Bill Gates: I’m a little bit concerned about the uncertainty, and am speaking up so that as we make tradeoffs, hopefully we don’t cut things that really have great humanitarian and security benefits.
Neil Cavuto: Alright, billionaire Bill Gates is all out for foreign aid, and not-so-billionaire Ron Paul is all out on stopping foreign aid. The good Congressman and former presidential candidate is joining us on the phone right now. Congressman, Bill Gates, maybe for all the right and good reasons, wants to continue it because he says it does more to feed the poor and help those who really need it, even outweighing some of the abuse and waste that comes with that. What do you say?
Ron Paul: Well, I would say, instead of what? If you cut out the warmongering and cut some of the deficit down and gave some away with humanitarian reasons, I’m not going to fight it, even though I don’t have any confidence in that. Because I think foreign aid too often gets in the hands of the politicians and they get into warring factions and they fight over it. And I don’t think the record is very good that it helps people. But we spent a lot of time on how this money is being spent, but we never talk about where the money comes from. If you take Bill Gates, he has a lot of money in his foundation, but he doesn’t get taxed on that. But poor people get taxed, whether it’s the inflation tax or the income tax or whatever, so they end up paying. And my argument for foreign aid is that you take money from poor people in this country and it ends up in the pockets of the rich people in poor countries.
Neil Cavuto: I guess he’s getting beyond all that, and this is the issue I want to raise with you … and I’m paraphrasing and I hope I’ve got it right, Congressman, bear with me … for all of the waste and abuse and sometimes getting in the wrong hands and sometimes getting into no hands, we still have, since foreign aid started in this country, fewer starving people, more educated people across the globe. And that, he says, is a testament to generous Americans over the years whose money has been put to more good than it has harm. What say you?
Ron Paul: Well, that’s an opinion, I don’t happen to agree with it, because there are other things that happened around the world. Economies do change, and the breakdown of the Soviet System had a lot to do with increasing prosperity. But if it was prosperity that we had to concentrate on, we might think of what’s happening in New York City right now. There are 50,000 people sleeping out on the streets every night while the rich get richer. If you worry about education, I can’t even believe this statistic, but it says that 80% of those graduating from high school in New York City can’t read. So why do we have to gamble on taking money from people and going overseas. Although I did put it in prospective when we started by saying “instead of what”. If you can save some money by cutting out drone missiles, looking for trouble bombing people and invading countries and fighting useless wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, I would say yes, save some money, cut back on the deficit, and try the humanitarian thing. That would be much better. But I still don’t endorse it morally, and I don’t believe it’s practical. But since I’m such a practical guy, and I’m willing to bend a little bit, I would say do that. But just by taking more money from poor people or inflating the currency, you’re undermining production and you’re going to have more people sleeping on the streets in New York, and their education will not get any better.
Neil Cavuto: Ron Paul, thank you very much.
Ron Paul: Thank you.