Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

January 3, 2000

The Year Ahead
Looking towards the 2nd Session of the 106th Congress

Looking toward next year, I am not convinced that we will see a major change in the direction of our country. In fact, I am convinced we will see a budget passed again this year that spends more money than ever, that continues to increase the national debt, and that will allow only minimal tax relief, if tax relief is included at all.
Still, I believe there are many important areas on which our work must continue to be focused. Much of our work now is educational, aimed at continuing to shed light where our government has gotten off the course intended by our founding fathers, and convincing our fellow citizens of the need to consider these issues anew. This is necessary to restore our Republic to its former greatness.
One thing on which I will certainly not relent is the issue of tax reduction. In the current climate, with government revenue growing, taking a higher percentage of our people's earnings than at any time in our history, and with the President claiming "surpluses as far as the eye can see," we must press forward and show both the moral imperative, and the plain economic sense, of returning to the American people the hard-earned fruits of their labor.
As I said, I am not expecting we will pass major tax cuts this year, but I certainly intend to fight to see that we do. And, as I have always held that any small tax reduction is better than no reduction at all, I will continue to support any legislation that cuts taxes.
This coming year I will also continue to focus considerable attention on issues of personal privacy. Right now, my staff is studying ways to draft a privacy amendment to our constitution. Generally, I am not a big fan of constitutional amendments, especially since the federal government now ignores so much of the existing constitution.
Still, with the federal judges and liberals working to define privacy in a way that our founding fathers would have never intended, and with leftists using so-called privacy legislation to further expand the ever-growing weed that is our federal government, I am convinced the time has come for us to outline, in a clear, concise and constitutional manner, the true definition of privacy rights as our founding fathers would have understood them.
Of course, the only way we are going to truly achieve long term success is by strictly limiting the activities of the federal government. Real tax reduction will come only when Americans are prepared to accept significant spending cuts, and that, in turn, depends upon our understanding the limited constitutional role our citizens imposed upon the federal government.
I am convinced that the best way for us to reestablish a limited federal government is by restoring the spirit of our founding fathers. These brave men well understood that concentration and centralization of power leads to tyranny and despotism. For this reason we must do two things. First, we must recall that our nation was founded on the principle that the government that governs closest to home is the government best equipped to deal with social ills. That means powers of state and local governments must once again be given their proper respect. Next, we must make certain to restore the proper separation of powers in Washington. The 535 voting Members of both Houses of Congress must reassert their authority as opposed to that of the nine men and women who sit in black robes, or a Presidency that increasingly displays its arrogance by usurping power. By reestablishing this division of powers, we can once again check intrusive government action. This is the agenda I will continue to advocate in the upcoming session of Congress.
I wish you the very best in the upcoming year.