Sunday, October 4, 2009

Peter Schiff On "Old Guy" Ron Paul, Spending His Own Money for His Senate Campaign and "Reforming" the Fed

Is Peter Schiff attempting to shoot himself in the foot and ruin his relationship with Ron Paul supporters? WaPo this morning has an interview with Schiff. In the interview he manages to call Ron Paul an "old guy" and backs away from calling for an end to the Fed.

Here's Schiff on Ron Paul:
WaPo: There's nobody on Capitol Hill whom you can point to as a defender of liberty?
Schiff: Well, Ron Paul is there, but he's one congressman. And he's an old guy. If I can take a Senate seat, there's a lot more power in a Senate seat than a House seat. And most of the other senators spend 90 percent of their time trying to get reelected -- raising money, doing what it takes to stay in the Senate, right? I'm not going to spend.
Here's Schiff on using his own money in his campaign:

WaPo: How much of your own money are you going to kick in? How is the fundraising going so far?

Schiff: I've raised over $1 million so far in the draft effort. I think I can raise a lot of money. How much money I'm going to put in of my own, it's hard to say. I put in a little bit of money to get it started, $50,000 initially. But it's really going to depend on how the race is progressing. Obviously if it gets to the point where it's really close and it's like, "Hey, if I just put an extra million dollars this weekend on media," I have the money to throw in. It could be in the millions, but it's not going to be in the tens of millions. I'm not a billionaire.
Here's Schiff on the Federal Reserve:

WaPo: You have said you want to abolish the Federal Reserve.

Schiff: I'm a little leery. The Fed has done a horrific job; if any agency deserves to be abolished, it's the Fed. But you've got to be careful what you wish for. I think it's probably better to try to reform the Fed. I want to strip some of the powers and bring it back to the way it used to be.
I'm not sure what Schiff is getting at when he calls Paul an old guy. Paul has an even temperament, which he likely had as a 19 year old. Is that what Schiff is getting at, that Paul doesn't have a rip the enemies heart out temperament? For heavens sake, Paul was a baby doctor. He's a true gentleman.

I have never seen anything that indicates Paul's age has slowed him down in anyway. And, the key to Ron Paul is his honesty and commitment to principle, you don't find it in Congress very often among young guys or old guys.

As for Schiff's comment about the Fed "going back to the way it used to be", I have no idea what the hell he is talking about. The Fed since its inception has been a money printing, inflation causing institution of the inside elite. If this is an example of Schiff attempting to step away from his Ron Paul base to appear more mainstream, it's going to be trying times for Paulian supporters of Schiff.


  1. On the Ron Paul comment, I wish I could have seen the expression on his face; I suspect he was trying to be humorous and it just didn't translate on text. Even with the benefit of the doubt... he needs to cut that crap out.

    On the Fed, I was at an appearance that Peter made in Detroit. He mentioned abolishing the Fed and the audience broke out in spontaneous applause. He looked up and seemed surprised, and then gave his "Be careful what you wish for" admonishment. I think in this case, he is simply looking ahead. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be deciding what to do after the Fed. Doesn't that give you a bit of hesitation too? It does me.

  2. Bob,

    You were leery of the audit the Fed bill for the same reasons - given the current political landscape, we don't know where it will lead. Let's not subject Schiff or other pro-liberty candidates to a litmus test of total agreement. Otherwise we will have no one left. This is politics.

  3. Noticed something else that was a bit interesting too :

    "I think the market should be setting interest rates. Let the Fed worry about money supply, and let the market set the interest rates."

    Now, a guy like Schiff must clearly be aware that the main tool the FED has used for manipulating the money supply is its interest rate policy.

    Does this mean that he thinks that the FED (assuming a theoretical return to a gold standard) should have as its only task to buy and sell gold on the open market to try and maintain a stable money supply? But this has to affect interest rates too.

    Or does it mean that he favours a Friedmanite style "2-3% annual increase in the money supply", and letting the market decide different rates thereafter?

    Or does it mean that he favours the Federal Reserve returning to targeting the money supply, meaning that he is for re-instating regulation Q, so that the Federal Reserve can figure out what money is again?

    All very interesting stuff, but I think anyone keeping track of his video-blog will get an answer sooner or later. Also, I would like to mirror what Steve said - as horrible the actions of the Federal Reserve, if it is just abolished into thin air, then that means that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid has the printing press for now. Can't be good.

  4. Robert
    I really enjoy your blog and the comments it attracts are very thoughtful. I agree with your critique of Schiff, Ron Paul is a true gentleman. His lack of success as a congressman and Schiff's "mainstream" politicking is powerful proof that politics is not the answer.

  5. I don't remember if I have an 'on the record' skepticism of Schiff and his campaign so I won't say 'I told you so' but let this be that now as I say:

    And so, it begins.

    Someone's got some real dirt on Peter. He was at least ten times more radical than this just a month ago, even. Pretty sad.

  6. I agree with you RW about the absurd comments about the Fed. However, regarding Ron Paul, maybe Schiff just meant, "He's not going to be around much longer. Put me in there, and you'll have a force for financial liberty for decades."

  7. Ron Paul is an old guy. He's, what? 73? Will he be in congress ten years from now? Maybe. Twenty years? Seems doubtful.

    On the other hand, re. Bob Murphy's comments: I think Schiff is saying exactly the opposite. He's not going to do this for decades. I believe his plan, so far, is to serve for one term. Or at least that's his practical intent, since he claims he will not try to get re-elected.

  8. Bob: That's exactly how I interpreted the comment about Ron Paul.

    But "reform" the Fed? Sweet Jesus.

  9. It doesn't matter what Schiff meant by calling Ron Paul an "old guy". Congressman Paul has single handedly launched the concept of Liberty to an entire new generation and he has been a man of principle in Congress. He deserves some respect and should never be referred to as an "old guy".

    What kind of manners does Schiff have?

  10. I am skeptical of Schiff. As an investment advisor and TV personality, he is great, he is a known commodity, but as a senator? I worry he might be corrupted or compromised. If he gets elected, I hope my skepticism is unfounded, but until there's some kind of record for how he will act, I'm unconvinced.