Ron Paul discusses the budgetary limitations that expansive U.S. foreign policy imposes on domestic programs, the Dennis Kucinich resolution (co-sponsored by Rep. Paul) that will require a House of Representatives debate on the war in Afghanistan, wrongheaded government action on the coming dollar crisis and why the peace and liberty movement is best served by setting a good example and avoiding the politics of personality.
Date: March 5, 2010
Ron Paul on AntiWar Radio
Scott Horton: Every hero has got to have his theme music. That one goes out to my hero, Dr. Ron Paul. Welcome back to the show, Ron. How are you doing?
Ron Paul: Thank you, Scott, good to be with you.
Scott Horton: I really mean that, too. I got to tell you, at least over here at the Hate the State Estate, we cheer out loud watching the YouTube videos of your TV news appearances. It’s just great seeing you get up there and teaching these people. Especially, no matter what the question is, you always bring up war. They’ll say, “Ron, what do you think about Social Security?” And you say, “Well, we got to end this empire.”
Ron Paul: Well, you know, they try to separate them into two factions. One is the foreign policy, and the other is domestic policy. And I argue that you can’t separate the two. So if you want more money in our economy and the retired people take care of themselves and you have a free market, you want less war and less spending overseas. But even in the transitional period, I’m willing to vote against all that operation overseas and hopefully work our way out of our domestic problems, which means that even in a transition you might be able to get a few converts to come out against the war. The big frustration is that Obama was supposed to help us out on that and I’m sure the progressive Democrats aren’t very happy with him on that issue, either.
Scott Horton: Yeah. Well, they certainly don’t have reason to be happy with him at all. So, basically what’s happening here with all these TV appearances that you’ve been doing… it’s so cool for those of us who were big fans back in the day when you were sort of underground and hated, you know “there is one good congressman.” and all that. Now it’s totally different. Now you’re a household name for everyone in the whole society. Everybody knows you now. And since the beginning of your run for president, you’ve been doing the world’s greatest speaking tour on behalf of individual liberty and peace, I think, probably ever, which has got to feel great knowing that you’re getting away with continuing to accomplish this on a daily basis. The people on the news keep calling you back because you have an answer for everything that they have asked. And it really is great and it seems like, I say all that to set up for a question here, it seems like it’s working, at least on the young. And I’m joined here, actually, in the studio by my friend, Nick Hancock and he’s from the Young Americans for Liberty and The Year of Youth. And he was there at CPAC and was part of, I believe, the voting population that helped put you over the top couple of weekends ago. So welcome, Nick, and did you have a question for Dr. Paul about CPAC and the Peace Movement?
Nick Hancock: Yeah. Hey, Dr. Paul, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you a couple of times; once in Los Angeles and once in DC for CPAC. And real quick, I just want to say that the youth movement is … if anyone has any doubts, I know Ron doesn’t, but for anyone who has any doubts, they’re real connections, these are real people with their hearts really in the movement. And we came together with the […] and a lot of great memories out of CPAC. And you and just the issues of the world today, I guess, sir, are together bringing us together in this perfect storm.
But the one thing that’s dividing the youth movement a little bit is how to react or what the commentary is on the relationships with names like Michael Steele or Glenn Beck, or the types of names who came out before who aren’t friendly to a lot of our viewpoints. But then somehow magically they change their opinion or come around in for a photo op and swing in and all that. So there is one side of the movement that is yelling “heads on a stick, heads on a stick” and then the other side of the movement is saying, “No, you know, when people realize they make mistakes, they’re growing up or they’re changing their minds, whatever you want to call it”. How do you address those issues and how do you know when someone’s being genuine or just trying to use your influence and your movement?
Ron Paul: I try to ignore the discussion of the personalities. I don’t want it to be over personalities and too often that becomes emotional. So I don’t go out of my way if they mention somebody’s name and say, “Do you think they’re trying to come in and take over?” They may well be, I don’t want that to be issue. I think the only issue should be is what we believe in. And I see my responsibility as setting a record; not only saying the right thing but also voting the right way. I purposely avoided the best I could from ever mentioning George Bush’s name when he was president, although I was opposed to his foreign policy and his domestic policy when it came to the PATRIOT Act and other surveillance activities he was participating in.
But I didn’t want to have to take care of the emotional attachment to George Bush, especially since he was in Texas. And I didn’t want to make it a personality issue. I think you can win more battles if you stay in the realm of the ideas. The only problem with it is in the media they always want confrontation. They’re always stirring it up. I do get some of these interviews mainly because I will oppose the conventional wisdom of both Democrats and Republicans, but especially the Republicans. If it is a progressive program, they might want us to use it just to say, “See, these Republicans don’t know what they’re talking about, Ron Paul says this”. And I know what they’re trying to do. But I really try to stay away from it. I don’t want to have the job of not only promoting the ideas I believed in, and then I have to discredit the people who are in opposition when there is an emotional attachment… I try to avoid that the best I can.
Scott Horton: Well, it seems Dr. Paul like the real split on the right is over war. And the positions are really being solidified. It’s funny because I know that you’re almost alone in the House of Representatives, but ideologically out here in the world where you have this whole Tea Party Movement going on and, as you said, progressives who already are getting over Barack Obama after his expansion of the wars and so forth. You know, I wondered do you think it’s possible that Nick and the Year of Youth types can actually help you? Is it an attainable goal really to get the right wing to be anti-interventionist? I mean, it is Obama’s war now, right? What’s to like about that?
Ron Paul: Well, I think one of the reasons why I did well in the election was it was no longer me confronting George Bush, and it was Obama’s war. So this should soften the position of the conservatives. The conservative Republicans were positively opposed to Clinton’s war in Bosnia which was an interventionist war. So I think there is reason to hope they’ll do better. Maybe not for a perfect reason, but only because they’re out of power right now. But next week there is a very good chance, because a group of us that have gotten together along with Dennis Kucinich and some other Democrats and we’ve introduced a resolution challenging the war in Afghanistan based on the War Power Resolution. And Dennis has been promised by the leadership that we’re going to have a three hour debate on Afghanistan. We should have had it 10 years ago and 5 years ago. It should be constant. But we’re finally going to have a debate because that funding and the promotion of the Afghan war is more likely to come from the Republicans than the Democrats. So I’m interested in seeing how this comes down. There will be a vote on this and I’m hoping that we can pick up some more Republican support on this as well as more Democrats, for that matter. The anti-war coalition that we worked with against Bush has softened on the Democratic side because of the partisan issue. That becomes pretty frustrating. But next week might be an interesting week to see what happens.
Scott Horton: It’s too bad. I know foreign policy is not everybody’s first issue, but I wish I could be Ron Paul and Denis Kucinich in the Peace Party, and let the Cheneys and the Obamas have each other.
Ron Paul: Yeah, that sounds right.
Scott Horton: Because we have somewhat of an anti-war movement on the left and the right. But it’s kind of hard to bring us together and it’s good to see you working with Dennis Kucinich on that. I was actually just going to ask you about that; whether you were going to be or not. So that’s great to hear that.
Let me ask you about money real quick here, Dr. Paul. Well, I’ll put it this way. I’ve got some Austrian economists in my left here saying that the damage is done, the seeds have been sown, the dollar will be destroyed, it’s only a matter of time. And then I have a word of caution that comes from a few different places, but most importantly to me, from the great Robert Higgs at the Independent Institute who says, “Well, they know that they’re between a rock and a hard place, and they will jack up interest rates through the roof before they let the dollar be completely destroyed. They will find a way out of this or at least they know that they need to.” So do you think that it’s possible that we actually have time to maybe actually roll back the empire and cut some spending and avoid a total dollar meltdown and the kind of crisis that will come with that?
Ron Paul: No, but there may be a position in between. They won’t do it deliberately and calmly and more smoothly by just cutting back. But if they allow it to continue, there will be a major crisis. Something will have to happen not because they want to, but because they’ll have to. They may save the dollar in name, but they’ll have to change the monetary policy, they’ll have to say, well, in picking up the pieces. But I don’t think it’s going to happen without a much greater financial crisis, which I think is going to come in the next several years. Nobody knows exactly when the panic hits and everybody panics and dumps dollars. But not only will the Fed raise interest rates, but the market will raise interest rates. But in 1979-1980 when Volcker came in, he took interest rates up to 21% and got a lot of heat for it. But in a way, if he hadn’t done that, the confidence in the dollar would have been further lost and who knows what might have happened. Right now they’re not on the verge of doing that because the conditions are worse and if they do that the economy would weaken so much. So they’re going to wait until the market demands that something be done.
Scott Horton: Do you think we’re risking a real crack up boom where I think the worst case scenario, as I have read it would be, all the central bankers in the world panicking and saying, “Oh no, today is the day” and just dumping their debt and all of a sudden trillions and trillions of dollars will be coming back to the United States and all of us will be the last ones holding the bag there. I mean, is that really the kind of danger we’re messing with here?
Ron Paul: It sure is. And right now, though, it’s in everybody’s interest to keep this game going. Whether you’re holding dollars or printing dollars, I’m sure what we do is we agree that if you help prop up our dollar we’re going to help maintain order in the system so if somebody gets behind, like Greece, we will help them out behind the scenes. And certainly if we can help countries like that around the world and bail them out, we’ll bail out states like California and others because for a state like California to default on payments just wouldn’t be tolerated. But the market is what regulates this when it gets absolutely out of control, then there will be dumping no matter how hard they work to hold it together.
Scott Horton: Alright everybody, that’s Dr. Ron Paul, he represents district 14 on the Texas Gulf Coast there, and represents me in the House of Representatives. Thank you very much.
Ron Paul: Thank you, it’s good to be with you, Scott.