A Word From Ron Paul
Ron Paul 03.04.08, 3:20 PM ET
America became the greatest, most prosperous nation in history through low
taxes, constitutionally limited government, personal freedom and a belief
in sound money. I decided to run for president because I am deeply
concerned that the conservative movement has drifted away from these
principles that we once so fiercely defended. Deficits have exploded,
entitlements are out of control and our personal liberties are threatened
like never before.
The current state of our economy drives home the hard truth that living
beyond our means has caught up to us. Oil is over $100 a barrel, the
housing market is in sharp decline and the dollar is in a free fall.
The national debt now stands in excess of $9 trillion, more than $30,000
per person. The total future debt obligations of the United States,
including entitlements, are estimated at around $59 trillion, which
equates to over $500,000 per household. Social Security and Medicare will
likely consume the entire federal budget by 2040, threatening the average
American with an impossible tax burden.
As I said this past November to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke,
"We're indeed between a rock and a hard place, and we don't talk about how
we got here; we talk about how we are going to patch it up." The
"solutions" proposed so far--stimulus packages, bailouts and interest rate
cuts--just amount to printing more money, which will lead to greater
currency devaluation, contribute to the rising costs of living, and
further squeeze the middle class and our senior citizens.
This is the first time in over 100 years that monetary policy is being
discussed in earnest during a presidential campaign. Money is the
lifeblood of any economy, and control over a nation's currency means
control over its economic well-being. Fed bankers quite literally
determine the value of our money by controlling the supply of dollars and
establishing interest rates. Their actions can make you richer or poorer
overnight, in terms of the value of your savings and the buying power of
your paycheck. For over 30 years, I have been urging all Americans to
educate themselves about monetary policy in order to better understand how
a small group of unelected individuals at the Fed and the Treasury
Department wield tremendous power over our lives.
In order to immediately strengthen the economy and lay the groundwork for
continued prosperity, I have proposed a four-part plan that involves lower
taxes, less spending, a sound monetary policy and regulatory reform.
We can take several immediate steps to reform our archaic tax system and
give Americans back the fruits of their labor. I will work to make the
Bush tax cuts permanent, including a repeal of the estate tax, and I will
fight to end taxes on Social Security benefits and income derived from
tips. I also believe that if we are to truly address the housing crisis,
we will end taxes on forgiven mortgage debt, which is considered "income."
The most permanent tax reform we can undertake, though, is to end the
income tax and abolish the IRS. We could remove the entire personal income
tax-funded portion of the budget and the federal government would still
receive roughly the same revenues that it did during the Clinton years.
And we could do this without even touching Social Security and Medicare.
The key to tax reform lies in spending reform. It's time to cut back on
our trillion-dollar overseas budget and use that money to secure the
programs Washington has forced so many citizens to depend on. By doing
this, we can let younger generations opt out of these programs and save
for their own retirements and health care needs. As president, I will also
veto any unbalanced budget and demand that Congress address wasteful
Lower taxes and less government spending will put more money in your
pocket. A sound monetary policy will increase the value of that money and
drive down the costs of living.
Immediate monetary reform can be achieved by requiring transparency at the
Fed. All Federal Reserve meetings should be televised just like the
proceedings of Congress, and they should once again make all information
on the money supply available. I also favor legalizing competing
currencies. History is replete with examples of the inevitable failure of
paper money systems, from our own founding days, to inter-war Germany, to
the monetary crisis of 1970s Latin America.
However, I believe that for our economy to be secure in the long term,
Congress must reassert its authority and end the unconstitutional Federal
Finally, we must be willing to undertake regulatory reform. It would serve
us well to revisit the myriad federal regulations that have stymied the
innovative spirit of the American people.
One of the most damaging regulations imposed on the American people is the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act. A survey by Financial Executives International put the
average cost of compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley at $4.4 million, while the
American Economics Association estimates the Act could cost American
companies as much as $35 billion. A study by the prestigious Wharton
Business School found that the number of American companies delisting from
public stock exchanges nearly tripled the year after Sarbanes-Oxley became
law. One of the best things Congress could do for the American economy is
to repeal this damaging legislation.
According to David Walker, former head of the U.S. Government
Accountability Office, "We are mortgaging the future of our children and
grandchildren at record rates, and that is not only an issue of fiscal
irresponsibility, it's an issue of immorality."
Unless we embrace fundamental reforms, we will be caught in a financial
storm that will humble this great country as no foreign enemy ever could.
However, we can find safe harbor in our ideals. Reclaiming our historic
legacy of principled commitment to liberty will, once again, unleash the
innovative spirit that propelled our nation to heights of prosperity never
before achieved in human history.