Q: What is the most important change you would make?
A: Aim for the federal government to immediately live within its means, to take the pressure off the Fed to create money.
Q: And that means what?
A: Means no more inflation. If the Fed doesn't create money out of thin air—and they do it mostly to accommodate the deficits—that would restore the soundness of the dollar and give us our purchasing power back.
Q: But as President, you're supposed to be independent from the Fed. You would encourage the Fed to stop printing money?
A: You know this idea that we can create a secret bank and they manage things and rarely tell us—or Congress or the Executive Branch—what they're really doing, there's a problem there. I can't even go to a monetary policy board meeting of the Federal Reserve, and I'm on the Banking Committee of the U.S. Congress. I want open government, and certainly the Fed ought to be open. But it's an institution that really shouldn't exist. [Its financing] allows Big Government to get bigger without being responsible. And that's why we have runaway spending for both warfare and welfare.
Q: Hasn't the Fed been effective in providing liquidity in the current credit crisis?
A: You're right, but it's sort of like a drug addict. The drug addict demands more or he's going to have convulsions. The economy would have a convulsion if the Fed didn't inject more credit. But if you continue to do that, the problem gets worse. You can't solve the problem of monetary inflation with monetary inflation. These circumstances have all been created by our government and the Fed.
Q: How was the recent crisis caused by our government?
A: It was astounding that you could get a mortgage at 4%, and this was all due to the Fed creating money and artificially lowering rates, which gets people to do the wrong thing. Builders do the wrong thing, and people borrow money and buy houses they can't afford.
Q: Who are your economic advisers?
A: I don't have any. I read Austrian economics, which I've been doing for 30 years. So my advisers have been [von] Mises and Hayek and Sennholz.
Q: Do you consider yourself a friend or a foe of Wall Street?
A: If they believe in freedom, free markets, and sound money, they'll love me. But if they like creating credit out of thin air, they'll see me as a threat. I was one of three people who voted against Sarbanes-Oxley because I thought it was detrimental to Wall Street. I'd repeal it.
Q: You have vehement new supporters. What's driving the sudden interest in your candidacy?
A: I think they're sick and tired of what they're getting. They've lost all trust and faith in the government. They believe in the American Dream, and they're getting a nightmare. And they're rallying behind the program I've been working on for 30 years—defending the Constitution, limited government, free markets, sound money, and self-reliance; believing people can take care of themselves better than government can. The nanny state doesn't work, the police state doesn't work, and neither does the warfare. And they know it.
~ Congressman Ron Paul, "Ron Paul on the Evil Fed, the IRS, and Saving the Buck," BusinessWeek, December 10, 2007, interview with Maria Bartiromo