The Book of Ron Paul
1998 Ron Paul Chapter 67

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14 July 1998

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Congressional Record (Page H5454)   Cached

The Chairman. Gentleman from Texas. For what purpose does the gentleman rise?

1998 Ron Paul 67:1
Mr. PAUL. I rise in support of the amendment.

1998 Ron Paul 67:2
The Chairman. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

1998 Ron Paul 67:3
Mr. PAUL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I rise in strong support of this amendment and I want to compliment the gentleman from California for offering it.

1998 Ron Paul 67:4
Certainly, if nothing else, we ought to protect the rights of individuals and groups to distribute voter guides. There is an argument here whether or not it is actually doing this. But, obviously, the Member from California feels strongly that this is necessary in order to protect this right.

1998 Ron Paul 67:5
There’s been a lot of talk here about soft money. I just often wonder about soft money. I know something about hard money. But this business of soft money and soft money automatically being bad is something that we should think seriously about. Because so often when we are talking about soft money, we are talking about the people’s money, their money, their property. Sure, it’s a First Amendment right. But there’s also a property rights issue here. When people have money, they have a right to spend it; and if they want to spend it on a voters guide, they certainly ought to be able to do this.

1998 Ron Paul 67:6
So I think it is a very important amendment and we should pay close attention to this to make sure that we pass this amendment. The problem with attacking big money without knowing why there is big money involved in politics I think is the problem that we face. Big money is a problem. They’re spending $100 million a month to lobby us in the Congress and hundreds of millions of dollars in the campaign, but nobody ever talks about why they’re doing it.

1998 Ron Paul 67:7
There’s a tremendous incentive to send all this money up here. Unless we deal with the incentive, we can’t deal with the problem. So, so far, almost all the talk that we’ve heard on this campaign finance reform is dealing with the symptom. The cause is Government is too big. Government is so big there is a tremendous incentive for people to invest this money. So as long as we don’t deal with that problem, we are going to see a tremendous amount of money involved.

1998 Ron Paul 67:8
But what’s wrong with people spending their own money to come here and fight for their freedom? What if they’re a right-to-life group? What if they’re a pro-gun-ownership group? What if they’re a pro-property-ownership group? Why shouldn’t they be able to come and spend the money like the others have?

1998 Ron Paul 67:9
It just seems like they’ve been able to become more effective here in the last few years, and it seems like now we have to clamp down on them because they have an effective way to come here and fight for some of their freedoms back again.

1998 Ron Paul 67:10
So I think that we’re misguided when we talk only about the money and not dealing with the incentive to spend the money, and that is big government. All the rules in the world won’t change these problems. We had a tremendous amount of rules and laws written since the early 1970s and all it has done is compounded our problems.

1998 Ron Paul 67:11
So I think openness and reporting requirements to let people know where we’re getting the money, let the people decide if we’re taking too much from one group. But to come down hard and attack on individual liberty and the right for people to spend their money and the right for the people to distribute voters guides, I cannot say see how that is going to solve any problems. I mean, what are we doing here? I think it is total foolishness.

1998 Ron Paul 67:12
So I strongly endorse this amendment, and let’s hope we can pass this amendment.

1998 Ron Paul 67:13
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

1998 Ron Paul 67:14
Mr. PAUL. I’d be glad to yield to the gentleman from California.

1998 Ron Paul 67:3
Where Ron Paul compliments the gentleman from California, he refers to The Hon. John Taylor Doolittle.

1998 Ron Paul 67:5
a first amendment right probably should be capitalized, a First Amendment right.

1998 Ron Paul 67:10
When Ron Paul said, all it has done is compounded our problems, he probably meant all it has done is compound our problems.

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