PAUL: Well, S&P didn't downgrade it because [Congress] couldn't come to a conclusion. They couldn't come to a conclusion because they didn't know what was going on. The country's bankrupt, and nobody wanted to admit it. And when you're bankrupt, you can't keep spending. And all these proposed cuts weren't cuts at all. What you have to do is restore sound money. You have to understand why you have a business cycle, why you have booms and busts. If you don't do that, there's no way you can solve these problems. And the booms and busts comes from a failed monetary system that--the interest rates that are way lower than--than they should be encourages malinvestment and debt. And to get out of that, all this other tinkering, you cannot do that unless you liquidate debt. You don't bail out the people that are bankrupt and dump the debt on the people. That is what's happened.
GINGRICH: Well, I think that having some kind of central bank is an important part of how you deal with monetary policy in the modern world. I think that it is a scandal that the Federal Reserve is secret. And I think, frankly, their monetary policy since the late 90s has been a major factor in the economic pain we're now going through.
Q: [to Paul]: Is Speaker Gingrich wrong to want to save the Fed? PAUL: Not exactly. Because my position isn't that I'd closed the door down immediately, you can phase it out. But there are some other things that we could do in a transition phase. For instance, and I'm delighted that mainstream is catching up with this, these days, for auditing the Fed. This is great.
PAUL: That is sort of like asking the question if the states wante to legalize slavery or something like that. No state is going to do that. I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman. And the federal government shouldn't be involved. I want less government involvement. I don't want the federal government having a marriage police. I want the states to deal with it. Really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Why don't we just go to the church? What other individuals do, why can't we permit them to do whatever they call it that is their problem not mine? Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you. That is what we have to prevent. So I would say less government would be better if you have to have regulations let the state governments do it.
PAUL: No, that makes it much worse. This whole idea of sanctions, all these pretend free traders, they're the ones who put on these trade sanctions.
SANTORUM: Well, as the author of the Iran Freedom Support Act, which he is criticizing, it actually imposed sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear program--Iran is not Iceland, Ron. Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform than the Iraqis and the Afghanis have. The Iranians are the existential threat to the state of Israel, via funding of Hamas and Hezbollah and the support of Syria.
PAUL: The senator is wrong on his history. We've been at war in Iran for a lot longer than 1979. We started it in 1953 when we sent in a coup, installed the shah, and the blowback came in 1979. It's been going on and on because we just plain don't mind our own business. That's our problem.
A: Countries that you put sanctions on, you are more likely to fight them. I say a policy of peac is free trade. Stay out of their internal business. Don't get involved in these wars. And just bring our troops home.
Q: So your policy towards Iran is, if they want to develop a nuclear weapon, that's their right, no sanctions?
A: No, that makes it much worse. Why would that be so strange, if the Soviets and the Chinese have nuclear weapons? We tolerated the Soviets; we didn't attack them. And they were a much greater danger. You don't go to war against them. This whole idea of sanctions, all these pretend free traders, they're the ones who put on these trade sanctions. This is why we still don't have trade relationships with Cuba. It's about time we talked to Cuba and stopped fighting these wars that are about 30 or 40 years old.
ROMNEY: Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. It allows states [to mandate insurance].
Q: [to Paul]: Does a state have a constitutional right to make someone buy insurance just because they're a resident?
PAUL: No, the federal government can't go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but you don't send in a federal police force because they're doing it. So they do have that leeway under our Constitution. But we have drifted so far from any of our care being delivered by the marketplace. And once you get the government involved--both parties have done it --they've developed a medical care delivery system based on corporatism. The corporations are doing quite well, whether it's Obama or under the Republicans. The drug companies do well. The insurance companies do well. The patient and the doctors suffer.
A: You have to allow liquidation of debt, eliminate the malinvestment. Then you go back and you can get growth again by having a better tax structure, lower taxes, invite capital back into this country, get a lot less regulations. And under those conditions, you can have growth again.
Q: And you can get it through a divided Congress?
A: Well... the divided Congress will exist for a long time to come. Yes, you would have to get it through a--you'd have to get it through a divided Congress. But the one thing is, if you approach it constitutionally and if you approach it on the principles of liberty, you can bring people together. If we have to cut, maybe we wouldn't be so--so determined that you can't cut one nickel out of the militarism around the world. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans want to cut that. So if you want to cut, you have to put the militarism on the table, as well.
BACHMANN: Because terrorists who are from foreign countries who commit acts against US citizens do not have any rights under our Constitution.
PAUL: She turns our rule of law on its head. She says that the terrorists don't deserve protection under our courts, but, therefore, a judgment has to be made. They're ruled a terrorist. Who rules them a terrorist? I thought our courts recognized that you had to be tried. And we've done this. We've brought individuals back from Pakistan and other places. We've given them a trial in this country, near 300, we tried and put them in prison. So this idea that we have to reject the rule of law, when you assume somebody is a terrorist, they can be targeted for assassination, even American citizens, that affects all of us eventually. You don't want to translate our rule of law into mob rule.
A: I don't like putting the burden on our businessmen to be the policemen. That means he has to be policing activity. But I have a strong position on immigration. I don't think that we should give amnesty and they become voters. But I do think we should deal with our borders. One way that I would suggest that we could do it is pay less attention to the borders between Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan and bring our troops home and deal with the border. But why do we pay more attention to the borders overseas and less attention to the borders here at home? We now have a mess on the borders, and it has a lot more to do with it than just immigration, because we're financing some of this militarism against the drug dealers on the borders right now to the tune of over $1 billion. And there is a mess down there, but it's much bigger than just the immigration problem.
A: Even our own CIA has no evidence that they're working on a weapon. Just think of what we went through in the Cold War. All through the '60s, we were standing up against the Soviets. They had like 30,000 nuclear weapons with intercontinental missiles. Just think of the agitation and the worrying that a country might get a nuclear weapon some day. And just think of how many nuclear weapons surround Iran. The Chinese. The Indians. The Pakistanis. The Israelis. All these countries have nuclear weapons. Why wouldn't it be natural that they might want a weapon? Internationally, they'd be given more respect. Why should we write people off? In the '50s, we at least talked to them. At least our leaders and Reagan talked to the Soviets. What's so terribly bad about this?
PAUL: You've heard the war propaganda that is liable to lead us into a sixth war. And I worry about that position. Iran is a threat because they have some militants there. But believe me, they're all around the world and they're not a whole lot different than others. Iran does not have an air force that can come here. They can't even make enough gasoline for themselves. And here we are building this case up, just like we did in Iraq--build up the war propaganda. There was no al Qaeda in Iraq. And [Bush claimed Iraq] had nuclear weapons and we had to go in. I'm sure you supported that war, as well. It's time we quit this. It's trillions of dollars we're spending on these wars.
The above quotations are from 2011 Republican primary debate at the Iowa State Fair.
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