Ron Paul: 'Privacy is dead and gone'

Former Texas lawmaker sounds off


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 19, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CAVUTO: Well, if the IRS can`t hold on to its own workers` private information, what makes you think it can hold on to yours?

To former Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, who has an idea, at least when it comes to the IRS. Why don`t you just get rid of it altogether?

Congressman, what do you make of this?

FORMER REP. RON PAUL, R - TX: Well, it`s a mess, as usual. And I still like my idea of getting rid of them.

But maybe there`s a -- I have trouble figuring out what the motivation is, but maybe they knew that Obama was going to pay time-and-a-half for overtime and if you go home and take your work home and you work overtime, maybe they thought they were going to get more pay.


PAUL: But it is. It`s such an outrage.

Now, the individual that`s involved, when you ask for information, the IRS says, oh, no, we can`t tell you anything about her because we want to protect the privacy of that particular individual. So you`re absolutely correct when you suggest that, you know, if they can`t watch this information on themselves, and this is what happens when government gets too big and they start spying on each other, then what`s going to happen when ObamaCare, if that ever gets really going?

You know, that`s all based on IRS agents. So privacy is dead and gone. I think it`s a general principle. It`s just not the IRS. It`s the TSA. It`s the NSA. And it`s the principle of the Fourth Amendment. If they knew and understood that, we wouldn`t have this problem. But this is another typical example of the government not caring about us, and it seems like they are running just out of control.

CAVUTO: Well, you know, the odd thing as you pointed out with the IRS is, no matter all these screw-ups and earlier with the concern about targeting conservatives -- I understand there`s an investigation going -- I don`t see much coming of it.

But leaving that aside, we sort of promote up and we keep saying, all right, you have done such a boffo job handling this, that now we`re going to give you complete job of the financial aspects of the new health care law. But there`s no pause here.

And I guess the argument is they are the best entity to supervise this. But your argument is what, Congressman, that government and all of these agencies, the IRS included, have simply gotten too big, too unwieldy?

PAUL: Yeah. They are out of control.

And the other thing is, is, I have come to the point where I don`t have much faith and confidence of any investigation or any commission, because they never punish anybody. It`s usually a cover-up. And you can look at any one of them. You don`t see government agents getting punished. It`s usually that they get covered up.

You know who gets punished? The whistle-blower is more likely to be punished, because they are revealing what`s happening. And if you had one person come forth and start talking about the IRS, you know, they probably would end up getting punished.

But if there's another investigation, I don`t much faith and confidence. So, that`s why I place confidence in smaller government and a limited role for government, and protecting of liberty, but not to run our lives and run the economy and believe in this principle that deficits don`t matter and if you come up short, you just print money. Those are days that are ending, and I think fortunately so, that it`s a failed system.

And eventually we will have to wake up and decide what the role of government ought to be in this country. And I have a precise idea about what the role of our government ought to be.

CAVUTO: Well, I know you have been warning about this long before a lot of these privacy issues hit. But part of your big concern was, I remember, particularly when you were running for president, is that if it gets too big and unwieldy, you get a lot of this stuff happening.

And that begs the next question, whether it`s too far gone now just as it is, that on a percentage basis, if you figure that you`re going to have, you know, 10 percent of whatever a given budget is waste, fraud, abuse, law, something -- someone is creaming something -- then these numbers are so gargantuan, we are going to see a lot more of this.

It`s 20,000 IRS workers today. It might be 200,000 American tax filers tomorrow, and there`s nothing we can do about it because we can`t even control it.

PAUL: You know, and I have always argued that we should work to wean the government off, get more people in Congress to vote a certain way.

But I really don`t have any confidence at all in that. It`s sort of like the issue of going toward a sound monetary policy. Do we wean the people off, you know, of Q.E. and eventually get back to not monetizing debt? No.

I think there`s too many special interest, too many privileged people, too much in the budget for special interests. And the little guy, the middle class, the retirees, low interest rates, that`s good for this and that, but it`s not good for people who save money. And they are not going to change that. This is going to continue. The momentum is too great for the growth of big government.


CAVUTO: And what do you think of those who argue, though, we`re doing this, all these warts and problems notwithstanding, we`re doing all of this for your own good?

PAUL: Oh, yes, that`s always the case. We are going to take care of you. We want a fair society in economics. We want to have fairness and we`re always doing this for your safety.

Well, the government is supposed to be there to protect our liberty. And we`re supposed to worry about most of the other things. But they are always going to do it. It`s always a humanitarian instinct to say, oh, we have to take care of them. People aren`t smart enough to do this.

CAVUTO: That`s exactly right.

PAUL: And yes, we have to invade their privacy because they won`t be safe and secure. It goes on and on. So, we have accepted as a nation a role for government which was never intended by our Constitution and was never intended in a free society.

So, in a way, we`re in a revolutionary stage. We either have to change that or we`re going to continue to go downhill. This is one of the reasons why the economy is in stagnation, because nobody is giving up on the status quo. How many bureaus...

CAVUTO: We`re beefing it up. We`re beefing it up, not status quo. We`re going more quo, you know?


PAUL: How many bureaus or agencies of government ever get truly repealed? No, it`s a continuing expansion and dependency.

And now people think they have a right to all this. They don`t think that, you know, that you and I might be paying taxes and, therefore, they are getting some temporary benefits and thank you. They have an absolute right, a demand. A need becomes a right. And really in a free society, you have a right to your life and you ought to have the right to keep the fruits of our labor.

And the system works a lot better. We had a good taste of that in our [inaudible] history. But we have given up on it and it`s eroding steadily. And I think this is just another example of the mess that we have created, but I still hold out hope that, if you offer the solution to the system that we have had for so long, that a generation will come along and say, hey, look, we can`t depend on the government to take care of us and we don`t need all this mischief overseas.


PAUL: So, we need something new and different.

Of course, that`s where I find a good reception among the young people who say, you know, it doesn`t look like this is working out for us. We have worked hard, we got through college, borrowed a lot of money, but we can`t get a job.



PAUL: I think they`re open.

CAVUTO: They are getting sick of it. They are getting sick of it. We will see.

PAUL: I think they`re open. Right.

CAVUTO: Congressman, it`s always a pleasure, sir. Thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Ron Paul.

Content and Programming Copyright 2014 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.