by Jim Myers

Congressman and two-time presidential candidate Ron Paul tells Newsmax the economic stimulus plan is a "total failure," and he's pushing a bill requiring the Federal Reserve to disclose its dealings so Americans can find out who the "culprits" are behind the financial meltdown.

The Texas Republican also said the U.S. is on course to "destroy the dollar," the healthcare reform plan is "dangerous" and could bankrupt the nation — and he is fighting against those who "would socialize the country."

Paul, a physician, sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. He attracted an enthusiastic following, using the Internet to establish a grassroots campaign and raise huge sums of campaign cash, all of it from individual contributors.

See Video: Ron Paul discusses Obama’s failed stimulus and his efforts to open up the Federal Reserve - Click Here Now

He also ran for president as the Libertarian Party's nominee in 1988.

Paul is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which seeks to aid candidates favoring limited government, and sits on the House Committee on Financial Services.

Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter asked Paul about the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (House Resolution 12-07), a bill he re-introduced after it was first rejected more than 20 years ago.

"We want transparency of the Federal Reserve," Paul said. "The Federal Reserve operates in total secrecy and now with the financial crisis that we're in the middle of, people are demanding that we know more about how this came about and who is responsible and who got bailed out and who were the special interests behind this whole business.

"Therefore now it's a very popular position to hold. The people in this country are demanding it. We have a lot of co-sponsors — I believe this morning it was 268 — and it comes from the fact that the grassroots are getting to their congressmen and saying, get on board and sign on to 12-07.

"So to me it's very encouraging, because it's something I've been trying to get to the attention of the American people and the Congress for a long time, and because a lot of us anticipated what was about to happen.

"The bubble was forming and we should have prevented it. Now that the bubble has burst and they're trying to reflate it, it's very important that we know exactly how the Federal Reserve works . . .

"We want to get to the bottom of what the Federal Reserve's been doing, and what they're getting away with."

Walter asked why the bill is now garnering far more support than in the past.

"I think it's because of the conditions in the country," Paul responded.

"The people are waking up and demanding it, and to me this is very good. So I think before, when I introduced this over the past 20 years or so, there were few who would co-sponsor it because things seemed to be okay.

"When you're inflating and when your credit is good and you can borrow money and the economy is growing because of the financial bubble, people aren't too concerned about the condition of the banking system and the monetary system.

"Now a lot of people are very scared. Some try to talk their way out of what's going on and say the recession-slash-depression has ended. But from my viewpoint we're just at the beginning. The American people know that and they want to look into that whole problem, and that's why we're getting the support — just to search out and find out who the culprits are."

But despite widespread support for the transparency bill, Paul said he expects that "the administration, the Federal Reserve, the banking system, the powerful special interests, and I imagine top leadership in both parties, will eventually come down against this bill."

Walter asked what other issues related to the Federal Reserve Paul would like to see addressed.

"Ultimately I want policies changed," he said.

"I don't think we should have a Federal Reserve system at all because it is not authorized in the Constitution and causes a lot of trouble.

"It's the way you finance big government. It allows governments to finance war, welfare. I want to eventually address that because at the rate we're going we're going to destroy the dollar.

"The financial system has collapsed. [It] was based on a dollar reserve standard and it has been totally paper since 1971. It was predictable and it came to pass that that system collapsed.

"You can't rebuild it. You have to have a new monetary system, and I want that monetary system to be constitutional and sound and commodity-oriented."

Walter asked if Paul has lost hope that President Obama's stimulus plan is going to work.

"The stimulus plan is a total failure," he declared.

"The purpose was misdirected. It was to prop up bad debt. It was trying to keep prices up, and it was doing the exact same thing that caused our crisis. It was too much spending, too much borrowing, and too much inflation.

"It has failed, it's going to continue to fail, and to keep doing more and more is just digging a deeper hole for all of us. The American people know it's not working. And yet policies are not changed . . .

"It's a real contest between those of us in America who believe in freedom and the free market versus those who would socialize our country."

As for the healthcare reform plan being pushed by Obama and the Democrats, Paul said: "I think it's a daydream and dangerous. I mean they want to get $1.5 trillion out of an economy that's weakening.

"It just might bankrupt the country.

"Their projections are always wrong on how much it's going to cost. They have no idea what it's going to cost. It's a bureaucratic nightmare. It's going to cost a lot more.

"Revenues will go down and the quality of care is going to crash. So it makes no sense whatsoever, and hopefully the American people will wake up and say, what's the matter with the old idea that doctors and patients ought to decide what kind of medical care they have, and not have the government run it."

See Video: Ron Paul discusses Obama’s failed stimulus and his efforts to open up the Federal Reserve - Click Here Now

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