Ron Paul on Jobs
Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President
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
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."
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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