Event: Ron Paul Texas BBQ
Location: San Luis Conference Center, Galveston Seawall
Ron Paul: Thank you. Barry is an old friend, but we made him practice once, so now it was perfect. Thank you very much. It’s really great to be here. It’s great to see the crowds. It’s really wonderful that we get together and talk about some important issues, so it is very nice.
You know, today we have a few individuals who have been lecturing and they gave some talks: Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods and Judge Napolitano. Now, that was fantastic. Some people say, “Hey, you are having a political rally. You’re getting too […] to get re-elected next year.”
And for me, though, that was a very important thing to happen today, to talk about the issues because I’ve always worked on the assumption that ideas have consequences and it’s the ideas that really count.
But I do want to thank Barry, coming from California to introduce me and participate. Barry had this one time many years ago, maybe about 30 years ago for all I know, but I invited him over and I thought I’d trick him into a swimming race, but that was a trick on me because he ended up beating me in this swimming race. But anyway, I’m very glad to see him again and participate in this.
But some of you came from outside the 14th district and a couple of you even came out from outside the State of Texas and I’m very glad that you’re here.
But I do want to tell you a little bit about the 14th district. The 14th district, of course, is very important to all of us and to me in particular, but the 14th district has changed a lot in the […] redistricting and sometimes in between the redistricting. But the 14th district really lies in the heart of where Texas was born.
The history of Texas, if you know the history of Texas, you know that major issues occurred between the Alamo here and the […] up there in Houston, and the 14th District has incorporated most of that territory one time or the other and there has been a lot of famous things that happened, especially the Declaration of Independence that occurred in 1836.
But a lot of people don’t know that the very first battle for the independence of Texas occurred in 1832, a few years before that and that occurred over at a little place called Velasco, which happens to be a surfside near Freeport, Texas in Brazoria County.
But a little incident happened in 1824 when the Mexican government had been inviting American settlers into Texas and when they did this, they had instituted a really, really good constitution. One, somewhat longer and better than ours, and they recognized civil liberties and condemn martial law.
But in 1832, William Travis was arrested, just across the bay […] and this to the settlers, the American colonists here were very, very outraged by this because it was a federal government imposing martial laws for civil reasons on legitimate citizens and the […] tried to get over here to get William Travis released and they had to go through a Mexican fort at Velasco, on the south side and that’s where the first battle was won.
By the time that battle was fought and over, William Travis was released and he lived to fight another day, but the important thing to me is that we do live in a very historic area of Texas and the issue then as it is now is martial law.
Martial law is the sign that the federal government is getting too oppressive and there are hints today that it may come to our country and we have to do everything conceivable to stop that from happening.
You know, in the study of economics and being in government, warnings are a lot of times very, very important. We should warn people about what’s coming because you can’t do a thing about it if you live just thinking that there no problems and you can’t anticipate and you can’t change policy. So even though we now are in the midst of a financial crisis that many individuals have warned about, we still have to deal with what will the future be, and what are the plans and what should our concerns be.
We do have a lot of economic concerns in this country. Believe me, it doesn’t take you very much to figure out exactly where we stand on our financial situation in Washington. Things – to say it mildly – it is in one big mess and we need to do something about that.
If you look at the July statistics on the budget, they’re rather frightening because just in July, the deficit was $180 billion in one month. That used to take a couple of years before the government hada deficit like that, but in one month it went $180 billion. But the spending went up to $332 billion, the biggest monthly we’ve ever have in spending. At the same time the revenues dropped. So people say, “Oh, isn’t that a shame? The revenues dropped.”
Well, it’s a mixed blessing. It’s good. The government is not getting enough money. That’s fine and dandy with me, but the whole problem is that spending doesn’t solve, it contributes to the deficit, puts pressure on more borrowing and of course, puts more pressure on the Federal Reserve who has to print the money, and that of course, is something that we are in the midst of taking care of, that Federal Reserve System.
Yeah, as long as I have been up there it still is astonishing. If we look at these statistics on a daily basis, we see that the deficits exploding and if you see the spending exploding, they never hesitate for a second to add a new program.
Now, of course they talk about cap and trade that’s going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars and […] spending and taxes and at the same time, they’re coming along and they think that the federal government will tell you what to do about your healthcare. We don’t need the federal government in the business of our healthcare whatsoever.
But what is […] is they talk about a trillion dollar medical program. That medical program will cost more. There has never been a program the federal government has proposed and they haven’t even come close to the predicted cost of that program. So if they’re saying a trillion, you can be assured it will be 3 trillion.
What do they say when you bring up the subject of too much expenses. What they’ll tell you is that you are right about this. We spend too much, we have too much of a debt and we print too much money. But they tell us, “We’ll take care of this next year or the year after or the year after.”
Well, postponing that day of reckoning, can no longer be postponed. That day of reckoning is upon us and we have to deal with it right now.
They’re planning in Washington right now to write more regulations of the financial system. Of course, that’s what they always do. They did it in the Depression. After Enron failed, they came and wrote a bill called Sarbanes-Oxley, and now because of the financial crisis and all the mistakes that they made in the system of the spending and the borrowing and inflating, they believe it’s all because the government hasn’t regulated economic activities enough and now that is what they’re planning.
It won’t work. It won’t work. I will cost more taxes, more spending, new and more bureaucracy, more debt, so we can expect this problem, the economic situation, it’s going to get a lot worse. We live in very historic times right now. Historic times, I’m personally convinced that the financial crisis that we’re in the midst of and that presented itself here just a couple of years ago is the biggest financial crisis in the history of mankind. The problem was bigger than ever. It was based on the dollar standard and we’re in the midst of it, but we’re not even nearly halfway through this.
It’s likely to get a lot worse because they haven’t changed one thing. They haven’t decided that we need less government. The solution to the problems that we have today can be found in less government and following the Constitution.
The last few weeks, you have put August 15th on your calendar and you came over here and knew that there’s going to be a special event on August 15th. But August 15th means a little bit more to me in a personal way because I remember a speech given on August 15, 1971 by Richard Nixon and that was a speech at the… we knew we were having problems and it was on a Sunday night and he ran on all these things he was about to do to us, but he decided that there would be a big tax on all the imports. He decided that we would have wage and price controls and he also decided that we no longer would defend the dollar. The dollar would be delinked from gold and has been ever since. He was the end of the pseudo-gold standard of the Bretton Woods standard.
Now, that was the main impression on me that during the 1960s and late 1970s, I had come across Austrian economics to study the business cycle from that perspective and the end of Bretton Woods was predicted all along, when that happened, I just knew at that time that economists who taught Austrian economics were correct and that was when I decided that I would enter politics for the sole purpose not of running with the idea that I can ever win an office, because that was furthest from my imagination. I thought if I could run for Congress, I would at least have a little bit of an opportunity to talk about the insanities of what we’re doing in Washington, and it turned out that my wife was a little more perceptive on this because when I told her, she said it was dangerous to do this and I was like, “Why could it be dangerous?” And she said, “Well, you could end up getting elected.”
But I assured her that would be an impossibility because I wasn’t going to be running a Santa Claus, but what she said was that, “Well, you’ll be telling the truth, and maybe they’re ready to hear the truth.”
But today, we’re witnessing a historic monetary event as well. It’s not as precise as August 15, 1971, but I would say the last 12 to 15 months what the world has come to realize, both those who are on our side and those who are on the opposite side, they’ve come to recognize that the dollar reserve standard that replaced the Bretton Woods agreement has been now ended and that is why the house of cards has collapsed and that is why they will not rebuild the financial structure that the world based on the dollar standard.
When our Secretary of Treasury can go to China and talk to some young people on college campus and he then explains to them that they have nothing to fear because we will soon have balanced budgets back in America, and what happens? He gets laughed at.
So this, the dollar today will not be used, but something will replace it. In a group like this I think we know what we have to do, what we have to replace it with, but the opposition also know what we know and they’re working feverishly to replace it as well with something different. What they’re working on now, behind the scenes, is to have an international paper standard run by the IMF and the United Nations.
The answer to this is, “How about legalizing the Constitution? Legalize once again the obligation that you know, that gold and silver is legal tender.”
You know, there’s a little piece of legislation I worked on for about thirty-some years, I can’t remember, and I re-introduced it this year with extra patience that it would do better, but I had no idea how much better. But lo and behold, this bill that I introduced, it has something to do with auditing the Fed, HR 1207. Now, it has 282 co-sponsors, all the Republicans and 104 Democrats are in there. The most we ever had before, it was 18, so there are something going on in this country and it is not all bad.
But why… why it’s likely failed before, people ask me, “What do you expect to find?” Well, I don’t know exactly what we’ll find, but I do know they don’t want to be audited, so I know there’s something in there that we need to know about for sure.
The Federal Reserve now is operating in secrecy. It’s gotten away with it for years because we were on the upswing of the financial bubble and in general, people were benefiting by the counterfeiting of money, but now that the truth is known that we can’t continue this way, fortunately for us, with our arguments, the people have awakened and they know the Federal Reserve has not been their friend. 75% of the American people now support the auditing of the Federal Reserve System.
This came about because of the TARP funds, around $800 billion passed on the spring of 2008 and Obama, you remember, was not President in 2008 and it was the Republican party that pushed that and the bill went through and the money went out the door and people said, “Where did it go?” And the congressmen said, “We don’t know. We’ll go check to find out what has happened.”
But lo and behold, it ended up in Swiss bank accounts and it ended up in the pockets of the people who got gigantic bonuses and the Federal Reserve was very much involved and they started having oversight hearings. You know, when the oversight hearing should start is before any of those program start; they ought to have to have oversight to prevent this from happening.
The Federal Reserve does deal with a lot of companies directly. They could, under today’s laws, send billions and billions of dollars to companies like Goldman Sachs without approval of the Congress.
Just think of this, if the Congress passes hundreds of billions of dollars of bailout, the Federal Reserve in this short period of time of a year or two to has dealt in trillions of dollars and we don’t know about it. We didn’t appropriate the money. We didn’t authorize the money. We didn’t designate it at all. They are a government unto themselves, and that has to end. We have to know what they’re doing.
Also, the Federal Reserve today can negotiate behind the scenes, in secrecy, with other governments, other central banks, with international financial organizations. They make agreements, they make deals, they make promises and we don’t know anything about it. It’s equivalent to them writing treaties with other governments. It isn’t ratified by the Congress and the government. The House of Representatives knows nothing about it and the people suffer and the establishment benefits from this and their guys get bailed out.
I’m suspicious that before this debate is over, and we have a long way to go as well as we’re doing with the audit the Fed, we have a long way to go. I believe what they’ll do is they’ll come up with some argument and they’ll start talking about, “Well, you know, we can’t reveal all these secrets because it’s going to hurt national security.” That’s always it, but “We can’t try these people in the open and doing it under the constitutional law, we would reveal our secrets and it would hurt our national security interests.”
Well, I thought that’s why we go to war and fight the wars to protect our Constitution and make sure we follow the rules of the law and not to cover up.
The Federal Reserve is as secret, if not more secret, than the CIA. Now, there’s room for intelligence gathering, there’s no doubt about that. But the CIA has not done a good job, whether they’re just totally inept or they don’t want give us the right information. I don’t think anybody knows that answer. But whether it’s 9/11, the breakdown of the Soviet system or whatever, they have never given our government and our people accurate information.
But we are learning more about the CIA. We do know that in the last several years, that we as a people have allowed our CIA to make 50 attempts to kill leaders of other countries. I would say that’s not a good idea. You know, what we should be doing is learning how to get along with people and not trying to undermine their governments all the time.
We have troops in 130 countries. We have over 700 bases. In every one of those countries and in every one of those incidents, I can guarantee you that we have CIA agents involved as well. Every time you hear about an election in a country overseas, you can be assured our CIA knows what’s going on. Now, you will say, “Well, that is wonderful. They’re going to […] protect democracy.” But the whole thing is it’s so often, we go over and that the right guy doesn’t elected, that’s when we say they need to be thrown out and then we go in and support their people.
This is why the founders were absolutely correct on our being the case that a non-interventionist foreign policy, minding our own business would be in the best interest of all of us in this country.
There’s been a recent election in Iran and they’re still arguing about it, but we have, actually the Congress has actually authorized $400 million for programs of trying to overthrow that government. Now, that’s a bad government over there, but is that the way to do it? I don’t believe so. I think there’s a much better way.
Right now, we go back in September, the Congress is likely to vote on a resolution that will blockade and put sanctions on Iran. They’re already on and they’re very destructive as we did in Iraq for 15 years. But we’re about to do this to the Iranian people, that is we’re going to cut off, in addition to the sanctions, we’re going to cut off all gasoline going into Iran.
Now, the purpose of this, the explanation is that the Ayatollah is the bad guy. If we’re going to punish the people, the people are going to get angry and throw out the Ayatollah. But you know what? It does exactly the opposite. It brings the people together.
Can you imagine if a foreign nation came here and played games like that, undermined our government or put troops on our land and claimed it was their oil in the gulf of Mexico? I mean, we would be furious about that.
So we now are facing another major crisis in the Middle East, a continuation of the crisis. It really is going on for decades. It started in the early 1990s and it’s been persistent and we have the war in Iraq and it just continues. The violence is escalating. We have a war in Afghanistan and right now, today, there’s a bombing in Kabul. They used to call Karzai the mayor of Afghanistan because he only had the one city. But now there was a bombing of a NATO base in Kabul today, which was a major, major explosion and the allies are not bearing the brunt of this. The American people are bearing the brunt of this. So the war is going on in Pakistan, Afghanistan, potentially in Iran, and you know what? It costs a lot of money.
We’re on the verge of doing what all great nations have done in the past, that is stretch too far and get over-extended and believe that they can do this and survive. Just as they don’t think for a minute about introducing a trillion dollar medical program, there’s now about minute thought or concern, Democrat or Republican, about the perpetual warfare state overseas, which consumes a trillion dollars a year of our taxpayers’ money, which ruins our national defense.
But it will come to an end. It came to an end with the Soviets. The Soviet system collapsed, miraculously without violence. We didn’t have to fight them. They had these nuclear weapons, and one of the reasons they say we have to go to the Iranians, it’s because they’re thinking about building a nuclear bomb. I’m sure they thought about it because everybody around them has them.
You know, the Russians have them, Israel has them, India has them, Pakistan has them. We have submarines out there with nuclear bombs, and it’s the only thing people respect. You counterreact and say, “Well, don’t mess with me, we have a nuclear weapon.” So I suspect they would like to have one.
But there’s no concrete evidence that they’re actually working on a nuclear weapon. But just think of this, of the danger that we’re exposed to by our willingness to go over there and agitate more and even support the concept quite possibly of bombing these potential nuclear sites and really having an explosion of warfare.
But just think about it, the Iranians can’t even refine gasoline. That’s why the gasoline boycott is a big deal, that it couldn’t run their cars. They can’t make gasoline and here we’re getting ready to expand the war that we can’t afford, but will diminish our national defense and bring us to our knees, because almost anything can bring our […] to our knees.
So nobody is going to attack us. We’re the most powerful military force in the world and they’re not going to attack us. Nobody is going to launch a missile attack on us, but we could be attacked financially. We are the biggest debtor in the history of mankind. China is holding our debt, and one of these days if pushing us to shop, they can turn it off for us.
Instead of trying to spread ourselves around the world militarily, the Chinese right now have all their dollars and here’s what they’re doing. They’re buying up oil wells in Iran. We have lost something in this country. We are not good at freedom ideas and we’re not good at capitalism anymore. We need to look at this and decide which way we’re going and I would say the founders had us going in the right direction and we better get back on track soon.