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Carl Bunce: Tonight, we have a special guest, we invited this gentleman, he wasn’t running for president yet, so his GPA kind of went up on us over the last couple of weeks, he actually announced he was running for president last Friday and this is one of his first stops since announcing in New Hampshire… so I’m going to keep this very short, I like to introduce Dr, Congressman and Presidential candidate, Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Thank you. Looks to me like the revolution is alive and well, don’t you think so? And growing too, wonderful, well before I make a few comments I do want to introduce you, if you haven’t met her before but my wife is with me tonight, Carol. Well I’m delighted to be here, I understand there have been a few changes in the party out here and I’m happy to hear about that, growing and more enthusiasm and more attuned to the principles of liberty and that goal that we’re fighting for and believe me, this is a very important state, we’re here early in the campaign because we’re going to keep coming and we’ll be back again and we want to make sure that this state leads the way and shows the rest of the country what liberty is all about.
And I wish that I could come and tell you there is good news, we did get a few new members in Congress and things are better but I’ll tell you what, the conditions aren’t much better in Washington, the conditions are much better out here, outside of Washington, the enthusiasm is growing, the understanding is growing, the knowledge about what brought us to this mess and what we need to do, that’s where I’m optimistic. I’m especially happy when I get to visit the college campuses cause the next generation knows what a bum wrap they’re getting and what they’re going to have to do so…
But in Washington, it’s the same old stuff and I’m pretty tired of it and I know you are and I think what we should do is change it all and change our whole concept of it. Of course all of you here are involved in political action and that’s very important, but political action should only be a consequence of a philosophic position. The philosophic position and the understanding about where and how we got into this mess is pretty clear, the political changes are just in the transition and that’s why it’s so difficult. But we as a country have lived with bad economic policy for a long time and I think one of the most tell telling statements ever made by a president, at least in economic terms was when I heard Nixon get on the radio one night back in 1971 and he announced and guaranteed that we’re all Keynesians now.
I want to wait for the day, I’m anxiously waiting for the day when we can say we’re all Austrian Economists and we believe in the free market. Which is not difficult to describe if you’re for the free market and individual liberty, you believe in individual rights, you believe in property rights, you believe in contracts, you believe in not stealing, that means the government can’t steal either. But there is another important element to the free society and constitutional system and that is you don’t have a central bank and you don’t have a Federal Reserve System. We didn’t quite get the full audit of the Fed last year, we passed it in the House, due to a lot of work all of you have done but it was watered down the Senate and it came out greatly watered down, but we did get some information out of the Fed from last year’s bill.
But also we’ve gotten more information because of the two law suits by Fox Business as well as Bloomberg which they filed suit under the freedom of information act. So these are all things moving in the direction that actually I have been pretty surprised and pleased and that we’ve gotten this far. Because in the past courts have always ruled in favor of the Central Bank. If you think back in history about the civil war period and during the depression and actually in 1971 the courts always ruled in favor of the government’s paper money system. But this time I sort of was pessimistic that they would not rule in favor of the people in saying the Fed had to turn over some of this material that they have and I’ll tell you what? I think it’s the first time in its 100 year history of the Federal Reserve that they’re on the defensive right now.
I actually take a little bit of a pride in the fact that now the Federal Reserve board chairman has to hold press conferences and they hired a lobbyist to go around and represent their position to Congress cause they know that you have awakened and your knowledge about the Federal Reserve has never happened before, the Fed has gotten off with just anything they want, they always got the credit for the good times, even though those were artificially boom times and then they always got credit for getting us out of the bad times. Right now the evidence is very clear that they created the problems by creating an artificial boom and now they’re going to get blame rightfully so for the problems that we’re facing today.
That doesn’t mean that the people of this country and the Congress doesn’t have a lot of responsibility because they do, we all have the responsibility because we’ve been negligent, we’ve ignored the Federal Reserve and Congress is still a participant in these problems. The Congress, they tend to spend too much money, have you noticed that? And I frequently will call the Federal Reserve a facilitator because the Federal Reserve is related to the deficit because members of Congress for too long have gotten away with saying, “well what will I have to get reelected?” And the people say “just vote for my special privileges and my subsidies” and members of Congress kept getting reelected until this last go round a little bit different.
If you were playing the Pork Barrel program all the time, it didn’t necessary help you, so these conditions are changing and this is very good. The Federal Reserve has been around for nearly a hundred years, but right now we’re getting more information and people say “well are we going in the fed, can you get your bill passed, is that’s going to happen?” The bill and getting the consensus from the Congress to repeal the Federal Reserve act, it’s not likely. But tell you what, just getting the information out and with the knowledge about what they’re doing and what the consequence will be, they’re going to self destruct, that’s what’s going to happen, they’ll become irrelevant.
Since the Federal Reserve represents a moral hazard that is that Congress does things and with the expectation that the Federal Reserve will react in a certain way, so the Congress runs up deficits, whether it’s for the welfare entitlement system or for the militarism around the world, the debt is there and the Fed is then able to monetize it just perpetuating the problems. The whole problem with doing something decent to get us out of this financial mess, is that we’re doing exactly the same things that got us into the mess and it doesn’t work that way. We were spending too much money in Washington, there were too many taxes, too many regulations, too much borrowing and too much printing press money. So what did they do? We have the predictable collapse of the bubble, so what does Congress and the Federal Reserve do? They just do more of the same thing and they think they’re going to get different results and all they’re doing prolonging the agony.
The criminal aspect of this is that the people who deserve to go bankrupt didn’t go bankrupt and the people who didn’t deserve to go bankrupt, they lost their jobs and their houses and oversight and the big guys got bailed out. Since the Federal Reserve encourages deficit spending and irresponsibility of the Congress, what do we end up? We end up with the economic financial entitlement system which is absolutely out of control and there seems to be no way we can turn the switch off and turn it on. So I expect it’s going to continue to get worse until they ruin the money. But the other thing that they have done and they do this notoriously, all nations seem to have done this throughout history that wars are almost always paid for by debasing the currency, if they weren’t allowed and would not debase the currency, we would be prohibited from getting ourselves involved in so many of these no win nonsensical wars that we ought to stop and bring our troops all home.
And this view is growing in popularity, there’s a few years ago that it wasn’t nearly as popular where the debate was just recently down in South Carolina, I would make a few statements this way and I don’t know if anybody remembers but they actually booed me for some of that stuff. Can you believe that? And now this year they’re making the same statements over and over again, I can’t seem to get a new [speak] because my speech is always the same I don’t know why you don’t get tired of it, but my speech is the same. But the people are responding differently, I always figured, I really didn’t expect to go to Washington, I really didn’t and I ended up going there, I wanted to get a few things off my chest, so I ended up going I get elected, I decided I didn’t want to make a career of, I went back home and practiced medicine for 12 years.
So I didn’t expect that much to happen, but even after the last election or during the election, I was surprised at the reception, to me it was just fantastic that people were looking and talking and thinking along these lines that maybe the constitution is important after all. So the last campaign was a pleasant surprise for me because of the interest and then what I thought would happen would be that I would serve in Congress and I would do my very best, I would make my promises, I would take my oath of office seriously, I would vote a certain way and I would leave a record and maybe someday your kids or somebody would read about it and say “I think he probably voted the right way back in those days.” But something happened on my way to retirement and people noticed and to my delight and to the excitement of what’s been happening on the interest, people have become [façade]. But after the last election, the campaign in 2008 I thought once again I often said I was that totally unknown Congressman Doctor from Texas and where did he come from?
And I thought well this is what will happen, I’ll go back to being this totally unknown doctor from Texas in Congress and wait for the time that I should do something better. But all of a sudden then there was an explosion of interest on all the networks, wanting to talk about economic policy, they’re starving for the answers and free market economists, see I don’t claim I have the answers as much as I have latched on to the correct philosophy of free market economics which we talk about but we don’t fully understand and that’s what people are looking for because they know now that Keynesian economics with the Federal Reserve system has failed and we have to find something different.
Now although, I’m rather optimistic about the enthusiasm about the change in ideas on the college campuses around the country, things are still up for grabs, you can just look at what’s happening in Washington today, the big fight over the debt increase, big fight going on there and how is it going to be raised and what are we going to do about it and for every one of us who understand the seriousness of the problem and how badly we want to quit the spending and balance the budget and get our freedoms back again and bring our troops home, there are those others who think that we’re being unpatriotic and that we should fight all these battles and that we can’t put anybody out on the street and they give all this ideas that government can take care of us from cradle to grave.
So the contest is going on, even in monetary policy is a major contest because think, everybody knows there’s something wrong, I think a lot of people that like internationalism, they know it too and they’re laying their plans just as we’re laying our plans, they’re doing theirs in secret but the secrets are coming out and they want to replace the dollar standard which will have to be replaced, it’s not going to last, they want to replace it with an international standard under the United Nations and the IMF and we don’t need it. So therefore the contest will be between national sovereignty of this country and a sensible banking system and the monetary system and we don’t have to invent it, all we have to do we can improve on it but all we have to do is look to the constitution because I believe there is… a phrase in there something about only gold and silver being legal tender and it also says you can’t emit bills or credit, that is you can’t print paper money.
But this is to me the most astounding thing that there’s grown up people that went through college and they have big degrees and they have these high ranking positions in government, they actually believe that stuff, that you could just print money and you get wealthier. Most kids can figure it out when they play Monopoly is not real money, but if we don’t wake up and change things and America just succumbs and is no longer a great country or bastion of liberty, I think the history of this country will be written and they’ll say, “What were those people thinking about? How [unfunder] that grown up people say that well you can spend as much as you want, borrow to the hill, print the money, regulate and try to correct the problems, and if you need more money just print it, and then they wonder why it collapsed?” They will say “we didn’t take any hints” they would look at the history of, what happened to the Soviet system, they were going to take over the world.
The soviet system collapsed because they had this weird foreign policy of reaching out and occupying territories and thinking that they could conquer Afghanistan. And then they would look and say, “what did we do as a people, oh yes we didn’t learn a lesson, the British couldn’t do it, the Russian couldn’t do it, but the Americans can do it, we know how to occupy Afghanistan, we know how to it?” I tell you what, I really believe in the principle of spreading our goodness, but to tell you what, I do not believe our goodness is occupation by militarism and doing it with the use of force. Of course, if we understand that the goodness of America is defending liberty, something we started off with and it creates great prosperity which we did have and then we essentially lost it and now we’re still living on borrowed money.
So if you look at the principles of liberty, the importance of liberty and where our liberties come from in a natural God given way that property rights are important, the contracts are right important, sound money is important, that friendship with other nations in trade is good for all of us. These are good things, why can’t we set an example for the world and say “why and how did the Americans do it?” Then they might want to come and study and emulate us, de Tocqueville came and thought we were a great nation in the 19th century because he looked and he saw us as a spiritual nation and we’d befriended liberty and we weren’t on the welfare state in all of these things. But today we have drifted so far from that but we know what the answers are, we know how we got here and what it takes is going to be determination and that is why I’m delighted to see you here tonight because you have, you either have been or you’re getting involved and elections are important, some people find politics distasteful, some days I find it distasteful too.
But there are some very good people who say “I don’t like to deal in politics, but I’m interested” they spend their time in education, that’s fine and dandy, but ultimately if the philosophy is correct, you have to have some political action, the founders of the country were very astute and very well educated and knew enough to write a very good if not the greatest document between the people and the government. So they did this, that was called political action that they took and so we actually have more opportunity now and I believe that under the current system, we have to do exactly what you’re doing because it’s still available to us, we don’t know how long it will last, every single day I read another story about the encroachment of the federal and state governments on our personal liberties and I get sick and tired of it on what they’re doing.
And if you disagree with me on that why don’t you take a flight on an airplane, you might find out what it’s like. A year ago or so when they changed the rules when the groping and the nude x-ray started and all that, was rather annoying, so I introduced legislation, it wasn’t complex, it said that, and I got this idea from Bastiat, but I said that, “if you can’t do what the TS agents are doing and you’d be arrested, therefore the government agent should have the same penalty as you would if you did it.” And just this week the Texas house and other states are doing I hope you’ve thought about it here it to pass laws that are state laws insisting the state laws under those circumstance can supersede the federal laws. Bastiat actually in the law talked more about the economic interventions and all and his simple premise was that the law cannot do and the government can’t do what you can’t do.
So if you can’t steal from your neighbor, why in the world do you think you should send a member of Congress to steal from the neighbor and bring the goods to you, it’s not complex. It’s a basic moral principle, now I often wondered why we had for so many years been losing this battle, but I think we’re getting the steam right now, I think we lost in one way because we became so prosperous, we became concentrated only on the material abundance we had and we didn’t care about how it came about to the point where we live beyond our means and we could borrow, borrowing is still available to us, we still borrow money. So we live way beyond our means, we depend on inflated money and then we didn’t care about our liberties. So if we continue to do that and not look at the basics, there’s no way this continue because our productive capacity has been so destroyed, it’s so ironic and so discouraging to think that capitalist in this country, people who have to make a living and make profits, find it easier to start a business in China than it is in this country.
And they have $3 trillion in the bank, over a third of it is our money and they’re in charge, we go around the world borrowing money and fighting these wars and getting ourselves into trouble, bankrupt in our country and China is out there doing these capitalistic things of investing in oil and drilling all around the world like this. So it’s time we reasserted ourselves and say we can’t do it that way, why don’t we become true believers in the free market and save a little bit and invest and do the things that we should do to make the country wealthy. The philosophy of liberty is, from my personal viewpoint is such a wonderful philosophy but unfortunately we have come up short in that the argument against us we seem to have lost the argument but I think we have the chance to regain it.
And the argument is, we don’t care about people, you just throw everybody out on the street and there’s no safety net, yeah but they don’t have any wealth, they don’t have any more, all they give is debt and they think they’re the solutions? So yes to continue to spend and take care of people and print the money, well what’s going to happen when the money doesn’t buy anything? And we’re moving into an age of inflation right now and that’s going to happen, but if we’re looking for a system that is moral and humanitarian, there’s only one system and that is freedom, it cannot be socialism. Those individuals who pose as believe in perfect equality, they don’t care about some people doing better than others, so they give up everything to say everybody will be equally poor unfortunately. So if we allow them to do that then we’re going to have so much trouble, but our answers should be very clear that if you care about your fellow man, you want production, you want people to have jobs, you want people to have the satisfaction of taking care of themselves and unfortunately though, people are pretty discouraged right now and both the people who learn to live off the government plus those who are desperate to get a job and get work and go back again.
And it isn’t because they’re not willing to work, it’s because the government has messed things up so badly and they continue to do this and there are answers for it. There are answers to show that more people are taken care of, if we’re free and prosperous you say “well there’s still going to be the poor,” there probably will be some poor. But they’ll be a lot less poor and we’re going to have a lot more money to help our family and friends and our neighbors and our church. So in many ways what we need is a better understanding and more confidence in ourselves, we need to understand the idea of tolerance because in economics, in the free markets, some people will be rich. As long as they don’t get rich, by getting benefits from the government and they provide a good service for you and me and we buy things voluntarily, they ought to be allowed to get rich.