HUMAN EVENTS Interview with Congressman Ron Paul, Texas

On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007 Cong. Ron Paul (R-Tx), candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, was interviewed by the editors and staff of Human Events. The following is a transcript of that interview which has been edited for length.

HUMAN EVENTS: Congressman, thank you very much for coming. You’re kind of a hero to a lot of our readers and you’ve had pretty good success, in terms of fundraising in the campaign and gaining some attention, but you seem to be mired — at least, the latest polls — way down in the two percent range. Can you tell us why do you think you’re down there, and what are the other guys are doing that is making them more attractive?

Ron Paul: Well, I don’t have the answer for it; I’ve read a lot of explanations and I guess you look for the one that seems to support your position the most. It could be the way they do the polling, it could be the Internet – where we are popular and getting all our money and all our supporters. Literally it’s unbelievable the growth of the campaign, with the meet up groups and the tens of thousands, literally, of supporters that have signed up. I really don’t have the answer for that, but we have to deal with it, and if that’s exactly the way the vote comes out then the polls were correct. If we surprise a few people, even on some straw votes, then they’ll have to reassess the polling system.

HE: How do you think you’re going to do in Iowa?

RP: On the Ames Straw vote?

HE: Yes sir.

RP: I have no idea. I am not a predictor. All I know is I do what I’ve always done and present the case for freedom and usually there’s a receptive audience, whether it was in the campaign that I’ve run in the past or in this campaign.

HE: Congressman, some of the harshest criticism that’s come at you, has been with respect to the war. We all saw the little kerfuffle between you and Mayor Giuliani, a couple months ago on that.

Let me just read you a couple of sentences from one that I though might be a little over the top, frankly, and pretty disrespectful. It was in Real Clear Politics yesterday. A fellow by the name of Mark Davis, Dallas Morning News columnist and radio host down there, wrote:

In the now-famous May 15 GOP debate in South Carolina, he stood out among the crowded field by blaming America for 9/11. “We’ve been over there,” and he lectured. “We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. … What would we say here if China was doing this in our country?”

That phony equivalency rises to the level of sheer moral idiocy, and it doesn’t stop there. Dr. Paul’s longstanding unfortunate tendency is to rope Jesus into his war objections. Today, the notion of going to war to actually prevent additional terrorism strikes him as antithetical to the concept of a “Prince of Peace.”

That seems mighty harsh, but underlying that is some real concern I think Americans have as to your view as to what the war is, whether it needs to be fought, and how you would fight it as president. If you would just please… take the floor…

RP: I think these types of comments don’t need be directly addressed because the tone… he discredits himself because he doesn’t want, you know, real discourse. But, my policy is very conservative, very traditional, it’s very American, it’s very constitutional—it’s very Republican. I think it’s the Republicans that have really gone astray, politically, and as far as their talk, in the past. I mean if you look to the old right – If you like neo-conservatism great, this is a great policy. [Laughter]

HE: We aren’t neo-cons here. Let me assure you. [Laughter] But where do we go from here? If you were president in 2009 –

Well, I think we have to set the stage for this. That the policy is the only thing that counts, and the policy of non-intervention is a Republican policy — whether it’s Korea or Vietnam or the politics of the election of 2000. You know, how did we win? Bush had a good program, a policy of a… a different foreign policy where we didn’t endorse nation building, a humble foreign policy — don’t police the world — highly critical of the intervention of Clinton. Now we got ourselves into a mess and I would say that we got into it illegally, unconstitutionally — there was no declaration of war. We transferred — The resolution merely transferred the authority to the president to go to war when he jolly well pleased, and so I objected to the war because, uh… it wasn’t necessary — there was no threat. I mean, it had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, they had no weapons, no army, no navy, no air force, and yet we — for the first time in our history — have announced that we start wars — we preemptively go in. So, we go in and we start this war and we’re embedded. And the question is… Your question is: what do we do about it now? I say we went in for the wrong reason. It has gone poorly. We’re going bankrupt. We’ve spent a half a trillion. It’s going to be a trillion dollars before it’s over if we don’t change it. This country will face a financial catastrophe the policy has to be changed. We have to prevent the war against Iran: that means we come home. That’s the only way you can do it, is come home.

HE: You say we need to prevent the war with Iran. In your judgment, sir, should the United States take any steps at all to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons?

Not directly, but indirectly. We reward people who get weapons. I mean, what do we do with India? We give them nuclear technology, and they have a weapon — they don’t follow the NPT. How about Pakistan? They’ve overthrown an elected government. They have a military dictatorship. They’re harboring Osama bin Laden. We finance them. We send them foreign aid. So, I would say that we reward people with weapons. Korea showed their might and set off a rinky-dink nuclear weapon, and we’re over there begging and pleading and giving them money. So, I say remove the incentive for doing this, and that is talk to these people.

HE: So…

HE: You don’t think we should work with enemies of their regime to see that it’s overthrown — to his regime?

RP: No, I do not. To me, if you overthrow a regime it’s an act of war, and it backfires on us. It has never served us well over the last 100 years. It’s sort of like what we did with 1953 by installing the Shah. We worked with the regime, we worked the British then, and we’re still suffering the consequences…

HE: You’re saying overthrowing Mossadegh in 1953 and putting in the Shah led to the hostage-taking and 9/11?

RP: Absolutely.

HE: In other words, the militant fundamentalist regime took revenge on us for overthrowing the secular left-of-center regime in ’53?

RP: There is always some militant-violent-jihadist looking to rally that faction, but they have to have incentives. The incentive is when we impose our will on them and we get involved in their internal politics. Besides, it contradicts everything the Founders theorized, and there’s no constitutional authority for us to march around the world undermining different governments.

HE: And under President Reagan we built up our defenses., we built up all these anti-communist insurgencies in Afghanistan, in Nicaragua, we putting the Pershings into Western Europe, etc., etc. The point is: Would you have supported any of those of measures, on the grounds that you are… we shouldn’t have done any of this because it would be provoking, somehow, that which would come back and haunt us?

RP: I don’t think that policy has served us well. I think that…

HE: The Reagan Doctrine hasn’t served us well?

RP: Well, I would go back to the Wilson Doctrine. [Indiscernible talking in background]You can’t isolate WWII and post-WWII without looking at the overall change of policy after WWI.

HE: I just want to make sure he is answering the specific question, which is things that we were talking about: NATO, 80-Degrees, You think that did not serve us well?

RP: I would say it has not served us well. I believe in the Constitution, we don’t have that authority. I believe the Founders were right, and I believe that Jefferson was absolutely right that by staying out of entangling alliances – which… no UN, no NATO — which serve the interests of this country right now. We have no respect for our national sovereignty. This is why we don’t even defend our borders, because we’re moving onto a North American Union. So I would say you have to have concern about our national sovereignty and not meld us into these NATO alliances and agreements, that…

HE: When I read your stuff, that you would have not gone into Afghanistan. And you would not… Would you?

RP: I voted for it.

HE: But the point is, I read some of your stuff subsequently which suggests — that said that we should not have gone up against the Taliban, in other words… We should have gone against Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan.

RP: I voted for the authority to go after those individuals responsible, which was al Qaeda…And I voted for the money — probably the only two authorities and money that I voted for. Because it was a direct attack on us and we were pretty confident who did it because they were bragging about it. But the target was Osama Bin Laden and a very limited number of al Qaeda. I also proposed the principle of [letters of] marque and reprisal. I reintroduced that notion, that you should that resolve… The Taliban itself was not an active participant though they protected Osama Bin Laden just like our ally Pakistan is now. That’s what so foolish about all this. So yes, I said I voted for it but it was misused. They were more interested in occupation, which is another confrontation with radical Islam and gives them more incentive — so the Taliban has now come back again because we’re occupiers. But what did they do? They took some of that funding and they used it to start the War in Iraq. Iraq had not attacked us, they had nothing to do with 9/11. No al Qaeda was in there. Saddam Hussein used to be our ally. Foreign intervention is doomed to fail. We should look after our own interest and then there would be a much better chance for peace, than we have today because right now because this war will spread. Our system — our government — and our so-called ‘empire’ is going to go because no matter what you and I say about this, it’s irrelevant, because we’re going broke. We can’t even fight this war without borrowing two and a half billion dollars a day from China and Japan. So you have to go back to the finances,. That’s what conservatives are supposed to do. Talk about the finances: where are you going to get it? Are you going to tinker around with Medicare and Social Security, and send that money to expand the war against Iran? What happens if we bomb Iran? They’re going to close the Straits of Hormuz, and they may well trap 150,000 troops in Iraq. We can’t just say, “oh, they might have a weapon” and then start bombing them. I think that’s just so dangerous.

HE: Congressman, though… But what I am not clear on, and forgive me for persevering, but what I’m not at all clear on… not at all, is what you would do, how you view this war. What is the war? Do we even have a war? And if we’re going to have a war, if we’re in one, how do you win it?

RP: Well, the war that we’re in — we’re in the middle of a civil war between the Sunni and the Shiites, and the Sunnis have two factions and the Shiites have two factions and they’ve been fighting for a thousand years. When Ronald Reagan discovered that in Lebanon, he said he would never leave. But he said, once he discovered the irrationality in the politics of the region, he said he knew that it was best to get out. And I like what Ronald Reagan said and I like that he left. No, we’re in the middle of a civil war, it’s a vicious civil war and we’ve stirred it up. They weren’t in the middle of this civil war, and we have given them all incentives. And now Iraq is filled with al-Qaeda. I would just come home. Because, we’re serving… We’re not our interests, and we’re going broke.

HE: Do you see any sort of moral obligation to avoid any sort of Cambodia or Saigon in Iraq, on our part?

RP: I see a lot of moral obligation, it’s a moral obligation to our troops, so that no more are killed. So that we don’t have 50,000 instead of 30,000 coming back without their arms and legs, and brain injuries. And I have a moral obligation to our taxpayers. I know there is going to be chaos. And there will be. There might be a lot less. Vietnam is now a trading partner. They’re westernized. We achieved in peace what the Founders advised, what we couldn’t achieve in war. But there was, you know, an up tick in the major problems in there. But it’s because we’re there. If we leave and there is more trouble, it’s not because we left and take my policy, it’s because we went in there in the first place, and shouldn’t have. So, we do have a moral obligation.

HE: I want to get into your feelings on — your views on Israel, which is what drives the Islamo-terrorists crazy, the existence of Israel. Would we just abandon Israel?

RP: No, I think we should treat them like everybody else. And, I think… I think our policies toward Israel are setting the stage for the destruction of Israel, because Israel has sold out their national sovereignty to us. If they feel as if their borders are infringed or if they want to move their borders, uh…

HE: But if they are attacked, would we defend them? Should we defend them?

RP: I’ll get to that.

HE: Okay.

RP: But we have to… They have to get permission from us. When Israel attacked the nuclear site in Iraq in the early 1980s, you can go back and find out that I was one of the very few that defended Israel, because they were condemned at that time.

HE: Right.

RP: So when they sell out their sovereignty to us, they cannot defend themselves as they see fit with their borders, or attack. And also, when they want to develop peace agreements with their neighbors, we impede it. They want to talk the Syrians, right now, and we say, you’re not allied. A large faction wants to deal with the, uh, United… the United Arab Front. And they won’t talk to them. So the Israelis would have a have much greater incentive if we weren’t there… Israel has 300 nuclear weapons and they can take care of themselves. Matter of fact, in the Persian War, if Israel and maybe some friendly Arab allies who didn’t want to see Saddam Hussein spread, I think they could’ve taken care of Saddam Hussein back in the early 1990s instead of that stuff that we got into now for 17 years. So I would treat Israel like all friends and treat them respectfully, and friends, and trade with them. But we don’t have the moral right to commit a whole generation to go and die, for any country. I mean, one generation can’t condemn the next generation, through a treaty, to go to war automatically without the declaration of Congress.

HE: But sir, we have mutual defense treaties with Britain, with France, with Japan. Are you saying that you would abrogate those treaties because you don’t believe they would –
But I know for a fact — I mean, I’ve read recently the treaty we have with Japan. If they are attacked, for example, by China, we have to go to war. Are you saying that’s not a valid obligation?

RP: I think that’s unconstitutional because you cannot declare war by a treaty. You cannot give the power to the treaty making people any more than you can give it to the President. Only Congress can declare war. How can we hide from that responsibility? If you want to do it that way, you have to change the Constitution and reject one of the main motives for our revolution: Taking out of the hands of the executive branch the authority to go to war at will.

HE: But that treaty was signed by the executive and ratified by Congress. Does that make it still invalid in your opinion?

RP: Absolutely. It wasn’t… Was it… I mean, we either declare war by the Congress or we don’t. That means the House has a say in it, and the people have a say in it. You can’t say a treaty… It was fully explained in the… discussion on the base of the Constitution that you can’t amend the Constitution through treaty; otherwise you could look to the UN. Oh well, we’ve signed the UN treaty? So the UN can put a tax on us and regulate our guns and regulate our drugs? How can you avoid that?

HE: But that treaty doesn’t say that – the UN treaty doesn’t say that they can do any of those things.

RP: Yeah, but we belong to the treaty – don’t we respond to the WTO? But we went and changed our [inaudible] Clause for the WTO.

HE: Congressman, can I ask a question? We are with you, and I think our record proves that we are not neo- cons, we are not trying to advocate the democratization. But what we are unwilling to do — and I hope I speak for all of us — is to stand by and wait and allow another country to strike at us before we have the ability to prevent that.

RP: What American wouldn’t want that?

HE: But you’re saying pre-emptive strike to protect America even is out of bounds? Or am I misunderstanding you?

RP: Because it’s something that doesn’t achieve anything, To have a preemptive strike against Iraq when they could not possibly have attacked us? What country would dare attack the United States? Where… Who’s going to invade us? Who’s going to send bombers over here? Who’s going to send missiles at us?

HE: So you don’t think we need to undertake any preemptive strike because no one is endangering us?

RP: We have to design a policy that doesn’t put troops on the holy land of the Muslims, that motivates them to raise up an al Qaeda that’s willing to sacrifice their lives. Men and women die — And all you have to do is go to Walter Reed and say, “Is this making any sense whatsoever? Are we going to win the war next year? Or five years?” It’s not going to happen.

HE: Would you project power anywhere in the world? The United States — in terms of navy …

RP: On our borders.

HE: And that’s it?

RP: Because nobody would touch us. No, I think our influence, our real power is to be… through influence and by setting good examples, set a modern standard for liberty, great prosperity, trade with people, talk with people and be willing to be strong so nobody messes with us. And, the world would be better off — we would be better off, and I think the world would be better off. There will be thugs around and there will be civil wars. They’ve been fighting over there for a thousand years and all we did over there is get in there and stir them up. It’s not going to end soon; it’s going to end with a bankruptcy. If we can’t get anywhere closer on dealing with the Constitution, and Jefferson, and the old Right, and the Republican position… We’ve got to think about it by dollars. How in the heavens are you going to pay for it?

HE: You don’t want a Patriot Act. Isn’t that the best way to find them?

RP: The Patriot Act! To give up our Constitution?

HE: Well, what I’m asking is, do you feel that we should have a Patriot Act, or something like it? Or any aspect of it?

RP: We don’t need it because it’s so dangerous: it means national ID cards, it means everything else. It means a total sacrifice of the Fourth Amendment, the First Amendment, the whole works — we’ve just given them away.

HE: There’s a total sacrifice of the Fourth Amendment in the Patriot Act?

RP: Certainly. They can watch everything that you do, your emails., they can go into your house. They can go into your financial records, your medical records. Everything is gone. [Unintelligible] Let me make a point. Before 9/11 and before the Patriot Act we were spending 40 billion dollars a year on national intelligence, and there was a lot of intelligence. And buried in that intelligence was the explanation of everything these guys planned and that is well known now. And there was one CIA- or, FBI agent that reported something like 70 times — dozens and dozens of times — but we have were pilots down here training to fly airplanes but not land them. Totally ignored. So it’s bureaucracy, not it’s not a lack of power in the government or a lack of money. It’s so big. So what did we do? We created more bureaucracy, undermined more liberties, and spent more money.

HE : Attorney General Ashcroft said that the Patriot Act knocked down the wall between intelligence and law enforcement. As a result of that, he has a whole book detailing all the people actually captured here in the United States and successfully prosecuted as a result of that. And he says — and Chertoff and others have said — if we’ve had these provisions prior to 9/11 we might have actually been able to stop 9/11. That’s the reasons we couldn’t get into Moussaoui’s computer, which is what you’re talking about. We couldn’t get into it because of these limitations on the… sharing of intelligence.

The evidence is that they did have the information, and they could have, but the bureaucracy kept them from doing it… It’s sort of like gun control. You know, people with guns commit violent crimes, so the Liberal wants to say, “let’s register the guns of all law abiding citizens.” What we’re doing here is registering all Americans and all this regulation and invasion of our privacy and national ID cards won’t do much to find this dozen or so who can probably get around the law or avoid it or participate in it. So what we’re doing is very self- destructive. All you have to do is go to the airport. You can’t even carry toothpaste… you know, a tube of toothpaste on there, because you might be a terrorist. I mean we’ve gone nuts, on what we’re doing, doing destruction on ourselves.

HE: Red State blog?

RED STATE: Congressman, Senator Spector said the other day he wanted to go back and review Justices Alito and Roberts’ testimony to see if they were misled on the issue of Stare Decisis and I was wondering looking at this last Supreme Court term, are you happy with the Alito, Roberts picks? Would you continue the trend of picking justices like that?

Well, I would say half the time I am. But I would admit right now that I probably haven’t studied every ruling well enough to make a complete decision on that. But I haven’t been too upset about it. When they vote right, I am happy, when they vote wrong, they don’t, and I am not happy. But I believe in civil liberties and I believe in strict interpretation of the Constitution. But where would they be on the deceleration of war and the 4th amendment? I’d worry about it.

RED STATE: On that, the Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s intervention in stopping medical marijuana experiments in the states and I wondered if you had an opinion on that?

RP: Well I think that’s horrible. I think that’s foolish. I mean, up until 1938 there were no laws against smoking marijuana. 1938, they knew they weren’t allowed to do it at the federal level, the only way they could regulate it was to put taxes on it. Where is states rights? Don’t we care about states rights? Don’t we care about a little bit of compassion for people who get a little bit of a benefit from medical marijuana? So the states pass the law, they legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. People dying with cancer and AIDS are allowed to smoke it. And what do we do? We march in with the federal government? And we call ourselves compassionate conservatives? I mean this is absolutely absurd. So, no I would totally disagree with that.

HE: White House correspondent John Gizzi.

HE: Follow-up — thank you — follow-up question. [Laughter] Take two minutes and tell me the people that you would name to your cabinet or to your official family.

RP: Probably, I won’t do a very good job of that because I haven’t thought that through and there are certainly a lot of friends and –

HE: Well, before you name the cabinet people, what cabinet departments would you want to have remain?

RP: Well I guess we could have a Justice Department. I guess we could have a State Department, and I guess we could have a Defense Department, and maybe one or two others more but not many more than that. I mean… We need to think about a Republican form of government. I believe in a republic — little “R” republic — and we don’t need a Department of Education and a Department of Energy. We used to win elections on that but not any more. We doubled the size of all those programs.

From 1980 to ‘96 the Republican platform called for what you’re talking about. Department of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Energy, National Endowment for the Arts, Legal Services Corporation. And, the word “abolish” was taken out of the platform in 2000 at the convention that was held in Philadelphia that year. How would you, if you were President with a Republican Congress, advocate shutting down these departments when it’s clear that the party does not want to embrace closing down government?

RP: Well, a President can’t do it , Congress has to do it. But you can probably run them in a different manner. I mean the Justice Department certainly can be modified. We don’t have to send out the federal police to arrest people smoking marijuana. Education, I’m sure there’s plenty of things that we could do. But ultimately, it’s not the Congress, it’s the prevailing will of the people. But mainly it is about foreign policy. If the American people want the policy of the neo-conservatives where we march around the world taking on everybody, we’re going to have it. If that’s the will of the people. If they want these programs, no matter who is president, he can’t do it. But – there will come a time — and there is coming a time — where we can’t afford it, we’re insolvent now, we will be bankrupt, we will have a dollar crisis, and all this stuff will come down. Look at every great world power: it always ends badly when they spread themselves too thinly and they can’t defend themselves. We don’t even have the desire to defend ourselves because we’re marching on to develop the North American union.

HE: We’ve got Medicare, Social Sec- What would you do with all those programs?

RP: My idea on this is that you can’t turn a switch. I don’t like the federal reserve, but I don’t have a program where you turn the switch off, because that wouldn’t work. But we ought to legalize freedom, we ought to legalize the Constitution. Gold and silver ought to be, you know, legal tender. You can have parallel currencies. No taxes on gold and silver. So there is always a parallel program. On Medicare or Social Security, let the people get out of if they want out, especially the younger generation. If they don’t want Social Security, they ought to be allowed to opt out. Then the question is, how do you pay for it? The only way you can pay for it is stop spending this trillion dollars that we’re spending overseas. Therefore you can finance social security because it’s not all been spent. If you don’t want to have the bankruptcy to come and have everyone out on the streets, what you have to do is cut some place, cut some deficit. Put it over into these programs. Whether it’s education or medical care… You… Politically, you can’t balance the budget by cutting medical benefits for the elderly. It just won’t work. Even though I don’t endorse the programs, and I’ve always moved toward… So you legalize competition in medicine. Make sure the medical savings account’s got – Make sure the federal government never interferes with home-schooling and private schooling. Give tax credits to people who home-school. Give tax credits to the people who home… and private schools. So there are all kinds of ways you could move in that direction to encourage people to compete with the government.

HE: You mentioned twice now this so-called “North American Union.” What do you believe what comprises that, who’s behind it and why do you even think it’s even real, or something that exists?

RP: I think it’s very, very clear. I mean… The government has their own web site. The Security and Prosperity Partnership… came out of NAFTA, there have been agreements signed. Congress is totally ignorant of the whole thing, although there‘s been funds there to study the production of this highway.

HE: You’re talking about the NAFTA Superhighway?

RP: The NAFTA Superhighway. And uh… They’re talking about the “ Omero” as a currency. It’s the early stages… It’s exactly what happened in the early stages of the European Union.

HE: You believe there is some move afoot within our government to join us with Canada and Mexico to join us into one country?.

RP: Ultimately. Just like… just like, you know –

HE: Who’s responsible — who’s behind that?

RP: Those people who are really in charge of our government.

HE: The President? Is the President behind this?

RP: He is certainly in support it. That’s why he doesn’t support us on immigration. Because he really doesn’t care about the borders, he cares about this union. Some people theorize that the United Nations is a move towards One World Government. Well, we don’t have one world government, but we ought to be concerned about it, because that… Whether it’s the United Nations, the WTO, the IMF or the World Bank, more and more power gravitates to these organizations. Just as NAFTA does.

HE: Wouldn’t it be treasonous for someone in this country to say that we should sell out our Constitution and cause it to be joined with another?

In my viewpoint, the Constitution has been sold long ago and that the Congress has probably been more responsible than anybody else. So I don’t think there is much left of the Constitution.

RED STATE: Well, just one quick follow-up question on that. Congressman, you said on [unintelligible] for people that are actually running the government, And, if that’s the case sir, what do you view your role as? Aren’t you also part of running the government?

RP: Yeah, but don’t you notice I don’t have a whole lot of clout. [Laughter] But… That said, I represent the views of a lot of good Americans, and that’s what I’m convinced of. The message I have is the message of liberty, the message of the Constitution, and believe me, there is a receptive ear to it. They are sick and tired of this war, they are sick and tired of policing the world, and they are sick and tired of the debt. They are sick and tired of the entitlements. 50, 60, 70 trillion dollars we can’t even imagine, that these young people are obligated to… Believe me, they are listening out there and they are very upset and they’re very annoyed, and they’re upset with Republicans and Democrats. And there is a revolt against the establishment.

HE: The filing deadline in Texas is coming up awfully quick for you to run again. Are you going to give up your seat?

RP:No. I am filing for the seat, and I’m filing, you know, for the Presidency as well.

HE: I know you said one more question… On the idea of deficits, we were at a surplus before in early 2001 before the terrorists attacks.

RP: No not really, you see because the deficit was… but the national debt was still going up because we were borrowing from the trust fund so that the national debt was still going up.

HE: So the debt was going up, but the deficit… The way they calculate the deficit… we actually had surplus. After 9/11 we saw deficits come back… before we even went to war in Iraq. So is it simply our foreign intervention causing our deficits, or is it the hit to our economy received, because in effect, we were in a recession when Clinton was going out and Bush was coming in. Isn’t it true that it is more than just our foreign interventionism that is causing deficits?

RP: It had to do with the fact the government kept spending more money each year. Revenues dipped during the recession and deficit goes back up, and then the military spending comes in. I mean, Eisenhower was right about the military industrial complex. Just think of the 50 million dollars of weapons we’ll be selling over to the Middle East to stir up more trouble. No, I think its military spending, I think it’s domestic spending, I think it’s entitlements, prescription drug programs, Republican program —

HE: All this spending was going up when we had surpluses as well?

RP: Sure.

HE:So why do we have surpluses and then deficits?

RP: Because there was a tremendous skyrocketing boom in the stock market and a lot of capital gains taxes that filled in the gap, but that was an illusion as well because that was artificial prosperity stimulated by artificial creation of money and credit. There is a limit to that, because once it left the stock market and went into housing, we had the NASDAQ bubble crash. The stock market’s preciously high right now… the housing bubble is in shambles and it’s going to continue, so prosperity is not the same as creating nominal wealth or even income to the government, by stock prices going up and profits going up. That is not prosperity. Our prosperity is all based on debt.