Mitch McConnell: Senate Democrats are playing with fire here. And it’s hard to conclude that they’re doing it for any other reason than politics. So, I would urge our friends on the other side of the aisle this morning to re-think their position and join the Republicans in preventing default.
Alisyn Camerota: That was Senator Mitch McConnell, just speaking on the Senate floor. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also just speaking, saying that he’s willing to listen to Republicans’ ideas and is urging them to compromise. Let’s find out what Texas Congressman Ron Paul has to say about all this. He is a 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Good morning, Congressman.
Ron Paul: Good morning.
Alisyn Camerota: I want to start with the Boehner bill. The Boehner bill will cut $917 billion from the deficit over the next decade. Will you vote for it today?
Ron Paul: No, I won’t. Because those cuts aren’t real. It says that we’re going to cut a trillion dollars out of next year’s budget. But that’s from the CBO baseline. So, actually, there are no cuts. So, I couldn’t vote for that. And I’m not going to vote to raise the debt limit, and I think that to pretend that the balanced budget amendment is going to solve our problems. And I don’t like that Super Congress. So I’m an easy ‘no’ on this. But –
Alisyn Camerota: So, Congressman, let me just ask you: you would rather default than raise the debt ceiling.
Ron Paul: No. You don’t have to default. Right now, we’re $200 billion over the debt limit and they have found ways to make those payments. But, no, default is coming. The only argument that’s going on now is how to default. Not send the checks out, or just print the money. And all countries our size will always print the money. So, this debt – the bills will be paid. And this is just an argument –
Alisyn Camerota: But, just so I understand, in order to pay Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, you would just print more money?
Ron Paul: No. I’m arguing that that’s what they’re going to end up doing if they don’t just stop the spending. Why don’t we – right now, what Boehner is proposing is going to be $1 trillion next year than it was last year. So, why don’t we just freeze everything? Everybody get what they got last year. Why shouldn’t they be happy? We’re in a crisis. But then, they’re not going to do that. They’re going to raise the debt limit. And then they’re going to print the money. And then they’ll default by inflation. And that’s much more dangerous than facing up to the facts of what’s happening today.
And the market will determine – right now, the market’s not all that skittish. Interest rates are low, people are still buying dollars. But the prediction of the dollar really going down and defaulting is the fact that gold prices have been so high. And it’s been devalued 50 percent in these last three years. That’s the telltale sign of what will happen to this economy.
Alisyn Camerota: Mr. Boehner, as you know, needs 217 House votes to pass this bill today. He can only lose 23 Republicans. So, yesterday he issued a blunt warning to those of you who are going to say ‘no’ to basically get your rear in gear. He said it a little differently while on Laura Ingraham’s radio show yesterday. Let’s hear an excerpt from that.
Laura Ingraham: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask you: is it true that you told some of the Republican members this morning that you need to get your a-word in line behind this debt ceiling bill?
John Boehner: I sure did. Listen, this is the time to do what is doable.
Alisyn Camerota: So, there you hear your speaker saying: “It’s time to do what is doable”. Would you be willing to just take one for the team, even though you’re philosophically opposed?
Ron Paul: Why should I make conditions worse if I’m convinced the conditions will be much worse if you don’t face up to the bankruptcy? The bankruptcy is here. It’s just a matter of how we’re going to pay for it. And I think that just adding more debt and permitting the Congress to continue to spend is much worse than defaulting by printing money. Therefore, I would say the best option right now that the American people could understand and say: nobody gets cut anything. Let’s just give everybody what they got last year. And, actually, that cuts a trillion dollars out of the proposed budget increases. And that, to me, seems to be pretty logical. And you’ve solved your problem.
And the president has every right to pay the bills as they come in. He doesn’t have to default on anything. He might have to delay some. He’s not going to delay payments on the bond market, and he’s not going to delay the military. He’s not going to delay Social Security. And, if we could send the strong signal that we’re going to get our house in order, believe me, the confidence would come back again and we wouldn’t have this battle.
This is all posturing. And Boehner has a tough job. I don’t know how he is going to pull it off. But what is he up against? He is up against the Democrats and the Senate and the President demagoguing it and not even giving his a chance. So, I think both sides are failing to understand that the country is bankrupt. There will be a default. The only debate that is going on is how you default. And I vote for stopping the spending so that we don’t have to print all the money.
Alisyn Camerota: All right. Well, Congressman Ron Paul, you are on the record as saying you will not vote for the Boehner bill today. We appreciate you coming in and sharing that with us.
Ron Paul: Thank you.