Ron Paul
2004 Ron Paul Chapter 57

Ron Paul Millennium Challenge Account — Part 1

15 July 2004

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Millennium Challenge Account — Part 1
15 July 2004


2004 Ron Paul 57:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment. The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment. The text of the amendment is as follows: Amendment No. 17 offered by Mr. PAUL: Title II of the bill is amended by striking the item relating to “MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION”. The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) and the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE) each will control 10 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL).

2004 Ron Paul 57:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. (Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2004 Ron Paul 57:3
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, my amendment strikes the Millennium Challenge Account. When this program was put in place a year ago, it was originally thought to be a program that would replace old-fashioned foreign aid, but because the votes were not there, instead of a transition from one form of foreign aid to another, it was just added on. That is the way we do things here. We keep adding on in order to satisfy everybody.

2004 Ron Paul 57:4
So the foreign aid bill now is up to nearly $20 billion, and that represents $1.25 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account, and it is a $266 million increase from 1 year ago. So we are making “progress”, if one is a strong supporter of such programs.

2004 Ron Paul 57:5
The strongest argument of those who endorse foreign aid is a humanitarian argument: We are rich, they are poor, we have empathy, we must help, it is our moral obligation. For the most part, people go along with that. But I have a humanitarian argument, also. Mine is that it does not work and that, if we indeed care about people, we ought to be encouraging free markets and individual liberty, and that is when countries become more prosperous.

2004 Ron Paul 57:6
But the idea that we can promote humanitarian programs by taking literally money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich, influential leaders in other countries and we are going to have this miraculous success I think is a myth. It does not work that way, and there are people who are not benefitted.

2004 Ron Paul 57:7
Now, it may be said by those who have promoted the Millennium Challenge Account, that is exactly what we are trying to address. We want to reward countries that are moving in the direction of free markets. Now, that is a nice notion, but it cannot work. It is impossible because when we give money to a government, it is politicized. It becomes bureaucratic, and it has to be handed out to special interests.

2004 Ron Paul 57:8
When Paul Applegarth, the chairman of the corporation for the Millennium Challenge Account was before our committee, I asked him a question. I said, are there any American companies that will benefit by this type of program? I actually was pretty shocked with his answer, because he was very blunt. He said, I certainly hope so. In other words, even our American corporations benefit from programs like this.

2004 Ron Paul 57:9
So it would be nice to think that the poor people of these other countries are going to benefit, but I think it is a greater injury to the poor people of this country. My colleagues say the poor people of this country do not pay taxes. Well, that is incorrect, because the inflation tax is borne by the poor and the middle class, and that occurs when we spend too much money. And this is too much money spent the wrong way, and we do not have the authority to do it. Besides, how many of us ever get calls from our constituents saying please vote for more foreign aid? No, they are asking for more help here, and this distracts from it.

2004 Ron Paul 57:10
When we do not have the money, we run up the debt. Then we go and we literally print the money to pay the bills. We create the inflation and the higher cost of living, and it injures the low and middle income people the most, and they are the ones who are losing jobs.

2004 Ron Paul 57:11
So this is literally money coming out of our pockets for programs that could help us in this country.

2004 Ron Paul 57:12
My suggestion is, since I am a moderate here in the Congress, my moderate approach would be when we have a program like this, whether it is 1.25 or the whole $20 billion, my suggestion is cut it, cut the whole thing. Let us say we cut the $20 billion of foreign aid. I would take $10 billion and put it toward the deficit, and I would join my colleagues on the left and say, look, let us fund some of these programs that are needed or are coming up short. Why are we cutting veterans benefits at the same time? Why do we cut the Corps of Engineers? Why do we not fully fund our infrastructure?

2004 Ron Paul 57:13
This type of spending does not make any economic sense, and it does not make any moral sense.

2004 Ron Paul 57:14
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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