Ron Paul

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Representative Ron Paul

Ronald Ernest Paul, MD (born August 20, 1935) is a member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 14th congressional district (map ( First elected in 1976, he served through 1984, and then returned to Congress in 1996.

Elected as a Republican, he professes a limited government libertarian ideology, which frequently conflicts with Republicans and most other Congressional colleagues. His regular votes against almost all proposals for government spending, initiatives, or taxes, and his frequent dissents in otherwise unanimous votes have earned him the nickname "Dr. No".



Libertarianism [edit]


Austrian School
Classical liberalism
Individualist anarchism


Key issues
Economic views
Views of rights
Theories of law

Ron Paul was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Dormont High School, Dormont, Pennsylvania 1953. He received his B.A. from Gettysburg College (1957) and M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine (1961). He did his internship and residency training at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan from 1961 to 1962. He was a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965. He went on to do obstetrics and gynecology training at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1965-1968. In 1968 he and his wife Carol moved to Surfside Beach, Texas.

He became a delegate to the Texas state Republican convention in 1974. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for election to Congress in 1974 against entrenched liberal Democrat Robert R. Casey. When Casey was appointed head of the Federal Maritime Commission by President Gerald Ford, a special election was held in April 1976 to replace him. Paul won that election but lost six months later in the general election to Democrat Robert A. Gammage although he defeated him in a 1978 rematch. He went on to be re-elected in 1980 and 1982. He was the first Congressman to propose term limit legislation for the House of Representatives. In 1984, citing his term limits proposal, he did not seek reelection to the House, although he unsuccessfully contested the Republican primary for Senate. He was succeeded by Tom DeLay, a now prominent Republican congressman. From 1985 he returned to medical practice as an OBGYN.

In 1988, Dr. Paul won the nomination of the Libertarian Party for the U.S. Presidency. He eventually placed third (with 0.3% of the popular vote) behind George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis.

In 1996, Paul was again elected to the House as a Republican. Mainstream Republican Party figures backed the incumbent, Greg Laughlin, a Democratic representative who had switched parties in the wake of the Republican takeover of Congress. Laughlin attempted to portray Paul's views as extreme and eccentric. However, Paul won the primary and went on to win the general election.

Leaders of the Texan Republican Party made similar efforts to defeat him in 1998, but he again won the primary and the election. The Republican congressional leadership then agreed to a compromise: Paul votes with the Republicans on procedural matters and remains nominally Republican in exchange for the committee assignments normally due according to his seniority. This is arguably similar to the deal that Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont has with the Democratic Party (though Jeffords was elected as a Republican and is now officially independent). He was convincingly re-elected in 2000 and 2002. He was elected unopposed in 2004 to his ninth term in the Congress. He is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Political affiliations and support

Ron Paul joined the Libertarian Party as a lifetime member, a status which he appears never to have renounced. Though a Republican Congressman, Paul remains on good terms with the Libertarian Party and has addressed its national convention as recently as 2004.

A Libertarian Party spokesman George Getz said thousand of libertarians across the United States donate money to Ron Paul's campaign funds. Campaign disclosures reveal that 71.4% of contributions to Paul's coffers come from outside his home state of Texas. [1] ( Unlike many political candidates, Paul receives the overwhelming majority of his campaign contributions (92.5% in 2004), from individuals. [2] (


His economic views oppose nearly all government intervention in the market. He criticizes the United States' intervention in Iraq and what he charges is the use of the war on terror to curtail civil liberties. He believes in the abolition of income tax, most Cabinet departments, the Federal Reserve, supports the legalization of marijuana, and American withdrawal from the United Nations. He supports a non-interventionist foreign policy, favors defederalization of the healthcare system, opposes the death penalty, and is strongly opposed to a military draft. Paul's campaign slogan for 2004 was "The Taxpayers' Best Friend!" [3] ( The President of the National Taxpayers Union, John Berthoud, said, "Ron Paul has always proven himself to be a leader in the fight for taxpayer rights and fiscal responsibility...No one can match his record on behalf of taxpayers." He is frequently considered an advocate of small business. Jack Harris, President of the National Federation of Independent Business said, "Congressman Ron Paul is a true friend of small business... He is committed to a pro-small-business agenda of affordable health insurance, lower taxes, tort reform, and the elimination of burdensome mandates." [4] ( His base of support has been among conservative Republicans, but after 9/11 he has gained some strong support from liberal Democrats in central Texas due to his opposition to the war in Iraq. As an example of this shift, the Austin Chronicle newspaper, a liberal, alternative weekly newspaper in Austin, Texas described his views as erratic in 2000, [5] ( However after 9/11, the Chronicle took a much more favorable view of Paul, praising him for his strong principled opposition on the war in Iraq and the war on terror.

Paul's supporters say he is willing to take unpopular positions in order to defend what he regards as constitutional limited government. He has been criticized at times for his voting record, being the only dissenting vote against giving Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor; According to Texas Monthly, "When he was criticized for voting against the medal [for Parks], he chivied his colleagues by challenging them to personally contribute $100 to mint the medal. No one did, of course. At the time, Paul observed, 'It's easier to be generous with other people's money.'" In a speech on June 25, 2003, criticizing giving Tony Blair a Medal of Honor, Paul said, "These medals generally have been proposed to recognize a life of service and leadership, and not for political reasons - as evidenced by the overwhelming bi-partisan support for awarding President Reagan, a Republican, a gold medal. These awards normally go to deserving individuals, which is why I have many times offered to contribute $100 of my own money, to be matched by other members, to finance these medals [6] (" Texas Monthly awarded him the "Bum Steer" award for voting against a congressional honor for cartoonist Charles Schulz.

Ron Paul's Legislative Director in 2004 described President Bush as a "domestic socialist" and "war-monger" and has accused the GOP congressional leadership of engaging in trickery and deceit.

Paul has also said that there are many within Government pushing an agenda that undermines sovereignty by increasing the powers of international agencies, such as the United Nations. At a meeting of Texas Patriots, he explained, "I think there are 25,000 individuals that have used offices of powers, and they are in our Universities and they are in our Congresses, and they believe in One World Government. And if you believe in One World Government, then you are talking about undermining National Sovereignty and you are talking about setting up something that you could well call a Dictatorship - and those plans are there!..."[7] (

Controversial comments about race in newsletter

Paul has been accused of racism over an article in a 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report. The article, about the L.A. race riots and titled "Los Angeles Racial Terrorism," characterized the rioters as "barbarians" and called the rioters "thugs and revolutionaries who hate Euro-American civilization".

Ron Paul's publication cited reports that 85 percent of African-American men in Washington, D.C., are arrested at some point. The article argued that "Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the 'criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal." It blames liberals and the welfare state for telling African-Americans that they "are entitled to something for nothing". Years later, Paul explained that the newsletter was written by a staff member without him seeing the text prior to publication, as is commonly the case.

Support for the gold standard

In many public speeches Paul has called for the re-introduction of the gold standard, the effect of which would require the United States Government to make large purchases of gold and to only issue currency to the extent of its ownership of gold (although it is doubtful this will happen in the foreseeable future). Ron Paul supports the gold standard because currency inflation increases consumer prices [8] ( [9] ( Economist Murray N. Rothbard, a student of economist Ludwig von Mises, has written,

This plan (for the gold standard), essentially the one advocated by Congressman Ron Paul (R.-Texas), would return us speedily to something akin to the best monetary system in U.S. history...[10] (

He has also called for the removal of all taxes on gold transactions. [11] ( In 2002 he proposed legislation abolishing the Federal Reserve Board, enabling "America to return to the type of monetary system envisioned by our Nation's founders: one where the value of money is consistent because it is tied to a commodity such as gold." [12] (

Paul's personal financial disclosures reveal extensive private investments in gold and silver, through equities and warrants in companies including Newmont, IAM Gold, Barrick Gold, Golden Star Resources, Golden Cycle Gold Corp, Pan American Silver, Great Basin Gold, Eldorado Gold, Freeport McMoran Gold & Copper, Apollo Gold Corp and Placer Dome. [13] (

The cause of 9/11

Ron Paul has asserted that US foreign policy was "an important reason 9/11 occurred," referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Unfortunately, the biggest failure of our government will be ignored. I’m sure the Commission will not connect our foreign policy of interventionism – practiced by both major parties for over a hundred years – as an important reason 9/11 occurred. Instead, the claims will stand that the motivation behind 9/11 was our freedom, prosperity, and way of life. If this error persists, all the tinkering and money to improve the intelligence agencies will bear little fruit. [14] (

District and contact information

The 14th congressional district of Texas stretches from the Gulf Coast in Galveston and Chambers counties almost to Corpus Christi; north through Victoria; and east through Jackson and Wharton counties toward Houston. It includes parts of Fort Bend county, then slopes south through Brazoria county.

  • Washington: 203 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Phone Number: (202) 225-2831
  • Freeport, Texas: 200 W 2nd Street, Suite 210, Freeport, TX 77541. Phone Number: (979) 230-0000
  • Victoria, Texas: 312 S Main Street, Suite 228, Victoria, TX 77901. Phone Number: (361) 576-1231

External links



  • Gwynne, Sam (Oct. 1, 2001). Texas Monthly.
  • Bernstein, Alan (May 23, 1996). Newsletter excerpts offer ammunition to Paul's opponent; GOP hopeful quoted on race, crime. The Houston Chronicle, p. A33.

Preceded by:
David Bergland
Libertarian Party Presidential candidate
1988 (lost)
Succeeded by:
Andre Marrou

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