CEDAR RAPIDS – U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, who in 12 terms has never voted to raise the federal debt ceiling, expects Congress and the president to reach an agreement to raise the debt limit, but then default on the nation’s debt.
“That’s not going to happen. We will pay the bondholders,” he said.
However, the 2012 GOP presidential hopeful expects the federal government will default by paying its debts with worthless money.
“What I believe we will do … is to continue the printing presses. Then, we pay off debts with cheap money,” Paul said. “If the government owes you $10,000 for a treasury bond and after 10 years they give you your money. But what if it only buys $2,000 worth of goods? They’ve defaulted on the $8,000. It’s the purchasing power that matters.”
Paul, who will be a week shy of 76 at the Iowa GOP Straw Poll Aug. 13, received an enthusiastic reaction from the mid-day crowd that interrupted his call for a more limited role for federal government, bringing troops home and returning decision-making to individuals.
“It’s his entire liberty message,” explained Brandon Stascak of Marion. “He’s the only honest man left standing.”
He agrees with Paul that not only should people make decisions for themselves, but the consequences would not be as bad as when the government makes choices for the public.
“People will make better decisions,” Stascak said. “But if the government messes up, it affects everybody.”
Many in Paul’s audiences around the state are, like Stascak, committed supporters, according to his Iowa Chairman Drew Ivers. The challenge now is to engage more people and get them to support Paul in the Ames straw poll.
Ivers believes there is movement toward Paul among independents, including supporters of the Tea Party that Paul launched in 2007. A recent poll showed him with a higher percentage of support among independents than Republicans.
“We’ve got to get them to activate,” Ivers said about the spectrum of home-schoolers, Tea Party activists, rank-and-file Republicans and independents. “We need to validate the message and the messenger.”
Not everyone at the rally was ready to join the Paul campaign.
Steve Kepros came at the urging of a friend, but even before Paul spoke, the Marion man was taking issue with several of the candidate’s positions.
“Border security? We should have secured the border when we took Texas away from Mexico,” he said.
Although he agrees with Paul lawful immigration should be protected, Kepros doubts most immigrants can afford the $5,000-plus cost of going through legal immigration.
And when it comes to Paul’s opposition to the Federal Reserve, Kepros wondered if Paul was in the wrong party.
“He wants to end the Federal Reserve,” Kepros said. “The Federal Reserve props up big business and big business props up the Republican Party. Maybe he should be running as a Democrat.”
It was more clear to independent John Braumann of Marion. He plans to go to Ames for Paul because he supports his message of following the Constitution and eliminating the Federal Reserve.
Independent John Braumann of Marion plans to go to Ames to support Paul because he supports his message of following the Constitution and eliminating the Federal Reserve.
“He’s the only declared candidate that I have any strong feeling for,” Braumann said.
That’s important to Paul, who told the crowd that if he does badly in the straw poll “it will not be a good message for liberty.”
“It will not be a good message for my enthusiasm. I will be unhappy if I come in last,” he said.
However, there is every reason to believe that won’t be the case, according to Paul and his staff.
“If you believe in what we’re doing in, come to Ames and we will send a message that will be heard around this country,” he said.
2012, Brandon Stascak, campaign, candidate, candidates, caucus, Cedar Rapids, Drew Ivers, GOP, GOP field, Iowa, Iowa Caucus, John Bfraumann, Marriott, precinct caucuses, president, presidential, Republican, Tea Party