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.

The First Veterans, Remember Them?

Why was our country founded? Why were the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights written? I think the simple answer is that all of these happened in response to a coercive big government’s increasing control over individual liberty and freedom. Simply put, America’s founding fathers and first veterans had finally had enough and were tired of being told what to do and how to live their lives. And as historical as that revolution was, it was carried out by a very small minority of the actual colonists (most were just fine with doing nothing and letting it stay the way it was).

They were tired of being told what to do and how to live their lives. Something we can all relate to.

That is precisely why they wrote the Constitution and Declaration of Independence the way they did. That is why they wrote, “…all men are created equal…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is why they wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” That is why they wrote, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That is why they wrote, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That is why they wrote, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…” That is why they wrote, “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law…” That is why they wrote, “The Congress shall have Power to…declare war…”

They did not write, “Treat some men worse than others because of their beliefs.” They did not write, “Only the ones we agree with can pursue happiness.” They did not write, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion – except Christianity.” They, however, also did not write, “Congress shall allow discrimination of Christians.” They did not write, “The Federal Government may violate the States’ and Individuals’ rights as they see fit for the common good.” Just as they did not write, “It is ok to throw out all these rights in the name of ‘protecting’ the public – therefore the Government may authorize perpetual search and grope, wiretaps, assassinations, indefinite detention of citizens, and maintain indefinite surveillance if a non-invading enemy hates our country and fights us outside our soil.” They also did not write, “It is ok for the President to authorize military force, when not being attacked, without Congressional approval.”

Finally, they did not write, “It is the goal of Congress to grossly outspend revenue in order to fund any programs the ruling party sees fit and, if need be, print more money and devalue the dollar, thus jeopardizing the liberty of the entire country.”

The problem is that we have now traded one coercive big government, that was worthy of a revolution, with another, two-party version that is on the road to becoming the same thing. The bickering back and forth over which “evil” is worse misses the point. Both the establishment Democrats and GOP want to be our masters and force their philosophy upon the people, violating our individual liberties along the way. This was NOT the way the Founders intended, and it is not just the Left that has been doing it.

The Government has no business forcing anything on the States or individuals that is not within their enumerated powers.

So why did Romney lose? I think there were simply more people, representing more electoral votes, that didn’t want the coercive GOP to tell them what to do. And, there are many that are happy to have the government give them things without worry about the debt.

And if Romney would have won? There would have been more people, representing more electoral votes, that didn’t want the coercive Democrats to tell them what to do. And, there are many in the GOP that are happy to have the government continue to spend money we don’t have in foreign entanglements and pork without worry about actually balancing the budget.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt…I am for government rigorously frugal and simple.”

Daniel Webster wrote, “It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”

So who are the enemy and who are the patriots? Do you think the Founders would have welcomed and armed the “hemp” users who volunteered to fight the British because of the promise of individual liberty?

Our country was founded on the principle of respecting the rights of all to pursue their version of happiness and to be left alone by big government. That is the beauty and uniqueness of our founding. I am not advocating that you change your beliefs. I am advocating the respect of those you may disagree with that are willing to defend the Constitution with you.

I would suggest a return to our roots, sniff out and run-off big government politicians, and invite all that agree with the principles of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence to join. As it was with our first revolution, we may initially be in the minority compared to those content with our current “masters.”

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

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

 

No Milk for You!

The very idea of being coerced infuriates Americans; and as a people, we are, and always have been, united in our resolve to resist coercion. Left or right, progressive or conservative, we want to be free to express our views and live our lives. We passionately resist the attempts of others to force their will upon us.

We can also agree that there is a certain limit, albeit circumscribed, to the concept of having total freedom to do as we please. Reasonable laws ensure we are not free to harm others (theft, assault, rape and murder are not unalienable rights).

And as a country, we have become upset with our government. Though we may disagree on exactly how our leaders in Washington have coerced us, we can all agree that we have been, and are being, forced to accept things we do not like.

We have had it, and the all-time low ratings of our politicians reflect that.

We also have very strong opinions about what is good for the country. But if we are not careful, good intentions can lead to tyranny. We can debate the concept of general welfare, and even within the debate we can recognize the “grain of truth” in our opponents’ arguments. The Right acknowledges that the poor need some type of help. The Left understands that our country needs some degree of military protection. What we can’t seem to agree upon is the amount of both. And as free debate disintegrates into emotion-laden rhetoric, the career politicians capitalize on this emotion to further their own careers, while at the same time jeopardizing all of our liberties by growing the national debt.

The way they do this is by professing they are simply trying to provide for the general welfare.

Thomas Jefferson exposed this tactic to twist the enumerated powers. He agreed that Congress does have the power to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare. However, they are not to lay taxes for any purpose they please: only to pay debts and provide for the general welfare. Similarly, they are not “to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”

He emphasized this subtlety as, “giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.” That would reduce this to, “instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.”

Throughout history, those in authority tend to undermine and tarnish the very revolutionary concepts they claim to espouse. Just as many churches have abandoned Christ’s true teachings, many politicians have abandoned the Constitution.

A great example of this attempt to provide for the “general welfare” by violating individual rights can be seen in the following video. It definitely puts a new slant on the famous “got milk?” slogan.

Regardless of your politics, please continue to speak out against attempts at coercion and violation of individual freedoms that do no harm to others.

Visit the good folks at Reason.com for more about this saga.

The quotes from Thomas Jefferson are from:

Thomas Jefferson, On the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1771

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com