New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
Sunday, Sep. 30, 2007
Manchester – Calls to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and repeal the Constitutional amendment that established the federal income tax drew loud applause yesterday for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.
The Texas Congressman drew an eclectic mix of more than 500 supporters -- young and old, Libertarians and anti-war Democrats, independents and conservative Republicans -- who cheered his message of limited government, low taxes, free markets, bringing the troops home from Iraq, and returning to a monetary policy based on the gold standard.
Paul said the gathering at Veterans Park wasn't about him, but about his message -- which, he said, has been resonating with more and more people.
"Something very significant is happening in this country today. The paradigm is shifting away from government controlling our lives by force," he said.
"People are sick and tired of what's happening and want to control (their) own lives."
He said people should be able to keep 100 percent of the fruits of their labor. Income tax is an example of the government controlling people, he said, as are the draft, prohibition on drugs, seat belt laws and other regulations.
Paul said current monetary policy amounts to a "secret sinister tax" that takes wealth from the middle class and poor, and redistributes money to Wall Street and the wealthy. The crowd broke into applause when he said the federal reserve system should be abolished.
Earlier in the day, Paul told three New Hampshire reporters he hoped to turn the enthusiasm his campaign has generated -- through the Internet, in "meet-ups" and through campaign donations -- into votes.
The physician-turned-politician said he expects to spend more and more time in New Hampshire. "The slogan on your license plate would indicate this should be fertile ground for us here," he said, alluding to the state's "Live Free or Die" motto.
Paul said he is running on the same policies President Bush advocated when he ran in 2000, which, he added, are the same ones Republicans have run on for years: a balanced budget, limited government, personal freedom and no nation building.
"Most Republicans -- the leadership in Washington -- don't believe in their own platform; that's why they are losing," Paul said.
Rather than try to spread democracy around the world, he said, politicians ought to focus on some of the shortcomings in this country.
"You don't get a fair shake unless you join the establishment," he said.
Paul, who ran for President in 1988 as the Libertarian Party's nominee, said it's more practical to run as a Republican, noting he spent half of his money in 1988 just trying to get on the ballot in all 50 states.
The door-to-door canvassing that followed the rally -- dubbed the Paul Family Walk -- included about 30 family members who led groups of campaigners in the Queen City, Concord and Nashua. Paul himself visited New England College, Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth Medical School after the rally.
Liz Viering and her husband Peter, from Stonington, Conn., said Paul's opposition to the war in Iraq is the major reason they are supporting him. "Money spent on wars of choice takes money away from other programs," she said.
Miles LaPlant, a 21-year old college student from Attleboro, Mass., said Paul is the first candidate who has captured his attention. LaPlant said he likes Paul's stances regarding the Constitution and the country's founding principles.
Jason Kantz, his wife, Angela, and their two children came up from Cambridge, Mass., for the rally. Kantz said Paul "is the only candidate that gives logical answers and means what he says."
He said Paul's stand on the war in Iraq is also an important issue for him. "We need to reduce our involvement around the world and the amount of money we are spending," Kantz said.
Long-time Libertarian Party member Dennis Corrigan of Boxford, Mass., said he supported Paul when the Congressman ran for President as the Libertarian nominee. He said he has been a Libertarian for 40 years and headed the party in Canada at one time.
Corrigan and a friend were soliticiting signatures for a Massachusetts ballot initiative outlawing the income tax. Corrigan said his friend moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project, adding that he plans to move to the state, as well.
Thomas Clark, Minister of the Somersworth Tri-City Convenant Church, gave the invocation for the rally. Before the rally, he said he supports Paul because of his pro-life stance. "The pro-life issue is a major issue for me," Clark said.
Paul concluded the rally by encouraging his supporters to keep the faith, saying most mass movements have been driven by only 2 or 3 percent of the population.
"You are part of that 3 percent today," he said.