- Change our foreign policy so that we can bring our troops home
- Get back to where the budget is in order
- Abolish the income tax and lower taxes dramatically
- Abolish the Federal Reserve
Source: CNN Money
Poppy Harlow: A former presidential candidate and a Republican congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, has some serious opinions about the economy and just how it should be handled. He even says we’re doing just what Osama Bin Laden wanted us to do. Let’s bring him in to talk about that. Congressman, thanks for being here, I appreciate it. Well right, let’s just address that off the bat. We are handling our economy like Osama Bin Laden would like us to?
Ron Paul: Yes, he actually said it that he would like to drag us into a war in the Middle East. That he was pleasantly surprised that we did as much as we did after 9/11, because his plan is to bog us down and bankrupt our country and diminish our morale and he’s doing exactly the same thing because we were his ally when he used the same strategy against the Soviets. So, this is not strange, we should easily understand it, and he’s doing a very good job. We are bankrupt and he is participating in it and laughing at us.
Poppy Harlow: You know what, whether you are in favor or not in favor of big government, one thing is certain, this country is bleeding jobs. On Monday, more than 70,000 job cuts announced, more than 200,000 job cuts announced so far this year alone in just the past couple of weeks, and pretty much everyone would argue you’ve got to spend to create jobs, so, there really is a divide there. Are you proposing that we not spend in order to create jobs?
Ron Paul: Private sector should spend the money. What you’re saying the problems are getting worse and we’ve been spending a whole year spending and inflating and doing everything, so it’s getting worse, that’s pretty good evidence that it’s not a good idea. Sure you need more spending, but you need the private sector to spend it. When the government spends it, they take the money from a productive area of the economy and they put it into a non-productive area.
Poppy Harlow: Congressman, the private sector doesn’t have the money to spend right now.
Ron Paul: I don’t think that’s exactly right, there’s a lot of money there, there’s a lot of cash out there. How much money do you think is in the bond market? There’s a bubble in the bond market and if they knew assets were properly priced, if the government hadn’t gotten involved and artificially raised the price of these liquid assets, and that’s why that first 350 billion dollars fail. So you want the market to price all these assets and somebody’s going to come in. That’s why you have to have bankruptcy and liquidation of debt. You need to get rid of the mistakes, the faster you do that the better it is for us, and all were doing is prolonging the agony and we’re treating the symptoms rather than the cause.
Poppy Harlow: It sounds like you’re calling for a more of a laissez faire approach, more hands off approach by the government. But I have to say that most people argue that the way we got into this was through too much deregulation, not enough oversight when you look at Fanny and Freddy for example. But you’re suggesting essentially the same thing continuant, when it didn’t work?
Ron Paul: Well most of the people do say that laissez faire got us into this, but most of those people are wrong because we haven’t had laissez faire, it’s been a long, long time. We have interventionism, we have corporatism, we have subsidies of corporation. We have over-regulation, over-taxation, we have a financial system based on a fiat dollar standard that creates the bubble. We are so far and have been so far from capitalism, it’s unbelievable. When we had a crisis with Enron, what did we do? We passed Sarbanes-Oxley and that was by the Conservatives, so to say that this had something to do with the failure of capitalism, I don’t buy into that. I think it’s completely wrong and we have to refute that idea.
Poppy Harlow: Let’s focus on solutions, Congressman. What would you do if you were President Obama and his economic team? We have a new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, confirmed on Monday night. What should be the first 1, 2, 3 that they really need to do to tackle this economy?
Ron Paul: I would say, change our foreign policy so that we can bring our troops home, save hundreds of billions of dollars, get back to where the budget is in order, and then lower taxes dramatically.
Poppy Harlow: So pulling out of Iraq is going to solve our economic crisis right now?
Ron Paul: Well, it helped get us into it. All empires end with over-extension of their military powers around the world just as the Soviets failed. That is why we’re failing and that of course is why Bin Laden likes us to be over there. Yes, you have to change that, you can’t do it continuously, so what we want to do is restore confidence, but right now there is no confidence, because we’re doing exactly the same thing. When we get into trouble we add regulations, we add spending, we add borrowing, we add inflation; all the things that gave us our problems to begin with. So you can’t solve the problems with doing the same thing over and over again. We have to believe in ourselves, we have to believe in freedom, we have to believe in sound money. We have to believe once again we don’t even need a Federal Reserve system, we don’t need an income tax; believe me that will restore confidence. Just think, if tomorrow everybody knew they didn’t have to pay income tax anymore do you think they would go back to spending? They would have so much more money to spend, but you can’t do that unless you cut this wasteful government spending. Government spends money only by taking it from productive resources.
Poppy Harlow: Alright, let’s end on this quickly congressman; if you were asked to vote on that $825 billion dollar stimulus package what column would you be in, yay or nay?
Ron Paul: That would be an easy one. I wouldn’t be able to vote for that kind of money.
Poppy Harlow: I think I could have guessed that one. Thanks for your time, we appreciate it.
Ron Paul: Thank you.