DES MOINES – Talk about tough love.
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul delivered what he admitted was a pessimistic economic message to employees at Principal Financial on Thursday, warning of the potential for a “major, major” world crisis if drastic measures aren’t taken to halt policies of debt and deficit, alter the monetary system and drastically shrink the size of government to get America’s fiscal house back in order the way he believes the constitution prescribes.
“As a physician, let me tell you, what we do with our economy, with our money, the monetary system, with the spending and the inflating, it’s very similar to treating a drug addict by just giving him another fix, not getting him off the drug,” the Texas congressman said during a campaign stop. “The drug of spending and borrowing and printing money and deficit just delays the inevitable.”
Paul, who has been jockeying in the top three positions among public opinion polls with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with the Jan. 3 leadoff Iowa caucuses slightly more than three weeks away, likened the situation to an alcoholic with a failing liver who ignores warnings to change his bad habits.
“If you don’t quit, the patient dies,” he said, “and we’re at this point now with our finances.”
Paul, who has long called for shifting back to a gold standard for currency, warned that the solution being advocated for the current international crisis is to simply print more money and try to patch the situation with a worldwide dollar reserve standard which is not viable but few others are ready to admit it.
“The world is facing a major, major crisis. I personally believe it’s worse than anything that’s ever existed in the world before because it’s so big and it’s so global,” he said, adding that few people in Washington or running for president are willing to face up to the problem except him.
If elected president, Paul said he would push to cut $1 trillion in federal spending during his first year in office, stop having America be “policeman to the world,” abolish the welfare state, end government bailouts, and work to revamp the monetary system as the nation works to deal with massive debt issues by following “what’s prescribed in the Constitution.”
“If we do that, we’ll be back on our feet. We might have a bad year, but believe me it won’t be a bad decade or a bad two or three decades like we did in the Depression,” he said. “Yes, there has to be a correction. But a correction is the treatment. A correction can be healthy. Yes, you do have withdrawal symptoms just like an addict has withdrawal symptoms, but they’re not long lasting. We could get down and we could get it over with rather quickly. What we’re doing now is prolonging the agony.”
After his speech, Paul shook hands and exited the building for his next campaign stop, but was asked as he was leaving about an aggressive campaign he and his campaign are waging against Gingrich that criticizes him in advertisements for “serial hypocrisy.”
“I have to expose him for what he’s been doing all these years. That’s all we’re doing, trying to present the facts,” Paul said as staff members whisked him away.