Ask The Expert - Ron Paul - September 2022
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A man who needs no introduction, Dr. Ron Paul is a renowned author, activist, physician, and 12-term U.S. Congressman from Texas. A longtime libertarian and sound money advocate, he founded The Ron Paul Liberty Report in 2015 to provide provocative opinion and analysis on the breaking issues affecting our lives and finances. In addition to the daily video report, co-hosted by Daniel McAdams and live-cast on YouTube at 12pm ET (US), the Ron Paul Liberty Report website brings together many of the individuals who Ron has worked with over the decades and who continue the struggle against the encroaching leviathan state.
In this edition of Ask the Expert, Dr. Paul answers seven of your listener-submitted questions, including:
- Will it ever be politically feasible to audit the Fed?
- Will a future alternative world reserve currency be backed by gold?
- Plus: what would happen in the first 100 days of a Ron Paul presidency?
For the answers to these questions and more, listen here:
Announcer: You're listening to "Ask The Expert" on Sprott Money News.
Craig: Well, welcome back to your "Sprott Money News" and sprottmoney.com "Ask The Expert" segment. It's September of 2022, and joining us this month is Dr. Ron Paul. Many of you are familiar with Dr. Paul. He's, of course, a Liberty advocate, a sound money advocate, and a former us Congressman, and what a pleasure it is to get a chance to visit with him. Dr. Paul, thank you so much for taking some time.
Dr. Paul: Craig, it's good to be with you.
Craig: It's an honor to visit with you, sir. And again, I list all your accomplishments. I would imagine some of the things you're most proud of are the fact of all the babies you've delivered over the years and that your son, Rand, just kind of carrying on the family tradition.
Dr. Paul: Yeah. I've been blessed. I've had a lot of nice things happen. Sometimes I'm very surprised how well things go, but I accept it, you know. But it's been just, for instance, running for office from the very beginning. It was all in the luck [SP] just to make a couple of points because I was upset with the Bretton Woods system breaking down. So, those are the kind of things that surprised me, and I had a lot of surprises during the presidential races.
Craig: And again, for all of us in the sound money community, you've been a voice of reason and sanity for years and, fortunately, your son has carried on that tradition too, and we certainly appreciate it. Before we get started, we've been collecting questions for you as we do every month with "Ask The Expert." I just always like to remind people that this content is brought to you by Sprott Money. You can thank them in any one of a number of ways. You can always check out their website for precious metal deals, you can also just simply like or subscribe to this content on whatever channel you're listening to. That helps them cast a wider net. Get this information distributed on a more wide basis to get more people to learn about sound money and where we are in the world. So, of course, go to sprottmoney.com or you can, of course, call them at (888) 861-0775. Dr. Paul, I've got seven questions for you. I think they're all probably right in your wheelhouse. I look forward to getting your answer. Can I kick it off with question one?
Dr. Paul: Okay.
Craig: All right. Here we go. Your efforts, you made quite a few efforts in Congress, to audit the Fed and they're always met with roadblocks. Do you think it's currently politically feasible? Will it ever be politically feasible to accomplish an audit in the future?
Dr. Paul: No. Not a real audit. And I think what we did do is we brought the issue to attention to a lot of people because we had a couple of votes and it was...twice it was on the floor. It won easily. One time we had all the Republicans and a bunch of Democrats vote to audit the Fed. So, the issue is there and the people there. And I didn't go to the usual sources in Congress to get the support, I went to the people outside of Congress who put pressure on their Congressmen, and they found out that it was politically beneficial to say that we needed to know more about the Federal Reserve, which is the strong positive. But to have a real audit, it's sort of like asking, "When is the real audit gonna occur with the CIA? When are we gonna have an audit of all the money spent in the Pentagon?" They don't audit anything. And it's a big deal to keep the big finances at the Federal Reserve secret, but that doesn't mean we don't quit. It's something that is necessary, but we shouldn't worry about it too much because the Fed will [inaudible 00:03:46].
Their function can't continue because it's on a road to self-destruction because they can't do what they pretend they think they wanna do other than benefit on a short run for a few people. But on the long run, they're gonna destroy the monetary system. They graduate erosion since 1913. It's in bad shape now, and every single day we're gonna look at it. But that's gonna continue, but to get enough people in Congress to vote for it, and have a president sign a bill to audit the Fed, no, that's not gonna happen that way, but it will be audited. We'll find out about it, but it will be after a final conclusion where everybody gives up on the system we have today.
Craig: Yeah. Well, that's a pretty good segue to question two, Dr. Paul. You mentioned Bretton Woods, the U.S. dollar having been backed by gold, you know, to give it some credibility as a foundational currency for global trade after World War II, but you know what, it's the exorbitant privilege, right? Sure seems as if maybe an alternative is coming, you know, whether it's through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, you know, the BRICS [inaudible 00:04:58], you know, as you put it all together. Are you concerned by current events and the possible creation of at least an alternative to the U.S. dollar?
Dr. Paul: Well, there's going to be an alternative. We don't know what it's going to be. If somebody waved a wand, and somebody came up with a new one, I wouldn't expect it to be in perfect shape and work very well. But it's great stuff. And I was fulfilling my efforts in Washington because I always emphasize the thing about competition, that there should be competition in currencies. And that if there is a competition in metals or whatever, there should be no taxation on money. You can't compete if you can print money and there's no taxation. But if somebody else has an alternative and if the price of gold or silver goes up, you get taxed on that. So, there'd be no taxes, you know, whether there'd be a state tax or federal taxes on money. And it would have to be voluntary. So, there'll be others internationally, just constant talk about it, and I think that's very, very healthy. But I think the odds in the real near future of a significant takeover of the reserve currency of the world, right now, people are loving the dollar. They're going to the dollar, and that's gonna continue for a while.
But in the midst of a real chaotic situation, such as that we've seen over the years in times of war, there's always a natural resorting to something else until somebody comes along and straightens it out. Even we have gone back to gold after being off it like after the continental dollar failed. And after the civil war, we went back to gold. It's conceivable, but that's not going to happen. But under chaotic conditions, there will be alternatives. What I try to do is get involved in the education part, so that people will understand if...even if governments were to be involved that they try one where they have a unit of account that they can define such as the weight of some precious metal.
Craig: Right. That would seem to be a likely way they would go. Again, do you think, you know, if something were proposed in the future, you know, loosely by a coalition of other countries, they'd probably want...I mean, that's what we have always thought that they'd probably offer it with some type of gold backing to give people confidence in it. Does that seem logical?
Dr. Paul: It seems logical on the surface, but not as practical, because, you know, I mentioned the fact that we went back on the gold standard after the civil war. And they had a resumption period of three years, and they had been off it for 15 years total. And they promised that they would go back to $20 an ounce. And they were able to do it and it was uneventful. But we weren't running huge deficits, we weren't managing an empire around the world. We didn't have the reserve currency of the world, but we can't do that now because there's nobody. The pain and suffering of the treatment would be such that they're not gonna wanna do it. Eventually, the people will wanna do it, and they'll probably have their own little way of saving. That's why Liberty is the most important thing we do is make sure if the government can't take care of us, we ought to be able to get together and voluntarily take care of ourselves and try to preserve our wealth. But no, it's not going to be likely.
Even if you had the votes there in the Congress, like I said, you have to have the House, you have to have the Senate, you have to have the courts. Courts have never been friendly to sound money. And under those conditions, the president won't sign these bills. So, you have to work on the assumption that this is going to continue. The biggest effort has to be preparation for some chaos, at the same time, education. I think that without education and people understanding why you have to tighten your belt, and all the spending has to quit. You know, I never thought I could get elected by arguing that case and voting for it. So, that was a surprise to me. But they're not ready to do that. There's a little bit more pain and suffering that people are willing to put up with.
Craig: But do you think the...if the Russians and Chinese and that coalition were to offer some type of different trading currency, do you think they might back that with gold?
Dr. Paul: Yeah. I think they would try it. I think they approve themselves. But right now, you know, we're pretty authoritarian when it comes to people doing anything internationally, you know.
Craig: That's for sure.
Dr. Paul: So, if we do all these kind of things to punish us who want to circumvent and get around the Federal Reserve and punish the people who have all the benefits, you know, you can get into big trouble doing that. So, no, I think that it would be difficult, but that doesn't stop me from emphasizing it and talking about and educating people because support has to come from the people eventually. And that's what happened. So, just think, you know, we weren't even allowed to own gold from 1934 up to 1975 in a free country. That's amazing. The fact that we legalize it. So, we're on a pseudo, pseudo gold standard because...except for the fact that the government rigs prices a lot of times and it's not very pure, it's still a benefit. The fact that we can right now go out and buy gold, I think that is good. But I always think that the country is going to wake up when they knock on your door and they say, "Oh, we're here from the government. We want your guns, and we want your gold. If not, we're gonna shoot you." That's when the whole system falls apart.
Craig: Wow [SP] Yes. I'd agree with that. All right. Dr. Paul, that leads us, I guess, to question three. You kind of referenced it there in your last answer. Do you believe as many do? Certainly, on my side, they do, that the price of gold has been, let's say actively managed since 1975 in order to maintain confidence in the dollar.
Dr. Paul: I believe there's messing around and manipulating. I don't think they're capable of totally managing it because, you know, there's too many natural forces against it. And I encounter a lot of Libertarians who disagree with me on this and say that "Nah. That's a gold bug, you just want the price to go up. Even if it doesn't go up from market forces, then you say it is being rigged." Well, I think there's some of each. I think the government does get involved. And my evidence for this is the fact that gold was $35. No, it was...no, $20 an ounce when they started with it. And then they established the price after the war at $35 an ounce. They kept the price of gold at $35 an ounce all the way up until 1970 and '71 when Bretton Woods broke down. So, that's rigging. And we had the conditions, we were wealthy, we were an economic powerhouse, we're a military powerhouse, and we could get away with this. But it still was rigging to that sense. So, they will, and try to do it. Ultimately, though, there's always a black market in the midst of all of the rules and regulations.
One thing that I fear right now on earth, the conditions we have, is not only do they manipulate and take away the benefits of people owning gold and punish people who might. And that's me, I couldn't prove that in court. But the thing that may be coming, because they've started already, is they look to price controls, wage and price controls because that's the problem. And other people say, "Oh, no. It's not a money problem, we don't have enough. Print more, send us more money and that'll solve the problem." So, we have a long way to go, but I don't think it'll be real easy for two or three other countries. But I think there's more transactions now in the foreign markets than ever before. I think that'll continue. And I think that's all beneficial. But ultimately, I always go back to, "You gotta get people understanding what you're going to do." Right now, people think we have to go to war all the time for national security reason. Yet going to war all the time makes us less secure. And that's the way it is with spending and all, and that's why they think "Oh, we have to have the government managing money before we have inflation bursting out."
Craig: Right, right. All right. Well, question four, Dr. Paul, definitely draws on your experience in government and being a constitutionalist. At present, the U.S. Mint is falling far short in creating enough Silver Eagles to meet demand, which I think is in the constitution, they're supposed to. Representative Alex Mooney in West Virginia has tried to petition Secretary Yellen, Mint Director Gibson, but never gets anything back. Now, it's like false, just crickets, right? What do you think is behind the production shortage? Why is it persisting?
Dr. Paul: Well, I think there's a high demand. I don't know what all the statistics say and her, but I think people's concerns are real. And I think there are a lot more people who understand gold. And when people really get frightened and then some of these calamities hit, and that could happen any day, you know, internationally or financially, people will go, even though right now they're reluctant to do this thinking that things will work out. But I don't know the details of the supply and how it goes, but I think that there's a high demand and maybe the whole thing is contrived for a purpose. I know that they're going...I know it's to the benefit of the government to not allow the market really to control the prices. You know, when gold was relegalized in 1975 that was a big event. We were watching this so closely from '71. And boy, everybody expected gold prices to explode in '75. And I remember it clearly because I was attending a gold conference. Everybody was really watching it. And the gold went down sharply because treasury dumped gold and the IMF dumped gold. And therefore, they wanted to break support from people. So, I think if gold...if there was an event tomorrow which says that people really got excited and gold goes up $200, I think I'd be leery. That's why my philosophy is buy it a little earlier than you think you need it.
Craig: Just keep stacking that physical. Yeah. I've always said it's no coincidence that American citizens were allowed to own gold again in January 1975, but they started trading gold futures on December 31st of 1974.
Dr. Paul: That's right.
Craig: All right, sir. I've got three more questions for you. They're kind of more political in nature, but I mean, I've got you on the line, I gotta ask you these. First up, we got another U.S. midterm election coming up in a couple of months. How concerned are you with voter fraud? You know, mail-in ballots seem to be a very easy opportunity for that. And then how that calls into question legitimacy and trust in the results from both sides. Does that concern you about elections going forward?
Dr. Paul: Yeah. But I don't wanna wake at night because that's the way it's been run forever. I think the more pure a democracy strives to dictate and distribute power through 51% of the vote, the founders considered that one of the worst types of system. Because when you can manipulate and propagandize and get consent from the people that it is most open to a revolution and a coup and taking over. So, yes, it's been there. It's been there as...I mean, I live in Texas, you know, you'd have never had to go through the history of LBJ being president if he didn't cheat and steal the election one time. In the very first election I was in, we had absolute proof of a fraudulent election. I wasn't supposed to win because it was a democratic state at that time. And they said that I lost by 100 votes. And there was a recount and...No. That I won by 100 votes or something like that, and then I finally lost by 200 and something votes. And we took it to court. We won every battle in the court all the way up to the Supreme Court of Texas. So, the next day, they were able to get rid of the Supreme Court justice. I forget the terminology, but they were able to kick him out and they had another vote the same week and they convicted. They...
Craig: They ditched him [SP]?
Dr. Paul: ...turned down my party. Now, they cheat all the time, you know. And they're going to cheat, and that's why people have to just be aware of it. But I think fighting back is still very necessary. I still watch the elections and we still have a couple of people in there that know exactly what's going on. And so, as long as we can express ourselves to some degree and get a position it's alive but not well. You know, the system is alive but not well, and it's working because there's a few of us sometimes just sneak in the back door and all of a sudden, they don't know what to do with us because it turns out that the people like to hear the truth. That's the one thing I've come to... I never was naive. Boy, they agree with everything I say. No. I think I convinced them because I believed it so strongly that I was telling the truth. And there's a fertile field out there for that. And that's why I still, with all the mess we have, I come down as an optimist that things will come down because it's ideological and we're making inroads there. But the elections, I work more in education, ideological battles for sound money than I do working on elections where you're getting people elected. I want them to do it and I did it, but that is secondary to people understanding what this whole story is all about, and what our constitution really says. So, that's why I have a homeschooling program too.
Craig: Well, Dr. Paul that leads us to question six with one more after this. And this is kind of a fun one. I think most folks know, and you mentioned earlier that you ran for president a couple of times. Let's just say for fun that you were elected in 2024 and it's January 21st or whatever it is, 2025. Given everything that's going on in the world, what would be on your agenda for the first 100 days?
Dr. Paul: Well, I wouldn't last that long. No, what I would do is I would write an executive order, very inclusive, and every executive order signed on the last 100 years, and then cancel them, and then I'd leave town. You know, you can't do it through the process. You have to change the people, you have to have the vote. I could do some things with executive order, but if 97% of the people say, "Hey, he cut off my welfare checks." And if the businessmen say, "Hey, well, I need the banks, the banks need the Fed. We got rid of the Fed. Oh yeah. Sure." No. The one thing that I would do though, that's probably would be tougher time under these conditions to argue again, I'd bring all the troops home. Just quit fighting these senseless, stupid wars. All wars undermine personal liberty. And then work on all those other problems. You know, that would include bringing the troops home. I'd bring the CIA home too.
Craig: Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah. I'd vote for that. I'm sure a lot of people would. All right. Dr. Paul, finally our final question, and again, this kind of gets to politics. It seems to many that outside of a few good folks like your son, Rand, that really there's just one party and that corruption is rampant, the insider trading in Washington, you know, all that kind of stuff. Do you favor term limits as a solution? And really, is that even possible in this day and age?
Dr. Paul: Well, I did. I introduced a lot of legislation in the '70s, and we did get votes on them and didn't do very well. I think we had four votes on the House floor. So, I did support them, and I think it would help, and still would probably vote that way, but do any good? I wouldn't think so because we had people who were voluntarily willing to make that point, and they'd get elected, and they stayed six years and they left. And inevitably, the people who left were more principled and more decent than the people who came in because they were back to the old hacks. And they did. So, no, I think it's not relevant compared to the morality of the people that are there. I don't... So, I wouldn't be thinking that's much of a solution. I think the terms ought to be limited, but when the people wake up and say, "I'm not voting for you unless you vote to bring the troops home." That would be a good limitation of funds. That's why you have to go to the people themselves and get them to understand, you know, why it's important for us to pick up and improve upon and restore what the founders tried to do. That is 100 times more important than just saying that "Oh, we'll limit your terms. And after you're done in six years, we're gonna kick you out." Well, they're not gonna do it. That's the first thing.
And then also you'd have...if you could fire all the bureaucrats, you'd have to do that for it really to work. And then because the Faucis of the world still exist, you know. But if you...like I said, I supported it once, promoted the legislation, voted for the legislation, but I don't spend a lot of energy trying to convince people, "Oh, if we only had term limits, things are gonna be changed." No. We have to have term limits on the people who believe that interventionism in our personal lives, interventionism in the economy, or interventionism overseas, can provide us any good whatsoever, has nothing to do with national security, is a good way to destroy our national security. And that's why I concentrate on the education.
Craig: And you do, Dr. Paul, and we all appreciate it. We know you're no longer in Congress, but your work continues. When people wanna seek you out, where do they find your work these days? I know I've seen it on a couple of different websites.
Dr. Paul: Well, I spend a lot of time getting ready for and doing a daily cast, you know, livestream on ronpaullibertyreport.com. And Daniel McAdams is...I consider very, very good on foreign policy, the details of foreign policy, and a solid libertarian. And that's the place where most people are going now to follow up on what we do. We will promote our conferences and things like that on "Ron Paul Liberty Report."
Craig: And again, what was the website, Dr. Paul?
Dr. Paul: ronpaullibertyreport.com.
Craig: Ron Paul, all one word?
Dr. Paul: Yeah.
Craig: ronpaullibertyreport.com. It's hard to mess that one up. Again, we've been speaking with Dr. Ron Paul. Long-time sound money advocate, former us Congressman. And what a treat. Again, all we ask is a thank you for Sprott Money for providing this platform. Please visit their site or at least give them a call. (888) 861-0775, or of course, just give a like or a subscribe to whichever channel you've been listening on, as that helps out the cause too. Dr. Paul, thank you so much for your time. This has been fascinating, very interesting, very helpful. And I know everybody appreciates you taking the time to do it.
Dr. Paul: Good to be with you.
Craig: And from all of us here at "Sprott Money News" and sprottmoney.com, thank you for listening. We'll have another one of these "Ask The Expert" segments next month.
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