History shows that governments react to economic crises by increasing control over the free market...
THERE ARE very few political figures I respect. One exception is Congressman Dr. Ron Paul (Republican, Texas).
Ron has been a personal friend of mine for many years. I can assure you that he's a "stand up guy", a politician who has voted "no" in the US Congress not only more times than any other member – but also more times than the rest of that august body combined.
Indeed, he's often called "Dr. No".
The fact that Ron has managed to get re-elected numerous times – in Texas, of all places – in spite of his outspoken stands against the so-called "War on Drugs", the "War on Terror" and other popular stupidities of our age is one of the few things that make me think all is not absolutely lost in America.
How does he do it? Ron's an almost archetypical country doctor; he simply radiates honesty and sound principles. He's about the last person you'd expect to see in Congress.
The voters may not agree with everything Ron believes in, but they know they can trust him to do what he says he'll do: Always vote for lower taxes, less regulation and, in fact, against absolutely anything not specifically authorized in the US Constitution.
His campaign for the US presidency on the Republican ticket – once laughed at by mainstream apparatchiks from both parties – has generated a huge groundswell of national support. Recently, his campaign broke the record for the most funds raised online in a single day.
That in itself raised a lot of eyebrows – and the money has since been put into high-profile ad campaigns that libertarian-minded candidates could previously only dream of.
Ron Paul & Gold
Ron is famous for his principled rejection of fiat currency, and advocacy of hard money – meaning the gold standard. That's a matter of particular interest to us at the International Speculator, with obvious implications for the Gold Price and Gold Investment. We thought, therefore, we'd get an update from Ron, to see if his thinking has changed any.
Casey Research: Why would the typical American, who gets far more from government than he or she pays, even consider voting for Ron Paul?
Ron Paul: Even those Americans who receive a higher nominal amount in transfer payments than they pay in income taxes suffer from Big Government. Their standard of living is eroded by inflation, their wages are garnished by income and payroll taxes, their civil liberties are under constant assault, and their economic prospects are limited because of the drag the welfare-warfare state places on the economy. Furthermore, unless we reverse course quickly, future generations will suffer a declining standard of living and loss of liberty. Thus, I expect many Americans to vote for me not only out of concern for their own well-being, but out of concern for their children.
CR: What is your outlook for the US Dollar, absent any significant change in the current course of things?
RP: Unless we return to a sensible monetary policy and rein in government spending, I expect the value of the Dollar to continue to fall.
CR: Do you think we could see currency or capital controls being implemented?
RP: History shows that governments tend to react to economic crises by increasing government control over the free market. So yes, it is quite possible that the US Government will respond to a future economic downturn with currency and capital controls.
CR: We have seen the other presidential candidates perform all sorts of linguistic gymnastics when asked how they would handle the looming fiscal problems of Social Security and Medicare. While the solutions will obviously not be quick or easy, where would you start?
RP: I would transfer some of the money saved by my cuts in foreign programs and unconstitutional domestic bureaucracies into the entitlements programs to keep the promises to those relying on the system. I would then work to transition to a market system, phasing in an option for younger workers to opt out of Social Security and Medicare taxes in return for agreeing to provide for their own retirement and health care needs without participating in a government entitlement program.
CR: Talking further on domestic US issues, just what do you think the role of the federal government should be?
RP: Ideally, it should be limited to providing protection from foreign threats, securing the borders and ensuring free trade among the states.
CR: By what percentage would you say the federal government spending could be cut without causing any great hardship? Which agencies would you cut first?
RP: I don't have an exact percentage, but I am confident that if the welfare state were cut, along with a corresponding reduction in taxes, private charities would quickly step up to help the truly needy – and do so in a much more effective and compassionate way than government bureaucracies. I would cut the Iraq war, foreign aid and all foreign commitments immediately. Domestically, I would work to shut down the Departments of Education, Energy, and Commerce. I would also work to eliminate all forms of corporate welfare and business subsidies.
CR: Any idea how much of the total federal debt could be paid off if the government sold all the land, buildings, equipment and other assets it doesn't need for activities authorized by the Constitution?
RP: I do not have an estimate on that, but it is definitely something I would pursue.
CR: There is much talk about the Chinese deliberately keeping their currency cheap in order to undercut US and European manufacturers. And we are increasingly hearing discussions about layering on more tariffs aimed at the Chinese. We assume you are anti-tariff, so do you do anything at all about "unfair" competition or just let the global marketplace sort things out over time?
RP: The United States does not have the authority to tell China, or any other country, what to do with their currencies. The values of currencies should be set by the market. Instead of worrying about the speck in China's eye, I would focus on the beam in our eye by reducing the national debt, restoring a market in currency by repealing the legal tender laws and ending the continued debasement of the American currency.
CR: Much of the politicking this campaign season has certain religious overtones. Are you a believer in a strict separation of church and state?
RP: Yes. However, I believe state and local communities have the right to adopt policies such as school prayer without interference from the Federal Judiciary or any other branch of the federal government.
If you, as a US citizen, like what Dr. No says about the Dollar, gold, and a return to Constitutional government, then check out Ron's website and give serious consideration to making a donation to RonPaul2008 here...