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Private Fraud vs. Public Fraud

In his latest column Ron Paul points out that governments are the biggest perpetrators of fraud on a massive scale. Social Security is just one example of a series of government-run Ponzi schemes that are doomed to collapse. Meanwhile, when confronted with new aspects of the growing crisis, government officials typically react by introducing even more misguided laws and regulations, thereby making the situation even worse. As we watch our prosperity and liberty dwindle away, the best we can hope for is government staying out of the way so we can rebuild the economy under an honest free-market system and return to true financial stability. — tmartin

Government and Fraud

by 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.

The government itself runs a fraud much bigger than Madoff’s. Our Social Security system is the very definition of a Ponzi, or pyramid scheme. If the government truly had an interest in protecting people’s savings, they would allow people to opt out of Social Security altogether. We would cut wasteful spending, such as our overseas empire, to honor current obligations to seniors, and eventually phase the program out. Instead, as with Enron and Sarbanes Oxley, I expect new, unrelated legislation to be proposed that further damages freedom in the name of protecting us, amidst loud proclamations that they have made the world safe.

Merely passing a law does not fix any problems, just as throwing paper at a recession does not stop it. How can a government so complicit in mandatory public fraud effectively pre-empt private fraud? I see no reason to believe that any new law, or regulatory agency will solve anything. But I do see liberty slipping away every time Congress decides to “do something”. We already have an oversight agency, the SEC, which did a poor job overseeing and preventing this, but does a great job hamstringing honest, productive businesses and driving them overseas.

Total trust in government solutions only creates moral hazard, and amplifies risky behavior. Trust in government got us here. We trusted government to eliminate risk, but it just made risk more creative and dangerous. We trusted the Federal Reserve, a supra-governmental cabal of private banks, to know better than the free market what interest rates should be, and how to stabilize the business cycle, but like a spinning top that loses its balance, it has instead spun the business cycle and the economy wildly out of control.

No governmental activity can negate market forces or nullify the cardinal rule of caveat emptor. Government can however, use our fears against us and promise unrealistic outcomes as a means to consolidate power and erode our liberties. Liberty comes with risk. This is a fact of life. But life without liberty is not much of a life at all.

The only way the American people will get through these difficult times is through our own resilience and ingenuity. At best, the government is irrelevant in finding prosperity again. At worst, government can present a massive obstacle for the economy to overcome. If we do not wise up and rein government back in to its Constitutional limitations, bloated government could be a cumbersome unnecessary weight the economy will continually have to support to stay afloat.

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Merry Christmas from the Paul Family

Ron Paul sent out the following Christmas message to friends and supporters:

“It is a tradition that Carol and I send a family Christmas card every year to our supporters and friends across the country. We met so many great people this year and tried to include everyone, but I am sure we had a few computer glitches and missed a few folks we shouldn’t have. So, we wanted to make sure eveyone saw our card so we could share our holiday wishes with eveyone.

Click here to download our Christmas card for 2008. (pdf)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ron and Carol Paul”

The Christmas card contains an update on the Paul family and the following message from Carol:

“Let me thank all of you for the prayers and messages that came during my recent illness. We have been blessed. And even with a few obstacles along the way, it keeps us working harder.

Ron has been busy with Congressional business as well as getting the Campaign for Liberty off to a great start. He feels that so much has been accomplished this year with the help of supporters and volunteers and for this we are also thankful… and we have to keep going!

We are proud to live in a country that allows its citizens freedom to choose, and we want everyone to be able to choose liberty.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Carol and Ron”

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Doomed to Collapse?

In his latest column Ron Paul warns of dire consequences if we do not get back on a sustainable economic course in this country.

Economic Freedom or Socialist Intervention?

by 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. The bailout proposal we were considering would force automobile manufacturers to submit their business plans for the approval of a new federal “car czar.” This bureaucrat would have the authority to approve the automakers’ restructuring plan, monitor implementation of the plan, and even stop certain transactions he determines are inconsistent with the companies’ long-term viability.

One could argue that if billions of taxpayer dollars are going to flow into a failing industry, then representatives of those taxpayers have “bought” a say in how that industry is run - which is precisely why bailouts are such a bad idea for both the industry and the taxpayers. The federal government has neither the competence nor the Constitutional authority to tell private companies, such as automakers, how to run their businesses. I would have thought that failed experiments with central planning and government control of business that caused so much harm in the last century would have taught my colleagues the folly of making businesses obey politicians and bureaucrats instead of heeding the wishes of consumers, employees, and stockholders. But the auto industry is in danger of learning for themselves one of the oldest lessons in politics: he who pays the fiddler calls the tune.

It is not the job of government to sustain business. The government should get out of the way, and instead examine excessive regulations, tax policy and red tape that have been hostile to manufacturing in this country. We should get back on a sustainable economic course in this country, or we are doomed to collapse, as the Soviets did, under the crushing burden of big government and a strangled economy that can no longer pay for it.

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What comes after the auto bailout?

Earlier today Ron Paul was interviewed about the auto bailout and a potential homeowner bailout on Newsradio AM 740 KTRH, one of Houston’s most popular radio stations. Listen to the interview below.

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Ron Paul on Gun Control

In his latest essay Ron Paul addresses the issue of gun control. When the government makes guns illegal, only criminals - and the government itself - will own firearms. The result is less freedom and less safety for everyone else, i.e. law-abiding citizens. — tmartin

Gun Control: Protecting Terrorists and Despots

by Ron Paul

Tragically, over the Thanksgiving holiday, the world was reminded how evil and cruel people can be. According to emerging accounts of the events in India, about a dozen well-armed and devastatingly well-trained terrorists laid siege on the city of Mumbai, killing almost two hundred people, and terrorizing thousands.

Regardless of the reasons, the indiscriminate shooting on masses of unarmed and defenseless people is chilling and reprehensible. How were these terrorists able to continue so long, relatively unchallenged, killing so many?

India’s gun laws are her business, of course. However, once the shock of these events and the initial reaction of fear passes, Americans should take away a valuable lesson about real homeland security and gun control from this tragedy.

Gun control advocates tell us that removing guns from society makes us safer. If that were the case why do the worst shootings happen in gun free zones, like schools? And while accidents do happen, aggressive, terroristic shootings like this are unheard of at gun and knife shows, or military bases. It bears repeating that an armed society truly is a polite society.

The fact is that firearm technology exists. It cannot be uninvented. As long as there is metalworking and welding capability, it matters not what gun laws are imposed upon law-abiding people. Those that wish to have guns, and disregard the law, will have guns. Gun control makes violence safer and more effective for the aggressive, whether the aggressor is a terrorist or a government.

History shows us that another tragedy of gun laws is genocide. Hitler, for example, knew well that in order to enact his “final solution,” disarmament was a necessary precursor. While it is not always the case that an unarmed populace WILL be killed by their government, if a government is going to kill its own people, it MUST disarm them first so they cannot fight back. Disarmament must happen at a time when overall trust in government is high, and under the guise of safety for the people, or perhaps the children. Knowing that any government, no matter how idealistically started, can become despotic, the Founding Fathers enabled the future freedom of Americans by enacting the second amendment.

In our own country, we should be ever vigilant against any attempts to disarm the people, especially in this economic downturn. I expect violent crime to rise sharply in the coming days, and as states and municipalities are even more financially strained, the police will be even less able or willing to respond to crime. In many areas, local police could become more and more absorbed with revenue generating activities, like minor traffic violations and the asset forfeiture opportunities of non-violent drug offenses. Your safety has always, ultimately been your own responsibility, but never more so than now. People have a natural right to defend themselves. Governments that take that away from their people should be highly suspect.

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Playing God With The Economy

The unholy alliance between self-important bureaucrats and failed bailout bankers continues to wreaks havoc upon the economy. Only a gold standard can prevent these charlatans from poisoning the entire world with their increasingly worthless dollars. In his latest column Ron Paul speaks truth to power and calls for the abolishment of the Federal Reserve. But can reasoned arguments alone win this epic battle for sound money? — tmartin

The Neo-Alchemy of the Federal Reserve

by Ron Paul

As the printing presses for the bailouts run at full speed, those in power are no longer even pretending that the new giveaways will fix our problems. Now that we are used to rewarding failure with taxpayer-funded bailouts, we are being told that this is “just a start,” more funds will inevitably be needed for more industries, and that things would be much worse had we done nothing.

The updated total bailout commitments add up to over $8 trillion now. This translates into a monetary base increase of 75 percent over the last two months. This money does not come from some rainy day fund tucked away in the budget somewhere – it is created from thin air, and devalues every dollar in circulation. Dumping money on an economy, as they have been doing, is not the same as dumping wealth. In fact, it has quite the opposite effect.

One key attribute that gives money value is scarcity. If something that is used as money becomes too plentiful, it loses value. That is how inflation and hyperinflation happens. Giving a central bank the power to create fiat money out of thin air creates the tremendous risk of eventual hyperinflation. Most of the founding fathers did not want a central bank. Having just experienced the hyperinflation of the Continental dollar, they understood the power and the temptations inherent in that type of system. It gives one entity far too much power to control and destabilize the economy.

Our central bankers have had a tremendous amount of hubris over the years, believing that they could actually manage a paper money system in such a way as to replicate the behavior and benefits of a gold standard. In fact, back in 2004 then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told me as much. People talk about toxic assets, but the real toxicity in our economy comes from the neo-alchemy practiced by the Federal Reserve System. Just as alchemists of the past frequently poisoned themselves with the lead or mercury they were trying to turn to gold, today’s bankers are poisoning the economy with accelerated fiat money creation.

Throughout the ages, gold has stood the test of time as a consistently reliable medium of exchange, and has frequently been referred to as “God’s money”, as only God can make more of it. Seeking superhuman power over money in the way alchemists did in ancient times caused society to shun them as charlatans. In much the same way, free people today should be sending the message that this power and control over our money is no longer acceptable.

The irony is that even had the ancient practice of alchemy been successful, and gold was suddenly, magically made abundant, alchemists still would have failed to create real wealth. Creating gold from lead would have cheapened its status to that of rhinestones or cubic zirconia. It is unnatural and dangerous for paper to be considered as precious as a precious metal. Our fiat currency system is crumbling and coming to an end, as all fiat currencies eventually do.

Congress should reject the central bank as a failure for its manipulations of money that have brought our economy to its knees. I am hoping that in the 111th Congress my legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve System gains traction so that the central bank can no longer destroy our money.

Read more about how the Federal Reserve ruins our country and destroys our future.

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Oh No, Not Another Bailout!

By engaging in bailout after bailout, government bureaucrats subsidize failed but well-connected losers by effectively confiscating the necessary resources from productive and successful members of the economy. Ron Paul explains why such bailouts are a bad idea and why we should allow the natural incentives and regulations of the free market to pick the winners and losers in our economy. –tmartin

The Bailout Surge

by Ron Paul

[Last] 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 [last] 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.

We must remember that governments do not produce anything. Their only resources come from producers in the economy through such means as inflation and taxation. The government has an obligation to be good stewards of these resources. In bailing out failing companies, they are confiscating money from productive members of the economy and giving it to failing ones. By sustaining companies with obsolete or unsustainable business models, the government prevents their resources from being liquidated and made available to other companies that can put them to better, more productive use. An essential element of a healthy free market, is that both success and failure must be permitted to happen when they are earned. But instead with a bailout, the rewards are reversed – the proceeds from successful entities are given to failing ones. How this is supposed to be good for our economy is beyond me.

With each bailout we hear rhetoric that this is the mother of all bailouts. This will fix the problem once and for all, and that this is absolutely necessary to avert disaster. This sense of panic squeezes astonishing amounts of dollars out of reluctant but hopeful legislators, who hate the position they are being put in, but are relieved that it will be the last time. It is never the last time, and again and again we are faced with the same scenarios and the same fears. We are already in the bailout business for such a staggering amount that admitting it was wrong in the first place would be too embarrassing. So the commitment to this course of action is only irrationally escalated, in the hopes that somehow, someway eventually it will work and those in power won’t have to admit they were wrong.

It won’t work. It can’t work. We need to cut our losses and get back on course. There is too much at stake for too many people to continue down this road. The bailouts thus far to AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie, and TARP funds amount to around $1.5 trillion. Considering our GDP is $14 trillion, and our Federal budget is already $3 trillion, this additional amount will significantly eat into our future lifestyles. That amounts to an extra $5,000 that every person in the country needs to somehow produce just to keep up. It is obvious to most Americans that we need to reject corporate cronyism, and allow the natural regulations and incentives of the free market to pick the winners and losers in our economy, not the whims of bureaucrats and politicians.

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Ron Paul: End the Fed!

Saturday afternoon Ron Paul addressed a crowd of about 500 people in front of the Fed building in downtown Houston. They had come together for one of many End the Fed demonstrations throughout the country.

Here’s a partial transcript of Ron Paul’s speech (slightly edited for clarity):

“It is a great event, and I understand that there are a lot of events like this throughout the country. And this should be very significant. We won’t be on the evening tonight, I’m quite sure of that around the country. But we are on the evening news every single night, every single day, and we’re on the minds of the people every single day because there is a crisis in this country that is as bad as, if not worse than the crisis of the Depression of the 30s. That’s on endlessly [on TV], and we know who caused it. It was the Federal Reserve that gave us all this trouble.

Concern and interest about monetary policy comes and goes. When things are in the boom phase of a cycle, everybody loves it, and they ignore it and they don’t care because they’re getting a free ride. We’ve had an especially good free ride for decades now, because we’ve had a system that was devised where the dollar could act as if it were gold. This occurred since 1971 and it was absolutely beneficial to us because we were printing the world gold, in essence.

The rest of the world was willing to take our dollars. We knew they were building this huge financial bubble, and we knew it would come to an end, so now, the economic crisis is the top agenda in the whole country. Our job is to make sure the people come to the full realization and understanding of the relationship of who controls the money and why we have the economic crisis. That is what the job is of campaigns and organizations and rallies like this, so I complement you for coming and joining in and understanding this issue.

When the Bretton Woods agreement broke down on August 15th, 1971, it brought about loud cheers in the marketplace. Stock markets soared, Nixon closed the gold window, put on wage and price controls and he raised taxes.

The business community loved it, until a few days later they realized it was a disaster. The 1970s turned out to be terrible… inflation and recession. But it brought about a new economic system. And since that time we’ve been able to spend beyond our means, live beyond our means, print money beyond our means, and all live much better than we really had earned.

On the surface we had an appearance of great wealth. But it was doomed to fail, and that is what the announcement has been in this past year: the failure of the dollar reserve standard that was set up in August of 1971. It has ended.

The only question that is to be answered right now is, what is it going to be replaced with? And believe me, they’re working very hard to devise a new system, and they’re talking about an international fiat currency paper system with the loss of U.S. sovereignty in total. Our goal has to be not only to restore the integrity of our money and our dollar and our Constitution; we have to stop this move towards one world government and a one world currency!

Periodically, the money issue soars to the forefront. It’s there right now today, but there’s a lot of work and lot of danger because if we don’t win, we lose our liberties and we further lose our Constitution. At the time of the Constitutional Convention this was one of the key issues. It was a monetary issue. They had gone through runaway inflation with the Continental Dollar, so that is why the Founders knew and understood that they had to put prohibitions in the Constitution.

They said, no admitting of bills of credit, no paper money, only gold and silver is legal tender, and no authority for a central bank. And of course the hard money people won that argument. The Constitution was written in such a way that we knew that gold and silver were to be legal tender and that there would be no central bank.

But immediately after that the Federalists changed it all, established a National Bank. The big argument between the Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians started right of the bat because throughout all history there has always been a fight over who can control the money. So what we’re facing today is not brand new.

It is the power of government that wants to control the money [so] it can control the people. The freer the country, the more likely it is that you will have a sound currency with no national control of the currency whatsoever.

But, that didn’t last long. Of course we do know that when Jefferson had the chance to deal with the first National Bank, what did Jefferson do? He got rid of the National Bank… only for the Second National Bank to be established. Then along came another hard money man who said he didn’t like the bankers and he didn’t like government power designed and worked around the monetary issue.

So who came along to get rid of the Second National Bank? That was Andrew Jackson, and he got rid of it. But lo and behold, in 1913 the American people were complacent and the Congress was complicit in it went along and said, we have to have a National Bank once again, so the Federal Reserve System was set up. And so we’ve been struggling. We’ve been struggling since 1913. The dollar was linked to gold up until 1971. But the erosion continued, and now we’re seeing the erosion of our prosperity.

What we are now seeing, which is to our benefit, is the writing on the wall, and the end of this system that we have today. They cannot patch it up, they can’t up it back together again. They know it and we know it. The only argument is what is it going to be replaced with?

The other day Bernanke was before the Banking Committee, and I asked him explicitly, because he had just been in Europe, whether he had talked to the other central bankers. Had they any plan whatsoever for an international reserve currency? He said no. But you know, he’s on the side of the law, not the side of the Constitution, and the law is written that he has no obligation to tell us anything of what he does. Monetary policy, any kind of conversations with other central bankers, the law explicitly says that he does not have to reveal anything that he does.

So I pressed him a little bit further and said, does the subject gold ever come up? And he said no, and then he quickly corrected himself, because he really wanted to destroy the concept that might someday move in the direction of having a commodity standard. So he quickly said, oh yeah, it comes up when we talk about selling gold.

But what he’s saying there is very, very important. He he admitted that the central banks do get together, they do talk, and they do dump gold for a very precise reason. They do that to pretend that the dollar is still more valuable than it really is. In the 1960s up until ‘71 Nixon and the Republicans and Democrats alike, because the law said the dollar, after Bretton Woods was established in 1944, the dollar was as good as gold at 35 dollars an ounce.

So foreigners started coming in. They knew we had printed all this money, and they started sending the dollars back. And we had given away [a large quantity of] gold at 35 dollars an ounce. We were running out of gold because we had abused the system, and that’s why that had to come to and end.

But in a way they were giving away this gold at this artificially low price to try to prove the dollar was really strong. Well that broke down, and the dollar was devaluated, and we’ve had all the inflation that came.

But they’ve done this now in the last 10 or 15 years I’m convinced, because they do admit it. Central Banks in the West especially have been dumping gold to artificially lower the price of gold, in order to artificially pretend the dollar is of great value.

And they’re still doing it, but they’re running out of time and they’re running out of gold. The gold is getting into the hands of the economic powers who are stronger, and those are the ones who have been working hard, saving money, loaning the money back to us, and are ready to buy up America if we continue to do this.

The Asian banks are buying the gold the Europeans and the Americans and others are dumping gold, so the other nations, including Muslim nations, even before the Banking Committee I did point out to Bernanke that the Iranians had just bought 75 billion dollars worth of gold and put it in reserves.

So, it is a contest, there is no doubt, it is a contest between [fiat] money and hard money, and that is such an important issue. To me the money issue has been key.”

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Ron Paul Answers Questions

Ron Paul was recently interviewed by the New York Times’ Freakonomics Blog. The interview was published in two separate posts, Part 1 and Part 2.


Why Ron Paul didn’t run as a Libertarian or Independent

Q: Even before the primaries, you said you would not run in the general election. Why specifically did you not run?

A: I was running for the Republican nomination, and I would have run in the general if I had won. I had little interest in running third party due to the inherent biases against such efforts. I also signed legally binding agreements not run third party in 2008 if I failed to win the G.O.P. primary. That was the cost for ballot access in several states, 11 total I believe. So even I had wanted to, it would not have been possible to run in the general after I lost the primary.

Steps Ron Paul Would Immediately Take to Heal the Economy

Q: What would your plans for economic stimulation look like during this slumping economy?

A: [...] During the presidential campaign, I released the following four-point plan, and would stick by it while at the same time listening to experts for advice on how to improve it:

The Four-Point Plan

1) Tax Reform: Reduce the tax burden and eliminate taxes that punish investment and savings, including job-killing corporate taxes.

2) Spending Reform:
Eliminate wasteful spending. Reduce overseas commitments. Freeze all non-defense, non-entitlement spending at current levels.

3) Monetary Policy Reform: Expand openness at the Federal Reserve and require the Fed to televise its meetings. Return value to our money.

4) Regulatory Reform: Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley regulations that push companies to seek capital outside of U.S. markets. Stop restricting community banks from fostering local economic growth.

Additional Changes To Avoid Collapse And Institute Reforms

Q: Do you believe that it is possible to make positive incremental changes to our monetary policy, entitlements, taxes, etc. within the system, or is it just a matter of waiting for failure and then coming in with a solution?

A: Yes, I do believe we can make successful changes. And I want to start making those changes now so that we can avoid a devastating collapse. But we need to start quickly before it’s too late. If we can cut spending and balance budgets, beginning with our overseas expenditures, we can do a lot to fix this mess. We also need monetary reform. I would begin with the incremental step of repealing legal-tender laws and legalizing the use of gold and silver to act as a currency alongside the dollar. That would help stabilize the dollar and strengthen our monetary system.

Monetary Reform and Auditing the Fed

Q: What is the first thing the country should do about its monetary policy?

A: We should immediately audit the Federal Reserve. I am the ranking member of the Monetary Policy subcommittee in the U.S. Congress, yet I can get more information about the internal workings of the C.I.A. than I can about our central bank. This secrecy is fundamentally wrong, and I believe that people from all over the ideological political spectrum can agree on that.

Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy

Q: What role should the United States play on the world scene?

A: I believe we should treat everyone the same. We should be friends with all willing parties, talk and trade with everyone we can, have diplomacy, and travel. At the same time, we should not subsidize foreign governments with money or weapons; this comes back to hurt us more times than not. We should not have separate and different policies for Europeans or Latin America, Israelis or Palestinians. We should set a good example here at home and stay out of the internal affairs of other countries.

Ron Paul, The Reluctant Politician

Q: Will you run for a leadership position in the House Republican caucus?

A: I have no plans to do so. I don’t cut deals and trade votes, which is exactly what a role like that requires.

Ron Paul on Abolishing the Income Tax

Q: What are your thoughts on abolishing America’s income tax and switching over to a consumption tax such as the fair tax?

A: I want to abolish the income tax, but I don’t want to replace it with anything. About 45 percent of all federal revenue comes from the personal income tax. That means that about 55 percent — over half of all revenue — comes from other sources, like excise taxes, fees, and corporate taxes.

We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990’s. We don’t need to “replace” the income tax at all. I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax, and I would vote for the Fair-Tax if it came up in the House of Representatives, but it is not my goal. We can do better.

Ron Paul on Global Warming: Greenland was once green

Q: Do you deny global warming? Is Obama right to invest money in green technology? If you don’t deny it, and don’t think Obama is right, what is your solution?

A:[...] Clearly there is something afoot. The question is: Is the upward fluctuation in temperature man-made or part of a natural phenomenon. Geological records indicate that in the 12th century, Earth experienced a warming period during which Greenland was literally green and served as rich farmland for Nordic peoples. There was then a mini ice age, the polar ice caps grew, and the once-thriving population of Greenland was virtually wiped out.

It is clear that the earth experiences natural cycles in temperature. However, science shows that human activity probably does play a role in stimulating the current fluctuations.

The question is: how much? Rather than taking a “sky is falling” approach, I think there are common-sense steps we can take to cut emissions and preserve our environment. I am, after all, a conservative and seek to conserve not just American traditions and our Constitution, but our natural resources as well.

Ron Paul on the 2008 Presidential Campaign

Q: What do you think were your biggest mistakes in the primary race, and what would you now do differently?

A: I was always pessimistic and never thought we would get to where we did. My regret is that we couldn’t see how quickly things would grow and were not adequately prepared for the explosion in money and support when they came. There are dozens, hundreds of things we could have done better, but we all worked hard and did our best. And I know we built something that will only get stronger in the years to come.

(Emphasis added)

If you have any additional questions for Ron Paul, feel free to post them below and we will try to get an answer.

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Ron Paul questions Ben Bernanke about World Currency

Ron Paul questions Ben Bernanke about his secret meetings with other central bankers. What have they been talking about? Is the dollar finished and is there a new world currency on the agenda? What role is gold going to play, if any? Bernanke, while remaining evasive about the details of his meetings, denies the rumors and asserts that the dollar is not dead.

Ron Paul: The Austrian free market economists had predicted all these problems would come, and they were certainly correct in everything that they said. Of course they’re not very satisfied including myself with the so-called solutions, because it looks like we’re spending a lot of energy and a lot of money trying to patch a system together that is unworkable.

So we have Congress spending a lot of money, we have Treasury very much involved in trying to pick and choose which worthless asset that we’re going to buy, and of course the Federal Reserve is involved in injecting trillions of dollars that nobody seems to be keeping track of.

But what we’re failing to do I think is to recognize that the system no longer works, but I can understand why we do this because if Congress couldn’t do this and if the Fed couldn’t do this and Treasury couldn’t do this, it would make us all irrelevant. And instead of looking at the causes of this, and then finding the solutions aren’t going to be found here, we have to make ourselves feel pretty important.

But I think there’s another reason we think we’re pretty important, it’s because in a way our interference in the market corrections that tried to come about since 1971 seem to work. I mean, the failure was established in 1971 with a system that had no way of automatically correcting the balance of payment and the current account deficits.

And that’s where the problems have been, and economists - whether they were left or right or middle - over the last several decades have always said, this current account deficit is a big problem. And now it’s totally out of hand. So here we are struggling with all these rules and shifting back and forth and really getting nowhere.

My question is directed toward, when we come to the full realization that the system is unworkable, what are we going to do, what have you thought about doing, and already we see talk in the newspapers. We see articles about a new international world reserve currency, and to me that’s pretty important, because the fiat dollar reserve system is not going to work anymore, and that’s the information that we have to accept and decide what we’re going to do in the future.

Also, this is not new in history. Currencies have failed, financial systems have failed, and generally, to restore the confidence that everybody is talking about, they usually have to go back to a currency with integrity to it, rather than just fiat money.

And, you know, the stages is there. It’s not impossible, already the central banks of the world still own 15% of all the gold that was ever mined in all of history. So they hold on to this gold for some reason, and therefore something has to give, or are we going to keep trying to waste more money and time patching this system together.

Just last week there was a report that Iran purchased 75 billion dollars worth of gold, took their reserves out of Europe, bought gold and put it in Asia. So is that a sign of the times, is that moving on?

My question is, in your meetings, and you had a meeting just recently with other central bankers, does this thought come up about a new international world reserve currency, and if so, does the subject of gold ever come up?

How do you restore the confidence? Have you recently had conversations with any central banker, and is there a move on to replace the dollar system, because the dollar system is essentially declared dead, because it’s not working, but this indeed was predictable because of these tremendous imbalances that were never allowed to be corrected, and they were always patched up. We always came in. We’d spend, we’d inflate, we would run up deficits, and since ‘71 we’ve been able to correct these problems.

Could you tell me what kind of conversations you’ve had regarding a new reserve currency?

Ben Bernanke: Yes, Congressman. I don’t think the dollar system is dead. I think the dollar remains the premier international currency. We’ve seen a good deal of appreciation in the dollar recently during the crisis precicely because there’s been a lot of interest in the safe haven and the liquidity of dollar markets.

And the Federal Reserve has been engaged in swap agreements to make sure there’s enough dollar liquidity in other countries because the need for dollars is so strong. So I think the dollar system remains quite strong.

I do agree with you very much on one point, which is about the current accounts. The current account imbalances have proved to a very serious problem. It was in fact the large capital inflows in those current accounts which created a lot of the financial imbalances we saw and have led to some of the problems we are seeing, and one of the silver linings in this huge grey cloud is that we’re seeing some improvement and greater balance in our current account deficits.

Ron Paul: But does the subject of a new regime ever come up?

Ben Bernanke: No, it doesn’t.

Ron Paul: And does the subject of gold ever come up in any of your conversations?

Ben Bernanke: Only in terms of the sales that the central banks are planning.

Ron Paul later released the following comments:

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