Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Tuesday indicated that he agrees with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's remark that nearly half of the country is overly dependent on the federal government, and said he fears this dependency will "end in chaos" when the government is finally forced to cut back.
Paul did not explicitly mention Romney or Romney's comment that 47 percent of the country is unlikely to vote for him because they are dependent on the government. But in a post on his website Tuesday, he agreed that government dependency has grown out of control, and said this idea should not be seen as controversial.
"The media insists on characterizing statements about dependency on government handouts as controversial, but in truth such statements are absolutely correct," Paul said.
Paul said one of the ongoing causes of the rising federal debt is that the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future. He said higher interest rates would put more pressure on the government to stop borrowing money, but lower rates are only making it worse.
"This enables Congress to spend without having to take deficits or the debt seriously and there is every indication they intend to spend with impunity until the system collapses," Paul said. "There are no brakes on the runaway train."
Paul released his statement just a few days after the government announced that the 2012 budget deficit stands at $1.1 trillion; 2012 marked the fourth year in a row with a deficit above $1 trillion. Paul said record-high levels of spending could come crashing to a halt in the next few years, which would likely lead to widespread social unrest given the level of federal help people are becoming used to.
"What is happening in Greece with austerity measures and riots in the street will happen here within a decade according to some realistic estimates if we do not find some way to fiscally restrain our government," he said.
"The answer is not to keep asking government to do more. The answer is to extricate our economy and ourselves from the grasp of Washington, D.C., as much as possible now, before our dependency becomes our downfall."