Ross Perot on Technology

1992 & 1996 Reform Party Nominee for President


1992: 30-minute TV spots shook establishment; banned in 1996

In 1992, Ross Perot came on the scene, and his wealth and widespread polling support led to his being allowed to join the debates. His polls went up, too. He received 19 million votes, shaking the political establishment with his Reform Party and his paid televised lectures. Never again, vowed the two parties. Fully 92 million Americans saw the debate among Perot, Clinton and Bush, more than double the average of the three 2000 debates. Too destabilizing for the duopoly. Perot was barred in 1996 by a series of vague criteria based on interviews with columnists, pollsters, and consultants who concurred that he could not win. He was also barred by the national television networks from buying the same kind of 30-minute time slots that brought his message of deficit reduction and political reform into the living rooms of millions of households.

Speaking with him after the election, I said, "Ross, at least you've proved that the big boys can keep even a megabillionaire off the air."

Source: Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, p.159 , Oct 14, 2002

Limit election TV coverage to 5 months

Cut the time for an election campaign to 5 months. Who do you think owns the airwaves in this country? You do. Who do you think gives the right to all these TV stations to broadcast? You do. Do you realize that a well-run TV station can bring 50% of its revenues down to profits? You've been giving these airwaves away too cheap, folks. You ought to get some kind of fee from that, but you don't. Now, then, in this 5-month election cycle, let's go to these fellows that are getting rich at our expense and say, "We want free TV time and it would be divided equally among the candidates." They'd no longer have to sell their souls to the devil. Good people with no money have to sell their souls to get the TV time to run, and that's rotten. Let's say you run into some hard-nosed guy who says, "I'm going to give you time." You say, "Fine. Next time your permit comes up, we'll give it to someone else." He'll follow you around the block to give you the time with the kind of money he's making!
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.235-236 , Sep 20, 2000

More spending on research & applying it commercially

A significant factor impeding the productive capacity of the US is the lack of resources devoted to research. Germany and Japan are far ahead of us on non-defense research, and probably even farther ahead in applying it to productive purposes.

The US needs to place greater emphasis on research that adds to our quality of life and has commercial value as well. The federal government could facilitate this effort by [budgetary] spending priorities & changes in the tax laws to encourage private research.

Source: The Dollar Crisis, p.133-134 , Jul 2, 1996

Increase gas tax to invest in future infrastructure

When we talk about an energy policy--or the lack of an energy policy--one of the most important topics should be the amount of tax we pay for a gallon of gasoline. We currently pay anywhere from $.92 to $1.20 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. The price includes $.35/gallon for the federal government.

The Italians pay $5.10/gallon; the French pay $4.54/gallon; the Japanese pay $3.79/gallon; the English pay $3.68/gallon; and the Germans pay $3.47/gallon. You say, "That doesn't make any sense, Ross, because the price of oil is about the same to all buyers." Yes, but look at the reason--each of those countries collects huge amounts of tax to build infrastructure and to invest in the future.

Who's winning and who's losing? On the one hand you have hard-minded, committed people, and here at home we have a feel-good-now philosophy. We've got to change that if we want to win. During the 1992 campaign, I recommended that a $.50/gallon tax increase be phased in over a 5-year period.

Source: Not For Sale At Any Price, by Ross Perot, p. 61-4 , Apr 1, 1993

NAFTA will hurt US telecommunications companies

NAFTA favors Mexican investors in the communications sector. Mexican investors can hold 100% ownership of US cable television systems or companies that provide cable TV services in the US. Under NAFTA, however, US investors in Mexico can only own, directly or indirectly, up to 49% of similar enterprises. What’s more, only Mexican citizens are permitted to operate a cable TV system in Mexico. Americans wanting to invest in Mexico’s cable TV industry need a well-connected Mexican partner.
Source: Save Your Job, Save Our Country, by Ross Perot, p. 8 , Jan 1, 1993

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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021