by Rep Ron Paul

One reason people are unhappy with the way politics and governments operate is that people who run for office are known to “say one thing and do another.”  Thus, we have the call for “change.”

Candidates for high office make frequent use of that word.  Even our House Republican Conference’s recently released slogan highlights that word.

Yet, bringing about change is easier said than done.  The American people are aware that government is broken and must be fixed.  They will demand more than lip service as our problems become more severe.

Change, then, cannot simply be a word.  It must be the right program, one that gets us out of this mess, not one that just accelerates us down the same treacherous path.

With our economy facing a perilous situation, the need to bring fiscal reform to our government is the cornerstone of the kind of change that is needed.  Real budgetary and monetary reform would signify a true change of direction, instead of merely a change of speed toward the economic cliff we are approaching.

Americans realize that their own financial situation is perilous.  The nation as a whole is deeply in debt, having mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren.  When politicians talk about what they plan to do for future generations, they ought to begin by stating how they will remove the huge debt burden, not how they will find more ways to spend more money they don’t have.

In order to allow Americans to pay for their needs, whether for healthcare, education, or basics like food and gasoline, we need to change tax and monetary policies so the American people control more of their own money.  That money needs to stay in the economy, and out of the government money pit.

This means we must curb the voracious spending appetite of our federal government.  We need to reign in international commitments, especially the very expensive costs of maintaining a worldwide military presence, as a key first step to restructuring our budget and economy in a fashion that will allow Americans to provide for themselves.

We need to take a view of government that better reflects our own experience, as well as the wisdom of our nation’s founders.  There are very few constitutionally authorized federal powers, and returning daily government to this wisdom is real change.

Working toward a less intrusive, less expensive federal government focused on defending against overt actions of force and fraud, is the means to bringing about real change.

As we hear the repeated claims of those who wish to cast themselves as agents of change, we will do well to recall that more federal meddling is not a change in direction at all, but just “more of the same.”  We should be repealing programs, not proposing costly new bureaucracies.

Change, real change, the only kind of change that will quench the thirst of the American people for a new direction and provide us with the prosperity and security necessary to preserve our Republic as a beacon of liberty, requires bold initiatives designed to move our country away from economic peril by putting faith in free citizens instead of in Washington.

Ron Paul is a republican member of Congress from Texas.

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