Stuart Varney: This morning, ADP reported 187,000 new private sector jobs added in January. That was more than expected. But this pace is still not enough to bring the unemployment rate down below 9%; not even close. Joining the company by phone from Texas — Republican Congressman Ron Paul. Congressman, you’ve been a frequent guest on this program, talking about gold, about the Federal Reserve, and about Ben Bernanke. But we’d like to ask you today about jobs; what do we have to do to spur some real job growth in America? What do you think, sir?
Ron Paul: You won’t have real growth until you liquidate all the mal-investment and all the bad debt. Everything we’ve done in the last 2 years is to prop up bad debt and bad investment and, therefore, real growth I don’t think will come very soon.
Stuart Varney: You don’t see that happening anytime soon, do you – liquidation of all the debt that we accumulated?
Ron Paul: No, we’re doing exactly the opposite. Matter of fact, the debt is still there, but taxpayers own it. The people who ran up the debt and lived high on the hog are back living high on the hog again and getting the bailout. So it’s just a transfer of all that penalty to the taxpayers so the Fed owns all this bad debt, and we’re responsible for it and that’s just going to delay the recovery; the real recovery.
Stuart Varney: I take it that you would not raise the debt ceiling? You would live within our means, starting as soon as that debt ceiling is reached. I take it that’s your position?
Ron Paul: Absolutely. And you could pay your bills as you go along, you could have priorities, you could, you know, pay the interest on the treasury bills, so there’s, the foreign holders of the debt don’t panic. You could do that, it’s not like all the money stops. I think those who are saying the end of the world will come if we don’t raise the debt limit, matter of fact, it might usher in a new era of growth if we ever got, you know, determined enough to do that. And people might say, “Hey, that is great. These people are serious, maybe it would be a real boost to our economy and restore a lot of confidence”.
Stuart Varney: You know, I’d love to take you on on this one, but the producers are in my ears saying, “Ask him about Egypt! Ask him about Egypt!” I will now defer to the producers and ask you about Egypt. I’ve heard you on this subject before, you don’t like the idea that we spend any money to the Egyptians, or virtually anybody else. That’s your position on Egypt, I think.
Ron Paul: Yea, it’s your money, you earn it, you keep it, you spend it. If you like one faction in Egypt, you send your money over there, that’s how a free society works. No, and I think the 60 billion dollars we invested for an artificial peace over there wasn’t worth it, because all it does is build up instability. We invested a lot in the Shah of Iran, but it was unstable and eventually it broke down. So I think this is somewhat similar.
Stuart Varney: Would you say the same thing about Israel, no more government money to Israel?
Ron Paul: Yea, if we cut all the money off to everybody, actually Israel comes out to a benefit because we give more money to Arab nations, when you add it all up, than we give to Israel. And this would prompt Israel to act differently and be more self-reliant and they might have a greater incentive to strike out peace agreements with their neighbors. So I think it would change the dynamic completely. But actually it would help Israel because we would send less money to their Arab enemies.
Stuart Varney: Congressman Ron Paul, I wish we had an extra 3 or 4 hours, maybe one day we will. But I can assure you, sir, that your colleague and friend, Judge Andrew Napolitano, is sitting right next to me and he will continue the debate right after you’ve left our program.
Ron Paul: Yea, and I’m sure he’ll do a better job than I.
Stuart Varney: He will just fight with me as usual. Thank you very much, Congressman. Good stuff.