Hillary Clinton gave an “economic” speech this week (at least that’s what they called it). In truth, sound economics were nowhere to be seen. But there were a lot of profligate promises that were made. There were also a lot of myths. Ron Paul dispels them on today’s edition of Myth-Busters!
Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. Today is the day we do Myth Busters with Chris Rossini who is the co-host today and is also the editor of the ronpaullibertyreport.com. Chris, nice to have you with us today.
Chris Rossini: Good morning Dr. Paul, great to be with you.
Ron Paul: Very good. I guess it hasn’t been too difficult to find some of the fallacies that are floating around among the politicians and the economists. Right now, we are in the midst of a political campaign, if you haven’t noticed, so what will we be talking about today?
Chris Rossini: Yes, this week Hillary Clinton gave what was called an economic speech in Detroit and there wasn’t much economics involved, but a lot of promises were made, so we are going to go over some of those promises today. We will start with something that people love, especially on the left and that is free stuff and whenever they are promised free stuff, ultimately it morphs into an idea that they have a right to it. This year we heard about a right to healthcare and right to free college education, so it just spirals in that direction. Hillary didn’t use the word right in this sense, but there is always time, so you never know.
But, this is what she says, she says “I happen to think that we should be ambitious. We should push every household in America to broadband by the year 2020”, which is only 4 years from now. Dr. Paul, does government have any business being in broadband and promising it to everybody in mere 4 years.
Ron Paul: Obviously not, but there must be an ulterior motive, maybe the government needs faster spying arrangements, so they could spy on us in our houses and everyplace else, so they want a faster Internet service. This whole idea about rights and I think it’s very important, because people who demand something and want something and need something, it has been turned into a right. They don’t always say I have a right to this, but they are entitled to it, which is equivalent to saying I have a right to this, so all of a sudden now Hillary is saying that they need it and want it for the various reasons, we don’t want anybody be shortchanged, so they have a right to this and a need for it, so it’s up to the government to provide for this.
Obviously it’s wrong morally, it’s wrong constitutionally and it’s wrong for practical reasons too, because when governments provide, whether it’s healthcare, education, they always provide the worst kind of service. She is demanding this and it makes me think about a suggestion that I once made that what would happen if the government had been in charge of making sure that everybody in the country had a cell phone. That would have been a good goal, but what did the market do? We still have enough of the market left, there were a couple phone companies left, there was competition going on and I can remember some of the first phones that I had when I had a car phone and I thought it would be great for my medical practice. I spent a lot of money on them, they were big and bulky, the service was lousy and yet what happened with competition? The phones got smarter and smaller and cheaper and all of a sudden the government thinks, at least Hillary does think she can spread broadband to every household and be efficient.
I think that we can talk that would be very expensive. It is going to be inefficient and it’s obviously not the way to go, but yet people still fall into the trap of wanting this and of course she has to outdo Bernie Sanders, he has a lot of followers there, so it is something that they think is necessary.
I think some people are wrong in calling this socialism, because I think it’s the ill effects of democracy, pure democracy. If the majority wants it and if I win the election, the majority says let’s have free broadband and let’s have free this and that and free education, so it’s the dictatorship of the majority in a system that is not yet what you would classify as socialism, but every bit as dangerous.
Chris Rossini: Yes. Next, we will talk about taxes. Hillary Clinton says that she wants to make it simpler for small companies to file taxes. I am not sure how all the tax accountants out there would feel about this, but she said that it should be as easy as printing out a bank statement. Everyone knows that Hillary Clinton wants to drastically raise taxes, she is not very shy about telling us that, so does it really matter if it’s simpler to file if we are all paying more to the government of our earnings?
Ron Paul: It should be and it will be appealing, because that is a complaint, we spend a lot of money, billions of dollars, because the tax forms are complicated and we have to hire somebody to do it and yet just simplifying it, it could to exactly the opposite. We might make the case for a complicated form and a very difficult form and a cost to it and maybe this will finally wake up the people for their tax revolt and say we’ve had enough.
I think your point is well taken, she is not for lower taxes, she is not really for saving money and she is for collecting more. It reminds me of what supply siders argue. Supply siders are good people, they think a lower tax rate is beneficial to the economy and there is some evidence to this, but they are not interested in reducing revenues. One of the benefits of the efficiency of the system would be that there would be more revenues and that of course is more harm that the government can cause. Maybe we can compare this a little bit to the withholding tax.
The withholding tax was introduced during World War II and they wanted to make it easier to pay the taxes, so you don’t want to write a check to the government every month. They made it easier, they withheld the tax and people don’t even know that they are stealing their money and if they get ten dollars back, oh the government sent me ten dollars. But, the withholding tax was horrible in being able for the government to hide the fact that they are taxing a lot of people and the people are more complacent about it.
So, I think the taxes, when they are being paid, it should be made more difficult and at least not have the goal of making it easy and ignoring the problem that it causes and that is when the government takes the money, the penalize it and the worst thing is is when they start spending it, it causes a lot more trouble because it just enhances the size of the government, the bureaucracy undermines property rights and undermines our liberties, increases the chances of war being fought, so it’s the whole idea that it is a lot more complicated than simplifying the form.
It would be difficult for me to literally say that if we had a 20-page form to pay our taxes that I would be put in the corner and say I am going to vote for the 20 pages rather than the 1 page and that is why it is so tempting for people to use this and they take their mind off of the process, rather than why are they taking our money and we have to keep our eye on the ball, which means that essentially all politicians, no matter what they say, are in business to enhance the government and the government needs the money, so they will inflate, they will run up debt and they will increase taxes, so the simplification of this form offers very little relief for the average taxpayer, essentially nothing. It probably, quite possibly could do more harm than good.
Chris Rossini: Next, Hillary tried to appeal to Bernie’s supporters in this speech and it is not a big jump for her, but she was talking about free college for the middle class. Just to rewind back, the government in its initial attempt to help college kids, poured over a trillion dollars into student loans, which did nothing but drive up the price of college and then loaded kids with that. Hillary wants to keep on helping these kids and she says she wants to fight to make college tuition free for middle class and debt free for everyone. What do you think of this Dr. Paul?
Ron Paul: It’s a miracle and she’s a genius. I didn’t believe in miracles, but here we have a miracle maker. All politicians are miracle makers essentially. My simple answer to this is when you get something for free, what you are getting is worth what you paid for it. Yeah, free stuff seems like a good idea, but I think this educational thing which you alluded to is a good example of the people who are getting this free stuff and free education, are victimized by it, because they get a lousy education and they get introduced into a society that doesn’t have good jobs and they end up really paying for it. They end up, the fact that they don’t have jobs, they end up with inflation and all these other problems and then they are out of school and they might have to be retrained again, so the cost doesn’t bear down on the Wall Streeters who are able to get their stocks taken care of by the Federal Reserve and get their bailout, so the average person has been really snookered on this.
They are told you are going to get free stuff and millions and millions of the people say that is a good idea, not realizing the sacrifice of their sense of self-respect and self-reliance is great, but the sacrifice on what they are looking for in reality, that is their liberties and a sound economy and a good job. They are just deceived completely on this. This whole idea of a free education, it will be worth exactly what they pay for it and I just think that too many people are wishful thinking.
Right now, I think this debt, 1.3 trillion dollars of student debt, it will be removed, it has already started. As a matter of fact, I had a call on my cell phone, because they think I am so young and in college and it was a spontaneous call on my cell phone saying we are here to help you get out of paying your student debt, just listen to this program. Who would be doing this? It has to be some government program and they have my cell phone. They have my age mixed up, because I graduated at least 5 years ago from college and I don’t have any debt left to pay, so I think I wish they wouldn’t bother me anymore about paying off my student debt.
Chris Rossini: Finally Dr. Paul, despite his many faults, Donald Trump did say something recently that every Libertarian should love and that is he wants to get rid of the estate tax, which is wonderful. Now, Hillary Clinton obviously does not like the idea, she says that that alone would save the Trump family 4 billion dollars when Trump dies. That equals a 4 billion dollars tax cut and 99% of Americans would get nothing. Hillary Clinton does not want Trump to decide what happens with his money and this is the real revealing part, she says just think what we could do with that 4 billion dollars. What do you think Dr. Paul?
Ron Paul: I’d tell the fact finders to check this out. We don’t know exactly the amount of money Trump has, he embellishes on occasion, so some people argue that we don’t know whether it’s two billion or ten or twelve billion or whatever. But, then you just take the tax which is a certain percentage, but for the estate tax to collect four billion dollars, she is assuming, but it’s almost like if his estates were worth four billion, she is going to get the whole thing. That is what she is implying because she doesn’t know the exact numbers. I don’t think she has made the calculations because she doesn’t know what he is really worth.
But, the principle is still there. Should the estate tax exist, in the scheme of things, it really doesn’t amount to a whole lot, but in the moral sense it amounts to a whole lot and I came across a lot of people when I was in Congress, people in my district, which was considered a very, very modest district and never did I have a rich person who was worth millions of dollars come up and say the most important thing you could do Ron is to make sure we don’t have to pay this estate tax. I never had that, but I had a lot of people in the farming business and small businesses that might have a business worth 2-3 million dollars and land that they couldn’t sell if they had to and I knew of examples where people had to sell the land to pay the estate tax.
That’s terrible, it’s a total violation of property rights, but they are finally in the same principle of the income tax. The assumption is made that the government owns us, we don’t own ourselves and we don’t own the fruits of our labor, the government would tell us how much we can keep from our income and then when you do go, in spite of if you pay all your income tax and you still build a business and you have land paid for and you have a good business and you have some kids and they are likely going to inherit it and then the government comes along because of this envious nature of so many politicians, that say that they will take this away.
It’s just a shame, I talk a lot about the one-percenters who make a lot of money off the government and all the bailouts, but it’s still a shame that people from the far left, who make millions and millions of dollars, I understand the socialist candidate just bought nearly a million dollar house, his third house, to set a good example for his socialist friends. But, this whole idea that they can take this money because they are envious of people, but they are not setting a very good standard, they are not Mother Teresa and sending a sort of a moral standard. It’s always political power and they are never thinking for a minute that they are going to take money away.
There will always be a loophole for their friends in Hollywood and in the media. They are not going to all of a sudden have to cough up and besides they might not even be intending this. This is just politics as usual. Rich people are bad people, they don’t distinguish between rich people who earned it versus rich people who stole it from the taxpayer and got it in the military industrial complex. That is where the immorality comes, but it is the principle of self-ownership and property rights that I think is so important.
You say what are they going to do with this money, won’t it be very complicated? Not very often, there is sometimes fights over estates, but for the most part I would think that a large, large percentage of people in this country have wills and they have all sizes of estates. Sometimes it goes uneventfully. They just give their estate to their kids and allow them to divide it up or do with it what they want. It’s a contract. You earned the money, it’s yours. You save your money, you have an estate, you have a farm, you have a business, you don’t want it to be broken up and you write a will, this is what I want done with this.
This is abhorrent to the far left and the interventionist, because they believe that it is theirs and they have a right to decide what should be done and they have two things that they used to do this. First, they use guns to do this, that is if you don’t obey, you could have the IRS knocking on you door, you could go to prison and everybody is terrified of that and also they are terrified of that, they just are scared to death of what will happen and they think if this gets too hot and heavy, every once in a while you realize this when the heavy hand of government comes that there is a conflict and so they take the guns away from the people.
But, they want the guns and they want the wealth and they want the control and they even go to the point that a lot of this is undermined even without the estate tax, because they can take property by taking, they just take your property by regulations and put so many regulations on that you have to break up property, you can’t do this, you can’t sell this property, because they want to be the owners, because they are the smartest people in the world and they will not trust the people. But, the people they pick to put in office to take care of us and rule over us, they happen to be smart people.
Fortunately, right now, the people are waking up and realizing that the politicians and the bureaucrats and the professors who teach lousy economics aren’t able to take care of us, ourselves and that is why we live in an age where we have a tremendous opportunity to offer them an alternative and of course that alternative is very clearly the free market and personal liberty.
Chris I want to thank you very much for being with us today for another Mythbusters program.
Chris Rossini: Thank you very much Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Good and I want to thank all our viewers today for joining us and please come back soon to the Ron Paul Liberty Report.