Ron Paul’s Opt-Out Offer: Pay 10% to Get the Government Off Your Back?

Ron Paul joined the discussion on “Stossel” to explain his “opt-out offer” to the American people, where individuals could choose to opt out and get the government off their backs for the rest of their lives by simply paying 10% of their incomes. Additional topics include criticism and misrepresentation of Ron Paul’s message, the problem of coercion, and various questions from the audience.

  • 13R1CK4

    I didn’t consent. When did I sign something? Are unborn children consenting too?


    It’s my belief that government should be funded solely through consumption taxes.

    Food, water, and property would be exempt; except for a consumption tax on property when it’s purchased.

    By using a consumption tax instead of the way it works now; a person could avoid paying any tax by not consuming the related goods, or services.

    I am still trying to understand at what point people started to accept that the government is automatically entitled to their money; forcing you to work for it.

  • tazman0009

    I think what is clear is that if gvoernment backed off, let us keep our money and got rid of entitlements, there woudl be a rough patch at first. However, the long term ramification would be wonderful. Government is so inefficient that when we give them our money, a lot is wasted. If everyone kept their money, there would be a lot less waste. Yes, some people will screw up and have to rely on charity, But there would be a lot less screw ups then there are now.

  • RecceMan90

    Where do I need to sign up?

  • sterling

    ive been saying it for years

    10% good enough for god , good enough for the government

    flat tax is the best tax

    no loopholes , no deductions

  • canaanav

    People cannot handle freedom. I remember being in boot camp. I was institutionalized to the point that I was afraid to leave for my duty station when it was over. The idea of choosing what to do in the evenings scared me. Being told to shine my boots and to polish the chrome water fountain seemed to give me purpose. Then, as I learned freedom can be like a drug when properly experienced. Freedom should be my prerogative, but everyone else would choose to take it from me and themselves.

  • RandomShellAccount

    Point blank…the Government has shown us all how ‘responsible’ they are with our money.


  • Fem

    If only corruption could be kept at a realistic minimum a lot of the problems would be reduced to a real minimum, so one valid question is where is it coming from?

    Nature or nurture? this question must be in lots of people’s mind by now. It is as if the selection process that yields ‘success’ is based on the essential nutrient called ‘corruption’. That is my theory based on observations and a few actual tests, but I don’t know exactly how that relates to the economy. And I don’t celebrate corruption because eventually it is self defeating.


    That will yield 20 million for each dollar earned by 200 million working people.

    • Fem

      and out of 20 million collected 400000 government jobs can be paid at 50000/year or 40000 jobs at the same salary for 10 years.

      The question then is why are people so miserable? why why and why?

  • Mark Templin

    I may not agree with all of Ron Paul’s positions. However, I do believe in his over-all concept of what is wrong with the govornment of this country and how to fix it.No one can make everyone happy on every issue. Atleast he is takeing a stand. If you or I disagree that strongly on an issue, tell him why. Or possibly better yet, run for an election, any election yourself.


  • kommisar

    Anyway, your mom’s situation, while sympathetic, doesn’t really have anything to do with this since your financial situation you mentioned had more to do with your mom not pulling in a second income than it does the cost of education. It’s safe to assume your family had already bought a home and other obligations with the expectation of two incomes, and when one of them went out you of course got in trouble, but that doesn’t affect the validity of RP’s comment.

  • kommisar

    That’s the same mentality that fucked up the education system in the first place. The government is directly responsible for the cost of education going up so much. RP just said here he was able to pay for his tuition in a summer job — A SUMMER JOB. CEO’s don’t get a discount on education for their kids. Far from it. If anything, they pay more since they’ll try to get them special privileges and such.

  • “I liked Ron Paul until he voted in favor of letting animals be spiked to death on the internet for the purpose of entertainment. He was one of only three Congressmen who voted in favor of animal murder for entertainment.”

    Personally, it was the baby eating and corpse factory that put me off,.. but then after he killed that village of smurfs i realized he really was the Illuminati mason people and/or Alex Jones may say he is.

    but dam it! i still can’t dislike the guy!

  • kommisar

    That’s completely pussy. Seriously, grow some balls. He shouldn’t talk about something because people are too stupid and ignorant to “get” what he’s talking about? Umm, no, these are EXACTLY the types of things he should be talking about. If he didn’t talk about a good idea just because it might baffle, shock or even offend someone, he would be a typical establishment politician. The Liberty Movement is apparently too much for you; go away.

  • kommisar

    I laughed a bit when he told that high school student, “Somebody in high school thinking I can’t get anywhere unless the government takes care of me…that’s so sad.”

  • 9Ke9

    —-“My only problem with this is, there are several people with cancer, mental retardation, disfigurement, blindness, etc… Would this mean no help for them as well?”

    Well think about this:

    I understand your concern , but with lower prices and only 10% do you not think about how much excess capital could go to private Charities ??

    I mean these organisations in my country pay no tax anyhow , and let me tell you for sure , it is the private org that take up most of the Leg work Right now, i live in Australia and i can tell you with out a doubt , this can work, remember Ron Paul is talking about primarily your choice, your choice to pay.

    if you want to pay to a charity PAY. you will have so much more money, and have to pay so much less. this would be a win fall for charities if i were a charity i’d be throwing money at RP .

    and imagine how irrelevant the US government owned Media would be, they literally would not have a reason to exist, they could then focus on social issues.

    and the money collected would be spent so much more efficiently, because of the direct connection to the people. and information.

  • 9Ke9

    I know it seems strange but it would absolutely work, the important part is the timing , this is not a reform that could be implemented as a first off, essential to the beginning of reform is the stabilization of monetary system and price reform , you need a lean low priced societal reform, but it must start with monetary reform then step, towards this system.

    I wish RP would say to younger people “we will bring prices back to my day” – ‘would you be able to afford college then?’ – then explain prices.

    say “when we take the inflation out of the system a semester would maybe cost XX”

    “can you afford that , considering you keep 90%”


    • heather

      I’m not really educated on economics, ( I’m going to educate myself on it) so forgive my question if it seems basic and uneducated, but in a free society how would prices of services and products get back to the 50’s and 60’s? How would we be able to control the prices that companies charge for products and services? The supply and demand for food and medical care would still be there. I’m not clear on how changing into a free society, in regards to opting out theory, would force oil companies, food companies or the medical field to lower their prices. I would assume that in a free society, with no government assistance, many people would die and that’s life. My son with type 1 diabetes probably should die if we don’t have the money to supply his medical needs. I logically know that but to put that into practice and refuse medical care for him due to my political beliefs wouldn’t be something I coulddo as a parent. We need to control government. We’re close to being in a police state and unfortunately will have to make difficult choices to maintain freedom. Maybe this is one way. Though freedom without common sense won’t be freedom for very long. We’ll just create a different type of imprisonment. There are no easy answers. So if anyone could explain how prices could get back to the 50’s and 60’s it would be helpful to me. I appreciate other peoples views and opinion on my thoughts. The way to a free society is open dialog and respect for others’ views. We’re all concerned about our freedoms otherwise we probably wouldn’t support Ron Paul. Thanks

      • momo

        Heather: I think that the food and medical care industries are heavily funded by the government (i.e, by all of us), so in a free market, food and medical care prices would drop because the huge cost of supporting an inefficient bureaucracy with complacent people (with safe jobs and good benefits) would be gone, and be replaced by crazy entrepreneurs (with everything to lose and everything to gain, working 80 hours a week, probably even without health insurance) on trying to improve things and cut costs. I think that government just cannot compete.

        This is probably why industries with government involvement are notoriously inefficient and expensive, whereas in industries without government, we find amazing US companies leading the world (Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Cisco,… to name just a few) with cheaper and more sophisticated products every year. Imagine companies like Apple entering the medical field and every other field currently managed by government: every test (e.g. MRIs) could be much cheaper, even cheaper than in Japan.

        Consider also the consequence of having student loans guaranteed by the government (by us). Because every student can borrow so much money, it encourages Universities, even mediocre ones, to charge a very high tuition fee, and and to spend it on upgrading their campuses and so on… In a free market, only the really good Universities would be able to do that, and tuitions would be much cheaper than they are today.

        This is how I understand things so far. As always, I am open to criticisms…

        • heather

          Momo: Thanks so much for your response. Explaining it in that way makes more sense to me. In many ways, I guess, I don’t know to what level the government has it’s hands in everything. Though I know it’s on many levels.
          I still find it hard to understand how a certain sector of the society would be able to survive. Some of us are able to contribute more to society and support our lives and unfortunately some aren’t. I think the issue that will have to be addressed at some point, if this idea is taken seriously, is what will we do with or what will happen to the people that can’t support their lives. In essence, it’s not our problem but morally it is or maybe not, i don’t know. The government shouldn’t have to support our existence yet unfortunately some people need the support and will perish otherwise. The one benefit could be that we build our communities and get to know our neighbors again. Thanks again for you response, it was helpful!

      • tj

        Hi Heather,
        I guess I will weigh in as well. You are right. The extent of government’s involvement in the economy is enormous. But, I have some questions for you that even the great President Obama probably would not answer correctly…
        Are high food prices good or bad? Are high tuitions good or bad? Are high interest rates good or bad?
        The answer is neither. In other words, if I sell food, sell education, or sell money (interest rates), the higher the better. HOwever, if I am a buyer of food, education, or money (a borrower), I want them to be low.
        OUr problem occurs when someone in government makes a claim…the cost of education is too high or the poor farmers cannot get enough for their crop. So government subsidies occur. Yet, the Invisible Hand of free market capitalism never rests…even when the markets are not free. So, when there is a tax credit for education (a subsidy), the price of education goes up to match the subsidy. So, who benefits? Not the student, the college.
        Now, some politicians think they can outsmart the Invisible Hand of free market capitalism. So, they decide to give the education subsidy, but also use price fixing and make it illegal for colleges to raise tuition. Problem solved? Nope, with more going to school, classrooms become overcrowded and the quality of education declines for everyone.
        Now, please let me give you one more example. My ignorant Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown, believes that it is wrong for evil speculators to bid up the price of oil…AND THEY SHOULD E STOPPED! Remember my original questios…are high oil prices good or bad? Well, we want oil, right? Today, the price went over $100 per barrel. Too high? Evil speculators. If my senator is going to pass a law that the price cannot exceed 80 dollars, what will happen? You will go out in your car and go for a nice Sunday afternoon drive in the country. And, OPEC will sit on their reserves because the 80 dollars they are being offerred is not worth their costs and efforts to drill. Soon the pumps would run dry. You see, those evil speculators actually serve a wonderful purpose in their greedy attempts to get rich. By bidding up the price of oil, more oil becomes available. and greedy Opec will drill every last drop out of the ground for you…for the right price. BUt soon they will drill too much, and prices will fall again. It really does work.
        The point is that no matter how well-intentioned a politician is, no perceived injustice or inequity can be legislated away. There are no free lunches…even if we vote and make a law that there ought to be.

  • Anton

    Dr. Paul’s proposal isn’t a hashed out plan, just an idea. I think any response or critique to this is going to be premature.

  • ron stillman

    I liked Ron Paul until he voted in favor of letting animals be spiked to death on the internet for the purpose of entertainment. He was one of only three Congressmen who voted in favor of animal murder for entertainment.

    • Anton

      Maybe he knew that it violates the first amendment, and that the supreme court would agree with him. It’s already illegal to perform acts of animal cruelty in all 50 states.

      He wasn’t voting for animal cruelty videos, he was voting down a potential law that could do harm to our civil rights.

  • ProgressiveInAmerica

    I’d pay 90% of my income for Ron Poopyface Paul to shut his Anti-American racist mouth!!

  • bluefootedpig

    Best part about 10% flat tax, no loop holes. No big business, well we spent it on this government program therefore it is a tax write off. Back in the day, taxes took about 2 hours to complete, today, the average tax filing takes 48 hours, and are so complicated many outsource it to places like H&R block. Doesn’t it bother anyone that our tax code is so complex, that we need specialists to fill them out properly?