- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2011

I firmly believe the American people are serious about cutting spending and fixing our debt crisis now. Those struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families while also trying to save for the future know we must change course immediately.

I’m not running for president merely to trim a little here and there from our bloated federal budget. Instead, I have offered the boldest, most specific and most comprehensive solutions in the history of American politics to restore our economy and once again make America the most innovative, competitive and prosperous nation in the world.

We face no problem that cannot be solved by reaffirming our trust in the fundamental principles of freedom, limited constitutional government and individual responsibility.

As a candidate, I pledge that not only will my first 100 days as president be dedicated to reinstituting these core values from the moment I take my oath but that my entire time in office will be devoted to protecting our liberties and removing the burden of an out-of-control government from the people’s backs.

Starting on Day One, I will begin implementing my Plan to Restore America, which cuts $1 trillion in spending during my presidency’s first year alone and delivers a fully balanced budget by Year 3.

This plan is about priorities. Politicians play a game in which they give lip service to the voters’ concerns only to sacrifice a strong national defense, the needs of our veterans and the promises made to our seniors at the altar of attaining more power once in office.

I will lead a national discussion on how we might tweak cuts, and I will work with coalitions to make them in the fairest way possible and to plan the necessary transitions.

A Paul presidency will deny the politically connected the spot they have carved out at the American people’s expense. By immediately repealing such regulatory nightmares as Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley, we will start to break the corporatism that places special interests over the average American.

My administration will fight for requirements styled after the REINS Act (Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) to ensure all new bureaucratic regulations are thoroughly reviewed and approved by Congress before taking effect. I also will cancel all onerous regulations previously issued by executive order.

I will move to abolish all corporate subsidies and end all bailouts.

As we work to cut $1 trillion in the first year, my budget will eliminate the Departments of Energy, Education, Commerce, Interior, and Housing and Urban Development. Functions that cannot be abolished immediately will be transferred to other departments.

I plan to answer the call of the vast majority of Americans for a full audit of the Federal Reserve, and I will work with Congress to pass competing currency legislation to strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation.

I will lead the way toward restoring a sensible and constitutionally conservative foreign policy by ending all foreign aid, nation-building and participation in organizations that threaten our national sovereignty, while honoring our commitment to our veterans, who deserve what they have sacrificed to earn.

The looming entitlement crisis can be addressed without breaking our nation’s promises to our seniors. Younger workers will be allowed to opt out of Social Security so they can properly invest for their futures, while money saved from reining in our government will be used to sustain those currently depending on Social Security funds.

The expanding cost of Medicaid and other welfare programs will be tackled without harming those relying on such programs by giving states block grants to give them the flexibility and ingenuity they need to solve their own unique problems individually.

My administration will reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent, slash congressional pay and perks and curb excessive federal travel. As president, I will stand with the people by taking a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median income of average American workers..

Lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent will make America competitive globally, and I will allow American companies to repatriate capital without additional taxation, spurring trillions in new investment. I also will work to extend all of the Bush tax cuts, eliminate the death tax and end taxes on all personal savings so families can build nest eggs.

I am often asked how I expect to accomplish such goals, but I am confident that due to the bully pulpit of the presidency, the power of the veto and, most important, the united voice of the freedom-loving Americans who voted me into office, the real pressure will be on those who support the status quo to defend their reckless big-government agenda.

I am the only candidate with a serious plan to cut spending, balance the budget and promote freedom and prosperity, and I hope you will join me in working to restore America now.

Rep. Ron Paul is a Texas Republican and candidate for president.

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