On Wednesday Texas Congressman Ron Paul spoke with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu on America’s fiscal policy and the prospects of political compromise on the nation’s budget deficit. Paul was not optimistic that the politicians could avert going off the “fiscal cliff” because in his words, “we are already over the cliff.”
This is nothing new to those who know the history, including that prior to Barack Obama. Ron Paul has been warning for decades that we cannot spend more than we have and anyone who has a household or is living on their own knows this to be the case. If you spend more than you have, you inevitably become a slave to debt and then when you can’t pay your debt you go bankrupt. America is broke. Every year the federal government borrows to continue funding the government. This is why Senator Harry Reid wants to bump the debt ceiling $2.4 trillion! It’s so they can keep up the illusion that things are ok, while they burden us with more debt.
When asked if he liked what he heard from Boehner and the Republicans regarding the “fiscal cliff” Paul responded that he thought a couple of things “sounded good” but the problem was “there’s no credibility.” He went on to speak about many of the people that he talks to around the country who think that government is not interested in really bringing a solution to bear on this issue.
No one in leadership in the Democrat Party or the Republican Party are talking about real cuts to spending. Some are talking about “cuts” to projected spending, but that is not a real cut, as I outlined here. Even the budget plan of Mitt Romney would have taken us further into debt and so would Paul Ryan’s.
Congressman Paul said,
“I do not think I have heard the answer, They talk about this fiscal cliff, but in my mind I work with the assumption we are already over the cliff, we’re just wondering how we’re going to land … it is unsolvable because you have to cut spending.”
He then pointed out what both candidates were doing and that was increasing spending and advancing more government and until they are willing to do with less government and that includes a variety of things such as policing the world and entitlements, then they are demonstrating that they are not serious about dealing with sound fiscal policy.
Liu said that Paul’s opinion is the “minority opinion” and that most believe in “hope” that the two sides will come together and solve this. I simply remind everyone, they’ve had three years to do it, what has changed to lead anyone to believe that they will find a solution other than continuing resolutions, which spend without a budget and increasing the debt ceiling. It’s the same people in charge of the House, the Senate and the White House, why would we expect something different?
Paul did point out that things could happen with coalitions where people didn’t compromise their principles, but worked in the best interest of solving the problem and said there were such coalitions.
Liu then pointed to the “Ron Paul Republicans” such as I mentioned yesterday who have come into the House and Senate. She asked what would they need to see and what he would need to see to come together on a solution. Paul’s answer was simple “less government.” However, liu was not satisfied in that and asked him what that actually means. He said the first thing would be that they take their oath of office seriously by looking at Article 1 Section 8 which reads,
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
He believes that the Congress has basically ignored what the Constitution says they are limited to and that it would take over a decade to get people in place that were serious enough to actually change the policy going forward.
He pointed to Greece as what we have to look forward to and though things are proposed there, they don’t work because of the massive debt they have and the increased spending. People take to the streets and demonstrate.
He then pointed to Mitt Romney and said that on one issue he was correct on, which was the auto bailouts, he was opposed and that showed up in the election results. He pointed that is just like the people of Greece. They demonstrate because they don’t want their goodies taken from them.
The Texas Congressman said the real hope now is going out and changing people’s minds, which is what he has been doing for years, because until that takes place, working for a purely political revolution will not solve the problem. There must be a change in thinking.
He summarized these comments up in declaring “Government is a reflection of the people” and he is right. It is.
When Liu pointed out that most people don’t want to see us go off the “fiscal cliff” Paul simply pointed out what the numbers bring and that is a majority seem to be getting some sort of handout, bailout, entitlement or tax credit from the federal government. In other words it seems Paul agrees that people don’t want us in debt and want us to balance the budget, but those receiving something for nothing are not willing to part with their particular government aid, if you will. I think that assessment is correct.
He also made mention of the surprise by people that Barack Obama could be re-elected in conditions like we are in and he called it a “bad sign” in that the people want the checks to keep coming, the Fed to keep printing money. Paul said these people don’t think we are close to the cliff or are going off it or have gone off of it. According to Paul these people think that there is some sort of magic that can be applied to “patch things over” and there can’t be.
Finally the congressman pointed out that you “can’t have a budgetary solution as long as you don’t change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who gets the ‘loot,’ who gets the money.”
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