Have Americans read Dr. Ron Paul's written plan for the country? Are Americans ready to upset the apple cart in a controlled and methodical way for the betterment of the greater good? The main source I am referencing here is Dr. Ron Paul's website, so that we can debate his priorities and proposed approaches. I have paraphrased items from his site; however, I encourage the reader to thoroughly review all the links.
Here is Dr. Ron Paul's 11-point plan:
11. Energy Independence: Eliminate the federal gas tax of $0.18 per gallon and eliminate the EPA, allowing prosecution of polluters to answer to citizens, not Washington, and allowing coal, oil, nuclear and other forms of energy to be safely explored.
10. Education: Dr. Paul would like to see the U.S. Department of Education return its powers to the states and parents. He proposes and intends to give parents a $5,000 tax credit per child for kids K-12 to help with all the costs of education. He is supportive of home-schooling and will veto legislation that interferes with parents choosing to home-school their children.
9. Workers' Rights: Dr. Ron Paul is against forcing workers to join unions and pay dues if they do not want to, citing the $8 billion that union leaders bring in annually that is often given to political candidates. He does not want workers forced to belong to unions or to be under union control against their will.
8. Protect Gun Rights: Protecting the right of Americans to keep and bear arms. Here is an example of a town that required each head of household to own a gun. This policy resulted in decreased crime.
7. Heath Care: Dr. Ron Paul will repeal Obamacare, allow for tax credits and deductions for all medical expenses and not allow money that belongs in Medicare or Medicaid to be misused for other purposes. He will protect the privacy of American citizens' medical records from the federal government, remove barriers for all citizens to have HSAs and keep the FDA out of vitamins and alternative treatments. Also, he wants to provide payroll deductions for terminal illnesses and caregivers.
6. Pro-Life Issue: Here is the one fact all Americans need to know. Dr. Paul is the only Republican candidate who has said, "So while Roe v. Wade is invalid, a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be equally invalid." Abortion is one of the most divisive issues and may always be a divisive issue as long as Americans have freedom of religion and the right to be, think and feel differently. Dr. Ron Paul may be personally pro-life; however, his voting record indicates that, even if a bill attempting to make abortion illegal federally in the U.S. were passed by the House and Senate, Dr. Paul would veto the bill as unconstitutional. Which other Republican candidate has a track record to indicate that? Would Dr. Paul look to put pro-life judges on the Supreme Court bench? Probably as much as past Republican presidents. The current Democratic President has recently placed two women on the Supreme Court, and new Justices are appointed only when a Justice dies or retires. Six Republican Presidential candidates have already signed the Susan B. Anthony List 2012. Dr. Ron Paul is the safest Republican candidate because he would veto anti-abortion bills at the federal level and support states that chose to protect women's reproductive rights. His other strong Constitution-based reforms outweigh the small risk that Roe v. Wade would be overturned during his term, returning the power to the states, who can then protect women's reproductive rights, as Vermont has. Would he truly respect the states' rights on this, considering his strong personal stand? Many progressive states have anti-abortion laws on their books that are not enforceable due to Roe v. Wade. So far, Dr. Paul has written bills to make it possible for states to make abortion illegal in the Sanctity of Life bill. He wrote the We the People Act, which, if passed, would render Roe v. Wade invalid and return powers to the states. He signed the Susan B. Anthony list, which describes federally defunding all abortions and Planned Parenthood. If Dr. Paul can fix the economic mess, is the slight chance that Roe v. Wade would be rendered invalid something Americans are willing risk for the betterment of the country in many other important areas? We will not ever go back to a time before birth control, morning-after pills, RU 486, the Internet and other advancements. Certain states, even with Roe v. Wade, are extremely restrictive.
5. Immigration: In Dr. Paul's own words:
Immigration reform should start with improving our border protection, yet it was reported last week that the federal government has approved the recruitment of 120 of our best trained Border Patrol agents to go to Iraq to train Iraqis how to better defend their borders! This comes at a time when the National Guard troops participating in Operation Jump Start are being removed from border protection duties in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan! It is an outrage and it will result in our borders being more vulnerable to illegal entry, including by terrorists.
Also, we need to take serious steps to prevent terrorists from gaining easy access to targets on our soil. Quite alarmingly, even with the knowledge that the 19 terrorist hijackers entered our country legally, and that 15 of them were from Saudi Arabia , student visas from terrorist sponsoring countries are still far too easily obtained. In a baffling move President Bush struck a deal with Saudi King Abdullah in 2005 to allow 21,000 more Saudi young men into the US on student Visas. Of course, not all students from terror sponsoring countries are terrorists, but I place a higher premium on the security of the American people than the convenience of citizens of hostile countries. We should not be making the goals of would-be terrorists easier to accomplish, but rather should be vigilant about defending against enemies at every turn. They should not be slipping through our doors so easily, using our immigration laws against us, and that is why I proposed the Terror Immigration Elimination Act (HR 3217) to toughen standards for VISAS from countries on the State Department's list of terrorist sponsoring countries in addition to Saudi Arabia . Just as you decide who to invite to a dinner party in your home, we should be in charge of who we allow in this country, without apology.
Both the Bush administration and congressional leadership have promised to spend the next two months addressing national security issues. But real national security cannot be achieved unless and until our borders are physically secured. It's as simple as that. All the talk about fighting terror and making America safer is meaningless without border security. It makes no sense to seek terrorists abroad if our own front door is left unlocked.
In short, Dr. Paul's plan is to secure the border, end amnesty, abolish welfare to illegal immigrants, end birthright citizenship and protect lawful immigrants.
4. National Defense: Dr. Paul's approach is simple. He believes in a strong national defense and is against militarism -- in other words, protect the U.S. but do not police the world and require congressional approval before declaring war. The last time the U.S. formally declared war was World War II in 1941. Dr. Paul would bring the troops home to protect America. Dr. Paul said he would get the troops home as soon as the ships would get here. He is the largest recipient of donations from soldiers in the U.S. military, getting 71 percent of all military donations.
3. Taxes: Dr. Paul would support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolishes income and death taxes. Ideally, he'd like to close the IRS. He would seek to repeal capital gains taxes and reduce then abolish taxes on Social Security. Before a flat or fair tax would be implemented, Dr. Paul would ensure that the 16th Amendment, which made income taxation legal, would be repealed so we don't end up with both.
2. End the Fed: The Fed was created in a time of turmoil and seems similar to the Patriot Act in that it was done from a position of hysteria, not logical and rational decision-making. The U.S. Constitution is considered such a well thought-through document as it was drafted in a time of peace rather than as a reaction to a panic. Documents and policies that are reviewed and seen in the light of day by calm, rational people tend to be better for the long-term wellness of the people than policies passed quickly in an emotional, reactive and hurried manner. Dr. Paul equates the Fed with deeply-in-debt parents sending their teenagers out with credit cards and blank checks. Dr. Paul's ultimate goal would be to see the Fed end, yet he would not act rashly. What his focus would be is a full and complete audit of the Fed, as Congress is currently unable to audit the Fed. Dr. Paul would commit to passing legislation that requires transparency and accountability from the Fed. At this time, the Fed can keep secret to whom they are lending trillions of taxpayers' dollars. If the Fed is handling American money responsibly, for what reason would they refuse to open their books? We American citizens are all subject to audits from the IRS, but the U.S. central bank is not? Please take three minutes to watch this amazing video of Bernie Sanders asking Ben Bernanke, where $2.2 trillion of taxpayer money is. Bernanke will not answer the question and will not disclose where $2.2 trillion went, and he doesn't have to.
1. Economy: Dr. Paul's plan is to audit the Fed, veto any unbalanced budget and refuse to raise the debt ceiling. He is also committed to getting rid of self-dealing and corruption in D.C. Additionally, he will eliminate income taxes, capital gains taxes and death taxes. It would be a breath of fresh air to have the Fed audited and wasteful government spending eliminated, and to actually be able to keep more of the money we make. America's debt did not come out of nowhere. In 2008, the U.S. had spent $3 trillion on the war in Iraq. The current costs are at $3.2 to $4 trillion. How much did we vote to increase the debt ceiling? We raised the $14.3-trillion debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, to $16.7 trillion on Aug. 2, 2011. Here is a great 10-minute video with Dr. Paul clearly stating how, if elected president in 2012, he would balance the budget in one year.
In this discussion, I request that emotional reactions and sarcasm be set aside. The goal is an accurate, clear and truthful dialogue. We are blessed with a group of knowledgeable Americans making comments here. What I want to suggest is that we discuss what is best for the greater good for our country, not just for ourselves.
Any presidential choice we make involves a risk. Is he lying and manipulating to win the election, or is he honest? Will she serve American citizens ethically and honorably as president? The U.S. Constitution was created to unite the states in our country in certain crucial areas, like national defense, while allowing states their autonomy and uniqueness. In the spirit of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, good character is the most essential quality to bring to our government. Dr. Paul combines solid character and backbone with seasoned wisdom and experience. He has not compromised the values and principles that America holds dear.
If you are not going to register as a Republican and vote for Dr. Ron Paul in the primary, who do you think is better, and for what reasons? Don't state what you dislike about Dr. Paul's plan. It is easy to shoot someone's ideas down.
"[At times of hysteria] that is all the more reason the President has to speak out for what is right. Otherwise, he's got no reason being in the White House. The President has to do the leading in a case like that. I've said before, the President is the only person in the government who represents the whole people. There are some who can afford to hire lobbyists and others to represent their special interests, but the President isn't elected to pull strings for anybody. He's elected to be the lobbyist for everybody in the United States. And, he is, too, if he's any good."
--Harry Truman (from Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, by Merle Miller, Tess Press 1974)
Follow Laura Trice on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LaurasWJF