Shining a little reality light on the otherwise pollyanna-like dearth of pragmatism that is the mainstream media's guest-list, Ron Paul provided Bloomberg TV's Trish Regan a little more than we suspect she bargained for when asked if he had any hope that we avoid the fiscal cliff. The constant "delaying-of-the-inevitable" enables our politicians to avoid facing up to the serious consequences of our reality and as Representative Paul notes the chances of a grand bargain are "probably zero... that's why I think we're over the cliff [already]." Just like the handling of the debt ceiling debacle, Paul notes they will "pretend they are going to do it" until we get a total crash of the dollar and the entire financial system (which he notes is what will occur if we continue the status quo). "We are at a point of no return" unless certain things change, since "we are not the productive nation we used to be."
Paul on the fiscal cliff and whether politicians are under more pressure to just do what they need to do to get votes:
"Well I think that's true and I think it's been that way for a long time but the big difference is the Treasury is bare. It isn't like we're in the 1950s and 1960s where economic growth could work our way out of these problems that you could print money forever. Printing the money right now, what does it do, it fills the banks with excessive reserves and they get paid to park it at the Federal Reserve. So it's quite different. We're not the productive nation we used to be…we have a lot of jobs gone overseas. Our dollar is weakening because prices do go up and as long as we do that, the politicians are going to keep pushing that and trying to get away with that but the big question is how long will politicians will be able to get away with that."
On the probability that a grand bargain will be reached on the fiscal cliff:
"Probably zero… that's why I think we're over the cliff. We're past bargaining states because they will not address those things I just stated. They're going to try to pretend that they are going to do it. The way they handled the debt increase, last summer, that is a pretty good example. And matter of fact the debt increase might be the big event come February that might be big because they can roll things over…they can postpone big decisions in January and yet that still does not remove the uncertainty. Uncertainty is a major cause of the inability for the market to get moving again and they have to revamp it in a much more detailed fashion than they are even talking about right now."
On whether Obama will be able to bring Congress together for some kind of reform before the end of the year:
"Oh no, I think there will be something, but it will be very temporary, it won't be long lasting and restore confidence and fix the problem. But there will be some type of reconciliation of saying we'll do this and a little of that and it may even help the financial markets for a little while, but since it won't solve the problems it will only be temporary. "