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.

Most Popular


Trump’s Disgraceful Press Conference in Helsinki

On Monday, President Trump gave a deeply disgraceful press conference with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The presser began with Trump announcing that although the Russia–U.S. relationship has “never been worse than it is now,” all of that “changed as of about four hours ago.” It was downhill from ... Read More

Questions for Al Franken

1)Al, as you were posting on social media a list of proposed questions for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, did it occur to you that your opinion on the matter is no more relevant than Harvey Weinstein’s? 2) Al, is it appropriate for a disgraced former U.S. senator to use the Twitter cognomen “U.S. ... Read More
White House

The President’s Do-Over

I agree with Jonah on all counts: On net, President Trump’s do-over of his Helsinki remarks is a good thing; regrettably, it is not sincere; and while I hope the revised version is the one he sticks to, I don’t have confidence that will be the case -- as posited in my column Tuesday on the folly of having the ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Helsinki Discord

Donald Trump is not, and never will be, the Moscow correspondent for The Nation magazine, and he shouldn’t sound like it. The left-wing publication is prone to extend sympathetic understanding to adversaries of the United States and find some reason, any reason, to blame ourselves for their external ... Read More