Ron Paul Unplugged: Guided by the Constitution
Ron Paul explains opposition to government subsidies to John Stossel.
Dec. 14, 2007 — -- Over the last few months, I've heard from hundreds of viewers who said that I should interview unconventional Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. So I did.
In this segment, we discuss the 72-year-old Texas congressman's view of the Constitution — the philosophy that centers all of his core positions and beliefs. You can watch the full interview here.
Paul, R-Texas, has been called "Dr. No" because he repeatedly votes against legislation that he believes gives government too much power. If it's not in the Constitution, he says, the federal government has no business doing it.
That means he often votes against laws that would give money to the very constituents that elect him.
Paul represents a district that lies on the Texas Gulf Coast. It's prone to hurricanes and flooding.
But that doesn't stop Paul from voting against big government programs like Federal Emergency Management Agency — the federal government agency that responds to natural disasters.
"I think FEMA helps create the flood problems," he says.
He explains that the federal government, by subsidizing insurance policies the cover houses built near the water, encourages people to move to flood-prone areas.
"If the government subsidizes the insurance," he says, "[then government is saying] if you build there, don't sweat it, we're going to bail you out. So all of a sudden, more people move into the flood-prone areas. And then who are the people that have to bail you out? Somebody that lives out in the desert some place. So, it's unfair, it's not good economics, you create more problems, more houses get flooded, and it becomes a general problem, rather than an individual problem."
I agree with him about that.
I once built a beach house because federal flood insurance made it (financially at least) risk-free.
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events