|January 3, 1997|
|Preceded by||Greg Laughlin|
|January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1985|
|Born||August 20, 1935 (1935-08-20)
Green Tree, Pennsylvania, United States
|Alma Mater||Gettysburg College
Duke University School of Medicine
|Residence||Lake Jackson, Texas|
|Children||Ronald "Ronnie" Paul, Jr.
Lori Paul Pyeatt Randall "Rand" Paul Robert Paul Joy Paul-LeBlanc
|Service/Branch||United States Air Force
United States Air National Guard
|Years of Service||1962–1965
Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is a Republican United States Congressman of Texas's 14th district, who gained widespread attention during his campaign for the 2008 Republican Party presidential nomination. During the campaign he attracted an enthusiastic following who made use of the internet and social networking to establish a grassroots campaign despite lack of traditional organization or media attention. He criticized the Republican Party for abandoning its principles of limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and sound monetary policies, and in particular strongly opposed American involvement in the War in Iraq. He also called for abolition of many federal institutions including the FBI, CIA and Department of Education, abolition of the federal income tax and an end to the war on drugs. Despite surprisingly strong support in some races, he failed to win any state-wide contests. His campaign was coined the "Ron Paul Revolution". He is founder of the advocacy group Campaign for Liberty.
Paul is a member of the Liberty Caucus of Republican congressmen which aims to limit the size and scope of the federal government, and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Committee on Financial Services, where he has been an outspoken critic of American foreign and monetary policy. He was one of the first congressmen to support Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign and was himself the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in 1988. His ideas have been expressed in numerous published articles and books, including The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008).
Paul has been described as conservative, Constitutionalist, and libertarian. His nickname "Dr. No" reflects both his medical degree and his insistence that he will "never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution." One scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science found Paul the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002. Paul's foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty. He supports free trade, rejecting membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization as "managed trade". He supports tighter border security and ending welfare benefits for illegal aliens, and opposes birthright citizenship and amnesty; he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006. He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting specific terrorists.
Paul adheres deeply to Austrian school economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian school economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of Grover Cleveland) on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes; he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during a 1995–1997 period. He has pledged never to raise taxes and states he has never voted to approve a budget deficit. Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels; financing government operations would primarily come through the corporate income tax, excise taxes and tariffs. He supports eliminating most federal government agencies, calling them unnecessary bureaucracies. Paul also believes the longterm erosion of the U.S. dollar's purchasing power through inflation is attributable to its lack of any commodity backing. However, Paul doesn't support a complete return to a gold standard, instead preferring to legitimize gold and silver as legal tender and to remove the sales tax on them . He advocates gradual elimination of the Federal Reserve System.
Paul strongly supports Constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees. He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national ID card, domestic surveillance, and the draft. Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states' rights to decide how to regulate social matters not directly found in the Constitution. Paul calls himself "strongly pro-life", "an unshakable foe of abortion", and believes regulation or ban on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is "best handled at the state level". He says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception; his pro-life legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get "the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters."
He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty, of education, and of marriage, and supports revising the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy to focus on disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual). As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention. He also opposes the federal War on Drugs, and thinks the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana. Paul pushes to eliminate federal involvement in and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to drop due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market. He is an outspoken proponent for increased ballot access for 3rd party candidates and numerous election law reforms which he believes would allow more voter control.