Economy & Business

Rand Paul Is Right

Sen. Rand Paul holds a news conference on Capitol Hill, March 7, 2017. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)
‘Fiscal conservatism’ is just something that the minority party whines about to score political points.

On Thursday night, Rand Paul gave a speech on the Senate floor about government overspending in an attempt to delay the passage of a massive spending bill.

The bill passed anyway — and Paul must have known that it would, regardless of his efforts — but that doesn’t change one thing: He was completely right.

“How come you were against President Obama’s deficits, and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?” Paul asked. “Isn’t that the very definition of intellectual dishonesty?”

People who call Paul’s speech “grandstanding” might be correct, but that doesn’t change the fact that all of his words were correct, too. When Barack Obama was president, Republicans were constantly arguing that government spending was out of control, and that the debt was too high. In fact, these kinds of arguments were basically the party’s entire identity. Now that Republicans are in control, however, they themselves want to pass a bill that experts say will result in a $1 trillion deficit. Not only is it hypocritical, but it also means that we really don’t have a major party that gives a rat’s a** about our debt — and, seeing as the annual interest payments on our federal debt are estimated to more than double over the next decade, that’s a big problem.

Senator John Thune may have called Paul’s speech “a colossal waste of time,” but I strongly disagree. Thanks to Paul, people are at least talking about overspending and the debt. That shouldn’t be a huge deal, but unfortunately, the bar for fiscal responsibility has gotten so low that that’s actually an accomplishment.

Sadly, it really does seem that there is just no such thing as a fiscally conservative party anymore. “Fiscal conservatism” is just something that the minority party whines about to score political points; it’s not an actual value or consideration. Both parties want to spend exorbitant amounts of cash, they just differ on what they want to spend it on. Democrats want to spend it on entitlements, Republicans want to spend it on the military and a border wall, but both of them want to spend without any regard whatsoever for the debt.

Paul said: “I want them to have to answer people at home who said, “How come you were against President Obama’s deficits, and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?” And honestly, I want them to have to answer that, too. The truth is, if you are only against deficits when they are the opposite party’s deficits, then you’re not against deficits at all — you’re just a partisan hack.

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