WASHINGTON -- Potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul (Texas) on Monday panned Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget proposal, telling a crowd in Iowa that the Ryan plan will not end big government, which he said is becoming like a monarchy.
Speaking at a forum organized by the Family Leader, a local Christian and socially conservative group, the Texas congressman referred to a passage in the Old Testament where the Israelite people asked the prophet Samuel for a king to rule over them. He used the story a parable to illustrate where he believes the once self-reliant American culture is headed.
“We don’t have a king today but unfortunately I think we’re drifting to a point that our big government is king, and the government tells us what we can do and be responsible for us,” Paul said. “And if we don’t have a house, they’ll give us a house. If we don’t have education, they’ll give us free education. If we’re hungry, we get food stamps. And deficits don’t matter. And if you need money, you print the money. And we have this moral obligation to police the world."
"It goes on and on," the congressman said. "The king will take care of us.”
Paul, who had a surprisingly strong showing in the 2008 Republican presidential primary but has not yet declared his intentions for the 2012 race, also talked about Ryan's budget and the Federal Reserve with an audience of roughly 150 people in Sioux Center, in the state’s northwest corner.
He said the budgets proposed by Rep. Ryan and President Obama wouldn't put Washington on a path to limited government.
“Neither of those budgets will solve our problems, or even come close," Paul said.
Released last week, the Ryan budget has been praised by centrists and conservatives, but criticized by liberals. Many on the left have said Ryan’s plan is unfair to the elderly and the poor -– who would also be affected by Ryan’s approach to Medicare and Medicaid, respectively. If medical prices continue to rise on their current trajectory, the Congressional Budget Office projected that Ryan’s plan would increase health care costs for seniors and limit the growth of government medical services for the neediest Americans.
But the libertarian firebrand Paul, who will turn 76 this summer, said Ryan's plan doesn’t go nearly far enough toward dismantling the welfare state. Ryan's budget is set to pass the GOP-controlled House this week.
“We are dealing with a problem in Washington as a budgetary accounting problem and that’s not it. It’s a philosophy problem." Paul said. "What is the philosophy of government? What should the role of government be?"
The congressman went on to question the role of government in the economy and welfare system. "Ryan," he said, "doesn’t reject that notion. I do.”
Paul also took some swipes at one of his favorite targets, the Federal Reserve, blasting it for its role in issuing currency. He criticized the U.S. government for not allowing private citizens to use whatever currency they want.
“We have a government that is so out of control that, I don’t know, we should call them liars. Others would. But they’re always telling you," Paul said, "what they’re going to do for you."
“Well how are they going to do it? What do they have?" he asked. "They produce nothing. They have to steal it from somebody and give it to somebody else.”
“If you don’t have enough taxes to pay the bills, you create this counterfeit machine called the Federal Reserve." Paul said. "We spent $50 billion last year we didn’t have. ‘Oh print the money. That’s painless. You don’t have to borrow money.’ But the whole thing is, it’s still theft. It’s counterfeit. It’s illegal.”