Volume 2005 — The Book of Ron Paul

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 1

January 6, 2005
Government IDs and Identity Theft

2005 Ron Paul 1:1
Mr. Speaker, today I introduce the Identity Theft Prevention Act. This act protects the American people from government-mandated uniform identifiers that facilitate private crime as well as the abuse of liberty. The major provision of the Identity Theft Prevention Act halts the practice of using the Social Security number as an identifier by requiring the Social Security Administration to issue all Americans new Social Security numbers within five years after the enactment of the bill. These new numbers will be the sole legal property of the recipient, and the Social Security administration shall be forbidden to divulge the numbers for any purposes not related to Social Security administration. Social Security numbers issued before implementation of this bill shall no longer be considered valid federal identifiers. Of course, the Social Security Administration shall be able to use an individual’s original Social Security number to ensure efficient administration of the Social Security system.

2005 Ron Paul 1:2
Mr. Speaker, Congress has a moral responsibility to address this problem because it was Congress that transformed the Social Security number into a national identifier. Thanks to Congress, today no American can get a job, open a bank account, get a professional license, or even get a driver’s license without presenting his Social Security number. So widespread has the use of the Social Security number become that a member of my staff had to produce a Social Security number in order to get a fishing license!

2005 Ron Paul 1:3
One of the most disturbing abuses of the Social Security number is the congressionally-authorized rule forcing parents to get a Social Security number for their newborn children in order to claim the children as dependents. Forcing parents to register their children with the state is more like something out of the nightmares of George Orwell than the dreams of a free republic that inspired this nation’s founders.

2005 Ron Paul 1:4
Congressionally-mandated use of the Social Security number as an identifier facilitates the horrendous crime of identity theft. Thanks to Congress, an unscrupulous person may simply obtain someone’s Social Security number in order to access that person’s bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial assets. Many Americans have lost their life savings and had their credit destroyed as a result of identity theft. Yet the federal government continues to encourage such crimes by mandating use of the Social Security number as a uniform ID!

2005 Ron Paul 1:5
This act also forbids the federal government from creating national ID cards or establishing any identifiers for the purpose of investigating, monitoring, overseeing, or regulating private transactions among American citizens. At the very end of the 108th Congress, this body established a de facto national ID card with a provisions buried in the “intelligence” reform bill mandating federal standards for drivers’ licenses, and mandating that federal agents only accept a license that conforms to these standards as a valid ID.

2005 Ron Paul 1:6
Nationalizing standards for driver’s licenses and birth certificates creates a national ID system pure and simple.   Proponents of the national ID understand that the public remains wary of the scheme, so proponents attempt to claim they are merely creating new standards for existing state IDs.   However, the “intelligence” reform legislation imposed federal standards in a federal bill, thus creating 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.  

2005 Ron Paul 1:7
The national ID will be used to track the movements of American citizens, not just terrorists. Subjecting every citizen to surveillance 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.

2005 Ron Paul 1:8
The Identity Theft Prevention Act repeals those sections of federal law creating the national ID, as well as those sections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a uniform standard health identifier--an identifier which could be used to create a national database containing the medical history of all Americans. As an OB/GYN with more than 30 years in private practice, I know the importance of preserving the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship. Oftentimes, effective treatment depends on a patient’s ability to place absolute trust in his or her doctor. What will happen to that trust when patients know that any and all information given to their doctors will be placed in a government accessible database?

2005 Ron Paul 1:9
By putting an end to government-mandated uniform IDs, the Identity Theft Prevention Act will prevent millions of Americans from having their liberty, property, and privacy violated by private and public sector criminals.

2005 Ron Paul 1:10
In addition to forbidding the federal government from creating national identifiers, this legislation forbids the federal government from blackmailing states into adopting uniform standard identifiers by withholding federal funds. One of the most onerous practices of Congress is the use of federal funds illegitimately taken from the American people to bribe states into obeying federal dictates.

2005 Ron Paul 1:11
Some members of Congress will claim that the federal government needs the power to monitor Americans in order to allow the government to operate more efficiently. I would remind my colleagues that, in a constitutional republic, the people are never asked to sacrifice their liberties to make the jobs of government officials easier. We are here to protect the freedom of the American people, not to make privacy invasion more efficient.

2005 Ron Paul 1:12
Mr. Speaker, while I do not question the sincerity of those members who suggest that Congress can ensure that citizens’ rights are protected through legislation restricting access to personal information, the only effective privacy protection is to forbid the federal government from mandating national identifiers. Legislative “privacy protections” are inadequate to protect the liberty of Americans for a couple of reasons.

2005 Ron Paul 1:13
First, it is simply common sense that repealing those federal laws that promote identity theft is more effective in protecting the public than expanding the power of the federal police force. Federal punishment of identity thieves provides cold comfort to those who have suffered financial losses and the destruction of their good reputations as a result of identity theft.

2005 Ron Paul 1:14
Federal laws are not only ineffective in stopping private criminals, but these laws have not even stopped unscrupulous government officials from accessing personal information. After all, laws purporting to restrict the use of personal information did not stop the well-publicized violations of privacy by IRS officials or the FBI abuses of the Clinton and Nixon administrations.

2005 Ron Paul 1:15
In one of the most infamous cases of identity theft, thousands of active-duty soldiers and veterans had their personal information stolen, putting them at risk of identity theft. Imagine the dangers if thieves are able to obtain the universal identifier, and other personal information, of millions of Americans simply by breaking, or hacking, into one government facility or one government database?

2005 Ron Paul 1:16
Second, the federal government has been creating proprietary interests in private information for certain state-favored special interests. Perhaps the most outrageous example of phony privacy protection is the “medical privacy'” regulation, that allows medical researchers, certain business interests, and law enforcement officials access to health care information, in complete disregard of the Fifth Amendment and the wishes of individual patients! Obviously, “privacy protection” laws have proven greatly inadequate to protect personal information when the government is the one seeking the information.

2005 Ron Paul 1:17
Any action short of repealing laws authorizing privacy violations is insufficient primarily because the federal government lacks constitutional authority to force citizens to adopt a universal identifier for health care, employment, or any other reason. Any federal action that oversteps constitutional limitations violates liberty because it ratifies the principle that the federal government, not the Constitution, is the ultimate judge of its own jurisdiction over the people. The only effective protection of the rights of citizens is for Congress to follow Thomas Jefferson’s advice and “bind (the federal government) down with the chains of the Constitution.”

2005 Ron Paul 1:18
Mr. Speaker, those members who are not persuaded by the moral and constitutional reasons for embracing the Identity Theft Prevention Act should consider the American people’s opposition to national identifiers. The numerous complaints over the ever-growing uses of the Social Security number show that Americans want Congress to stop invading their privacy. Furthermore, according to a survey by the Gallup company, 91 percent of the American people oppose forcing Americans to obtain a universal health ID.

2005 Ron Paul 1:19
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I once again call on my colleagues to join me in putting an end to the federal government’s unconstitutional use of national identifiers to monitor the actions of private citizens. National identifiers threaten all Americans by exposing them to the threat of identity theft by private criminals and abuse of their liberties by public criminals, while diverting valuable law enforcement resources away from addressing real threats to public safety. In addition, national identifiers are incompatible with a limited, constitutional government. I, therefore, hope my colleagues will join my efforts to protect the freedom of their constituents by supporting the Identity Theft Prevention Act.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 2

January 26, 2005
What If (It was all a Big Mistake)?

2005 Ron Paul 2:1
America’s policy of foreign intervention, while still debated in the early 20 th century, is today accepted as conventional wisdom by both political parties. But what if the overall policy is a colossal mistake, a major error in judgment? Not just bad judgment regarding when and where to impose ourselves, but the entire premise that we have a moral right to meddle in the affairs of others?   Think of the untold harm done by years of fighting-- hundreds of thousands of American casualties, hundreds of thousands of foreign civilian casualties, and unbelievable human and economic costs.   What if it was all needlessly borne by the American people?   If we do conclude that grave foreign policy errors have been made, a very serious question must be asked:   What would it take to change our policy to one more compatible with a true republic’s goal of peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations?   Is it not possible that Washington’s admonition to avoid entangling alliances is sound advice even today?

2005 Ron Paul 2:2
In medicine mistakes are made — man is fallible. Misdiagnoses are made, incorrect treatments are given, and experimental trials of medicines are advocated. A good physician understands the imperfections in medical care, advises close follow-ups, and double-checks the diagnosis, treatment, and medication. Adjustments are made to assure the best results. But what if a doctor never checks the success or failure of a treatment, or ignores bad results and assumes his omnipotence-- refusing to concede that the initial course of treatment was a mistake? Let me assure you, the results would not be good.   Litigation and the loss of reputation in the medical community place restraints on this type of bullheaded behavior.

2005 Ron Paul 2:3
Sadly, though, when governments, politicians, and bureaucrats make mistakes and refuse to reexamine them, there is little the victims can do to correct things.   Since the bully pulpit and the media propaganda machine are instrumental in government cover-ups and deception, the final truth emerges slowly, and only after much suffering. The arrogance of some politicians, regulators, and diplomats actually causes them to become even more aggressive and more determined to prove themselves right, to prove their power is not to be messed with by never admitting a mistake. Truly, power corrupts!

2005 Ron Paul 2:4
  The unwillingness to ever reconsider our policy of foreign intervention, despite obvious failures and shortcomings over the last 50 years, has brought great harm to our country and our liberty.   Historically, financial realities are the ultimate check on nations bent on empire. Economic laws ultimately prevail over bad judgment. But tragically, the greater the wealth of a country, the longer the flawed policy lasts.   We’ll probably not be any different.

2005 Ron Paul 2:5
We are still a wealthy nation, and our currency is still trusted by the world, yet we are vulnerable to some harsh realities about our true wealth and the burden of our future commitments. Overwhelming debt and the precarious nature of the dollar should serve to restrain our determined leaders, yet they show little concern for deficits.   Rest assured, though, the limitations of our endless foreign adventurism and spending will become apparent to everyone at some point in time.  

2005 Ron Paul 2:6
Since 9/11, a lot of energy and money have gone into efforts ostensibly designed to make us safer.   Many laws have been passed and many dollars have been spent. Whether or not we’re better off is another question.

2005 Ron Paul 2:7
Today we occupy two countries in the Middle East. We have suffered over 20,000 casualties, and caused possibly 100,000 civilian casualties in Iraq. We have spent over $200 billion in these occupations, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars here at home hoping to be safer.   We’ve created the Department of Homeland Security, passed the Patriot Act, and created a new super CIA agency.  

2005 Ron Paul 2:8
Our government now is permitted to monitor the Internet, to read our mail, to search us without proper search warrants, to develop a national ID card, and to investigate what people are reading in libraries. Ironically, illegal aliens flow into our country and qualify for driving licenses and welfare benefits with little restraint.

2005 Ron Paul 2:9
These issues are discussed, but nothing has been as highly visible to us as the authoritarianism we accept at the airport.   The creation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has intruded on the privacy of all airline travelers, and there is little evidence that we are safer for it. Driven by fear, we have succumbed to the age-old temptation to sacrifice liberty on the pretense of obtaining security. Love of security, unfortunately, all too often vanquishes love of liberty.

2005 Ron Paul 2:10
Unchecked fear of another 9/11-type attack constantly preoccupies our leaders and most of our citizens, and drives the legislative attack on our civil liberties. It’s frightening to see us doing to ourselves what even bin Laden never dreamed he could accomplish with his suicide bombers.

2005 Ron Paul 2:11
We don’t understand the difference between a vague threat of terrorism and the danger of a guerilla war. One prompts us to expand and nationalize domestic law enforcement while limiting the freedoms of all Americans. The other deals with understanding terrorists like bin Laden, who declared war against us in 1998.  Not understanding the difference makes it virtually impossible to deal with the real threats.   We are obsessed with passing new laws to make our country safe from a terrorist attack. This confusion about the cause of the 9/11 attacks, the fear they engendered, and the willingness to sacrifice liberty prompts many to declare their satisfaction with the inconveniences and even humiliation at our nation’s airports.

2005 Ron Paul 2:12
There are always those in government who are anxious to increase its power and authority over the people. Strict adherence to personal privacy annoys those who promote a centralized state.

2005 Ron Paul 2:13
It’s no surprise to learn that many of the new laws passed in the aftermath of 9/11 had been proposed long before that date.   The attacks merely provided an excuse to do many things previously proposed by dedicated statists.

2005 Ron Paul 2:14
All too often government acts perversely, professing to advance liberty while actually doing the opposite. Dozens of new bills passed since 9/11 promise to protect our freedoms and our security. In time we will realize there is little chance our security will be enhanced or our liberties protected.

2005 Ron Paul 2:15
The powerful and intrusive TSA certainly will not solve our problems. Without a full discussion, greater understanding, and ultimately a change in the foreign policy that incites those who declared war against us, no amount of pat-downs at airports will suffice.   Imagine the harm done, the staggering costs, and the loss of liberty if the next 20 years pass and airplanes are never employed by terrorists.   Even if there is a possibility that airplanes will be used to terrorize us, TSA’s bullying will do little to prevent it. Patting down old women and little kids in airports cannot possibly make us safer!

2005 Ron Paul 2:16
TSA cannot protect us from another attack and it is not the solution. It serves only to make us all more obedient and complacent toward government intrusions into our lives.

2005 Ron Paul 2:17
The airport mess has been compounded by other problems, which we fail to recognize.   Most assume the government has the greatest responsibility for making private aircraft travel safe. But this assumption only ignores mistakes made before 9/11, when the government taught us to not resist, taught us that airline personnel could not carry guns, and that the government would be in charge of security. Airline owners became complacent and dependent upon the government.

2005 Ron Paul 2:18
After 9/11 we moved in the wrong direction by allowing total government control and a political takeover by the TSA-- which was completely contrary to the proposition that private owners have the ultimate responsibility to protect their customers.

2005 Ron Paul 2:19
Discrimination laws passed during the last 40 years ostensibly fuel the Transportation Secretary’s near obsession with avoiding the appearance of discrimination toward young Muslim males.   Instead TSA seemingly targets white children and old women. We have failed to recognize that a safety policy by a private airline is quite a different thing from government agents blindly obeying anti-discrimination laws.

2005 Ron Paul 2:20
Governments do not have a right to use blanket discrimination, such as that which led to incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II. However, local law-enforcement agencies should be able to target their searches if the description of a suspect is narrowed by sex, race, or religion.

2005 Ron Paul 2:21
We are dealing with an entirely different matter when it comes to safety on airplanes. The federal government should not be involved in local law enforcement, and has no right to discriminate. Airlines, on the other hand, should be permitted to do whatever is necessary to provide safety. Private firms-- long denied the right-- should have a right to discriminate.   Fine restaurants, for example, can require that shoes and shirts be worn for service in their establishments. The logic of this remaining property right should permit more sensible security checks at airports. The airlines should be responsible for the safety of their property, and liable for it as well. This is not only the responsibility of the airlines, but it is a civil right that has long been denied them and other private companies.

2005 Ron Paul 2:22
The present situation requires the government to punish some by targeting those individuals who clearly offer no threat. Any airline that tries to make travel safer and happens to question a larger number of young Muslim males than the government deems appropriate can be assessed huge fines.   To add insult to injury, the fines collected from airlines are used for forced sensitivity training of pilots who do their very best, under the circumstances, to make flying safer by restricting the travel of some individuals. We have embarked on a process that serves no logical purpose. While airline safety suffers, personal liberty is diminished and costs skyrocket.

2005 Ron Paul 2:23
If we’re willing to consider a different foreign policy, we should ask ourselves a few questions:

2005 Ron Paul 2:24
1.        What if the policies of foreign intervention, entangling alliances, policing the world, nation building, and spreading our values through force are deeply flawed?

2005 Ron Paul 2:25
2.        What if it is true that Saddam Hussein never had weapons of mass destruction?

2005 Ron Paul 2:26
3.        What if it is true that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were never allies?

2005 Ron Paul 2:27
4.        What if it is true that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein did nothing to enhance our national security?

2005 Ron Paul 2:28
5.       What if our current policy in the Middle East leads to the overthrow of our client oil states in the region?

2005 Ron Paul 2:29
6.        What if the American people really knew that more than 20,000 American troops have suffered serious casualties or died in the Iraq war, and 9% of our forces already have been made incapable of returning to battle?

2005 Ron Paul 2:30
7.        What if it turns out there are many more guerrilla fighters in Iraq than our government admits?

2005 Ron Paul 2:31
8.        What if there really have been 100,000 civilian Iraqi casualties, as some claim, and what is an acceptable price for “doing good?”

2005 Ron Paul 2:32
9.        What if Rumsfeld is replaced for the wrong reasons, and things become worse under a Defense Secretary who demands more troops and an expansion of the war?

2005 Ron Paul 2:33
10.   What if we discover that, when they do vote, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis support Islamic (Sharia) law over western secular law, and want our troops removed?

2005 Ron Paul 2:34
11.   What if those who correctly warned of the disaster awaiting us in Iraq are never asked for their opinion of what should be done now?

2005 Ron Paul 2:35
12.   What if the only solution for Iraq is to divide the country into three separate regions, recognizing the principle of self-determination while rejecting the artificial boundaries created in 1918 by non-Iraqis?

2005 Ron Paul 2:36
13.   What if it turns out radical Muslims don’t hate us for our freedoms, but rather for our policies in the Middle East that directly affected Arabs and Muslims?

2005 Ron Paul 2:37
14.   What if the invasion and occupation of Iraq actually distracted from pursuing and capturing Osama bin Laden?

2005 Ron Paul 2:38
15.   What if we discover that democracy can’t be spread with force of arms?

2005 Ron Paul 2:39
16.   What if democracy is deeply flawed, and instead we should be talking about liberty, property rights, free markets, the rule of law, localized government, weak centralized government, and self-determination promoted through persuasion, not force?

2005 Ron Paul 2:40
17.   What if Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda actually welcomed our invasion and occupation of Arab/Muslim Iraq as proof of their accusations against us, and it served as a magnificent recruiting tool for them?

2005 Ron Paul 2:41
18.   What if our policy greatly increased and prolonged our vulnerability to terrorists and guerilla attacks both at home and abroad?

2005 Ron Paul 2:42
19.   What if the Pentagon, as reported by its Defense Science Board, actually recognized the dangers of our policy before the invasion, and their warnings were ignored or denied?

2005 Ron Paul 2:43
20.   What if the argument that by fighting over there, we won’t have to fight here, is wrong, and the opposite is true?

2005 Ron Paul 2:44
21.   What if we can never be safer by giving up some of our freedoms?

2005 Ron Paul 2:45
22.   What if the principle of pre-emptive war is adopted by Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and others, “justified” by current U.S. policy?

2005 Ron Paul 2:46
23.   What if pre-emptive war and pre-emptive guilt stem from the same flawed policy of authoritarianism, though we fail to recognize it?

2005 Ron Paul 2:47
24.   What if Pakistan is not a trustworthy ally, and turns on us when conditions deteriorate?

2005 Ron Paul 2:48
25.   What if plans are being laid to provoke Syria and/or Iran into actions that would be used to justify a military response and pre-emptive war against them?

2005 Ron Paul 2:49
26.   What if our policy of democratization of the Middle East fails, and ends up fueling a Russian-Chinese alliance that we regret-- an alliance not achieved even at the height of the Cold War?

2005 Ron Paul 2:50
27.   What if the policy forbidding profiling at our borders and airports is deeply flawed?

2005 Ron Paul 2:51
28.   What if presuming the guilt of a suspected terrorist without a trial leads to the total undermining of constitutional protections for American citizens when arrested?

2005 Ron Paul 2:52
29.   What if we discover the army is too small to continue policies of pre-emption and nation-building? What if a military draft is the only way to mobilize enough troops?

2005 Ron Paul 2:53
30.   What if the “stop-loss” program is actually an egregious violation of trust and a breach of contract between the government and soldiers?   What if it actually is a backdoor draft, leading to unbridled cynicism and rebellion against a voluntary army and generating support for a draft of both men and women? Will lying to troops lead to rebellion and anger toward the political leadership running the war?

2005 Ron Paul 2:54
31.   What if the Pentagon’s legal task-force opinion that the President is not bound by international or federal law regarding torture stands unchallenged, and sets a precedent which ultimately harms Americans, while totally disregarding the moral, practical, and legal arguments against such a policy?

2005 Ron Paul 2:55
32.   What if the intelligence reform legislation-- which gives us bigger, more expensive bureaucracy-- doesn’t bolster our security, and distracts us from the real problem of revamping our interventionist foreign policy?

2005 Ron Paul 2:56
33.   What if we suddenly discover we are the aggressors, and we are losing an unwinnable guerrilla war?

2005 Ron Paul 2:57
34.   What if we discover, too late, that we can’t afford this war-- and that our policies have led to a dollar collapse, rampant inflation, high interest rates, and a severe economic downturn?

2005 Ron Paul 2:58
Why do I believe these are such important questions?   Because the #1 function of the federal government-- to provide for national security-- has been severely undermined.   On 9/11 we had a grand total of 14 aircraft in place to protect the entire U.S. mainland, all of which proved useless that day.   We have an annual DOD budget of over $400 billion, most of which is spent overseas in over 100 different countries.   On 9/11 our Air Force was better positioned to protect Seoul, Tokyo, Berlin, and London than it was to protect Washington D.C. and New York City.

2005 Ron Paul 2:59
Moreover, our ill-advised presence in the Middle East and our decade-long bombing of Iraq served only to incite the suicidal attacks of 9/11.

2005 Ron Paul 2:60
Before 9/11 our CIA ineptly pursued bin Laden, whom the Taliban was protecting.   At the same time, the Taliban was receiving significant support from Pakistan-- our “trusted ally” that received millions of dollars from the United States.   We allied ourselves with both bin Laden and Hussein in the 1980s, only to regret it in the 1990s.   And it’s safe to say we have used billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in the last 50 years pursuing this contradictory, irrational, foolish, costly, and very dangerous foreign policy.

2005 Ron Paul 2:61
Policing the world, spreading democracy by force, nation building, and frequent bombing of countries that pose no threat to us-- while leaving the homeland and our borders unprotected-- result from a foreign policy that is contradictory and not in our self interest.

2005 Ron Paul 2:62
I hardly expect anyone in Washington to pay much attention to these concerns. If I’m completely wrong in my criticisms, nothing is lost except my time and energy expended in efforts to get others to reconsider our foreign policy.

2005 Ron Paul 2:63
But the bigger question is:       

2005 Ron Paul 2:64
What if I’m right, or even partially right, and we urgently need to change course in our foreign policy for the sake of our national and economic security, yet no one pays attention?  

2005 Ron Paul 2:65
For that a price will be paid. Is it not worth talking about?

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 3

February 9, 2005
HR 418- A National ID Bill Masquerading as Immigration Reform

2005 Ron Paul 3:1
Mr. Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to HR 418, the REAL ID Act. This bill purports to make us safer from terrorists who may sneak into the United States, and from other illegal immigrants. While I agree that these issues are of vital importance, this bill will do very little to make us more secure. It will not address our real vulnerabilities. It will, however, make us much less free. In reality, this bill is a Trojan horse. It pretends to offer desperately needed border control in order to stampede Americans into sacrificing what is uniquely American: our constitutionally protected liberty.

2005 Ron Paul 3:2
What is wrong with this bill?

2005 Ron Paul 3:3
The REAL ID Act establishes a national ID card by mandating that states include certain minimum identification standards on driver’s licenses. It contains no limits on the government’s power to impose additional standards. Indeed, it gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally add requirements as he sees fit.

2005 Ron Paul 3:4
Supporters claim it is not a national ID because it is voluntary. However, any state that opts out will automatically make non-persons out of its citizens. The citizens of that state will be unable to have any dealings with the federal government because their ID will not be accepted. They will not be able to fly or to take a train. In essence, in the eyes of the federal government they will cease to exist. It is absurd to call this voluntary.

2005 Ron Paul 3:5
Republican Party talking points on this bill, which claim that this is not a national ID card, nevertheless endorse the idea that “the federal government should set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification such as driver’s licenses.” So they admit that they want a national ID but at the same time pretend that this is not a national ID.

2005 Ron Paul 3:6
This bill establishes a massive, centrally-coordinated database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical and possibly other characteristics. What is even more disturbing is that, by mandating that states participate in the “Drivers License Agreement,” this bill creates a massive database of sensitive information on American citizens that will be shared with Canada and Mexico!

2005 Ron Paul 3:7
This bill could have a chilling effect on the exercise of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. It re-defines “terrorism” in broad new terms that could well include members of firearms rights and anti-abortion groups, or other such groups as determined by whoever is in power at the time. There are no prohibitions against including such information in the database as information about a person’s exercise of First Amendment rights or about a person’s appearance on a registry of firearms owners.

2005 Ron Paul 3:8
This legislation gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to expand required information on driver’s licenses, potentially including such biometric information as retina scans, finger prints, DNA information, and even Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) radio tracking technology. Including such technology as RFID would mean that the federal government, as well as the governments of Canada and Mexico, would know where Americans are at all time of the day and night.

2005 Ron Paul 3:9
There are no limits on what happens to the database of sensitive information on Americans once it leaves the United States for Canada and Mexico - or perhaps other countries. Who is to stop a corrupt foreign government official from selling or giving this information to human traffickers or even terrorists? Will this uncertainty make us feel safer?

2005 Ron Paul 3:10
What will all of this mean for us? When this new program is implemented, every time we are required to show our driver’s license we will, in fact, be showing a national identification card. We will be handing over a card that includes our personal and likely biometric information, information which is connected to a national and international database.

2005 Ron Paul 3:11
H.R. 418 does nothing to solve the growing threat to national security posed by people who are already in the U.S. illegally. Instead, H.R. 418 states what we already know: that certain people here illegally are “deportable.” But it does nothing to mandate deportation.

2005 Ron Paul 3:12
Although Congress funded an additional 2,000 border guards last year, the administration has announced that it will only ask for an additional 210 guards. Why are we not pursuing these avenues as a way of safeguarding our country? Why are we punishing Americans by taking away their freedoms instead of making life more difficult for those who would enter our country illegally?

2005 Ron Paul 3:13
H.R. 418 does what legislation restricting firearm ownership does. It punishes law-abiding citizens. Criminals will ignore it. H.R. 418 offers us a false sense of greater security at the cost of taking a gigantic step toward making America a police state.

2005 Ron Paul 3:14
I urge my colleagues to vote “NO” on the REAL ID Act of 2005.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 4

March 14, 2005
Reject the Latest Foreign Welfare Scheme

2005 Ron Paul 4:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this legislation. We have absolutely no constitutional authority to establish a commission to “assist” parliaments throughout the world. Despite all the high-sounding rhetoric surrounding this legislation, we should not fool ourselves. This is nothing more than yet another scheme to funnel United States tax dollars to foreign governments. It is an international welfare scheme and an open door to more U.S. meddling in the internal affairs of foreign countries.

2005 Ron Paul 4:2
How can we tell an American family struggling to pay its bills that it must pay more taxes so a foreign parliament can purchase fancy plasma screen televisions, or the latest computer equipment, or ultra-modern communications equipment? Can anyone here justify this?

2005 Ron Paul 4:3
Mr. Speaker, this bill will do more than just take money from Americans. This commission will enable members of Congress and congressional staff employees to travel the world meddling in the affairs of foreign governing bodies. It is counterproductive to tell other nations how they should govern themselves, as even if we come loaded with dollars to hand out, our meddling is always resented by the local population -- just as we would resent a foreign government telling us how to govern ourselves. Don’t we have enough of our own problems to solve without going abroad in search of foreign parliaments to aid?

2005 Ron Paul 4:4
I urge my colleagues to reject this wasteful and counterproductive scheme.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 5

April 6, 2005
Hypocrisy and the Ordeal of Terri Schiavo

2005 Ron Paul 5:1
Clearly no one wins in the legal and political battles over the death of Terri Schiavo.   Although it has been terribly politicized, a valuable debate has emerged.   This debate is not about abortion or euthanasia in general, nor about death in the abstract.   It’s about an individual’s right to life and the value of life itself.   Without concern for the life of each individual, liberty is meaningless and indefensible.

2005 Ron Paul 5:2
This debate deals with the passive treatment of the critically and terminally ill.   This type of decision is manageable most of the time without government interference, but circumstances in this case made it difficult to determine proper guardianship.   The unprecedented level of government involvement, questions about which branch of government had the ultimate say, and what the explicit intent of the patient was, brought national attention to what was otherwise a family conflict.

2005 Ron Paul 5:3
Terri Schiavo is a unique case, and unfortunately her fate ended up in the hands of lawyers, judges, and the legislators.   The media certainly did their part in disrupting her final days.

2005 Ron Paul 5:4
In a free society the doctor and the patient-- or his or her designated spokesperson-- make the decision, short of using violence, in dealing with death and dying issues.   The government stays out of it.

2005 Ron Paul 5:5
This debate, though, shows that one life is indeed important.   It is not an esoteric subject; it’s a real life involved and a personal issue we can’t ignore, especially in this age of Medicare, with government now responsible for most of the medical bills.

2005 Ron Paul 5:6
We’re rapidly moving toward a time when these decisions will be based on the cost of care alone, since government pays all the bills under nationalized health care.   As we defer to the state for our needs, and parental power is transferred to government, it is casually expected that government will be making more and more of these decisions.   This has occurred in education, general medical care, and psychological testing.   The government now can protect the so-called right of a teenager to have an abortion, sometimes paid for by the government, without notifying the parents.

2005 Ron Paul 5:7
Free-market medicine is not perfect, but it’s the best system to sort out these difficult problems-- and it did so for years.

2005 Ron Paul 5:8
Eventually, government medicine surely will ignore the concern for a single patient as a person, and instead a computer program and cost analysis will make the determination.   It will be said to be more efficient, though morally unjustified, to allow a patient to die by court order rather than permitting family and friends to assume responsibility for the cost of keeping patients alive.

2005 Ron Paul 5:9
There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around on both sides of this lingering and prolonged debate.   In this instance we heard some very sound arguments from the left defending states’ rights and family responsibility, while criticizing the federal government involvement.   I’m anxious for the day when those who made these arguments join me in defending the Constitution and states’ rights, especially the 9 th and 10 th Amendments, on many other economic and social issues.   I won’t hold my breath.

2005 Ron Paul 5:10
More importantly, where are those who rightfully condemn congressional meddling in the Schiavo case-- because of federalism and separation of powers-- on the issue of abortion?   These same folks strongly defend Roe vs. Wade and the so-called constitutional right to abort healthy human fetuses at any stage.   There’s no hesitation to demand support of this phony right from both Congress and the federal courts.   Not only do they demand federal legal protection for abortion, they insist that abortion foes be forced to fund this act that many of them equate with murder.

2005 Ron Paul 5:11
It’s too bad that philosophic consistency and strict adherence to the Constitution are not a high priority for many Members.   But perhaps this “flexibility” in administering the rule of law helps create problems such as we faced in the Schiavo ordeal.

2005 Ron Paul 5:12
Though the left produced some outstanding arguments for the federal government staying out of this controversy, they frequently used an analogy that could never persuade those of us who believe in a free society guided by the constraints of the Constitution.   They argued that if conservatives who supported prolonging Terri’s life would only spend more money on welfare, they would demonstrate sincere concern for the right to life. This is false logic and does nothing to build the case for a local government solution to a feeding tube debate.

2005 Ron Paul 5:13
First, all wealth transfers depend on an authoritarian state willing to use lethal force to satisfy the politicians’ notion of an unachievable fair society.   Robbing Peter to pay Paul, no matter how well intentioned, can never be justified.   It’s theft, plain and simple, and morally wrong.   Actually, welfare is anti-prosperity; so it can’t be pro-life.   Too often good intentions are motivated only by the good that someone believes will result from the transfer program.   They never ask who must pay, who must be threatened, who must be arrested and imprisoned.   They never ask whether the welfare funds taken by forcible taxation could have helped someone in a private or voluntary way.

2005 Ron Paul 5:14
Practically speaking, welfare rarely works.   The hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war on poverty over the last 50 years has done little to eradicate poverty.   Matter-of-fact, worthwhile studies show that poverty is actually made worse by government efforts to eradicate poverty.   Certainly the whole system does nothing to build self-esteem and more often than not does exactly the opposite.

2005 Ron Paul 5:15
My suggestion to my colleagues, who did argue convincingly that Congress should not be involved in the Schiavo case, is please consider using these same arguments consistently and avoid the false accusation that if one opposes increases in welfare one is not pro-life.   Being pro-liberty and pro-Constitution is indeed being pro-life, as well as pro-prosperity.

2005 Ron Paul 5:16
Conservatives on the other hand are equally inconsistent in their arguments for life.   There’s little hesitation by the conservative right to come to Congress to promote their moral agenda even when it’s not within the jurisdiction of the federal government to do so.   Take for instance the funding of faith-based charities.   The process is of little concern to conservatives if their agenda is met by passing more federal laws and increasing spending.   Instead of concentrating on the repeal of Roe vs. Wade and eliminating federal judicial authority over issues best dealt with at the state level, more federal laws are passed, which strictly speaking should not be the prerogative of the federal government.

2005 Ron Paul 5:17
The biggest shortcoming of the Christian Right position is its adamancy for protecting life in the very early, late, and weakened stages, while enthusiastically supporting aggressive war that results in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.   While the killing of the innocent unborn represents a morally decadent society, and all life deserves an advocate, including Terri Schiavo, promoting a policy of deadly sanctions and all-out war against a nation that committed no act of aggression against us cannot come close to being morally consistent or defendable under our Constitution.

2005 Ron Paul 5:18
The one issue generally ignored in the Schiavo debate is the subtle influence the cost of care for the dying had on the debate. Government paid care clouds the issue, and it must be noted that the courts ruled out any privately paid care for Terri.   It could be embarrassing in a government-run nursing home to see some patients receiving extra care from families while others are denied the same.   However, as time goes on, the economics of care will play even a greater role since under socialized medicine the state makes all the decisions based on affordability.   Then there will be no debate as we just witnessed in the case of Terri Schiavo.

2005 Ron Paul 5:19
Having practiced medicine in simpler times, agonizing problems like we just witnessed in this case did not arise.   Yes, similar medical decisions were made and have been made for many, many years.   But lawyers weren’t involved, nor the courts nor the legislators nor any part of the government-- only the patient, the patient’s family, and the doctor.   No one would have dreamed of making a federal case of the dying process.

2005 Ron Paul 5:20
A society and a government that lose respect for life help create dilemmas of this sort.   Today there is little respect for life-- witness the number of abortions performed each year.   There is little respect for liberty-- witness the rules and laws that regulate our every move.   There is little respect for peace-- witness our eagerness to initiate war to impose our will on others.   Tragically, government financing of the elderly, out of economic necessity, will usher in an age of euthanasia.

2005 Ron Paul 5:21
The accountants already have calculated that if the baby-boomer generation is treated to allow maximum longevity without quality of life concerns, we’re talking about $7 trillion in additional medical costs.   Economists will determine the outcome, and personal decisions will vanish.   National health care, of necessity, will always conflict with personal choices.

2005 Ron Paul 5:22
Compounding the cost problems that will lead to government ordered euthanasia is the fact that costs always skyrocket in government-run programs.   This is true whether it’s a $300 hammer for the Pentagon or an emergency room visit for a broken toe.   And in addition deficit financing, already epidemic because of our flawed philosophy of guns and butter, always leads to inflation when a country operates on a paper money system.

2005 Ron Paul 5:23
Without a renewal in the moral fiber of the country and respect for the constitutional rule of law, we can expect a lot more and worse problems than we witnessed in the case of Terri Schiavo.   When dying and medical care becomes solely a commercial event, we will long for the days of debating what was best for Terri.

2005 Ron Paul 5:24
Hopefully, this messy debate will lead more Members to be convinced that all life is precious, that family and patient wishes should be respected, and that government jurisprudence and financing falls far short of providing a just solution in these difficult matters.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 6

April 6, 2005
Who’s Better Off?

2005 Ron Paul 6:1
Whenever the administration is challenged regarding the success of the Iraq war, or regarding the false information used to justify the war, the retort is:   “Aren’t the people of Iraq better off?”   The insinuation is that anyone who expresses any reservations about supporting the war is an apologist for Saddam Hussein and every ruthless act he ever committed.   The short answer to the question of whether the Iraqis are better off is that it’s too early to declare, “Mission Accomplished.”   But more importantly, we should be asking if the mission was ever justified or legitimate.   Is it legitimate to justify an action that some claim yielded good results, if the means used to achieve them are illegitimate?   Do the ends justify the means?

2005 Ron Paul 6:2
The information Congress was given prior to the war was false.   There were no weapons of mass destruction; the Iraqis did not participate in the 9/11 attacks; Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies and did not conspire against the United States; our security was not threatened; we were not welcomed by cheering Iraqi crowds as we were told; and Iraqi oil has not paid any of the bills.   Congress failed to declare war, but instead passed a wishy-washy resolution citing UN resolutions as justification for our invasion.   After the fact we’re now told the real reason for the Iraq invasion was to spread democracy, and that the Iraqis are better off.   Anyone who questions the war risks being accused of supporting Saddam Hussein, disapproving of democracy, or “supporting terrorists.”   It’s implied that lack of enthusiasm for the war means one is not patriotic and doesn’t support the troops.   In other words, one must march lock-step with the consensus or be ostracized.

2005 Ron Paul 6:3
However, conceding that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein is a far cry from endorsing the foreign policy of our own government that led to the regime change.   In time it will become clear to everyone that support for the policies of pre-emptive war and interventionist nation-building will have much greater significance than the removal of Saddam Hussein itself.   The interventionist policy should be scrutinized more carefully than the purported benefits of Saddam Hussein’s removal from power.   The real question ought to be:   “Are we better off with a foreign policy that promotes regime change while justifying war with false information?”   Shifting the stated goals as events unravel should not satisfy those who believe war must be a last resort used only when our national security is threatened.

2005 Ron Paul 6:4
How much better off are the Iraqi people?   Hundreds of thousands of former inhabitants of Fallajah are not better off with their city flattened and their homes destroyed.   Hundreds of thousands are not better off living with foreign soldiers patrolling their street, curfews, and the loss of basic utilities.   One hundred thousand dead Iraqis, as estimated by the Lancet Medical Journal, certainly are not better off.   Better to be alive under Saddam Hussein than lying in some cold grave.  

2005 Ron Paul 6:5
Praise for the recent election in Iraq has silenced many critics of the war.   Yet the election was held under martial law implemented by a foreign power, mirroring conditions we rightfully condemned as a farce when carried out in the old Soviet system and more recently in Lebanon.   Why is it that what is good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander?

2005 Ron Paul 6:6
Our government fails to recognize that legitimate elections are the consequence of freedom, and that an artificial election does not create freedom.   In our own history we note that freedom was achieved first and elections followed-- not the other way around.

2005 Ron Paul 6:7
One news report claimed that the Shiites actually received 56% of the vote, but such an outcome couldn’t be allowed for it would preclude a coalition of the Kurds and Shiites from controlling the Sunnis and preventing a theocracy from forming.   This reminds us of the statement made months ago by Secretary Rumsfeld when asked about a Shiite theocracy emerging from a majority democratic vote, and he assured us that would not happen.   Democracy, we know, is messy and needs tidying up a bit when we don’t like the results.

2005 Ron Paul 6:8
Some have described Baghdad and especially the green zone, as being surrounded by unmanageable territory.   The highways in and out of Baghdad are not yet secured.   Many anticipate a civil war will break out sometime soon in Iraq; some claim it’s already underway.

2005 Ron Paul 6:9
We have seen none of the promised oil production that was supposed to provide grateful Iraqis with the means to repay us for the hundreds of billions that American taxpayers have spent on the war.   Some have justified our continuous presence in the Persian Gulf since 1990 because of a need to protect “our” oil.   Yet now that Saddam Hussein is gone, and the occupation supposedly is a great success, gasoline at the pumps is reaching record highs approaching $3 per gallon.

2005 Ron Paul 6:10
Though the Iraqi election has come and gone, there still is no government in place and the next election-- supposedly the real one-- is not likely to take place on time.   Do the American people have any idea who really won the dubious election at all?

2005 Ron Paul 6:11
The oil-for-food scandal under Saddam Hussein has been replaced by corruption in the distribution of U.S. funds to rebuild Iraq.   Already there is an admitted $9 billion discrepancy in the accounting of these funds.   The over-billing by Halliburton is no secret, but the process has not changed.

2005 Ron Paul 6:12
The whole process is corrupt.   It just doesn’t make sense to most Americans to see their tax dollars used to fight an unnecessary and unjustified war.   First they see American bombs destroying a country, and then American taxpayers are required to rebuild it.   Today it’s easier to get funding to rebuild infrastructure in Iraq than to build a bridge in the United States.   Indeed, we cut the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget and operate on the cheap with our veterans as the expenditures in Iraq skyrocket.

2005 Ron Paul 6:13
One question the war promoters don’t want to hear asked, because they don’t want to face up to the answer, is this:   “Are Christian Iraqis better off today since we decided to build a new Iraq through force of arms?”   The answer is plainly no.

2005 Ron Paul 6:14
Sure, there are only 800,000 Christians living in Iraq, but under Saddam Hussein they were free to practice their religion.   Tariq Aziz, a Christian, served in Saddam Hussein’s cabinet as Foreign Minister-- something that would never happen in Saudi Arabia, Israel, or any other Middle Eastern country.   Today, the Christian churches in Iraq are under attack and Christians are no longer safe.   Many Christians have been forced to flee Iraq and migrate to Syria.   It’s strange that the human rights advocates in the U.S. Congress have expressed no concern for the persecution now going on against Christians in Iraq.   Both the Sunni and the Shiite Muslims support the attacks on Christians.   In fact, persecuting Christians is one of the few areas in which they agree-- the other being the removal of all foreign forces from Iraqi soil.

2005 Ron Paul 6:15
Considering the death, destruction, and continual chaos in Iraq, it’s difficult to accept the blanket statement that the Iraqis all feel much better off with the U.S. in control rather than Saddam Hussein.   Security in the streets and criminal violence are not anywhere near being under control.

2005 Ron Paul 6:16
But there’s another question that is equally important:   “Are the American people better off because of the Iraq war?”

2005 Ron Paul 6:17
One thing for sure, the 1,500 plus dead American soldiers aren’t better off.   The nearly 20,000 severely injured or sickened American troops are not better off.   The families, the wives, the husbands, children, parents, and friends of those who lost so much are not better off.

2005 Ron Paul 6:18
The families and the 40,000 troops who were forced to re-enlist against their will-- a de facto draft-- are not feeling better off.   They believe they have been deceived by their enlistment agreements.

2005 Ron Paul 6:19
The American taxpayers are not better off having spent over 200 billion dollars to pursue this war, with billions yet to be spent.   The victims of the inflation that always accompanies a guns-and-butter policy are already getting a dose of what will become much worse.

2005 Ron Paul 6:20
Are our relationships with the rest of the world better off?   I’d say no.   Because of the war, our alliances with the Europeans are weaker than ever.   The anti-American hatred among a growing number of Muslims around the world is greater than ever.   This makes terrorist attacks more likely than they were before the invasion.   Al Qaeda recruiting has accelerated.   Iraq is being used as a training ground for al Qaeda terrorists, which it never was under Hussein’s rule.   So as our military recruitment efforts suffer, Osama bin Laden benefits by attracting more terrorist volunteers.

2005 Ron Paul 6:21
Oil was approximately $27 a barrel before the war, now it’s more than twice that.   I wonder who benefits from this?

2005 Ron Paul 6:22
Because of the war, fewer dollars are available for real national security and defense of this country.   Military spending is up, but the way the money is spent distracts from true national defense and further undermines our credibility around the world.

2005 Ron Paul 6:23
The ongoing war’s lack of success has played a key role in diminishing morale in our military services.   Recruitment is sharply down, and most branches face shortages of troops.   Many young Americans rightly fear a coming draft-- which will be required if we do not reassess and change the unrealistic goals of our foreign policy.

2005 Ron Paul 6:24
The appropriations for the war are essentially off-budget and obscured, but contribute nonetheless to the runaway deficit and increase in the national debt.   If these trends persist, inflation with economic stagnation will be the inevitable consequences of a misdirected policy.

2005 Ron Paul 6:25
One of the most significant consequences in times of war that we ought to be concerned about is the inevitable loss of personal liberty.   Too often in the patriotic nationalism that accompanies armed conflict, regardless of the cause, there is a willingness to sacrifice personal freedoms in pursuit of victory.   The real irony is that we are told we go hither and yon to fight for freedom and our Constitution, while carelessly sacrificing the very freedoms here at home we’re supposed to be fighting for.   It makes no sense.

2005 Ron Paul 6:26
This willingness to give up hard-fought personal liberties has been especially noticeable in the atmosphere of the post-September 11th war on terrorism.   Security has replaced liberty as our main political goal, damaging the American spirit.   Sadly, the whole process is done in the name of patriotism and in a spirit of growing militant nationalism.

2005 Ron Paul 6:27
These attitudes and fears surrounding the 9-11 tragedy, and our eagerness to go to war in the Middle East against countries not responsible for the attacks, have allowed a callousness to develop in our national psyche that justifies torture and rejects due process of law for those who are suspects and not convicted criminals.

2005 Ron Paul 6:28
We have come to accept pre-emptive war as necessary, constitutional, and morally justifiable.   Starting a war without a proper declaration is now of no concern to most Americans or the U.S. Congress.   Let’s hope and pray the rumors of an attack on Iran in June by U.S. Armed Forces are wrong.

2005 Ron Paul 6:29
A large segment of the Christian community and its leadership think nothing of rationalizing war in the name of a religion that prides itself on the teachings of the Prince of Peace, who instructed us that blessed are the peacemakers-- not the warmongers.

2005 Ron Paul 6:30
We casually accept our role as world policeman, and believe we have a moral obligation to practice nation building in our image regardless of the number of people who die in the process.

2005 Ron Paul 6:31
We have lost our way by rejecting the beliefs that made our country great.   We no longer trust in trade, friendship, peace, the Constitution, and the principle of neutrality while avoiding entangling alliances with the rest of the world.    Spreading the message of hope and freedom by setting an example for the world has been replaced by a belief that use of armed might is the only practical tool to influence the world-- and we have accepted, as the only superpower, the principle of initiating war against others.

2005 Ron Paul 6:32
In the process, Congress and the people have endorsed a usurpation of their own authority, generously delivered to the executive and judicial branches-- not to mention international government bodies.   The concept of national sovereignty is now seen as an issue that concerns only the fringe in our society.

2005 Ron Paul 6:33
Protection of life and liberty must once again become the issue that drives political thought in this country.   If this goal is replaced by an effort to promote world government, use force to plan the economy, regulate the people, and police the world, against the voluntary desires of the people, it can be done only with the establishment of a totalitarian state.   There’s no need for that.   It’s up to Congress and the American people to decide our fate, and there is still time to correct our mistakes.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 7

April 6, 2005
Honoring Pope John Paul II- A Consistent Pro-life Figure

2005 Ron Paul 7:1
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues in paying tribute to the life and legacy of Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II was one of the great religious leaders of modern times, and an eloquent champion of human freedom and dignity. Unlike all-too-many misguided religious leaders, the Pope understood that liberty, both personal and economic, is a necessary condition for the flourishing of human virtue.

2005 Ron Paul 7:2
The Pope’s commitment to human dignity, grounded in the teachings of Christ, led him to become one of the most eloquent spokesmen for the consistent ethic of life, exemplified by his struggles against abortion, war, euthanasia, and the death penalty.

2005 Ron Paul 7:3
Unfortunately, few in American politics today adhere to the consistent ethic of life, thus we see some who cheered the Pope’s stand against the war and the death penalty while downplaying or even openly defying his teachings against abortion and euthanasia.

2005 Ron Paul 7:4
Others who cheered the Pope’s opposition to abortion and euthanasia were puzzled or hostile to his opposition to war. Many of these “pro-life supporters of war” tried to avoid facing the inherent contradictions in their position by distorting the Just War doctrine, which the Pope properly interpreted as denying sanction to the Iraq war. One prominent conservative commentator even suggested that the pope was the “enemy” of the United States.

2005 Ron Paul 7:5
In conclusion, I am pleased to pay tribute to Pope John Paul II. I would encourage those who wish to honor his memory to reflect on his teachings regarding war and the sanctity of life, and consider the inconsistencies in claiming to be pro-life but supporting the senseless killing of innocent people that inevitably accompanies militarism, or in claiming to be pro-peace and pro-compassion but supporting the legal killing of the unborn.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 8

April 14, 2005
Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley!

2005 Ron Paul 8:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Due Process and Economic Competitiveness Restoration Act, which repeals Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.   Sarbanes-Oxley was rushed into law in the hysterical atmosphere surrounding the Enron and WorldCom bankruptcies, by a Congress more concerned with doing something than doing the right thing.   Today, American businesses, workers, and investors are suffering because Congress was so eager to appear “tough on corporate crime.” Sarbanes-Oxley imposes costly new regulations on the financial services industry. These regulations are damaging American capital markets by providing an incentive for small US firms and foreign firms to deregister from US stock exchanges. According to a study by the prestigious Wharton Business School, the number of American companies deregistering from public stock exchanges nearly tripled during the year after Sarbanes-Oxley became law, while the New York Stock Exchange had only 10 new foreign listings in all of 2004.

2005 Ron Paul 8:2
The reluctance of small businesses and foreign firms to register on American stock exchanges is easily understood when one considers the costs Sarbanes-Oxley imposes on businesses. According to a survey by Kron/Ferry International, Sarbanes-Oxley cost Fortune 500 companies an average of   $5.1 million in compliance expenses in 2004, while a study by the law firm of Foley and Lardner found the Act increased costs associated with being a publicly held company by 130 percent.

2005 Ron Paul 8:3
Many of the major problems stem from section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley, which requires Chief Executive Officers to certify the accuracy of financial statements.   It also requires that outside auditors “attest to” the soundness of the internal controls used in preparing the statements-- an obvious sop to auditors and accounting firms.   The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board defines internal controls as “controls over all significant accounts and disclosures in the financial statements.” According to John Berlau, a Warren Brookes Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the definition of internal controls is so broad that a CEO possibly could be found liable for not using the latest version of Windows! Financial analysts have identified Section 404 as the major reason why American corporations are hoarding cash instead of investing it in new ventures.

2005 Ron Paul 8:4
Journalist Robert Novak, in his column of April 7, said that, “[f]or more than a year, CEOs and CFOs have been telling me that 404 is a costly nightmare” and “ask nearly any business executive to name the biggest menace facing corporate America, and the answer is apt to be number 404…a dagger aimed at the heart of the economy.”

2005 Ron Paul 8:5
Compounding the damage done to the economy is the harm Sarbanes-Oxley does to constitutional liberties and due process. CEOs and CFOs can be held criminally liable, and subjected to 25 years in prison, for inadvertent errors. Laws criminalizing honest mistakes done with no intent to defraud are more typical of police states than free societies. I hope those who consider themselves civil libertarians will recognize the danger of imprisoning citizens for inadvertent mistakes, put aside any prejudice against private businesses, and join my efforts to repeal Section 404.

2005 Ron Paul 8:6
The US Constitution does not give the federal government authority to regulate the accounting standards of private corporations. These questions should be resolved by private contracts between a company and its shareholders, and by state and local regulations. Let me remind my colleagues who are skeptical of the ability of markets and local law enforcement to protect against fraud: the market passed judgment on Enron, in the form of declining stock prices, before Congress even held the first hearing on the matter. My colleagues also should keep in mind that certain state attorneys general have been very aggressive in prosecuting financial crimes

2005 Ron Paul 8:7
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has raised the costs of doing business, thus causing foreign companies to withdraw from American markets and retarding economic growth. By criminalizing inadvertent mistakes and exceeding congressional authority, Section 404 also undermines the rule of law and individual liberty. I therefore urge my colleagues to cosponsor the Due Process and Economic Competitiveness Restoration Act.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 9

May 4, 2005
Republicans Should Not Support a UN Court

2005 Ron Paul 9:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. The idea that the United States Congress should demand that Nigeria deport a former president of Liberia to stand trial in a United Nations court in Liberia is absurd!

2005 Ron Paul 9:2
I do not object to this legislation because I dispute the charges against Charles Taylor. Frankly, as a United States Congressman my authority does not extend to deciding whether a foreign leader has committed crimes in his own county. The charges may well be true. I do, however, dispute our authority as the United States Congress to demand that a foreign country transfer a former leader of a third country back to that country to stand trial before a United Nations kangaroo court.

2005 Ron Paul 9:3
As the resolution itself cites, one top UN official, Jaques Klein, has already pronounced Taylor guilty, stating “Charles Taylor is a psychopath and a killer.” But the resolution concludes that “Congress urges the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to expeditiously transfer Charles Ghankay Taylor, former President of the Republic of Liberia, to the jurisdiction of the Special Court for Sierra Leone to undergo a fair and open trial…” So it is probably safe to guess what kind of “trial” this will be - a Soviet-style show trial. The United Nations has no business conducting trials for anyone, regardless of the individual or the crime. It is the business of Liberia and Nigeria to determine the fate of Charles Taylor.

2005 Ron Paul 9:4
If we in the United States wish to retain our own constitutional protections, we must be steadfast in rejecting the idea that a one-world court has jurisdiction over anyone, anywhere, regardless of how heinous the accusations. The sovereignty we undermine eventually will be our own.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 10

May 4, 2005

Reject Taxpayer Bank Bailouts

2005 Ron Paul 10:1
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1185, the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act, expands the federal government’s unconstitutional control over the financial services industry and raises taxes on all financial institutions. Furthermore, this legislation increases the possibility of future bank failures. Therefore, I must oppose this bill.

2005 Ron Paul 10:2
I primarily object to the provisions in H.R. 1185 which may increase the premiums assessed on participating financial institutions. These “premiums,” which are actually taxes, are the primary source of funds for the Deposit Insurance Fund. This fund is used to bail out banks that experience difficulties meeting commitments to their depositors. Thus, the deposit insurance system transfers liability for poor management decisions from those who made the decisions to their competitors. This system punishes those financial institutions that follow sound practices, as they are forced to absorb the losses of their competitors. This also compounds the moral hazard problem created whenever government socializes business losses.

2005 Ron Paul 10:3
In the event of a severe banking crisis, Congress likely will transfer funds from general revenues into the Deposit Insurance Fund, which would make all taxpayers liable for the mistakes of a few. Of course, such a bailout would require separate authorization from Congress, but can anyone imagine Congress saying no to banking lobbyists pleading for relief from the costs of bailing out their weaker competitors?

2005 Ron Paul 10:4
Government subsidies lead to government control, as regulations are imposed on the recipients of the subsidies in order to address the moral hazard problem. This certainly is the case in banking, which is one of the most heavily regulated industries in America. However, as George Kaufman (John Smith Professor of Banking and Finance at Loyola University in Chicago and co-chair of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee) pointed out in a study for the CATO Institute, the FDIC’s history of poor management exacerbated the banking crisis of the eighties and nineties. Professor Kaufman properly identifies a key reason for the FDIC’s poor track record in protecting individual depositors: regulators have incentives to downplay or even cover-up problems in the financial system such as banking facilities. Banking failures are black marks on the regulators’ records. In addition, regulators may be subject to political pressure to delay imposing sanctions on failing institutions, thus increasing the magnitude of the loss.

2005 Ron Paul 10:5
Immediately after a problem in the banking industry comes to light, the media and Congress inevitably blame it on regulators who were “asleep at the switch.” Yet most politicians continue to believe that giving more power to the very regulators whose incompetence (or worse) either caused or contributed to the problem somehow will prevent future crises!

2005 Ron Paul 10:6
The presence of deposit insurance and government regulations removes incentives for individuals to act on their own to protect their deposits or even inquire as to the health of their financial institutions. After all, why should individuals be concerned when the federal government is ensuring banks following sound practices and has insured their deposits?

2005 Ron Paul 10:7
Finally, I would remind my colleagues that the federal deposit insurance program lacks constitutional authority. Congress’ only mandate in the area of money, and banking is to maintain the value of the money. Unfortunately, Congress abdicated its responsibility over monetary policy with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which allows the federal government to erode the value of the currency at the will of the central bank. Congress’ embrace of fiat money is directly responsible for the instability in the banking system that created the justification for deposit insurance.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 11

May 24, 2005
No Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

2005 Ron Paul 11:1
Mr. Speaker, the issue of government funding of embryonic stem cell research is one of the most divisive matters facing the country. While I sympathize with those who see embryonic stem cell research as a path to  cures for dreadful diseases that have stricken so many Americans, I strongly object to forcing those Americans who believe embryonic stem cell research is immoral to subsidize such research with their tax dollars.

2005 Ron Paul 11:2
The question that should concern Congress today is: Does the US government have the constitutional authority to fund any form of stem cell research?  The clear answer to that question is no. A proper constitutional position would reject federal funding for stem cell research, while allowing individual states and private citizens to decide whether to permit, ban, or fund this research. Therefore, I must vote against HR 810.

2005 Ron Paul 11:3
Unfortunately, many congressional opponents of embryonic stem cell research disregard the Constitution by supporting HR 2520, an “acceptable” alternative that funds umbilical-cord stem cell research.  While this approach is much less objectionable than funding embryonic stem cell research, it is still unconstitutional. Therefore, I must also oppose HR 2520.

2005 Ron Paul 11:4
Federal funding of medical research guarantees the politicization of decisions about what types of research for what diseases will be funded. Thus, scarce tax resources are allocated according to who has the most effective lobby rather than on the basis of need or even likely success. Federal funding also causes researchers to neglect potential treatments and cures that do not qualify for federal funds. Ironically, an example of this process may be found in HR 2520: some research indicates that adult stem cells may be as useful or more useful to medical science than either embryonic or umbilical cord stem cells. In fact, the supporters of embryonic stem cell research may have a point when they question the effectiveness of umbilical cord stem cells for medical purposes. Yet if HR 2520 becomes law, researchers will have an incentive to turn away from adult stem cell research in order to receive federal funds for umbilical cord stem cell research!

2005 Ron Paul 11:5
Legal questions relating to ethical dilemmas should be resolved at the local level, as the Constitution provides.  Congress should follow the Constitution and reject federal funding of stem cell research.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 12

June 14, 2005
The Hidden Cost of War

2005 Ron Paul 12:1
The cost of war is always more than anticipated.   If all the costs were known prior to the beginning of a war, fewer wars would be fought.   At the beginning, optimism prevails.   Denial and deception override the concern for the pain and penalties yet to come.   Jingoistic patriotism and misplaced militarism too easily silence those who are cautious about the unforeseen expenses and hardships brought on by war.   Conveniently forgotten are the goals never achieved by armed conflict, and the negative consequences that linger for years.   Even some who recognize that the coming war will be costly easily rationalize that the cost will be worth it Others claim it’s unmanly or weak to pursue a negotiated settlement of a political dispute, which helps drive the march toward armed conflict.

2005 Ron Paul 12:2
It has been argued by proponents of modern technological warfare in recent decades that sophisticated weapons greatly reduce the human costs by using a smaller number of troops equipped with smart weapons that minimize battle deaths and collateral damage.   This belief has led some to be more willing to enter an armed conflict.   The challenge will be deciding whether or not modern weapons actually make war more acceptable and less costly.   So far the use of sanctions, the misjudgments of resistance to occupation, and unintended consequences reveal that fancy weapons do not guarantee fancy and painless outcomes.   Some old-fashioned rules relating to armed conflicts cannot be easily repealed despite the optimism of the “shock and awe” crowd.   It seems that primitive explosive weapons can compete quite effectively with modern technology when the determination exists and guerrilla tactics are used.   The promised efficiency and the reduced casualties cannot yet be estimated.  

2005 Ron Paul 12:3
Costs are measured differently depending on whether or not a war is defensive or offensive in nature.   Costs in each situation may be similar but are tolerated quite differently.   The determination of those defending their homeland frequently is underestimated, making it difficult to calculate costs.   Consider how long the Vietnamese fought and suffered before routing all foreign armies.   For 85 years the Iraqis steadfastly have resisted all foreign occupation, and even their previous history indicates that meddling by western and Christian outsiders in their country would not be tolerated.   Those who fight a defensive war see the cost of the conflict differently.   Defenders have the goal of surviving and preserving their homeland, religious culture, and their way of life-- despite the shortcomings their prior leaders.   Foreigners are seen as a threat.   This willingness to defend to the last is especially strong if the society they fight for affords more stability than a war-torn country.

2005 Ron Paul 12:4
Hardships can be justified in defensive wars, and use of resources is more easily justified than in an unpopular far-away conflict.    Motivations are stronger, especially when the cause seems to be truly just and the people are willing to sacrifice for the common goal of survival.   Defensive war provides a higher moral goal, and this idealism exceeds material concerns.   In all wars, however, there are profiteers and special interests looking after their own selfish interests.

2005 Ron Paul 12:5
Truly defensive wars never need a draft to recruit troops to fight.   Large numbers voluntarily join to face the foreign threat.

2005 Ron Paul 12:6
In a truly defensive war, huge costs in terms of money, lives, and property are endured because so much is at stake.   Total loss of one’s country is the alternative.

2005 Ron Paul 12:7
The freer a country is, where the love of liberty is alive and well, the greater the resistance.   A free society provides greater economic means to fight than a tyrannical society.   For this reason truly free societies are less likely to be attacked by tyrants.

2005 Ron Paul 12:8
But societies that do not enjoy maximum freedom and economic prosperity still pull together to resist invaders.   A spirit of nationalism brings people together when attacked, as do extreme religious beliefs.   The cause of liberty or a “divine” emperor or radical Islam can inspire those willing to fight to the death to stop a foreign occupation.   These motivations make the costs and risks necessary and justifiable, where a less popular offensive war will not be tolerated as long.   Idealism inspires a strong defense; cynicism eventually curtails offensive wars.

2005 Ron Paul 12:9
The cost of offensive war over time is viewed quite differently by the people who must pay.   Offensive wars include those that are initiated by one country to seek some advantage over another without provocation.   This includes needless intervention in the internal affairs of others and efforts at nation building, even when well intentioned.   Offensive war never achieves the high moral ground in spite of proclamations made by the initiators of the hostilities.   Offensive wars eventually fail, but tragically only after much pain and suffering.   The cost is great, and not well accepted by the people who suffer and have nothing to gain.   The early calls for patriotism and false claims generate initial support, but the people eventually tire.

2005 Ron Paul 12:10
At the beginning of an offensive war the people are supportive because of the justifications given by government authorities, who want the war for ulterior reasons.   But the demands to sacrifice liberty at home to promote freedom and democracy abroad ring hollow after the cost and policy shortcomings become evident.   Initially, the positive propaganda easily overshadows the pain of the small number who must fight and suffer injury.  

2005 Ron Paul 12:11
Offensive wars are fought without as much determination as defensive wars. They tend to be less efficient and more political, causing them to linger and drift into stalemate or worse.

2005 Ron Paul 12:12
In almost all wars, governments use deception about the enemy that needs to be vanquished to gain the support of the people.   In our recent history, just since 1941, our government has entirely ignored the requirement that war be fought only after a formal congressional declaration-- further setting the stage for disenchantment once the war progresses poorly.   Respect for the truth is easily sacrificed in order to rally the people for the war effort.   Professional propagandists, by a coalition of the media and government officials, beat the war drums. The people follow out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic and weak in the defense of our nation-- even when there is no national security threat at all.

2005 Ron Paul 12:13
Joining in support for the war are the special interest groups that have other agendas to pursue: profits, religious beliefs, and partisan political obligations.

2005 Ron Paul 12:14
Ideologues use war to pursue personal ambitions unrelated to national defense, and convert the hesitant with promises of spreading democracy, freedom, and prosperity.   The tools they use are unrestrained state power to force their ideals on others, no matter how unjust it seems to the unfortunate recipients of the preemptive war.   For some, the more chaos the greater the opportunity to jump in and remake a country or an entire region.   At times in history the opening salvo has been deliberately carried out by the ones anxious to get the war underway while blaming the opposition for the incident.   The deceptions must stir passion for the war through an appeal to patriotism, nationalism, machismo, and jingoistic manliness of proving oneself in great feats of battle.

2005 Ron Paul 12:15
This early support, before the first costs are felt, is easily achieved. Since total victory may not come quickly, however, support by the people is gradually lost.   When the war is questioned, the ill-conceived justifications for getting involved are reexamined and found to have been distorted.   Frequently, the people discover they were lied to, so that politicians could gain support for a war that had nothing to do with national security.

2005 Ron Paul 12:16
These discoveries and disenchantments come first to those directly exposed to danger in the front lines, where soldiers die or lose their limbs.   Military families and friends bear the burden of grief, while the majority of citizens still hope the war will end or never affect them directly in any way.   But as the casualties grow the message of suffering spreads, and questions remain unanswered concerning the real reason an offensive war was necessary in the first place.

2005 Ron Paul 12:17
Just when the human tragedy becomes evident to a majority of the citizens, other costs become noticeable.   Taxes are raised, deficits explode, inflation raises its ugly head and the standard of living for the average citizen is threatened.   Funds for the war, even if immediate direct taxes are not levied, must come from the domestic economy and everyone suffers.   The economic consequences of the Vietnam War were felt throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s.

2005 Ron Paul 12:18
As the problems mount, the falsehoods and distortions on which the war was based become less believable and collectively resented.   The government and the politicians who pursued the policy lose credibility.   The tragedy, however, is that once even the majority discovers the truth, much more time is needed to change the course of events.   This is the sad part.

2005 Ron Paul 12:19
Political leaders who needlessly dragged us into the war cannot and will not admit an error in judgment.   In fact they do the opposite to prove they were right all along.   Instead of winding down, the war gets a boost to prove the policy was correct and to bring the war to a victorious conclusion.   This only motivates the resistance of those fighting the defensive side of the war.   More money and more troops must be sacrificed before the policy changes.   Using surrogate foreign troops may seem to cut domestic troop loses in the country starting the war, but will only prolong the agony, suffering, and costs and increase the need for even more troops.  

2005 Ron Paul 12:20
Withdrawing financial support for the effort is seen as being even more unpatriotic than not having supported the war in the first place.   Support for the troops becomes equivalent to supporting the flawed policy that led to the mess.

2005 Ron Paul 12:21
No matter how unwise the policy and how inevitable the results, changing course becomes almost impossible for those individuals who promoted the war.   This fear of being labeled unpatriotic and not supportive of the troops on the battlefield ironically drives a policy that is more harmful to the troops and costly to the folks at home.   Sometimes it requires a new group of politicians, removed from the original decision makers who initiated the war, to bring about a shift in policy.   Johnson couldn’t do it in Vietnam, and Nixon did it slowly, awkwardly and not without first expanding the war before agreeing enough was enough.

2005 Ron Paul 12:22
With the seemingly inevitable delays in altering policy, the results are quite predictable.   Costs escalate and the division between supporters and non-supporters widens.   This adds to economic problems while further eroding domestic freedoms, as with all wars.   On occasion, as we’ve seen in our own country, dissent invites harsh social and legal repercussions.   Those who speak out in opposition will not only be ostracized, but may feel the full force of the law coming down on them.   Errors in foreign affairs leading to war are hard to reverse.   But even if deliberate action doesn’t change the course of events, flawed policies eventually will fail as economic laws will assert themselves.  

2005 Ron Paul 12:23
The more people have faith in and depend upon the state, the more difficult it is to keep the state from initiating wars.   If the state is seen as primarily responsible for providing personal and economic security, obedience and dependency becomes a pervasive problem.   If the state is limited to protecting liberty, and encourages self-reliance and personal responsibility, there’s a much better chance for limiting pro-war attitudes.   The great danger of war, especially unnecessary war, is that it breeds more dependency while threatening liberty-- always allowing the state to grow regardless of existing attitudes before the war.   War unfortunately allows the enemies of liberty to justify the sacrifice of personal freedoms, and the people all too often carelessly sacrifice precisely what they are supposed to be fighting for: freedom.   Our revolution was a rare exception.   It was one war where the people ended up with more freedom not less.

2005 Ron Paul 12:24
Economics and War Almost every war has an economic component, some more obvious than others.   Our own civil war dealt with slavery, but tariffs and economic oppression by the North were also major factors.   Remember, only a small number of southern soldiers personally owned slaves, yet they were enthusiastic in their opposition to the northern invasion.   The battles fought in the Middle East since WWI have had a lot to do with securing Arab oil fields for the benefit of western nations.   Not only are wars fought for economic reasons, wars have profound economic consequences for the countries involved, even if one side is spared massive property damage.   The economic consequences of war play a major role in bringing hostilities to an end.   The consequences are less tolerated by the citizens of countries whose leaders drag them into offensive and unnecessary wars.   The determination to fight on can’t compete with those who see their homeland threatened by foreign invaders.

2005 Ron Paul 12:25

2005 Ron Paul 12:26
There’s essentially no one, not even among the neo-con crowd, claiming that the Iraqi war is defensive in nature for America.   Early on there was an attempt to do so, and it was successful to a large degree in convincing the American people that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was connected to al Qaeda.   Now the justification for the war is completely different and far less impressive.   If the current justification had been used to rally the American people and Congress from the beginning, the war would have been rejected.   The fact that we are bogged down in an offensive war makes it quite difficult to extricate ourselves from the mess.   Without the enthusiasm that a defensive war generates, prolonging the Iraq war will play havoc with our economy.   The insult of paying for the war in addition to the fact that the war was not truly necessary makes the hardship less tolerable.   This leads to domestic turmoil, as proponents become more vocal in demanding patriotic support and opponents become angrier for the burden they must bear.

2005 Ron Paul 12:27
So far the American people have not yet felt the true burden of the costs of this war.   Even with 1,700 deaths and 13,000 wounded, only a small percentage of Americans have suffered directly-- but their pain and suffering is growing and more noticeable every day.   Taxes have not been raised to pay the bills for the current war, so annual deficits and national debt continue to grow.   This helps delay the pain of paying the bills, but the consequences of this process are starting to be felt.   Direct tax increases, a more honest way to finance foreign interventionism, would serve to restrain those who so cavalierly take us to war.   The borrowing authority of governments permit wars to be started and prolonged which otherwise would be resisted if the true cost were known to the people from the beginning.

2005 Ron Paul 12:28
Americans have an especially unique ability to finance our war efforts while minimizing the immediate effect.  As the issuer of the world’s reserve currency, we are able to finance our extravagance through inflating our dollars.   We have the special privilege of printing that which the world accepts as money in lieu of gold.   This is an invitation to economic disaster, permitting an ill-founded foreign policy that sets the stage for problems for years to come.   A system of money that politicians and central bankers could not manipulate would restrain those with grandiose ideas of empire.

2005 Ron Paul 12:29
The Federal Reserve was created in 1913, and shortly thereafter the Fed accommodated the Wilsonians bent on entering WWI by inflating and deficit financing that ill-begotten involvement.   Though it produced the 1921 depression and many other problems since, the process subsequently has become institutionalized in financing our militarism in the 20 th Century and already in the 21 st .   Without the Fed’s ability to create money out of thin air, our government would be severely handicapped in waging wars that do not serve our interests.  The money issue and the ability of our government to wage war are intricately related.   Anyone interested in curtailing wartime spending and our militarism abroad is obligated to study the monetary system, through which our government seductively and surreptitiously finances foreign adventurism without the responsibility of informing the public of its cost or collecting the revenues required to finance the effort.

2005 Ron Paul 12:30
Being the issuer of the world’s premier currency allows for a lot more abuse than a country would have otherwise.   World businesses, governments, and central banks accept our dollars as if they are as good as gold.   This is a remnant of a time when the dollar was as good as gold.   That is no longer the case.   The trust is still there, but it’s a misplaced trust.   Since the dollar is simply a paper currency without real value, someday confidence will be lost and our goose will no longer be able to lay the golden egg.   That’s when reality will set in and the real cost of our extravagance, both domestic and foreign, will be felt by all Americans.   We will no longer be able to finance our war machine through willing foreigners, who now gladly take our newly printed dollars for their newly produced goods and then loan them back to us at below market interest rates to support our standard of living and our war effort.

2005 Ron Paul 12:31
The payment by American citizens will come as the dollar loses value, interest rates rise, and prices increase.   The higher prices become the tax that a more honest government would have levied directly to pay for the war effort.   An unpopular war especially needs this deception as a method of payment, hiding the true costs which are dispersed and delayed through this neat little monetary trick.   The real tragedy is that this “inflation tax” is not evenly distributed among all the people, and more often than not is borne disproportionately by the poor and the middle class as a truly regressive tax in the worst sense.   Politicians in Washington do not see inflation as an unfair seductive tax.  Our monetary policy unfortunately is never challenged even by the proponents of low taxes who care so little about deficits, but eventually it all comes to an end because economic law overrides the politicians’ deceit.

2005 Ron Paul 12:32
Already we are seeing signs on the horizon that this free ride for us is coming to an end.   Price inflation is alive and well and much worse than government statistics show.   The sluggish economy suggests that the super stimulation of easy credit over the last decades is no longer sufficient to keep the economy strong.   Our personal consumption and government spending are dependent on borrowing from foreign lenders.   Artificially high standards of living can mask the debt accumulation that it requires while needed savings remain essentially nil.

2005 Ron Paul 12:33
This ability to print the reserve currency of the world, and the willingness of foreigners to take it, causes gross distortions in our current account deficits and total foreign indebtedness.   It plays a major role in the erosion of our manufacturing base, and causes the exporting of our jobs along with our dollars.   Bashing foreigners, in particularly the Chinese and the Japanese, as the cause of our dwindling manufacturing and job base is misplaced. It prevents the evaluation of our own policies-- policies that undermine and increase the price of our own manufacturing goods while distorting the trade balance.   Though we continue to benefit from the current circumstances, through cheap imports on borrowed money, the shaky fundamentals make our economy and financial system vulnerable to sudden and severe adjustments.   Foreigners will not finance our excessive standard of living and our expensive war overseas indefinitely.   It will end!   What we do in the meantime to prepare for that day will make all the difference in the world for the future of freedom in this country.   It’s the future of freedom in this country that is truly the legitimate responsibility of us as Members of Congress.

2005 Ron Paul 12:34
Centuries ago the notion of money introduced the world to trade and the principle of division of labor, ushering in for the first time a level of economic existence above mere subsistence.   Modern fiat money with electronic transactions has given an additional boost to that prosperity.   But unlike sound commodity money, fiat money, with easy credit and artificially low interest rates, causes distortions and mal-investments that require corrections.   The modernization of electronic global transfers, which with sound money would be beneficial, has allowed for greater distortion and debt to be accumulated-- setting the stage for a much more serious period of adjustment requiring an economic downturn, liquidation of debt, and reallocation of resources that must come from savings rather than a central bank printing press.

2005 Ron Paul 12:35
These economic laws will limit our ability to pursue our foreign interventions no matter how well intentioned and “successful” they may seem.   The Soviet system collapsed of its own weakness.   I fear an economic collapse here at home much more than an attack by a foreign country.   Above all, the greatest concern should be for the systematic undermining of our personal liberties since 9/11, which will worsen with an ongoing foreign war and the severe economic problems that are coming.

2005 Ron Paul 12:36
Since we are not fighting the war to defend our homeland and we abuse so many of our professed principles, we face great difficulties in resolving the growing predicament in which we find ourselves.   Our options are few, and admitting errors in judgment is not likely to occur.   Moral forces are against us as we find ourselves imposing our will on a people six thousand miles from our shores.   How would the American people respond if a foreign country, with people of a different color, religion, and language imposed itself on us to make us conform to their notions of justice and goodness?    None of us would sit idly by.   This is why those who see themselves as defenders of their homeland and their way of life have the upper hand regardless of the shock and awe military power available to us.   At this point our power works perversely.   The stronger and more violent we are the greater the resistance becomes.

2005 Ron Paul 12:37
The neo-conservatives who took us to war under false pretenses either didn’t know or didn’t care about the history and traditions of the Iraqi people.   Surely they must have heard of an Islamic defensive jihad that is easy to promote when one’s country is being attacked by foreign forces.   Family members have religious obligations to avenge all killings by foreign forces, which explains why killing insurgents only causes their numbers to multiply.   This family obligation to seek revenge is closely tied to achieving instant eternal martyrdom through vengeful suicide attacks.   Parents of martyrs do not weep as the parents of our soldiers do; they believe the suicide bombers and their families are glorified.   These religious beliefs cannot simply be changed during the war.   The only thing we can do is remove the incentives we give to the religious leaders of the jihad by leaving them alone.   Without our presence in the Middle East, whether on the Arabian Peninsula or in Iraq, the rallying cry for suicidal jihadists would ring hollow.   Was there any fear for our national security from a domestic terrorist attack by Islamists before we put a base in Saudi Arabia?

2005 Ron Paul 12:38
Our freedoms here at home have served the interests of those who are hell-bent on pursuing an American empire, though this too will be limited by economic costs and the undermining of our personal liberties.

2005 Ron Paul 12:39
A free society produces more wealth for more people than any other.   That wealth for many years can be confiscated to pay for the militarism advocated by those who promote preemptive war.   But militarism and its costs undermine the very market system that provided the necessary resources to begin with.   As this happens, productivity and wealth is diminished, putting pressure on authorities to ruthlessly extract even more funds from the people.   For what they cannot collect through taxes they take through currency inflation-- eventually leading to an inability to finance unnecessary and questionable warfare and bringing the process to an end.   It happened to the Soviets and their military machine collapsed.   Hitler destroyed Germany’s economy, but he financed his aggression for several years by immediately stealing the gold reserves of every country he occupied.   That, too, was self-limited and he met his military defeat.   For us it’s less difficult since we can confiscate the wealth of American citizens and the savers of the world merely by printing more dollars to support our militarism.   Though different in detail, we too must face the prospect that this system of financing is seriously flawed, and our expensive policy of worldwide interventionism will collapse.   Only a profound change in attitudes regarding our foreign policy, our fiscal policy, and our monetary policy will save us from ourselves.

2005 Ron Paul 12:40
If we did make these changes, we would not need to become isolationists, despite what many claim.   Isolationism is not the only alternative to intervention in other nations’ affairs.   Freedom works!   Free markets supported by sound money, private property, and respect for all voluntary contracts can set an example for the world-- since the resulting prosperity would be significant and distributed more widely than any socialist system.   Instead of using force to make others do it our way, our influence could be through the example we set that would motivate others to emulate us.   Trade, travel, exchange of ideas, and friendly relationships with all those who seek friendship are a far cry from a protectionist closed border nation that would serve no one’s interest.

2005 Ron Paul 12:41
This type of society would be greatly enhanced with a worldwide commodity standard of money.   This would prevent the imbalances that are a great burden to today’s economy.   Our current account deficits and total foreign indebtedness would not occur under an honest non-political commodity money.   Competitive devaluations and abnormally fixed exchanged rates would not be possible as tools of protectionism.   We can be certain that the distortions in trade balance and the WTO trade wars that are multiplying will eventually lead to a serious challenge to worldwide trade.   The tragedy of trade wars is that they frequently lead to military wars between nations, and until the wealth is consumed and young men are no longer available to fight and die the process will cost plenty.

2005 Ron Paul 12:42
We must not forget that real peace and prosperity are available to us.   America has a grand tradition in this regard despite her shortcomings.   It’s just that in recent decades the excessive unearned wealth available to us to run our welfare/warfare state has distracted us from our important traditions-- honoring liberty and emphasizing self-reliance and responsibility.  Up until the 20 th century we were much less eager to go around the world searching for dragons to slay.   That tradition is a good one, and one that we must soon reconsider before the ideal of personal liberty is completely destroyed.

2005 Ron Paul 12:43
Summary 1.       The costs of war are always much more than anticipated, while the benefits are much less.

2005 Ron Paul 12:44
2.       The cost of war is more than just the dollars spent; it includes deaths, injuries, and destruction along with the unintended consequences that go on for decades.

2005 Ron Paul 12:45
3.       Support for offensive wars wears thin; especially when they are not ended quickly.

2005 Ron Paul 12:46
4.       The Iraq war now has been going on for 15 years with no end in sight.

2005 Ron Paul 12:47
5.       Ulterior motives too often preempt national security in offensive wars.

2005 Ron Paul 12:48
6.       Powerful nations too often forget humility in their relationships to other countries.

2005 Ron Paul 12:49
7.       World history and religious dogmatism are too often ignored and misunderstood.

2005 Ron Paul 12:50
8.       World government is no panacea for limiting war.

2005 Ron Paul 12:51
9.       Most wars could be avoided with better diplomacy, a mutual understanding of minding one’s own business, and respect for the right of self-determination.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 13

June 21, 2005
Celebrating Juneteenth

2005 Ron Paul 13:1
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support H.Con.Res. 160, legislation commemorating a monumental day in the history of liberty.  Juneteenth marks the events of June 19, 1865,when slaves in Galveston, Texas learned that they were at last free men and women. The slaves of Galveston were the last group of slaves to learn of the end of slavery. Thus, Juneteenth represents the end of slavery in America.

2005 Ron Paul 13:2
I hope all Americans will take the time to commemorate Juneteenth. Friends of human liberty should celebrate the end of slavery in any country. The end of American slavery is particularly worthy of recognition since there are few more blatant violations of America’s founding principles, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, than slavery. I am particularly pleased to join the recognition of Juneteenth because I have the privilege of representing Galveston.

2005 Ron Paul 13:3
I thank the gentleman from Illinois for introducing this resolution, which I am proud to cosponsor. I thank the House leadership for bringing this resolution to the floor, and I urge all of my colleagues to honor the end of slavery by voting for H.Con.Res 160.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 14

June 21, 2005
Rebutting the Critics of the Iraq Withdrawal Resolution

2005 Ron Paul 14:1
Last week HJ Res 55 was introduced.   This resolution requires the President to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.   The plan would be announced before December 31, 2005, with the withdrawal to commence no later than October 1, 2006.   The media and opponents of this plan immediately-- and incorrectly-- claimed it would set a date certain for a total withdrawal.   The resolution, hardly radical in nature, simply restates the policy announced by the administration.   We’ve been told repeatedly that there will be no permanent occupation of Iraq, and the management will be turned over to the Iraqis as soon as possible.

2005 Ron Paul 14:2
The resolution merely pressures the administration to be more precise in its stated goals, and make plans to achieve them in a time frame that negates the perception we are involved in a permanent occupation of Iraq.

2005 Ron Paul 14:3
The sharpest criticism of this resolution is that it would, if implemented, give insurgents in Iraq information that is helpful to their cause and harmful to our troops.   This is a reasonable concern, which we addressed by not setting a precise time for exiting Iraq.   The critics inferred that the enemy should never have any hint as to our intentions.

2005 Ron Paul 14:4
Yet as we prepared to invade Iraq, the administration generously informed the Iraqis exactly about our plans to use “shock and awe” military force.   With this information many Iraqi fighters, anticipating immediate military defeat, disappeared into the slums and hills to survive to fight another day-- which they have.

2005 Ron Paul 14:5
One could argue that this information made available to the enemy was clearly used against us.   This argument used to criticize HJ Res 55, that it might reveal our intentions, is not automatically valid.   It could just as easily be argued that conveying to the enemy that we do not plan an indefinite occupation-- as is the stated policy-- will save many American lives.

2005 Ron Paul 14:6
But what we convey or do not convey to the Iraqi people is not the most crucial issue.   The more important issues are:   Do the American people deserve to know more about our goals, the length of time we can expect to be in Iraq, and how many more Americans are likely to be killed and wounded; will there be a military draft; what is the likelihood of lingering diseases that our veterans may suffer (remember Agent Orange and Persian Gulf War Syndrome?); and how many more tax dollars are required to fight this war indefinitely?

2005 Ron Paul 14:7
The message insurgents need to hear and believe is that we are serious when we say we have no desire for a permanent occupation of Iraq.   We must stick to this policy announced by the administration.

2005 Ron Paul 14:8
A plausible argument can be made that the guerillas are inspired by our presence in Iraq, which to them seems endless.   Iraqi deaths, whether through direct U.S. military action, collateral damage, or Iraqis killing Iraqis, serve to inspire an even greater number of Iraqis to join the insurgency.   Because we are in charge, we are blamed for all the deaths.

2005 Ron Paul 14:9
Continuing to justify our presence in Iraq because we must punish those responsible for 9/11 is disingenuous to say the least.   We are sadly now at greater risk than before 9/11.   We refuse to deal with our own borders while chastising the Syrians for not securing their borders with Iraq.   An end game needs to be in place, and the American people deserve to know exactly what that plan is.   They are the ones who must send their sons and daughters off to war and pay the bills when they come due.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 15

June 22, 2005
Introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act

2005 Ron Paul 15:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the growing of industrial hemp.

2005 Ron Paul 15:2
Six states-Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia-allow the growing of industrial hemp in accord with state laws. However, federal law is standing in the way of farmers in these states growing what may be a very profitable crop. Because of current federal law, all hemp included in products sold in the United States must be imported instead of being grown by American farmers.

2005 Ron Paul 15:3
Since 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act’s inclusion of industrial hemp in the Schedule One definition of marijuana has prohibited American farmers from growing industrial hemp, despite the fact that industrial hemp has such a low content of THC (the psychoactive chemical in the related marijuana plant) that nobody can be psychologically affected by consuming hemp. Federal law concedes the safety of industrial hemp by allowing it to be legally imported for use as food.

2005 Ron Paul 15:4
The United States is the only industrialized nation that prohibits industrial hemp cultivation. The Congressional Research Service has noted that hemp is grown as an established agricultural commodity in over 30 nations in Europe, Asia, and North America. My Industrial Hemp Farming Act will end this nonsensical restriction on American farmers and allow them to grow industrial hemp in accordance with state law.  

2005 Ron Paul 15:5
Industrial hemp is a crop that was grown legally throughout the United States for most of our history. In fact, during World War II the federal government actively encouraged American farmers to grow industrial hemp to help the war effort.   The Department of Agriculture even produced a film, “Hemp for Victory,” encouraging the plant’s cultivation.

2005 Ron Paul 15:6
In recent years, the hemp plant has been put to many popular uses in foods and in industry. Grocery stores sell hemp seeds and oil, as well as food products containing oil and seeds from the hemp plant. Industrial hemp also is included in consumer products such as paper, cloth, cosmetics, and carpet. One of the more innovative recent uses of industrial hemp is in the door frames of about 1.5 million cars.   Hemp even has been used in alternative automobile fuel.

2005 Ron Paul 15:7
It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, competing in the global industrial hemp market. Indeed the founders of our nation, some of who grew hemp, surely would find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained federal government. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand up for American farmers and cosponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 16

June 22, 2005
Statement on the Flag Burning Amendment

2005 Ron Paul 16:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. The process may well be legal, but it is unwise.

2005 Ron Paul 16:2
The problem is minimal. This is more like a solution in search of a problem. We just do not need to amend the Constitution for such a tiny problem.   

2005 Ron Paul 16:3
It was stated earlier that this is the only recourse we have since the Supreme Court ruled the Texas law unconstitutional. That is not true. There are other alternatives.

2005 Ron Paul 16:4
One merely would be to use State law. There are a lot of State laws, such as laws against arson, disturbing the peace, theft, inciting riots, trespassing. We could deal with all of the flag desecration with these laws. But there is another solution that our side has used and pretends to want to use on numerous occasions, and that is to eliminate the jurisdiction of the federal courts. We did it on the marriage issue; we can do it right here.

2005 Ron Paul 16:5
So to say this is the only solution is incorrect. It is incorrect. And besides, a solution like that would go quickly, pass the House by a majority vote, pass the Senate by a majority vote, and be send to the President. The Schiavo legislation was expedited and passed quickly. Why not do it with the flag? It is a solution, and we should pay attention to it.

2005 Ron Paul 16:6
Desecration is reserved for religious symbols. To me, why this is scary is because the flag is a symbol today of the State. Why is it, our side never seems to answer this question when we bring it up, why is it that we have the Red Chinese, Cuba, North Korea, and Saddam Hussein who support the position that you severely punished those who burn a flag? No, they just gloss over this. They gloss over it. Is it not rather ironic today that we have troops dying in Iraq, “spreading freedom” and, yet, we are here trying to pass laws similar to what Saddam Hussein had with regard to the flag? I just do not see where that makes a lot of sense.

2005 Ron Paul 16:7
Mr. Speaker, a question I would like to ask the proponents of this legislation is this: What if some military officials arrived at a home to report to the family that their son had just been killed in Iraq, and the mother is totally overwhelmed by grief which quickly turns to anger. She grabs a flag and she burns it? What is the proper punishment for this woman who is grieved, who acts out in this manner? We say, well, these are special circumstances, we will excuse her for that; or no, she has to be punished, she burned a flag because she was making a political statement. That is the question that has to be answered. What is the proper punishment for a woman like that? I would say it is very difficult to mete out any punishment whatsoever.

2005 Ron Paul 16:8
We do not need a new amendment to the Constitution to take care of a problem that does not exist.

2005 Ron Paul 16:9
Another point: The real problem that exists routinely on the House floor is the daily trashing of the Constitution by totally ignoring Act I Sec. 8. We should spend a lot more time following the rule of law, as defined by our oath of office, and a lot less on unnecessary constitutional amendments that expand the role of the federal government while undermining the States.

2005 Ron Paul 16:10
Mr. Speaker, let me summarize my views on this proposed amendment.   I have myself served 5 years in the military, and I have great respect for the symbol of our freedom. I salute the flag, and I pledge to the flag. I also support overriding the Supreme Court case that overturned state laws prohibiting flag burning. Under the constitutional principle of federalism, questions such as whether or not Texas should prohibit flag burning are strictly up to the people of Texas, not the United States Supreme Court. Thus, if this amendment simply restored the states’ authority to ban flag burning, I would enthusiastically support it.

2005 Ron Paul 16:11
However, I cannot support an amendment to give Congress new power to prohibit flag burning. I served my country to protect our freedoms and to protect our Constitution. I believe very sincerely that today we are undermining to some degree that freedom that we have had all these many years.

2005 Ron Paul 16:12
Mr. Speaker, we have some misfits who on occasion burn the flag. We all despise this behavior, but the offensive conduct of a few does not justify making an exception to the First Amendment protections of political speech the majority finds offensive. According to the pro-flag amendment Citizens Flag Alliance, there were only three incidents of flag desecration in 2004 and there have only been two acts of desecration thus far in 2005, and the majority of those cases involved vandalism or some other activity that is already punishable by local law enforcement!

2005 Ron Paul 16:13
Let me emphasize how the First Amendment is written, “Congress shall make no law.” That was the spirit of our nation at that time: “Congress shall make no laws.”

2005 Ron Paul 16:14
Unfortunately, Congress has long since disregarded the original intent of the Founders and has written a lot of laws regulating private property and private conduct. But I would ask my colleagues to remember that every time we write a law to control private behavior, we imply that somebody has to arrive with a gun, because if you desecrate the flag, you have to punish that person. So how do you do that? You send an agent of the government, perhaps an employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Flags, to arrest him. This is in many ways patriotism with a gun--if your actions do not fit the official definition of a “patriot,” we will send somebody to arrest you.

2005 Ron Paul 16:15
Congress has models of flag desecration laws. For example, Saddam Hussein made desecration of the Iraq flag a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

2005 Ron Paul 16:16
It is assumed that many in the military support this amendment, but in fact there are veterans who have been great heroes in war on both sides of this issue. I would like to quote a past national commander of the American Legion, Keith Kreul. He said:

2005 Ron Paul 16:17
” Our Nation was not founded on devotion to symbolic idols, but on principles, beliefs and ideals expressed in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. American veterans who have protected our banner in battle have not done so to protect a golden calf. Instead, they carried the banner forward with reverence for what it represents, our beliefs and freedom for all. Therein lies the beauty of our flag. A patriot cannot be created by legislation.”

2005 Ron Paul 16:18
Former Secretary of State, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and two-time winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Colin Powell also has expressed opposition to amending the Constitution in this manner: “I would not amend that great shield of democracy to hammer out a few miscreants. The flag will be flying proudly long after they have slunk away.”

2005 Ron Paul 16:19
Mr. Speaker, this amendment will not even reach the majority of cases of flag burning. When we see flag burning on television, it is usually not American citizens, but foreigners who have strong objections to what we do overseas.   This is what I see on television and it is the conduct that most angers me.

2005 Ron Paul 16:20
One of the very first laws that Red China passed upon assuming control of Hong Kong was to make flag burning illegal. Since that time, they have prosecuted some individuals for flag burning. Our State Department keeps records of how often the Red Chinese prosecute people for burning the Chinese flag, as it considers those prosecutions an example of how the Red Chinese violate human rights. Those violations are used against Red China in the argument that they should not have most-favored-nation status. There is just a bit of hypocrisy among those Members who claim this amendment does not interfere with fundamental liberties, yet are critical of Red China for punishing those who burn the Chinese flag.

2005 Ron Paul 16:21
Mr. Speaker, this is ultimately an attack on private property. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression depend on property. We do not have freedom of expression of our religion in other people’s churches; it is honored and respected because we respect the ownership of the property. The property conveys the right of free expression, as a newspaper would or a radio station. Once Congress limits property rights, for any cause, no matter how noble, it limits freedom.

2005 Ron Paul 16:22
Some claim that this is not an issue of private property rights because the flag belongs to the country. The flag belongs to everybody. But if you say that, you are a collectivist. That means you believe everybody owns everything. So why do American citizens have to spend money to obtain, and maintain, a flag if the flag is communally owned? If your neighbor, or the federal government, owns a flag, even without this amendment you do not have the right to go and burn that flag. If you are causing civil disturbances, you are liable for your conduct under state and local laws. But this whole idea that there could be a collective ownership of the flag is erroneous.

2005 Ron Paul 16:23
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I wish to point out that by using the word “desecration,” which is traditionally reserved for religious symbols, the authors of this amendment are placing the symbol of the state on the same plane as symbols of the church. The practical effect of this is to either lower religious symbols to the level of the secular state, or raise the state symbol to the status of a holy icon. Perhaps this amendment harkens back to the time when the state was seen as interchangeable with the church. In any case, those who believe we have “no king but Christ” should be troubled by this amendment.

2005 Ron Paul 16:24
We must be interested in the spirit of our Constitution. We must be interested in the principles of liberty. I therefore urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. Instead, my colleagues should work to restore the rights of the individual states to ban flag burning, free from unconstitutional interference by the Supreme Court.  

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 17

July 11, 2005
Henry Lamb- A Great Freedom Fighter Documents how your Dietary Supplements are Under Attack

2005 Ron Paul 17:1
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to read ”Your dietary supplements: Under attack again“ by Henry Lamb, which I am inserting into the record. Mr. Lamb explains the threat to American consumers of dietary supplements and American sovereignty by the Codex Alimentarius commission, commonly referred to simply as Codex. The United Nations created Codex to establish international standards for foods and medicines. Just last week, representatives of the United States government agreed to a final version of Codex’s standards on dietary supplements which, if implemented in the United States, could drastically reduce Americans’ ability to obtain the supplements of their choice. Members of the American bureaucracy may be hoping to achieve via international fiat what they cannot achieve through the domestic law-making process--the power to restrict consumers’ access to dietary supplements. American bureaucrats may gain this power if the World Trade Organization, which considers Codex ”guidelines“ the standard by which all other regulations are judged, decides that our failure to ”harmonize“ our regulations of dietary supplements to meet Codex’s recommendations violates international trading standards!  This could occur despite the fact that American consumers do not want to be subjected to the restrictive regulations common in other parts of the world, such as the European Union.

2005 Ron Paul 17:2
This article is typical of Henry Lamb’s work. For almost twenty years, beginning at an age when most Americans are contemplating retirement, Mr. Lamb has worked to expose and stop threats to American liberty, sovereignty, and prosperity. Mr. Lamb became involved in the battle for liberty when, as the CEO of a Tennessee construction company, he founded a state association of contractors to work against excessive regulations. In 1988, Henry Lamb founded the Environmental Conservation Organization to defend true environmentalism, which is rooted in the truth that there is no better steward of the environment than a private property owner, from those who used the environment as a cover for their radical statist agendas. Since 1992, Mr. Lamb and ECO have focused on the threat to economic liberty and self-government posed by the radical global environmental agenda.

2005 Ron Paul 17:3
Henry Lamb works to further the cause of liberty by giving speeches around the country, editing an on-line magazine, making numerous television and radio appearances, and writing a weekly column to inform his fellow Americans of the latest scheme to undermine their freedoms. Mr. Lamb is the model of a citizen-activist, and all who wish to become involved in the battle for freedom can learn from his example. In conclusion, I once again urge my colleagues to read Mr. Lamb’s article to learn about the need to protect American consumers from Codex, and I thank Mr. Lamb for his tireless devotion to the cause of freedom.

2005 Ron Paul 17:4

2005 Ron Paul 17:5
(By Henry Lamb) The Codex Alimentarius Commission sounds like one of those shadowy, sinister organizations conjured up by one-world-government nuts to scare people.

2005 Ron Paul 17:6
Truth: It is!

2005 Ron Paul 17:7
The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization created this commission in the early 1960s to set standards for food safety and to ”harmonize“ the laws of member nations. The commission was endorsed by U.N. Resolution 39/248, which says:

2005 Ron Paul 17:8
”When formulating national policies and plans with regard to food, governments should take into account the need of all consumers for food security and should support and, as far as possible, adopt standards from the ..... Codex Alimentarius. .....“

2005 Ron Paul 17:9
The Codex Alimentarius Commission consists of delegates from 163 member nations representing 97 percent of the world’s population. It meets every two years, either in Rome or Geneva. Between meetings, the commission is governed by an executive committee that directs the activities of its many committees.

2005 Ron Paul 17:10
Of immediate concern is the ongoing effort to bring dietary supplements in America under the control of standards set by this commission. Dietary supplements generate a $17 billion industry in the United States, which affects more than 150 million consumers, according to Congressional findings (H.R. 2485). Proposed procedures and standards could virtually destroy this market and deprive millions of Americans of the supplements they want to use.

2005 Ron Paul 17:11
The European Union Directive on Dietary Supplements, which becomes law in August, severely restricts the types and quantities of supplements that may be legally sold. Most forms of vitamins C and E, for example, are not available, or are available only in extremely small doses. If current plans proceed on course, American consumers are in for a shock.

2005 Ron Paul 17:12
How can this little-known international commission control what consumers buy in the United States?

2005 Ron Paul 17:13
An even less-known agency, deep within the bowels of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for U.S. participation in the Codex Commission and designates delegates to each of the commission’s committees. Barbara O. Schneeman is the delegate to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses.

2005 Ron Paul 17:14
The effort to regulate dietary supplements has been under way for more than a decade. In 1994, Congress adopted the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which kept supplements beyond the reach of the drug police. In the past, Codex recommendations have been non-binding. Now, however, the Codex Alimentarius Commission is teaming up with the World Trade Organization to bring international enforcement to the dietary-supplement battle.

2005 Ron Paul 17:15
Ironically, it was primarily the U.S. that brought the WTO into existence in 1994, as the successor to GATT, the General Agreement on Tarriffs and Trade. The WTO agreement specifically requires that the member nations--including the U.S.--conform its laws to meet the requirements of WTO decisions. Failure to conform results in stiff financial penalties. The Codex Commission and the European Union want the WTO to enforce Codex standards, which fly directly in the face of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

2005 Ron Paul 17:16
Pascal Lamy of France was just selected as director general of the WTO. Lamy served as a member of the French Socialist Party’s steering committee and was chief of staff and representative of the European Commission for President Jacques Delors. Since 1995, he has served as a member of the Central Office of the Mouvement Européen (France) and as a member of the European Commission, responsible for trade.

2005 Ron Paul 17:17
The Codex Commission will be meeting in Rome July 4-9 to adopt the final rules on dietary supplement use. Dr. Carolyn Dean, president of Friends of Freedom International, will attend this meeting and return to the U.S. just in time to present her report to the Sixth Annual Freedom 21 Conference in Reno, July 14-16.

2005 Ron Paul 17:18
The Codex Alimentarius Commission’s reach is much broader than dietary supplements. Its committees are also working on standards for pesticide residue, labeling of all kinds of foods, food additives and nutrients, veterinary medicine and drugs, as well as standards and methods for analysis. The function of this organization is to establish standards for all food worldwide and to enforce those standards through the power of the World Trade Organization.

2005 Ron Paul 17:19
Few people know that there is such a thing as the Codex Alimentarius Commission. It was created to promote food safety in international trade. It is on the brink of becoming an Orwellian bureaucracy--far worse than the worst fantasies of the one-world conspiracy theories.

2005 Ron Paul 17:20
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is neither fantasy nor theory; it is real.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 18

July 14, 2005

2005 Ron Paul 18:1
Mr. Speaker, more than half of the American people now believe that the Iraqi war has made the U.S. less safe. This is a dramatic shift in sentiment from 2 years ago. Early support for the war reflected a hope for a safer America, and it was thought to be an appropriate response to the 9/11 attacks. The argument was that the enemy attacked us because of our freedom, our prosperity, and our way of life. It was further argued that it was important to engage the potential terrorists over there rather than here. Many bought this argument and supported the war. That is now changing.

2005 Ron Paul 18:2
It is virtually impossible to stop determined suicide bombers. Understanding why they sacrifice themselves is crucial to ending what appears to be senseless and irrational. But there is an explanation.

2005 Ron Paul 18:3
I, like many, have assumed that the driving force behind the suicide attacks was Islamic fundamentalism. Promise of instant entry into paradise as a reward for killing infidels seemed to explain the suicides, a concept that is foreign to our way of thinking. The world’s expert on suicide terrorism has convinced me to rethink this simplistic explanation, that terrorism is merely an expression of religious extremism and resentment of a foreign culture.

2005 Ron Paul 18:4
Robert Pape, author of ”Dying to Win,“ explains the strategic logic of suicide terrorism. Pape has collected a database of every suicide terrorist attack between 1980 and 2004, all 462 of them. His conclusions are enlightening and crucial to our understanding the true motivation behind the attacks against Western nations by Islamic terrorists. After his exhaustive study, Pape comes to some very important conclusions.

2005 Ron Paul 18:5
Religious beliefs are less important than supposed. For instance, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist secular group, are the world’s leader in suicide terrorism . The largest Islamic fundamentalist countries have not been responsible for any suicide terrorist attack. None have come from Iran or the Sudan. Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraq never had a suicide terrorist attack in all of its history. Between 1995 and 2004, the al Qaeda years, two-thirds of all attacks came from countries where the U.S. had troops stationed. Iraq’s suicide missions today are carried out by Iraqi Sunnis and Saudis. Recall, 15 of the 19 participants in the 9/11 attacks were Saudis.

2005 Ron Paul 18:6
The clincher is this: the strongest motivation, according to Pape, is not religion but rather a desire ”to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory the terrorists view as their homeland.“

2005 Ron Paul 18:7
The best news is that if stopping suicide terrorism is a goal we seek, a solution is available to us. Cease the occupation of foreign lands and the suicide missions will cease. Between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide terrorist attacks in Lebanon. Once the U.S., the French, and Israel withdrew their forces from Lebanon, there were no more attacks. The reason the attacks stop, according to Pape, is that the Osama bin Ladens of the world no longer can inspire potential suicide terrorists despite their continued fanatical religious beliefs.

2005 Ron Paul 18:8
Pape is convinced after his extensive research that the longer and more extensive the occupation of Muslim territories, the greater the chance of more 9/11-type attacks on the U.S. He is convinced that the terrorists strategically are holding off hitting the U.S. at the present time in an effort to break up the coalition by hitting our European allies. He claims it is just a matter of time if our policies do not change.

2005 Ron Paul 18:9
It is time for us to consider a strategic reassessment of our policy of foreign interventionism, occupation, and nation-building. It is in our national interest to do so and in the interest of world peace.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 19

July 20, 2005
The Republican Congress Wastes Billions Overseas

2005 Ron Paul 19:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this foreign relations authorization bill. Something has gone terribly wrong with our foreign policy when we feel we must take almost 21 billion dollars out of the pockets of the American taxpayer and ship it overseas. Imagine what the Founders of this country would say if they were among us to see this blatant disregard for the Constitution and for the founding principles of this country. This bill proceeds from the view that with enough money we can buy friends and influence foreign governments. But as history shows us, we cannot. The trillions of dollars we have shipped overseas as aid, and to influence and manipulate political affairs in sovereign countries, has not made life better for American citizens. It has made them much poorer without much to show for it, however.

2005 Ron Paul 19:2
Now we have a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, and foreign spending soars. It was not that long ago when conservatives looked at such cavalier handling of US tax dollars with consternation. Now it seems that they are in a race with the Left to see who can spend more.

2005 Ron Paul 19:3
What is wrong with this bill? Let me just mention a few of the most egregious items. In the name of promoting “religious liberty” and “fighting anti-Semitism” this bill will funnel millions of dollars to the corrupt Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). This unaccountable international organization is at the forefront of the manipulation and meddling in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, and has repeatedly dishonored itself through politically-biased monitoring of foreign elections. The OSCE does not deserve a penny from the American taxpayer, but this bill will make sure that the lavishly paid bureaucrats that staff the organization will be able to maintain their standard of living - at our expense. With regard to religious liberty, privately funded voluntary organizations have been shown to be much more effective in promoting tolerance. This is mainly true because these are true grassroots organizations with a stake in their countries and communities, rather than unelected international bureaucrats imposing politically correct edicts from above.

2005 Ron Paul 19:4
This bill spends a total of four and a half billion dollars on various United Nations activities, UN peacekeeping, and US dues to various international organizations. Forcing the taxpayer to continue to underwrite these organizations, which do not operate in our best interests, is unconscionable.

2005 Ron Paul 19:5
This bill continues to fund organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, which as I have written before has very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering funding on favored political parties or movements overseas. It underwrites color-coded “people’s revolutions” overseas that look more like pages out of Lenin’s writings on stealing power than genuine indigenous democratic movements. The NED used American taxpayer dollars to attempt to guarantee that certain candidates overseas are winners and others are losers in the electoral processes overseas. What kind of message do we think this sends to foreign states? The National Endowment for Democracy should receive no funding at all, but this bill continues to funnel tens of millions of dollars to that unaccountable organization.

2005 Ron Paul 19:6
I am also very concerned about several of the amendments to this legislation. First, the extremely misleading UN “reform” act was slipped into this bill even though it was already passed on the floor as a separate bill. As I have written about this terrible legislation, “it will give the United Nations unprecedented new authority to intervene in sovereign states.”

2005 Ron Paul 19:7
Another amendment will create a chilling “Active Response Corps,” to be made up of US government bureaucrats and members of “non-governmental organizations.” Its purpose will be to “stabilize” countries undergoing “democratic transition.” This means that as soon as the NED-funded “people’s revolutionaries” are able to seize power in the streets, US funded teams will be deployed to make sure they retain power. All in the name of democracy, of course.

2005 Ron Paul 19:8
Mr. Speaker, this is a shameful day for the US Congress. We are taking billions out of the pockets of Americans and sending the money overseas in violation of the Constitution. These are billions that will not be available for investment inside the United States: investment in infrastructure, roads, new businesses, education. These are billions that will not be available to American families, to take care of their children or senior relatives, or to give to their churches or favorite charities. We must not continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow. We are going broke, and bills like this are like a lead foot on the accelerator toward bankruptcy.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 20

July 21, 2005
Don’t Reauthorize the Patriot Act

2005 Ron Paul 20:1
Mr. Speaker, the USA PATRIOT Act and Terrorism Prevention Act (HR 3199) in no way brings the PATRIOT Act into compliance with the Constitution or allays concerns that the powers granted to the government in the act will be used to abuse the rights of the people. Much of the discussion surrounding this bill has revolved around the failure of the bill to extend the sunset clauses.

2005 Ron Paul 20:2
However, simply sunsetting troublesome provisions does not settle the debates around the PATRIOT Act. If the PATRIOT Act is constitutional and needed, as its proponents swear, why include sunset provisions at all? If it is unconstitutional and pernicious, why not abolish it immediately?

2005 Ron Paul 20:3
The sunset clauses do perform one useful service in that they force Congress to regularly re-examine the PATRIOT Act. As the people’s representatives, it is our responsibility to keep a close eye on the executive branch to ensure it does not abuse its power. Even if the claims of HR 3199’s supporters that there have been no abuses of PATRIOT Act powers under this administration are true, that does not mean that future administrations will not abuse these powers.

2005 Ron Paul 20:4
HR 3199 continues to violate the constitution by allowing searches and seizures of American citizens and their property without a warrant issued by an independent court upon a finding of probable cause. The drafters of the Bill of Rights considered this essential protection against an overreaching government. For example, Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, popularly known as the library provision, allows Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts, whose standards hardly meet the constitutional requirements of the Fourth Amendment, to issue warrants for individual records, including medical and library records. HR 3199 does reform this provision by clarifying that it can be used to acquire the records of an American citizen only during terrorist investigations. However, this marginal change fails to bring the section up to the constitutional standard of probable cause.

2005 Ron Paul 20:5
Requiring a showing of probable cause before a warrant may be issued will in no way hamper terrorist investigations. For one thing, federal authorities still would have numerous tools available to investigate and monitor the activities of non-citizens suspected of terrorism. Second, restoring the Fourth Amendment protections would in no way interfere with the provisions of the PATRIOT Act removing the firewalls that prevented the government’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies from sharing information.

2005 Ron Paul 20:6
The probable cause requirements will not delay a terrorist investigation. Preparations can be made for the issuance of a warrant in the event of an emergency, and allowances can be made for cases where law enforcement does not have time to obtain a warrant. In fact, a requirement that law enforcement demonstrate probable cause may help law enforcement focus their efforts on true threats, thus avoiding the problem of information overload that is handicapping the government’s efforts to identify sources of terrorist financing.

2005 Ron Paul 20:7
The requirement that law enforcement demonstrate probable cause before a judge preserves the Founders’ system of checks and balances that protects against one branch gathering too much power. The Founders recognized that one of the chief dangers to liberty was the concentration of power in a few hands, which is why they carefully divided power among the three branches. I would remind those of my colleagues who claim that we must set aside the constitutional requirements during war that the founders were especially concerned about the consolidation of power during times of war and national emergences. My colleagues should also keep in mind that PATRIOT Act powers have already been used in non-terrorism related cases, most notably in a bribery investigation in Nevada.

2005 Ron Paul 20:8
Mr. Speaker, HR 3199 does take some positive steps toward restoring respect for constitutional liberties and checks and balances that the original PATRIOT Act stripped away. However, it still leaves in place large chunks of legislation that threaten individual liberty by giving law enforcement power to snoop into American citizens’ lives without adequate oversight. This power is unnecessary to effectively fight terrorism. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to reject this bill.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 21

July 26, 2005
Statement on HR 3283, the United States Trade Rights Enforcement Act

2005 Ron Paul 21:1
Mr. Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to this legislation. Isn’t it ironic that the proponents of “free trade agreements” like CAFTA are lining up squarely behind a bill like this that threatens a trade war with China, and at the least calls for the United States to initiate protectionist measures such as punitive tariffs against “subsidized” sectors of the Chinese economy? In reality, this bill, which appeared out of the blue on the House Floor as a suspension bill, is part of a deal made with several Members in return for a few votes on CAFTA. That is why it is ironic: to get to “free trade” with Central America we first need to pass protectionist legislation regarding China.

2005 Ron Paul 21:2
Mr. Speaker, in addition to the irony of the protectionist flavor of this bill, let me say that we should be careful what we demand of the Chinese government. Take the demand that the government “revalue” its currency, for example. First, there is sufficient precedent to suggest that doing this would have very little effect on China’s trade surplus with the United States. As Barron’s magazine pointed out recently, “the Japanese yen’s value has more than tripled since the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system, yet Japan’s trade surplus remains huge. Why should the unpegging of the Chinese yuan have any greater impact?”

2005 Ron Paul 21:3
As was pointed out in the Wall Street Journal recently, with the yuan tied to several foreign currencies and the value of the dollar dropping, China could be less inclined to purchase dollars as a way of keeping the yuan down. Fewer Treasury bond purchases by China, in turn, would drive bond prices down and boost yields--which, subsequently, would cause borrowing costs for residential and some corporate customers to increase. Does anyone want to guess what a sudden burst of the real estate bubble might mean for the shaky US economy? This is not an argument for the status quo , however, but rather an observation that there are often unforeseen consequences when we demand that foreign governments manipulate their currency to US “advantage.”

2005 Ron Paul 21:4
At the very least, American consumers will immediately feel the strengthening of the yuan in the form of higher US retail prices. This will disproportionately affect Americans of lower incomes and, as a consequence, slow the economy and increase the hardship of those struggling to get by. Is this why our constituents have sent us here?

2005 Ron Paul 21:5
In conclusion, I strongly oppose this ill-considered and potentially destructive bill, and I hope my colleagues will join me in rejecting it.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 22

September 8, 2005
Why We Fight

2005 Ron Paul 22:1
Many reasons have been given for why we fight and our youth must die in Iraq.   The reasons now given for why we must continue this war bear no resemblance to the reasons given to gain the support of the American people and the United States Congress prior to our invasion in March of 2003.   Before the war, we were told we faced an imminent threat to our national security from Saddam Hussein.   This rationale, now proven grossly mistaken, has been changed. Now we’re told we must honor the fallen by “completing the mission.”   To do otherwise would demean the sacrifice of those who have died or been wounded.   Any lack of support for “completing the mission” is said, by the promoters of the war, to be unpatriotic, un-American, and detrimental to the troops.   They insist the only way one can support the troops is to never waver on the policy of nation building, no matter how ill-founded that policy may be.   The obvious flaw in this argument is that the mission, of which they so reverently speak, has changed constantly from the very beginning.

2005 Ron Paul 22:2
Though most people think this war started in March of 2003, the seeds were sown many years before.   The actual military conflict, involving U.S. troops against Iraq, began in January 1991.   The prelude to this actually dates back over a hundred years, when the value of Middle East oil was recognized by the industrialized West.

2005 Ron Paul 22:3
Our use of troops to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait was the beginning of the current conflict with Muslim fundamentalists who have been, for the last decade, determined to force the removal of American troops from all Muslim countries-- especially the entire Arabian Peninsula, which they consider holy.   Though the strategic and historic reasons for our involvement in the Middle East are complex, the immediate reasons given in 2002 and 2003 for our invasion of Iraq were precise.   The only problem is they were not based on facts.

2005 Ron Paul 22:4
The desire by American policymakers to engineer regime change in Iraq had been smoldering since the first Persian Gulf conflict in 1991.   This reflected a dramatic shift in our policy, since in the 1980s we maintained a friendly alliance with Saddam Hussein as we assisted him in his war against our arch nemesis, the Iranian Ayatollah.   Most Americans ignore that we provided assistance to this ruthless dictator with biological and chemical weapons technology.   We heard no complaints in the 1980s about his treatment of the Kurds and Shiites, or the ruthless war he waged against Iran.   Our policy toward Iraq played a major role in convincing Saddam Hussein he had free reign in the Middle East, and the results demonstrate the serious shortcomings of our foreign policy of interventionism that we have followed now for over a hundred years.

2005 Ron Paul 22:5
In 1998 Congress capitulated to the desires of the Clinton administration and overwhelmingly passed the Iraq Liberation Act, which stated quite clearly that our policy was to get rid of Saddam Hussein.   This act made it official: “The policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein.”   This resolution has been cited on numerous occasions by neo-conservatives as justification for the pre-emptive, deliberate invasion of Iraq.   When the resolution was debated, I saw it as a significant step toward a war that would bear no good fruit.   No legitimate national security concerns were cited for this dramatic and serious shift in policy.

2005 Ron Paul 22:6
Shortly after the new administration took office in January 2001, this goal of eliminating Saddam Hussein quickly morphed into a policy of remaking the entire Middle East, starting with regime change in Iraq.   This aggressive interventionist policy surprised some people, since the victorious 2000 campaign indicated we should pursue a foreign policy of humility, no nation building, reduced deployment of our forces overseas, and a rejection of the notion that we serve as world policemen.   The 9/11 disaster proved a catalyst to push for invading Iraq and restructuring the entire Middle East.   Though the plan had existed for years, it quickly was recognized that the fear engendered by the 9/11 attacks could be used to mobilize the American people and Congress to support this war.   Nevertheless, supposedly legitimate reasons had to be given for the already planned pre-emptive war, and as we now know the “intelligence had to be fixed to the policy.”

2005 Ron Paul 22:7
Immediately after 9/11 the American people were led to believe that Saddam Hussein somehow was responsible for the attacks.   The fact that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were enemies, not friends, was kept from the public by a compliant media and a lazy Congress.   Even today many Americans still are convinced of an alliance between the two.   The truth is Saddam Hussein never permitted al Qaeda into Iraq out of fear that his secular government would be challenged.   And yet today we find that al Qaeda is now very much present in Iraq, and causing chaos there.  

2005 Ron Paul 22:8
The administration repeatedly pumped out alarming propaganda that Saddam Hussein was a threat to us with his weapons of mass destruction, meaning nuclear, biological, and chemical.   Since we helped Saddam Hussein obtain biological and chemical weapons in the 1980s, we assumed that he had maintained a large supply-- which of course turned out not to be true.   The people, frightened by 9/11, easily accepted these fear-mongering charges.

2005 Ron Paul 22:9
Behind the scenes many were quite aware that Israel’s influence on our foreign policy played a role. She had argued for years, along with the neo-conservatives, for an Iraqi regime change.   This support was nicely coordinated with the Christian Zionists’ enthusiasm for the war.

2005 Ron Paul 22:10
As these reasons for the war lost credibility and support, other reasons were found for why we had to fight.   As the lone superpower, we were told we had a greater responsibility to settle the problems of the world lest someone else gets involved.   Maintaining and expanding our empire is a key element of the neo-conservative philosophy.   This notion that we must fight to spread American goodness was well received by these neo-Jacobins.   They saw the war as a legitimate moral crusade, arguing that no one should be allowed to stand in our way!   In their minds using force to spread democracy is legitimate and necessary.

2005 Ron Paul 22:11
We also were told the war was necessary for national security purposes because of the threat Saddam Hussein presented, although the evidence was fabricated.   Saddam Hussein’s ability to attack us was non-existent, but the American people were ripe for alarming predictions by those who wanted this war.

2005 Ron Paul 22:12
Of course the routine canard for our need to fight, finance, and meddle around the world ever since the Korean War was repeated incessantly: UN Resolutions had to be enforced lest the United Nations be discredited.   The odd thing was that on this occasion the United Nations itself did everything possible to stop our pre-emptive attack.   And as it turned out, Saddam Hussein was a lot closer to compliance than anyone dreamed.   It wasn’t long before concern for the threat of Saddam Hussein became near hysterical, drowning out any reasoned opposition to the planned war.

2005 Ron Paul 22:13
The one argument that was not publicly used by those who propagandized for the war may well be the most important-- oil.   Though the administration in 1990 hinted briefly that we had to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait because of oil, the stated reasons for that conflict soon transformed into stopping a potential Hitler and enforcing UN resolutions.

2005 Ron Paul 22:14
Publicly oil is not talked about very much, but behind the scenes many acknowledge this is the real reason we fight.   This is not only the politicians who say this.   American consumers have always enjoyed cheap gasoline and want it kept that way.   The real irony is that the war has reduced Iraqi oil production by one-half million barrels per day and prices are soaring-- demonstrating another unintended economic consequence of war.

2005 Ron Paul 22:15
Oil in the Middle East has been a big issue since the industrial revolution, when it was realized that the black substance bubbling out of the ground in places like Iraq had great value.   It’s interesting to note that in the early 20 th century Germany, fully aware of oil’s importance, allied itself with the Turkish Ottoman Empire and secured the earliest rights to drill Iraqi oil.   They built the Anatalia railroad between Baghdad and Basra, and obtained oil and mineral rights on twenty kilometers on each side of this right-of-way.   World War I changed all this, allowing the French and the British to divide the oil wealth of the entire Middle East.

2005 Ron Paul 22:16
The Versailles Treaty created the artificial nation of Iraq, and it wasn’t long before American oil companies were drilling and struggling to participate in the control of Middle East oil.   But it was never smooth sailing for any occupying force in Iraq.   After WWI, the British generals upon arriving to secure “their” oil said:   “Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.”   Not long afterward a jihad was declared against Britain and eventually they were forced to leave.   The more things change, the more they stay the same!   Too bad we are not better at studying history.

2005 Ron Paul 22:17
After World War II the U.S. emerged as the #1 world power, and moved to assume what some believed was our responsibility to control Middle East oil in competition with the Soviets.  This role prompted us to use our CIA, along with the help of the British, to oust democratically elected Mohammed Mosadeh from power in Iran and install the Shah as a U.S. puppet.

2005 Ron Paul 22:18
We not only supported Saddam Hussein against Iran, we also supported Osama bin Laden in the 1980s-- aggravating the situation in the Middle East and causing unintended consequences.   With CIA assistance we helped develop the educational program to radicalize Islamic youth in many Arab nations, especially in Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviets.   We even provided a nuclear reactor to Iran in 1967-- which today leads us to threaten another war.   All of this has come back to haunt us.   Meddling in the affairs of others has consequences.

2005 Ron Paul 22:19
Finally, after years of plotting and maneuvering, the neo-conservative plan to invade Iraq came before the U.S. House in October 2002 to be rubber-stamped.   Though the plan was hatched years before, and the official policy of the United States government was to remove Saddam Hussein ever since 1998, various events delayed the vote until this time.   By October the vote was deemed urgent, so as to embarrass anyone who opposed it.   This would make them politically vulnerable in the November election.   The ploy worked.   The resolution passed easily, and it served the interests of proponents of war in the November election.

2005 Ron Paul 22:20
The resolution, HJ RES 114, explicitly cited the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998 as one of the reasons we had to go to war.   The authorization granted the President to use force against Iraq cited two precise reasons:

2005 Ron Paul 22:21
1.       “To defend the national security of the U.S. against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and”

2005 Ron Paul 22:22
2.       “Enforce all relevant United Nations Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

2005 Ron Paul 22:23
Many other reasons were given to stir the emotions of the American public and the U.S. Congress, reasons that were grossly misleading and found not to be true.  The pretense of a legal justification was a sham. 

2005 Ron Paul 22:24
The fact that Congress is not permitted under the Constitution to transfer the war power to a president was ignored. Only Congress can declare war, if we were inclined to follow the rule of law.   To add insult to injury, HJ RES 114 cited United Nations resolutions as justifications for the war.   Ignoring the Constitution while using the UN to justify the war showed callous disregard for the restraints carefully written in the Constitution.   The authors deliberately wanted to make war difficult to enter without legislative debate, and they purposely kept the responsibility out of the hands of the executive branch.   Surely they never dreamed an international government would have influence over our foreign policy or tell us when we should enter into armed conflict.

2005 Ron Paul 22:25
The legal maneuvering to permit this war was tragic to watch, but the notion that Saddam Hussein-- a third world punk without an air force, navy, and hardly an army or any anti-aircraft weaponry-- was an outright threat to the United States six thousand miles away, tells you how hysterical fear can be used to pursue a policy of needless war for quite different reasons.

2005 Ron Paul 22:26
Today, though, all the old reasons for going to war have been discredited, and are no longer used to justify continuing the war.   Now we are told we must “complete the mission,” and yet no one seems to know exactly what the mission is or when it can be achieved.   By contrast, when war is properly declared against a country we can expect an all-out effort until the country surrenders.   Without a declaration of war as the Constitution requires, it’s left to the President to decide when to start the war and when the war is over.   We had sad experiences with this process in Korea and especially in Vietnam.

2005 Ron Paul 22:27
Pursuing this war merely to save face, or to claim it’s a way to honor those who already have died or been wounded, is hardly a reason that more people should die.   We’re told that we can’t leave until we have a democratic Iraq.   But what if Iraq votes to have a Shiite theocracy, which it looks like the majority wants as their form of government-- and women, Christians, and Sunnis are made second-class citizens?   It’s a preposterous notion and it points out the severe shortcomings of a democracy where a majority rules and minorities suffer.

2005 Ron Paul 22:28
Thankfully, our founding fathers understood the great dangers of a democracy. They insisted on a constitutional republic with a weak central government and an executive branch beholden to the legislative branch in foreign affairs.   The sooner we realize we can’t afford this war the better.   We’ve gotten ourselves into a civil war within the Islamic community.  

2005 Ron Paul 22:29
But could it be, as it had been for over a hundred years prior to our invasion, that oil really is the driving issue behind a foreign presence in the Middle East?   It’s rather ironic that the consequence of our intervention has been skyrocketing oil prices, with Iraqi oil production still significantly below pre-war levels.

2005 Ron Paul 22:30
If democracy is not all it’s cracked up to be, and a war for oil is blatantly immoral and unproductive, the question still remains-- why do we fight?   More precisely, why should we fight?   When is enough killing enough?   Why does man so casually accept war, which brings so much suffering to so many, when so little is achieved?   Why do those who suffer and die so willingly accept the excuses for the wars that need not be fought?   Why do so many defer to those who are enthused about war, and who claim it’s a solution to a problem, without asking them why they themselves do not fight?   It’s always other men and other men’s children who must sacrifice life and limb for the reasons that make no sense, reasons that are said to be our patriotic duty to fight and die for.   How many useless wars have been fought for lies that deserved no hearing?   When will it all end?

2005 Ron Paul 22:31
Why We Should Not Fight

2005 Ron Paul 22:32
Since no logical answers can be given for why we fight, it might be better to talk about why we should not fight.   A case can be made that if this war does not end soon it will spread and engulf the entire region.   We’ve already been warned that war against Iran is an option that remains on the table for reasons no more reliable than those given for the pre-emptive strike against Iraq.   Let me give you a few reasons why this war in Iraq should not be fought.

2005 Ron Paul 22:33
It is not in our national interest.   On the contrary, pursuing this war endangers our security, increases the chances of a domestic terrorist attack, weakens our defenses, and motivates our enemies to join together in opposition to our domineering presence around the world.   Does anyone believe that Russia, China, and Iran will give us free reign over the entire Middle East and its oil?   Tragically, we’re setting the stage for a much bigger conflict.   It’s possible that this war could evolve into something much worse than Vietnam.

2005 Ron Paul 22:34
This war has never been declared.   It’s not a constitutional war, and without a proper beginning there can be no proper ending.   The vagueness instills doubts in all Americans, both supporters and non-supporters, as to what will be accomplished.   Supporters of the war want total victory, which is not achievable with a vague mission.   Now the majority of Americans are demanding an end to this dragged-out war that many fear will spread before it’s over.

2005 Ron Paul 22:35
It’s virtually impossible to beat a determined guerrilla resistance to a foreign occupying force.   After 30 years the Vietnam guerillas, following unbelievable suffering, succeeded in forcing all foreign troops from their homeland.   History shows that Iraqi Muslims have always been determined to resist any foreign power on their soil.   We ignored that history and learned nothing from Vietnam.   How many lives, theirs and ours, are worth losing to prove the tenacity of guerilla fighters supported by a large number of local citizens?

2005 Ron Paul 22:36
Those who argue that it’s legitimate to protect “our oil” someday must realize that it’s not our oil, no matter how strong and sophisticated our military is.   We know the war so far has played havoc with oil prices, and the market continues to discount problems in the region for years to come.   No end is in sight regarding the uncertainty of Middle East oil production caused by this conflict.

2005 Ron Paul 22:37
So far our policies inadvertently have encouraged the development of an Islamic state, with Iranian-allied Shiites in charge.   This has led to Iranian support for the insurgents, and has placed Iran in a position of becoming the true victor in this war as its alliance with Iraq grows.   This could place Iran and its allies in the enviable position of becoming the oil powerhouse in the region, if not the world, once it has control over the oil fields near Basra.

2005 Ron Paul 22:38
This unintended alliance with Iran, plus the benefit to Osama bin Laden’s recruiting efforts, will in the end increase the danger to Israel by rallying the Arab and Muslim people against us.

2005 Ron Paul 22:39
One of the original stated justifications for the war has been accomplished.   Since 1998 the stated policy of the United States government was to bring about regime change and get rid of Saddam Hussein.   This has been done, but instead of peace and stability we have sown the seeds of chaos.   Nevertheless, the goal of removing Saddam Hussein has been achieved and is a reason to stop the fighting.

2005 Ron Paul 22:40
There were no weapons of mass destruction, no biological or chemical or nuclear weapons, so we can be assured the Iraqis pose no threat to anyone, certainly not to the United States.

2005 Ron Paul 22:41
No evidence existed to show an alliance between Iraq and al Qaeda before the war, and ironically our presence there is now encouraging al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to move in to fill the vacuum we created.   The only relationship between Iraq and 9/11 is that our policy in the Middle East continues to increase the likelihood of another terrorist attack on our homeland.

2005 Ron Paul 22:42
We should not fight because it’s simply not worth it.   What are we going to get for nearly 2,000 soldier deaths and 20 thousand severe casualties?   Was the $350 billion worth it?   This is a cost that will be passed on to future generations through an expanded national debt.   I’ll bet most Americans can think of a lot better ways to have spent this money.   Today’s program of guns and butter will be more damaging to our economy than a similar program was in the 1960s, which gave us the stagflation of the 1970s.   The economic imbalances today are much greater than they were in those decades.

2005 Ron Paul 22:43
Eventually, we will come to realize that the Wilsonian idealism of using America’s resources to promote democracy around the world through force is a seriously flawed policy.   Wilson pretended to be spreading democracy worldwide, and yet women in the U.S. at that time were not allowed to vote.   Democracy, where the majority dictates the rules, cannot protect minorities and individual rights.   And in addition, using force to impose our will on others almost always backfires.   There’s no reason that our efforts in the 21 st century to impose a western style government in Iraq will be any more successful than the British were after World War I.   This especially can’t work if democracy is only an excuse for our occupation and the real reasons are left unrecognized.

2005 Ron Paul 22:44
It boils down to the fact that we don’t really have any sound reasons for continuing this fight.   The original reasons for the war never existed, and the new reasons aren’t credible.   We hear only that we must carry on so those who have already suffered death and injury didn’t do so in vain.   If the original reasons for starting the war were false, simply continuing in the name of those fallen makes no sense.   More loss of life can never justify earlier loss of life if they died for false reasons.   This being the case, it’s time to reassess the policies that have gotten us into this mess.    

2005 Ron Paul 22:45
What does all this mean?

2005 Ron Paul 22:46
The mess we face in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism within our own borders, are not a result of the policies of this administration alone.   Problems have been building for many years, and have only gotten much worse with our most recent policy of forcibly imposing regime change in Iraq.   We must recognize that the stalemate in Korea, the loss in Vietnam, and the quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan all result from the same flawed foreign policy of interventionism that our government has pursued for over 100 years.   It would be overly simplistic to say the current administration alone is responsible for the mess in Iraq.

2005 Ron Paul 22:47
By rejecting the advice of the Founders and our early presidents, our leaders have drifted away from the admonitions against entangling alliances and nation building.   Policing the world is not our calling or our mandate.   Besides, the Constitution doesn’t permit it.   Undeclared wars have not enhanced our national security.

2005 Ron Paul 22:48
The consensus on foreign interventionism has been pervasive.   Both major parties have come to accept our role as the world’s policeman, despite periodic campaign rhetoric stating otherwise.   The media in particular, especially in the early stages, propagandize in favor of war.   It’s only when the costs become prohibitive and the war loses popular support that the media criticize the effort.

2005 Ron Paul 22:49
It isn’t only our presidents that deserve the blame when they overstep their authority and lead the country into inappropriate wars.   Congress deserves equally severe criticism for acquiescing to the demands of the executive to go needlessly to war.   It has been known throughout history that kings, dictators, and the executive branch of governments are always overly eager to go to war.   This is precisely why our founders tried desperately to keep decisions about going to war in the hands of the legislature.   But this process has failed us for the last 65 years.   Congress routinely has rubber stamped the plans of our presidents and even the United Nations to enter into war through the back door.

2005 Ron Paul 22:50
Congress at any time can prevent or stop all undue foreign entanglements pursued by the executive branch merely by refusing to finance them.   The current Iraq war, now going on for 15 years, spans the administration of three presidents and many congresses controlled by both parties.   This makes Congress every bit as responsible for the current quagmire as the president.   But the real problem is the acceptance by our country as a whole of the principle of meddling in the internal affairs of other nations when unrelated to our national security.   Intervention, no matter how well intended, inevitably boomerangs and comes back to haunt us.   Minding our own business is not only economical; it’s the only policy that serves our national security interests and the cause of peace.

2005 Ron Paul 22:51
The neo-conservatives who want to remake the entire Middle East are not interested in the pertinent history of this region.   Creating an artificial Iraq after World War I as a unified country was like mixing water and oil.   It has only led to frustration, anger, and hostilities-- with the resulting instability creating conditions ripe for dictatorships.   The occupying forces will not permit any of the three regions of Iraq to govern themselves.   This is strictly motivated by a desire to exert control over the oil.   Self-determination and independence for each region, or even a true republican form of government with a minimalist central authority is never considered-- yet it is the only answer to the difficult political problems this area faces.   The relative and accidental independence of the Kurds and the Shiites in the 1990s served those regions well, and no suicide terrorism existed during that decade.

2005 Ron Paul 22:52
The claim that our immediate withdrawal from Iraq would cause chaos is not proven.   It didn’t happen in Vietnam or even Somalia.   Even today, the militias of the Kurds and the Shiites may well be able to maintain order in their regions much better than we can currently.   Certainly the Sunnis can take care of themselves, and it might be in their best interests for all three groups not to fight each other when we leave.   One thing for sure: if we left no more young Americans would have to die for an indefinable cause.

2005 Ron Paul 22:53
Instead, we have been forcing on the people of Iraq a type of democracy that, if implemented, will mean an Islamic state under Sharia’ law.   Already we read stories of barbers no longer being safe shaving beards; Christians are threatened and forced to leave the country; and burqas are returning out of fear.   Unemployment is over 50%, and oil production is still significantly below pre-war levels.   These results are not worth fighting and dying for.

2005 Ron Paul 22:54
In this war, like all others, the propagandists and promoters themselves don’t fight, nor do their children.   It’s always worth the effort to wage war when others must suffer and die.   Many of those who today pump the nation up with war fever were nowhere to be found when their numbers were called in the 1960s-- when previous presidents and Congresses thought so little about sending young men off to war.   Then it was in their best interests to find more important things to do-- despite the so-called equalizing draft.

2005 Ron Paul 22:55
The inability of taxpayers to fund both guns-and-butter has not deterred those who smell the glory of war.   Notoriously, great nations fall once their appetite for foreign domination outstrips their citizens’ ability or willingness to pay.   We tried the guns-and-butter approach in the 1960s with bad results, and the same will happen again as a consequence of the current political decision not to cut back on any expenditure, domestic or foreign.   Veto nothing is current policy!   Tax, borrow, and print to pay the bills is today’s conventional wisdom.   The problem is that all the bills eventually must be paid.   There’s no free lunch, and no free war.   The economic consequences of such a policy are well known and documented.   Excessive spending leads to excessive deficits, higher taxes, and more borrowing and inflation-- which spells economic problems that always clobber the middle class and the poor.

2005 Ron Paul 22:56
Already the suffering has begun.   A lackluster recovery, low paying jobs, outsourcing, and social unrest already are apparent.   This economic price we pay, along with the human suffering, is an extravagant price for a war that was started with false information and now is prolonged for reasons unrelated to our national security.

2005 Ron Paul 22:57
This policy has led to excessive spending overseas and neglect at home.   It invites enemies to attack us, and drains the resources needed to defend our homeland and care for our own people.   We are obligated to learn something from the tragedy of Katrina about the misallocation of funds away from our infrastructure to the rebuilding of Iraq after first destroying it.   If ever there was a time for us to reassess our policy of foreign interventionism, it is today.   It’s time to look inward and attend to the constitutional needs of our people, and forget about the grandiose schemes to remake the world in our image through the use of force.   These efforts not only are doomed to fail, as they have for the past one hundred years, but they invite economic and strategic military problems that are harmful to our national security interests.

2005 Ron Paul 22:58
We’ve been told that we must fight to protect our freedoms here at home.   These reasons are given to make the sacrifices more tolerable and noble.   Without an honorable cause, the suffering becomes intolerable.   Hiding from the truth, though, in the end is no panacea for a war that promises no peace.

2005 Ron Paul 22:59
The most important misjudgment regarding Iraq that must be dealt with is the charge that Muslim terrorists attack us out of envy for our freedoms, our prosperity, and our way of life.   There is no evidence this is the case.   On the contrary, those who have extensively researched this issue conclude that the #1 reason suicide terrorists attack anywhere in the world is because their land is occupied by a foreign military power.   Pretending otherwise and constantly expanding our military presence in more Arab and Muslim countries as we have since 1990 has only increased the danger of more attacks on our soil, as well as in those countries that have allied themselves with us.   If we deny this truth we do so at our own peril.

2005 Ron Paul 22:60
It’s not unusual for the war crusaders to condemn those who speak the truth in an effort to end an unnecessary war.   They claim those who want honest reasons for the enormous sacrifice are unpatriotic and un-American, but these charges only serve to exacerbate the social unrest.   Any criticism of policy, no matter how flawed the policy is, is said to be motivated by a lack of support for the troops.   Yet it is preposterous to suggest that a policy that would have spared the lives of 1900 servicemen and women lacks concern for the well being of our troops.   The absence of good reasoning to pursue this war prompts the supporters of the war to demonize the skeptics and critics.    They have no other defense.

2005 Ron Paul 22:61
Those who want to continue this war accuse those who lost loved ones in Iraq, and oppose the war, of using the dead for personal political gain.   But what do the war proponents do when they claim the reason we must fight on is to honor the sacrifice of the military personnel we lost by completing the mission?   The big difference is that one group argues for saving lives, while the other justifies more killing.   And by that logic, the additional deaths will require even more killing to make sure they too have not died in vain.   Therefore, the greater number who have died, the greater is the motivation to complete the mission.   This defies logic.   This argument to persevere has been used throughout history to continue wars that could and should have ended much sooner.   This was true for World War I and Vietnam.

2005 Ron Paul 22:62
A sad realism struck me recently reading how our Marines in Afghanistan must now rely on donkey transportation in their efforts at nation building and military occupation.   Evidently the Taliban is alive and well, as Osama bin Laden remains in this region.   But doesn’t this tell us something about our naïve assumption that our economic advantages and technical knowledge can subdue and control anybody?   We’re traversing Afghan mountains on donkeys, and losing lives daily in Baghdad with homemade primitive bombs.   Our power and dominance clearly is limited by the determination of those who see us as occupiers, proving that just more money and sophisticated weapons won’t bring us victory.   Sophisticated weapons and the use of unlimited military power is no substitute for diplomacy designed to promote peace while reserving force only for defending our national interests.

2005 Ron Paul 22:63
Changing our policy of meddling in the affairs of others won’t come quickly or easily.   But a few signals to indicate a change in our attitude would go a long way to bringing peace to a troubled land.

2005 Ron Paul 22:64
1.       We must soon, and Congress can do this through the budget process, stop the construction of all permanent bases in Iraq and any other Muslim country in the region.   Think of how we would react if the Chinese had the military edge on us and laid claims to the Gulf of Mexico, building bases within the U.S. in order to promote their superior way of life.   Isn’t it ironic that we close down bases here at home while building new ones overseas?   Domestic bases might well promote security, while bases in Muslim nations only elicit more hatred toward us.

2005 Ron Paul 22:65
2.       The plans for the biggest U.S. embassy in the world, costing nearly 1 billion dollars, must be canceled.   This structure in Baghdad sends a message, like the military bases being built, that we expect to be in Iraq and running Iraq for a long time to come.

2005 Ron Paul 22:66
3.       All military forces, especially on the Arabian Peninsula, must be moved offshore at the earliest time possible. All responsibility for security and control of the oil must be transferred to the Iraqis from the United States as soon as possible, within months not years.

2005 Ron Paul 22:67
The time will come when our policies dealing with foreign affairs will change for the better.   But that will be because we can no longer afford the extravagance of war.   This will occur when the American people realize that war causes too much suffering here at home, and the benefits of peace again become attractive to us all.   Part of this recognition will involve a big drop in the value of the dollar, higher interest rates, and rampant price inflation.

2005 Ron Paul 22:68
Though these problems are serious and threaten our freedoms and way of life, there’s every reason to work for the traditional constitutional foreign policy that promotes peace over war, while not being tempted to mold the world in our image through force.   We should not forget that what we did not achieve by military force in Vietnam, was essentially achieved with the peace that came from our military failure and withdrawal of our armed forces.   Today, through trade and peace, U.S. investment and economic cooperation has westernized Vietnam far more than our military efforts.

2005 Ron Paul 22:69
We must remember initiating force to impose our will on others negates all the goodness for which we profess to stand.   We cannot be fighting to secure our freedom if we impose laws like the Patriot Act and a national ID card on the American people.

2005 Ron Paul 22:70
Unfortunately, we have lost faith and confidence in the system of government with which we have been blessed.   Today too many Americans support, at least in the early stages, the use of force to spread our message of hope and freedom.   They too often are confused by the rhetoric that our armies are needed to spread American goodness. Using force injudiciously, instead of spreading the worthy message of American freedom through peaceful means, antagonizes our enemies, alienates our allies, and threatens personal liberties here at home while burdening our economy.

2005 Ron Paul 22:71
If confidence can be restored in our American traditions of peace and trade, our influence throughout the world would be enhanced just as it was once we rejected the military approach in Vietnam.

2005 Ron Paul 22:72
This change in policy can come easily once the people of this country decide that there is a better way to conduct ourselves throughout the world.   Whenever the people turn against war as a tool to promote certain beliefs, the war ceases.   That’s what we need today.   Then we can get down to the business of setting an example of how peace and freedom brings prosperity in an atmosphere that allows for excellence and virtue to thrive.

2005 Ron Paul 22:73
A powerful bureaucratic military state negates all efforts to preserve these conditions that have served America so well up until recent times.   That is not what the American dream is all about.    Without a change in attitude, the American dream dies: a simple change that restates the principles of liberty enshrined in our Constitution will serve us well in solving all the problems we face.   The American people are up to the task; I hope Congress is as well.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 23

September 15, 2005  

The Coming Category 5 Financial Hurricane

2005 Ron Paul 23:1
The tragic scenes of abject poverty in New Orleans revealed on national TV by Katrina’s destruction were real eye-openers for many.   These scenes prompted two emotional reactions.   One side claims Katrina proved there was not enough government welfare, and its distribution was based on race.   The other side claims we need to pump billions of new dollars into the very federal agency that failed (FEMA), while giving it extraordinary new police powers.   Both sides support more authoritarianism, more centralization, and even the imposition of martial law in times of natural disasters.

2005 Ron Paul 23:2
There is no hint that we will resort to reason now that the failed welfare policies of the past 60 years have been laid bare.   Certainly no one has connected the tragedy of poverty in New Orleans to the flawed monetary system that has significantly contributed to the impoverishment of a huge segment of American society.  

2005 Ron Paul 23:3
Congress reacted to Katrina in the expected irresponsible manner.   It immediately appropriated over $60 billion with little planning or debate.   Taxes won’t be raised to pay the bill-- fortunately.   There will be no offsets or spending reductions to pay the bill.   Welfare and entitlement spending is sacrosanct.   Spending for the war in Iraq and the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct.   There is no guarantee that gracious foreign lenders will step forward, especially without raising interest rates.   This means the Federal Reserve and Treasury will print the money needed to pay the bills.   The sad truth is that monetary debasement hurts poor people the most-- the very people we saw on TV after Katrina.   Inflating our currency hurts the poor and destroys the middle class, while transferring wealth to the ruling class.   This occurs in spite of good intentions and misplaced compassion.

2005 Ron Paul 23:4
We face a coming financial crisis.   Our current account deficit is more than $600 billion annually.   Our foreign debt is more than $3 trillion.   Foreigners now own over $1.4 trillion of our Treasury and mortgage debt.   We must borrow $3 billion from foreigners every business day to maintain our extravagant spending.   Our national debt now is increasing $600 billion per year, and guess what, we print over $600 billion per year to keep the charade going.   But there is a limit and I’m fearful we’re fast approaching it.

2005 Ron Paul 23:5
Runaway inflation is a well-known phenomenon.   It leads to political and economic chaos of the kind we witnessed in New Orleans.   Hopefully we’ll come to our senses and not allow that to happen.   But we’re vulnerable and we have only ourselves to blame.   The flawed paper money system in existence since 1971 has allowed for the irresponsible spending of the past 30 years.   Without a linkage to gold, Washington politicians and the Federal Reserve have no restraints placed on their power to devalue our money by merely printing more to pay the bills run up by the welfare-warfare state.

2005 Ron Paul 23:6
This system of money is a big contributing factor in the exporting of American jobs, especially in the manufacturing industries.

2005 Ron Paul 23:7
Since the last link to gold was severed in 1971, the dollar has lost 92% of its value relative to gold, with gold going from $35 to $450 per ounce.

2005 Ron Paul 23:8
Major adjustment of the dollar and the current account deficit can come any time, and the longer the delay the greater the distortions will be in terms of a correction.

2005 Ron Paul 23:9
In the meantime we give leverage to our economic competitors and our political adversaries, especially China.

2005 Ron Paul 23:10
The current system is held together by a false confidence in the U.S. dollar that is vulnerable to sudden changes in the economy and political events.  

2005 Ron Paul 23:11
My suggestion to my colleagues: Any new expenditures must have offsets greater in amount than the new programs.   Foreign military and foreign aid expenditures must be the first target.   The Federal Reserve must stop inflating the currency merely for the purpose of artificially lowering interest rates to perpetuate a financial bubble. This policy allows government and consumer debt to grow beyond sustainable levels, while undermining incentives to save.   This in turn undermines capital investment while exaggerating consumption.   If this policy doesn’t change, the dollar must fall and the current account deficit will play havoc until the house of cards collapses.  

2005 Ron Paul 23:12
Our spending habits, in combination with our flawed monetary system, if not changed will bring us a financial whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a minor storm.   Loss of confidence in the dollar and the international financial system is a frightening possibility-- but it need not happen if Congress can curb its appetite for buying the people’s support through unrestrained spending.

2005 Ron Paul 23:13
If Congress does not show some sense of financial restraint soon, we can expect the poor to become poorer; the middle class to become smaller; and the government to get bigger and more authoritarian-- while the liberty of the people is diminished.   The illusion that deficits, printing money, and expanding the welfare and warfare states serves the people must come to an end.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 24

October 7, 2005  
Staying or Leaving

2005 Ron Paul 24:1
Supporters of the war in Iraq, as well as some non-supporters, warn of the dangers if we leave.   But isn’t it quite possible that these dangers are simply a consequence of having gone into Iraq in the first place, rather than a consequence of leaving?   Isn’t it possible that staying only makes the situation worse?   If chaos results after our departure, it’s because we occupied Iraq, not because we left.

2005 Ron Paul 24:2
The original reasons for our pre-emptive strike are long forgotten, having been based on false assumptions.   The justification given now is that we must persist in this war or else dishonor those who already have died or been wounded.   We’re also told civil strife likely will engulf all of Iraq.

2005 Ron Paul 24:3
But what is the logic of perpetuating a flawed policy where more Americans die just because others have suffered?   More Americans deaths cannot possibly help those who already have been injured or killed.

2005 Ron Paul 24:4
Civil strife, if not civil war, already exists in Iraq-- and despite the infighting, all factions oppose our occupation.

2005 Ron Paul 24:5
The insistence on using our military to occupy and run Iraq provides convincing evidence to our detractors inside and outside Iraq that we have no intention of leaving.   Building permanent military bases and a huge embassy confirms these fears.

2005 Ron Paul 24:6
We deny the importance of oil and Israel’s influence on our policy, yet we fail to convince the Arab/Muslim world that our intentions are purely humanitarian.

2005 Ron Paul 24:7
In truth, our determined presence in Iraq actually increases the odds of regional chaos, inciting Iran and Syria while aiding Osama bin Laden in his recruiting efforts.   Leaving Iraq would do the opposite-- though not without some dangers that rightfully should be blamed on our unwise invasion rather than our exit.

Many experts believe bin Laden welcomed our invasion and occupation of two Muslim countries.   It bolsters his claim that the U.S. intended to occupy and control the Middle East all along.   This has galvanized radical Muslim fundamentalists against us.   Osama bin Laden’s campaign surely would suffer if we left.

2005 Ron Paul 24:8
We should remember that losing a war to China over control of North Korea ultimately did not enhance communism in China, as she now has accepted many capitalist principles.   In fact, China today outproduces us in many ways-- as reflected by our negative trade balance with her.

2005 Ron Paul 24:9
We lost a war in Vietnam, and the domino theory that communism would spread throughout southeast Asia was proven wrong.   Today, Vietnam accepts American investment dollars and technology.   We maintain a trade relationship with Vietnam that the war never achieved.

2005 Ron Paul 24:10
We contained the USSR and her thousands of nuclear warheads without military confrontation, leading to the collapse and disintegration of a powerful Soviet empire.   Today we trade with Russia and her neighbors, as the market economy spreads throughout the world without the use of arms.

2005 Ron Paul 24:11
We should heed the words of Ronald Reagan about his experience with a needless and mistaken military occupation of Lebanon.   Sending troops into Lebanon seemed like a good idea in 1983, but in 1990 President Reagan said this in his memoirs:   “…we did not appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle…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 rethink our policy there.”

2005 Ron Paul 24:12
During the occupation of Lebanon by American, French, and Israeli troops between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide terrorist attacks in that country.   One horrific attack killed 241 U.S. Marines.   Yet once these foreign troops were removed, the suicide attacks literally stopped.   Today we should once again rethink our policy in this region.

2005 Ron Paul 24:13
It’s amazing what ending military intervention in the affairs of others can achieve.   Setting an example of how a free market economy works does wonders.

2005 Ron Paul 24:14
We should have confidence in how well freedom works, rather than relying on blind faith in the use of military force to spread our message.   Setting an example and using persuasion is always superior to military force in showing how others might live.   Force and war are tools of authoritarians; they are never tools of champions of liberty and justice. Force and war inevitably lead to dangerous unintended consequences.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 25

October 26, 2005  
We Have Been Warned

2005 Ron Paul 25:1
We have been warned.   Prepare for a broader war in the Middle East, as plans are being laid for the next U.S. led regime change-- in Syria.   A UN report on the death of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafig Hariri elicited this comment from a senior U.S. policy maker:   “Out of tragedy comes an extraordinary strategic opportunity.”   This statement reflects the continued neo-conservative, Machiavellian influence on our foreign policy. The “opportunity” refers to the long-held neo-conservative plan for regime change in Syria, similar to what was carried out in Iraq.

2005 Ron Paul 25:2
  This plan for remaking the Middle East has been around for a long time.   Just as 9/11 served the interests of those who longed for changes in Iraq, the sensationalism surrounding Hariri’s death is being used to advance plans to remove Assad.

2005 Ron Paul 25:3
Congress already has assisted these plans by authorizing the sanctions placed on Syria last year.   Harmful sanctions, as applied to Iraq in the 1990s, inevitably represent a major step toward war since they bring havoc to so many innocent people.   Syria already has been charged with developing weapons of mass destruction based on no more evidence than was available when Iraq was similarly charged.

2005 Ron Paul 25:4
Syria has been condemned for not securing its borders, by the same U.S. leaders who cannot secure our own borders.   Syria was castigated for placing its troops in Lebanon, a neighboring country, although such action was invited by an elected government and encouraged by the United States.   The Syrian occupation of Lebanon elicited no suicide terrorist attacks, as was suffered by Western occupiers.

2005 Ron Paul 25:5
Condemning Syria for having troops in Lebanon seems strange, considering most of the world sees our 150,000 troops in Iraq as an unwarranted foreign occupation.   Syrian troops were far more welcome in Lebanon.

2005 Ron Paul 25:6
Secretary Rice likewise sees the problems in Syria-- that we helped to create-- as an opportunity to advance our Middle Eastern agenda.   In recent testimony she stated that it was always the administration’s intent to redesign the greater Middle East, and Iraq was only one part of that plan.   And once again we have been told that all options are still on the table for dealing with Syria-- including war.

2005 Ron Paul 25:7
The statement that should scare all Americans (and the world) is the assurance by Secretary Rice that the President needs no additional authority from Congress to attack Syria.   She argues that authority already has been granted by the resolutions on 9/11 and Iraq.   This is not true, but if Congress remains passive to the powers assumed by the executive branch it won’t matter.   As the war spreads, the only role for Congress will be to provide funding lest they be criticized for not supporting the troops.   In the meantime, the Constitution and our liberties here at home will be further eroded as more Americans die.

2005 Ron Paul 25:8
This escalation of conflict with Syria comes as a result of the UN report concerning the Hariri death.   When we need an excuse for our actions, it’s always nice to rely on the organization that our administration routinely condemns, one that brought us the multi-billion dollar oil-for-food scandal and sexual crimes by UN representatives.

2005 Ron Paul 25:9
It’s easy to ignore the fact that the report did not implicate Assad, who is targeted for the next regime change.   The UN once limited itself to disputes between nations; yet now it’s assumed the UN, like the United States, has a legal and moral right to inject itself into the internal policies of sovereign nations.   Yet what is the source of this presumed wisdom?   Where is the moral imperative that allows us to become the judge and jury of a domestic murder in a country 6,000 miles from our shores?

2005 Ron Paul 25:10
Moral, constitutional, and legal arguments for a less aggressive foreign policy receive little attention in Washington.   But the law of unintended consequences serves as a thorough teacher for the slow learners and the morally impaired.

2005 Ron Paul 25:11
  Is Iraq not yet enough of a headache for the braggarts of the shock and awe policy?

2005 Ron Paul 25:12
Are 2,000 lives lost not enough to get their attention?

2005 Ron Paul 25:13
How many hundreds of billions of dollars must be drained from our economy before it’s noticed?

2005 Ron Paul 25:14
Is it still plausible that deficits don’t matter?

2005 Ron Paul 25:15
Is the apparent victory for Iran in the Shiite theocracy we’ve created in Iraq not yet seen as a disturbing consequence of the ill-fated Iraq regime change effort?

2005 Ron Paul 25:16
When we have our way with the next election in Lebanon and Hezbollah wins, what do we do?

2005 Ron Paul 25:17
If our effort to destabilize Syria is no more successful than our efforts in Iraq, then what?

2005 Ron Paul 25:18
If destabilizing Syria leads to the same in Iran, what are our options?

2005 Ron Paul 25:19
If we can’t leave now, we’ll surely not leave then-- we’ll be told we must stay to honor the fallen to prove the cause was just.

2005 Ron Paul 25:20
We should remember Ronald Reagan’s admonition regarding this area of the world.   Ronald Reagan reflected on Lebanon in his memoirs, describing the Middle East as a jungle and Middle East politics as irrational. It forced him to rethink his policy in the region.   It’s time we do some rethinking as well.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 26
November 2, 2005  
Big Lies and Little Lies

2005 Ron Paul 26:1
Scooter Libby has been indicted for lying.   Many suspect Libby, and perhaps others, deliberately outed Joe Wilson’s wife as a covert CIA agent.   This was done to punish and discredit Wilson for bringing attention to the false information regarding Iraq’s supposed efforts to build a nuclear weapon — information made public in President Bush’s State of the Union message in January 2003.   Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was chosen to determine if this revelation regarding Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, violated the Intelligence Identification Protection Act.   The actual indictment of Libby did not claim such a violation occurred.   Instead, he has been charged with lying and participating in a cover-up during the two-year investigation.   I believe this is a serious matter that should not be ignored, but it is not an earth-shattering event.

2005 Ron Paul 26:2
This case, like almost everything in Washington, has been driven by politics — not truth, justice, or the Constitution.   It’s about seeking political power, pure and simple, not unlike the impeachment process during the last administration.

2005 Ron Paul 26:3
There are much more serious charges of lying and cover-ups that deserve congressional attention.   The country now knows the decision to go to war in Iraq was based on information that was not factual.   Congress and the people of this country were misled.   Because of this, more than 2,000 U. S. troops and many innocent people have died.   Tens of thousands have been severely wounded, their lives forever changed if not totally ruined.

2005 Ron Paul 26:4
The lies Scooter Libby may or may not have told deserve a thorough investigation.   But in the scheme of things, the indictment about questions regarding the release of Valerie Plame’s name, a political dirty trick, is minor compared to the disinformation about weapons of mass destruction and other events that propelled us into an unnecessary war.   Its costs — in life, suffering, and money — have proven to be prohibitive.

2005 Ron Paul 26:5
The Libby indictment, unless it opens the door to more profound questions concerning why we went to war, may serve only as a distraction from much more serious events and lies.

2005 Ron Paul 26:6
The decision to go to war is profound.   It behooves Congress to ask more questions and investigate exactly how the President, Congress, and the people were misled into believing that invading Iraq was necessary for our national security.

2005 Ron Paul 26:7
Why do we still not know who forged the documents claiming Saddam Hussein was about to buy uranium from Niger?

2005 Ron Paul 26:8
Was this information concocted by those who were overly eager to go to war?

2005 Ron Paul 26:9
Why was CIA reluctance regarding this assessment ignored, allowing it to be presented by the President as a clincher for our need to go to war?

2005 Ron Paul 26:10
Other reasons used to justify the war deserve equal attention, since the results have been so painful for our country.

2005 Ron Paul 26:11
If lies were told to justify the invasion of Iraq, the American people deserve to know the truth.   Congress has a responsibility to seek this truth and change our policies accordingly.  The sooner this is done the better.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 27
November 10, 2005  
Free Speech and Dietary Supplements

2005 Ron Paul 27:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Health Freedom Protection Act. This bill restores the First Amendment rights of consumers to receive truthful information regarding the benefits of foods and dietary supplements by codifying the First Amendment standards used by federal courts to strike down the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) efforts to censor truthful health claims. The Health Freedom Protection Act also stops the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) from censoring truthful health care claims.

2005 Ron Paul 27:2
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 and the FTC continue to engage in heavy-handed attempts to restrict such access. The FDA continues to frustrate consumers’ efforts to learn how they can improve their health even after Congress, responding to a record number of constituents’ comments, passed the Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). FDA bureaucrats are so determined to frustrate consumer access to truthful information that they are even evading their duty to comply with four federal court decisions vindicating consumers’ First Amendment rights to discover the health benefits of foods and dietary supplements.

2005 Ron Paul 27:3
FDA bureaucrats have even refused to abide by the DSHEA section allowing the public to have access to scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against diseases by claiming that every article concerning this topic is evidence of intent to sell a drug.

2005 Ron Paul 27:4
Because of the FDA’s censorship of truthful health claims, millions of Americans may suffer with diseases and other health care problems they may have avoided by using dietary supplements. For example, the FDA prohibited consumers from learning how folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects for four years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended every woman of childbearing age take folic acid supplements to reduce neural tube defects. This FDA action contributed to an estimated 10,000 cases of preventable neutral tube defects!

2005 Ron Paul 27:5
The FDA also continues to prohibit consumers from learning about the scientific evidence that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis; that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of sudden death heart attack; and that calcium may reduce the risk of bone fractures.

2005 Ron Paul 27:6
The Health Freedom Protection Act will force the FDA to at last comply with the commands of Congress, the First Amendment, and the American people by codifying the First Amendment standards adopted by the federal courts. Specifically, the Health Freedom Protection Act stops the FDA from censoring truthful claims about the curative, mitigative, or preventative effects of dietary supplements, and adopts the federal court’s suggested use of disclaimers as an alternative to censorship. The Health Freedom Protection Act also stops the FDA from prohibiting the distribution of scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against disease.

2005 Ron Paul 27:7
This legislation also addresses the FTC’s violations of the First Amendment. Under traditional First Amendment jurisprudence, the federal government bears the burden of proving an advertising statement false before censoring that statement. However, the FTC has reversed the standard in the case of dietary supplements by requiring supplement manufactures to satisfy an unobtainable standard of proof that their statement is true. The FTC’s standards are blocking innovation in the marketplace.

2005 Ron Paul 27:8
The Health Freedom Protection Act requires the government bear the burden of proving that speech could be censored. This is how it should be in a free, dynamic society. The bill also requires that the FTC warn parties that their advertising is false and give them a chance to correct their mistakes.

2005 Ron Paul 27:9
Mr. Speaker, if we are serious about putting people in charge of their health care, then shouldn’t we stop federal bureaucrats from preventing Americans from learning about simple ways to improve their health. I therefore call on my colleagues to stand up for good health care and the First Amendment by cosponsoring the Health Freedom Protection Act.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 28
November 16, 2005  
Congress Erodes Privacy

2005 Ron Paul 28:1
The privacy issue has been around for a long time.   The brutal abuse of privacy and property of early Americans played a big role in our revolt against the King.   The 1 st , 4 th , and 5 th amendments represented attempts to protect private property and privacy from an overzealous federal government.   Today those attempts appear to have failed.

2005 Ron Paul 28:2
There have been serious legal debates in recent decades about whether “privacy” is protected by the Constitution.   Some argue that since the word does not appear in the text of that document, it is not protected.   Others argue that privacy protection grants the federal government power to dictate to all states limits or leniency in enforcing certain laws.   But the essence of liberty is privacy.

2005 Ron Paul 28:3
In recent years—especially since 9-11—Congress has been totally negligent in its duty to protect U.S. citizens from federal government encroachment on the rights of privacy.   Even prior to 9-11, the Echelon worldwide surveillance system was well entrenched, monitoring telephones, faxes, and emails.

2005 Ron Paul 28:4
From the 1970s forward, national security letters were used sparingly in circumventing the legal process and search warrant requirements.   Since 9-11 and the subsequent passage of the Patriot Act, however, use of these instruments has skyrocketed, from 300 annually to over 30,000.   There is essentially no oversight nor understanding by the U.S. Congress of the significance of this pervasive government surveillance.   It’s all shrugged off as necessary to make us safe from terrorism.   Sacrificing personal liberty and privacy, the majority feels, is not a big deal.

2005 Ron Paul 28:5
We soon will vote on the conference report reauthorizing the Patriot Act.   Though one could argue there’s been a large grass-roots effort to discredit the Patriot Act, Congress has ignored the message.   Amazingly, over 391 communities and 7 states have passed resolutions highly critical of the Patriot Act.

2005 Ron Paul 28:6
The debate in Congress—if that’s what one wants to call it—boils down to whether the most egregious parts of the Act will be sunsetted after 4 years or 7.   The conference report will adjust the numbers, and members will vote willingly for the “compromise” and feel good about their effort to protect individual privacy.  

2005 Ron Paul 28:7
But if we’re honest with ourselves we would admit that the 4 th amendment is essentially a dead letter.   There has been no effort to curb the abuse of national security letters nor to comprehend the significance of Echelon.   Hard-fought liberties are rapidly slipping away from us.

2005 Ron Paul 28:8
Congress is not much better when it comes to protecting against the erosion of the centuries-old habeas corpus doctrine.   By declaring anyone an “enemy combatant”—a totally arbitrary designation by the President— the government can deny an individual his right to petition a judge or even speak with an attorney.   Though there has been a good debate on the insanity of our policy of torturing prisoners, holding foreigners and Americans without charges seems acceptable to many.   Did it never occur to those who condemn torture that unlimited detention of individuals without a writ of habeas corpus is itself torture—especially for those who are totally innocent?   Add this to the controversial worldwide network of secret CIA prisons now known of for 2 years, and we should be asking ourselves what we have become as a people.   Recent evidence that we’re using white phosphorus chemical weapons in Iraq does nothing to improve our image.

2005 Ron Paul 28:9
Our prestige in the world is slipping.   The war is going badly.   Our financial system is grossly overburdened.   And we spend hundreds of hours behind the scenes crafting a mere $5 billion spending cut while pretending no one knows we can spend tens of billions in off-budget supplemental bills- sometimes under unanimous consent!

2005 Ron Paul 28:10
It’s time we reconsider the real purpose of government in a society that professes to be free—protection of liberty, peaceful commerce, and keeping itself out of our lives, our economy, our pocketbooks, and certainly out of the affairs of foreign nations.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 29
November 18, 2005  
Statement on So-Called ”Deficit Reduction Act“

2005 Ron Paul 29:1
Mr. Speaker, as one who has long urged my colleagues to cut spending, and who has consistently voted against excessive and unconstitutional expenditures, I am sure many in this body expect me to be an enthusiastic supporter of HR 4241, the Deficit Reduction Act. After all, supporters of this bill are claiming it dramatically reforms federal programs and puts Congress back on the road to fiscal responsibility.

2005 Ron Paul 29:2
For all the passionate debate this bill has generated, its effect on the federal government and taxpayers are relatively minor. HR 4241 does not even reduce federal expenditures! That’s right--if HR 4241 passes, the federal budget, including entitlement programs, will continue to grow. HR 4241 simply slows down the rate of growth of federal spending. The federal government may spend less in the future if this bill passes then it otherwise would, but it will still spend more than it does today. To put HR 4241 in perspective, consider that this bill reduces spending by less than $50 billion over 10 years, while the most recent “emergency” supplemental passed by this Congress appropriated $82 billion dollars to be spent this year.

2005 Ron Paul 29:3
HR 4241 reduces total federal entitlement expenditures by one half of one percent over the next five years. For all the trumpeting about how this bill gets “runaway entitlement spending” under control, HR 4241 fails to deal with the biggest entitlement problem facing our nation--the multi-billion dollar Medicare prescription drug plan, which actually will harm many seniors by causing them to lose their private coverage, forcing them into an inferior government-run program. In fact, the Medicare prescription drug plan will cost $55 billion in fiscal year 2006 alone, while HR 4241 will reduce spending by only $5 billion next year. Yet some House members who voted for every expansion of the federal government considered by this Congress will vote for these small reductions in spending and then brag about their fiscal conservatism to their constituents.

2005 Ron Paul 29:4
As is common with bills claiming to reduce spending, the majority of spending reductions occur in the later years of the plan. Since it is impossible to bind future Congresses, this represents little more than a suggestion that spending in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 reflect the levels stated in this bill. My fiscally responsible colleagues should keep in mind that rarely, if ever, does a Congress actually follow through on spending reductions set by a previous Congress. Thus, relying on future Congresses to cut spending in the “out years” is a recipe for failure.

2005 Ron Paul 29:5
One provision of the bill that undeniably would have benefited the American people, the language opening up the ANWR region of Alaska and expanding offshore drilling, was removed from the bill. As my colleagues know, increased gas prices are a top concern of the American people. Expanding the supply of domestically produced oil is an obvious way to address these concerns, yet Congress refuses to take this reasonable step.

2005 Ron Paul 29:6
Mr. Speaker, some of the entitlement reforms in HR 4241 are worthwhile. For example, I am hopeful the provision allowing states to require a co-payment for Medicaid will help relieve physicians of the burden of providing uncompensated care, which is an issue of great concern to physicians in my district. Still, I am concerned that the changes in pharmaceutical reimbursement proposed by the bill may unfairly impact independent pharmacies, and I am disappointed we will not get to vote on an alterative that would have the same budgetary impact without harming independent pharmacies.

2005 Ron Paul 29:7
I also question the priorities of singling out programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps, that benefit the neediest Americans, while continuing to increase spending on corporate welfare and foreign aid. Just two weeks ago, Congress passed a bill sending $21 billion overseas. That is $21 billion that will be spent this fiscal year, not spread out over five years. Then, last week, Congress passed, on suspension of the rules, a bill proposing to spend $130 million dollars on water projects--not in Texas, but in foreign nations! Meanwhile, the Financial Services Committee, on which I sit, has begun the process of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, which uses taxpayer money to support business projects that cannot attract capital in the market. Mr. Speaker, the Export-Import Bank’s biggest beneficiaries are Boeing and communist China. I find it hard to believe that federal funding for Fortune 500 companies and China is a higher priority for most Americans than Medicaid and food stamps.

2005 Ron Paul 29:8
HR 4241 fails to address the root of the spending problem--the belief that Congress can solve any problem simply by creating a new federal program or agency. However, with the federal government’s unfunded liabilities projected to reach as much as $50 trillion by the end of this year, Congress no longer can avoid serious efforts to rein in spending. Instead of the smoke-and-mirrors approach of HR 4241, Congress should begin the journey toward fiscal responsibility by declaring a ten percent reduction in real spending, followed by a renewed commitment to reduce spending in a manner consistent with our obligation to uphold the Constitution and the priorities of the American people. This is the only way to make real progress on reducing spending without cutting programs for the poor while increasing funding for programs that benefit foreign governments and corporate interests.

2005 Ron Paul Chapter 30
December 7, 2005  
The Blame Game

2005 Ron Paul 30:1
Our country faces major problems.   No longer can they remain hidden from the American people.   Most Americans are aware the federal budget is in dismal shape.   Whether it’s Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or even the private pension system, most Americans realize we’re in debt over our heads.

2005 Ron Paul 30:2
The welfare state is unmanageable and severely overextended.   In spite of hopes that supposed reform would restore sound financing and provide for all the needs of the people, it’s becoming more apparent every day that the entire system of entitlements is in a precarious state and may well collapse.   It doesn’t take a genius to realize that increasing the national debt by over six hundred billion dollars per year is not sustainable.   Raising taxes to make up the shortfall is unacceptable, while continuing to print the money needed will only accelerate the erosion of the dollar’s value.

2005 Ron Paul 30:3
Our foreign policy is no less of a threat to us.   Our worldwide military presence and our obsession with remaking the entire Middle East frightens a lot of people both here and abroad.   Our role as world policeman and nation builder places undue burdens on the American taxpayer.   Our enormous overseas military expenditures — literally hundreds of billion of dollars — are a huge drain on the American economy.

2005 Ron Paul 30:4
All wars invite abuses of civil liberties at home, and the vague declaration of war against terrorism is worse than most in this regard.   As our liberties here at home are diminished by the Patriot Act and national ID card legislation, we succumb to the temptation of all empires to neglect habeas corpus, employ torture tactics, and use secret imprisonment. These domestic and foreign policy trends reflect a morally bankrupt philosophy, devoid of any concern for liberty and the rule of law.

2005 Ron Paul 30:5
The American people are becoming more aware of the serious crisis this country faces.   Their deep concern is reflected in the current mood in Congress.   The recent debate over Iraq shows the parties are now looking for someone to blame for the mess we’re in.   It’s a high stakes political game.   The fact that a majority of both parties and their leadership endorsed the war, and accept the same approach toward Iran and Syria, does nothing to tone down the accusatory nature of the current blame game.  

2005 Ron Paul 30:6
The argument in Washington is over tactics, quality of intelligence, war management, and diplomacy, except for the few who admit that tragic mistakes were made and now sincerely want to establish a new course for Iraq.   Thank goodness for those who are willing to reassess and admit to these mistakes.   Those of us who have opposed the war all along welcome them to the cause of peace.

2005 Ron Paul 30:7
If we hope to pursue a more sensible foreign policy, it is imperative that Congress face up to its explicit constitutional responsibility to declare war.   It’s easy to condemn the management of a war one endorsed, while deferring the final decision about whether to deploy troops to the president.   When Congress accepts and assumes its awesome responsibility to declare war, as directed by the Constitution, fewer wars will be fought.

2005 Ron Paul 30:8
Sadly, the acrimonious blame game is motivated by the leadership of both parties for the purpose of gaining, or retaining, political power.   It doesn’t approach a true debate over the wisdom, or lack thereof, of foreign military interventionism and pre-emptive war.

2005 Ron Paul 30:9
Polls indicate ordinary Americans are becoming uneasy with our prolonged war in Iraq, which has no end in sight.   The fact that no one can define victory precisely, and most American see us staying in Iraq for years to come, contribute to the erosion of support for this war.   Currently 63% of Americans disapprove of the handling of the war, and 52% say it’s time to come home.   42% say we need a foreign policy of minding our own business.   This is very encouraging.

2005 Ron Paul 30:10
The percentages are even higher for the Iraqis.   82% want us to leave, while 67% claim they are less secure with our troops there.   Ironically, our involvement has produced an unusual agreement among the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis, the three factions at odds with each other.   At the recent 22-member Arab League meeting in Cairo, the three groups agreed on one issue: they all want foreign troops to leave.   At the end of the meeting an explicit communiqué was released: “We demand the withdrawal of foreign forces in accordance with a timetable, and the establishment of a national and immediate program for rebuilding the armed forces… that will allow them to guard Iraq’s borders and get control of the security situation.”   Since the administration is so enamored with democracy, why not have a national referendum in Iraq to see if the people want us to leave?

2005 Ron Paul 30:11
After we left Lebanon in the 1980s, the Arab League was instrumental in brokering an end to that country’s 15-year civil war.   Its chances of helping to stop the fighting in Iraq are far better than depending on the UN, NATO, or the United States.   This is a regional dispute that we stirred up but cannot settle.   The Arab League needs to assume a lot more responsibility for the mess that our invasion has caused.   We need to get out of the way and let them solve their own problems.

2005 Ron Paul 30:12
Remember, once we left Lebanon suicide terrorism stopped and peace finally came.   The same could happen in Iraq.

2005 Ron Paul 30:13
Everyone is talking about the downside of us leaving, and the civil war that might erupt.   Possibly so, but no one knows with certainty what will happen.   There was no downside when we left Vietnam.   But one thing for sure, after a painful decade of killing in the 1960s, the killing stopped and no more Americans died once we left.   We now trade with Vietnam and enjoy friendly relations with them.   This was achieved through peaceful means, not military force.   The real question is how many more Americans must be sacrificed for a policy that is not working?   Are we going to fight until we go broke and the American people are impoverished?   Common sense tells us it’s time to reassess the politics of military intervention and not just look for someone to blame for falling once again into the trap of a military quagmire.

2005 Ron Paul 30:14
The blame game is a political event, designed to avoid the serious philosophic debate over our foreign policy of interventionism.   The mistakes made by both parties in dragging us into an unwise war are obvious, but the effort to blame one group over the other confuses the real issue.   Obviously Congress failed to meet its constitutional obligation regarding war.   Debate over prewar intelligence elicits charges of errors, lies, and complicity.   It is now argued that those who are critical of the outcome in Iraq are just as much at fault, since they too accepted flawed intelligence when deciding to support the war.   This charge is leveled at previous administrations, foreign governments, Members of Congress, and the United Nations-- all who made the same mistake of blindly accepting the prewar intelligence.   Complicity, errors of judgment, and malice are hardly an excuse for such a serious commitment as a pre-emptive war against a non-existent enemy.

2005 Ron Paul 30:15
Both sides accepted the evidence supposedly justifying the war, evidence that was not credible.    No weapons of mass destruction were found.   Iraq had no military capabilities. Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were not allies (remember, we were allies of both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden), and Saddam Hussein posed no threat whatsoever to the United States or his neighbors.

2005 Ron Paul 30:16
We hear constantly that we must continue the fight in Iraq, and possibly in Iran and Syria, because, “It’s better to fight the terrorists over there than here.”   Merely repeating this justification, if it is based on a major analytical error, cannot make it so.   All evidence shows that our presence in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries benefits al Qaeda in its recruiting efforts, especially in its search for suicide terrorists.   This one fact prompts a rare agreement among all religious and secular Muslim factions; namely, that the U.S. should leave all Arab lands.   Denying this will not keep terrorists from attacking us, it will do the opposite.

2005 Ron Paul 30:17
The fighting and terrorist attacks are happening overseas because of a publicly stated al Qaeda policy that they will go for soft targets-- our allies whose citizens object to the war like Spain and Italy.   They will attack Americans who are more exposed in Iraq.   It is a serious error to conclude that “fighting them over there” keeps them from fighting us “over here,” or that we’re winning the war against terrorism.   As long as our occupation continues, and American forces continue killing Muslims, the incentive to attack us will grow.   It shouldn’t be hard to understand that the responsibility for violence in Iraq-- even violence between Iraqis-- is blamed on our occupation.   It is more accurate to say, “the longer we fight them over there the longer we will be threatened over here.”

2005 Ron Paul 30:18
The final rhetorical refuge for those who defend the war, not yet refuted, is the dismissive statement that “the world is better off without Saddam Hussein.”   It implies no one can question anything we have done because of this fact.   Instead of an automatic concession it should be legitimate, though politically incorrect, to challenge this disarming assumption.   No one has to like or defend Saddam Hussein to point out we won’t know whether the world is better off until someone has taken Saddam Hussein’s place.

2005 Ron Paul 30:19
This argument was never used to justify removing murderous dictators with much more notoriety than Saddam Hussein, such as our ally Stalin; Pol Pot, whom we helped get into power; or Mao Tse Tung.   Certainly the Soviets, with their bloody history and thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at us, were many times over a greater threat to us than Saddam Hussein ever was.   If containment worked with the Soviets and the Chinese, why is it assumed without question that deposing Saddam Hussein is obviously and without question a better approach for us than containment?

2005 Ron Paul 30:20
The “we’re all better off without Saddam Hussein” cliché doesn’t address the question of whether the 2,100 troops killed or the 20,000 wounded and sick troops are better off.   We refuse to acknowledge the hatred generated by the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens who are written off as collateral damage.   Are the Middle East and Israel better off with the turmoil our occupation has generated?   Hardly!   Honesty would have us conclude that conditions in the Middle East are worse since the war started: the killing never stops, and the cost is more than we can bear-- both in lives and limbs lost and dollars spent.

2005 Ron Paul 30:21
In spite of the potential problems that may or may not come with our withdrawal, the greater mistake was going in the first place.   We need to think more about how to avoid these military encounters, rather than dwelling on the complications that result when we meddle in the affairs of others with no moral or legal authority to do so.   We need less blame game and more reflection about the root cause of our aggressive foreign policy.

2005 Ron Paul 30:22
By limiting the debate to technical points over intelligence, strategy, the number of troops, and how to get out of the mess, we ignore our continued policy of sanctions, threats, and intimidation of Iraq’s neighbors, Iran and Syria.   Even as Congress pretends to argue about how or when we might come home, leaders from both parties continue to support the policy of spreading the war by precipitating a crisis with these two countries.

2005 Ron Paul 30:23
The likelihood of agreeing about who deliberately or innocently misled Congress, the media, and the American people is virtually nil.   Maybe historians at a later date will sort out the whole mess.   The debate over tactics and diplomacy will go on, but that only serves to distract from the important issue of policy.   Few today in Congress are interested in changing from our current accepted policy of intervention to one of strategic independence:   No nation building, no policing the world, no dangerous alliances.

2005 Ron Paul 30:24
But the results of our latest military incursion into a foreign country should not be ignored.   Those who dwell on pragmatic matters should pay close attention to the results so far.

2005 Ron Paul 30:25
Since March 2003 we have seen:

2005 Ron Paul 30:26
Death and destruction; 2,100 Americans killed and nearly 20,000 sick or wounded, plus tens of thousands of Iraqis caught in the crossfire;

2005 Ron Paul 30:27
A Shiite theocracy has been planted;

2005 Ron Paul 30:28
A civil war has erupted;

2005 Ron Paul 30:29
Iran’s arch nemesis, Saddam Hussein, has been removed;

2005 Ron Paul 30:30
Osama bin Laden’s arch nemesis, Saddam Hussein, has been removed;

2005 Ron Paul 30:31
Al Qaeda now operates freely in Iraq, enjoying a fertile training field not previously available to them;

2005 Ron Paul 30:32
Suicide terrorism, spurred on by our occupation, has significantly increased;

2005 Ron Paul 30:33
Our military industrial complex thrives in Iraq without competitive bids;

2005 Ron Paul 30:34
True national defense and the voluntary army have been undermined;

2005 Ron Paul 30:35
Personal liberty at home is under attack; assaults on free speech and privacy, national ID cards, the Patriot Act, National Security letters, and challenges to habeas corpus all have been promoted;

2005 Ron Paul 30:36
Values have changed, with more Americans supporting torture and secret prisons;

2005 Ron Paul 30:37
Domestic strife, as recently reflected in arguments over the war on the House floor, is on the upswing;

2005 Ron Paul 30:38
Pre-emptive war has been codified and accepted as legitimate and necessary, a bleak policy for our future;

2005 Ron Paul 30:39
The Middle East is far more unstable, and oil supplies are less secure, not more;

2005 Ron Paul 30:40
Historic relics of civilization protected for thousands of years have been lost in a flash while oil wells were secured;

2005 Ron Paul 30:41
U.S. credibility in the world has been severely damaged; and

2005 Ron Paul 30:42
The national debt has increased enormously, and our dependence on China has increased significantly as our federal government borrows more and more money.

2005 Ron Paul 30:43
How many more years will it take for civilized people to realize that war has no economic or political value for the people who fight and pay for it?   Wars are always started by governments, and individual soldiers on each side are conditioned to take up arms and travel great distances to shoot and kill individuals that never meant them harm.   Both sides drive their people into an hysterical frenzy to overcome their natural instinct to live and let live.   False patriotism is used to embarrass the good-hearted into succumbing to the wishes of the financial and other special interests who agitate for war.

2005 Ron Paul 30:44
War reflects the weakness of a civilization that refuses to offer peace as an alternative.

2005 Ron Paul 30:45
This does not mean we should isolate ourselves from the world.   On the contrary, we need more rather than less interaction with our world neighbors.   We should encourage travel, foreign commerce, friendship, and exchange of ideas-- this would far surpass our misplaced effort to make the world like us through armed force.   And this can be achieved without increasing the power of the state or accepting the notion that some world government is needed to enforce the rules of exchange.   Governments should just get out of the way and let individuals make their own decisions about how they want to relate to the world.

2005 Ron Paul 30:46
Defending the country against aggression is a very limited and proper function of government.   Our military involvement in the world over the past 60 years has not met this test, and we’re paying the price for it.

2005 Ron Paul 30:47
A policy that endorses peace over war, trade over sanctions, courtesy over arrogance, and liberty over coercion is in the tradition of the American Constitution and American idealism.   It deserves consideration.