Rand Paul’s ‘Modest, $500 Billion Proposal’

Rand Paul. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Rand Paul. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Senator Rand Paul, extreme tea partier from Kentucky, has a controversial opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, claiming that his spending cuts would keep 85% of government funding and not touch Social Security or Medicare:

After Republicans swept into office in 1994, Bill Clinton famously said in his State of the Union address that the era of big government was over. Nearly $10 trillion of federal debt later, the era of big government is at its zenith.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will be the third consecutive year in which the federal government is running a deficit near or greater than $1 trillion. The solution to the government’s fiscal crisis must begin by cutting spending in all areas, particularly in those that can be better run at the state or local level. Last month I introduced legislation to do just that. And though it seems extreme to some—containing over $500 billion in spending cuts enacted over one year—it is a necessary first step toward ending our fiscal crisis.

My proposal would first roll back almost all federal spending to 2008 levels, then initiate reductions at various levels nearly across the board. Cuts to the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation would create over $42 billion in savings each, while cuts to the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development would save about $50 billion each. Removing education from the federal government’s jurisdiction would create almost $80 billion in savings alone. Add to that my proposed reductions in international aid, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and other federal agencies, and we arrive at over $500 billion.

My proposal, not surprisingly, has been greeted skeptically in Washington, where serious spending cuts are a rarity. But it is a modest proposal when measured against the size of our mounting debt. It would keep 85% of our government funding in place and not touch Social Security or Medicare. But by reducing wasteful spending and shuttering departments that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, such as the Department of Education, we can cut nearly 40% of our projected deficit and at the same time remove thousands of big-government bureaucrats who stand in the way of efficiency…

[continues in the Wall Street Journal]

, , ,

  • Andrew

    Debt is an intellectual abstraction.

  • Andrew

    Debt is an intellectual abstraction.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, great idea. With many states like California, New York and Wisconsin so far in the hole, let’s shove even more of the cost on those state tax bases. I’m sure they’re in no danger of being held up by the ‘tax-holiday’ hopping threats of big corporations, right?

    Lord knows that Jeb Bush and Gingrich’s push to force states into official bankruptcy doesn’t represent the final nail in the coffin of elected democracy being hammered by a relentlessly vicious and self-centered corporate elite.

    http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=532820

    Everybody knows that the bankruptcy receivers and judges would never consider short-changing the retirement funds of public servants and vital constituent services to further bloat the coffers of their corporate masters in a final payment settlement, right? Rand Paul’s plan would strengthen public institutions not destroy them, right?

    God what a hopeless fucking dimwit. If you’re out there, Rand, you imbecile, here’s a clue: Cut the goddamned $800 BILLION military budget and tax the deadbeat millionaire trust fund brats who’re leeching off the public teat, ya damned halfwit.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, great idea. With many states like California, New York and Wisconsin so far in the hole, let’s shove even more of the cost on those state tax bases. I’m sure they’re in no danger of being held up by the ‘tax-holiday’ hopping threats of big corporations, right?

    Lord knows that Jeb Bush and Gingrich’s push to force states into official bankruptcy doesn’t represent the final nail in the coffin of elected democracy being hammered by a relentlessly vicious and self-centered corporate elite.

    http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=532820

    Everybody knows that the bankruptcy receivers and judges would never consider short-changing the retirement funds of public servants and vital constituent services to further bloat the coffers of their corporate masters in a final payment settlement, right? Rand Paul’s plan would strengthen public institutions not destroy them, right?

    God what a hopeless fucking dimwit. If you’re out there, Rand, you imbecile, here’s a clue: Cut the goddamned $800 BILLION military budget and tax the deadbeat millionaire trust fund brats who’re leeching off the public teat, ya damned halfwit.

  • David Frost

    Rand Paul is the most vile politician in America, I despise him and his fake looking hair hat!

  • David Frost

    Rand Paul is the most vile politician in America, I despise him and his fake looking hair hat!

  • red

    interestingly no one seems to know about Jonathan Swift’s ” A Modest Proposal ” Does Ran Poodlehead ” Paul perchance ?

  • red

    interestingly no one seems to know about Jonathan Swift’s ” A Modest Proposal ” Does Ran Poodlehead ” Paul perchance ?

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Well, I for one am very well aware of the said tract by the Dean of St. Patrick’s. I’m a huge fan of Swift.

      But my take is that the reference in the title is such a shallow hook that it barely merits mention. Yeah, I get it, and it’s certainly apt, but the author doesn’t really go anywhere with it.

      It’d have been neat if he did, though. More and more I come to think that the problem is not one of availability of information, but a lack of proper respect for imagination. Rand has said some interesting things vis-a-vis radical changes in foreign policy, but so far they seem to be one-offs, the proverbial ‘acorn’ that the blind pig is supposed to find from time to time.

      Much more impressive to me is the consistency of Rand’s dumbass fiscal and regulatory policies. I chalk that up to Rand having a depressingly 2-dimensional view of the world, that he can’t imagine any alternative point along the spectrum between utter ruin and terminal disaster.

      I don’t begrudge the man for making radical proposals. I just want to vomit all over him for his completely stupid lack of imagination.

  • red

    I guess Randy Rand may say nothing would grace the table of a CEO or Hedge Fund Manager better than a nice roasted plump anchor baby !

  • red

    I guess Randy Rand may say nothing would grace the table of a CEO or Hedge Fund Manager better than a nice roasted plump anchor baby !

  • NEOLIBS UCK

    I love hearing neolibs attack people most sound like these 5 commenter. Rand says i cant have more candy because there is not enough. Liar candy is imaginary it never disappears!! But seriously you guys have 2 braincells to rub together tho id recommend against it you might lose one.

  • NEOLIBS UCK

    I love hearing neolibs attack people most sound like these 5 commenter. Rand says i cant have more candy because there is not enough. Liar candy is imaginary it never disappears!! But seriously you guys have 2 braincells to rub together tho id recommend against it you might lose one.

    • idiocracy

      idiocracy anyone?…. He must be wrong he sound like a fa#!

      • idiocracy

        just look at his hair… fa*

    • Andrew

      Your metaphor is flawed. Candy is a tangible commodity and must be physically created. Money is a medium of exchange which in many cases exists only as electrons on computers. As a medium of exchange money’s lack of physical existence can greatly increase its usefulness, as long as we recognize it’s use is a kind of game and don’t worship that game as if it were a moral absolute or treat it like a scientific law.

  • idiocracy

    idiocracy anyone?…. He must be wrong he sound like a fa#!

  • idiocracy

    just look at his hair… fa*

  • Andrew

    Your metaphor is flawed. Candy is a tangible commodity and must be physically created. Money is a medium of exchange which in many cases exists only as electrons on computers. As a medium of exchange money’s lack of physical existence can greatly increase its usefulness, as long as we recognize it’s use is a kind of game and don’t worship that game as if it were a moral absolute or treat it like a scientific law.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well, I for one am very well aware of the said tract by the Dean of St. Patrick’s. I’m a huge fan of Swift.

    But my take is that the reference in the title is such a shallow hook that it barely merits mention. Yeah, I get it, and it’s certainly apt, but the author doesn’t really go anywhere with it.

    It’d have been neat if he did, though. More and more I come to think that the problem is not one of availability of information, but a lack of proper respect for imagination. Rand has said some interesting things vis-a-vis radical changes in foreign policy, but so far they seem to be one-offs, the proverbial ‘acorn’ that the blind pig is supposed to find from time to time.

    Much more impressive to me is the consistency of Rand’s dumbass fiscal and regulatory policies. I chalk that up to Rand having a depressingly 2-dimensional view of the world, that he can’t imagine any alternative point along the spectrum between utter ruin and terminal disaster.

    I don’t begrudge the man for making radical proposals. I just want to vomit all over him for his completely stupid lack of imagination.

21