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Ron Paul on Jobs

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President


Ron Paul side-by-side against Gingrich, Romney & Santorum

Q: Ron Paul is the odd man out from the other three GOP frontrunners on foreign policy, the PATRIOT Act , the death penalty, and gay rights--but what happens with that long list of disagreements when talking about economic policy?

A: No, Paul is not the odd man out on economic policy. He agrees with the other three GOP frontrunners on just about all of the policy issues below, from corporate policy to union policy:

Romney/Paul/Santorum/Gingrich side-by-side on Economic Issues

Source: Paperback: Romney/Paul/Santorum/Gingrich side-by-side , Mar 2, 2012

Government picking winners and losers kills jobs

In a speech where much of the rhetoric was devoted to job creation, it was strange that Pres. Obama would brag about his job-destroying national health care plan, ObamaCare, and the Dodd-Frank bill, which, contrary to the President's claims, guarantees future taxpayer bailouts of large institutions. Unfortunately, Pres. Obama's 'job creation' policies amount to little more than continuing to allow government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, which is a recipe for continued economic stagnation.
Source: Response to 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

FactCheck: Feds paid for 8M WWII vets to attend college

Rep. Ron Paul said, "After World War II, we had 10 million came home. But everybody went back to work again and you didn't need any special programs." Newt Gingrich cited the GI Bill, so we checked.

After WWII, the GI Bill let vets attend college on federal funds. According to the GI Bill website run by the Veterans Administration, "Thanks to the GI Bill, millions who would have flooded the job market instead opted for education. By the time the GI Bill ended in 1956, 7.8 million of 16 million WWII veterans had participated in an education or training program." That directly contradicts Rep. Paul's implication: while the overall budget was cut after WWII, federal spending on the GI Bill increased (there were numerous other GI programs too, such as 2.4 million home loan guarantees to veterans). It is simply untrue that "everybody went back to work": 49% of all WWII vets went to college on a federal subsidy, which also means it's simply untrue that we "didn't need any special programs."

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on South Carolina 2012 GOP debate , Jan 19, 2012

National right-to-work law reduces outsourcing

PAUL: There's obviously a problem with car companies here. We had to bail them out. But there are foreign companies that build cars in this country and they make a living out of this. I think the union problem vs. right-to-work states [is one reason we outsource jobs to China]. I've chided Sen. Santorum on this because he has voted against right-to-work. But we have to change these conditions to invite people back.

SANTORUM: I've already signed a pledge that I would sign a national right-to-work bill And when I was a senator from Pennsylvania, which is a state that is not a right-to-work state, the state made a decision not to be right to work. And I wasn't going to go to Washington and overturn that from the federal government and do that to the state.

PAUL: As president, are you going to represent South Carolina or Pennsylvania? That's really the question.

SANTORUM: I said I would support a national right-to-work law and sign it into law, and would support and advocate for one.

Source: South Carolina 2012 GOP debate hosted by CNN's John King , Jan 19, 2012

Unemployment insurance should be privatized, but not cut off

Rep. Ron Paul sounded a more compassionate note during the debate, saying he opposed extended unemployment insurance but that benefits shouldn't be cut abruptly.

"A little while ago we were talking about funding the unemployed and of course that should be privatized and I don't support it, but I don't support cutting it off like that," Paul said. "I would cut some of the military spending like Eisenhower advises, watch out for the military complex."

In December, Congress reauthorized extended unemployment insurance programs through February, but it did so in a way that will allow the final 20 weeks of benefits to phase out in one state after another over the course of this year even if the programs are preserved beyond February.

Source: Fox News debate on MLK Day in Myrtle Beach, SC , Jan 16, 2012

Government destroys jobs; the market creates jobs

Q: With regards to jobs, how are you going to turn this country around?

PAUL: Government destroys jobs; the market creates jobs. So the government isn't going to be expected to create the jobs; they have to change the environment. But you can't do that unless you understand where the depression, recessions come from, and you can't understand that unless you know where the bubbles come from. I've been arguing this case for 20 years and warning about bubbles and housing bubbles and NASDAQ bubbles. And a lot of other economists have been doing the same thing. Until we understand that, you can't solve the problem. You have to deal with the Federal Reserve system. You have to deal with free markets. And you have to deal with the tax program and the regulatory system. Then you can get your jobs, because the people will create the jobs, not the government.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

Printing & inflating money ships jobs overseas

Q: How do you plan on returning manufacturing jobs to the US?

PAUL: Pretty important because everything we've done in the last 20 or 30 years we've exported our jobs. And when you have a reserve currency of the world and you abuse it, you export money. That becomes the main export so [jobs] go with the money. The way you get capital into a country, you have to have a strong currency. Today it's a deliberate job of the Federal Reserve to weaken the currency. We should invite capital back.

We have at least a trillion dollars of US money made overseas, but it stays over there because if you bring it home, you get taxed. We need to get the Fed to quit printing the money and if we have to entice those individuals to repatriate their money, deregulate and de-tax to invite people to go back to work again.

As long as we run a program of deliberately weakening our currency, our jobs will go overseas, and that is what's happened for a good many years, especially in the last decade.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Mandated wages & unions hurt unprotected workers

Minimum wage laws & mandating union contracts (closed shop) are designed to help a small segment of workers gain economic advantage while actually hurting unprotected workers. Long term, even the beneficiaries suffer from the unemployment that excessive wage demands bring about. High wages are great, but if there are no jobs they become meaningless. In a free society with free markets, workers should always negotiate for the highest wage, while businesses should always strive for maximum profits. And if left to the market, the consumer will decide which businesses thrive, and wages must go up, not because of coercive legislation but because under the circumstances there would be competition by businesses to seek out the best workers and reward them with the best wages. Coerced union wages and dictated minimum wages grossly distort the market process and contribute to the malinvestment initiated by the Federal Reserve policy and guarantee that in the correction, wages must come down.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.309-310 , Apr 19, 2011

Right to organize; but no special benefits for unions

Q: Are unions good for America?

A: The right to unionize should be a basic right of any group. You should be able to organize. You should have no privileges, no special benefits legislated to benefit the unions, but you should never deny any working group to organize and negotiate for the best set of standards of working conditions.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan , Oct 9, 2007

Minimum wage takes away opportunities, especially for blacks

Q: In 2006, the unemployment rate of Black high school graduates was 33% higher than the unemployment rate for white high school drop outs. What do you think accounts for that inequity?

A: Walter Williams, a very astute free-market economist, has studied this extensively, and he has found that prior to minimum wage laws there was no discrepancy like this. So he put a lot of blame on the minimum wage law. Once government gets interfering, this takes away opportunities. And I believe there is a lot of truth to this because it eliminates an opportunity and a chance for a marginal worker. I have a bill in that might help a lot of people, Black or white or whomever. I have a bill in that would immediately help these people who are trying to get a start, that they would never have to pay any taxes or payroll taxes, if they just happen to be a waiter or a waitress, to give them a chance to get ahead and get a good job.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

No “sexual orientation” in Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Q: I own a motion picture film lab that came under fire by the Arlington Human Rights Commission because I refused to duplicate objectionable pro-homosexual material. Would you protect business owners like me from being forced to violate our moral conscience by vetoing the so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” that would add the phrase “sexual orientation” into federal law?
Source: [Xref Keyes] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Unemployment caused by artificial "full employment" policies

In a growing economy, labor is in demand. In a recession or depression, unemployment apparently beyond everyone's control plagues the nation. The unemployment is caused by the correction that the market must make for the misdirection of investment brought on by government inflation and artificial wage levels mandated by "full employment" policies. Full employment occurs when maximum economic growth is achieved with a sound monetary system and wages are allowed to be determined by the marketplace.
Source: The Case for Gold, by Ron Paul, p.155 , Jul 1, 1982

Voted NO on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks.

Congressional Summary:Revises the formula for Tier-1 amounts a state credits to an applicant's emergency unemployment compensation account. Increases the figures in the formula from 50% to 80% of the total amount of regular compensation ; and from 13 to 20 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. CHARLES RANGEL (D, NY-15): The House, for weeks, has attempted to save the free world from a fiscal disaster. We have bailed out the banks and those who held mortgages. At the same time, we provided for energy extensions, we provided tax breaks for those people that tax provisions have expired. We provided for hurricane relief, for mental health. So over $1 trillion is out there for this House to ease the pain of millions of Americans.

While we were dealing with these gigantic powers, we overlooked the fact that over the last 12 months the number of unemployed workers has jumped by over 2 million, leaving 10 million Americans struggling for work. These are hardworking people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Rep. JERRY WELLER (R, IL-11): This important legislation provides additional needed assistance to the long-term unemployed. It's important that we pass this legislation today as our last act before we leave for the election campaign.

This legislation focuses the most additional benefits on workers and States where the unemployment rate is highest and where jobs are hardest to find. This program continues the requirement that those benefiting from extended unemployment benefits had to have worked at least 20 weeks. Americans were rightly concerned about proposals to eliminate that work requirement and allow 39 weeks or, under the legislation before us today, as many as 59 weeks of total unemployment benefits to be paid to those who have previously only worked for a few weeks.

Opponent's argument to vote No:None voiced.

Reference: Unemployment Compensation Extension Act; Bill HR.6867 ; vote number 2008-H683 on Oct 3, 2008

Voted NO on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This bill was vetoed twice! Congress passed an identical bill in May, which Pres. Bush vetoed. Congress then discovered that a clerical error. A replacement bill was passed; then vetoed again by the President; and this is its "final" veto override.

Congressional Summary: Provides for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through FY2012. Revises agricultural and related programs, including provisions respecting:

  1. commodity programs;
  2. conservation;
  3. trade;
  4. nutrition;
  5. credit;
  6. rural development;
  7. research and related matters;
  8. forestry;
  9. energy;
  10. horticulture and organic agriculture;
  11. livestock;
  12. crop insurance and disaster assistance;
  13. socially disadvantaged and limited resource producers; and
  14. miscellaneous programs.
President's veto message: I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 6124. The bill that I vetoed on May 21, 2008, H.R. 2419, did not include the title III (trade) provisions that are in this bill. In passing H.R. 6124, the Congress had an opportunity to improve on H.R. 2419 by modifying certain objectionable, onerous, and fiscally imprudent provisions [but did not].

This bill lacks fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase. It is inconsistent with our trade objectives of securing greater market access for American farmers. [Hence] I must veto H.R. 6124.

Proponents argument for voting YEA: We had a meeting this morning with the Secretary of Agriculture to talk about implementation. So [despite the two vetoes], the work has been going on within the department of agriculture to get ready for implementation.

This is a good bill. It has wide support in the Congress. It does address all of the issues that have been brought to the Agriculture Committee.

Reference: Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; Bill HR6124 ; vote number 2008-417 on Jun 18, 2008

Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing.

    To enable employees to form & join labor organizations, and to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. Requires investigation that an employer:
    1. discharged or discriminated against an employee to discourage membership in a labor organization;
    2. threatened to discharge employees in the exercise of guaranteed collective bargaining rights; and
    3. adds to remedies for such violations: back pay plus liquidated damages; and additional civil penalties.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    The principle at stake here is the freedom that all workers should have to organize for better working conditions & fair wages. There are many employers around the country who honor this freedom. Unfortunately, there are also many employers who do not. These employers attempt to prevent workers from unionizing by using tactics that amount to harassment, if not outright firing. In fact, one in five people who try to organize unions are fired. These tactics are already illegal, but the penalties are so minor, they are not effective deterrents.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    Democracy itself is placed at risk by this bill. The sanctity of the secret ballot is the backbone of our democratic process. Not one voter signed a card to send us here to Congress. None of us sent our campaign workers out to voters' houses armed with candidate information & a stack of authorization cards. No. We trusted democracy. We trusted the voters to cast their ballots like adults, freely, openly, without intimidation, and we live with the results. But here we are, poised to advance legislation to kill a secret ballot process.

    Let's be clear. Every American has the right to organize. No one is debating that. This is a right we believe in so strongly we have codified it and made it possible for workers to do so through a secret ballot.

    Reference: The Employee Free Choice Act; Bill H R 800 ; vote number 2007-118 on Mar 1, 2007

    Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25.

    Increase the federal minimum wage to:
    1. $5.85 an hour, beginning on the 60th day after enactment;
    2. $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and
    3. $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    We have waited for over 10 years to have a clean vote on the minimum wage for the poorest workers in this country Low-wage workers had their wages frozen in time, from 10 years ago, but when they go to the supermarket, the food prices are higher; when they put gasoline in the car, the gasoline prices are higher; when they pay the utility bills, the utility bills are higher; when their kids get sick, the medical bills are higher. All of those things are higher. They are living in 2007, but in their wages they are living in 1997.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    This bill is marked more by what is not in the bill than what is in it. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create two-thirds of our Nation's new jobs, and they represent 98% of the new businesses in the US. What protection does this bill provide them? None whatsoever.

    We can do better. In the interest of sending the President a final measure that provides consideration for small businesses and their workers, the very men and women who are responsible for our economy's recent growth and strength, we must do better.

    Reference: Fair Minimum Wage Act; Bill HR 2 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-018 on Jan 10, 2007

    Voted NO on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports.

    Vote to authorize $167 billion over ten years for farm price supports, food aid and rural development. Payments would be made on a countercyclical program, meaning they would increase as prices dropped. Conservation acreage payments would be retained.
    Bill HR 2646 ; vote number 2001-371 on Oct 5, 2001

    Voted YES on zero-funding OSHA's Ergonomics Rules instead of $4.5B.

    Vote to pass a resolution to give no enforcement authority or power to ergonomics rules submitted by the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration. These rules would force businesses to take steps to prevent work-related repetitive stress disorders.
    Reference: Sponsored by Nickles, R-OK; Bill S J Res 6 ; vote number 2001-33 on Mar 7, 2001

    Member of the Congressional Rural Caucus.

    Paul is a member of the Congressional Rural Caucus

    The Congressional Rural Caucus (CRC) is a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress who are committed to helping agricultural and rural America build stronger, more prosperous futures for current and future generations of Americans living on the family farms and ranches and in rural communities. The mission of the Congressional Rural Caucus is to promote economic and social policies that support the continued viability of rural communities; ensure that adequate resources are directed towards the development of rural communities during this time of an expanding global economy; educate Members of Congress about the challenges and opportunities unique to rural areas; assist Members of the Caucus in addressing district-specific problems directly related to rural communities; and outreach to and cooperate with Members and Member organizations representing underserved urban communities that face similar concerns, challenges and opportunities as rural communities.

    Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CRC0 on Jan 8, 2001

    Rated 47% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a mixed record on union issues.

    Paul scores 47% by the AFL-CIO on union issues

    As the federation of America’s unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America’s workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

    The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

    Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

    Allow an Air Traffic Controller's Union.

    Paul co-sponsored allowing an Air Traffic Controller's Union

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Federal Aviation Administration Fair Labor Management Dispute Resolution Act of 2006: Prohibits the FAA from implementing any proposed change to the FAA personnel management system in cases where the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service do not lead to an agreement between the Administrator and FAA employees, unless Congress authorizes the change during the 60-day period. Requires binding arbitration if Congress does not enact a bill into law within the 60-day period.

    SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: Because what air traffic controllers do is vital to our safety, I became very concerned by a letter I received from Illinois air traffic controller Michael Hannigan. He wrote that "the air traffic controllers are not being allowed to negotiate in good faith with the FAA."

    What was clear in Michael's plea was the sense that he and his colleagues felt that they were being treated unfairly. I looked into it and came to the conclusion that if we did not restore a fair negotiation procedure, it would threaten agency morale and effectiveness.

    The problem is this: the FAA Administrator currently has the extraordinary authority to impose wages and working conditions on her workers without arbitration. In order to do that, she merely has to declare an impasse in negotiations and if Congress does not stop her from imposing her terms and conditions within 60 days, the Administrator can go ahead and act unilaterally. That authority denies air traffic controllers and all other FAA employees the opportunity to engage in and conclude negotiations in good faith.

    It is in the best interest of the agency and public safety to have management and labor cooperate in contract negotiations.

    EXCERPTS OF BILL:

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.

    Source: FAA Dispute Resolution Act (S.2201/H.R.4755) 06-S2201 on Jan 26, 2006

    Rated 100% by CEI, indicating a pro-workplace choice voting record.

    Paul scores 100% by CEI on union issues

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a public policy organization dedicated to the principles of free markets and limited government, has created a Congressional Labor Scorecard for the 112th Congress focusing on worker issues. The score is determined based on policies that support worker freedom and the elimination of Big Labor's privileges across the country.

    Source: CEI website 12-CEI-H on May 2, 2012

    2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Jobs: Ron Paul on other issues:
    TX Gubernatorial:
    Annise Parker
    Julian Castro
    Mike Rawlings
    Rick Perry
    TX Senatorial:
    David Dewhurst
    John Cornyn
    Jon Roland
    Kay Bailey Hutchison
    Paul Sadler
    Ted Cruz

    Retiring to run for other office:

    Running for President:
    TX-14:Ron Paul(R)

    Running for Mayor:
    CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

    Running for Governor:
    IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
    WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

    Running for Senate:
    AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
    CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
    FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
    HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
    IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
    MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
    MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
    ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
    NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
    NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
    NY-9:Bob Turner(R)
    WI-2:Tammy Baldwin(D)
    Lost Primary 2012:
    IL-16:Donald Manzullo(R)
    NJ-9:Steven Rothman(D)
    OH-2:Jean Schmidt(R)
    OH-9:Dennis Kucinich(D)
    PA-4:Jason Altmire(D)
    PA-17:Tim Holden(D)
    TX-16:Silvestre Reyes(D)

    Retiring 2012:
    AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
    AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
    CA-2:Wally Herger(R)
    CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
    CA-18:Dennis Cardoza(R)
    CA-24:Elton Gallegly(D)
    CA-26:David Dreier(R)
    CA-41:Jerry Lewis(R)
    IL-12:Jerry Costello(D)
    IL-15:Timothy Johnson(R)
    IN-5:Dan Burton(R)
    KY-4:Geoff Davis(R)
    MA-1:John Olver(D)
    MA-4:Barney Frank(D)
    MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
    NC-9:Sue Myrick(R)
    NC-11:Heath Shuler(D)
    NC-13:Brad Miller(D)
    NY-5:Gary Ackerman(D)
    NY-10:Ed Towns(D)
    NY-22:Maurice Hinchey(D)
    OH-7:Steve Austria(R)
    OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
    PA-19:Todd Platts(R)
    TX-20:Charles Gonzalez(D)
    WA-6:Norm Dicks(D)
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    Page last updated: Jun 12, 2012