The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 40

Opposing SAVER Act

21 May 1997

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1997 Ron Paul 40:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1377, the Savings are Vital to Everyone’s Retirement Act [SAVER], Although I applaud the good intentions of the sponsors of this bill, I must oppose H.R. 1377 for two reasons.

1997 Ron Paul 40:2
First, the proper level of savings should be determined by the free choices of individuals acting in the market. Saving should be a voluntary decision, undertaken because individuals value the greater future rate of return from saving over the value of present consumption not because the Government instructed them that they needed to save. We in Washington cannot judge what the correct level of savings is for any individual much less the entire country. I ask my colleagues, if this program increases the rate of savings beyond the level Congress considers necessary, will we then enact a “Spending is Vital” bill to encourage greater consumption?

1997 Ron Paul 40:3
Second, and perhaps more importantly, H.R. 1377 ignores the primary reason Americans forgo savings: Government policies that discourage the American people from saving. Even creating a Department of Labor-run education program and spending a million dollars on a series of White House conferences will further reduce the rate of savings as payment for these new initiatives will come either from taxes paid directly by the American people or from inflating the currency to monetize the national debt, thus eroding American’s purchasing power. Either way, working Americans will be left with less funds available for saving.

1997 Ron Paul 40:4
I respectfully suggest that it is not the people who need a savings education. They especially do not need it from a government which, the recent claims of the leadership and the administration notwithstanding, cannot balance its own books. Rather, Congress needs to be educated on how the interventionist policies of this Government are eroding the people’s standard of living and making it nearly impossible for many Americans to save an adequate amount for their retirement, or any other vital needs, such as their children’s education.

1997 Ron Paul 40:5
Today, the average American pays more than 40 percent of this income in Federal, State, and local taxes. Thus, before the average American even has a chance to consider saving, a substantial portion of his paycheck is stripped from him in order to fund the welfare-warfare state. Federal tax policy further discourages savings through the exorbitant Federal taxes on capital gains, estates taxes, and the double taxation on corporate dividends.

1997 Ron Paul 40:6
Government policy further reduces incentives Americans have available for savings through the inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve, which erode the average consumer’s purchasing power. The average consumer must spend an ever-increasing share of his or her income purchasing necessities, meaning they have less income available to devote to savings. Today, prices are more than 15 times higher, in normal terms, than when the Federal Reserve was established.

1997 Ron Paul 40:7
This diminishing purchasing power also creates a disincentive to save. When one’s earnings will purchase more today than they will in the future, the rational action may very well be to spend the funds in the present. After all, who would trade a dollar’s worth of goods today for 50 cents worth of goods in 20 years?

1997 Ron Paul 40:8
Clearly, a major reason why the United States has a low rate of saving is the crushing tax burden imposed on the American people by the Government and the erosion of their purchasing power. Yet, rather than address how Government policy is destroying American’s ability to save, Congress is planning to spend more taxpayer money to educate the American people on the importance of saving.

1997 Ron Paul 40:9
Mr. Speaker, the American people neither need nor want Congress to spend another penny of their hard-earned tax dollars on educating them on the importance of savings, and they certainly do not need the Federal Government to spend a million dollars to create a conference on savings. Rather, Congress must cease all unconstitutional spending, cut taxes, and prohibit the Federal Reserve from debasing the currency.

1997 Ron Paul 40:10
Therefore, I urge my colleagues to vote against H.R. 1377, and instead join me in working to eliminate the true obstacle to savings: the unconstitutional leviathan state that is jeopardizing the economic future of America and destroying the American people’s incentive to save.


1997 Ron Paul Chapter 40
The title of this chapter was editorially supplied by the webmaster.
The text of this chapter was inserted in Congressional Record as an extension of remarks, and was not spoken on the House floor.

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