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Into the mind of ... Charles Goyette

• www.azcentral.com

The talk-radio host tells about his new book, "Red and Blue and Broke All Over."

What was the inspiration for this book?

The fading of the American dream. I wanted to show Americans -- who seem to have forgotten it -- that freedom works. That it creates prosperity. This is visible in the long sweep of human history and even across national borders today. Look at satellite images of the Korean peninsula at night, lit up in the relatively more free and prosperous South and plunged into general darkness in the North.
 

You begin with the premise that America is in decline. Why?

Because the lights are going out. Seriously, in our current economic environment, cities and towns across the land have begun letting streetlights go dark. Streetlights are the luxury of a prosperous people. Our economic decline correlates with the loss of our freedom.

Why aren't you convinced America is simply in a temporary down cycle?

I'm discussing something that is much greater than a typical recession and recovery. A Milken Institute study captured the problem when it found that in constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars over the last 40 years, the median income of American males with a college degree has fallen 12 percent. The income for those with high school only has fallen a staggering 47 percent.

The economy is beginning to perk up; has your book fallen behind events?

In fact, the Federal Reserve has been creating liquidity ("printing money") at an astonishing rate. This creates the illusion of a recovery, but it is not sustainable. It is responsible for rising prices such as you see at the gas pump and, like every other Fed bubble including the real-estate bubble, it will burst with severe consequences. The American dream cannot be restored until we address the nation's compounding debt.

What have been the most significant assaults on American freedoms?

They are all significant and cover the spectrum from the small -- the kind of lightbulbs you can buy -- to the large -- our endless parade of undeclared wars or the president claiming the power to detain people indefinitely (yes, American citizens taken even on our native soil) merely on the basis of accusations.

Who is most responsible for our declining freedom?

The Republicans and Democrats and the people who vote for them. The assault on our freedom is a trend that remains in force regardless of the party in control.

You say both parties are to blame for the malaise of recent years. Who can lead us out?

It's really a challenge for the people themselves. Only a renewed appreciation for freedom can lead us out. No charismatic candidate, new governmental initiative, bipartisan commission, or mechanical solution can help.

You were an early and much-criticized opponent of the Iraq War. Do you feel vindicated?

There's no way to feel anything but sorrow for a needless war.

Do you ever plan to return full time to Valley radio?

I'm so deeply involved in the national political debate now that I could only do it on a station that allowed me to make the show available to other stations across the country.

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