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Ron Paul's voting record

Ron Paul's record in Congress:

His past legislative proposals will provide some clues, and they are not friendly to progressive ideas. Here are some bills that Ron Paul has proposed, not merely voted on, but sponsored. And you can see that he tries repeatedly on certain issues, which suggests they are important to him.

His anti-regulation policies shouldn't surprise anyone, but his bills concerning abortion and flag-burning might not be quite what one might expect from someone who claims to stand for individual liberty...



Even though he thinks we should get out of Iraq, he's still a Republican who embraces bass ackwards socially conservative positions. In his defense, though, I read somewhere that he doesn't actually support banning flag burning. He introduced the constitutional amendment idea to point out that a law banning flag burning is unconstitutional - the only way to ban it would be an amendment to the constitution. That's what I read, anyway.

Hilary Clinton, who co-sponsored a bill to ban flag burning, is another story...

Dr. Paul's voting record takes some more research than we are used to in a typical race.

Dr. Paul has a long history of introducing bills he has no intention of voting for. Its been his way of saying to the rest of congress "If you want to do this, this bill is the legal and constitutional way to do it." The flag burning bill is one example, another clear example is when he introduced a declration of war against Iraq. Anyone who listened to his speaches on the floor imploring us not to make the decision we did knows that he didn't war with Iraq. He was making a point that there was a legal way to go about doing it.

Glenn Greenwald mentions this in his blog, along with making points about some of the political discourse that has arisen about Ron Paul.

Hey Chris. I'm assuming you're a Paul supporter. Looking at the list of bills that Jake links to, which make sense to you as a Paul supporter? Pulling out of the U.N.? Abolishing the income tax and the I.R.S.? No gun regulation? I'm generally curious - while I wouldn't support any Republican candidate for presidency (or any elected office, for that matter), I would like to better understand Paul's appeal beyond 1) his opposition to Iraq; and 2) his willingness to speak truthfully on issues most politicians don't want to talk about.

"...another clear example is when he introduced a declration of war against Iraq. Anyone who listened to his speaches on the floor imploring us not to make the decision we did knows that he didn't war with Iraq. He was making a point that there was a legal way to go about doing it."

Which is something we've been crowing about here from Day One. How congress has given up their duty to decalre war and manage the financing of wars is beyond me. As I say here all the time, we haven't declared war on a country since 1941. Yet, how many military actions have we taken in the interim? Nonsense.

Mike, when you ask:
>which make sense to you as a Paul supporter?
Answer: all of them, and no I don't agree with a good number of them. It is the fact that I understand "why" Ron Paul voted the way he did that makes me a Ron Paul supporter.

It is very easy to understand where Ron Paul stands at all times. For thirty years he has not changed his position on anything. Not for special interests, not for "the good of his constituency" and definitelly not for personal gain. Whether you agree or disagree with his core principles you have to admire the man. He is basically the only uncompromisingly principled person in Washington, and the only presidential nominee that I admire. The fact that he is actually getting _any_ coverage amazes me.

Ron Paul has never voted for a tax increase:

Take another look at that list. Ron Paul will vote against any bill that contains the words "Funds". It does not matter what the Funds are for, and it does not mean that he is against whatever is being funded. Each of these line items represent a tax increase he believes the Federal Government should not be expending your tax money.

Ron Paul has never voted to restrict your personal freedom.

This is a tough one! Ron paul is willing to vote against well intentioned bills and for really bad sounding ones. If the result is that they limit your personal freedom he is against it.

"For thirty years he has not changed his position on anything."

I'm not sure that's something to brag about. To think that you don't change your views, in the face of new information garnered over 30 years, says to me that you're not willing to change your views regardless of the facts. I've had enough of that with George W. Bush.

I am not sure if "bragging" is what I am trying to do. I am just amazed that somebody like this can actually be running for president of the United States.

Thanks for chiming in on this, Kevin. Regarding taxes, I appreciate the fact that Paul is against raising taxes, and at the same time is against increasing expenditures. That's unusual for a Republican - they say Dems are tax and spend; Republicans are just "spend and spend." So a follow on question: How does Paul propose paying down the enormous national debt that we have? $9 trillion and counting, with hundreds of billions in interest that needs to paid each year. I don't see how it can be done without cutting spending and increasing taxes (on the rich and corporations).

Good question, what would a Ron Paul presidency really do to the budget?

First he would bring the troops home. Dr.Paul projects hundreds of billions in savings from this. No other republican candidate supports this position, none of the leading democratic candidates support it either.

This figure is assuming that we donít have a war on Iran, if you consider costs for that the savings are an order of magnitude higher.

The main reason why Republican candidates are seen as spend and spend politicians is that they need to pander to special interests and lobbyists. Dr. Paul does not take special interest into consideration in his voting. In ten congressional terms he has never to my knowledge voted for a bill in which the federal government spends your money. Lobbyists have stopped knocking on his door because they know that they will not be able to change his stance on any issue. Realistically what this means is that a Ron Paul presidency would effectively veto all spending for four years.

Take a look at his face the nation interview for other ways he intends to cut costs:

"Realistically what this means is that a Ron Paul presidency would effectively veto all spending for four years."

And then overridden when members of congress hear from their constituents that the programs they count on vanished.

Not to be condescending, but this is exactly why I can't take libertarianism, as an ideology, seriously. People love to talk about cutting spending but they aren't so keen when those cuts affect the programs they use to maintain a quality of life most expect in the United States. I wonder how excited Paul supporters would be if they had to live in the fashion of our ancestors around 1790. I'm guessing it wasn't much fun.

Libertarianism--the people of the Do-Not-Disturb sign.

But I'm glad libertarians exist--probably the political philosophy closest to what the many of the Founders envisioned.

Where's, like, the Edwards and Hillary street teams? Throw out a Ronnie Paul post and you the (well-informed) posters come a-runnin.'

But the founders (most of, anyhow) also belived in active democracy where we are not beholden strictly to the ideas of 230 years ago. Our Constitution is difficult to change,as it should be, but not impossible. Whether cosntructionists want to believe it or now, it is a living document and was written to be.


"And then overridden "

That is only fair, if two thirds of the members of each house can agree on anything they want to spend money on more power to them.

"when members of congress hear from their constituents that the programs they count on vanished."
Well, no. We are talking about vetoing new spending. To remove existing programs a President would need approval from congress.

No, actually, if the funding does not keep pace with inflation or if it is not renewed (budgets get renewed for existing programs--some programs have to expand to meet needs) then the program effectively dies.

If you're talking about funding for new programs, the same will apply. Congress doesn't make up programs for nothing. They come from someone (yes, often industry or other special interest groups) ask for them and funding is then secured. Some of them are nonsense, but most are addressing some need in the community. Just as we're sure to face new problems in the next 6 years, people will want their government to respond.

Would Ron paul veto emergency spending for Katrina or the California wild fires? What if an epidemic broke out that the US had not planned to fight? What if new technology was developed to end our dependence on foreign oil but we needed rapid restructuring of our infrastructure?

thanks for clearing that up, makes sense.

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