on the Financial Services committee's "Views and Estimates for Fiscal
of limited, constitutional government and free markets will find little, if
anything, to view favorably in the Financial Services committee's "Views
and Estimates for Fiscal Year 2003." Almost every policy endorsed in
this document is unconstitutional and a threat to the liberty and prosperity
of the American people.
example, this document gives an unqualified endorsement to increased taxpayer
support for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN). According to
the committee, these increased funds are justified by FINCEN's new authority
under the PATRIOT Act. However, FINCEN's powers to snoop into the private
financial affairs of American citizens raise serious constitutional issues.
Whether the expansion of FINCEN's power threatens civil liberties is ignored
in this document; instead, the report claims the only problem with the
PATRIOT Act is that the federal financial police state does not have enough
power and taxpayer money to invade the privacy of United States citizens!
committee also expresses unqualified support for programs such as the
Export-Import Bank (EX-IM) which use taxpayer dollars to subsidize large,
multinational corporations. Ex-Im exists to subsidize large corporations that
are quite capable of paying the costs of their own export programs! Ex-Im
also provides taxpayer funding for export programs that would never obtain
funding in the private market. As Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and
F.A. Hayek demonstrated, one of the purposes of the market is to determine
the highest value of resources. Thus, the failure of a project to receive funding
through the free market means the resources that could have gone to that
project have a higher-valued use. Government programs that take funds from
the private sector and use them to fund projects that cannot get market
funding reduce economic efficiency and lower living standards. Yet Ex-Im
actually brags about its support for projects rejected by the market!
the committee's views support expanding the domestic welfare state,
particularly in the area of housing. This despite the fact that federal
housing subsidies distort the housing market by taking capital that could be
better used elsewhere, and applying it to housing at the direction of
politicians and bureaucrats. Housing subsidies also violate the
constitutional prohibitions against redistributionism. The federal government
has no constitutional authority to abuse its taxing power to fund programs
that reshape the housing market to the liking of politicians and bureaucrats.
than embracing an agenda of expanded statism, I hope my colleagues will work
to reduce government interference in the market that only benefits the
politically powerful. For example, the committee could take a major step
toward ending corporate welfare by holding hearings and a mark-up on my
legislation to withdrawal the United States from the Bretton Woods Agreement
and end taxpayer support for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The
Financial Services committee can also take a step toward restoring Congress'
constitutional role in monetary policy by acting on my Monetary Freedom and
Accountability Act (HR 3732), which requires Congressional approval before
the federal government buys or sells gold.
committee should also examine seriously the need for reform of the system of
fiat currency which is responsible for the cycle of booms and busts which
have plagued the American economy. Many members of the committee have
expressed outrage over the behavior of the corporate executives of Enron.
However, Enron was created by federal policies of easy credit and corporate
welfare. Until this committee addresses those issues, I am afraid the
American economy may suffer many more Enron-like disasters in the future.
conclusion, the "Views and Estimates" presented by the Financial
Services committee endorses increasing the power of the federal police state,
as well as increasing both international and corporate welfare, while
ignoring the economic problems created by federal intervention into the
economy. I therefore urge my colleagues to reject this document and instead
embrace an agenda of ending federal corporate welfare, protecting financial
privacy, and reforming the fiat money system which is the root cause of
America's economic instability.
other articles by Ron Paul
Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for
liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington
for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return
to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. For more
information click on the Project Freedom website.
with the authorization of Dr. Paul.
Dr. Ron Paul