Ross Perot on Government Reform

1992 & 1996 Reform Party Nominee for President


Give the president the line-item veto

Give the president a line-item veto on the budget. 3 reasons. Number 1, I'd like him to quit whining about not having it. Second, I'd like to see what he does with it, and, thirdly, if we get real lucky, he'll cut out a lot of pork barrel.
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.235 , Sep 20, 2000

Get rid of all PACs

Absolutely get the Orkin man and get rid of all the PAC's. That's a curse on our country. You've got to get rid of them. The maximum contribution $1,000, no exceptions. Anything else is criminal, both to the guy running for office and the guy that gave it to him.
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.235 , Sep 20, 2000

Turn over excess campaign funds to US Treasury

Require every member of Congress to turn in their excess campaign funds to the US Treasury--now! They'd say, "I've been around here 20 years. Aren't you going to grandfather me?" No, I want your money first, because you've got the big pile.

We've got congressmen that have $15 million in their war chest, and we have a system that they created where they can take it with them when they retire. Did you ever hear of anything like that anywhere else? Maybe in the drug business, but nowhere else.

Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.236 , Sep 20, 2000

Vote on weekends instead of Tuesdays

Only in America would you hold elections on Tuesday. A working guy's got to go to work. If he's 1st shift, he goes to work 8:30 to 5:30. That's an hour and a half in the morning and an hour and a half at night. Let's have elections on the weekends. Why not have it Saturday and Sunday? And let's make it a criminal offense to release any information from East coast polls before the Hawaii polling booths are closed.
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.236-237 , Sep 20, 2000

Decision-making process is listening to opponents

    The ability to make good decisions is based on:
  1. Your knowledge of the subject matter.
  2. Your ability to listen to people.
There is no way to avoid making bad decisions in business. Your challenge will be to make more good ones than bad ones, & control the losses around the bad ones.

Bring an open mind to each new decision. Listen to people whose views are different from your views. In many cases, they will be right. Your challenge will be to accurately assess their strengths & weaknesses.

Source: My Life & Principles for Success, by Ross Perotp.129-130 , Sep 25, 1996

Reduce the growth rate of federal government

To his credit, President Bill Clinton took steps to lower the deficit in 1993. His budget consisted of tax increases and spending cuts. While the authors have differing opinions about the use of an income tax increase to reduce the deficit, both authors agree with the concept of reducing the growth rate of the federal government. And to their credit, under the leadership of Senator Domenici and Representative Kasich, the Republicans in Congress introduced a 7-year plan to balance the budget.

The difficulty with the legislative approach to balancing the budget is that it has been tried before and does some good for about two years, but then it is abandoned. If the legislative approach were fortified by a constitutional amendment, the chances of actually achieving a balanced budget would be much greater.

Source: The Dollar Crisis, p. 74-75 , Jul 2, 1996

Long-terms solutions instead of polls

The US needs to look for solid, long-term answers, not quick solutions. Unfortunately, our society is geared to look for the latter, both in political life and in business. “How will this play in the next election?” and, “What will this do to next quarter’s earnings?” seem to be the most important questions in politics and business, respectively. We are less inclined to ask, “If we follow this policy, where will we be in ten years?”

The correct, long-term answers will not come from polling or from focus groups, but from leadership that has carefully studied the experience of the US and other nations through the centuries. Political leaders can become as addicted to polls as junkies become addicted to illegal drugs. The results can be almost as ruinous.

To solve the dollar problem and get the US back to its position of economic and political leadership, we need well-reasoned solutions that will serve not only the immediate audience but also future generations.

Source: The Dollar Crisis, p.125 , Jul 2, 1996

Term Limits linked to Congressional performance

In a poll conducted in March 1993, citizens across the country were asked about government reform. Their responses are shown in the proposals listed below.
    Before we, the people, will agree to a tax increase-we demand the following reforms:
  1. Give the American people the detailed financial plan for tax increases, spending increases, and spending cuts.
  2. Publish an accurate, audited quarterly financial report that will allow the taxpayers to see the actual results of taxing & spending.
  3. Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
  4. Give the President the Line Item Veto.
  5. Pass a term limitation law as part of the tax increase package. If the financial forecasts do not produce results on schedule, a term limit law would automatically take effect.
  6. Eliminate foreign lobbyists. Curtail domestic lobbyists.
  7. Change federal election laws to eliminate the influence of the special interests.
  8. Shorten the time for political campaigns.
Source: Not For Sale at Any Price, by Ross Perot, p.145-52 , Jul 2, 1993

United We Stand America: create government from the people

Source: Save Your Job, Save Our Country, by Ross Perot, p. 0 , Jan 1, 1993

Electronic Town Hall to replace representative government

Perot suggests what he calls “electronic town halls” [as] the catalyst for structural change that he is obviously looking for. Apparently, a select group of national leaders-including elected magistrates and appointed “experts” and industrial delegates- would present various policy options to the electorate. By means of an at-home computerized referendum mechanism, the people would voice their concerns directly to Washington. The results would be tallied, and the policy implemented.

At first glance, the electronic town halls appear to be nothing more than a high-tech fireside chat-with a response mechanism. But it is actually a usurpation of one of the basic tenets of American checks and balances: representative government.

Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p.110 , Nov 7, 1992

End pork; end loopholes; end exit polling

Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p. 87 , Nov 7, 1992

Reduce government perks and staffers

Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p. 88 , Nov 7, 1992

The system is corrupt, not the people in it

Perot believes that the chief problem in America is not corrupt people in a good system, but good people in a corrupt system. “Our system of government is the problem. We’ve got to change the system. I’m critical of the system and not individuals. I have said that you could replace everybody in Congress, find the best people in the country, put them in that system, and in months they’d look just like the people you’re replacing.”
Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p.108-9 , Nov 7, 1992

I have no experience with gridlock; only getting things done

Q: What most differentiates you from your opponents?

BUSH: I think it's experience at [the presidential] level.

CLINTON: Experience counts, but it's not everything. Values, judgment, and my record should count for something. We need a new approach. The same old experience is not relevant.

PEROT: Well, they've got a point. I don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don't have any experience in gridlocked Government where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else. But I do have a lot of experience in getting things done. So if we want to stop talking about it and do it, I've got a lot of experience in figuring out how to solve problems, making the solutions work, and then moving on to the next one. I've got a lot of experience in not taking 10 years to solve a 10-minute problem. So if it's time for action, I think I have experience that counts. If it's more time for gridlock and talk and finger-pointing, I'm the wrong man.

Source: The First Clinton-Bush-Perot Presidential Debate , Oct 11, 1992

Election reform: shorten elections, free air time

Source: United We Stand, by Ross Perot, p. 25 , Jul 2, 1992

Curb PACs, ban soft money, ban electoral college