Ron Paul on Ted Kennedy and Healthcare

Date: 8/26/2009
Channel: FOX 26 – KRIV


FeMale News Anchor: Well, Congressman Ron Paul is with us this morning. Thank you so much for coming.

Ron Paul: Good morning, good morning.

FeMale News Anchor: Thank you. I know that you were here to talk about healthcare reform and we are definitely going to talk a little bit about that. But because of this news this morning – this surprising news – I want to know what your reaction is.

Ron Paul: Well, the reaction it is always sad to see or hear about anybody’s death, and the Kennedy’s certainly have suffered in that regard. I never met any of the Kennedys, so I never knew any of them personally. But, you know, the healthcare issue is very important right now and Ted Kennedy was very much involved. In some ways this might be a real boost for getting Obama’s package passed. All of a sudden people might say “Well in honor of Ted Kennedy we have to pass this.”

That’s more or less what President Johnson did after President Kennedy died. All of a sudden he used the death of President Kennedy to promote the agenda that at that time President Kennedy wasn’t able to get through. So it may be that this is going to give a shot in the arm for those who want to nationalize more so our healthcare system and for those of us who aren’t exactly anxious for that, that might be a benefit to our opposition.

Male News Anchor: Ted Kennedy had a lot of influence in the Senate. But how much can a person be influential in trying to get legislation passed, whether it be in the House or in the Senate?

Ron Paul: Well, I think he will have more influence in his death than he would have on the Senate floor because the American people are strongly objecting to the program. But at the same time there is a lot of emotionalism. Take, for instance the emotionalism following 9-11. Legislation that had been proposed for years and years which was packed into the PATRIOT act, but it couldn’t be passed. But the emotionalism and the fear and the concerns of 9-11… all of a sudden that was passed without even reading the bill.

So, you know, public emotions are very important. Sometimes we even go to war under public emotions without thinking things through. So this is something I’ve always argued for, is a full debate. This is what the American people are so upset about right now and they ask “Why don’t you guys read the bills?” Well, most of the time we don’t read the bills because we don’t get them. Even on this medical bill… it’s liable to pop up about a week or 2 or 3 after we get that, and really there isn’t a precise bill. There is a Senate bill, there is an Obama bill, there is a House bill that has recently been amended by 200 amendments. And what they give us at the last minute might not be available to us. So it’s this kind of operation that Congress is involved in that is so upsetting to the people.

FeMale News Anchor: And where do you stand? Because there is a new poll out that says that President Obama only has about 49% support for this healthcare reform bill which is opposed to be 60% that he had. So people are starting to lose faith.

Ron Paul: I think so, and I think that’s going to continue unless the emotions grab us and change this direction. But I think it’s a fact that people are starting to recognize the failure of government because of the failure to protect us against this massive financial crisis. And then we rush again without thinking it through and we pass a bill, over my objection, of a $700 billion TARP fund to bail out the financial system. We find out that wealthy executives get big bonuses and the American people say “Where’s all this money going?” and the Congress says “Oh, we’ll check it out” after the fact.

So people are very annoyed by that and now they hear stories that Social Security really isn’t really solvent and Medicare is broke, and Medicaid doesn’t have enough money, TARP funds are wasted. They hear the Federal Reserve spends trillions of dollars and they’re not even audited, and they’re starting to suffer. The true unemployment rate is 20%. People are really hurting around the country and they’re saying “Government is not very successful, so why should we turn this over to an agency, the government, that runs the post office in deficit, runs Amtrak in deficits and then they come up with clunker programs that are supposed to revive the economy.” The American people are rightfully very skeptical of what government is giving them right now.

Male News Anchor: Congressman Paul, last question: do you see a compromise because of the death of Kennedy for a reform to healthcare?

Ron Paul: Yes, I do. I think that’s what is going to happen. They’re going to use some emotionalism there, they’re going to back off. And this is not profound, this is just what happens, that when there becomes a conflict like this and it gets out in the open, reality sets in and they’ll come up and it will be a another incremental step for bigger government, which is something I object to. The incrementalism is just as dangerous. Whether you get some place over 10 years or 1 years, you’re still getting there. If it’s a wrong direction it’s wrong altogether. But I think incrementalims is still there and that we will get more government and it will become more expensive and the people will become less satisfied.

Male News Anchor: Well, time will tell. But we’d like to really thank you for spending time to come in for Fox26 Morning News.

Ron Paul: Thank you very much for having me.