America's Treasury Is Bare

Floor Speech

By:  Ron Paul
Date: May 14, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, today we passed the supplemental bill. And I'm deeply disappointed about that. I was disappointed also that I wasn't able to get any time to enter into the debate because the time was rather limited and it was a closed rule. But I did want to make a couple of comments and the concerns that I have had about this supplemental.

When the President sent the supplemental over, it was $84.9 billion. And there were some of us that were hoping that we wouldn't be funding the war through supplementals, but it looks like that hasn't changed, the process would continue, even though there were some that believed there would be a change in the way we funded these wars. When that bill came to the House, there was a lot of expression about concern about spending too much money. But by the time it got to the floor, it was $96.7 billion. And things were added, for instance, $2 billion for the flu epidemic that didn't occur, but still, we are going to spend $2 billion trying to figure out whether we are ever going to have an epidemic.

It was very disappointing that even though it was a closed rule, the minority had one chance to do something about it and maybe reduce some of the spending. But lo and behold, when that amendment was offered, it was offered to increase the spending by $2.9 billion. There was a lot of expression of the outcry about this spending and the deficits we have and the deficits exploding and the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid underfunded, and we are in the midst of a crisis. But it doesn't seem to bother anybody about spending. But the truth is, the Treasury is bare. The Treasury is empty. And yet we continue to spend all this money.

So where do they think they are going to get this money? Well, we can't tax the people any more. The people are broke. And yet still we resort to more borrowing and more printing of money which will not last forever. It will eventually come to an end. And I think that is what we are witnessing.

This process bothers me a whole lot that we come to the floor with the supplementals. We rush them through. We talk about this excessive spending. And lo and behold, when we finally vote, we get a total of 60 people who would say, Enough is enough. And besides, what are we doing? Where are we spending this money? I thought we were supposed to, with this change in administration, that we would be fighting less wars. But no. The war in Iraq continues. We expand the war in Afghanistan. We spread the war into Pakistan. And we always have on the table the potential danger of Iran.

So when will it ever end? We can't even define the enemy. Who exactly is the enemy over there? Is it the al Qaeda? The Taliban? Is it the Government of Pakistan? If you can't define the enemy, how do you know when the war is over? If we are in war, which we are, how can this be anything other than war? When was this war declared? Oh, well, we got this authority 5 or 10 years ago. Who knows when? Perpetual war. This is what we are involved with. Perpetual spending. And then we say, well, we have to do that to be safe. That is what is preposterous. It is the very policy that makes us unsafe. We pursue this policy, and the more we do, the less safe we are. There is a big argument now about whether we are safer now with the new administration or is it making us less safe?

The truth is the policies of the last 10, 15, 20 years have made us less safe. And as long as we occupy countries, as long as we kill other people and civilians are being killed, we are going to build enemies. And as long as we are known throughout the world that we torture people, we will incite people to hate us and want to come here to kill us. So we aren't more safe. We are less safe by this foreign policy. And some day we have to wise up, change our ways and not be the policeman of the world, not to pretend that we can be the nation builder of the world, swear off and make sure we don't torture, because you don't get worthwhile information from torture. All it does is incite people against us. And the occupations can never be of any benefit to us.

What about the financial calamity that is coming? I'm afraid this is the way this will end, through another financial crisis much bigger than the one we currently have, because you can't create $2 trillion of new money every year and expect this system to continue.

The Soviet system collapsed because they couldn't afford it. Their economic system was a total failure. We did not have to fight the Soviets. Even though they were a nuclear power, they collapsed and disintegrated. And that is what we have to be concerned about, because we cannot continue to finance this system and pursue a policy which endangers us.

So if we care about the American people and care about our liberties and care about our Constitution, we ought to look seriously at our foreign policy and not continue to pursue the supplemental appropriations where we continue to spend money that we don't have.