Boom, Bust & Bailout

Growing up as a child I picked up a few useful life tips that helped shape the person I am today.

They were simple, some would say common sense things such as hot things burn skin, loud things hurt ears and alcoholic things… well they do all sorts of things that I don’t have time to go into here.

Around the age of 17 I also figured out that it’s not smart to buy things you can’t afford, especially when you have a part-time student job in a low-paying retail outlet and an unhealthy obsession with expensive consumer electronics.

In retrospect, as a teenager I could probably be forgiven for having run up a few grand on a Visa card. But when the Federal Government - which is supposed to consist of some of the greatest minds in the country - announces a record budget deficit of $482 billion, I find it slightly trickier to forgive and forget.

That’s exactly what was announced last week when Jim Nussle, the White House Budget Director, told reporters that George W. Bush’s successor could expect to inherit the credit card bill from hell. Let’s hope the Feds signed up for a good points reward program (does that mean every American will be receiving a free toaster or travel alarm clock in the mail?).

When the elected government displays such a staggering inability to control how it spends your - our - money, it becomes crystal clear how broken our system is.

Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices of fiscal reason to speak out about the reckless spending by politicians who clearly have no plan to put away the plastic. More money for an illegal foreign war? Sure, stick it on our People’s Republic of China Credit Card. Need a few billion to prop up irresponsible home lenders who played the roulette wheel and lost? Here’s a few billion that our buddy Ben Bernanke printed fresh from the presses yesterday. Don’t worry about the falling rate of the dollar - it’s really not THAT important.

Ron Paul is the only Congressman and former Presidential candidate who is actually looking out for ordinary Americans and wants to reign in this boom, bust and bail-out form of castrated capitalism.

As Ron points out, the way to deal with this problem is to:

  • End the war in Iraq and stop pouring billions of dollars into this endless conflict
  • Stop printing money whenever we need to prop-up another reckless bank or mortgage lender
  • End the “buy now, pay later” mentality that exists throughout Washington
  • Cut back government spending and liberate millions of Americans by letting them keep more of their own money

America faces a number of challenges in the coming months and years. We need to focus on solutions, and end the culture of Las Vegas party-time economics. After all, we all know who eventually picks up the tab.

Surrender to the Printing Presses

In his latest essay Dr. Ron Paul accurately diagnoses the government’s money dilemma and prescribes a painful but effective cure. We the people are in agreement, but our decadent politicians and bankers have decided to prolong the “easy credit” bonanza for as long as they possibly can. Are they oblivious to the risk of total financial collapse and the potentially devastating consequences?

Washington’s Intervention Addiction

by Ron Paul

One problem with politicians is that when problems they create come to a head, they typically feel this irresistible urge to DO something, rather than to UN-do something, or to simply back off to avoid exacerbating the situation. Too often, that which they end up doing has very little connection to the cause of the crisis, but plays well in the press and superficially makes everyone feel better. Bills that are rushed through Congress under duress are never studied enough, providing too tempting an opportunity to quietly slip in unrelated provisions that erode freedoms in ways that would never pass as a stand-alone bill. We famously saw this with the PATRIOT Act, but Washington learned nothing from that.

The current housing crisis and the corresponding big government fix are another prime example. First of all, the so-called solution will actually make the problem worse. The problem stems from easy credit and a rush to flood the housing and mortgage markets with money. Relaxed or non-existent lending standards led many into mortgages and houses they could not afford. As more foreclosures hit, the lending institutions will continue collapsing like dominoes under the weight of all the bad paper they underwrote. Some are reacting and reintroducing lending standards. Thus the number of buyers in the market for homes is beginning to shrink back to its natural size, and hyper-inflated prices are falling back down to earth. In these ways, the market is trying to correct itself in the wake of the mistakes government intervention encouraged them to make through easy credit. However, this correction is causing pain, especially to Wall Street investors and those who bought homes at the top of the market bubble, never expecting it to crash, always assuming they would easily be able to refinance.

Some mistakenly identify the falling home prices as the disease instead of merely a symptom – which they plan to fix with more easy credit and more liquidity to push more unqualified buyers back into the market for homes they still cannot afford. This is akin to the drug addict identifying withdrawal symptoms as his problem and searching for another fix as his solution. The cycle continues and the problems compound themselves. The addiction deepens.

Addicts are told the first step to recovery is to admit their problem. To cure this addiction to intervention we have to honestly admit the problem and once and for all, kick the habit. That will involve some pain, without a doubt. There is no easy, painless solution to the mess the disastrous economic interventions of the past have wrought. The question is – do we allow some lending institutions to collapse, or do we allow the dollar to collapse? To extend the metaphor, do we endure the temporary discomfort of withdrawal, or do we continue on until there is a fatal overdose? We can delay the agony, but only for a little while, and then we will all end up paying the price for the mistakes of a few.

With the final passage of the Housing Bailout Bill quietly on a Saturday in the Senate, and the President’s signature, our government has unfortunately chosen the latter…

Jesse Ventura to attend Minnesota Rally

In a surprise video announcement Ron Paul revealed that former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura will attend the Rally for the Republic on September 2, 2008.

Ventura is an outspoken critic of the two party system and was mentioned several times as a potential VP running mate for Ron Paul. He published a book earlier this year, Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me.

Ron Paul also announced that country music star Rockie Lynne will perform at the Rally.

Tickets are running out fast so get yours today!

When: September 2, 2008
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis
Tickets: available at Ticketmaster.com
Website: Rally for the Republic

Ron Paul on Glenn Beck - 07/30/2008

Ron Paul appeared on the Glenn Beck show on July 30, 2008 to talk about the important issues facing our country. Watch the interview below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Ron Paul’s Rally for the Republic: Tickets!

Ticket sales for the Ron Paul event in Minneapolis (now officially named Rally for the Republic) start today, July 25, at 10 am CST. You can purchase your tickets at RallyfortheRepublic.com, Ticketmaster.com, or at your local Ticketmaster location. Tickets are limited to 8 tickets per customer.

Ron Paul’s Rally for the Republic takes place at the Target Center in Minneapolis on September 2 from 11:30am to 10:00pm. There will be additional events on August 31 and September 1. Check out the schedule here.

Purchase your tickets today to send a powerful message that we will not be silenced. The number of tickets sold on the first day will be reported to the media and if that number is high, it could generate additional media coverage for the Rally for the Republic.

See you in Minneapolis.

Ron Paul Rally for the Republic Ticket

Ron Paul’s Rally for the Republic

Details for the Rally for the Republic (previously referred to as the “Ron Paul Convention”) have now become available.

When: August 31 - September 2, 2008
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis
Tickets: $17.76 each, available from July 25
Website: Rally for the Republic

Hope to see you there! Special guests include rock star Aimee Allen, NBC’s Tucker Carlson, Barry Goldwater Jr., Gov. Gary Johnson, conservative stalwart Grover Norquist, former Reagan deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein, presidential historian Doug Wead, MTV’s Adam Curry, musician Mark Scibilia, and Frank Sinatra impersonator Rick Ellis. Other special guests will be announced soon.

Freedom Starts At Home

Ron Paul’s writings and speeches have assisted me in finding faults with myself and my own logical processes, and maybe a way to fix them and make myself a better person. So today I’ll take a break from bashing the government - instead, I’ll spend some my energy on what each and everyone of us can do to increase the degree of freedom we enjoy.

For all the complaining I hear around me, I see a disproportional amount of action being taken to offset what is going on all throughout the country. For example, everyone loves to moan about “high gas prices.”

While I will agree that gas prices are much higher than they were a few years (even months) ago, I really don’t see the problem. The higher prices are just a signal that we need to consume less gasoline. This can mean carpooling, riding a bike, walking, taking less trips out, or buying a more fuel efficient vehicle. It can also mean an investment in oil and/or gas companies such as Exxon may be called for, to hedge against higher prices at the pump.

But who among us is doing any such thing? All we get are excuses, such as “I just bought this new truck” or “I work too far away” or (although no one says this) “I’m lazy.”

There are consequences to every action we take. Buying a gas guzzling truck means you will pay more for gas. Taking a trip out to eat twice a week raises your gas consumption. I’m not trying to deny anyone that choice, but don’t come running for help when you can’t cut back on the non-necessities.

Also, I always wonder why people who complain about “price gouging” don’t get in on the alleged gouging. They can do this easily by purchasing Exxon stock, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). That way, they can profit from everyone else’s gas purchases! Funny how, if anyone actually looked into this idea, they would find out that gasoline isn’t the exorbitant business proposition that it’s made out to be in the “Big Media.”

Gas companies such as Exxon only make around 8% on each dollar in sales as profit, which is well below many other industries. If there was “price gouging” going on, why wouldn’t people want to get in on it? You have the chance, go buy Exxon stock and let us know how much gouging you can do!

Then we have housing. There is word from Philadelphia that the mayor isn’t enforcing foreclosures. Basically, everyone is looking for a bailout because they couldn’t be bothered to read the “fine print” on their mortgage.

Either that or they agreed to an exotic loan that they didn’t understand, and now they need someone to help them sort it out. Funny how no one was complaining a few years ago when things were going well. Now that the tides have turned, people are outraged. That’s part of the price we pay for everything, from a car to a bagel to a house. If we are misinformed or simply ignorant about the product itself or its financing terms, we will lose in the long term and end up with a situation that we didn’t foresee.

In other words, do your homework before running to someone else for a bailout. This goes for businesses too, such as Bear Stearns. Get your act together before coming to us (the taxpayers) for help.

What’s worse than people looking for help out of a tough situation is the fact that those same people will gladly fork over $1 or more for a bottle of water, $5+ for a pack of cigarettes, and who knows how much for unnecessary extra clothing and knick knacks such as toys, dolls, cell phones and basically anything else.

If you can’t budget your own money, you don’t deserve to run to anyone else for help. Stop smoking 3 packs a day. Start drinking tap water, or at least buy pitcher with a filter for much cheaper than $1/ bottle. You would be amazed at how much money you can save by foregoing dessert and brewing your own coffee. Check your cable bill, maybe you can cut back there.

After you have done your own due diligence, then you might be in need and can look to other individuals for guidance and perhaps a helping hand. But too many in this country are simply looking to “big brother” to help us with all of our shortcomings, regardless of who caused them. It’s time to look within to fix some (if not all) of our everyday problems.

We can do this by being more sensible.  Who can support a smaller government while blowing their entire budget on Starbucks, needless trips to the mall, and other non-essentials?  If you can’t save for yourself, don’t expect the government to do it for you. 

Also, educate yourself.  Read political and historical books and other publications.  Browse the Internet and get your news from various sources.  Basically, be well read and always skeptical towards what you are reading. 

I’m all for freedom, and that’s why we need to either tailor our actions to line up with the expected consequences, or continue to face problems with basics such as filling up our gas tank or making our mortgage payment.  Government intervention cannot be relied upon to “bail out” anyone who ignores the consequences of their actions.

Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke

Ron Paul has asserted for many years that inflation is a tax that benefits those who get all that freshly printed money first, and harms everyone else. Today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke agreed with that assertion, but failed to present a viable plan for saving the collapsing dollar:

The Fed is now in an impossible situation. It can’t solve the problem because it is the problem. Should Ben Bernanke follow Jim Rogers’ advice - shut down the Fed and resign?

Ron Paul comments on the need for reform:

Ron Paul: Getting Out of Iraq

In his latest column Ron Paul exposes the globalist elite’s sham arguments and ever-moving goalposts that might well keep our troops in Iraq until the bitter end.

Getting Out of Iraq

by Ron Paul

What will it take to get our troops out of Iraq? The roughly 70 percent of Americans who are firmly against the war often ask this question. Those in power are reluctant to give conditions, but when they do and those conditions are met, the goal post is quietly moved.

Voters were promised, passionately and vehemently, that the new Congress would bring our troops home. Many were explicitly elected in 2006 under that banner. But our troops are still overseas, funding has been increased even beyond the administration’s wish list, and troop withdrawal has been negotiated away.

When things are going badly in Iraq, they say we must stay until the situation improves. When things improve, they tell us we must stay because our gains cannot be jeopardized.

We are told that we must establish a functioning democracy there, and train Iraqi armed forces so they can keep order in our absence. Iraq now has a Constitution, an elected parliament, and hundreds of thousands of security forces. The problem now is that their troops are supposedly not trained quite well enough, and that could take many more years. Defining an adequate training level for Iraqi troops is highly nebulous and it is anyone’s guess when or how that criteria could be satisfied.

The latest outrage came last week. For years we heard the administration claim over and over that the Iraqi government wants us there, and is begging us to stay. On the other hand, all they had to do was ask and we would respect their wishes and leave. That also has now happened. Al-Maliki perhaps took his cue from his challenger, al-Sadr, who has been clamoring for us to leave for years. Popular opinion in Iraq now mirrors that in the United States, with about 70 percent of Iraqis wishing us to leave.

At the end of the year, our Status of Forces Agreement expires. Without a new agreement and understanding with the Iraqi government regarding our presence there, we officially become occupiers.

Eventually our troops will leave Iraq. The overwhelming will of the people, in both countries, can’t seem to get them out. Things going well can’t get them out. Things going badly can’t get them out. Iraqis telling us to leave can’t get them out. Perhaps not even the UN can get them out. My hope is that it does not take the complete collapse of our financial system, but if we don’t leave under any other circumstances, economic chaos is inevitable, and will make it impossible to fund the war, even through debt and inflation.

We have been financing this war through inflation, and attempting to paper over reality with misleading economic indicators. The government has changed the methodology of calculating things like CPI and GDP to hide the bad news. They won’t even publish M3, the total money supply statistic anymore. But reality is hitting the American people at gas pumps and grocery stores, sending more Americans into foreclosure and unemployment lines. More are hurting while Washington keeps forgetting its promises. Eventually, this will all come to a head.

Perhaps an even greater fear is that even if our financial trouble doesn’t get our troops out of Iraq, moving them over to fight a new war in Iran, will. Washington should be crystal clear on this very important point – just getting the troops out of Iraq means nothing. Bringing them HOME means everything, and that is what the people in both countries demand.

Revolution March 2008

The Revolution March and Rally in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2008 was pretty amazing. There were some powerful and informative speakers. John Darash recorded the event and put the videos on Youtube. You can view them below.

Video 1: Chuck Baldwin introduces Ron Paul; Ron Paul speaks.

Video 2: Ron Paul speaks.

Video 3: Ron Paul speaks.

Video 4: The March on Capitol Hill

Video 5 to 26 now online!

Were you there? Feel free to post your memories in the comments.