Ron Paul vs Ed Schultz: End the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture

Show: The Ed Show
Host: Ed Schultz
Date: 5/20/2009


Ed Shultz: Welcome back to the Ed Show, and our first edition… I guess you could call it “Psycho Talk Playback”… Last Friday I put Congressman Ron Paul in Psycho Talk. Take a look.

In tonight’s Psycho Talk we got an elected official. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas brings back an old favorite talking point. “Now, if we really want to save money in this country you got to cut out the deficit, right?” Well, you should abolish a few departments is what he is talking about. Why not? Ron Paul said it today on Morning Joe.

Ron Paul: How about getting rid of the Department of Education and Department of Agriculture. Just go down the list. Get rid of it. Cut the budget in half. Everything that’s not constitutional. That’s a good place to start.

Ed Shultz: Now my feeling on this: localized government made sense for the founding fathers 230 years ago when it took 3 weeks to travel from Boston to Philadelphia. Today we live in a much different world.

Now, I think all American kids deserve a good shot at a good education regardless of where they live. The Department of Education plays a role in that. And as for the Department of Agriculture, you know, I don’t grow my own food and you probably don’t either, but I’m kind of glad that the government is making sure that it’s safe before it shows up on my plate.

Congressman Ron Paul has just got a different view to all of this. Congressman, in the spirit of sportsmanship, glad to have you with us here tonight on the Ed Show.

Ron Paul: Well, thank you. What I don’t understand is why you don’t care about the constitution. You know, we’re only supposed to do those things authorized in the constitution. So if I say, “Let’s defend the constitution and cut out all unconstitutional spending”, you can’t jump on me for that.

But besides, you misreported that because on top of the list of what I was mainly talking about in that interview was cutting spending oversees. Now I would suspect maybe you would agree with some of that. I said, “Cut 500 billion dollars from overseas warmongering and never cut domestic programs until we get our house in order”. So you didn’t report that kind of position, which I said entirely throughout the whole campaign that I was not going to attack any domestic programs.

But when I am asked what I would cut, I would say the Department of Education should be cut, it’s unconstitutional, it’s inefficient. We’ve spent nearly 2 trillion dollars on the Department of Education and people aren’t doing that well.

Right now in the city of Washington we spend $25,000 per student and they’re not doing all that well. We can spend $400 or $500 on a homeschooler in Texas, and not that I believe that everyone should be homeschooled, but in comparison they spend $400, $500 dollars and they almost all go to college and there are no guns and no drugs. Defending the educational system even when it’s unconstitutional doesn’t make much sense to me.

Ed Shultz: Alright, Congressman Paul, let’s get to my reporting. Did you or did you not say that you want to eliminate the Department of Agriculture? Is that true?

Ron Paul: Well, I do. And I…

Ed Shultz: Well, that’s the key point. This deals with food security, this deals with the cheap food policy and also with disasters. The school runs program for poor people across the board. You want to get rid of all of that.

Ron Paul: Well, it really hasn’t served well. Most of the subsidies…

Ed Shultz: But you want to get rid of that. That’s the key point here. Congressman, you say that you want to get rid of things that Americans absolutely rely on.

Ron Paul: Because it’s unconstitutional, there is no authority for it. But let me tell you the practical reason: It subsidizes corporate farmers, not the little farmers. 78% of all the subsidies go to corporations. It raises the cost of food to the average person. Just think of for over a hundred years who did they protect? The tobacco farmers. So you’re defending the tobacco farmers.

Ed Shultz: Look, I’m not saying there’s no mistakes in the Agriculture Department, but I do know the checks balances when it comes to good food on our table, is something that we got to have.

What about food security in this country? We’ve had some issues with food security. The Department of Agriculture is the department that oversees all of that. How can you be for stripping that away? And you say it’s not constitutional. The vote of the people! This goes back to Abraham Lincoln. You want to strip down the department that goes back to all the Abraham Lincoln? Was he a socialist too?

Ron Paul: No, but he didn’t believe in the republic as we do, because he wanted to nationalize everything. And that is true. It started in 1862. So it wasn’t authorized originally.

Ed Shultz: So you’d get rid of it. So you’re saying that the Agriculture Department today plays no function in our government of any meaningful source at all. We should just get rid of it.

Ron Paul: No, I didn’t say that.

Ed Shultz: Yes, you did say it. You did say that. You said that on Morning Joe. You did say you wanted to get rid of the Agriculture Department. You said that…

Ron Paul: Do you want to interview me or not? Do you want to interview me?

Ed Shultz: No, I’ve interviewed you. I’ve given you all I need to hear. Respectfully, Congressman, you’re in the Psycho Talk zone because you want to get rid of something that provides security to this country and that’s food security. I appreciate your time and it’s good to have you with us.

Ron Paul: Ed, I think the psycho term is misplaced. It may be a reversal of that term because of the rant that I just heard. But you get paid for this.

Ed Shultz: I’m accurate, Congressman. I’m with the American people. They want an Agriculture Department. I understand that we got to trim government. But to arbitrarily, completely get rid of the Agriculture Department, I’m sorry that is so way off base.

Ron Paul: Well, what you’re refusing to admit is the priorities and that’s what counts and you’re refusing to admit that you don’t give a darn about our constitution. Pretty sure they’re going to be going to war without a declaration.

Ed Shultz: The priorities are what the people want, Congressman. They want public education and they want the Department of Agriculture.

Ron Paul: You’re refusing to admit that you don’t give a darn about our constitution. Pretty soon they’re going to be going to war without a declaration. Pretty soon they will. They’re going to put prisoners in camps they’re going to be torturing people.

Ed Shultz: No, I do care about the constitution. I care about the people who voted for this.

Ron Paul: And they’re going to be spying on you, against the 4th amendment. You got to have respect for the 4th amendment and the constitution and not be so careless with our rights and the rule of law.

Ed Shultz: Congressman, you’re a good sport, we got to have you back and the next time you’re back we will talk about the 4th amendment.

Ron Paul: Well, will you be friendly?

Ed Shultz: I’m friendly right now. I just disagree with you.

Ron Paul: You used to be friendlier on the radio. You get a big audience and it’s gone to your head.

Ed Shultz: Congressman, I like you, you’re a great guy but we’re not going to get rid of the Department of Agriculture.

Ron Paul: Who said we were?

Ed Shultz: What about your state of Texas where they had all thouse droughts out there and those ranches? You’re going to throw them under the bus? Common now Ron, you’re better than that.

Ron Paul: Well, the only ones that would lose any money are the very wealthy corporate farmers. You’ll come around, you’ll believe in the constitution when you want to.

Ed Shultz: I do believe in the constitution but I also believe in the Department of Agriculture.

Ron Paul: Oh I know, there you go. Whatever you want.

It’s great to have you on the show.

Alright, thank you Congressman, I appreciate your time.

And I do and I got a lot of heat from people because I put him in the psycho zone talk but the fact is; look at what the Department of Agriculture does for this country.

Mad cow disease; they had a provision in the last farm bill which was called COOL: Country Origin of Labeling. Do you want to know where your food comes from? The Department of Agriculture does that.

We’re in a world of terrorist that want to take us down, that’s all that conservatives do, they tell us, “oh gosh, we got to protect the country”. Part of protecting the country is protecting the food source.

Alright, we’re going to have him back because I’m going to talk about that 4th amendment thing.

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