Another edition of #AskRonPaul today on the Liberty Report. We care what our viewers think and what they’re curious about. Hope you like the program!
Ron Paul: Hello everybody, and thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report. With me today is co-host Daniel McAdams, Daniel, it’s good to see you.
Daniel McAdams: It’s good to be with you, Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: I understand our program is a little bit different today, we’re actually going to expose ourselves to the audience, and they’re going to be sending us questions, so we better be on the ball. So, what do we have?
Daniel McAdams: Well, it’s another edition of “Ask Ron Paul”, and we have a few questions from our viewers and listeners via twitter. The first question comes from a viewer that sent it in this morning, it is from Julian Cennamo, he asks, “Other than yourself, who are the featured speakers at your September conference?”
Ron Paul: Well, some of that is top secret, but I’m sure looking forward to the conference, and hope to get to meet a lot of people there. Right now, it looks like it’s really building up some enthusiasm. But you’re the organizer, you know a little bit more about the organization and exactly what we’re going to do, so why don’t you help me answer this question?
Daniel McAdams: I’ll say that we are going to have a release later today of our first speaker who we are going to reveal. We have most of them lined up, a couple more that we’re still working on, but we have most of them done and we’ll have a nice special and very fun announcement this afternoon. So I hope everyone will get your tickets to the conference at Washington DC on September 10th. You can go to the Ron Paul Institute website, www.RonPaulInstitute.org and get all the information you need about it. We can’t to meet people and see people again, it’s going to be a lot of fun. So now you’re going to be on the hotseat.
Ron Paul: Okay, I’ll give it a try.
Daniel McAdams: Let’s look at the second question, this comes from Garrett Waits, “What government bureaucracies do you think are necessary?”
Ron Paul: Well, right off hand, not very many. I’d like to get rid of about 90% of it, or more, and we’d probably not have to call the people that are remaining ‘bureaucrats’. But, you know, the founders had a pretty good idea about what to do, because they had an idea that we needed a few departments to run the national government, they thought we should have a state department so that we can relate to and have diplomatic relationships with other country. They believed we should have a treasury department; at the time, they were thinking the treasury would make sure that the coins were full weight, and that nobody was cheating and nobody was counterfeiting. But treasury back then wasn’t meant to just borrow money and print money, but they recognized that we had to have a treasury.
But then they also thought that it’s a rough world out there, and there might be a time when the people, through the Congress, would have to declare war, so they had a department of war, and that was it. And yet, today, look at what we have. So many departments, so many agencies under departments, nobody knows. Even if they wanted to know exactly what was going on, no one personally could figure it out. But the part that I really resent about the bureaucracy is the government unto itself, they can write the laws, and they can enforce the laws, and you will be considered guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Just think IRS, and that is a very bad system. But the other thing, and I’ve been made fun of because I make this point when I talk about gun control, we shouldn’t have an army of people from the federal government (the bureaucrats) policing us with guns. That’s an illegal use of guns as far as I’m concerned. We’re not supposed to have a standing army, let alone a standing army from the federal government patrolling our streets.
We have well over 100,000 bureaucrats now in the various bureaucracies that are carrying guns, so that would be a good start. It’s not going to be easy, because there are too many special interests dependent on it. But our most recent adventure into expanding the bureaucracy in the Department of Homeland Security, has been a monster, and has been since 2001. Thousands of people, the TSA is involved, and there’s violation of our civil liberties. So, the bigger the government, the more government employees at the federal level, the less liberties we have, because they are the enforcement agency of the special interests. Therefore, our liberty is shrinking, and, of course, our goal is to revitalize the love of liberty. And if that is to be successful, we have to shrink the bureaucracy.
So the answer is, there aren’t very many bureaucrats who would be around if we had our way, because we would be emphasizing the whole idea of the rule of justice: equal justice under the law, and not the use of the Justice Department to be used to pursue and punish by the special interests. Recently it became known that the CIA do that, too, but I’m thinking the IRS does the picking and choosing to punish people. I think the viewer is touching on a very important point, because I’m sure he’s concerned about liberties. Liberties are infringed, and the greater the size of bureaucracy, the more our liberties are infringed. A good reason for us all to support the idea of always shrinking the bureaucracy.
Ron Paul: Alright, well, let’s move along to question number 2 or 3, depending on how you count it. If we can bring that up, that’s Arturo Lopez Levy, he asks, “Should the next president continue Barack Obama’s policy of opening and rapprochement with Cuba?”
Ron Paul: That’s an easy one, absolutely, this is one of the rare good things that’s happened in these last eight years; the fact that we are now able to more easily go to Cuba. I’m just wondering what the protectionist are going to do if Cuba starts selling us stuff. But I think it’s wonderful, and, of course, they’re not a libertarian state, so there’s going to be a lot of problems, and there will be a lot of complains. But they are our close neighbor, and at one time there was a much better relationship with Cuba. There are a lot of Cuban-Americans who would like to go visit their relatives in Cuba, and they have been prevented from doing that. But this is very, very good, the more freedom they give the people of Cuba, the better the relationship will be.
But, at the same time, we have to be careful to make sure our government allows us the freedom of travel to be able to go to Cuba. And, of course, I hope that what will come of all this, and we’re moving in the right direction, is that there will be trade with Cuba; and the freer the trade, the better it is. But to set up a lot of rules and regulations and see if Cuba is going to be in NAFTA and the WTO, and are they going to obey the laws of the international organizations that are supposed to be promoting free trade, but they’re promoting managed trade. There can be some problems, although those problems exists, it’s so much better. Because I remember the height of the cold war and the day I was drafted into the military over the missile crisis in 1962. So we’re a long cry from that, it’s a long way from that, and that is wonderful that we’ve taken this step.
It just bothers me to no end that the side that you would think would be for freer trade and for better relationships are most strongly against it and might promote tariffs and protectionism. There’s an element in this country that strongly opposes it, “Oh no, it’s still a communist country”. But what did we do with China and Russia, we opened up the doors and things got better. And also, just think of the calamity that we participated in in Vietnam, and we lost, and yet, they became more westernized and more commercial where we now trade with them. So it was so much better. We didn’t wait till the communist system was destroyed and removed by some internal forces, what happened was it introduced the notion of trade and, therefore, these countries will become more open to a democratic society and a democratic system. And that, I believe, will happen with Cuba, but I’m sure there will be some rocky days ahead.
Daniel McAdams: Alright, let’s see what else is in store, question number 3 or 4, depending on how we’re counting them. This if from “StudentsForRand”, you’ve heard of him, haven’t you?
Ron Paul: Yes, I think so, I kind of remember him.
Daniel McAdams: They ask, “Do you think the weapons used in the Benghazi attack could’ve been ones given to rebels in Libya by the CIA?”
Ron Paul: Well, that I think is an easy one, it certainly could have been, I believe it was the case. I don’t know whether we have absolute proof of the people who were killed and this sort of thing and prove what weapons were used. But yet, I think it was, I think we sent weapons over there, we were doing once again another unnecessary intervention. Gaddafi was another bad guy, but he was our friend when he’d do what we told him. Then we decided we got to get rid of Gaddafi, just like now we’re trying other get rid of Assad. We go in there with special forces and the CIA and interfere and we send them weapons and, all of a sudden, it backfires. Unintended consequences occur, and now we continue to talk of Benghazi and trying to figure out what happens. We’ve had recent hearings over Benghazi about what really happened, who’s guns did what. And yet, they totally ignore the basic flaw in the system, and that’s the foreign policy of why are we in there anyway, stirring up the trouble, and why is it that these weapons get shipped around.
We make too many weapons, I don’t believe weapons should be sold to other countries, especially with the technology developed by American tax payers. I don’t like the idea that we’re the biggest arms manufactures of the entire world. And yet, that is what we do, we pass around these weapons. Matter of fact, I have said for many, many decades, yes, we generally go in there and we get involved and we give somebody weapons. We give them to the good guys, and I generally predict and the predictions come true, that the weapons end up being used against us, and I think that is so often the case. It’s the same way that once we start bombing a nation … just recent history verifies this, we bomb a nation, and then we go in and we have to stabilize it, so we have to rebuild it. One of the excuses right now for why we’re not doing so well in Afghanistan and Iraq is that we didn’t help enough, we didn’t help rebuild their country after we blew it up.
So I would say that we should be aware of the weapons, just stop spreading these weapons out like this, the weapons should be used to defend this country and protect our national security, not to be interfering. The answer is it is very, very likely that the American guns were used to do great harm to American citizens at Benghazi.
Daniel McAdams: That was a tough one, yes. Now we’ll look at our next question coming up on the boards and lighting up the boards here. “I’d like to ask Ron Paul what do you think of the forced association and forced diversity and how can we put a stop to it without public outcry?”
Ron Paul: I guess no matter we do these days, there’s always a public outcry. But the easy thing to target in on a question like this, because it’s an important question, is force. Because if you believe in liberty, you accept the non-aggression principle that you’re not allowed to use force. No matter what other people do with their money or with their personal lives, you can’t use force. Too often, that is all that we hear about. And it isn’t that one side does it and the other side is opposed to it; one side does it in one area, and the other side does it in the other area. There’s social force, “Well, we have to have forced immigration, we have to do this forced associations”. Sometimes we use force to discriminate against certain groups, we have discriminatory laws over many, many years.
Then another group comes along and says, “Well, no, you shouldn’t do that, there shouldn’t be the use of force in social matters and tell people what to do with their personal lives. But economics, that’s a different story, people aren’t smart enough to use their own money”. This whole idea that people have a right to their life and the fruits of their labor, which is part of their life. And they have the right and the obligation to spend it wisely”. So, all of a sudden, the do-gooders come in and say, and I’ve had congressman tell me in economic terms, “You need force to tell people what to do, because they won’t take care of themselves”. Well, maybe if they had an incentive to do it, maybe if they weren’t taught for decades that they have an entitlement system, and the entitlement ideology is both for the poor and the rich.
The very rich, the people in Wall Street, don’t worry about morality if they’re getting special benefits from the Federal Reserve and the military-industrial complex, they’re not worried about that. There’s a lot of force there because they force upon the middle class, and people who do work with […] living a condition that undermines their wealth. They destroy the currency, they make people suffer because they can’t earn interest on their savings. So, just the principle of force is wrong, and the word diversity … this is the tough part about what freedom is all about for some people, and that is, if you’re not tolerant, it doesn’t work very well. You may say, “Well, what do you mean? What if people do really dumb things, things that I think are immoral. People shouldn’t be gambling, or doing sexual habits that I think are immoral”. But always done voluntarily without force. “They read books that they shouldn’t read, because these ideologies and these religious beliefs, and we have to regulate all that radicalism”.
So, yes, if people don’t hurt each other, and they’re not using force against their neighbor or anybody else, nobody can use force to make them a better person by saying, “These are the social norms and this is what you have to do”. It’s the same way with economic policy. The thing to remember is it’s a rejection of the initiation of force, which is the principle of liberty, and then you don’t have to worry about it. But if you’re intolerant to people on how they spend their money, even if they spend wastefully, or even if people have social habits which hurt themselves, then it doesn’t work very well. So this whole idea is based on a bit of tolerance, but it means that if you don’t like what other people are doing, you have an obligation for your own behavior and your family and you might persuade other people in a way that you think is proper. But never to use the arm might of the state to force upon people social conditions that you think makes people better people, or makes them more responsible by putting a lot of rules and regulations on the economy.
Daniel McAdams: Well, Dr. Paul, I think that’s about all we have time for, there were so many good questions this time. There are always so many questions, it’s hard to narrow them down. One question we couldn’t get to was, “When are you going to have Nigel on?” Last week we had him on, we were lucky to have him on a while ago before the vote. And if you look at our archives www.youtube.com/RonPaulLibertyReport, you’ll find the show, I don’t remember the exact date. We’d love to have him on again, and we’ve been in touch with his people. He’s probably a little bit busy, but we’d love to have him on.
Ron Paul: Yes, he’s been a friend of the program, and we talked about him right after the BREXIT vote, and that was exciting. Right now, I’m sure he’s very, very busy, but there will be a day when he’ll come back on our program.
Daniel McAdams: Let’s hope so.
Ron Paul: I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to The Liberty Report, please come back soon.