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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Predictions vs. Reality in Iraq

by Rep Ron Paul

On September 10, 2002  I asked 35 questions regarding war with Iraq. The war resolution passed on October 16, 2002.  Now today, as some of my colleagues try to reestablish credentials regarding spending restraint, I want to call attention to my 18th question from six years ago:

“Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy?  How about an estimated 30 year occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to “build democracy” there?”

Many scoffed at my “radical” predictions at the time, regarding them as hyperbole.  Six years later, I am forced to admit that I was wrong.  My “radical” predictions were in fact, not “radical” enough.

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Government Monetary Policy vs Freedom

by Rep Ron Paul

I’ve discussed just a few benefits of sound money in the last two weeks, and contrasted them to the perils of fiat currency.  Sound money keeps government spending in check, keeps trade fair and honest, which reduces the temptations, and many underlying causes, for governments to wage wars.  It also gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your savings will be able to sustain you in your retirement.

So if sound money is such a good thing, what is stopping people from simply trading with each other in gold and silver?  Why are you still being paid in fiat dollars, and why can’t you pay for gas in gold?  The answer is that the government has enacted policies that provide considerable stumbling blocks to such transactions.

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Sound Money and the Constitution

by Rep Ron Paul

Last week I discussed how sound money contributes to peaceful relationships around the world.  It is not gold, in and of itself that excites me, but the many benefits of sound money.  Another benefit is financial security.

Can sound money give you financial security?  There is something very comforting in knowing that what you earn today will retain its purchasing power in the years to come.  Indeed, the same silver dime that bought a loaf of bread in the 1960′s can still buy a loaf of bread with its precious metal content – which is worth about $1.00 today. 

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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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What’s in a Bill Name?

by Rep Ron Paul

Recently Congress passed the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act., also known as the Housing Bill.  Its passage was lauded by many who are legitimately concerned about foreclosures and the housing market in our country’s economy.  I was asked how I could vote against a bill to help American homeowners, but I found this bill to have more to do with helping big banks than helping average Americans.

The answer is that there is more to any bill than its name or the headlines surrounding it.  If one only paid attention to bill titles, one could happily vote for almost any bill put to a vote on the floor.  Titles do not tell the complete story of a bill’s provisions, and many titles are downright deceptive and come close to emotional blackmail of legislators.

But we cannot afford to be fooled by fancy titles. 

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Freddie and Fannie Bailout: Expensive to Taxpayers, and Destructive of Liberty.

by Rep Ron Paul

Statement before the US House of Representatives on HR 3221 July 24, 2008

Madam Speaker,

For several years, followers of the Austrian school of economics have warned that unless Congress moved to end the implicit government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and took other steps to disengage the US Government from the housing market, America would face a crisis in housing.

This crisis would force Congress to choose between authorizing a taxpayer bailout of Fannie and Freddie, and other measures increasing government’s involvement in housing, or restoring a free-market in housing by ending government support for Fannie and Freddie and repealing all laws that interfere in housing. The bursting of the housing bubble, and the recent near-collapse in investor support for Fannie and Freddie has proven my fellow Austrians correct.

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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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