Channel: Fox Business
Host: David Asman
David Asman: Our guest tonight is Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who has been against this thing from the get go. So, Congressman, are we any safer with the Department Of Homeland Security?
Ron Paul: No, we’re not any safer and we’re a lot poorer. You know, when we voted on that, they said it wouldn’t add a nickel to the budget. But before the bill was passed the bill started off at 32 pages, and before it was finished it was 500 pages. And initially it cost 3 billion dollars extra. And now it just keeps growing. So I don’t believe we’re any safer. I mean, how do get safer? How do you make government more efficient by building the bureaucracy, hiring more people? It just confuses things.
David Asman: At least we have become a little more rational. Now we say it won’t add a dime to the deficit. They’ve upped the tally a little bit from a nickel. But if it doesn’t make us any safer, does it make us less safe?
Ron Paul: Oh, I think so. Because I think the bureaucracy actually gets in the way. It isn’t that they don’t get more information. It isn’t like they don’t invade our privacy more so than ever. It’s just that they get too much information and the information doesn’t get to the right people. So I don’t think we’re safer. I mean, this is not Department Of Homeland Security, but in a way it relates to this – when we heard about the underpants bomber, we had all the information. We were spending 75 billion dollars a year on national security from the intelligence agency. But the easy information doesn’t get to us. I think that’s the way with Homeland Security. One good part of the Department of Homeland Security that I have a lot of sympathy for is the Coast Guard. You don’t need to take the Coast Guard and put it into a big bureaucracy. You should handle the Coast Guard to guard our coasts.
David Asman: Well, I’m sure a lot of those Coast Guard officials really object to the fact that bureaucrats stand on top of them, looking over their shoulder.
Ron Paul: Oh yes, and it is not an efficient way to do it. I mean, under the circumstances today, I think the Coast Guard should be playing a bigger role, not a lesser role or a bureaucratic role.
David Asman: You mentioned that the Christmas bomber, the underwear bomber, I mentioned the Fort Hood massacre which, of course, led to the deaths of more than a dozen people and maimed people for life. And we had dozens of indications. And this was in a military base. Now, if the Department of Homeland Security can’t unite its database with the military, it clearly is doing something wrong.
Ron Paul: Yeah, and you know, I felt it was rather ironic that on a military base nobody was allowed to have any guns. All the guns are outside the military bases, so there was nobody there that might have been able to take this guy down after he started shooting people. So it makes no sense whatsoever. And I certainly don’t feel safer because of the airports, you know, with the national transportation people there, doing all those things. And that’s all part of the Department of Homeland Security. And there’s a lot of bureaucratic mischief that goes on.
David Asman: Well, Congressman, let’s go through the mission statement. Because it’s not only defense from terrorism for which this department set up, but also “securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws”. This is from the mission statement for the DHS. How are they doing in that regard?
Ron Paul: Well, not very well. The slump in the economy has done more to halt illegal immigration than anything that we do. I mean, they’ve never really considered electronic surveillance at the borders. Rather than that, they talk about big fences and different things. So yes, more money is spent. That’s a responsibility, but I wouldn’t give them a high grade for doing that job either.
David Asman: By the way, number 5 on their list of mission statements is “maturing and unifying the department”. I mean, all that means to me is, you go from a 170,000 to 250,000 employers. That’s how they mature; they just grow bigger.
Ron Paul: Yeah, and that’s typical. Everybody should expect this. When governments run into problems, the only thing the politicians can do is expand the bureaucracy, spend more money, and think they’re going to get more for it. And I sort of think it’s the opposite way. The more bureaucracy you have and just spending more money doesn’t help. In the long term, it jeopardizes not only a physical sense of security, but it certainly contributes to the financial insecurity that we’re all experiencing right now.
David Asman: You know, Congressman, Scoreboard does this every week. We take a department and see whether it’s worthwhile or whether it causes more messes than it’s worth. With one word answers (yes or no), let me run through a couple of departments and you answer whether or not it helps or hurts the cause it was created for.
Does the Department of Education improve education?
Ron Paul: No. It’s the opposite.
David Asman: Does the Department of Energy make us any less dependent on foreign oil?
Ron Paul: Same answer, it doesn’t help us at all.
David Asman: And does the department of HHS (Health And Human Services) make us any healthier?
Ron Paul: Absolutely not. It contributes to confusion and a medical care system that is broken.
David Asman: So most of these departments either don’t do what they were created to do, or do it exactly the opposite.
Ron Paul: Yes. And then the basic question is, where did they ever get all this authority if they’re doing the wrong thing and wasting our money and not doing the job? Have they ever really been given explicit authority to be involved? And I say no, they shouldn’t have. And that doesn’t mean that we who oppose the Department of Homeland Security and some of these goals, doesn’t mean that we’re against them. It just means that we would like to achieve them differently. You know, maybe individuals, maybe local communities and all other options other than the giant monolithic state here in Washington that can’t possibly achieve it. So the goals can be achieved and we should seek and strive for them, but not in this manner.
David Asman: The goals are great, but you do what works, not what doesn’t work. Congressman Ron Paul, wonderful to see you again, sir. Thanks for coming in.
Ron Paul: Thank you, David.