GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul told a crowd at the Principal Financial in Des Moines this afternoon that governments aren’t always “straightforward” and indeed “don’t tell us the truth” in every circumstance, particularly when it comes to economic statistics.
Paul cited the government-calculated unemployment rate, CPI and PPI as examples of faulty stats.
“The figures are fudged,” Paul said. “There’s always a spin, and yet the people have to sort things out.”
Paul also criticized a provision in a bill that passed the U.S. Senate which would “treat every american citizen as if you’re an enemy combatant” and let citizens be arrested by the military and held indefinitely without being charged if they’re suspected of being a terrorist.
“That’s an attack on our liberties,” Paul said.
Paul said the federal government’s in a “mess” financially.
“We’re just as bankrupt as Greece,” Paul said. “…We’re insolvent and it’s just a matter of time before the markets rule.”
According to Paul, there’s no recognition in congress or among the other presidential candidates that the world is facing “a major, major crisis” that is the worst in history. He said “a lot of conservatives pay lip service to cutting” federal spending and he touted his proposal to cut $1 trillion in his first year as president.
“We have a bad attitude about government,” Paul said of the American people, rapping the idea that government can protect citizens “from cradle to grave” and that the U.S. should be the world’s policeman.
Paul described the country’s politicians as engaging in a ”guns and butter forever” philosophy since the 1960s. “We have to do something about it,” Paul said, ridiculing other proposals as just “nibbling” at the problem rather than making dramatic cuts.
Paul suggested deep cuts in federal spending might create a “bad year” in the economy, but “it won’t be a bad decade.”
“Yes, there has to be a correction, but the correction is the treatment,” Paul said. “…You do have withdrawal systems…but they’re not long-lasting…What we’re doing now is prolonging the agony.”
The first questioner asked about the “leadership deficit” in Washington, D.C. “One person can’t do it and that’s why I’m here, to get you to join me because governments are always a reflection of the prevailing attitude of the people,” Paul said. “….This is where I’m very optimistic…attitudes are changing.”
The second questioner from the crowd of Principal employees asked about zero-baseline budgeting. “The president has a lot to say…You have a veto…That would be the best way to get back to zero baseline budgeting,” Paul replied. However, Paul said baseline budgeting wasn’t enough. “Shrink it,” Paul said of the federal budget.
Liquidation of debt and liquidation of mal-investment needs to occur, according to Paul, before the U.S. economy can recover.
The third question asked Paul to explain his stand on women’s reproductive rights. Paul said his stand on life is sometimes questioned as at odds with his generally libertarian views. ”I think it’s a life. I’m legally liable for that life and if I do something wrong, I get sued,” Paul said in a reference to his work as an OB/GYN. “…Who speaks for the small?”
“…I don’t like any national laws on this because the federal government messes things up so badly,” Paul said, adding state-level laws should govern abortion-related policy.
The fourth questioner asked about the separation of powers among the branches of government. ”We don’t have to do much other than having people of principal that would read and understand the constitution,” Paul said of judicial power. “…The founders believed the legislative branch should be the most important branch…Every regulation written is unconstitutional.”
Paul said “internationalism” is coming for a “new fiat currency that will be run by the IMF and the World Bank” — taking authority reserved for congress.
The fifth question was about eliminating the Department of Education. “It’s a total failure,” Paul said, adding the deparmtnent, in his opinion, was unconstitutional. “We’ve created an educational monster,” he said of government-managed college grants and loans.
The sixth questioner asked for a “time frame” for getting rid of the five cabinet-level agencies. “I think I can get the troops home faster than I can get rid of some of this domestic spending,” Paul quipped. “…It would take a couple of years to do it. You can’t wave a wand and turn the key.”
The seventh questioner asked about monetary policy. “Isn’t it true that creditors are benefitted in some sense by a debased currency?” a man asked. ”…and aren’t most people creditors?” Paul talked about the housing bubble. “The people who owned mortgages — they lost their jobs and they lost their houses,” Paul said. “If you miscalcuate, then you’re going to get holding a lot of debt.” Debt has to be liquidated, Paul said. “…It is this interference with credit that affects the interest rates and this is why it’s so hard for people to get the right information in business…Interest rates should be determined by savings,” Paul said.
The eighth questioner asked about Paul’s plan for legal immigration. “I think we should have more legal immigration and, obviously, a lot less illegal immigration,” he replied, talking about hard-labor industries which “can’t get workers and they want the immigrants to come in” and take those jobs.