Radio Host 1: Good morning, Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Good morning, it’s nice to be with you.
Radio Host: How are you?
Ron Paul: I’m doing fine.
Radio Host: You’re going to go back to being just Citizen Paul after you’re done?
Ron Paul: Well, I’ve had trouble sitting still, I hope I can still be active and participate in the discussion that I’ve been interested in, and so far so good, but I’ve had a little bit of time to relax, too.
Radio Host 1: We seem to be having just a little bit of an erosion in that whole freedom and smaller-government thing going on here.
Ron Paul: Well, how do you mean?
Radio Host 1: Well, we’re not sure if we’re the only ones noticing this, but it seems like we’ve got a King instead of a president who’s just up there telling us how it’s going to be.
Ron Paul: Oh, yes. They have been eroding up there for a long time, so I don’t think much about that city up there and the political process of the two parties. But the Freedom Movement, for me, is outside of Washington, and it’s with a different group of people, it’s with a new generation, it’s what’s on the internet. And that is where I see the growth and the interest and the enthusiasm. So, if I look outside of Washington, I think there’s a lot to be optimistic about. If you look at Washington DC and the budgetary process and what they do on a day-to-day basis, you can get pretty depressed over that. So I have to look to the positive things, and I think there are some positive things. But, in the short run, I don’t think they’re going to straighten the mess out in Washington, so I’m sort of anticipating a time when there will be major decisions made, because this system we have today isn’t viable, it’s going to get a lot worse, and I’m just hoping we have enough numbers to put it back together again with more common sense, rather than saying, “Well, what we need is more government, we need the United Nations to come in and take care of us.
Radio Host 1: I think that’s the plan, isn’t it?
Radio Host 2: We’ll get there.
Ron Paul: Yes, that’s the group that we’re competing with. But let’s hope the American people wake up. I mean, we go to international organizations already, we ask them about trade and monetary policy and welfare problems and when do you go to war. And I’m sort of old-fashioned on that, I think that should be a national issue, and governments should be close to home. So we have a lot of work to do, I’m not complacent at all to think that it’s going to be an easy fight. But I am encouraged that a lot of people are starting to wake up and realize that this is not sustainable. And anybody who thinks, “Oh yes, we’ll go along with the Paul Krugmans of the world and just print a lot of money and that will solve everybody’s problem”; it’s verging on insanity, as far as I’m concerned.
Radio Host 1: Yes, that’s kind of the plan: we just print a little more money. It’s not real money, it doesn’t matter, you can print as much of it as you want.
Radio Host 2: Well, Dr. Paul, a lot of people here on the Walton and Johnson Show are constantly asking us what are we going to do about it? We point out these problems all day long, what are we going to do about it? Is there a leader out there that will risk losing whatever it is they’re going to lose? Will somebody, and will that somebody be you, step up and just charge ahead, fight this fight, and say, “Follow me, we’ll take them down”.
Ron Paul: Well, I hope we have a lot of people like that, and that’s where I think our numbers are growing. I think it’s the endorsement of ideas that’s more important than one person, because you could have the perfect president who wants to lead the charge, but the people say, “No, we love these wars, we should start one with Iran right now, and we agree with Keynesian economics and we agree with the Federal Reserve”. So people’s attitudes are like that, and generally they still are, they still endorse both political parties, endorse the idea that the government should do these things, they should be the safety net and we should be the policeman of the world. One person can present the case, but you got to convince people that we’re doing the wrong things, and that’s where I think our numbers are growing.
Radio Host 1: Well, I hear from the media that the Tea Party is pretty much over now, is the Tea Party dead?
Ron Paul: Well, I think in many ways it’s undermined itself. Because if the people were honest and looked at where it started, they’d find that it started in 2007 during our first presidential campaign; it was spontaneous, it perked up, it had certain views, and then the Republican organizations came in and they said, “Hey, there is a Tea Party Movement, we got to go in there and take over”. And, in many ways, it became an arm of the Republican Party. But, as far as I’m concerned, the original organization which was spontaneous is still there, there is still a large group of people who are studying and reading and know what Austrian Economics is. They’ve studied about the Federal Reserve, they know why we should bring our troops home. And that group of people were part of the Tea Party and the Tea Party undermined it, but that group of people who believe this way still exist, and those numbers are growing. But, once the Tea Party all of a sudden had national leaders, which became a part of the Republican Party, they sort of undermined themselves.
Radio Host 1: I think it was Henry Ford that said that if the people knew the workings of the Fed and our monetary stuff, if they really knew what was exactly going on and really understood it, they would be in the streets tomorrow.
Ron Paul: I believe that, but compared to five years ago, millions of people know now that the Fed has a significant responsibility for the chaos they’ve caused. It’s a special-interest that bails out banks, Bernanke dealt with 15 trillion dollars during the 2008-2009 crisis. And did he bail out the home owners, no, they lost their jobs and their houses. This money went into the big banks and the foreign governments, and we still stand there to back up the whole system. But the amazing thing here is how much trust they still put in us, the United States; that we’ll be able to be the policeman of the world forever, and that as long as we print money, we can loan it to foreign governments and they’ll keep buying our bonds and finance our extravagance. Well, that is a decision that will come to an end, and nobody can predict when that will happen. But the Fed is the culprit, and this is why Jackson and Jefferson struggled so hard to keep us from doing this. And then Lincoln wanted to have a central bank again, and we’ve been back at this forever. But they will self-destruct, I mean, there’s been no system like this that was maintained for long periods of time, and this one is amazing because it is still lasting. But there will come a time, and I don’t think it’s that far off, where [profits] will be lost and foreigners will quit. Foreigners have essentially quit buying our mortgage debt, they’re still buying our treasury debt, but they don’t buy that mortgage debt. And who’s buying it now, it’s the Fed that’s buying it, like a trillion dollars worth of bad mortgage debt. And how do they buy it, they create money out of thin air, and it really doesn’t help the average person. There’s a saying in Austrian economics: when you deliberately destroy a currency, what you do is you destroy the middle class, and that is so true, just look at what’s happening to our middle class. And the rich aren’t getting poorer, the rich are doing quite well. But this will cause a lot of anger to arise and then it will stop. But this is why it’s so important for people to say, “What kind of government do we want, do we want a government that’s supposed to take care of us from cradle to grave? Or do we want a very limited government to protect our liberties?”
Radio Host 1: When the crash started happening, how did we keep from going into total chaos, and how does something arise out of this that has a semblance of going back to where we were?
Ron Paul: That is the key question, and it’s a tossup. We’re better off now than we’ve been in 30 years. I started talking about this in the 1970s. We’re much, much better off now, in the last 5 years we’re much, much better off. We have the internet now, we have good radio shows that will talk about this, so we’re moving in that direction. But it still goes back to what the people understand to be important. So that’s where we’re winning. But they won’t go without a fight, believe me, they will come with their guns to take our guns, and they’ll do whatever they can, and they will want to make use of the chaos. But I think we’ll do much better with our collapse than, say, the Soviets did. You know, the Russian government and the Russian people now, in fact, have gone back to Jeffersonian democracy, or a Republic. But I think we have a better chance because we have a better tradition of sound money and property rights and contracts. But we have to awaken the people.
Radio Host 1: Do you own guns, are there guns in the Ron Paul household?
Ron Paul: I think I could search around and I may well have one or two, but I don’t like this idea. Matter of fact, conceal-and-carry always bothered me, too, and you can see why. They have a list of you and they put you on that map and they say, “Oh, he has a gun in the house”. So I think people should have a natural right to defend themselves, and if they haven’t hurt anybody, they should be allowed to own a weapon. And I would say the tradition in Texas has been that it was always assume that people had guns in their house. The police don’t protect us, the police are in the cities and that’s where the most violence is. But if you live outside the city, the assumption is that there’s probably a gun in the house, and it’s that assumption that that gun is probably there that provides most of our safety in our whole state.
Radio Host 1: Criminals don’t obey laws.
Radio Host 2: Has the government ever enacted or created one law that the criminals will obey? When they write that law, I’m going to go ahead and get behind that one. Make me a law that the criminals will obey.
Ron Paul: Well, you know, it sort of helps them, they know what we law abiding citizens are going to be doing, so it enhance them. Even some of the criminals and former criminals they say, “Hey, this is a great map, I’m not going into that house because they have a gun.” So the assumption should be that everybody has one. And where’s the evidence to show that people who own guns legally and are peacefully, how many of those guns actually have been used in crime? We have the strongest laws in Washington DC; the strongest drug laws and strongest gun laws, and that’s where the most violence is. And I don’t know how they get away with this whole idea of terrorizing the nation.
Radio Host 1: I know how they get away with it: television. The TV news people just tell us what we’re supposed to think, because we’re too dumb to question it, and most people do.
Ron Paul: I think that’s exactly right, when I started in the 1970s, there were three major networks, and that was it. But today, right now, about 80% or 90% of the people between 18 and 30 get their news from the internet, they don’t watch the TV anymore. So that’s why we have to use every vehicle possible to reach people, and we can compete with the three major networks.
Radio Host 1: All of those television networks, like CNN and ABC, have internet sites, too. What part of the internet are these young people looking at?
Radio Host 2: If they read the Huffington Post, they’d have a completely different idea of the world than if they’d read Drudge Report and Breitbart and that kind of thing.
Ron Paul: Yes. Well, we have to compete with them with the same tools, but we essentially had no tools before. So I think with the internet and talk radio and these sort of things, we at least have a vehicle. When I gave my live speech on the House floor, I said what my greatest concern was, and I said it was the undermining of civil liberties. Because all these issues, whether it’s financial or foreign policy or violence and all these things, if we don’t have the chance, if you are ever curtailed on what you can say on the radio or I’m curtailed on the meetings that I hold, that’s when we’re in big trouble. Or if the internet gets regulated for we who want to use it to our use, that would be a very bad sign. So I think the protection of civil liberties, which I think so often conservative Republicans are pretty weak on. Sometimes they don’t want to protect civil liberties like they should.
Radio Host 1: Could we ask you a favor? We don’t really talk to Ron Paul very often, so we thought maybe we’d ask you. You know people in Washington in powerful places, they’d probably take your call whether they agree with you or work with you or not. Could you ask them to put us back on the radio in Houston, because we got some powers that worked behind the scenes.
Ron Paul: You mean somebody in the government took you off?
Radio Host 1: Well, sort of, they talked to somebody who talked to somebody, they gave the word, it trickled down, and then the guy here at the radio station came in and said, “It’s out of my hand, guys, I got to take you out. We have hundreds and hundreds of licenses and they said they would look on them more favorably if you didn’t have stuff like this on”.
Ron Paul: Well, then it’s already getting down to the wire, the things I’ve been worried about are already happening.
Radio Host 1: It’s happening, it’s happening right now in front of us, and it’s happening to us, that’s the worst part of all.
Radio Host 1: Dr. Paul, we got to go to go to the break because we’re late, but what’s that book you wrote a few years ago about the Fed?
Ron Paul: “End the Fed”.
Radio Host 1: That’s a book people should read, “End the Fed”.
Ron Paul: Right.
Radio Host 1: We appreciate your time.
Ron Paul: Okay, sure thing, good to be with you.
Radio Host 1: We appreciate it, we’ll be back.