Spooky Economy

   Transparency and Knowledge Dispel Fear

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
—Thomas Jefferson

Ron Paul, an American physician and former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, is currently serving his 10th term as a congressman for the state of Texas. [1@6:02] He serves on a number of important committees, including one that oversees this country's finances and trade.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Paul attracted a lot of attention, especially among young people, for being a Constitutionalist (a strict follower of the Constitution) [9@1:17], and for his positions on war, liberty and economic policy. [1@13:49] At speeches and rallies, Paul is frequently received with the unabashed admiration from his supporters [1][4a@0:29].

Paul believes that the Federal government has grown so much that it has spilled into areas it had never been intended to be in [5@1:44] - and that this growth is continual and self-reinforcing. He believes that a person should first be responsible for themselves and should turn next to their families for assistance. The government should not be the first line of assistance because this results in spending problems that must be paid for by other citizens, either by taxation or through the devaluation of the currency. [5@2:35]

Paul is outspoken and unyielding on many issues. He is often at odds with politicians in both the Republican and Democratic parties [4b@2:55][4a@1:40] . Ironically, he is respected and frequently praised by non-politicians of both parties and, as a Republican congressman, he has received measured acknowledgment from liberal icons such as Bill Maher [10] and Chris Matthews [5].

Current Economic Crisis

Paul states that he realized long ago that the U.S. economy had gone off course. [1@6:32] He frequently speaks out against the Federal Reserve's ability to create money which he says is the moral equivalent of counterfeiting. [2@3:14] He has proposed legislation to bring openness and transparency to the Fed's accounting books [3][5] and has been receiving increasing support for the bill. It has, however, been met with resistance. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has warned that a law calling for the audit of the Federal Reserve would “be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the dollar and our national economic situation”.[8@1:36]

While Paul has had some success concerning Federal Reserve transparency [6], his greater concern is his belief that the entire country is in danger of being completely captured by a form of corporate fascism [9@5:12] based on the profitability of warfare [9@4:47], a concern also shared by President General Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy [11]. Paul believes that the country's military presence in Afghanistan is extremely expensive and counterproductive with most of the money going to military defense contractors. [7]

Paul believes that the environment in Washington has become one of dividing the nation's tax revenues, savings and credit among those with the most persuasive political abilities. [1@9:52] He states that $500 billion [4a@3:50] has been spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that hundreds of billions of dollars could be potentially saved by bringing home troops stationed overseas [1@8:09], and that, if no change is made regarding war and foreign policy, the country will be made bankrupt [4a@5:38][9@19:30]. He believes that the United States is sufficiently armed for it's protection. [1@11:48]

On the current healthcare reform bills, Paul says that “the bankruptcy of this country is going to repeal it... We're not getting out of this crisis. We're just on the verge of getting into a much deeper one, and this will precipitate that.” [16@2:15]

Honoring Past Commitments

Paul often portrayed by his opponents as one who would abolish all assistance to the poor and those who are not prepared for life without government assistance. He responds saying that Congress must cooperate on creating and implementing transitional programs that would allow people to take care of themselves.

"I'm against throwing anybody out in the street. Take care of the people who are dependent on government. Help them out, but spend this money here at home, but introduce some new ideas and sound money and good economic policy where we can allow the next generation to get a foothold and be able to take care of themselves." [9@16:01]

Personal Liberties

A recurring concern to Ron Paul is the erosion of personal freedom and privacy. He laments the American people's readiness to give up their rights and liberties for safety [9@5:43] Paul also believes that the war on terrorism has created conditions in the U.S. that threaten American's civil liberties. [1@11:55]

Quotes

The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism... The great threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government... Congress [is] spending more than it can tax or borrow, and the Fed [is] printing money to make up the difference.[citation]
The end of an empire always comes when the currency is destroyed.[citation]
The Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee released a report on the total costs of the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including “hidden costs” such as interest... and... healthcare for vets... The bill comes to $3.5 trillion.[citation]
We can't have a current account of $800 billion a year. We can't owe foreigners $2.7 trillion and think we can keep paying them interest and keep borrowing money. They'll quit doing it. And that's why the dollar is weakening. And that's why we face a major crisis.[4a@6:34]
All I want to do is stop it from collapsing.[4a@6:49]
We [in Congress] should start doing only what we're authorized to do. We should read Article 1, Section 8 [of the Constitution] and find those 21 things we're permitted to do.[4a@7:22]
We have an imminent bankruptcy going on and people are sensing this... Seventy percent of people in this country say that we're either in recession or going to be in recession. But nobody here in Washington knows about it. Nobody in Wall Street knows about it. But the people do...[4a@9:41]
The Republicans give us prescription drug programs, the Democrats give us SCHIP and they don't have any money. They're going to print that money, that's all their going to do. They can't even tax anymore... We're on a fool-hearty course that needs to be changed.[4b@2:55]
I follow the [country's] founders' admonition... 'Peace and commerce and friendship with all nations. Entangling alliances with none.'[1@11:34]
Just bring the weapons home. We can defend this country. Nobody's going to touch us militarily.[1@11:48]
I fear now... the consequences of what's going on with the war overseas... [and]... the war on terrorism [is] that our greatest threat is a threat to our civil liberties here at home.[1@11:55]

Personal Concerns

None reported.

Proposed Solutions

Some of Paul recommendations...

Must-see Resources

  1. Video: Ron Paul on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Part 1 [2008]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LZyHoAPL3M&feature=related
  2. Video: Ron Paul before Congress: Message Freeze Big Government [April 27, 2010]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lohg20rW5G8
  3. Video: Audit the Federal Reserve [2009]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYiHE35kCQI&feature=related
  4. Video: Ron Paul on PBS NewsHour [October 12, 2007]
    1. URL Part 1 of 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA7jHaowNME
    2. URL Part 2 of 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWdz1pnAFUA
  5. Ron Paul Heroically Stands Up to Chris Matthews [2008]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpchEdtS0e4
  6. Video: Ron Paul on HR 1207. “We've had a major victory..” [June 12, 2009]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA-cHOIJOvA&feature=related

  7. Document: Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose [November 10, 2008]
    URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aatlky_cH.tY&refer=worldwide
  8. Video: Bernanke warns that meddling with Fed's monetary policy cause harm economy [2009]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjULF_Xg6Ps
  9. Video: Bill Moyers Journal (PBS) – Interview of Ron Paul [January 1, 2008]
    URL: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01042008/watch2.html
  10. Video: Ron Paul is Bill Maher's New Hero [2008]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUYDt7kC3Z0
  11. Video: Military Industrial Complex, IKE, JFK, Ron Paul [1961]
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKJUIuy7cwU

Added February 24, 2008 Posted December 4, 2010 Revised January 23, 2010

This is my opinion. It's a work in progress. I hope it's helpful.

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