Glenn Beck interviews Ron Paul on Headline News, December 18, 2007.
GLENN: Ron Paul has joined us now on the program. Hello, congressman, how are you, sir?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Good, thank you. Thanks for having me.
GLENN: You bet. That's pretty significant opening to a speech that you would give on the floor of the House.
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Well, I've been concerned for a long time but more so than ever and my main thoughts are financial, but they're related to everything that we do, whether it's spending domestic or internationally, that our deficits are exploding. And everything puts weight on the dollar. So if you need to bail out the housing industry, where do they get the money. They don't have the money. But they, you know, start buying up hundreds of billions of dollars worth of mortgages. Just last week, for instance, a small nod, but it added up to $48 billion. Out of the generosity of the congressman's heart, they voted to send $48 billion to take care of AIDS victims in Africa. Well, may be well intentioned but if it destroys our country and destroys our dollar and destroys our economy, what good is it going to do. And I think we're at the beginning stages of an unraveling financially of a bubble that's been developing maybe for three decades, and it's going to be very serious.
GLENN: What is the bubble?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I'd say a dollar bubble. We've been able to create money out of thin air and we've had the privilege of it being the reserve currency of the world. So it's almost like we can print gold, that we don't have to work. And that's one of the reasons our jobs go overseas is because they'll take our dollars and we don't have to work for our dollars. We print them. So it's been our economic and military power that allows people to believe our currency is good as gold. But now they're coming to believe that it maybe isn't so good and they have been systematically behind dollars in these last couple of years. Our dollars go down and interest rates go up basically when you look at credit cards and mortgages and our economy keeps getting weaker and the banking system is in danger. And it's not going to be easy because if you allow the liquidation of debt, it's rather painful. But that's what I advocate because continuing to do this is going to literally undermine our whole economic system and our political system.
GLENN: Don't you think that this is?--?I mean, there are people that say, "Well, they're too big to fail." I think that if you are a bank that you aren't smart enough to figure out that, you know, Tom at the auto parts store shouldn't be owning a $3 million house, I don't think you're smart enough to be a global bank. You should fail. And in the short run, very painful. Long run, the only way to cure the financial cancer.
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: That's right. You have to liquidate the debt. The debt always gets liquidated. We're liquidating debt now by paying off debt with cheap money. So if you get a dollar back and it's only worth 50 cents, half your debt was liquidated and that's what they opt for. But the real liquidation of debt ought to be people who bank bad investments and can't afford it, they should have that debt liquidated and people suffer the consequences. But the people who are screaming for the housing bailout are the people who got their houses for free. You know, they didn't have to put any money down. The house went up in value. They even borrowed more money. Then they spent it. Now they want you and I to bail them out so that they can keep their homes.
GLENN: But if I'm not mistaken, doesn't this bill also include a chance for you to walk away with some cash?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Well, I'm sure it is because it's open-ended. The rules aren't explicit because the secretary of the treasury has so much power to do?--?you know, to work this program out. So it's unlimited and I'm sure somebody's going to walk away with cash. I'm sure the mortgage companies are going to get?--?you know, even if some mortgage company has to close, their executive officer may get a huge bonus like they usually do.
GLENN: Congressman Paul, the average person looks at what's going on and they say, well, wait a minute, hang on just a second, this isn't right. With our oil crisis and everything else, I mean, we should be drilling, we should be protecting ourselves. And most people know when they look at the news these aren't good solutions. But they have no idea. For instance, the border with Compean and Ramos and just what's going on, we have a full-fledged war on our border. The logical thing to do would be to secure your border and yet it doesn't happen. And so that leads to all kinds of conspiracy theories. Are the people in Washington that are making these decisions, are they just this stupid or blind, or have they completely sold their soul to global corporations and financial industry?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I think the people who make the decisions want internationalism and they want globalism and they want a North American union and a European Union and they want international law and UN and WTO and world banks and WTOs. I think they want all this. Others go along with it are a little bit more naive. They won't even admit that they are giving up national sovereignty. I mean, we have some libertarian types who think that the WTO is just great and wonderful because it promotes free trade. And I'm not against the free trade but I'm opposed to this international government that benefits privileged companies. So it's the people who are in charge, whether it's our monetary policy, fiscal policy or foreign policy or internationally first, and they have a lot less concerns about our border. I don't think the leadership, either in the Republican or Democrat party, really care about the sovereignty of the United States. They are interested in a North American union and they will push and they will back off and then they'll try to move forward and that's why I don't think they protect our borders. They would like?--?they would like to see our countries blended together.
GLENN: Somebody told me a year ago, and I thought they were crazy, they said, you watch, Glenn. In a year our money will be so devalued that you'll be able to tie all of the, you know, Canada, America and Mexico together. The only way to save it is to make one currency, et cetera, et cetera. I still think that's nuts in the short-term, but do you believe that, do you believe that that is the intention of anyone?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I think eventually?--?and I think you are right about the short time. I don't think the American people would accept it and it's, the conditions aren't quite right. But, you know, it took them about 30 or 40 years to have a single currency in Europe, but they talked about it and they would have loose knit associations and economic agreements and until eventually they had one currency. So that will come unless some of us, you know, are able to influence the debate and talk about the Constitution and sound money and backing our currency and national sovereignty. But I mean, our views are alive and well. It's just that we don't have much clout in Washington.
GLENN: Okay. So how is that?--?so then how does that change because that's?--?I hear this from most people. They will say, well, Glenn, I get the problem; I understand the problem but it's just me. I don't have a special interest group, I don't have somebody that is protecting my, you know, my interests in Washington. And look at the other side. I mean, that must have scared the crap out of you last week when you saw Barack Obama stand in Germany and talk about strong institutions tying us all?together all across the world.
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: And you thought he was running to be President of the United States, you know, but here he is in Europe getting bigger crowds than ever and everybody seems to love it. Well, I don't know. The way it's done, I think it's a philosophic issue, it's an educational issue. You do what you have to do and you have a podium and you reach a lot of people. And mine's a little bit different. I now have continued our campaign and started something called the Campaign For Liberty and I just do my best to rally the troops.
GLENN: What is the Campaign For Liberty?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: The Campaign For Liberty talks about the very things I talk about in the campaign and you know we're having a parallel meeting, rally in Minneapolis during the Republican convention and we have a stadium there that's going to hold 15,000 people. So we want to have an impact and we want people to know that there is an alternative.
GLENN: Are you going to do the same thing in Denver by any chance? Because you know this. A lot of your supporters were not only from, you know, the deepest red areas of the country but also the deepest blue parts of the country. I mean, you had them in Texas and Berkeley, California.
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Yeah, I think?--?and that's interesting. I think the reason it's in Minneapolis is because I still am a Republican congressman and theoretically?--?and I ran as a Republican and theoretically I could have been invited to the Republican convention but was not. So instead of taking the position that I'm going to obstruct and demonstrate and try to disrupt the convention, I'm just going to, hey, go down the street about eight miles and try to have a positive Rally For the Republic, that's what it's called, the Rally For the Republic. So it's something that I want to use. There's a few people paying attention and if I can keep this momentum going, because it will take some time. You can turn it around overnight. But the time is ripe and because of these events coming together, people know there's something wrong. And the young people especially. When I talked to the college kids, they knew there was something seriously wrong and they're willing to look at something else and, you know, Obama talks about change but if they want to find real change, they are going to have to come to our rally.
GLENN: The concept that libertarian?--?I mean, I think that?--?I mean, I'm a libertarian at heart and I am becoming more and more libertarian as days go by. I just, the government is completely out of control in our country and it's only getting worse. In the world we now have socialists, communists, parliamentary democracies, monarchy dictatorships, this new hybrid in Russia that just should scare the daylights out of people, a combination of dictatorship and capitalism that is just terrible, the state capitalism stuff that is coming our way. How come there is not a libertarian government anywhere?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Well, probably one of the closest ones probably will be Switzerland. They have -- does anybody know the president of Switzerland? I always think this is just great. I'd like to be the president of Switzerland. Nobody would know who I was. They have small states and they have local laws. They do have a Republic form of government. It's certainly not pure libertarian, but they have the right ideas and they don't try to tell the people how to live at home and they don't try to tell other people how to live around the world. So?--?now, we're far from it and I guess just since there's never been a perfect communist nation, even in the Soviet system there was always an underground economy, there will never be a perfect libertarian society. But we have to be able to define it. And the founders had an idea about it and the Constitution gave us some pretty strong hints. So our traditions are pretty good and we have to not only just go back but we have to build on what we were given. We have to advance in the stages that we had a couple of hundred years ago. But the examples of tyranny have been so numerous, that's what history has been built on and that's what the world is built on is tyranny. And we have to present the case for limited government and a free society so people can see it's in their best interest to support those views.
GLENN: Ramos and Compean, do you think that they should be out of prison?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Yeah, I really do. I think there's?--?you know, it's messy, but they definitely should be out and I've taken that position. I've supported Bill Delahunt's bill on this. It also brings up the subject of mandatory minimal sentences and that's part of this process that we're involved in. And I don't like that because, you know, I'm not a supporter of the way the war on drugs has been run, and you have all kinds of problems built and pressures put on judges. So when there's a conviction, sometimes the judges are compelled to do things. So there's a couple of issues there. The way things were run, the way the trial was run as well as the judicial system where the congress has put all these mandatory sentences on individuals.
GLENN: What do you think about the idea that you gotta vote for the lesser of two evils, no matter what side it is, you've got to vote for the lesser of two evils because half a loaf of bread is better than no bread?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I think it's one of the dumbest ideas around. I think that that is a real wasted vote because the two parties have blended together and there's not any difference, nothing really ever changes. You elect a conservative Republican and the deficits explode. And you elect the Democrat to change foreign policy and they make the foreign policy worse. So I think if you really want your vote to be counted, you have to take a principle stand and vote for, if you are left leaning, take a stand for one of the alternative candidates who are left leaning. If not, if you tend to be libertarian, vote libertarian or for the constitutional party.
GLENN: Who would be worse for the long run as President of the United States, John?--?just knowing what you know now, what's your gut tell you would be worse in the long run? John McCain or Barack Obama?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: You know, if you just listen to the message, I think it would be John McCain. But if you listen to politics, it would be Obama because he takes a different position on foreign policy and he wants change and, you know, he sounds so good. But they almost do opposite of what they stand for. So John McCain I fear because, you know, he's too anxious to bomb the next country. But, you know, once a person like that is in office, he's probably less likely to do it because, you know, he wants to neutralize that position. Sort of this whole thing like, it wasn't a Democrat that at least started to talk to the Chinese. It was Richard Nixon. The Democrats couldn't do that. So I guess the bottom line is probably a little less harm done with McCain but, boy, I don't even like picking that because I think they're both so close to being the same. And I think people behind them control both of them.
GLENN: You don't have to tell me who it is, but do you know who you're going to vote for for President yet?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Not exactly, you know, because we don't even know who will get on the ballots. I've actually?--?
GLENN: Could you see yourself?--?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I couldn't vote for McCain.
GLENN: You can't vote for McCain?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: No, I can't vote for him. I've said that publicly. That, of course, gets me in trouble with my Republican friends. No, he doesn't stand for essentially anything that I believe in. So I wouldn't be able to do that.
GLENN: Last quick question. Then we'll let you go. I know you're on a tight schedule. But you say in the speech that you gave?--?and we'll post this. Can we put a link to the speech in the newsletter today? We'll put it in our newsletter today. But you say that things are coming fast and furious and you believe the time is coming soon. What does that mean to you, "Soon"?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I believe it's already started and I think we're very vulnerable if there is some event that is unforeseen and could occur tomorrow, the next?--?I think the foundation is so unsteady that the whole thing could come crashing down, maybe a rush out of the dollar, you could end up with runaway inflation. I don't?--?
GLENN: You are talking about the 19?--?
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: I sleep still okay at night. I don't think it's going to happen today or tomorrow, but the system is so shaky that it could. But I think within certainly the administration of the next President, something, it will be very evident that this dollar crisis is unfolding and it's going to be very, very serious because we can send out the checks forever to the Social Security recipients but if they don't?--?if the money doesn't buy anything, that is a major crisis.
GLENN: Ron Paul, thank you very much, sir. Appreciate it.
CONGRESSMAN PAUL: Thank you.
GLENN: We'll talk to you again, Congressman Ron Paul.