MSNBC "The Ed Show" Interview With Rep Ron Paul
Interviewer: Ed Schultz
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MR. SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "The Ed Show" and our first edition -- I guess you could call it "Psycho Talk Playback." Last Friday I put Congressman Ron Paul in "Psycho Talk." Take a look.
(Begin videotaped segment.)
MR. SCHULTZ: In tonight's "Psycho Talk," we've got an elected official. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas brings back an old favorite talking point. "Now, if we really want to save money in this country, you've got to cut out the deficit, right?" Well, you should abolish a few departments is what he's talking about. Why not? Ron Paul said it today on "Morning Joe."
REP. PAUL: I'd like to get rid of the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture. Just go down the list. Get rid of it. Cut the budget in half -- everything that's not constitutional. That's a good place to start.
(End videotaped segment.)
MR. SCHULTZ: Now, my feeling on this -- localized government made sense for the Founding Fathers 230 years ago when it took three weeks to travel from Boston to Philadelphia. Today we live in a much different world.
Now, I think all American kids deserve a good shot at a good education, regardless of where they live. The Department of Education plays a role in that. And as for the Department of Agriculture, you know, I don't grow my own food and you probably don't either, but I'm kind of glad that the government is making sure it's safe before it shows up on my plate.
Congressman Ron Paul has just got a different view to all of this.
Congressman, in the spirit of sportsmanship, glad to have you with us here tonight on "The Ed Show."
REP. PAUL: Well, thank you.
What I don't understand is why you don't care about the Constitution. You know, we're only supposed to do those things authorized in the Constitution. So if I say, "Let's defend the Constitution and cut out all unconstitutional spending," you can't jump on me for that. But besides, you misreported that, because on top of the list and what I was mainly talking about in that interview was cutting spending overseas. I would suspect maybe you would agree with some of that.
MR. SCHULTZ: Oh, I --
REP. PAUL: I say spend -- wait. I said cut $500 billion from overseas war-mongering and never cut domestic programs until we get our house in order. So you didn't report that kind of position, which I said entirely throughout the whole campaign that I was not going to attack any domestic programs. But when I'm asked what would I cut, I would.
The Department of Education should be cut. It's unconstitutional. It's inefficient. We've spent nearly $2 trillion on the Department of Education, and people aren't doing that well. And right now in Washington, the city of Washington, we spend $25,000 per student and they're not doing all that well.
We can spend $400 or $500 on a home schooler in Texas -- not that I believe everybody should be home schooled -- but in comparison, they spend $400 or $500 and they almost all go to college, and there are no guns and no drugs. I mean, we have to come down to a (sense ?) -- to defend the educational system, even when it's unconstitutional, doesn't make much sense to me.
MR. SCHULTZ: All right, Congressman Paul, let's get to my reporting. Did you or did you not say that you want to eliminate the Department of Agriculture? Is that true?
REP. PAUL: Yeah, I do. And I still --
MR. SCHULTZ: Okay, you do. Well, that's the key point right here, because --
REP. PAUL: (Inaudible.)
MR. SCHULTZ: -- this deals with food security. This ideals with a -- (inaudible) -- food policy. So you want to -- and also with disasters, the school lunch program for poor people, across the board. You want to get rid of all of that.
REP. PAUL: Well, it really hasn't served well. Most of the subsidy --
MR. SCHULTZ: Well, no, but you want to get rid of that. That's the key point here.
REP. PAUL: Wait a minute.
MR. SCHULTZ: Congressman, you say that you want to get rid of things that Americans absolutely rely on.
REP. PAUL: Because it's unconstitutional. There's no authority for it. But let me tell you the practical reason is it subsidizes corporate farmers, not the little farmers. Seventy-eight percent of all the subsidies go to corporations. It raises the cost of food to the average person.
Just think, for over 100 years, who did they protect? The tobacco farmers. So you're defending the tobacco farmers --
MR. SCHULTZ: No, I'm not --
REP. PAUL: Sure, you are.
MR. SCHULTZ: Look, I'm not saying that there's not mistakes in the Ag Department, but I do know --
REP. PAUL: (Laughs.) That's right.
MR. SCHULTZ: -- that the checks and balances when it comes to good food on our table is something that we've got to have. What about food security in this country? We've had some issues with food security. The Department of Agriculture is the department that oversees all of that. How can you be for stripping that away? And you say it's not constitutional. The vote of the people -- this goes back to Abraham Lincoln.
REP. PAUL: You're right. (Laughs.
MR. SCHULTZ: You want to strip out a department that goes all the way back to Abraham Lincoln? Was he a socialist too?
REP. PAUL: No, but he didn't believe in the republic as we do, because he wanted to nationalize everything. And that is true. It started in 1862. So it wasn't authorized originally.
MR. SCHULTZ: So you get rid of it. So you're saying that the Ag Department today plays no function in our government of any meaningful source at all and we should just get rid of it.
REP. PAUL: No, I didn't say that.
MR. SCHULTZ: Yes, you did say it. You did say that, Congressman.
REP. PAUL: No, no, no. You put words in --
MR. SCHULTZ: You said that on "Morning Joe."
REP. PAUL: Hey, look, Ed --
MR. SCHULTZ: You said that you wanted to get rid of the Ag Department --
REP. PAUL: Do you want to interview me or not?
MR. SCHULTZ: (Laughs.)
REP. PAUL: Do you want to interview me?
MR. SCHULTZ: No, I've interviewed you. I've given you all I need to hear. Respectfully, Congressman, you're in the "Psycho Talk" zone because you want to get rid of something that provides security to this country, and that's food security.
I appreciate your time tonight. Good to have you with us.
REP. PAUL: Well, Ed, I think the "psycho" term is misplaced.
MR. SCHULTZ: Okay.
REP. PAUL: And it may be a reversal of that term because of the rant that I just heard. (Laughs.)
MR. SCHULTZ: (Laughs.) Well, mine -- I'm accurate.
REP. PAUL: You get paid for that.
MR. SCHULTZ: I'm accurate, Congressman.
REP. PAUL: You get paid for that.
MR. SCHULTZ: I'm with the American people. They want an Ag Department. I understand that we've got to trim government. But to arbitrarily completely get rid of the Ag Department -- I'm sorry, that is so way off-base --
REP. PAUL: Well, what you're refusing to admit is the priorities, and that's (what counts ?).
MR. SCHULTZ: The priorities is what the people want, Congressman.
REP. PAUL: And you're refusing to admit -- you're refusing to admit --
MR. SCHULTZ: The priorities is what the people want.
REP. PAUL: You're refusing to admit --
MR. SCHULTZ: They want public education and they want the Department of Agriculture.
REP. PAUL: You're refusing to admit that you don't give a darn about our Constitution. Pretty soon they're going to be going to war without a declaration.
MR. SCHULTZ: No, I do care about the Constitution. No, I do care about the Constitution.
REP. PAUL: Pretty soon they will.
MR. SCHULTZ: I care about -- (inaudible) -- and the people that voted for this.
REP. PAUL: They're going to be torturing people and they're going to be spying on you, against the Fourth Amendment. You'd better have respect for the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution and not be so careless with our rights and the rule of law.
MR. SCHULTZ: All right, Congressman, you're a good sport. We've got to have you back. And the next time you're back, we will talk about the Fourth Amendment.
REP. PAUL: Well, will you be friendly?
MR. SCHULTZ: I'm friendly right now. I just disagree with you.
REP. PAUL: You used to be friendlier on the radio.
MR. SCHULTZ: I'm friendly --
REP. PAUL: I mean, when you get a big audience, it's going to your head.
MR. SCHULTZ: Congressman, I like you. You're a great guy. But we're not going to get rid of the Department of Agriculture.
REP. PAUL: Who said we were?
MR. SCHULTZ: What about your state of Texas, where they've had all those droughts out there and those ranchers? Are you going to throw them under the bus? Come on, now, Ron. (You're better than that ?).
REP. PAUL: The only ones that would lose any money are the very wealthy corporate farmers.
MR. SCHULTZ: All right.
REP. PAUL: Well, you'll come around. You believe in the Constitution when you want to.
MR. SCHULTZ: All right, I do believe in the Constitution, but I also believe in the Department of Agriculture.
REP. PAUL: (Inaudible.)
MR. SCHULTZ: It's great to have you with us tonight.
REP. PAUL: There you go, whatever you want.
MR. SCHULTZ: All right, thank you, Congressman. I appreciate your time. And I do. And I do.
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