Ron Paul is not taking the nation’s issues sitting down, in fact, he decided to stand up on a coffee table.
The 2012 Republican candidate stood before a packed house of voters at a residence in Amherst last night on his last campaign stop that day. After a short speech he took questions from an audience of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Here is what Ron Paul had to say about his presidential race and the problems facing our country:
On Governor Rick Perry
When asked about Rick Perry’s introduction to the race, Paul said that it was expected and “time will tell” what sort of effect he will have on the race. However, he said that Perry won’t be taking any of his votes because the Texas governor is too similar to the other candidates.
“I put the other candidates in a certain category,” he said. “You won’t hear the same type of solutions from other candidates. They wont talk about bringing the troops home, they aren’t going to be talking about repealing The Patriot Act, they aren’t going to be talking about personal liberties as I do.”
On Alternative Parties
One citizen asked the candidate if he would consider running in a third party, but Paul said he was not interested. He cited the difficulty for alternative candidates in a broken system where they would get dismissed.
“Our system is biased against competition in the political system,” he said.
On The Economy
When asked about a plan to improve our economy and create more jobs, Paul replied that the best way to stimulate the economy is to bring the troops home and have them spend money in our country.
He said that both the country and its citizens need to live within their means and work to bring the economy back to a stable level.
Paul said he is against the inheritance tax and wanted to fix the issues apparent in the Federal Reserve. He also wants to see more responsible taxation that reflects our nation’s reality.
“If it is a flat tax, I want it pretty darn flat,” he said.
On Foreign Policy
Paul said he was very opposed to any further military action across the globe, especially in Iran.
“Some people think Iran is working on a nuclear weapon and we should attack them,” he said. “Anybody thinking about starting another war should have their head examined.”
He stated that Iran has a “long tradition” of not invading other countries, unlike our own. He added that our country doesn’t have enough money to fight a war and Iran is not a threat to focus on.
“We are supposed to go to war against a county that can’t even make gasoline for themselves? It makes no sense to me.”
On America’s relationship with Israel, Paul said that we should continue to treat them fairly and trade with them, but we shouldn’t give them any financial support. He extended that notion to other countries that receive funds from our government.
“They should take care of themselves,” said Paul. “I wouldn’t give them any money, I wouldn’t give anybody any money, we don’t have any money.”
He said he would offer Israel advice, but would not tell it what to do. Additionally, he would remove the sanctions against Cuba and implement a friendlier policy with other countries.
The Republican candidate emphasized his belief in the market’s ability to solve our nation’s problems, such as the future of energy production.
He said he does not believe in having the government support any one type of energy and would leave it to the free market to decide what works best for the country.
“Just get out of the way, somebody is going to figure out what to do,” he said.
He supports alternative energy such as wind and nuclear energy, but wants to make sure the most efficient source of energy used is decided by the will of the people, not politicians.
“The people I know don't know about energy, they have no idea what is the best form of energy. Nobody does, and the market has to decide what form of energy is best.”
On the issue of healthcare, Paul stressed that his experience in the medical field showed that it could function in the absence of Medicare or Medicaid, but it was a different society back then. He said the system is broken now, with patients being charged the most for services.
He added that too many people dependent and the care of patients being taken out of the hands of doctors. Admittedly, he said it was a tough balance of taking care of our citizens and avoiding wasteful spending.
“We don’t want to throw people out on the street, but at the same time we know we have to save the money someplace.
On Social Programs
One voter asked about his stance on federal social programs, such as Social Security. Paul said there was not much room in the constitution for federal programs and preferred them handled at the state level.
He applied this philosophy to areas such as education, saying that the Department of Education had no authority to tell states what to do in their schools. He added the Social Security is bankrupt due to the wars we are involved in, but stressed that social programs in general are not the best option.
“Social programs don’t work, the best social program is freedom,” he said. His solution is to have an environment in the country where the market offers incentives to work hard and save money while being productive.
The libertarian candidate expressed his opposition to regulation organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The agencies of government end up serving special interests,” said Paul. “The FDA frequently serves the interests of drug companies.”
When pressed by an audience member on the need to regulate pollution, Paul responded that the EPA is not the best solution to control environmental damage. He said pollution issues were dealt with by the free market before the EPA was formed, adding that special interests controls the regulators far too often.
“The market is a more powerful regulator,” said Paul.
Amherst Patch will have a Q&A session with Ron Paul posted later this afternoon, followed by voter reaction of the candidate's visit.