Tamron Hill: Tea Party activists are gathering right now in the nation’s capital to mark Tax Day. It’s also the end of the 19 day, 49 stop tour organized by the Tea Party Express and they’ve been protesting big government, big spending, and high taxes. There are rallies scheduled all over the country today, including Chicago, Ann Arbor, and Albuquerque. Another major rally will be held near the Washington monument tonight at 6.
Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas will be attending and speaking at tonight’s rally, and he’s likely to get a hero’s welcome from the anti-tax activists because he wants to completely eliminate the income tax and abolish the IRS. In fact, at last weekend’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Congressman Paul came in second in their straw poll. He was just one vote behind Mitt Romney. With me now, Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Congressman Paul, great to have you on, thanks so much.
Ron Paul: Thank you, good to be with you.
Tamron Hill: So let me ask you, what do you think of these huge rallies again today, Tax Day? You’re going to speak to the folks there. What do you plan to tell them tonight?
Ron Paul: Probably the same old thing I’ve been talking about for the last 30 years. Government is too big, they spend too much money, and the deficit is going to be very very damaging to us. We’re in the midst of the damage that deficits bring, we have a severe financial crisis. I don’t think it’s over. I think it’s going to get a lot worse. We’re much poorer than we used to be, we live on borrowed money, and the basic flaw is not taxation. Taxation is the symptom. The basic flaw is in what the American people expect from their government. As long as the American people condone and encourage a government that’s supposed to take care of them from cradle to grave, as long as they condone a government that they think should police the world and have troops in 135 countries and have 700 bases, no. You can’t do anything about balancing the budget. You can’t do anything about cutting taxes. Because if you cut income tax and cut taxes, and you still spend, you still borrow, and then you still print money, and inflation is a tax because they literally destroy the value of money and that is a tax as well.
Tamron Hill: Congressman, you bring up the income tax certainly and you have supporters that are tried and true behind you. But in this new poll, the New York Times CBS poll, they asked Tea Party activists whether the income tax they pay is fair. 52 percent said yes. They think it’s fair. 42 percent say no. What do you make of the 52 percent who say they’re getting a fair shake but they have these signs out saying tyranny and other things?
Ron Paul: I don’t know, I don’t know the accuracy of a poll like that. All I can say is 42 percent of the American people, they’re sick and tired of it. Our numbers are growing, it used to be 10 percent of us thought it was bad. So I would say compared to 30 years ago when I started, we’re making great progress. But once they realize the consequence of what we’re doing, yes, they’re going to be willing to give up on their taxes. Matter of fact, some of those people might have been poor enough where they didn’t have to pay taxes, so maybe that’s why they thought it was fair.
Tamron Hill: You know, that’s interesting you bring up the poverty because also in this poll it says that the Tea Party members who participated in the poll believed that blacks are greatly benefiting from this administration more than whites, and that somehow poor people are benefiting greatly. But to set that aside, you have been incredibly popular. You came out on top in that straw poll at CPAC, as I mentioned you were just behind Mitt Romney by 1 point, some are asking why aren’t you getting the respect you deserve from the Republican establishment. What do you say to that?
Ron Paul: Well, I should say that you should ask them. I don’t think it’s a lack of respect but they would like me to go away, I’ll tell you that. And I think it’s because I point out a consistent argument for limited government. Republicans are known for preaching limited government and individual liberty, but I really maintain that and I vote that way. So I want limited government when it comes to our freedoms and our privacy and our personal lives, but I want limited government when it comes to worldwide affairs. I just don’t believe that you have to have an empire and be a conservative. I think that’s not being conservative, and it goes to prove that whether you have Republicans or Democrats, this administration isn’t rejecting the notion that we should be around the world and expanding war. They’re increasing the troops and all in Afghanistan. I think this embarrasses the leadership because they preach one thing and they want to get their votes and they say “We are the party of limited government and balanced budgets” but they lost a lot of credibility. The Republicans had a chance, and I think that nobody likes to be pointed, have a finger pointed and say “Hey, why don’t you live up to your promises?” That’s why the people are frustrated and that’s why there’s a lot of people, especially young people, who like the message I’ve been delivering.
Tamron Hill: Congressman Ron Paul, it’s always a great pleasure having you on, and I should also point out your son Rand Paul is doing very well in Kentucky as well. The numbers show really good for him. Thank you very much, we greatly appreciate having you on. Thank you.
Ron Paul: Thank you.