Ron Paul: We Must Fiscally Restrain Our Government

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by Ron Paul

The media insists on characterizing statements about dependency on government handouts as controversial, but in truth such statements are absolutely correct.  It’s not that nearly half of Americans are dependent on government; it’s actually more than half.  If one includes not just people on food stamps and welfare, but also seniors on Medicare, Social Security and people employed by the government directly, the number is more like 165 million out of 308 million, which is 53%.

Some argue that Social Security and Medicare benefits are a right because people pay into these programs their whole lives, or that we need a government safety net in place for people who fall on hard times.  However, this all becomes a moot point when the funds people depend on become worthless due to government default or rampant inflation.

This is less an issue of dignity or dependence on government, and more about the deceitfulness of government promises.

The Fed recently announced that it plans to keep interest rates near zero and keep buying near worthless assets from banks indefinitely.  This enables Congress to spend without having to take deficits or the debt seriously and there is every indication they intend to spend with impunity until the system collapses.  There are no brakes on the runaway train.  The federal debt ceiling law does nothing to limit spending. The ceiling will have to be raised yet again perhaps before the year is out.  What is happening in Greece with austerity measures and riots in the street will happen here within a decade according to some realistic estimates if we do not find some way to fiscally restrain our government.

There is little point in a debate about being entitled to healthcare or food or shelter from fellow taxpayers if the whole system has collapsed.  And, with the way our politicians have taken over and mismanaged vast amounts of resources, collapse seems almost unavoidable.  Yet the number of Americans who have significant dependency on government is dangerously high, and I honestly fear for them.

Worse, corporate welfare is also at an all time high with no signs of diminishing.  Though it is hard to quantify, Tad Dehaven at Cato has estimated that the government spends nearly twice as much on corporate welfare than on social welfare.  Both parties are equally guilty.  More and more, the business sector is learning to rely on taxpayer largesse in one form or another.  They used to be solely concerned with providing a better product to the consumer at a better price.  Now, success on Wall Street depends entirely too much on having the best lobbyists on K Street.  If one includes the employees of “private” businesses who depend on government contracts, grants or bailouts, there are even more people dependent on government in some way.

Government does not create resources when it taxes people and prints money; it merely redistributes the wealth, while supporting a massive, wasteful bureaucracy along the way.  Government is a giant, blood-sucking parasite on our otherwise healthy economy.  For too long we have entrusted too much economic power and influence to irresponsible politicians in Washington.  It’s the chaos that ensues after they run the system into the ground that will be so painful for so many people.  But realigning our economy with the free market and away from government mandates and handouts must happen in order for it to thrive again.

The answer is not to keep asking government to do more.  The answer is to extricate our economy and ourselves from the grasp of Washington DC as much as possible now, before our dependency becomes our downfall.

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Ron Paul: I Don’t Think Romney Will Have an Epiphany

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20,000+ Supporters to Ron Paul: Please Run as an Independent or Libertarian!

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Dear Ron Paul,

You are at the right place and at the right time not only to educate Americans about the principles of personal liberty, sound money, free markets and a sensible pro-America foreign policy, but also to continue the Revolution and lead us to victory.

We the undersigned don’t want to change the GOP — we want to change America. We pledge to “write in” your name on the presidential ballot this November 6th no matter what happens until then. Please consider quitting the GOP and officially announcing your candidacy as an Independent. We pledge to assist you in every way we can.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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Ron Paul: How the Fed’s “Wise Gurus” Devastate America

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by Ron Paul

One of the most enduring myths in the United States is that this country has a free market, when in reality, the market is merely the structural shell of formerly free institutions. Government pulls the strings behind the scenes. No better illustration of this can be found than in the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates.

The Fed has interfered with the proper function of interest rates for decades, but perhaps never as boldly as it has in the past few years through its policies of quantitative easing. In Chairman Bernanke’s most recent press conference he stated that the Fed wishes not only to drive down rates on Treasury debt, but also rates on mortgages, corporate bonds, and other important interest rates. Markets greeted this statement enthusiastically, as this means trillions more newly-created dollars flowing directly to Wall Street.

Because the interest rate is the price of money, manipulation of interest rates has the same effect in the market for loanable funds as price controls have in markets for goods and services. Since demand for funds has increased, but the supply is not being increased, the only way to match the shortfall is to continue to create new credit. But this process cannot continue indefinitely. At some point the capital projects funded by the new credit are completed. Houses must be sold, mines must begin to produce ore, factories must begin to operate and produce consumer goods.

But because consumption patterns have either remained unchanged or have become more present-oriented, by the time these new capital projects are finished and begin to produce, the producers find no market for their goods. Because the coordination between savings and consumption was severed through the artificial lowering of the interest rate, both savers and borrowers have been signaled into unsustainable patterns of economic activity. Resources that would have been used in productive endeavors under a regime of market-determined interest rates are instead shuttled into endeavors that only after the fact are determined to be unprofitable. In order to return to a functioning economy, those resources which have been malinvested need to be liquidated and shifted into sectors in which they can be put to productive use.

Another effect of the injections of credit into the system is that prices rise. More money chasing the same amount of goods results in a rise in prices. Wall Street and the banking system gain the use of the new credit before prices rise. Main Street, however, sees the prices rise before they are able to take advantage of the newly-created credit. The purchasing power of the dollar is eroded and the standard of living of the American people drops.

We live today not in a free market economic system but in a “mixed economy”, marked by an uneasy mixture of corporatism; vestiges of free market capitalism; and outright central planning in some sectors. Each infusion of credit by the Fed distorts the structure of the economy, damages the important role that interest rates play in the market, and erodes the purchasing power of the dollar. Fed policymakers view themselves as wise gurus managing the economy, yet every action they take results in economic distortion and devastation.

Unless Congress gets serious about reining in the Federal Reserve and putting an end to its manipulation, the economic distortions the Fed has caused will not be liquidated; they will become more entrenched, keeping true economic recovery out of our grasp and sowing the seeds for future crisis.

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