor, leading to an increase in unemployment. Employers cannot simply begin paying more to workers whose marginal productivity does not meet or exceed the law-imposed wage. The only course of action available to the employer is to mechanize operations or employ a higher-skilled worker whose output meets or exceeds the `minimum wage.'
Furthermore, interfering in the voluntary transactions of employers and employees in the name of making things better for low wage earners violates citizens' rights of association and freedom of contract as if to say to citizens `you are incapable of making employment decisions for yourself in the marketplace.'
While it may make us feel good to raise the federal minimum wage, the real life consequences will be vested upon those who can least afford to be deprived of work opportunities. Therefore, rather than pretending that Congress can repeal the economic principles, I support embracing a program of tax cuts and regulatory reform to strengthen the greatest producer of jobs and prosperity in human history: the free market.
I support the repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act.
If religious organizations receive taxpayer monies, they will have an incentive to make obedience to the dictates of federal bureaucrats their number-one priority. Religious entities may even change the religious character of their programs in order to avoid displeasing their new federal paymaster. This will occur in large part because people who currently voluntarily support religious organizations will assume they ``gave at the (tax) office'' and thus will reduce their level of private giving. Thus, religious charities will become increasingly dependent on federal funds for support. Since ``he who pays the piper calls the tune'' federal bureaucrats and Congress will then control the content of "faith-based" programs.
The better approach is to abide by constitutional restrictions and get the federal government completely out of the business of providing social services. Private charities and religious organizations will flourish in this country if we simply get government out of the way. First and foremost, we must exempt such organizations from regulations which constantly thwart their efforts. Second, we must endorse the proposal by President Bush to allow all Americans a deduction for charitable contributions, regardless of whether they itemize deductions or not. The majority of taxpayers apply the standard deduction, and they should enjoy a tax benefit for giving to charity even in small amounts. We should allow a 100% deduction for all contributions, regardless of whether they are made to a standard charity, a charitable foundation or trust, or a religious organization. Finally, we must massively reduce government spending, so that income taxes can be lowered drastically. Americans are charitable by nature, but they rightfully resent losing nearly half their incomes to various levels of government. American charities would see huge increases in their budgets for providing social services if taxes were reduced to sane levels.
I will work to reduce taxes on the American family. In addition, my goals of restoring a sound monetary policy and stopping the government from wasting trillions on an overseas empire will enable the American people to devote their own resources to meeting the needs of America's children. Private efforts are much better at providing effective and compassionate care for children than any government bureaucracy.