Ron Paul: Government Is NOT a Business

by Ron Paul

Amid the din of economic nonsense being bandied about since the collapse of the housing bubble and the steep ramping up of our national debt, there has been the persistent refrain that Washington should be run more like a business. If only more business people were in charge to wield their business acumen, we would have this country in shape in no time. But is that a good solution?

Businesses seek primarily to increase their revenues and profits. Government revenue depends on taxes. Government accumulates tax money by squeezing it out of people’s productive earnings with threats of audits, fines and imprisonment. Our government already collects roughly $2.1 trillion annually from the productive taxpayers of America. We hardly need to increase our federal government’s revenues like a private business!

Businesses sell products or services to voluntary buyers, always looking to increase their market share as much as possible. But what is the federal government’s product or service? Rules, regulations, bureaucracy, paperwork, red tape, hoops to jump through, uneven protection and security from people with guns, coercion and compliance through force and confiscation of assets, militarism instead of national defense, and of course a vast welfare state. Do we need more of these government services? Hardly. In fact, we have far too many of these destructive things already.

What we need is more freedom. Freedom is the simple ability of people to live their lives as they see fit without government coercion, provided they do not initiate force or fraud against others. What we really need is a less coercive government, not more revenues.

Washington needs to stop seeing itself as a growth industry, and realize that the true function of government is to protect liberty. Washington certainly has expanded and grown and accumulated a great deal of the people’s capital for itself, but this has been at the expense of our nation’s prosperity. This trend needs to be reversed.

We don’t need yet another “jobs” bill to supposedly put the American people back to work. Politicians need to realize that, aside from outright hiring some 14 million people, government does not create jobs. The only thing government does is hinder job creation by getting in the way and consuming otherwise private resources. Therefore, the most useful thing government can do for unemployment is to “liquidate” much of what government does in the first place.

One plain example is our tax policy that encourages U.S. corporations to accumulate foreign earnings abroad rather than repatriate such earnings. Currently there is over $1 trillion of capital that companies are keeping overseas because of the 35% tax charged for bringing it back to the US. Our government literally is pushing capital and jobs overseas that could be used to hire an estimated 2.5 million people here at home.

Businesses create jobs. Government is not a business. We don’t need more stimulus or phony jobs bills. We don’t need more revenue – $2 trillion is plenty to fund the federal government annually. What we do need is a wholesale rejection of government as a central economic planner.


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  • ThatChristyChic

    @rufino_ayala Thx 4 link. If govt was acctable to taxpayers like biz is acctble to shareholders we wouldn’t be almost $15 tril in the hole.

    • MyTwoSenseWorth

      @ThatChristyChic Politicians ARE accountable to us… we just need to get off our butts and FIRE them! @rufino_ayala #tcot #teaparty #icon

      • ThatChristyChic

        @MyTwoSenseWorth Agreed. Convince the folks who’ve kept their reps in office for 30 years.

        • MyTwoSenseWorth

          @ThatChristyChic Yeah, I know… easier said than done! Sure wish @THEHermanCain were campaigning on congressional term limits. Dead cinch!

      • rufino_ayala

        @MyTwoSenseWorth @ThatChristyChic valid points. Unfortunately it seems alot of ppl don’t care and either don’t vote or vote without thinking

        • ThatChristyChic

          @rufino_ayala Agreed.

  • PhilippeBissonnette

    Mr. Paul IS going to win the election HE HAS to.. The world will be in a mess we will never get out of unless Ron Paul wins No kiddin we will all be slaves to the new world order if we don’t

  • MattHowell

    Late in 1945 under President Truman’s leadership, Congress cut marginal tax rates and rather than sliding back into recession as many had feared, the economy soared toward full-employment.

    Congress reduced taxes. Income tax rates were cut across the board. FDR’s top marginal rate, 94% on all income over $200,000, was cut to 86.45%. The lowest rate was cut to 19% from 23%, and with a change in the amount of income exempt from taxation an estimated 12 million Americans were eliminated from the tax rolls entirely.

    Corporate tax rates were trimmed and FDR’s “excess profits” tax was repealed, which meant that top marginal corporate tax rates effectively went to 38% from 90% after 1945….By the late 1940s, a revived economy was generating more annual federal revenue than the U.S. had received during the war years, when tax rates were higher. Price controls from the war were also eliminated by the end of 1946. The U.S. began running budget surpluses…. which is what ron wants to do …. just to a much greater extent he is the new truman ….frankly im no great fan of regan… truman is the greatest american president of the last hundred yrs….. until we elect paul

  • MattHowell

    actually hes not unfamiliar with history…….. wscoggins………. you are 1st fdr raised the income tax fdr attempted to pack the supreme court and when people called him on it ..jailed them … he like hitler put people in concentration camps..not just japaneese but those he considered nazis u know republicans.. he also enacted price controls ala karl marx.. then when they didnt work he slaughtered and estimated 6 million pigs cattle and other livestock to raise the prices u know while people were starving and such… alot of them because they now didnt have a farm to work on … now u know why there were bread lines…. eliminate the food source then give it away and claim you are solving the problem that you mostly u think thats progress…. never let a good crisis go to waste..Rahm Emanuele… obamas buddy…..back to 1932.. President Herbert Hoover asked for a temporary tax increase…in June 1932, raising the top income tax rate from 25% to 63% and quadrupling the lowest tax rate from 1.1% to 4%. That didn’t help confidence or the Treasury. Revenue from the individual income tax dropped from $834 million in 1931 to $427 million in 1932 and $353 million in 1933. thats right raising taxes caused the treasury to collect less not more !!!!!! This caused a “double-dip” recession, sky-rocketing the unemployment rate to well above 20 percent. After 1933, the economy showed glimmers of recovery: unemployment dropped from near 25 percent in 1934 to under 15 percent in 1937, and economic activity was picking up. Contrary to Keynesian conventional wisdom, however, the recovery didn’t come as a result of New Deal spending. Christina Romer, former chief economic advisor to President Obama, makes clear: “Fiscal policy played a relatively small role in stimulating recovery in the United States.” Rather, the initial recovery happened largely because of monetary expansion, the “money supply increased nearly 42 percent between 1933 and 1937…thats why obama is printing money which is bad in the long run but good for him politically…. he could care less about the country long term…. Unfortunately, President Roosevelt made the same crucial mistake President Hoover made 5 years earlier, so the recovery didn’t last. FDR raised taxes sharply in 1937 in an attempt to balance the budget. Once tax increases took effect, the economy collapsed into another recession – the second stage of the double-dip which lasted into WWII.

    • wscoggins

      @MattHowell So, despite admitting that unemployment dropped under the implementation of the New Deal, you’re claiming it wasn’t the result of the government employing millions of people but rather inflation? Seriously? I mean, I understand that inflation can decrease unemployment in the short term, but it’s an unsustainable way to long-term economic growth. Additionally, I think it’s hard to argue that the infrastructure created under the New Deal did not put the US on the path to the economic boom it enjoyed in the 50s and 60s. Without expanded roads, bridges and other infrastructure, the US would not have been able to grow economically as quickly as it did. Regardless of what you think of Obama’s similar jobs plan, considering the Army Corps of Engineers gives US infrastructure a failing grade, it’s hard to argue that we don’t need to upgrade – and it’s a fact the government is the only entity able to afford that. If they have to pay for it by raising tax rates slightly on the rich, many of whom caused the economic crash in the first place and were bailed out by the taxpayer, you won’t find me crying about it.

      • MattHowell

        wscoggins you’re short sightedness astounds and amazes me the new deal did not decrease unemployment ,…… on the contrary it only temporarily hired people”with fake money” and left them out to dry when funds dried up secondly it punished everyone who saved during that time pushed prices higher and cause widespread poverty and hunger u idiot the idea that a road that the gov pays 4 or 5 times what it worth to build by the way…. caused economic growth equal to its cost to manufacture it moronic at best and and outright lie at worst the roads would have been built regardless and probably for a lot less money than what was spent at the time ….moreover the fed caused this mess not the “rich” regardless of what your idiot proffesor told you most of the “rich” arent evil there just smarter than you… also as i stated earlier and proved raising taxes DECREASES revenue NOT INCREASES IT that’s why JOBS GET SHIPPED OVERSEAS if i can pay 10-15% tax overseas and have a cheaper labor force why the hell would i stay here and pay 35-60% plus have the EPA, UNIONS and every other doucebag hippie telling me what an asshole i am for killing trees or polution the earth or just hate me because im successful…… a flat tax is the only way to be fair…. to tax to tell someone that they have to pay 35-60% tax while nearly half the country pays nothing is absurd the world doesn’t need more people who cant take care of themselves …see africa and central america … they need job creators and yes even those evil corporations…. but also the corporations shouldnt get bailouts special treatment or tax loopholes so what is the solution CUT FED GOV SPENDING AND LIMIT THE POWER TO SPEND AND REGULATE BEHAVIOR end both FEDERAL income taxes and most FEDERAL social programs all together and keep a moderate but fair 10-15% corporate tax or have a low flat income tax of around 10% that way nobody is enslaved and everyone is encouraged to work.., as far as social security pay what is owed but not a dime more than what was put in by everyone over 45 and give everyone else a choice to opt out at least so in closing by raising taxes and making war on the “rich” or bourgoise as u commies call them you drive busneses and wealth out of the country KILLING JOBS in the procces then spend MONEY THAT WE DONT HAVE and DOESENT BELONG TO YOU on jobs bills THAT DONT WORK BECAUSE MOST OF THE MONEY GOES TO CORRUPT SCAMS LIKE SOLARIS and trafficking guns to mexican drug lords and UNIONS to BUY VOTES…. isnt policy its fraud and corruption… and damn close to communism SEE…soviet union tell me how that worked out ……

        • wscoggins

          Despite your protests, the New Deal was not the complete flop you claim it to be, although the revelation that you are “rich” makes your ranting make more sense. (BTW – If you are so rich as you claim, and therefore smarter than me, would you mind doing me the courtesy of using proper capitalization, spelling and grammar? Thank you!) Roosevelt rescued the capitalism that you so obviously profit from today. However, considering the New Deal strengthened labor unions, instituted a minimum wage and work week, abolished child labor and instituted a social safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, it’s understandable why you hate it so much. You must be quite pleased that the protective regulations Roosevelt passed were relaxed in the 70s and 80s, although you do seem less pleased about the bail-outs the banks got when said deregulation crashed our economy. Yes, Obama needs to deal with the deficit, but that deficit was caused by eight years of wild Republican spending and a lack of revenue created by, well, a bunch of rich people crashing the economy and lowering the taxes people could pay because, well, they lost their jobs. Now for some more facts!

          1) I never went to college. I get my information from Fox News. 2) If you kill trees or pollute the earth, you ARE an asshole. Way to leave behind a healthy planet for your kids, dude. 3) Flat taxes are not fair. 10% is not the same to a person struggling to make it on twenty grand a year as it is to a person making two mil a year. 4) Outsourcing was made possible by free trade agreements, not taxes or regulations. Yes, I realize Congress just ratified three of them. No, I’m not a fan of the current administration or the House. 5) Corporations do not pay a tax of 35%-60% percent. That you think they do makes me question that you are smarter than me. It’s a well-known fact that the top 10 corporations in America paid no taxes last year. Many of those companies who did pay taxes raked in more in executive compensation than the entire company paid out in taxes. 6) If there is a class warfare going on this country, the rich are winning. 7) It’s Solyndra, not Solaris. 8) This will be my last post, because, well, I have a life. And I’m planning to spend some of it occupying Wall Street. So, if you see me from your ivory tower while bathing in money you made by being smarter than me, wave!

        • MattHowell

          BILL CLINTON didnt create the surpluses Newt GINGRICH and CONGRESS DID … while we did go to war under repubs and bush .. which both republicans and dems voted to go granted obama didnt but hillary did …..well now were in libya as well… the DEMS ran CONGRESS and therefore most of the spending legislation for 6 out of 8 yrs of Bush…granted bush could have showed some balls and vetoed he didn’t…. fact is everyone wishes healthcare was more affordable hell i wish the Easter bunny was real to but we have nearly bankrupted the country and guess what nobody has that free health insurance including me!!! 6. name those ten corporations GE didn’t pay because its banking arm GE capital lost so much the yr before and 2 because they got a sweat heart deal from you guessed it the obama administration jeff imelt its ceo is also his Jobs CZAR…. what are the other 9. if you breath you are emitting carbon dioxide and by the obama administrations definition you are killing the earth carbon tax and carbon credits are just an ECO scam to steal from hard working corporations ,the’re employees and shareholders. And if buy having a life u mean smoking pot and bitching about people who went to work today having more money than you well…. do the world a favor and erase your own carbon footprint… btw 20K a yr comes out to 9.60 an hr with no overtime if u want a better job well your gonna have to work for someone that can afford to pay you …. ie a rich guy dumbass.. if the’re taxes weren’t so high they would probably come back we need to encourage the rich to return here and get back to sound money ie a gold standard flat taxes “with no loopholes” are fair that guy making 2 million would still pay 100 times the taxes of a guy making 20k and he would not be encouraged to work less or leave to evade taxes liberals always want to talk about the rich and what they need to do while claiming that they themselves should not even be responsible for feeding themselves or there family much less insurance and housing.. ron paul is on both our sides he wants to end this war and he wants to get the country back to being free end the fed reserve and legalize pot i mean you got to give him that hes better than obama period i agree with you about the big banks but to lump every corporation and the “rich” in there thats just stupid we need them what we dont need is the poor to continue breeding 8-10 child single parent households and claiming they cant help themselves ..close your legs… thats why africa and central america are hell holes… to many people not enough creation “productivity”….ECON 101

        • MattHowell

          @wscoggins wscoggins im a 26 yr old unemployed construction worker in las vegas…. and u get your info from tv …wow you’re an idiot ..2 you cant save capitalism by instituting socialism 3 the economy sucked all throughout roosevelts presidency . 5. DEREGULATION IS NOT THE PROBLEM U IDIOT if so name the regulation start with the CRA community reinvestment act that you idiot liberals passed under carter and strengthened under several other presidents . why do you want to put in charge of regulating the banks the same dumbasses that bailed them out? 6 wild republican spending … congress passes budgets u moron not presidents presidents have a say and they can sign or veto but congress writes the laws and the budgets …get a copy of the constitution

        • PhilippeBissonnette

          @[email protected] man oh man the banks already owns the govts..It tell the congress what to do it tell them when to eat puke shit and yes even fuck their old ladies .. they have been paid of by the int. banking cartel and the fat pig corps from the us that sit offshore and shits on people like you so yeah let the basterds crumble the people have the guts to put it all back together because if you dont get rid of these fucks you’l be sucking popcorn through a straw

        • Chris 54

          @[email protected]

          1. CRAs were only 6% of the high cost loans.2. CRA-regulated lenders in the neighborhoods in which they were required to lend were half as likely to default as similar loans made in the same neighborhoods by independent mortgage originators not subject to the law.

          No effect.

          Try again.

        • Chris 54

          @[email protected]

          The Chairman of the FDIC, Sheila Bair (A REPUBLICAN):

          “I want to give you my verdict on CRA: NOT guilty,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, before the Consumer Federation of America,


  • John O’brien

    News and TV is GOP biased (owned). Ron Paul needs $ to win. I’m willing to donate more than ever. We will save soldiers’ lives 6,500 carelessly killed so far. Makes me tear up after so many years of acting tough. My Son was there. He knows. Deerhunter all over again. Please give a few bucks “more than ever”. Honor them.

  • wscoggins

    I like you, Ron Paul but – are you completely unfamiliar with history? FDR’s New Deal was nothing except the government employing millions of people, putting vast numbers of the unemployed back to work. It instituted much-needed reforms, like anti-trust laws and banking regulations, and the middle class grew and thrived. It wasn’t until deregulation came along in the 80s under President Regan that the middle class began to stagnate and regress. It was government deregulation, not government regulation, that led to the crass of the world economy in ’08. Somehow, I’m really skeptical that what America needs is even more deregulation. I don’t see why a “jobs bill” wouldn’t work just as well today as it did under FDR.

    • wizard.prang

      @wscoggins Did the New Deal put America back to work, or was it the intervention of WWII?

      • wscoggins

        The New Deal was instituted in 1933-1936 before US involvement in WWII. While it’s true that WWII was a “lucky coincidence” that contributed to the rise of the middle class, Paul can hardly depend on the military industrial complex to do that today.