LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Republican presidential contender Ron Paul unveiled an economic plan Monday afternoon that he promises would return America to constitutional governance while balancing the federal budget by his third year in the White House.
Speaking to a packed conference room at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Paul declared, “Our debt is too big. Our government his too big.”
Paul’s “Plan to Restore America” would cut $1 trillion in spending in his first year in office. To those who say that sounds radical, Paul said, “I operate on the assumption that the radicals have been in charge way too long.”
Among his reforms, Paul promises he would eliminate five cabinet departments — Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior and Education — as “a start.”
The Paul plan also envisions the abolition of the Transportation Security Administration, an end to foreign aid and America’s wars, and returning federal spending levels to what they were in 2006.
On taxes, the plan would lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from the its current level of 35 percent, which is among the highest in the industrialized world. The plan would also abolish the estate tax and make the Bush tax cuts permanent, among other tax provisions.
Paul would also seek to repeal President Obama’s health care law, the Dodd-Frank financial reforms and Sarbanes-Oxley. While the author of “End the Fed” doesn’t seek to immediately end the Federal Reserve, his program does call for a serious audit and foresees an ultimate end to the Fed. (RELATED: Ron Paul courts the pro-life vote)
Additionally, Paul would cut the federal work force by 10 percent and limit his own annual salary as president to just $39,336. That figure represents the median personal income of the American worker. The president currently receives $400,000 per year.
Paul also seeks to block grant Medicaid, though he promises he is cutting enough to ensure aid to the elderly and veterans. He promises to give those 25 and younger the opportunity to opt out of Social Security completely.
Anticipating such drastic changes would be difficult to push through Congress, the executive summary of Paul’s plan says that while the road map is “bold,” it is “achievable.”
“Through the bully pulpit of the presidency, the power of the Veto, and, most importantly, the united voice of freedom loving Americans,” the summary reads, “we can implement fundamental reform.”
Paul is in Las Vegas to participate in Tuesday night’s CNN Western Republican presidential debate. He currently stands in fifth place in the Republican field with a RealClearPolitics polling average of 8.1 percent.