Ron Paul appeared on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch to comment on the growing rebellion against the TSA.
Judge Napolitano: “Enough is enough”, that’s what Congressman Ron Paul is saying, and it’s more and more what Americans are feeling about intrusive airport scans and gropes. Listen to Congressman Paul’s impassioned plea on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Ron Paul: What we’re doing and what we’re accepting in putting up with at these airports, is so symbolic of us just not standing up and saying, “Enough is enough”. I know the American people are starting to wake up, but our government, those in charge, Congress as well as the executive branch, are doing nothing.
Judge Napolitano: Congress as well as the executive branch are doing nothing. But America’s foremost spokesman for liberty in the United States Congress, Texas Republican Congressman, Dr. Ron Paul, joins us now. Dr. Paul, welcome back to Freedom Watch, it’s always a pleasure.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Judge Napolitano: What can the government do? The public is in acute distress. The president has been virtually silent. The Congress, except for you, seems like it’s still on vacation. What can we do?
Ron Paul: Well, we should have done a lot less a lot sooner, and it would have been nice if they could have anticipated what it would be like if they created the TSA, where there were only about 3 of us who objected to that. But now what do we do? Well, my suggestion is the first thing we should do is make sure there is no immunity for the people in the government doing things that are illegal for everybody else, and that’s what my bill would do. That would be a step. But that’s a long way off. How am I going to get the House to pass it and the senate to pass it? And the president won’t sign it. So that leaves it to the people; the people have to express themselves. And I’d have to say they’re doing a pretty good job. And I would say not only the cables, but the mainstream media, give them credit. They’re putting stuff out there and they’re showing the abuse. So it is waking up the American people. Sadly, it’s slow. But I think we’re making progress. I really think the people are getting annoyed. But I think a little bit of civil disobedience won’t hurt. I mean, stand up to them and say, “I’ve had this…”
Judge Napolitano: Right.
Ron Paul: “…you can’t make me do this”, and see what happens. So I think opting out isn’t the worst idea in the world.
Judge Napolitano: Here’s the problem as I see it. A person can’t fondle their neighbor when their neighbor comes on to their property. We don’t have the right or the power to give that power to the government. How can the government do something that we can’t do, that we never empowered the government to do it? As I’m discussing this with you, we’re showing a film of a 6 year old boy being stripped to his waist and touched by federal agents against the parents’ will.
Ron Paul: You know, looking at this and that’s what motivated me the other day was, if this doesn’t wake us up, what chance do we have to get them to bring our troops home and look at the Patriot Act and look at our foreign policy, and do all the other things like look at the Fed? Those are big issues, too. But this one is in our face. If they can put up with this and say, “Oh well, sacrificing a little bit of our freedom is necessary because we want to be safe”. And you know the absurdity of that. If we want to be perfectly safe, we’re going to have government cameras not only in our cars measuring everything that we do and say, but in our houses, too. You know, we can’t prevent crimes in our houses. Every once in a while kids get beaten and wives get beaten. So if we had a camera in the houses, we would prevent a lot of crimes. So this goal of having perfect safety, and that the government’s responsible for it, is a notion that has been growing for too long. I hope we can use this episode with the TSA to show that that’s not the responsibility of government. The responsibly of government is to protect our liberty.
Judge Napolitano: Have you detected the view that you’ve just expressed amongst your fellow members of Congress. Because I wasn’t kidding, we had John Mica on last week – the Republican who wrote the TSA Act 6 or 7 years ago – who said, “We never intended this and we have to take this power back”. We’ve heard you. The President said, “Oh, I talked to Janet Napolitano, but she tells me this is the only thing we can do”. Congressman, Congress would never have written this law because they could never confront their constituents. This is a rule written by nameless, faceless bureaucrats. Question: are other members of Congress as animated about this as you are?
Ron Paul: Well, I think a few. A few are, but it remains to be seen. But I just don’t think that the enthusiasm is there. The people who created the TSA say, “Well, we didn’t intend to do this.” And like you say, it was done by regulators, but that’s what happens all the time. Do you think the Congress writes all the regulations for the IRS? Do they write them for the Fish and Wildlife and Wetlands? But that’s a derelict in duty by the Congress. And, you know, the executive branch is not to write laws. They shall write no laws, it’s only the Congress. So it’s that whole principle that’s allowed this total out of control growth of the executive branch and judicial branch.
Judge Napolitano: Does the federal government have any business, any authority, or any particular specialty in protecting private property?
Ron Paul: Not the federal government. Matter of fact, I don’t think of government as protecting private property. I think the second amendment protects your private property. And government should protect your amendment and your rights, and if somebody does invade your property, they can get involved. But you can’t depend on the government. You know, Brinks does a pretty good job of protecting our money, but they own the trucks and they have their guards and it’s a secured truck. I don’t know why that principle cannot be applied to our airlines. They have a precious cargo. I’ve always argued, even from 9/11 on, that you know this country thinks more of their money; they allow the private sector to do the good job of protecting money, but they won’t let the private sector protect a precious cargo: the people. And yet it was the government’s failure before 9/11. Our federal government was in charge of security, we were spending 40 billion dollars, and it totally failed. So we double its budget and took away more freedoms from the American people, and then they wonder why it’s not working very well. I mean, we need to wake up and wake up quickly. But what I’m afraid of is if they don’t do it in a systematic, orderly fashion, people are going to wake up being pretty darn angry. As our economy deteriorates, I think we could be in for big trouble. That’s why I think we need to wake up a lot more people, and hopefully this Tea Party Movement has done part of this. So we’ll see what happens next year, and see if we come to our senses.
Judge Napolitano: I think you have the phrase of the week this thanksgiving week, Congressman Paul, “Enough is enough”. Thanks for joining us, it’s always a pleasure.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Judge Napolitano: Putting it simply, what the TSA is doing with the power of the federal government behind it, is violating everyone’s natural and constitutional rights, and yet we’re allowing it to happen. But here’s an idea that harkens back to the days before 9/11: let the free market take over. Wouldn’t the private sector do a better job of manning and securing our airports and protecting their own property? Peter Schiff says, “Yes.” He’s the president of Euro-Pacific capital and host of his own daily radio show streaming live on SchiffRadio.com
Peter, it’s a pleasure. Welcome back.
Peter Schiff: Thank you.
Judge Napolitano: Tell me how it would work if the airlines gave you a choice, if the airlines protected private property, and if the same government that can’t deliver the mail, had nothing to do with it?
Peter Schiff: I mean, certainly airlines care a lot more about passenger safety than the government, after all it’s their reputation that’s on the line. You know, I’m a frequent flier myself, and the most important thing to me in an airline, is safety. And if I think an airline is cutting corners on maintenance or security, then you know, I’m not going to want to fly, no one’s going to want to fly. In fact, no one’s going to want to work there. How are you going to get flight attendants and pilots to fly planes if they don’t believe that the airline is taking safety seriously? So, I want the airlines to protect their reputation, to protect their brand, and they’ll do it in a way that is a lot more efficient than the way the government does it. And, of course, if a plane crashes on the government’s watch, it doesn’t really bother them. You know, I mean, sure people die, but they’re not going to lose their jobs, they’re not going to lose their reputation. The private sector doesn’t have all these constitutional constraints that the government has, and you know, we need something like profiling to make this thing efficient. You know, when I go on an airplane, it doesn’t bother me that I have to take my shoes off, put my laptop in a tray and go through the screening. What bothers me is waiting in line for half an hour to do it. And so if they didn’t have to screen everybody because they were smarter about what they did. Even if I was one of the people that was profiled, it wouldn’t bother me because I would zip right through the process. Because there wouldn’t be all these other people that were also being scrutinized to the same degree.
Judge Napolitano: Let me throw this one at you: how about the airlines giving us a choice. If you want to be a slave, if you want body cavity searches, if you want to fly in the most absolute guaranteed secure environment you can, then buy Ticket A and go on Airline A. But if you want to be treated with personal dignity, if you want to have a conversation with an airline attendant who’ll look at you and make a mature judgment about you before deciding that he has to touch your body, then buy Ticket B for Airline B.
Peter Schiff: Absolutely. And people can chose the level of security they want the way they chose want kind of meals the plane is going to serve, or how much legroom do they have. I mean, people can make choices as to what they want. And also, you know, the way they treat you, if you have private sector employees, they’re going to treat you with a lot more respect because you can complain, they can get fired. When you have these government workers coming in there, they don’t treat you with any respect. They can say whatever they want, they’re never going to get fired. So you always get much better service when you go to federal express than when you go to the post office.
Judge Napolitano: That goes without saying. Peter, before you go, I want to prevail upon your expertise. In the past two weeks, Ben Bernanke, with whom you are a public and notorious combatant, and rightly so, has announced that the Federal Reserve is going to flood the market with 600 billion dollars. What will that do to the value of my house, the value of my car, and the value of the money I have in my savings account?
Peter Schiff: Well, it’s going to diminish the value of your savings, number one. I mean, it creates inflation, so it makes every American poorer. It means our wages have less purchasing power, our savings have less value. I do think that the result of all this money printing might be that the nominal value of your house might rise relative to where it otherwise would have been. But in real terms, in real wealth, it’s going to be diminished. Because creating inflation undermines our economy, undermines the credibility of our currency, discourages savings and investment, and is going to ruin this economy. And what it really amounts to is government default. The government is saying, “We can’t pay our bills legitimately…
Judge Napolitano: Right.
Peter Schiff: …so we’re going to print money, we’re going to monetize this debt, we’re going to call it ‘quantitative easing’ because it sounds better”. But what it is, is old fashioned monetization, Argentinean style.
Judge Napolitano: Got it.
Peter Schiff: That’s what we’re doing.
Judge Napolitano: Peter Schiff, thanks for joining us.