NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Inflation real, unemployment really real.
We continue our "Help Wanted" series with Republican presidential candidate Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
Congressman, more reminders today the pickle we’re in, the Dow swooning, and largely on concerns what’s going on in Greece is going to happen here, inflation’s going to happen here, lower business confidence here.
What do you think is going on?
REP. RON PAUL, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, R-TEXAS: Well, exactly what you’re saying. You’re describing it rather well, and it’s going to continue.
And the many free market economists that predicted we’d have a severe crisis in ‘08 have also predicted that this would last a long time if we didn’t do the right things. And we’re not doing the right things. We’re doing all the wrong things. So we are going to perpetuate our problems.
And we tried to paper it over. And you can do that in the short term and get out of a mild recession, but, ultimately, when you just paper everything -- that is, borrow, and spend, and then print the money -- you end up with higher prices, which is a tax. And that’s what we’re looking forward to, especially next year.
CAVUTO: If you don’t mind my digressing a little bit, Congressman, I know you had votes on the floor, and I understand you’re here a little bit late because of that, so I want to go right to some of questions that were pertinent.
CAVUTO: I had Governor Rick Perry of Texas here, who might or might not enter the race. He certainly sounded like he’s going to enter the race.
But I’m wondering, from your vantage point, what that says if he does, that there’s frustration with the field, which includes you, sir. What do you make of that?
PAUL: Yes, I think he would dilute the establishment vote. He certainly has an appeal. He’s been a governor of a large state.
And our states’ doing better than a lot of states, so I would say he has some positives there. But he doesn’t identify with the people who are disenchanted with the status quo. He’s identified, you know, with, you know, the previous administration and very much the status quo.
And I think some of the early polls have shown a little bit of that already. So, he’s going to dilute the vote, but he’ll dilute the establishment vote. But the people who are sick and tired of what they are getting in Washington, they want some significant changes, and looking at this from a free market. I -- I don’t think that he’s going to be that attractive to that group of people.
CAVUTO: What did you think of Michele Bachmann using that forum to -- I guess it’s not a surprise she was there at the forum -- but to announce that she is in the race?
PAUL: Well, it looks like it was very positive for her.
PAUL: So, politically speaking, she probably did a pretty smart thing.
CAVUTO: Does it bother you on any level, though, Congressman -- I know you’re not a vindictive fellow -- but a lot of the ideas you championed years ago, before a lot of these guys and the good congresswoman, they get the buzz, and you get buzzed.
(LAUGHTER) PAUL: Well, I don’t -- I don’t feel quite that way, because, when I travel, the difference is night and day compared to four years ago.
(CROSSTALK) PAUL: I get a lot of satisfaction out of the fact that the other candidates now say a few things that sort of acknowledge what I’ve been doing and saying.
Before, it used to be boos and hisses. And now they all say, well, I sort of agree with Ron Paul on this.
PAUL: So, I get a little bit of satisfaction from that.
CAVUTO: I mean, why don’t you come back at them and say, hey, idiot, I said this...
(LAUGHTER) CAVUTO: ... and you laughed at me back then?
But you’re not tempted, I guess, huh?
PAUL: Well -- well, no, I don’t think so.
I think the policies are idiotic. And the policies are a reflection of many, many decades of bad training and bad teaching. So, I try to direct my attention there, even though I get emotional at times in a personal way, but I try to avoid that. I don’t think that’ll change things.
I think we have to change people’s ideas and understanding and economic policy.
PAUL: That’s what really counts. And the people have to understand why you’re doing it. Then we can have the real change that we need.
CAVUTO: Congressman, your buddy Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve was sort of putting the pressure on you and your colleagues by extension, to move quickly on raising this debt ceiling...
CAVUTO: ... because the implications -- I’m paraphrasing here, sir, but would be devastating.
What did you think of that? Did that change the equation, now that he’s putting the heat on you guys?
PAUL: Yes, I heard that, but I think that he’s being very deceiving on that, because what -- what does he admit to? What does he know in his own mind would happen if we don’t get our house in order and we don’t quit spending?
That alternative, to many of us, is much, much worse than dealing with the fact that, enough is enough, we have to start cutting spending, and we have to change our policies. So, he -- yes, he describes that there could be problems if we don’t immediately raise the debt limit.
But the alternative is so much worse. He never talks about that. It was sort of like the way they talked about bailing out Wall Street and the banks three years ago. And they said it would be catastrophic.