After the obvious and miserable failures of Barack Obama to deliver honest changes and his military assaults and interventions in Africa and other developing countries, now it is the right time to start supporting more friendly and Republican US presidential candidate in 2012 elections.
Ronald Ernest “Ron “ Paul is an American medical doctor, author, Republican U.S. Congressman of the House of Representatives and candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination. Paul is currently the U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas.
Paul serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Economic Committee, and the House Committee on Financial Services, and is Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, where he has been an outspoken critic of current American foreign and monetary policy.
He wrote “End the Fed” book published in 2009. The book debuted at number six on the New York Times Best Seller list and advocates the abolition of the US Federal Reserve Bank System.
Paul is United States presidential candidate in 1988, 2008, and 2012, have been described as conservative, Constitutionalist, and libertarian. Paul has been nicknamed “Dr. No” reflecting both his medical degree and his assertion that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution” and “Mr. Republican”. This position has frequently resulted in Paul casting the sole “no” vote against proposed legislation. One scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science found Paul the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002. Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution during 2002.
He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty. He endorses free trade, rejecting membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization as “managed trade”. He endorses increased border security and opposes welfare for illegal aliens, birthright citizenship and amnesty; he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11 attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting specific terrorists. An opponent of the Iraq War and potential war with Iran, he has also criticized neo-conservatism and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, arguing that both inadvertently cause terrorist reprisals against Americans. Paul has stated that “Israel is our close friend” and that it is not the place of the United States to “dictate how Israel runs her affairs”.
Paul is a proponent of Austrian school economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian school economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of Grover Cleveland) on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes; he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during the 1995-1997 period. He has pledged never to raise taxes and states he has never voted to approve a budget deficit. Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels; financing government operations would be primarily by excise taxes and non-protectionist tariffs. He endorses eliminating most federal government agencies, terming them unnecessary bureaucracies.
Paul has a consistent record as an inflation hawk, having warned of the threat of hyperinflation as far back as 1981. While Paul believes the long-term decrease of the U.S. dollar’s purchasing power by inflation is attributable to its lack of any commodity backing, he does not endorse a “return” to a gold standard – as the U.S. government has established during the past – but instead prefers to eliminate legal tender laws and to remove the sales tax on gold and silver, so that the market may freely decide what type of monetary standard(s) there shall be. He also advocates gradual elimination of the Federal Reserve System.
Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees. He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft. Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states’ rights to decide how to regulate social matters not cited directly by the Constitution. Paul terms himself “strongly pro-life”, “an unshakable foe of abortion”, and believes regulation or ban on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”. He says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception; his abortion-related legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get “the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters.” Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”
He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty (although he opposes capital punishment), of education, and of marriage, and endorses revising the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to concern mainly disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual). As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention. He also opposes the federal War on Drugs, and believes the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana. Paul pushes to eliminate federal involvement with and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to decrease due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market. He is an outspoken proponent for increased ballot access for 3rd party candidates and numerous election law reforms which he believes would allow more voter control. Referring to the federal government, Ron Paul has also stated that “The government shouldn’t be in the medical business.” He is also opposed to federal government influenza inoculation programs.
Paul was critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arguing that it sanctioned federal interference in the labor market and did not improve race relations. He once remarked: “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”.
On April 15, 2011, Paul was one of four Republican members of Congress to vote against “The Path to Prosperity”.
Paul’s stand on foreign policy issues has drawn support across the political spectrum. His views are generally attributed to those of non-interventionism, which is the belief that the United States should avoid entangling alliances with other nations, but still retain diplomacy, and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense. Paul is quoted as stating “America [should] not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations”, while advocating “open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations”. Ronald Reagan spoke in support of Paul’s foreign policy views, stating “Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country.” Daniel Ellsberg, famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers, has said of Paul: “On foreign policy, on the Constitution, on Homeland Security, on intervention, he speaks very well.” Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has said that he and Paul “agree tremendously on international policy”.
Paul’s stance on foreign policy is one of consistent non-intervention, opposing wars of aggression and entangling alliances with other nations.
Paul advocates bringing troops home from U.S. military bases in Korea, Japan, and Europe, among others. He also proposes that the U.S. stop sending massive, unaccountable foreign aid. The National Journal labeled Paul’s overall foreign policies in 2006 as more conservative than 20% of the House and more liberal than 77% of the House (28% and 72%, respectively, in 2005). For 2008, his ratings were 57% more conservative and 42% more liberal (48% and 52%, respectively, in 2007).
In an October 11, 2007 interview with The Washington Post, Paul said, “There’s nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today… we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we’re acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapons.”
The World Trade Organization
Paul states that the WTO is a barrier to free trade and that the economic argument for free trade should be no more complex than the moral argument. “Tariffs are taxes that penalize those who buy foreign goods. If taxes are low on imported goods, consumers benefit by being able to buy at the best price, thus saving money to buy additional goods and raise their standard of living. The competition stimulates domestic efforts and hopefully serves as an incentive to get onerous taxes and regulations reduced…. By endorsing the concept of managed world trade through the World Trade Organization, proponents acknowledge that they actually believe in order for free trade to be an economic positive, it requires compensation or a “deal”. Paul introduced HJR 90 to withdraw membership from the World Trade Organization.
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.
Paul also has a 57% voting record in favor of free trade in the House of Representatives, according to the Cato Institute.
Lower spending and smaller government
Paul believes the size of federal government must be decreased substantially. In order to restrict the federal government to what he believes are its Constitutionally authorized functions, Paul regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes, often opposed by a heavy majority of his colleagues. For example, on January 22, 2007, Paul was the lone member out of 415 voting to oppose a House measure to create a National Archives exhibit on slavery and Reconstruction, seeing this as an unauthorized use of taxpayer money.
Paul’s campaign slogan for 2004 was “The Taxpayers’ Best Friend!” He would completely eliminate the income tax by shrinking the size and scope of government to what he considers its Constitutional limits, noting that he has never voted to approve an unbalanced budget; he has observed that even scaling back spending to 2000 levels eliminates the need for the 42% of the budget accounted for by individual income tax receipts. He has asserted that Congress had no power to impose a direct income tax and supports the repeal of the sixteenth amendment. Rather than taxing personal income, which he says assumes that the government owns individuals’ lives and labor, he prefers the federal government to be funded through excise taxes and/or uniform, non-protectionist tariffs. However, during the 2011 CPAC conference, he said he would support a flat income tax of 10 % at 19:23 of that speech. A citizen would be able to opt out of all government involvement if they simply pay a 10 % income tax.
Inflation and the Federal Reserve
In the words of the New York Times, Paul is “not a fan” of the Federal Reserve. Paul’s opposition to the Fed is supported by the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, which holds that instead of containing inflation, the Federal Reserve, in theory and in practice, is responsible for causing inflation. In addition to eroding the value of individual savings, this creation of inflation leads to booms and busts in the economy. Thus Paul argues that government, via a central bank (the Federal Reserve), is the primary cause of economic recessions and depressions. He believes that economic volatility is decreased when the free market determines interest rates and money supply. He has stated in numerous speeches that most of his colleagues in Congress are unwilling to abolish the central bank because it funds many government activities. He says that to compensate for eliminating the “hidden tax” of inflation, Congress and the president would instead have to raise taxes or cut government services, either of which could be politically damaging to their reputations. He states that the “inflation tax” is a tax on the poor, because the Federal Reserve prints more money which subsidizes select industries, while poor people pay higher prices for goods as more money is placed in circulation.
As a free-market environmentalist, Paul sees polluters as aggressors who should not be granted immunity or otherwise insulated from accountability. Paul argues that enforcing private property rights through tort law would hold people and corporations accountable, and would increase the cost of polluting activities—thus decreasing pollution.