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Time magazine: 10 questions for Ron Paul

Section: Daily Dispatches

10 Questions for Ron Paul

Time magazine
Monday, September 28, 2009,9171,1924494,00.html

Q: What role does the Federal Reserve have in our current economic downturn? -- Brad Thomas, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Ron Paul: The Federal Reserve is the key element in the formation and collapse of financial bubbles. They're a government unto themselves. They print their own money. So if people have any concern whatsoever about the serious financial problems that we have, they have to know about what the Federal Reserve is doing.

Q: Do you think you were treated fairly by the mainstream media during your 2008 presidential candidacy? -- Jacob Schans, Silver Spring, Md.

RP: I know if you asked my supporters that question, you'd get a pretty strong answer. But in spite of it all, I was very pleased. The little bit of time I had, I hope I made good use of it.

Q: If people are so frustrated with a two-party system, why has there been so little success in coming up with another real contender? -- Erika Groff, Troy, N.Y.

RP: Because we don't have a two-party system. We have a one-party system. Both parties endorse the welfare state and corporatism. Both parties support interventionism overseas. But they also write all the campaign laws. So they have made it virtually impossible to break into the monopoly. If I had run on a third-party ticket I wouldn't have been in the debates.

Q: What would you do to reform health care? -- Leslie Gillis, Arlington, Mass.

RP: I'd get the government out of the way. It's so important that the maximum number of people get the maximum amount of care. The harder the subject is -- the more difficult, the more complicated -- the more you need the marketplace.

Q: Why do you support the decriminalization of marijuana? -- Craig Thomas, Longview, Texas.

RP: Why support the criminalization of marijuana is the better question. First, I defend it because a free society allows people to make free choices, even dumb choices. And the problems we have with the war on drugs are a thousand times worse than the problems we have with drug overusage.

Q: How do you feel about the way you were shown in the Sacha Baron Cohen film "Bruno"? -- Matthew Thacker, Bowling Green, Ohio.

RP: I don't feel good about it because I was the subject of a trick, and nobody likes to be tricked. I understand they're not making a tremendous amount of money off this movie, so maybe the American people aren't as cynical as they assumed.

Q: Do you feel that fearmongering from conspiracy theorists helps or hurts the cause of liberty? -- Kevin Tuma, Hillsboro, Texas.

RP: It depends if there is a true conspiracy. You could call the Federal Reserve a conspiracy because they're conspiring to run the whole economy secretly. But the idea that there are 12 people holed up in some room someplace and they control the world through some type of conspiracy -- I don't buy into that.

Q: Will you run in 2012? -- Paul Panasiuk, San Francisco, Calif.

RP: Right now I have no plans to do it. That's a long way off.

Q: Why do you oppose the income tax? -- Mike Phillips, Madison, Wis.

RP: Because I have a right to the fruits of my labor, and government does not. If you concede the principle of the income tax, you concede the principle that the government owns all your income and permits you to keep a certain percentage of it. God-given rights to our life and our liberty don't come from government.

Q: How does objecting to all legislation serve your constituents? -- Richard English, Mission Viejo, Calif.

RP: I vote against all spending -- even spending that I might justify -- unless it doesn't add to the deficit, because debt is a monster and it has driven us to the point of bankruptcy. I think my constituents' best interests are served by voting against all excessive spending. Evidently they must understand it to some degree, because up until now I've been re-elected.


Ron Paul is a Republican U.S. representative from Texas.

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