As promised, here is part two of our exclusive interview with Rep. Ron Paul, the maverick Republican/Libertarian from Texas who created such a stir in last year’s primaries. Here is last week’s column, Ron Paul on “End the Fed” (The Campaign and the Book) in case you missed it.
The main thrust of our discussion was the status of legislation Ron has introduced in every session of Congress for the past dozen years or so. He wants to see an audit of the Federal Reserve. When that happens (and he is convinced it will some day), so much damaging information will be revealed that it will make it far more likely that the second part of his campaign—to abolish the Federal Reserve System—will become a reality.
Ron says the Fed itself is helping his cause, both by their unbelievable largesse and also by their incredible secrecy. He told me that the Fed has issued more than $2 trillion worth of loans and loan guarantees in the past year and won’t even tell Congress where the money has gone!
“If Congress can pass $700 billion of bailout funds and not know where the money is going,” Ron said, “what about all the trillions of dollars in loans and guarantees the Fed has issued since the crisis hit? Not only did the Federal Reserve help cause the (economic) problems, they are perpetuating them. But we have absolutely no idea how much the Fed has spent or promised to spend. That’s why an audit is so important.”
Ron says the latest survey shows that three out of four Americans—some 75 percent—support his demands for an audit of the Fed. So it’s no surprise that a majority in Congress has seen which way the wind is blowing and has signed up as sponsors of his bill.
But getting a majority to support it doesn’t mean it will pass. The congressman said he expects House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to do everything in her power to prevent the bill from ever coming up for a vote.
“Won’t this make people even angrier?” I asked him.
“The people are already angry,” he replied. “And rightfully so. I think it’s healthy that they are directing their anger toward Washington. That’s beneficial.” But then he issued an important warning: “If it gets out of hand, if violence erupts, that would be a dangerous thing. Our civil liberties are not all that well protected any more, thanks to the Patriot Act and other incursions on our liberties. The important thing is to make sure we direct that anger in such a way that there will be positive change.”
An audit of the Federal Reserve is a good start. But what we really need to achieve, the congressman told me, is to undo two great mistakes this country made nearly 100 years ago.
“We need to Repeal 1913!”
Then the congressman said something that I hope becomes a powerful new slogan for all of us working to restore Constitutional liberties. “What we really need to do,” he said, “is repeal 1913. That way we could get rid of the income tax and the Federal Reserve at the same time.”
Most Americans are probably not aware of what a disastrous year 1913 was for our historic freedoms. The very same year that saw the Federal Reserve System foisted on a gullible Senate by lies and deception also saw the enactment of the first graduated income tax in our nation’s history.
I don’t have the space today to go into detail on either of these nefarious schemes and how a group of elitists in New York and Washington conspired to bring them about. Suffice it to say that our would-be tyrants delivered a one-two punch that year from which freedom has never recovered.
I could tell Ron was getting as excited about the idea as I was. “You know, if you repeal Big Government, you get rid of government intrusion in our lives.” I could tell he was getting more and more enthusiastic. “You stop the hemorrhaging of the dollar. You repeal inflationary conditions. You restore a sound currency, which would go a long way to restoring a sound economy.”
My next question was obvious: How are we going to do this?
“The most important thing is to become as knowledgeable as possible,” he replied. “Education is the key to victory.”
The congressman is adamant that we need to understand why we are in favor of free markets, sound money, and personal liberty. “We must be able to answer the liberal do-gooders who claim they have the moral high ground, that they are the only ones who care about the poor.”
The next step, he insists, is to do something with the knowledge you have gained. And don’t feel that everyone has to do the same thing.
“What you do will be different from what I do. Some people write. Some get involved in politics. Others join and promote various organizations,” he said.
The important thing, Ron says, is to take a stand. “I think everyone should invest some time and money in the preservation of liberty.”
Speaking of organizations doing something, I should mention the one that grew out of Ron’s own run in the Republican primaries last year, his Campaign for Liberty. “I serve as honorary chairman,” he explained. “I don’t run it on a day-to-day basis; I wouldn’t have the time.”
Ron’s Campaign for Liberty is a 501(c) 4 organization. That means it can take sides on legislation and lobby for changes in Washington. It can urge passage of specific bills, such as Ron’s demands to audit the Fed. And it can oppose others. To learn more about it, go to www.campaignforliberty.com.
My final question to Ron concerned his own political future. I told him that I had twice had the pleasure of voting for him for President—in the Republican primary in Florida last year and on the Libertarian Party ticket two decades earlier. So I asked him, “When will I have the pleasure of voting for you again?”
He laughed and replied, “No one knows whether it will ever happen again, including me. I have no current plans. But I’ve never taken the position that I will absolutely never run again. Some very good things came out of our last campaign and much of the momentum we built up last year is continuing.
“I’m actually getting more optimistic about what’s happening in our country. To be honest, I can’t say that a lot of good things are coming out of Washington. But there is no question in my mind that the American people are waking up; they’re demanding that spending be brought under control; they want to get government off their backs.
“I can’t tell you what will happen in the next couple of years. All I can do is to urge you and your readers to continue to spread the word. Tell the truth. And hope that we wake up enough people to make government our servant once again, and not our master.”
I couldn’t think of a better way to end our interview, so I simply said, “Thank you, Congressman. We appreciate everything you are doing.”
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
And for an explanation of why I chose this as my sign-off phrase, see Chip Shots at the bottom of today’s Personal Liberty Alerts.