Neil Cavuto: Well, if the military can’t force him to stand down, leave it to Hosni Mubarak to try and just pay them off. Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto and Fox, on top of some shady Cairo dealings going down, reports today: President Mubarak’s government just approved 50% pay raises for each and every one of the country’s six million government workers. Apparently the country’s got the dough. Or should I say, Hosni’s got the dough. How about 70 billion bucks of it! That’s how much the guy is said to be worth. Not bad for government work. But he isn’t getting it off of a government salary. He’s getting it off of… well, us!
Now you know where a lot of that foreign aid we’ve been giving him has been going. All the more reason for Texas Congressman Ron Paul to demand, “Time for all of this to start ending!” The Congressman joins me on the phone right now. Congressman, I guess this is all the indication you need to prove your basic point that when you give a lot of money to a suspect government, this is the kind of stuff that happens.
Ron Paul: Yeah, I think we have been proving our point, but it’s a pretty expensive way to learn a lesson. But I’m not even sure we’ve learned our lesson. Next week or next month or so, there will be a new dictator over there, and I don’t think the money will quit. I think they’ll keep sending the money. And then there will be a new group come in and rip us off. The American people should know about this. They should object to it. When we’re prosperous, they don’t seem to mind too much. But now that we’re in trouble, maybe they’ll wake up and say, “60-70 billion dollars to people who rip us off?! Maybe we ought to quit.” But I’m afraid they’re only going to quit when we go totally bankrupt and our monetary system doesn’t work at all.
Neil Cavuto: Well, you know, sadly, Congressman, you were way ahead of this. And I’ve started crunching the numbers here with our staff. It is staggering. Our foreign assistance bill alone is about $32.8 billion — a big chunk of that going to Egypt, of course. But over the years we’ve forgiven a lot of countries’ debt to us. Twenty-some-odd years ago we forgave about $21-28 billion in loans to Egypt, so that’s just piled onto money we’ve given them. But look at all these countries that are getting significant dough from us. Your son, Rand Paul, raised some hackles when he even included, in that sum of money we shouldn’t dole out, Israel. But both of your greater point is that there is no point to this aid. We don’t get much bang for the buck for it. Right?
Ron Paul: No, it is money wasted. But I think there’s a negative: Not only is the money wasted; I don’t think it really secures our friendships, either. I think it secures insecurity and disequilibrium in these areas. I don’t think it brings about stability. Those regions are unstable. And what it does, it incites the people who, finally, when they get fed up, they rebel.
Neil Cavuto: You’re right about that, Congressman. Because when you realize the rogues’ gallery that we have funded… Let’s just go through Mubarak first off and just review how much Egypt has gotten: $60 billion in U.S. aid. And as we continue here, the cast of characters gets even more nefarious. We’re riffling through some of these, if we can move on from Egypt to the Shah of Iran in the past and some of these others.
Ron Paul: Right.
Neil Cavuto: Good investments at the time, we were told, until we realized, “Uh oh. Their people don’t flip over these guys.” How do we get ourselves extracted from this?
Ron Paul: Well, the people don’t pay enough attention, and we don’t have enough political leadership in Washington to care about it. And then they rationalize, and they talk themselves into “This is an investment.” And–somebody the other day, I heard them say, after this issue came up and they were challenging me–they say, “We have to have friends over there, don’t you know? How are we going to have friends if we don’t–“, they didn’t say it, but, “How do we have friends if we don’t keep bribing them?” is more or less what they’re implying. We won’t have friends unless we–
Neil Cavuto: Well, they’re also saying–I’m sorry, Sir, but they’re saying, “If we don’t bribe them, someone else will.” I know I sound like a Mafioso crime family, saying that. But I guess all this does sound like a Mafioso crime family, that if the Corleones don’t do it, the Scalinis will, you know? It sounds weird, but that’s kind of the way we’ve been doing business, right?
Ron Paul: Let them do it! Yeah, but we couldn’t stop the Soviets from doing it, and they finally bankrupted their country. So they weren’t building their empire by doing too much around the world, and they finally go broke. So if somebody else wants to get involved, let them get involved. We’ll just–you know, they don’t have an incentive; the whole region over there, not Egypt necessarily, but the region will always want to sell us oil. So for us to say that we need to have troops in there, and we need to secure the king of Saudi Arabia and their very abusive civil libertarian system, we just don’t need to do it. And I think it backfires on us, and this is the kind of results that we should expect. We shouldn’t be surprised at this–I mean, if they ripped us off to $60-70 billion. But the whole thing is, How do they do it? They don’t just take the check and put it in their bank account. What they do is they take their check, then they have to build a big army, 450,000 troops, to protect the kingdom. Not for national security reasons in Egypt, but they buy weapons. Then they make deals with our weapons manufacturers. That’s how that comes about. They get kickbacks on that. So it’s all under-the-table stuff, but it is the generation of the system that comes about by us pouring in these hundreds of billions of dollars around the world.
Neil Cavuto: That’s right. You know, Congressman, I’ve got to give you credit. You were on this when nobody was. And when we started going through the numbers, man oh man, it was scary. Thank you, Sir.
Ron Paul: Sure thing.