Volume 2008 — The Book of Ron Paul

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 1

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

15 January 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 1:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, Jesse Ann Lewis of Bay City, Texas will celebrate her 100th birthday on January 30. A lifetime resident of Bay City, Mrs. Lewis faithfully served several Bay City families as a domestic servant. However, Mrs. Lewis’s greatest contribution to her community has been her over six decades of service as a missionary for the Enterprise Church. Mrs. Lewis’s service to Enterprise Church’s congregation enabled her to positively impact the lives of several generations of Bay City residents.

2008 Ron Paul 1:2
The love and dedication Mrs. Lewis has shown for the people of Bay City is reciprocated in the love and respect the people of Bay City have for Mrs. Lewis. It is therefore a pleasure to wish Mrs. Jesse Ann Lewis a happy 100th birthday as she prepares to celebrate her centennial with a gathering in her beloved Enterprise Church, surrounded by people whose lives were improved by Mrs. Lewis’s devotion to her church, her community, and her fellow human beings.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 2

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement of Ron Paul on H.R. 5140

29 January 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 2:1
Madame Speaker, I find it odd that HR 5140, a bill allegedly designed to provide a stimulus for the anemic American economy, contains provisions that could damage the economy and hurt American taxpayers. Specifically, the provisions increasing the loan limitations of the Federal Housing Administration and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (e.g. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), will exacerbate the long-term problems in the housing market, and may even lead to a future taxpayer bailout of the housing industry. The recent bursting of the housing bubble should have taught my colleagues the dangers of government polices that distort the market by diverting resources to housing, when those resources would be more efficiently used in other sectors of the economy.

2008 Ron Paul 2:2
Ironically, many of the same members who insisted that upper income taxpayers be denied the tax rebates are enthusiastic champions of the provisions in HR 5140 increasing the FHA loan limit to $633,500 and the GSE loan limit to $729,750. This increase in the loan limits represents a generous taxpayer subsidy to high-income homeowners.

2008 Ron Paul 2:3
A one-time “rebate” check, while it may provide a temporary boost to many working American families struggling with the current downturn, is not going to provide the type of sustained income growth necessary to restore consumer confidence. In fact, history shows that when the government forgoes serious tax cuts in favor of one-time “rebates” most people either save the money for a “rainy day” or use it to pay down some of their debt.

2008 Ron Paul 2:4
In addition, I am concerned that the 50% bonus depreciation and the increase in the amount of qualifying purchases that small businesses can expense in the year they bought their equipment will be of limited effectiveness because they are limited to one year. A more effective way to stimulate the economy would be to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. I also hope Congress considers the long-term tax cuts contained in HR 5109, the Economic Growth Act.

2008 Ron Paul 2:5
Congress should also pass my Tax Free Tips Act (HR 3664), which makes tips exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. Making tips tax-free will strengthen American families and the American economy by allowing millions of hard-working Americans to devote more resources to their children’s, or their own, education, or to save for a home, retirement, or to start their own businesses.

2008 Ron Paul 2:6
Another disturbing feature of HR 5140 is that, instead of taking the fiscally responsible course and pairing the tax cuts with spending cuts, this bill simply adds to the national deficit. Madame Speaker, unless Congress acts soon to reign in its excessive spending the American people will face confiscatory tax rates or skyrocketing inflation.

2008 Ron Paul 2:7
Tax cuts by themselves will not restore long-term economic health unless and until this body finally addresses the fundamental cause of our economic instability, which is monetary policy. The inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve are the root of the boom-and-bust cycle that has plagued the American economy for almost 75 years. The Federal Reserve’s inflationary polices are also at the root of the steady decline in the American people’s standard of living. A good step toward monetary reform would be for Congress to pass my HR 2576, which repeals the federal legal tender laws. This would allow people to use alternatives to government-issued fiat money and thus protect themselves from Federal Reserve-created inflation.

2008 Ron Paul 2:8
One of the best things Congress could do for the American economy is to repeal, or at least reform, the misguided Sarbanes-Oxley law, particularly Section 404. Rushed through Congress in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals in order to show that Congress was “getting tough” on corporate crime, Sarbanes-Oxley imposes unreasonable costs on small businesses and entrepreneurs.

2008 Ron Paul 2:9
A survey by Financial Executives International, an organization of chief financial officers, put the average cost of compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley at $4.4 million, while the American Economics Association estimates Sarbanes-Oxley could cost American companies as much as $35 billion. Because of these costs, many small businesses are delisting from United States stock exchanges. According to a study by the prestigious Wharton Business School, the number of American companies delisting from public stock exchanges nearly tripled the year after Sarbanes-Oxley became law, thus these companies are finding it more costly to attract the necessary capital to grow their business and create jobs.

2008 Ron Paul 2:10
In conclusion, Madame Speaker, HR 5140 does not provide the kind of permanent, deep tax relief that will protect long-term economic growth, and will actually compound the damage Congress has already done to the housing market. Instead of pretending that we are addressing America’s economic problems via temporary tax cuts, Congress should address the fundamental problems of the American economy by pursing serious monetary reform, spending cuts, and regulatory reform. Congress should also provide real long-term tax relief to the American people by passing legislation such as HR 5109 and HR 3664.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 3

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement of Ron Paul on H.R. 5104
A bill to extend the Protect America Act of 2007 for 30 Days
30 January 2008

Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 3:1
Madame Speaker, I rise in opposition to the extension of the Protect America Act of 2007 because the underlying legislation violates the US Constitution.

2008 Ron Paul 3:2
The mis-named Protect America Act allows the US government to monitor telephone calls and other electronic communications of American citizens without a warrant. This clearly violates the Fourth Amendment, which states:

2008 Ron Paul 3:3
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

2008 Ron Paul 3:4
The Protect America Act sidelines the FISA Court system and places authority over foreign surveillance in the director of national intelligence and the attorney general with little if any oversight. While proponents of this legislation have argued that the monitoring of American citizens would still require a court-issued warrant, the bill only requires that subjects be “reasonably believed to be outside the United States.” Further, it does not provide for the Fourth Amendment protection of American citizens if they happen to be on the other end of the electronic communication where the subject of surveillance is a non-citizen overseas.

2008 Ron Paul 3:5
We must remember that the original Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed in 1978 as a result of the U.S. Senate investigations into the federal government’s illegal spying on American citizens. Its purpose was to prevent the abuse of power from occurring in the future by establishing guidelines and prescribing oversight to the process. It was designed to protect citizens , not the government. The effect seems to have been opposite of what was intended. These recent attempts to “upgrade” FISA do not appear to be designed to enhance protection of our civil liberties, but to make it easier for the government to spy on us!

2008 Ron Paul 3:6
The only legitimate “upgrade” to the original FISA legislation would be to allow surveillance of conversations that begin and end outside the United States between non-US citizens where the telephone call is routed through the United States. Technology and the global communications market have led to more foreign to foreign calls being routed through the United States. This adjustment would solve the problems outlined by the administration without violating the rights of US citizens.

2008 Ron Paul 3:7
While I would not oppose technical changes in FISA that the intelligence community has indicated are necessary, Congress should not use this opportunity to chip away at even more of our constitutional protections and civil liberties. I urge my colleagues to oppose this and any legislation that violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 4

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Congressman Ron Paul
Statement on Competing Currencies
February 13, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 4:1
Madam Speaker, 

2008 Ron Paul 4:2
I rise to speak on the concept of competing currencies.   Currency, or money, is what allows civilization to flourish.   In the absence of money, barter is the name of the game; if the farmer needs shoes, he must trade his eggs and milk to the cobbler and hope that the cobbler needs eggs and milk.   Money makes the transaction process far easier.   Rather than having to search for someone with reciprocal wants, the farmer can exchange his milk and eggs for an agreed-upon medium of exchange with which he can then purchase shoes.  

2008 Ron Paul 4:3
This medium of exchange should satisfy certain properties:   it should be durable, that is to say, it does not wear out easily; it should be portable, that is, easily carried; it should be divisible into units usable for every-day transactions; it should be recognizable and uniform, so that one unit of money has the same properties as every other unit; it should be scarce, in the economic sense, so that the extant supply does not satisfy the wants of everyone demanding it; it should be stable, so that the value of its purchasing power does not fluctuate wildly; and it should be reproducible, so that enough units of money can be created to satisfy the needs of exchange.

2008 Ron Paul 4:4
Over millennia of human history, gold and silver have been the two metals that have most often satisfied these conditions, survived the market process, and gained the trust of billions of people.   Gold and silver are difficult to counterfeit, a property which ensures they will always be accepted in commerce.   It is precisely for this reason that gold and silver are anathema to governments.   A supply of gold and silver that is limited in supply by nature cannot be inflated, and thus serves as a check on the growth of government.   Without the ability to inflate the currency, governments find themselves constrained in their actions, unable to carry on wars of aggression or to appease their overtaxed citizens with bread and circuses.

2008 Ron Paul 4:5
At this country’s founding, there was no government controlled national currency.   While the Constitution established the Congressional power of minting coins, it was not until 1792 that the US Mint was formally established.   In the meantime, Americans made do with foreign silver and gold coins.   Even after the Mint’s operations got underway, foreign coins continued to circulate within the United States, and did so for several decades.  

2008 Ron Paul 4:6
On the desk in my office I have a sign that says: “Don’t steal – the government hates competition.”   Indeed, any power a government arrogates to itself, it is loathe to give back to the people.   Just as we have gone from a constitutionally-instituted national defense consisting of a limited army and navy bolstered by militias and letters of marque and reprisal, we have moved from a system of competing currencies to a government-instituted banking cartel that monopolizes the issuance of currency.   In order to introduce a system of competing currencies, there are three steps that must be taken to produce a legal climate favorable to competition.

2008 Ron Paul 4:7
The first step consists of eliminating legal tender laws.   Article I Section 10 of the Constitution forbids the States from making anything but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts.   States are not required to enact legal tender laws, but should they choose to, the only acceptable legal tender is gold and silver, the two precious metals that individuals throughout history and across cultures have used as currency.   However, there is nothing in the Constitution that grants the Congress the power to enact legal tender laws.   We, the Congress, have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, but not to declare a legal tender.   Yet, there is a section of US Code, 31 USC 5103, that purports to establish US coins and currency, including Federal Reserve notes, as legal tender.  

2008 Ron Paul 4:8
Historically, legal tender laws have been used by governments to force their citizens to accept debased and devalued currency.   Gresham’s Law describes this phenomenon, which can be summed up in one phrase:   bad money drives out good money.   An emperor, a king, or a dictator might mint coins with half an ounce of gold and force merchants, under pain of death, to accept them as though they contained one ounce of gold.   Each ounce of the king’s gold could now be minted into two coins instead of one, so the king now had twice as much “money” to spend on building castles and raising armies.   As these legally overvalued coins circulated, the coins containing the full ounce of gold would be pulled out of circulation and hoarded.   We saw this same phenomenon happen in the mid-1960s when the US government began to mint subsidiary coinage out of copper and nickel rather than silver.   The copper and nickel coins were legally overvalued, the silver coins undervalued in relation, and silver coins vanished from circulation.  

2008 Ron Paul 4:9
These actions also give rise to the most pernicious effects of inflation.   Most of the merchants and peasants who received this devalued currency felt the full effects of inflation, the rise in prices and the lowered standard of living, before they received any of the new currency.   By the time they received the new currency, prices had long since doubled, and the new currency they received would give them no benefit.

2008 Ron Paul 4:10
In the absence of legal tender laws, Gresham’s Law no longer holds.   If people are free to reject debased currency, and instead demand sound money, sound money will gradually return to use in society.   Merchants would have been free to reject the king’s coin and accept only coins containing full metal weight.

2008 Ron Paul 4:11
The second step to reestablishing competing currencies is to eliminate laws that prohibit the operation of private mints.   One private enterprise which attempted to popularize the use of precious metal coins was Liberty Services, the creators of the Liberty Dollar.   Evidently the government felt threatened, as Liberty Dollars had all their precious metal coins seized by the FBI and Secret Service this past November.   Of course, not all of these coins were owned by Liberty Services, as many were held in trust as backing for silver and gold certificates which Liberty Services issued.   None of this matters, of course, to the government, who hates to see any competition.

2008 Ron Paul 4:12
The sections of US Code which Liberty Services is accused of violating are erroneously considered to be anti-counterfeiting statutes, when in fact their purpose was to shut down private mints that had been operating in California.   California was awash in gold in the aftermath of the 1849 gold rush, yet had no US Mint to mint coinage.   There was not enough foreign coinage circulating in California either, so private mints stepped into the breech to provide their own coins.   As was to become the case in other industries during the Progressive era, the private mints were eventually accused of circulating debased (substandard) coinage, and in the interest of providing government-sanctioned regulation and a government guarantee of purity, the 1864 Coinage Act was passed, which banned private mints from producing their own coins for circulation as currency.  

2008 Ron Paul 4:13
The final step to ensuring competing currencies is to eliminate capital gains and sales taxes on gold and silver coins.   Under current federal law, coins are considered collectibles, and are liable for capital gains taxes.   Short-term capital gains rates are at income tax levels, up to 35 percent, while long-term capital gains taxes are assessed at the collectibles rate of 28 percent.   Furthermore, these taxes actually tax monetary debasement.   As the dollar weakens, the nominal dollar value of gold increases.   The purchasing power of gold may remain relatively constant, but as the nominal dollar value increases, the federal government considers this an increase in wealth, and taxes accordingly.   Thus, the more the dollar is debased, the more capital gains taxes must be paid on holdings of gold and other precious metals.

2008 Ron Paul 4:14
Just as pernicious are the sales and use taxes which are assessed on gold and silver at the state level in many states.   Imagine having to pay sales tax at the bank every time you change a $10 bill for a roll of quarters to do laundry.   Inflation is a pernicious tax on the value of money, but even the official numbers, which are massaged downwards, are only on the order of 4% per year.   Sales taxes in many states can take away 8% or more on every single transaction in which consumers wish to convert their Federal Reserve Notes into gold or silver.  

2008 Ron Paul 4:15
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government.   The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the US government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral.   Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government’s ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess.   With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system.   I urge my colleagues to consider the redevelopment of a system of competing currencies.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 5

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

14 February 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 5:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, on February 27, the Galveston Chamber of Commerce will present its business of the year award to Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corporation, Gulf Copper, in recognition of the many contributions that it has made to the Galveston community. I am pleased to join my friends from the Galveston Chamber of Commerce in paying tribute to Gulf Copper.

2008 Ron Paul 5:2
Gulf Copper is an employee-owned company that has been in existence for over 50 years. Originally specializing in the installation of copper tubing on marine vessels, Gulf Copper has since expanded into the offshore, military marine, petrochemical, and industrial markets with base services including full topside marine repair, steel fabrication, steel and mechanical repair, machining, painting, and blasting. These expansions of service are helping Gulf Cooper achieve their objective of being the preferred provider of marine and industrial fabrication and repair services in the Texas gulf coast.

2008 Ron Paul 5:3
Gulf Copper’s customer list includes most major U.S. commercial ship operators as well as the U.S. Government Maritime Administration, Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Military Sealift Command.

2008 Ron Paul 5:4
Gulf Copper’s success has brought many benefits to Galveston. For example, Gulf Cooper is responsible for pumping a seven-digit revenue stream into the Port of Galveston. Gulf Cooper is also a source of employment for many residents of Galveston County. In June 2007, Gulf Copper Dry Dock and Rig Repair added an additional 683 employees to its already large staff. Gulf Copper has also helped attract London-based Rolls Royce Commercial Marine to the Galveston area.

2008 Ron Paul 5:5
Gulf Copper also benefits the people of Galveston by serving as a model of corporate civic involvement. The company has helped promote Galveston’s Oceans of Opportunities Job Fair and works with Galveston College to promote Workforce Investment Act-funded welding and pipe fitting classes.

2008 Ron Paul 5:6
Gina Spagnola, president of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, said that Gulf Copper deserves this award because: “They are actively involved in the Galveston community and have made a positive impact on both employers and workers. This chamber and the City of Galveston are grateful for Gulf Copper’s commitment to our community.”

2008 Ron Paul 5:7
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join the Galveston Chamber of Commerce in honoring the management and staff of Gulf Copper for all of their contributions to the economy and community of Galveston, Texas.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 6

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

14 February 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 6:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, on February 21 the Texas Delta Xi Chapter of the Honorary Educators Organization Alpha Delta Kappa will honor those Texas Delta Xi teachers who attended the H.O. Tanner School in Texas, and then returned to teach at H.O. Tanner after completing their education. H.O. Tanner was constructed in 1900 in order to ensure that Texas’ segregation laws did not prevent African- American children from obtaining a quality education.

2008 Ron Paul 6:2
Laws dictating what schools a child can and cannot attend, based solely on that child’s race, are a shameful aspect of America’s history. It is hard to think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than by honoring those who did not allow the burden of the “Jim Crow” laws stop them from obtaining an education, and then used their education to serve the children of their community by devoting their lives to teaching.

2008 Ron Paul 6:3
It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that join Texas Delta Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa in honoring Geneva Barrett, Cora Mack, Berniece Smith, and Sister Julia Mack, who taught kindergarten at the “new” Henry O. Tanner; Sister Mary Crecy, Geneva Barrett both of whom will be honored posthumously), and Mary Dixon who taught at the original Henry O. Tanner School; and Sisters Julia and Cora Mack who attended classes on the “new” H.O. Tanner campus.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 7

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

19 February 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 7:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, on February 21 the Texas Delta Xi Chapter of the Alpha Delta Kappa International Sorority for Women Legislators will honor some distinguished alumni of the H.O. Tanner School in Brazoria, TX, who attended H.O. Tanner when it was a segregated school. Among those honored will be Julia Mack, who taught at H.O. Tanner after segregation was ended. H.O. Tanner was constructed in 1900 in order to ensure that Texas’ segregation laws did not prevent African- American children from obtaining a quality education.

2008 Ron Paul 7:2
Laws dictating what schools a child can and cannot attend, based solely on that child’s race, are a shameful aspect of America’s history. It is hard to think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than by honoring those who did not allow the burden of the “Jim Crow” laws to stop them from obtaining an education, and returning to their community to devote their lives to teaching all students.

2008 Ron Paul 7:3
It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that I join Texas Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa in honoring Geneva Barrett, Cora Mack, Berniece Smith, Julia Mack (who taught kindergarten at the desegregated Henry O. Tanner); Mary Crecy, Geneva Barrett (both of whom are being honored posthumously) and Mary Dickson who taught at the original Henry O. Tanner School, and sisters Julia and Cora Mack who attended classes on the desegregated H.O. Tanner Campus.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 8
Financial Services Committee Hearing
“Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy”
February 26, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 8:1
Mr. Chairman,

2008 Ron Paul 8:2
Price controls are almost universally reviled by economists.   The negative economic consequences of price floors or price ceilings are numerous and well-documented.   Our current series of hearings have been called to discuss the most important, but least understood, price manipulation in the world today: the manipulation of the interest rate.  

2008 Ron Paul 8:3
By setting the federal funds rate, the rate at which banks in the Federal Reserve System loan funds to each other, the Federal Reserve inhibits the actions of market participants coming together to determine a market interest rate.   The Federal Reserve and the federal government do not deign to interfere in setting the price of houses, the interest rate on mortgages, or the prices of wood and steel.   The Fed’s actions in setting the federal funds rate however, because it reflects the price of money to a borrower and thus affects demand for money, affects prices throughout the economy in a manner less pervasive but just as damaging as direct price controls.

2008 Ron Paul 8:4
The example of the Soviet Union should have taught us that no one person, no group of people, no matter how scientifically trained, can arbitrarily set prices and not expect economic havoc.   Only the spontaneous interaction of market participants can lead to the development of a functioning price system that allows the needs and wants of all participants to be met.   The sense I get from reading much of the punditry is that the federal funds rate is set often by the whims of the Federal Reserve governors.   Even mechanistic explanations such as the Taylor Rule rely on inputs that are often left up to the discretion of the Fed policymakers: what is the potential GDP, do we use CPI or PCE, overall CPI versus CPI less energy and food, etc.

2008 Ron Paul 8:5
The setting of the interest rate strikes me as quite similar to the way FDR used to set gold prices in the 1930’s, at his whim, resulting in economic havoc and uncertainty.   When market actors have to devote much of their time to discerning the mindset of government price-setters, to parsing FOMC statements and minutes, they are necessarily diverted from productive economic activity.   They cease to become purely economic actors and are forced to become political forecasters.   This is not a problem isolated to this particular case, as businesses are forced to reckon with tax increases, expiring tax credits, import tariffs, subsidies to competitors, etc.   However, because the interest rate determines the cost of borrowing and therefore determines whether or not marginal long-term business investments are undertaken, this politicized interest rate manipulation has far more impact than other government policies.

2008 Ron Paul 8:6
This setting of the interest rate introduces the business cycle into the economy.   Until we understand the results these Federal Reserve actions have, we will be doomed to repeat these periods of boom and bust.   I urge my colleagues to study this matter, and to resist the urge for greater Federal Reserve intervention in the market.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 9
Financial Services Committee Hearing
“Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy”
February 27, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 9:1
Mr. Chairman,

2008 Ron Paul 9:2
A topic that is on the lips of many people during the past few months, and one with which I have greatly concerned myself, is that of moral hazard.   We hear cries from all corners, from politicians, journalists, economists, businessmen, and citizens, clamoring for the federal government to intervene in the economy in order to forestall a calamitous recession.   During the boom, many of these same individuals called for no end to the Fed’s easy credit.   Now that the consequences of that easy money policy are coming home to roost, no one wants to face those ill effects.

2008 Ron Paul 9:3
We have already seen a plan from the administration to freeze mortgages, a plan which is alleged to be only a temporary program.   As with other programs that have come through this committee, I believe we ought to learn from history and realize that “temporary” programs are almost anything but temporary.   When this program expires and mortgage rates reset, we will see new calls for a rate-freeze plan, maybe for two years, maybe for five, or maybe for more.  

2008 Ron Paul 9:4
Some drastic proposals have called for the federal government to purchase existing mortgages and take upon itself the process of rewriting these and guaranteeing the resulting new mortgages.   Aside from exposing the government to tens of billions of dollars of potentially defaulting mortgages, the burden of which will ultimately fall on the taxpayers, this type of plan would embed the federal government even deeper into the housing market and perpetuate instability.   The Congress has, over the past decades, relentlessly pushed for increased rates of homeownership among people who have always been viewed by the market as poor credit risks.   Various means and incentives have been used by the government, but behind all the actions of lenders has been an implicit belief in a federal bailout in the event of a crisis.

2008 Ron Paul 9:5
What all of these proposed bailouts fail to mention is the moral hazard to which bailouts lead.   If the federal government bails out banks, investors, or homeowners, the lessons of sound investment and fiscal discipline will not take hold.   We can see this in the financial markets in the boom and bust of the business cycle.   The Fed’s manipulation of interest rates results in malinvestment which, when it is discovered, leads to economic contraction and liquidation of malinvested resources.   But the Fed never allows a complete shakeout, so that before a return to a sound market can occur, the Fed has already bailed out numerous market participants by undertaking another bout of loose money before the effects of the last business cycle have worked their way through the economy.  

2008 Ron Paul 9:6
Many market actors therefore continue to undertake risky investments and expect that in the future, if their investments go south, that the Fed would and should intervene by creating more money and credit.   The result of these bailouts is that each successive recession runs the risk of becoming larger and more severe, requiring a stronger reaction by the Fed.   Eventually, however, the Fed begins to run out of room in which to maneuver, a problem we are facing today.

2008 Ron Paul 9:7
I urge my colleagues to resist the temptation to call for easy fixes in the form of bailouts.   If we fail to address and stem the problem of moral hazard, we are doomed to experience repeated severe economic crises.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 10

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on Gaza Bill
March 5, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 10:1
Madam Speaker: I rise in opposition to H. Res. 951. As one who is consistently against war and violence, I obviously do not support the firing of rockets indiscriminately into civilian populations. I believe it is appalling that Palestinians are firing rockets that harm innocent Israelis, just as I believe it is appalling that Israel fires missiles into Palestinian areas where children and other non-combatants are killed and injured.

2008 Ron Paul 10:2
Unfortunately, legislation such as this is more likely to perpetuate violence in the Middle East than contribute to its abatement. It is our continued involvement and intervention – particularly when it appears to be one-sided – that reduces the incentive for opposing sides to reach a lasting peace agreement.

2008 Ron Paul 10:3
Additionally, this bill will continue the march toward war with Iran and Syria, as it contains provocative language targeting these countries. The legislation oversimplifies the Israel/Palestine conflict and the larger unrest in the Middle East by simply pointing the finger at Iran and Syria. This is another piece in a steady series of legislation passed in the House that intensifies enmity between the United States and Iran and Syria. My colleagues will recall that we saw a similar steady stream of provocative legislation against Iraq in the years before the US attack on that country.

2008 Ron Paul 10:4
I strongly believe that we must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States. We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 11
Opening Statement
Financial Services Committee
Foreign Government Investment in the U.S. Economy and Financial Sector

March 5, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 11:1
Mr. Chairman, many Americans have expressed concern over the growing role played by sovereign wealth funds in the U.S. economy.   Such fears are to a large extent misplaced, however, as we should be more concerned with the underlying causes that have allowed sovereign wealth funds to accumulate as much capital as they have.

2008 Ron Paul 11:2
The two major types of sovereign wealth funds are those which are funded by proceeds from natural resources sales, and those funded by accumulation of foreign exchange.   The former category includes sovereign wealth funds in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE.   Flush with dollars due to the high price of oil, they are looking for opportunities to make that money work for them.   The high price of oil is due in large part to our inflationary monetary policy.   We have literally exported inflation across the globe, spurring malinvestment and a subsequent commodities boom.  

2008 Ron Paul 11:3
The second major category of sovereign wealth funds includes China’s sovereign wealth fund, which has the potential to draw on China’s more than $1 trillion in foreign exchange reserves.   Because of China’s current account surplus, it continues to accumulate foreign exchange.   Much of this is due to the United States’ persistent current account deficit.   Inflationary monetary policy and a desire to stimulate the economy at all costs has led us to become the world’s largest debtor, and this debt must eventually be repaid.   The current account deficit has come about because our economy does not produce enough capital goods to satisfy the wants of our foreign creditors.   Tired of holding increasingly worthless dollars, it is only natural that our creditors would want to purchase tangibles, which in the present case are stakes in American companies.

2008 Ron Paul 11:4
Rather than bemoaning the fact that foreign governments are using their dollars to purchase stakes in American companies, we should welcome the stability that such investment is bringing to our economy.   While I am reluctant as anyone in this room to involve any government in any sort of intervention into the market, the fact remains that without injections of capital from foreign wealth funds the results of the subprime crisis would have been far worse for many financial firms.   Even now we read that Citigroup, despite the massive funding it has received from sovereign wealth funds, is in danger of collapse unless it receives additional funding.  

2008 Ron Paul 11:5
I have always been a staunch advocate of abandoning our loose monetary policy and facing the consequences now, rather than continuing easy money in the hopes of never having to face a recession.   Now that it is clear that decades of Federal Reserve monetary manipulation have led to a severe recession, the thought of sovereign wealth funds investing in the financial sector holds far more appeal than that of a complete collapse of major industry players which would cause catastrophic effects throughout the economy.  

2008 Ron Paul 11:6
Sovereign wealth funds are a necessary consequence of fiscal and monetary policies which have left us overextended.   Actions to stifle the operations of sovereign wealth funds and corresponding retaliatory actions by foreign countries could have the same detrimental effects on the economy as the trade wars begun after passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff.   Rather than take actions to limit or prohibit the actions of sovereign wealth funds, I would urge my colleagues to take action to end our inflationary monetary policy.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 12
Statement on Coinage
Financial Services Committee
Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology
Hearing on HR 5512

Opening Statement
March 11, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 12:1
Mr. Chairman, I oppose HR 5512 because it is unconstitutional to delegate the determination of the metal content of our coinage to the Secretary of the Treasury.   Under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, the Congress is given the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.   It is a shame that Congress has already unconstitutionally delegated its coinage authority to the Treasury Department, but that is no reason to further delegate our power and essentially abdicate Congressional oversight as the passing of HR 5512 would do.

2008 Ron Paul 12:2
Oversight by members of Congress, who have an incentive to listen to their constituents, ensures openness and transparency.   This bill would eliminate that process and delegate it to unelected bureaucrats.   The Secretary of the Treasury would be given sole discretion to alter the metal content of coins, or even to create non-metal coins.   Given the history of Congressional delegation and subsequent lax oversight on issues as important as the conflict in Iraq, it would be naïve to believe that Congress would exercise any more oversight over an issue as unimportant to most members as the composition of coins.

2008 Ron Paul 12:3
While I sympathize with the aim of Section 4 of this bill to save taxpayer dollars by minting steel pennies, it is disappointing that our currency has been so greatly devalued as to make this step necessary.   At the time of the penny’s introduction, it actually had some purchasing power.   Based on the price of gold, what one penny would have purchased in 1909 requires 47 cents today.   It is no wonder then that few people nowadays would stoop to pick up any coin smaller than a quarter.  

2008 Ron Paul 12:4
Congress’ unconstitutional delegation of monetary policy to the Federal Reserve and its reluctance to exercise oversight in that arena have led to a massive devaluation of the dollar.   If we fail to end this devaluation, we will undoubtedly hold future hearings as the metal value of our coins continues to outstrip the face value.  

2008 Ron Paul 12:5
HR 5512 is a sad commentary on how far we have fallen, not just since the days of the Founders, but only in the last 75 to 100 years.   We could not maintain the gold standard nor the silver standard.   We could not maintain the copper standard, and now we cannot even maintain the zinc standard.   Paper money inevitably breeds inflation and destroys the value of the currency.   That is the reason that this proposal is before us today.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 13

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

The Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008
11 March 2008

2008 Ron Paul 13:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in somewhat reluctant support of this vote to override the President’s veto of H.R. 2062, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008. Although I voted against this authorization when it first came to the floor, the main issue has now become whether we as a Congress are to condone torture as official U.S. policy or whether we will speak out against it. This bill was vetoed by the President because of a measure added extending the prohibition of the use of any interrogation treatment or technique not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations to the U.S. intelligence community. Opposing this prohibition is tantamount to endorsing the use of torture against those in United States Government custody.

2008 Ron Paul 13:2
Mr. Speaker, we have all read the disturbing reports of individuals apprehended and taken to secret prisons maintained by the United States Government across the globe, tortured for months or even years, and later released without charge. Khaled al-Masri, for example, a German citizen, has recounted the story of his incarceration and torture by U.S. intelligence in a secret facility in Afghanistan. His horror was said to be simply a case of mistaken identity. We do not know how many more similar cases there may be, but clearly it is not in the interest of the United States to act in a manner so contrary to the values upon which we pride ourselves.

2008 Ron Paul 13:3
My vote to override the President’s veto is a vote to send a clear message that I do not think the United States should be in the business of torture. It is anti-American, immoral and counterproductive.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 14

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Living by the Sword

Ron Paul, M.D.
13 March 2008

2008 Ron Paul 14:1
It has been said that “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.” And in the case of Eliot Spitzer this couldn’t be more true. In his case it’s the political sword, as his enemies rejoice in his downfall. Most people, it seems, believe he got exactly what he deserved.

2008 Ron Paul 14:2
The illegal tools of the state brought Spitzer down, but think of all the harm done by Spitzer in using the same tools against so many other innocent people. He practiced what could be termed “economic McCarthyism,” using illegitimate government power to build his political career on the ruined lives of others.

2008 Ron Paul 14:3
No matter how morally justified his comeuppance may be, his downfall demonstrates the worst of our society. The possibility of uncovering personal moral wrongdoing is never a justification for the government to spy on our every move and to participate in sting operations.

2008 Ron Paul 14:4
For government to entice a citizen to break a law with a sting operation – that is, engaging in activities that a private citizen is prohibited by law from doing — is unconscionable and should clearly be illegal.

2008 Ron Paul 14:5
Though Spitzer used the same tools to destroy individuals charged with economic crimes that ended up being used against him, gloating over his downfall should not divert our attention from the fact that the government spying on American citizens is unworthy of a country claiming respect for liberty and the fourth amendment.

2008 Ron Paul 14:6
Two wrongs do not make a right. Two wrongs make it doubly wrong.

2008 Ron Paul 14:7
Sacrifice of our personal privacy has been ongoing for decades, but has rapidly accelerated since 9/11. Before 9/11 the unstated goal of collecting revenue was the real reason for the erosion of our financial privacy. When nineteen suicidal maniacs attacked us on 9/11, our country became convinced that further sacrifice of personal and financial privacy was required for our security.

2008 Ron Paul 14:8
The driving force behind this ongoing sacrifice of our privacy has been fear and the emotional effect of war rhetoric – war on drugs, war against terrorism, and the war against third world nations in the Middle East who are claimed to be the equivalent to Hitler and Nazi Germany.

2008 Ron Paul 14:9
But the real reason for all this surveillance is to build the power of the state. It arises from a virulent dislike of free people running their own lives and spending their own money. Statists always demand control of the people and their money.

2008 Ron Paul 14:10
Recently we’ve been told that this increase in the already intolerable invasion of our privacy was justified because the purpose was to apprehend terrorists. We were told that the massive amounts of information being collected on Americans would only be used to root out terrorists. But as we can see today, this monitoring of private activities can also be used for political reasons. We should always be concerned when the government accumulates information on innocent citizens.

2008 Ron Paul 14:11
Spitzer was brought down because he legally withdrew cash from a bank – not because he committed a crime. This should prompt us to reassess and hopefully reverse this trend of pervasive government intrusion in our private lives.

2008 Ron Paul 14:12
We need no more Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act!

2008 Ron Paul 14:13
No more Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Acts!

2008 Ron Paul 14:14
No more torture!

2008 Ron Paul 14:15
No more Military Commissions Act!

2008 Ron Paul 14:16
No more secret prisons and extraordinary rendition!

2008 Ron Paul 14:17
No more abuse of habeas corpus!

2008 Ron Paul 14:18
No more PATRIOT Acts!

2008 Ron Paul 14:19
What we need is more government transparency and more privacy for the individual!

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 15

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on FISA Amendments
Statement on H.R. 3773 - FISA Amendments Act of 2008

14 March 2008

Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 15:1
Mr Speaker, I rise in opposition to this latest attempt to undermine our personal liberties and violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. This bill will allow the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications. In effect, it means that any American may have his electronic communications monitored without a search warrant.

2008 Ron Paul 15:2
As such, the bill clearly violates the Fourth Amendment, which states:

2008 Ron Paul 15:3
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized .”

2008 Ron Paul 15:4
The assurances in this bill that Americans will not have their communications monitored without warrant are unconvincing. The bill merely states that the government should do its best to avoid monitoring Americans if possible. We have seen how meaningless such qualified prohibitions have been as we recount the abuses over the past several years.

2008 Ron Paul 15:5
Just today, we read in the news that the federal government has massively abused its ability to monitor us by improperly targeting Americans through the use of “national security letters.” Apparently some 60 percent of the more than 50,000 national security letters targeted Americans, rather than foreign terrorists, for surveillance.

2008 Ron Paul 15:6
This is what happens when we begin down the slippery slope of giving up our constitutional rights for the promise of more security. When we come to accept that the government can spy on us without a court order we have come to accept tyranny.

2008 Ron Paul 15:7
I urge my colleagues to reject this and all legislation that allows Americans to be spied on without a properly issued warrant.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 16

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on H Res 997

Expressing the strong support of the House of Representatives for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to enter into a Membership Action Plan with Georgia and Ukraine.
Ron Paul, M.D.
1 April 2008

2008 Ron Paul 16:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution calling for the further expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia . NATO is an organization whose purpose ended with the end of its Warsaw Pact adversary. When NATO struggled to define its future after the Cold War, it settled on attacking a sovereign state, Yugoslavia, which had neither invaded nor threatened any NATO member state.

2008 Ron Paul 16:2
This current round of NATO expansion is a political reward to governments in Georgia and Ukraine that came to power as a result of US-supported revolutions, the so-called Orange Revolution and Rose Revolution. The governments that arose from these street protests were eager to please their US sponsor and the US , in turn, turned a blind eye to the numerous political and human rights abuses that took place under the new regimes. Thus the US policy of “exporting democracy” has only succeeding in exporting more misery to the countries it has targeted.

2008 Ron Paul 16:3
NATO expansion only benefits the US military industrial complex, which stands to profit from expanded arms sales to new NATO members. The “modernization” of former Soviet militaries in Ukraine and Georgia will mean tens of millions in sales to US and European military contractors. The US taxpayer will be left holding the bill, as the US government will subsidize most of the transactions. Providing US military guarantees to Ukraine and Georgia can only further strain our military. This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts as unrelated to our national interest as the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. The idea that American troops might be forced to fight and die to prevent a small section of Georgia from seceding is absurd and disturbing.

2008 Ron Paul 16:4
Mr. Speaker, NATO should be disbanded, not expanded.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 17

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on H Con Res 154
Expressing concern over Russian involvement in Alexander Litvinenko’s murder

Ron Paul
1 April 2008

2008 Ron Paul 17:1
Mr. Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to this ill-conceived resolution. The US House of Representatives has no business speculating on guilt or innocence in a crime that may have been committed thousands of miles outside US territory. It is arrogant, to say the least, that we presume to pass judgment on crimes committed overseas about which we have seen no evidence.

2008 Ron Paul 17:2
The resolution purports to express concern over the apparent murder in London of a shadowy former Russian intelligence agent, Alexander Litvinenko, but let us not kid ourselves. The real purpose is to attack the Russian government by suggesting that Russia is involved in the murder. There is little evidence of this beyond the feverish accusations of interested parties. In fact, we may ultimately discover that Litvinenko’s death by radiation poisoning was the result of his involvement in an international nuclear smuggling operation, as some investigative reporters have claimed. The point is that we do not know. The House of Representatives has no business inserting itself in disputes about which we lack information and jurisdiction.

2008 Ron Paul 17:3
At a time when we should be seeking good relations and expanded trade with Russia , what is the benefit in passing such provocative resolutions? There is none.

2008 Ron Paul 17:4
Mr. Speaker, I would like to enter into the Congressional Record a very thought-provoking article by Edward Jay Epstein published recently in the New York Sun, which convincingly calls into question many of the assumptions and accusations made in this legislation. I would encourage my colleagues to read this article and carefully consider the wisdom of what we are doing.

2008 Ron Paul 17:5
Article insert here:

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 18
Congressman Ron Paul
Statement before the Joint Economic Committee
Hearing on “The Economic Outlook”

April 2, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 18:1
Mr. Chairman,

2008 Ron Paul 18:2
I have never been opposed to regulation, although my idea of regulation differs from that of many people in Washington.   The free market and its forces of supply and demand are the most effective regulator of the private sector, and have never been known to fail absent government intervention.   But piling more public sector regulation on the private sector will have a detrimental effect on the health of our financial system and sow the seeds for the next financial meltdown.

2008 Ron Paul 18:3
What we in Washington should be discussing is increased regulation and scrutiny of public sector regulatory and oversight agencies such as the Federal Reserve Board, the SEC, and others.   The Federal Reserve’s actions got us into at least one depression in the last century, and have led to continued cyclical difficulties, including the current economic slowdown.

2008 Ron Paul 18:4
Back in the 1970s, government-caused inflation reached levels high enough that the Nixon administration decided to implement wage and price controls.   Placing blame on greedy speculators, unscrupulous mortgage originators, or panicky investors, is a common reaction on the part of government.

2008 Ron Paul 18:5
The solution called for, despite the numerous documented failures of government regulation, is always more regulation, more government involvement in and control over the economy, and less free enterprise.   Never is the blame placed squarely where it belongs, which is on the shoulders of legislators and regulators whose actions distort the market, prohibiting legitimate market activities and encouraging the development of labyrinthine and opaque financial schemes.

2008 Ron Paul 18:6
The latest regulatory plan from the Treasury Department, with the potential to turn the Federal Reserve into a super-regulator overseeing state-chartered banks, bank holding companies, and acting as a guarantor of market stability, is another in a long line of half-baked government responses to financial difficulty.   Recession after recession has not impressed upon government leaders the reality that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy activities are what lead to market instability.  

2008 Ron Paul 18:7
The business cycle, contrary to what Secretary Paulson and others seem to believe, is not endemic to the free market.   It is always and everywhere the result of monetary inflation and subsequent malinvestment, which when it is discovered must of necessity be liquidated in order for a true recovery to occur.   Delaying the liquidation will only prolong the crisis and ensure that the next crisis will be more severe.  

2008 Ron Paul 18:8
Every government intervention will result in a distortion of the market and a subsequent shock somewhere down the line in the future.   It is about time that we recognize the failure of government intervention, get our hands out of the private sector, and for once allow the market to function.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 19
Statement Before the Financial Services Committee, On UIGEA
Congressman Ron Paul
Statement before the Financial Services Committee
Subcommittee on Domestic & International Monetary Policy
U.S. House of Representatives
Hearing on Proposed UIGEA Regulations
April 2, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 19:1
Mr. Chairman,

2008 Ron Paul 19:2
I stand opposed to the regulations being discussed today because I opposed the underlying bill upon which these regulations are based.   The ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms that are important to many Americans: the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet.  

2008 Ron Paul 19:3
The proper role of the federal government is not that of a nanny, protecting citizens from any and every potential negative consequence of their actions.   Although I personally believe gambling to be a dumb waste of money, American citizens should be just as free to spend their money playing online poker as they should be able to buy a used car, enter into a mortgage, or invest in a hedge fund.   Risk is inherent in any economic activity, and it is not for the government to determine which risky behaviors Americans may or may not engage in.

2008 Ron Paul 19:4
The Internet is a powerful tool, and any censorship of Internet activity sets a dangerous precedent.   Many Americans rely on the Internet for activities as varied as watching basketball games, keeping up on international news broadcasts, or buying food and clothing.   In the last few years we have seen ominous signs of the federal government’s desire to control the Internet.   The ostensible reasons are to protect Americans from sex offenders, terrorists, and the evils of gambling, but once the door is open to government intrusion, there is no telling what legitimate activity, especially political activity, might fall afoul of government authorities.

2008 Ron Paul 19:5
The regulations and underlying bill also force financial institutions to act as law enforcement officers.   This is another pernicious trend that has accelerated in the aftermath of the Patriot Act, the deputization of private businesses to perform intrusive enforcement and surveillance functions that the federal government is unwilling to perform on its own.

2008 Ron Paul 19:6
In conclusion, I urge my colleagues to oppose these new regulations and support Chairman Frank’s HR 2046, of which I am a cosponsor.   Although this bill has been criticized by some for its regulatory aspects, this act does not create any new federal laws and merely ensures that Internet gambling firms comply with existing federal law.   The passage of HR 2046 would restore the right of Americans to decide for themselves whether or not to gamble online.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 20

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

8 April 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 20:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, as an OB–GYN I take a back seat to no one when it comes to caring about the health of newborn children. However, as a Representative who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, I cannot support legislation, no matter how much I sympathize with the legislation’s stated goals, that exceeds the Constitutional limitations on Federal power or in any way threatens the liberty of the American people. Since S. 1858 violates the Constitution, and may have unintended consequences that will weaken the American health care system and further erode medical privacy, I must oppose it.

2008 Ron Paul 20:2
S. 1858 gives the Federal bureaucracy the authority to develop a model newborn screening program. Madam Speaker, the Federal Government lacks both the constitutional authority and the competence to develop a newborn screening program adequate for a nation as large and diverse as the United States. Some will say that the program is merely a guide for local hospitals. However, does anyone seriously doubt that, whatever the flaws contained in the model eventually adopted by the Federal Government, almost every hospital in the country will scrap their own newborn screening programs in favor of the Federal model? After all, no hospital will want to risk losing Federal funding because they did not adopt the “federally approved” plan for newborn screening. Thus, this bill takes another step toward the nationalization of health care.

2008 Ron Paul 20:3
As the Federal Government assumes more control over health care, medical privacy has increasingly come under assault. Those of us in the medical profession should be particularly concerned about policies allowing Government officials and State-favored interests to access our medical records without our consent. After all, patient confidentiality is the basis of the trust that must underline a positive physician-patient relationship. Yet my review of S. 1858 indicates the drafters of the legislation made no effort to ensure these newborn screening programs do not violate the privacy rights of parents and children.

2008 Ron Paul 20:4
In fact, by directing Federal bureaucrats to create a contingency plan for newborn screening in the event of a “public health” disaster, this bill may lead to further erosions of medical privacy. As recent history so eloquently illustrates, politicians are more than willing to take, and people are more than willing to cede, liberty during times of “emergency.” Thus, most people will gladly sacrifice their families’ medical privacy if they are told it is necessary to protect them from a Government-declared health emergency, while the Federal Government will be very unlikely to relinquish its new powers when the emergency passes.

2008 Ron Paul 20:5
I am also skeptical, to say the least, that a top-down Federal plan to screen any part of the population will effectively help meet the challenges facing the health care system in the event of a real public emergency. State and local Governments working together with health care providers, can better come up with effective ways to deal with public health emergencies than can any Federal bureaucracy. It is for these reasons, Madam Speaker, that I oppose S. 1858.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 21

Comments at Hearing Questions for the Witnesses, General David H. Petraeus, USA and The Honorable Ryan C. Crocker

“Report on Iraq to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs”
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
April 9, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 21:1
Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit several questions to the panel. I know there will not be enough time to answer these, but I want to get them into the record.

2008 Ron Paul 21:2
Why should the American people continue to support a war that was justified by false information, since Saddam Hussein never aggressed against the United States , Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction?

2008 Ron Paul 21:3
It is said that we must continue the war because we have already sacrificed so much. But what is moral about demanding even more needless sacrifice of human lives merely to save face for the mistakes of invading and occupying Iraq ?

2008 Ron Paul 21:4
Doesn’t it seem awfully strange that the Iraqi government we support is an ally of the Iranians who are our declared enemies? Are we not now supporting the Iranians by propping up their allies in Iraq ? If (Iraqi Prime Minister) Maliki is our ally and he has “diplomatic relations” with (Iranian President) Ahmadinejad why can’t we? Why must we continue to provoke Iran , just looking for an excuse to bomb that country? Does our policy in Iraq not guarantee chaos for years to come?

2008 Ron Paul 21:5
It is estimated that up to 2,000 Iraqi soldiers refused to fight against al-Sadr’s militia. Why should we not expect many of the 80,000 Sunnis we have recently armed to someday turn their weapons against us, since they as well as the Mahdi Army detest any and all foreign occupation?

2008 Ron Paul 21:6
Is it not true that our ally Malaki broke the ceasefire declared by al-Sadr by initiating the recent violence? Is it not true that the current ceasefire was brokered by the Iranians, who also condemned the attacks on the “Green Zone.” How can we blame all the violence on the Iranians?

2008 Ron Paul 21:7
Is it not true that with the recent surge in violence in March, attacks are now back at the same levels as they were in 2005?

2008 Ron Paul 21:8
Does Iran not have a greater justification to be involved in neighboring Iraq than we do, since it is 6,000 from our shores? If China and Russia were occupying Mexico how would we react?

2008 Ron Paul 21:9
Since no one can define “winning the war,” just who do we expect to surrender? Does this not mean that this war will be endless since the political leaders will not end it – until we go broke, and maybe that’s not be so far off?

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 22
Opening Statement, Petraeus and Crocker Testimony
Opening Statement
“Report on Iraq to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs”
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
April 9 2008

2008 Ron Paul 22:1
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for calling this hearing on the current state of affairs in Iraq with General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Reviewing the presentations by our panel, I have noted with some concern that they seem more focused on justifying a future attack on Iran than reporting on progress in Iraq . Much of the assertions about Iran in Iraq seem illogical, others seem intended to inflame the situation with little justification.

2008 Ron Paul 22:2
Particularly, I am concerned about claims that a new enemy in Iraq has emerged with ties to Iran . First we were told that the enemy was Saddam Hussein and his Baathist Party. Then we were told the enemy was the “dead-enders” from Saddam’s former government. Then the prime enemy became “al-Qaeda in Iraq ,” a prime focus of the presentation by Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus last September. Now we are told that the new enemies are mysterious “Special Groups” that are said to have spun off from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

2008 Ron Paul 22:3
If this phenomenon of constantly emerging enemies bent on destabilizing Iraq is accurate and our presence in Iraq keeps generating new enemies, perhaps the problem is the occupation itself. If this is the case, doesn’t it make sense that our departure from Iraq may actually have a stabilizing effect?

2008 Ron Paul 22:4
I suspect these allegations that Iranian-supported “Special Groups” are now the prime enemy are in reality designed to provide an excuse for a planned US attack on Iran or are meant as justification for a permanent US military presence in Iraq .

2008 Ron Paul 22:5
It makes little sense to assert that Iran is funding militias to undermine the Iraqi government. The current Iraqi government may have been approved by the United States, but essentially it was made in Iran. The leading political parties of Iraq, the DAWA and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council have close ties to Iran. Leaders of these parties were in exile in Iran until the US invasion of Iraq. Iranian president Ahmadinejad is warmly welcomed in Baghdad by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. Why would Iran set up militias in the south to destabilize a government with such strong Iranian ties? I find the allegation that Iran just cannot tolerate an elected government next door to be unsatisfying, particularly considering that Iran itself regularly holds elections where a wide variety of political parties compete for power.

2008 Ron Paul 22:6
It is alleged that the rockets fired into the Green Zone during the recent clashes in Baghdad and Basra were made in 2007 in Iran. Is it not true, however, that if the Iranian government were to actually arm the Iraqi militias, these groups would have more modern weapons to counter U.S. helicopter gunships and heavy tanks? Is there any hard proof that the Iranian government is arming groups in Iraq? There are reports that thousands of US weapons have gone missing in Iraq. If some of these turn up in the hands of insurgents, would it make sense to suggest that the US government is intentionally arming them?

2008 Ron Paul 22:7
In fact, there is plenty of evidence that Iran is trying to prevent the further destabilization of Iraq, which makes sense considering that Iran is next door and would keenly feel the effects of an Iraq fallen into civil war. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Iranian government has condemned attacks on the “Green Zone” in Iraq. According to other press reports, the government of Iran brokered a ceasefire after recent Iraqi government moves against elements of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Basra.

2008 Ron Paul 22:8
Mr. Chairman, I would like to conclude by again stating my concern that the real purpose of today’s testimony is to further set the stage for an attack on Iran . Congress should make it very clear that there is no authority under current law for an attack on Iran . It is in our best interest to talk with Iran and to work with Iran to help stabilize the situation in Iraq . It is also in our immediate interest to remove US forces from Iraq as quickly as it is safe to do so.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 23

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on Earmark Reform
Congressman Ron Paul
U.S. House of Representatives
April 9, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 23:1
Madame Speaker, abuses of the earmark process by members of both parties demonstrate the need for reform. However earmarks are hardly the most serious problem facing this country. In fact, many, if not most of the problems with earmarks can be fixed by taking simple steps to bring greater transparency to the appropriations process. While I support reforms designed to shine greater sunlight on the process by which members seek earmarks, I fear that some of my colleagues have forgotten that the abuses of the earmarking process are a symptom of the problems with Washington, not the cause. The root of the problem is an out-of-control federal budget. I am also concerned that some reforms proposed by critics of earmarking undermine the separation of powers by eroding the constitutional role Congress plays in determining how federal funds are spent.

2008 Ron Paul 23:2
Contrary to popular belief, adding earmarks to a bill does not increase federal spending by even one penny. Spending levels for the appropriation bills are set before Congress adds a single earmark to a bill. The question of whether or not the way the money is spent is determined by earmarks or by another means does not effect the total amount of spending.

2008 Ron Paul 23:3
Since reforming, limiting, or even eliminating earmarks does nothing to reduce federal spending, I have regarded the battle over earmarks as a distraction from the real issue — the need to reduce the size of government. Recently, opponents of earmarks have embraced an approach to earmark reform that undermines the constitutional separation of powers by encouraging the president to issue an executive order authorizing federal agencies to disregard congressional earmarks placed in committee reports.

2008 Ron Paul 23:4
Since the president’s executive order would not reduce federal spending, the practical result of such an executive order would be to transfer power over the determination of how federal funds are spent from Congress to unelected federal bureaucrats. Since most earmarks are generated by requests from our constituents, including local elected officials, such as mayors, this executive order has the practical effect of limiting taxpayers’ ability to influence the ways the federal government spends tax dollars.

2008 Ron Paul 23:5
Madame Speaker, the drafters of the Constitution gave Congress the powers of the purse because the drafters feared that allowing the branch of government charged with executing the laws to also write the federal budget would concentrate too much power in one branch of government. The founders correctly viewed the separation of law-making and law-enforcement powers as a vital safeguard of liberty. Whenever the president blatantly disregards orders from Congress as to how federal funds should be spent, he is undermining the constitutional separation of powers.

2008 Ron Paul 23:6
Congress has already all but ceded its authority to declare war to the executive branch. Now we are giving away our power of the purse. Madame Speaker, the logical conclusion of the arguments that it is somehow illegitimate for members of Congress to control the distribution of federal funds in their district is that Congress should only meet one week a year to appropriate a lump sum to be given to the president for him to allocate to the federal government as he sees fit.

2008 Ron Paul 23:7
Madame Speaker, all members should support efforts to bring greater transparency to the earmarking process. However, we must not allow earmarking reform to distract us from what should be our main priority — restricting federal spending by returning the government to its constitutional limitations. I also urge my colleagues not to allow the current hysteria over earmarks to justify further erosion of our constitutional authority to control the federal budget.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 24

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Tribute to Bernie Baltic
April 15th 2008

2008 Ron Paul 24:1
Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Mr. Bernie Baltic of Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Baltic, who recently passed away, was a tireless champion of liberty. His advocacy of applying the freedom philosophy to the issues of the day was made all the more effective by his voracious reading of both the classics of liberty and the latest policy studies.

2008 Ron Paul 24:2
Any politician or bureaucrat at any level of government who threatened individual liberty was sure to hear from Mr. Baltic. Mr. Baltic also worked to educate and mobilize his fellow citizens in the cause of liberty through writing letters to the editor, and by directly challenging anti-liberty officials at forums such as city council meetings. In addition to his own activities, Mr. Baltic generously shared his support and counsel with numerous organizations that work to advance the cause of liberty.

2008 Ron Paul 24:3
Perhaps Mr. Baltic’s most lasting contribution to the freedom movement came when then-President of the Advocates for Self Government Marshall Fritz showed Mr. Baltic a computer game Mr. Fritz developed that identified an individual’s political philosophy based on responses to ten questions on economic issues and ten questions on civil liberties. Mr. Baltic, who was quite impressed with the chart, suggested that the Advocates produce business-card sized versions of the graph and quiz. The result was the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz,” one of the freedom movement’s most recognized and effective outreach tools.

2008 Ron Paul 24:4
Bernie Baltic set an example for all those wishing to effectively advance the cause of liberty. Madam Speaker, I salute Bernie Baltic for his many contributions to the freedom movement and extend my condolences to Mr. Baltic’s family and friends.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 25

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

22 April 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 25:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in reluctant opposition to H.R. 5613, legislation halting the implementation of a package of new Medicaid rules. The proponents of H.R. 5613 are correct that halting some of these rules will protect needed Medicaid reimbursements for health care providers. However, some of the rules that H.R. 5613 blocks address abuses of Federal Medicaid dollars that should be halted. Greater efforts to ensure Medicaid resources are properly spent will help those health care providers most in need of continued support from the Medicaid program, since a Medicaid dollar lost to fraud and abuse is a dollar that cannot be spent helping hospitals and physicians provide health care to the poor.

2008 Ron Paul 25:2
Had members been given the opportunity to offer amendments, we could have fashioned a bill that would have protected needed reimbursements for legitimate health care expenditures while addressing legitimate concerns about misuse of Medicaid funds. Unfortunately, the House leadership chose to deny members the ability to improve this bill, and have a meaningful debate on how to ensure Medicaid’s financial stability without denying care to those dependent on the program, by putting this bill on the suspension calendar.

2008 Ron Paul 25:3
According to some estimates, failure to implement the proposed regulations could cost the already financially fragile Medicaid system as much as 10 billion over the next several years. Yet, the sponsors of this bill refuse to make a serious effort to address these costs. Mr. Speaker, instead of rushing H.R. 5613 into law, we should be looking for ways to shore up Medicaid by making cuts in other, lower priority programs, using those savings to ensure the short-term fiscal stability of federal entitlement programs while transitioning to a more stable means of providing health care for low-income Americans. I have been outspoken on the areas I believe should be subject to deep cuts in order to finance serious entitlement reform that protects those relying on these programs. I will not go into detail on these cuts, although I will observe that in recent weeks this Congress has authorized billions of new foreign aid spending, yet today we are told we cannot find the money to address Medicaid’s long-term financial imbalances.

2008 Ron Paul 25:4
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 5613 may provide some short-term benefit to Medicaid providers, however, it does so by further jeopardizing the long-term fiscal soundness of the Medicaid program. Thus, this passage of this bill will ultimately damage the very low-income Americans the bill aims to help.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 26

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Submersible Vehicles
24 April 2008

2008 Ron Paul 26:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment because it strikes me as unconstitutional to make it a Federal crime to operate a submersible or semi-submersible vehicle that is not registered with a country if it navigates through international waters. I believe that this amendment, aside from being unconstitutional, is dangerously broad and may well lead to the persecution of individuals who are in no way engaging in illegal activity. I am concerned that this may lead to the prosecution of, for example, a scientific organization that builds and operates a submersible research vessel and operates it in international waters. Are these organizations going to be forced to register their activities with the U.S. Government or face a 20 year jail term? The real intent of this amendment is to add yet another draconian weapon in the arsenal of the government’s failed war on drugs. This amendment may well have chilling unintended consequences for individuals and organizations that have nothing to do with drug or human smuggling and as such I cannot support the Poe amendment.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 27

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

7 May 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 27:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Tax Relief for Transportation Workers Act. This legislation helps those who work in the port industry cope with the costs of complying with Congress’s mandate that all those working on a port obtain a Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC). The Tax Relief for Transportation Workers Act provides a tax credit to workers who pay the costs of obtaining TWICs. The credit is refundable against both income and payroll tax liabilities. This legislation also provides a tax deduction for businesses that pay for their employees to obtain a TWIC.

2008 Ron Paul 27:2
When Congress created the TWIC requirement, it placed the burden of paying the cost of obtaining the card on individual workers. Imposing the costs of obtaining TWICs on port workers has several negative economic impacts that Congress should help mitigate by making the cost associated with obtaining a TWIC tax deductible. According to the Department of Homeland Security, a port worker will have to pay between $100 and $132 dollars to obtain a card. The worker will also have to pay a $60 fee for every card that is lost or damaged. Even those employers whose employers pay the substantial costs of obtaining TWICs for their workforce are adversely affected by the TWIC requirement, as the money employers pay for TWICs is money that cannot go into increasing their workers’ salaries. The costs of the TWIC requirement may also cause some employers to refrain from hiring new employees.

2008 Ron Paul 27:3
Ironically, many of the employees whose employers are unable to pay the TWIC are part-time or temporary workers at the lower end of the income scale. Obviously, the TWIC requirement hits these workers the hardest. According to Recana, an employer of port workers in my district, the fee will have a “significant impact” on port workers.

2008 Ron Paul 27:4
Unless Congress acts to relieve some of the economic burden the TWIC requirement places on those who work in the port industry, the damage done could reach beyond the port employers and employees to harm businesses that depend on a strong American port industry. This could be very harmful to both interstate and international trade.

2008 Ron Paul 27:5
Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of the TWIC card, it is simply not right for Congress to make the port industry bear all the costs of TWIC. I therefore urge my colleagues to stand up for those who perform vital tasks at America’s ports by cosponsoring the Tax Relief for Transportation Workers Act.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 28

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

15 May 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 28:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a man who recently died at a tragically young age. I am appending his official obituary to this extension of remarks. In addition to those things listed in his obituary, I would like to point out that Scott was very involved in community and political events. This, for him, was essential to share his concern for his country. Scott held a deep and abiding belief in the rights, freedom and dignity of human beings.

2008 Ron Paul 28:2
May he Rest In Peace.

2008 Ron Paul 28:3
Stuart, Scott S. Stuart of Baltimore, Maryland, and Canton, Connecticut, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, May 7th. He was 43 years old. Scott was the Director of Alumni Relations at Loyola College since June of 2007. Prior to this position, he was the director of alumni relations for his alma mater Niagara University. Scott also had over 15 years of corporate experience as an executive in the banking industry and as a fund-raising director in the non- profit sector. He held the position of vice president, director of marketing, for OBA Bank in Washington, DC. In this post, he formulated corporate growth strategies and directed and identified marketing programs and opportunities, helping to “re-brand” America’s oldest thrift institution. Earlier, he spent several years working for the Boy Scouts of America in Boston, Mass., and Washington, DC., as district executive, district director, development director, and director of major gifts.

2008 Ron Paul 28:4
After graduating from Niagara University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in commerce/ marketing, Scott worked his way up the corporate ladder at M&T Bank to assistant vice president. Scott enjoyed traveling, backpacking, skiing and winter camping. But first and foremost, he loved his family. He was a devoted son and brother and was happiest when he was around them. He had an infectious spirit and love of life and faith. Scott is survived by his mother, Anne Stuart of Canton, Conn., and three younger siblings, Brian and his wife Yvonne of Boston, Mass., Sean Stuart of Broad Brook, Conn., and Tracy Stuart of New Canaan, Conn. To continue to keep his memory alive, the family asks that you pass on a good deed to someone in need.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 29

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

20 May 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 29:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Central High School Class of 1958 as they prepare to celebrate their 50th class reunion on May 30, 2008. Central High is located in Galveston, Texas, which is in my Congressional district. Constructed in 1895 to ensure that the segregation laws then in effect did not deny Galveston’s African-American children the opportunity to obtain an education, Central High is the oldest high school in Texas built to serve African-Americans.

2008 Ron Paul 29:2
Laws dictating what schools a child can and cannot attend, based solely on that child’s race, are a shameful aspect of America’s history. We should take every opportunity possible to salute those, like the students of Central High, who refused to allow the “Jim Crow” laws stop them from obtaining an education.

2008 Ron Paul 29:3
The class of 1958 holds particular significance, as they were the first class to complete all 4 years in the new Central High that opened in 1954. Madam Speaker, I once again extend my congratulations to the members of the Central High Class of 1958 as they prepare to celebrate their 50th class reunion.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 30

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on H Res 1194, “Reaffirming the support of the House of Representatives for the legitimate, democratically-elected Government of Lebanon under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.”

May 20, 2008
March to War in Lebanon?

2008 Ron Paul 30:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H. Res. 1194, mainly because this legislation reads like an authorization to use force in Lebanon. As the key resolved clause of H. Res. 1194 states: Resolved, That the House of Representatives — * * * * * (6) urges— (A) the United States Government and the international community to immediately take all appropriate actions to support and strengthen the legitimate Government of Lebanon under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora;

2008 Ron Paul 30:2
This language is eerily similar to a key clause in the 2002 Iraq war authorization, H.J. Res. 114, which read: (a) AUTHORIZATION—The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to— (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq;

2008 Ron Paul 30:3
I find it outrageous that this legislation, which moves us closer to an expanded war in the Middle East, is judged sufficiently “non- controversial” to be placed on the suspension calendar for consideration on the House Floor outside of normal parliamentary order. Have we reached the point where it is no longer controversial to urge the President to use “all appropriate actions”—with the unmistakable implication that force may be used—to intervene in the domestic affairs of a foreign country?

2008 Ron Paul 30:4
Mr. Speaker, the Arab League has been mediating the conflict between rival political factions in Lebanon and has had some success in halting the recent violence. Currently, negotiations are taking place in Qatar between the Lebanese factions and some slow but encouraging progress is being made. Regional actors—who do have an interest in the conflict —have stepped up in attempt to diffuse the crisis and reach a peaceful solution. Yet at the critical stage of negotiations the U.S. House is preparing to pass a very confrontational resolution endorsing one side and condemning competing factions. In threatening to use “all appropriate actions” to support one faction, the United States is providing a strong disincentive for that one faction to continue peaceful negotiations. Passing this resolution will most likely contribute to a return of violence in Lebanon.

2008 Ron Paul 30:5
This legislation strongly condemns Iranian and Syrian support to one faction in Lebanon while pledging to involve the United States on the other side. Wouldn’t it be better to be involved on neither side and instead encourage the negotiations that have already begun to resolve the conflict?

2008 Ron Paul 30:6
Afghanistan continues to sink toward chaos with no end in sight. The war in Iraq, launched on lies and deceptions, has cost nearly a trillion dollars and more than 4,000 lives with no end in sight. Saber rattling toward Iran and Syria increases daily, including in this very legislation. Yet we are committing ourselves to intervene in a domestic political dispute that has nothing to do with the United States.

2008 Ron Paul 30:7
This resolution leads us closer to a wider war in the Middle East. It involves the United States unnecessarily in an internal conflict between competing Lebanese political factions and will increase rather than decrease the chance for an increase in violence. The Lebanese should work out political disputes on their own or with the assistance of regional organizations like the Arab League. I urge my colleagues to reject this march to war and to reject H. Res. 1194.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 31
— Extensions of Remarks, May 22, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 31:1
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate The University of Houston--Victoria (UHV) Jaguars softball team on an amazing inaugural season. The Jaguars completed the season with a 32-18 record and finished fourth in Region VI of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, missing the national tournament by one slot.

2008 Ron Paul 31:2
The Jaguars faced a strong slate of contenders in the regular season, including 14 nationally recognized opponents, nine of which fell to the Jaguars. The team also defeated NCAA teams Houston Baptist University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

2008 Ron Paul 31:3
“You’ve got to beat the best to be the best,” head coach Keri Lambeth always tells her players, and the Jaguars showed they are more than capable of competing with the best. On March 17, the softball team ranked No.4 in 18-team Region VI in the first season poll based on play, marking the first rating of a UHV sporting team. On March 19, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) ranked the softball team No. 15 in the Nation. The team ended the season in the same impressive position.

2008 Ron Paul 31:4
The players didn’t just work hard on the field. Coach Lambeth demanded academic and civic excellence. The players were required to attend a number of study hall hours every week based on their grade-point averages. A perfect 4.0 required 10 hours, while anything less required increasingly more. The players also met with Coach Lambeth each week to discuss how their classes were going and what kind of grades they were earning. As a result, a third of the team is expected to hold a 4.0 GPA this semester, and most of the team members are expected to appear on the UHV Dean’s List for the spring semester.

2008 Ron Paul 31:5
As Coach Lambeth always tells her players, “We’re not just here to play sports. We are here for an education first and foremost.”

2008 Ron Paul 31:6
As part of their civic activities, the players participated in a mentoring program in which they tutored at-risk elementary school students in reading, and middle and high school students in remedial math. The players also served as role models and life coaches to these students. Many players put in hours above and beyond what was required by the mentoring program.

2008 Ron Paul 31:7
Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to formally congratulate the women of the Jaguars on their accomplishments, both on and off the softball field, in their historic first season. I would also like to insert the Jaguars roster into the of the team into the Congressional Record: Jessica Salas, Erin Litvik, Samantha Campagna, Kristen Lindley, Curby Ryan, Lindsey Ferguson, Lauren Garza, Chelsi Fitzgerald, Kasey Voyles, Cayla Dluhos, Ashley Falco, Stephanie Lavey, Amber Scott, Whitney Damborsky, Brittany Faas.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 32

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

3 June 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 32:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate the East Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) on its receipt of the National AHEC Organization (NAO)’s 2008 Eugene S. Mayer Program of Excellence Award. The Eugene Mayer Award is one of the NAO’s most precious awards since, in order to even be considered for the award, an AHEC program must demonstrate excellence in all areas operation.

2008 Ron Paul 32:2
East Texas AHEC is certainly deserving of this prestigious award. Founded in 1991, East Texas AHEC is headquartered at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), which provides it access to some of the top medical talent in the Nation. East Texas AHEC operates nine other community health centers across the Gulf Coast. These centers offer a wide variety of health care services to over 14.9 million low-income Texans in 111 counties. Many low-income Texas would have a much more difficult time obtaining quality health care if it were not for the efforts of East Texas AHEC.

2008 Ron Paul 32:3
It is not just Texans who have benefited from the East Texas AHEC. By assuming a leadership role in advocacy for AHEC’s nationwide, as well as providing an example to AHEC across the country of how they could expand their services to help met the health care needs of more low-income Americans, East Texas AHEC has benefited the entire American health care system.

2008 Ron Paul 32:4
Madam Speaker, I have always been impressed with how dedication with shown by the staff of East Texas AHEC to their mission of developing a quality health care workforce and addressing the unmet health needs of the people of Texas. I am therefore pleased once again extend my congratulations to my friends at East Texas AHEC for their well-deserved receipt of the 2008 Eugene S. Mayer award.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 33

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

11 June 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 33:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support H. Con. Res. 1145, which recognizes the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association. Created to service the financial needs of textile workers, St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association, or the People’s Bank, as it was appropriately renamed, was the Nation’s first credit union.

2008 Ron Paul 33:2
Since the creation of St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association, credit unions have grown to become a major part of the American financial services system. Today there are over 8,500 credit unions in the United States, serving over 90 million members.

2008 Ron Paul 33:3
During my years of service on the House Committee on Financial Services, I have had the opportunity to get to know many credit union employees. I have always been impressed with their commitment to serving their credit union members and their communities. In many ways, credit unions exemplify the best of the free market system. Since credit unions are formed specifically to serve their members, credit unions put the interests of their depositors first.

2008 Ron Paul 33:4
I hope that Congress will follow-up today’s legislation by soon considering H.R. 5519, the Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act of 2008, which repeals Federal regulations that hinder credit unions from improving their services.

2008 Ron Paul 33:5
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support H. Con. Res. 1145, and I encourage all my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution and saluting all credit unions for their vital role in strengthening America’s financial services industry.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 34

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

12 June 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 34:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, this Saturday the city of Lake Jackson, Texas, will celebrate the accomplishments of United States Army Specialist Monica Brown, who, at the age of 19, has already earned herself a place in the pantheon of Texas military heroes.

2008 Ron Paul 34:2
Specialist Brown was recently awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest medal of valor, because of her heroic actions in Afghanistan. Specialist Brown is only the second woman to receive the Silver Star since World War II.

2008 Ron Paul 34:3
On April 25, 2007, Specialist Brown was part of a four-vehicle convoy patrolling near Jani Kheil in the eastern province of Paktia when a bomb struck one of the vehicles. Upon seeing that her comrades needed help, Specialist Brown put aside concerns for her own safety and ran through insurgent gunfire and mortars to protect the wounded soldiers. Specialist Brown used her body to shield five injured soldiers as she administered aid and then dragged each of them 100 meters away to safety.

2008 Ron Paul 34:4
I am pleased to take this opportunity to salute U.S. Army Specialist Monica Brown and let her know how proud I, and all of Lake Jackson, are of her heroism. I urge all my colleagues, and all Americans, to join me in saluting Monica Brown and all the brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 35

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Juneteenth Independence Day
17 June 2008

2008 Ron Paul 35:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to support H. Res. 1237, legislation commemorating a monumental day in the history of liberty, Juneteenth Independence Day. 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.

2008 Ron Paul 35:2
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.

2008 Ron Paul 35:3
I thank the gentleman from Illinois for introducing this resolution. 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. Res 1237.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 36

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

19 June 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 36:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, the American shrimp industry is a textbook example of a great American business crippled by foolish government policies. Congress and the federal bureaucracy have burdened shirmpers with needless regulations and laws that dramatically raise shrimpers’ cost of doing business while subsidizing American shrimpers’ overseas competitors. Unless Congress soon reverses course and repeals these destructive government policies, many shrimpers will be forced out of business.

2008 Ron Paul 36:2
Congress’s refusal to take any constructive action to address skyrocketing fuel costs has, in particular, hurt shrimpers. Some shrimpers are so desperate to lower their fuel costs that they are going to Mexico in search of affordable fuel. Think about this, Madam Speaker it is cheaper for shrimpers to travel to Mexico to buy gas than to obtain gas in the USA. Yet, Congress still refuses to take reasonable actions, such as expanding offshore drilling or repealing federal laws that delay the production of refineries, to expand oil supply and thus reduce the price of fuel.

2008 Ron Paul 36:3
The federal government has also imposed numerous regulations on shrimpers dealing with use of items such as bycatch reduction devices and turtle excluder devices (TEDS). Madam Speaker, it is common to speak of the negative effects of regulations as “unintended consequences.” However, it is difficult to speak of the effects of the TEDS on shrimpers as unintended consequences when the National Marine Fisheries Service heard industry representatives and representatives of communities whose economies rely on a thriving shrimping industry present first-hand testimony on how these TEDS regulations would harm shrimpers.

2008 Ron Paul 36:4
The problems shrimpers face are compounded by foreign competitors who are taking advantage of the government-created vulnerabilities in the American shrimp industry. Adding insult to injury, the federal government is forcing American shrimpers to subsidize their competitors through international agencies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, and the International Monetary Fund! In fact, United States taxpayers have provided over $16,500,000,000 to the home countries of the leading foreign competitors of American shrimpers since 1999.

2008 Ron Paul 36:5
In order to stop the federal government from punishing shrimpers with unfair regulations and forcing them to subsidize their major competitors, I introduced the Shrimp Importation Financing Fairness Act. This legislation would place a moratorium on any restrictive regulations negatively impacting the shrimp industry and prevent any taxpayer money from going to any country that exported more than 20 million pounds of shrimp to the Untied States in the previous six months. However, Congress chose not to even take these simple steps to help the American shrimp industry.

2008 Ron Paul 36:6
Of course, American shrimpers, like all American businesses that compete in the global marketplace, also suffers from the weak U.S. dollar. Congress’s fiscal irresponsibility is a major cause of the weakening U.S. dollar.

2008 Ron Paul 36:7
Madam Speaker, it is still not too late or Congress to help the shrimp industry. Congress should immediately end subsidies to American shrimpers’ foreign competitors, place a moratorium on harmful regulations imposed on the shrimp industry, and take action to reduce fuel prices by expanding the supply of oil. I urge my colleagues to join me in working to fix the misguided government policies that are harming America shrimpers.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 37

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

19 June 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 37:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate the Alvin Lady Jackets softball team on becoming the first fourth seed softball team in Texas history to win the University Interscholastic League Championship.

2008 Ron Paul 37:2
One factor behind the Lady Jackets success was head coach Carla Newsom’s determination to make sure her team found the silver lining in every seemingly dark cloud. For example, when the Lady Jackets lost the first game of a best of three series in the regional semi-final, Coach Newsom told the team to be thankful for the loss for two reasons. First, they could now wear their “dress white” uniforms in the next games: and second, and most importantly, they no longer had to eat spaghetti with meatballs for their pre-game meal.

2008 Ron Paul 37:3
The team adopted the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believing” as their anthem. The girls sang the song before, during, and after the games throughout the playoffs. On the night of the final game for the State Championship, the first game of the evening lasted 15 long innings, delaying the start of the Lady Jackets’ game by almost two hours. As they were waiting in their dugout for their time, the Lady Jackets kept their sprits up by singing their anthem, much to the joy of their loyal fans who heard “Don’t Stop Believing” resonating from the dugout.

2008 Ron Paul 37:4
Lady Jacket Amber Anderson was awarded the MVP award of the State tournament; was named the Texas High School Softball Player of the Year and was one of two Lady Jacket players, along with Alexis Joseph, named Texas Girls Coaches Association all State player of the year. Coach Newsom was named Texas Girls Coaches Association Coach of the Year 2008.

2008 Ron Paul 37:5
All graduating seniors on the Lady Jackets team are planning to continue their involvement in organized softball at the collegiate level. Madam Speaker, I again extend my congratulations to the players and coaches of the Lady Jackets and insert the Lady Jackets championship roster into the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. 2008 ALVIN LADY JACKETS Jessica Savage, Amber Anderson, Vanessa Eng, Alexis Joseph, Tiffany Denham, Britni Wells, Kelsey Nichols, Megan Potts, Natalie Farias, Kelsi Kettler. Megan Knippa, Meghan Gomez, Megan Garza, Amber Brooks, Adela Gomez, Maci Meyer, Nicole Powers, Lauren Denny, Alicia Smith. Head Coach: Carla Newsom; varsity assistant: Kelly Bembry; assistant coaches: Jennifer Dominguez, Paula Tafelski; trainer: Eric Nuncio; manager: Brady Hudson. Athletic Director: Mike Bass; Alvin High School Principal: Kevon Wells; Superintendent: Dr. Robby McGowen.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 38

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

20 June 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 38:1
Madam Speaker, I regret that due to the unexpected last-minute appearance of this measure on the legislative calendar this week, a prior commitment has prevented me from voting on the FISA amendments. I have strongly opposed every previous FISA overhaul attempt and I certainly would have voted against this one as well.

2008 Ron Paul 38:2
The main reason I oppose this latest version is that it still clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. That US citizens can have their private communication intercepted by the government without a search warrant is anti-American, deeply disturbing, and completely unacceptable.

2008 Ron Paul 38:3
In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, including in Article I section 9 of the Constitution that “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” How is this FISA bill not a variation of ex post facto? That alone should give pause to supporters of this measure.

2008 Ron Paul 38:4
Mr. Speaker, we should understand that decimating the protections that our Constitution provides us against the government is far more dangerous to the future of this country than whatever external threats may exist. We can protect this country without violating the Constitution and I urge my colleagues to reconsider their support for this measure.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 39

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

24 June 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 39:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, Congress is once again forsaking an opportunity to begin addressing Medicare’s long-term fiscal problems. Instead, the legislation before us today, while not without its merits, exacerbates the problems facing Medicare by giving new authority to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), even though CMS’s excessive power is a major reason why so many physicians and patients are dissatisfied with the current Medicare system.

2008 Ron Paul 39:2
One clear indicator of the lack of seriousness with which this issue is being treated is the fact that this bill is coming before us on suspension, a procedure generally used for noncontroversial legislation, such as bills naming Post Offices. This significant Medicare legislation will receive only 40 minutes of debate, and members will have no opportunity to offer amendments.

2008 Ron Paul 39:3
I certainly recognize the need to make adjustments in physicians’ payments. Many physicians are already losing money treating Medicare patients, thanks to CMS’s low reimbursements and the cost of having to comply with CMS’s numerous rules and regulations. Unless Congress acts, many physicians will simply refuse to see Medicare patients. I think we all agree that driving physicians out of the Medicare program is not the proper way to reform the system.

2008 Ron Paul 39:4
Therefore, if H.R. 6331 only contained the provisions dealing with the physicians’ rate cut, I would vote for it. However, H.R. 6331 further endangers Medicare’s fiscal situation by giving almost $20 billion in new funds to CMS, and giving CMS new regulatory authority.

2008 Ron Paul 39:5
Instead of simply pretending we can delay the day of reckoning by giving CMS more money and power, we should be looking for ways to shore up Medicare by making cuts in other, lower priority programs, using those savings to ensure the short-term fiscal stability of Federal entitlement programs while transitioning to a more stable means of providing health care for senior citizens. I have been outspoken on the areas I believe should be subject to deep cuts in order to finance serious entitlement reform that protects those relying on these programs. I will not go into detail on these cuts, although I will observe that today the House Committee on Financial Services is planning to authorize billions of new foreign aid spending, perhaps some of those billions might be better spent reforming the Medicare system.

2008 Ron Paul 39:6
Congress should also reform the Medicare system by providing Medicare patients more control over their health care than is available under either traditional Medicare or the Medicare Advantage program.

2008 Ron Paul 39:7
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 6331 may provide some short-term benefit to Medicare providers, however, it does so by further jeopardizing the long-term fiscal soundness of the Medicare program. Thus, passage of this bill will ultimately damage the very Medicare providers and patients the bill aims to help.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 40

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

26 June 2008

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized for 5 minutes.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2008 Ron Paul 40:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, today we saw some financial fireworks on the markets. The Dow Jones average was down 350-some points, gold was up $32, oil was up another $5, and there’s a lot of chaos out there; and everyone is worried about $4-a-gallon gasoline. I don’t think there is a clear understanding exactly why that has occurred.

2008 Ron Paul 40:2
We do know that there is a supply and demand, there’s a lot of demand for oil. The supplies may be dwindling. But there are other reasons for high costs of energy. One is inflation. For instance, to pay for the war that has been going on and the domestic spending, we have been spending a lot more money than we have. So what do we do? We send the bills over to the Federal Reserve to create new money. In the last 3 years, our government, through the Federal Reserve and our banking system, created $4 trillion of new money. That is one of the main reasons why we have this high cost of energy in $4 gallon gasoline.

2008 Ron Paul 40:3
But there is another factor that I want to talk about tonight. And that is not only the fear of inflation and future inflation, but the fear factor dealing with our foreign policy.

2008 Ron Paul 40:4
And in the last several weeks, if not for months now, we have heard a lot of talk about the potentiality of Israel and/or the United States bombing Iran. And it is in the marketplace, and it’s being bid up. The energy crisis is being bid up because of this fear. It’s been predicted if bombs start dropping, that you’re going to see energy prices double or triple. It’s just the thought of it right now that helps to push these prices, the price of energy, up. And that is a very real thing going on right now. But to me, it’s almost like de´ja` vu all over again, as has been said.

2008 Ron Paul 40:5
We listened to the rhetoric for years and years before we went into Iraq. We did not go in in the correct manner. We didn’t declare war. We’re there. It’s an endless struggle. We’re in Iraq. We’re endlessly struggling there, and I cannot believe that we may well be on the verge of initiating bombing of Iran.

2008 Ron Paul 40:6
Leaders on both sides of the aisle and the administration have all said so often that no options can be taken off the table, including a nuclear first strike on Iran. The fear is, they say, maybe some day they’re going to get a nuclear weapon, even though our own CIA and our NIE, National Intelligence Estimate, has said they have not been working.

2008 Ron Paul 40:7
The Iranians have not been working on a nuclear weapon since 2003. They say they’re enriching uranium, but there’s no evidence whatsoever that they’re enriching uranium for weapons purposes. They may well be enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, and that is perfectly legal. They have been a member of the nonproliferation treaties, and they are under the investigation of the IAEA, and Alberidy last verified in the last year there have been nine unannounced investigations and examinations of the uranium nuclear structure, and they have never been found to be in violation. Yet this country and Israel are talking about a preventive war starting bombing for this reason without negotiation, without talks.

2008 Ron Paul 40:8
Now, the one issue that I do want to mention tonight is a resolution that is about to come to this floor, if our suspicions are correct, after the July 4th holiday. And this bill will probably be brought up under suspension, it will probably be expected to pass easily, and probably will be, and it’s just more war propaganda, more preparation to go to war against Iran.

2008 Ron Paul 40:9
And this resolution, H.J. Res. 362, is a virtual war resolution. It is the declaration of tremendous sanctions and boycotts and embargoes on Iran. It’s very, very severe.

2008 Ron Paul 40:10
Let me just read what is involved in this, if this bill passes, what we’re telling the President he must do. This demands that the President impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials. I mean, this is unbelievable. This is closing down Iran. Where do we have this authority? Where do we get the moral authority? Where do we get the international legality for this? Where do we get the constitutional authority for this?

2008 Ron Paul 40:11
This is what we did for 10 years before we went into Iraq. We starved children. 50,000 individuals that were admitted probably died because of the sanctions on the Iraqis. They were incapable at the time of attacking us, and all of the propaganda that was given for our need to go into Iraq wasn’t true.

2008 Ron Paul 40:12
And it’s not true today about the severity. And they say, Yeah, but Ahmadinejad, he’s a bad guy. He’s threatened violence. But you know, us threatening violence is very, very similar. We must look at this carefully. We just can’t go to work again under these careless, frivolous conditions.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 41

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement Introducing the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Automobile Tax Credit Act

8 July 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 41:1
Madame Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Automobile Tax Credit Act, legislation that will help Americans reduce pollution and the amount they pay for gas. My legislation accomplishes these important goals by providing Americans a tax credit of up to $2,000 when they sell or trade in a car and obtain a vehicle that has at least a 20% higher average fuel economy than the sold or traded-in car. The bill also creates a federal tax deduction for any state or local taxes paid on the purchase of the more fuel-efficient automobile and makes interest on loans to purchase the more fuel-efficient automobile tax deductible.

2008 Ron Paul 41:2
This legislation will help Americans cope with high gas prices by making it easier for them to obtain more fuel-efficient cars. I hope my colleagues would agree that Congress should provide free market incentives to make it easier for Americans to exchange their current cars for cars that create less pollution.

2008 Ron Paul 41:3
Providing tax deductions and tax credits to make it easier for Americans to purchase fuel-efficient automobiles is a win for American consumers, a win for the environment, and a win for those of us who favor free market solutions to pollution and high gas prices. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 42

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement: “Something Big is Happening”
9 July 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 42:1
Madam Speaker, I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of America. The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I have days — growing more frequent all the time — when I’m convinced the time is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur. These fast-approaching events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.

2008 Ron Paul 42:2
Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the innocent people of the world — unless we quickly change our ways.

2008 Ron Paul 42:3
America , with her traditions of free markets and property rights, led the way toward great wealth and progress throughout the world as well as at home. Since we have lost our confidence in the principles of liberty, self reliance, hard work and frugality, and instead took on empire building, financed through inflation and debt, all this has changed. This is indeed frightening and an historic event.

2008 Ron Paul 42:4
The problem we face is not new in history. Authoritarianism has been around a long time. For centuries, inflation and debt have been used by tyrants to hold power, promote aggression, and provide “bread and circuses” for the people. The notion that a country can afford “guns and butter” with no significant penalty existed even before the 1960s when it became a popular slogan. It was then, though, we were told the Vietnam War and the massive expansion of the welfare state were not problems. The seventies proved that assumption wrong.

2008 Ron Paul 42:5
Today things are different from even ancient times or the 1970s. There is something to the argument that we are now a global economy. The world has more people and is more integrated due to modern technology, communications, and travel. If modern technology had been used to promote the ideas of liberty, free markets, sound money and trade, it would have ushered in a new golden age — a globalism we could accept.

2008 Ron Paul 42:6
Instead, the wealth and freedom we now enjoy are shrinking and rest upon a fragile philosophic infrastructure. It is not unlike the levies and bridges in our own country that our system of war and welfare has caused us to ignore.

2008 Ron Paul 42:7
I’m fearful that my concerns have been legitimate and may even be worse than I first thought. They are now at our doorstep. Time is short for making a course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep hibernation.

2008 Ron Paul 42:8
There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than the world has ever experienced. Instead of using globalism in a positive fashion, it’s been used to globalize all of the mistakes of the politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers.

2008 Ron Paul 42:9
Being an unchallenged sole superpower was never accepted by us with a sense of humility and respect. Our arrogance and aggressiveness have been used to promote a world empire backed by the most powerful army of history. This type of globalist intervention creates problems for all citizens of the world and fails to contribute to the well-being of the world’s populations. Just think how our personal liberties have been trashed here at home in the last decade.

2008 Ron Paul 42:10
The financial crisis, still in its early stages, is apparent to everyone: gasoline prices over $4 a gallon; skyrocketing education and medical-care costs; the collapse of the housing bubble; the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble; stock markets plunging; unemployment rising; massive underemployment; excessive government debt; and unmanageable personal debt. Little doubt exists as to whether we’ll get stagflation. The question that will soon be asked is: When will the stagflation become an inflationary depression?

2008 Ron Paul 42:11
There are various reasons that the world economy has been globalized and the problems we face are worldwide. We cannot understand what we’re facing without understanding fiat money and the long-developing dollar bubble.

2008 Ron Paul 42:12
There were several stages. From the inception of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to 1933, the Central Bank established itself as the official dollar manager. By 1933, Americans could no longer own gold, thus removing restraint on the Federal Reserve to inflate for war and welfare.

2008 Ron Paul 42:13
By 1945, further restraints were removed by creating the Bretton-Woods Monetary System making the dollar the reserve currency of the world. This system lasted up until 1971. During the period between 1945 and 1971, some restraints on the Fed remained in place. Foreigners, but not Americans, could convert dollars to gold at $35 an ounce. Due to the excessive dollars being created, that system came to an end in 1971.

2008 Ron Paul 42:14
It’s the post Bretton-Woods system that was responsible for globalizing inflation and markets and for generating a gigantic worldwide dollar bubble. That bubble is now bursting, and we’re seeing what it’s like to suffer the consequences of the many previous economic errors.

2008 Ron Paul 42:15
Ironically in these past 35 years, we have benefited from this very flawed system. Because the world accepted dollars as if they were gold, we only had to counterfeit more dollars, spend them overseas (indirectly encouraging our jobs to go overseas as well) and enjoy unearned prosperity. Those who took our dollars and gave us goods and services were only too anxious to loan those dollars back to us. This allowed us to export our inflation and delay the consequences we now are starting to see.

2008 Ron Paul 42:16
But it was never destined to last, and now we have to pay the piper. Our huge foreign debt must be paid or liquidated. Our entitlements are coming due just as the world has become more reluctant to hold dollars. The consequence of that decision is price inflation in this country — and that’s what we are witnessing today. Already price inflation overseas is even higher than here at home as a consequence of foreign central banks’ willingness to monetize our debt.

2008 Ron Paul 42:17
Printing dollars over long periods of time may not immediately push prices up — yet in time it always does. Now we’re seeing catch-up for past inflating of the monetary supply. As bad as it is today with $4 a gallon gasoline, this is just the beginning. It’s a gross distraction to hound away at “drill, drill, drill” as a solution to the dollar crisis and high gasoline prices. Its okay to let the market increase supplies and drill, but that issue is a gross distraction from the sins of deficits and Federal Reserve monetary shenanigans.

2008 Ron Paul 42:18
This bubble is different and bigger for another reason. The central banks of the world secretly collude to centrally plan the world economy. I’m convinced that agreements among central banks to “monetize” U.S. debt these past 15 years have existed, although secretly and out of the reach of any oversight of anyone — especially the U.S. Congress that doesn’t care, or just flat doesn’t understand. As this “gift” to us comes to an end, our problems worsen. The central banks and the various governments are very powerful, but eventually the markets overwhelm when the people who get stuck holding the bag (of bad dollars) catch on and spend the dollars into the economy with emotional zeal, thus igniting inflationary fever.

2008 Ron Paul 42:19
This time — since there are so many dollars and so many countries involved — the Fed has been able to “paper” over every approaching crisis for the past 15 years, especially with Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, which has allowed the bubble to become history’s greatest.

2008 Ron Paul 42:20
The mistakes made with excessive credit at artificially low rates are huge, and the market is demanding a correction. This involves excessive debt, misdirected investments, over-investments, and all the other problems caused by the government when spending the money they should never have had. Foreign militarism, welfare handouts and $80 trillion entitlement promises are all coming to an end. We don’t have the money or the wealth-creating capacity to catch up and care for all the needs that now exist because we rejected the market economy, sound money, self reliance and the principles of liberty.

2008 Ron Paul 42:21
Since the correction of all this misallocation of resources is necessary and must come, one can look for some good that may come as this “Big Event” unfolds.

2008 Ron Paul 42:22
There are two choices that people can make. The one choice that is unavailable to us is to limp along with the status quo and prop up the system with more debt, inflation and lies. That won’t happen.

2008 Ron Paul 42:23
One of the two choices, and the one chosen so often by government in the past is that of rejecting the principles of liberty and resorting to even bigger and more authoritarian government. Some argue that giving dictatorial powers to the President, just as we have allowed him to run the American empire, is what we should do.  That’s the great danger, and in this post-911 atmosphere, too many Americans are seeking safety over freedom. We have already lost too many of our personal liberties already. Real fear of economic collapse could prompt central planners to act to such a degree that the New Deal of the 30’s might look like Jefferson ’s Declaration of Independence.

2008 Ron Paul 42:24
The more the government is allowed to do in taking over and running the economy, the deeper the depression gets and the longer it lasts. That was the story of the 30s and the early 40s, and the same mistakes are likely to be made again if we do not wake up.

2008 Ron Paul 42:25
But the good news is that it need not be so bad if we do the right thing. I saw “Something Big” happening in the past 18 months on the campaign trail. I was encouraged that we are capable of waking up and doing the right thing. I have literally met thousands of high school and college kids who are quite willing to accept the challenge and responsibility of a free society and reject the cradle-to-grave welfare that is promised them by so many do-good politicians.

2008 Ron Paul 42:26
If more hear the message of liberty, more will join in this effort. The failure of our foreign policy, welfare system, and monetary policies and virtually all government solutions are so readily apparent, it doesn’t take that much convincing. But the positive message of how freedom works and why it’s possible is what is urgently needed.

2008 Ron Paul 42:27
One of the best parts of accepting self reliance in a free society is that true personal satisfaction with one’s own life can be achieved. This doesn’t happen when the government assumes the role of guardian, parent or provider, because it eliminates a sense of pride. But the real problem is the government can’t provide the safety and economic security that it claims. The so called good that government claims it can deliver is always achieved at the expense of someone else’s freedom. It’s a failed system and the young people know it.

2008 Ron Paul 42:28
Restoring a free society doesn’t eliminate the need to get our house in order and to pay for the extravagant spending. But the pain would not be long-lasting if we did the right things, and best of all the empire would have to end for financial reasons. Our wars would stop, the attack on civil liberties would cease, and prosperity would return. The choices are clear: it shouldn’t be difficult, but the big event now unfolding gives us a great opportunity to reverse the tide and resume the truly great American Revolution started in 1776. Opportunity knocks in spite of the urgency and the dangers we face.

2008 Ron Paul 42:29
Let’s make “Something Big Is Happening” be the discovery that freedom works and is popular and the big economic and political event we’re witnessing is a blessing in disguise.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 43

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

10 July 2008

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized for 5 minutes.

2008 Ron Paul 43:1
Mr. PAUL. A couple of weeks ago, there was a resolution introduced in the Congress, H. Con. Res. 362, that quickly got 220 cosponsors. I want to talk a little bit more about that resolution because there are some Members of Congress now having second thoughts about invoking a blockade on Iran.

2008 Ron Paul 43:2
Take, for instance, here’s a quote from Congressman ROBERT WEXLER of Florida. He says,
“Given my growing concerns regarding this resolution, including its failure to advocate for direct American engagement with Tehran and open language that could lead to a U.S. blockade of Iran, I will lead an effort to make changes to this resolution before it comes to the Foreign Affairs Committee for a vote.”

2008 Ron Paul 43:3
The chairman of the Financial Services Committee, BARNEY FRANK, had this to say:
“I am all for stricter sanctions against Iran, but the blockade part goes too far. I am going to call the sponsors and tell them I am changing my vote.”

2008 Ron Paul 43:4
I would like all Members of Congress to reconsider, because this I consider a very dangerous sense of congress resolution and that it is going to lead to trouble.

2008 Ron Paul 43:5
There is a new pro-Israeli lobby established called J Street, and they had some comments about this legislation as well. Their comments are this:
“We as a group oppose preemptive military action by either the United States or Israel and we support stronger U.S. diplomacy. To us, it is common sense that saber rattling and constant threats are counterproductive. What better way to unite Iran behind its most hawkish leaders than threatening to attack? What better way to empower the Iranian hardliners’ case for nuclear weapons development than to talk of a military attack?”

2008 Ron Paul 43:6
Today, I had three young Iranians in my office, and they verified that next year there will be an election and Ahmadinejad, who is in political trouble over there, is being enhanced by our militant conversation we have here, threatening of blockades, and with this plan or possible plan to actually bomb Iran. But the other side argues, well, no it is all the Iranians’ fault. They are testing missiles.

2008 Ron Paul 43:7
The testing of missiles came after there were war games by Israel testing whether or not they had the manpower and the airplanes to travel that particular distance. So the saber rattling is not one-sided, and we cannot say that it is all the Iranians’ fault.

2008 Ron Paul 43:8
This H. Con. Res. 362, the authors claim it is not a blockade. But what it does, it demands inspection of all imports of petroleum products, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo. They use word “prohibit” and impose stringent inspection on all of these items.

2008 Ron Paul 43:9
Now, the question I would like to pose here for our Members is this: How would we as Americans and how would we as a government react if a strong government came and did that to us? What if another government came and said we are going to restrict the importation of petroleum products and we are going to inspect all vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo? We wouldn’t know what that would mean. How could they do that without an embargo? This is militant language, it is just looking for trouble, and it will not help solve the situation.

2008 Ron Paul 43:10
There is nothing wrong with talking to people. We talked to the Soviets in the midst of the Cold War. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. Now they are talking about, well, maybe the Iranians might get a weapon later on.

2008 Ron Paul 43:11
Quite frankly, this talk about this violation, the Iranians were asked by IAEA not to resume enrichment. They had voluntarily stopped enrichment for peaceful purposes. They have every right under the Nonproliferation Treaty to enrich for peaceful purposes. In the last year, there have been nine unannounced inspections of the Iranian nuclear sites. They have never once been found in violation.

2008 Ron Paul 43:12
This does not make them angels. This does not make them not want to desire to defend their country. But think about it: How many countries have nukes around them? Pakistan has nukes, India has them, Israel has them, the United States has them, China has them, the Soviets have them. And they are being threatened. War games are being practiced, with the potentiality of us being a participant in bombing them.

2008 Ron Paul 43:13
Madam Speaker, it is time for us to take a deep breath and reassess our position.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 44

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

10 July 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 44:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the BASF Corporation’s Freeport, Texas facility. Freeport is located in Brazoria County in my congressional district. I am pleased to take this opportunity to congratulate the management and employees of BASF Freeport on 50 great years, and thank the people of BASF Freeport for their contributions to Freeport’s economy.

2008 Ron Paul 44:2
The story of the BASF Freeport began when the owners of BASF Overzee N.V., a subsidiary of Badische Anilin-& Soda Fabrik A. G. (BASF), Ludwigshafen, Germany, and the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, agreed to form Dow Badische Chemical Company. Dow Badische was endowed with the chemical process technology of the European parent as well as the managerial and marketing knowledge of their U.S. parent.

2008 Ron Paul 44:3
The new company chose a site adjacent to Dow Chemical’s Texas Division of Freeport, Texas for its initial production. In December of 1959 the plant began producing Acrylic Acid and Acrylic Esters. In 1960 and 1961 the plants added production units for butanol and caprolactam.

2008 Ron Paul 44:4
Through the years, the BASF facility experienced tremendous increases in its capacity as well as in the number of production plants and employees that comprise the BASF Freeport workforce. For example, in 1967 BASF built a continuous butyl acrylate plant, while a new caprolactam complex was completed in 1968; and a new oxo alcohol facility was completed in 1970, adding 2-Ethylhexanol to the product line.

2008 Ron Paul 44:5
BASF acquired 100 percent ownership of Dow Badische in 1978. Soon after the change in ownership took place, two new chemical plants were constructed in Freeport, one an acrylic acid facility and the other a neopentyl glycol facility. Further significant expansions have included two acrylic monomers plants, an expansion to the polycaprolactam unit and most recently a new superabsorbent polymer plant.

2008 Ron Paul 44:6
In addition to its contributions to Brazoria County’s economy, BASF has improved the life of the residents of Brazoria County through its steadfast support of numerous civic organizations. BASF has also earned the trust of its neighbors by making every effort to observe basic principles of safety and environmental performance in all its operations.

2008 Ron Paul 44:7
BASF Freeport’s success is due to the commitment, hard work and innovative ability of its employees. I am certain that these same attributes will ensure a continued healthy growth for the company, which will, in turn, continue to benefit all of Brazoria County. It is therefore my pleasure to congratulate BASF Freeport on their 50th anniversary.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 45

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on H Con Res 385 Condemning the Attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires , Argentine, in July 1994 and for other purposes

15 July 2008

2008 Ron Paul 45:1
Madam Speaker, as one who is most consistently opposed to war and violence, I join my colleagues in condemning the brutal and unjustified attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina 14 years ago. I do not support this resolution, however, as it misuses a tragedy 14 years ago in a foreign country to push for US war against Iran today.

2008 Ron Paul 45:2
Although this resolution clearly blames Iran and Hezbollah for the bombing, in fact the investigation is ongoing and far from conclusive. In an article titled “ U.S. uses probe to pressure Iran ,” the Wall Street Journal earlier this year suggested that renewed US interest in this 14 year old case is more related to politics than a genuine desire for justice. Reported the Journal ,

2008 Ron Paul 45:3
“As tensions between the U.S. and Iran persist, Washington and its allies are using an investigation into a 1994 terrorist attack in Argentina to maintain pressure on the Iranian regime.

“Behind the scenes, Bush administration officials are encouraging the probe, which centers on the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires . One U.S. goal is to cause legal problems for some of Iran ’s political leaders. Administration officials also hope to use the matter to highlight Iran ’s alleged role in financing and supporting terrorism around the world.”

2008 Ron Paul 45:4
Those pushing for a US attack on Iran are using this tragic event to foment fear in the United States that Iran and Hezbollah are perpetrating terrorist acts in the Western Hemisphere . This is another in an ongoing series of resolutions we see on the House floor pushing us toward war against Iran . I have no doubt that we will see another similar resolution on the floor next week, and the week after, and so on until we find ourselves making another tragic mistake as we did in 2002 with H J Res 114 giving the president the authority to attack Iraq.

2008 Ron Paul 45:5
I urge my colleagues to resist this push to war with Iran before it is too late.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 46
Statement before the Financial Services Committee
Humphrey Hawkins Hearing on Monetary Policy

July 16, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 46:1
Mr. Chairman, today we find ourselves on the verge of an economic crisis the likes of which the United States has not seen in decades.   Our economy is very clearly in a recession, and every time someone tells us that the worst has passed, another serious event takes place, as we saw once again last week and early this week.   Everyone now realizes that the situation is dire, yet either no one understands the cause behind the credit crisis, or no one is willing to take the necessary steps to ensure as orderly an end to the crisis as possible.   Instead, we hear talk of further bailouts.   The Fed-brokered takeover of Bear Stearns, a supposed one-off incident, has now been joined by a potential bailout of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  

2008 Ron Paul 46:2
The two GSE’s have been disasters waiting to happen, as I and many others have warned over the years.   It was bad enough that Fannie and Freddie were able to operate with significant advantages, such as lower borrowing costs and designation of their debt as government debt.   Now, the implicit government backstop has turned out to be an explicit backstop, just as we feared.   The Greenspan reflation of the economy after the dot-com bust pumped additional liquidity into an already-skewed housing market, leading to an unsustainable boom that from many accounts has only begun to unravel.   With a current federal funds rate of two percent, and inflation at over four percent, the Fed is currently sowing the seeds for another economic bubble.  

2008 Ron Paul 46:3
At the heart of this economic malaise is the Fed’s poor stewardship of the dollar.   The cause of the dollar’s demise is not the result of a purely psychological response to public statements on US dollar policy, but is rather a reaction to a massive increase in the money supply brought about   by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.   The policies that led to hemorrhaging of gold during the 1960’s and the eventual closing of the gold standard are the same policies that are leading to the dollar’s decline in international currency markets today.   Foreign governments no longer wish to hold depreciating dollars, and would prefer to hold stronger currencies such as the euro.   Foreign investors no longer wish to hold underperforming dollars, and seek to hold better-performing assets such as ports and beer companies.  

2008 Ron Paul 46:4
Every government bailout or promise thereof leads to moral hazard, the likelihood that market actors will take ever riskier actions with the belief that the federal government will bail them out.   Bear Stearns was bailed out, Fannie and Freddie will be bailed out, but where will the line be drawn?   The precedent has been established and the taxpayers will end up footing the bill in these cases, but the federal government and the Federal Reserve lack the resources to bail out every firm that is deemed “too big to fail.”   Decades of loose monetary policy will lead to a financial day of reckoning, and bailouts, liquidity injections, and lowering of the federal funds rate will only delay the inevitable and ensure that the final correction will be longer and more severe than it otherwise would.   For the sake of the economy, I urge my colleagues to resist the temptation to give in to political expediency, and to oppose loose monetary policy and any further bailouts.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 47

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

23 July 2008

Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL).

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2008 Ron Paul 47:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, if I had had a chance to name this bill, I might have suggested that we could call it the mother of all bailouts. But on second thought I decided that wouldn’t be appropriate because it isn’t nearly as big as the bailout that the Federal Reserve has been engaged in in this very industry.

2008 Ron Paul 47:2
The Federal Reserve has already invested hundreds of billions of dollars, probably close to $300 billion to bail out this industry. And of course the Fed has no money. But when we open the doors in an unlimited amount, and no restraint on what the Treasury might do in buying up these securities, we have to talk about the budget. And, of course, that is why this bill increases the national debt by $800 billion, so I guess they are expecting to buy a whole lot of mortgage securities. But that won’t solve the problem. We have to find out why this problem has existed.

2008 Ron Paul 47:3
In 2001, I introduced legislation that would have removed the line of credit, which was only $2.5 billion, but the principle of a line of credit and this supposed guarantee to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I saw as a great danger. Of course, $2.5 billion is nothing, and the prediction it would be much more when the time came is absolutely correct because now we are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars.

2008 Ron Paul 47:4
But today we have a bill before us that does a lot more than just bail out the mortgage company. I think there are some impositions in this bill that we ought to be concerned about. There is a Federal registry in here to register anybody in the broker industry. And if you work in the industry, you will be fingerprinted. Now, let me guarantee you one thing: we didn’t get into this crisis because the people who work in the mortgage industries weren’t fingerprinted. We got into this crisis because of a monetary system and a system of laws that encourage the very bubble that we are dealing with today. If we don’t deal with the creation of bubbles, you can’t solve the problem by more of the same thing. We created this problem with inflation; you can’t solve it with more inflation.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 48
Statement on HR 3221
Congressman Ron Paul

Statement on HR 3221

July 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 48:1
Madam Speaker, For several years, followers of the Austrian school of economics have warned that unless Congress moved to end the implicit government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and took other steps to disengage the US Government from the housing market, America would face a crisis in housing.   This crisis would force Congress to chose between authorizing a taxpayer bailout of Fannie and Freddie, and other measures increasing government’s involvement in housing, or restoring a free-market in housing by ending government support for Fannie and Freddie and repealing all laws that interfere in housing. The bursting of the housing bubble, and the recent near-collapse in investor support for Fannie and Freddie has proven my fellow Austrians correct. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, instead of ending the prior interventions in the housing market that are responsible for the current crisis, Congress is increasing the level of government intervention in the housing market.   This is the equivalent of giving a drug addict another fix, which will only make the necessary withdrawal more painful.

2008 Ron Paul 48:2
The provision giving the Treasury Secretary a blank check to purchase Fannie and Freddie stock not only makes the implicit government guarantee of Fannie and Freddie explicit, it represents another unconstitutional delegation of Congress’ Constitutional authority to control the allocation of taxpayer dollars. While the Treasury Secretary has to file a report with Congress, the lack of any effective standards for the expenditure of funds makes it impossible for Congress to perform effective oversight on Treasury’s expenditures.

2008 Ron Paul 48:3
HR 3221 also takes another troubling step toward the creation of surveillance state by creating a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. This federal database will contain personal information about anyone wishing to work as a “loan originator.” “Loan originator“ is defined broadly as anyone who ”takes a residential loan application; and offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain.“ According to some analysts, this definition is so broad as to cover part-time clerks and real estate agents who receive even minimal compensation from ”originators.“   Additionally, this database forced on industry will be funded by fees paid to the federal banking agencies, yet another costly burden to the American taxpayers.

2008 Ron Paul 48:4
Among the information that will be collected from loan originators for inclusion in the federal database are fingerprints.   Madam Speaker, giving the federal government the power to force Americans who wish to work in real estate to submit their fingerprints to a federal database opens the door to numerous abuses of privacy and civil liberties and establishes a dangerous precedent.   Fingerprint databases and background checks have been no deterrent to espionage and fraud among governmental agencies, and will likewise fail to prevent fraud in the real estate market.   I am amazed to see some members who are usually outspoken advocates of civil liberties and defenders of the Fourth Amendment support this new threat to privacy.

2008 Ron Paul 48:5
Finally, HR 3221 increases the federal debt limit by $800 billion.   We are told that CBO has scored this bill at a cost of $25 billion, but this debt limit increase belies that.   The Federal Reserve has already propped up the housing and financial markets to the tune of over $300 billion, and this raise of the debt limit indicates that the cost of this newest bailout will likely be even more costly.   I am dismayed that my colleagues have not learned the lessons of the Patriot Act and Sarbanes-Oxley.   Massive bills passed in knee-jerk reaction to crisis events will always be poorly written, burdensome and expensive to taxpayers, and destructive of liberty.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 49

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on Senate amendments to HR 5501, Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization
July 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 49:1
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this irresponsible legislation, which will ship $48 billion overseas as foreign aid at a time when Americans are feeling the pressure of rapidly increasing inflation and a weakened dollar. It is particularly objectionable to ship money to fund healthcare overseas when so many Americans either struggle with high healthcare costs or avoid seeking medical assistance altogether due to lack of insurance or funds.

2008 Ron Paul 49:2
As we know, the federal government does not have $48 billion to send overseas so it will have to print the money. It is a cruel irony that this will add to inflation at home which will increase even further the costs of healthcare in the United States .

2008 Ron Paul 49:3
Mr. Speaker, I am saddened by the prevalence of disease in impoverished countries overseas. I certainly encourage every American concerned about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria overseas to voluntarily provide assistance to help alleviate the problem. But I do not believe it is appropriate — nor is it Constitutional — to forcibly take money from American citizens to send abroad. I urge my colleagues to reject this and all foreign aid legislation.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 50
Financial Services Committee
Full Committee Hearing on “Implications of a Weaker Dollar for Oil Prices and the U.S. Economy”

July 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 50:1
Mr. Chairman,

2008 Ron Paul 50:2
The root of our current economic malaise, the weak dollar, the high price of oil, and the collapse of the housing market, comes about because almost no one understands what inflation is.   Inflation is an increase in the money supply, which occurs by various methods, the printing of currency, low reserve requirements, Federal Reserve open market operations, etc.  

2008 Ron Paul 50:3
In Germany in the 1920s, South America in the 1980s, and Zimbabwe today, everyone recognizes that inflation was caused by the government running the printing presses non-stop, with the resulting exponential rise in prices being the necessary result of monetary growth.   Yet somehow, both the empirical and theoretical reality of inflation as a rise in money supply is ignored in this country.   Inflation is conflated with price inflation, the increase in the overall price level, and is viewed as something both endogenous to the market economy while at the same time influenced by exogenous price shocks.

2008 Ron Paul 50:4
Because no one understands that inflation is growth in the monetary supply, no one is able to combat it effectively.   We hear all sorts of hand-wringing about increasing inflation, and all sorts of explanations about how rising oil and food prices will make inflation worse.   At the same time, the fact that MZM, the closest approximation to total money supply that still is reported by the Fed, is still rising by almost 15% per year and that M2 is rising significantly as well is quietly ignored.   The pundits have causation backwards, it is inflation that leads to rising prices of oil and food, and not vice versa.  

2008 Ron Paul 50:5
Until the cause of inflation is understood, no effective strategy can be undertaken to combat it.   The problem, however, is that the government does not want inflation to be done away with.   Inflation benefits debtors and harms creditors, and the United States government is the biggest debtor of all.   The United States government, the banking monopoly under the Federal Reserve System, and politically-connected firms and industries are the first entities to take advantage of new money injected into the system, before prices increase.   As the increased supply of money begins to chase the same number of goods, prices rise, and the average American suffers.   Poor and middle class Americans are always the hardest hit by inflation, as the weakening dollar makes the imported goods that many Americans depend on more expensive.

2008 Ron Paul 50:6
As Chairman Bernanke admitted last week, inflation is a tax, and it is the most pernicious because of its hidden nature.   It taxes the very purchasing power of money, and because the inflation rate in recent years has generally been low, its effects often take a while to manifest themselves.   Now that inflation is beginning to rise, more and more rhetoric is being spun to hide the government’s role in creating inflation.   I applaud Chairman Frank for holding this hearing, as hearings such as this one investigating the link between the weak dollar and the high price of oil are more important now than ever.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 51

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

24 July 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 51:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to recognize Randy M. Smith, the CEO/President of Randolph- Brooks Federal Credit Union, on his recent election to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU).

2008 Ron Paul 51:2
For the past 21 years, Mr. Smith has dedicated his life to improving financial institutions in America, serving on the Credit Union Oversight Task Force of the Campaign for Consumer Choice, NAFCU’s Legislative, Regulatory and Accounting Standards Committees and various committees of state and national credit union organizations. Currently, he is a member of the Air Education and Training Command’s Community Council and the Board of Trustees of the local United Way. I am also very proud to say that he is a fellow retired officer of the United States Air Force.

2008 Ron Paul 51:3
As the President/CEO, Mr. Smith has focused on strengthening the way Randolph- Brooks delivers services aimed at improving the economic well being and quality of life of its members. Consistently ranked among the top 25 of the nearly 8,300 financial cooperatives, Randolph-Brooks is one of the strongest credit unions in the country with more than 265,000 members and total assets exceeding $3 billion. Randolph-Brooks FCU was originally chartered in 1952 to serve personnel at Randolph Air Force Base but has since expanded to include employees and associates at more than 1,300 select groups and eight underserved communities in the San Antonio and Austin areas. Randolph-Brooks FCU prides itself on doing more than just conducting business in the communities they serve, instead becoming members of the community and sharing in the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.” With this in mind, Randolph-Brooks provides assistance to hundreds of local charitable organizations including the Children’s Miracle Network, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, USO, American Red Cross, and the Fisher House Foundation.

2008 Ron Paul 51:4
It is because of the good work of Mr. Smith and others like him that credit unions across the Nation have had such a tremendous impact of the lives of millions of Americans. Such service is the hallmark of the credit union movement and I know that he will bring this dedication to his service on the NAFCU Board of Directors. I wish Mr. Smith the best of luck in this new role and I look forward to working with him in this new capacity.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 52

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

25 July 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 52:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, for several years, followers of the Austrian school of economics have warned that unless Congress moved to end the implicit Government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and took other steps to disengage the U.S. Government from the housing market, America would face a crisis in housing. This crisis would force Congress to chose between authorizing a taxpayer bailout of Fannie and Freddie, and other measures increasing Government’s involvement in housing, or restoring a free market in housing by ending Government support for Fannie and Freddie and repealing all laws that interfere in housing. The bursting of the housing bubble, and the recent near-collapse in investor support for Fannie and Freddie has proven my fellow Austrians correct. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, instead of ending the prior interventions in the housing market that are responsible for the current crisis, Congress is increasing the level of Government intervention in the housing market. This is the equivalent of giving a drug addict another fix, which will only make the necessary withdrawal more painful.

2008 Ron Paul 52:2
The provision giving the Treasury Secretary a blank check to purchase Fannie and Freddie stock not only makes the implicit Government guarantee of Fannie and Freddie explicit, it represents another unconstitutional delegation of Congress’ constitutional authority to control the allocation of taxpayer dollars. While the Treasury Secretary has to file a report with Congress, the lack of any effective standards for the expenditure of funds makes it impossible for Congress to perform effective oversight on Treasury’s expenditures.

2008 Ron Paul 52:3
H.R. 3221 also takes another troubling step toward the creation of surveillance state by creating a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. This Federal database will contain personal information about anyone wishing to work as a “loan originator.” “Loan originator” is defined broadly as anyone who “takes a residential loan application; and offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain.” According to some analysts, this definition is so broad as to cover part-time clerks and real estate agents who receive even minimal compensation from “originators.” Additionally, this database forced on industry will be funded by fees paid to the Federal banking agencies, yet another costly burden to the American taxpayers.

2008 Ron Paul 52:4
Among the information that will be collected from loan originators for inclusion in the Federal database are fingerprints. Madam Speaker, giving the Federal Government the power to force Americans who wish to work in real estate to submit their fingerprints to a Federal database opens the door to numerous abuses of privacy and civil liberties and establishes a dangerous precedent. Fingerprint databases and background checks have been no deterrent to espionage and fraud among governmental agencies, and will likewise fail to prevent fraud in the real estate market. I am amazed to see some members who are usually outspoken advocates of civil liberties and defenders of the fourth amendment support this new threat to privacy.

2008 Ron Paul 52:5
Finally, H.R. 3221 increases the Federal debt limit by $800 billion. We are told that CBO has scored this bill at a cost of $25 billion, but this debt limit increase belies that. The Federal Reserve has already propped up the housing and financial markets to the tune of over $300 billion, and this raise of the debt limit indicates that the cost of this newest bailout will likely be even more costly. I am dismayed that my colleagues have not learned the lessons of the PATRIOT Act and Sarbanes- Oxley. Massive bills passed in knee- jerk reaction to crisis events will always be poorly written, burdensome and expensive to taxpayers, and destructive of liberty.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 53

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

July 30, 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 53:1
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation, which will bar the collection of co-payments from veterans for hospital and nursing home care if the veteran is considered catastrophically disabled. I strongly advocate a noninterventionist foreign policy that would result in far fewer wars and, thankfully, far fewer catastrophically disabled veterans. But I also strongly believe that we must take care of those veterans who have been so severely wounded or otherwise disabled. Too often those who are most vocal in support of foreign military action are most silent when it comes time to take care of those who have paid a very high price for these actions. This legislation will provide at least a little relief to the most seriously injured veterans.

2008 Ron Paul 53:2
I am concerned, however, that this bill incorporates language from HR 6114, which rescinds a current law requirement that the VA obtain a signed consent form from a veteran before conducting an HIV test. We have seen veterans punished severely for attempting to avoid the required but controversial myriad of inoculations they are required to receive. Now we see that they will have less control over what medical tests to which they might be subjected. I am concerned over this loss of control over one’s healthcare decisions among those who voluntarily join the military, and I urge the adoption of a more flexible policy. I would also urge my colleagues and the American people to contemplate this deprivation of medical and privacy rights on a massive scale should we ever reinstate the draft. I believe taking care of veterans should include both providing promised benefits and protecting their privacy rights.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 54

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on H. RES. 1370 Calling on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to immediately end abuses of the human rights of its citizens
July 30, 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

2008 Ron Paul 54:1
Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution, which is yet another meaningless but provocative condemnation of China . It is this kind of jingoism that has led to such a low opinion of the United States abroad. Certainly I do not condone human rights abuses, wherever they may occur, but as Members of the US House of Representatives we have no authority over the Chinese government. It is our Constitutional responsibility to deal with abuses in our own country or those created abroad by our own foreign policies. Yet we are not debating a bill to close Guantanamo , where abuses have been documented. We are not debating a bill to withdraw from Iraq , where scores of innocents have been killed, injured, and abused due to our unprovoked attack on that country. We are not debating a bill to reverse the odious FISA bill passed recently which will result in extreme abuses of Americans by gutting the Fourth Amendment.

2008 Ron Paul 54:2
Instead of addressing these and scores of other pressing issues over which we do have authority, we prefer to spend our time criticizing a foreign government over which we have no authority and foreign domestic problems about which we have very little accurate information.

2008 Ron Paul 54:3
I do find it ironic that this resolution “calls on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to begin earnest negotiations, without preconditions, directly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives.” For years US policy has been that no meeting or negotiation could take place with Iran until certain preconditions are met by Iran . Among these is a demand that Iran cease uranium enrichment, which Iran has the right to do under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is little wonder why some claim that resolutions like this are hypocritical.

2008 Ron Paul 54:4
Instead of lecturing China, where I have no doubt there are problems as there are everywhere, I would suggest that we turn our attention to the very real threats in a United States where our civil liberties and human rights are being eroded on a steady basis. The Bible cautions against pointing out the speck in a neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in one’s own. I suggest we contemplate this sound advice before bringing up such ill-conceived resolutions in the future.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 55

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

31 July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 55:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, on August 5 the Foundation for International Space Education (FISE) will host United Space School Day at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. The United Space School Day is a summer science camp/ health careers promotion activity coordinated by the East Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The United Space School Day’s activities will focus on the education pathways appropriate for students interested in careers in life sciences, aerospace medicine, and bioastronautics.

2008 Ron Paul 55:2
United Space School Day is just one part of FISE’s United Space School program. The United Space School program, established in 1994, is the major way FISE carries out its mission of providing space-based academic instruction to pre-collegiate students from across America and around the world who are interested in science, engineering, technology, or mathematics careers. The United Space School gives these students the opportunity to learn from some of the space industry’s leading experts. Participants in the programs follow a curriculum specially designed to provide appropriate training and development by instructors qualified and knowledgeable in the proper disciplines.

2008 Ron Paul 55:3
As the students visit the various educational venues and participate in the space-related learning initiatives, they are exposed to myriad examples of space-related careers as well as careers in industries that support the space programs. United Space School students also benefit from daily one-on-one interaction with leading aerospace professionals from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the Johnson Space Center (JSC), and the supporting aerospace community. United Space School participants are also given a unique “hands on” learning experience through the development of a Manned Mission to Mars Project. United Space School’s organization, schedule, and curriculum are designed to provide the structure, knowledge, resources, mentoring, and appropriate settings to complete the Manned Mission to Mars project.

2008 Ron Paul 55:4
Madam Speaker, FISE’s United Space School program is doing invaluable work in preparing the next generation of scientists and aerospace engineers. I would not be surprised if future breakthroughs in space technology came from alumni of the United Space School program. It is therefore my pleasure to extend my congratulations to the United Space School program on the occasion of the United Space School Day. I also extend my thanks to NASA, the Johnson Space Center, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, East Texas AHEC, and all the volunteers who help make the United Space School program possible.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 56
Statement on HR 4137
August 1, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 56:1
Madame Speaker, anyone in need of proof that federal control follows federal funding need only examine HR 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act. HR 4137 imposes several new mandates on colleges, and extends numerous mandates that previous Congress imposed on colleges. HR 4137 proves the prophetic soundness of people who warned that federal higher education programs would lead to federal control of higher education.

2008 Ron Paul 56:2
Opponents of increasing federal control over higher education should be especially concerned about HR 4137’s “Academic Bill of Rights.” This provision takes a step toward complete federal control of college curriculum, grading, and teaching practices. While this provision is worded as a “sense of Congress,” the clear intent of the “bill of rights” is to intimidate college administrators into ensuring professors’ lectures and lesson plans meet with federal approval.

2008 Ron Paul 56:3
The “Academic Bill of Rights” is a response to concerns that federally-funded institutions of higher learner are refusing to allow students to express, or even be exposed to, points of view that differ from those held by their professors. Ironically, the proliferation of “political correctness” on college campuses is largely a direct result of increased government funding of colleges and universities. Federal funding has isolated institutions of higher education from market discipline, thus freeing professors to promulgate their “politically correct” views regardless of whether this type of instruction benefits their students (who are, after all, the professors’ customers). Now, in a perfect illustration of how politicians use the problems created by previous interventions in the market as a justification for further interventions, Congress proposes to use the problem of “political correctness” to justify more federal control over college classrooms.

2008 Ron Paul 56:4
Instead of fostering open dialog and wide-raging intellectual inquiry, the main effect of the ”Academic Bill of Rights” will be to further stifle debate about controversial topics. This is because many administrators will order their professors not to discuss contentious and divisive subjects in order to avoid a possible confrontation with the federal government. Those who doubt this should remember that many TV and radio stations minimized political programming in the sixties and seventies in order to avoid running afoul of the federal “fairness doctrine.”

2008 Ron Paul 56:5
I am convinced that some promoters of the “Academic Bill of Rights” would be unhappy if, instead of fostering greater debate, this bill silences discussion of certain topics. Scan the websites of some of the organizations promoting the “Academic Bill of Rights” and you will also find calls for silencing critics of the Iraq war and other aspects of American foreign policy.

2008 Ron Paul 56:6
Madame Speaker, HR 4137 expands federal control over higher education; in particular through an “Academic Bill of Rights“ which could further stifle debate and inquiry on America’s college campus. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to reject this bill.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 57

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on H. R. 6599, Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations

1 August 2008

2008 Ron Paul 57:1
Madam Speaker, I rise in reluctant opposition to this appropriations legislation. It is unfortunate that my colleagues have decided to combine the necessary appropriations contained in the Veterans Affairs portion of this bill with the bloated and unconstitutional military construction appropriations. In the past I have voted in favor of Veterans Affairs appropriation bills when they were not combined with unwise and wasteful spending of other appropriations like military construction.

2008 Ron Paul 57:2
This appropriation will allocate $9.5 billion to close bases in the United States while spending nearly $12 billion building other facilities overseas! As a matter of fact, any construction of new bases in the United States is prohibited by this bill. While I am not necessarily in favor of building new bases in the United States , we certainly should not be spending money to close existing domestic bases in favor of constructing new bases overseas.

2008 Ron Paul 57:3
The bill will transfer more than $200 million to NATO, an organization with no purpose that should be disbanded immediately, for the construction of NATO facilities in countries where we have no business having our military in the first place.

2008 Ron Paul 57:4
We have been told that we will have no permanent bases in Iraq , but then again we have no “permanent” bases in Korea either even though we have had a military presence there for more than 50 years. It is unclear how much of this $12 billion will go to building new facilities to maintain an indefinite presence in Iraq , but any such expenditure will be counterproductive to US national interests.

2008 Ron Paul 57:5
This appropriation increases construction funds to the service branches by as much as 50 percent over current levels, which is financially dangerous and unsustainable particularly in view of next year’s record budget deficit.

2008 Ron Paul 57:6
Madam Speaker, it is a tragedy that necessary spending to keep promises to American veterans should be held hostage to this out of control spending on maintaining an unnecessary and dangerous US empire overseas. We are doing no favors to today’s veterans or to future veterans – or to the US taxpayers — with this appropriations bill.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 58
Statement on Sovereign Wealth Funds
September 10, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 58:1
Mr. Chairman, once again we confront the issue of sovereign wealth funds, an issue which has become quite important due to the large amount of dollars and dollar-denominated bonds held by foreign governments, and the fears of these governments given the dollar’s precipitous decline over the past few years.  The past few days have been quite interesting, with speculation that one of the reasons for the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was the more than $1 trillion in Fannie and Freddie debt held by foreign governments.  The threat of default on this debt would have undoubtedly had massive repercussions on the value of the dollar and might have unleashed the “nuclear threat” of a massive international sell-off of government and agency debt.

2008 Ron Paul 58:2
The United States government now finds itself between a rock and a hard place.  The massive amounts of debt that we have allowed to accumulate are hanging over us like Damocles’ sword.  Foreign governments such as Russia and China hold large amounts of government and agency bonds, and there are fears that as our creditors they will exert leverage over us.  At the same time, as the dollar weakens, the desire to sell bonds and purchase better performing assets increases, leading to fears from others that foreign governments will attempt to purchase American national champion companies, or invest in strategic industries to gain sensitive technologies.

2008 Ron Paul 58:3
In either case, most politicians overlook the fact that we are in this situation because of our loose monetary and fiscal policy.  Actions that would stifle the operations of foreign sovereign wealth funds would likely result in corresponding retaliatory actions by foreign countries against American pension funds and could have the same detrimental effects on the economy as the trade wars begun after passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff.  Rather than limiting or prohibiting investment by sovereign wealth funds, we should be concerned with striking at the root of the problem and addressing inflationary monetary and fiscal policy.

2008 Ron Paul 58:4
Debtors cannot continue building debts forever, and we now face strong indications that our creditors are eager to begin collecting what is owed them.  It is not too late to correct our mistakes, but we must act now and cannot dally.  We must drastically reduce government spending, end wasteful and disastrous interventions into financial markets, and rein in the Federal Reserve’s inflationary monetary policy.  Failing to do so will ensure a descent into financial catastrophe.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 59
“The Future of Financial Services: Exploring Solutions for the Market Crisis”

Statement before the Financial Services Committee
Full Committee Hearing September 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 59:1
Mr. Chairman, It is truly a shame that, less than two decades after the fall of communism, the lessons of price control are completely lost on most Washington power-brokers.  The Treasury proposal before Congress is nothing more than a form of price control, an attempt to keep asset prices artificially elevated.  The root of our recent economic boom, as in any other business cycle, was government intervention into the market under the guise of lowering the interest rate, which is itself a price.  The function that prices play in the market in equalizing supply and demand, and the distortions that necessarily accompany each government effort at price-fixing, are forgotten by too many in Washington.

2008 Ron Paul 59:2
One of the primary causes for the length and severity of the Great Depression in this country was the federal government’s attempts at keeping prices artificially elevated.  A typical example of getting causation backward, the federal government assumed that falling prices caused the depression, whereas in reality the falling prices were the result of the economic depression, and were necessary to bring the economy back into equilibrium.  In its attempt to keep agricultural prices high, the federal government began to pay farmers to destroy their crops, while unemployed people lined up at soup kitchens around the country.   

2008 Ron Paul 59:3
A similar situation exists today, where many mortgage-backed securities and other similar assets are horribly overvalued.  The market response would be to allow these assets to be sold on the market at whatever price they would bring.  This would result in a shakeout of bad debt and a shorter, sharper correction than would otherwise occur.  Unfortunately, the political will to allow banks to take the responsibility for their lending actions is at times lacking.

2008 Ron Paul 59:4
Many here in Congress are asking where the money for this bailout will come from, and indeed it is a good question.  $700 billion does not just materialize out of the ether, but then again neither do the hundreds of billions of dollars that we spend every year to fund our imperial war machine.  We must the face the fact that our country is dead broke, and not just that, we are facing over $10 trillion in debt, and tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities.  This $700 billion bailout will only increase that debt, and increase the amount of money we pay merely to service the interest on that debt.  The end result of this is higher taxes on our children and grandchildren, and the full-scale destruction of the dollar.

2008 Ron Paul 59:5
The only viable solution to this financial crisis is to keep the government from intervening any further.  The Federal Reserve has already loaned hundreds of billions of dollars through its numerous lending facilities, and the Congress has passed legislation authorizing further hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Fannie and Freddie, yet each successive crisis event seems to be advertised as larger and more severe than the previous one.  It is time that this Congress put its foot down, reject the administration’s proposal, and allow the bust to work itself out so that our economic hangover is not as severe as it might otherwise be.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 60
“The Economic Outlook”

Congressman Ron Paul
Statement before the Joint Economic Committee

September 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 60:1
Mr. Chairman, I believe that our economy faces a bleak future, particularly if the latest $700 billion bailout plan ends up passing.  We risk committing the same errors that prolonged the misery of the Great Depression, namely keeping prices from falling.  Instead of allowing overvalued financial assets to take a hit and trade on the market at a more realistic value, the government seeks to purchase overvalued or worthless assets and hold them in the unrealistic hope that at some point in the next few decades, someone might be willing to purchase them.

2008 Ron Paul 60:2
One of the perverse effects of this bailout proposal is that the worst-performing firms, and those who interjected themselves most deeply into mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps, and special investment vehicles will be those who benefit the most from this bailout.  As with the bailout of airlines in the aftermath of 9/11, those businesses who were the least efficient, least productive, and least concerned with serving consumers are those who will be rewarded for their mismanagement with a government handout, rather than the failure of their company that is proper to the market.  This creates a dangerous moral hazard, as the precedent of bailing out reckless lending will lead to even more reckless lending and irresponsible behavior on the part of financial firms in the future. 

2008 Ron Paul 60:3
This bailout is a slipshod proposal, slapped together haphazardly and forced on an unwilling Congress with the threat that not passing it will lead to the collapse of the financial system.  Some of the proposed alternatives are no better, for instance those which propose a government equity share in bailed-out companies.  That we have come to a point where outright purchases of private sector companies is not only proposed but accepted by many who claim to be defenders of free markets bodes ill for the future of American society. 

2008 Ron Paul 60:4
As with many other government proposals, the opportunity cost of this bailout goes unmentioned.  $700 billion tied up in illiquid assets is $700 billion that is not put to productive use.  That amount of money in the private sector could be used to research new technologies, start small business that create thousands of jobs, or upgrade vital infrastructure.  Instead, that money will be siphoned off into unproductive assets which may burden the government for years to come.  The great French economist Frederic Bastiat is famous for explaining the difference between what is seen and what is unseen.  In this case the bailout’s proponents see the alleged benefits, while they fail to see the jobs, businesses, and technologies not created due to this utter waste of money.

2008 Ron Paul 60:5
The housing bubble has burst, unemployment is on the rise, and the dollar weakens every day.  Unfortunately our leaders have failed to learn from the mistakes of previous generations and continue to lead us down the road toward economic ruin.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 61

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

24 September 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 61:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Nursing Home Emergency Assistance Act. This act makes private, for-profit nursing homes eligible for the same federal aid as is currently available to public nursing homes. Under current federal law, only public nursing homes may receive federal disaster assistance. However, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes do not distinguish between private and public, or for-profit and not-for- profit, nursing homes.

2008 Ron Paul 61:2
As I have recently seen in my district, all nursing homes face unique challenges coping with natural disasters and their aftermaths. It is not fair to the taxpayers who work in, reside in, or have entrusted the care of their loved ones to, a private nursing home that private nursing homes are denied the same federal aid available to their public counterparts. Madame Speaker, the Nursing Home Emergency Assistance Act ensures all residents of nursing homes can benefit from federal disaster aid. I encourage my colleagues to support this legislation.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 62

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

24 September 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 62:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Evacuees Tax Relief Act of 2008, legislation providing tax relief to those forced to abandon their homes because of a natural disaster. This legislation provides a tax credit or a tax deduction, depending on the wishes of the taxpayer, of up to $5,000 for costs incurred because of a government-ordered mandatory or voluntary evacuation. Evacuees could use the credit to cover travel and lodging expenses associated with the evacuation, lost wages, property damages not otherwise compensated, and any other evacuation-related expenses. The tax credit is refundable up to the amount of income and payroll taxes a person would otherwise pay, thus ensuring working people who pay more in payroll than in income taxes are able to benefit from this tax relief. The credit is available retroactive to December of 2007, so it is available to Hurricane Ike evacuees, as well as those who evacuated because of Hurricanes Gustav and Dolly.

2008 Ron Paul 62:2
Having recently had the majority of my district, including my home county, subject to mandatory evacuation because of Hurricane Ike, I have experienced firsthand the burdens on those forced to uproot themselves and their families. Evacuees incur great costs in getting to safety, as well as loss from the storm damage. It can take many months, and even years, to fully recover from the devastation of a natural disaster. Given the unpredictable nature of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados, it is difficult for most families to adequately budget for these costs. The Evacuees Tax Relief Act helps Americans manage the fiscal costs of a natural disaster.

2008 Ron Paul 62:3
Madam Speaker, it is hard to think of a more timely and more compassionate tax relief proposal than one aimed at helping families cope with the costs associated with being uprooted from their homes, jobs, and communities by a natural disaster. I hope all my colleagues will show compassion for those forced to flee their homes by cosponsoring the Evacuees Tax Relief Act.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 63

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

24 September 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 63:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, this is a bad week for those of us concerned over Congress’ refusal to reign in federal spending. Not only are we preparing to deal with at least a multi-billion dollar bailout of the financial services sector, Congress today stands ready to add billions to the national debt by passing H.R. 2638.

2008 Ron Paul 63:2
I would not object to many of the items in this bill if they were offset by reductions on other, lower priority, programs. For example, I would support the disaster relief package if the package were offset by reductions in other spending, particularly reductions in our overseas commitments. Unfortunately, H.R. 2638 not only fails to reduce spending to finance disaster aid; it attaches money for the country of Georgia onto the disaster aid package. Georgia is not receiving this money because it was affected by a natural disaster but because it was involved in a military conflict with Russia —which was started by Georgia! It is an insult to the American people to divert money that could have gone to help the victims of Hurricane Ike to promote interference in a conflict that in no way threatens the security of the American people.

2008 Ron Paul 63:3
Another particularly objectionable part of H.R. 2638 is the section providing $7.5 billion in loan guarantees for the auto industry. In exchange for the loans, the industry must agree to produce the type of automobiles favored by federal bureaucrats. Thus, this bill not only increases corporate welfare, it empowers federal bureaucrats to displace the judgment of consumers as to where the auto industry should concentrate its resources. As the failure of every centrally planed economy throughout history shows, when government officials usurp the decisions of consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs the result is economic stagnation.

2008 Ron Paul 63:4
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 2638 represents another missed opportunity for Congress to exercise fiscal discipline by funding the American people’s priorities, such as disaster relief, by reducing spending on non-priority items, such as overseas spending. Therefore, I must oppose this bill. I hope that in the future Congress will fund items such as disaster relief by reducing spending in other areas instead of burdening future generations with more debt.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 64

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Earmark Declaration
27 September 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 64:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, pursuant to the Republican leadership standards on earmarks, I am submitting the following information for publication in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD regarding an earmark I received as part of H.R. 2638:

2008 Ron Paul 64:2
Name of Requesting Member: RON PAUL. Bill Number: H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act.

2008 Ron Paul 64:3
Account: Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard Bridge Replacement. Legal Name and Address of the Requesting

2008 Ron Paul 64:4
Agency: Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard Bridge Administration Office, Washington, DC; and the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, 2010 Butler Drive, Friendswood, Texas 77546.

2008 Ron Paul 64:5
Description of Request: Provides $5,000,000 for the Galveston Causeway Railroad Bridge Replacement. Today, 21 thousand barges move 29 million tons of cargo worth $10 billion through the Galveston Bridge each year. In 2001, after a lengthy review process, the bridge was declared a hazard to navigation by the Coast Guard under the Truman Hobbs Act. The current estimated cost of replacement is almost $68 million. This request is consistent with the intended and authorized purpose of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, under the Truman Hobbs Act. Under the Truman Hobbs Act, the Federal Government pays 90 percent of replacement cost and the bridge owner—Galveston County—pays 10 percent.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 65

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

“The Bailout”

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives September 29, 2008

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2008 Ron Paul 65:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill. This is only going to make the problem that much worse. The problem came about because we spent too much; we borrowed too much, and we printed too much money; we inflated too much, and we overregulated. This is all that this bill is about is more of the same. So you can’t solve the problem. We are looking at a symptom. We are looking at the collapsing of a market that was unstable. It was unstable because of the way it came about. It came about because of a monopoly control of money and credit by the Federal Reserve System, and that is a natural consequence of what happens when a Federal Reserve System creates too much credit.

2008 Ron Paul 65:2
Now, there have been a fair number of free market economists around who have predicted this would happen. Yet do we look to them for advice? No. We totally exclude them. We don’t listen to them. We don’t look at them. We look to the people who created the problem, and then we perpetuate the problem.

2008 Ron Paul 65:3
The most serious mistake that could be made here today is to blame free market capitalism for this problem. This has nothing to do with free market capitalism. This has to do with a managed economy, with an inflationary system, with corporatism, and with a special interest system. It has nothing to do with the failure of free markets and capitalism. Yet we’re resorting now, once again, to promoting more and more government.

2008 Ron Paul 65:4
Long term, this is disastrous because of everything we’re doing here and because of everything we’ve done for 6 months. We’ve already pumped in $700 billion. Here is another $700 billion. This is going to destroy the dollar. That’s what you should be concerned about. Yes, Wall Street is in trouble. There are a lot of problems, and if we don’t vote for this, there are going to be problems. Believe me: If you destroy the dollar, you’re going to destroy a worldwide economy, and that’s what we’re on the verge of doing, and it is inevitable, if we continue this, that that’s what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a lot more serious than what we’re dealing with today.

2008 Ron Paul 65:5
We need to get our house in order. We need more oversight—that is a certainty —but we need oversight of the Federal Reserve System, of the Exchange Stabilization Fund and of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Find out what they’re doing. How much have they been meddling in the market?

2008 Ron Paul 65:6
What we’re doing today is going to make things much worse.

2008 Ron Paul 65:7
The process of this bailout reminds me of a panic-stricken swimmer thrashing in the water only making his situation worse. Even a “bipartisan deal”—whatever that is supposed to mean—will not stop the Congress from thrashing about.

2008 Ron Paul 65:8
The beneficiaries of the corrupt monetary system of the last 3 decades are now desperately looking for victims to stick with the bill after they have reaped decades of profit and privilege.

2008 Ron Paul 65:9
The difficulties in our economy will continue because the legislative and the executive branches have not yet begun to address the real problems. The housing bubble’s collapse, as was the dot corn bubble’s collapse, was predictable and is merely a symptom of the monetary system that brought us to this point.

2008 Ron Paul 65:10
Indeed, we do face a major crisis, but it is much bigger than the freezing up of Wall Street and dealing with worthless assets on the books of major banks. The true crisis is the pending collapse of the fiat dollar system that emerged after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971.

2008 Ron Paul 65:11
For 37 years the world built a financial system based on the dollar as the reserve currency of the world in an attempt to make the dollar serve as the new standard of value. However since 1971, the dollar has had no intrinsic value, as it is not tied to gold. The dollar is simply a fiat currency, which has fluctuated in value on a daily, if not hourly, bias. This worked to some degree until the market realized that too much debt and malinvestment existed and a correction was required.

2008 Ron Paul 65:12
Because of our economic and military strength, compared to other countries, trust in America’s currency lasted longer than deserved. This resulted in the biggest worldwide economic distortion in all of history. The problem is much bigger than the fears of a temporary decline on Wall Street if the bailout is not agreed to.

2008 Ron Paul 65:13
Money’s most important function is to serve as a means of exchange—a measurement of value. If this crucial yardstick is not stable, it becomes impossible for investors, entrepreneurs, savers, and consumers to make correct decisions; these mistakes create the bubble that must eventually be corrected.

2008 Ron Paul 65:14
Just imagine the results if a construction company was forced to use a yardstick whose measures changed daily to construct a skyscraper. The result would be a very unstable and dangerous building. No doubt the construction company would try to cover up their fundamental problem with patchwork repairs, but no amount of patchwork can fix a building with an unstable inner structure. Eventually, the skyscraper will collapse, forcing the construction company to rebuild—hopefully this time with a stable yardstick. This $700 billion package is more patchwork repair and will prove to be money down a rat hole and will only make the dollar crisis that much worse.

2008 Ron Paul 65:15
But what politicians are willing to say that the financial “skyscraper”—the global financial and monetary system-is a house of cards. It is not going to happen at this juncture. They’re not even talking about this. They talk only of bailouts, more monetary inflation, more special interest spending, more debt, and more regulations. There is almost no talk of the relationship of the Community Reinvestment Act, HUD, and government assisted loans to the housing bubble. And there is no talk of the oversight that is desperately needed for the Federal Reserve, the Exchange Stabilization Fund, and all the activities of the President’s Working Group on financial markets. When these actions are taken we will at last know that Congress is serious about the reforms that are really needed.

2008 Ron Paul 65:16
In conclusion, there are three good reasons why Congress should reject this legislation:

2008 Ron Paul 65:17
It is immoral—Dumping bad debt on the innocent taxpayers is an act of theft and is wrong.

2008 Ron Paul 65:18
It is unconstitutional—There is no constitutional authority to use government power to serve special interests.

2008 Ron Paul 65:19
It is bad economic policy—By refusing to address the monetary system while continuing to place the burdens of the bailout on the dollar, we can be certain that in time, we will be faced with another, more severe crisis when the market figures out that there is no magic government bailout or regulation that can make a fraudulent monetary system work.

2008 Ron Paul 65:20
Monetary reform will eventually come, but, unfortunately, Congress’ actions this week make it more likely the reform will come under dire circumstances, such as the midst of a worldwide collapse of the dollar. The question then will be how much of our liberties will be sacrificed in the process. Just remember what we lost in the aftermath of 9–11.

2008 Ron Paul 65:21
The best result we can hope for is that the economic necessity of getting our fiscal house in order will, at last, force us to give up our world empire. Without the empire we can then concentrate on rebuilding the Republic.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 66

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]


Monday, September 29, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 66:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I would like to commend a very determined newspaper in my district, the unsinkable Galveston Daily News. The stories of Hurricane Ike continue to be told as the area begins to recover, but the Galveston Daily News never stopped their reporting in the midst of this deadly storm. I am told the entire roof of their building was blown away, flooding the interior, leaving them with no equipment except a single working cell phone, and still, they missed not one single issue. With cooperation from other area papers, the Herald Zeitung in New Braunfels for layout and the Victoria Advocate for printing, every single issue promised readers will be available to them, even if some homes have been impossible to deliver to. I am also told that many reporters and employees of the paper endured heavy personal losses. They obviously consider their roles as communicators within and for the community of Galveston not as a mere job, but as a personal calling. It is devoted Texans and Americans like those at the Galveston Daily News that make this country work, and I applaud them.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 67

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Statement on HR 1424

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

October 3, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 67:1
Madame Speaker, only in Washington could a bill demonstrably worse than its predecessor be brought back for another vote and actually expect to gain votes.  That this bailout was initially defeated was a welcome surprise, but the power-brokers in Washington and on Wall Street could not allow that defeat to be permanent.  It was most unfortunate that this monstrosity of a bill, loaded up with even more pork, was able to pass.

2008 Ron Paul 67:2
The Federal Reserve has already injected hundreds of billions of dollars into US and world credit markets.  The adjusted monetary base is up sharply, bank reserves have exploded, and the national debt is up almost half a trillion dollars over the past two weeks.  Yet, we are still told that after all this intervention, all this inflation, that we still need an additional $700 billion bailout, otherwise the credit markets will seize and the economy will collapse.  This is the same excuse that preceded previous bailouts, and undoubtedly we will hear it again in the future after this bailout fails.

2008 Ron Paul 67:3
One of the most dangerous effects of this bailout is the incredibly elevated risk of moral hazard in the future.  The worst performing financial services firms, even those who have been taken over by the government or have filed for bankruptcy, will find all of their poor decision-making rewarded.  What incentive do Wall Street firms or any other large concerns have to make sound financial decisions, now that they see the federal government bailing out private companies to the tune of trillions of dollars?  As Congress did with the legislation authorizing the Fannie and Freddie bailout, it proposes a solution that exacerbates and encourages the problematic behavior that led to this crisis in the first place. 

2008 Ron Paul 67:4
With deposit insurance increasing to $250,000 and banks able to set their reserves to zero, we will undoubtedly see future increases in unsound lending.  No one in our society seems to understand that wealth is not created by government fiat, is not created by banks, and is not created through the manipulation of interest rates and provision of easy credit.  A debt-based society cannot prosper and is doomed to fail, as debts must either be defaulted on or repaid, neither resolution of which presents this country with a pleasant view of the future.  True wealth can only come about through savings, the deferral of present consumption in order to provide for a higher level of future consumption.  Instead, our government through its own behavior and through its policies encourages us to live beyond our means, reducing existing capital and mortgaging our future to pay for present consumption.  

2008 Ron Paul 67:5
The money for this bailout does not just materialize out of thin air.  The entire burden will be borne by the taxpayers, not now, because that is politically unacceptable, but in the future.  This bailout will be paid for through the issuance of debt which we can only hope will be purchased by foreign creditors.  The interest payments on that debt, which already take up a sizeable portion of federal expenditures, will rise, and our children and grandchildren will be burdened with increased taxes in order to pay that increased debt.

2008 Ron Paul 67:6
As usual, Congress has show itself to be reactive rather than proactive.  For years, many people have been warning about the housing bubble and the inevitable bust.  Congress ignored the impending storm, and responded to this crisis with a poorly thought-out piece of legislation that will only further harm the economy.  We ought to be ashamed.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 68

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

3 October 2008

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2008 Ron Paul 68:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill because it won’t solve our problem. It is said that we are in a liquidity crisis and a credit crunch and all we need is more credit. The Federal Reserve has already injected over a trillion dollars worth of credit and it doesn’t seem to have helped a whole lot. Injecting another 600 to $700 billion will not solve the problem.

2008 Ron Paul 68:2
I think one of the reasons why we are floundering around here is that we don’t understand the problem because instead of it being a credit crunch, I think it is a lot more serious than that. That is, I think what is happening in the market today is signaling something much more draconian because it is probably telling us that our government is insolvent, that we are on the verge of bankruptcy and big things are starting to happen. And we don’t quite understand it, so we fall back on the old cliches that what we need is more appropriations, more spending, more debt, and more credit in the market. That means more inflation by the Federal Reserve system. And yet, that is what caused the trouble.

2008 Ron Paul 68:3
We want to do this it is said to prevent the recession or depression because that is unbearable. But the truth is you should have thought about that 10 or 15 years ago because the financial bubble created by the excess of credit and the lowering of the interest rate is the cause of the recession. The recession is a demand. It is a must; you can’t avoid it. Yes, it has been papered over several times over the last several decades, but that just made the bubble bigger.

2008 Ron Paul 68:4
The message is now you can’t paper it over any longer. So the recession and/or depression will come.

2008 Ron Paul 68:5
My sincere conviction is that by doing more mischief and not allowing markets to adjust, debt to be liquidated, you’re going to guarantee a depression. It is going to be prolonged. The agony is going to be there for a lot longer than if you allow markets to adjust. Liquidation of debt. Let the bankruptcy occur, let the good assets come up, and let it react.

2008 Ron Paul 68:6
This idea that there is not enough regulation is completely wrong. There is too much regulation, and lack of regulation of the Federal Reserve system and the exchange of stabilization.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 69

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Honoring Marshall Fritz

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

November 19, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 69:1
Madame Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to my friend Marshall Fritz who passed away on Tuesday November 4 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Marshall was a true champion of freedom whose impact on the cause of liberty will be felt for years to come.

2008 Ron Paul 69:2
Marshall, with his booming voice and good humor, was the happy warrior of the freedom movement, as well as the movement’s Will Rogers. Marshall never met a fellow fighter for liberty, a single-issue ally, or a potential convert he did not like — and to Marshall anyone who did not already share his love of liberty was a potential convert.

2008 Ron Paul 69:3
Marshall was a model of an ideological/political entrepreneur. In 1984, Marshall saw that the growth of the freedom movement was handicapped by the lack of an organization to help activists better communicate the freedom philosophy to the general public. While Marshall was not the first person to have this realization, he was the first person to attempt to remedy the situation by founding Advocates for Self-Government, an organization designed to teach activists how to effectively communicate their principles.

2008 Ron Paul 69:4
In the years since Marshall founded the Advocates for Self-Government, the organization has helped countless libertarians by providing them with the intellectual resources necessary to effectively battle for a free society.

2008 Ron Paul 69:5
While serving as President of the Advocates, Marshall created the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. The quiz graphs an individual’s political philosophy based on responses to a series of ten questions that measure one’s commitment to economic and personal liberty. 

2008 Ron Paul 69:6
Under Marshall’s leadership, the Advocates undertook an aggressive program of distributing the quiz. There is no doubt that this has been the Advocate’s most successful and popular program. The quiz is responsible for many American’s first contact with libertarian ideas. While traveling around the country, I have often heard people say, ”I never knew I was a libertarian until I took the quiz!“

2008 Ron Paul 69:7
In 1990, Marshall stepped down as President of the Advocates to found the Alliance for the Separation of School and State, an organization focusing on the vital issue of parental control of education. Thanks in large part to Marshall’s work, the idea that parents, not the government, should control education is no longer excluded from public debate as a ”fringe“ notion. One of the features that most impresses me about the Alliance is the way that Marshall brought libertarians, conservatives, and liberals together to work for education freedom.

2008 Ron Paul 69:8
Anyone who knew Marshall and worked with him would not be surprised that he was able to forge a coalition of people of diverse views. Marshall’s focus was always on building alliances and trying to persuade those with whom he disagreed, rather than on scoring debating points. While he never compromised his principles and never hesitated to criticize even his closet allies if they took what he considered an anti-liberty position, Marshall never personalized disagreements and always treated his opponents with courtesy and respect. I believe the freedom movement would be more successful if more libertarians followed Marshall’s example of never turning policy disagreements into personal attacks.

2008 Ron Paul 69:9
All of us who care about building an effective freedom movement owe a debt of gratitude to Marshall Fritz. I join Marshall’s family in mourning his loss and I urge all of us who work or liberty to honor Marshall’s memory by following the example he set.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 70

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

Earmark Declaration
19 November 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 70:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, pursuant to the Republican leadership standards on earmarks, I am submitting the following information regarding earmarks I received as part of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2638): Requesting member: Ron Paul. Bill number: H.R. 2638. Account: Rdt&E Defense Health Program. Legal name of requesting entity: Gulf Chemical and Metallurgical Corporation. Address of requesting entity: PO Box 2290, 302 Midway Road, Freeport, TX 77542–2290. Description of request: The project earmarks $3,000,000 for a Department of Defense lead study of vanadium to assess the health safety and risks of military and civilian workers exposed to vanadium through work in military applications.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 71

Ron Paul’s Congressional website

Congressional Record [.PDF]

The Austrians Are Right

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul

United States House of Representatives

November 20, 2008

2008 Ron Paul 71:1
Madame Speaker, many Americans are hoping the new administration will solve the economic problems we face.  That’s not likely to happen, because the economic advisors to the new President have no more understanding of how to get us out of this mess than previous administrations and Congresses understood how the crisis was brought about in the first place.

2008 Ron Paul 71:2
Except for a rare few, Members of Congress are unaware of Austrian Free Market economics.  For the last 80 years, the legislative, judiciary and executive branches of our government have been totally influenced by Keynesian economics.  If they had had any understanding of the Austrian economic explanation of the business cycle, they would have never permitted the dangerous bubbles that always lead to painful corrections.

2008 Ron Paul 71:3
Today, a major economic crisis is unfolding.  New government programs are started daily, and future plans are being made for even more.  All are based on the belief that we’re in this mess because free-market capitalism and sound money failed.  The obsession is with more spending, bailouts of bad investments, more debt, and further dollar debasement.  Many are saying we need an international answer to our problems with the establishment of a world central bank and a single fiat reserve currency.  These suggestions are merely more of the same policies that created our mess and are doomed to fail.

2008 Ron Paul 71:4
At least 90% of the cause for the financial crisis can be laid at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve.  It is the manipulation of credit, the money supply, and interest rates that caused the various bubbles to form.  Congress added fuel to the fire by various programs and institutions like the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FDIC, and HUD mandates, which were all backed up by aggressive court rulings.

2008 Ron Paul 71:5
The Fed has now doled out close to $2 trillion in subsidized loans to troubled banks and other financial institutions.  The Federal Reserve and Treasury constantly brag about the need for “transparency” and “oversight,” but it’s all just talk — they want none of it.  They want secrecy while the privileged are rescued at the expense of the middle class.

2008 Ron Paul 71:6
It is unimaginable that Congress could be so derelict in its duty.  It does nothing but condone the arrogance of the Fed in its refusal to tell us where the $2 trillion has gone.  All Members of Congress and all Americans should be outraged that conditions could deteriorate to this degree.  It’s no wonder that a large and growing number of Americans are now demanding an end to the Fed.

2008 Ron Paul 71:7
The Federal Reserve created our problem, yet it manages to gain even more power in the socialization of the entire financial system.  The whole bailout process this past year was characterized by no oversight, no limits, no concerns, no understanding, and no common sense.

2008 Ron Paul 71:8
Similar mistakes were made in the 1930s and ushered in the age of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society and the supply-siders who convinced conservatives that deficits didn’t really matter after all, since they were anxious to finance a very expensive deficit-financed American empire.

2008 Ron Paul 71:9
All the programs since the Depression were meant to prevent recessions and depressions.  Yet all that was done was to plant the seeds of the greatest financial bubble in all history.  Because of this lack of understanding, the stage is now set for massive nationalization of the financial system and quite likely the means of production.

2008 Ron Paul 71:10
Although it is obvious that the Keynesians were all wrong and interventionism and central economic planning don’t work, whom are we listening to for advice on getting us out of this mess?  Unfortunately, it’s the Keynesians, the socialists, and big-government proponents.

2008 Ron Paul 71:11
Who’s being ignored?  The Austrian free-market economists—the very ones who predicted not only the Great Depression, but the calamity we’re dealing with today.  If the crisis was predictable and is explainable, why did no one listen?  It’s because too many politicians believed that a free lunch was possible and a new economic paradigm had arrived. But we’ve heard that one before — like the philosopher’s stone that could turn lead into gold.  Prosperity without work is a dream of the ages.

2008 Ron Paul 71:12
Over and above this are those who understand that political power is controlled by those who control the money supply.  Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats came to believe, as they were taught in our universities, that deficits don’t matter and that Federal Reserve accommodation by monetizing debt is legitimate and never harmful.  The truth is otherwise.  Central economic planning is always harmful.  Inflating the money supply and purposely devaluing the dollar is always painful and dangerous.

2008 Ron Paul 71:13
The policies of big-government proponents are running out of steam.  Their policies have failed and will continue to fail.  Merely doing more of what caused the crisis can hardly provide a solution.

2008 Ron Paul 71:14
The good news is that Austrian economists are gaining more acceptance every day and have a greater chance of influencing our future than they’ve had for a long time.

2008 Ron Paul 71:15
The basic problem is that proponents of big government require a central bank in order to surreptitiously pay bills without direct taxation.  Printing needed money delays the payment. Raising taxes would reveal the true cost of big government, and the people would revolt.  But the piper will be paid, and that’s what this crisis is all about.

2008 Ron Paul 71:16
There are limits.  A country cannot forever depend on a central bank to keep the economy afloat and the currency functionable through constant acceleration of money supply growth.  Eventually the laws of economics will overrule the politicians, the bureaucrats and the central bankers.  The system will fail to respond unless the excess debt and mal-investment is liquidated.  If it goes too far and the wild extravagance is not arrested, runaway inflation will result, and an entirely new currency will be required to restore growth and reasonable political stability.

2008 Ron Paul 71:17
The choice we face is ominous:  We either accept world-wide authoritarian government holding together a flawed system, OR we restore the principles of the Constitution, limit government power, restore commodity money without a Federal Reserve system, reject world government, and promote the cause of peace by protecting liberty equally for all persons.  Freedom is the answer.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 72

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

10 December 2008

Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, at this time I am happy to yield 3 minutes to the former Presidential candidate from Surfside, Texas (Mr. PAUL).

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2008 Ron Paul 72:1
Mr. PAUL. I rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying legislation. It doesn’t take a whole lot to convince me that we are on the wrong track with this type of legislation. And at great risk of being marginalized, I want to bring up a couple of issues. One is that if one were to look for guidance in the Constitution, there’s no evidence that we have the authority to take funds from one group of Americans and transfer it to another group who happen to need something.

2008 Ron Paul 72:2
And the moral argument is it’s not right to do so. Why should successful Americans be obligated to take care of those who have made mistakes?

2008 Ron Paul 72:3
But those two arguments in this Chamber are rather weak arguments, so I will try to talk a little bit about economics. I think what we’re doing here today and what we’ve done here for the last week has been, essentially, a distraction. We’re talking about transferring funds around, $15 billion that’s been authorized. It’s been designated to do some other interventions that were unnecessary in the car industry. And in a way, this legislation probably could have been done by unanimous consent, but there’s been a lot of talk and a lot of publicity and a lot of arguments going back and forth about the bailout for the car companies; and it is, of course, very important.

2008 Ron Paul 72:4
But in the scheme of things, you know, what’s $15 billion mean anymore, especially since it’s been authorized?

2008 Ron Paul 72:5
The big thing is the big bailout, the $8 trillion, the unlimited amount the Federal Reserve has invested and what we’ve been doing for the past 6 months. We are on the road to nationalization. In many ways, we’re in the midst of nationalization without a whimper.

2008 Ron Paul 72:6
There is no real talk about it. I mean, we’ve essentially nationalized the insurance companies, the mortgage companies, the banks, and medical care is moving in that direction, and now the car companies are going to be run by a car czar from this Congress. I mean, it is such an embarrassment. It is such an insult to us who believe in freedom, who believe in sound money and who believe in limited government. It is such an insult to the whole idea of what made America great, and this is what it has come to—bailout after bailout after bailout—and nobody even calls it what it really is. It is the nationalization of our industries.

2008 Ron Paul 72:7
You know, in many ways, Harry Truman was a much more honest person. He said we should nationalize the steel industry, and he did. Fortunately, we still had a little bit of common sense in our courts, and they said “Hey, you’re going too far.” That’s what we’re doing here. We’re nationalizing. It happens always for good purposes, and we are always going to do good for this group, or that, but you never ask the question “How much harm have you done to the other group?” and that’s what we ought to be talking about. We ought to really find out what this is costing.

2008 Ron Paul 72:8
As much as I strongly believe in the free society—and I can defend it from the economic viewpoints—I also know where we are and where we ought to go. The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired. Mr. DREIER. I yield my friend an additional 30 seconds.

2008 Ron Paul 72:9
Mr. PAUL. I do believe in the transition. That is, if we need a bailout for the car companies, even though I don’t like the idea, if you could pay for it, take it out of these hundreds of billions of dollars running the American empire around the world. Cut it; bring it home and spend it here, but running up of these deficits is going to do us in, and we are working on the collapse of the dollar. That is what you’d better pay attention to. So pay attention. This is a lot more important than this little $15 billion. To me, it has been a gross distraction of the great harm we’ve done in the past 6 months.

2008 Ron Paul Chapter 73

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.

Congressional Record [.PDF]

10 December 2008

Mr. BACHUS. At this time I recognize the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) for 2 minutes.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2008 Ron Paul 73:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But I am concerned that we are narrowed down on a problem of the car industry, which is a significant problem, but we are dealing with $15 billion here. But if you look at the grand problem we have, it is much, much bigger, and it seems like we don’t pay much attention to it.

2008 Ron Paul 73:2
The problems that we are facing today and the problems that we have been trying to solve in these last 6 months were predictable. It had been building for a good many years. We can date it back to 1971. We have had a financial bubble building, so there were many who predicted that the climax would be exactly as we are witnessing.

2008 Ron Paul 73:3
But we don’t seem to want to go back and find out how financial bubbles form and why they burst. Instead, we just carry on doing the same old thing and never look back. We spend more money, we run up more debt, we print more money, and we think that is going to solve the problem that was created by spending too much money, running up debt, printing too much money. And here we are today, we are talking about tinkering on the edges without dealing with the big problem.

2008 Ron Paul 73:4
The Federal Reserve has literally created over $2 trillion here in the last several months, at least in obligations, and that is outside the realm of the Congress. We don’t even audit the Federal Reserve. They create this money, and when the Fed Chairman comes before our committee and we ask, well, where did you dispose of this $2 trillion that you have created recently, he says well, it is not your business. That is not necessary. Under the law, he doesn’t even have to tell us.

2008 Ron Paul 73:5
So this is how out of control our problem is. Sure, there is a lot of debt in the economy, and once a government or a corporation gets an excessive amount of debt, it is never paid for. So, yes, we can transfer the debt to others.

2008 Ron Paul 73:6
We are dealing with only finding victims. We cannot get rid of the debt, whether it is our national debt or whether it is corporate debt, but we have to put it on somebody else. We need to look at the cause of these bubbles, and it has to do with monetary policy and the Federal Reserve system.

2008 Ron Paul 73:7
Mr. Speaker, no one can deny that Congress bears much culpability for the current condition of the United States auto industry, and therefore Congress should act to help that industry. We should be repealing costly regulations we have imposed on domestic auto manufactures. Congress should also be considering legislation like H.R. 7273 and H.R. 7278, which reduces taxes on American consumers to make it easier for them to purchase American automobiles.

2008 Ron Paul 73:8
Unfortunately, instead of repealing regulations and cutting taxes, Congress is nationalizing the automakers by giving them access to $14 billion of taxpayer funds in return for giving the federal government control over the management of these firms. Mr. Speaker, the federal government has neither the competence nor the constitutional authority to tell private companies, such as automakers, how to run their businesses. Yet, the bailout proposal forces automobile manufacturers to submit their business plans for the approval of a federal “car czar.” This czar will not only have the authority to approve the automakers’ restructuring plan, but will also monitor implementation of the plans. The czar will also be able to stop transactions that are “inconsistent with the companies’ long-term viability.” Of course, the czar has the sole authority to determine what transactions are “inconsistent with the companies’ long-term viability.”

2008 Ron Paul 73:9
I would have thought that failed experiments with central planning and government control of business that wrought so much harm in the last century would have taught my colleagues the folly of making businesses obey politicians and bureaucrats instead of heeding the wishes of consumers, employees, and stockholders.

2008 Ron Paul 73:10
The alternative proposal is less costly to the taxpayer; therefore I will vote for it if offered as a motion to recommit. However, I am troubled that the proposal endorses the notion that the federal government should play both a financial and managerial role in restoring the American automobile industry. Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that we are not given a chance to vote for a true free-market approach; instead we are asked to choose between two types of government interference with the market.

2008 Ron Paul 73:11
Providing this $14 billion in loan guarantees will contribute to the already fragile economy by increasing the federal debt and thus creating either increased inflation or increased taxes. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to consider how many businesses will not be started, jobs will not be created, and consumer desires will remain unfulfilled because the resources to start those business and create those jobs were taken from the private sector for the auto bailout. I urge my colleagues to reject this unconstitutional bill that will further the growth of government and damage the American economy. Instead, Congress should help the American auto industry, and all American business, by cutting taxes and regulations.