Stimulus Bill: An Atrocious Way To Legislate

Date: 02/13/2009


Ron Paul: “I just left the House floor and I voted against the so-called stimulus package. Obviously, it’s not going to stimulate anything other than the growth of big government. It looks like it will not be difficult to pass, and the Democrats have the vote. One thing I could say about the Republicans, they have stuck together and they’ve given some good speeches. To me it’s just a shame they didn’t start talking like this and voting like this about eight years ago, they would be a lot better off. But anyway, they’re doing the right thing right now, they are opposing it and to me that’s very good.

But you know, one thing in this particular bill that nobody seems to be talking about is the increase in the national debt. The increase in the national debt by $789 billion – almost $1 trillion, and now the national debt limit is over $12 trillion. But this day and age, people are just passive spending this money and hardly even thinking about it. They deal with trillions like they used to deal with billions, so it means a lot of trouble down the road.

You know, the process of this legislation was a little bit more annoying than most of the things that we do here. This bill turned out to be over a thousand pages. My staff had no chance to read any of it until 12:30 last night. Which means that somebody would have to stay up all night reading it, which would’ve been impossible because there was no complete version, no printed version, there were only 4 hard copies, 5 hard copies available to the House. I couldn’t even have gotten a copy of it if I had wanted to.

And it’s still, some of the bill is still in handwriting. So this to me is just atrocious way to legislate. And, another part of the process that annoys me at knowing is that I know many of you have heard about what was in the bill, and I could get more information from the news than I could from my staff or from the staff of the committees. But what happens is, conservative staffers who know a little bit about a bill will leak a large portion of the bill to certain groups, the same way with the liberal democrats. There are only about 20 people in the whole Senate and the Congress who really deal and know anything that is going on, but outsiders actually get an opportunity to look at this before we get it.

So, it is an atrocious way to legislate, but I guess that’s appropriate, they’re doing atrocious legislating, and what they’re doing is to me atrocious: running up the debt like this, printing the money, and just placing this burden on the American people but quite frankly, this can not be helpful to the economy. Long term, this is doing exactly what they’ve been doing for many, many decades and the reason we’re in this mess. Someday though I think the American people will wake up out of necessity, because the bankruptcy of the country is at our doorstep and the destruction of the dollar is the thing that will finally wake us up.”

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  • Chris

    Thanks for the link Nate. I am all over the LVMises institute website. Love it. I will check out the link and the other sites as well. Look forward to discussion with yall on other videos.

  • Chris

    I certainly dont want to stop debating ideas but what I am deeply concerned about is the fact we keep arguing amongst each other and dividing within our camps. Now, admittedly, Im not as educated on monetary policy as most but I dont see logic in being indebted to anyone. My wife and I fell into that trap with college loans, credit cards and a car note but we are getting rid of that debt as fast as we can because we have no savings for a rainy day which is now knocking on our door. If we get laid off then we might just go under. If we can turn that around to having at least six-month’s savings then we could potentially weather the storm if it comes. To put that perspective on a national scale, its obvious the world is experiencing financial difficulty. Some governments are on the verge of collapse while others, maybe ours included, are not far behind. The biggest problem right now is confidence. The current monetary system we work with now relies too heavily on that factor alone. If countries or individual investors get nervous we start heading down. If too many get nervous at the same time, we could experience a recession. Having a gold backed currency would alleviate much of this problem. If you knew you had 100 dollars worth of gold waiting for you in a bank when you came in to redeem it with a 100 dollar note you would surely rest more confidently. You actually own something just like real estate. My point being, what is the glue that holds this system together? It is so fragile people get scared easily. Just look at the housing market here in the US. When all the foreclosures started popping up, it paralyzed the entire world. Thats just one sector of our economy! The feds kept driving interest rates lower and lower, people got into homes they couldnt afford, banks made risky loans to meet government quotas and then low and behold the fed raised interest rates and peoples ARMs went up, the loans couldnt be paid, money stopped flowing, and the financial system virtually stopped. Then the tax revenues tanked, our government went into panic and now this bill. Our state governments are suffering teffibly as well. The Fed Res gets to print more money and increase its power at the same time. Lucky them. By the way, am I mistaken that no matter what you call investments they all are based on the dollar? I mean if the dollar tanks, arent these savings worthless? Im more than willing to further my education on this. To Sean directly, I feel maybe you suffer from the same plight Ron Paul does. You try to explain such an extremely complex matter in a concise and limited time frame and find it difficult to fully express your point and views while trying not to drag it out into a long reply.

    • Nate


      You are obviously an intelligent and concerned person. You say you want to further your education on economics. Henry Hazlitt’s book Economics in One Lesson is consistently championed as an excellent starting point for just such an endevor. It is a fast, enjoyable, and valuable read. It was first published in the 40s but so much of it reads like it was written yesterday because the lesson is so timeless.

      Here is a link to the PDF. Just read the contents and your eyes will probably widen because the chapters are so often discussed at present. Read it and you know more about economics than most everyone you see on TV. Except, of course, for the austrian economists who appear.

      Also, check out,, and


  • Sean

    its sad because there are groups like this who are trying to stand up and fight for this greater cause and are just unheard.

  • Sean

    Kennedy in the sixties started the free trade and ended protectionism. Which is what made America become the wealthiest country in the world. We were in protectionists from Licoln to Kennedy.. Now, obserb this chart..

    • Sean

      it was actually in the seventies is when we got rid of protectionism.. Now look at this chart again and see where the “liberalized” world trade organization was created in 1995.

  • Chris

    Wow its not hard to get off topic is it? This particular thread is to discuss this particular topic. Fact is our Federal Government is in debt. Debt is not good for anyone. Borrower is slave to the lender. This government doesnt have the money on hand (unless it prints or borrows more) to pay the debt we have. To think its good thing for our Government to have massive debt, as dicussed in other threads, is absolutely insane. Since we went off the gold standard, the government has not balanced a single budget therefor contributing yearly more debt. Our government is not a business. It should only spend the tax revenues it brings in. The point of it all is the government has no right to take our tax dollars and try to invest in segments of the economy it thinks will pay off later. This is the job of the free market. The free market is not some abstract concept. It is US the American people coming together to decide what WE want to buy and sell when we want to buy and sell. When the government takes over the matter, THEY decide BY LAW who gets to buy and sell under THEIR terms not OURS. The economy is in this hole due to LEGISLATION (LAW) forcing businesses to do business a certain way that they feel is right. The vast majority of our so called representatives are heavily influenced by lobbyists. When a law is written, it ALWAYS favors someone over another. This is not free and it is never fair. They try to give us the benevolent approach to calm our fears saying they are protecting “us” from “them” though they never define who is who. When will we get that they are protected themselves from us? Think about it.

    • Hans

      Well said Chris. Regardless how you see it, just remember everyone, we’re on the same side. If you feel strongly enough about the “change” this country truly does need, then worry about specifics later. Realize NOW that we’re on the same side, as we need as much support as we can get. Don’t get pulled off track over a worthless argument. Allow people to give their opinions, because honestly, it’s not like those opinions are actually going through Congress. It’s thoughts, keep them coming, we can use as many ideas as possible, to truly choose the best of them all to get the results this country needs. Stop the arguing… We’re on the SAME team. And if we’re not, then don’t bother posting here because we’re not interested in the close-mindedness of people’s narrows views. We need CHANGE, REAL change. Let’s work for that goal. Together would be better than individually, because we need to organize and work together to make any changes at all.

      • Sean

        I’m sorry, we just disagree on monetary policies. nate doesn’t understand that we spend too much money on junk and oil overseas and fiat is the only flexible currency that can be used to support our habbit.. Nate thinks we should get off a fiat currency so we can spend away all our money. I think we should raise tarrifs so we can transform our way back to a balanced budget so we can standarize our money, but i’ve been called a hundred names from nate, so it keeps me wanting to prove him wrong.. He doesn’t read and has nothing to back up his arguments. The longer we debate, the more i read, the more proof i have to back up my answer, the more i understand it.. He’s just digging himself in a deep hole.

        • Nate

          I have not called you a single name nor employed any ad homs. You, however, have strawmanned the arguments I present and have now attacked my character. Your arguments are backed up by centuries of failed policies. Mine are supported by the champions of economic liberty. How about you respond to Chris’ post and tell us again your thoughts on the national debt?

          Chris and Hans,

          We can’t just leave nonsensical posts uncontested. It is obvious that all who post here are not on the same side when it comes to economics. But yes, it would be best to stay on topic. I think everyone can agree that this was indeed “an atrocious way to legislate” so let’s discuss the causes and effects of the national debt.

          • Sean

            We borrow money to suppor our habbits.

          • Sean

            do you agree with me that fiat is a flexible currency and standardize money is not?

          • Nate

            Again, there are three types of money. Commodity, certificate, and fiat. There is no “standardized money”. You have to start using the correct terminology if I am to understand your questions.

            If by “flexible” you mean “most easily manipulated and inflated”, then yes fiat money is indeed the most flexible. This is not a good thing. Fiat money is inherently destabilizing and evil.

    • Sean

      Well chris, i’m trying to explain why the government is so large and the national debt is so high. You have to understand why to understand how we can fix it. Just talking about large government and trying to bring down the financial system isn’t going to do a damn thing.

      • Nate

        Tell us why the government is so large again…is it because of our addiction to oil and foreign products?

        Also, tell us your thoughts on the national debt. In previous posts you something like “it’s a good thing, it’s an investment”.

        One more thing, do you support or oppose the bailouts?

        • Sean

          you are so annoying. i’m done talking to you. i don’t feel like explaining to you what bonds are. Just because you don’t have a bank account and don’t understand bonds doesn’t mean i have to hold your hand and explain it over and over and over again to you along with the rest of this. i’ve got proof backing up my statements, you don’t. Why don’t you go educate yourself. Go to college for gods sake

          • Nate

            Again with the ad homs. I went to college and have a bank account but both those facts are completely irrelevant. Why are you even bringing up bonds? I know what they are (and I assume you are talking about government bonds) but we don’t need to talk about them in order to determine if, IN PRINCIPLE, the national debt is a good thing or a bad thing.

            The questions are very simple. Here they are again:

            Is the national debt a good thing or a bad thing?

            Why is the US government so big? Is it because of our addiction to oil and foreign products?

            Do you support or oppose the bailouts?

            I don’t see how these could possibly be annoying or difficult to answer.

          • Nate D

            It is about time! Shut up already. We are tired of seeing you BS posts.

            Austrian Economics for the win.

          • Sean

            It depends on how fast the deficit rises.. The national deficit is savings bonds. It is natural for the deficit to go up as more people put money into their savings. But when we have to sell bonds overseas at the rate we are going, it can be harmful to our exchange rates which is what devalues the dollar. So the way we work it today is a bad thing.
            The reason why the government has gotten so big and has to borrow so much money is because we spend so much overseas.. There has to be a certain amount of money in circulation. This is represented with figures like M0, M1 etc.. The federal reserve balances the amount in circulation. When we spend so much money overseas, it has to be replaced. If the there is not enough commercial bank money created, than there is “central bank money” or “foreign debt” created, which is given to the treasury to disperse among the economy.
            The reason why we have to borrow so much money is because of our spending habbits overseas.. Nixon warned us about spending money over seas in his speech about removing the gold standard. He said we have to fix that before anything and he raised tarrifs.. That is our problem, we can’t replace the money spent over sea’s unless we borrow and print more. That is why they call it a flexible currency. It has no adherent value, but its the only system of money that can function with trade imbalances.

            I believe that a true free market economy has fair trade, not free trade. If all of our jobs have been sent over sea’s with unfair domestic taxation, than using money to create green jobs to promote american wealth and to end our dependency on oil is probably not just the most moral thing to do but the smartest thing to do economicly to get us away from our addition to spending money over seas so we could eventually build an economy fit to handle whatever system of money you would wish to have.

          • Nate

            And your views on the bailouts?

  • Nate D

    It’s sad it has to come this for people to wake up.

    • Lisa M.

      Who says this is waking people up? I don’t see masses of frustrated taxpayers banging down the door to the White House… I think most people don’t know and don’t care about just how horribly the government is handling the situation. They are just happy that the government is trying to do something – they couldn’t care less what is actually done. It makes me sad to see the majority of the American people so passive in the face of such terrible behavior.

      • Sean

        The major problem comes from our addiction to oil and foreign goods.. To really fix our problem, we would have to abondon the free trade system and lower our standards of living. That is something nobody wants give up.

        • Sean

          But really, if we raised tarrifs we could lower taxes. Foreign goods would be more expensive but we would be buying less and saving more money. That and domestic manufactoring could stand a chance in the free market. Free trade contradicts itself because its free to foreigners but expensive to tax paying industries in america.

          • Nate

            Again you make no sense. Can you go one post without contradicting yourself? Tariffs are taxes! So what you’re saying is, if we tax more (on imports) we can tax less (in other areas). No kidding? Tariffs and protectionism in general cause prices to increase. How is this supposed to help the average american struggling to get by?

            Read Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson and you’ll start to understand the error in your thinking.

            Also, we don’t have and never had free trade.

          • Sean

            tarrifs are taxes to different countries, if we tax them more, than we can tax our own country less. That would make sense to do that. Raising the prices on foreign goods would reduce foreign spending and increase investments, but who knows what your for. One min your for spending, one minute your against spending. You dont know what your talking about…

            Hazlitt’s economic lesson one- the art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups…

            I’m saying to reduce spending by raising tarrifs. That would help us in the long run.

          • Sean

            “The GOP under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush abandoned the protectionist ideology, and came out against quotas and in favor of the GATT/WTO policy of minimal economic barriers to global trade. Free trade with Canada came about as a result of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1987, which led in 1994 to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)”

          • Sean

            again, you say that i make no sense, but again i correct you without you having a shred of evidence to back up your wild assumptions.

          • Sean

            “Hazlitt’s economic lesson one- the art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups… ” wiki

            “Free trade cheapens the product by cheapening the producer. Protection cheapens the product by elevating the producer. Under free trade the trader is the master and the producer the slave. Protection is but the law of nature, the law of self-preservation, of self-development, of securing the highest and best destiny of the race of man.” – Abraham Lincoln

          • Nate

            Ugh…raising tariffs won’t reduce spending. It will reduce SAVINGS. Why? Because the tax will be passed on to the consumer. Prices will go up. People won’t be able to save because they won’t have any money left over because things will get so expensive as a result of the stupid government interventions into the economy. What happens when things get too expensive and governments have a penchant for intervention? They start imposing price controls. What happens as a result of price controls? Shortages, suffering, starvation, etc. I’m still optimistic this won’t happen and even if it does, it’ll probably be years down the road. That doesn’t bring me much comfort though.

            Perhaps you should actually read the book rather than just scoping it out on wikipedia. That way, you’ll be on your way to understanding tariffs and economics in general.

            Go here and you can read the book free of charge online Chapter 9 is the chapter on tariffs. Enjoy.

          • Sean

            What? the prices of foreign goods that aren’t necessities will go up and our taxes would decrease. We would recieve more money for our labor and if we choose to buy a new dlp tv or whatever, it would come at a higher cost. What do you think ron paul means when he talks about living beyond our means? If you want to get rid of the fiat dollar, we would first have to stop living beyond our means… I understand the opposing arguments on tarrifs, but lower tarrifs 1. is immoral because it promotes cheap labor. 2. destroys domestic production, which is what creates real wealth.

          • Sean

            Why don’t you read any book on 21 century economics and world trade…

            The United States, the European Union, and the “Globalization” of World Trade: Allies or Adversaries?

    • Nate D

      It hasn’t completely collapsed yet. I’m just saying that it has to come to a complete failure before the masses wake up.

  • Ron

    Join the Campaign to Cancel the Washington National Debt By Constitutional Amendment

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  • I couldn’t agree more with you Hans, this is beyond unbelievable. We almost need to invent some new words for how awful this all is. Yet, the supposed leaders of this country continue serenely pushing forward, signing a bill that we learn from Dr. Paul they have not even READ!!!! Wow!!! The horrific thing about all of this is it is so insidious, so underhanded, and almost invisible in the way that our money and savings become eroded, stolen, and ruined, because we can’t see it happening. I don’t see them printing new money like there’s not tomorrow, yet I read that they are. That means my money in the bank is becoming worth less, or worthless, day by day! Yeow!! Honestly, these people ARE CROOKS who are in charge. They are determined to make things worse no matter who is in charge, and it is the same horrible policies from money to foreigh affairs to social programs: more, more, more! To me Dr. Paul is the quintessential Republican, and the reason I am a republican. But apparently I should change parties to become a Libertarian, because republicans no longer stand up for what is right.

  • Hans

    I love the fact that the older generations are taking loans out on my generation and even those after me to pull themselves through their own mistakes. Why the hell do I have to pay for their failure to follow the law? If you ask me, the system is no longer a system, but a tool to promote the “wealth” and comfort of those in power. We’re just the slaves to their “labor.”

    Be afraid. We need to revolt this “system” and demand fair treatment and demand that our futures are filled with much more then trillions in debt and lazy scum to support. If you have your hand out to receive something for nothing, you deserve less.

  • Im very much against this stimulus, haven’t the banks and the the company’s in debt had enough money? Then the people ourselves gets 400 each for this crap. This is tottal crap and i wish the people ourselves can do something about this. THIS HAS TO STOP, the future is slowly dieing away.

  • ChrisO

    Not much to add here.  A few questions though.  He thinks people will eventually realize what has gone wrong when the dollar collapses.  Well, when it collapses what will we do?  We can then blame whoever we want to but that wont matter much if we are in ruin.  Is it too late?  Can we manage to undo this disaster later? Republican leaders truly need to grow a back bone and fight tooth and nail to bring back conservatism.  They need to find as many media outlets as they can and stick their faces in front of the camera and let everyone know where we are headed.  And while im thinking about it, I sure hope those three Republican Senators who voted for the bill get the boot in their next election.  THREE!!!  Thank you so much for your liberalism.  They could have possibly kept this bill from becoming law but they got scared they would lose their seat I guess.  They are from more left leaning states if Im not mistaken.  Before someone calls me on it, let me say I realize this has been building for many years and these three Republicrats are not the only ones to blame for this. Well…good luck to all……..yep.