Paul gets big audience for cut-government talk
The only way to rein in the federal debt and excessive programs such as domestic surveillance is to revert to constitutional principles, former Congressman Ron Paul told more than 1,200 people on Tuesday.
Paul spoke to the overflow audience in the Colorado Mesa University Center about liberty and paring back government.
No progress can be made on either front, Paul said, “until you have a revolutionary spirit to redefine the role of government.”
That won’t be easy, Paul said, but noted he was encouraged in meeting 15-year-olds “who know more about the Federal Reserve than most congressmen.”
The appearance of the three-time candidate for the GOP nomination for president came courtesy of Dean Van Gundy, who paid Paul’s $50,000 speaking fee.
Van Gundy, whose family operated a recycling and salvaging business for decades in downtown Grand Junction, said his contribution was a payback to the community for those years of business.
“Ron Paul is the man,” Van Gundy said.
Paul took out after the Federal Reserve, war in the Middle East, surveillance by the National Security Agency, the Affordable Care Act and other topics in a speech lasting more than an hour.
“The last 12 years have not been good for our liberties here at home,” he said, telling the audience, “Don’t sweat the foreign danger.”
Greater peril lies in an out-of-control government that used the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to push through the Patriot Act and other measures.
“I voted against that monstrosity,” he said of the Patriot Act.
Public apprehension of bombing Syria suggest that there is a change in the offing on foreign adventures, Paul said, but more needs to be done to contain federal power.
“Our foreign policy is a complete failure,” Paul said. “We have to go back to the Constitution and seek the advice of the founders.”
The Constitution was written to constrain the federal government on foreign and domestic matters, he said, noting that domestic policies have the effect of insulating people from the consequences of their own choices.
“If you mess up and drink too much alcohol,” Paul said, “you don’t have the right to go to Obamacare and get it taken care of.”
Battles between civic and economic freedoms that divide the country are misplaced, he said, as they are all bound together.
“We should defend liberty,” Paul said. “Then maybe we would be exceptional.”