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Ovide Lamontagne: Good evening. Good evening. Are you ready to celebrate freedom and liberty?
Ovide Lamontagne: Is there anybody in the country you’d rather celebrate freedom and liberty than Ron Paul?
Ovide Lamontagne: Ron Paul (R-TX) is wonderful to come join us here on a Friday afternoon. Congressman Paul has been a leader in the country, as a lot of you know. By the way, spread out if you like. Make some room. There’s plenty of space. And he’ll be here afterwards to take some more pictures and to speak with you. My name is Ovide Lamontagne. And with my wife, Betty, we formed the Granite Oath PAC. And on behalf of the Granite Oath PAC and Betty and my family, I’d like to welcome you to our—my boyhood home where I grew up. It’s always great to see a hundred and fifty of your closest friends at an event. This is the sixth of our Presidential Reception Series, and I see a lot of familiar faces, but I see a lot of new faces. I welcome the newcomers and say thanks for coming again to those who have come before. You know, Ron Paul is known for so many things: a successful physician, successful family man, a congressman whom many refer to as “Doctor No.” Thank you for voting “No” on so many pieces of legislation. Congressman Paul was one of those fellows w ho sometimes was the only “no” vote on a piece of legislation. That’s the kind of integrity we need in Washington right now. Some people have said that Ron Paul is the father of the TEA Party movement. I beg to differ. I say, Ron Paul is the inspiration for the Constitutional renaissance we’re enjoying in this country right here, right now. Don’t you agree with me? And it’s that spirit of rediscovering the brilliance of the founding documents—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—that Dr. Paul reminded all of us in the 2008 election cycle, and before that as a national figure, that the Constitution is based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence, that the Constitution is a limiting document—not a living document—and the Constitution needs to be respected, upheld, and we will do exactly that as citizens, won’t we?
Ovide Lamontagne: So I want to—on behalf of the Granite Oath PAC and Betty—thank Dr. Paul for his wonderful leadership to date. We welcome him to the campaign and the New Hampshire primary. And I know that, in this audience, Ron, you’re going to have an opportunity to win some new supporters. So we welcome you. We thank you. And let’s give a warm—well, let’s give a cool but hardy Granite State welcome to Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much. Ovide, I appreciate that very nice introduction. And Betty, thank you for opening up your home—this is very nice—and inviting me to come, and share with your friends, and hopefully new friends and some old friends, too. So this is very nice.
You know, it’s not too infrequent that people bring up this “Dr. No” business, and sometimes I get, “What do you think of that term, ‘Dr. No’?” Well, you know, I go into this explaining: It’s simple. It depends on what you’re saying “No” to! But our message is a “Yes” message. It’s yes to liberty and yes to sound money and limited government, yes to the Constitution. But my wife never cared all that much about “Dr. No,” because she saw it as negative. My staff people generally like it, because it makes the point that he standing up and he’s saying, “No! No more!” But my wife said, “Nah, it sounds too negative.” She said, “The only way I’m going to accept this ‘Dr. No’ business is if they spell it with a ‘K’ on it.” She claims she doesn’t know much about politics, but she really does. She’s lived with me for a good many years—like fifty-four. She is a wonderful homemaker; she does travel with me—not with me on this trip, but she will be back. Matter of fact, she’ll be coming up here on Monday. I will go home for the weekend; I do take my Sundays off—almost always. That’s one of my principles. But then we will come up, and she will be here for the debate.
It is a delight to be here. This is a great state. Today I was being interviewed on one of the programs that will be on TV tonight, and they asked me about the motto on your license plate. [“Live free or die.”] I said, “I’ve often wondered, how did my slogan get on their license plate?” So it is a great state, there’s no doubt about it. Not only because of the procedures and the opportunities, but what’s so wonderful about the process is, you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire or a billionaire to run. If you ran a national campaign, it really cancels out a lot of people. Money would be the only thing that talks. So modestly financed candidates can come here and do retail[?] politics. And psychologically I say, “You know, going to New Hampshire is like going to my congressional district and talking to the people, and finding out.” So it does bring it down to earth, and that’s what’s so wonderful about it. But this is a state that is well known for their love of liberty. And I just think that the issues that are necessary for us to concentrate on this are so important, probably one of the most important periods we’ve lived. I have people come up and say, “You know, we live in very dangerous times. I’m very worried.” And I sort of throw it down and say, “We’ve had bad times before. We’ve had depressions and wars.” But still, there’s something with the People today that are saying it’s much more structural, much more significant. It’s not so much that we’re all suffering right now. As much as people perceive something big is going on, and if we don’t do something about it, it’s going to be very very negative.
Frequently we have said over the years—and I’ve used the terms—“We shouldn’t be doing this. This is going to dump this debt on the next generation,” and all those things. And I don’t use those terms so much. I think it’s being dumped on all of us right now, and people are suffering. The unemployment rate is high. The inflation rate is climbing. And there’s a constitutional crisis going on. I mean, we have a Judicial Branch that legislates, and they shouldn’t legislate. One of the most atrocious pieces of legislation that the Courts gave us was Roe v Wade, and I think we should repeal Roe v Wade. But the Congress—the Congress endlessly!—do you think they read Article 1, Section 8? You know, they read it, and right now the rules have changed, and we have to write down every piece of legislation we introduce, to show what part of the Constitution that we’re using to have this legislation. And one thing that those who don’t understand the Constitution use is the end of Article 1, Section 8, that says, “Any law that is necessary/proper to enforce the privileges”—the authorities that you get in Article 1, Section 8, you can write necessary, proper laws. But they’ll write down any piece of legislation and say, “Oh, it’s necessary and proper, so we can do it.” So they totally ignore the 9th and 10th Amendments. So they rationalize. So Congress has been doing so much in an unconstitutional fashion for so long. But so has the Executive Branch. Do you know, today—which I’m sure you do—presidents now take us to war without even talking to us in the Congress. And that is one thing I can guarantee you, I would never do that! The only thing a president has the authority to do is defend this country under attack, and then you go to the Congress and you work it out. But that is very very clear. But it’s also very clear that the power to go to war is held with the People through the Congress, and not for the President. Where does the President get that authority now? Why are we now in our fifth country, fighting, and people dying over this? Now we’re in Libya. He said, “Well I got a resolution passed in the UN, and now we’re going to do it under NATO.” There is no authority for that. And we should put our foot down and not allow our governments to get away with that.
But the Executive Branch has been out of control for a long time. The Constitution is very clear: the responsibility to pass laws is put into the hands of Congress, not the Executive Branch. So have we ever heard of anyone trying to legislate with Executive Orders? Have we ever heard of “regulations” written that has the force of law? That’s not right. I would like to be the first president that actually shrunk the Federal Register. That’s what I want.
One of the reasons why people who don’t get their confidence back is that we haven’t allowed the corrections to occur after the distortions caused by the Federal Reserve and the big spending. But we have to get people’s confidence back again. They’re worried about regulations; they’re worrying about the regulations of Obamacare and what’s coming down the pike. So they don’t have the confidence. So you need lower taxes, you need confidence back, you need sound money, you need market rates of interest, and then we have to address some specific subjects. We need capital investment. There is some capital, but people are skittish about it. But there’s a lot of capital available. But the Fed thinks they’re the only ones who can manufacture capital—out of thin air. You can’t do that. Capital comes from savings. But there’s a lot of savings in dollar terms by our corporations. But guess where the money is: it’s overseas. And they don’t want to bring it here, because it paid taxes overseas. Most countries don’t tax you when you bring your money home. That’s like if you go overseas, and you make a living, you bring it back, you get taxed again? Well, we might as well leave the money over there. So we need to allow corporations—it’s over a trillion dollars—to come back, and not tax them, and let them go to work and produce the jobs that we need. This would be very helpful. But we need to get the tax rates down. We need to get a confidence that we don’t have an overburden of regulations. We need to de-regulate not re-regulate. Ever since the Depression, every time we have a crisis, we just add on more regulations. It started in the 1930’s, and then we had the regulations after the failure of Enron, and it just goes on and on. So that will not solve the problem. We got into our crisis. The economy is going to be the big issue. Unemployment is a big issue. And the big issue next year will be unemployment, and there’s going to be a new tax which is going to be your inflation tax because prices are going up. The Federal Reserve is in charge of giving us stable prices and low unemployment. I would say they have completely failed, and we have to revamp, if not get rid of, eventually, the Federal Reserve system.
I’ve worked on that subject for a long time, and the committee that I’m in charge of now, we can oversee the Federal Reserve. But the little bit we’re getting to know about the money spent—they spent many trillions of dollars. They can spend more money than the Congress can spend. And it’s sort of “off budget.” Nobody monitors them. And they resent the fact when we ask them questions. Now that we’ve gotten some information, we find out that trillions of dollars went to overseas banks. You know, and then they resent the fact that we’re asking. That destroys your money. That weakens your currency. The country with a weak currency encourages the money to go overseas. So that’s another reason why our businesses go overseas. What does it encourage? Our debt. So yes, they still trust us. We have a strong military. We have a lot of wealth in the country. And they’re still accepting our printing-press money, but at the expense of our getting in debt, and we’re very very deeply in debt, and it’s growing exponentially. So the Chinese, who are supposed to be those wicked communists? Well now they’re our banker; they loan us the money. They have $3 Trillion in the bank. And we owe $3 Trillion to people around the world. It’s unsustainable, and we have lost our ways and our convictions. We do not have the confidence that we need that markets can work, freedom can work, and government’s failed central economic planning is bad news for us. And we do it through the Federal Reserve system. We do it through Congress, always trying to direct expenditures. The worst thing was this housing bubble was created—as was the NASDAC bubble—by excessive credit. And then the Congress piled on and said there will be these mandates, these mandates on the banks: “You must make loans. You must make these bad loans.” And of course, that compounded things. There was a boom; but there also had to be a bust. So, the Federal Reserve is the culprit and contributes to so much harm.
So, what should do about all this? Well, we could start with a very simple solution. We got in this trouble because we didn’t follow the Constitution. Why not try only those individuals, send only the individuals to Washington that believe in the Constitution and will actually obey the Constitution?
And a lot of people will say, “Well, how long is it going to take? Will tomorrow, will we have all our jobs?” Well it’s not going to happen that way. But it’s going to happen a lot faster than what we’re doing! Because we started this intervention in economic policy in the 1930’s. The Depression never ended until World War II ended, so we had fifteen years of bad economic policy. And now we’ve built a bigger bubble than ever before, because it was the breakdown of the Gold Standard completely and totally in 1971, this bubble’s been building and building. So the more intervention, the longer it lasts. So I’m not a bit surprised. It was predictable that the bubble was there, it would burst. And it’s very predictable that as long as we continue to do the same things that caused our bubble to be formed, we’re going to continue to prolong the agony. Unfortunately what needs to be is that you have to allow liquidation. Instead of bailing out bankrupt countries—rather, companies—they should go bankrupt. Why should you buy up their bad assets? So the Federal Reserve and the Congress participated in buying up these worthless—well, they called them “illiquid”; they’re illiquid because they don’t have any value. But that’s what they hold instead of gold in the bank, they hold illiquid assets which are worthless mortgage derivatives. And they said, “Well, if we wouldn’t have done it, there would have been a depression.” There would have been depression for the people who had been living off us, that had been living with the bubble being formed. But we bailed all them out, and they’re back making money again.
But where is the depression? The depression is here. The unemployment rate is much higher than the government tells us. It’s closer to 22% when you look at Free Market economists, and that’s why the People are really hurting. So they lost their jobs and their mortgages and their houses. So there is a depression going on; at the same we’re not doing much to correct it, because we’re following the same economic policies. Now I don’t fault people for their intentions, because I think many are well-intended. They’ve been taught this. I mean, Bernanke literally believes in what he does, because he has written—many of you probably heard this: Bernanke says, “I can handle any crisis there is. It can be answered by printing money.” He says, “If necessary,”—he says, “if necessary, we can drop the money out of helicopters.” That’s why he’s called “Helicopter Ben.” He believes this as a Gospel, which means he doesn’t have much respect for the Constitution, because the Constitution’s very clear: You can’t emit bills of credit; only gold and silver can be legal tender.
But we could work our way out of this. We could have transitions. Nobody’s going to do it overnight. But I would like to just allow you to opt out of as many programs as possible. First, let’s all at least demand our states help us opt out of Obamacare, so you’re not forced into that. And we should allow everyone to opt out of all the medical system, and use these medical savings accounts and buy major medical and you get control of your medical care back again. That’s what we need.
But we do, and fortunately, we still have enough freedom—but I’m not sure it’s guaranteed, at the rate we’re going—to opt out of the school system. And that means absolutely protect home-schooling and private schooling, so we can at least teach our kids what we [unintelligible]. And even in the monetary issue, you can have competition in money. I mean, the internationals have competition in money all the time; they’re trading currencies from minute to minute. Why can’t we do it here? Why can’t we allow Constitution money to compete with the paper money? Which means that you’d have to do a couple things. You should legalize private minting—as long as people are not fraudulent, and it’s honest money. Also what we should do is take off the taxes. If it’s money—if you buy a US Government gold coin, if you buy it in state, you get sales taxes on it. If you use it, and it’s gone up in value or the dollar goes down in value, they charge you a capital gains tax. So you could actually introduce competition and let the People opt out of the system and deal in alternative currencies. So yes, it’s a big thing that we have to do, and we have to change a lot of the attitudes, and it won’t happen quickly. But if we just allow people to get out of the system, it would be so much better. So those are the kind of things we can do, but ultimately you need a correction. And the correction is what the politicians and the People don’t like, because corrections mean that you have to liquidate debt, you have to liquidate the mal-investment and get people back to work again. But I believe you can do that. I believe in understanding of sound money. Get the Fed out of this fixing of interest rates. You know, it’s so unfair: They fix the interest rates real low for the banker, they borrow it, but what if you’re a saver? What if you believe in taking care of yourself? And what if you have a CD and you’re retired? What are you going to get? 2% or something? The market rate would probably be 7% or 8%, you know. So they’re always interfering with it. And I’ve pushed both Greenspan and Bernanke on this, and they said, “Well, yeah, you’re right about that, but there’s not much we can do about it. Some people will suffer.” In other words, they don’t care about it. They care about what they think is the big picture, and one way to revive this is to support the banks and the big corporations.
But obviously, there are these many problems that I’m very concerned, obviously. But I’m also pretty much of an optimist about what is happening in the country. And that’s where I feel good. Meeting people like you who are in the grassroots, care about it, understand some of it, understand the Constitution, understanding the Federal Reserve. You can’t imagine—it’d be really unbelievable to you—how many people come to my office; young people say they’re studying free market economics and reading the Constitution, they know about the Federal Reserve—and they might be in high school. And I say, “Boy, you’re way ahead of where I was in high school!” I was thinking about getting into college and about running track or something. But they actually are studying this. So the coming generation are very much aware of it. And they’re—they understand this. And that’s where the revolution has been. We’re in the transition. We’re up against the wall in Washington, but the revolutionary changes that I’ve always worked for are way ahead of what I would have expected five or six years ago. So it’s moving rapidly. And I think it has to do with the internet. I think it has to do with the crisis we’re facing. I think it has to do with the understanding of economics. And I think it has something to do with the failure of the economic policy of Keynesianism and Inflationism and all these things. So there’s every reason to say, “Keep doing what you’re doing!” Spread the message and do whatever you can to send a strong message to Washington.
I thank you very much for coming tonight and enjoyed being with you.
Ovide Lamontagne: Congressman Paul will take some questions from you. I wanted to let the congressman know, though, and his staff, that we collect the names of everyone who—as you know, it’s a little drill we go through. We ask you to fill out a form, give us some contact information, and then ask some questions. So we’ll make for Congressman Paul’s staff available, those of you who have agreed, your contact information to his campaign—he can get back to you—and send him your questions as well. And Congressman, you should know that, unfortunately we have a waiting list of people who wanted to come and see you tonight. We couldn’t obviously—I mean, look at the size of this room, this audience—we couldn’t accommodate everybody who wanted to come. But we’ll send your campaign, as well, the list of contact information of those folks and their questions, to give you a chance to recruit them. So if you have a few questions for the congressman, go ahead.