Female News Anchor: What’s better than to bring him to speak for himself? He’s hugely popular, he wins our FoxNews.com live polls. People thought that he was the top man in the political debate that we had. We have Congressman Ron Paul from the great state of Texas here. And you’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is the debt ceiling. Tell us your thoughts and what needs to be done about it.
Ron Paul: We need to fix it so we can’t go higher. If we put a debt ceiling and live up to it, Congress will have to spend less money; it’s as simple as that. So I’m positively opposed to raising the debt ceiling and I have voted against every debt ceiling increase since I’ve been in Congress. And that’s a big flaw to say, “Well, you can endlessly spend and borrow and keep raising the debt limit.” The debt limit is there for a reason, let’s try to get Congress’s attention to live within their means.
Female News Anchor: Congressman, what is the point of even having a debt ceiling if you continue to raise it time and time again? And why do the politicians in Washington DC lack the political will to do something substantive about it and control spending?
Ron Paul: Well, your question is right? Why have it if we don’t live up to it. I happen to think that you should live up to it. And I think a good example of why they don’t is because they can’t take the heat, and the heat gets pretty tough because as soon as you tinker with anything that happens to touch a certain special interest group, they get hysterical. You know, they don’t care about the future bankruptcy and going off a cliff and having runaway inflation. I mean, that’s beyond them, that’s next month or next year. But for now, don’t tinker with anything that’s mine, cut somebody else’s. And the politicians hear about it. Believe me, they get the phone calls and they go to their Town Hall meetings. And you know recently the anger wasn’t directed towards Obama now, it’s directed towards any Republican attempt to try to cut. So it’s a terrible business when you’re totally bankrupt. We’ve been getting away with this for too long because we had the perception that we were eternally wealthy, that our jobs would produce wealth, that we could borrow if we needed to, and then we could keep printing. But that’s all coming to an end, so the ball game has changed and we’ll have to live within our means regardless of whether we raise this limit or not.
Female News Anchor: Yea, I think you’re right. The reality has set in, there’s no more putting it off. Our fine political panel here has a couple of questions for you, Congressman, and we’ll begin with David.
Ron Paul: Okay.
David: Congressman, good to see you again. So what would your alternative be in terms of not raising the debt limit? Where would the cuts start or should there be some sort of constitutional proposal for a balanced budget amendment? Or do you see a return to line-item vetoes? What could be put in place because I have the feeling that they are going to raise it. If they get a deal, what should they aim for? I agree with you that they shouldn’t raise it, they should cut the spending.
Ron Paul: Okay, I don’t like the line-item veto, it’s a congressional responsibility on spending, not the executive branch’s. A constitutional amendment is going to take way too long, the crisis is building and it’s imminent, so that won’t work. We have to cut spending, we should not raise taxes in the midst of a bad recession going on. You can’t raise taxes, that would be ruinous. So, where are you going to cut? That’s the big thing, and we’re back to that. My proposal, both because I believe in it as well as I think it’s good politics, and that is, look at our overseas expenditures. All the money that we spend – it is estimated now that we spend over a trillion dollars managing our foreign policy. And I don’t believe for a minute we’re safer for it. So we could cut 100s of billions of dollars there. I would not try to start with healthcare. But if that doesn’t work, and nobody agrees with it, we should agree that if we come to the point where we have to cut, just do an across-the-board cut. But I do believe in priorities, I just happen to think that welfare aid to big corporations and aid to foreign governments and corporations and all these things could be cut first. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. So the only other step left would be to cut the whole budget. Everybody gets cut the same amount. You know, if you have 5 kids and you have to cut their allowances, you cut them all evenly. So we have too much dependency. Even though I would still argue for the case or priorities, I don’t believe it’s coming. Matter of fact, I’m not too optimistic that we’re going to come to grips with this. I think we’re heading for a financial catastrophe.
Female News Anchor: Yea, and there are many people that agree with you. You’ve had an incredible career, both as a physician and as a congressman. Why do you think that you are so hugely popular? I mean, not only with Tea Party supporters, but a lot of electorate really feels impassioned about your candidacy.
Ron Paul: Well, I ask a lot of questions and I try to figure it out. I don’t quite understand it, but I think it’s the people who feel like they’ve been left out. A lot of people who come up to me are enthusiastic. They heard me in the debates 4 years ago, and they said, “Oh he sounded pretty good. But when I really got excited was when I checked your voting record, and you actually voted that way.” And I think it was the credibility gained from that, and it’s especially true with young people. And I try to lay it on the line with them about how bad it’s going to be and yet they get enthusiastic and believe there are answers. And the answers can be found in something I think is wonderful, you know, our constitution, limited government and get the dependency off government. We can’t depend on the government to take care of us, and it’s well received by young people.
Female News Anchor: Yea. Well, we’ve got our live chat here on www.FoxNews.com. There are so many supporters on here. Like we said, you hands down won the debate with the viewers here. And they have Bill saying how intelligent you are. Robert is saying, “This man just tells it like it is, and we need that.” They feel that you’re someone who speaks directly to them, you’re not hiding any of the facts, you lay it out there. And Dustin Bailey said, “Ron Paul’s the best guy in the room when it comes to domestic issues. Tell me your thoughts on domestic issues and what you think we can do better.
Ron Paul: Everything we can do better because…
Female News Anchor: Everything? Ha ha ha.
Ron Paul: … because we depend on the government. See, the bureaucracy and the politicians don’t know how to make decisions.
Female News Anchor: True.
Ron Paul: People know how to make the decisions. We shouldn’t depend on government to tell us how to spend our money. But one basic thing that would help us … it’s an economic principle that I believe so strongly in … and that is, you can’t get capital out of a spicket. The Federal Reserve is a spicket, they can’t just roll the presses and come out with the money and think that’s the way you stimulate an economic recovery. That is what caused our problems. Capital has to come from savings, savings only comes from good jobs, and because we’re over taxed, over regulated, and we have a very weak currency which encourages capital to leave our country and take their jobs with them. Unless we reverse those basic fundamentals, we can’t get our jobs back and get the productivity and the wealth that we need for the people to take care of themselves. Right now, we’re under the gun, I’ll tell you. This country is getting poorer rather quickly.
Female News Anchor: Yea, that’s the problem and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. What we need is responsible leadership, people that have the political will to make the tough decisions. Real briefly – we have to let you go because I know you’re a very busy man – talk to you about entitlements.
Ron Paul: About entitlements? Well, when it comes to entitlements, if you look at the constitution, there’s really no room for entitlements. The entitlements are always set up to help poor people, but it ends up bankrupting the poor people. They lose their jobs and they get the inflation and they lose their houses. The entitlement system and the welfare system actually serves the interest of big corporations. And we have a system of corporatism, so when you look at the medical care, both right and left have programs for decades now. But the big corporations are involved, the insurances companies, the drug companies, the management companies, and it’s ruined the relationship between the doctor and the patient. So the entitlement system has backfired on those who genuinely wanted to help the poor people, because the poor people are getting poor and unfortunately for them, the rich are getting richer.
Female News Anchor: Alright, well, let me tell you something, you’ve got so much support out there, and people want to know where can they go to get more information, because you are a big time contender for the 2012 presidential election. So where should they log on to?
Ron Paul: www.RonPaul2012.com
Female News Anchor: There you go, simple as that. See, this guy just tells it like it is. Fantastic. Congressman, always a pleasure, thanks so much for being with us.
Ron Paul: Thanks for having me.