Show: American Morning
Commentator: What would happen if Texas filed for a divorce from the United States? Congressman Ron Paul thinks the idea of Texas leaving the Union should be taken seriously. He will tell us why when we talk to him live, coming up. It’s 23 minutes now after the hour.
Kiran Chetry: Well, for 10 years Texas was a sovereign territory before joining the United States in 1845. It’s the stuff of legend that the lone star state could end its ties with the U.S. if its constituents want it that way. Well, recently Texas governor Rick Perry, who has been highly critical of President Obama’s stimulus package, raised that possibility that his state may one day secede from the union.
Rick Perry: We got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it, but if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what might come out of that.
Kiran Chetry: Well, the governor isn’t the only one suggesting secession isn’t out of the realms. Joining me now is Texas Congressman Ron Paul who’s live this morning in Winston, Salem, North Carolina. Thanks for being with us, Congressman Paul.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Kiran Chetry: So how serious is this secession talk?
Ron Paul: I don’t think it’s very serious. I don’t think anybody called for secession, I don’t think the governor called for it. But he brings up an important issue and I think the biggest surprise to me was the outrage expressed by an individual that even thinks along these lines because I heard people say, “Well, this was treasonous and this was un-American”. But don’t they remember how we came into our being? We used secession. We seceeded from England. So it’s a very good principle. It’s a principle of a free society and it’s a shame we don’t have it anymore.
I argue that if we had the principle of secession our federal government wouldn’t be as intrusive into our state of affairs. That would be very good. We as a nation have endorsed secession all along. I mean, think of all the secession of the countries and the republics from the Soviet system. We were delighted, we loved it. And yet we get hysterical over this. Just because people want to debate and defend the principle of secession that doesn’t mean that they’re calling for secession. I think it’s that restraining element of secession that would keep the federal government from doing so much. In our early history, they accepted the principle of secession all along.
Kiran Chetry: And you said “it’s very American to talk about cession, it’s how we came into being. 13 colonies seceded from the British and established a new country.” Are you likening the current situation to life under King George?
Ron Paul: I think a lot of people are thinking that way, and I think that is what is important. People are angry and if we don’t sense that then we don’t know exactly what is going on there. People are angry. What I am anticipating though is that it’s going to get a lot worse when the dollar collapses and the federal government can’t fulfill any of its promises. What if they send you dollars and they don’t work? People are just going to… they’re not going to have a violent secession. They’re just going to ignore the federal government because it will be inept.
We’ll be bringing our troops home and our empire will end and that’s a different story. So, I think it’s something that we should about but we shouldn’t institutionalize this principle. New England wanted to secede and nobody challenged New England that it was unconstitutional in our early history. What if people applied this…?
Kiran Chetry: I just want to… you guys said that you guys are talking about it more as a principle and saying that it will be a counterweight to what you guys are calling federal government intrusiveness and I get that. But you’re not really saying that Texas is going to secede. So I want to move on to the bank bailouts because this has been a source of a lot of contention. You have been opposed to them. It looks lately though there have been some signs that perhaps it’s working. We were talking about Bank of America turning a profit, Wells Fargo now saying they are able to pay back the Federal Government and return some of that bailout money. In the end, could this have turned out to be the right move?
Ron Paul: Well, if a gangster steals money and is successful you don’t celebrate. They might be, but this is just going to make the people angrier and say, “Ah ha, they ripped us of, they took all of our money and now they’re making bundles”. It’s just an unfair system to penalize average people, inflate the currency and bring on another crisis and undermine the whole system. So I would say a bank success here and there is not necessarily something to celebrate.
But you know, it’s still pretty early. I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet to celebrate bank successes right now or something else. What you have to realize is that a lot of people stashed away a lot of money and they took care of their bonuses and what not and you’re not going to erase the anger that has come from that just because a bank made a profit. Matter of fact, like I said, I think it might make things worse.
Kiran Chetry: Alright, Congressman Ron Paul, always great to get your take. Thanks for joining us this morning.
Ron Paul: Thank you.