http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/04/electi ... npaul.html
Trailwatch reached out to each of the remaining presidential campaigns and offered them an unedited forum in which they could address voters. As he was when we requested information for our Candidate Screener, Ron Paul was the first candidate to respond to our offer. We asked each campaign to submit 500 to 1,000 words on the issues they believe are the most important ones facing the nation at this moment in time. Here is what Ron Paul had to say.
--Paul M. Murdock
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 spending.
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 Reserve.
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.