Ron Paul Exposes the Neocon Agenda

In this classic 2003 speech to Congress, Ron Paul exposes the neocon agenda, outlines its background and goals and names its proponents.

Short summary (5:49 minutes):

(Video made by supporters. Images used were neither chosen,
reviewed nor approved by Ron Paul or his team.)

Complete speech (51:06 minutes):

Transcript

HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 10, 2003

Neo – CONNED !

The modern-day limited-government movement has been co-opted. The conservatives have failed in their effort to shrink the size of government. There has not been, nor will there soon be, a conservative revolution in Washington. Party control of the federal government has changed, but the inexorable growth in the size and scope of government has continued unabated. The liberal arguments for limited government in personal affairs and foreign military adventurism were never seriously considered as part of this revolution.

Continued here.

Ron Paul On McCain, Potential Third Party Run

Ron Paul was interviewed on “The Morning Edge” by Trey Ware of KTSA 550 AM of San Antonio, Texas.

After talking about the success of his book “The Revolution: A Manifesto”, Ron Paul pointed out the hypocrisy of McCain’s recent quip on wanting to run against him in the general election:

They asked McCain the other day which Democrat he wants to run against so [...] he said, “I want to run against Ron Paul, because he is like a Democrat”. That got me thinking, why am I the “Democrat”? I want balanced budgets, limited government, I want the foreign policy that Bush ran on, of no nation building and no policing of the world, I don’t want No Child Left Behind, I don’t want higher taxes like McCain has voted for, I don’t want McCain-Feingold, I don’t want Gore’s environmentalism - and he calls me the Democrat! And then they wonder why they’re losing elections. [...] I think they’ve lost their way.

Trey then asked Ron Paul about the probability of a Paul-Barr or Barr-Paul ticket. Ron Paul responded:

I think that I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing, trying to convert people to constitutionalism in any way I can. I’ve done it during this campaign, and we’ve had some relative success, so I won’t be on a ticket here in the fall. I’ll just continue to do the best I can to represent these views in the Republican primary, which means I will have a presence at the National Convention…. not that they’ve invited me, but we can be there [and] we’re going to have a lot of supporters, but we know the reality of it: McCain has the votes, so [...] I’m not looking for the continuation of a presidential involvement in the fall.

Trey: Are you ruling out an independent run, possibly with Bob Barr [on the Libertarian ticket]?

Yes, it’s a little bit late to put that together, and it’s really tough with the laws that keep you off the ballots, and then you get more marginalizing even in the third party. They worked hard to marginalize anything I did and said anyway in the Republican primary, and yet we did get some coverage, but they don’t want to hear this message so we have to work really hard at it and I’m not willing to take the third party move this time.

Ron Paul also talks about the possibility of Obama-Edwards and McCain-Huckabee. Listen to the full interview here and post your comments below.

Ron Paul: Let The Market Regulate Itself!

Ron Paul questioned former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, at a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) hearing ominously titled “Wall Street to Main Street: Is the Credit Crisis Over and What Can the Federal Government Do to Prevent Unnecessary Systemic Risk in the Future?

Ron Paul expressed his disapproval of reserve requirements going down to zero, and criticized the Fed not just for buying rapidly declining housing securities, but also for talking about using credit card securities, car loan securities and student loan securities to back the creation of new “money”:

One thing I don’t think we ever do is define “capital”. We talk about “capital”, but in capitalism, in the free markets, capital comes from savings. Well, we don’t have any savings! Capital [now] comes out of thin air and we’ve had the luxury of creating as much so-called capital as we want because we were able to issue the reserve currency of the world. You mentioned the problem that we have is overconsumption. Well, that wouldn’t occur if we had a commodity standard in money, because it holds you in check.

Ron Paul went on to state that bailouts just make the problem worse and that while he does believe in regulation, it was government regulation that distorted the market and caused malinvestment:

Everybody said, “Well, bailing out Bear Stearns was just wonderful”. Well that to me is sort of like saying, if you have a drug addict having a withdrawal symptom you give him another fix and he feels good, then everything is going to be okay. So I don’t think that can be that reassuring to us because we have so many, many problems that we still face.

And, I believe in regulation. But I don’t believe for a minute that it’s a lack of government regulation that is our problem. It was the fact that the government had licensed the Federal Reserve to distort the market, create capital out of thin air, distort interest rates, cause the malinvestment, the excessive debt.

The market is a good regulator. The market, through interest rate changes, gives us signals that we should follow, but we don’t have that anymore. But just to say “all we need is more regulation”, I think it’s sort of like saying that we need regulations for something that is unregulatable, because the system is so artificial. It has nothing to do with the market economy.

So I really fear when I hear statements “well it’s the free market that is the problem”, rather than asking, “where did the bubble come from?”. And I think it’s very, very precise and very clear where financial bubbles come from and we have to deal with that.

Watch the rest of Ron Paul’s statement, the questions he asked, and Paul Volcker’s response in the video at the top of this post, or watch the full hearing here.

A Review of The Revolution: A Manifesto

Many politicians have written books to popularize their political ideas during the campaign season, and as Dr. Paul notes in his new book, these kinds of books “tend to have (deservedly) short self lives.” The Revolution: A Manifesto is not a campaign book, rather it is an educational book that presents valuable lessons from history, economics, and libertarian ethics as a unified philosophy of freedom.

Foreign Policy and The Founders

Dr. Paul begins his book with a history lesson about foreign policy in the United States. He quotes the words from Jefferson’s first inaugural address which should be the motto of the State Department: “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” As Dr. Paul points out,

Unfortunately, we have spent the past century spurning this sensible advice. If the Founders’ advice is acknowledged at all, it is dismissed on the grounds that we no longer live in their times. The same hackneyed arguments could be used against any of the other principles the Founders gave us. Should we give up the First Amendment because times have changed?

This statement sums up every argument against the case for individual liberty. As Dr. Paul points out, John Quincy Adams had a similar position:

Wherever that standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be furled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. [...] She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

There it is—the almost prophetic vision that these men had when they constructed this country. Paul continues, “This wasn’t ‘isolationism.’ It was a beautiful and elegant statement of common sense, and of principles that at one time were taken for granted by nearly everyone.” He later says,

There are those who condemn noninterventionists for being insufficiently ambitious, for their unwillingness to embrace “national greatness” [...] These critics should have the honesty to condemn the Founding Fathers for the same defect. They wouldn’t dare.

Constitution and the Rule of Law

They may not dare to outright condemn the Founders, but their stark difference in philosophy is evident in the last century of American jurisprudence. In his chapter on The Constitution, Dr. Paul points out that contrary to popular belief, the Constitution is not a living document that could be interpreted according to the political whims of the day. As he says, “If we feel the need to change our Constitution, we are free to amend it.” He continues,

They [advocates of a living Constitution] favor a system in which the federal government, and in particular the federal courts, are at liberty—even in the absence of any amendment—to interpret the Constitution altogether differently from how it was understood by those who drafted it and those who voted to ratify it.

But what about the Framers’ intentions? Should we value them today? What is so bad about a “living Constitution?” Dr. Paul argues that the Constitution is a contract between the government and the people. Contracts are the foundation of civilized behavior. Without a prearranged agreement, all association between consenting parties regresses into a “He said, she said” mess. The Constitution is no different. If the courts can simply change the meaning of its words, there is no true contract; under this current situation, we simply live by the often-irrational caprices of the current regime. As Dr. Paul writes,

If the people agreed to a particular understanding of the Constitution, and over the course of intervening years they have performed no official act (such as amending the Constitution in accordance with their evolved ideas) reversing that original understanding, by what right may government unilaterally change the terms of its contract with the people, interpreting its words to mean something very different from what the American people had all along been told they meant?

Dr. Paul later relates the story of when he proposed that Congress should actually declare war, as the Constitution demands, instead of simply giving the authority to the President. When he proposed the declaration in the International Relations Committee, the chairman responded by saying that, “there are things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events [...] We are saying to the President, use your judgment. [What you have proposed is] inappropriate, anachronistic; it isn’t done anymore.”

Perhaps it isn’t done anymore, but it should be. And by the way, what are the things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events? Can we merely pick and choose those things? If the declaration of war is anachronistic, does that also apply to freedom of speech and the separation of powers? It seems that this trend is what creates the monolithic state that the Founders would not recognize. Dr. Paul analyzes the situation thusly:

We have come to consider it normal for nine judges in Washington to decide on social policies that affect every neighborhood, family, and individual in America. One side of the debate hopes the nine will impose one set of values, and the other side favors a different set. The underlying premise—that this kind of monolith is desirable, or that no alternative is possible—is never examined, or at least not nearly as often as it should be. The Founding Fathers did not intend for every American neighborhood to be exactly the same—a totalitarian impulse if there ever was one—or that disputes over competing values should be decided by federal judges. This is the constitutional approach to deciding all issues that are not spelled out explicitly in our founding documents: let neighbors and localities govern themselves.

Economics and Human Action

In his chapter on economic freedom, Dr. Paul does an excellent job of explaining why economic freedom is morally just: “Economic freedom is based on a simple moral rule: everyone has a right to his or her life and property, and no one has a right to deprive anyone of these things.”

Most people would agree with this statement, but somehow the government has convinced almost everyone that it is wrong for one individual to steal from another, but perfectly just for the government to steal from individuals. Not only is taxation and inflation morally wrong, but they are impractical at achieving their results. Dr. Paul gives an example of this in the National Endowment for the Arts. He explains that although the NEA was only created in 1965, many people cannot imagine how the arts could flourish without the agency. Never mind the fact that, according to Dr. Paul, “While the government requested $121 million for the NEA in 2006, private donations to the arts totaled $2.5 billion that year, dwarfing the NEA budget.” He continues,

The NEA represents a tiny fraction of all arts funding, a fact few Americans realize. Freedom works after all. And that money is almost certainly better spent that government money: NEA funds go not necessarily to the best artists, but to people who happen to be good at filling out government grant applications. I have my doubts that the same people occupy both categories.

As he says, “People loose their political imagination.” The nation has forgotten how to be responsible, because after all, the ever present, all-knowing government is always here to take care of us. He goes on to say that,

Repealing the new bureaucracy becomes unthinkable. Mythology about how terrible things were in the old days becomes the conventional wisdom. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy itself, with a vested interest in maintaining itself and increasing its funding, employs all the resources it can to ensuring that it gets a bigger budget next year, regardless of its performance.

If a reader only takes one thing away from this book, it should be the aforementioned quote. In three sentences Ron Paul explains exactly how bureaucracy has grown into the corrupt and productivity-looting machine of today. Government expansion over time will take progressively bigger chunks of the nation’s productivity every year until the government sector completely dominates the private sector. The solution that Ron Paul offers to this enormous problem is the elimination of all government programs that are not explicitly outlined in the Constitution. This basically amounts to the elimination of all executive departments besides Defense, State, and Justice. But this does not have to be done overnight.

As he says, Social Security and other entitlements will go bankrupt without double-digit economic growth for the next seventy-five years; this at a time when most analysts would be excited about a three or four percent growth. His plan for funding the current Social Security obligations is to use the savings that will come from bringing all the troops home from the far reaches of our empire.

Eventually, imperial adventurism in foreign lands and despotic statism at home will spell the end of our Republic. In his closing arguments, Dr. Paul writes,

The empire game our government has been playing is coming to an end one way or another. This is the fate of all empires: they overextend themselves and then suffer a financial catastrophe, typically involving the destruction of the currency. We are already seeing the pattern emerging in our own case. We can either withdraw gracefully, as I propose, or we can stay in our fantasy world and wait until bankruptcy forces us to scale back our foreign commitments. Again, I know which option I prefer.

If you too prefer the option of freedom, prosperity and peace, join the Ron Paul Revolution and help us put the government back where it belongs: to Washington D.C. and out of our daily lives.

Ron Paul: Do We Need The Federal Reserve?

In response to Ben Bernanke’s speech on why the Fed is the solution to (and not the cause of) our financial problems, Ron Paul was interviewed by David Asman on the Fox Business Channel:

Memorable quotes:

“One time it was gold [that backed our currency], then it was silver, then it was treasury bills, then it was other assets, and now they want to sort of monetize car loans and credit card debt? That’s the point where we’ve gotten to, and it won’t work. It’s going to eventually come to an end.”

“They keep building a pyramid of debt based on a false trust and illusion that there’s actually money behind what this credit stands for. So, there’s no way you can keep this going. Eventually, the trust is lost, the con game is over, and this is what people are discovering not only in this country but around the world.”

“We create this illusion of wealth by creating credit out of thin air and somebody benefits until it’s discovered that it’s all a fraud, and then the penalty is put on some innocent people [through inflation].”

“This idea that you can bail out forever is just complete nonsense. It leads to the kind of trouble we have today.”

Confused? Here’s an introduction to fiat money and inflation.

Primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia Today

Nebraska will be sending 33 delegates to the national convention. Today’s closed primary is non-binding and final delegates will be determined at the Nebraska state convention on June 28.

Nebraska Results:

John McCain: 118,065 votes (87%)
Ron Paul: 17,647 votes (13%)

West Virginia will be sending 30 delegates to the national convention. Of those, 9 are elected today in a closed primary (Independents can vote on the Republican ballot), 3 are supplied by the GOP state leadership, and 18 were elected in a winner-take-all state convention held on February 5th. Ron Paul will get 3 of these 18 delegates per a deal between Ron Paul delegates to support Mike Huckabee in the second round of voting.

West Virginia Results (with 98% of precincts reporting):

John McCain: 87,786 votes (76%)
Mike Huckabee: 11,896 votes (10%)
Ron Paul: 5,812 votes (5%)
Mitt Romney: 5,062 votes (4%)
Rudy Giuliani: 2,777 votes (2%)
Alan Keyes: 1,389 votes (1%)
Jerry Curry: 714 votes (1%)

Who Is Responsible For The Housing Bubble?

by Ron Paul

The House passed two bills attempting to rehabilitate the housing and mortgage market this week. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of criticism and blame for the bad decisions, and rightly so. Lenders and banks do share much of the blame for the overheated market. Lending standards were relaxed, or even abandoned altogether, creating an exaggerated pool of homebuyers that led to ballooning home prices that many, especially real estate investors, expected to continue forever. Now that the bubble has burst, the losses are staggering.

However, many in Washington fail to realize it was government intervention that brought on the current economic malaise in the first place. The Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates created the loose, easy credit that ignited a voracious appetite in the banks for borrowers. People made these lending and buying decisions based on market conditions that were wildly manipulated by government. But part of sound financial management should be recognizing untenable or falsified economic conditions and adjusting risk accordingly. Many banks failed to do that and are now looking to taxpayers to pick up the pieces. This is wrong-headed and unfair, but Congress is attempting to do it anyway.

These housing bills address the crisis in exactly the wrong way, by seeking to hide the problem with more disastrous government bail-outs and interventions. One measure, HR 5830 the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Housing Stabilization and Homeowner Retention Act would allow the FHA to guarantee as much as $300 billion worth of refinanced home loans for those facing threat of foreclosure. HR 5818 the Neighborhood Stabilization Act, would provide $15 billion in loans and grants to localities to purchase and renovate foreclosed homes with the object of then selling or renting out those homes. Thankfully, President Bush has vowed to veto both of these bills. It is neither morally right nor fiscally wise to socialize private losses in this way.

The solution is for government to stop micromanaging the economy and let the market adjust, as painful as that will be for some. We should not force taxpayers, including renters and more frugal homeowners, to switch places with the speculators and take on those same risks that bankrupted them. It is a terrible idea to spread the financial crisis any wider or deeper than it already is, and to prolong the agony years into the future. Socializing the losses now will only create more unintended consequences that will give new excuses for further government interventions in the future. This is how government grows - by claiming to correct the mistakes it earlier created, all the while constantly shaking down the taxpayer. The market needs a chance to correct itself, and Congress needs to avoid making the situation worse by pretending to ride to the rescue.

Freedom Tour: 5 Weeks, 28 Cities, 1 Message

Marc Scibilia, the Revolution singer and songwriter who wrote Hope Anthem and the musical score for the High Tide 3D Animation (see videos above), will be touring the US this June/July to spread the message of freedom, and to encourage everyday Americans to attend the Revolution March in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2008.

Freedom Tour ‘08 Cities (tentative):

Freedom Tour Route

Jersey City, NJ / Washington, DC / Asheville, NC / Atlanta, GA / Nashville, TN / Memphis, TN / Dallas, TX / San Antonio, TX / Phoenix, AZ / Las Vegas, NV / San Diego, CA / Los Angeles, CA / San Francisco, CA / Portland, OR / Seattle, WA / Boise City, ID / Salt Lake City, UT / Boulder, CO / Denver, CO / Kansas City, MO / St Louis, MO / St Paul, MN / Chicago, IL / Detroit, MI / Columbus, OH / Philadelphia, PA / Boston, MA / New York, NY (July 4) / Washington, D.C. (July 12)

Due to the obvious time restraints, some cities will need to be dropped from this list. If you’d like the Freedom Tour to make a stop in your city, post below.

For more information visit FreedomTour08.com. You can donate to make it happen, sign up for updates, or join the tour yourself!

Poll Results: Ron Paul’s Debate Challenge

Last week we asked the following question:

“Should Ron Paul challenge John McCain to a televised debate on important issues facing the country, such as foreign policy, border security, the economy, inflation, the Federal Reserve, and health care?”

2,131 RonPaul.com visitors submitted their vote and the results are as follows:

Poll: Ron Paul vs. John McCain Debate Challenge

View the original poll and the ensuing discussion (39 comments).

“You Can’t Put This Genie Back In The Bottle”

Don Harrold, Doug Newberry and Kurt Feigel discuss the Ron Paul Revolution, the probability of Ron Paul running as an Independent, and how to spread the word about the freedom movement.

The book recommended by Doug is called “Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws” by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.