Freedom From Government

by Rep Ron Paul

President Obama signed an executive order last week continuing the faith-based initiatives program created by former President Bush.  When the program was created, I warned that giving taxpayer money to private religious organizations would eventually lead to political control and manipulation of them.  This week has provided some evidence that this was a justified concern.

The logic behind funding faith-based initiatives seemed reasonable to some.  Private organizations are much more effective in charitable endeavors than government programs and bureaucracies.  Therefore, why not “outsource” some of the government’s welfare-state activities to these worthy organizations? 

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Stimulus for Who?

by Rep Ron Paul

This week the House is expected to pass an $825 billion economic stimulus package.  In reality, this bill is just an escalation of a government-created economic mess.   As before, a sense of urgency and impending doom is being used to extract mountains of money from Congress with minimal debate.  So much for change.  This is déjà vu.  We are again being promised that its passage will help employment, help homeowners, help the environment, etc.

These promises are worthless. 

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Strengthening or Weakening the Economy?

by Rep Ron Paul

The economic situation continues to deteriorate this week as past and future bailouts were discussed on Capitol Hill.  The debate was over the accountability of already disbursed TARP money, and on whether or not to release remaining funds.   Banks that had already been bailed out before are looking for more money to fill the black holes that are their balance sheets, warning that they are simply too big to fail.

However, whatever ‘devastating’ consequences these banks are dreaming up and pushing on Capitol Hill regarding their own collapse will be nothing compared to the collapse of our currency if we keep debasing it through these foolish bailouts.  It should be that they are too big to bailout.  The world will not come to an end without this or that bank.  The most troubling thing to me is this rhetoric that only government can save the economy, and must act.  This is so counter-productive.

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Opportunities for Peace and Nonintervention

by Rep Ron Paul

Last week I discussed our worsening economic situation and the fact that there are very few options for the new administration to improve things in the long run.  The same is not true on the foreign policy front.  Our interventionist foreign policy stands ready to be put on a new course with the new administration.  Unfortunately, it seems the new administration is likely to continue the mistakes of the past.

I’ve often discussed interventionist foreign policy and the resulting blowback.  The current administration’s foreign policy, I’m afraid, has created a huge impetus for blowback against the United States.  However, I truly believe much of the world stands ready to look beyond our nation’s recent blunders if the new administration proves to be heading in a more reasonable direction.

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Government and Fraud

by Rep Ron Paul

Billions of dollars were recently lost in the collapse of Bernie Madoff’s self-described Ponzi scheme, in which too-good-to-be-true returns on investments were not really returns at all, but the funds of defrauded new investors.  The pyramid scheme collapsed dramatically when too many clients called in their accounts, and not enough new victims could be found to support these withdrawals.  Bernie Madoff was running a blatant fraud operation.

Fraud is already illegal, and he will be facing criminal consequences, which is as it should be, and should act as an appropriate deterrent to potential future criminals.  But it seems every time someone breaks the law, politicians and pundits decide we need more laws, even though lack of laws was not the problem.

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Economic Freedom or Socialist Intervention?

by Rep Ron Paul

The freedom to fail is an essential part of freedom.  Government- provided financial security necessitates relinquishing the very essence of freedom.  Last week, the big 3 American automakers came back to Capitol Hill with their hands out to the government.  Congress spent this past week debating how much money to give them and what strings should be attached.

Though the bailout plan for the auto industry has suffered what I would call a temporary setback in the Senate, other avenues for public funding are being explored through the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.  I am afraid the American auto industry will soon learn that having billions rain down from Washington will not be the blessing one might expect.

The government, after it subsidizes an industry, tends to become a very demanding benefactor.  Politicians may not have any real idea about how to build a car, run a bank, educate a child, heal the sick or build a road, but they are quite adept at using carrots and sticks to manipulate and threaten those who do.  Most of the federal control over education, roads, healthcare, and now banking and soon auto manufacturing, is done through money, mandates and conditions. 

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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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