Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano

Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano discuss the bailouts, the stimulus, the crisis, the gold standard, the debt, individualism and collectivism on Napolitano’s show “Brian and the Judge”.

Show: Brian and the Judge
Channel: Fox News Radio
Date: 2/3/2009


Andrew Napolitano: There are very few people on the Congress of the United States of America today who take seriously and literally their oath to uphold the Constitution. There are very few people on the Congress of the United States today who understand the free market. My next guest is foremost among them, foremost among those who understand and respect that Congress has constitutional limits imposed upon it by the Constitution and that there are certain laws of nature and laws of economics that even the almighty Congress can’t change. Oh but we know they try, Congressman Ron Paul, don’t they?

Ron Paul: They sure do but they learn the hard lessons and then everybody suffers. I guess that’s what we’re going through right now.

Andrew Napolitano: It is what we’re going through right now. Welcome to Brian and The Judge, it’s such a pleasure Congressman. What would they say? I mean I tried to get Senator Ben Nelson to answer this a little while ago and he’s actually one of the more modern of the Democrats, as you know, about the moral and the legal and the constitutional justification for imposing crushing debt or inflation on a generation of Americans as yet unborn. Every time they do one of these stimuluses where they borrow money and then spend it, it doesn’t work and yet they keep doing it, oblivious to the fact that these debts will someday have to be paid back. How do they answer that?

Ron Paul: Well they never do because they only look at half of the question, maybe one fourth of the question because they look at it and they say, “Well look at what government can do and does do.” They take money and they build public housing and we give housing to poor people. But the problem is, the houses, no matter what they do, they usually fall down and it’s not a successful way to do it. But they try to get you to concentrate on the benefits even though they have to deceive you into believing they’re really doing good, but what they don’t want to talk about is where the money came from. And even today all this money that they’re pumping in say, the TARP fund that didn’t work, 350 billion dollars, you could say, “Well we shouldn’t do it because it didn’t work.” But we shouldn’t even start it.

Andrew Napolitano: Right.

Ron Paul: Because we took it from somebody, we stole it from somebody. It was, it is a moral issue because literally it’s theft. You and I can’t take the money, so why should we allow a bunch of politicians go and take money from productive individuals and pretend that we’re going to make the economy work again by giving it to non-productive individuals?

Andrew Napolitano: Here’s one of the most outrageous things done in the waning months of the Bush administration and I’m not talking about the Constitution or civil liberties strictly but I’m talking about stealing money. I mean the American public votes with its dollars not to buy clunkers from Detroit. The House of Representatives says, “Oh give Detroit 14 billion.” The Senate says, “Don’t give them anything.” The President, on his own, using the so-called TARP authority gives them 17 billion so the public which with its dollars doesn’t want to buy these cars, through the force of one man, the President, ends up owning stock in the companies that make them.

Ron Paul: Yeah, it’s actually probably a little worse than socialism when you have one man being able to do this but, you know, it’s subsidizing mistakes and mal-investments and debt and just digging that much deeper hole for ourselves.

Andrew Napolitano: What can you do, what can Republicans do and I tell you Congressman Paul I get callers everyday and e-mailers all during the day saying “What can I do? What can I do? What can I do? I voted for the Republican. I voted for the person that I thought most understood the Constitution. I voted for the person that I thought, we’re talking about their member of Congress or Senate, who most understood the free market and they’re robbing my children’s future. What can I do?”

Ron Paul: Well, it’s not easy because on the short term and the short run, you can only do that by voting and participating and running for office and influencing elections which is very, very frustrating and tedious. Long term and I’m sure you understand this very well, it’s an educational process. We need more people in this country believing in freedom, understanding how it works, understanding sound monetary policy, looking at our history, knowing what the Constitution says and why it’s important to follow it. If we don’t, you know, have a whole new generation of individuals understanding this and believing it, there will be nothing left of the Republic and there’s so little left of it right now and that’s what we’re on the verge of losing. So the long term is an educational fight, I think we are making some progress there but in the short term it’s awfully frustrating. But when you think of it, Obama wasn’t elected by very many people. You say, “Oh no he had 51% of the vote or whatever.” And I say “Well no. 80% of the people register, 60% of the people turn out and then he got half that vote.” So you’re down to about 30% or less of the American people who voted for him, so maybe 70% of the American people, you know for various reasons, did not support him. So there will always be this frustration and since they’re working with a failed system, this frustration, this anger is justified but we’re in a desperate need to educate a lot of people as to why we should believe in ourselves again.

Andrew Napolitano: You know better than probably anybody in the Congress that this is not a fight between Republicans and Democrats. This is a fight between collectivists, big government people in both parties, and individualists, those who believe that we have the right to choose our own destiny. Why is it that the big government types always win? Is it because government attracts big government types to government and you are the exception rather than the rule?

Ron Paul: Well they’ve been conditioned to believe this is right and proper, it’s also to challenge the system you’re challenging Santa Claus, but just think of how many people have been conditioned by our public school system and government schools. You know, we enter our colleges it’s all talk, they’re all taught, changing economics and we’re supposed to just go along but it’s hard to turn down a free gift. But what’s happening today is there is a healthy distrust and understanding that this government doesn’t work. Government can’t be the answer. But it is a struggle right now because they’re using the same arguments they used in the ’30s. Instead of recognizing that, although I do believe a large number of people are, instead of recognizing that they’re saying, “A-ha. Freedom doesn’t work. It was that laissez faire capitalism of Bush. It was deregulation of the markets.” And they go on and on and they just put another nail into the coffin of capitalism and the freedom and sound money. So we are in a desperate struggle to win this intellectual fight.

Andrew Napolitano: Should we return to the gold standard?

Ron Paul: Well, I never used those words “return to a gold standard”, I think our gold standard was deeply flawed. We should follow the Constitution which says that only gold and silver should be legal tender, but, you know they had a system where states abused the system. We got off the gold standard easy like in the Civil War and World War I.

Andrew Napolitano: Right.

Ron Paul: But to use commodities as money to get rid of the central bank to make sure we don’t have a Federal Reserve, don’t allow a secret banking system create money out of thin air to pay for all our debt, that is the real evil. It’s a moral evil, it’s an economic evil, it’s a constitutional evil and that’s why governments grow because of this monetary system. If you can’t print money out of thin air and you’re held down, governments then remain small. We have a more conservative foreign policy where we don’t police the world, we don’t have a welfare state and of course we’d have a much healthier economy.

Andrew Napolitano: Now what you just described is a government that both Republicans and Democrats have supported. Again I say the collectivists, those who believe the government is a greater good than the right of the individual versus individualists and over and over and over and over again this just keeps happening. That stimulus that the Congress voted, the sixteen gutted off per person didn’t affect us one wit, the 150 billion dollars stimulus after that didn’t affect us one wit, the 350 billion; do you as a member of Congress? Does Barrack Obama himself, as the new president, even know how Hank Paulson spent that money?

Ron Paul: You know I’m not even sure he knows.

Andrew Napolitano: You mean it’s worse than I thought?

Ron Paul: You know, you talk about the interests of big government and it’s pervasive in both parties. Just think of the court rulings where it says, “Well it’s in the states’ interests to rule this way.” It’s never in the interest of the individual who has rights or don’t have rights. It’s always, “Well this is an exception where we have to protect the states’ interests.” It always annoys me to no end when we see arguments and rulings in this direction. So the state has so-called rights that they’re protecting and of course as I understood that only individuals have rights and they’re not collective, they’re not by groups, and they’re not by individuals, they’re not by religion or sex. Every individual has rights and the states’ don’t have rights. The state is there to protect those rights of the individual.

Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Ron Paul, Republican of Texas. No one could say it more eloquently. It’s always a pleasure. You’re always welcome here.

Ron Paul: Thanks a lot.

Andrew Napolitano: Thank you.