Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, John Stossel on Freedom Watch

This Wednesday, Ron Paul joined Peter Schiff, John Stossel, Gerald Celente and Tom Woods on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s online show “Freedom Watch” in a refreshing discussion about the latest economic and political developments.

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Channel: Fox News Strategy Room (online only)
Show: Freedom Watch
Host: Judge Andrew Napolitano
Date: 4/1/2009

Transcript of Ron Paul’s appearance:

Judge Napolitano: Congressman Ron Paul joins us now. Congressman Paul, welcome back to Freedom Watch.

Ron Paul: Thank you. Nice to be with you.

Judge Napolitano: Now, Gerry Celente and John Stossel are here as well. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but when I said goodbye to you on Friday night at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis where a thousand people, each of whom were trying to shake your hand or somehow touch you, I went to bed and flew home at 6 o’clock in the morning.

On Sunday night of that weekend, one of the folks that works for the Campaign for Liberty was detained by the Transportation Safety Administration, it’s just a name, by the way, Safety, for 30 minutes, in which they wanted to know who he worked for, what were the bumper stickers doing in his bag, how much cash was there, where did cash come from, and what was he going to do with it? That was Steve Bierfeldt whom I know you know and he was just on (Weather Soon).

Ron Paul: Right.

Judge Napolitano: Unfortunately for the government, and fortunately for freedom, he had one of those fancy new push button or touch phones that when he tapped his chest, the phone recorded everything.

How far is the TSA going to go? How far is the Federal government going to go if they can ask people questions about things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the safe passage on the plane?

Ron Paul: Well, they’re going to go as far as they’re allowed to go. If we allow them to go, they’re going to keep using their powers and they will extend their powers. I think this makes a very good point, that safety on airplanes should be a private matter.

I think the fact that we had trouble on 9/11 was the fact that we depended on the government. We weren’t allowed to have guns, the airlines weren’t responsible for our safety, and we ended up with a mess.

And yet today, instead of going in the direction of putting all the responsibility on the airlines, who should ask the questions and we should go under their conditions and they should make us safe.

If they can make carrying money across the city in an armored truck safe, why can’t they be responsible? So once you get all these agencies… how many agencies were involved? Probably local police, the TSA, the FBI, and they were going down to and check the DEA and everybody else being involved, so it’s totally out of control, and it raises questions about taxes; they want to collect taxes, they want to look for drug dealers, and I think the bottom of the list, I think they have not that much concern about safety. If they did, they would listen to how people could be made safe without taking away all of our freedoms.

Judge Napolitano: I just pointed out here before you came on with us, they could legitimately ask about weapons or things that could harm anyone, but how can the possession of cash possibly pose a danger to the other passengers on that plane? And why were they threatening to bring Steve to the DEA, to the Drug Enforcement Administration, if there wasn’t a hint or whiff or scintilla of the violation of any drug laws? And when he said to them, “Sir, am I legally required to answer these questions?” Congressman, they could not answer him.

Ron Paul: Right. And, you know, this shows you the danger of profiling. Maybe he was profiled because he had a Ron Paul bumper sticker. You know, I’ve been a little bit disappointed because I have worked with the ACLU on various privacy issues, but we haven’t heard too much. I don’t know if you’ve heard anything from them on this issue, but it seems to me that the whole issue is profiling and screening people and prejudging people and whether this was the case with Steve or not, I don’t know, but this whole episode out there with the Missouri Police is something that we should be concerned about and hopefully we can continue to build a coalition with principled liberals, as well as principled constitutionalists and make sure we put reins on our government because you asked me how far they will go. They’re going to go as far as they can unless the people stand up and say we’ve had enough and we’re not going to put up with it anymore.

Judge Napolitano: Let’s switch to the G20, what do you think the President’s goals are in London this week, and what do you fear he might do?

Ron Paul: Well, he’s very popular. Nobody else seems to be very popular over there. What I’m so fearful about was what I saw in the demonstrations, about the tens of thousands of people who are very angry.

They should be angry, rightfully so, but I’m afraid their anger is misdirected because they’re blaming freedom and the lack of regulations, and the countries of Europe, as well as Obama, they think that they can compensate for inflation, borrowing and spending, and big government, all of the mistakes they made, they can compensate by just writing more regulations.

But this time, they’re going to have international force and behind the scenes, I’m quite convinced they’re talking about what will replace the dollar reserve standard. Because the dollar reserve standard financial system has come to an end, and they themselves don’t know what it is going to be replaced with.

But fortunately for us, what they’re going to do is not easily done. The only easy thing to do to reassure, to bring people back to being confident once again is to have money of real value. So maybe we are on the verge of a grand debate on the monetary issue, but we have a long way to go before we can predict victory.

Judge Napolitano: What do you think the President wants to accomplish there? When Brown was here… by the way, Peter Schiff just joins us by phone.

Peter, Congressman Ron Paul is on from the Capitol Rotunda, Gerry Celente and John Stossel, whom you know well are here in the studio with me at Judge Napolitano.

I know you’re having a crazy day and we appreciate you joining us. Well, the most fearful phrase I heard, in fact I thought of Stossel when I heard this, was when Gordon Brown addressed the Joint Session of Congress two weeks ago and he said, “I’m hopeful for a global New Deal.”

And what under the sun was he talking about, Congressman Paul? What do you fear is the worst that can come out of the G20 from the standpoint of freedom in America?

Ron Paul: Well, internationally, I was seeing all regulations dealing with the financial markets and then once again, internationally, a new reserve standard, and then they still are under the belief that if they create money, they create wealth, because we ourselves have been living that way for a long time, not realizing all we were doing was building up debt. So they think if they all get together and endorse some standard, they can create SDRs, Special Drawing Rights, out of the clear blue and they can create wealth and centralize power worldwide. So yes, I think those statements of Brown really coincide with what Obama would like to do, and since Obama is a very, very popular person, not only here but around the world, he would play a key role in this. It’s just tragic that they don’t believe in freedom anymore, and they don’t trust the system and that they have fallen into the trap that we’ve had too much freedom, too much capitalism, and that all we need is more government and we have to sacrifice more of our liberties. It’s a very dangerous situation that we’re in, but in the same sense at the same time, I sense that there’s a lot of people in this country who are waking up, but right now, I think we still are in the minority, but our ideas have to get out there if we expect to live in a free country for very much longer.

Judge Napolitano: Peter Schiff, Freedom Watch gets a lot of e-mails. The theme of a lot of them is the Chinese premier whispering in the President’s ear, “We don’t want to buy any more of your bonds. We want to buy something with security.” In other words, are the Chinese going to demand real estate or something to back up the loans that they’re giving to the Treasury Department?

Peter Schiff: I don’t know ultimately what they’re going to do. I think the best thing for China would be to simply stop buying our bonds, period. I mean they don’t even have to demand anything. They just need to stop lending us money. We can’t pay it back. I mean a lot of people think that they’re stuck, that they loaned us so much money, that they have no choice but to keep lending, but that’s just not true.

Sure, they’ve loaned us a trillion, but they buy about 50 percent of our bonds, which means if we’re going to run a 2 trillion dollar deficit this year, we’ve got China penciled in for a trillion of it, and who knows who we’re going to pencil in for the year after that and the year after that.

I mean China could be staring at a problem with 5 or 10 trillion, so better to bite the bullet now, take the loss on their trillion, spend their dollars now while they can, buy gold, buy other currencies, buy real assets, just get rid of them. They don’t have to, you know, beg the rest of the G20 for permission to look for another reserve. They don’t have to ask Washington’s permission for anything. China calls the shots in this relationship, not us.

Judge Napolitano: You don’t expect the President of the United States, Congressman Paul, to accept Peter Schiff’s advice, do you?

Ron Paul: Not likely. I don’t think he will. What worries me is I consider Obama as a very smart person, and yet, always I wanted to try to give my opposition, my intellectual opposition, the benefit of doubt and say they’re well intentioned. But if he’s very, very intelligent and he’s in the seat of power, but he doesn’t seem to be receptive to our ideas and he doesn’t have Peter Schiff in his administration, what are they up to?

I think they honestly believe that world government is the way to go and they do not understand or care for the protection of personal liberty.

Peter Schiff: You know, I’m against all forms of bailout. I’m against the US government bailing out private companies and I’m against foreign governments bailing out our government, especially when we take the bailout money we get from China and we use it to bail out companies that should fail.

We use it to expand the size of government. We use it to stimulate consumption. We’re doing all the wrong things with the money that China is lending us. Everybody would be better off if the Chinese just walk away from this relationship.

Judge Napolitano: And Congressman…

Peter Schiff: In the short run, you know, it will hurt the US because we have to come to grips with our problems. But it’s better to face our problems, even on a rough.

Judge Napolitano: Congressman Paul, isn’t it even worse than Peter Schiff has painted it, doesn’t our obligation to the Chinese government affect the manner in which we would pressure them with respect to human rights, the manner in which we would treat them when they taunt our military in international waters, the diplomacy that Secretary of State Clinton engages in, doesn’t she have to have foremost in her mind, the need that “these guys still have to buy our bonds. I better treat them nicely.”

Ron Paul: Well, no, I think they’re in the driver’s seat and I do think they’re in a bit of a bind. They do think if they immediately quit buying any more bonds, it will hurt the dollar and I think they stand to lose.

But what happens when somebody else precipitates the crisis and they want to get out in a hurry. And in the end stages of a dollar or currency crisis it goes very, very rapidly. Just as our financial system collapsed rapidly, the dollar or any currency can collapse rather quickly and it’s been around this foreign indebtedness. It is the current account deficit that continues to build our foreign debt and it cannot last. And that’s one thing generally that liberal and conservative economists have agreed on over the years.

So I think they’re in a bit of a bind, but I think it makes us tread softly as well. We are not going to be as persistent as we might be with other countries, with China.

Judge Napolitano: Congressman Ron Paul, it’s always a pleasure. Until next Wednesday on Freedom Watch. Thanks very much, sir.

Ron Paul: Thank you.


  • Bill

    Peter Schiff never ceases to amaze me with his economic and political insights. I just read this article about the Chinese doing currency swaps with their major trading partners in order to begin trading in yuan instead of dollars…scary news for the value of the dollar! Here is the article China trade

  • Jeff Jefferson

    I have read that Thomas Jefferson used the same rule of thumb to predict what the British would do. He would just think of what the most moral and right course of action would be, and the English would do the opposite.

  • Great show. I got a chuckle from Tom Woods:

    “I actually considered writing a book, on how to learn basic economics by reading what the government tells you and then believing the exact opposite. “