Host: Jack Cafferty
Jack Cafferty: Is big government necessarily bad government? My next guest says it is. And I’m inclined to agree with him. Representative Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference – CPAC, much to the dismay of Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin, and Tim Pawlenty, and a bunch of other mainstream Republican hopefuls. Ron Paul is a congressman from the fourteenth district in Texas, he’s a former presidential candidate, and he’s been warning all of us about a lot of these issues for a long time. We’re delighted to welcome you to our program. Thank you for coming.
Ron Paul: Thank you, Jack. Good to be with you.
Jack Cafferty: Let me bounce two numbers off you. Recent CNN polls. 86% of Americans think our government is broken, 75% of Americans think government officials are dishonest. When you look to the future of this country, what do you see?
Ron Paul: It’s because we’re broke. And the people now feel like they’ve been lied to. They call them dishonest and there’s a lot to that. Politicians tend to say things and they don’t follow through, whether it’s in the category of lying or not, but it is certainly a lot of untruths that are passed around out there. But I don’t see any easy way out because when a country or an individual is broke, they’re supposed to quit spending money and they’re supposed to pay off their bills. But the only thing we’ve done here in Washington, the admission that there’s a crisis going on is we’ve accelerated everything. We’ve expanded government, expanded spending, expanded borrowing, and of course, expanded the function of the Federal Reserve, and that is, to create more money and credit to try to bail out the problems they created. So yes, we’re in for a lot of trouble yet to come.
Jack Cafferty: Present company exempted, do your colleagues in the nation’s capital have any idea the increasing degree of contempt in which they are held by the American public?
Ron Paul: Sometimes I don’t think so because they continue to do the same things that have gotten them into trouble. So no, I don’t think so. I mean, the whole fact I may do well at a CPAC poll just totally amazes them. And actually I think…
Jack Cafferty: They actually booed when the results were announced, they were booing, right?
Ron Paul: Yeah, and I think you’re aware of the fact that a lot of young people, matter of fact, the people that came to CPAC were young people, college people. You would think that the leadership would say, “Well, what is it that attracts the young people to what you’re saying?” But you know, I’ve never had anybody in the Republican Party ask me anything like that. They don’t seem to be interested. They want me to just disappear. I think I’ve tapped into something, and at least there’s a lot of people responding. But I have no political clout here in Washington. I don’t have any power.
Jack Cafferty: I don’t understand that either. I can remember during the primaries. I mean, I used to get email from your supporters by the bushel basketful almost every day. It was astonishing to me, the organization and the depth of the support that you had. Why doesn’t your message resonate with the establishment in Washington?
Ron Paul: Well, it challenges the status quo. It challenges what they’ve been saying for so many years. I don’t think they want to say “Oh, we made a mistake, we were at fault. Yes, we should’ve been more cautious about what we do overseas.” They do not want me to have anything to say about foreign policy and I take an older Republican position on this, the old right position, the constitutional position. I think we should be cutting back. I don’t think we should be spending a trillion dollars a year on militarism around the world, and you know, it’s not only the Republicans but the Democrats want to do it too.
Jack Cafferty: Let me ask you about something you said right at the beginning of the segment. That there’s a bankruptcy in our future. Our national debt is at $12 trillion dollars. The expectation is it will be $19 trillion at the end of the president’s first term. That’s three years a little less from now. We have probably $35 to $50 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities from Medicare and Social Security. No clue where that money’s going to come from. How long before this country goes belly up and what form will it take, do you think, when we roll over?
Ron Paul: Well, that’s the big question and if we don’t clean up our act, it can be very bad and very dangerous and political chaos could ensue. But the fact that they don’t do anything is the annoying part. I just think that within 2 or 3 years… The country is technically bankrupt. If you and I were in business, we would have to declare bankruptcy. Governments print money so they can get away with it. But we are insolvent and the debt will never be paid for. That’s a hard thing to accept. You can’t pay for this debt, but the debt will be liquidated. The market always liquidates debt. And governments always liquidate debt by destroying the currency. They pay off their debt with bad money. And that’s what we’re in the process of doing. We took the bad debt of the banks and we dumped it on the American taxpayers deliberately so it’s a transfer of wealth right now that’s going on.
Jack Cafferty: And ultimately, it destroys everybody’s savings and all of our assets. The worth of all our homes, businesses, etc.
Ron Paul: Absolutely.
Jack Cafferty: Congressman Paul, thanks for that uplifting discussion. It’s great to have you on the program. I wish you’d run again, and I wish the American public would start listening to you, but I guess, you know, wishes are wishes. But anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today.
Ron Paul: Well, in spite of it, I’m still an optimist because the young people are listening.
Jack Cafferty: Thank you very much, Congressman Ron Paul.