Show: The Tom Sullivan Show
Host: Tom Sullivan
Tom Sullivan: Joining us is Congressman Ron Paul of the great state of Texas, and Congressman, we got a lot to cover. Thanks for joining us.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Tom Sullivan: Lets start with the Republican revolution that everybody is talking about since Christine O’Donnell won in Delaware. You’ve been kind of a revolutionary guy within the Republican Party, what do you make of it?
Ron Paul: Well, I don’t give a lot of credit to the Republican Party for this. I think they’re aware of what’s happening in the country. There’s a revolution going on at the grassroots, and that’s the Tea Party movement. And they want less government, so Republicans are saying, “Hey, that’s what we’ve been talking about, let’s join them”. So I see the Republicans joining the Tea Party movement more than the Republicans leading the Tea Party movement.
Tom Sullivan: Well, you know, a couple of years ago when you were running for president, when you first came on to the national stage, a lot of people called you a gadfly. But now, they’re taking you much more seriously. You were kind of the first voice of a lot of these protests, if you will, but you were protesting from withing the halls of Congress. Are you going to run again for president?
Ron Paul: Oh, I don’t know. I get asked that question a lot and I think about it a lot, and I haven’t ruled it out. But I’m far from ruling it in, too. I think depends on what’s going on next year. I may do it, I may not.
Tom Sullivan: Okay. Well, you got a lot more people listening to you now than you did two years ago. The economy: I mean, jobs and jobs and jobs. And people are looking to Washington and saying, “First of all, there’s nothing that you can really do other than set the stage.” But is it really top priority? People on Washington are working on everything but jobs. They’re talking about it.
Ron Paul: Yeah, and I think they have a confused understanding of economics, because somehow or other, they think that more debt and more inflation and more government spending and keeping the printing press running, will solve the problems. But that’s what has gotten us into the mess. But what they don’t understand is that you have to have the liquidation, the elimination of all the mistakes, all the excessive debt and all the malinvestment, which we’re prohibiting, just as we did in the Depression. Rather than following the 1920/21 depression which lasted one year, the GDP went down rapidly, people went back to work again. So the majority here in Washington certainly do not understand this and they won’t allow the correction because it’s too painful. They don’t want the operation, they’d rather die with their disease than have the operation. Because you have to cut back, you have to cut spending, you have to deregulate, you have to cut taxes massively, and you have to understand where capital comes from. Capital comes from savings, it can’t come out of a printing press. And until we understand that, we’re not going to have jobs, just government spending money on some work project. That takes away from productive investments, that’s why we’re not building car plants and we’re not having productive effort, because the money and the resources are being drained into temporary job making, which is not lasting.
Tom Sullivan: Well, you know, in Congress you’re supposed to represent us, you’re supposed to reflect us, you’re supposed to reflect your congressional district. With all these new names – and there are a whole bunch of new names this past Tuesday that I’ve never heard of before. If you get a crop of all-new people, a bunch of new people in Washington, in Congress, do you think that will change business as usual in Congress?
Ron Paul: Not necessarily. It depends on what they think about on economics. I think it definitely is going to change, because they’re challenging the status quo of big government spending and centralized controls. And what the grassroots are actually rejecting, whether they know it or not, they’re rejecting Keynesian economics. Now that is a revolution. But you have to replace it with something, and for me, it’s replacing it with free market economics of the Austrian school: sound money, getting rid of the Fed, audid the Fed. All these things are important. I think if there is a big takeover, a big change, if they’re not going to have more surveillance and transparency of the government and more invasion of our privacy, the Constitution should protect our privacy and government should be totally open. Today government is totally closed, everything is done secretly, you can’t even evaluate, you don’t even know what’s going on. And the people are being watched; cameras are everywhere. Every financial transaction, 1099s for $600 transactions. I mean, that is the revolution that has to come and the seeds have been planted, it still needs some guiding.
Tom Sullivan: Alright. So, the seeds get planted, and a bunch of people elect a brand new member of Congress, and they can run in. Now, you’ve been there a while, you’ve seen freshmen roll in every two years. And yet, I had a member of Congress that was in a leadership position, tell me years ago that the only way you can be in a leadership position in Washington is if you have a safe seat, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in your district. You spend a lot of time basically managing your leadership position. So unless the leadership changes, does it really matter if we change half the Congress?
Ron Paul: Well, the leadership changes and the Congress changes only when the people change and the attitudes of the people change. The Congress and governments, whether they’re dictatorships or democracies, they reflect the people. When the people get fed up, they throw them out. The Soviet Union ended because the people finally got fed up and didn’t work any longer. And this is what we have to concentrate on: the attitudes of the people are changing and eventually it will be transmitted to the Congress. I mean, they’re already recognizing that the grassroots movement known as the Tea Party movement is very significant. So many are saying, “Hey, what are they saying, what are they saying? How do I stay in office?” and that’s the way it always works. Very rarely do you come up with truly new ideas and true changes from the politicians who’ve been around for a long time. It comes from the grassroots, it comes from an understanding of economics and the purpose of liberty. You know, right now, I think, one of the neatest things happening is that you don’t win elections now by saying, “I brought the bacon home. I’m going up there and I’m going to get more stuff”. Nobody believes that anymore. So there is a revolution going on. It’s the people who say, “Enough is enough. You can’t trust the government, we want to return it to the people, we want you to have jobs with a better economic system, and we want you to spend your own money.” Now that is quite a bit different than sending the errand boy to Washington. And that changes when the people change, and I believe the people are changing.
Tom Sullivan: I think so, too. I think there is a change going on. You know, you’re a baby doctor, you’re a medical doctor.
Ron Paul: Right.
Tom Sullivan: How did you get so much… I mean, you really know every chapter and verse of history of the Federal Reserve and the gold standard. How did you get involved and how did you learn your economics?
Ron Paul: Well, it was in parallel with medicine. I loved medicine, I delivered 4,000 babies over the years. But in a parallel way, even in the 1950s and 1960s I started studying economics. I came across Hayek’s book, “The Road to Serfdom” and I read all of Ayn Rand’s stuff and von Mises and Murray Rothbard. I found economics fascinating and I was particularly interested in the monetary standard. Then I related the monetary issue to big government, because if you can’t have a Federal Reserve, a central bank that monetizes debt, you can’t have all this mess because you can’t tax and you can’t borrow that much money. And today, though, it is coming to and end, and I just think it’s great.
Tom Sullivan: So what do you think of the economy? When are we going to turn? We know it will turn someday, somehow. What’s your prediction?
Ron Paul: It’s going to get a lot worse. I think we’re barely in 1932, during the Great Depression, and they call this one the Great Recession. But this is much bigger than anything in the monetary history of the world. Never has a world economy been run on a total fiat currency, controlled by us, of course, by the dollar. And it has horrendous malinvestment and debt that has to be liquidated. And so far, nobody wants to do that. They want to continue the process, so it’s going to go wild. We’re going to continue to make our mistakes. We will survive it, but when we do, we’ll have to return to sound money and say, “We turned off the printing presses, we’re going to allow the people to keep what they earn and take the jobs that they can get at the salary that they can find.” When that attitude changes, we can go back to work rather quickly and get back on our feet.
Tom Sullivan: We’ll be watching. Congressman Ron Paul, thank you very much.
Ron Paul: Thank you.