Ron Paul’s economic plan for restoring America to peace and prosperity

Posted on October 20, 2011. Filed under: Banking, Business, Columns, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Tax Policy | Tags: , , , |

My choice for president is Ron Paul. Why? The American people are asking three important questions of all the candidates.  Can I trust this candidate? Was the candidate right on the economic issues in the past? Does the candidate know what needs to be done to get America growing and working again? For Paul the American people find the answers to these questions to be yes.

I greatly respect the character, honesty and integrity of Paul. As an economist and former financial advisor, I am equally impressed that Paul not only predicted the recent financial crisis, he understood its’ causes. In an article entitled Predictions, dated April 26, 2002, Paul said, “In the next decade the American people will become poorer and less free, while they become more dependent on the government for economic security.” He knows what needs to be done to lead the U.S. economy back to high rates of economic growth and employment–reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

 

Source: Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2011, Historical Table 1.2

In just three years, President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party-controlled House and Senate ran up massive budgetary deficits and debt totaling more than $4 trillion. TheUnited Statesis broke. The American people are searching for a fiscally responsible president that will balance the government’s budget and establish the necessary economic conditions for the creation of more than 30 million full-time jobs.

Federal government spending outlays are largely for warfare and welfare entitlements. This spending encourages businesses and individuals to become dependent upon the government for contracts and handouts. From less than 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product prior to 1930, federal government spending outlays have increased in percentage terms by more than eight-fold to more than 24 percent of GDP.

On Oct.17 in Las Vegas, the day before the Republican debates, presidential candidate Ron Paul unveiled his economic “Plan to Restore America to peace and prosperity by limiting the size and scope of the federal government. Paul would stop foreign wars and bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, eliminate all foreign aid,  reduce the federal government’s budget by $1 trillion in the first year, abolish all corporate subsidies, reduce the federal labor force by 10 percent and permanently close the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Interior, and Housing and Urban Development. For most of the remaining departments, their budget outlays would be frozen.  The federal budget would be balanced in three years in fiscal year 2015.

Paul would also shut down the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), currently part of the Department of Homeland Security, both of which were created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The airlines would have the responsibility for security and screening passengers that are boarding their aircraft.

In the tax policy area, Paul would extend the Bush tax rate cuts, eliminate estate taxes, allowU.S.companies operating abroad to repatriate their capital without additional taxation and reduce the highest corporate tax rate in the world from 35 percent to a more competitive 15 percent. Paul wants to reform the existing income tax code by going to a much simpler and fairer tax system. He would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In the past, Paul has indicated his support for the FairTax. This tax reform proposal would eliminate the IRS and replace all federal income taxes including the corporate, personal, payroll (Social Security and Medicare), capital gains, alternative minimum, gift and estate taxes with one broad based national retail sales consumption tax on the sale of all new goods and services. The FairTax has a progressive tax refund feature called a prebate. Every month, each American citizen including children would receive from the federal government a prebate to pay for the upcoming month’s sales tax on life’s necessities such as food and clothing.

If the personal income tax is eliminated, how does Paul’s plan pay for the federal government? A 15 percent corporate income tax and payroll taxes would simply not bring in enough revenues to pay for an even down-sized federal government.

Recently, Paul indicated that he is against Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax reform plan, particularly the proposed new national sales tax. Under Cain’s plan, the existing income and payroll taxes would be eliminated and replaced with a flat 9 percent business income tax, a flat 9 percent personal income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. Cain argues that his proposal is a bridge to the eventual passage of the FairTax.

Is Paul still in favor of the FairTax? If the answer is no, then how would Paul’s plan pay for government spending or outlays exceeding corporate income and payroll tax revenue or receipts? Paul’s plan does not answer this question. I hope Paul again reiterates his support of the FairTax. Paul could come out with a modified FairTax proposal, call it FairTax Less, where the actual FairTax tax rate declines each year as government becomes smaller and the budget is balanced.

Those already receiving Social Security, Medicare and veteran entitlements or approaching qualification for these programs will not be affected.The plan honors the promises the federal government has made to seniors and veterans. However, Paul provides those younger than 25 with the option to leave these programs. This is a very popular option with the young, as well as many Americans that would also like this option.

Paul calls for a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. central bank. However, his proposal does not call for ending the Fed. The proposal does support legislation that would permit competing currencies to stabilize inflation and strengthen the purchasing power of the dollar.

Like most of the other Republican candidates for president, Paul would immediately repeal both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obama Care, and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which would add several more regulatory agencies and hundreds of regulatory rules.

Small and medium-size businesses and community banks have pointed to these two new laws as creating massive business uncertainty and higher business costs that will be paid for by the consumer. Businesses are not growing and creating enough jobs each month to reduce the unemployment rate below 9 percent. Today, more than 25 million Americans are searching for a full-time job.

Paul would also repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in 2002. The law is considered by many as a very costly intrusion into corporate management. Sarbanes-Oxley has not prevented fraud but has dramatically reduced the number of new public companies created and putU.S.companies at a competitive cost disadvantage with foreign companies.

The Plan to Restore America does differentiate Paul from the other Republican presidential candidates for having a very specific plan to cut government spending and balance the budget. The Republican Party establishment candidates, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, will be hard pressed to come up with a comparable plan.

Instead, they and their cheerleaders in the party establishment and media will first ignore the economic plan, and then attack it. Yet, the fiscal year 2012 Republican House Budget has an estimated deficit of about $1 trillion and will not balance until the late 2030s. Both the Republican Party and Obama’s Democratic Party proposed budgets for fiscal year 2012 which are fiscally irresponsible, with estimated deficits of $1 trillion to $1.2 trillion.

The Tea Party will cheer Paul’s plan and most likely vote for him. Many Democrats, Republicans and independents who are searching for a job and a fiscally responsible president will vote for him. Paul now needs to break into the national polls with the same impressive numbers he has received in many straw polls he has won across the nation. Once this happens, he will be the front-runner.

Paul has money, organization, message, momentum, and ambition or MOMMA. The only open question is, does he have enough of each to win the nomination. I think he does. By mid-March the only candidates in serious contention for the presidential nomination will be the Republican establishment candidate, Mitt Romney and the Republican constitutional candidate, Ron Paul.

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