Dr. Ron Paul, who served 12 terms in the US Congress and became famous when he ran on a libertarian platform for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, has been on a rampage this Spring, excoriating both President Trump and the Republican-held Congress on one issue after another.
Carol Paul must be putting something in her husband's coffee, because the libertarian firebrand (who turns 82 this year) spent the month of April challenging the political establishment with the kind of gusto and pointed criticisms that gained him a devoted global following when he ran for president in 2008 and set two records for the most online donations in a single day to a political candidate in US history.
Let The Shutdown Happen. Forever.
On the latest government shutdown drama over appropriations, which has become more banal with each passing year since 1995, Ron Paul accused Congress members of using a dysfunctional policy-making process as an excuse for why Washington keeps spending exponentially more of Americans' money as time goes on:
"This type of brinkmanship has become standard operating procedure on Capitol Hill. The drama inevitably ends with a spending bill being crafted behind closed doors by small groups of members and staffers and then rushed to the floor and voted on before most members have a chance to read it. These 'omnibus' spending bills are a dereliction of one of Congress’s two most important duties – allocating spending... Congress’s dysfunctional spending process is an inevitable result of the government’s growth. It is simply unrealistic to expect Congress to fund the modern leviathan via a lengthy and open process that allows individual members to have some say in how government spends their constituents’ money. The dysfunctional spending process benefits the many politicians eager to avoid accountability for government spending."
Never one to shy from a near-total rebuke of the entire US federal government as critically dysfunctional, Ron Paul ended his editorial by more or less calling Washington's bluff about the catastrophe of an imminent shutdown and saying it would be great for America if Congress were "to shut down most of the federal government," leaving only the departments and agencies that are specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
North Korea Is Kept Unstable On Purpose
Regarding rising tensions with North Korea, yet another perennial song and dance like the government shutdown drama, a stable instability spanning decades, Ron Paul contended in a short video that Washington foreign policy deliberately keeps North Korea unstable so that it can play the role of international boogeyman:
"We've been doing this all this time and it's almost like to keep it unstable ... The instability is we have promised the South Koreans that, 'We are going to take care of you. We are going to provide your weaponry. We are going to provide your indirect subsidies. We are going to take care of you and we're going to make sure that North Korea is held in check. Don't ever talk to them. Don't ever have an open-door policy' ... We need an enemy and for that part of the world, it is North Korea. They serve as the monster in that area."
Interestingly enough, even after candidate Donald Trump promised to save US taxpayers a fortune by making other countries pay for their own national defense, as president he has fallen in line with the foreign policy status quo of extending the US military umbrella to cover South Korea and neighboring countries.
Julian Assange, Hero. Donald Trump, Hypocrite.
On April 24, just a couple days before publishing a 30-minute interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ron Paul took President Trump to task for his complete 180 degree turn from the campaign trail to the Oval Office on WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, government transparency, and a free and independent media as a check on political corruption and malfeasance:
"Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison... There is a word for this sudden about-face on Wikileaks and the transparency it provides us into the operations of the prominent and powerful: hypocrisy."
On the other hand, Ron Paul praised Julian Assange and whistleblowers for their role in bringing transparency to government, and called them heroes deserving of respect and admiration, urging Americans not to allow the president "to declare war on those who tell the truth."
The Fed Is Going to Cause Another Recession
Long a critic of the US central banking system under the Federal Reserve, Ron Paul took to CNBC on April 29th to warn as he has in the past that the massive increase in the monetary base by the Federal Reserve, which lends the money at a discounted interest rate to large banks, incentivizes massive malinvestment in under-performing sectors of the economy and that a major market correction is due. Before you scoff, remember Ron Paul predicted the Great Recession five years before it happened in 2003:
"The special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital that they could not attract under pure market conditions. 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 investing in housing. Because so many people will invest in housing the damage will be catastrophic."
This past week on CNBC, Ron Paul said that interest rates held too low for too long will eventually catch up with the economy and cause serious consequences for the stock market. When challenged about that assertions in the wake of Nasdaq's 6,000 point milestone last month, the Texas libertarian pointed out that the Nasdaq was at 5,000 points in the year 2000, and balked, "Now it's all the way up to 6,000, after what, 17 years?" Paul added that his investments in gold have gone from $300/oz in the year 2000 to $1200/oz today.
Airstrikes in Syria Are Helping Our Enemies
Every presidential election cycle there's a candidate for one or both of the two major parties' nominations who gives voice to the antiwar and foreign interventionism bloc in the US electorate. In 2000 that candidate was George W. Bush ironically enough. In 2004 it was Howard Dean. In 2016 it was Bernie Sanders. Both times Ron Paul ran for president in 2008 and 2012, it was Ron Paul. True to form, Ron Paul came out swinging against the airstrikes in Syria earlier last month:
"They needed a so-called excuse… to go into Iraq so they concocted stories, and all kinds of things. That’s what this is a part of. If all of this is true, I don’t know why they couldn’t wait and take a look at it. Right now, I don’t see conceivably it doing what they claim because right now it’s helping ISIS, it’s helping al-Qaeda, it’s helping the enemy we’re supposedly fighting."
The former congressman was referring to the fact that there was very little clear evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the deadly sarin gas attack that happened in Syria, prompting the Trump administration to launch airstrikes. For Ron Paul, who sees the ongoing US involvement in foreign conflicts since World War II as an excuse for big government and a lucrative situation for war profiteers, recent events in Syria look like more of the same:
"They’re terrified that peace was going to break out! Al-Qaeda was on the run, peace talks were happening, and all of a sudden, they had to change, and this changes things dramatically! I don’t expect peace talks anytime soon or in the distant future.”