Further, Ron Paul sees the deliberate end of Straussian Imperial foreign policy as the only manner in which to handle existing domestic obligations such as Medicaid and social security. He asserts that by using the $6.7 billion spent monthly here at home instead of supporting militarism, the American government can meet the promises made to those already dependent on federal aid and simultaneously allow future generations the ability to reclaim lost economic liberties due to the ever-expanding national debt.
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Mike Church: Without further ado, joining us on the DudeMaker Hotline is Congressman Ron Paul. And I can now say, candidate for president in 2012, Congressman Paul. Congressman Paul, it’s always a pleasure, my friend, and how are you on this great morning?
Ron Paul: I’m doing very well, thank you.
Mike Church: Now, let’s start off by asking a question that I asked the audience this morning, Congressman Paul. If you can sit down with Ron Paul, what question would you like to ask? And here is the question they came up with about 3 or 4 times. Are you ready?
Ron Paul: I’ll give it a try.
Mike Church: Alright, here’s the question: what motivates you? How is it that you are so motivated to continue this, especially as you get into the twilight of your years, and as I described with great admiration for you, sir, you suffered one of the – I don’t want to say humiliating, but others took it as humiliating – when Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Romney and Mr. Wallace and Mr. Kohler mocked you and laughed at you on that stage in that debate a mere 4 years ago. And yet you kept on smiling and you and you kept getting up and you just stuck with it. What motivates Ron Paul to continue this campaign?
Ron Paul: I believe what is really the kind of thing I do is I am motivated to pursue the truth in the cause of individual liberty, believing that liberty is the solution to our problems, and big government is not.
Mike Church: So it’s just that liberty and, at the end of the day, the truth. As Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free”, that is what motivates you?
Ron Paul: Right. Some people want to turn that into, “Oh, so you’re not serious about it”. But I have run a few congressional races with the same goal, and won quite a few times. So you don’t have to give up the goal. Matter of fact, the more votes you get and the more political campaigns you win, the more endorsements you get for these views. So they go together, as far as I’m concerned.
Mike Church: Alright, Congressman Ron Paul is with us on the DudeMaker Hotline. I’m sure you saw Mr. Bernanke’s press conference yesterday. What was your initial thought as you watched the stock markets react and go down? And Bernanke basically said the same thing that he’s being saying now for 3 years. For how much longer can he keep this up?
Ron Paul: Not much longer. The more he talks, the more people realize he’s behind the 8-ball and he doesn’t have any answers. But that happened when he held his first press conference a month or so ago and the market went down sharply when he spoke. But I did think there were a couple messages yesterday. It sounded like he is not ready to start QE3 which is a bunch of baloney, they don’t have anything left. Even if they don’t call it QE3, when QE2 is over they’re going to keep printing a lot of money. But then he also said that monetary policy is not a panacea; that’s the understatement of the world. Monetary policy is our nemesis, and we have to get him one step over showing that all the central economic planning through manipulation of money and credit and interest rates, is the problem. So now he says it’s not the solution, but now for three years he has operated on the fact that, “Oh, if I just print enough money, that’s what they would do in the depression”. And everything he’s ever written over the many, many decades is, “If you just print enough money, you’ll be okay”. Now, I think it’s slipping in and his tone is different. Deep down in his heart he has to have second thoughts. But you have to realize if he got up and said yesterday, “Well, you know, it doesn’t work. Everything I’ve ever said is wrong.” That’s not going to happen. But eventually the people are going to come to realize that everything he’s done, everything the Keynesians have done, everything the central banks have done over the years have been long term detrimental, even though on the short term people seem to have some benefits.
Mike Church: Congressman Ron Paul is on the DudeMaker Hotline with us. The third question here for the Congressman is: President Obama in today’s Washington Post – I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet or not – is now a fan of your old friend, Ronal Reagan style tax cuts. Tim Pawlenty, who you’ll be competing against or sharing the stage with next Monday Night on the CNN debate, also came out with a plan to cut taxes yesterday. Do you think, at this point in time, cutting taxes is a good idea?
Ron Paul: Yea, I’d cut taxes anytime possible. But, of course, if you’re implying could there be a negative? If we do nothing about spending and cut taxes, you know, deficits can go up. I still think you should do it. But the biggest problem isn’t the taxes, that’s the symptom. The problem is the entitlement system and the warfare system. So if you don’t change the appetite of the American people for those two, you can’t really cut. Actually, the appetite for war has been diminished. People have started to say, “Why are we doing this?” So I think that is changing, but that’s what you have to change the attitude; dependency on entitlements will be a much tougher way to go, because people will still think that yes, we should balance our budgets, but not with my entitlement.
Mike Church: The New York Times has a story 2 days ago. Stephen Pollard has raised this option for Afghanistan, this is a story about President Obama meeting with the NSC, the National Security Council. It is January 2012, President Paul has his first meeting with the National Security Council. Now folks, don’t laugh, because this can actually happen and many of us hope that it does, Congressman Paul. What would you tell the Commanders or the Joint Chiefs or those gathered on your new National Security team? We’re still in Afghanistan, we’re still bombing the snot out of Libya, we still have bases in Iraq. What would you tell your National Security team?
Ron Paul: You know, this is one place where the president has the proper authority and can do something. There is so much else that I would respect because the Congress is supposed to have the prerogatives over many of these issues, but the President is the Commander in Chief. I would just say turn the switch, quit it, no more aggression, no more bombing, start backing off, we’re coming home. And I think the whole attitude would change, I mean maybe everybody would pause for a while to see if we’re telling the truth and see if it’s going to happen. But yes, I’d just say, “No more, don’t participate. No more money to NATO if they’re going to be aggressors”. They’re supposed to be peace makers and bring the peace, and yet they’re bombing the living daylights out of Tripoli, and Tripoli has not threatened us. Matter of fact, I’m sure by now we’ve killed more civilians than Gaddafi had killed. Remember there was going to be a terrible tragedy, he was about ready to annihilate all his citizens, and that’s why we’re over there. So we’re over there killing civilians and having collateral damage and bombing up their infrastructure trying to kill his family, or having had killed some of his family already. I just think that that ought to stop, and start bringing the troops home, and the president could do that.
Mike Church: And what about the troops in Okinawa, the troops in Germany, troops in Italy, troops in North Korea, or South Korea? You mentioned the other day to Al Hunt that they’ve been there since you were in high school. Had the same thing happened?
Ron Paul: Absolutely, and that should be even easier. Why can’t South Korea defend themselves? And Germany, that’s a subsidy to Germany. They’re able to spend more on medical care in that country because we pay for their defense. I’d bring them all home and I think the world would be better off, or certainly our budget would be better off. I mean, we literally could spend 100s of billions of dollars less. People say, “Well, you’re hurting defense”. And I say, “No, we’re diminishing military spending and expenditures that aren’t helping us”. And we actually will have a better defense by this, because our involvement there … have we made more friends and endeared ourselves to the people in the Middle East by killing civilians? Just think how many enemies we’re building in Pakistan? How many enemies have we built in Iraq and Afghanistan and now in Libya? And then people wonder why is it that people would like to kill Americans. As it has been reported that probably the Al-Qaida are in a better position now that we’re helping the people who are trying to overthrow Gaddafi. So, so much of this stuff absolutely backfires on us and it’s the whole blowback phenomenon. So it makes no sense and that whole policy has to change. Moving troops a little bit here or having a surge or having a minor military victory means nothing. The only thing that really counts is the overall policy that we endorse.
Mike Church: Right. And many of us agree with you and I’m happy to say, and I’m sure you are happy to see, but let me ask you, were you surprised to see that your and Congressman Kucinich’s resolution actually got 87 Republican votes. Was that a surprise to you?
Ron Paul: Well, not a total surprise. But let me tell you, I was very pleased and the changes are coming. Every time we’ve had a vote, sometimes there were 6 or 8 Republicans, and then there might be 12 or 15 and then the freshmen came in and they built. But we have not only freshmen, there were others. But this, to me, is not so much that we’ve converted the members to being non-interventionist, I think we’re not quite there yet. But they’re good at politics and they know what they’re hearing back home, and I think the people at home and the general population now have started hearing our message about why don’t we address this foreign policy? So the members of Congress are getting this, and they’re starting to say, “You know, we can’t afford this anymore.” And for years and years I’ve always argued that I’ll win this argument about bringing our troops home, and it won’t be because of a great speech I give, it will be because we’re just flat out broke. That’s what brings down empires; it’s economic issues. So the foreign policy is connected to our economic problems here at home, and it will limit us and it’s politically so much easier to say, “Why support foreign militarism, foreign aid to foreign dictators?” And this is a welfare system, and then there’s the military-industrial complex welfare. People say, “Yea, that makes sense. Why don’t we cut that before we cut aid to child healthcare?” So I think politically we can win this argument and start coming home, hopefully.
Mike Church: Let’s talk about another argument. Congressman Ron Paul is with you on the DudeMaker Hotline. Let’s talk about another argument that your host and I personally, full disclosure, believe that you can win. You are, my friend, a social conservative. I know you, I’ve met you, I’ve followed you for years. You are a social conservative. James W. Antle had written a piece a couple of weeks ago at The Politico besieging you to be more expressive in your social conservative credentials and inform people, “Hey, I am pro life, I am for the defense of the Marriage Act”, because you believe that to be constitutional, and as much as the states should make this determination, can we look forward in the campaign to Ron Paul being a little more assertive here and telling folks, “Yes, I can be your social conservative candidate”.
Ron Paul: Yea, I don’t think there’ll be any doubt about it. I may have been assertive on many of these issues in the past, but not have had a platform, or I have being shunned. Now, because of the fact that there is more credibility with our campaign, I think it’s going to be a lot easier. I do take a slightly different approach on many of these issues because, like you mentioned about defense of the Marriage Act, I do want the states to have the regulations there have to be. So, in a personal way, I’m very, very conservative, but I’m also very, very aware of the fact that you can’t jam down the throat of everybody your own beliefs. And that’s why I think that our approach should be different. But I just don’t want the federal government to have more power. That’s what I want. I want so many of these problems to be solved either voluntarily, or if you need regulations that do it, be it at the state level. But we don’t need more policemen at the federal level, that’s for sure.
Mike Church: Yea, I also say that you’re a fan of raw milk now, and you’re an opponent of the FDA. Is there something that the President can do, in your estimation, constitutionally speaking, about these out-of-control agencies that are un-elected, account to no one, yet spend billions of dollars and eat up the sustenance and harassing the people?
Ron Paul: Yea, that’s another place I think the president will have tremendous ability to reverse. And that is, just think of all regulations written, they’re illegal because that’s writing law and only Congress can write the law. So you can start either not enforcing these regulations, or just backing off and cancel them out. I mean, I wonder what it would mean to the business community if all of a sudden they had a president where the federal register would increase in size, but would actually lose the pages? I that would send such a positive signal to the businessman. And if they were convinced that we were going to get our budget under control, and put pressure on the Fed not to print up so much money, I think it would restore so much confidence. Maybe they would start loaning to business people again, and business people might be confident enough to go and invest their money and create some jobs. But that has never been done. I mean, ever since we’ve had the Federal Register, it always grows. It would be interesting for somebody to do a study to find out how much of the federal register over these many years ever had a shrinkage of anything. Have they ever got rid of anything? On rare occasions that happens. But just think if we had the opportunity to improve the economy just by removing regulations. And I dream sometimes about what if Congress had a moratorium on new laws and everything they pass has to be repealing of laws. We could only improve our economy by the repealing of laws. I think that would be the greatest day for us and we would not suffer, we would not have all of a sudden total destruction of our environment or anything like that. I think things would improve immediately.
Mike Church: So President Bush was the education president and you could be the repeal president.
Ron Paul: I would be the repeal president. And in education, we could do a lot of repealing there. We could repeal “No Child Left Behind” and few other things.
Mike Church: I know you have to go, so let me give you one final question. A listener in Atlanta, Scott in Atlanta wants to know, “If elected, what would your top priority be?” As Ross Perot used to say “highest priority”. Your number 1 priority as president?
Ron Paul: Well, as we started off, my big goal is to do whatever I can to restore personal liberty and responsibility and shrink the size of government. But I’m surely thinking of things more specifically. I think one of the most important things we talked about is the change of foreign policy. The president has something to say about that. Start bringing the troops home. But I think, once again, what we have to do is stop spending, stop regulating and restore confidence in liberty and explain to people why we’re so much better off with a free society than when we have a bureaucratic dictatorial society.
Mike Church: Amen to that. Congressman Paul, it’s always a pleasure. Godspeed to you, God bless you. We’ll talk soon. Thank you.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much.
Mike Church: Anytime. Alright, that’s Congressman Ron Paul there folks.