Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) criticized both parties today for their spending proposals. “It’s interesting when we talk about cuts, everybody seems to be giddy around here, saying this is the first time we have talked about cuts,” he mused. “Well, it is better and it sounds good, but guess what? We’re not even really cutting spending. What we’re talking about is cutting the rate of increase of spending.”
In a Senate floor speech, Paul first slammed the Democrats. “The president recently proposed a 10-year budget, a 10-year plan for spending. He proposes that we spend $46 trillion. That means they aren’t getting it,” he said. Paul then turned toward the GOP. “The president’s plan will add $13 trillion to the debt, and the Republicans say ‘oh, well ours is a lot better.’ Theirs will add $12 trillion to the debt. I think it’s out of control, and neither plan will do anything to significantly alter things.” GOP cuts, he added, are “more significant, but they also pale in comparison to the problem.”
“I recently proposed $500 billion in cuts and when I went home and spoke to the people of my state, spoke to those from the Tea Party, they said, $500 billion is not enough and they’re right,” Paul continued. “$500 billion is a third of one year’s problem. Up here that’s way too bold, but it’s not even enough. But we have to counterbalance and understand the alternatives here. If we do nothing, all of the programs that people are so fond of [extolling] will be gone. So I implore the American public and those here to look at this problem and say to Congress, we’re not doing enough; you must cut more.”
Paul also urged his colleagues to take up entitlement reform. “So many people have said ‘oh, we can’t talk about entitlements. You will be unelected, you will be unelectable if you talk about entitlement reform.’ The president still makes this mistake,” he observed.
In Obama’s absence, Paul said that the GOP must take the reins. “[Obama] will not lead us. He will not talk and give a leadership role to entitlement reform. Someone must do it. We must stand up and be bold because the longer these problems fester, the longer we allow them to accumulate, the bigger the problems become. The more dramatic the answers must be.”
“If you look at Greece and these other nations that have faced debt crises, their problem came to a head all of a sudden and they changed the age on Social Security like that,” he concluded. “If we want to do it gradually and let people plan for their future, you need to start now before we enter into a crisis. My problem with the discussion and the debate at this point is that I don’t think either side recognizes the enormity of the problem or the imminence of the problem.”