Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Monday unveiled a radical new economic plan that would cut $1 trillion from the federal budget within a year, eliminate five cabinet-level departments — and even slash the president’s salary.
Paul maintains that his plan will create a balanced federal budget by the third year of his presidency.
The Texas congressman “is the only candidate with a plan to cut spending and truly balance the budget,” according to an executive summary of the plan. “This is the only plan that will deliver what America needs in these difficult times: Major regulatory relief, large spending cuts, sound monetary policy, and a balanced budget.”
Paul would eliminate the Departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, Interior, and Housing and Urban Development. But some functions of the eliminated departments would be continued elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy.
His plan would cut spending by the Environmental Protection Agency by 30 percent, slash 40 percent from the Food and Drug Administration’s budget, and immediately freeze spending by numerous agencies at 2006 levels, the last time Republicans had complete control of the budget.
Paul would also “take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars,” and foreign aid would be “zeroed out immediately,” Politico reports.
Among other provisions of Paul’s plan:
- Medicaid, food stamps, family support programs, and the children’s nutrition program are block-granted to the states.
- Congressional pay and perks are slashed, and the president’s salary is reduced to $39,336 a year, which Paul maintains is about equal to the median personal income of the American worker. The president currently earns $400,000.
- The federal workforce is reduced by 10 percent.
- Young workers are allowed to opt out of Social Security.
- The top corporate income tax rate is cut from 35 percent to 15 percent.
- All taxes on capital gains and dividends are eliminated, as well as the estate tax, and the Bush-era tax cuts are extended.
- Obamacare is repealed, along with the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform law.
Paul also calls for an audit of the Federal Reserve, and legislation to strengthen the dollar.
Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign chairman and a co-author of the plan, said in a statement: "It's the only plan offered by a presidential candidate that actually balances the budget and begins to pay down the debt."
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