Volume 2004 — The Book of Ron Paul

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 1


February 4, 2004
Congress Abandoned its Duty to Debate and Declare War

2004 Ron Paul 1:1
There is plenty of blame to go around for the mistakes made by going to war in Iraq, especially now that it is common knowledge Saddam Hussein told the truth about having no weapons of mass destruction, and that Al Qaida and 9/11 were in no way related to the Iraqi government.  

2004 Ron Paul 1:2
Our intelligence agencies failed for whatever reason this time, but their frequent failures should raise the question of whether or not secretly spending forty billion taxpayer dollars annually gathering bad information is a good investment.   The administration certainly failed us by making the decision to sacrifice so much in life and limb, by plunging us into this Persian Gulf quagmire that surely will last for years to come.

2004 Ron Paul 1:3
But before Congress gets too carried away with condemning the administration or the intelligence gathering agencies, it ought to look to itself.   A proper investigation and debate by this Congress — as we’re now scrambling to accomplish — clearly was warranted prior to any decision to go to war.   An open and detailed debate on a proper declaration of war certainly would have revealed that U.S. national security was not threatened — and the whole war could have been avoided.   Because Congress did not do that, it deserves the greatest criticism for its dereliction of duty.

2004 Ron Paul 1:4
There was a precise reason why the most serious decision made by a country — the decision to go to war — was assigned in our Constitution to the body closest to the people.   If we followed this charge I’m certain fewer wars would be fought, wide support would be achieved for just defensive wars, there would be less political finger-pointing if events went badly, and blame could not be placed on one individual or agency.   This process would more likely achieve victory, which has eluded us in recent decades.

2004 Ron Paul 1:5
The president reluctantly has agreed to support an independent commission to review our intelligence gathering failures, and that is good.   Cynics said nothing much would be achieved by studying pre-9/11 intelligence failures, but it looks like some objective criticisms will emerge from that inquiry.   We can hope for the best from this newly appointed commission.

2004 Ron Paul 1:6
But already we hear the inquiry will be deliberately delayed, limited to investigating only the failures of the intelligence agencies themselves, and may divert its focus to studying intelligence gathering related to North Korea and elsewhere.   If the commission avoids the central controversy — whether or not there was selective use of information or undue pressure put on the CIA to support a foregone conclusion to go to war by the administration — the commission will appear a sham.

2004 Ron Paul 1:7
Regardless of the results, the process of the inquiry is missing the most important point — the failure of Congress to meet its responsibility on the decision to go, or not go, to war.   The current mess was predictable from the beginning.   Unfortunately, Congress voluntarily gave up its prerogative over war and illegally transferred this power to the president in October of 2002.   The debate we are having now should have occurred here in the halls of Congress then.   We should have debated a declaration of war resolution.   Instead, Congress chose to transfer this decision-making power to the president to avoid the responsibility of making the hard choice of sending our young people into harms way, against a weak, third world country.   This the president did on his own, with congressional acquiescence.    The blame game has emerged only now that we are in the political season.   Sadly, the call for and the appointment of the commission is all part of this political process.

2004 Ron Paul 1:8
It is truly disturbing to see many who abdicated their congressional responsibility to declare or reject war, who timidly voted to give the president the power he wanted, now posturing as his harshest critics.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 2


February 11, 2004
A Wise Consistency

2004 Ron Paul 2:1
A wise consistency is the foundation of a free society. Yet everyone knows, or thinks they know, that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. How many times has Ralph Waldo Emerson been quoted to belittle a consistent philosophy defending freedom?   Even on this floor I have been rebuked by colleagues with this quote, for pointing out the shortcomings of Congress in not consistently and precisely following our oath to uphold the Constitution.  

2004 Ron Paul 2:2
The need to discredit consistency is endemic. It’s considered beneficial to be flexible and pragmatic while rejecting consistency; otherwise the self-criticism would be more than most Members could take. The comfort level of most politicians in D.C. requires an attitude that consistency not only is unnecessary, but detrimental. For this reason Emerson’s views are conveniently cited to justify pragmatism and arbitrary intervention in all our legislative endeavors.

2004 Ron Paul 2:3
Communism was dependent on firm, consistent, and evil beliefs. Authoritarian rule was required to enforce these views, however. Allowing alternative views to exist, as they always do, guarantees philosophic competition. For instance, the views in Hong Kong eventually won out over the old communism of the Chinese mainland. But it can work in the other direction. If the ideas of socialism, within the context of our free society, are permitted to raise their ugly head, it may well replace what we have, if we do not consistently and forcefully defend the free market and personal liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 2:4
It’s quite a distortion of Emerson’s views to use them as justification for the incoherent and nonsensical policies coming out of Washington today. But, the political benefits of not needing to be consistent are so overwhelming that there’s no interest in being philosophically consistent in one’s votes.   It is a welcome convenience to be able to support whatever seems best for the moment, the congressional district, or one’s political party. Therefore, it’s quite advantageous to cling to the notion that consistency is a hobgoblin. For this reason, statesmanship in D.C. has come to mean one’s willingness to give up one’s own personal beliefs in order to serve the greater good — whatever that is. But it is not possible to preserve the rule of law or individual liberty if our convictions are no stronger than this. Otherwise something will replace our republic that was so carefully designed by the Founders. That something is not known, but we can be certain it will be less desirable than what we have.

2004 Ron Paul 2:5
As for Emerson, he was not even talking about consistency in defending political views that were deemed worthy and correct. Emerson clearly explained the consistency he was criticizing. He was most annoyed by a foolish consistency. He attacked bull-headedness, believing that intellectuals should be more open-minded and tolerant of new ideas and discoveries. His attack targeted the flat-earth society types in the world of ideas. New information, he claimed, should always lead to reassessment of previous conclusions. To Emerson, being unwilling to admit an error and consistently defending a mistaken idea, regardless of facts, was indeed a foolish consistency. His reference was to a character trait, not sound logical thinking.

2004 Ron Paul 2:6
Since it’s proven that centralized control over education and medicine has done nothing to improve them, and instead of reassessing these programs, more money is thrown into the same centralized planning, this is much closer to Emerson’s foolish consistency than defending liberty and private property in a consistent and forceful manner while strictly obeying the Constitution.

2004 Ron Paul 2:7
Emerson’s greatest concern was the consistency of conformity.   Nonconformity and tolerance of others obviously are much more respected in a free society than in a rigidly planned authoritarian society.

2004 Ron Paul 2:8
The truth is that Emerson must be misquoted in order to use him against those who rigidly and consistently defend a free society, cherish and promote diverse opinions, and encourage nonconformity. A wise and consistent defense of liberty is more desperately needed today than any time in our history. Our foolish and inconsistent policies of the last 100 years have brought us to a critical junction, with the American way of life at stake. It is the foolish inconsistencies that we must condemn and abandon. Let me mention a few:

2004 Ron Paul 2:9
Conservatives Who Spend: Conservatives for years have preached fiscal restraint and balanced budgets. Once in charge, they have rationalized huge spending increases and gigantic growth in the size of government, while supporting a new- found religion that preaches deficits don’t matter. According to Paul O’Neill, the Vice President lectured him that “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”   Conservatives who no longer support balanced budgets and less government should not be called conservatives. Some now are called neo-conservatives. The conservative label merely deceives the many Americans who continuously hope the day of fiscal restraint will come. Yet if this deception is not pointed out, success in curtailing government growth is impossible.   Is it any wonder the national debt is $7 trillion and growing by over $600 billion per year?   Even today, the only expression of concern for the deficit seems to come from liberals. That ought to tell us something about how far astray we have gone.

2004 Ron Paul 2:10
Free Trade Fraud—Neo-mercantilism : Virtually all economists are for free trade. Even the politicians express such support. However, many quickly add, “Yes, but it should be fair.”   That is, free trade is fine unless it appears to hurt someone. Then a little protectionism is warranted, for fairness sake. Others who claim allegiance to free trade are only too eager to devalue their own currencies, which harms a different group of citizens — like importers and savers — in competitive devaluations in hopes of gaining a competitive edge. Many so-called free-trade proponents are champions of international agreements that undermine national sovereignty and do little more than create an international bureaucracy to manage tariffs and sanctions. Organizations like NAFTA, WTO, and the coming FTAA are more likely to benefit the powerful special interests than to enhance true free trade. Nothing is said, however, about how a universal commodity monetary standard would facilitate trade, nor is it mentioned how unilaterally lowering tariffs can benefit a nation. Even bilateral agreements are ignored when our trade problems are used as an excuse to promote dangerous internationalism.

2004 Ron Paul 2:11
Trade as an issue of personal liberty is totally ignored. But simply put, one ought to have the right to spend one’s own money any way one wants. Buying cheap foreign products can have a great economic benefit for our citizens and serve as an incentive to improve production here at home. It also puts pressure on us to reassess the onerous regulations and tax burdens placed on our business community. Monopoly wages that force wage rates above the market also are challenged when true free trade is permitted. And this, of course, is the reason free trade is rejected. Labor likes higher-than-market wages, and business likes less competition. In the end, consumers — all of us — suffer. Ironically, the free traders in Congress were the most outspoken opponents of drug reimportation, with a convoluted argument claiming that the free-trade position should prohibit the reimportation of pharmaceuticals. So much for a wise consistency!

2004 Ron Paul 2:12
Following the Constitution—Arbitrarily, Of Course : Following the Constitution is a convenience shared by both liberals and conservatives — at times. Everyone takes the same oath of office, and most Members of Congress invoke the Constitution, at one time or another, to make some legislative point. The fact that the Constitution is used periodically to embarrass one’s opponents, when convenient, requires that no one feel embarrassed by an inconsistent voting record. Believing that any consistency, not just a foolish one, is a philosophic hobgoblin gives many Members welcome reassurance. This allows limited-government conservatives to massively increase the size and scope of government, while ignoring the deficit. Liberals, who also preach their own form of limited government in the areas of civil liberties and militarism, have no problem with a flexible pragmatic approach to all government expenditures and intrusions. The net result is that the oath of office to abide by all the constitutional restraints on government power is rarely followed.

2004 Ron Paul 2:13
Paper Money, Inflation, and Economic Pain : Paper money and inflation have never provided long-term economic growth, nor have they enhanced freedom. Yet the world, led by the United States, lives with a financial system awash with fiat currencies and historic debt as a consequence. No matter how serious the problems that come from central-bank monetary inflations — the depressions and inflation, unemployment, social chaos, and war — the only answer has been to inflate even more. Except for the Austrian free-market economists, the consensus is that the Great Depression was prolonged and exacerbated by the lack of monetary inflation. This view is held by Alan Greenspan, and reflected in his January 2001 response to the stock market slump and a slower economy — namely a record monetary stimulus and historically low interest rates. The unwillingness to blame the slumps on the Federal Reserve’s previous errors, though the evidence is clear, guarantees that greater problems for the United States and the world economy lie ahead. Though there is adequate information to understand the real cause of the business cycle, the truth and proper policy are not palatable. Closing down the engine of inflation at any point does cause short-term problems that are politically unacceptable. But the alternative is worse, in the long term. It is not unlike a drug addict demanding and getting a fix in order to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Not getting rid of the addiction is a deadly mistake.   While resorting to continued monetary stimulus through credit creation delays the pain and suffering, it inevitably makes the problems much worse. Debt continues to build in all areas — personal, business, and government. Inflated stock prices are propped up, waiting for another collapse. Mal-investment and overcapacity fail to correct. Insolvency proliferates without liquidation. These same errors have been prolonging the correction in Japan for 14 years, with billions of dollars of non-performing loans still on the books. Failure to admit and recognize that fiat money, mismanaged by central banks, gives us most of our economic problems, along with a greater likelihood for war, means we never learn from our mistakes. Our consistent response is to inflate faster and borrow more, which each downturn requires, to keep the economy afloat. Talk about a foolish consistency!   It’s time for our leaders to admit the error of their ways, consider the wise consistency of following the advice of our Founders, and reject paper money and central bank inflationary policies.

2004 Ron Paul 2:14
Alcohol Prohibition—For Our Own Protection : Alcohol prohibition was a foolish consistency engaged in for over a decade, but we finally woke up to the harm done.   In spite of prohibition, drinking continued. The alcohol being produced in the underground was much more deadly, and related crime ran rampant. The facts stared us in the face, and with time, we had the intelligence to repeal the whole experiment. No matter how logical this reversal of policy was, it did not prevent us from moving into the area of drug prohibition, now in the more radical stages, for the past 30 years. No matter the amount of harm and cost involved, very few in public life are willing to advise a new approach to drug addiction. Alcoholism is viewed as a medical problem, but illicit drug addiction is seen as a heinous crime. Our prisons overflow, with the cost of enforcement now into the hundreds of billions of dollars, yet drug use is not reduced. Nevertheless, the politicians are consistent. They are convinced that a tough stand against usage with very strict laws and mandatory sentences — sometimes life sentences for non-violent offenses — is a popular political stand. Facts don’t count, and we can’t bend on consistently throwing the book at any drug offenders. Our prisons are flooded with non-violent drug users — 84% of all federals prisoners — but no serious reassessment is considered.   Sadly, the current war on drugs has done tremendous harm to many patients’ need for legitimate prescribed pain control. Doctors are very often compromised in their ability to care for the seriously and terminally ill by overzealous law enforcement.   Throughout most of our history, drugs were legal and at times were abused. But during that time, there was no history of the social and legal chaos associated with drug use that we suffer today. A hundred years ago, a pharmacist openly advertised, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”   Obviously this is overstated as a medical panacea, but it describes what it was like not to have hysterical busybodies undermine our Constitution and waste billions of dollars on a drug war serving no useful purpose. This country needs to wake up! We should have more confidence in citizens making their own decisions, and decide once again to repeal federal prohibition, while permitting regulation by the states alone.

2004 Ron Paul 2:15
FDA and Legal Drugs—For Our Own Protection : Our laws and attitudes regarding legal drugs are almost as harmful. The FDA supposedly exists to protect the consumer and patients. This conclusion is based on an assumption that consumers are idiots and all physicians and drug manufacturers are unethical or criminals. It also assumes that bureaucrats and politicians, motivated by good intentions, can efficiently bring drugs onto the market in a timely manner and at reasonable cost. These same naïve dreamers are the ones who say that in order to protect the people from themselves, we must prohibit them from being allowed to re-import drugs from Canada or Mexico at great savings. The FDA virtually guarantees that new drugs come online slower and cost more money. Small companies are unable to pay the legal expenses, and don’t get the friendly treatment that politically connected big drug companies receive. If a drug seems to offer promise, especially for a life-threatening disease, why is it not available, with full disclosure, to anyone who wants to try it? No, our protectors say that no one gets to use it, or make their own decisions, until the FDA guarantees that each drug has been proven safe and effective. And believe me, the FDA is quite capable of making mistakes, even after years of testing.   It seems criminal when cancer patients come to our congressional offices begging and pleading for a waiver to try some new drug. We call this a free society!   For those who can’t get a potentially helpful drug but might receive a little comfort from some marijuana, raised in their own back yard legally in their home state, the heavy hand of the DEA comes down hard, actually arresting and imprisoning ill patients. Federal drug laws blatantly preempt state laws, adding insult to injury.

2004 Ron Paul 2:16
Few remember that the first federal laws regulating marijuana were written as recently as 1938, which means just a few decades ago our country had much greater respect for individual choices and state regulations in all health matters.   The nanny state is relatively new, but well entrenched. Sadly, we foolishly and consistently follow the dictates of prohibition and government control of new medications, never questioning the wisdom of these laws.   The silliness regarding illegal drugs and prescription drugs was recently demonstrated. It was determined that a drug used to cause an abortion can be available over the counter. However, Ephedra — used by millions for various reasons and found in nature — was made illegal as a result of one death after being misused. Individuals no longer can make their own decisions, at an affordable price, to use Ephedra. Now it will probably require a prescription and cost many times more. It can never be known, but weight loss by thousands using Ephedra may well have saved many lives. But the real issue is personal choice and responsibility, not the medicinal effect of these drugs. This reflects our moral standards, not an example of individual freedom and responsibility.

2004 Ron Paul 2:17
Foreign Policy of Interventionism—General : Our foreign policy of interventionism offers the best example of Emerson’s foolish inconsistency. No matter how unsuccessful our entanglements become, our leaders rarely question the wisdom of trying to police the world. Most of the time our failures prompt even greater intervention, rather than less. Never yielding to the hard cold facts of our failures, our drive to meddle and nation-build around the world continues. Complete denial of the recurrent blowback from our meddling — a term our CIA invented — prompts us to spend endlessly while jeopardizing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Refusing even to consider the failure of our own policies is outrageous. Only in the context of commercial benefits to the special interests and the military- industrial complex, molded with patriotic jingoism, can one understand why we pursue such a foolish policy. Some of these ulterior motives are understandable, but the fact that average Americans rarely question our commitment to these dangerous and expensive military operations is disturbing. The whipped up war propaganda too often overrules the logic that should prevail. Certainly the wise consistency of following the Constitution has little appeal. One would think the painful consequences of our militarism over the last hundred years would have made us more reluctant to assume the role of world policeman in a world that hates us more each day.

2004 Ron Paul 2:18
A strong case can be made that all the conflicts, starting with the Spanish-American War up to our current conflict in the Middle East, could have been avoided. For instance, the foolish entrance into World War I to satisfy Wilson’s ego led to a disastrous peace at Versailles, practically guaranteeing World War II. Likewise, our ill-advised role in the Persian Gulf War I placed us in an ongoing guerilla war in Iraq and Afghanistan, which may become a worldwide conflict before it ends. Our foolish antics over the years have prompted our support for many thugs throughout the 20th Century — Stalin, Samoza, Batista, the Shah of Iran, Noriega, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and many others — only to regret it once the unintended consequences became known. Many of those we supported turned on us, or our interference generated a much worse replacement — such as the Ayatollah in Iran.   If we had consistently followed the wise advice of our early presidents, we could have avoided the foreign policy problems we face today. And if we had, we literally would have prevented hundreds of thousands of needless deaths over the last century. The odds are slim to none that our current failure in Afghanistan and Iraq will prompt our administration to change its policies of intervention. Ignoring the facts and rigidly sticking to a failed policy — a foolish consistency — as our leaders have repeatedly done over the past 100 years, unfortunately will prevail despite its failure and huge costs. This hostility toward principled consistency and common sense allows for gross errors in policy making. Most Americans believed, and still do, that we went to war against Saddam Hussein because he threatened us with weapons of mass destruction and his regime was connected to al Qaeda. The fact that Saddam Hussein not only did not have weapons of mass destruction, but essentially had no military force at all, seems to be of little concern to those who took us to war. It was argued, after our allies refused to join in our efforts, that a unilateral approach without the United Nations was proper under our notion of national sovereignty. Yet resolutions giving the President authority to go to war cited the United Nations 21 times, forgetting the U.S. Constitution allows only Congress to declare war. A correct declaration of war was rejected out of hand. Now with events going badly, the administration is practically begging the UN to take over the transition — except, of course, for the Iraqi Development Fund that controls the oil and all the seized financial assets. The contradictions and distortions surrounding the Iraqi conflict are too numerous to count. Those who wanted to institutionalize the doctrine of pre-emptive war were not concerned about the Constitution or consistency in our foreign policy. And for this, the American people and world peace will suffer.

2004 Ron Paul 2:19
Promoting Democracy — An Obsession Whose Time Has Passed : Promoting democracy is now our nation’s highest ideal. Wilson started it with his ill-advised drive to foolishly involve us in World War I. His utopian dream was to make the world safe for democracy. Instead, his naiveté and arrogance promoted our involvement in the back-to-back tragedies of World War I and World War II. It’s hard to imagine the rise of Hitler in World War II without the Treaty of Versailles. But this has not prevented every president since Wilson from promoting U.S.-style democracy to the rest of the world.

2004 Ron Paul 2:20
Since no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda have been found in Iraq, the explanation given now for having gone there was to bring democracy to the Iraqi people. Yet we hear now that the Iraqis are demanding immediate free elections not controlled by the United States. But our administration says the Iraqi people are not yet ready for free elections. The truth is that a national election in Iraq would bring individuals to power that the administration doesn’t want. Democratic elections will have to wait.

2004 Ron Paul 2:21
This makes the point that our persistence in imposing our will on others through military force ignores sound thinking, but we never hear serious discussions about changing our foreign policy of meddling and empire building, no matter how bad the results. Regardless of the human and financial costs for all the wars fought over the past hundred years, few question the principle and legitimacy of interventionism. Bad results, while only sowing the seeds of our next conflict, concern few here in Congress. Jingoism, the dream of empire, and the interests of the military-industrial complex generate the false patriotism that energizes supporters of our foreign entanglements. Direct media coverage of the more than 500 body bags coming back from Iraq is now prohibited by the administration. Seeing the mangled lives and damaged health of thousands of other casualties of this war would help the American people put this war in proper perspective. Almost all war is unnecessary and rarely worth the cost. Seldom does a good peace result. Since World War II, we have intervened 35 times in developing countries, according to the LA Times, without a single successful example of a stable democracy. Their conclusion: “American engagement abroad has not led to more freedom or more democracy in countries where we’ve become involved.” So far, the peace in Iraq — that is, the period following the declared end of hostilities — has set the stage for a civil war in this forlorn Western-created artificial state. A U.S.- imposed national government unifying the Kurds, the Sunnis, and the Shiites will never work. Our allies deserted us in this misadventure. Dumping the responsibility on the UN, while retaining control of the spoils of war, is a policy of folly that can result only in more Americans being killed. This will only fuel the festering wounds of Middle East hatred toward all Western occupiers. The Halliburton scandals and other military-industrial connections to the occupation of Iraq will continue to annoy our allies, and hopefully a growing number of American taxpayers.

2004 Ron Paul 2:22
I have a few suggestions on how to alter our consistently foolish policy in Iraq. Instead of hiding behind Wilson’s utopianism of making the world safe for democracy, let’s try a new approach:

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-The internal affairs and the need for nation building in Iraq are none of our business.

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-Our goal in international affairs ought to be to promote liberty and the private-property/free-market order — through persuasion and example, and never by force of arms, clandestine changes, or preemptive war.

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-We should give up our obsession with democracy, both for ourselves and others, since the dictatorship of the majority is just as destructive to a minority, especially individual liberty, as a single Saddam Hussein-like tyrant. (Does anyone really believe the Shiite majority can possibly rule fairly over the Sunnis and the Kurds?)

2004 Ron Paul 2:26
-A representative republic, loosely held together with autonomy for each state or providence, is the only hope in a situation like this. But since we have systematically destroyed that form of government here in the United States, we can’t possibly be the ones who will impose this system on a foreign and very different land 6,000 miles away — no matter how many bombs we drop or people we kill. This type of change can come only with a change in philosophy, and an understanding of the true nature of liberty. It must be an intellectual adventure, not a military crusade. If for no other reason, Congress must soon realize that we no longer can afford to maintain an empire circling the globe. It’s a Sisyphean task to rebuild the Iraq we helped to destroy while our financial problems mount here at home. The American people eventually will rebel and demand that all job and social programs start at home before we waste billions more in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other forlorn lands around the world.

2004 Ron Paul 2:27
-The Constitution places restraints on Congress and the executive branch, so as not to wage war casually and without proper declaration. It provides no authority to spend money or lives to spread our political message around the world. A strict adherence to the rule of law and the Constitution would bring an immediate halt to our ill-advised experiment in assuming the role of world policeman. We have been told that our effort in Iraq has been worth the 500-plus lives lost and the thousands wounded. I disagree — with great sadness for the families who have lost so much, and with so little hope for a good peace — I can only say, I disagree and hope I’m wrong.

2004 Ron Paul 2:28
Fighting Terrorism With Big Government—A Convenience or Necessity?    Fighting terrorism is a top concern for most Americans. It is understandable, knowing how vulnerable we now are to an attack by our enemies. But striking out against the liberties of all Americans, with the Patriot Act, the FBI, or Guantanamo-type justice will hardly address the problem.   Liberty cannot be enhanced by undermining liberty!   It is never necessary to sacrifice liberty to preserve it. It’s tempting to sacrifice liberty for safety, and that is the argument used all too often by the politicians seeking more power. But even that is not true. History shows that a strong desire for safety over liberty usually results in less of both. But that does not mean we should ignore the past attacks or the threat of future attacks that our enemies might unleash. First, fighting terrorism is a cliché. Terrorism is a technique or a process, and if not properly defined, the solutions will be hard to find. Terrorism is more properly defined as an attack by a guerrilla warrior who picks the time and place of the attack because he cannot match the enemy with conventional weapons. With too broad a definition of terrorism, the temptation will be to relinquish too much liberty, being fearful that behind every door and in every suitcase lurks a terrorist- planted bomb. Narrowing the definition of terrorism and recognizing why some become enemies is crucial. Understanding how maximum security is achieved in a free society is vital. We have been told that the terrorists hate us for our wealth, our freedom, and our goodness. This war cannot be won if that belief prevails.

2004 Ron Paul 2:29
When the definition of terrorism is vague and the enemy pervasive throughout the world, the neo-conservatives — who want to bring about various regime changes for other reasons — conveniently latch onto these threats and use them as the excuse and justification for our expanding military presence throughout the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region. This is something they have been anxious to do all along. Already, plans are being laid by neo-conservative leaders to further expand our occupations to many other countries, from Central America and Africa to Korea. Whether it’s invading Iraq, threatening North Korea, or bullying Venezuela or even Russia, it’s now popular to play the terrorist card. Just mention terrorism and the American people are expected to grovel and allow the war hawks to do whatever they want to do. This is a very dangerous attitude. One would think that, with the shortcomings of the Iraqi occupation becoming more obvious every day, more Americans would question our flagrant and aggressive policy of empire building.   The American people were frightened into supporting this war because they were told that Iraq had: “25,000 liters of anthrax; 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin; 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve gas; significant quantities of refined uranium; and special aluminum tubes used in developing nuclear weapons.”   The fact that none of this huge amount of material was found, and the fact that David Kay resigned from heading up the inspection team saying none will be found, doesn’t pacify the instigators of this policy of folly. They merely look forward to the next regime change as they eye their list of potential targets. And they argue with conviction that the 500-plus lives lost were worth it.   Attacking a perceived enemy who had few weapons, who did not aggress against us, and who never posed a threat to us does nothing to help eliminate the threat of terrorist attacks. If anything, deposing an Arab Muslim leader — even a bad one — incites more hatred toward us, certainly not less. This is made worse if our justification for the invasion was in error. It is safe to say that in time we’ll come to realize that our invasion has made us less safe, and has served as a grand recruiting tool for the many militant Muslim groups that want us out of their countries — including the majority of those Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the entire Middle East. Because of the nature of the war in which we find ourselves, catching Saddam Hussein, or even killing Osama bin Laden, are almost irrelevant. They may well simply become martyrs to their cause and incite even greater hatred toward us.

2004 Ron Paul 2:30
There are a few things we must understand if we ever expect this war to end.

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First: The large majority, especially all the militant Muslims, see us as invaders, occupiers, and crusaders. We have gone a long way from home and killed a lot of people, and none of them believe it’s to spread our goodness. Whether or not some supporters of this policy of intervention are sincere in bringing democracy and justice to this region, it just doesn’t matter — few over there believe us.

2004 Ron Paul 2:32
Second: This war started a long time before 9-11. That attack was just the most dramatic event of the war so far. The Arabs have fought Western crusaders for centuries, and they have not yet forgotten the European Crusades centuries ago. Our involvement has been going on, to some degree, since World War II, but was dramatically accelerated in 1991 with the first Persian Gulf invasion along with the collapse of the Soviet system. Placing U.S. troops on what is considered Muslim holy land in Saudi Arabia was pouring salt in the wounds of this already existing hatred. We belatedly realized this and have removed these troops.

2004 Ron Paul 2:33
Third: If these facts are ignored, there’s no chance that the United States-led Western occupation of the oil-rich Middle East can succeed (70% of the world’s oil is in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea regions). Without a better understanding of the history of this region, it’s not even possible to define the enemy, know why they fight, or understand the difference between guerilla warrior attacks and vague sinister forces of terrorism. The pain of recognizing that the ongoing war is an example of what the CIA calls blowback and an unintended consequence of our foreign policy is a great roadblock to ever ending the war.

2004 Ron Paul 2:34
Judicial Review : Respect for the original intent of the Constitution is low in Washington. It’s so low, it’s virtually non-existent. This causes many foolish inconsistencies in our federal courts. The Constitution, we have been told, is a living, evolving document and it’s no longer necessary to change it in the proper fashion. That method is too slow and cumbersome, it is claimed. While we amended it to institute alcohol prohibition, the federal drug prohibition is accomplished by majority vote of the U.S. Congress. Wars are not declared by Congress, but pursued by Executive Order to enforce UN Resolutions. The debate of the pros and cons of the war come afterward — usually following the war’s failure — in the political arena, rather than before with the proper debate on a declaration of war resolution.   Laws are routinely written by un-elected bureaucrats, with themselves becoming the judicial and enforcement authority. Little desire is expressed in Congress to alter this monster that creates thousands of pages each year in the Federal Register. Even the nearly 100,000 bureaucrats who now carry guns stir little controversy. For decades, Executive Orders have been arrogantly used to write laws to circumvent a plodding or disagreeable Congress. This attitude was best described by a Clinton presidential aide who bragged:   “…stroke of the pen, law of the land, kinda cool!”   This is quite a testimonial to the rule of law and constitutional restraint on government power.   The courts are no better than the executive or legislative branches in limiting the unconstitutional expansion of the federal monolith. Members of Congress, including committee chairmen, downplay my concern that proposed legislation is unconstitutional by insisting that the courts are the ones to make such weighty decisions, not mere Members of Congress. This was an informal argument made by House leadership on the floor during the debate on campaign finance reform. In essence, they said “We know it’s bad, but we’ll let the courts clean it up.” And look what happened!   The courts did not save us from ourselves.

2004 Ron Paul 2:35
Something must be done, however, if we expect to rein in our ever growing and intrusive government. Instead of depending on the courts to rule favorably, when Congress and the executive branch go astray, we must curtail the courts when they overstep their authority by writing laws, rubber stamping bad legislation, or overruling state laws. Hopefully in the future we will have a Congress more cognizant of its responsibility to legislate within the confines of the Constitution.   There is something Congress, by majority vote, can do to empower the states to deal with their First Amendment issues. It’s clear that Congress has been instructed to write no laws regarding freedom of speech, religion, or assembly. This obviously means that federal courts have no authority to do so either. Therefore, the remaining option is for Congress to specifically remove jurisdiction of all First Amendment controversies from all federal courts, including the Supreme Court.   Issues dealing with prayer, the Ten Commandments, religious symbols or clothing, and songs, even the issue of abortion, are properly left as a prerogative of the states. A giant step in this direction could be achieved with the passage my proposed legislation, the We the People Act.

2004 Ron Paul 2:36
Conclusion: Emerson’s real attack was on intellectual conformity without a willingness to entertain new ideas based on newly acquired facts. This is what he referred to as the foolish consistency. The greatest open-minded idea I’m aware of is to know that one does not know what is best for others, whether it’s in economic, social, or moral policy, or in the affairs of other nations. Believing one knows what is best for others represents the greatest example of a closed mind.   Friedrich Hayek referred to this as a pretense of knowledge. Governments are no more capable of running an economy made fair for everyone than they are of telling the individual what is best for their spiritual salvation. There are a thousand things in between that the busybody politicians, bureaucrats, and judges believe they know and yet do not. Sadly our citizens have become dependent on government for nearly everything from cradle to grave, and look to government for all guidance and security.

2004 Ron Paul 2:37
Continuously ignoring Emerson’s advice on self-reliance is indeed a foolish consistency which most of the politicians now in charge of the militant nanny state follow. And it’s an armed state, domestic as well as foreign. Our armies tell the Arab world what’s best for them, while the armed bureaucrats at home harass our own people into submission and obedience to every law and regulation, most of which are incomprehensible to the average citizen.   Ask three IRS agents for an interpretation of the tax code and you will get three different answers. Ask three experts in the Justice Department to interpret the anti-trust laws, and you will get three different answers. First they’ll tell you it’s illegal to sell too low, then they’ll tell you it’s illegal to sell too high, and it’s certainly illegal if everybody sold products at the same price. All three positions can get you into plenty of trouble and blamed for first, undermining competition, second, for having too much control and gouging the public, and third, for engaging in collusion. The people can’t win.

2004 Ron Paul 2:38
Real knowledge is to know what one does not know. The only society that recognizes this fact and understands how productive enterprise is generated is a free society, unencumbered with false notions of grandeur. It is this society that generates true tolerance and respect for others. Self-reliance and creativity blossom in a free society. This does not mean anarchy, chaos, or libertine behavior. Truly, only a moral society can adapt to personal liberty. Some basic rules must be followed and can be enforced by government — most suitably by local and small government entities. Honoring all voluntary contractual arrangements, social and economic, protection of all life, and established standards for private property ownership are the three principles required for a free society to remain civilized. Depending on the culture, the government could be the family, the tribe, or some regional or state entity.

2004 Ron Paul 2:39
The freedom philosophy is based on the humility that we are not omnipotent, but also the confidence that true liberty generates the most practical solution to all our problems, whether they are economic, domestic security, or national defense.   Short of this, any other system generates authoritarianism that grows with each policy failure and eventually leads to a national bankruptcy. It was this end, not our military budget, which brought the Soviets to their knees.

2004 Ron Paul 2:40
A system of liberty allows for the individual to be creative, productive, or spiritual on one’s own terms, and encourages excellence and virtue. All forms of authoritarianism only exist at the expense of liberty. Yet the humanitarian do-gooders claim to strive for these very same goals. To understand the difference is crucial to the survival of a free society.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 3


February 12, 2004
Rush Limbaugh and the Sick Federal War on Pain Relief

2004 Ron Paul 3:1
Mr. Speaker, the publicity surrounding popular radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s legal troubles relating to his use of the pain killer OxyContin hopefully will focus public attention on how the federal drug war threatens the effective treatment of chronic pain. Prosecutors have seized Mr. Limbaugh’s medical records to investigate whether he violated federal drug laws. The fact that Mr. Limbaugh is a high profile, controversial, conservative media personality has given rise to speculation that the prosecution is politically motivated. Adding to this suspicion is the fact that individual pain patients are rarely prosecuted in this type of case.

2004 Ron Paul 3:2
In cases where patients are not high profile celebrities like Mr. Limbaugh, it is pain management physicians who bear the brunt of overzealous prosecutors. Faced with the failure of the war on drugs to eliminate drug cartels and kingpins, prosecutors and police have turned their attention to pain management doctors, using federal statutes designed for the prosecution of drug dealers to prosecute physicians for prescribing pain medicine.  

2004 Ron Paul 3:3
Many of the cases brought against physicians are rooted in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s failure to consider current medical standards regarding the use of opioids, including OxyContin, in formulating policy. Opioids are the pharmaceuticals considered most effective in relieving chronic pain. Federal law classifies most opioids as Schedule II drugs, the same classification given to cocaine and heroin, despite a growing body of opinion among the medical community that opioids should not be classified with these substances.

2004 Ron Paul 3:4
Unfortunately, patients often must consume very large amounts of opioids to obtain long-term relief. Some prescriptions may be for hundreds of pills and last only a month.  A prescription this large may appear suspicious.   But according to many pain management specialists, it is medically necessary in many cases to prescribe a large number of pills to effectively treat chronic pain. However, zealous prosecutors show no interest in learning the basic facts of pain management.

2004 Ron Paul 3:5
This harassment by law enforcement has forced some doctors to close their practices, while others have stopped prescribing opioids altogether — even though opioids are the only way some of their patients can obtain pain relief. The current attitude toward pain physicians is exemplified by Assistant US Attorney Gene Rossi’s statement that “Our office will try our best to root out [certain doctors] like the Taliban.”  

2004 Ron Paul 3:6
Prosecutors show no concern for how their actions will affect patients who need large amounts of opioids to control their chronic pain. For example, the prosecutor in the case of Dr. Cecil Knox of Roanoke, Virginia, told all of Dr. Knox’s patients to seek help in federal clinics even though none of the federal clinics would prescribe effective pain medicine!

2004 Ron Paul 3:7
Doctors are even being punished for the misdeeds of their patients. For example, Dr. James Graves was sentenced to more than 60 years for manslaughter because several of his patients overdosed on various combinations of pain medications and other drugs, including illegal street drugs. As a physician with over thirty years of experience in private practice, I find it outrageous that a physician would be held criminally liable for a patient’s misuse of medicine.

2004 Ron Paul 3:8
The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), one of the nation’s leading defenders of medical freedom, recently advised doctors to avoid prescribing opioids because, according to AAPS, “drug agents set medical standards.” I would hope my colleagues would agree that doctors, not federal agents, should determine medical standards.

2004 Ron Paul 3:9
By waging this war on pain physicians, the government is condemning patients to either live with excruciating chronic pain or seek opioids from other, less reliable, sources — such as street drug dealers.   Of course opioids bought on the street likely will pose a greater risk of damaging a patient’s health than opioids obtained from a physician.

2004 Ron Paul 3:10
Finally, as the Limbaugh case reveals, the prosecution of pain management physicians destroys the medical privacy of all chronic pain patients. Under the guise of prosecuting the drug war, law enforcement officials can rummage through patients’ personal medical records and, as may be the case with Mr. Limbaugh, use information uncovered to settle personal or political scores. I am pleased that AAPS, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, has joined the effort to protect Mr. Limbaugh’s medical records.  

2004 Ron Paul 3:11
Mr. Speaker, Congress should take action to rein in overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement officials, and stop the harassment of legitimate physicians who act in good faith when prescribing opioids for relief from chronic pain. Doctors should not be prosecuted for using their best medical judgment to act in their patients’ best interests. Doctors also should not be prosecuted for the misdeeds of their patients.

2004 Ron Paul 3:12
Finally, I wish to express my hope that Mr. Limbaugh’s case will encourage his many fans and listeners to consider how their support for the federal war on drugs is inconsistent with their support of individual liberty and constitutional government.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 4


February 26, 2004
The Financial Services Committees “Views and Estimates for 2005”

2004 Ron Paul 4:1
The Committee on Financial Services’ “Views and Estimates for Fiscal Year 2005” begins by expressing concerns about the long-term threat that record level of deficit spending poses to the American economy, and pledging to support efforts to reduce the deficit. Yet in the rest of the document the committee advocates increasing spending on both foreign and domestic welfare. The committee also advocates new regulations that will retard economic growth, as well as violate the Constitution and infringe on individual liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 4:2
This document claims that “investor confidence” was boosted by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which imposed new federal regulations on capital markets, including mandating new duties for board members and dictating how companies must structure their boards of directors. One of Sarbanes-Oxley’s most onerous provisions makes every member of a company’s board of directors, as well as the company’s chief executive officer, criminally liable if they fail to catch accounting errors.

2004 Ron Paul 4:3
As investigative reporter John Berleau detailed in his Insight magazine article (“Sarbanes-Oxley is a Business Disaster”), the new mandates in Sarbanes-Oxley have caused directorship, accounting, audit, and legal fees to double. In addition, the cost of directors’ liability insurance has almost doubled since Sarbanes-Oxley became law. Not surprisingly, the impact of these new costs hit small businesses especially hard — the traditional engine of job creation in America.

2004 Ron Paul 4:4
The costs of compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley divert capital away from activities that create jobs. Yet the committee is actually considering imposing Sarbanes-Oxley-like regulations on the mutual funds industry! Instead of expanding the regulatory state, the committee should examine the economic effects of Sarbanes-Oxley and at least pass legislation exempting small businesses from the law’s requirements.

2004 Ron Paul 4:5
The committee’s ‘Views and Estimates” gives an unqualified endorsement to increased taxpayer support for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), while ignoring the growing erosion of our financial privacy under the PATRIOT Act and similar legislation.   In fact, the committee ignores the recent stealth expansion of the FBI’s power to seize records of dealers in precious metals, jewelers, and pawnshops without a warrant issued by an independent judge.   Instead of serving as cheerleaders for the financial police state, the committee should act to curtail the federal government’s ability to monitor the financial affairs of law-abiding Americans.

2004 Ron Paul 4:6
While the committee’s “Views and Estimates” devote considerable space to discussing Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), it makes no mention of the billions of dollars in subsidies Congress has given to GSEs. These subsidies distort the market, create a short-term boom in housing, and endanger the economy by allowing GSEs to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions.  

2004 Ron Paul 4:7
Like all artificially created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, the financial losses suffered by the mortgage debt holders will be greater than they would have been had the government not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.

2004 Ron Paul 4:8
Government subsidies helped Fannie and Freddie triple their debt to more than $2.2 trillion from 1995 to 2002. Fannie and Freddie’s combined debt soon could surpass the privately held debt of the entire federal government. A taxpayer bailout of the GSEs would dwarf the savings-and-loan bailout of the early nineties and could run up the national debt to unmanageable levels.  

2004 Ron Paul 4:9
However, according to the Committee on Financial Services, the problem with GSEs is not taxpayer subsidizes but a lack of proper regulation! Therefore, the only GSE reform recommended by this document is to create a new regulator to oversee GSEs. In fact, new regulators, or new regulations, will not do anything to correct the market distortions caused by government support of GSEs.

2004 Ron Paul 4:10
Instead of reorganizing the deck chairs of the GSEs’ looming fiscal Titanic, the Committee should pass HR 3071, the Free Housing Market Enhancement Act. This act repeals government subsidies for the housing-related GSEs — Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Home Loan Bank Board.

2004 Ron Paul 4:11
The committee’s inconsistency regarding deficit reduction is shown by its support for increased spending for almost every foreign aid program under its jurisdiction. Of course, Congress has neither constitutional nor moral authority to take money from the American people and send it overseas. Furthermore, foreign aid rarely helps improve the standard of living for citizens of “beneficiary” countries. Instead, the aid all too often enriches corrupt politicians and helps stave off pressure for real reform. Furthermore, certain proposals the committee embraces smack of economic imperialism, suggesting that a country whose economic and other policies please American politicians and bureaucrats will be rewarded with money stolen from the American taxpayer.

2004 Ron Paul 4:12
The committee also expresses unqualified support for programs such as the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) that use taxpayer dollars to subsidize large multinational corporations.   Ex-Im exists to subsidize large corporations that are quite capable of paying the costs of their own export programs! Ex-Im also provides taxpayer funding for export programs that would never obtain funding in the private market. As Austrian economists Ludwig Von Mises and F.A. Hayek demonstrated, one of the purposes of the market is to determine the highest value uses of resources. Thus, the failure of a project to receive funding through the free market means the resources that could have gone to that project have a higher-valued use. Government programs that take funds from the private sector and use them to fund projects that cannot obtain market funding reduce economic efficiency and decrease living standards.   Yet, Ex-Im actually brags about its support for projects rejected by the market!

2004 Ron Paul 4:13
Rather than embracing an agenda of expanded statism, I hope my colleagues will work to    reduce government interference in the market that only benefits the politically powerful. For example, the committee could take a major step toward ending corporate welfare by holding hearings and a mark-up on my legislation to withdraw the United States from the Bretton Woods Agreement and end taxpayer support for the International Monetary Fund.   If the committee is not going to defund programs such as Ex-Im, it should at least act on legislation Mr. Sanders will introduce denying corporate welfare to industries that move a substantial portion of their workforce overseas. It is obscene to force working Americans to subsidize their foreign competitors.

2004 Ron Paul 4:14
Finally, the committee’s views support expanding the domestic welfare state in the area of housing, despite the fact that federal subsidies distort the housing market by taking capital that could be better used elsewhere and applying it to housing at the direction of politicians and bureaucrats. Housing subsidies also violate the constitutional prohibitions against redistributionism. The federal government has no constitutional authority to abuse its taxing power to fund programs that reshape the housing market to the liking of politicians and bureaucrats.

2004 Ron Paul 4:15
Perhaps the most disappointing omission from the committee’s “Views and Estimates” is the failure to address monetary policy. This is especially so given the recent decline in the value of the dollar caused by the Federal Reserve’s continuing boom and bust monetary policy.

2004 Ron Paul 4:16
It is long past time for Congress to examine seriously the need to reform the fiat currency system.   The committee also should examine how Federal Reserve policies encourage excessive public and private sector debt, and the threat that debt poses to the long-term health of the American economy. Additionally, the committee should examine how the American government and economy would be affected if the dollar lost its privileged status as the world’s reserve currency. After all, the main reason the United States government is able to run such large deficits without suffering hyperinflation is the willingness of foreign investors to hold US debt instruments. If, or when, the dollar’s weakness causes foreigners to become reluctant to invest in US debt instruments, the results could be cataclysmic for our economy.  

2004 Ron Paul 4:17
In conclusion, the “Views and Estimates” report presented by the committee claims to endorse fiscal responsibility, yet also supports expanding international, corporate, and domestic spending. The report also endorses increasing the power of the federal police state. Perhaps most disturbingly, this document ignores the looming economic problems created by the Federal Reserve’s inflationary monetary polices and the resulting increase in private and public sector debt. I therefore urge my colleagues to reject this document and instead embrace an agenda of ending corporate welfare, protecting financial privacy, and reforming the fiat money system that is the root cause of America’s economic instability.  

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 5


March 10, 2004
An Indecent Attack on the First Amendment

2004 Ron Paul 5:1
We will soon debate the “Broadcast Indecency Act of 2004” on the House Floor.   This atrocious piece of legislation should be defeated.   It cannot improve the moral behavior of U.S. citizens, but it can do irreparable harm to our cherished right to freedom of speech.

2004 Ron Paul 5:2
This attempt at regulating and punishing indecent and sexually provocative language suggests a comparison to the Wahhabi religious police of Saudi Arabia, who control the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”   Though both may be motivated by the good intentions of improving moral behavior, using government force to do so is fraught with great danger and has no chance of success.

2004 Ron Paul 5:3
Regulating speech is a dangerous notion, and not compatible with the principles of a free society.   The Founders recognized this, and thus explicitly prohibited Congress from making any laws that might abridge freedom of speech or of the press.

2004 Ron Paul 5:4
But we have in recent decades seen a steady erosion of this protection of free speech.

2004 Ron Paul 5:5
This process started years ago when an arbitrary distinction was made by the political left between commercial and non-commercial speech, thus permitting government to regulate and censor commercial speech.   Since only a few participated in commercial speech, few cared — and besides, the government was there to protect us from unethical advertisements.   Supporters of this policy failed to understand that anti-fraud laws and state laws could adequately deal with this common problem found in all societies.

2004 Ron Paul 5:6
Disheartening as it may be, the political left, which was supposed to care more about the 1st Amendment than the right, has ventured in recent years to curtail so-called “hate speech” by championing political correctness.   In the last few decades we’ve seen the political-correctness crowd, in the name of improving personal behavior and language, cause individuals to lose their jobs, cause careers to be ruined, cause athletes to be trashed, and cause public speeches on liberal campuses to be disrupted and even banned.   These tragedies have been caused by the so-called champions of free speech.   Over the years, tolerance for the views of those with whom campus liberals disagree has nearly evaporated.   The systematic and steady erosion of freedom of speech continues.

2004 Ron Paul 5:7
Just one year ago we saw a coalition of both left and right push through the radical Campaign Finance Reform Act, which strictly curtails the rights all Americans to speak out against particular candidates at the time of elections.   Amazingly, this usurpation by Congress was upheld by the Supreme Court, which showed no concern for the restrictions on political speech during political campaigns.   Instead of admitting that money and corruption in government is not a consequence of too much freedom of expression, but rather a result of government acting outside the bounds of the Constitution, this new law addressed a symptom rather than the cause of special interest control of our legislative process.

2004 Ron Paul 5:8
And now comes the right’s attack on the 1st Amendment, with its effort to stamp out “indecent” language on the airways.   And it will be assumed that if one is not with them in this effort, then one must support the trash seen and heard in the movie theaters and on our televisions and radios.   For social rather than constitutional reasons, some on the left express opposition to this proposal.

2004 Ron Paul 5:9
But this current proposal is dangerous.   Since most Americans- I hope- are still for freedom of expression of political ideas and religious beliefs, no one claims that anyone who endorses freedom of speech therefore endorses the nutty philosophy and religious views that are expressed.   We should all know that the 1st Amendment was not written to protect non-controversial mainstream speech, but rather the ideas and beliefs of what the majority see as controversial or fringe.

2004 Ron Paul 5:10
The temptation has always been great to legislatively restrict rudeness, prejudice, and minority views, and it’s easiest to start by attacking the clearly obnoxious expressions that most deem offensive.   The real harm comes later.   But “later” is now approaching.

2004 Ron Paul 5:11
The failure to understand that radio, TV, and movies more often than not reflect the peoples’ attitudes prompts this effort.   It was never law that prohibited moral degradation in earlier times.   It was the moral standards of the people who rejected the smut that we now see as routine entertainment.   Merely writing laws and threatening huge fines will not improve the moral standards of the people.   Laws like the proposed “Broadcast Indecency Act of 2004” merely address the symptom of a decaying society, while posing a greater threat to freedom of expression.   Laws may attempt to silence the bigoted and the profane, but the hearts and minds of those individuals will not be changed.   Societal standards will not be improved.   Government has no control over these standards, and can only undermine liberty in its efforts to make individuals more moral or the economy fairer.

2004 Ron Paul 5:12
Proponents of using government authority to censor certain undesirable images and comments on the airwaves resort to the claim that the airways belong to all the people, and therefore it’s the government’s responsibility to protect them.   The mistake of never having privatized the radio and TV airwaves does not justify ignoring the 1st Amendment mandate that “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.”   When everyone owns something, in reality nobody owns it.   Control then occurs merely by the whims of the politicians in power.   From the very start, licensing of radio and TV frequencies invited government censorship that is no less threatening than that found in totalitarian societies.

2004 Ron Paul 5:13
We should not ignore the smut and trash that has invaded our society, but laws like this will not achieve the goals that many seek.   If a moral society could be created by law, we would have had one a long time ago.   The religious fundamentalists in control of other countries would have led the way.   Instead, authoritarian violence reigns in those countries.

2004 Ron Paul 5:14
If it is not recognized that this is the wrong approach to improve the quality of the airways, a heavy price will be paid.   The solution to decaying moral standards has to be voluntary, through setting examples in our families, churches, and communities- never by government coercion.   It just doesn’t work.

2004 Ron Paul 5:15
But the argument is always that the people are in great danger if government does not act by:

2004 Ron Paul 5:16
- Restricting free expression in advertising;

2004 Ron Paul 5:17
- Claiming insensitive language hurts people, and political correctness guidelines are needed to protect the weak;

2004 Ron Paul 5:18
- Arguing that campaign finance reform is needed to hold down government corruption by the special interests;

2004 Ron Paul 5:19
- Banning indecency on the airways that some believe encourages immoral behavior.

2004 Ron Paul 5:20
If we accept the principle that these dangers must be prevented through coercive government restrictions on expression, it must logically follow that all dangers must be stamped out, especially those that are even more dangerous than those already dealt with.   This principle is adhered to in all totalitarian societies.   That means total control of freedom of expression of all political and religious views.   This certainly was the case with the Soviets, the Nazis, the Cambodians, and the Chinese communists.   And yet these governments literally caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of people throughout the 20th Century.   This is the real danger, and if we’re in the business of protecting the people from all danger, this will be the logical next step.

2004 Ron Paul 5:21
It could easily be argued that this must be done, since political ideas and fanatical religious beliefs are by far the most dangerous ideas known to man.   Sadly, we’re moving in that direction, and no matter how well intended the promoters of these limits on the 1st Amendment are, both on the left and the right, they nevertheless endorse the principle of suppressing any expressions of dissent if one chooses to criticize the government.

2004 Ron Paul 5:22
When the direct attack on political and religious views comes, initially it will be on targets that most will ignore, since they will be seen as outside the mainstream and therefore unworthy of defending – like the Branch Davidians or Lyndon LaRouche.

2004 Ron Paul 5:23
Rush Limbaugh has it right (at least on this one), and correctly fears the speech police.   He states:   “I’m in the free speech business,” as he defends Howard Stern and criticizes any government effort to curtail speech on the airways, while recognizing the media companies’ authority and responsibility to self-regulate.

2004 Ron Paul 5:24
Congress has been a poor steward of the 1st Amendment.   This newest attack should alert us all to the dangers of government regulating freedom of speech — of any kind.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 6


March 17, 2004
Oppose a Flawed Policy of Preemptive War

2004 Ron Paul 6:1
Mr. Speaker, today during the floor debate on H. Res. 557 (the Iraq resolution), I unfortunately was denied time to express my dissent on the policy of preemptive war in Iraq- even though I am a member of the International Relations committee.   The fact that the committee held no hearings and did not mark up the resolution further challenges the fairness of the process.

2004 Ron Paul 6:2
I wish to express my opposition to H. Res. 557, obviously not because our armed forces do not deserve praise, but rather because our policy in the Persian Gulf is seriously flawed. A resolution commending our forces should not be used to rubber-stamp a policy of folly. To do so is disingenuous. Though the resolution may have political benefits, it will prove to be historically incorrect.

2004 Ron Paul 6:3
Justifying preemption is not an answer to avoiding appeasement. Very few wars are necessary. Very few wars are good wars. And this one does not qualify. Most wars are costly beyond measure, in life and limb and economic hardship. In this regard, this war does qualify: 566 deaths, 10,000 casualties, and hundreds of billions of dollars for a victory requiring self-deception.

2004 Ron Paul 6:4
Rather than bragging about victory, we should recognize that the war raging on between the Muslim East and the Christian West has intensified and spread, leaving our allies and our own people less safe. Denying we have an interest in oil, and denying that occupying an Islamic country is an affront to the sensitivities of most Arabs and Muslims, is foolhardy.

2004 Ron Paul 6:5
Reasserting U.N. Security Council resolutions as a justification for the war further emphasizes our sacrifice of sovereignty, and only underscores how Congress has reneged its constitutional responsibility over war.

2004 Ron Paul 6:6
This resolution dramatizes how we have forgotten that for too long we were staunch military and economic allies of Saddam Hussein, confirming the folly of our policy of foreign meddling over many decades. From the days of installing the Shah of Iran to the current worldwide spread of hostilities and hatred, our unnecessary involvement shows so clearly how unintended consequences come back to haunt generation after generation.

2004 Ron Paul 6:7
Someday our leaders ought to ask why Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, and many others are not potential targets of an Islamic attack. Falsely believing that al Qaeda was aligned with Saddam Hussein has resulted in al Qaeda now having a strong presence and influence in Iraq. Falsely believing that Iraq had a supply of weapons of mass destruction has resulted in a dramatic loss of U.S. credibility, as anti-Americanism spreads around the world. Al Qaeda recruitment, sadly, has been dramatically increased.

2004 Ron Paul 6:8
We all praise our troops and support them. Challenging one’s patriotism for not supporting this resolution and/or policy in the Persian Gulf is not legitimate. We should all be cautious about endorsing and financing a policy that unfortunately expands the war rather than ends it.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 7


March 22, 2004
Don’t Let the FDA Block Access to Needed Health Care Information

2004 Ron Paul 7:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Health Information Independence Act. This Act restores the right of consumers to purchase the dietary supplements of their choice and receive accurate information about the health benefits of foods and dietary supplements. The Act restricts the Food and Drug Administration’s power to impede consumers access to truthful claims regarding the benefits of foods and dietary supplements to those cases where the FDA has evidence that a product poses a threat to safety and well-being, or that a product does not have a disclaimer informing consumers that the claims are not FDA-approved.

2004 Ron Paul 7:2
Claims that could threaten public safety, or that are marketed without a disclaimer, would have to be reviewed by an independent review board, comprised of independent scientific experts randomly chosen by the FDA. Anyone who is (or has been) on the FDA’s payroll is disqualified from serving on the board.   The FDA is forbidden from exercising any influence over the review board. If the board recommends approval of a health claim, then the FDA must approve the claim.

2004 Ron Paul 7:3
The board also must consider whether any claims can be rendered non-misleading by adopting a disclaimer before rejecting a claim out of hand. For example, if the board finds the scientific evidence does not conclusively support a claim, but the claim could be rendered non-misleading if accompanied with a disclaimer, then the board must approve the claim- provided it is always accompanied by an appropriate disclaimer. The disclaimer would be a simple statement to the effect that “scientific studies on these claims are inconclusive” and/or “these claims are not approved by the FDA.” Thus, the bill tilts the balance of federal law in favor of allowing consumers access to information regarding the health benefits of foods and dietary supplements, which is proper in a free society.

2004 Ron Paul 7:4
The procedures established by the Health Information Independence Act are a fair and balanced way to ensure consumers have access to truthful information about dietary supplements. Over the past decade, the American people have made it clear they do not want the federal government to interfere with their access to dietary supplements, yet the FDA continues to engage in heavy-handed attempts to restrict such access.

2004 Ron Paul 7:5
In 1994, Congress responded to the American people’s desire for greater access to information about the benefits of dietary supplements by passing the Dietary Supplements and Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), liberalizing rules regarding the regulation of dietary supplements. Congressional offices received a record number of comments in favor of DSHEA.

2004 Ron Paul 7:6
Despite DSHEA, FDA officials continued to attempt to enforce regulations aimed at keeping the American public in the dark about the benefits of dietary supplements. Finally, in the case of Pearson v. Shalala, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Court reaffirmed consumers’ First Amendment right to learn about dietary supplements without unnecessary interference from the FDA. The Pearson decision anticipated my legislation by suggesting the FDA adopt disclaimers in order to render some health claims non-misleading.

2004 Ron Paul 7:7
In the years since the Pearson decision, members of Congress have had to continually intervene with the FDA to ensure it followed the court order. The FDA continues to deny consumers access to truthful health information. Clearly, the FDA is determined to continue to (as the Pearson court pointed out) act as though liberalizing regulations regarding health claims is the equivalent of “asking consumers to buy something while hypnotized and therefore they are bound to be misled.”

2004 Ron Paul 7:8
The FDA’s “grocery store censorship” not only violates consumers’ First Amendment rights- by preventing consumers from learning about the benefits of foods and dietary supplements, the FDA’s policies are preventing consumers from taking easy steps to improve their own health!

2004 Ron Paul 7:9
If Congress is serious about respecting First Amendment rights, and the people’s right to improve their own health, we must remove the FDA’s authority to censor non-misleading health claims, and claims that can be rendered non-misleading by the simple device of adopting a disclaimer.

2004 Ron Paul 7:10
In conclusion, I urge my colleagues to help establish an objective process that respects consumers’ First Amendment rights to non-misleading information regarding the health benefits of foods and dietary supplements by cosponsoring the Health Information Independence Act.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 8


March 25, 2004
Oppose the Spendthrift 2005 Federal Budget Resolution

2004 Ron Paul 8:1
Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution (HConRes 393) for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.   Like many of my Republican colleagues who curiously voted for today’s enormous budget, I campaign on a simple promise that I will work to make government smaller.   This means I cannot vote for any budget that increases spending over previous years.   In fact, I would have a hard time voting for any budget that did not slash federal spending by at least 25%, a feat that becomes less unthinkable when we remember that the federal budget in 1990 was less than half what it is today.   Did anyone really think the federal government was uncomfortably small just 14 years ago?   Hardly.   It once took more than 100 years for the federal budget to double, now it takes less than a decade.   We need to end the phony rhetoric about “priorities” and recognize federal spending as the runaway freight train that it is.   A federal government that spends 2.4 trillion dollars in one year and consumes roughly one-third of the nation’s GDP is far too large.

2004 Ron Paul 8:2
Neither political party wants to address the fundamental yet unspoken issue lurking beneath any budget debate: What is the proper role for government in our society?   Are these ever-growing social services and defense expenditures really proper in a free country?   We need to understand that the more government spends, the more freedom is lost.   Instead of simply debating spending levels, we ought to be debating whether the departments, agencies, and programs funded by the budget should exist at all.   My Republican colleagues especially ought to know this.   Unfortunately, however, the GOP has decided to abandon principle and pander to the entitlements crowd.   But this approach will backfire, because Democrats will always offer to spend even more than Republicans.   When Republicans offer to spend $500 billion on Medicare, Democrats will offer $600 billion.   Why not?   It’s all funny money anyway, and it helps them get reelected.

2004 Ron Paul 8:3
I object strenuously to the term “baseline budget.”   In Washington, this means that the previous year’s spending levels represent only a baseline starting point.   Both parties accept that each new budget will spend more than the last, the only issue being how much more.   If Republicans offer a budget that grows federal spending by 3%, while Democrats seek 6% growth, Republicans trumpet that they are the party of smaller government! But expanding the government slower than some would like is not the same as reducing it.  

2004 Ron Paul 8:4
Furthermore, today’s budget debate further entrenches the phony concept of discretionary versus nondiscretionary spending.   An increasing percentage of the annual federal budget is categorized as “nondiscretionary” entitlement spending, meaning Congress ostensibly has no choice whether to fund certain programs.   In fact, roughly two-thirds of the fiscal year 2005 budget is consumed by nondiscretionary spending.   When Congress has no say over how two-thirds of the federal budget is spent, the American people effectively have no say either.   Why in the world should the American people be forced to spend 1.5 trillion dollars funding programs that cannot even be reviewed at budget time?   The very concept of nondiscretionary spending is a big-government statist’s dream, because it assumes that we as a society simply have accepted that most of the federal leviathan must be funded as a matter of course.   NO program or agency should be considered sacred, and no funding should be considered inevitable.

2004 Ron Paul 8:5
The assertion that this budget will reduce taxes is nonsense.   Budget bills do not change the tax laws one bit.   Congress can pass this budget today and raise taxes tomorrow- budget and tax bills are completely separate and originate from different committees.   The budget may make revenue projections based on tax cuts, but the truth is that Congress has no idea what federal revenues will be in any future year.   Similarly, the deficit reduction supposedly contained in the budget is illusory.   The federal government always spends more in future years than originally projected, and always runs single-year deficits when one factors in raids on funds supposedly earmarked for Social Security.   The notion that today’s budget will impose fiscal restraint on Congress in the future is laughable- Congress will vote for new budgets every year without the slightest regard for what we do today.

2004 Ron Paul 8:6
Mr. Speaker, my colleagues have discussed the details of this budget ad nauseam.   The increases in domestic, foreign, and military spending would not be needed if Congress stopped trying to build an empire abroad and a nanny state at home.   Our interventionist foreign policy and growing entitlement society will bankrupt this nation if we do not change the way we think about the proper role of the federal government.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 9


March 30, 2004
Don’t Expand NATO!

2004 Ron Paul 9:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution. I do so because further expansion of NATO, an outdated alliance, is not in our national interest and may well constitute a threat to our national security in the future.

2004 Ron Paul 9:2
More than 50 years ago the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed to defend Western Europe and the United States against attack from the communist nations of Eastern Europe. It was an alliance of sovereign nations bound together in common purpose - for mutual defense. The deterrence value of NATO helped kept the peace throughout the Cold War. In short, NATO achieved its stated mission. With the fall of the Soviet system and the accompanying disappearance of the threat of attack, in 1989-1991, NATO’s reason to exist ceased. Unfortunately, as with most bureaucracies, the end of NATO’s mission did not mean the end of NATO. Instead, heads of NATO member states gathered in 1999 desperately attempting to devise new missions for the outdated and adrift alliance. This is where NATO moved from being a defensive alliance respecting the sovereignty of its members to an offensive and interventionist organization, concerned now with “economic, social and political difficulties...ethnic and religious rivalries, territorial disputes, inadequate or failed efforts at reform, the abuse of human rights, and the dissolution of states,” in the words of the Washington 1999 Summit.

2004 Ron Paul 9:3
And we saw the fruits of this new NATO mission in the former Yugoslavia, where the US, through NATO, attacked a sovereign state that threatened neither the United States nor its own neighbors. In Yugoslavia, NATO abandoned the claim it once had to the moral high ground. The result of the illegal and immoral NATO intervention in the Balkans speaks for itself: NATO troops will occupy the Balkans for the foreseeable future. No peace has been attained, merely the cessation of hostilities and a permanent dependency on US foreign aid.

2004 Ron Paul 9:4
The further expansion of NATO is in reality a cover for increased US interventionism in Europe and beyond. It will be a conduit for more unconstitutional US foreign aid and US interference in the internal politics of member nations, especially the new members from the former East.

2004 Ron Paul 9:5
It will also mean more corporate welfare at home. As we know, NATO membership demands a minimum level of military spending of its member states. For NATO’s new members, the burden of significantly increased military spending when there are no longer external threats is hard to meet. Unfortunately, this is where the US government steps in, offering aid and subsidized loans to these members so they can purchase more unneeded and unnecessary military equipment. In short, it is nothing more than corporate welfare for the US military industrial complex.

2004 Ron Paul 9:6
The expansion of NATO to these seven countries, we have heard, will open them up to the further expansion of US military bases, right up to the border of the former Soviet Union. Does no one worry that this continued provocation of Russia might have negative effects in the future? Is it necessary?

2004 Ron Paul 9:7
Further, this legislation encourages the accession of Albania, Macedonia, and Croatia - nations that not long ago were mired in civil and regional wars. The promise of US military assistance if any of these states are attacked is obviously a foolhardy one. What will the mutual defense obligations we are entering into mean if two Balkan NATO members begin hostilities against each other (again)?

2004 Ron Paul 9:8
In conclusion, we should not be wasting US tax money and taking on more military obligations expanding NATO. The alliance is a relic of the Cold War, a hold-over from another time, an anachronism. It should be disbanded, the sooner the better.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 10


April 22, 2004
The Lessons of 9/11

2004 Ron Paul 10:1
We are constantly admonished to remember the lessons of 9/11.   Of course the real issue is not remembering, but rather knowing what the pertinent lesson of that sad day is.

2004 Ron Paul 10:2
The 9/11 Commission soon will release its report after months of fanfare by those whose reputations are at stake.   The many hours and dollars spent on the investigation may well reveal little we don’t already know, while ignoring the most important lessons that should be learned from this egregious attack on our homeland.   Common sense already tells us the tens of billions of dollars spent by government agencies, whose job it is to provide security and intelligence for our country, failed.

2004 Ron Paul 10:3
A full-fledged investigation into the bureaucracy may help us in the future, but one should never pretend that government bureaucracies can be made efficient.   It is the very nature of bureaucracies to be inefficient.   Spending an inordinate amount of time finger pointing will distract from the real lessons of 9/11.   Which agency, which department, or which individual receives the most blame should not be the main purpose of the investigation.

2004 Ron Paul 10:4
Despite our serious failure to prevent the attacks, it’s disturbing to see how politicized the whole investigation has become.   Which political party receives the greatest blame is a high stakes election-year event, and distracts from the real lessons ignored by both sides.

2004 Ron Paul 10:5
Everyone on the Commission assumes that 9/11 resulted from a lack of government action.   No one in Washington has raised the question of whether our shortcomings, brought to light by 9/11, could have been a result of too much government.   Possibly in the final report we will discuss this, but to date no one has questioned the assumption that we need more government and, of course — though elusive — a more efficient one.

2004 Ron Paul 10:6
The failure to understand the nature of the enemy who attacked us on 9/11, along with a pre-determined decision to initiate a pre-emptive war against Iraq, prompted our government to deceive the people into believing that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the attacks on New York and Washington.   The majority of the American people still contend the war against Iraq was justified because of the events of 9/11.   These misinterpretations have led to many U.S. military deaths and casualties, prompting a growing number of Americans to question the wisdom of our presence and purpose in a strange foreign land 6,000 miles from our shores.

2004 Ron Paul 10:7
The neo-conservative defenders of our policy in Iraq speak of the benefits that we have brought to the Iraqi people:   removal of a violent dictator, liberation, democracy, and prosperity.   If all this were true, the resistance against our occupation would not be growing.   We ought to admit we have not been welcomed as liberators as was promised by the proponents of the war.

2004 Ron Paul 10:8
Though we hear much about the so-called “benefits” we have delivered to the Iraqi people and the Middle East, we hear little talk of the cost to the American people:   lives lost, soldiers maimed for life, uncounted thousands sent home with diseased bodies and minds, billions of dollars consumed, and a major cloud placed over U.S. markets and the economy.   Sharp political divisions, reminiscent of the 1960s, are arising at home.

2004 Ron Paul 10:9
Failing to understand why 9/11 happened and looking for a bureaucratic screw-up to explain the whole thing — while using the event to start an unprovoked war unrelated to 9/11 — have dramatically compounded the problems all Americans and the world face.   Evidence has shown that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and the guerilla attacks on New York and Washington, and since no weapons of mass destruction were found, other reasons are given for invading Iraq.   The real reasons are either denied or ignored: oil, neo-conservative empire building, and our support for Israel over the Palestinians.

2004 Ron Paul 10:10
The proponents of the Iraqi war do not hesitate to impugn the character of those who point out the shortcomings of current policy, calling them unpatriotic and appeasers of terrorism.   It is said that they are responsible for the growing armed resistance, and for the killing of American soldiers.   It’s conveniently ignored that if the opponents of the current policy had prevailed, not one single American would have died nor would tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have suffered the same fate.

2004 Ron Paul 10:11
Al Qaeda and many new militant groups would not be enjoying a rapid growth in their ranks.   By denying that our sanctions and bombs brought havoc to Iraq, it’s easy to play the patriot card and find a scapegoat to blame.   We are never at fault and never responsible for bad outcomes of what many believe is, albeit well-intentioned, interference in the affairs of others 6,000 miles from our shores.

2004 Ron Paul 10:12
Pursuing our policy has boiled down to “testing our resolve.”   It is said by many — even some who did not support the war — that now we have no choice but to “stay the course.”   They argue that it’s a noble gesture to be courageous and continue no matter how difficult.   But that should not be the issue.   It is not a question of resolve, but rather a question of wise policy.   If the policy is flawed and the world and our people are less safe for it, unshakable resolve is the opposite of what we need.   Staying the course only makes sense when the difficult tasks are designed to protect our country and to thwart those who pose a direct threat to us.   Wilsonian idealism of self-sacrifice to “make the world safe for democracy” should never be an excuse to wage preemptive war — especially since it almost never produces the desired results.   There are always too many unintended consequences.

2004 Ron Paul 10:13
In our effort to change the political structure of Iraq, we continue alliances with dictators and even develop new ones with countries that are anything but democracies.   We have a close alliance with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, many other Arab dictatorships, and a new one with Kadafi of Libya.   This should raise questions about the credibility of our commitment to promoting democracy in Iraq — which even our own government wouldn’t tolerate.  

2004 Ron Paul 10:14
Show me one neo-con that would accept a national election that put the radical Shiites in charge.   As Secretary Rumsfeld said, it’s not going to happen.   These same people are condemning the recent democratic decisions made in Spain.   We should remember that since World War II, in 35 U.S. attempts to promote democracy around the world none have succeeded.

2004 Ron Paul 10:15
Promoters of war too often fail to contemplate the unintended consequences of an aggressive foreign policy.   So far, the anti-war forces have not been surprised with the chaos that has now become Iraq, or Iran’s participation — but even they cannot know all the long-term shortcomings of such a policy.

2004 Ron Paul 10:16
In an eagerness to march on Baghdad, the neo-cons gloated — and I heard them — of the “shock and awe” that was about to hit the Iraqi people.   It turns out that the real shock and awe is that we’re further from peace in Iraq than we were a year ago — and Secretary Rumsfeld admits his own surprise.           

2004 Ron Paul 10:17
The only policy now offered is to escalate the war and avenge the deaths of American soldiers—if they kill 10 of our troops, we’ll kill 100 of theirs.   Up until now, announcing the number of Iraqi deaths has been avoided purposely, but the new policy announces our success by the number of Iraqis killed.   But the more we kill, the greater the incitement of the radical Islamic militants.   The harder we try to impose our will on them, the greater the resistance becomes.

2004 Ron Paul 10:18
Amazingly, our occupation has done what was at one time thought to be impossible—it has united the Sunnis and Shiites against our presence.   Although this is probably temporary, it is real and has deepened our problems in securing Iraq.   The results are an escalation of the conflict and the requirement for more troops.   This acceleration of the killing is called “pacification”—a bit of 1984 newspeak.

2004 Ron Paul 10:19
The removal of Saddam Hussein has created a stark irony.   The willingness and intensity of the Iraqi people to fight for their homeland has increased many times over.   Under Saddam Hussein, essentially no resistance occurred.   Instead of jubilation and parades for the liberators, we face much greater and unified efforts to throw out all foreigners than when Saddam Hussein was in charge.

2004 Ron Paul 10:20
It’s not whether the Commission investigation of the causes of 9/11 is unwarranted; since the Commissioners are looking in the wrong places for answers, it’s whether much will be achieved.

2004 Ron Paul 10:21
I’m sure we will hear that the bureaucracy failed, whether it was the FBI, the CIA, the NSC, or all of them for failure to communicate with each other.   This will not answer the question of why we were attacked and why our defenses were so poor. Even though 40 billion dollars are spent on intelligence gathering each year, the process failed us.   It’s likely to be said that what we need is more money and more efficiency.   Yet, that approach fails to recognize that depending on government agencies to be efficient is a risky assumption.

2004 Ron Paul 10:22
We should support efforts to make the intelligence agencies more effective, but one thing is certain: more money won’t help.   Of the 40 billion dollars spent annually for intelligence, too much is spent on nation building and activities unrelated to justified surveillance.

2004 Ron Paul 10:23
There are two other lessons that must be learned if we hope to benefit by studying and trying to explain the disaster that hit us on 9/11.   If we fail to learn them, we cannot be made safer and the opposite is more likely to occur.

2004 Ron Paul 10:24
The first point is to understand who assumes most of the responsibility for the security of our homes and businesses in a free society.   It’s not the police.   There are too few of them, and it’s not their job to stand guard outside our houses or places of business.   More crime occurs in the inner city, where there are not only more police, but more restrictions on property owners’ rights to bear and use weapons if invaded by hoodlums.   In safer rural areas, where every home has a gun and someone in it who is willing to use it is, there is no false dependency on the police protecting them, but full reliance on the owner’s responsibility to deal with any property violators.   This understanding works rather well—at least better than in the inner cities where the understanding is totally different.

2004 Ron Paul 10:25
How does this apply to the 9/11 tragedies?   The airline owners accepted the rules of the inner city rather than those of rural America.   They all assumed that the government was in charge of airline security—and unfortunately, by law, it was.   Not only were the airlines complacent about security, but the FAA dictated all the rules relating to potential hijacking.   Chemical plants or armored truck companies that carry money make the opposite assumption, and private guns do a reasonably good job in providing security.    Evidently we think more of our money and chemical plants than we do our passengers on airplanes.

2004 Ron Paul 10:26
The complacency of the airlines is one thing, but the intrusiveness of the FAA is another.   Two specific regulations proved to be disastrous for dealing with the thugs who, without even a single gun, took over four airliners and created the havoc of 9/11.   Both the prohibition against guns in cockpits and precise instructions that crews not resist hijackers contributed immensely to the horrors of 9/11.

2004 Ron Paul 10:27
Instead of immediately legalizing a natural right of personal self-defense guaranteed by an explicit Second Amendment freedom, we still do not have armed pilots in the sky.   Instead of more responsibility being given to the airlines, the government has taken over the entire process.   This has been encouraged by the airline owners, who seek subsidies and insurance protection.   Of course, the nonsense of never resisting has been forever vetoed by all passengers.

2004 Ron Paul 10:28
Unfortunately, the biggest failure of our government will be ignored.   I’m sure the Commission will not connect our foreign policy of interventionism—practiced by both major parties for over a hundred years—as an important reason 9/11 occurred.   Instead, the claims will stand that the motivation behind 9/11 was our freedom, prosperity, and way of life.   If this error persists, all the tinkering and money to improve the intelligence agencies will bear little fruit.

2004 Ron Paul 10:29
Over the years the entire psychology of national defense has been completely twisted.   Very little attention had been directed toward protecting our national borders and providing homeland security.  

2004 Ron Paul 10:30
Our attention, all too often, was and still is directed outward toward distant lands.   Now a significant number of our troops are engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq.   We’ve kept troops in Korea for over 50 years, and thousands of troops remain in Europe and in over 130 other countries.   This twisted philosophy of ignoring national borders while pursuing an empire created a situation where Seoul, Korea, was better protected than Washington, DC, on 9/11.   These priorities must change, but I’m certain the 9/11 Commission will not address this issue.

2004 Ron Paul 10:31
This misdirected policy has prompted the current protracted war in Iraq, which has gone on for 13 years with no end in sight.   The al Qaeda attacks should not be used to justify more intervention; instead they should be seen as a guerilla attacks against us for what the Arabs and Muslim world see as our invasion and interference in their homelands.   This cycle of escalation is rapidly spreading the confrontation worldwide between the Christian West and the Muslim East.   With each escalation, the world becomes more dangerous.   It is especially made worse when we retaliate against Muslims and Arabs who had nothing to do with 9/11—as we have in Iraq—further confirming the suspicions of the Muslim masses that our goals are more about oil and occupation than they are about punishing those responsible for 9/11.

2004 Ron Paul 10:32
Those who claim that Iraq is another Vietnam are wrong.   They can’t be the same.   There are too many differences in time, place, and circumstance.   But that doesn’t mean the Iraqi conflict cannot last longer, spread throughout the region and throughout the world—making it potentially much worse than what we suffered in Vietnam.   In the first 6 years we were in Vietnam, we lost less than 500 troops. Over 700 have been killed in Iraq in just over a year.

2004 Ron Paul 10:33
Our failure to pursue al Qaeda and bin Laden in Pakistan and Afghanistan — and diverting resources to Iraq — have seriously compromised our ability to maintain a favorable world opinion of support and cooperation in this effort.

2004 Ron Paul 10:34
Instead, we have chaos in Iraq while the Islamists are being financed by a booming drug business from U.S.-occupied Afghanistan.

2004 Ron Paul 10:35
Continuing to deny that the attacks against us are related to our overall policy of foreign meddling through many years and many administrations, makes a victory over our enemies nearly impossible.   Not understanding the true nature and motivation of those who have and will commit deadly attacks against us prevents a sensible policy from being pursued.   Guerilla warriors, who are willing to risk and sacrifice everything as part of a war they see as defensive, are a far cry, philosophically, from a band of renegades who out of unprovoked hate seek to destroy us and kill themselves in the process.   How we fight back depends on understanding these differences.

2004 Ron Paul 10:36
Of course, changing our foreign policy to one of no pre-emptive war, no nation building, no entangling alliances, no interference in the internal affairs of other nations, and trade and friendship with all who seek it, is no easy task.

2004 Ron Paul 10:37
The real obstacle, though, is to understand the motives behind our current policy of perpetual meddling in the affairs of others for more than a hundred years.

2004 Ron Paul 10:38
Understanding why both political parties agree on the principle of continuous foreign intervention is crucial.   Those reasons are multiple and varied.   They range from the persistent Wilsonian idealism of making the world safe for democracy to the belief that we must protect “our” oil.

2004 Ron Paul 10:39
Also contributing to this bi-partisan, foreign policy view is the notion that promoting world government is worthwhile.   This involves support for the United Nations, NATO, control of the world’s resources through the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, NAFTA, FTAA, and the Law of the Sea Treaty—all of which gain the support of those sympathetic to the poor and socialism, while too often the benefits accrue to the well-connected international corporations and bankers sympathetic to economic fascism.

2004 Ron Paul 10:40
Sadly, in the process the people are forgotten, especially those who pay the taxes, those whose lives are sacrificed in no-win undeclared wars, and the unemployed and poor as the economic consequences of financing our foreign entanglements evolve.

2004 Ron Paul 10:41
Regardless of one’s enthusiasm or lack thereof for the war and the general policy of maintaining American troops in more than 130 countries, one cold fact soon must be recognized by all of us in Congress.   The American people cannot afford it, and when the market finally recognizes the over commitment we’ve made, the results will not be pleasing to anyone.

2004 Ron Paul 10:42
A “guns and butter” policy was flawed in the 60s, and gave us interest rates of 21% in the 70s with high inflation rates.   The current “guns and butter” policy is even more intense, and our economic infrastructure is more fragile than it was back then.   These facts dictate our inability to continue this policy both internationally and domestically.   It is true, an unshakable resolve to stay the course in Iraq, or any other hot spot, can be pursued for years.   But when a country is adding to its future indebtedness by over 700 billion dollars per year it can only be done with great economic harm to all our citizens.

2004 Ron Paul 10:43
Huge deficits, financed by borrowing and Federal Reserve monetization, are an unsustainable policy and always lead to higher price inflation, higher interest rates, a continued erosion of the dollar’s value, and a faltering economy.   Economic law dictates that the standard of living then must go down for all Americans—except for the privileged few who have an inside track on government largess—if this policy of profligate spending continues.   Ultimately, the American people, especially the younger generation, will have to decide whether to languish with current policy or reject the notion that perpetual warfare and continued growth in entitlements should be pursued indefinitely.

2004 Ron Paul 10:44
Conclusion I’m sure the Commission will not deal with the flaw in the foreign policy endorsed by both parties for these many decades.   I hope the Commission tells us why members of the bin Laden family were permitted, immediately after 9/11, to leave the United States without interrogation, when no other commercial or private flights were allowed.   That event should have been thoroughly studied and explained to the American people.   We actually had a lot more reason to invade Saudi Arabia than we did Iraq in connection with 9/11, but that country, obviously no friend of democracy, remains an unchallenged ally of the United States with few questions asked.

2004 Ron Paul 10:45
I’m afraid the Commission will answer only a few questions while raising many new ones.   Overall though, the Commission has been beneficial and provides some reassurance to those who believe we operate in a much too closed society.   Fortunately, any administration, under the current system, still must respond to reasonable inquiries.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 11


Statement on the Abuse of Prisoners in Iraq
May 6, 2004

2004 Ron Paul 11:1
Mr. PAUL: Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution as written. Like so many resolutions we have seen here on the Iraq war, this one is not at all what it purports to be. Were this really a resolution condemning abuse of prisoners and other detainees, I doubt anyone here would oppose it. Clearly the abuse and humiliation of those in custody is deplorable, and the pictures we have all seen over the past week are truly horrific.

2004 Ron Paul 11:2
But why are we condemning a small group of low-level servicemembers when we do not yet know the full story? Why are we rushing to insert ourselves into an ongoing investigation, pretending that we already know the conclusions when we have yet to even ask all the questions? As revolting as the pictures we have seen are, they are all we have to go by, and we are reacting to these pictures alone. We do not and cannot know the full story at this point, yet we jump to condemn those who have not even yet had the benefit of a trial. We appear to be operating on the principle of guilty until proven innocent. It seems convenient and perhaps politically expedient to blame a small group of “bad apples” for what may well turn out to be something completely different – as the continuously widening investigation increasingly suggests.

2004 Ron Paul 11:3
Some of the soldiers in the photographs claim that their superior officers and the civilian contractors in charge of the interrogations forced them to pose this way. We cannot say with certainty what took place in Iraq’s prisons based on a few photographs. We have heard that some of those soldiers put in charge of prisons in Iraq were woefully unprepared for the task at hand. We have heard that they were thrown into a terribly confusing, stressful, and dangerous situation with little training and little understanding of the rules and responsibilities. What additional stresses and psychological pressures were applied by those in charge of interrogations? We don’t know. Does this excuse what appears to be reprehensible behavior? Not in the slightest, but it does suggest that we need to get all the facts before we draw conclusions. It is more than a little disturbing that this resolution does not even mention the scores of civilian contractors operating in these prisons at whom numerous fingers are being pointed as instigators of these activities. While these individuals seem to operate with impunity, this legislation before us all but convicts without trial those lowest in the chain of command.

2004 Ron Paul 11:4
But this resolution is only partly about the alleged abuses of detainees in Iraq. Though this is the pretext for the legislation, this resolution is really just an enthusiastic endorsement of our nation-building activities in Iraq. This resolution “expresses the continuing solidarity and support of the House of Representatives…with the Iraqi people in building a viable Iraqi government and a secure nation.” Also this resolution praises the “mission to rebuild and rehabilitate a proud nation after liberating it…” At least the resolution is honest in admitting that our current presence in Iraq is nothing more than a nation-building exercise.

2004 Ron Paul 11:5
Further, this resolution explicitly endorses what is clearly a failed policy in Iraq. I wonder whether anyone remembers that we did not go to war against Iraq to build a better nation there, or to bring about “improvements in… water, sewage, power, infrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, and food security…” as this resolution touts. Nor did those who urged this war claim at the time that the goals were to “significantly improv[e]…food availability, health service, and educational opportunities” in Iraq, as this legislation also references. No, the war was essential, they claimed, to stop a nation poised to use weapons of mass destruction to inflict unspeakable harm against the United States. Now historical revisionists are pointing out how wonderful our nation-building is going in Iraq, as if that justifies the loss of countless American and Iraqi civilian lives.

2004 Ron Paul 11:6
This resolution decries the fact that the administration had not informed Congress of these abuses and that the administration has not kept Congress in the information loop. Yet, Congress made it clear to the administration from the very beginning that Congress wanted no responsibility for the war in Iraq. If Congress wanted to be kept in the loop it should have vigorously exercised its responsibilities from the very beginning. This means, first and foremost, that Congress should have voted on a declaration of war as required in the Constitution. Congress, after abrogating this responsibility in October 2002, now is complaining that it is in the dark. Indeed, who is to say that the legal ambiguity created by the Congressional refusal to declare war may not have contributed to the notion that detainees need not be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention, that governs the treatment of prisoners during a time of war? Until Congress takes up its constitutional responsibilities, complaints that the administration is not sufficiently forthcoming with information ring hollow.

2004 Ron Paul 11:7
This resolution calls on the administration to keep Congress better informed. But Congress has the power – and the obligation – to keep itself better informed! If Congress is truly interested in being informed, it should hold hearings – exercising its subpoena power if necessary. Depending on the administration to fulfill what is our own constitutional responsibility is once again passing the buck. Isn’t this what has gotten us into this trouble in the first place?

2004 Ron Paul 11:8
I urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 12


Don’t Start a War with Iran!
May 6, 2004

2004 Ron Paul 12:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this ill-conceived and ill-timed legislation. Let’s not fool ourselves: this concurrent resolution leads us down the road to war against Iran. It creates a precedent for future escalation, as did similar legislation endorsing “regime change” in Iraq back in 1998.

2004 Ron Paul 12:2
I find it incomprehensible that as the failure of our Iraq policy becomes more evident - even to its most determined advocates -we here are approving the same kind of policy toward Iran. With Iraq becoming more of a problem daily, the solution as envisioned by this legislation is to look for yet another fight. And we should not fool ourselves: this legislation sets the stage for direct conflict with Iran. The resolution “calls upon all State Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), including the United States, to use all appropriate means to deter, dissuade, and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons…” Note the phrase “…use all appropriate means….”

2004 Ron Paul 12:3
Additionally, this legislation calls for yet more and stricter sanctions on Iran, including a demand that other countries also impose sanctions on Iran. As we know, sanctions are unmistakably a move toward war, particularly when, as in this legislation, a demand is made that the other nations of the world similarly isolate and blockade the country. Those who wish for a regime change in Iran should especially reject sanctions - just look at how our Cuba policy has allowed Fidel Castro to maintain his hold on power for decades. Sanctions do not hurt political leaders, as we know most recently from our sanctions against Iraq, but rather sow misery among the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society. Dictators do not go hungry when sanctions are imposed.

2004 Ron Paul 12:4
It is somewhat ironic that we are again meddling in Iranian affairs. Students of history will recall that the US government’s ill-advised coup against Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and its subsequent installation of the Shah as the supreme ruler led to intense hatred of the United States and eventually to the radical Islamic revolution of 1979. One can only wonder what our relations would be with Iran if not for the decades of meddling in that country’s internal affairs. We likely would not be considering resolutions such as this. Yet the solution to all the difficulties created by our meddling foreign policy always seems to always be yet more meddling. Will Congress ever learn?

2004 Ron Paul 12:5
I urge my colleagues to reject this move toward war with Iran, to reject the failed policies of regime-change and nation-building, and to return to the wise and consistent policy of non-interventionism in the affairs of other sovereign nations.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 13


May 19, 2004
Reject the Millennium Challenge Act

2004 Ron Paul 13:1
Mr. Chairman, though the ill-conceived Millennium Challenge Act has already become law and therefore we are only talking about its implementation today, it is nevertheless important to again address some very fundamental problems with this new foreign aid program.

2004 Ron Paul 13:2
I believe that the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) may be one of the worst foreign policy blunders yet - and among the most costly. It is advertised as a whole new kind of foreign aid - apparently an honest admission that the old system of foreign aid does not work. But rather than get rid of the old, bad system of foreign aid in favor of this “new and improved” system, we are keeping both systems and thereby doubling our foreign aid. I guess it is easy to be generous with other people’s money. In reality, this “new and improved” method of sending US taxpayer dollars overseas will likely work no better than the old system, and may in fact do more damage to the countries that it purports to help.

2004 Ron Paul 13:3
The MCA budget request for fiscal year 2005 is $2.5 billion. We have been told that somewhere between 12 and 16 countries have met the following criteria for inclusion in the program: “ruling justly, investing in people, and pursuing sound economic policies.”

2004 Ron Paul 13:4
It is a good idea to pay close attention to these criteria, as they tell the real tale of this new program. First, what does “investing in people” mean? It is probably safe to assume that “investing in people” does not mean keeping taxes low and government interference to a minimum so that individuals can create wealth through private economic activity. So, in short, this program will reward socialist-style governance.

2004 Ron Paul 13:5
In fact, this program will do much more harm than good. MCA will hurt recipient country economies. Sending US aid money into countries that are pursuing sound economic policies will not help these economies. On the contrary, an external infusion of money to governments meeting the economic criteria will actually obscure areas where an economy is inefficient and unproductive. This assistance will slow down necessary reform by providing a hidden subsidy to unproductive sectors of the economy. We thus do no favors for the recipient country in the long term with this harmful approach.

2004 Ron Paul 13:6
MCA is a waste of taxpayer money. Countries that pursue sound economic policies will find that international financial markets provide many times the investment capital necessary for economic growth. MCA funds will not even be a drop in the bucket compared to what private capital can bring to bear in an economy with promise and potential. And this capital will be invested according to sound investment strategies - designed to make a profit - rather than allocated according to the whim of government bureaucrats.

2004 Ron Paul 13:7
MCA is corporate welfare for politically-connected US firms. These companies will directly benefit from this purported aid to foreign countries, as the money collected from US taxpayers can under the program be transferred directly to US companies to complete programs in the recipient countries. As bad as it is for US tax dollars to be sent overseas to help poor countries, what is worse is for it to be sent abroad to help rich and politically-connected US and multi-national companies.

2004 Ron Paul 13:8
MCA encourages socialism and statism. Because it is entirely geared toward foreign governments, it will force economically devastating “public-private partnerships” in developing nations: if the private sector is to see any of the money it will have to be in partnership with government. There should be no doubt that these foreign governments will place additional requirements on the private firms in order to qualify for funding. Who knows how much of this money will be wasted on those companies with the best political connections to the foreign governments in power. The MCA invites political corruption by creating a slush fund at the control of foreign governments.

2004 Ron Paul 13:9
MCA encourages a socialist approach to health care in recipient countries. In rewarding a top-down government-controlled approach to health care, the program ignores the fact that this model has failed miserably wherever it has been applied. Ask anyone in the former communist countries how they liked their government healthcare system.

2004 Ron Paul 13:10
Finally, MCA is another tool to meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. Already we see that one of the countries slated to receive funds is the Republic of Georgia, where former cronies of dictator Eduard Shevardnadze staged a coup against him last year and have since then conducted massive purges of the media and state institutions, have jailed thousands in phony “anti-corruption” campaigns, and have even adopted their own political party flag as the new flag of the country. The current government in Georgia does not deserve a dime of aid from the United States.

2004 Ron Paul 13:11
Though the Millennium Challenge Account is advertised as a brand new approach to foreign aid - foreign aid that really works - it is in fact expensive and counter-productive, and will be very unlikely to affect real change in the countries it purports to help. The wisest approach to international economic development is for the United States to lead by example, to re-embrace the kind of economic policies that led us to become wealthy in the first place. This means less government, less taxation, no foreign meddling. Demonstrating the effectiveness of limited government in creating wealth would be the greatest gift we could send overseas.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 14


June 2, 2004
The House of Representatives Must be Elected!

2004 Ron Paul 14:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J.Res. 83, which amends the United States Constitution to allow appointed persons to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives in the event of an emergency. Since the Continuity of Government (COG) Commission first proposed altering our system of government by allowing appointed members to serve in this body. I, along with other members of Congress, journalists, academics, and policy experts, have expressed concerns that having appointed members serve in the House of Representatives is inconsistent with the House’s historic function as the branch of Congress most directly accountable to the people.

2004 Ron Paul 14:2
Even with the direct election of Senators, the fact that members of the House of Representatives are elected every two years (while Senators run for statewide office every six years) means that members of the House are still more accountable to the people than members of any other part of the federal government. Appointed members of Congress simply cannot be truly representative. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton eloquently made this point in Federalist 52: “As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people, so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people. Frequent elections are unquestionably the only policy by which this dependence and sympathy can be effectually secured.”

2004 Ron Paul 14:3
Mr. Speaker, there are those who say that the power of appointment is necessary in order to preserve checks and balances and thus prevent an abuse of executive power. Of course, I agree that it is very important to carefully guard our constitutional liberties in times of crisis, and that an over-centralization of power in the executive branch is one of the most serious dangers to that liberty. However, Mr. Speaker, during a time of crisis it is all the more important to have representatives accountable to the people making the laws. Otherwise, the citizenry has no check on the inevitable tendency of government to infringe on the people’s liberties at such a time. I would remind my colleagues that the only reason we are reexamining provisions of the PATRIOT Act is because of public concerns that this Act gives up too much liberty for a phantom security. Appointed officials would not be as responsive to public concerns.

2004 Ron Paul 14:4
Supporters of this plan claim that the appointment power will be necessary in the event of an emergency, and that the appointed representatives will only serve for a limited time. However, the laws passed by these “temporary” representatives will be permanent.

2004 Ron Paul 14:5
Mr. Speaker, this country has faced the possibility of threats to the continuity of this body several times throughout our history, yet no one suggested removing the people’s right to vote for members of the House of Representatives. For example, when the British attacked the city of Washington in the War of 1812, nobody suggested the states could not address the lack of a quorum in the House of Representatives though elections. During the Civil War, DC neighbor Virginia was actively involved in hostilities against the United States government- yet President Abraham Lincoln never suggested that non-elected persons serve in the House.

2004 Ron Paul 14:6
Adopting any of the proposals to deny the people the ability to choose their own representatives would let the terrorists know that they can succeed in altering our republican institutions. I hope all my colleagues who are considering supporting H.J.Res. 83 will question the wisdom of handing terrorists a victory over republican government.

2004 Ron Paul 14:7
The Constitution already provides the framework for Congress to function after a catastrophic event. Article I Section 2 grants the governors of the various states authority to hold special elections to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives.   Article I Section 4 gives Congress the authority to designate the time, manner, and place of such special elections if states should fail to act expeditiously following a national emergency.   As Hamilton explains in Federalist 59, the “time, place, and manner” clause was specifically designed to address the kind of extraordinary circumstances imagined by the supporters of H.J.Res. 83.   Hamilton characterized authority over federal elections as shared between the states and Congress, with neither being able to control the process entirely.  

2004 Ron Paul 14:8
Last month, this body fulfilled its constitutional duty by passing HR 2844, the Continuity of Representation Act. HR 2844 exercises Congress’s power to regulate the time, place, and manner of elections by requiring the holding of special elections within 45 days after the Speaker or acting Speaker declares 100 or more members of the House have been killed. This proposal protects the people’s right to choose their representatives at the time when such a right may be most important, while ensuring continuity of the legislative branch.

2004 Ron Paul 14:9
In conclusion, I call upon my colleges to reject H.J.Res. 83, since it alters the Constitution to deny the people their right to elect their representatives at a time when having elected representation may be most crucial.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 15


June 3, 2004
The Same Old Failed Policies in Iraq

2004 Ron Paul 15:1
Mr. Speaker, the more things change, the more they stay the same.   Our allegiances to our allies and friends change constantly.   For a decade, exiled Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi was our chosen leader-to-be in a new Iraq.   Championed by Pentagon neocons and objected to by the State Department, Mr. Chalabi received more than 100 million U.S. taxpayer dollars as our man designated to be leader of a new Iraqi government.

2004 Ron Paul 15:2
But something happened on the way to the coronation.   The State Department finally won out in its struggle with the Pentagon to dump Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress, delivering Iraq to a competing exiled group, Dr. Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National Accord.   But never fear, both groups were CIA supported and both would be expected to govern as an American puppet.   And that’s the problem.   Under the conditions that currently exist in Iraq, American sponsorship of a government, or even United Nations approval, for that matter, will be rejected by a nationalistic Iraqi people.

2004 Ron Paul 15:3
We never seem to learn, and the Muslim Middle East never forgets.   Our support for the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran has never endeared us to the Iranians.   We’re supposed to be surprised to discover that our close confidant Ahmed Chalabi turns out to be a cozy pragmatic friend of Iran.   The CIA may have questioned the authenticity of Iranian intelligence passed on to the U.S. by Chalabi, yet still this intelligence was used eagerly to promote the pro-war propaganda that so many in Congress and the nation bought into.   And now it looks like the intelligence fed to Chalabi by Iran was deliberately falsified, but because it fit in so neatly with the neocon’s determination to remake the entire Middle East, starting with a preemptive war against Iraq, it was received enthusiastically.

2004 Ron Paul 15:4
Inadvertently we served the interests of both Iran and Osama bin Laden by eliminating the very enemy they despised- Saddam Hussein.   To the Iranians delight, it was payback time for our allegiance with Saddam Hussein against Iran in the 1980s.

2004 Ron Paul 15:5
The serious concern is that valuable and top-secret U.S. intelligence may well have gone in the other direction: to Iran with the help of Chalabi.

2004 Ron Paul 15:6
These serious concerns led to the dumping of the heir apparent Chalabi, the arrest of his colleagues, and the raid on his home and headquarters to seize important documents. The connection between Chalabi and the U.N. food-for-oil scandal is yet to be determined.

2004 Ron Paul 15:7
What a mess!   But no one should be surprised.   Regime change plans- whether by CIA operations or by preemptive war- almost always go badly.   American involvement in installing the Shah of Iran in the fifties, killing Diem in South Vietnam in the sixties, helping Osama bin Laden against the Soviets in the eighties, assisting Saddam Hussein against Iran in the eighties, propping up dictators in many Arab countries, and supporting the destruction of the Palestinian people all have had serious repercussions on American interests including the loss of American life.   We have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars while the old wounds in the Middle East continue to fester.

2004 Ron Paul 15:8
How many times have our friends become our enemies and our enemies our friends, making it difficult to determine which is which?   Our relationship with Kadafi in Libya is an example of the silliness of our policy.   Does his recent “conversion” to our side qualify him for U.S. assistance?   No one can possibly predict what our relationship with Kadafi will be in a year or two from now.   My guess is that he too has a long memory.   And even if he becomes a U.S. stooge, it will only foment antagonism from his own people for his cozy relationship with the United States.   Long term, interference in the internal affairs of other nations doesn’t help us or those we support.

2004 Ron Paul 15:9
Those who strongly argue behind the scenes that we must protect “our oil” surely should have second thoughts, as oil prices soar over $40 with our current policy of military interventionism.  

2004 Ron Paul 15:10
The real tragedy is that even those with good intentions who argue the case for our military presence around the world never achiever their stated goals.   Not only do the efforts fall short, the unintended consequences in life and limb and dollars spent are always much greater than ever anticipated.   The blow back effects literally go on for decades.

2004 Ron Paul 15:11
The invisible economic costs are enormous but generally ignored.   A policy of militarism and constant war has huge dollar costs, which contribute to the huge deficits, higher interest rates, inflation, and economic dislocations.   War cannot raise the standard of living for the average American.   Participants in the military-industrial complex do benefit, however.   Now the grand scheme of physically rebuilding Iraq using American corporations may well prove profitable to the select few with political connections.

2004 Ron Paul 15:12
The clear failure of the policy of foreign interventionism followed by our leaders for more than a hundred years should prompt a reassessment of our philosophy.   Tactical changes, or relying more on the U.N., will not solve these problems.   Either way the burden will fall on the American taxpayer and the American soldier.

2004 Ron Paul 15:13
The day is fast approaching when we no longer will be able to afford this burden. For now foreign governments are willing to loan us the money needed to finance our current account deficit, and indirectly the cost of our worldwide military operations.   It may seem possible for the moment because we have been afforded the historically unique privilege of printing the world’s reserve currency.   Foreigners have been only too willing to take our depreciating dollars for their goods.   Economic law eventually will limit our ability to live off others by credit creation.   Eventually trust in the dollar will be diminished, if not destroyed.   Those who hold these trillion plus dollars can hold us hostage if it’s ever in their interest.   It may be that economic law and hostility toward the United States will combine to precipitate an emotionally charged rejection of the dollar.

2004 Ron Paul 15:14
That’s when the true wealth of the country will become self-evident and we will no longer be able to afford the extravagant expense of pursuing an American empire. No nation has ever been able to finance excessive foreign entanglements and domestic entitlements through printing press money and borrowing from abroad.

2004 Ron Paul 15:15
It’s time we reconsider the advice of the founding fathers and the guidelines of the Constitution, which counsel a foreign policy of non-intervention and strategic independence.   Setting a good example is a far better way to spread American ideals than through force of arms.   Trading with nations, without interference by international government regulators, is far better than sanctions and tariffs that too often plant the seeds of war.

2004 Ron Paul 15:16
The principle of self-determination should be permitted for all nations and all demographically defined groups.   The world tolerated the breakup of the ruthless Soviet and Yugoslavian systems rather well, even as certain national and ethnic groups demanded self-determination and independence.

2004 Ron Paul 15:17
This principle is the source of the solution for Iraq.   We should suggest and encourage each of the three groups- the Sunnis, the Shiites, and the Kurds- to seek self-government and choose voluntarily whether they want to associate with a central government.

2004 Ron Paul 15:18
Instead of the incessant chant about us forcing democracy on others, why not read our history and see how thirteen nations joined together to form a loose-knit republic with emphasis on local self-government.   Part of the problem with our effort to re-order Iraq is that the best solution is something we have essentially rejected here in the United States.   It would make a lot more sense to concentrate on rebuilding our Republic, emphasizing the principles of private property, free markets, trade, and personal liberty here at home rather then pursuing war abroad.   If this were done, we would not be a militaristic state spending ourselves into bankruptcy, and government benefits to the untold thousands of corporations and special interest would be denied.

2004 Ron Paul 15:19
True defense is diminished when money and energy are consumed by activities outside the scope of specifically protecting our national security.   Diverting resources away from defense and the protection of our borders while antagonizing so many around the world actually serves to expose us to greater danger from more determined enemies.

2004 Ron Paul 15:20
A policy of non-intervention and strategic independence is the course we should take if we’re serious about peace and prosperity.   Liberty works!

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 16


June 23, 2004
Spending Billions on our Failed Intelligence Agencies

2004 Ron Paul 16:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this legislation. Though I certainly recognize the legitimate national security role of our intelligence community, I have concerns about this authorization and the questionable role played by components of the intelligence community.

2004 Ron Paul 16:2
Specifically, I am concerned about our history of secret regime changes carried out by our intelligence apparatus. More often than not, we see many of the problems we face today were created as a result of this unwise practice of forcibly changing regimes in secret.

2004 Ron Paul 16:3
The stories of such activities are numerous. In 1953 the CIA overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran, installing the Shah as dictator. This led to increasing anti-Americanism, the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the kidnapping of Americans, the establishment of a hard-line Islamic regime hostile to the United States. In the 1980s the United States provided covert support to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in its war with Iran. Ten years later the United States went to war against Saddam Hussein and then 11 years after that the United States went to war again against Saddam’s Iraq. In the 1980s the United States provided weapons and training to the Taliban and what later became Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan as they sought to overthrow the communist government in power. Some 20 years later, that same Taliban and Osama bin Laden struck out against the United States. The United States then went to war against that Taliban government.

2004 Ron Paul 16:4
I am also concerned about the efficacy of our intelligence community. The intelligence budget seems to grow every year, but seldom do my colleagues ask what exactly we are getting for our constituents’ money. It may be unfair that we only hear about the intelligence community’s failures and shortcomings, but we cannot help but be concerned over so many such failures in recent years. Despite the tens of billions we spend on these myriad intelligence agencies, it is impossible to ignore the failure of the intelligence community to detect and prevent the September 11, 2001 attacks.

2004 Ron Paul 16:5
Additionally, as we now see so clearly, our intelligence community failed completely to accurately assess the nature of the Iraqi threat. We were told of weapons of mass destruction capable of reaching the United States. This proved to be false. We were told of Iraq’s relationship with Al-Qaeda. This proved to be false. The intelligence community relied heavily - perhaps almost exclusively — on Iraqi exile and convicted criminal Ahmad Chalabi to provide intelligence on Iraq and most of it turned out to be incorrect, perhaps intentionally misleading. Now we are told that Chalabi and his organization may have passed sensitive intelligence to Iran. We have read reports of secret pseudo-agencies set up in the Pentagon and elsewhere whose role appears to have been to politicize intelligence in order to force pre-determined conclusions. This does not serve the American people well. These are all by any measure grave failures, costing us incalculably in human lives and dollars. Yet from what little we can know about this bill, the solution is to fund more of the same. I would hope that we might begin coming up with new approaches to our intelligence needs.

2004 Ron Paul 16:6
I encourage my colleagues to reject this bill and instead begin looking for new ways to strengthen the legitimate functions of our intelligence community so as to better protect the borders and citizens of the United States.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 17


June 24, 2004
A Token Attempt to Reduce Government Spending

2004 Ron Paul 17:1
Mr. Speaker, I support HR 4663, the Spending Control Act of 2004, because I believe those of us concerned about the effects of excessive government spending on American liberty and prosperity should support any effort to rein in spending. However, I hold no great expectations that this bill will result in a new dawn of fiscal responsibility. In fact, since this bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, the main effect of today’s vote will be to allow members to brag to their constituents that they voted to keep a lid on spending. Many of these members will not tell their constituents that later this year they will likely vote for a budget busting, pork laden, omnibus spending bill that most members will not even have a chance to read before voting! In fact, last week, many members who I am sure will vote for HR 4663 voted against cutting funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Last November, many of these same members voted for the greatest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society. If Congress cannot even bring itself to cut the budget of the NEA or refuse to expand the welfare state, what are the odds that Congress will make the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal order, much less constitutional government?

2004 Ron Paul 17:2
Even if this bill becomes law, it is likely that the provision in this bill allowing spending for emergency purposes to exceed the bill’s spending caps will prove to be an easily abused loophole allowing future Congresses to avoid the spending limitations in this bill. I am also concerned that, by not applying the spending caps to international or military programs, this bill invites future Congresses to misplace priorities, and ignores a major source of fiscal imprudence. Congress will not get our fiscal house in order until we seriously examine our overseas commitments, such as giving welfare to multinational corporations and subsidizing the defense of allies who are perfectly capable of defending themselves.

2004 Ron Paul 17:3
Congress already has made numerous attempts to restore fiscal discipline, and none of them has succeeded. Even the much-heralded “surpluses” of the nineties were due to the Federal Reserve creating an economic boom and Congress continuing to raid the social security trust fund. The surplus was not caused by a sudden outbreak of fiscal conservativism in Washington, DC.

2004 Ron Paul 17:4
The only way Congress will cease excessive spending is by rejecting the idea that the federal government has the authority and the competence to solve all ills, both domestic and international. If the last century taught us anything, it was that big government cannot create utopia. Yet, too many members believe that we can solve all economic problems, eliminate all social ills, and bring about worldwide peace and prosperity by simply creating new federal programs and regulations. However, the well-intended efforts of Congress have exacerbated America’s economic and social problems. Meanwhile our international meddling has failed to create perpetual peace but rather lead to perpetual war for perpetual peace.

2004 Ron Paul 17:5
Every member of Congress has already promised to support limited government by swearing to uphold the United States Constitution. The Constitution limits the federal government to a few, well-defined functions. A good start toward restoring Constitutional government would be debating my Liberty Amendment (H.J.Res. 15). The Liberty Amendment repeals the Sixteenth Amendment, thus eliminating the income tax the source of much of the growth of government and loss of individual liberty. The Liberty Amendment also explicitly limits the federal government to those functions it is constitutionally authorized to perform.

2004 Ron Paul 17:6
If Congress were serious about reining in government, it would also eliminate the Federal Reserve Board’s ability to inflate the currency. Federal Reserve policy enables excessive government spending by allowing the government to monitorize the debt, and hide the cost of big government through the hidden tax of inflation.

2004 Ron Paul 17:7
In 1974, during debate on the Congressional Budget Reform and Impoundment Control Act, Congressman H.R. Gross, a libertarian-conservative from Iowa, eloquently addressed the flaws in thinking that budget process reform absent the political will to cut spending would reduce the size of government. Mr. Speaker, I would like to conclude my remarks by quoting Mr. Gross:

2004 Ron Paul 17:8
Every Member knows that he or she cannot for long spend $75,000 a year on a salary of $42,500 and remain solvent. Every Member knows this Government cannot forever spend billions beyond tax revenue and endure.

2004 Ron Paul 17:9
Congress already has the tools to halt the headlong flight into bankruptcy. It holds the purse strings. No President can impound funds or spend unwisely unless an improvident, reckless Congress makes available the money.

2004 Ron Paul 17:10
I repeat, neither this nor any other legislation will provide morality and responsibility on the part of Members of Congress.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 18


June 25, 2004
Praising Private Space Exploration

2004 Ron Paul 18:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate and commend the designers, builders, sponsors, and pilot of SpaceShipOne on the occasion of its successful flight out of earth’s atmosphere on June 21, 2004. What is most remarkable about SpaceShipOne, of course, is that it is the first privately-financed and privately built vehicle to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.

2004 Ron Paul 18:2
SpaceShipOne was designed and built by Burt Rutan and piloted by test pilot Michael W. Melvill. It was launched successfully from Mojave California, reaching a height of 100 KM (62 miles ) above the Earth’s surface. Remarkably, SpaceShipOne is entirely privately-financed, chiefly by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

2004 Ron Paul 18:3
According to the designers and financers of SpaceShipOne, the mission of this project is to demonstrate the viability of commercial space flight and to open the door for private space tourism. The successful completion of SpaceShipOne’s maiden voyage demonstrates that relatively modest amounts of private funding can significantly increase the boundaries of commercial space technology. It constitutes a major leap toward their goal and demonstrates that private capital and private enterprise can be applied to enormous success all on its own. Those associated with this project represent the best of our American traditions, embodied in our enterprising and pioneering spirit.

2004 Ron Paul 18:4
Their success should also be read as a cautionary tale for all of us in government. If only the United States had a taxation policy that limited government and thereby freed up more private capital, there is no telling how many more like Burt Rutan, Paul Allen, and Michael Melvill would be able to do great things to the benefit all of mankind. This not just in space exploration, but in medical research, alternative energy research, and any number of the problems that continue to perplex mankind. Private enterprise depends on results and success and therefore private capital is always targeted much more wisely than is monies confiscated by governments.

2004 Ron Paul 18:5
With this successful maiden voyage, SpaceShipOne is now the leading contender for the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which is to be awarded to the first privately financed three-seat aircraft that reaches an altitude of 62 miles and repeats the feat within two weeks. I wish all those involved in this remarkable project the best of luck.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 19


July 8, 2004
Government Spending – A Tax on the Middle Class

2004 Ron Paul 19:1
All government spending represents a tax.   The inflation tax, while largely ignored, hurts middle-class and low-income Americans the most.

2004 Ron Paul 19:2
The never-ending political squabble in Congress over taxing the rich, helping the poor, “Pay-Go,” deficits, and special interests, ignores the most insidious of all taxes- the inflation tax.   Simply put, printing money to pay for federal spending dilutes the value of the dollar, which causes higher prices for goods and services.   Inflation may be an indirect tax, but it is very real- the individuals who suffer most from cost of living increases certainly pay a “tax.”

2004 Ron Paul 19:3
Unfortunately no one in Washington, especially those who defend the poor and the middle class, cares about this subject.   Instead, all we hear is that tax cuts for the rich are the source of every economic ill in the country.   Anyone truly concerned about the middle class suffering from falling real wages, under-employment, a rising cost of living, and a decreasing standard of living should pay a lot more attention to monetary policy. Federal spending, deficits, and Federal Reserve mischief hurt the poor while transferring wealth to the already rich.   This is the real problem, and raising taxes on those who produce wealth will only make conditions worse.

2004 Ron Paul 19:4
This neglect of monetary policy may be out of ignorance, but it may well be deliberate.   Fully recognizing the harm caused by printing money to cover budget deficits might create public pressure to restrain spending- something the two parties don’t want.

2004 Ron Paul 19:5
Expanding entitlements is now an accepted prerogative of both parties.   Foreign wars and nation building are accepted as foreign policy by both parties.

2004 Ron Paul 19:6
The Left hardly deserves credit when complaining about Republican deficits.   Likewise, we’ve been told by the Vice President that Ronald Reagan “proved deficits don’t matter”- a tenet of supply-side economics.   With this the prevailing wisdom in Washington, no one should be surprised that spending and deficits are skyrocketing.   The vocal concerns expressed about huge deficits coming from big spenders on both sides are nothing more than political grandstanding.   If Members feel so strongly about spending, Congress simply could do what it ought to do- cut spending.   That, however, is never seriously considered by either side.

2004 Ron Paul 19:7
If those who say they want to increase taxes to reduce the deficit got their way, who would benefit?   No one!   There’s no historic evidence to show that taxing productive Americans to support both the rich and poor welfare beneficiaries helps the middle class, produces jobs, or stimulates the economy.

2004 Ron Paul 19:8
Borrowing money to cut the deficit is only marginally better than raising taxes.   It may delay the pain for a while, but the cost of government eventually must be paid.   Federal borrowing means the cost of interest is added, shifting the burden to a different group than those who benefited and possibly even to another generation.   Eventually borrowing is always paid for through taxation.

2004 Ron Paul 19:9
All spending ultimately must be a tax, even when direct taxes and direct borrowing are avoided.   The third option is for the Federal Reserve to create credit to pay the bills Congress runs up.   Nobody objects, and most Members hope that deficits don’t really matter if the Fed accommodates Congress by creating more money.   Besides, interest payments to the Fed are lower than they would be if funds were borrowed from the public, and payments can be delayed indefinitely merely by creating more credit out of thin air to buy U.S. treasuries.   No need to soak the rich.   A good deal, it seems, for everyone.   But is it?

2004 Ron Paul 19:10
Paying for government spending with Federal Reserve credit, instead of taxing or borrowing from the public, is anything but a good deal for everyone.   In fact it is the most sinister seductive “tax” of them all.   Initially it is unfair to some, but dangerous to everyone in the end.   It is especially harmful to the middle class, including lower-income working people who are thought not to be paying taxes.

2004 Ron Paul 19:11
The “tax” is paid when prices rise as the result of a depreciating dollar.   Savers and those living on fixed or low incomes are hardest hit as the cost of living rises.   Low and middle incomes families suffer the most as they struggle to make ends meet while wealth is literally transferred from the middle class to the wealthy.   Government officials stick to their claim that no significant inflation exists, even as certain necessary costs are skyrocketing and incomes are stagnating.   The transfer of wealth comes as savers and fixed income families lose purchasing power, large banks benefit, and corporations receive plush contracts from the government- as is the case with military contractors. These companies use the newly printed money before it circulates, while the middle class is forced to accept it at face value later on.   This becomes a huge hidden tax on the middle class, many of whom never object to government spending in hopes that the political promises will be fulfilled and they will receive some of the goodies.   But surprise- it doesn’t happen.   The result instead is higher prices for prescription drugs, energy, and other necessities. The freebies never come.

2004 Ron Paul 19:12
The Fed is solely responsible for inflation by creating money out of thin air.   It does so either to monetize federal debt, or in the process of economic planning through interest rate manipulation.   This Fed intervention in our economy, though rarely even acknowledged by Congress, is more destructive than Members can imagine.

2004 Ron Paul 19:13
Not only is the Fed directly responsible for inflation and economic downturns, it causes artificially low interest rates that serve the interests of big borrowers, speculators, and banks. This unfairly steals income from frugal retirees who chose to save and place their funds in interest bearing instruments like CDs.

2004 Ron Paul 19:14
The Fed’s great power over the money supply, interest rates, the business cycle, unemployment, and inflation is wielded with essentially no Congressional oversight or understanding.   The process of inflating our currency to pay for government debt indeed imposes a tax without legislative authority.

2004 Ron Paul 19:15
This is no small matter.   In just the first 24 weeks of this year the M3 money supply increased 428 billion dollars, and 700 billion dollars in the past year.   M3 currently is rising at a rate of 10.5%.   In the last seven years the money supply has increased 80%, as M3 has soared 4.1 trillion dollars.   This bizarre system of paper money worldwide has allowed serious international imbalances to develop.   We owe just four Asian countries 1.5 trillion dollars as a consequence of a chronic and staggering current account deficit now exceeding 5% of our GDP.   This current account deficit means Americans must borrow 1.6 billion dollars per day from overseas just to finance this deficit.   This imbalance, which until now has permitted us to live beyond our means, eventually will give us higher consumer prices, a lower standard of living, higher interest rates, and renewed inflation.

2004 Ron Paul 19:16
Rest assured the middle class will suffer disproportionately from this process.

2004 Ron Paul 19:17
The moral of the story is that spending is always a tax.   The inflation tax, though hidden, only makes things worse.   Taxing, borrowing, and inflating to satisfy wealth transfers from the middle class to the rich in an effort to pay for profligate government spending, can never make a nation wealthier.   But it certainly can make it poorer.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 20


July 15, 2004
End the Two-Party Monopoly!

2004 Ron Paul 20:1
Mr. Speaker, political operatives across the country are using state ballot access laws to deny voters the opportunity to support independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. For example, one New York election lawyer publicly stated that partisan election lawyers should take advantage of New York’s complex and costly ballot access procedures to keep Mr. Nader off the New York ballot. Meanwhile, a state party chairman in Arizona has hired a team of lawyers for the sole purpose of keeping Mr. Nader off the Arizona ballot.

2004 Ron Paul 20:2
The effort to keep Mr. Nader off the ballot shows how ballot access laws preserve the two-party monopoly over the political system by effectively disenfranchising supporters of third parties and independent candidates. While the campaign against Mr. Nader is an extreme case, supporters of the two-party monopoly regularly use ballot access laws to keep third party and independent candidates off ballots. Even candidates able to comply with onerous ballot access rules must devote so many resources to simply getting on the ballot that their ability to communicate ideas to the general public is severely limited. Perhaps the ballot access laws are one reason why voter turnout has been declining over the past few decades. After all, almost 42% of eligible voters have either not registered to vote or have registered as something other than Democrat or Republican.

2004 Ron Paul 20:3
The United States Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of federal elections. Thus, ballot access is one of the few areas where Congress has explicit constitutional authority to establish national standards. In order to open up the political process, I have introduced the Voter Freedom Act (HR 1941). HR 1941 established uniform standards for ballot access so third party and independent candidates can at last compete on a level playing field.

2004 Ron Paul 20:4
The blatant attempt by a major party to keep Ralph Nader off state ballots demonstrates how restrictive ballot access laws are used to preserve a political monopoly, limit voter choices, and deny the rights of millions of Americans who support third parties and independent candidates an opportunity to effectively participate in the political process. I call upon my colleagues to remedy this situation by supporting my Voter Freedom Act.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 21


July 22, 2004
Protecting Marriage from Judicial Tyranny

2004 Ron Paul 21:1
Mr. Speaker, as an original cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act (HR 3313), I strongly urge my colleagues to support this bill.   HR 3313 ensures federal courts will not undermine any state laws regulating marriage by forcing a state to recognize same-sex marriage licenses issued in another state. The Marriage Protection Act thus ensures that the authority to regulate marriage remains with individual states and communities, as the drafters of the Constitution intended.

2004 Ron Paul 21:2
The practice of judicial activism- legislating from the bench- is now standard procedure for many federal judges.   They dismiss the doctrine of strict construction as outdated, instead treating the Constitution as fluid and malleable to create a desired outcome in any given case.   For judges who see themselves as social activists, their vision of justice is more important than the letter of the law they are sworn to interpret and uphold.   With the federal judiciary focused more on promoting a social agenda than on upholding the rule of law, Americans find themselves increasingly governed by judges they did not elect and cannot remove from office.

2004 Ron Paul 21:3
Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court last June.   The Court determined that Texas has no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because these laws violated the court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment.   Regardless of the advisability of such laws, the Constitution does not give the federal government authority to overturn these laws.   Under the Tenth Amendment, the state of Texas has the authority to pass laws concerning social matters, using its own local standards, without federal interference.   But rather than adhering to the Constitution and declining jurisdiction over a state matter, the Court decided to stretch the “right to privacy” to justify imposing the justices’ vision on the people of Texas.

2004 Ron Paul 21:4
Since the Lawrence decision, many Americans have expressed their concern that the Court may next “discover” that state laws defining marriage violate the Court’s wrongheaded interpretation of the Constitution. After all, some judges simply may view this result as taking the Lawrence decision to its logical conclusion.

2004 Ron Paul 21:5
One way federal courts may impose a redefinition of marriage on the states is by interpreting the full faith and credit clause to require all states, even those which do not grant legal standing to same-sex marriages , to treat as valid same-sex marriage licenses from the few states which give legal status to such unions.   This would have the practical effect of nullifying state laws defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman, thus allowing a few states and a handful of federal judges to create marriage policy for the entire nation.

2004 Ron Paul 21:6
In 1996 Congress exercised its authority under the full faith and credit clause of Article IV of the Constitution by passing the Defense of Marriage Act. This ensured each state could set its own policy regarding marriage and not be forced to adopt the marriage policies of another state. Since the full faith and credit clause grants Congress the clear authority to “prescribe the effects” that state documents such as marriage licenses have on other states, the Defense of Marriage Act is unquestionably constitutional. However, the lack of respect federal judges show for the plain language of the Constitution necessitates congressional action so that state officials are not forced to recognize another states’ same-sex marriage licenses because of a flawed judicial interpretation.   The drafters of the Constitution gave Congress the power to limit federal jurisdiction to provide a check on out-of-control federal judges. It is long past time we begin using our legitimate authority to protect the states and the people from judicial tyranny.

2004 Ron Paul 21:7
Since the Marriage Protection Act requires only a majority vote in both houses of Congress (and the president’s signature) to become law, it is a more practical way to deal with this issue than the time-consuming process of passing a constitutional amendment. In fact, since the Defense of Marriage Act overwhelmingly passed both houses, and the president supports protecting state marriage laws from judicial tyranny, there is no reason why the Marriage Protection Act cannot become law this year.

2004 Ron Paul 21:8
 Some may argue that allowing federal judges to rewrite the definition of marriage can result in a victory for individual liberty. This claim is flawed. The best guarantor of true liberty is decentralized political institutions, while the greatest threat to liberty is concentrated power. This is why the Constitution carefully limits the power of the federal government over the states. Allowing federal judges unfettered discretion to strike down state laws, or force a state to conform to the laws of another state, leads to centralization and loss of liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 21:9
While marriage is licensed and otherwise regulated by the states, government did not create the institution of marriage. In fact, the institution of marriage most likely pre-dates the institution of government! Government regulation of marriage is based on state recognition of the practices and customs formulated by private individuals interacting in civil society. Many people associate their wedding day with completing the rituals and other requirements of their faith, thus being joined in the eyes of their church- not the day they received their marriage license from the state. Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 21:10
Mr. Speaker, Congress has a constitutional responsibility to stop rogue federal judges from using a flawed interpretation of the Constitution to rewrite the laws and traditions governing marriage. I urge my colleagues to stand against destructive judicial activism and for marriage by voting for the Marriage Protection Act.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 22


July 23, 2004
Hands Off Sudan!

2004 Ron Paul 22:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this incredibly dangerous legislation. I hope my colleagues are not fooled by the title of this bill, “Declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan.” This resolution is no statement of humanitarian concern for what may be happening in a country thousands of miles from the United States. Rather, it could well lead to war against the African country of Sudan. The resolution “urges the Bush Administration to seriously consider multilateral or even unilateral intervention to prevent genocide should the United Nations Security Council fail to act.” We must realize the implications of urging the President to commit the United States to intervene in an ongoing civil war in a foreign land thousands of miles away.

2004 Ron Paul 22:2
Mr. Speaker, this resolution was never marked-up in the House International Relations Committee, on which I serve. Therefore, Members of that committee had no opportunity to amend it or express their views before it was sent to the Floor for a vote. Like too many highly controversial bills, it was rushed onto the suspension calendar (by House rules reserved for “non-controversial” legislation) at the last minute. Perhaps there was a concern that if Members had more time to consider the bill they would cringe at the resolution’s call for US military action in Sudan - particularly at a time when our military is stretched to the breaking point. The men and women of the United States Armed Forces risk their lives to protect and defend the United States. Can anyone tell me how sending thousands of American soldiers into harm’s way in Sudan is by any stretch of the imagination in the US national interest or in keeping with the constitutional function of this country’s military forces? I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to reject this dangerous resolution.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 23


September 23, 2004
Federal Courts and the Pledge of Allegiance

2004 Ron Paul 23:1
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support, and cosponsor, the Pledge Protection Act (HR 2028), which restricts federal court jurisdiction over the question of whether the phrase “under God” should be included in the pledge of allegiance. Local schools should determine for themselves whether or not students should say “under God” in the pledge. The case finding it is a violation of the First Amendment to include the words “under God” in the pledge is yet another example of federal judges abusing their power by usurping state and local governments’ authority over matters such as education. Congress has the constitutional authority to rein in the federal courts’ jurisdiction and the duty to preserve the states’ republican forms of governments. Since government by the federal judiciary undermines the states’ republican governments, Congress has a duty to rein in rogue federal judges. I am pleased to see Congress exercise its authority to protect the states from an out-of-control judiciary.

2004 Ron Paul 23:2
Many of my colleagues base their votes on issues regarding federalism on whether or not they agree with the particular state policy at issue. However, under the federalist system as protected by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, states have the authority to legislate in ways that most members of Congress, and even the majority of the citizens of other states, disapprove. Consistently upholding state autonomy does not mean approving of all actions taken by state governments; it simply means acknowledging that the constitutional limits on federal power require Congress to respect the wishes of the states even when the states act unwisely. I would remind my colleagues that an unwise state law, by definition, only affects the people of one state. Therefore, it does far less damage than a national law that affects all Americans.

2004 Ron Paul 23:3
While I will support this bill even if the language removing the United States Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over cases regarding the pledge is eliminated, I am troubled that some of my colleagues question whether Congress has the authority to limit Supreme Court jurisdiction in this case. Both the clear language of the United States Constitution and a long line of legal precedents make it clear that Congress has the authority to limit the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. The Framers intended Congress to use the power to limit jurisdiction as a check on all federal judges, including Supreme Court judges , who, after all, have lifetime tenure and are thus unaccountable to the people.  

2004 Ron Paul 23:4
Ironically, the author of the pledge of allegiance might disagree with our commitment to preserving the prerogatives of state and local governments. Francis Bellamy, the author of the pledge, was a self-described socialist who wished to replace the Founders’ constitutional republic with a strong, centralized welfare state. Bellamy wrote the pledge as part of his efforts to ensue that children put their allegiance to the central government before their allegiance to their families, local communities, state governments, and even their creator! In fact, the atheist Bellamy did not include the words “under God” in his original version of the pledge. That phrase was added to the pledge in the 1950s.

2004 Ron Paul 23:5
Today, most Americans who support the pledge reject Bellamy’s vision and view the pledge as a reaffirmation of their loyalty to the Framers’ vision of a limited, federal republic that recognizes that rights come from the creator, not from the state. In order to help preserve the Framers’ system of a limited federal government and checks and balances, I am pleased to support HR 2028, the Pledge Protection Act. I urge my colleagues to do the same.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 24


September 30, 2004
Cultural Conservatives Lose if Gay Marriage is Federalized

2004 Ron Paul 24:1
Mr. Speaker, while I oppose federal efforts to redefine marriage as something other than a union between one man and one woman, I do not believe a constitutional amendment is either a necessary or proper way to defend marriage.

2004 Ron Paul 24:2
While marriage is licensed and otherwise regulated by the states, government did not create the institution of marriage. In fact, the institution of marriage most likely pre-dates the institution of government! Government regulation of marriage is based on state recognition of the practices and customs formulated by private individuals interacting in civil society. Many people associate their wedding day with completing the rituals and other requirements of their faith, thus being joined in the eyes of their church and their creator, not with receiving their marriage license, thus being joined in the eyes of the state.

2004 Ron Paul 24:3
If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’s constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a “same sex” marriage license issued in another state. This Congress, I was an original cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act, HR 3313, that removes challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act from federal courts’ jurisdiction. If I were a member of the Texas legislature, I would do all I could to oppose any attempt by rogue judges to impose a new definition of marriage on the people of my state.

2004 Ron Paul 24:4
Having studied this issue and consulted with leading legal scholars, including an attorney who helped defend the Boy Scouts against attempts to force the organization to allow gay men to serve as scoutmasters, I am convinced that both the Defense of Marriage Act and the Marriage Protection Act can survive legal challenges and ensure that no state is forced by a federal court’s or another state’s actions to recognize same sex marriage. Therefore, while I am sympathetic to those who feel only a constitutional amendment will sufficiently address this issue, I respectfully disagree. I also am concerned that the proposed amendment, by telling the individual states how their state constitutions are to be interpreted, is a major usurpation of the states’ power. The division of power between the federal government and the states is one of the virtues of the American political system. Altering that balance endangers self-government and individual liberty. However, if federal judges wrongly interfere and attempt to compel a state to recognize the marriage licenses of another state, that would be the proper time for me to consider new legislative or constitutional approaches.

2004 Ron Paul 24:5
Conservatives in particular should be leery of anything that increases federal power, since centralized government power is traditionally the enemy of conservative values. I agree with the assessment of former Congressman Bob Barr, who authored the Defense of Marriage Act:

2004 Ron Paul 24:6
“The very fact that the FMA [Federal Marriage Amendment] was introduced said that conservatives believed it was okay to amend the Constitution to take power from the states and give it to Washington. That is hardly a basic principle of conservatism as we used to know it. It is entirely likely the left will boomerang that assertion into a future proposed amendment that would weaken gun rights or mandate income redistribution.”

2004 Ron Paul 24:7
Passing a constitutional amendment is a long, drawn-out process. The fact that the marriage amendment already failed to gather the necessary two-thirds support in the Senate means that, even if two-thirds of House members support the amendment, it will not be sent to states for ratification this year. Even if the amendment gathers the necessary two-thirds support in both houses of Congress, it still must go through the time-consuming process of state ratification. This process requires three-quarters of the state legislatures to approve the amendment before it can become effective. Those who believe that immediate action to protect the traditional definition of marriage is necessary should consider that the Equal Rights Amendment easily passed both houses of Congress and was quickly ratified by a number of states. Yet, that amendment remains unratified today. Proponents of this marriage amendment should also consider that efforts to amend the Constitution to address flag burning and require the federal government to balance the budget have been ongoing for years, without any success.

2004 Ron Paul 24:8
Ironically, liberal social engineers who wish to use federal government power to redefine marriage will be able to point to the constitutional marriage amendment as proof that the definition of marriage is indeed a federal matter!   I am unwilling either to cede to federal courts the authority to redefine marriage, or to deny a state’s ability to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. Instead, I believe it is time for Congress and state legislatures to reassert their authority  by refusing to enforce judicial usurpations of power.

2004 Ron Paul 24:9
In contrast to a constitutional amendment, the Marriage Protection Act requires only a majority vote of both houses of Congress and the president’s signature to become law. The bill already has passed the House of Representatives; at least 51 senators would vote for it; and the president would sign this legislation given his commitment to protecting the traditional definition of marriage. Therefore, those who believe Congress needs to take immediate action to protect marriage this year should focus on passing the Marriage Protection Act.

2004 Ron Paul 24:10
Because of the dangers to liberty and traditional values posed by the unexpected consequences of amending the Constitution to strip power from the states and the people and further empower Washington, I cannot in good conscience support the marriage amendment to the United States Constitution. Instead, I plan to continue working to enact the Marriage Protection Act and protect each state’s right not to be forced to recognize a same sex marriage.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 25


October 4, 2004
District of Columbia Personal Protection Act.

2004 Ron Paul 25:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of HR 3193, the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act.   I am a cosponsor of this legislation that ensures greater respect for the right to bear arms in Washington, D.C.

2004 Ron Paul 25:2
HR 3193 repeals several of the more draconian citywide Washington, D.C. gun restrictions enacted in 1976.   Restrictions HR 3193 will repeal include the requirement that all firearms be registered.   Gun registration in other countries has created government lists of who owns what guns.   Such lists facilitate the harassment of gun owners and the confiscation of their guns.   Also repealed are blanket bans on the possession of handguns and handgun ammunition as well as of any semi-automatic guns.   These bans exist despite the fact that handguns and semi-automatic guns are regularly used outside Washington, D.C. for self-defense.   Also repealed is the prohibition on carrying a gun on one’s own property!   It is hard to say a person is free if he is prohibited from using the means of protecting himself and his family even in his own home.

2004 Ron Paul 25:3
It is unfortunate that people in the federal capital city have for nearly thirty years faced some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country.   This fact is particularly unfortunate given Washington, D.C.’s recent history as the murder capital of the United States.   Ironically, the place where people most need to bear arms to defend themselves from violent crime has been one of places where the exercise of that right has been most restricted.

2004 Ron Paul 25:4
A strong case can be made that the high rate of violent crimes, including murders, in Washington, D.C. is due in part to restrictions on the exercise of the right to bear arms.   When potential victims are likely armed, criminals think twice about committing violent crimes: a gun in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is an excellent deterrent to crime.   Across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Virginia does not have this horrific crime and murder rate.   Yet, people in Virginia can buy, own, and even carry guns in public.

2004 Ron Paul 25:5
I am hopeful that the House’s consideration of HR 3193 indicates a new openness to legislation that will roll back other unconstitutional and dangerous restrictions on Americans’ right to bear arms.   For years, federal lawmakers have been passing gun control laws, even though they have no authority to do so.   Crime control, the stated reason for passing gun control laws in the first place, is a function belonging to the states.

2004 Ron Paul 25:6
Enacting HR 3193 would be a good first step in adopting legislation to restore the federal government’s respect for the right to bear arms throughout the United States.   The federal government has trampled on gun rights nationwide-not just in Washington, D.C.   I have introduced several pieces of legislation this Congress that would help restore respect for the right to bear arms, including the Second Amendment Protection Act, HR 153, that would repeal the now-sunset semi-auto ban, repeal the five-day waiting period and “instant” background check imposed on gun purchases, and delete the “sporting purposes” test that allows the Treasury Secretary to classify a firearm as a destructive device simply because the Secretary deems the gun to be “non-sporting.”   Additionally, Congress should consider my Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act, HR 3125, that prohibits United States taxpayers’ dollars from being used to support or promote any United Nations actions that could infringe on the Second Amendment.

2004 Ron Paul 25:7
In 1976, I spoke on the floor of House against the adoption of restrictions on the right to bear arms in Washington, D.C. that HR 3193 seeks to repeal.   Unfortunately, my argument then was ruled out of order, and the restrictions went into effect.   While it has been too long in coming, I am glad that the House is finally considering this important issue.   The District of Columbia Personal Protection Act would restore some much- needed respect for the fundamental rights of people in Washington, D.C.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 26


October 5, 2004
Reject a National Prescription Database

2004 Ron Paul 26:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to HR 3015, the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act.   This bill is yet another unjustifiable attempt by the federal government to use the war on drugs as an excuse for invading the privacy and liberties of the American people and for expanding the federal government’s disastrous micromanagement of medical care.   As a physician with over 30 years experience in private practice, I must oppose this bill due to the danger it poses to our health as well as our liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 26:2
By creating a national database of prescriptions for controlled substances, the federal government would take another step forward in the war on pain patients and their doctors.   This war has already resulted in the harassment and prosecution of many doctors, and their staff members, whose only “crime” is prescribing legal medication, including opioids, to relieve their patients’ pain.   These prosecutions, in turn, have scared other doctors so that they are unwilling to prescribe an adequate amount of pain medication, or even any pain medication, for their suffering patients.

2004 Ron Paul 26:3
Doctors and their staffs may even be prosecuted because of a patient’s actions that no doctor approved or even knew about.   A doctor has no way of controlling if a patient gives some of the prescribed medication away or consumes a prescribed drug in a dangerous combination with illegal drugs or other prescription drugs obtained from another source.   Nonetheless, doctors can be subjected to prosecution when a patient takes such actions.

2004 Ron Paul 26:4
Applying to doctors laws intended to deal with drug kingpins, the government has created the illusion of some success in the war on drugs.   Investigating drug dealers can be hard and dangerous work.   In comparison, it is much easier to shut down medical practices and prosecute doctors who prescribe pain medication.

2004 Ron Paul 26:5
A doctor who is willing to treat chronic pain patients with medically justified amounts of controlled substances may appear at first look to be excessively prescribing.   Because so few doctors are willing to take the drug war prosecution risks associated with treating chronic pain patients, and because chronic pain patients must often consume significant doses of pain medication to obtain relief, the prosecution of one pain doctor can be heralded as a large success.   All the government needs to do is point to the large amount of patients and drugs associated with a medical practice.

2004 Ron Paul 26:6
Once doctors know that there is a national database of controlled substances prescriptions that overzealous law enforcement will be scrutinizing to harass doctors, there may be no doctors left who are willing to treat chronic pain.   Instead of creating a national database, we should be returning medical regulation to local control, where it historically and constitutionally belongs.   Instead of drug warriors regulating medicine with an eye to maximizing prosecutions, we should return to state medical boards and state civil courts review that looks to science-based standards of medical care and patients’ best interests.

2004 Ron Paul 26:7
HR 3015 also threatens patients’ privacy.   A patient’s medical records should be treated according to the mutual agreement of the patient and doctor.   In contrast, HR 3015 will put a patient’s prescriptions on a government-mandated database that can be accessed without the patient’s permission!

2004 Ron Paul 26:8
Instead of further eroding our medical privacy, Congress should take steps to protect it.   Why should someone be prevented from denying the government and third parties access to his medical records without his permission or a warrant?

2004 Ron Paul 26:9
One way the House can act to protect patients’ privacy is by enacting my Patient Privacy Act (HR 1699) that repeals the provision of federal law establishing a medical ID for every American.   Under the guise of “protecting privacy,” the Health and Human Services’ so-called “medical privacy” regulations allow medical researchers, insurance agents, and government officials access to your personal medical records — without your consent!   Congress should act now to reverse this government-imposed invasion of our medical privacy.

2004 Ron Paul 26:10
Please join me in opposing HR 3015 — legislation that, if enacted, will make us less free and less healthy.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 27


October 5, 2004
Reject Draft Slavery

2004 Ron Paul 27:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose HR 163 in the strongest possible terms.   The draft, whether for military purposes or some form of “national service,” violates the basic moral principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded. Furthermore, the military neither wants nor needs a draft.

2004 Ron Paul 27:2
The Department of Defense, in response to calls to reinstate the draft, has confirmed that conscription serves no military need. Defense officials from both parties have repudiated it.   Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has stated, “The disadvantages of using compulsion to bring into the armed forces the men and women needed are notable,” while President William Clinton’s Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, in a speech before the National Press Club, admitted that, “Today, with our smaller, post-Cold War armed forces, our stronger volunteer tradition and our need for longer terms of service to get a good return on the high, up-front training costs, it would be even harder to fashion a fair draft.”   

2004 Ron Paul 27:3
However, the most important reason to oppose HR 163 is that a draft violates the very principles of individual liberty upon which our nation was founded.   Former President Ronald Regan eloquently expressed the moral case against the draft in the publication Human Events in 1979:   “...[conscription] rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state — not for parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers — to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our society. That assumption isn’t a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea .”

2004 Ron Paul 27:4
Some say the 18-year old draftee “owes it” to his (or her, since HR 163 makes woman eligible for the draft) country.   Hogwash!   It just as easily could be argued that a 50 year-old chicken-hawk, who promotes war and places innocent young people in danger, owes more to the country than the 18 year-old being denied his (or her) liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 27:5
All drafts are unfair.   All 18 and 19 year olds are never drafted.   By its very nature a draft must be discriminatory.   All drafts hit the most vulnerable young people, as the elites learn quickly how to avoid the risks of combat.

2004 Ron Paul 27:6
Economic hardship is great in all wars.   War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures.   The great tragedy of war is that it enables the careless disregard for civil liberties of our own people.   Abuses of German and Japanese Americans in World War I and World War II are well known.

2004 Ron Paul 27:7
But the real sacrifice comes with conscription — forcing a small number of young vulnerable citizens to fight the wars that older men and women, who seek glory in military victory without themselves being exposed to danger, promote.  The draft encourages wars with neither purpose nor moral justification, wars that too often are not even declared by the Congress.

2004 Ron Paul 27:8
Without conscription, unpopular wars are difficult to fight. Once the draft was undermined in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Vietnam War came to an end.   But most importantly, liberty cannot be preserved by tyranny.   A free society must always resort to volunteers.   Tyrants think nothing of forcing men to fight and serve in wrongheaded wars. A true fight for survival and defense of America would elicit, I am sure, the assistance of every able-bodied man and woman.   This is not the case with wars of mischief far away from home, which we have experienced often in the past century.

2004 Ron Paul 27:9
A government that is willing to enslave some of its people can never be trusted to protect the liberties of its own citizens. I hope all my colleagues to join me in standing up for individual liberty by rejecting HR 163 and all tempts to bring back the draft.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 28


October 6, 2004
No Mandatory Mental Health Screening for Kids

2004 Ron Paul 28:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Let Parents Raise Their Kids Act. This bill forbids federal funds from being used for any universal or mandatory mental-health screening of students without the express, written, voluntary, informed consent of their parents or legal guardians. This bill protects the fundamental right of parents to direct and control the upbringing and education of their children.

2004 Ron Paul 28:2
The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has recommended that the federal government adopt a comprehensive system of mental-health screening for all Americans .

2004 Ron Paul 28:3
The commission recommends the government implement universal or mandatory mental- health screening in public schools as a prelude to expanding it to the general public. However, neither the commission’s report nor any related mental-health screening proposal requires parental consent before a child is subjected to such screening. Federally funded universal or mandatory mental-health screening in schools without parental consent could lead to labeling more children as “ADD” or “hyperactive,” and thus force more children to take psychotropic drugs like Ritalin against their parents’ wishes.

2004 Ron Paul 28:4
Already, too many children are suffering from being prescribed psychotropic drugs for nothing more than children’s typical rambunctious behavior. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there was a 300-percent increase in psychotropic drug use in two to four-year old children from 1991 to 1995!

2004 Ron Paul 28:5
Many children have suffered harmful side effects from using psychotropic drugs. Some of the possible side effects include mania, violence, dependence, and weight gain. Yet parents  already are being threatened with child abuse charges if they resist efforts to drug their children. Imagine how much easier it will be to drug children against their parents’ wishes if a federal mental-health screener makes the recommendation.

2004 Ron Paul 28:6
Universal or mandatory mental-health screening could also provide a justification for stigmatizing children from families that support traditional values. Even the authors of mental-health diagnosis manuals admit that mental-health diagnoses are subjective and based on social constructions.  Therefore, it is all too easy for a psychiatrist to label a person’s disagreement with the psychiatrist’s political beliefs a mental disorder. For example, a federally funded school violence prevention program lists “intolerance” as a mental problem that may lead to school violence. Because “intolerance” is often a code word for believing in traditional values, children who share their parents’ values could be labeled as having mental problems and a risk of causing violence. If the mandatory mental-health screening program applies to adults, everyone who believes in traditional values could have his or her beliefs stigmatized as a sign of a mental disorder. Taxpayer dollars should not support programs that may label those who adhere to traditional values as having a “mental disorder.”

2004 Ron Paul 28:7
Mr. Speaker, universal or mandatory mental-health screening threatens to undermine parents’ right to raise their children as the parents see fit. Forced mental-health screening could also endanger the health of children by leading to more children being improperly placed on psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, or stigmatized as “mentally ill” or a risk of causing violence because they adhere to traditional values. Congress has a responsibility to the nation’s parents and children to stop this from happening. I, therefore, urge my colleagues to cosponsor the Let Raise Their Kids Act.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 29


October 8, 2004
The 9-11 Intelligence Bill: More Bureaucracy, More Intervention, Less Freedom

2004 Ron Paul 29:1
Mr. Speaker, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (HR 10) is yet another attempt to address the threat of terrorism by giving more money and power to the federal bureaucracy. Most of the reforms contained in this bill will not make America safer, though they definitely will make us less free.   HR 10 also wastes American taxpayer money on unconstitutional and ineffective foreign aid programs. Congress should make America safer by expanding liberty and refocusing our foreign policy on defending this nation’s vital interests, rather than expanding the welfare state and wasting American blood and treasure on quixotic crusades to “democratize” the world.

2004 Ron Paul 29:2
Disturbingly, HR 10 creates a de facto national ID card by mandating new federal requirements that standardize state-issued drivers licenses and birth certificates and even require including biometric identifiers in such documents. State drivers license information will be stored in a national database, which will include information about an individual’s driving record!

2004 Ron Paul 29:3
Nationalizing standards for drivers licenses and birth certificates, and linking them together via a national database, creates a national ID system pure and simple.   Proponents of the national ID understand that the public remains wary of the scheme, so they attempt to claim they’re merely creating new standards for existing state IDs.   Nonsense!   This legislation imposes federal standards in a federal bill, and it creates a federalized ID regardless of whether the ID itself is still stamped with the name of your state.   It is just a matter of time until those who refuse to carry the new licenses will be denied the ability to drive or board an airplane.   Domestic travel restrictions are the hallmark of authoritarian states, not free republics.   

2004 Ron Paul 29:4
The national ID will be used to track the movements of American citizens, not just terrorists. Subjecting every citizen to surveillance actually diverts resources away from tracking and apprehending terrorists in favor of needless snooping on innocent Americans.   This is what happened with “suspicious activity reports” required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Thanks to BSA mandates, federal officials are forced to waste countless hours snooping through the private financial transactions of innocent Americans merely because those transactions exceeded $10,000.

2004 Ron Paul 29:5
Furthermore, the federal government has no constitutional authority to require law-abiding Americans to present any form of identification before engaging in private transactions (e.g. getting a job, opening a bank account, or seeking medical assistance).   Nothing in our Constitution can reasonably be construed to allow government officials to demand identification from individuals who are not suspected of any crime.

2004 Ron Paul 29:6
HR 10 also broadens the definition of terrorism contained in the PATRIOT Act. HR 10 characterizes terrorism as acts intended “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”   Under this broad definition, a scuffle at an otherwise peaceful pro-life demonstration might allow the federal government to label the sponsoring organization and its members as terrorists. Before dismissing these concerns, my colleagues should remember the abuse of Internal Revenue Service power by both Democratic and Republican administrations to punish political opponents, or the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act on anti-abortion activists.   It is entirely possible that a future administration will use the new surveillance powers granted in this bill to harm people holding unpopular political views.

2004 Ron Paul 29:7
Congress could promote both liberty and security by encouraging private property owners to take more responsibility to protect themselves and their property.   Congress could enhance safety by removing the roadblocks thrown up by the misnamed Transportation Security Agency that prevent the full implementation of the armed pilots program. I cosponsored an amendment with my colleague from Virginia, Mr. Goode, to do just that, and I am disappointed it was ruled out of order.

2004 Ron Paul 29:8
I am also disappointed the Financial Services Committee rejected my amendment to conform the regulations governing the filing of suspicious activities reports with the requirements of the US Constitution. This amendment not only would have ensured greater privacy protection, but it also would have enabled law enforcement to better focus on people who truly pose a threat to our safety.

2004 Ron Paul 29:9
Immediately after the attack on September 11, 2001, I introduced several pieces of legislation designed to help fight terrorism and secure the United States, including a bill to allow airline pilots to carry firearms and a bill that would have expedited the hiring of   Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) translators to support counterterrorism investigations and operations. I also introduced a bill to authorize the president to issue letters of marque and reprisal to bring to justice those who committed the attacks of September 11, 2001, and other similar acts of war planned for the future.

2004 Ron Paul 29:10
The foreign policy provisions of HR 10 are similarly objectionable and should be strongly opposed. I have spoken before about the serious shortcomings of the 9/11 Commission, upon whose report this legislation is based. I find it incredible that in the 500-plus page report there is not one mention of how our interventionist foreign policy creates enemies abroad who then seek to harm us. Until we consider the root causes of terrorism, beyond the jingoistic explanations offered thus far, we will not defeat terrorism and we will not be safer.

2004 Ron Paul 29:11
Among the most ill-considered foreign policy components of H.R. 10 is a section providing for the United States to increase support for an expansion of the United Nations “Democracy Caucus.” Worse still, the bill encourages further integration of that United Nations body into our State department.   The last thing we should do if we hope to make our country safer from terrorism is expand our involvement in the United Nations.

2004 Ron Paul 29:12
This bill contains a provision to train American diplomats to be more sensitive and attuned to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) — which will be in the US to monitor our elections next month — and other international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Even worse, this legislation actually will create an “ambassador-at-large” position solely to work with non-governmental organizations overseas. It hardly promotes democracy abroad to accord equal status to NGOs, which, after all, are un-elected foreign pressure groups that, therefore, have no popular legitimacy whatsoever. Once again, we are saying one thing and doing the opposite.

2004 Ron Paul 29:13
This bill also increases our counterproductive practice of sending United States’ taxpayer money abroad to prop up selected foreign media, which inexplicably are referred to as “independent media.” This is an unconstitutional misuse of tax money. Additionally, does anyone believe that citizens of countries where the US subsidizes certain media outlets take kindly to, or take seriously, such media? How would Americans feel if they knew that publications taking a certain editorial line were financed by foreign governments? We cannot refer to foreign media funded by the US government as “independent media.” The US government should never be in the business of funding the media, either at home or abroad.

2004 Ron Paul 29:14
Finally, I am skeptical about the reorganization of the intelligence community in this legislation. In creating an entire new bureaucracy, the National Intelligence Director, we are adding yet another layer of bureaucracy to our already bloated federal government. Yet, we are supposed to believe that even more of the same kind of government that failed us on September 11, 2001 will make us safer. At best, this is wishful thinking. The constitutional function of our intelligence community is to protect the United States from foreign attack. Ever since its creation by the National Security Act of 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been meddling in affairs that have nothing to do with the security of the United States. Considering the CIA’s overthrow of Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadeq in the 1950s, and the CIA’s training of the Muhajadin jihadists in Afghanistan in the 1980s, it is entirely possible the actions of the CIA abroad have actually made us less safe and more vulnerable to foreign attack. It would be best to confine our intelligence community to the defense of our territory from foreign attack. This may well mean turning intelligence functions over to the Department of Defense, where they belong.

2004 Ron Paul 29:15
For all of these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I vigorously oppose HR 10. It represents the worst approach to combating terrorism — more federal bureaucracy, more foreign intervention, and less liberty for the American people.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 30


November 17, 2004
Honoring Phil Crane

2004 Ron Paul 30:1
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my friend and colleague Phil Crane. During his 35 years in Congress, Phil has been one of the House’s most consistent defenders of low taxes, free-markets, limited government, and individual liberty. I count myself among the numerous elected officials and activists in the free-market movement who have been inspired by his example.

2004 Ron Paul 30:2
As a conservative professor, author, and activist, Phil was already a nationally known conservative leader before he ran for Congress. Two of his books, “The Democrat’s Dilemma” and “The Sum of Good Government” stand out as conservative classics that educated and motivated many conservative activists. Among the attributes that have made Phil a hero to the free-market movement is his understanding of sound economics. Phil is one of the few members of Congress who is well versed in the teachings of great free-market teachers such as Ludwig von Misses. This country would be much better off if more representatives understood economics as well as Phil Crane.

2004 Ron Paul 30:3
When Phil Crane came to Congress in the late sixties, there were only a handful of members supporting free-markets. This was a time when a “conservative” president imposed wage and price controls and “conservative” representatives and senators called for balancing the budget with tax increases rather than spending cuts. Thanks in large part to Phil’s effort; the political and intellectual climate of the nation became more receptive to free-market ideas. Phil’s work with groups such as the American Conservative Union, the Free Congress Foundation, and the Republican Study Committee (which he founded) played a major role in growing the movement for individual liberty. Phil’s service as an advisor to Young Americans for Freedom and as a director of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Hillsdale College, and the Ashbrook Center helped inspire new generations of young people to become active in the movement for liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 30:4
When I came to Congress in the seventies to fight to limit the size and scope of the federal government, I was pleased to find a kindred sprit in the gentleman from Illinois. I had the privilege of working with Phil on several efforts to cut taxes, reduce regulations, and return the government to its constitutional size. I also had the privilege of working with Phil when we where two of only four members to endorse Ronald Reagan’s 1976 primary challenge to President Gerald Ford.

2004 Ron Paul 30:5
As the number of representatives committed to free-markets and low taxes increased, Phil’s status as a congressional leader and accomplished legislator grew. Thanks in large part to Phil’s leadership; Congress has provided tax relief to American families and businesses during each of the last four years.

2004 Ron Paul 30:6
As his distinguished congressional career draws to a close, I hope all who value free-markets, individual liberty, and limited government will join me in thanking Phil Crane for his work on behalf of freedom.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 31


November 18, 2004
 Raising the Debt Limit: A Disgrace

2004 Ron Paul 31:1
Mr. Speaker, Congress is once again engaging in fiscal irresponsibility and endangering the American economy by raising the debt ceiling, this time by $800 billion dollars. One particularly troubling aspect of today’s debate is how many members who won their seats in part by pledging never to raise taxes, will now vote for this tax increase on future generations without so much as a second thought.  Congress has become like the drunk who promises to sober up tomorrow, if only he can keep drinking today.  Does anyone really believe this will be the last time, that Congress will tighten its belt if we just grant it one last loan?  What a joke!  There is only one approach to dealing with an incorrigible spendthrift: cut him off. 

2004 Ron Paul 31:2
The term “national debt” really is a misnomer. It is not the nation’s debt. Instead, it is the federal government’s debt. The American people did not spend the money, but they will have to pay it back.

2004 Ron Paul 31:3
Most Americans do not spend much time worrying about the national debt, which now totals more than eight trillion dollars. The number is so staggering that it hardly seems real, even when economists issue bleak warnings about how much every American owes — currently about $25,000. Of course, Congress never hands each taxpayer a bill for that amount. Instead, the federal government uses your hard-earned money to pay interest on this debt, which is like making minimum payments on a credit card. Notice that the principal never goes down. In fact, it is rising steadily.

2004 Ron Paul 31:4
The problem is very simple: Congress almost always spends more each year than the IRS collects in revenues. Federal spending always goes up, but revenues are not so dependable, especially since raising income taxes to sufficiently fund the government would be highly unpopular. So long as Congress spends more than the government takes via taxes, the federal government must raise taxes, print more dollars, or borrow money.

2004 Ron Paul 31:5
Over the last three years, we have witnessed an unprecedented explosion in federal spending. The national debt has actually increased an average of $16 billion a day since September 30, 2003!

2004 Ron Paul 31:6
Federal law limits the total amount of debt the Treasury can carry. Despite a historic increase in the debt limit in 2002 and another increase in 2003, the current limit of $7.38 trillion was reached last month. So Congress must once again vote to raise the limit. Hard as it may be for the American people to believe, many experts expect government spending will exceed this new limit next year!

2004 Ron Paul 31:7
Increasing the national debt sends a signal to investors that the government is not serious about reining in spending. This increases the risks that investors will be reluctant to buy government debt instruments. The effects on the American economy could be devastating. The only reason why we have been able to endure such large deficits without skyrocketing interest rates is the willingness of foreign nations to buy the federal government’s debt instruments. However, the recent fall in the value of the dollar and rise in the price of gold indicate that investors may be unwilling to continue to prop up our debt-ridden economy. Furthermore, increasing the national debt will provide more incentive for foreign investors to stop buying federal debt instruments at the current interest rates. Mr. Speaker, what will happen to our already fragile economy if the Federal Reserve must raise interest rates to levels unseen since the seventies to persuade foreigners to buy government debt instruments?

2004 Ron Paul 31:8
The whole point of the debt ceiling law was to limit borrowing by forcing Congress into an open and presumably somewhat shameful vote when it wants to borrow more than a preset amount of money. Yet, since there have been no political consequences for members who vote to raise the debt limit and support the outrageous spending bills in the first place, the debt limit has become merely another technicality on the road to bankruptcy.

2004 Ron Paul 31:9
The only way to control federal spending is to take away the government’s credit card.  Therefore, I call upon my colleagues to reject S. 2986 and, instead, to reduce government spending. It is time Congress forces the federal government to live within its constitutional means. Congress should end the immoral practice of excessive spending and passing the bill to the next generation.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 32


November 19, 2004
Stay out of Sudan’s Civil War
House Amendments to Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act

2004 Ron Paul 32:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this ill-conceived, counter-productive legislation. This represents exactly the kind of unconstitutional interventionism the Founding Fathers warned us about. It is arrogant and dangerous for us to believe that we can go around the world inserting ourselves into civil wars that have nothing to do with us without having to face the unintended consequences that always arise. Our steadily-increasing involvement in the civil war in Sudan may well delay the resolution of the conflict that appears to be proceeding without our involvement. Just today, in talks with the UN, the two sides pledged to end the fighting.

2004 Ron Paul 32:2
The fact is we do not know and cannot understand the complexities of the civil war in Sudan, which has lasted for 39 of that country’s 48 years of existence. Supporters of our intervention in Sudan argue that this is a clear-cut case of Sudan’s Christian minority being oppressed and massacred by the Arab majority in the Darfur region. It is interesting that the CIA’s World Factbook states that Sudan’s Christians, who make up five percent of the population, are concentrated in the south of the country. Darfur is a region in the mid-western part of Sudan. So I wonder about this very simplistic characterization of the conflict.

2004 Ron Paul 32:3
It seems as if this has been all reduced to a few slogans, tossed around without much thought or care about real meaning or implication. We unfortunately see this often with calls for intervention. One thing we do know, however, is that Sudan is floating on a sea of oil. Why does it always seem that when we hear urgent clamor for the United States to intervene, oil or some other valuable commodity just happens to be present? I find it interesting that so much attention is being paid to oil-rich Sudan while right next door in Congo the death toll from its civil war is estimated to be two to three million - several times the estimated toll in Sudan.

2004 Ron Paul 32:4
At a time when we have just raised the debt-ceiling to allow more massive debt accumulation, this legislation will unconstitutionally commit the United States to ship some 300 million taxpayer dollars to Sudan. It will also freeze the US assets of certain Sudanese until the government of Sudan pursues peace in a time-frame and manner that the US determines.

2004 Ron Paul 32:5
Inserting ourselves into this civil war in Sudan will do little to solve the crisis. In fact, the promise of US support for one side in the struggle may discourage the progress that has been made recently. What incentive is there to seek a peaceful resolution of the conflict when the US government promises massive assistance to one side? I strongly urge my colleagues to rethink our current dangerous course toward further intervention in Sudan. We may end up hurting most those we are intending to help.

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 33


November 20, 2004
Where To From Here?

2004 Ron Paul 33:1
The election of 2004 is now history.   It’s time to ponder our next four years.   Will our country become freer, richer, safer, and more peaceful, or will we continue to suffer from lost civil liberties, a stagnant economy, terrorist threats, and an expanding war in the Middle East and central Asia?     Surely the significance of the election was reflected in its intensity and divisiveness.

2004 Ron Paul 33:2
More people voted for President Bush than any other presidential candidate in our history.   And because of the turnout, more people voted against an incumbent president than ever before.   However, President Bush was reelected by the narrowest popular vote margin of any incumbent president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.   The numbers are important and measurable; the long-term results are less predictable.   The president and many others have said these results give the President a “mandate.”   Exactly what that means and what it may lead to is of great importance to us all.   Remember, the nation reelected a president in 1972 with a much bigger mandate who never got a chance to use his political capital.

2004 Ron Paul 33:3
The bitter campaign and the intensity with which both sides engaged each other implies that a great divide existed between two competing candidates with sharply different philosophies.   There were plenty of perceived differences — obviously — or a heated emotional contest wouldn’t have materialized.

2004 Ron Paul 33:4
The biggest difference involved their views on moral and family values.    It was evident that the views regarding gay marriage and abortion held by Senator Kerry did not sit well with a majority of American voters, who were then motivated to let their views be known through their support for President Bush.   This contributed to the “mandate” the President received more than any other issue.   But it begs the question:   If the mandate given was motivated by views held on moral values, does the President get carte blanche on all the other programs that are much less conservative?   It appears the President and his neo-con advisors assume the answer is yes.

2004 Ron Paul 33:5
Ironically, the reason the family and moral values issue played such a big role in the election is that on other big issues little difference existed between the two candidates.            

2004 Ron Paul 33:6
Interesting enough, both candidates graduated from Yale and both were members of the controversial and highly secretive Skull and Bones Society.   This fact elicited no interest with the media in the campaign.

2004 Ron Paul 33:7
Both candidates supported the Iraq War and the continuation of it.

2004 Ron Paul 33:8
Both supported the Patriot Act and its controversial attack on personal privacy.

2004 Ron Paul 33:9
Both supported the UN and the internationalism of UNESCO, IMF, World Bank, and the WTO.

2004 Ron Paul 33:10
Both candidates agreed that a president can initiate war without a declaration by Congress.

2004 Ron Paul 33:11
Both supported foreign interventionism in general, foreign aid, and pursuing American interests by maintaining a worldwide American empire.

2004 Ron Paul 33:12
Both supported our current monetary system, which permits the Federal Reserve to accommodate deficit spending by Congress through the dangerous process of debt monetization.

2004 Ron Paul 33:13
Both supported expanding entitlements, including programs like the National Endowment for the Arts, medical benefits, and federal housing programs.

2004 Ron Paul 33:14
Both candidates supported deficit financing. Both candidates supported increased spending in almost all categories.

2004 Ron Paul 33:15
Though President Bush was more favorably inclined to tax cuts, this in reality has limited value if spending continues to grow.    All spending must be paid for by a tax, even if it’s the inflation “tax,” whereby printing press money pays the bills and the “tax” is paid through higher prices — especially by the poor and the middle class.

2004 Ron Paul 33:16
The immediate market reaction to the reelection of President Bush was interesting.   The stock market rose significantly, led by certain segments thought to benefit from a friendly Republican administration such as pharmaceuticals, HMO’s, and the weapons industry.   The Wall Street Journal summed up the election with a headline the following day:   “Winner is Big Business.”   The stock market rally following the election likely will be short-lived, however, as the fundamentals underlying the bear market that started in 2000 are still in place.

2004 Ron Paul 33:17
More important was the reaction of the international exchange markets immediately following the election.   The dollar took a dive and gold rose.   This indicated that holders of the trillions of dollars slushing around the world interpreted the results to mean that even with conservatives in charge, unbridled spending will not decrease and will actually grow.   They also expect the current account deficit and our national debt to increase.   This means the economic consequence of continuing our risky fiscal and monetary policy is something Congress should be a lot more concerned about.

2004 Ron Paul 33:18
One Merrill Lynch money manager responded to the election by saying,   “Bush getting reelected means a bigger deficit, a weaker dollar, and higher gold prices.”   Another broker added,   “Four more years of Bush is a gift to the gold markets — more war, more deficits, more division.”

2004 Ron Paul 33:19
During the Bush administration gold surged 70%, as the dollar lost 30% of its value.   A weakened currency is never beneficial, although it’s argued that it helps our exporters.   People who work to earn and save dollars should never have the value of those dollars undermined and diminished by capricious manipulation of the money supply by our government officials.

2004 Ron Paul 33:20
The value of the dollar is a much more important issue than most realize in Washington.   Our current account deficit of 6% of GDP, and our total foreign indebtedness of over $3 trillion, pose a threat to our standard of living.   Unfortunately, when the crisis hits our leaders will have little ability to stem the tide of price inflation and higher interest rates that will usher in a dangerous period of economic weakness.   Our dependency on foreign borrowing to finance our spendthrift habits is not sustainable. We borrow $1.8 billion a day!   The solution involves changing our policy with regards to foreign commitments, foreign wars, empire overseas, and the ever-growing entitlement system here at home.   This change is highly unlikely without significant turmoil, and it certainly is not on the administration’s agenda for the next four years.   That’s why the world is now betting against the dollar.

2004 Ron Paul 33:21
When the shift in sentiment comes regarding the U.S. dollar, dollars will come back home.   They will be used to buy American assets, especially real property.   In the late 1970s it annoyed many Americans when Japan, which was then in the driver’s seat of the world economy, started “buying up America.”   This time a lot more dollars will be repatriated.

2004 Ron Paul 33:22
It’s important to note that total future obligations of the United States government are estimated at well over $70 trillion.   These obligations obviously cannot be met.   This indebtedness equates to an average household share of the national debt of $474,000!

2004 Ron Paul 33:23
One cannot expect the needed changes to occur soon, considering that these options were not even considered or discussed in the campaign.   But just because they weren’t part of the campaign, and there was no disagreement between the two candidates on the major issues, doesn’t distract from their significance nor disqualify these issues from being crucial in the years to come.   My guess is that in the next four years little legislation will be offered dealing with family and moral issues.   Foreign policy and domestic spending, along with the ballooning deficit, will be thrust into the forefront and will demand attention.   The inability of our Congress and leaders to change direction, and their determination to pursue policies that require huge expenditures, will force a financial crisis upon us as the dollar is further challenged as the reserve currency of the world on international exchange markets.

2004 Ron Paul 33:24
There will be little resistance to spending and deficits because it will be claimed they are necessary to “fight terrorism.”   The irony is that Patriot Act-type regulations were all proposed before 9-11, and are now becoming a costly burden to American businesses.   I’m getting more calls every day from constituents who are being harassed by government bureaucrats for “infractions” of all kinds totally unrelated to national security.   This immeasurable cost from the stepped-up activity of government bureaucrats will further burden our economy as it slips toward recession — and do little to enhance homeland security.

2004 Ron Paul 33:25
The only thing that allows our borrowing from foreigners to continue is the confidence they place in our economic system, our military might, and the dollar itself.   This is all about to change.   Confidence in us, with the continuous expansion of our military presence overseas and with a fiscal crisis starring us in the face, is already starting to erode.   Besides, paper money — and that’s all the U.S. dollar is — always fails when trust is lost.   That’s a fact of history, not someone’s opinion.   Be assured trust in paper money never lasts forever.

2004 Ron Paul 33:26
The problem the country faces is that social issues garnered intense interest and motivated many to vote both for and against the candidates, yet these issues are only a tiny fraction of the issues dealt with at the national level.   And since the election has passed, the odds of new legislation dealing with social issues are slim.   Getting a new Supreme Court that will overthrow Roe vs. Wade is a long shot despite the promises.   Remember, we already have a Supreme Court where seven of the nine members were appointed by Republican presidents with little to show for it.

2004 Ron Paul 33:27
Though the recent election reflected the good instincts of many Americans concerned about moral values, abortion, and marriage, let’s hope and pray this endorsement will not be used to justify more pre-emptive/unnecessary wars, expand welfare, ignore deficits, endorse the current monetary system, expand the domestic police state, and promote the American empire worldwide.

2004 Ron Paul 33:28
We’re more likely to see entitlements and domestic spending continue to increase. There are zero plans for reigning in the Department of Education, government medical care, farm subsidies, or federal housing programs.   Don’t expect the National Endowment for the Arts to be challenged.   One can be assured its budget will expand as it has for the last four years, with much of the tax money spent on “arts” ironically being used to attack family values.

2004 Ron Paul 33:29
Deficits never were much of a concern for Democrats, and the current Republican leadership has firmly accepted the supply-sider argument that “deficits don’t matter,” as Vice President Cheney declared according to Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill.

2004 Ron Paul 33:30
Expenditures for foreign adventurism, as advocated by the neo-cons who direct our foreign policy, have received a shot in the arm with the recent election.   Plans have been in the workings for expanding our presence throughout the Middle East and central Asia.   Iran is the agreed-on next target for those who orchestrated the Iraq invasion and occupation.

2004 Ron Paul 33:31
A casual attitude has emerged regarding civil liberties.   The post 9-11 atmosphere has made it politically correct to sacrifice some of our personal liberties in the name of security, as evidenced by the Patriot Act.

2004 Ron Paul 33:32
No serious thoughts are expressed in Washington about the constitutional principle of local government.   The notion of a loose-knit republican form of government is no longer a consideration.   The consensus is that the federal government has responsibility for solving all of our problems, and even amending the Constitution to gain proper authority is no longer thought necessary.

2004 Ron Paul 33:33
President Eisenhower, not exactly a champion of a strict interpretation of the Constitution, made some interesting comments years ago when approached about more welfare benefits for the needy:   “If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison.   They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads.   But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.”   Our country sure could use a little bit more of this sentiment, as Congress rushes to pass new laws relating to the fear of another terrorist attack.

2004 Ron Paul 33:34
There are even more reasons to believe the current government status quo is unsustainable.   As a nation dependent on the willingness of foreigners to loan us the money to finance our extravagance, we now are consuming 80% of the world’s savings.   Though the Fed does its part in supplying funds by purchasing Treasury debt, foreign central banks and investors have loaned us nearly twice what the Fed has, to the tune of $1.3 trillion.   The daily borrowing needed to support our spending habits cannot last.   It can be argued that even the financing of the Iraq war cannot be accomplished without the willingness of countries like China and Japan to loan us the necessary funds.   Any shift, even minor, in this sentiment will send chills through the world financial markets.   It will not go unnoticed, and every American consumer will be affected.

2004 Ron Paul 33:35
The debt, both domestic and foreign, is difficult to comprehend.   Our national debt is $7.4 trillion, and this limit will be raised in the lame duck session.   This plus our U.S. foreign debt breaks all records, and is a threat to sustained economic growth.   The amazing thing is that deficits and increases in the debt limit no longer have a stigma attached to them.   Some demagoguery takes place, but the limit is easily raised.   With stronger partisan control over Congress, the president will have even less difficulty in raising the limit as necessary.   It is now acceptable policy to spend excessively without worrying about debt limits.   It may be a sign of the times, but the laws of economics cannot be repealed and eventually a price will be paid for this extravagance.

2004 Ron Paul 33:36
Few in Washington comprehend the nature of the crisis.   But liberal Lawrence Summers, Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury and now president of Harvard, perceptively warns of the danger that is fast approaching.   He talks of,   “A kind of global balance of financial terror” that we should be concerned about.   He goes on to say:   “there is surely something off about the world’s greatest power being the world’s greatest debtor.   In order to finance prevailing levels of consumption and investment, must the United States be as dependent as it is on the discretionary acts of what are inevitably political entities in other countries?”   An economist from the American Enterprise Institute also expressed concern by saying that foreign central banks “now have considerable ability to disrupt U.S. financial markets by simply deciding to refrain from buying further U.S. government paper.”

2004 Ron Paul 33:37
We must remember the Soviet system was not destroyed from without by military confrontation; it succumbed to the laws of economics that dictated communism a failure, and it was unable to finance its empire.   Deficit-financed welfarism, corporatism, Keynesianism, inflationism, and Empire, American style, are no more economically sound than the more authoritarian approach of the Soviets.   If one is concerned with the Red/Blue division in this country and the strong feelings that exist already, an economic crisis will make the conflict much more intense.

2004 Ron Paul 33:38

2004 Ron Paul 33:39
  The Crucial Moral Issue — Respect for Life

2004 Ron Paul 33:40

2004 Ron Paul 33:41
It has been said that a society is defined by how it treats its elderly, its infirm, its weak, its small, its defenseless, and its unborn.

2004 Ron Paul 33:42
The moral issue surrounding abortion and the right to life is likely the most important issue of our age.   It is imperative that we resolve the dilemma of why it’s proper to financially reward an abortionist who acts one minute before birth, yet we arrest and prosecute a new mother who throws her child into a garbage bin one minute after birth.   This moral dilemma, seldom considered, is the source of great friction in today’s society as we witnessed in the recent election.

2004 Ron Paul 33:43
This is a reflection of personal moral values and society’s acceptance of abortion more than a reflection of a particular law or court ruling.   In the 1960s, as part of the new age of permissiveness, people’s attitudes changed regarding abortion.   This led to a change in the law as reflected in court rulings — especially Roe vs. Wade.   The people’s moral standards changed first, followed by the laws.   It was not the law or the Supreme Court that brought on the age of abortion.

2004 Ron Paul 33:44
I’ve wondered if our casual acceptance of the deaths inflicted on both sides in the Vietnam War, and its association with the drug culture that many used to blot out the tragic human losses, contributed to the cheapening of pre-born human life and the acceptance of abortion as a routine and acceptable practice.   Though abortion is now an ingrained part of our society, the moral conflict over the issue continues to rage with no end in sight.

2004 Ron Paul 33:45
The 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling caused great harm in two distinct ways.   First, it legalized abortion at any stage, establishing clearly that the Supreme Court and the government condoned the cheapening of human life.   Second, it firmly placed this crucial issue in the hands of the federal courts and national government.   The federalization of abortion was endorsed even by those who opposed abortion.   Instead of looking for state-by-state solutions and limiting federal court jurisdiction, those anxious to protect life came to rely on federal laws, eroding the constitutional process.   The authors of the Constitution intended for criminal matters and acts of violence (except for a few rare exceptions) to be dealt with at the state level.   Now, however, conservatives as well as liberals find it acceptable to nationalize issues such as abortion, marriage, prayer, and personal sexual matters — with more federal legislation offered as the only solution.   This trend of transferring power from the states to the federal government compounds our problems — for when we lose, it affects all 50 states, and overriding Congress or the Supreme Court becomes far more difficult than dealing with a single state.

2004 Ron Paul 33:46
The issue of moral values and the mandate that has been claimed after the election raises serious questions.   The architects of the Iraq invasion claim a stamp of approval from the same people who voted for moral values by voting against abortion and gay marriage.   The question must be asked whether or not the promotion of pre-emptive war and a foreign policy of intervention deserve the same acceptance as the pro-life position by those who supported moral values.   The two seem incompatible: being pro-life yet pro-war, with a callous disregard for the innocent deaths of thousands.   The minister who preaches this mixed message of protecting life for some while promoting death for others deserves close scrutiny.   Too often the message from some of our national Christian leaders sounds hateful and decidedly un-Christian in tone.   They preach the need for vengeance and war against a country that never attacked nor posed a threat to us.   It’s just as important to resolve this dilemma as the one involving the abortionist who is paid to kill the unborn while the mother is put in prison for killing her newborn.

2004 Ron Paul 33:47
To argue the invasion and occupation of Iraq is pro-life and pro-moral values is too much of a stretch for thinking Americans, especially conservative Christians.

2004 Ron Paul 33:48
One cannot know the true intention of the war promoters, but the policy and its disastrous results require our attention and criticism.   Pre-emptive war, especially when based on erroneous assumptions, cannot be ignored — nor can we ignore the cost in life and limb, the financial costs, and the lost liberties.

2004 Ron Paul 33:49
Being more attuned to our Constitution and having a different understanding of morality would go a long way toward preventing unnecessary and dangerous wars.   I’d like to make a few points about this different understanding:

2004 Ron Paul 33:50
First :   The United States should never go to war without an express Declaration by Congress.   If we had followed this crucial but long-forgotten rule the lives lost in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq might have been prevented.   And instead of making us less secure, this process would make us more secure.   Absent our foreign occupations and support for certain governments in the Middle East and central Asia over the past fifty years, the 9-11 attack would have been far less likely to happen.

2004 Ron Paul 33:51
Second :   A defensive war is morally permissible and justified, even required.   Just as a criminal who invades our house and threatens our family deserves to be shot on the spot, so too does a nation have the moral duty to defend against invasion or an imminent threat.   For centuries the Christian definition of a just war has guided many nations in making this decision.

2004 Ron Paul 33:52
Third :   The best test (a test the chicken hawks who promoted the war refused to take) for those who are so eager to send our troops to die in no-win wars is this:   “Am I willing to go; am I willing to be shot; am I willing to die for this cause; am I willing to sacrifice my children and grandchildren for this effort?”   The bottom line: Is this Iraq war worth the loss of more than 1200 dead Americans, and thousands of severe casualties, with no end in sight, likely lasting for years and motivating even more suicidal attacks on innocent Americans here at home?

2004 Ron Paul 33:53
Fourth :   Can we as a moral people continue to ignore the loss of innocent life on the other side?   Can we as a nation accept the callousness of the war proponents regarding the estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths?   Can we believe these deaths are a mere consequence of our worthy effort to impose our will on an alien culture?   Is it really our duty to sacrifice so much to pursue a questionable policy of dictating to others what we think is best for them?   Can these deaths be dismissed as nothing more than “collateral damage,” and even applauded as proof of the professed progress we are making in our effort to democratize the Middle East?   By ignoring the human costs of the conflict we invite problems, and the consequence of our actions will come back to haunt us.

2004 Ron Paul 33:54
Fifth :   Arguing that the war in Iraq is necessary for our national security is pure fiction; that it has something to do with the 9-11 attack or WMDs is nonsense.   Our meddling in the Middle East and the rest of the world actually increases the odds of us being attacked again by suicidal guerrillas here at home.   Tragically, this is something the neo-cons will never admit.

2004 Ron Paul 33:55
Sixth :   What kind of satisfaction can we achieve from the civil war we have instigated?   A significant portion of the killing in Iraq now occurs amongst Iraqis themselves, at our urging.   The country is in chaos, despite the assurances of our leaders.   Even under the thug Saddam Hussein, Christians at least were protected by the government — whereas today their churches are bombed and many are struggling to escape the violence by fleeing to Syria.   There is no evidence that our efforts in the Middle East have promoted life and peace.   Tragically, no one expects the death and destruction in Iraq to end anytime soon.  

2004 Ron Paul 33:56
To not be repulsed and outraged over our failed policy undermines our commitment to pro-life and moral values.   Of course it’s hard for many Americans to be outraged since so few know or even care about cities like Fallujah.   The propaganda machine has achieved its goal of ignorance and denial for most of our citizens.

2004 Ron Paul 33:57
Main Street America will rise up in indignation only after conditions in the Persian Gulf deteriorate further, many more American lives are lost, and the cost becomes obvious and prohibitive.   It’s sad, but only then will we consider changing our policy.   The losses likely to occur between now and then will be tragic indeed.

2004 Ron Paul 33:58
Though the election did not reflect a desire for us to withdraw from Iraq, it will be a serious mistake for those who want to expand the war into Syria or Iran to claim the election results were an endorsement of the policy of pre-emptive war.   Yet that’s exactly what may happen if no one speaks out against our aggressive policy of foreign intervention and occupation.

2004 Ron Paul 33:59
What can’t be ignored is that our activities in the Middle East have stirred up Russian and Chinese animosity.   Their concern for their own security may force us to confront much greater resistance than we have met so far in Afghanistan and Iraq.

2004 Ron Paul 33:60
A Chinese news agency recently reported that the Chinese government made a $70 billion investment commitment in Iran for the development of natural gas resources.   This kind of investment by a neighbor of Iran will be of great significance if the neo-cons have their way and we drag Iran into the Afghanistan and Iraqi quagmire.   The close alliance between Iranian Shias and their allies in Iraq makes a confrontation with Iran likely, as the neo-cons stoke the fire of war in the region.

2004 Ron Paul 33:61
By failing to understand the history of the region and the nature of tribal culture, we have made victory virtually impossible.   Tribal customs and religious beliefs that have existed for thousands of years instruct that family honor requires reciprocal killing for every member of the family killed by infidels/Americans.   For each of the possible 100,000 Iraqis killed, there’s a family that feels a moral obligation to get revenge by killing an American, any American if possible.

2004 Ron Paul 33:62
Ronald Reagan learned this lesson the hard way in coming to understand attitudes in Lebanon.   Reagan spoke boldly that he would not turn tail and run no matter how difficult the task when he sent Marines to support the Israeli/Christian side of the Lebanese civil war in 1983.   But he changed his tune after 241 Marines were killed.   He wrote about the incident in his autobiography:   “Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle.   Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the Marines’ safety that it should have… In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing we should do was turn tail and leave… Yet, the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to re-think our policy there.”   Shortly thereafter Reagan withdrew the Marines from Lebanon, and no more Americans were killed in that fruitless venture.

2004 Ron Paul 33:63
Too bad our current foreign policy experts don’t understand the “irrationality of Middle Eastern politics”.   By leaving Lebanon, Reagan saved lives and proved our intervention in the Lebanese war was of no benefit to Lebanon or the United States.

2004 Ron Paul 33:64
Reagan’s willingness to admit error and withdraw from Lebanon was heroic, and proved to be life-saving.   True to form, many neo-cons with their love of war exude contempt for Reagan’s decision.   To them force and violence are heroic, not reassessing a bad situation and changing policy accordingly.

2004 Ron Paul 33:65
One of the great obstacles to our efforts in Iraq is pretending we’re fighting a country. We wrongly expect occupation and “democratization” to solve our problems.   The notion that the Iraq war is part of our retaliation for the 9-11 attacks is a serious error that must be corrected if we are to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and security here at home.

2004 Ron Paul 33:66
We must come to realize that we’re fighting an ideology that is totally alien to us.   Within that ideology the radical Islamists and the traditional tribal customs are in conflict with more moderate and secular Muslims.   We’re seen as intruding in this family feud, and thus serve the interests of the radicals as we provide evidence that they are under attack by Western crusaders.   With each act of violence the hatred between the two is ratcheted upward, as fighting spreads throughout the entire Muslim world.

2004 Ron Paul 33:67
Ironically, this fight over religious values and interpretations in the Middle East encourages a similar conflict here at home among Christians.   The conservative Christian community too often sounds militantly pro-war.   Too many have totally forgotten the admonition “blessed are the peacemakers.”   This contrasts with the views of some Christians, who find pre-emptive war decidedly un-Christian.   Though civil, the two Christian views are being more hotly contested every day.

2004 Ron Paul 33:68
A policy that uses the religious civil war within the Muslim faith as an excuse for remaking the entire Middle East by force makes little sense and will not end well.   The more we fight and the more we kill the greater the animosity of those who want us out of their family feud — and out of their countries.

2004 Ron Paul 33:69
It’s clear the Christian conservative turnout was critical to the President’s re-election.   Though many may well have voted for the family/moral values touted by the President and mishandled by Senator Kerry, most agree with the Christian Right that our policy of pre-emptive war in the Middle East is not in conflict with pro-family and pro-life values.   This seems strange indeed, since a strong case can be made that the conservative Christian Right, those most interested in the pro-life issue, ought to be the strongest defenders of peace and reject unnecessary pre-emptive war.

2004 Ron Paul 33:70
Here are a few reasons why conservatives ought to reject the current policy of pre-emptive war:

2004 Ron Paul 33:71
1.       The Constitution is on the side of peace.   Under the Constitution — the law of the land — only Congress can declare war.   The president is prohibited from taking us to war on his own.

2004 Ron Paul 33:72
2.       The Founders and all the early presidents argued the case for non-intervention overseas, with the precise goals of avoiding entangling alliances and not involving our people in foreign wars unrelated to our security.

2004 Ron Paul 33:73
3.       The American tradition and sense of morality for almost all our history rejected the notion that we would ever deliberately start a war, even with noble intentions.

2004 Ron Paul 33:74
4.       The Christian concept of just war rejects all the excuses given for marching off to Iraq with the intention of changing the whole region into a western-style democracy by force, with little regard for the cost in life and limb and the economic consequences here at home.

2004 Ron Paul 33:75
5.       America faces a 7.5 trillion dollar national debt that is increasing by 600 billion dollars per year.   Fiscal conservatives cannot dismiss this, even as they clamor for wars we cannot afford.

2004 Ron Paul 33:76
6.       History shows the size of the state always grows when we’re at war.   Under conditions of war civil liberties are always sacrificed — thus begging the point. We go hither and yon to spread our message of freedom, while sacrificing our freedoms here at home and eating away at the wealth of the country.

2004 Ron Paul 33:77
7.       Those who understand the most important function of our national government is to provide strong national defense should realize that having troops in over 100 countries hardly helps us protect America, secure our borders, or avoid alienating our allies and potential enemies.

2004 Ron Paul 33:78
8.       The best way to prevent terrorism is to change our policies, stop playing crusader, and stop picking sides in religious civil wars or any other civil wars.   “Blowback” from our policies is not imaginary.

2004 Ron Paul 33:79
9.       Promoting true free trade and promoting prosperity through low taxes and less regulation sends a strong message to the world and those interested in peace and commerce.

2004 Ron Paul 33:80
10.   A policy of free exchange with other nations avoids the trappings of the new isolationists, who influence our foreign policy with the generous use of sanctions, trade barriers, and competitive currency devaluations. They are only too willing to defer to the World Trade Organization and allow it to dictate our trade and tax policies.

2004 Ron Paul 33:81
Conservatives who profess to uphold the principle of right-to-life should have little trouble supporting the position of the Founders and the Constitution: a foreign policy of “peace and commerce with those who choose and no entangling alliances.”

2004 Ron Paul Chapter 34


December 7, 2004
U.S. Hypocrisy in Ukraine

2004 Ron Paul 34:1
Mr. Chairman: President Bush said last week that, “Any election (in Ukraine), if there is one, ought to be free from any foreign influence.”  I agree with the president wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, it seems that several US government agencies saw things differently and sent US taxpayer dollars into Ukraine in an attempt to influence the outcome.

2004 Ron Paul 34:2
We do not know exactly how many millions — or tens of millions — of dollars the United States government spent on the presidential election in Ukraine. We do know that much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate, and that through a series of cut-out non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — both American and Ukrainian — millions of dollars ended up in support of the presidential candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.

2004 Ron Paul 34:3
Let me add that I do not think we should be supporting either of the candidates. While I am certainly no supporter of Viktor Yushchenko, I am not a supporter of his opponent, Viktor Yanukovich, either. Simply, it is none of our business who the Ukrainian people select to be their president. And, if they feel the vote was not fair, it is up to them to work it out.

2004 Ron Paul 34:4
How did this one-sided US funding in Ukraine come about? While I am afraid we may have seen only the tip of the iceberg, one part that we do know thus far is that the US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), granted millions of dollars to the Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative (PAUCI), which is administered by the US-based Freedom House.

2004 Ron Paul 34:5
PAUCI then sent US Government funds to numerous Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This would be bad enough and would in itself constitute meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. But, what is worse is that many of these grantee organizations in Ukraine are blatantly in favor of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko.

2004 Ron Paul 34:6
Consider the Ukrainian NGO International Centre for Policy Studies. It is an organization funded by the US Government through PAUCI, but on its website you will find that the front page in the English section features a prominent orange ribbon, the symbol of Yushchenko’s party and movement. Reading further on, we discover that this NGO was founded by George Soros’s Open Society Institute. And further on we can see that Viktor Yushchenko himself sits on the advisory board!

2004 Ron Paul 34:7
And this NGO is not the only one the US government funds that is openly supportive of Viktor Yushchenko. The Western Ukraine Regional Training Center, as another example, features a prominent USAID logo on one side of its website’s front page and an orange ribbon of the candidate Yushchenko’s party and movement on the other. By their proximity, the message to Ukrainian readers is clear: the US government supports Yushchenko.

2004 Ron Paul 34:8
The Center for Political and Law Reforms, another Ukrainian NGO funded by the US government, features a link at the top of its website’s front page to Viktor Yushchenko’s personal website. Yushchenko’s picture is at the top of this US government funded website.

2004 Ron Paul 34:9
This May, the Virginia-based private management consultancy Development Associates, Inc., was awarded $100 million by the US government “for strengthening national legislatures and other deliberative bodies worldwide.” According to the organization’s website, several million dollars from this went to Ukraine in advance of the elections.

2004 Ron Paul 34:10
As I have said, this may only be the tip of the iceberg. There may be many more such organizations involved in this twisted tale.

2004 Ron Paul 34:11
It is clear that a significant amount of US taxpayer dollars went to support one candidate in Ukraine. Recall how most of us felt when it became known that the Chinese government was trying to funnel campaign funding to a US presidential campaign. This foreign funding of American elections is rightly illegal. Yet, it appears that that is exactly what we are doing abroad. What we do not know, however, is just how much US government money was spent to influence the outcome of the Ukrainian election.

2004 Ron Paul 34:12
Dozens of organizations are granted funds under the PAUCI program alone, and this is only one of many programs that funneled dollars into Ukraine. We do not know how many millions of US taxpayer dollars the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) sent to Ukraine through NED’s National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute. Nor do we know how many other efforts, overt or covert, have been made to support one candidate over the other in Ukraine.

2004 Ron Paul 34:13
That is what I find so disturbing: there are so many cut-out organizations and sub-grantees that we have no idea how much US government money was really spent on Ukraine, and most importantly how it was spent. Perhaps the several examples of blatant partisan support that we have been able to uncover are but an anomaly. I believe Congress and the American taxpayers have a right to know. I believe we urgently need an investigation by the Government Accounting Office into how much US government money was spent in Ukraine and exactly how it was spent. I would hope very much for the support of Chairman Hyde, Chairman Lugar, Deputy Assistant Secretary Tefft, and my colleagues on the Committee in this request.

2004 Ron Paul 34:14
President Bush is absolutely correct: elections in Ukraine should be free of foreign influence. It is our job here and now to discover just how far we have violated this very important principle, and to cease any funding of political candidates or campaigns henceforth.