The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 86

Housing Programs Extension Act Of 1997

16 September 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H7308)   Cached

1997 Ron Paul 86:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, today we are asked to support a bill which has the Federal Government engaged in the unconstitutional business of further regulating mortgage brokers, extending Federal housing programs—some of which would be extended permanently by this bill—and offering flood insurance programs.

1997 Ron Paul 86:2
This bill will add new regulations by Government and impose new restrictions on the private sector which provides most of the safe and affordable housing in this country. Such regulations and restrictions raise costs and limit availability of housing for our citizens insofar as such additional costs may ultimately be passed along to the consumer. This bill will further add to the Federal Government’s intrusion in the housing market by limiting private sector initiatives to help consumers obtain mortgage loans, and eventually, their own homes.

1997 Ron Paul 86:3
Second, this bill would make authorization of some programs permanent so that future representatives of the people will not be able to judge the wisdom of these specific programs. To the extent Congress has any constitutional right to legislate in this sphere at all, certainly, Representatives must have the legal ability to weigh the specific needs of their constituents and make appropriate decisions. Some of these multi-housing programs are mere demonstration projects which have not proved their worthiness. They have, however, proved their cost to the taxpayer with ever-rising tax bills without the corresponding benefits. Government-run housing schemes are less efficient, more costly and limit the private sector’s ability to provide the services that the public wants at a price that properly takes into account true economic costs. Even such misnamed “good government” housekeeping provisions merely perpetuate and extend the Government’s reach into the private sector and, ultimately, into the wallets of taxpaying Americans.

1997 Ron Paul 86:4
With respect to Federal flood insurance programs, the constitutional separation of powers strictly limited the role of the Federal Government and, at the same time, anticipated that maintaining the balance between cost, risk, and the benefits of insuring one’s property was best reserved—via the ninth and tenth amendments—to State and local governments, or individuals respectively. One can insure oneself against virtually every natural disaster at some policy premium. Determination of whether the peace of mind and other benefits of insurance outweigh the premium for any particular property is not amongst the constitutionally enumerated Federal powers. The private market provision and resulting cost internalization of such insurance premiums will accomplish much toward enhancing macro-economic efficiency and, at the same time, eliminate the necessity for the national government to overstep its constitutional bounds with governmental “pseudo-insurance.” In addition, this bill did not go through the proper committee process. I am a member of the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services and have not had the opportunity to vote on, amend, improve, or block this piece of legislation. It is in the committee process, where respective Members make it their responsibility to be better versed in that committee’s respective issues, amend and hopefully improve bills as they move through the legislative process. Members of the Banking Committee should have had the opportunity to review relevant legislation before it is voted on by the entire House of Representatives.

1997 Ron Paul 86:5
As a U.S. Congressman, I remain committed to the Constitution which I, only months ago, swore to uphold. This country’s founders recognized the genius of separating power amongst Federal, State and local governments as a means to maximize individual liberty and make Government most responsive to those persons who might most responsibly influence it. For each of these reasons, I must rise in opposition to S. 562, the Senior Citizen Home Equity Protection Act.


1997 Ron Paul Chapter 86
The text of this chapter was inserted in Congressional Record and was not spoken on the House floor.

1997 Ron Paul 86:4
ninth and tenth amendments probably should be capitalized: Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Cf.: North and South Dakota.

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