Written by Ron Paul
“I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.
Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.
Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.
It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”
Trump’s condemnation of Wikileaks came just a day after his CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, attacked Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service.” Pompeo accused Assange of being “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”
Pompeo’s word choice was no accident. By accusing Wikileaks of being a “hostile intelligence service” rather than a publisher of information on illegal and abusive government practices leaked by whistleblowers, he signaled that the organization has no First Amendment rights. Like many in Washington, he does not understand that the First Amendment is a limitation on government rather than a granting of rights to citizens. Pompeo was declaring war on Wikileaks.
But not that long ago Pompeo also cited Wikileaks as an important source of information. In July he drew attention to the Wikileaks release of information damaging to the Clinton campaign, writing, “Need further proof that the fix was in from President Obama on down?”
There is a word for this sudden about-face on Wikileaks and the transparency it provides us into the operations of the prominent and powerful: hypocrisy.
The Trump Administration’s declaration of war on whistleblowers and Wikileaks is one of the greatest disappointments in these first 100 days. Donald Trump rode into the White House with promises that he would “drain the swamp,” meaning that he would overturn the apple carts of Washington’s vested interests. By unleashing those same vested interests on those who hold them in check – the whistleblowers and those who publish their revelations – he has turned his back on those who elected him.
Julian Assange, along with the whistleblowers who reveal to us the evil that is being done in our name, are heroes. They deserve our respect and admiration, not a prison cell. If we allow this president to declare war on those who tell the truth, we have only ourselves to blame.
By Ron Paul
In the spirit of New Year’s, here are four resolutions for president-elect Trump and Congress that will enable them to really make America great again:
1) Audit the Fed….and then end it: The Federal Reserve Bank’s easy money polices have eroded the American people’s standard of living and facilitated the growth of the welfare-warfare state. The Fed is also responsible for the growth in income inequality. Yet Congress still refuses to pass Audit the Fed, much less end it.
During the campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump promised that Audit the Fed would be part of his first 100 days agenda. Unfortunately, he has not spoken of auditing the Fed or another aspect of monetary policy since the election. President-elect Trump should keep his promise and work with Congress to pass Audit the Fed and finally let the American people know the truth about the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy. Then, of course, end the Fed.
2) Bring the troops home: President Barack Obama has not only failed to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, he has further destabilized the Middle East with reckless interventions in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. The Obama administration has also brought us to the brink of a new Cold War.
President-elect Trump has criticized the 2003 Iraq war and promised to end nation-building. However, he has also made hawkish statements such as his recent endorsement of increased US military intervention in Syria and has appointed several hawks to key foreign policy positions. President-elect Trump also supported increasing the Pentagon’s already bloated budget.
America cannot afford to continue wasting trillions of dollars in a futile effort to act as the world’s policeman. Rejecting the neocon polices of nation-building and spreading democracy by force of arms is a good start. However, if Donald Trump is serious about charting a new course in foreign policy, his first act as president should be to withdraw US troops from around the globe. He should also veto any budget that does not drastically cut spending on militarism.
3) Repeal ObamaCare: ObamaCare has raised healthcare costs for millions of Americans while denying them access to the providers of their choice. Public dissatisfaction with ObamaCare played a major role in Donald Trump’s election.
Unfortunately, since the election president-elect Trump and the Republican Congress have talked about retaining key parts of Obamacare! While it is reasonable to have a transition to a new healthcare system, Congress must avoid the temptation to replace ObamaCare with “ObamaCare lite.” Congress must pass, and President Trump must sign, a true free-market health care plan that restores control over healthcare to individuals.
4) Cut Taxes and Spending: President-elect Trump and Congressional leadership both favor tax reform. However, some leading Republicans have recently said they will not support any tax reform plan that is not “revenue neutral.” A true pro-liberty tax reform would reduce government revenue by eliminating the income tax. Fiscal hawks concerned with increasing federal deficits should stop trying to increase tax revenues and join with supporters of limited government to drastically cut federal spending. Congress should prioritize ending corporate welfare, reducing military spending, and shutting down unconstitutional federal agencies like the Department of Education.
If President Trump and Congress spend the next six months passing Audit the Fed, ending our militaristic foreign policy, repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with a true free-market health care system, and cutting both spending and taxes, they will begin to make America great again. If they fail to take these steps, then the American people will know they have been fooled again.
By Ron Paul
November 27, 2016
Former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher recently gave a speech identifying the Federal Reserve’s easy money/low interest rate policies as a source of the public anger that propelled Donald Trump into the White House. Mr. Fisher is certainly correct that the Fed’s policies have “skewered” the middle class. However, the problem is not specific Fed policies, but the very system of fiat currency managed by a secretive central bank.
Federal Reserve-generated increases in money supply cause economic inequality. This is because, when the Fed acts to increase the money supply, well-to-do investors and other crony capitalists are the first recipients of the new money. These economic elites enjoy an increase in purchasing power before the Fed’s inflationary policies lead to mass price increases. This gives them a boost in their standard of living.
By the time the increased money supply trickles down to middle- and working-class Americans, the economy is already beset by inflation. So most average Americans see their standard of living decline as a result of Fed-engendered money supply increases.
Some Fed defenders claim that inflation doesn’t negatively affect anyone’s standard of living because price increases are matched by wage increases. This claim ignores the fact that the effects of the Fed’s actions depend on how individuals react to the Fed’s actions.
Historically, an increase in money supply does not just cause a general rise in prices. It also causes money to flow into specific sectors, creating a bubble that provides investors and workers in those areas a (temporary) increase in their incomes. Meanwhile, workers and investors in sectors not affected by the Fed-generated boom will still see a decline in their purchasing power and thus their standard of living.
Adoption of a “rules-based” monetary policy will not eliminate the problem of Fed-created bubbles, booms, and busts, since Congress cannot set a rule dictating how individuals react to Fed policies. The only way to eliminate the boom-and-bust cycle is to remove the Fed’s power to increase the money supply and manipulate interest rates.
Because the Fed’s actions distort the view of economic conditions among investors, businesses, and workers, the booms created by the Fed are unsustainable. Eventually reality sets in, the bubble bursts, and the economy falls into recession.
When the crash occurs the best thing for Congress and the Fed to do is allow the recession to run its course. Recessions are the economy’s way of cleaning out the Fed-created distortions. Of course, Congress and the Fed refuse to do that. Instead, they begin the whole business cycle over again with another round of money creation, increased stimulus spending, and corporate bailouts.
Some progressive economists acknowledge how the Fed causes economic inequality and harms average Americans. These progressives support perpetual low interest rates and money creation. These so-called working class champions ignore how the very act of money creation causes economic inequality. Longer periods of easy money also mean longer, and more painful, recessions.
President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged that, while his business benefits from lower interest rates, the Fed’s policies hurt most Americans. During the campaign, Mr. Trump also promised to make audit the fed part of his first 100 days agenda. Unfortunately, since the election, President-elect Trump has not made any statements regarding monetary policy or the audit the fed legislation. Those of us who understand that changing monetary policy is the key to making America great again must redouble our efforts to convince Congress and the new president to audit, then end, the Federal Reserve.
Troy and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We have much to be grateful for.
One thing that I am thankful for is the opportunity to call out government officials for wrong doing and advocate for reform. In some parts of the world people face severe repercussions for rebuking their government “leaders”. Sadly I too often hear from people who are afraid of retaliation if they challenge that courthouse clique that exists in local government. Good people who initiate no harm should not live in fear of their governments.
I encourage everyone during this time of thanksgiving to give serious consideration to your knowledge and involvement in state and local governments. In general people are too focused on federal politics. The main stream media bombards us with drama and endless controversy in Washington DC.
Give some consideration to taking a break from media sources that focus solely or mostly on national politics and put some time and energy into learning what your local and state governments are doing. It wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of people can’t even name their local and state officials.
While I stood in a very long line to vote in the November election, I noticed someone willing to wait in the long line to vote in the Presidential race who hadn’t voted in the local government primary election held in May of 2014. The reason this stood out to me is because this person had my sign in their yard but they didn’t actual take the time to vote in the local election.
If you voted in the presidential race this year, your vote was one in over 120 million votes. If you voted in a county commission race in the local government election in May of 2014, your vote was about 1 in a thousand. Some districts had more than 1,000 votes and some had less. Many people don’t vote because they don’t feel that their votes matter. Where does your vote have the most impact, a race with over 120 million votes or a race with about 1,000 votes?
If you still aren’t convinced that your vote matters tremendously in local elections, let me put it another way for you. 3 of the 21 county commission races were decided by less than 25 votes in the May primary election in 2014. Jamie Daly won her race by 21 votes. Archie Archer won his race by 12 votes. Kenneth Melton won reelection to the Blount County Commission by receiving 6 more vote than his challenger.
These local races are often very close. Do you vote in the local elections? If not, why?
The unofficial results on the county’s website show 53,260 votes in the November election while only 12,061 voted in the August election. If you are one of the many people who voted in November but not in August, please reflect upon why you didn’t vote in August.
Yesterday and today I posted several articles about the difficulties and unresponsiveness that I deal with on a regular basis as an elected official serving the community through local government. Contact information for the appropriate people is provided in these posts if you feel so inclined to provide input on any of these matters.
It has been said that serving as a county commissioner is a thankless job. Actually its not. I receive several thanks on a fairly regular basis. What is more accurate is to describe it as a helpless job because there are so few willing to help promote better government locally.
What would make me even more thankful this Thanksgiving Day would be to see more people take an active role in what is happening right here in our county.
Blount County Commissioner
Some years back, prior to be elected to serve as a county commissioner, I (Tona Monroe) asked Senator Doug Overbey to obtain an opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General. He declined saying that that he felt that AG’s opinions should be used to answer questions that local government officials have. His response told me that he doesn’t give a flip what the people he is elected to serve want but I had hoped that after my election to local government that Overbey would be responsive to my requests for information and ideas for reform. He isn’t.
I can’t recall him responding to anything that I have sent him since taking office in September 2014. He did find the time to send me a letter during his campaign for reelection saying he hoped that he had earned my support.
Overbey spends his time catering to his wealthy donors and attending social events. He represents the elite. He is a career politician floating in the swamp of Nashville.
The people of Tennessee failed to drain the swap in Nashville during the primary elections in August. Voter turnout was very low. The election was lost in the drama and media coverage of federal politics. I encourage everyone to pay more attention to state and local politics.
Representative Art Swann doesn’t respond either. Rep. Bob Ramsey does respond to some things but never offers to work toward any reform that will improve local government.
Senator Doug Overbey: firstname.lastname@example.org 850-9411
Representative Bob Ramsey: email@example.com 984-8124
Representative Art Swann: firstname.lastname@example.org 982-6811
by Horatio Bunce
1. Abu Mosa – ISIS Press Officer
2. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – Head of ISIS
3. John McAmnesty -“War Hero” and ISIS founder/Benghazi arms dealer
4. Muahmmad Noor – Syrian Terrorist
5. Mouaz Moustafa – Syrian Emergency Task Force
Circled left: Adam Kinzinger – ISIS illegal arms sales rep and Fox News war hawk
Circled Right: Evan McMullin – ISIS illegal arms sales rep and GOPe fake independent candidate
Watch as Kinzinger (as McMullin walks past) lies to you about Assad creating “the situation we see as ISIS today” and throws in the persecuting Christians angle for us dumb “evangelicals”:
Read more here: http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-magic-1/
by Horatio Bunce
By Ron Paul
During the 2008 economic crisis, Iceland’s government froze offshore accounts held by foreign investors in that country’s currency, the krona. Recently, the government of Iceland announced it would unfreeze the accounts if the account holders paid a voluntary “departure tax,” which could be as high as 58 percent. Investors who choose not to pay the departure tax would have their investment “segregated” into special funds that only invest in CDs issued by Iceland’s central bank. These CDs are expected to only provide a rate of return of at most 0.5 percent a year. So investors in offshore accounts can thus choose between having their money directly seized via the departure tax or indirectly seized via the inflation tax.
Iceland’s freezing of offshore krona accounts was part of a “stabilization and recovery” program implemented under the guidance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which also provided Iceland with a $1 billion loan. So US taxpayers not only helped the IMF bail out Iceland’s government, they may have helped the IMF advise Iceland on how best to steal property from American investors!
The IMF’s role in Iceland’s seizure of the property of foreign investors shows the hypocrisy of IMF officials, who recently expressed concerns about the increasing support for protectionism supposedly exemplified by the Brexit vote. However, freezing of assets held by foreign investors is a particularly harmful form of protectionism, while Brexit was more about rejecting the European Union’s bureaucracy than rejecting free trade. Perhaps what the IMF and its supporters are really worried about is losing their power to use taxpayers’ money to force other countries to adopt IMF bureaucrats’ favored economic policies.
Iceland is not the only government to turn to a departure tax to raise revenue. Just last year, in order to raise revenue for federal transportation programs, Congress gave the IRS the power to revoke the passport of any American accused of owing more than $50,000 in back taxes.
As an increasingly desperate Congress looks for new ways to squeeze money out of the American people to fund the welfare-warfare state, it is likely that more Americans will have their liberties limited because the IRS accuses them of not paying their fair share of taxes. It also is likely that the Federal Reserve will follow the example of its counterpart in Iceland and devalue the holdings of anyone who dares to resist the IRS’s demands.
Those hoping that the presidential election will result in real changes are bound to be disappointed. While Donald Trump seems to appreciate how current Fed policies help the incumbent administration while harming the people, he does not appear to understand that the problem is not with certain Fed policies, but with the Fed’s very existence. While Mr. Trump does support tax cuts, he also supports increasing government spending on infrastructure at home, militarism abroad, protectionism, and an economic cold war with China.
Hillary Clinton has actually said it is inappropriate for candidates to criticize the Fed. Sectary Clinton has also called for massive increases in government spending and taxes. Hillary Clinton may be more hawkish than Donald Trump, since Mr. Trump has rejected Secretary Clinton’s calls for a new cold war with Russia.
Instead of looking to politicians to save us, those of us who understand the dangers of our current course must continue to spread the ideas of liberty among our fellow citizens. Politicians will only change course when a critical mass of people stops falling for the war party’s propaganda, stops demanding entitlements, and starts demanding liberty.