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Why I support Ron Paul

January 27, 2008

To date, my counsel has been that each person eligible to vote looks beyond the rhetoric and examine the real issues confronting us. Once you have a grasp of the issues, study each candidate’s position and examine each candidate’s record. However, some of my friends and colleagues asked me why I support Ron Paul. I thought it was time I laid out a few of my reasons for all to see. Please note that I do not agree with Dr. Paul on everything… there is no personality worship involved. Whether you agree with my reasons or not, is strictly up to you.

From my perspective, the single greatest issue of our time is irresponsible government spending. Our national debt currently stands at $9.5 trillion. The federal government’s spending habits add roughly another $800 billion per year to the debt, excluding interest charges. The total liabilities and unfunded commitments of the US government between 2000 and 2005 have gone from $20.4 trillion to $46.4 trillion, and that number is growing with each passing year. Unfunded commitments are measured as the promises the government has made versus the amount of revenue collected from payroll taxes and premiums from Medicare. In case you are having trouble understanding the numbers, a trillion is 1 with twelve zeroes behind it. Written out, it looks like 1,000,000,000,000. In very real terms, the unfunded liabilities equate to $156,000 for every man, woman and child currently in the United States. The share per full-time worker is $375,000. If you have any doubt about these numbers, I urge you to check them out for yourself. As I’ve said before, the greatest threat to our country is not from a lunatic in a cave in Afghanistan. Here are Dr. Paul’s policies on Social Security and health care.

Next on my list of issues, in order of importance comes freedom and liberty. Ron Paul is an outspoken defender of the Constitution, and the freedom and liberty it guarantees for each American. Due to the length of the list, I’m only going to post three of the most significant restrictions on our freedom and liberty. The two remaining items on the list below are proposals to assist our elected representatives in making informed decisions, prior to voting (what a concept!).

·         Much has been written about Public Law: 107-56, aka: the Patriot Act. Regardless of what our legislators say, that law restricts some freedoms and liberties and reduces the amount of privacy Americans can reasonably expect.

·         Public Law: 109–13, aka: The Real ID Act is another of my major concerns. Rep Paul is the only candidate who opposes the Real ID Act. Here’s his explanation: “The Real ID Act imposes tremendous costs on state governments, yet any state that opts out will automatically make nonpersons out of its citizens. The citizens of that state will be unable to have any dealings with the federal government because their ID will not be accepted. They will not be able to fly or to take a train. In essence, in the eyes of the federal government, they will cease to exist. However, the most objectionable feature of the Real ID Act is that it turns state driver’s licenses into de facto national ID cards, thus facilitating the massive invasion of an American’s privacy, facilitating the growth of the surveillance state, and turning America into the type of country where citizens must always have their ‘papers in order.’”

·         My next legislative concern is H.R. 1955/S.1959, aka: The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. The House Bill passed under what is called the “Suspension of the Rules”, which is a provision the House uses to pass bills very quickly and these are usually bills deemed uncontroversial and do not need more debate. House members were given less than 2 hours to review and vote on this 22 page document (my rep says it was 30 minutes). Although this Bill was passed by the House on a vote of 404 to 6, no action to date has been taken in the Senate. I recommend that everyone read the text of this proposed law. If you don’t feel like reading the text, here’s a video describing why it is bad legislation. It’s not too late to stop this Bill from becoming law. Please contact your Senator and voice your objection today.

·         H.R. 1359 is a proposal that would, if enacted, require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws. This Bill was introduced to the House on March 6th, 2007. It’s time to bring this proposed legislation to a vote!

·         There is a proposed Bill that would, if passed, force both houses of Congress to read each word of each Bill, and any/all amendments, in open session not less than seven days prior to a vote. Don’t you agree that it’s time our elected representatives knew what they were voting on?

I support a strong defense. That does not mean that I think stationing troops in another country for the next 100 years is a good idea. Indeed, there are some cases where the presence of our troops has been counter-productive. Our defense must be strong enough to deter any potential enemy. In 1965, Defense spending accounted for 43% of the total federal budget. In 2005, Defense spending accounted for only 20%. Within the next 40 years, there will be no money left to support either the Departments of Defense or Homeland Security. Dr. Paul’s position on defense and foreign policy can be found here.

The undeclared war in Iraq is a contentious issue, no matter who does the talking. Congress, for all its bellicose rhetoric, essentially abrogated its responsibility as defined by the Constitution by giving the President carte blanche to do as he saw fit with Iraq. So, there seems to be two courses of action: stay the course or withdraw.  Can we or should we immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq? The answer to the first question is yes, we can.  The answer to the second question is a bit harder. I disagree with Rep Paul on this issue. We owe the Iraqi people a bit more time to own up to the responsibility of governing their country. Their inability to govern effectively is understandable at this point.  I also don’t agree with Gov Huckabee, Gov Romney, Sen. McCain and Mayor Giuliani I certainly don’t agree with Sen. Clinton’s flip-flops on the matter of Iraq. Sen. Obama also misses the mark when he says we should have invaded Pakistan rather than Iraq. If we leave troops in Iraq, it should be for a prescribed period of time, with a clearly defined objective, including an exit strategy, but excluding combat operations. My hope is that the next time (yes, there will be a next time) Congress fulfills their Constitutional duty and votes on a Declaration of War.

I support meaningful tax reform, including elimination of personal income taxes. I’m not a tax protester. I pay my taxes and file both state and federal tax returns every year. That said, I find it immoral for the government to tax the trading of my skill set to my employer in exchange for a modest monetary reward. My labor amounts to an even exchange, or barter, and should be exempted from taxation. All monies earned should belong to the employee. Given the fact that we have a huge national debt and monumental unfunded liabilities, my desire to eliminate personal income taxes may never be possible. Taxation on our savings encourages consumption rather than savings. Dr. Paul’s policies on taxation can be found here.

These are some of the more important issues as I see them. I think Rep Ron Paul is the best candidate to tackle each of these issues. He is honest and has a voting record that proves he doesn’t just talk the talk. However, he can’t do it all by himself. What is needed is an informed electorate that will demand more from public servants. Do your part: think before you vote.

Let freedom ring!
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Trevor permalink
    January 29, 2008 9:50 pm

    S,

    Your blog about Mr. Paul is a great one and one that should be read by the majority, if not all voters before they cast their ballots in either their state primary/caucas or in November. I don’t say this to sway all voters to Ron Paul’s camp (of which I am a member). I just wish that all voters took the time to research the issues that affect them on a daily basis and make in informed decision. For example, Benjamin Framklin was confronted by a private citizen after the constitution was ratified in 1787. She asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”. Mr Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” It is up to the people, and the people alone, to keep the government in check. After all, the US government is our servant, not our slavemaster!

    Keep up the good writing!

    T

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