Judge Napolitano: While Republicans in the House and Senate go back and forth over whether they will support Speaker Boehner’s plan to raise the debt ceiling, there’s one member of the House of Representatives who could not be clearer on the subject: no increase in the debt ceiling, no way, no how. Here to explain is Texas Republican Congressman and presidential candidate, Ron Paul. Congressman Ron Paul, as always it’s a pleasure, welcome back to Freedom Watch.
Ron Paul: Thank you, Judge, good to be with you.
Judge Napolitano: What are the chances that the sound-money, small-government attitude (that you represent so well, that so many millions of Americans send people to the House of Representatives to put into effect) will prevail, and the debt ceiling will not go up? Or, is it a hopeless case, is it going to go up no matter what the logical arguments against it may be?
Ron Paul: I think it’s going to go up because everybody will be scared into it. I think all the talk here in these last several days is mostly politics and it’s sort of like the CR Resolution being passed at the last minute. So it’s who’s going to get blamed and when, and who’s going to get the credit. But I think it will go up, I don’t think in the long term it makes a whole lot of difference because the country has to default because we can’t pay this debt; it’s just a matter of how we pay it. I think this is political grandstanding, but I think at the last minute the debt level will be increased.
Judge Napolitano: Give us the argument in a nutshell about why you, Ron Paul, and many other Tea Party endorsed and small-government colleagues of yours oppose any increase in the debt ceiling, no matter what promises accompany those increases?
Ron Paul: Well, mine will be a little bit different than others, but basically I think many would agree that we have to stop the spending. If we don’t increase the level, then we have to get our house in order. For me it’s a little bit different, because I think the default is coming and I’m looking at how you default. Governments in countries that get this far in debt, never pay their bills, and you can default by not sending the checks out, and that’s what they’re afraid they’ll have to pursue if they don’t get a debt level increase. That’s why I say they will, because all countries keep sending the check out. The real default and the real danger, if we continue to do this, is the default through the devaluation of the currency, and that’s translated into paying for it through higher prices. I think that’s going to be chaotic because we just can’t keep up. I think it will force us to have a change in foreign policy and spending policies here at home. But I think you have to go through a rough time in order to get the people convinced. Some of the kind of things you’re seeing in Greece right now, I’m afraid we’ll have to face up to this. But the default is going to come, but I do believe very sincerely they’re not going to opt for defaulting by not sending the checks out and paying the interest on the debt. That’s not going to happen, I’m very certain that there will be no default on our debt and financing our debt.
Judge Napolitano: Isn’t this a golden opportunity, rare in American political history, to shrink the government back into the confines of the Constitution, to force it to live within its means, and isn’t this an easy thing to do? The Republicans run the House, all they have to do is say, “No” and the argument is over, the borrowing is over, the government starts obeying the laws of economics and the Constitution for the first time in over a hundred years.
Ron Paul: It would be nice to think that, but politics works differently and, you know, when there is any life left into the entitlement system, it’s going to stay alive and it gets louder and angrier and you know there are maybe more people getting checks than those people are producing. So those of us who would like to stop don’t have quite as many allies. So I think it’s going to get a lot worse before they wake up. They’re not functioning very well, and people are realizing how bad it is. But I don’t think we’re going to clean up our act until government no longer functions, and then we’ll have to say what kind of a monetary system do we want, what kind of a foreign policy do we have to have, and what kind of a Department of Homeland Security do we want. But that’s not on the verge of happening and hopefully will come soon, but I believe it will come within the next year or two and we’ll be forced into doing it, which you wished by common sense that we would do it right now. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you they’re going to do it.
Judge Napolitano: Before I let you go, we have about a half a minute left. You’re not only a member of Congress, you’re also running for the Republican presidential nomination. When you make the arguments to the voters in Iowa or New Hampshire or wherever else you’ve being going, like you just made to our viewers, how do they respond to this?
Ron Paul: Very favorably, and more so than before. I always thought, “Well, my supporters come out”. But now the crowds are larger and they’re looking different, so this message is being listened to, but out of necessity if nothing else. So yes, there’s a bigger audience and we have to keep working on it because we can win this, we must win it, because we’re not going to have much left if we don’t win.
Judge Napolitano: Congressman Ron Paul, thanks very much for joining us.
Ron Paul: Thank you, Judge.