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Interview with Representative Ron Paul

Interview with Representative Ron Paul

By The Situation Room - December 14, 2010

MALVEAUX: Congressman Ron Paul, thank you so much for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

First of all, congratulations on your new position as the new chair of the subcommittee that overseas the Fed. As -- in your new position, tell me: what is the first thing that you're going to do? What are you going to do that's any different?

PAUL: Well, we're going to probably have a lot more hearings. This committee has been considered a very, very minor committee. It's been totally ignored forever, and yet monetary policy to me is very important.

So there's going to be a lot of hearings. We're going to be looking at monetary policy. We're going to be looking at what has happened in the bailouts, what is done in the future, talking about QE 3 and QE 2 and the whole works, and also this whole mandate, whether or not the Fed should be assuming responsibility for unemployment -- the whole process we should look into.

MALVEAUX: Will you audit the Fed?

PAUL: Of course. We will continue to do that. It goes without saying. I've introduced that bill for many, many years, and we're making great progress. We had 320 co-sponsors this last year, and we did get it into the House (ph) version. So we're going to continue with that, and we'll have stronger support with so many new freshmen. And I think they know that the American people want more transparency of the Federal Reserve.

MALVEAUX: But now your book, "End the Fed," essentially, you call to abolish it. Will you actually call to abolish the agency, and can you even do that?

PAUL: Well, if you ask me whether we should have a Fed, no, we shouldn't have a Fed. I don't think that I'm going to be able to accomplish that, and that won't be high on the agenda, because it's not likely to happen.

As a matter of fact, even in my book, "End the Fed," it calls for a transition period that -- all I want to do is legalize competition. I don't want it to be the cartel of the world and the dictator of interest rates and the economic planner.

But the Constitution still says that only gold and silver should be legal tender, and I think we should be allowed to use gold and silver. Today, if you use it as money, you can go to jail for this. We are forced to use depreciating currency. As a matter of fact, it's the precise policy of the Federal Reserve to undervalue or destroy the value of our dollars.

MALVEAUX: Mr. Congressman, let me -- let me interrupt here, because Megan McArdle, she's a prominent libertarian blogger, economics editor of the "Atlantic," and she says in Slate here, she says that "Republicans stashed him" -- that would be you -- "in this job, because they don't want him making my more important decisions. He cares passionately about monetary policy, which most Republicans don't care about, but when you look at his speeches, he doesn't understand anything about monetary policy. He might actually understand it less than the average member of Congress. My personal opinion is that he wastes all of his time on the House Financial Services Committee ranting crazily."

Do you think the Republican leadership essentially is trying to marginalize you in this role?

PAUL: No, I don't think so. They wouldn't have made me chairman. And I think somebody that spouts off like that, they should look at the evidence, rather than just sort of name-calling. I don't think that kind of accusation makes any sense whatsoever.

MALVEAUX: She's saying she doesn't believe you can get very much done. What do you think you can accomplish?

PAUL: Well, you know, in the way we just talked about, am I going to accomplish ending the Fed? No. That's not going to happen. The Fed's going to end itself. It's going to destroy our money. When the bond bubble bursts, which I think is starting to leak already, and the dollar, you know, crisis comes, the Fed is losing credibility by the day. Just think in two -- the last two or three years how much credibility it has lost. It's going to lose a lot more.

So one individual doesn't bring about these things. I contribute to the understanding of the Fed, and the understanding of monetary policy. And I'll be in a better position now to get a lot of other people to further understand this. And this is what's happening in the last two to three years.

MALVEAUX: So you would like to use this role in kind of an educational way to make your case about what you believe the Fed should and should not be doing?

PAUL: Well, I understand rather well how -- how ideas have consequences rather than political power. I don't work on the assumption that political power is the solution. If that would have been the case, I have a lot of seniority. If I'd have played the ball game here, played the game -- I could have been the chairman of a committee and had political power.

But I don't believe that's the way that real change come. Real change comes when attitudes change and understanding and education change.

MALVEAUX: Congressman, I want to turn the corner, if I may, to WikiLeaks. You have said before, you have applauded WikiLeaks for exposing what you call the U.S.'s delusional foreign policy. Those are your words. We know that Julian Assange today, Assange made bail.

Do you think that that was a good idea, and do you realize that you're on the same page now with Michael Moore?

PAUL: Well, what does that have to do with it? I mean, if -- I've been on the -- you know, I've worked with Bernie Sanders on the anti-Fed (ph). I'm working on the issues.

Yes, I think that this is a very important issue. And I think he's been treated unfairly, because he's a publisher just like you are. You're on TV. You don't want prior restraint on your TV program. He's publishing things on the Internet. This is a deliberate attempt, I believe, to close down the Internet. They don't...

MALVEAUX: What do you say -- I'm sorry, but what do you say to your -- to the critics, to those who say that this exposure, this information that's coming forward is a national security threat, that it's a danger and that it cost people jobs, as well?

PAUL: Well, they can't prove that. Nobody has died from this. Nobody died from Daniel Ellsberg's release of the "Pentagon Papers." More people die from the lies that the government tells. They told lies in the '60s, and I served in the military in the '60s for five years. How many people died because they lied us into war? How many people have died because of the lies that were told that got us into Iraq and now in Afghanistan?

MALVEAUX: What kind of evidence do you have that they're trying to shut down the Internet?

PAUL: Well, didn't they take Assange off the Internet? Didn't our government participate in that and threaten him and people closed it down? They took him off. But the Internet is bigger, and...

MALVEAUX: The U.S. government has not claimed responsibility for that.

PAUL: Yes, I know. But nobody -- I mean, our government doesn't always tell us the truth. That's how we go to war. And that's how we get in -- they tell you -- they build up the fear like just like after the crisis. You know, the financial crisis. The whole world would end unless we bail out all the rich people, bail out Wall Street, bail out all the bankers. But people now in a very healthy way are very skeptical of what the official pronouncements are from the government. And I consider that very good.

MALVEAUX: And Congressman, you have been called the intellectual godfather of the Tea Party, but your real -- you're -- you're a real father to the Tea Party winner, Senator-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky. I understand the two of you are going to be sharing a condo, your condo in Virginia. How is that going to work?

PAUL: Well, his family won't be coming up immediately, and he'll be here in January, so he will be staying with me. And of course, I said that would be fine, and I just told him not to expect me to do any cooking.

MALVEAUX: OK. No cooking. In 2012, are you going to run?

PAUL: Don't know.

MALVEAUX: You're sure you don't know?

PAUL: I'm sure I don't know. And it's a possibility, but I have not made up my mind.

MALVEAUX: What would -- what would make you get to make your mind up fairly soon?

PAUL: Well, it's hard to say, because there's so many factors, personal as well as other things, too. So I'm not about to make a decision yet.

MALVEAUX: But you haven't ruled it out?

PAUL: No, I have -- definitely have not ruled it out.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you so much, Congressman. I appreciate your time.

PAUL: Thank you.

 

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