The Bailout Surge

by Rep Ron Paul

This week the bailout of the Big Three automakers was under heavy consideration in Congress’s lame duck session.  I have always opposed government bailouts of private organizations.  Back in 1979 Congress had hearings about bailing out Chrysler and I was on record pointing out that these types of policies are foolish and very damaging to the long term economic health of our country.  They still are.

There was also renewed pressure this week to bailout homeowners and send another round of stimulus checks to “Main Street” to balance out all the handouts to big business.  It seems that eventually the entire economy is going to be blanketed over with Federal Reserve notes.  Most in Washington are completely oblivious as to why this model of money creation and spending is so dangerous.

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Spending the Economy into Oblivion

by Rep Ron Paul

With news this week that Congress is poised to consider a new stimulus package, I am forced to again ask a question that seems silly in Washington:  How will we pay for this?

While a few Members of Congress have raised the issue, it certainly was not the primary concern of the House Budget Committee when they interviewed Ben Bernanke on Monday.  And, when they did direct this question to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, his answer was the standard rhetoric about how Congress needed to make tough choices.  Needless to say, not many specifics were discussed.

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Capitalism Without Capital?

by Rep Ron Paul

It has been long understood that our federal government is going deeper into debt, consistently raising the debt ceiling and demonstrating no fiscal restraint. In recent years, debt ceiling increases have been placed in “must pass” legislation as a means to guarantee that Republicans as well as Democrats would vote for them when Congress was under Republican control.

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The Do-Something Congress

by Rep Ron Paul

It has not been a good week for the Republic.  It took quite a bit of trampling of the Constitution, but the bailout bill passed, as I suspected it would.

The bailout failed the first time it was brought to the House.  Undaunted, the Senate pressed on by attaching the bailout as an amendment to another House passed bill that was pending in the Senate.  The new bailout version had new taxes, so according to the Constitution it should not have originated in the Senate.

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Economics and the Meltdown

by Rep Ron Paul

The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived.

We are in this crisis because of an excess of artificially created credit at the hands of the Federal Reserve System. The solution being proposed? More artificial credit by the Federal Reserve. No liquidation of bad debt and malinvestment is to be allowed. By doing more of the same, we will only continue and intensify the distortions in our economy – all the capital misallocation, all the malinvestment – and prevent the market’s attempt to re-establish rational pricing of houses and other assets.

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A problem of regulation?

by Mark Thornton, Mises Economics Blog

The financial panic that has engulfed the planet is considered by politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and mainstream economists to be a problem of regulation. I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to agree with this gang of opinion makers, but it is not a problem of insufficient regulation, inadequate regulation, unenforced regulation, out-dated regulation, or anything of the kind.

The problem is with regulation itself. With regard to financial markets, government regulates everything. There is the Federal Reserve that regulates the money supply, interest rates and everything else. There is the Treasury with its array of regulatory powers.

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Freedom is Golden

by Rep Ron Paul

As the Olympics wind down, I am amazed at how things change every four years.  Many Americans were glued to their televisions to watch the excitement from Beijing, and also heard announcers wax nostalgic with memories of times when the Soviet Union was the USA’s biggest competitor for Olympic gold.

There was a time when it was unthinkable that a government as powerful as that of the Soviet Union’s could possibly crumble, yet crumble it did.  The irony is that the strength of the Soviet government was also its weakness, as no country, no economic system can remain strong under the crushing burden that is central planning.

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How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices

by Rep Ron Paul

We’ve heard how the value of the dollar affects gas prices – and indeed the price of everything.  I was pleased that my request for a hearing on such was granted by the Financial Services committee and we were able to hear some very informative testimony.  Certainly domestic policies, regarding off-shore oil drilling bans, ethanol mandates, refining capacity, and CAFE standards are interventionist and harmful enough in the energy market.

But how does foreign policy affect gas prices?  One important factor is that oil on the world market has been priced in dollars exclusively since 1973.  Only two leaders have gone against this arrangement – Saddam Hussein in 2000 and more recently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the recently opened Iranian Oil Bourse which trades in non-dollar currencies. 

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Washington DC’s Intervention Addiction

by Rep Ron Paul

One problem with politicians is that when problems they create come to a head, they typically feel this irresistible urge to DO something, rather than to UN-do something, or to simply back off to avoid exacerbating the situation.

Too often, that which they end up doing has very little connection to the cause of the crisis, but plays well in the press and superficially makes everyone feel better.  Bills that are rushed through Congress under duress are never studied enough, providing too tempting an opportunity to quietly slip in unrelated provisions that erode freedoms in ways that would never pass as a stand-alone bill.

We famously saw this with the PATRIOT Act, but Washington learned nothing from that.

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Why the Founders Rejected a Central Bank

by Rep. Ron Paul

The Latin term “fiat” roughly translates to “there shall be”. When we refer to fiat money, we are referring to money that exists because the government declares it into existence. It is not based on production or earnings, and not backed by any commodity. It is solely based on trusting the government.

Fiat money is exchanged in the economy as long as there is faith in the government that issues it.

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