In our previous Updates we published Ron Paul’s views on various topics from Crime, Abortion, Education, the Environment, and Free Trade. In this update we will continue with Paul’s views on .
Ron Paul on Government Reform
Q: You said this. "Abolish the FBI and the CIA and dismantle every other agency except the Justice and Defense Departments." And then you went on: "If elected president, Paul says he would abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies."
A: OK, you may have picked that up 20 or 30 years ago, it's not part of my platform. As a matter of fact, I'm the only one that really has an interim program. Technically, a lot of those functions aren't constitutional. But the point is I'm not against the FBI investigation in doing a proper role, but I'm against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King. I'm against the CIA fighting secret wars and overthrowing governments.
Q: Would you abolish them?
A: I would not abolish all their functions. But let's go with the CIA. They're involved in torture. I would abolish that, yes. But I wouldn't abolish their requirement to accumulate intelligence for national defense purposes. That's quite different.
Q: You talk about opposing big government, but you seem to have a different attitude about your own congressional district. In 2006, your district received more than $4 billion: 65 earmark-targeted projects that you have put into congressional bills for your district.
A: You got it completely wrong. I've never voted for an earmark in my life.
Q: No, but you put them in the bill.
A: I put it in because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back.
Q: If you put it in the bill, and then you know it's going to pass Congress and so you don't refuse the money.
A: Well, no, of course not. It's like taking a tax credit. I'm against the taxes but I take all my tax credits. I want to get the money back for the people.
Q: If you were true to your philosophy, you would say no pork spending in my district.
A: No, no, that's not it. They steal our money, that's like saying that people shouldn't take Social Security money. I'm trying to save the system, make the system work
Q: The Wall Street Journal says you load up Bills with special projects for your district.
A: How many of them ever got passed? But the whole point is, we have a right [to our money back from taxes].
Q: They pass. You vote against them, but you take the money.
A: They take our money from us, and the Congress has the authority to appropriate, not the executive branch. And I'm saying that I represent my people. They have a request, it's like taking a tax credit. The whole process is corrupt so that I vote against everything. I vote against it, so I don't endorse the system.
Q: But when it passes overwhelmingly, you take the money back home.
A: I don't take it. That's the system.
Q: Well, when you stop taking earmarks or putting earmarks in the spending bills, then I think you'll be consistent.
A: I'm trying to change that system. To turn it around and say I'm supporting this system, I find it rather ironic and entertaining.
Q: You ran on term limits. "I think we should have term limits for our elected leaders." You've been in Congress 18 years.
A: But I never ran on voluntary term limits. There's a big difference. I didn't sign a pledge for a voluntary term limit. Matter of fact, some of the best people that I worked with, who were the most principled, came in on voluntary term limits. Some of them broke their promises, and some didn't, and they were very good people. So some of the good people left. I didn't run on that. I support term limits. We had 16 votes on term limits, and I voted yes for them. But voluntary term limits is a lot different than compulsory term limits.
Q: But if you believe in the philosophy of term limits, why wouldn't you voluntarily [limit your own term]?
A: Philosophy is the solution. What the role of government ought to be, so if you have a turnover and the same people come in and they believe in big government, nothing good is going to come of it.
READ ON FOR MORE WAYS RON PAUL INTENDS TO RESTORE GOVERNMENT
DC voting representation should be determined by Amendment
Q: Do you support giving the
A: It's very clear, under the Constitution, that we couldn't give the vote to the residents of DC without an amendment to the Constitution. And it should be pursued in that manner.
Q: Are you concerned that some eligible voters will be denied the right to vote simply because they don't have a driver's license?
A: I think the states have the prerogative & obligation to identify the voters and they should. But the reason I get worried about when we start talking about it nationally is, you know, they might want to use the Real ID. They might want to think it's a good excuse to have a national ID card to vote, and I am positively opposed to any move toward the national ID card.
The most important promise a president makes is his promise to obey the Constitution. In realizing this, we know that the Constitution was written in order to restrain the federal government, but was meant to retain the rights and privileges & obligations to the states and to the people. Today, we have drifted a long way from that, and now we have jurisdictional fights over what we ought to do.
A free country is designed for individuals to deal with a subject of virtue and excellence. Once we defer to the government to get involved in worrying about our virtue and our excellence and perfect, fair economies, it is done at the sacrifice of liberty. If we do that and we sacrifice that liberty and the job of virtue and excellence is taken over by the government, you can only do that through tyranny.
Right now, we are drifting rather rapidly into a totalitarian state. We have been too willing to sacrifice our liberties for this so-called sense of security. We need more faith that the right of habeus corpus should be protected, and we have to understand the National I.D. Card is not going to work. That only registers and regulates the American people, and we don't need secret prisons. We don't need torture. We need American values and traditions. We need to believe in ourselves.
And I would like to reiterate the true doctrine of war written by Christianity, the doctrine of just war, is that you do it only under certain circumstances. You don't do it for UN resolutions. You don't do it for weapons that don't exist. You need to do it with a moral justification. If we would have declared a war, we wouldn't be debating the war now. It would be over, and we'd all be a lot better off, and we would have 5,000 Americans still alive, and 30,000 uninjured!
Q: Would you support the Constitution Restoration Act that prevents federal courts from hearing lawsuits brought to stop public officials from acknowledging God in such ways as the Pledge of Allegiance, public display of the Ten Commandments, & public prayer?
HUNTER: At the first Constitutional Convention in 1787, they began each session with a prayer with the supplication to God.
Q: What will you restore to the Oval Office?
A: I would restore openness to government. I do not think in this country we should have secrecy of government. The purpose of government is to provide privacy for the people. I would never use executive privilege to deny information to the Congress, with the full realization that you protect security information, but in the very general sense, we should be very, very open. We want a transparent government. Currently I believe we could improve on that.
Q: What authority would you delegate to the office of vice president? And should those authorities be more clearly defined through a constitutional amendment?
A: I certainly wouldn't support an amendment to change the role of the vice president. But there's no way to know exactly what goes on, but if you take perceptions from Washington, most people there behind the scenes think the vice president is more powerful than the president. Philosophically, I think this is the case. It's obvious that he represents a neoconservative viewpoint. And my objection is that that has been the rejection of the Republican Party platform and traditional conservatism. And I think this is where we have gone astray. We have drifted from our fundamental premises and the conservative values that this party used to get.
Recently, the General Accounting Office studied nineteen instances where the President issued so-called "signing statements." In such statements, the President essentially begins the process of interpreting legislation--up to and including declaring provisions unconstitutional--hence often refusing to enforce them. The GAO study found that in nearly 1/3 of the cases studied, the administration failed to enforce the law as enacted. This approach is especially worrisome for several reasons.
- First, these signing statements tend to move authority from the legislative branch to the executive, thus upsetting our delicate system of checks and balances.
- Next, these statements grant the President power not given by the Constitution, allowing him to usurp powers of the judicial branch.
- Finally, the idea of agencies refusing to enforce the law as enacted sets precedent for the type of run away administrative actions our constitution was expressly enacted in order to avoid.
Q: [To Gov. Thompson] Tell me three federal programs you consider wasteful and would eliminate.
THOMPSON: There are several programs that need to be cut in Washington, several of those in my former department. I would first make every agency come in with a budget at 95% of last year's budget and one at 100%. And you will be able to use that exercise in order to reduce budgets all across the line.
Q: I didn't hear three programs. Can you tell me one?
THOMPSON: The first one I would eliminate is a program in the Department of Health and Human Services in CDC that deals with the stockpile. The stockpile does a great job, but there are some inefficiencies there.
Q: [To Paul] Can you do better than that?
PAUL: I'd start with the departments--the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security. There's a lot of things that we can cut, but we can't cut anything until we change our philosophy about what government should do.
Amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to require a registered lobbyist who bundles contributions totaling over $5,000 to one covered recipient in one quarter to:
- file a quarterly report with Congress; and
- notify the recipient.
"Covered recipient" includes federal candidates, political party committees, or leadership PACs [but not regular PACs].
Opponents support voting NO because:
This legislation does not require that bundled contributions to political action committees, often referred to as PACs, be disclosed. Why are PACs omitted from the disclosure requirements in this legislation?
If we are requiring the disclosure of bundled contributions to political party committees, those same disclosure rules should also apply to contributions to PACs. Party committees represent all members of that party affiliation. PACs, on the other hand, represent more narrow, special interests. Why should the former be exposed to more sunshine, but not the latter?
The fact that PACs give more money to Democrats is not the only answer. Time and again the majority party picks favorites, when what the American people want is more honesty and more accountability.
Bill to provide for the treatment of the
Opponents support voting NO because:
The proponents of this bill in 1978 believed that the way to allow D.C. representation was to ratify a constitutional amendment. The Founders of the country had the debate at that time: Should we give D.C. a Representative? They said no. So if you want to fix it, you do it by making a constitutional amendment.
Alternatively, we simply could have solved the D.C. representation problem by retroceding, by giving back part of D.C. to
Expands the types of whistleblower disclosures protected from personnel reprisals for federal employees, particulary on national security issues.
Proponents support voting YES because:
This bill would strengthen one of our most important weapons against waste, fraud and abuse, and that is Federal whistleblower protections. Federal employees are on the inside and offer accountability. They can see where there is waste going on or if there is corruption going on.
One of the most important provisions protects national security whistleblowers. There are a lot of Federal officials who knew the intelligence on
Requires that to vote in federal elections, an individual present a government-issued, current, and valid photo identification. After 2010, that ID must require providing proof of
Proponents support voting YES because:
The election system is the bedrock that our Republic is built on and its security and oversight is of paramount concern. Only US citizens have the right to vote in Federal elections, but our current system does not give State election officials the tools they need to ensure that this requirement is being met.
This bill is designed to increase participation by ensuring that each legitimate vote will be counted and not be diluted by fraud. There are many elections in this country every cycle that are decided by just a handful of votes. How can we be certain that these elections, without measures to certify the identity of voters, are not being decided by fraudulent votes?
A "527 organization" is a political committee which spends money raised independently of any candidate's campaign committee, in support or opposition of a candidate or in support or opposition of an issue. Well-known examples include MoveOn.org (anti-Bush) and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (anti-Kerry). Voting YES would regulate 527s as normal political committees, which would greatly restrict their funding, and hence would shift power to candidate committees and party committees. The bill's opponents say:
? This legislation singles out 527 organizations in an effort to undermine their fundraising and is a direct assault on free speech.
? This bill would obstruct the efforts of grassroots organizations while doing nothing to address the culture of corruption in Congress.
? H.R. 513 is an unbalanced measure that favors corporate trade associations over independent advocates. Corporate interests could continue spending unlimited and undisclosed dollars for political purposes while independent organizations would be subject to contribution limits and source restrictions.
? H.R. 513 also removes all limits on national and state party spending for Congressional candidates in primary or general elections--an unmasked attack on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and clear evidence that the true intention in advancing H.R. 513 is not reform, but partisan advantage in political fundraising.
The bill's proponents say:
- 527s' primary purpose is to influence the election or defeat of a Federal candidate. They have to file with the FEC because after Watergate in 1974 this Congress passed a law that said if you are going to have a political committee whose primary purpose is to influence an election, then they have to register with the FEC.
- The FEC ignored 30 years of congressional actions and Supreme Court jurisprudence in allowing 527s to evade the law. In short, the FEC failed to do its job and regulate 527s as required under the Watergate statute.
The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act ("The Cheesburger Bill") would prevent civil liability actions against food manufacturers, marketers, distributors, advertisers, sellers, and trade associations for claims relating to a person's weight gain, obesity, or any health condition associated with weight gain or obesity. A YES vote would:
- Prohibit such lawsuits in this act in federal or state courts
- Dismiss any pending lawsuits upon this bill's enactment
- Maintain an individual's right to bring a lawsuit to court for false marketing, advertising or labeling of food when such information led to injury, obesity or weight gain
Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Amends the Federal judicial code to specify the calculation of contingent and other attorney's fees in proposed class action settlements that provide for the award of coupons to class members. Allows class members to refuse compliance with settlement agreements or consent decrees absent notice. Prohibits a Federal district court from approving:
- a proposed coupon settlement absent a finding that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate;
- a proposed settlement involving payments to class counsel that would result in a net monetary loss to class members, absent a finding that the loss is substantially outweighed by nonmonetary benefits; or
- a proposed settlement that provides greater sums to some class members solely because they are closer geographically to the court.
Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2004: Amends the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to:
- require courts to impose sanctions on attorneys, law firms, or parties who file frivolous lawsuits (currently, sanctions are discretionary);
- disallow the withdrawal or correction of pleadings to avoid sanctions;
- require courts to award parties prevailing on motions reasonable expenses and attorney's fees, if warranted;
- authorize courts to impose sanctions that include reimbursement of a party's reasonable litigation costs in connection with frivolous lawsuits; and
- make the discovery phase of litigation subject to sanctions.
Shays-Meehan Campaign Finance Overhaul: Vote to pass a bill that would ban soft money contributions to national political parties but permit up to $10,000 in soft money contributions to state and local parties to help with voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. The bill would stop issue ads from targeting specific candidates within 30 days of the primary or 60 days of the general election. Additionally, the bill would raise the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 per election for House and Senate candidates, both of which would be indexed for inflation.
Campaign Finance Reform Act to ban "soft money" and impose restrictions on issue advocacy campaigning.
Paul adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:
As adopted by the General Membership of the Republican Liberty Caucus at its Biannual Meeting held December 8, 2000.
- WHEREAS libertarian Republicans believe in limited government, individual freedom and personal responsibility;
- WHEREAS we believe that government has no money nor power not derived from the consent of the people;
- WHEREAS we believe that people have the right to keep the fruits of their labor; and
- WHEREAS we believe in upholding the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Liberty Caucus endorses the following [among its] principles:
- The power of the federal government should be limited, as per the tenth amendment to the US Constitution.
- The US Department of Commerce should be abolished, per the tenth amendment of the US Constitution.
- The National Endowment for the Arts should be abolished, per the tenth amendment of the US Constitution.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities should be abolished, per the tenth amendment of the US Constitution.
- The US Department of Housing and Urban Development should be abolished, per the tenth amendment of the US Constitution.
- Subsidies to agricultural and other businesses should be eliminated.
- Corporate taxes should be eliminated simultaneously and proportionally with the elimination of subsidies to businesses.
- Recommendations by the Grace Commission and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) should be reviewed and implemented, where possible, beginning immediately.
- Privatization of government assets, management and services should be implemented for cost-effectiveness wherever applicable.
Paul adopted the Position Statement:
The Republican Liberty Caucus endorses the following [among its] principles:
- Election campaigns should not be subsidized by tax payers.
- No individual should be compelled to support a political candidate he or she does not support. Government should not empower trade unions to collect funds from their members for use as political contributions without their members’ expressed consent.
- All limits on campaign contributions should be eliminated.
- There should be full and timely public disclosure of all the sources and amounts of all campaign contributions upon their receipt.