Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ron Paul told Utahns on Friday night he wants to get rid of big government, big federal budgets, the federal income tax, the IRS and the military protection of Europe and Japan.
Speaking at a rally in the Salt Lake County Commission Auditorium, Paul applauded the three tax limitation proposals that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot and said Libertarians endorse the proposals wholeheartedly.Paul, a four-term U.S. congressman from Jackson, Texas, near Houston, said he left Congress in 1984, choosing not to run again on the Republican ticket, but as a Libertarian, because of the poor performance by President Reagan and Congress on the budget and other items.
"I decided to run for president in February 1987 and won my party's nomination at its national convention in Seattle in September of last year. I stand for limited government, one that does not want to manipulate the economy, and one that is responsible for protecting our citizens' liberty, but not the liberty of Europeans or Japanese.
"I would pull our troops out of those areas and bring them home. There is no reason that American taxpayers should pay for Japan's military security or for Europe's, either."
Paul said he is concerned about the privacy issue in the United States and the widespread use of Social Security numbers to identify people.
"The government has no right to intrude on an individual's privacy. You have to carry your identification around with you everywhere. You have to prove you are an American citizen now when you try to get a new job."
Abolishing the federal income tax would remove only 38 percent of the nation's budget. He said no new taxes would needed, "only budget cuts to make the other 62 percent of our budget pay the costs of government."
Paul said he is "sick and tired of the abuses of the IRS and its harassment of citizens. If elected president, I would get rid of the IRS," he said.
A 1961 graduate of Duke Medical School, Paul has had a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology when not in Congress and has had graduate training at the University of Pittsburgh.
He and his wife, Carol, have three sons and three daughters and five grandchildren.
Paul said he will respond to the televised presidential debates via satellite the morning of Sept. 26 and his program can be aired at that time or taped for programming later or for use in news broadcasts.
"I will respond to the same questions asked of Bush and Dukakis at the debates," he said.
Bob Waldrop, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Utah, said Friday he expects, "given the number of Utahns who don't like either Bush or Dukakis, we think Paul's program will appeal to many Utahns who want a candidate who will discuss the issues, rather than fluff."
Paul said Utah is one of the strongest Libertarian states in the nation, second only to Alaska where three Libertarians hold seats in the Alaskan Legislature.
"Nationwide, we have 105 Libertarians in office, mostly on the city or county level or as state judges, and we are growing," Paul said.
He expects there could be a Libertarian in Congress soon.