Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul (born 20 August 1935) is an American politican and physician from Lake Jackson, Texas. He was a U.S. Representative from Texas from 1979 to 1985 and again from 1997 to 2013. He ran for president in 1988 (as a Libertarian), 2008 and 2012.
- 1 Freedom
- 2 Racism
- 3 Separation of Church and State
- 4 Big Government and the Police State
- 5 Wars and Interventionism
- 6 The Drug War
- 7 Economics
- 8 Campaign Finance
- 9 Health Care
- 10 Science
- 11 Abortion
- 12 Marriage
- 13 Immigration
- 14 Disputed
- 15 Quotes about Paul
- 16 External links
- We have depended on government for so much for so long that we as people have become less vigilant of our liberties. As long as the government provides largesse for the majority, the special interest lobbyists will succeed in continuing the redistribution of welfare programs that occupies most of Congress's legislative time.
- Speech in the House of Representatives, September 17, 1997
- In the free society envisioned by the founders, schools are held accountable to parents, not federal bureaucrats.
- Statement on the Congressional Education Plan, May 23, 2001 
- There is but one special interest that we should be working for, and that would solve just about all of our problems, and that is our liberty.
- Values in a free society are accepted voluntarily, not through coercion, and certainly not by law... every time we write a law to control private behavior, we imply that somebody has to arrive with a gun, because if you desecrate the flag, you have to punish that person. So how do you do that? You send an agent of the government, perhaps an employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Flags, to arrest him. This is in many ways patriotism with a gun – if your actions do not fit the official definition of a "patriot," we will send somebody to arrest you.
- The Flag Burning Amendment, 3 June 2003
- Liberty once again must become more important to us than the desire for security and material comfort. Personal safety and economic prosperity can only come as the consequence of liberty. They cannot be provided by an authoritarian government... The foundation for a police state has been put in place, and it's urgent we mobilize resistance before it's too late... Central planning is intellectually bankrupt – and it has bankrupted our country and undermined our moral principles. Respect for individual liberty and dignity is the only answer to government force, force that serves the politically and economically powerful. Our planners and rulers are not geniuses, but rather demagogues and would-be dictators -- always performing their tasks with a cover of humanitarian rhetoric... The collapse of the Soviet system came swiftly and dramatically, without a bloody conflict... It came as no surprise, however, to the devotees of freedom who have understood for decades that socialism was doomed to fail... And so too will the welfare/warfare state fail... A free society is based on the key principle that the government, the president, the Congress, the courts, and the bureaucrats are incapable of knowing what is best for each and every one of us... A government as a referee is proper, but a government that uses arbitrary force to direct every aspect of society threatens freedom... The time has come for a modern approach to achieving those values that all civilized societies seek. Only in a free society do individuals have the best chance to seek virtue, strive for excellence, improve their economic well-being, and achieve personal happiness... The worthy goals of civilization can only be achieved by freedom loving individuals. When government uses force, liberty is sacrificed and the goals are lost. It is freedom that is the source of all creative energy. If I am to be your president, these are the goals I would seek. I reject the notion that we need a president to run our lives, plan the economy, or police the world... It is much more important to protect individual liberty and privacy than to make government even more secretive and powerful.
- How can I run for office and say I want to be a weak president? We need a strong president, strong enough to resist the temptation of taking power the President shouldn’t have.
- New Hampshire Liberty Forum, February 25, 2007 
- Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons.
- Security and Liberty, April 23, 2007 
- Because federal hate crime laws criminalize thoughts, they are incompatible with a free society.
- Unconstitutional Legislation Threatens Freedoms, May 7, 2007 
- The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power. The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility, and out of self interest -- for himself, his family, and the future of his country -- to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state. [...] Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is required. Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love the power of the welfare/warfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring. Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security. Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.
- The most important element of a free society, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence. All initiation of force is a violation of someone else's rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it's supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals. Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense.
- Freedom Under Siege, 1987 
- Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.
- As quoted in "Government and Racism" (18 April 2007).
- The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
- As quoted in "Government and Racism" (18 April 2007).
- I’m not a racist. As a matter of fact, Rosa Parks is one of my heroes, Martin Luther King is a hero — because they practiced the libertarian principle of civil disobedience, nonviolence.
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
- Government and Racism (16 April 2007).
- I would like to believe that if we had a freer society, it would take care of blacks and whites and everybody equally because we're all individuals. To me, that is so important. But if we had equal justice under the law, I think it would be a big improvement. If we had probably a repeal of most of the federal laws on drugs and the unfairness on how blacks are treated with these drugs laws, it would be a tremendous improvement.
- A system designed to protect individual liberty will have no punishments for any group and no privileges. Today, I think inner-city folks and minorities are punished unfairly in the war on drugs.
For instance, blacks make up 14% of those who use drugs, yet 36 percent of those arrested are Blacks and it ends up that 63% of those who finally end up in prison are Blacks. This has to change.
We don’t have to have more courts and more prisons. We need to repeal the whole war on drugs. It isn’t working. We have already spent over $400 billion since the early 1970s, and it is wasted money. Prohibition didn’t work. Prohibition on drugs doesn’t work. So we need to come to our senses. And, absolutely, it’s a disease. We don’t treat alcoholics like this. This is a disease, and we should orient ourselves to this. That is one way you could have equal justice under the law.
- GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University, September 27, 2007
- But no, I just don't think with the scientific evidence now -- I think I read an article yesterday on the death penalty, and 68 percent of the time they make mistakes. And it’s so racist, too. I think more than half the people getting the death penalty are poor blacks. This is the one place, the one remnant of racism in our country is in the court system, enforcing the drug laws and enforcing the death penalty. I don’t even know, but I wonder how many of those, how many have been executed? Over 200, I wonder how many were minorities? You know, if you're rich, you usually don't meet the death penalty.
- Interview with the Concord Monitor Editorial Board, August 18, 2011
- Paul: I didn't write them, I disavow them...
Q: So you read them, but didn't do anything.
Paul: I never read that stuff. I was probably aware of it ten years after it was written...it's going on twenty years that people have pestered me about this.
Q: Well, wouldn't you say it's a legitimate question?
Paul: When you get the answer, it's legitimate that you sorta take the answer I give. You know what the answer is? "I didn't write them, I didn't read them at the time, and I disavow them."
Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society... Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business's workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judge's defined body of potential employees... Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife... Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
- "The Trouble With the '64 Civil Rights Act", LewRockwell.com, 3 June 2004
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society.
- 2004-07-03 speech to Congress opposing House resolution celebrating 40th anniversary of Civil Rights Act, quoted in "Civil Rights Act", RonPaul.com
- Chris Matthews: Let me ask you this: the '64 civil rights bill. Do you think a [em]ployer, a guy runs his shop down in Texas has a right to say, "If you're black, you don't come in my store". That was the libertarian right before '64. Was it the balanced society?
Ron Paul: I believe that property rights should be protected. Your right to be on TV is protected by property rights because somebody owns that station. I can't walk into your station. So right of freedom of speech is protected by property. The right of your church is protected by property. So people should honor and protect it. This gimmick, Chris, it's off the wall when you say I'm for property rights and states' rights, therefore I'm a racist. I mean that's just outlandish. Wait, Chris. Wait, Chris. People who say that if the law was there and you could do that, who's going to do it? What idiot would do that?
Chris Matthews: Everybody in the South. I saw these signs driving through the South in college. Of course they did it. You remember them doing it.
Ron Paul: Yeah, I but also know that the Jim Crow laws were illegal and we got rid of them under that same law, and that's all good. Government —
Chris Matthews: But you would've voted against that law.
Ron Paul: Pardon me?
Chris Matthews: You would've voted against that law. You wouldn't have voted for the '64 civil rights bill.
Ron Paul: Yes, but not in — I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.
Chris Matthews: But you would have voted for the — you know you — oh, come on. Honestly, Congressman, you were not for the '64 civil rights bill.
Ron Paul: Because — because of the property rights element, not because it got rid of the Jim Crow law.
- Chris Matthews: Let me ask you this: I once went to Laundromat when I was at a Peace Corps training in Baker, Louisiana. A Laundromat had this sign on in glaze: "Whites only on the Laundromat", just to use the Laundromat machines. This was a local shop saying no blacks allowed. You say that should be legal?
Ron Paul: That's — that's ancient history. That's ancient history. That's over and done with.
- Hardball, MSNBC, 3 May 2011 , quoted in "Ron Paul on Hardball", RonPaul.com
Separation of Church and State
- The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.
- The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders' political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs.
- "The War on Religion", LewRockwell.com, 30 December 2003
Big Government and the Police State
- The federal government has no right to treat all Americans as criminals by spying on their relationship with their doctors, employers, or bankers.
- Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, May 18, 2000 
- America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist.
- Freedom vs. Security: A False Choice, 31 May 2004
- Aaron Russo: Do you think America is going deeper and deeper into becoming a police state?
Ron Paul: Yeah, I think we're moving in that direction, because there's not much we can do without permission. The absence of a police state is that people are free, and if you don't commit crimes you can do what you want. But today, you can't open up a business, you can't develop land, you can't go to the bank, you can't go to the doctor without the government knowing what you're doing. They talk about medical privacy, that's gone. Financial privacy, that's gone. The right to own property, that's essentially gone. So you have to get permission from the government for almost everything. And if that is the definition of a police state, that you can't do anything unless the government gives you permission, we're well on our way. This is something that people eventually, I hope, will get sick and tired of, and say enough is enough.
- Certainly the Patriot Act would have never been passed, because it wasn't available to us... It was almost 400 pages long, and became available less than an hour before it was debated on the House floor... The congressmembers were intimidated, "if I do nothing, my people gonna be mad, because they want us to do something". And the people are frightened. When they are frightened, they are much more willing to give us their liberties. But giving up their liberties won't make them safer, that's the real sad part of it.
- This essential principle of our Constitutional Republic is being ridden roughshod over by imperial Washington, which bullies local governments into accepting its illegal and unconstitutional policies.
- Interview by Joseph Murtagh, June 28, 2007 
- I don't even like big government in Washington, let alone having super government over our federal government, such as a North American Union, or the United Nations, or any of these organizations. It just means more government and more attack on individual sovereignty, which is the real issue.
- TV Special for Iowa, December 2007 
- I am convinced that there are more threats to American liberty within the 10 mile radius of my office on Capitol Hill than there are on the rest of the globe.
- Texas Straight Talk: On Reinstating the Draft, February 16, 2009 
- A government out of control, unstrained by the constitution, the rule of law or morality. Bickering over petty politics as we descend into chaos. The philosophy that destroys us is not even defined. We have broken from reality a psychotic nation. Ignorance with a pretence of knowledge replacing wisdom... We are now in the midst of unlimited spending of the people’s money. Exorbitant taxation, deficits of trillions of dollars spent on a failed welfare-warfare system. An epidemic of cronyism. Unlimited supplies of paper money equated with wealth. A central bank that deliberately destroys the value of the currency in secrecy, without restraint, without nary a whimper, yet cheered on by the pseudo-capitalists of Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and Detroit. We police our world empire with troops on 700 bases and in 130 countries around the world. A dangerous war now spreads throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Thousands of innocent people being killed as we become known as the torturers of the 21st century. We assume that by keeping the already known torture pictures from the public’s eye, we will be remembered only as a generous and good people. If our enemies want to attack us only because we are free and rich, proof of torture would be irrelevant... We need to quickly refresh our memories and once again reinvigorate our love, understanding and confidence in liberty... We must escape from the madness of crowds now gathering.
- Is this reality or just a bad dream?, May 19, 2009 
- We go about the world, fighting to spread democracy and tell them how to live, but we really don't have a democratic system... The laws have been made to make it very difficult, because the Republicans and the Democrats aren't looking for the competition, they want to monopolize it. So in many ways, we are less democratic than some other systems, where they have multiple parties, and more people represented than they're able to be represented here.
Wars and Interventionism
- War is not popular. It may seem popular in the short run, when there appears to be an immediate victory and everyone is gloating but war is not popular.War is not popular. People get killed, and body bags end up coming back. War is very unpopular, and it is not the politically smart thing to do.
- "A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship" Paul Ron (page 206)
- It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example.
- "I advocate the same foreign policy the Founding Fathers would", open letter to the Union Leader , Union Leader (2007)
- The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.
- Freedom Under Siege, 1987 
- [The draft] should be called slavery, involuntary servitude.
Howard Phillips: It violates the 13th amendment, which prohibits involuntary servitude.
Ron Paul: Yeah, and the argument that I've always resented the most was, if you're 18 year old you owe it to your country. I've always wondered why the guy who's 58 and had a million bucks and hadn't served, why doesn't he owe more to this country, maybe he should be on the frontline. 18 year old didn't get anything yet, and he has to go and risk his life.
- Our foolish policy in Iraq invites terrorist attacks against U.S. territory and incites the Islamic fundamentalists against us.
- U.S. House of Representatives, February 2, 1999 
- ...a few years back, in the 1980s, in our efforts to bring peace and democracy to the world we assisted the freedom fighters of Afghanistan, and in our infinite wisdom we gave money, technology and training to Bin Laden, and now, this very year, we have declared that Bin Laden was responsible for the bombing in Africa. So what is our response, because we allow our President to pursue war too easily? What was the President's response? Some even say that it might have been for other reasons than for national security reasons. So he goes off and bombs Afghanistan, and he goes off and bombs Sudan, and now the record shows that very likely the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan was precisely that, a pharmaceutical plant... As my colleagues know, at the end of this bill I think we get a hint as to why we do not go to Rwanda for humanitarian reasons... I think it has something to do with money, and I think it has something to do with oil... they are asking to set up and check into the funds that Saddam Hussein owes to the west. Who is owed? They do not owe me any money. But I will bet my colleagues there is a lot of banks in New York who are owed a lot of money, and this is one of the goals...
Dana Rohrabacher: This resolution is exactly the right formula... Support democracy. Oppose tyranny. Oppose aggression and repression... We should strengthen the victims so they can defend themselves. These things are totally consistent with America's philosophy, and it is a pragmatic approach as well... Our support for the Mujahedin collapsed the Soviet Union. Yes, there was a price to pay, because after the Soviet Union collapsed, we walked away, and we did not support those elements in the Mujahedin who were somewhat in favor of the freedom and western values. With those people who oppose this effort of pro democracy foreign policy, a pro freedom foreign policy rather than isolation foreign policy, they would have had us stay out of that war in Afghanistan. They would never have had us confronting Soviet aggression in different parts of the world... Mr. Speaker, the gentleman does not think it is proper for us to offer those people who are struggling for freedoms in Iraq against their dictatorship a helping hand?
Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I think it would be absolutely proper to do that, as long as it came out of the gentleman's wallet and we did not extract it from somebody in this country, a taxpayer at the point of a gun and say, look, bin Laden is a great guy. I want more of your money. That is what we did in the 1980s. That is what the Congress did. They went to the taxpayers, they put a gun to their head, and said, you pay up, because we think bin Laden is a freedom fighter.
Dana Rohrabacher: Well, if the gentleman will further yield, it was just not handled correctly.
Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, again reclaiming my time, the policy is flawed. The policy is flawed.
- When one person can initiate war, by its definition, a republic no longer exists.
- War power authority should be returned to Congress, March. 9, 1999 
- Demanding domestic security in times of war invites carelessness in preserving civil liberties and the right of privacy. Frequently the people are only too anxious for their freedoms to be sacrificed on the altar of authoritarianism thought to be necessary to remain safe and secure. Nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willingly give up some of our cherished liberties while defending ourselves from their threat.
- U.S. House of Representatives, September 12, 2001 
- If we can't or won't define the enemy, the cost to fight such a war will be endless. How many American troops are we prepared to lose? How much money are we prepared to spend? How many innocent civilians, in our nation and others, are we willing to see killed? How many American civilians will we jeopardize? How much of our civil liberties are we prepared to give up? How much prosperity will we sacrifice? [...] I support President Bush and voted for the authority and the money to carry out his responsibility to defend this country, but the degree of death and destruction and chances of escalation must be carefully taken into consideration.
- U.S. House of Representatives, September 25, 2001 
- Rarely do we hear that Iraq has never committed any aggression against the United States. No one in the media questions our aggression against Iraq for the past 12 years by continuous bombing and imposed sanctions responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children. [...] Only tyrants can take a nation to war without the consent of the people. The planned war against Iraq without a Declaration of War is illegal. It is unwise because of many unforeseen consequences that are likely to result. It is immoral and unjust, because it has nothing to do with US security and because Iraq has not initiated aggression against us. We must understand that the American people become less secure when we risk a major conflict driven by commercial interests and not constitutionally authorized by Congress. Victory under these circumstances is always elusive, and unintended consequences are inevitable
- Before We Bomb Iraq, February 26, 2002 
- Finally, there is a compelling moral argument against war in Iraq. Military force is justified only in self-defense; naked aggression is the province of dictators and rogue states. This is the danger of a new "preemptive first strike" doctrine. America is the most moral nation on earth, founded on moral principles, and we must apply moral principles when deciding to use military force.
- U.S. House of Representatives, September 4, 2002 
- we have no constitutional authority to police the world or involve ourselves in nation building, in making the world safe for our style of democracy. Our founders advised against it and the early presidents followed that advice. If we believe strongly in our ideals, the best way to spread them is to set a good example so that others will voluntarily emulate us. Force will not work. Besides, we do not have the money.
- US House of Representatives, September 16, 2003 
- It is said we go about the world waging war to promote peace, and yet the price paid is rarely weighed against the failed efforts to make the world a better place. Justifying conscription to promote the cause of liberty is one of the most bizarre notions ever conceived by man! Forced servitude, with the risk of death and serious injury as a price to live free, makes no sense. What right does anyone have to sacrifice the lives of others for some cause of questionable value? Even if well motivated it can’t justify using force on uninterested persons. It’s said that the 18 year old owes it to his country. Hogwash! It just as easily could be argued that a 50 year-old chickenhawk, who promotes war and places the danger on innocent young people, owes a heck of a lot more to the country than the 18 year-old being denied his liberty for a cause that has no justification.
- Conscription - The Terrible Price of War, November 21, 2003 
- Legal issues aside, the American people and government should never abide the use of torture by our military or intelligence agencies. A decent society never accepts or justifies torture. It dehumanizes both torturer and victim, yet seldom produces reliable intelligence. Torture by rogue American troops or agents puts all Americans at risk, especially our rank-and-file soldiers stationed in dozens of dangerous places around the globe. God forbid terrorists take American soldiers or travelers hostage and torture them as some kind of sick retaliation for Abu Gharib.
- Torture, War, and Presidential Powers, June 15, 2004 
- Some of the strongest supporters of the war declare that we are a Christian nation, yet use their religious beliefs to justify the war. They claim it is our Christian duty to remake the Middle East and attack the Muslim infidels. Evidently I have been reading from a different Bible. I remember something about “Blessed are the peacemakers.” My beliefs aside, Christian teaching of nearly a thousand years reinforces the concept of “The Just war theory.” This Christian theory emphasizes six criteria needed to justify Christian participation in war... The war in Iraq fails to meet almost all of these requirements. This discrepancy has generated anger and division within the Christian community. Some are angry because the war is being fought out of Christian duty, yet does not have uniform support from all Christians. Others are angry because they see Christianity as a religion as peace and forgiveness, not war and annihilation of enemies.
- Why Are Americans So Angry?, June 29, 2006 
- We are escalating our sharp rhetoric toward Iran, we're deploying additional carrier group and Patriot missiles to the region. And, although Iran has approached the United States to establish serious dialog two times since 9/11, they have been rebuffed both times...
Condoleezza Rice: ...When we have a carrier strike group into the gulf, or provide PAC-3, which is a defensive system, it's simply to demonstrate that the United States remains determined to defend its interests in the gulf, and the interests of its allies. And that, congressman, is a position that has been held by American presidents going back for nearly 60 years. I would just note that these are discrete responses to Iranian activities that are really deeply concerning, not just for us, but for the rest of the world as well. Now as to Tehran, and whether we can talk to them. I offered in May to reverse 27 years of American policy, and to meet my counterpart any place, any time, to talk about any set of issues that Iran wishes to talk about, if they would just do one thing. And that is, adhere to the demand that the international community is making, that they stop enrichment and reprocessing, so that we that while we're talking, they're not improving their capability to get a nuclear weapon. So I think, congressman, the question isn't why won't we talk to Tehran, the question is why won't they talk to us.
- State Department annual budget request, Foreign Affairs Committee, February 2, 2007 
- Special interests and the demented philosophy of conquest have driven most wars throughout history. Rarely has the cause of liberty, as it was in our own revolution, been the driving force. In recent decades our policies have been driven by neo-conservative empire radicalism, profiteering in the military industrial complex, misplaced do-good internationalism, mercantilistic notions regarding the need to control natural resources, and blind loyalty to various governments in the Middle East.
- Statement on the Iraq War Resolution, February 14, 2007 
- The tired assertion that America "supports democracy" in the Middle East is increasingly transparent. It was false 50 years ago, when we supported and funded the hated Shah of Iran to prevent nationalization of Iranian oil, and it’s false today when we back an unelected military dictator in Pakistan - just to name two examples. If honest democratic elections were held throughout the Middle East tomorrow, many countries would elect religious fundamentalist leaders hostile to the United States. Cliché or not, the Arab Street really doesn’t like America, so we should stop the charade about democracy and start pursuing a coherent foreign policy that serves America’s long-term interests.
- Hypocrisy in the Middle East, February 26, 2007 
- The constant refrain that bringing our troops home would demonstrate a lack of support for them must be one of the most amazing distortions ever foisted on the American public.
- The Upcoming Iraq War Funding Bill, March 20, 2007 
- They use [the term Isolationist] all the time, and they do that to be very negative. There are a few people in the country who say, "Well, that's good. I sort of like that term." I don't particularly like the term because I do not think I am an isolationist at all. Because along with the advice of not getting involved in entangling alliances and into the internal affairs of other countries, the Founders said – and it's permissible under the Constitution – to be friends with people, trade with people, communicate with them, and get along with them – but stay out of the military alliances. The irony is they accuse us, who would like to be less interventionist and keep our troops at home, of being isolationist. Yet if you look at the results of the policy of the last six years, we find that we are more isolated than ever before. So I claim the policy of those who charge us with being isolationists is really diplomatic isolationism. They are not willing to talk to Syria. They are not willing to talk to Iran. They are not willing to trade with people that might have questionable people in charge. We have literally isolated ourselves. We have less friends and more enemies than ever before. So in a way, it's one of the unintended consequences of their charges. They are the true isolationists, I believe.
- We need to worry about our borders here at home, not worry about the borders around the world, and the border between Syria and Iraq - that doesn't have anything to do with our national security, we have to deal with our own national security. Our military right now is in shambles because we've been stretched too thin. One of these days we're gonna have to wake up, and I'm afraid we won't wake up until we go bankrupt, and we're approaching that time already.
- MSNBC, April 2007 
- Though many will criticize the president for mis-steps in Iraq and at home, it is with the complicity of Congress that we have become a nation of pre-emptive war, secret military tribunals, torture, rejection of habeas corpus, warrantless searches, undue government secrecy, extraordinary renditions, and uncontrolled spying on the American people. Fighting over there has nothing to do with preserving freedoms here at home. More likely the opposite is true.
- Getting Iraq War Funding Wrong Again, April 30, 2007 
- At the night of the debate, when I was interrupted, the issue then was said to be that, what I've said, is that some way or another I'm blaming the victims. Which is preposterous. It's sort of like taking somebody who's been murdered or raped, and saying, well, let's find out who it was and what the motives were, which everybody does in crime, it's normal and natural, to say that he's blaming the rape victim, or the murder victim. It couldn't be further from the truth, and an individual like myself and the many many others who have taken this position, that we blame America, or Americans. I'm an American, you're all Americans, and to say that there's a blame placed on you for what that has happened, not these murderers who came in and killed us, is ridiculous. And the whole notion that our foreign policy has nothing to do with it, and Giuliani has never heard this, is unbelievable. It's sort of like saying, a country could be under attack for year after year after year, with sanctions, and hundreds of thousands of people dying, and, oh, they don't care, they haven't even thought about it.
- We have a lot of goodness in this country. And we should promote it, but never through the barrel of a gun. We should do it by setting good standards, motivating people and have them want to emulate us. But you can't enforce our goodness, like the neocons preach, with an armed force. It doesn't work.
- Republican Presidential Debate, Manchester, New Hampshire, June 5, 2007 
- Most often, our messing around and meddling in the affairs of other countries have unintended consequences. Sometimes just over in those countries that we mess with. We might support one faction, and it doesn't work, and it's used against us. But there's the blowback effect, that the CIA talks about, that it comes back to haunt us later on. For instance, a good example of this is what happened in 1953 when our government overthrew the Mossadegh government and we installed the Shah, in Iran. And for 25 years we had an authoritarian friend over there, and the people hated him, they finally overthrew him, and they've resented us ever since. That had a lot to do with the taking of the hostages in 1979, and for us to ignore that is to ignore history... Also we've antagonized the Iranians by supporting Saddam Hussein, encouraging him to invade Iran. Why wouldn't they be angry at us? But the on again off again thing is what bothers me the most. First we're an ally with Osama bin Laden, then he's our archenemy. Our CIA set up the madrasah schools, and paid money, to train radical Islamists, in Saudi Arabia, to fight communism... But now they've turned on us... Muslims and Arabs have long memories, Americans, unfortunately, have very short memories, and they don't remember our foreign policy that may have antagonized... The founders were absolutely right: stay out of the internal affairs of foreign nations, mind our own business, bring our troops home, and have a strong defense. I think our defense is weaker now than ever.
- Laura Knoy: Now how does this noninterventionist philosophy play out when it's a humanitarian crisis like genocide in Darfur, Sudan?
Ron Paul: ...it should be done voluntarily. I have no right – no moral right or constitutional right – to come with a gun and tax the people and say: "I will take money because I want to do good" ... there's warring factions going on there, it's a civil war... You could've argued that in Somalia as well ... And the American people are generous – there's no reason why we can't help feed the world, and we do. But there's no justification to use violence against our people to extract money to do good overseas.
- Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide? And we wonder why the rest of the world accuses us of behaving hypocritically, of telling the rest of the world “do as we say, not as we do.”
- We can achieve much more in peace than we can ever achieve in these needless, unconstitutional, undeclared wars.
- Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa, August 5, 2007 
- Christ came here for spiritual reasons, not secular war and boundaries and geography. And yet, we are now dedicating so much of our aggressive activity in the name of God, but God, he is the Prince of Peace. That is what I see from my God and through Christ. I vote for peace.
- It really doesn't matter whether I'm right or wrong: the war is going to end because we're gonna have such a political and financial havoc here with the devaluation of our dollar, because we just can't keep affording it. This is usually how empires end, by spending too much money maintaining their empire. We're in 130 countries, we have 700 bases around the world, and it's going to come to an end. I want it to come to an end more gracefully and peacefully, follow the constitution, and follow a more sensible foreign policy.
- Let me see if I get this right. We need to borrow $10 billion from China, and then we give it to Musharraf, who is a military dictator, who overthrew an elected government. And then we go to war, we lose all these lives promoting democracy in Iraq. I mean, what's going on here?
- We've lost the south, that was one of the biggest fallacies. We went in there and we served the interests of one of our enemies over there, the Iranians. We propped up the Shiites, we overthrew the Sunnis, and the British didn't hold, they left. So there's more peace and less killing in southern Iraq, because all of a sudden we've allowed local control to develop more naturally. Warlords and local people are in charge, and they're more allied with Iran. But this is not a catastrophe, that's why we should deal with the Iranians in a more respectful way: if they had more control of the oil they'd want to sell, what they're gonna do with it, drink it? That's why the balance of power and the idea of self-determination should be worked out by them, not by us. As long as we do it, there'd be resentment and that is the source of the hatred towards us.
- Youtube, January 22, 2008 
- What is moral about demanding even more needless sacrifice of American lives merely to save face with the mistake of invading and occupying Iraq? Doesn't it seem awfully strange that the Iraqi government we support is an ally of the Iranians who are our declared enemies? Are we not now supporting the Iranians by propping up their allies in Iraq? If Maliki is our ally, and he has diplomatic relations with Ahmadinejad, why can't we? ... Why should we not expect many of the 80,000 Sunnis we have recently armed to someday turn their weapons against us, since they, as well as the Mahdi Army, detest any and all foreign occupation? ... Since no one can define winning the war, just who do we expect to surrender?
- David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker House Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing, April 9, 2008 
- Our presence will serve as an incentive for al Qaeda to grow in numbers and motivate more suicide bombers. An indefinite presence, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, will continue to drain our financial resources, undermine our national defense, demoralize our military and exacerbate our financial crisis. All this will be welcomed by Osama Bin Laden, just as he planned it. It's actually more than he had hoped for. [...] The war in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be much bigger, unless the dollar follows the path of the dollar-based world financial system and collapses into runaway inflation. In this case, the laws of economics and the realities of history will prove superior to the madness of maintaining a world empire financed by scraps of paper. Our military prowess, backed by a nuclear arsenal, will not suffice in overcoming the tragedy of a currency crisis. Soviet nukes did not preserve its empire or the communist economy.
- Imagine [...] that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of "keeping us safe" or "promoting democracy" or "protecting their strategic interests." Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they set up checkpoints on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence. Imagine if some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed, or captured and tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine that the occupiers' attitude was that if they just killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed. [...] The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to the people that live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas.
- Imagine by Ron Paul 
The Drug War
- Question: Your solutions, on stopping drug trade, is, give up, give up to world drugs. I say zero tolerance, we use the military for aid, we stop it from getting into the country, we cut it off at the source. Why give up on that fight?
Ron Paul: What we give up on is a tyrannical approach to solving a social and medical problem, and We endorse the idea of voluntarism, self-responsibility, family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It's a preposterous notion, it never worked, it never will. The government can't make you a better person, it can't make you follow good habits. Why don't they put you on a diet; you're a little overweight, and i think you need government help!
- It's a mistake to think that poor people get the benefit from the welfare system. It's a total fraud. Most welfare go to the rich of this country: the military-industrial complex, the bankers, the foreign dictators, it's totally out of control. [...] This idea that the government has services or goods that they can pass on is a complete farce. Governments have nothing. They can't create anything, they never have. All they can do is steal from one group and give it to another at the destruction of the principles of freedom, and we ought to challenge that concept.
- TV interview, 1987 
- Tax revenues are up 59 percent since 1980. Because of our economic growth? No. During Carter's four years, we had growth of 37.2 percent; Reagan's five years have given us 30.7 percent. The new revenues are due to four giant Republican tax increases since 1981. All republicans rightly chastised Carter for his $38 billion deficit. But they ignore or even defend deficits of $220 billion, as government spending has grown 10.4 percent per year since Reagan took office, while the federal payroll has zoomed by a quarter of a million bureaucrats... big government has been legitimized in a way the Democrats never could have accomplished. It was tragic to listen to Ronald Reagan on the 1986 campaign trail bragging about his high spending on farm subsidies, welfare, warfare, etc... the IRS has grown bigger, richer, more powerful, and more arrogant. In the words of the founders of our country, our government has "sent hither swarms" of tax gatherers "to harass our people and eat out their substance." His officers jailed the innocent George Hansen, with the President refusing to pardon a great American whose only crime was to defend the Constitution. Reagan's new tax "reform" gives even more power to the IRS. Far from making taxes fairer or simpler, it deceitfully raises more revenue for the government to waste... I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy.
- The growth in money and credit has outpaced both savings and economic growth. These inflationary pressures have been concentrated in asset prices, not consumer price inflation--keeping monetary policy too easy. This increase in asset prices has fueled domestic borrowing and spending. Government policy and the increase in securitization are largely responsible for this bubble. In addition to loose monetary policies by the Federal Reserve, government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have contributed to the problem. The fourfold increases in their balance sheets from 1997 to 1998 boosted new home borrowings to more than $1.5 trillion in 1998, two-thirds of which were refinances which put an extra $15,000 in the pockets of consumers on average--and reduce risk for individual institutions while increasing risk for the system as a whole.
- CONFERENCE REPORT ON S. 900, GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY ACT, November 8, 1999 
- Good morning, Mr. Greenspan. I understand that you did not take my friendly advice last fall. I thought maybe you should look for other employment, but I see you have kept your job.
- Hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Financial Services, February 17, 2000 
- Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven’t had capitalism. A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. It’s not capitalism when the system is plagued with incomprehensible rules regarding mergers, acquisitions, and stock sales, along with wage controls, price controls, protectionism, corporate subsidies, international management of trade, complex and punishing corporate taxes, privileged government contracts to the military-industrial complex, and a foreign policy controlled by corporate interests and overseas investments. Add to this centralized federal mismanagement of farming, education, medicine, insurance, banking and welfare. This is not capitalism!
- Has Capitalism Failed?, July 9, 2002 
- A paper monetary standard means there are no restraints on the printing press or on federal deficits. In 1971, M3 was $776 billion; today it stands at $8.9 trillion, an 1100% increase. Our national debt in 1971 was $408 billion; today it stands at $6.8 trillion, a 1600% increase. Since that time, our dollar has lost almost 80% of its purchasing power. Common sense tells us that this process is not sustainable and something has to give. So far, no one in Washington seems interested.
- Paper Money and Tyranny, September 5, 2003 
- Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. This is because the special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive use into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans. Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government’s interference in the housing market, the government’s policy of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Subsidies Distort the Housing Market, September 10, 2003 
- War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures.
- Conscription - The Terrible Price of War, November 21, 2003 
- Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger. [...] We need to understand that the more government spends, the more freedom is lost. Instead of simply debating spending levels, we ought to be debating whether the departments, agencies, and programs funded by the budget should exist at all. My Republican colleagues especially ought to know this. Unfortunately, however, the GOP has decided to abandon principle and pander to the entitlements crowd. But this approach will backfire, because Democrats will always offer to spend even more than Republicans. When Republicans offer to spend $500 billion on Medicare, Democrats will offer $600 billion. Why not? It’s all funny money anyway, and it helps them get reelected. [...] The increases in domestic, foreign, and military spending would not be needed if Congress stopped trying to build an empire abroad and a nanny state at home.
- Oppose the Spendthrift 2005 Federal Budget Resolution, March 25, 2004 
- When the federal government spends more each year than it collects in tax revenues, it has three choices: It can raise taxes, print money, or borrow money. While these actions may benefit politicians, all three options are bad for average Americans. Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers.
- Deficits Make You Poorer, March 15, 2005 
- Aaron Russo: Is there a law that requires people to file a 1040?
Ron Paul: Not explicitly, but it's certainly implied.
Aaron Russo: Well, implied by force?
Ron Paul: Yeah.
Aaron Russo: But is there a law?
Ron Paul: I can't cite a law, no. But, you know, if they think it's the law, and they have all the guns, it's an authoritarian approach.
- I think everybody has the same concerns about helping people when they're having trouble. The question is whether it should be done through coercion, or voluntary means, or local government. And I opt out from the federal government doing it, because that involves central economic planning. So even if we accept the gentleman's moral premise, in a practical way it's a total failure. We'd have been better off taking the amount of money and giving every single family $20,000, and they'd all been better off, than the way we did it. We bought all these trailer homes and they sat out in the open, so the whole thing is insane, it's a total waste. And besides, the reason I don't like these federal government programs, it encourages people like me to build on the beach. I have a house on the beach in the gulf of Mexico. But why don't I assume my own responsibility, why doesn't the market tell me what the insurance rates should be? Because it would be very very high. But, because we want it subsidized, we ask the people of Arizona to subsidize my insurance so I can take greater danger, my house gets blown down, and then the people of Arizona rebuild it?! My statement back during the time of Katrina, which was a rather risky political statement: why do the people of Arizona have to pay for me to take my risk... less people will be exposed to danger if you don't subsidize risky behavior... I think it's a very serious mistake to think that central economic planning and forcibly transferring wealth from people who don't take risks to people who take risks is a proper way to go.
- Neil Cavuto: Yeah but, you can't, Congressman, we've got a pretty good economy going here, right? We've got productivity soaring. We've got retail sales that are strong. We've got corporate earnings that for, what, the 19th quarter, are up double digit? We've got a market chasing highs, I mean, this isn't happening in a vacuum, right?
Ron Paul: Yeah, that's nice, but when you have to borrow, you know... My personal finances would be very good if I borrowed a million dollars every month. But, someday, the bills will become due. And the bills will come due in this country, and then we'll have to pay for it. We can't afford this war, and we can't afford the entitlement system.
Neil Cavuto: Look, Congressman, did you say this 10 years ago, when the numbers were similarly strong...
Ron Paul: Go back and check.
Neil Cavuto: ...and we were still borrowing a good deal then.
Ron Paul: That's right, that means the dollar bubble is much bigger than ever.
Neil Cavuto: So what's gonna happen?
Ron Paul: We've had the NASDAQ bubble collapse already. We have the housing bubble in the middle of a collapse, so the dollar bubble will collapse as well. We have to live within our means. You can't print money out of the blue, and think you can print your money into prosperity.
- The non-institutional elements of Bretton Woods, such as the gold-backed dollar standard, have gone by the wayside, but the World Bank and the IMF soldier on... Western governments tax their citizens to fund the World Bank, lend this money to corrupt Third World dictators who abscond with the funds, and then demand repayment which is extracted through taxation from poor Third World citizens, rather than from the government officials responsible for the embezzlement. It is in essence a global transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Taxpayers around the world are forced to subsidize the lavish lifestyles of Third World dictators and highly-paid World Bank bureaucrats who don't even pay income tax.
- The theory of the IRS is rather repugnant to me because the assumption is made that I, the government, owns 100% of your income and I permit you to keep 5%, 10% or 20%. You're vulnerable, you've sold out. The government can take 80% if they want, which they did at one time.
- Candidates@Google interview, July 13, 2007 
- Welfarism and excessive spending and deficits and socialism divide us, because everybody has to go to Washington. Those who have the biggest clout, whose who are the best lobbyists, those who go and they grab. And whether it's the medical industrial complex, or the banking industry, or the military industrial complex, that's who ends up controlling our government... For so long, conservatives and constitutionalists have lost the argument, they lost the moral highground. Because those who want to give things away, not talking about where they steal it from, but they want to give things and take care of people, they get the moral highground and they come by as being compassionate. And we who believe in liberty, we lack compassion. But the truth is, there's only one compassionate system known to man, and that is freedom and personal responsibility, then there's enough wealth, and then we will all have personal responsibility to use this compassion that we have, first to take care of our families and friends and neighbors, and there would be so much wealth that we could spread this wealth around the world.
- New Hampshire Homeschool Meet and Greet, September 30, 2007 
- Ron Paul: What's happening is, there's transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy. This comes about because of the monetary system that we have. When you inflate a currency or destroy a currency, the middle class gets wiped out. So the people who get to use the money first which is created by the Federal Reserve system benefit. So the money gravitates to the banks and to Wall Street. That's why you have more billionaires than ever before. Today, this country is in the middle of a recession for a lot of people... As long as we live beyond our means we are destined to live beneath our means. And we have lived beyond our means because we are financing a foreign policy that is so extravagant and beyond what we can control, as well as the spending here at home. And we're depending on the creation of money out of thin air, which is nothing more than debasement of the currency. It's counterfeit... So, if you want a healthy economy, you have to study monetary theory and figure out why it is that we're suffering. And everybody doesn't suffer equally, or this wouldn't be so bad. It's always the poor people -- those who are on retired incomes -- that suffer the most. But the politicians and those who get to use the money first, like the military industrial complex, they make a lot of money and they benefit from it.
John McCain: Everybody is paying taxes and wealth creates wealth. And the fact is that I would commend to your reading, Ron, "Wealth of Nations," because that's what this is all about. A vibrant economy creates wealth. People pay taxes. Revenues are at an all time high.
- GOP debate, Dearborn, Michigan, October 9, 2007 
- Ron Paul: ...you have to develop the transition, and eventually the next step would be to prohibit the Fed from monetizing debt. This is the real evil. The politicians spend for war, welfare, and they don't have to do it responsibly.
Question: When you say monetize the debt, you mean they would only be able to spend the cash that they had on hand. They couldn't write any cheques for which they don't have in their account any money?
Ron Paul: That's right. And that is the key to it. Because when the Fed comes along, and there's starvation for capital and liquidity, and politicians are spending too much, the Fed can create 20, 30, 50 billion dollars in a day, just like they did trying to bail out this housing bubble crash. So they create money out of thin air endlessly, eventually that has to stop because that drives the value of the dollar down.
- Howard Fineman: The people who don't pay their taxes on principle are heroic people, in the manner of Gandhi and Martin Luther King?
Ron Paul: I think if they're defending the constitution and they know what they're doing, and this money is supporting some real evil in the world. Preemptive war? That's pretty evil as far as I'm concerned. And so much waste in a system of government that has just overrun our liberties? Yes, I think that in many ways it's heroic for people willing to risk their freedom in order to defend what they believe is freedom.
- Question: You wanna gut that safety net...
Ron Paul: But the safety net doesn't work.
Question: Tell me why it doesn't work.
Ron Paul: It does work for some people, but overall it ultimately fails, because you spend more money than you have, and then you borrow to the hilt. Now we have to borrow $800 billion a year just to keep the safety net going. It's going to collapse when the dollar collapses, you can't even fight the war without this borrowing. And when the dollar collapses, you can't take care of the elderly of today. They're losing ground. Their cost of living is going up about 10%, even though the government denies it, we give them a 2% cost of living increase.
Question: So do you think the gold standard would fix that?
Ron Paul: The gold standard would keep you from printing money and destroying the middle class. Every country where you have runaway inflation, there's no middle class. Mexico, there's no middle class, you have a huge poor class, and a lot of wealthy people. Today we have a growing poor class, and we have more billionaires than ever before. So we're moving into third world status...
Question: Who is the safety net that you're speaking of, who does benefit from all those programs and all those agencies?
Ron Paul: Everybody on a short term benefits for a time. If you build a tenement house by the government, for about 15 or 20 years somebody might live there, but you don't measure who paid for it: somebody lost their job down the road, somebody had inflation, somebody else suffered. But then the tenement house falls down after about 20 years because it's not privately owned, so everybody eventually suffers. But the immediate victims aren't identifiable, because you don't know who lost the job, and who had the inflation, the victims are invisible. The few people who benefit, who get some help from government, everyone sees, "oh! look what we did!", but they never say instead of what, what did we lose. And unless you ask that question, we'll go into bankruptcy, we're in the early stages of it, the dollar is going down, our standard of living is going down, and we're hurting the very people that so many people wanna help, especially the liberals...
- Neil Cavuto: ...your campaign has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist in West Palm Beach. And your campaign had indicated you have no intention to return it. What are you going to do with that?
Ron Paul: It is probably already spent. Why give it back to him and use it for bad purposes?
Neil Cavuto: ...this Don Black who made the donation, and who ran a site called "Stormfront, White Pride Worldwide," now that you know it, now that you're familiar after the fact, you still would not return it?
Ron Paul: Well, if I spent his money and I took the money that maybe you might have sent to me and donate it back to him, that does not make any sense to me. Why should I give him money to promote his cause?
Neil Cavuto: ...Hillary Clinton has had to do this, a number of other candidates have had to do this. Do you think that just is a bad practice?
Ron Paul: I think it is pandering. I think it is playing the political correctness... What about the people who get donations, want to get special interests from the military industrial complex? They put in — they raise, bundle their money, and send millions of dollars in there. And they want to rob the taxpayers. That is the real evil ... that buys influence in government. And this is, to me, the corruption that should be corrected... you are missing the whole boat — the whole boat, because it is the immorality of government, it's the special interests in government, it's fighting illegal wars...
Neil Cavuto: All right.
Ron Paul: ...and financing, and taxing the people, destroying the people through inflation, and undermining this prosperity of the country.
- The do-good liberal who said we have to take care of everybody -- and they are well intentioned -- the more debt they run up to give to the poor, the poorer the people get because they cannot keep up.
- Question: ...you believe the Fed shouldn't exist... make the case.
Ron Paul: First reason is, it's not authorized in the Constitution, it's an illegal institution. The second reason, it's an immoral institution, because we have delivered to a secretive body the privilege of creating money out of thin air; if you or I did it, we'd be called counterfeiters, so why have we legalized counterfeiting? But the economic reasons are overwhelming: the Federal Reserve is the creature that destroys value. This station talks about free market capitalism, and you can't have free market capitalism if you have a secret bank creating money and credit out of thin air. They become the central planners, they decide what interest rates should be, what the supply of money should be...
Question: How does the gold standard solves that?
Ron Paul: It maintains a stable currency and a stable value. If the Fed concentrated more on stable money rather than stable prices... They push up new money in stocks and in commodities and in houses, and then they have to come in to rescue the situation. They create the bubbles, then they come in and rescue it, and they do nothing more than try to do price fixing. Capitalism depends, and capital comes from savings, but there's no savings in this country, so this is all artificial. It creates the misdirection and the malinvestment and all the excessive debt, and it always has to have a correction. Since the Fed has been in existence, the dollar has lost about 97% of its value. You're supposed to encourage savings, but if something loses its value, why save dollars? There's no encouragement whatsoever. [...] Gold is 6000 years old, and it still maintains its purchasing power. Oil prices really are very stable in terms of Gold. [...] Both conservatives and liberals want to enhance big government, and this is a seductive way to tax the middle class.
- You can't save free markets by socialism, I don't know where this idea ever came from. You save free markets by promoting free markets and sound money and balanced budgets. The whole reason why nobody wants to address the real problem is, we're spending a trillion dollars a year overseas running an empire, and it's coming to an end. This country is bankrupt, and we won't admit it. Eventually though, the dollar will go bust, and we will bring our troops home, and we will live within our means, but we ought to do it sensibly, rather than waiting for the collapse of the dollar, and this is what we're doing, we're on the verge of destroying our dollar. And then, you think we have problems now, problems then will be a lot worse, it'd look like the Weimar Republic, or a third world nation. And a lot of people know that, and they're scared to death, but we don't need to be making the problem worse by just propping up everything with more government programs, more inflation, and more helicopters, it won't work.
- Although it is obvious that the Keynesians were all wrong and interventionism and central economic planning don’t work, whom are we listening to for advice on getting us out of this mess? Unfortunately, it’s the Keynesians, the socialists, and big-government proponents. Who’s being ignored? The Austrian free-market economists — the very ones who predicted not only the Great Depression, but the calamity we’re dealing with today. If the crisis was predictable and is explainable, why did no one listen? It’s because too many politicians believed that a free lunch was possible and a new economic paradigm had arrived. But we’ve heard that one before — like the philosopher’s stone that could turn lead into gold. Prosperity without work is a dream of the ages.
- From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the current economic crisis caused by the housing bubble, every economic downturn suffered by this country over the past century can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and an artificial 'boom' followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts.
- Before the US House of Representatives, February 4, 2009, introducing the The Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act, H.R. 833.
- This is the big one.
- Financial Times, March 22, 2009 
- Question: If you could pick one cause that has gotten us here, what'd you say it is?
Ron Paul: Easy money. The Federal Reserve artificially lowering interest rates, deceiving the people, the investors, the savers, into believing that there's a lot of savings out there, and that we should invest more, build more houses, more cars. It's the malinvestment, which is every bit as dangerous, from the inflation of the money supply, as is the high prices that usually come.
- Question: What about a tax to fund the war in Afghanistan?
Ron Paul: Oh no... We don't need any of those wars... You don't raise taxes, that will only encourage them, what we need is to take all this money away from them, and say, bring the troops home...
- Our federal government, which was intended to operate as a very limited constitutional republic, has instead become a virtually socialist leviathan that redistributes trillions of dollars. We can hardly be surprised when countless special interests fight for the money. The only true solution to the campaign money problem is a return to a proper constitutional government that does not control the economy. Big government and big campaign money go hand-in-hand.
- Why Is There So Much Money in Politics?, February 4, 2002 
- The long-awaited "campaign finance reform" vote finally took place last week, with the House ultimately passing the measure. The debate was full of hypocritical high-minded talk about cleaning up corruption, all by the very politicians of both parties who dole out billions in corporate subsidies and welfare pork. It was quite a spectacle watching the big-spending, perennially-incumbent politicians argue that new laws were needed to protect them from themselves!
- Don't Believe the Hype- "Campaign Finance Reform" Serves Entrenched Interests, February 18, 2002 
- ...why the American people would even give the slightest consideration for government health programs. They don't want the government to deliver their automobiles, or their videocassette recorders, or their food... The best way to deliver healthcare is the way we deliver all goods and services in a free society.
- TV interview, 1987 
- It’s time to rethink the whole system of HMOs and managed care. This entire unnecessary level of corporatism rakes off profits and worsens the quality of care. But HMOs did not arise in the free market; they are creatures of government interference in health care dating to the 1970s. These non-market institutions have gained control over medical care through collusion between organized medicine, politicians, and drug companies, in an effort to move America toward “free” universal health care.
- Diagnosing our Health Care Woes, September 25, 2006 
- The American people have been offered two lousy choices. One, which is corporatism, a fascist type of approach, or, socialism. We deliver a lot of services in this country through the free market, and when you do it through the free market prices go down. But in medicine, prices go up. Technology doesn't help the cost, it goes up instead of down. But if you look at almost all of our industries that are much freer, technology lowers the prices. Just think of how the price of cell phones goes down. Poor people have cell phones, and televisions, and computers. Prices all go down. But in medicine, they go up, and there's a reason for that, that's because the government is involved with it... I do [think that prices will go down without government involvement], but probably a lot more than what you're thinking about, because you have to have competition in the delivery of care. For instance, if you have a sore throat and you have to come see me, you have to wait in the waiting room, and then get checked, and then get a prescription, and it ends up costing you $100. If you had true competition, you should be able to go to a nurse, who could for 1/10 the cost very rapidly do it, and let her give you a prescription for penicillin. See, the doctors and the medical profession have monopolized the system through licensing. And that's not an accident, because they like the idea that you have to go see the physician and pay this huge price. And patients can sort this out, they're not going to go to a nurse if they need brain surgery...
- Question: As a doctor, is it meaningful to you when somebody say that healthcare is a right, or that people have a right to good medical care?
Ron Paul: That's incorrect, because you don't have a right to the fruits of somebody else's labor. You don't have a right to a house, you don't have a right to a job, you don't have a right to medical care. You have a right to your life, you have your right to your liberty, you have a right to keep what your earn. And that's what produces prosperity. So you want equal justice. And this is not hard for me to argue, because if you really are compassionate and you care about people, the freer the society the more prosperous it is, and more likely that you are going to have medical care... When you turn it over to central economic planning, they're bound to make mistake. The bureaucrats and the special interests and the Halliburtons are gonna make the money. Whether it's war, or Katrina, these noncompetitive contracts, the bureaucrats make a lot of money and you end up with inefficiency.
- All Things Considered, NPR, July 25, 2007 
- John Stossel: Your party created a prescription drug program, you voted against it. Don't elderly people need these drugs?
Ron Paul: Yeah, that's why I voted against it, because these government programs failed to work. A lot of elderly were, and still are furious over that program, because it's so complex and difficult.
John Stossel: But a lot of people like it, hey, I'm getting my drugs paid for, they're free.
Ron Paul: You know who else likes it? The drug companies. They spent quite a few millions of dollars, they did the highest lobbying, the profiteers were the ones who really pushed that program. But the assumption shouldn't be made that if you didn't have it, people wouldn't get their drugs. The market is designed to lower prices, not raise prices.
- Chris Wallace: You talk a lot about the Constitution. You say Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid are all unconstitutional.
Ron Paul: Technically, they are. … There’s no authority [in the Constitution]. Article I, Section 8 doesn't say I can set up an insurance program for people. What part of the Constitution are you getting it from? The liberals are the ones who use this General Welfare Clause. … That is such an extreme liberal viewpoint that has been mistaught in our schools for so long and that's what we have to reverse — that very notion that you're presenting.
Chris Wallace: Congressman, it's not just a liberal view. It was the decision of the Supreme Court in 1937 when they said that Social Security was constitutional under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Ron Paul: And the Constitution and the courts said slavery was legal, too, and we had to reverse that.
- Fox News Sunday, 15 May 2011 , quoted in Millhiser, Ian (15 May 2011), "Ron Paul Calls Social Security and Medicare Unconstitutional, Compares Them to ‘Slavery’", Think Progress, retrieved on 2011-08-28
- Well, at first I thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter. And uh, I um, I think it's a theory — the theory of evolution. And I don't accept it, you know, as a theory. But it really doesn't bother me, it's not the most important issue for me, to make the difference in my life, to understand the exact origin. I think the creator that I know, uh, you know created us, every one of us and created the universe, and the precise time and manner and uh, you know, I just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.
- "Ron Paul on Evolution", onegoodmove, 21 December 2007, retrieved on 2011-09-01
- asked if he believes the theory of evolution to be true or false
Stem cell research
- I think stem cell research is crucial. I think medically it has a great future. I think that the answers aren't in yet. Some people say it's absolutely the answer, and others say it's no good and don't do it. It's not known yet, and I'll tell you what: politicians and bureaucrats and the FDA don't know either, and I don't think that's where it should be determined. It should be determined in the marketplace. In Washington so far we only had two choices, either prohibit it or subsidize it. My position is that we shouldn't do either. It should be in the states to devise the rules and laws on what you can do and can't do. Though I'm very strong pro-life and the worst thing I can conceive of is manufacturing babies to be used for research, but as an obstetrician I've had on quite a few occasions to do a surgery on a woman with a pregnancy in the Fallopian tube. And, the fetus is small, and alive, and the heart is beating, but if you don't operate on him, the fetus dies and the patient dies, because a hemorrhage is a very very critical time for ectopic pregnancy. I don't see any reason why you can't use that fetal tissue for research.
- Politico TV, May 2007 
- Abortion leads to euthanasia. I believe that.
- Speech to Congress, 27 October, 1999. Congressional Record V. 145, Pt. 19, October 26, 1999 to November 3, 1999.
- Those who seek a pro-life culture must accept that we will never persuade all 300 million Americans to agree with us. A pro-life culture can be built only from the ground up, person by person. For too long we have viewed the battle as purely political, but no political victory can change a degraded society. No Supreme Court ruling by itself can instill greater respect for life. And no Supreme Court justice can save our freedoms if we don't fight for them ourselves.
- Federalizing Social Policy, January 30, 2006 
- One day I walked into an operating room, to just be an observant, which we would do generally, as a medical resident. They were performing this hysterectomy, which was a caesarean section. And they lifted out a fetus that weighted approximately 2 pounds, and it was breathing and crying. And it was put in a bucket and set in the corner of the room, and everybody in the room just pretended that they didn't hear it. And the baby died. And I walked out of that room a different person... Roe v. Wade is a reflection of the moral climate of the country, because the law was being defied, and then the law was changed, the law sort of caught up with the culture. So even though we work in the legal area, and work politically, ultimately I believe it's an issue of personal morality, and is a reflection of the country, more so than just the lack of laws. Just changing the laws won't be enough, we will ultimately have to have a society that's moral enough, where the fetus deserves legal protection.
- Jan Mickelson: One of my litmus test questions to find out what kind of thinking process a candidate has done on this, is to ask my test question. Test question is: do you think that Roe v. Wade is the law of land?
Ron Paul: Well, they call it the law of the land, but I want to clarify that by getting rid of it. I think this is one example of the courts overstepping their bounds tremendously. Texas had a law against this violent act, and it went in to the federal courts and the Supreme Court. They overruled the state law, which should have been legitimate, and then came down on the side of legalizing killing a fetus, even into the 3rd trimester. But the fastest way to accomplish this is not through a constitutional amendment, or waiting till you get enough justices to overrule. You can pass a law in the Congress, which denies jurisdiction to the federal courts. So if Iowa or Texas or any state passes a law against abortion, you can't get it into the federal courts, and the states would decide this issue, as they decide all issues of violence: murder, manslaughter, theft, all this things are supposed to be state issues.
- John Lofton: Do you think abortion is murder?
Ron Paul: Yes, but we have in our state laws, which enforce the law against murder, there are degrees. You have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree murder. I think somebody who takes a pill the day after probably isn't committing quite the horrible murder when you see somebody lying on the floor and somebody takes a gun and puts it to their head. I don't equate those...
John Lofton: What do you think ought to be the penalty for the abortionist and for the person who gets the abortion?
Ron Paul: I really don't have the wisdom to know exactly what it should be... The girl who goes and gets an abortion, she's a participant in it, I don't think she deserves the death penalty... But there are some abortionists that it wouldn't be very hard to give them a pretty harsh punishment, because, you know, nothing annoys me more than the fact that an abortionist can make money killing a live viable fetus, in the 3rd trimester, and they think nothing about it, and they make a living doing this. Any yet, one minute after birth, that same mother, who might throw the child away, rightfully is called to task, and actually charged with murder. So that inconsistency has to be resolved.
- Adam Curry: The right to your own body, as a woman, do you not have the right to put in or take out of that body what you want?
Ron Paul: You have responsibilities, with the exception of rape, of the consequences of having intercourse. But if you carry that argument to its logical conclusion, I also think you have your right to your property, your home is your castle, I don't want any cameras, nothing in there. But some parents might kill their children, we don't put cameras and we don't take away rights of parents because one out of 14 million might kill their child. But, if we know there's some parents in their home just murdering their children, all of the sudden this becomes very important. So the sanctity of the home does not permit the killing of the children. [...] I can get paid a lot of money to do the abortion right before birth, but if I do it one minute after birth I go to prison for murder. And one time there was a case where the abortionist did the abortion, but the baby was born alive, so he drowned the baby. I think he was convicted of a crime, but if he could have only killed the baby sooner... That's why this partial birth abortion developed, because you didn't ever want the baby to be born alive.
- It is great comedy to hear the secular, pro-gay left, so hostile to states’ rights in virtually every instance, suddenly discover the tyranny of centralized government. The newly minted protectors of local rule find themselves demanding: “Why should Washington dictate marriage standards for Massachusetts and California? Let the people of those states decide for themselves.” This is precisely the argument conservatives and libertarians have been making for decades! Why should Washington dictate education, abortion, environment, and labor rules to the states? The American people hold widely diverse views on virtually all political matters, and the Founders wanted the various state governments to most accurately reflect those views. This is the significance of the 10th Amendment, which the left in particular has abused for decades.
- Eliminate Federal Court Jurisdiction, 2 March 2004
- Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.
- "Protecting Marriage From Judicial Tyranny", LewRockwell.com, 22 July 2004
- What is seldom discussed in the immigration debate, unfortunately, is the incentives the US government provides for people to enter the United States illegally. As we know well, when the government subsidizes something we get more of it. The government provides a myriad of federal welfare benefits to those who come to the US illegally, including food stamps and free medical care. Is this a way to discourage people from coming to the US illegally? [...] Immigration reform should start with improving our border protection, yet it was reported last week that the federal government has approved the recruitment of 120 of our best trained Border Patrol agents to go to Iraq to train Iraqis how to better defend their borders! This comes at a time when the National Guard troops participating in Operation Jump Start are being removed from border protection duties in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan! It is an outrage and it will result in our borders being more vulnerable to illegal entry, including by terrorists.
- Immigration ‘Compromise’ Sells Out Our Sovereignty, May 28, 2007 
- A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked.
- RonPaul2008.com, May 2007 
- We quadrupled the TSA, you know, and hired more people who look more suspicious to me than most Americans who are getting checked. Most of them, they just don't look very American to me. If I'd have been looking, they look suspicious.… I mean, a lot of them can't even speak English, hardly. Not that I'm accusing them of anything, but it's sort of ironic.
- quoted in Michael Scherer (2 June 2007) "Ron Paul is blowing up real good" Salon.com
Quotes about Paul
- You know what's more American? Fighting wars to crush secessionism.
- Allahpundit, April 20, 2009, "Ron Paul: You know what's "very American"? Secession", Hot Air
- ...despite all the hype and presidential cheerleading, the truth is that honorable men and women are dying, and families are being destroyed, to support an unlawful war. Bush should not have put our military in this position to begin with. Unfortunately, people tend to overlook this important issue until they see their children, siblings, and spouses returning home in body bags. Ron Paul will put an end to this insanity if we have the courage to elect him. God have mercy on us if we elect one of the pretender wannabes instead.
- His opposition to what he considers unconstitutional spending even earned the grudging respect of GOP leaders. When Newt Gingrich cracked the whip on party members to support a messy budget compromise, he excused Paul from the duty to support the budget, and the "Ron Paul exemption" entered the congressional vocabulary. What did it take for other members to earn this privilege to buck the party? A voting record that opposed all unnecessary federal spending, even in their home district. No one else has been granted the exemption.
- In the end, nothing happened. Basically, the night of the debate, I was down there, and I reacted to what I perceived Ron Paul to have said, which is basically to blame America for the attacks of 9/11. The next day, everybody talked about it, the reports came out, people read the transcripts, and he didn't actually say that. He said, he was talking about American policy, and the effects of American policy there. And the reality is, we never introduced any resolution, there was never a petition, and that morning we basically just dropped the subject. [...] I've invited Ron Paul, I've invited all the candidates. Every candidate has been invited to come to Mackinac, if he's available and he can make it, we'd love to have him. [...] Actually I'd argue they ought to make me the honorary national co-chairman for the Ron Paul campaign, because what I've probably started doubled his name ID and got him more exposure that he'd have ever gotten on his own. So from that regard you guys ought to be sending me flowers rather than nasty emails, give me a break. [...] Whoever the Republican nominee, I'll be out there supporting him, and if it's Ron Paul, I'll be front and center.
- ...does not our Lord tell us that our yea is to be yea and our nay is to be nay? In other words, genuine believers are to be true to their word. How, then, could a true Christian make a promise before God and the American people to preserve, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution and then turn around and ignore that promise? Ron Paul lives his Christian faith and takes his oath to the Constitution seriously.
- Of all the candidates so far declared, only Paul can credibly lay claim to the legacy of the Reagan-Goldwater revolution.
- We now have in this country the gold standard for being a conservative, and it's Dr. Ron Paul... Somebody who I've always looked to, on that big board, where the votes were, if there was ever any doubt in my mind about how to vote on a particular bill, the answer was easy, you look up at that board, you see where Ron Paul stands on an issue, and you know that's the right place to be.
- I think you are the closest we have running to a founding father.
- I think Ron Paul is right on the economy. I think Ron Paul is right on the Fed, he's right on gold. He's right on the size of government. He's also right on foreign affairs, to this extent: we should not be in the situation that we're in. But it wasn't the war in Iraq, it started long before, you can track this last course all the way back to World War I. [...] when you find a libertarian that will say: it has taken us over 200 years to put ourselves in this situation, what I think we need to do is turn the corner. We clearly can't cut all foreign alliances right now, we clearly can't just pull all of our troops back from all around the world. We can't do those things. But what we can do is set course to where America pulls back slowly, America does the right thing, and we bring our troops home and we say we're not the policeman for the world anymore. [...] the number one thing to get us to do that, is to be self-reliant on money, and self-reliant on energy. So that's what I want to hear from a libertarian, I want to hear: this is the 50 year plan. But unfortunately, everybody is looking at 2 years, 6 years, 4 years. And by doing that, you're never gonna get anything accomplished.
- For Paul to ridicule the term "Islamofascist" as propaganda and to insinuate that anyone who uses it is a warmonger seeking to spread conflict in the Middle East shows how wildly out of touch he is with the vast majority of the American public.
- The same sort of arguments advanced by many libertarians, such as Rep. Paul, to "explain" the anti-American actions of foreign terrorists, also have been offered by liberals to "explain" the heinous acts of common criminals. Read any sociology or criminology text, and you'll find endless laundry lists of "causal explanations" for crime: poverty, neglect, poor parenting, lousy schools, poor "socialization," inadequate pre-natal care, hunger, disease, bullying, racism, police brutality, social stigmatizing, untreated psychological disorders, victimless-crime laws...you name it. [...] Ron Paul has become the most visible exponent of that malignant view of America. In my mind, his "blowback" excuse for 9/11 -- and "excuse" is exactly what his "explanation" amounts to -- is sufficient to completely disqualify him for any American public office, let alone for the role of commander in chief of the U.S. military.
- Paul is not an anti-capitalist... Paul opposes the separation of Church and State... Ron Paul loathes black people... he is a hate-spewing presidential candidate aligned with some of the most blatant, odious racists on the planet... In Paul's fuzzy logic, all immigrants are here to suck the country dry of its welfare, education and emergency healthcare systems. If it was up to Paul, those systems would be voided for not only undocumented, but for documented immigrants as well... he is a candidate that hates immigrants.
- Rep. Paul has a record of philosophical consistency unmatched in recent congressional history. He seeks to limit government at practically every turn. His refusal to compromise is legendary.
- Most — maybe all — libertarians acknowledge a right to self defense. But in the modern world this cannot be done by militias. It requires a military industrial complex, with all the attendant consequences. [...] Ron Paul is a pencil head, leading a jacquerie of wicked idiots.
- Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain had much of value to say about the financial crisis as it raged through the headlines this fall. Rather than shred their campaign strategies, they played it safe, as most politicians would have. But in the name of justice we ought to recall that there was one candidate who did foresee our predicament with considerable accuracy when it still lay far in the future. Ron Paul, in almost every speech he made during the Republican primaries, spoke of bubbles, reckless credit growth, and the "unsustainability" of present policy. So why isn't there more demand for the common-sense solutions he put forward? Because common sense is not much use in a financial panic.
- Some say Ron Paul thinks like a patriot, but I say patriots think like Ron Paul.
- The first time I heard Paul talk about monetary policy, I'd felt like a hostage, the only person in the room who didn't buy into the program. Then, slowly, like so many hostages, I started to open my mind and listen. By the time we got to Reno, unfamiliar thoughts were beginning to occur: Why shouldn't we worry about the soundness of the currency? What exactly is the dollar backed by anyway? And, if the gold standard is crazy, is it really any crazier than hedge funds? I'd become Patty Hearst, ready to take up arms for the cause, or at least call my accountant and tell him to buy Krugerrands.
- ...there are more musicians in the military bands than there are diplomats across the board. So, we are trying to shift this gigantic ship of state, Mr Paul, and we're looking for your help to do so. And, at the risk of going over our time, I just want to say, having campaigned during the last presidential election, you had the most enthusiastic supporters of anybody I ever saw... Well, I mean, my goodness, everywhere I went they were literally running down highways holding your signs. I've never had a chance to tell you that, but your message obviously resonated with a lot of people.
- Ron Paul is very smart, so I don't want to talk to him too long for fear that he will convince me. But I cannot disagree with him more on foreign policy because he believes if we just leave the crazies alone they won't attack us.
- I've known Ron a very, very long time -- I like to think of Ron Paul as 'The Conscience'. You've always got to have a conscience.
- At least the Democrats would leave some troops overseas to protect American interests, while Paul would remove all of them and allow Islamic radicals to overrun our interests and allies everywhere. He even advocates shutting down all military bases here at home, essentially leaving the country defenseless.
- J.R. Dieckmann, February 4, 2008 
- I have always thought that there are two brands of conservatives: the kind who follow the money and conservatives of principle. Paul is a conservative of principle. He's held his ground, and he is an honest man.
- I like Ron Paul's campaign and I think it's good for America and the political process in this country that he is running for president. Why do I think so? It's because people such as Ron Paul shake up the system. And Paul does take a lot of correct positions such as opposition to the Iraq War, opposition to foreign aid to Israel and to the rest of the world, and as well he takes an unrelenting position supporting the civil liberties of the American people.
- From an environmental standpoint, here is Ron Paul saying that he would end all subsidies to oil, gas, and coal companies. Could you imagine Al Gore saying this? Mr. global warming himself wouldn't even call for such drastic measures... that's what Ron Paul is calling for, an end to supporting corporate welfare. This is Ralph Nader stuff.
- I think Ron Paul is probably telling the truth, nobody's listening.
- I strongly support Ron Paul, we very badly need to have more Representatives in the House who understand in a principled way the importance of property rights and religious freedom.
- Paul has a coherent political world-view and states his positions clearly and unapologetically, without hedges, and that approach naturally ensures greater disagreement than the form of please-everyone obfuscation which drives most candidates. [...] While Barack Obama toys with the rhetoric of challenging conventional wisdom, Paul's campaign -- for better or worse -- actually does so, and does so in an extremely serious, thoughtful and coherent way. [...] There have been few candidates who more steadfastly avoid superficial gimmicks, cynical stunts, and manipulative tactics. There have been few candidates who espouse a more coherent, thoughtful, consistent ideology of politics, grounded in genuine convictions and crystal clear political values. [...] There is never a doubt that Paul actually believes what he is saying [...] Paul is the only serious candidate aggressively challenging America's addiction to ruling the world through superior military force and acting as an empire -- not by contesting specific policies (such as the Iraq War) but by calling into question the unexamined root premises of these policies, the ideology that is defining our role in the world. By itself, the ability of Paul's campaign to compel a desperately needed debate over the devastation which America's imperial rule wreaks on every level -- economic, moral, security, liberty -- makes his success worth applauding.
- I love this guy. Dr. Paul is the only candidate I know of who would have signed the Constitution of The United States had he been there.
- ...the guy I would have really voted for in your election is Ron Paul.
- I've never disliked you. I like you as a person, I think you're very principled in your beliefs. I don't agree with you especially on foreign policy issues right now, that's all. But that doesn't mean we can't like each other... I do agree with you on a lot of economic issues.
- He really lit my fuse when he continued to assert that it was our fault we were attacked on Sept. 11 ... [Ron Paul's comments were] ludicrous and unacceptable.
- You know, the last two nations that the United States saved before 9/11 were two Muslim nations. So, to my friend Ron Paul: don't blame America first.
- ...on most issues, I share Ron Paul's views. I believe in the Constitution, I believe in small government. Ron Paul is perfectly pro-life. Now, I disagree with Ron Paul on his foreign policy, I think it's too simplistic. But, he's a lot closer to what traditionally conservatives have believed.
- And then there's the libertarian Congressman Ron Paul who seems like your uncle the bartender who has a Big Theory about everything: some of his ideas are brilliant, others weird. He rates a mention because his singular moment of weirdness -- proposing that al-Qaeda attacked on Sept. 11 because the U.S. had been messing around in the Middle East, bombing Iraq -- offered Giuliani a historic slam dunk... But Giuliani was having a good debate even before he reduced Paul to history.
- He is against efforts to help poor people by the federal government... Ron Paul's fundamental position is anti-American, let's be honest about it. He does not like any policy the USA has pursued anywhere in the world, or at home, for the last century or so... The Republican party is not going to take seriously, ultimately, someone who thinks we're responsible for 9/11, and who thinks we don't have serious threats around the world, and a serious obligation to help those who stand for liberty and decency around the world.
- This nervous chuckling and mocking of a guy who speaks the truth, the man who told you the truth more than any other in those debates, who wasn't afraid to make enemies and tell the truth, was Ron Paul. And they laughed at him: "he deserves to be laughed at". No Mitt Romney, you deserve to be laughed at, you elitist, oh I can't use the word.
- Meanwhile, while [Republicans] dither, We lost more than 23 soldiers this past weekend. How much longer can the insanity continue here without a strategy that provides us with the strategic withdrawal to an over-the-horizon force as has been advocated on this floor by colleagues on both sides of the aisle? Why is it that Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who has the nerve on the Republican side to talk about it without fear of being called unpatriotic or in fact booed in an audience? This chamber should be a chamber where we have the opportunity to speak truth to power.
- We don't have much time here to talk about Ron Paul because the time is dwindling. Let's see, I have seven seconds, six seconds. What can I say? Uh... Ron Paul. Republican candidate for president, Ron Paul.
- I love Ron Paul. I didn't think he was presidential material, but Ron Paul is a guy that stands for freedom.
- By equating the Civil Rights Act, which expanded American civil liberty, with the Patriot Act, which reduced it, on the grounds that both are federal laws with sanctions, Ron Paul displays the moral idiocy of someone who declares that a person who pushes a little old lady out of the path of a bus is just as bad as a person who pushes a little old lady into the path of a bus, because both are equally guilty of pushing little old ladies around.
- Knowing Ron Paul and having talked to him, I think he's a very fair guy I just think that a lot of folks do not understand the Libertarian platform.
I've read Ron Paul's whole philosophy, I also understand what he's saying from a political standpoint and why people are attacking him.
If you scare the folks that have the money, they're going to attack you and they're going to take it out of context.
What he's saying is really really threatening the powers that be and that's what they fear.
- He doesn't strike me as the kind of person that's tapping into those elements of American public opinion that might lead towards a sustainable move in the libertarian direction.
- I mean this is all seriousness, Ron Paul [is my pro-stock market candidate].
- Ron Paul is on the floor blasting more debt, more appropriations, more spending, more credit in the market. That is what caused the problem. Ron Paul is right. There I said it.
- You can't say it's because we put troops in Iraq, over the no-fly zone, because they tried to blow up that same building back in '93, before all these skirmishes over the no-fly zone. You can't say that particular argument.
- A the lot of people think like you, I dare not say I‘m one of them.
- I thought Mayor Giuliani's intercession there was appropriate, and frankly, very, very excellent. I really appreciated it. Because we should never, never believe that we brought on this conflict. This is an evil force that is trying to destroy everything we stand for and believe in. And this is a transcendent struggle. That's why I want to be president of the United States.
- Ron Paul doesn't just talk about being pro-life, he acts on it. His voting record truly is impeccable and he undoubtedly understands our constitutional republic and the inalienable right to life for all.
- The person of the year: Ron Paul, a physician-politician. He injected the presidential campaign with a dose of truth serum. Paul's straight talk on Iraq, and his straight talk on the Constitution, as Buchanan pointed out, and the limits of government have made him an Internet phenomena. In fact, Paul has become an independent force in the nation's life.
- He was, like, Piggy on Lord of the Flies on that debate, wasn't he? I thought they were gonna kill him with a rock.
- Is it any wonder that neo-Nazis are flocking to his campaign? But Paul is against the war in Iraq and he wants FREEDOM! So that must make his racism okay.
- There are 535 people on Capitol Hill whose job it is to write the laws that govern all of us, and he is one of them. There are 535 people on Capitol Hill whose job it is to preserve the constitution, and he is one of them. There are 535 people whose job it is to preserve our liberties, and he is one of them. But in his heart, and in his head, in his character, and in his intellect, in what he has done, and in what he will become, the Thomas Jefferson of our day, Ron Paul, is one of us.
- This courageous and quiet Congressman has made a worldwide name for himself as the defender of liberty in this country… a persistent fighter for the reduction of the power of bureaucrats everywhere… and one politician who cannot be bought by special interests.
- After Mr. Paul spoke, it seemed half the room booed, but the other applauded. When a thousand Republicans are in a room and one man of the eight on the stage takes a sharply minority viewpoint on a dramatic issue and half the room seems to cheer him, something's going on. Ron Paul's support isn't based on his persona, history or perceived power. What support he has comes because of his views. As he spoke, you could hear other candidates laughing in the background. They should stop giggling, and engage in a serious way.
- Racism, homophobia and conspiracy theories about AIDS, Israel, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission. Just another day in the work of Aryan Nation, USA? It sure sounds like it. But no, they are some of the ingredients in the pre-1999, pre-Internet newsletter of Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate who now tries to portray himself as a libertarian. [...] Ron Paul claims that the newsletter was published in his name, but written by others and he didn´t pay close attention to what was written since he was working full time. Fascinating defence. So he trusted those writers to write in his name to such a degree that he didn´t even check what they wrote?
- ...signs for this voter revolution can be seen through the highs and lows of current political polarities. I believe it was felt through the surge of the constitutional community supporting Rep. Ron Paul. I believe it was felt in evangelicals' and conservatives' frustration with our present presidential picks.... America has some good congressmen and senators, like Ron Paul... A voter revolution should usher in politicians who make sweeping and radical changes, like disposing of the unconstitutional IRS and replacing it with a Fair Tax. These are the types of leaders who genuinely commit to the America established by our Founders, drastically cut government waste, immediately stop pork barrel spending, reject political perks and lobbyists, quit borrowing from other nations (like China), cease imperialism and nation building, lessen the flow of so much government aid overseas and bring back production and pride in American commerce...
- I think I'm fondest of Ron Paul… He's the only person I agree with on foreign policy.
- Ron Paul's libertarianism has plenty of room for nativism and racism because so much of it does sound like a Pat Buchanan-style call for America to return to a golden age of white privilege. Paul isn't a futurist, like the libertarians who write hilarious odes to the coming "singularity," when we'll all become immortal cyborgs. He's a goldbug. He's a deeply religious anti-abortion small-town country doctor who basically wants the government to operate as it did in 1837.
- Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defence. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country.
- If Ron Paul gets anywhere near the nomination, I would certainly support him. He's the only one that I've seen in American politics that seems to have a clue about what's going on in the world.
- What he's done -- what his supporters have done -- is astonishing... You can't dismiss the power of one man standing up with a powerful message... Washington insiders don't know what to make of it."
- ...Ron Paul was the only one who sounded like a person instead of a politician -- no small feat for a presidential candidate... He was certainly talking sense tonight.
- Andrew Romano, January 30, 2008 
- We'd love it if we could all just come home and not worry about the rest of the world, as Ron Paul says. But the problem is, they attacked us on 9/11. We were here; they attacked us. We want to help move the world of Islam toward modernity so they can reject the extreme...
- He's getting close to what I raised on our first day... so I am delighted that he's been able to raise what he needs to go forward...
- I don't mean this to be political, but when Ron Paul was firing every revolver in Ben Bernanke's direction, there were a lot of people cheering down here, with regard to the only tools the Fed ever seems to use, are the easing tools. And on the inflation front, many traders were reading the subtitles and they went back and checked, with respect to the weaker dollar, it affects import prices but not domestic prices, that's kind of an inconsistency [...] I just think you don't understand the way traders think. Traders don't care about your analysis. They care about making money. And they obviously realize that the only thing the Fed has ever done to solve these problems is to ease, and they're making money. But if you ask these people, do you think you really gonna see a rate cut in December, half the people I talk to say by time we get into December, headline inflation would probably make it so the Fed can't ease.
- Let me tell you Ron, there are a lot of people out there in the Republican primaries, trying to seize the mantle of Ronald Reagan...but when it comes to economic issues, you are the only guy out there that really is delivering the same message that Ronald Reagan delivered for 30 years.
- I thought Mr. Paul captured it the other night exactly correctly. This war is dangerous to America because it's based, not on gender equality, as Mr. Giuliani suggested, or any other kind of freedom, but simply because of what we do in the Islamic World – because ‘we're over there,' basically, as Mr. Paul said in the debate.
- He may have become at last what he has always deserved to be: the most respected member of the U.S. Congress. He is also the only Republican candidate for president who is truly what all the others pretend to be, namely, a conservative. [...] Until now, the GOP has been able to contain Paul by pretending he wasn't there. But the silent treatment can no longer stifle this soft-spoken man. He has been proved right too often.
- I think Ron Paul has established his legitimacy in this race.
- He's fantastic... This guy - he's a Republican - and he says listen, when I become president, I'm taking us out of Iraq, I'm taking us out of everywhere in the world, because what good has it done us being in these fucking Middle Eastern countries? Because they hate us, I'm taking us out of all these wars, and we're done. And he goes, I'm not an isolationist, I'm not afraid to use the military where it's needed. But to sit in these extended fucking wars, draining the economy - and if we stay or we leave, the same goddamn thing happens: nothing! So let's leave. And people love this guy when he talks, he makes sense.
- What's so interesting about Congressman Ron Paul is, you appear to have a consistent principled integrity. Ah, Americans don't usually go for that...
- I don't think he can be elected president, but I think he's the only guy who really understands monetary policy, economic policy, the proper role of the state, the proper role of the U.S. in the world. On the other hand, the world is changing pretty dramatically before our eyes. I wouldn't rule out anything right now. But if you asked me who is speaking truth to power, it's Ron Paul.
- Mr. Paul isn't going to be president. He trails in national polls, in no small part because his lack of a proactive foreign policy makes him an unserious candidate in today's terror world.... His more kooky views (say, his belief in a conspiracy to create a "North American Union") and his violent antiwar talk have allowed the other aspirants to dismiss him.
- The question serious supporters of a real war on terror must now ask is: will continuing the fight in Iraq help reverse this trend or cement it for decades to come? Is the war making us less secure and the world much less safe? Would withdrawal or continued engagement makes things better? At the very least, it seems to me, this question should be on the table in the Iraq debate. And yet the Republicans - with the exception of Ron Paul - don't even want to talk about it. Until they do, they are not a party serious about national security.
- He has the newest and the oldest campaign message there is: freedom matters. It is no surprise to me that the GOP establishment — now one of the most powerful forces against individual freedom in this country — is so panicked by his message. They should be.
- ...he is arguing for and in fact defending the 9/11 terrorist attack, by finding a plethora of faults in our foreign policy, and in the way we handle the war on terror here in the home front and in the Middle East which he believed justified the terrorists' attacks killing thousands of innocent Americans... If we examine the reactions of pro-Paul haters of America to the published article I have mentioned, we find no brain, only emotional kicks... Another fan of Paul thought Paul was the smartest candidate because unlike the other candidates, to defeat the enemy, he wants to study and know first the enemy. No, talking of who is smart and who is not, he is not even a shadow of his nemesis Rudy Giuliani. A scatterbrain does not compare to Giuliani who is surging ahead in the polls without looking back. Sorry to disappoint a rabid fan... Paul claims to be the only enforcer of the U.S. Constitution. His followers are duped into believing that he is. He is not – he is a defiler if not a violator of the Constitution... Note that under this Act, our financial obligations to the UN, the sending of troops to troubled spots in the world at the call of the UN are, among others, mandated by the Constitution... My initial advice to him at this distance and I hope his handful of followers will get it too is, don't be a glutton for public scorn even if you thirst for public accolade as champion of the taxpayers by attacking the United Nations in violation of the Constitution. It does not make a hell of sense.
- Edwin A. Sumcad, former deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, June 30, 2007 
- The phrase "honest politician" is an oxymoron; yet in the sense that Paul never, ever votes against his stated principles -- which are libertarian and include the belief that much of our federal government, from the IRS to the Department of Education, and the massive taxes that support it, should be abolished -- the phrase describes him... The same beliefs that cause him to vote against every single appropriations bill in Congress also carry over to his private life. He intends, for example, to refuse his congressional pension. He would not let his children take out federally subsidized education loans. He actually returns money each year from his congressional office -- some $50,000 last year.
- If he could, Ron Paul would abolish three-quarters of the government, which works out to meaning that about three-quarters of what Ron Paul says falls into the "impractical dreamer" category. That leaves one-quarter -- but that fraction of his agenda is, no pun intended, on the money.
- Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, the most outspoken opponent of current U.S. immigration policy, finished fourth with 14 percent. Former Wisconsin governor Tommy G. Thompson was sixth at 7 percent.
- For his spokesman to call white racialism a "small ideology" and claim white activists are "wasting their money" trying to influence Paul is ridiculous. Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position.
- McCain's yesterday's maverick. This is serious maverickism, Ron Paul.
- What the founders knew is that you can get any decent person in there, you give them unchecked power, and they become a monster. And that's why I'm just as scared if Hillary has these powers to imprison Matt Drudge, as Giuliani have these powers... Ron Paul has always talked about these issues, and it's amazing to see, he's on the other side, but I have a lot of respect for what he's saying. And he has supporters really from both parties who are passionate about him because he's saying things like, we don't need an empire, let's just give up our oppressing nations all over the world and just have a republic.
- Lobbyists don't even bother going to his office. If their scheme doesn't fall among the federal government's enumerated powers under the Constitution, they know perfectly well that there is no chance Ron Paul will support it.
- When Ron Paul said inflation was the hidden tax, I yelled at the screen, "He's right! Follow up: This is a key comment!" Instead the moderator, other candidates, and the crowd just stared at him and probably just wanted a baked potato with their cheese burger.
- Greg Zanetti, November 7, 2007