Ron Paul Outlines The Path To Recovery

In this speech to Congress, Ron Paul outlines the path to recovery: Liquidation of bad debt, a new work ethic, a sound currency, and a free society.

Audience: U.S. House
Channel: C-SPAN
Date: 1/21/2009

Ron Paul: “Mr. Speaker, it’s been said and all too often ignored: if you live beyond your means you will be forced to live beneath your means. Living and consuming on borrowed money always end. Lenders even in an age of inflation have their limits. When living extravagantly, it seems the good times will continue forever. But when the bills come due and the debt with interest needs to be paid, the good times end.

The fiction that the appreciating prices of houses and stocks and other assets serve as savings is always self-limited and ends with pain. Without a source of newly borrowed funds once the value of stocks and houses depreciate, the individual comes to the realization that hard work and effort are required to produce sustained wealth.

Working minimally is replaced with working maximally to survive as well as to pay for the extravagance of previous years. The consequence is more work and a diminished standard of living.

A nation that has lived beyond its means for a long period of time must go through a similar process. Once the national debt grows to an extreme proportion as ours had, there’s no possibility of it being paid off in a conventional sense. Default and liquidation are required, but sovereign states that enjoyed the ruthless power to tax and create new money, always resort to paying their bills by deliberately depreciating their currency.

This makes it hard to identifying the victims and the beneficiaries. Today’s middle class and poor are suffering and the elite are being bailed out. And all the while, the Federal Reserve refuses to tell the Congress exactly who has benefited by its largesse.

The beneficial corrections that come with a recession of debt liquidation and removing the mal-investment are delayed by government bailouts. This strategy proved in the late 1930s to transform a recession into a great depression and will surely do so again.

We have become the greatest debtor nation in the world. The borrowed money was not used to build our industries but was used mainly for consumption. The fact that the world trusted the dollar as the reserve currency significantly contributed to the imbalances of the world financial system. The fiat dollar standard that evolved after the breakdown of Bretton Woods in 1971 has ended. This is a consequence of our privileged position of living way beyond our means for too many years.

At present, all efforts worldwide are directed towards salvaging a financial system that cannot be revived. The only tool the economic planners have is the creation of trillions of money out of thin air. All this does is delay the inevitable and magnifies the future danger.

Central bank cooperation in the scheme will not make it work. Pretending the dollar is maintaining real value by manipulating the price of gold, the historic mechanism for measuring a currency’s value, will work no better than the effort of the 1960s to keep gold at $35 an ounce. Nevertheless, Bretton Woods failed in 1971 as was predicted by the free market economists, despite these efforts.

This crisis we’re in is destined to get much worse because the real cause is not acknowledged. Not only are the corrections delayed and distorted; additional problems are yet to be felt. The commercial property bubble, the insolvent retirement funds, both private and public, state finances and the university trust funds. For all these problems only massive currency inflation is offered by the Fed.

The real concern ought to be for a dollar crisis which will come if we don’t change our ways. Even massive bailouts cannot work. If they did, no person in the United States would ever have to work again.

We need to wake up and recognize the importance of sound money. We need to reintroduce the work ethic. We must once again cherish savings over consumption. We must recognize that an overextended foreign policy has been the downfall of all great nations. And above all else, we need to simply believe once again in a free society – that which made America great.”

  • Sue

    The only man I would trust to lead the Nation right now is Ron Paul.


  • longshotlouie

    “It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of right.”

    – Ludwig von Mises

  • Sean

    Somebody told me that there wasn’t any principle involved with the fiat currency.. I found this very ignorant and it actually proves a very good point. Whenever we look at the fiat currency, most say that the money we have is backed by nothing. This is totally wrong.. There is only one way of injecting money into the economy, through loans. There are two types of loans.. Loans for principle ie mortgages and cars, and loans for businesses(capital). All the money you have in your wallet, or that you got from a job started out as a loan. The 16k I have in my bank represents 16k worth of principle or capital, bc that money was taken out and represents the loan somebody, or some people recieved for something of value. So fiat money is backed by value(capital, principle)

    • longshotlouie

      What backed the currency at origin? Paper, ink, bytes?

    • Nate

      Your ideas are so twisted and mangled that it’s near impossible to straighten them out and make any sense of them.

      • Sean

        ok… how do you think money is made?

        • Sean

          I don’t think you understand that money is just a means of exchange.. the value of it doesn’t change unless there is more spending or less spending involved with the economy.. the total amount of money is insignificant to a certain degree.. Its value is = the spending power for the loan it represents when it was created. Whenever the item placed for that loan increases or decreases, the spending power of that money fluctuates with it.

          • Nate

            Again, I can’t even make sense of these ramblings. If you don’t understand that when you increase the supply of money the purchasing power of each monetary unity goes down, I am unable to help you. But I’ll try yet again…

            Money isn’t just a medium of exchange. It has mulitple functions. Medium of exchange, unit of account, standard of deferred payment, and store of value. Since you operate with a misdefinition of inflation, you cannot properly understand money. Since you cannot understand what money is, you do not attribute the functions of standard of deferred payment, and store of value, to money. This makes sense. A money supply subject to rapid inflation cannot function as a standard of deferred payment nor a store of value. Yet again we see how the misdefinition of inflation clouds your vision.

          • Sean

            You can’t even explain how money is created… How are you going to talk about monetary policy if you don’t understand the basics?

        • Nate

          The market is the best means of deciding what people are to use as money. That is, the market selects what is to be used as money. Whenever and wherever they has been available, gold and silver win out against all other potential monies.

          • Sean

            you never answered my question. How do you think money is made?.. the market destroyed the gold standard in EVERY country because its becoming more and more scarce and makes uneven trade balances.

          • Nate

            I already told you how money is made. I’ve done so twice and refuse to do it again. No doubt the brevity required on a message board is not sufficient to properly explain it so read this…


            this too…


          • Sean

            banks create money thru loans.. was it that hard to type it out. You should watch this video.

          • Nate

            Woah wait a minute here. You’re trying to tell me that the well made and informative video “Money as Debt” supports your endorsement of fractional reserve and central banking? That video exposes the EVILS of fractional reserve banking. It shows how sound money (gold/silver) mutated into “money as debt” (fiat money) through the issue of bills of credit and fractional reserve banking. You have to watch it again and pay attention this time.

            I explained how sound money is brought into existence. You’re talking about fiat money which isn’t real money because, as I already pointed out, it doesn’t satisfy the multiple functions of money. Why does it not? You guessed it, because of the inherently inflationary nature of fiat money.

          • Sean

            I’m not endorsing the central bank. I’m excusing their actions. I do believe in fractional reserve banking practices. If you watched the whole video. It exposed the evil of interest rates, not fiat money. THey actually described how to change the structure of fiat so it would work.. There is no sound money in the world in existence today, it is all fiat money, in every country.. money, gold, silver has no value. Its worthless, its a piece of shiny crap and paper. A home, a car, infrastructure is value. These are things we invest are hourly wages into, they have purpose. Money gets written into existence to pay for these things.. Money is just a means of exchange. You sound like the type who would take advantage of someone for a quick buck. If you were the son of a rockefeller, you would be just as or even more evil. You know greed is a deadly sin.

          • Nate

            If you endorse fractional reserve banking you pretty much have to endorse Central banking. Why? Because Central Banking is an inevitable consequence of a fractional reserve system.

            Moving on, endorsement of sound money and full reserve banking suggests I would take advantage of someone for a quick buck? Yet again your complete misunderstanding of money and economics causes you to get it exactly backwards. It is fiat money, fractional reserve (and by extension Central) banking that allow bankers/governments to rob the people under the pretense of caring for them. Credit to Thomas Jefferson.

            Sound money and banking practices produce the exact opposite. That is, they direct the greed of individuals (innovators, entrepreneurs, etc.) to the benefit of the people. Why? Because under such a system, production is valued above all else. Here we’ll probably run into problems again since you (wrongly)think prodcution caused Japan’s problems in the 90’s but whatever.

            You speak of Rockefeller. The Rockefellers, Rothschilds, and Morgans of the world (past and present) would be absolutely terrified of sound money and full reserve banking. Their empire of avarice and deception would come crumbling down all around them.

      • Sean

        You have not said one good idea except your outdated definitions.

        • Nate

          I already told you how money is made. The market selects a commodity to be used as money. Gold and silver tend to win out as the selected commodities.

          Also, the MARKET destroyed the gold standard?!? Are you crazy? Governments destroy gold standards so that they can deficit finance, inflate, wage wars, steal power from the people, etc.

          How is it that the greatest trade balances occur when gold standards are removed? Fiat money creates trade imbalances. Gold standards prevent them.

          • Sean

            The market selects a commodity to be used as money????? Is the market some sort of money god??? How does money get into consumers hands? You should learn about the abolishing of the gold standard 101.

          • Nate

            Whoops it should read “…greatest trade IMbalances…”

            Carry on.

          • Kevin

            Abolishing the Gold Standard 101? The Gold standard was abolished in each case so that our government could fund wars. They figured out that with the Gold Standard in place, they couldn’t trick the public into thinking they had more money than they actually had. One of the reason America remained the largest economy in the world after WWII was due the dollar becoming the reserve currency of the world. The dollar became the reserve currency of the world due to us being the only nation left on the Gold Standard after WWII.

            Its due to this that we could simply ignore basic economic principals. Billion Dollar trade Deficits, largest dept of all nations, 0% savings rate. As long as the world had faith in the dollar, and they would except holding trillions of them in our dept. We could simply ignore basic economic principals and trade them dollars for things of real value.

            Now Americans have come to believe that the impossible is possible. Most believe that the laws of economics simply don’t apply to us, (“Deficits don’t matter” Dick Chaney)and they have credited our past success not to logical reason, but to emotional narcissism. Our day of reckoning is coming, sadly its simply a matter of when. The world will lose faith in the dollar.

          • Sean

            actually, some countries gold standard were abolished because it started wars from unfair trade

        • longshotlouie

          ‘There is nothing so stupid as the educated man, if you get him off the thing he was educated in.’

          – Will Rogers

  • longshotlouie

    So, you want to know how bad this crash will get.
    These are pictures of the beginning.

    And for our resident jesters, here is some [sarc]’fear-mongering’ so they will have something else to blog about.

    • Alexi Botkin

      I don’t think all are views are that far apart. I’m not arguing that the situation isn’t bad or might not get catastrophic. What I am standing for is that we make decisions from a place of as you put it “…by studying the problem.” Is is scary? Hell yeah. but many things in life are and in the midst of the storm there is always space for many types of responses.

      I am arguing for a response/solution that isn’t made from the mindset that the world is about to end. We already have a government that sells its people on this very message. You know how much the government hates competition 🙂

      I work as a carpenter and a few years ago I used to cross paths with the Peak Oil crowd. And although I believe that Peak oil and the fallout of an economy based on cheap oil is a storm we are already in the midst of… the world didn’t come to an end as my peers told me it would when oil reached a $100 a barrel (then trading at $20.) Their arguments sounded good at the time and there is validity in them. But somewhere between getting prepared, being informed, and speculating about things that have not happened yet, is room for realizing that life goes on and rarely turns out to be as bad as we imagine.

      You have a lot of excitement for this subject, which I like. As I said I’m a carpenter, not an economist, I’d like to hear some of your ideas on how we can move forward and what type of system you think would work.

      Alexi Botkin

  • Alexi Botkin

    Look, it is what it is. The economy is in a terrible state and I being unemployed feel the burden of that greatly. And although I greatly respect Ron Paul and believe that many of his points are valid and with merit, I also believe you have to address the problem from where it is right now, not how it should have been. I don’t think the government, Bush and now Obama, are a bunch of idiots. I do think they are well aware of the crisis and are trying to SLOW the downfall by whatever means possible. Society is governed by perception, economies by confidence. If we let the troubled banks and other business’s fail right now and believe me I don’t like them one bit, it would be to hard a hit for the population. There would be anarchy in the streets, mass civil unrest. Desperate people do desperate things.

    To not call this present economic crisis a depression is just mincing semantics. Its obviously the worst economy any current working person has ever seen. The only thing the U.S. has going for it is that unlike the other depression this one is global. Its bad here and its bad in Singapore, Iceland, Japan, China, Dubai, Britain, to name a few. In a funny way that might be our saving grace. Nations are so economically intertwined these days that we are all now going down. China can’t call our debt in because hey, we can’t pay it and they want the money. Plus our super inflated ways are the reason for China’s super growth.

    I Hope a slow slide will allow the nation time to swallow and absorb the level of correction necessary. I do believe we can and will recover from this. We’ll learn a lot and that’s going to be really painful for many, but in the long run will serve us better. One of the fundamental things each and every one of us can do is to NOT go on a binge of fear and blame. Few good decisions have ever been made from that place.

    A smart guy once said ” within every crisis lies opportunity”

    Lets work towards finding those opportunities now…not from a place of fear mongering, but from a place of wanting to create something better. A small change in personal perception is a world of difference in material outcome.

    • Matt

      True dat, as Dr, Paul so eloquently said, awww wait too bad he said it 30 years ago, and was wrong then. Maybe he is totally right now, right? Hrm, sheeple…

      “Today, thanks to 67 years of central bank control over the money supply, we face an economic and political crisis greater than any we have faced before. We probably will see widespread civil disorder in the 1980s, as a direct result of our faltering economic system. The dollar has been damaged by decades of interventionism, and Congress has legitimized depreciation of the dollar and forced redistribution of wealth through corporate and social welfare schemes.”

      • longshotlouie

        You keep posting this same piece, and it still makes no point. It is obvious that you post it as propaganda, in hopes that those readers without knowledge of economics (or the ability to think critically) will discount Congressman Paul’s point. Guess what? On this site, very few of us are confused about what went wrong and what needs to be done.

        Though it is amusing to watch you play jester for the status-quo, you could get more milage by actually posting something of substance. Instead, we get a status-quo sheep referring to others as sheeple. Exactly what (or who) are you protecting? Are you of the ‘just have confidence and spend’ crowd?

        Rather than point out the obvious problems with your assertions, I’ll leave you with one word …..


        p.s. More and more of the voices of finance are coming to Congressman Paul and Peter Schiff for their take on what is coming because they have shown to be correct, even if their timing was not precise. Again, just think bubbles.

    • Kevin

      Your right, they may not be idiots, but I believe the rest of us are for thinking these hack have are best interest at heart. We live in a country were for years politicians have claimed to fight for small business and the little guy. So what do we do, we let them fail while at the same time force taxpayers to throw money at large banks. Dollars are resources, were you give one, you take from another. In the years ahead, we will see the demand for the same dollars these idiots hacks spent on bailouts desperately needed in other area’s. It will be a sad day when we wont be able to fund already promised medical care, or social security. “To large to fail” Arrogance politicians will indeed figure out that nothing is to large to fail, not even the Federal Government. This Keynesian approach to economics is like a bad plague that wont go away until we have reached the bottom. I believe that time is coming

      • Alexi Botkin

        Kevin…I agree on many of your points. But I believe Americans are very intelligent, unfortunately though the extreme success we have enjoyed in this country (compared to most countries worldwide) has for the most part kept a lid on the corruption that exists within our government. All governments worldwide have some level of corruption, some more extreme then others. I travel a lot and one of the fundamental differences I see between the U.S. people and people of other countries, is that in other countries the people KNOW their governments corrupt. Because they know this, they learn to work within the system of corruption. In the U.S. for various reasons that I could only guess at, people believe that for the most part the government is and tries to be honest or fair. And that the “scandals” we see are rogue in nature. I don’t think the scandals are rogue, that’s why they are so hard to prosecute. They are a piece of MANY other similar pieces that make up the system.

        I imagine it’s very hard to create a fair and just government. I mean this is the group that sets laws and policy for an entire nation. Every day layman like myself go out into the world and try to create circumstances that are favorable for ourselves. Its called personal success. It would be very hard to create a group of people who are setting the laws of the land to NOT create a system that favors them and their friends. Now I’m not saying you or I would knowingly fleece millions out of people’s savings…but the last few years in the real estate bubble does show how people lean to the side of success over common sense. If you could set policies that created money out of thin air, which by the way enriched many, many people all across the economic sector, you could also probably imagine how this system might get a bit out of control. We are all complicit in this system. We have personally gained a lot from it, although it pales drastically compared to those at the top of the pyramid.

        The good news is, is that power is always available to each and every one of us. “We the people” have the power to create and implement change. So within this “crisis” lies “opportunity.” We can take our blinders off now and realize “aha” it’s just like I suspected, these guys have been raiding my bank account! Awareness of what’s been going on is step 1, taking action to create change… is step 2. As things progressively get worse more and more people will begin to take their blinders off…this will be painful, but will be the seeds of change to come.

        I thank Ron Paul for taking a stand and helping us to see more clearly!!

    • longshotlouie

      Mr. Botkin,

      Dragging out the correction will just make it more painful for more people. History says so, even if your professor disagrees.

      When did facing reality, or ‘taking our medicine’ rather than dumping the burden onto the next few generations, become fear-mongering? Fear-mongering is attempting to create fear where it is unwarranted. If your not scared of what is coming, you are either naive, or suffering from NPD.

      Yes, Alexi …. the sky is falling. It is falling because you listened to politizombies while wearing your rose-colored glasses.

      When you find the time, please change our situation with some of your personal perception. You may change your own situation with your personal perception (or maybe just your perception of your situation), but you do not stop a global crisis that way.

      Solutions are found by studying the problem. Some want to call this fear-mongering.

  • Kevin V. L

    Ron Paul is right on the money and the collapse of the banking system, many companies, and many governmental units is coming! The day off reckoning is upon us! As a matter of fact when February is here the recession we are in will the fourth worst out of the last eighteen, and that includes the depression! A few more months and we will be the new depression heading for number one! What is absolutely sickening is the fact that the companies bailed out are still paying bonuses and lobbying expenses. Furthermore the States are delaying unemployment benefits, not able to handle their work loads, and states are even lying off staff that works in their unemployment division offices. Furthermore people are still losing their houses and even starving, while the government takes care of their partners in crimes. Bailing out the banks was supposed to free up credit, it has done exactly the opposite which was predicted! These bail out banks will not survive because off their off the balance assets, which have turned into a sewer of losses so big that our government will cause hyperinflation trying to save them. Estimates are that these financial derivatives around the World total 56 trillion and over 49 % of them reside with US banks! The hyperinflation that nobody is talking about will decimate our economy and knock out as the number one country in the world. GM, AIG, Chrysler, Citigroup, etc. that are getting money from our government need to file bankruptcy or be shut down by the government. Otherwise this will the largest depression ever known to man and taxpayers will be out trillions. What a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren! Horrible and unconscionable! FDR threw money at the problem which made things far worse, don’t we learn from history! I guess not Bush and Obama are making the same big mistakes, hurting the masses to protect the elite! Until they allow the cram down of mortgages in and outside of bankruptcy things in the housing industry will only get worse and hurt millions more! I will rename both parties in this country Demopulicans, different rhetoric, but the same results! I am now registering as an Independent! We need real change or the ultimate collapse will be upon us all!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Deb

    Why isn’t anyone listening to Ron Paul!? Because politics is now a media affair. The most handsome, the prettiest, the most charismatic politician wins, and Americans pray that someone will come in and rescue them from their own actions. We keep electing people who avoid the painful solutions in favor of popular pandering.

    I’m 47, and I’ve resigned myself to having to work until I fall over. Our dollar will be worthless, it’s impossible to purchase REAL gold, and even if we could – the U.S. Govt can seize it at any time, as they have done in the past.

    This country is sunk, for a very long time.

  • JackieDan

    Ron Paul is my president.