Event: Florida Liberty Summit with Ron Paul
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: August 7, 2009
Ron Paul: It’s really wonderful to see such a nice enthusiastic crowd, and you know, I give a lot of speeches in Washington, but believe me, I don’t get that kind of enthusiasm. It’s usually pretty empty when I get to talk up there, but I get back to my sanity when I get out of Washington and get home to be with people like you, so this is a real pleasure to be here and, you know, about a year ago we announced that the revolution was beginning. But today, we say let’s continue the revolution.
Good idea started and I wanted to make sure everybody here, but I’m sure the majority do know, but Mark Cross spent a lot of energy into this activity tonight. Not only that, but organizing this county and around the state, if we have somebody like Mark in every state, believe me, this will turn into a [...] revolution. Mark…
And I guess I can give you a few little updates on politics. I hear that Peter Schiff is doing it quite well. (inaudible). Then there’s a doctor in Kentucky who is running for the Senate and he’s [Rand Paul].
To me as, you know, I’ve [...] talked about what he is doing and I asked him if I can give him any advice, of course, I don’t really give him advice and I suggested things and asked him questions. I said, “Are you really sure you want to give up a perfectly good medical practice and go into politics?” and he said that I had no room to even question that.
But all of us have other things to do; we’re all engaged in the preservation of liberty and that should be our goal. That should be the goal of all political action, it’s the preservation of liberty. With our freedoms, all of our problems can be solved in a much better way than [...]
Earlier this evening, I ran into a gentleman and he asked me about fairness of elections and why don’t I do more to make sure that all elections are fair, and it is true, elections aren’t always fair. There was one time not too long ago that I had a problem with and election. It was in the early years, in the 1970s, where we actually thought an election was stolen.
But this shouldn’t surprise us at all, because don’t we have a very active CIA making sure all the elections are fair around the world, and if an election doesn’t come out quite well, right? We’ll have a new election and we do it all over again. But back in the day when we had a contest, we actually had a lot of evidence [...] One gentleman was called before the judge and the judge says, “Young man, do you know you’re being charged for voting seven times?” He says, “No.” And he says, “I thought I was getting paid.”
But fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that right now because ultimately – elections are key obviously – but ultimately, it’s what’s in the hearts and minds of the people. What is the philosophy in the country, the philosophy we believe in. Do we believe in socialism, welfarism, interventionism?
Then it has what the people believe, and believe me, that’s what we get in Congress and in Washington and the prevailing attitude has been wrong for a long time. That is why what is going on today is not a partisan revolution. It’s a philosophic revolution to change the hearts and mind and the philosophy of the American people to say, “We want our freedom. We don’t want oppression from our federal government.”
When we are successful and we’re becoming more successful all the time, we know it affects across supporting minds. It’s very difficult to introduce new ideas and new party because all the laws are biased against competition. We don’t have a very good democratic history in this country because it’s narrowed down to two parties and when you look closely [...] they look like the same party.
And for that reason, many of us who were in the major parties and I certainly have worked at the Republican Party and as a Republican congressman, but what we need to eventually do though is to make sure these ideas are across party lines.
Now, when we’re successful, the ideas will permeate, just like Nixon explained it all to us on August 15, 1971. He said, “We’re all Keynesians now.” And he was absolutely right. But today, we have an issue that we have made very bipartisan, for the right reason. Sure, you can say it’s bi-partisan when we’re handing out TARP funds and so-called bailing out the economy and then the Republicans get together and rip us off and they call that bipartisanship.
I’m talking about the other kind of bipartisanship where ideas permeate, and I will say that he have achieved this to a large degree, calling the attention to that very important issue and getting both Republicans and Democrats on board on auditing the Federal Reserve system.
Audience: (Clapping), End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!
Ron Paul: How did you know about my new book?
But you know, like I’m saying, this has been a bipartisan effort. We have all Republicans and we have 104 Democrats and I think Alan Grayson was introduced earlier on [...], but Alan have actually, you know, gotten a lot of help for us in getting a lot of [...].
We do have a long way to go though. We are making progress. When we see crowds like this, people who are not strongly identified with one party or the other that are willing to work hard to promote liberty, believe me, we can be… we’re on a roll and we have to continue. We have to continue the momentum. This is the key. But we have to know what we believe in and, of course, it can be summarized rather easily. Most people talk about liberty, but do people really define it and understand it? Liberty to me means I have a right to my life, to my liberty, and to the fruits of my labor.
And my rights do not come from my government, my rights coming to me in a natural way, in a God-given way and apply to all of us equally.
And if we are to have a small government, that government should be restrained and limiting its power and authority to the protection of our liberty and nothing else.
There shouldn’t be a perpetual war on the people. They say there is always a war for the people, but too often it is a war on the people. You know, there is a war going on in Afghanistan that’s expanding, is that supposed to be for us? There has been a war going on in Iraq now for over 6 or 7 years, a trillions dollars spent, and thousands of American lives have been lost and hundreds of thousands of others lives have been lost. And that war is not for us, that is a war against us. It’s consuming us.
What about this war on drugs? We don’t need a war on drugs. Then they’ll say we have to have a war on poverty; we’re opposed to poverty. Who’s for poverty? Guess we’re going to have a war on poverty, and what do they give us? A lot more poverty.
Personal liberties are obviously part of this, but in order to have liberty protected we have to come to our senses on foreign policy. The founders were correct on foreign policy and they gave us strong advice. It’s written into the Constitution that we need to defend our country, but we are not supposed to be the policeman of the world.
And now that we’re broke and more people are starting to recognize that we’re broke, it’s getting more opportunistic for us to say “One of the solutions may well be to just bring our troops home.”
I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m not talking about the Middle East. I’m not talking about Afghanistan. I’m not talking about the attacks on Pakistan. I’m not talking about our Navy surrounding and wants to boycott the Iranians. I’m not talking about the Koreans. The troops we have in Korea. The troops we have in Europe. The troops we have in Japan. The 800 bases we have around the world. I’m talking about all of them! Bring them home!
And with the hundreds of billions of dollars we can save, we can inject that into the economy by cutting the income tax and let the people have the money.
Then if we reject the notion of the last 35 years of government managed care and reject the notion that the answer is socialized medicine, believe me, the American people will get a lot better healthcare if we just get the government out of the way.
Last week, there was another bill passed. It was passed under suspension and passed rather easily. It had to do with regulating food. They want everybody to have safe food. So we’re going to depend on the post office to give us safe food. But it’s an unbelievable bill. Regulating and inspecting every single thing about food. It’s going to be very bureaucratic and very, very expensive. Food prices are going up. Just like when they’re regulated [...], the prices go up. When they got into the housing business, did poor people end up with houses? Yeah, temporarily, then they lost them quickly and the housing crisis went up and then there is a collapse.
Governments can’t manage. They can’t manage anything. They can’t manage their own personal affair most of the time.
But what they can manage is their overseas travel. They love overseas travel. Somebody asked me, “Why don’t you go overseas, you don’t like the way the money is spent, we’re going to inspect how we’re doing this so you can be more informed about what’s happening with all that. I said, “I don’t need to go overseas to know that we shouldn’t be voting for any foreign aid whatsoever.”
But [...], you really think that after this last week of people being upset at these townhall meetings that they’d be paying more attention, but no, it’s still going through Congress right now with over half a billion dollars is being presented by the House to buy more airplanes for the congressmen to fly around the world.
Not only is it first-class flying, they are being jettisoned, I guess they need about 8 members, 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats. You’ve got to be bipartisan. They go up in big jets, and what really gets to me about some of that is I find some people who fly in those jets and burn up all that energy are greenies.
And sometimes, we get a bad rap, we don’t care
about the environment. You know, if you’re a true constitutionalist, true conservative, libertarian, you care about property. That’s why it’s in the hands of private individuals, they take much better care of the property than anybody else.
One of our great polluters today is the Pentagon. They burn more energy than about… except for about 15 countries, they burn more energy than most of all of the rest of the countries. But just think of the energy and the carbons that they put out in the air in countries like Iraq.
I have Trudy Miles [?] the other day and the lady’s expertise, she’s a journalist on these burn pits. I had to confess I didn’t know a whole lot about burn pits, but she said it’s been traditional, but they’re especially bad in Iraq. That means that when Halliburton and other companies get paid umpteen million, millions of dollars to do their things out there, all their waste gets into a pit, an open pit; medical supplies, rubber supplies, chemical supplies, and these pits burn constantly. And predictions now are made that we’re in trouble with the Persian Gulf War syndrome and there’s going to be a lot of that.
But we already had such a tragedy with that, the lsot lives of course, between the two wars we’ve lost 5,000 with 40,000 troops got injured and we have hundreds of thousands who now are applying, and probably most of them legitimately, people coming back who have post-traumatic stress syndrome; an epidemic of suicide these days.
I’ve got one staff person whose brother is on his way back to Iraq the fifth time, the fifth time to Iraq, and then they wonder why as a candidate our campaign ended up getting more money from the military than all the rest put together.
I find the issue [...] I don’t need to tell you, they are massive. But they’re probably even worse than I can even comprehend because I don’t think anybody can quite comprehend $100 trillion of financial obligations, and the reason you really can’t comprehend it is because these obligations are slipping. You know, they’re not fixed.
You know, they talk about Social Security going broke in a certain year, but there’s no way they can predict. Right now, they’re moving up the date. Why? Less people are working, the cashflow is much reduced. And therefore it’s shortening the period of time where it will be [...]
But then the other part that they don’t know is what the cost of living is going to be. It’s going to be automatically higher, so the prices are going up, your revenues are going down, less people working, more people living longer, and on and on and yet they claimed that they’re good managers of our affairs, and yet all is a tremendous attack on our liberties.
We’ve had an 18 percent reduction in tax revenues since the recession. I think we should cheer that.
It wasn’t on purpose. It wasn’t a policy. It was by default and it is because they messed up the economy of that. But the bad news is they probably have increased spending by that amoujnt of money and made it that much worse. So you can’t have a decrease in revenues and continue to spend more money and all these entitlement obligations, a national debt of about a trillion dollars. But right now currently, our national debt is going up at the rate of $2 trillion a year. You hear that in figures, but it’s $2 trillion a year because, you know, we take all the funds away from the other trust funds.
The other day, we got a note that we had used up all of the highway trust funds and we had to replenish all that. There was a special vote. Two thirds vote to put 7 billion dollars in there. So the money came in, probably from the highway taxes. They blew it on probably spending in Iraq. They come up short so they print more money and fulfill it and everybody goes for it.
But you know… once again, back to the silliness about ridiculous spending overseas. You know, in a transition, I think there’s a lot of things we can do. We don’t have to cut everybody off right away, but we ought to have some priorities and I think it’s a logical point of view to say, “Look, isn’t it time that we quit blowing up bridges around the world and then paying to re-build them and not even have enough money to take care of our own highways and bridges.”
The news has been pretty good this week. I think that there may be a much greater growth with the Campaign for Liberty when you see how many people out there are disgusted with the government.
And you know, I don’t like to deal with anger. I don’t think that’s the best approach. I was always taught you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and anger doesn’t work. But there is a lot of anger out there and a lot of it is justified, and I think our goal at Campaign for Liberty is to harness that energy and that extreme upset, being extremely upset with our government and take it and turn it into something positive. That is the key. If we can’t, we can’t win because the anger, and already they’re turning against us and they say, “Oh, they’re angry.” I heard one commentator interviewed a congressman and he said, “Oh, yeah. They were down there and having a ruckus with my townhall meeting. And they had the nerve to get up and say that under the 10th amendment the federal government shouldn’t be doing this with medical care.”
He was incensed to think that the 10th amendment actually restrained the government at the federal level. But they will continue to get away with this if we allow them to do it. But right now, our [...] is under attack whether it’s personal liberty or economic liberty or whether it’s the intrusion that we have overseas and we, as a group, have an honest responsibility.
I’m always pleased with the crowds and the enthusiasm, but in some ways,
once you see what’s happening, once you get introduced to the ideas of liberty, understanding Austrian economics, understanding our history a little bit better, it can make you uncomfortable, and that’s probably good.
And people will follow up and and they start reading and thinking, but I see people like you, as being very, very special, different, because you are part of a remnant of people who hold things together.
The masses of people will never quite understand, but what you do and say and understand makes all the difference in the world.
But you have more responsibility than anybody, and this is not new, this is not something I brought up or invented, that’s the way it’s always been, responsibility always falls on a small number of people.
And Samuel Adams talked about that. He said, “It does not require a majority to prevail. You need an irate minority.”
A minority that is keen to set brush fires of freedom in the minds of men and then you’ll have a revolution.
And I like the idea that he said “minds of men”. [...] I like this that he will start the brush fires in the minds of men so that you know and understand, because it is an ideological fight. This is not a political fight. Politics is secondary to the ideological fight.
And that’s where we’re winning. That’s where we’re making progress more so than ever before because Keynesianism failed and the American people are irate because they know it has failed.
They don’t quite understand what the alternative is and yet we need to fill that void and explain what is necessary.