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Ron Paul's farewell address to Congress

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Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech -- a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can't even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books -- they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system -- especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don't understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, "enough is enough," and demand Congress cease and desist.

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

A government designed to protect liberty -- a natural right -- as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person's liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.

A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously -- though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: "power corrupts."

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Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There's no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today's mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It's amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world-wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it's, in reality, a moral crisis. It's the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice.  Claiming there is a choice of a "little" tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a "touch of pregnancy."  It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise.  What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.

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American now suffers from a culture of violence. It's easy to reject the initiation of violence against one's neighbor but it's ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people -- practically at will.

Because it's the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to "do good." They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the "consent of the people." The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to "do good," as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: "destroying a village to save a village" was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was "worth it" to achieve the "good" we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

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Ron Paul is a member of the House of Representatives from Texas and a former presidential candidate, for the GOP and also for the Libertarian parties. His latest book is End The Fed

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Good-Bye and Good Riddance, Ron Paul. Don't let th... by E. T. SIMON on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 1:07:54 AM
Sad when people move into someone else's country a... by Bill Johnson on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 9:27:26 PM
He did a lot of good while he was there.... by Ken Stevens on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 2:24:45 AM
Ron Paul is just about the only US politician who ... by Paul Sedkowski on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 6:58:33 AM
Thank you for your many years of service! You have... by Bill Johnson on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:17:17 AM
Wow! As I read and re-read each paragraph, trying ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 8:08:56 AM
There it is. He prefers government by the business... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 8:09:34 AM
Gary said: There it is. He prefers government by t... by June Genis on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 11:48:42 AM
What you ignore is also a point that I also brough... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:11:07 PM
 "Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:35:47 PM
Truly brilliant!  Ron Paul's fan club is just... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:14:35 PM
Ron Paul's assertions that we act and live as indi... by janet O'Connell on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 10:07:36 AM
"It is up to each of us to be virtuous if we expec... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:08:55 PM
"Free-market anarchism  (sometimes called sim... by Gary Williams on Monday, Nov 19, 2012 at 2:30:42 AM
Far easier for the president and congress to "borr... by Lance Ciepiela on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 9:55:43 AM
 A few days ago, somebody was arguing that ha... by Ad Du on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 11:22:19 AM
The guy isn't worth a plug nickel.  His indiv... by Lester Shepherd on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 12:13:24 PM
...but out of respect for a man who has more integ... by Scott Baker on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 1:25:08 PM
Ron Paul's position isn't necessarily a "gold- or ... by Paul Sedkowski on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 2:46:12 PM
You might want to take a look at what happened to ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:27:50 PM
Yes, another good example of the problems involved... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 5:12:52 AM
Tell me how good a suit an ounce of gold would hav... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 5:10:31 AM
The whole point of free competition is that the ma... by Paul Sedkowski on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 7:11:39 AM
Please take a look at the chart in my previous com... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 1:43:23 PM
Paul, in the end, achieved nothing. He confused ma... by John Bonanno on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 7:25:51 AM
reply to Paul Sedkowski:   I like Scott Bak... by Ned Lud on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 7:33:23 AM
Does this mean that we have finally rid ourselves ... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:05:39 PM
This Space Cowboy does not need to agree with ever... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at 10:58:46 AM
The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:03:26 AM