Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

January 5, 1998 1998 is a new chance to change government for better
Paul vows to continue working to push his popular legislation

For many people, the dawning of a new year represents fresh opportunities. As I recently sat down to examine last year and explore the possibilities for 1998, I knew that there was only one resolution I could make in good conscience.

Having already been blessed with a wonderful, expanding family of children and grandchildren, a beautiful wife of more than 40 years, and good health, I knew my resolution for 1998 should focus on the office with which I have been entrusted by the people of the 14th District of Texas. My focus in Congress for 1998 will be on providing an alternative to the Washington status quo, and remaining true to my Oath of Office. That Oath was administered a year ago this week and stated:

"I, Ron Paul, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

This Oath clearly that as a Member of Congress, I can only do those things outlined in the Constitution. And so I must "bear true allegiance" to the law of the land, and support only the special interest of constitutional government and individual liberty, not the failed ideologies of big-government, command economics and central control.

But it is not enough - either by my Oath of Office before God, or my conscience as your employee - that I simply speak against those opposing our form government and values. Instead, I must work actively to introduce those values into the national debate and into the law books. As such, I will be spending a great deal of time arguing on behalf of passage for the legislation I have introduced.

All too often the failed ideology of the past has been focused on taking power from people and giving it in ever growing portions to the government bureaucrats. I propose a different route, with legislation such as HR 1816, the Family Education Freedom Act. This measure would allow parents to take tax credits of up to $3,000 per child per year, so they can provide for their child's education, whether that be in a public, private, church or home school environment. The future of education is found not in some form of government control, but in parental empowerment. While I will be fighting to end the stranglehold the federal government has on our schools, I have brought forward this legislation to make sure parents have the chance to provide for their kids now.

And legislation like HR 2868, the Consumer Health Free Speech Act. This legislation would allow individuals the opportunity to decide for themselves what to believe about dietary supplements, health foods and herbs. Scientific research in nutrition over the past few years had demonstrated how various foods and other dietary supplements are safe and effective in preventing or mitigating diseases. Currently, however, disclosure of these well-documented statements triggers extensive regulation by the FDA, which is based more on protecting the interests of big pharmaceutical companies than sound science and good health. As a physician, I want to make sure individuals can examine the truthful claims of all sides about the positive and negative benefits of products sold over-the-counter in grocery and health food stores.

I will also continue my work in promoting the popular HR 1146, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act. This measure represents a step toward halting the cessation of power from the federal government to international bodies such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, by withdrawing the US from the UN. Under our Constitution, the federal government - including the President, the Congress and the courts - is not allowed to give away power and responsibility to these bodies, simply because the power is not theirs to give: Only the people have the power in our nation. Under the auspices of these international bodies, American boys have died in battle not for American interests, or in wars declared by Congress as the Constitution requires. With each of these senseless deaths - from Korea and Vietnam to Haiti and Bosnia - our national security is inherently and irreparably weakened.

In all, I am pleased to be sponsoring more than a dozen pieces of legislation, each designed to promote the interests of individual empowerment, constitutional government and much lower taxation. Further, I will be working hard for the more than 100 pieces of legislation I have cosponsored, all of which reflect the deeply-held morals, views and attitudes of the people of the 14th District, and our Founding Fathers.

With 1998 comes a fresh opportunity to work for the future, to work for a society which respects the principles of limited government, individual responsibility and economic liberty. With this new year we have a new opportunity to usher in a future for ourselves and our children which is brighter than any previous generation has imagined.