Ron Paul talks on Fox Business News about the economy, capitalism, income tax and Iran / Entrevista con congresista Ron Paul en Fox Business News

Friday, July 04, 2008

Situación de Irán

Here's a five-minute interview with Ron Paul today on Fox Business news with Charles Payne, who has a nice non-aggressive interviewing style that results in the interview being much more informative over the five minutes than is the case with a few other interviewers that I could name that really love to hear themselves talk. The first question was admittedly a bit odd though because I don't remember Ron Paul ever telling people to just chill and let things slide, so Payne must have gotten a bit of bad information there.

Since I know how annoying it is to try to make out phone interviews in another language when studying it, I've transcribed the whole thing for the benefit of 2nd-language speakers (and added a bit of Spanish in the title as well for good measure). Here's the transcript:

Charles Payne: Another unpleasant day on Wall Street, the Dow and NASDAC both finished in bear territory, and oil, for the umpteenth time lately, hit a record high. General Motors shares sunk after Merrill Lynch said the venerable carmaker could face bankruptcy if the industry doesn't bounce back soon. Starbucks is closing stores and cutting jobs as four-dollar gas replaces four-dollar lattes as the consumer's drink of choice. And even the Oracle of Omaha (=Warren Buffett) has hit hard times, so to speak. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway stock had its worst first half performance since 1990. Is America's business greatness under siege? Our next guest says don't bet on it. He's former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who joins me on the phone from Lake Jackson, Texas. Congressman Paul, thanks for joining us.

Ron Paul: Thank you. Good to be with you.

Charles Payne: During your run for the presidency, you were extremely critical of President Bush and of congress as it pertains to the economy, so why should Americans feel better now?

Ron Paul: Well right now I'm not sure they should, unless we do the right thing. Although I have been critical of the administration and the congress for doing the wrong things, I also talk a whole lot about the federal reserve system, because all the malinvestment and the excessive debt, and the problems that we face comes from how the federal reserve manipulates interest rates, so if we don't deal with the federal reserve you can't understand the bubbles, and we can't understand the need for the collapsing of these bubbles, and the liquidation of this debt which we're in the middle of. I think we're really not quite even in the middle; we're probably at the beginning of a huge dollar bubble that's been going on since the Bretton Woods (=Bretton Woods system) broke down in 1971.

Charles Payne: Congressman Paul, a lot of long-time proponents of capitalism say that this sort of thing is what's known as creative destruction, in other words, big companies eventually get stale, stagnant or whatever, and they die and new ones replace them, but get even bigger. You don't see that happening at this time?

Ron Paul: Well, no, and I don't think there's anything destructive about capitalism, I think there's destruction when we manipulate capitalism and when we have the government too much involved and overregulate and overtax, artificial wages, artificial interest rates. Yes, then we have a lot of problems. But capitalism should function much better. I think there are times when even...if you did have free market capitalism, there would be companies that get old and lazy, and they'd have to move out. But the consumer is the king in capitalism. If the consumer doesn't get a good deal, they put these businesses out, out of business, the companies get put out of business, but today, if anybody gets into trouble, we bail them out, you know, and you're not allowed to have capitalism and allow the consumer to make the decision on which businesses should survive or not.

Charles Payne: During your run for the White House, you became a cult figure amongst many folks because of your radical ideas. One is to repeal the sixteenth amendment and to abolish income tax. How would that help the economy?

Ron Paul: Of course it's strange that that's a radical idea, that sort of was the conventional wisdom for 130 years and the founders thought it was a pretty good idea. Uh, well, immediately it would put forty percent of all this tax revenue that the government has and wasting, back into the pockets of the American people. Instead of running a trillion-dollar empire around the world, that trillion dollars would be spent back here at home. The salaries of all the military people would be spending their money here at home, and of course the inflation is hitting us because of our monetary policy, but the inflationary pressure on our oil prices is also due to the fact that right now the greatest anticipation is the war against Iran. Right now it's not so much when - I heard a discussion the other day that dumbfounded me, that said well, do you think we're going to bomb Iran before the election, or after the election? It's like a foregone conclusion. Then they wonder why oil prices go up two and three dollars a day? I mean, it...this would all be gone if we didn't have this foreign policy, domestic spending policy, and we could get rid of the income tax. It would be a godsend. I mean, we would be so much wealthier, and we wouldn't have any inflation.

Charles Payne: Well Congressman Paul, do you think that there'd be greater stability if we let Iran have nuclear weapons, and for militant groups like the Taleban and Al-Qaeda just to run amok in the Middle East?

Ron Paul: Well, there's no evidence that they have it. Our CIA said they haven't been working on it since 2003. And we lived through the Cold War and the Soviets had forty thousand, Pakistan has them, India has them, Israel has them, China has them, so, I mean it's pretty (much) a natural thing for somebody who's surrounded by nukes might want to have a defense. But they're not even working on it, they've been inspected nine times in the last year, unannounced, by the United Nations, and they've never been found to be in violation. So I think this is a lot of hype. But no, I'd just as soon they not have a weapon, but I think the biggest incentive to give them a weapon is surrounding them and threatening them. Right now the threat is that we're going to blockade the whole country. I mean, this is an act of war we're threatening them with right now.

Charles Payne: Congressman Paul, thank you very much and also congratulations on your book.

Ron Paul: Thank you very much.


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