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Public Statements

Mistakes: Just A Few!

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, in the last few years in interviews on the economy, I've been asked what I would do if I were in charge. In answering the question, I usually started with explaining the errors we made that gave us the crisis. The interviewer frequently responded by saying that he wasn't interested in the cause of the problems, only what we should do now to correct it. This is a typical attitude in Washington, but we cannot expect correct policies to be implemented if we don't understand the cause of the crisis. Instead, we have pursued all the wrong policies. Let me list a few mistakes we have made.

We have failed to recognize the true cause of the crisis. Instead, free markets and not enough regulations and central economic planning have been blamed.

We continue to listen to and give too much credibility to the very people who caused the crisis and failed to predict the onset.

A massive single-year debt increase of $2 trillion and a $9 trillion stimulus by Congress and the Federal Reserve verges on madness.

This has entailed taxpayers being forced to buy worthless assets, propping up malinvestments, not allowing the liquidation of bad debt, bailing out privileged banking, Wall Street and corporate elites. We promote artificially low interest rates which eliminates information that only the market can provide. Steadily sacrificing economic and personal liberty is accepted as good policy. Socializing American industry offers little hope that prosperity will soon return.

Inflating the money supply over 100 percent in less than a year is no way to restore confidence to a failing financial system. Expect huge price increases in the future.

We have set the stage for further expanding the money supply many folds over through fractional reserve banking.

We deliberately liquidate debt, especially government debt, by debasing the currency. We refuse to accept the fact that the debt cannot be paid, and future obligations are incomprehensible with revenues crashing and unpredictable while expenditures are put on auto pilot with no new request being denied.

There's an attitude that the deficit and inflation can be dealt with later on, yet tomorrow will be here sooner than later.

Plans are being laid for a super regulator, even if it takes a worldwide government organization like the IMF to impose it.

Promising the IMF $100 billion when we can't even take care of our own people's medical needs is obviously absurd.

Plans are laid to massively increase taxes, especially with the carbon tax, that when tried in other countries didn't work and had many unintended consequences.

A national sales tax, now being planned, sends bad signals to investors, consumers and workers.

The deeply flawed neoconservative foreign policy of expanding our militarism in the Middle East and Central Asia continues.

There's no end in sight for secret prisons, special courts, ignoring the right of habeas corpus, no penalties for carrying out illegal torture and a new system of preventive detention. We continue to protect the concepts of state secrets and Presidential signing statements. We are enlarging Bagram prison in Afghanistan, and there's no cessation of the senseless war on drugs.

Indeed, as former Vice President Dick Cheney has said, we're in greater danger today than under the Bush administration; but it's not because we're not following the Cheney-Bush foreign policy of preventive war, but rather because we are. The Bush doctrine on war is still in place, and the economic failures of the previous administration are being continued and expanded.

The policies required to provide a solution to this catastrophic crisis we face are available. We must apply a precise philosophy of liberty along with respect for private property ownership, free markets, voluntary contracts enforced by law and free minds.

Also required is the adoption of a commonsense foreign policy that requires us to stay out of the internal affairs of other nations.

Pretending that politicians, central bankers and regulators have the knowledge to centrally plan the economy and police the world only makes things worse. Realizing this provides the necessary first step to salvage our economy and liberty.


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