Ron Paul, American Hero; His Farewell Speech to Congress; Mish Reflections On Why the Country is Broke
On Wednesday, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) delivered a 48-minute farewell address on the House floor after serving 30 years in Congress. His farewell speech is arguably the best in his career.
Time permitting, I strongly encourage everyone to play the video or at least read the full and complete text. For now ...
Here are a few highlights.
Note: For ease in reading, I dispense with my normal blockquotes (indentation) .
The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.
If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.
In the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be "progressive" ideas. They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.
We Need an Intellectual Awakening. Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.
If it's not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.
Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.
The immoral use of force is the source of man's political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned--or especially when well-intentioned--the results are dismal.
We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.
Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.
The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can't even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books--they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system--especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don't understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.
The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, "enough is enough," and demand Congress cease and desist.
It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: "destroying a village to save a village" was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was "worth it" to achieve the "good" we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.
Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:
- Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
- Why can't Americans manufacture rope and other products from hemp?
- Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
- Why do our political leaders believe it's unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
- Why can't Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
- Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
- Why should there be mandatory sentences--even up to life for crimes without victims--as our drug laws require?
- Why haven't we given up on the drug war since it's an obvious failure and violates the people's rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can't even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
- Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world -the one between Mexico and the US?
- Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
- Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
- Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
- Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
- Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
- Why can't people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
- Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a "kill list," including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
- Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it's wrong.
- Why is it is claimed that if people won't or can't take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
- Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
- Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren't they the same?
- Why don't more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
- Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world's great religions.
- Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
- Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there's such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.
1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.
2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of "blow-back" is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.
3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.
4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.
5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.
I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out "the plain truth of things." The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.
If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.
End Paul - Start Mish
It sounds so logical, doesn't it? So why are we in this mess?
The answer is we nominate clowns like Mitt Romney and President Obama and the vast majority of people choose between Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee based on some sense of morality or perhaps some kind of handout .
The pro-life hypocrites were willing to vote from Mitt Romney who is hell bent on starting a war with Iran in spite of obvious failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, in spite of the fact that war kills real living people.
As Paul said, "500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s died, as a result of American bombs and sanctions." Supposedly it was "worth it" for the greater "good". It was so "worth it" that we did it a second time, and lied to do it.
Congressional lemmings supported the war en masse. Paul didn't. Neither did I, and I am proud of it.
Question of the Day
If Republicans are not in favor of deficit spending and Democrats are not either, then how the Hell do we have trillion dollar deficits?
The answer is vast majority of politicians are liars, with no backbone to stand up and tell the truth to US citizens: "the country is broke".
We cannot afford wars. We cannot afford to keep troops in 140 countries. We cannot afford to be the world's policeman.
We also cannot afford Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage laws. We cannot afford the pension promises we have made. We cannot afford collective bargaining of public unions. We cannot afford all kinds of entitlements that have been promised.
How Does It Happen?
We have all of these things because corrupt politicians buy votes of constituents who want to hear the lie that we can afford those things. In the end, that's what it's really all about.
The unions, the warmongers, the banks, and all the other special interest groups buy votes of corrupt politicians every step of the way. The "compromise" in Congress is Republican get their wars and Democrats get fiscally unsound social programs.
In the meantime, government grows bigger and bigger and bigger. And the Fed (and Congress) repeatedly bail out the banks and the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
For more on the Fed, please see ...
- Ben Bernanke: Inflationist Jackass, Devoid of Common Sense, and Clueless About Trade, Debt, History, and Gold
- Hello Ben Bernanke, Meet "Stephanie"
Click on those links and you will have no problems answering the question "Why is the middle class is shrinking?"
The short answer is inflation benefits those with first access to money (namely the banks, the already wealthy, and the politicians). So does tax policy, favoritism, and special interest legislation.
A day of fiscal reckoning is coming over such economic insanity. From where I sit the sooner the better.