Much of Congressman Ron Paul's visit to the Hill on Friday, January 27th focused on economic issues and the candidate's desire to reform the programs that he views as the cause of our nation’s tremendous debt.
A libertarian determined to minimize government involvement in citizens' lives, Paul emphasized the importance of protecting our civil liberties and abiding by the Constitution. He stated that "today there's so much government intervention," and lamented that "we have lost our confidence in the free market."
Paul insisted that a simple return to the basics laid out in the Constitution would remedy most of our economic problems. Among his biggest objections to the current economic system was the Federal Reserve, which he accused of creating artificial credit. "There is no authority (in the Constitution) for a central bank," and "we will need to get a new monetary system because this one is not viable," Paul said. According to Paul, "for the first time in one hundred years, people are waking up" to the importance of adjusting our monetary policies.
Foreign policy is one area of government from which Paul hopes to cut spending and influence. "We need a foreign policy of nonintervention and peace," he said, emphasizing the importance of bringing troops home from abroad. Firmly against "policing the world," Paul acknowledges that United States intervention in foreign affairs was backed with good intentions, but "too much blew back, and that’s why we need to change the foreign policy of this country."
"I don’t equate military spending with defense spending," Paul said, and he pledged that, if elected, he would never enter into a foreign conflict without proper permission from the people and from Congress.
Student turnout to Ron Paul's speech was extremely high despite much of campus being empty for break. Many were interested in what the presidential candidate had to say, even if they had already decided that their support lay elsewhere. Paul seemed to avoid many of the issues on his social platform, which are largely conservative and would likely not be well received by a youthful audience.
Photos by Chris Kasprak