Kathleen Walter: Welcome to Newsmax TV. I’m Kathleen Walter. Republican and Libertarian, Ron Paul, joins us now via the phone. Welcome back to Newsmax TV, Representative Paul.
Ron Paul: Thank you. Good to be with you.
Kathleen Walter: Newsmax TV has learned that you plan to introduce a bill next year calling for the audit of US gold reserves. Can you explain what the issue is here, and why an audit is needed?
Ron Paul: Well, it just is common sense that a country know what they own. And, we had an audit, of sorts — it still wasn’t a perfect audit — back in the 1970s. That’s forty-some years ago. And during this time, a lot of central banks have either sold their gold or loaned their gold out, in order to try to artificially fix the price lower than the market would fix it. Hopefully someday we will have a gold currency, or we will return the gold to the people, because the gold was taken from the American people in the 1930s at a very low rate. We should know what we own. There should be — the bigger question being, Why should anybody oppose us counting what’s in the bank? Just in case that we make use of it, what are our assets? Because too many questions are raised about what central banks have done in the last 10-15 years.
Kathleen Walter: Now do you believe that there’s any truth to the claims that have been made, that there is no gold in Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve?
Ron Paul: I think that’s pretty unlikely. I’m pretty cynical and think that governments just about do anything. But I think it’s there. The bigger question is, What have been the commitments? Possibly we have made commitments, or loaned the gold. That’s why I wanted that audit of the Federal Reserve, to check all the agreements that they had with foreign central banks and with foreign governments. That’s the one reason, that was one of the major reasons the Fed did not want an audit. They did not want us to know, as a people or as a Congress, exactly what kind of deals they make with other central banks. And they won that fight. They were able to prevent me from getting that passed. But that’s the main thing we need, some more transparency in this. The Fed is becoming better understood now. The Fed was responsible for all the financial bubbles, and that means they’re responsible for all the recessions and depressions, and they should be held accountable.
Kathleen Walter: Several Senate Democrats say that the Bush tax cuts should be fully renewed. Do you see that happening?
Ron Paul: Well, you know, the way Washington works, I thought at one time that it would be automatic, in a weak economy, for people to — literally, for the politicians that raise taxes. It’ll be devastating if they’re not renewed. It all represents a tax increase. It’s the “unknown” right now that’s hanging over the market. But right now, it’s a possibility. I don’t know, I don’t understand, how they can possibly think that way. But when I see what they’ve done with the Medical Care bill and the Financial Reform bills and all the arguments against it. And yet they march forward. So they’re capable of doing that, not renewing the breaks. And that will be very very devastating. The one thing is, though, they’d have to do it before January, because the Congress is going to change. Afterwards, it will be hard for Republicans — if they have control of the House — to get anything passed, because the President can just veto it.
Kathleen Walter: A former Bank of England official is warning that if the tax cuts are not renewed, we may have a full depression. Do you see that happening?
Ron Paul: If they’re not renewed, and they essentially raise taxes? Well, I think we’re going to have the depression anyway. That would just move — make it worse much faster. But I think the economy is destined to get much worse.
Kathleen Walter: You released a statement saying that it looks to you like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns. The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with the perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the First Amendment’s rights of Assembly and Religion, by supporting the building of the mosque.” Why do you think, then, that so many conservatives are largely against it?
Ron Paul: I think most conservatives are very very much in support of our empire. And that means they like the idea of troops being around the world. They support the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and actually support plans for intimidating and moving towards war in Iran. And, they have to have a reason for that. They can’t say it’s for oil. Or they can’t say it’s to make them all democrats over there. So they have to have a target. To get people to die in a war, you have to have somebody you hate. You have to have a Hitler to hate. And therefore they have chosen the Muslim religion, and it all started, of course, with 9/11. The Al Qaeda that attacked us were all Muslims, so therefore all Muslims are hateful, rather than narrowing it just to that one group. But then that was the excuse to go into Iraq, even though Iraq had zero to do with 9/11. Saudi Arabia had a lot more to do with it. So it was an excuse to pursue a foreign policy that had already been planned. So it was Iraq first, and then Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and soon it’ll be Iran. So they have to keep the drumbeat of hate up, so they have to blame the entire religion.
Kathleen Walter: Representative, you’ve written and you’ve said that the debate is about hate and Islamophobia. But the developers of the mosque will not rule out accepting funds from Iran, which pledges death to the United States and Israel. A number of Americans see its construction at Ground Zero as an act of provocation. Are you saying, then, that Americans have absolutely no reason to be concerned about this?
Ron Paul: No, I don’t think so. I mean, just think of how much money we pumped into Saudi Arabia. We prop up their king. And they have the madrassa schools. We taught them to be radicals when we were supporting Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. I think it’s too — I mean, we’d never treat anybody else that’s building a church or a mosque or a synagogue, to check out exactly where the money’s coming from and what everybody believes in. I mean, if something turns up, then you deal with it, if they break the law. But in religion and in the Freedom of Speech, you give people the benefit of the doubt. The newpaper doesn’t have prior restraint. And I think when that is suggested, that we check out everything that they’re doing, that’s prior restraint. And that would mean you endorse the idea that the government should come in and check out our interview right now, and find out that we offend nobody. So no, I don’t want the government checking into the funding of anything like this, and implying that bad people have supported it.
Kathleen Walter: Now, Newsmax TV recently interviewed your son, Rand Paul, who is running for the US Senate in Kentucky. Here’s what he had to say about the mosque:
Rand Paul: I think that if the Islamic community in the United States wants to send a signal that they are very much opposed to what happened on 9/11 — and I think there are many good Muslims in our country who do believe that — I think the better symbolism, though, would be to give a donation to the memorial fund to show that they are for reconciliation, rather than building a mosque. I think it’s doing the opposite right now.
Kathleen Walter: Have you two had spirited debates on this?
Ron Paul: No, we’ve really not even talked about it. But I think he’s in that same category that I talked about in a minute ago, that people that might say that they shouldn’t do it — for public relations reasons, because it’s offensive — they’re quite different than the instigators that want to beat the war drums to make sure we have an enemy to fight, and justify our occupations overseas.
Kathleen Walter: Okay, well let’s talk about Iran. If Israel strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities, how should the US respond, in your opinion?
Ron Paul: Well, I think we should come home. I think that we should come home in the literal sense. We shouldn’t be there, provoking war with Iran, because if Israel knew that we weren’t going to be there, and Israel does it without our permission and gets themselves in a mess, they make the assumption — which is the moral hazard of our foreign policy, they make the assumption that we’ll be there and do anything whatsoever and sacrifice more money and men, if a major war breaks out. But if we back away from that — the sooner the better, hopefully we’d do it before the war breaks out. But if they take it upon themselves, that’s going to have to be their business. I just don’t think we’re the world policeman. I don’t want to be the world policeman. I think it’s a lousy job. I don’t want to have an empire, because we can’t afford it, and too many people die, and it’s endless. It never stops. Our war is spreading, into Yemen, and Somalia, and possibly Iran. So I would tell Israel, they’re on their own. I don’t believe in foreign aid for any country. The Arab-Muslim nations get more foreign aid than Israel gets. So if you’d stop all foreign aid, it would actually be assistant to Israel. But they would be denied the funds, and I think they’d be less likely to have a war, and there would be more peace in the world.
Ron Paul: No. I have no plans for that. And I need to check that out, because a lot of websites say “Ron Paul” on them. But I would be surprised if there’s a website that I’m personally responsible for that has those bumper stickers, unless it’s sort of a ploy of some sort. No, I don’t have any definite plans. But I’ve definitely not ruled it out, either.
Kathleen Walter: If you did run, would you run as a Republican, an Independent, or a third party candidate?
Ron Paul: If I ran, I would most likely run in the Republican primary.
Kathleen Walter: Okay. And you would expect to make an announcement maybe when?
Ron Paul: That wouldn’t come until probably springtime.
Kathleen Walter: All right. Representative Ron Paul of Texas, thanks so much for joining us.
Ron Paul: Thank you for having me.