Moral Outrage
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Ron Paul on spending, taxes and Social Security

If you know anything about Ron Paul’s economic views, it’s probably that he’s not a big fan of the Federal Reserve system, or that he loves the gold standard. But those are hardly the only noteworthy planks in his platform.

Spending: Paul proposes cutting $1 trillion from the federal budget during his first year in office, and balancing the budget by his third year. He would do this in part by eliminating five cabinet departments: Energy; Housing and Urban Development; Commerce; Interior; and Education. He would also scrap the Transportation Security Administration, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, eliminate corporate subsidies, end foreign aid, and return most other federal spending to 2006 levels.

Paul says he would cut the federal workforce by 10 percent, and accept a presidential salary of $39,336- roughly equal to what the average American makes. The president currently makes $400,000. Paul, who opposes almost all American military intervention overseas, also says he would save money by ending foreign wars.

Taxes: Paul has said in the past that he’d like to abolish personal income tax rates, but his plan doesn’t suggest that. It does propose lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, from 35 percent. And it would extend the Bush tax cuts and eliminate the estate tax.

Regulation: Like most of his rivals, Paul would repeal President Obama’s health care law. He would also get rid of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law intended to increase regulation of Wall Street. And he’d scrap Sarbanes-Oxley, the corporate governance law passed in the wake of the Enron scandal.

Monetary Policy: Paul has written a book called “End the Fed,” but his plan calls only for auditing the central bank–something he’s been trying to do as a legislator. He also would push “competing currency legislation”–meaning he wants individuals to be able to use alternative currencies to the dollar, including gold and silver. The idea is to reduce the federal government’s control over the monetary supply.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: Paul says he wouldn’t scrap Social Security and Medicare. His plan “honors our promise to our seniors and veterans,” meaning that those currently in the programs could stay in them. But he would like to allow younger workers to opt out of the Social Security system and the payroll taxes it imposes.

The Republican congressman from Texas looks to have a real chance of winning the Iowa caucuses in less than two weeks.

[Excerpt of Ticket article by Zachary Roth]

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