Joseph Mercola: Welcome everyone. This is Dr. Mercola, and I’m here today and honored to be able to speak with Doctor and Congressman Ron Paul. And last time—well, let me start off with one of the most important questions right off the bat, because during our last interview we talked about your exercise program, because we know how important and vital exercise is. And hopefully that won’t be falling under the FDA regulations.
Ron Paul: Oh boy, let’s hope not.
Joseph Mercola: It’s the best drug anyone can take. So, I’m wondering if you’ve been able to keep up with your cycling program while you’re running for President and being a congressman, because if you’re able to find time to do this, we all should.
Ron Paul: Pretty well. There are some days—yesterday, I had a very early start. I flew into Iowa, and I did a couple visits and got back late at night. So yesterday I missed. And that’s very very unusual. So, even some days when I make a trip, I can do something in the morning. But when I have more freedom to make the decisions—today I’m working in Texas, and this might be the fourth interview today, and I have a couple more. But by evening I will be able to go out. And usually in the afternoon I ride the bike, and I’ll go ten, twelve or fifteen miles, depending on the time of day. And yet this morning I did get my three-and-a-half miles in, walking. So, when I get up I like to get outside and do that, get the walking in, which helps me both psychologically as well as physically.
Joseph Mercola: Well, thank you for being such a powerful model for all of us, so that—you’re certainly leading by example. Now, your most recent book is Liberty Defined, and it’s just a phenomenal book, and I encourage everyone listening to pick that up if they can, because it really is a great read. And in that, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and every coin that we carry as Americans in our pocket, has the word “Liberty” embrazened [sic: emblazoned] on it. It’s a central element in our country’s origins. So, I wonder if you can comment on, How have Americans allowed such a massive erosion of liberties to occur?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s a good question, because I think—it’s an important question, because if you desire liberty and our liberties have been eroded, we ought to know what happened, or we can’t correct the problem. The doctor has to make the right diagnosis. So, it’s sort of like, know the right diagnosis about why we have a financial bust, and we have recessions and depressions. So the question is, How do we have financial bubbles and mal-investment? And so you have to know about the Fed. But when it comes to liberty, for some people it’s an abstract and they don’t think about it, and they’ve been misled for so long that they have been taught that the government is there to protect us and take care of us. Not to protect our liberties as much as to guarantee our entitlements that you have. And they distort the meaning of rights and freedoms. They say you have a right to education; you have a right to medical care; you are entitled by the government to be taken care of. And the entitlement system becomes a right. But all these things they’re talking about depends on the use of government force. Force, that is, if the government can give you or me something—or anybody some thing or some good or some service—they have to extract it from somebody else. So they becomes thieves themselves. And I have a bumper sticker which many people have probably noticed on the internet, on my desk in Washington: “Don’t Steal. The Government Hates Competition.” That’s what they’re doing. They steal from one and give to another, and the politicians get rewarded. So we became soft on this. The People desired security over freedom, which we were warned against. So now, whether it’s safety at the airports, safety from these forces that are going to come and destroy our country, safety from a financial downturn, safety from the problems that you have, from not raising the Debt Limit, people become more frightened and more demanding. And they give up their confidence and their understanding. Now we’ve gone several decades. I think it’s a basic understanding of what liberty is supposed to be all about. And that’s what we have to—we almost have to start from scratch, for a lot of people, to reintroduce this notion about what liberty means, and what self-reliance means. And the biggest problem we have there is that so many think, if you give them their liberty, you’re going take away something. But the truth is, the governments can’t provide; they eventually bankrupt the country and give us the conditions that we have today. But the whole goal of defending liberty is first to define it, and then convince people that it’s in their best interest to live in a free society. If they think it’s better to give up a little freedom, and the government will take care of them from cradle to grave, which so many have believed, we really can’t win. But we have an opportunity now, because I think those who made all these promises look pretty bad, because they can’t fulfill the promises.
Joseph Mercola: Sure. Thank you for taking such a great leadership position in this area, and reminding us of these really important principles. It seems the economy is really going downhill rapidly, and probably will likely get worse. And as a result of that, many of us will be challenged with health problems and sort of rely on the traditional medical model, which is drugs and surgery. And as a physician, you certainly can appreciate that. And one of the principles that we teach on our site is really encouraging and empowering people to use simple, natural approaches such as the food they’re eating, and whole foods, and really improving their gut bacteria, because that’s such a crucial component of how we stay healthy. And to this effect, this aspect actually, you in your book, you talked about an area that’s really very close to us, which is the Raw Milk issue. We’ve got S.W.A.T. teams going in, sent by the FDA, with guns loaded, pointed at farmers and their families, because some farmers have been selling raw milk products, which the FDA says is illegal. And these fresh milk, fermented milk products, which really engage people to—or facilitate their ability to get healthy. So I mean, there’s probably two aspects to this. One is from the health perspective, but then the other, from the legal perspective of having the government go in there and try to protect us. So I’m wondering if you can comment on this, because it really is such an important issue.
Ron Paul: You know, in the last day or two I’ve been commenting on what we’ve seen at the airport, and using that as an example that, if we can tolerate that—the groping and the undressing of an 94-year-old woman, in order for her to get on the airplane—I figure, if the American People put up with this, we’re in big trouble. But I think the example you point to is equally valid. I mean, just—but we saw the image of the woman, how innocent she looks and how un-threatening she is. But we need more images of what you’re talking about. If we can show the image, it’s so valuable. Show the image of somebody bursting into—whether it’s some doctor that has alternative healthcare, and they’re going to rob him of his vitamins; or somebody that’s dealing with the monetary issue, they want to have a Constitutional money, they bust in and then they steal his money, his silver and gold, and all he wants to do is follow the Constitution. But what about busting into some innocent farmer who just wants to drink raw milk? I mean, if that doesn’t wake the American People up, I don’t know what will. But when we talk about these medical issues—as a physician and as a person in politics, I have sharp lines, because I have medical opinions, but what I’m doing in politics is not exactly the medical opinion. Whether it’s the use of medicinal marijuana or whether it’s raw milk or not, what I deal with in politics is your right of freedom of choice. As long as you don’t force other people, and as long as you don’t defraud people, you ought to have a choice on alternative treatments, and not have the FDA and the drug companies controlling things. That’s where we get into so much trouble. So with me, it doesn’t mean that anybody has perfect knowledge on these things. The one thing I know is, the government doesn’t have perfect knowledge. So if we defer to the government and say, “Well, the FDA will take care of us; you know, we’ll just listen to them and they’ll never delay drug usage or promote the wrong drugs, or prohibit or force us to do certain things,” then we’re foolish if we accept that notion. And there’s something that’s very attractive to me and to many other Americans, and certainly your listeners, is that freedom of choice and using our own brain to make these decisions is so much superior to depending on the bureaucrats who are going to take care of us.
Joseph Mercola: I couldn’t agree more, and you know, one of the concepts that you’re really promoting is this movement towards smaller government.
[Dr.M: Okay, my next question for Dr. Paul involves the concept of a trillion dollars. And this is being recorded outside of the interview, because Dr. Paul had limited time and didn’t want to waste it on this explanation. But it involves a concept that many of us don’t really fully appreciate. And I want us to take a moment her to expand on that, and that is the concept of a trillion dollars. It’s a number that really is outside the frame of reference for most all of us. And we of course hear this term bantered around, especially when it comes to finances at a national scale. So I’d like to give you a few examples to help you develop a deeper appreciation for what that really means. Let’s start with the thousand dollar bill. And if you had a thousand dollar bill, you can really appreciate what you can do with that. You could have a really good night out on the town with your friends and family, and you’d know what that can purchase you. Now, if you had a stack of those thousand dollar bills, for four inches high, that would be a million dollars. So four inches of a thousand dollar bills is a million dollars. And I think most of us can appreciate what a million dollars is, and may actually accumulate that in our lifetime; many people are able to do that. And there’s a large number of people that actually earn that amount of income on an annual basis. Now, let’s go to the next level, a thousand times more, which is a billion. And there’s probably less than a thousand billionaires in the world, maybe four or five hundred in the United States alone. And if you have a stack of those same thousand dollar bills, it would be three-hundred-and-fifty-eight feet tall, which is pretty significantly high and a lot higher than the four-inches stack of a million dollars bills—a million dollars in thousand dollar bills. So let’s go to the next level, which is a trillion dollars, which is a thousand billion, or a million million. So if you had that same stack of thousand dollar bills and stacked them one atop another—not end-to-end, but just one atop the other, so it’d be a visible stack, thick—it would be nearly 68 miles high. Sixty-eight miles high, which is just a staggering amount of bills. So you can begin to appreciate from this analogy how much a trillion is. Now for those of you who still may not grasp that, perhaps a simpler way would be, to get our heads around this, is if we use a time analogy. So, if we—we certainly all know what a second is. And if you have a million seconds, that’s going to be about eleven-and-a-half days. If we jump that up to a thousandfold and have a billion seconds, that would be thirty-two years. And if we extend that the next level, or a trillion seconds, that’s going to be thirty-two thousand years. So, a million seconds—eleven-and-a-half days; but a trillion seconds is 32,000 years. So these are staggering numbers, especially—I guess this helps put a frame of reference around it, so that you can begin to understand when the United States has a $1.6 trillion deficit for this year; and cumulatively, close to $15 trillion—recognized, and in unfunded liabilities perhaps close to $100 trillion—the enormous amount of income we’re talking about is just staggering, absolutely staggering. So that’s part of the reasons why we’re getting into so many problems with the economy. But I thank you for listening to this explanation, and I think it will help you better appreciate our next question with Dr. Paul.]
Joseph Mercola: In light of the fact that the elections are coming up, and the economy is going to be such a massively important issue—we’re looking at, I think, a $1.6 trillion deficit for this year; and that combined with the total deficit of $14 trillion, and probably, unfunded liabilities that are well above $60- or $70 trillion; and, you know, President Obama saying that we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity—we certainly can’t spend our way; so, how would you suggest that Americans get comfortable with the idea of smaller government? I mean, is there a process or approach that you would recommend? Because that seems to be such a central part and integral to the solution to the problem.
Ron Paul: Yeah. It’s so difficult because people—there’s a majority of the People during the last quite a few decades—have sort of looked to the government and depend on the government. And the wealth was there. But now we’ve consumed the wealth, we’ve destroyed the jobs, and all we have is debt. You could do this by, you know, if we elected the right people to Congress, and they could work out a transition program and ween ourselves off and not have any major calamity. But I think the odds of that happening are about slim-to-none. The politicians won’t cut anything, you know. There’s a strong lobby for the military-industrial complex and foreign adventurism; there’s a strong lobby that says that the entitlement system is perfect. But I still—that doesn’t leave me as a pessimist, because I think what’s happening is, more and more people are realizing: they can’t fulfill their promises; the system doesn’t work. So you could introduce the notion of nullification and, say, if the states determined that the federal government can’t take care of us—whether it’s through Obamacare, and they want to opt out of the system, or anything that the government does—if the monetary crisis moves to the point where the money is not doing the job, and you get a check but it doesn’t buy anything, it means that people will opt out of the system. It won’t be actually an opting out by law, but it would be de facto nullification; people would just ignore it, and ignore what the government does. Maybe they’ll get to the point where—you know, take the marijuana issue. They might have five million people smoking marijuana in California, and up until now it was always the federal government had to go in and put all these people behind bars, because you know the world would come to an end if we didn’t have everybody in a prison. But maybe it will get to the point where their—the government’s—system will break down, and maybe we won’t have these armed bureaucrats coming in and raiding raw milk producers. But that’s a little scary because then there’s this big decision on what is civil disobedience, what isn’t, and are they going to ignore us or continue to make examples of us. And I think that’s what they do with the raw milk issue, is, they want to show you they’re still in charge. But eventually, they’re not going to be in charge, because they’re not going to have any money. And hopefully we can turn that around and make that a positive.
Joseph Mercola: Yes indeed. And last, if you could comment on the Patriot Act, which really has to be one of the most inappropriately-named bills we’ve ever had. Because a patriot, of course, as defined by the dictionary, is a person who regards himself as a defender of individual rights against presumed interference by the federal government. And recently in Chicago and Minneapolis, there were some prominent peace activists that have had their doors broken down and property confiscated without any charges being filed. And in their cases, they’re now being considered “terrorists,” and they’re being terrorized by the so-called Patriot Act. So I’m wondering what it’s going to take for Americans to wake up and see what the federal government has become, with its out-of-control spending and its unconstitutional laws and loss of liberty.
Ron Paul: Unfortunately, I think—I’m afraid—we’re getting closer to that all the time, and the transition is not going to be available to us. But you know, at the time of our founding—of our country—the patriots were the ones who said they had too much of the government and they were going to challenge the government. So today, if you’re a patriot, you support all the wars and all the welfare; you support the Patriot Act, which undermines or destroys the Fourth Amendment. So they’ve turned the definition of “patriot” on its head. But the Patriot Act, actually, if—you know, it was passed right after 9/11. I asked a member, when we were getting ready to take a vote on it, “You know, we’ve only had a couple hours on this, and there’s bad stuff in it.” And the member said, “Yeah, I know about it, but how can you vote against ‘The Patriot Act’ under these conditions?!” But I said, “You know, if this bill had been named not ‘The Patriot Act’ but ‘A Bill to Repeal the Fourth Amendment,’ how many people would have voted for it?” And that’s essentially what it does. So, it allows the government to do what they’re doing, and some of this authority is continuing to grow. And certainly at the airports, they don’t have the right to do what they do to all the potential customers—the passengers aren’t suspects; there’s no probable cause there. And yet they’re being humiliated and groped and x-rayed continuously. But the Patriot Act is something that, if we see a transition back toward a free society, the Patriot Act will be repealed. But right now, we couldn’t even slow it up. In Washington they just renewed it, essentially, the whole thing, for four more years.
Joseph Mercola: Yeah, sad. But just out of personal curiosity, there was an article in Time magazine today that suggested you were calling for the federal government to sell all its gold reserves. And I know you’re a really strong supporter of gold as a counter to the devaluation of the dollar. And I’m wondering if that is—is that something you were in favor of? Or is it just a position to get the Fed to audit their gold reserves?
Ron Paul: Well, it was a mixture of things, because when they were threatening all kinds of things—the disaster in the world if we didn’t raise the debt limit—I would say, “Well, you know, when people are in trouble—if you or I got into trouble and we had a stash of gold, and we wanted to be honorable, don’t you think we would sell our gold? And pay our bills? And maybe go to work and buy the gold coins back?” It was sort of that idea. But I’m not necessarily against the gold being put back into the hands of the people. And it was also part of this idea of the audit. You know, if we’re going to sell the gold, we have to find out if we really have the gold.
Joseph Mercola: Sure.
Ron Paul: I’ve had this recent hearing to look into how much gold is really there. So it was all part of that. But I don’t think it would be the end of the world if the gold was all put into the hands of people—because it was confiscated. But you know, if you were going to deliver it to the people, you could make it all into coins and let people use it as legal tender. That’s what the government is supposed to do. They weren’t supposed to hold all the gold. They were just supposed to guarantee that when they minted their gold coins they would have an honest weight and measure. So it was part of that argument.
Joseph Mercola: Excellent. Well, thank you for expanding on that. And thank you for all you do, and really taking up the torch, and seeking to preserve the liberties—the limited liberties—we have now, and seeking to expand that. So I really—I’m strongly in favor of what you’re doing, and really want to congratulate you and wish you the best in your upcoming campaign.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much. And thank you for having me on.
Joseph Mercola: All right, thanks a lot.
Ron Paul: Bye bye.