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Ron Paul: Steadily, ‘Our Numbers Are Growing’

Above: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, shown at a campaign stop in South Carolina, spoke with NPR's All Things Considered today about the upcoming primaries, the possibility of a third-party run, taxes and other issues.

In a wide-ranging discussion with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas, said of all the GOP hopefuls, he's been the steady one.

"All I know is that the message is powerful," he said in response to a question about the viability of his campaign. "The message is well-received. Our numbers are growing, and we don't go up and down like a yo-yo."

Paul has had solid showings in the first three contests of the primary season, but he's the only one of the four candidates left who can't claim a victory. He came in third in Iowa with 21 percent of the vote; second in New Hampshire with 23 percent, and came in fourth in South Carolina with 13 percent of the vote. In Florida, which votes Jan. 31, the latest CNN/Time/ORC poll has him in fourth place with 9 percent support among Republican voters.

Robert asked him if he could win any of the upcoming states. Paul said he had not made those calculations. Robert also pressed him on whether he would consider a third-party run. Paul, who throughout the campaign has not ruled that out, has worried Republicans because they believe a third-party run could help Democrats in the general election.

So Robert asked him if a third-party candidacy would be an honorable thing to take on.

"I think what is honorable is for me to do what I think is right," Paul said.

Robert also talked plenty of policy with Paul. Here are some of the highlights.

— On what he thinks about Mitt Romney paying a lower interest rate on his income than many middle-class Americans, Paul said he would prefer everyone pay the same tax rate.

"I wouldn't go for equity by raising everybody's taxes to 30 percent. I'd want to lower everybody to 15 percent," he said.

So, Robert asked, a person who makes $50,000 a year would pay the same as someone who makes $5 million a year?

"I don't like the principle of a graduated income tax. It's reflective of a system which is designed to redistribute wealth," he said, adding that it is also an incentive for government corruption.

"Usually it just invites people to use that power to protect their wealth. This is certainly what's happening today in both the monetary system and the way the system is structured in Washington with the powerful special interests. They're able to use those powers to punish the people that they're supposed to protect."

— During Monday's debate, Newt Gingrich said he supported Paul's proposal to take the country back to the gold standard. Paul said that Gingrich was probably saying that for political expediency.

"He would have had the chance over all those years to help me out," he said. "I've gotten more help from from [Democratic Rep.] Barney Frank. He helped me get the bill passed in the House to audit the [Federal Reserve].

"Progressive Democrats are much better in helping sort out and find out what the corporations are doing and what the banks are doing than conservative Republicans."

— Paul walked a fine line when talking about civil rights laws. Paul has courted controversy before by saying he would not have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

During the interview with Robert, he made similar arguments saying that he can't imagine anyone in today's world putting up a sign that says they wouldn't serve blacks, for example.

"I mean that is ancient history," he told Robert.

Paul made the argument that government is the problem, that government was the one that instituted slavery and instituted Jim Crow laws. But when pressed, when asked if Americans would have voluntarily integrated, he admitted, "Some of those laws were good laws. Some of that was to repeal bad laws."

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Avatar for user 'Satariel'

Satariel | January 26, 2012 at 9:28 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

Ron Paul is the only person who cares about this country more than he cares about protecting his own interests. He is the only one who wants to fundamentally change government and politics in America. Romney, Newt, Obama, they just play to the current system of gamesmanship where money controls all.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | January 26, 2012 at 9:53 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

I think Ron Paul is an intelligent, well-spoken man, far intellectually superior to the other republican primary contenders. That was quite obvious from the debates.

I mean having Ron Paul standing next to Rick Perry was like Einstein standing next to Tweedle Dumb.

He makes points I agree with concerning protection of civil liberties in our country.

With all that said, I could never support Ron Paul due to his extremist views on taxes and the role of government.

In order to maintain hegemony, the United States needs government investment in infrastructure, technology, and research.

We also need social safety nets to protect us from times when capitalism fails us, and most citizens do support social security and Medicare.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 26, 2012 at 9:57 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

Does hemean the "looney Right" as Brezshinski once called them?

A true libertarian would join the libertarian party and strengthen it, not be hanging out on the fringes of the GOP.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | January 26, 2012 at 9:58 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

I forgot to include education above, in addition to technology, research, and infrastructure investments.

We need a centralized government to invest in these key areas if we are to compete with rising nations like India and China.

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Avatar for user 'xRedfoxx'

xRedfoxx | January 26, 2012 at 10:29 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

Here is a link to the Conservative Scorecard that is an easy-to-read rating of the GOP candidates on conservative issues. Ron Paul ranks very high!!

I think it’s time we unite behind him and we take Obama down!!

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Avatar for user 'katfan77'

katfan77 | January 26, 2012 at 10:47 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

"We need a centralized government to invest in these key areas if we are to compete with rising nations like India and China."

Above statement is why we are on life support as a nation. Why is it the exact same arguments were used by Teddy, Woodrow, Theodore and LBJ when these ideals were sold to the American people 50-100 yrs ago yet here we are all these years later and everything they claimed to want to protect has been turned into what they said they would protect it from becoming in the first place. But fear not we just need to spend and do more to fix what spending and doing more has caused. Just like in the 50's and 60's when we were having kids cower under a desk waiting for sure destruction the people in power are laughing & rolling around on the floor at how stupid people truly are.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 26, 2012 at 1:39 p.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

We have a constitution to define what we need a centralized government to do. Our government has expanded to do (and cost) much more than was intended. If we as a union decide we need to amend it, there is a process for that. Otherwise, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people”.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | January 26, 2012 at 5:01 p.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

"kaftan", the world is interconnected and the United States cannot survive as the superpower if we lag behind in education, technology, infrastrucure and research - and I'm quite sure most Americans, both liberals and conservatives, agree with me.

For you to say spending on these key elements of society has taken us to where we are today is incorrect.

What has taken us to where we are today is endless military spending on unnecessary wars, a prison-industrial complex out of control, and tax breaks for the super rich.

Our infrastructure out of date and crumbling, while we have built schools and infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan with u.s. taxpayers money. Notbto mention countries like India and China are building bridges, metro rails systems, and airports while ours are crumbling.

You think it's a good thing that when I travel to New Delhi, It's LAX that resembles a 3rd world shanty and Indira Gandhi International is new and modern? You think it's good for America when our infrastructure is falling behind developing countries?

We also imprison more people per capita than any other nation on earth. That ain't cheap! More people are in prison here per capita than in Russia, China, Iran, even North Korea - WE are the ultimate police state, it's growing, and it takes trillions of dollars to sustain.

In the last decade, the state of California alone went for spending more on prisons than we do on higher education.

And I think you are confused when you make this statement:

"*Why is it the exact same arguments were used by Teddy, Woodrow, Theodore and LBJ when these ideals were sold to the American people 50-100 yrs ago yet here we are all these years ......."*

First off, Theodore and teddy are the same person, I will answer you by assuming you meant FDR as his New Deal entitlements and LBJ's Great Society entitlements are what those of your ideology usually attack.

I will first say that both Social Security and Medicare work.

They are running out of money now because our population is shifting as the boomers become seniors and our population pyramid is becoming heavier on top and smaller on the bottom with increasing seniors and a lower birth rate. It is **NOT** because these programs are inherently flawed.

Any entity after decades needs re-adjustment, and successful corporations also need readjustment after decades. But to suggest that programs that have delivered as promised and made the difference between poverty and comfort, life and death, and misery and happiness for millions of American seniors over decades are somehow bad is disgustingly un-American in my opinion.

Furthermore, to suggest it is these programs that have caused our current problems while you ignore the impact of unnecessary wars, the failed war on drugs, and the over bloated prison state we have become is intellectually dishonest.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | January 26, 2012 at 5:01 p.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago


It's opinions like yours that are going to make the United States of America no longer the world's leader. You need more than a strong military to be the world's hegemon, you need a country worth protecting. Otherwise you become North Korea - a country with an overbloated military and nothing else. We need the investment in education, technology, research, and infrastructure to sustain our wealth as a nation.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 27, 2012 at 7:55 a.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

Good job PDSD, most of that was spot on.
Just to make sure though, when you say "We need the investment in education, technology, research, and infrastructure to sustain our wealth as a nation." you mean 'We need to have individual entities heavily self invest in research, education and private infrastructure while the government moderately invests in macro infrastructure undertakes limited, focused investment in research and technology.'

Oh, and don't hate the rich. They are paying more and recieving less for it than either of us.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | January 27, 2012 at 4:04 p.m. ― 5 years ago

Thanks, Benz. I support public investment that is robust and can accomplish great things but not to the point where the private sector is stifled. And yes, I think the government should focus only on areas lacking in the private sector because they are not as profitable. I don't want a public and private sector that are in competition, but rather that compliment each other.

I think there are two sides of looking at the "private vs public" debate, because I think there are certain things the government does better and certain things the private sector does better. Agree that macro infrastructure is very difficult to accomplish solely through the private sector and is a great example of an area the government can be useful.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 29, 2012 at 3:02 p.m. ― 5 years ago


You think Ron Paul has extremist views about the role of government?

Then you must think Thomas Jefferson was an extremists, too. Here is the essential excerpt from a letter written by Jefferson on Aug 13, 1800:

"The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our general government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very unexpensive one--a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants."

Read the whole letter here:

There are many gems of brilliance in it and all are echoed by Ron Paul.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 29, 2012 at 3:22 p.m. ― 5 years ago


But you are on the right path and actually agree with most of what Ron Paul stands for. You truly should consider voting for him.

Ron Paul and I (and clearly you), believe the majority of our problems result from foreign entanglement. If we took just a fraction of the money we have wasted on fruitless foreign wars, we could easily reverse the upward trend of imprisonment and drug use through education and rehabilitation.

Where we split is on federal schemes like Social Security and Medicare. The further away you get from the people, the greater the corruption. Just look at how the federal government continues to "borrow" money from those programs and how the pharmaceutical industry continues to milk beneficiaries for every last penny.

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Avatar for user 'Satariel'

Satariel | January 30, 2012 at 8:27 a.m. ― 5 years ago

Great comments CaliforniaDefender, I hope more people start to realize the truth.

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