Ron Paul on the Government’s Use of Force


This is a rush transcript. If you notice any errors please report them using the “Help improve this post” link at the bottom of this post.

Host: This week is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, which coordinated the national relief effort in hurricane Irene’s wake. Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, is calling for the agency’s elimination. He said, “FEMA has one of the worst reputations for a bureaucracy ever. It’s the system of bureaucratic central economic planning which is a policy that is deeply flawed”. Now that statement drew attention, but it is utterly consistent with the Congressman’s libertarian philosophy. We spoke with Ron Paul earlier this week and asked him to explain that position.

Ron Paul: I got that impression from having lived on the Gulf Coast and having been a Congressman here for a long time, because if I add all the phone calls and all the work that I’ve had to do with all the agencies of government, FEMA has caused more problems than all the rest put together. And most of the time it’s the fact that when FEMA comes in and there’s a disaster, they interfere with the local people, the local people and the land owners can’t do what they want. And then when they’re promised payouts, they can’t get it, they can’t get their insurance, so we always have to go to bat for them. But I was opposed to it a long time before I knew it was so inefficient, that was when they introduced the notion that the federal government should guarantee this insurance because literally what that does is it eliminates the principle of insurance. Insurance is supposed to measure risk, and if the government takes care of it, there’s no more risk. Matter of fact, it encourages risk, it encourages the moral hazard. The people who like their beach houses are more likely to build there because they feel, “What the heck, you know, I can’t get my insurance, the tax payers will bail me out”. But the government doesn’t have any money, and matter of fact FEMA is broke, they’re about 20 billion dollars in debt. So if you add all that up, it doesn’t have a very good reputation and I think there are other ways in which we could handle these

Host: At first when you talked about insurance making it possible for people to build their beach houses back, I’m sure you’d agree we have to point out now there are a lot of people sitting on rubble in Vermont who never thought they had a beach house. Irene was a hurricane that spread widely beyond what would be, if I might refer to it this way, the traditional points of impact. And, in a way, isn’t that also part of the whole idea of getting the federal government involved, because these disasters don’t know state boundaries?

Ron Paul: Well, the question is why? Why does all of a sudden somebody in Vermont need to get insurance from you if you live in Alexandria? You haven’t been hurt. I mean, what is the moral principle there? I’ve lived in Texas for a long time and I’ve had a fair amount of damage and I call up my insurance agent. So people should have responsibility for themselves, their neighbors should help, the states should help, the communities should help, state guards should help. And you know under extreme circumstances, our military could surely have assistance in rescue operations, but they can’t if there over there fighting wars that shouldn’t be fought.

Host: So when you warn against foreign adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya, you call those foreign adventures, that’s all a part of the same philosophy of when you say that FEMA is a bad idea?

Ron Paul: Yea, it’s all the use of force. A person who truly believes in liberty rejects the use of force to change people or mould people, change the economy or tell other countries how to live. So I apply the same principle down the line, I don’t want to force people. They have to follow laws, but the laws are that you can’t hurt other people and fortunately for me, the little bit of test we’ve had for that system, it’s been most prosperous system ever known to man. So I approach it as a humanitarian. I’m convinced to be a humanitarian you have to believe in property and free choices, both individually as well as for the marketplace.

Host: Mr. Paul, you announced last month that you’re going to retire from Congress when your term runs out in 2012. Of course, it’s possible you’ll be elected president, but are you in any way handing off your political name to your son, the Senator from Kentucky?

Ron Paul: Well, we’ve never talked about that at all. I mean, he’s very interested and his views and mine are pretty close. But he’s a pretty independent person and I’m sure he will continue. But I don’t think you can hand Rand off to anybody. I hope he continues to do what he is doing and I will probably be in or out of office or whatever because we believe that the principles of liberty are so important.

Host: You won a straw poll at the Republican leadership conference in New Orleans, you finished a close second in the Ames straw poll in Iowa, you’re raising money, may I, like the federal government, better than the federal government, perhaps at this point.

Ron Paul: We’re very solvent, I’ll tell you that. No debt in my campaigns.

Host: So how do you have an answer for people who say, “Yea, but he’ll never be President”?

Ron Paul: How do you know? I don’t know that for sure. Nobody knows what the future will bring, so I don’t worry about that. I’m running a race, I’m running hard and I know where the finish line is and we’ll see what happens.

Host: Republican presidential candidate, Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, speaking with us from Clute, Texas. Thanks so much, sir.

Ron Paul: Thank you.


  • destiny

    The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
    Albert Einstein

    WHAT IF ?
    Ron Paul’s speech before congress in 2009

  • Sunny

    1 – Google Ron Paul in 60 minutes petition

    2 - Petition - CBS News 60 minutes - Get Ron Paul go to

    3 - sign the petition

    RON PAUL 2012


  • jasonbourneabc123

    Raise 500M+ so, Dr. Paul, 2012 can flood every media venue with his message TV, Radio, Internet, Print, etc.. Understand, $500M only allows you $1.3M per day for advertising. On a nationwide scale it is still very skinny. Come on people, dig deep! This is an investment in your future that will pay dividends for you and your children for the rest of your life!
    $100K X’s 5K people = $500M
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    $5K X’s100K people = $500M
    $100 X 5M people = $500M
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  • diogeneslaertius666

    this interviewer is a douche, give me ten minutes with ron paul and ill make radio history wtf

  • diogeneslaertius666

    people are terrified of the truth

    and they shouldnt be

    we are a sovereign country, this is the USA, there is no reason to be afraid

    but you must elect men like ron paul, or you will continue to be raped systematically by the NWO and its various agents/agencies

    until you realize we are a hijacked nation, you cant start to take back the country politically/culturally or restore the republic.

    hell most people do not even understand the Republic/Democracy distinction


      The religious whack-job conservatives always rant and rave about the NWO, that’s funny because it’s already here in corporate global form and it’s been here a while getting drunker by the day on the lost American jobs that have been outsourced.
      So instead of looking for a dude with a “666” tattoo on his forehead these folks should wake up and see what’s already here!
      Or better yet, check out Lou Dobb’s work regarding the North American Union.

  • dapop1001

    Force is the vital principal and immediate parent of despotism. T. Jefferson

  • Ewokthisway

    I am so upset with myself for not “seeing” this man before. RON PAUL 2012!

  • ridehard

    Once again Ron Paul is right about the government use of force. We need to bring our soldiers home, and stop this war mongering. The money we save plus getting our money back from the big banks that in reality needed to fail because of their unsound practices. Why should their shareholders be spared? When everyone elses retirement and savings were decimated. Let’s give the soldiers that served two three four five and six tours in Iraq and Afganistan low interest loans at one or two percent interest, just enough to cover the cost of handling them. After all, the Fed gave these to big to fail banks money at zero percent. Lets loan it to soldiers and give them a head start on buying a home. It should probably be given to the States to distribute.

  • taznruby

    Dr. Paul, if I may, you, are cut from cloth that long ago many men were made of. Statesmen are not born sir, rather, are learned, patient, and yes, gifted with sight who chose to see.
    This, is why you have my vote. For I see with you, the vision of liberty, of peace, of true capitalism.
    The world, it waits. The people therein, look to us, and yes, we shall be the beacon of hope, of innovation. Of a Republic! Of and by the people!!
    Ron Paul 2012!!!

  • lilice1907

    hey you guys listing links can you send them to me in a message?

  • ssjwes

    Thats one thing that makes me sad after 2012 if hes not elected President we wont have him in service of our courty no more. Whos going to get in the face of big Gov. when hes gone? Whos going to tell it like it is damn the consequences after he leaves office? Hes served for a long time now just wish we had him around for another 10-20yrs we need him now more than ever.

    • Michael

      Even though you don’t have the ability to even form a proper sentence, you at least are willing to face the sad facts. Buhbye ronnie!

  • TedMan55

    Government’s use of force is fascism.

  • kej0

    Yes! We should eliminate not just FEMA and the FED, but about 80-90% of our government! Apart from a few honest ones, the majority of government employees no longer serve the public. In their boredom they make up new regulations daily which kill starting businesses and cost billions to the taxpayers.
    Here is a proposal: send the management (everybody above GS-15) of all departments and agencies to seminars in Las Vegas or Hawaii for a half a year. The result would be (1) nobody would notice their absence, and (2) this outing would cost about 10% to the taxpayers compared to have them sit in office and make up unnecessary projects and procedures.

  • IndianaPolitico

    Ron Paul 2012! Donate during his Sept. 17th Constitution Day Money Bomb, and let’s send the establishment a message they won’t soon forget!

    Vote this up, For Liberty!

  • ChristianWorldOrder2

    screw the government Ron Paul 2012!

  • waterchildtera

    9. Isolated explosive ejections 20 — 40 stories below demolition front
    10. Total building destruction: dismemberment of steel frame
    11. Several tons of molten metal found under all 3 high-rises
    12. Evidence of thermite incendiaries found by FEMA in steel samples
    13. Evidence of explosives found in dust samples. . ..”

    • Michael

      9. Isolated explosive ejections 20 — 40 stories below demolition front
      10. Total building destruction: dismemberment of steel frame
      11. Several tons of molten metal found under all 3 high-rises
      12. Evidence of thermite incendiaries found by FEMA in steel samples
      13. Evidence of explosives found in dust samples. . ..”
      14. Hysterical musings of a ron Paul conspiracy theory wingnut.

      Get a grip pal. Maybe when you get your conspiracy theories dealt with by a shrink you’ll lose your Ron Paul support too. After all, they do go arm in arm!

  • waterchildtera

    1. Destruction proceeds through the path of greatest resistance at nearly free-fall acceleration
    2. Improbable symmetry of debris distribution
    3. Extremely rapid onset of destruction
    4. Over 100 first responders reported explosions and flashes
    5. Multi-ton steel sections ejected laterally
    6. Mid-air pulverization of 90,000 tons of concrete & metal decking
    7. Massive volume of expanding pyroclastic-like clouds
    8. 1200-foot-dia. debris field: no “pancaked” floors found

    • Michael

      The same psychological problem that leads you to accepting stupid conspiracy theories leads you to be a supporter of wingnuts like ron paul. I would seriously suggest that you try to find out what that problem is. It’s really not all that difficult to do you know!

  • tommy0135

    Uh oh Ron, don’t mention personal responsibility this day in age. People wouldn’t know what that is if it flooded their house.

  • PeoplePower

    Darth obama is using the “force” noooooo! lol, obama is a caveman in the

    Go Ron Paul 🙂

  • dataphreak

    I love how relaxed and level NPR interviews are. I can just see these two guys sitting in front of a fireplace with a cigar and a brandy.