Ron Paul gave a stirring speech at the Tax Day Tea Party in Washington DC, calling for an end to big government and a return to a sensible foreign policy.
Event: Tax Day Tea Party in Washington DC
Announcer: It gives me great honor to introduce our next guest. I think you’re going other be pretty excited about this. If you want a friend of limited government in Congress, you’ve got one here. If you want a congressional record that shows that somebody has spent decades fighting big government without exception, if you want somebody who’s got the guts to take on the Federal Reserve of the United States, you got him in this guy. Please join me in welcoming presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Hey, thank you. End the Fed, hey! Along with the IRS. Let’s repeal 1913 and we’d all be better off. Now, it’s great to be here. You know, sometimes I give speeches on the House floor and there’s nobody there. I like to leave the House floor and I like to go to America. I like to go to Texas and other states because people actually cheer what I say, and I like that.
You know, I’m sure everybody here has talked a lot about taxes and this is tax day. But taxes, in many ways, are nothing more than a symptom. The taxes that we pay are a symptom of runaway government. And that is the problem. It is the fact that we have allowed our government to be so big and out of control – the Congress doesn’t control it, the executive branch has more control than they deserve and the courts have more control than they deserve. What wee need is a strong Congress to rein in the executive branch and the courts to get back to a constitutional government.
I have a belief about taxes and I believe that taxes, indeed, are theft; stealing from the people. You may have seen this on the Internet, I have a bumper sticker on my desk that everybody that comes to my offices sees, that says, “Don’t steal, the government hates competition”. But the government taxes us in many ways. I think of spending as the culprit, because think of spending as being the tax. And then it’s paid for in many different ways; they do tax us and it’s way too high. But they never tax enough to pay the bills. So what do they do? They endlessly borrow, and they borrow so much and then interest rates go up and that doesn’t work. So then what do they do? They resort to the printing press, and the Federal Reserve is the culprit that finances big government.
And that’s exactly right. Eventually, if we’re going to have a republic, we’re going to have sound money. The Constitution is very clear: only gold and silver can be legal tender, not paper money.
Now why is it that even the Federal Reserve is involved in taxation? When they print money, they devalue your currency. Anytime you complain about a high price, you’re paying a tax. So it is a tax, and the big sin, of course, is the big spending. Politicians, up until just recently, were always rewarded by spending money and telling their constituents back home, “I’m going to get you whatever you want”. Well, those days are over, and you’ve helped end those days.
Now, the Federal Reserve serves two special interests in Congress. There are two types of spending that we have to be concerned about. One is the liberal spending; we know all about that. They like to take over your lives because they consider you too stupid to take care of your lives yourself. So they have to take care of you from cradle to grave, so they justify that.
But then we do have some conservatives – at least they call themselves conservatives, a lot of times they’re nothing more than neoconservatives. And they believe that we have to endlessly spend overseas, and it’s time we quit this. We quit the foreign aid, we quite being the policeman of the world, we don’t need to occupy over 700 bases overseas in 135 countries because that’s how republics are destroyed. That is how empires end: for economic reasons, by stretching themselves too far overseas. So if we want to get back to a normal budget and balance our budget, I think one of the best ways to start is, why don’t we just quit spending all the money overseas? Why don’t we spend the money here at home?
Now, what could we do to save some money? I think it’s time we should ask the question, “How long do we have to stay in Korea? We’ve been there for 60 years.” I would say it’s time to come home from Korea. And we’ve been in Europe, we’ve been in Japan, and we’re looking for a new fight every single day. So it’s really time that we have a foreign policy that was demonstrated and preached to us by our founders; that is to get along with people, be friends with people, trade with people, but mind our own business, stay out of the internal affairs of other nations and have a strong national defense. That’s what we need.
And we don’t need to endorse this system where the president decides when to go to war. War, under the Constitution, should only be taken upon ourselves when the war is declared by the Congress, not the president.
But good things are happening in this country. The budget is horrible, the Congress is horrible, they’re spending, they don’t hesitate for one minute. But there are good things happening in the country and you’re part of it. People have finally awakened. They have finally found out that if they speak out, maybe they will have some influence. Washington has not responded to the people because the people basically have been quiet. And the ones who made noise were the lobbyist. They came with their hands out, they wanted stuff. Well, it’s all ending, because even those who are supposed to be receive this stuff at your expense, are realizing that it’s not going to last very much longer. We’re bankrupting this country and therefore we do need a sea change.
But what we have to do is ask the proper question. The first question is: what should the role of government be? Everybody would say, “Well, do this and that and that and take care of medical care.” I say it’s a much simpler than that. The role of government is to protect our liberties.
And if we protect our liberties, then the free people can take care of themselves. Get rid of all these taxes and all these regulations and all these government controls and needless wars. The purpose of liberty is to allow a free people to be creative, to release the creative energy that we need, and also to strive for excellence and virtue; that’s what life is all about. But when government takes over this role of saying, “We’re going to make you a better person and tell you have to live and run your personal life, or we’re going to take over your economic powers and we’re going to tell you how you spend your money,” then the government does that at the expense of liberty.
And, of course, what suffers is the prosperity of this country. And this country is indeed bankrupt. The standard of living for middle class America has been going down for 10 years. And it’s not going to go up soon until we realize that we have to get control of our budget, control of our government, and give us sound money. And in the meantime, we will end the Fed. Hey!