Neil Cavuto: See that cattle being prodded and poked? To the Congressman who says, that’s kind of us, right now. And it’s gotta stop. Texas Republican Congressman, Ron Paul. I think the analogy, at least when it comes to air travel, is pretty fitting. Explain. Can you hear me, Congressman?
Ron Paul: I didn’t hear the last phrase, I couldn’t get all.
Neil Cavuto: You think we’re like cattle flying these days?
Ron Paul: Well, I’m afraid we’re getting that way. We’re depending, we want safety and we want protection. We don’t want our liberties and we expect government to take care of us from cradle to grave. I think it’s a bad sign and I think the greatest symbolism of this is what we put up with at the airports. And I think I didn’t realize how many people were about as sick and tired of it as I am, because the response has been rather amazing. But no, governments aren’t supposed to be designed to give us perfect safety. They’re supposed to do their best in protecting our liberties. And I’m very annoyed. The legislation I’ve introduced to try to change this, is to remove the immunity from government agents from doing things that you and I aren’t allowed to do. The average citizen, if they did in public what the TSA agents do, would be arrested; probably put in prison for molestation and battery. So a society is in deep danger if there are two sets of codes: one for the government and one for the people. And there’s nothing more symbolic of the deterioration of the respect for liberty than you find at the TSA. And if for one minute the people think they’re much safer because of the TSA, they got it wrong. We are not safer because of the TSA, we would be every bit as safe, if not safer, without the TSA. Government was involved with protecting us at the airports before 9/11, and they didn’t do a very good job. They shouldn’t have been given more power, they should have been given less power.
Neil Cavuto: But what do you recommend next Wednesday, congressman, when there is this so-called “opt out” day and a lot of the advocates of this are saying, “Everybody get padded down here, have a big old wait, and let’s see how they like it.”
Ron Paul: Well, it’s a mixed blessing, but I recommend that it’s not such a bad idea. Let them do it, make a point. You know, the executive branch is bearing down on us, they’re doing this to us, the Congress is totally inept, they’re not saying a word and they’re not changing it. You know, they were only 3 of us that voted against the department of homeland security, and it’s out of control. So the people have to speak out, that’s one way, it’s civil disobedience in a way, of speaking out and saying, “Hey look, let’s not put up with this, enough is enough.”
Neil Cavuto: So what do you say then, congressman, when homeland security and these others says, “Well, we know what the underwear bomber where he was hiding his stuff, so as unpleasant as this is, this is what we got to do.”
Ron Paul: There’s no proof of that, and sticking their hands down in somebody else’s underwear is not going to prove anything else. I think the airline should be in charge and the individuals who want to fly on those airlines, they can be profiled. It would be much different when private people maintain the safety. When government does it, they have to … they’re not allowed to profile, they’re not allowed to do a lot of things, and they end up with total chaos. And they don’t accomplish what they want. The thing that has helped the most in these last 9 years has been the fact that they put tighter doors, stronger doors to protect the cockpit, and they put guns in the cockpit. The odds of the terrorist ever even planning another deal like they did are slim to none. They’re just sitting back and laughing at us and at what we’ve done to ourselves. I mean, we do more harm to ourselves than the Al-Qaida has done. When you think of how many people have died, you know, in us trying to rectify this, we’ve lost 6,000 people overseas and killed hundreds of thousands of others, and I don’t believe for a minute we’re any safer than we were before, because there are still a lot of Americans dying in the Middle East over this whole episode. But for us to sit back …. my biggest gripe is that the American people … it looked like we’re too complacent and just gleefully going through and saying, “If this is what it takes to make me safe.” But there’s a limit, and I think we’re reaching that limit and the people have to be convinced that government can’t produce perfect safety. If you think government should, that means they have to have a camera at every single household to make sure that nobody gets into a fight.
Neil Cavuto: That’s actually a very good point. If you don’t mind my switching gears, there’s so much going on today, congressman. There is this strong stance that Nancy Pelosi has in the House, and probably it’s being echoed by the Democratic leadership. I just had Jerry Nadler here from New York saying that uh, “Renew all the Bush tax cuts, put the ones on the rich. No ifs, ands, or buts.”
Ron Paul: Well, I believe in equality and equal rights, so I don’t believe in the income tax, though. I’m not much for picking and choosing who should be taxed and who shouldn’t be taxed because…
Neil Cavuto: But this would seem to imply that we’re not going to get this resolved in a lame duck session, that’s for sure.
Ron Paul: It looks like it’s going to be a problem, but my guess would be what they’ll probably do is they’ll probably resend it and allow the tax reduction to be maintained for everybody except for the very wealthy, and that would be far from being perfect, but it would be better than raising taxes on everybody.
Neil Cavuto: So when many in your party, sir, are saying, “It’s either everybody or nobody,” you say that’s a risky strategy?
Ron Paul: Well, it is. I always vote to improve things. And I think they have every right and we should negotiate and maneuver the best we can to get the tax cuts for the maximum number of people. But if the only choice is raising taxes on everybody or raising taxes on a smaller number, I can’t hardly say that I’m going to punish everybody so more people suffer. That doesn’t make any sense to me. So I’m for reducing taxes on as many people as possible.
Neil Cavuto: Nancy Pelosi and the president both taking a bow on this GM rescue resulted in this big IPO — initial public offering — today that it was well worth it and proved it was well worth it. I’m just sort of paraphrasing, congressman. But what do you say?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s not what you see, it’s what you don’t see that you have to pay attention to. And who suffered? Did the American people suffer from the bailing out? I would say yes, some people didn’t get an equal share of that bailout. It also has improved the thing that ordinary bankruptcy might not have worked. That means that General Motors probably did have some valuable property, and if they would have gone through normal bankruptcy, I believe they would have been back on their feet even sooner and there wouldn’t have been a penalty placed on the taxpayer who had to suffer the consequence of the inflated currency and the manipulating of interest rates and some people getting the bailout and other people not. So when government gets involved in bailouts, they’re not right. Bankruptcy laws are very important, it’s a Federal function, we should have followed it a long time ago, and all we have done is interfere with the bankruptcy laws and, of course, that’s why we’re prolonging our recession and working very hard to turn it into a depression.
Neil Cavuto: Congressman, good stuff all. Thank you, good seeing you again.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Neil Cavuto: Ron Paul.