Ron Paul was interviewed on CNN’s American Morning today. He provides his comments about the stimulus package, the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure, and the Republican failure to reverse the spending bubble when they were in power.
Show: American Morning
Kiran Chetry: You say that the legislative process around this bill was quote “atrocious.” President Obama, when he was a candidate on the trail, pledged that public would have 5 days to review legislation online before he signed it, and of course as we all know this bill was more than a thousand pages long. You said your staff did not have a chance to read any of it until after midnight the night before and that there were only 5 hard copies available? What was going on?
Ron Paul: There were 5 copies available to the House, I think 5 to the Senate, and that wasn’t available until the House opened at noontime. So no, essentially it was not available to us and who could stay up all night and read a thousand pages? So obviously it was done, you know, like business as usual. Things have been going on like this for a long time but this one was a little bit worse and it was bigger than usual, so it was not a very good day for America.
Kiran Chetry: So besides the problems that you have with how it went down, you also have major policy concerns and differences with what you think the stimulus will do. You say that you just don’t think it’s going to stimulate the economy, that it’s going to actually prolong the agony. Why do you feel that way?
Ron Paul: Well, you know this is the whole thing, it was a bad process but if you come to the conclusion that it’s a negative, it’s really a sad day. Because we got into our mess by spending too much money, running up too much debt and printing too much money, and that’s exactly what we’re doing: we’re printing money and we’re running up debt. This bill was equivalent to what we had spent prior to 1980; the national debt was 800 billion dollars in 1980. We had to raise the national debt this time with this bill by another nearly 800 billion dollars. So, it is a process that will delay the recovery, we won’t have the correction and we will drive ourselves into depression the way we’re going. So that is our real problem. And unfortunately…
Kiran Chetry: Well, I want to ask you a couple of things. Okay, there’s stimulus in the tax credits, right? Because when people get to keep a little bit more of their own money they spend it.
Ron Paul: Right.
Kiran Chetry: A third of this is tax cuts.
Ron Paul: Yes. If that was the only thing we were doing, that would be fine. But you really should do that with cutting spending too, I mean just to explode the deficit. This has been the theory by supply siders for a good many decades and they’ve compounded our problems by setting the stage for conservatives running up the debt. So you cut taxes, I always vote to cut taxes, but I always vote to cut the spending too and I think the most vulnerable place to cut spending would be overseas spending. To run our empire we spend a trillion dollars a year. We need to cut spending and cut taxes and get the control of the money back into the hands of the people and out of the control of the Congress, out of the control of the Federal Reserve System, then we will have a recovery.
Kiran Chetry: I want to ask you about this though; what about the fact that we do have a crumbling infrastructure in many places and that you know, if they’re going to spend this type of money, at least spend it on something that will; A. I mean they talk about shovel-ready projects, put some people back to work now and B. Make things better for the future.
Ron Paul: Yeah it wouldn’t be the perfect way to do it under our Constitutional system but under today’s conditions if you cut you know, all these building projects over in Iraq and around the world, yes bring that money home, save some of it, put against the deficit and use it in the infrastructure. That would be okay as an interim. Just think of how many bridges we’ve pay to blow up around the world then we go and we pay to rebuild them and the money gets lost in corruption overseas. So I would say yes, we could have some infrastructure rebuilt in this country, but the rate we’re going we’re just throwing more money at it. We don’t change any policies, whether it’s the welfare policy or it’s the warfare policy, the policies always remain the same with either parties in power, and right now Republicans are doing a much better job. But all I can say is where were we for the past 8 years? We contributed to this problem, and that’s why our credibility is low, but what we need to do is just look to the Constitution for all the rules, and we will come up with all the answers that we needed.