Fox News Anchor: You can get used to that music, can’t you? Ron Paul (R—TX) has a warning about raising the Debt Ceiling. He’s running for the White House, and he’s warning House Republicans not to cave in from pressure on the Left, and this $14 Trillion figure is not going in the right direction for anyone. He’s also running for the White House, as I mentioned. He’s with me now. Congressman Ron Paul, how are you doing, sir? Good morning to you.
Ron Paul: Doing well. Thank you.
Fox News Anchor: You had some pretty stern words toward your colleagues. What’s wrong with raising the Debt Ceiling for a short period of time?
Ron Paul: I think, “for a short period of time”: that’s the problem. I think it will only encourage spending. We’ve been raising the debt limit for quite a few years. I was concerned about too much spending back in the 1970’s. So you know what I’m concerned about now, because I thought in the 1970’s this would continue, and we’d wind up in a financial crisis. And we’re in the middle of that. So to continue the process is just like driving yourself into a cliff.
Fox News Anchor: But do you have any information that would suggest the Debt Ceiling would not be hiked at some point very soon?
Ron Paul: No. You know, I—
Fox News Anchor: So, it’s going to happen then, you think?
Ron Paul: I think it’s like the C.R., down to the wire, to the last second. I think it will be raised. So our problems won’t be solved; that means that— See, the two things that permit the Congress to spend will be raising the debt limit, and, not even thinking about or addressing the subject that if we have too much debt the Fed can monetize it. Those are the two big problems. And I object to both.
Fox News Anchor: Well, what? If you trim the spending, would you give a little on that? Or are you going to hold firm on your position?
Ron Paul: Oh I wouldn’t—I don’t believe in those kind of deals, because you know—let’s say they raise the debt limit and they promise to cut so-much in the next five years. The only budget that counts is this year. They can’t predict revenues for next year; they can’t predict unemployment; they don’t know what interest rates will be. So it’s all up for grabs. So to say, “Oh, in a year from now we’re going to cut spending,” I don’t believe that.
Fox News Anchor: The reason I asked you that is because you voted against Paul Ryan’s plan, his budget, which a big part of it was trimming Medicare. According to him, he could save about $6 Trillion dollars over ten years. Why wasn’t that good enough to support?
Ron Paul: Well, you know, I gave him a lot of credit for at least addressing it. And I think he gets a bum rap when they paint him as “destroying Medicare” when he doesn’t even touch anybody 55 and over, and he makes an honest effort to make a proposal. But you know, when you looked at the deficit five or ten years out, his deficit was only slightly better than the Democrats’ and the President’s deficit. So, and like I said, it doesn’t really count. The other thing I said—
Fox News Anchor: I think the phrase you used was “rather feeble,” talking about that. By what way? Was he not taking out big enough bites for you, or not?
Ron Paul: Well, I don’t think it was in the right place. See, I think we should take a look at the military-industrial complex. I think we should look at the empire, because that’s unsustainable, too. And there’s a growing concern about that. And right now we’re voting on the DOD [Dept. of Defense] budget, and there’s a strong sentiment to say, “You know, enough is enough. It’s time that we start coming home.” So I want people to look at the entire budget. But I like the position of being able to opt out. The Republicans are right when they were screaming about Obamacare: “We want the right to opt out!” I do! I want the People’s right to opt out, and do our best to cut back elsewhere, and try not to throw anybody out in the street. But as long as we do nothing, everybody’s going to thrown out in the street, because we’re going to have a dollar crisis. And that is much worse than anything we have faced here in the last 20 or 30 years.
Fox News Anchor: Gallop comes out with a poll, just today in fact, that has you running with about 10% support right now in the Republican field. [Graphic: “Possible GOP Candidates”: Mitt Romney 17%, Sarah Palin 15%, Ron Paul 10%, Newt Gingrich 9%.] There’s your top four; you’re ranking #3. You made a comment just this week about Mike Huckabee dropping out in Iowa. You think that “favors you”? And then you said, “Over the past four years, things have changed in a significant way… and people are more enthusiastic.” In what way do you sense that?
Ron Paul: Wow. Well, in everything that I’ve been talking about—the financial crisises [sic] here, it wasn’t admitted to in 2007 and 2008, and now everybody knows it’s here; they talk about the Federal Reserve; they’re talking about foreign policy; and they’re talking about the serious nature of what we’re facing. But the receptions are different. The crowds are larger and more exciting, and with Huckabee out of the race there’s a lot of good Conservatives there that want to stick to their guns and cut spending. So yes, every place I go, the atmosphere has changed. That doesn’t mean that everything is going to be “smooth sailing” and it’s not a big job for me. But, I know what’s ahead, but I do know that the sentiment in this country has changed dramatically in the last four years.
Fox News Anchor: The last time we talked—I think it was two weeks ago—you said that you were talking about this for decades, and now people are coming around to your kind of thinking. So, we’ll see whether that carries you through in Iowa. Thank you, sir. We’ll talk again real soon. Ron Paul, the Congressman out of Texas.
Ron Paul: Thank you.