Ron Paul’s Congressional Farewell Speech

On November the 14th, Ron Paul delivered what may well be his last speech on the House floor. Off and on over the last 36 years he has served 23 years in office, frequently as the lone voice of constitutional and economic liberty.

His service, principles, and this speech are likely to be remembered as prophetic, like many of his earlier predictions, as our country heads down the path of increasing statism, collectivism, and economic crisis.

Below the video are a few excerpts of his 49-minute speech to give you a taste. The full transcript can be found at the Daily Paul.

May God Bless Dr. Paul – thank you for trying to lead us back to the Founders’ vision via common sense.

A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliant and productive, become the true victims.

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Smart Economic Planning: An American Oxymoron

I wonder if the Romans knew they were about to fall, before the fall. I wonder how their debates went. “Well Maximus, I disagree, I think we need to pass out more bread and increase the number of lions at the games!” “No, no Commodus, we need to expand our forces even further in order to control more of the world!” “I have it! Perhaps we can do both if we simply trim the amount of gold in the coins.” “Excellent, then we are agreed!”

How do countries/empires fall? Seems like they are either invaded, over-run, and conquered or taken down by their own people. There is another way – their economy collapses first, and then they are invaded or taken down by their own people.

I’m not really seeing an imminent outright foreign invasion of America. Our politicians have actually planned well ahead for that possible threat. I am more concerned about the thing they can’t seem to plan for past the next election cycle. They seem to have extraordinary difficulty preparing for medium or long-term economic problems. Other countries seem to have figured that out (c.f., Sweden, Chile, Norway, even South Korea). As EcoMonitor notes, “The centerpiece of Chilean fiscal policy is a balanced budget rule of a much more sophisticated variety than the one endorsed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives.”

And I think it is in this vein that the Libertarian passion is often misunderstood. One of the quickest roads to the destruction of individual liberty is via economic crisis. During economic crisis or collapse, countries can become more vulnerable to foreign invasion as well as increasing totalitarian practices and influences.

So the real question becomes, how can one foresee economic crisis and what does a government do about it once it is recognized? The problem is getting that question answered from the very people who have apparently been unable to foresee it/defend against in the first place. I’m not sure I trust their answers. Maybe they don’t see it. Maybe they do see it but are afraid to acknowledge it. Maybe that is why the discussion is often avoided.

For example, if the Fed is engaged in unlimited QE and artificially lowering interest rates – is that good for the economy? Why is QE3 and the FED not a topic for the current candidates? Why is there no discussion about how QE3 and our debt may influence the stability of the dollar in the global market? Why is there no mention of China entering into partnerships with multiple countries (Germany, Russia and Brazil to name a few) to use their own currencies instead of the dollar? Analysts said that Beijing has been trying to push for trade to be settled in yuan, rather than in US dollars, as part of its plans to seek a more global role for its currency. “The motivation is to be less reliant on the US dollar,” Sean Callow, chief currency strategist at Westpac, told the BBC.”

Why is there no mention in the MSM or on the campaign trail about Saudi Aramco partnering with China’s Sinopec Group for a new 400,000 bpd refinery in Yanbu (on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia)? “China’s investment in oil infrastructure and refining capacity is unparalleled. And more importantly, it executes a consistent strategy of developing world-class refining facilities in partnership with OPEC suppliers. Such relationships mean economic leverage that could soon subordinate U.S. relations with the same countries.”

I thought one of the reasons we’re told not to be worried about the dollar and debt is because the dollar runs the world – they have to have the dollar – right? That is why they are willing to buy our Treasuries even when they’re getting little to no return – because the dollar is “safe.” What if they stop buying them?

Here are a few props I’d love to see at the next debate (you can find these and much more at the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) site).

How safe do these look?

I’m not sure but I think that helps to explain why China and Russia are stockpiling gold (Wall Street Journal Market Watch).

So, yes, yes, we get it. Obama must be defeated. But with Romney in office we are still going to not only need less bread and fewer lions, but also less world military expansion and “control” if we hope to keep any value in our coin.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

 

Take Your Pick: Default or Hyperinflation

Here’s a fairy tale for you. Like Dorothy and her friends, the American people have made the long, desperate trip and are counting on the Great and Powerful Oz to fix things for them. And like the Scarecrow, when we got there, we got screwed. If you remember, the Scarecrow wanted brains, and the man behind the curtain couldn’t deliver but instead said, “by virtue of the authority invested in me by the Universitas Committee E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer upon you”… paper! He gave the poor guy a piece of paper. And just like the Fed, the wizard left them stranded as he flew off in a hot air balloon (think mortgage bubble) and couldn’t come back to save them because, “I can’t, I don’t know how it works.” And like the Great and Powerful Oz, Fed wizard Ben Bernanke is probably “a very good man…just a very bad wizard.” Or perhaps the problem is actually with our current monetary concept, “I’m afraid it’s true, there’s no other wizard except me.”

Luckily and with a little help, Dorothy realized that she didn’t need the balloon ride or a wizard to get things back to normal, “you don’t need to be helped any longer, you’ve always had the power…”

And for us, what is that power? That power is “We the People” as expressed through our Congress.

But that poses another problem. That assumes the Congress is willing to click their heels and get to work. I am worried that, given their history of avoiding making tough decisions so as to not look bad, we may be in trouble. According to a number of economists (the ones that don’t follow the hot air balloon philosophy) we may be too late. The perfect storm is already here. The economy is at its worst and another “war” looms. If you want to risk looking bad as a politician, just try tackling those issues – especially if it involves cutting anything.

Congress gave us a glimmer of hope after the House voted to audit the Fed, and the Senate increased the co-sponsors (34 at last count) for their version of the bill recently. On the other hand, were the results of a less publicized vote taken late at night on Friday September 21st. Senator Rand Paul presented a bill to make any foreign aid to Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan contingent upon certain criteria (like protecting our embassies, releasing the doctor who gave us Bin Laden…). The idea was to at least show the world there would no longer be unlimited foreign aid to countries that were not clear allies. The original speech is full of detailed arguments, but this video provides a short synopsis.

Senator Paul knew the bill would fail because the Senate wasn’t willing to confront the two most controversial problems we face – unlimited spending and questionable military entanglements.

“I will probably lose this vote, but if you ask your friends. If you go home and ask your friends should we be sending money to countries that disrespect us, that burn our flag, I think you will find 80 percent to 90 percent of the American people wouldn’t send another penny…That may be why Congress has about a 10 percent approval rating.”

After John Kerry and John McCain teamed-up to argue for continued unlimited aid, the vote was taken and only Senators DeMint, Grassley, Shelby, Toomey, Moran, Lee, Roberts, Risch and Crapo joined with Paul. The vote failed 81 to 10.

Do we really believe Congress will tackle the difficult issues when it comes to debt and military spending?

If you listen to economists like Peter Schiff, Congress no longer has the luxury of kicking the can down the road. He recently delivered a chilling speech at the Mises Circle in Manhattan. “The Fiscal Cliff: How to Spot the Edge” is an easy-to-follow wake-up call about the severity of our economic crisis. His conclusion was that the Fed has become trapped and we are now faced with two options – default on our debt or hyperinflation (click here for the video). He also contends that the solution is to default on the debt before it gets worse. That means doing what had been needed all along – making dramatic cuts in everything. Because no politician wants to face that, then we are at the mercy of inevitable hyperinflation and a worse default. When that happens, that opens the door to incorrectly blame capitalism and invites more government control, regulation, and loss of freedom or worse.

So why is it that politicians from both sides have not addressed the devaluing of the dollar by the Central Bank system (Fed) over the years? In “Twin Demons,” Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. explains how this works. The answer is that the Central Bank system is government’s best friend and allows governments to spend money they don’t have, particularly for war. War and debt spending go hand in hand. And once the war is over, the spending continues for social programs. The Central Bank system is confusing to the average citizen and thus allows the government to expand.

“Creating money out of thin air… is preferable for governments, since the process by which the political class siphons resources from society via inflation is far less direct and obvious than in the cases of taxation and borrowing.”

He advocates for a “separation of money and state,” not unlike the pre-fed hard-money Jacksonian monetary theorists of the 1830s who coined the phrase “separation of bank and state.”

So if economists like Schiff and Rockwell are correct, what happens when the Congress actually audits the Fed and brings the Central Bank issues to the forefront of the public debate? How will they handle the decision to either dramatically balance the budget, default on the debt, or risk hyper-inflation? And why would they even tackle this problem openly? As it is now, the Fed is the mysterious man behind the curtain and all monetary evils can be blamed on him.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

The Crisis is Here

Viewing and sharing this masterpiece of economic education is perhaps the most important use of 41 minutes for our citizens in a long time. Peter Schiff delivers a chilling speech at the Mises Circle in Manhattan. “The Fiscal Cliff: How to Spot the Edge” is an easy-to-follow wake-up call about the severity of our economic crisis. The Fed is out of nails to hammer. Bernanke has painted us in the corner and there are two ways out: default or hyperinflation.