Rand Paul: “They still see government as the solution to everything”

posted at 12:55 pm on January 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

CNS News caught up with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) outside of his office to discuss the fragile state of the economy and tax policy.  Paul didn’t directly respond to Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, although CNS reports on some of the post-speech statements from Paul’s colleagues James Inhofe (R-OK) and John Thune (R-SD), the latter of whom is rumored to be mulling a challenge to Obama in the 2012 election.  Paul instead endorsed the permanent extension of the current tax rates to keep businesses and investors from getting “negative signals” on tax policy, and remarked that many in the Beltway still haven’t learned the lesson of the 2010 midterms:

“I would extend them permanently. The point is that the marketplace has made the decision and is basing their business decisions on lower taxes,” Paul told CNSNews.com. “Anything you do to raise taxes will give a bad signal to the marketplace that’s already brought these (current tax rates) to their business calculations. In Kentucky, we have 10 percent unemployment. We are still in the midst of a great recession. The other side needs to fully and truly understand that they need to embrace the marketplace and not government. They still see government as the solution to everything.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House voted to scale back federal spending to Fiscal 2008 levels, before emergency measures such as the $700-billion financial bailout and the $787-billion stimulus were enacted.

“I recognize that some in this chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I’m willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without,” Obama said. “But let’s make sure that we’re not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. And let’s make sure that what we’re cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you feel the impact.”

On that score, Paul has his own plan to cut into the massive budget deficit.  The Los Angeles Times reports on his proposal to cut $500 billion in a single year, almost halving the deficit, through a massive reduction in the federal bureaucracy:

Republican freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has unveiled his plan to cut $500 billion from the federal budget in a single year — a path that would transform the federal government and dramatically curb its reach into American life.

Paul’s budget cuts more than five times as much as House Republican leaders have advocated and faces little chance of winning support, even from within his own party.

Still, the “tea party” favorite’s plan demonstrates one pole in the coming budget debate. His plan would cut in half funding for the Department of Commerce and nearly eliminate the Department of Education. It would eliminate the Department of Energy, which oversees environment regulation and enforcement.

The budget would cut funding for the federal court system and the Agriculture Department by nearly one-third. The Pentagon would see a roughly 6% cut, and the Food and Drug Administration a 62% cut.

“By removing programs that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, such as education and housing, we are cutting nearly 40% of our projected deficit and removing the big-government bureaucrats who stand in the way of efficiency in our federal government,” Paul said in a statement.

It’s a bold plan, and one that has little chance of success in the current Congress.  It quintuples the pledge made by the GOP last year, a pledge from which they have retreated a little since discovering in the lame-duck session that they had to finish the FY2011 budget that Democrats punted rather than start in FY2012.  Paul’s plan will force Democrats and Republicans alike to debate the nature of the federal government, where its authority and jurisdiction should start and end, and ask the tough questions about whether America can afford to make everything a federal issue.


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Rand, keep trying. Push till it hurts and I hope it gets some note, even if it isn’t as much as most people would like.

upinak on January 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM

His plan would cut in half funding for the Department of Commerce and nearly eliminate the Department of Education. It would eliminate the Department of Energy, which oversees environment regulation and enforcement.

The budget would cut funding for the federal court system and the Agriculture Department by nearly one-third. The Pentagon would see a roughly 6% cut, and the Food and Drug Administration a 62% cut.

Sounds like a good start.

Any functions which actually need to be kept from eliminated agencies could be absorbed into other agencies.

Cuts for Ag should start with subsidies for various things such as corn for E-85.

teke184 on January 26, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Rand, they still see actual taxpayers the solution to everything they can get from us!
L

letget on January 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

This is what we need to see happen; take the Progressives on head to head, cut them off at the path with short messages filled with facts. Destroy their propaganda machinery while you have the attention of the public. We all know the attention span will likely be greatly reduced as soon as the economy gets better.

Bravo Senator Paul…

Keemo on January 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I say Do it Do it Do it — we need boldness and all those who lose their jobs will be absorbed into the private sector — and our economy will get going again in a matter of months ..

wheels on January 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Bravo, Rand Paul! Whatever may be it’s chances for success, it’s a position that needs to be asserted and promoted as strongly as possible… to set the Overton window, if for no other reason.

petefrt on January 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

agree with everyone else…it’s a start…go for it!

cmsinaz on January 26, 2011 at 1:08 PM

It’s a bold plan, and one that has little chance of success in the current Congress.

So true, it has to be bold enough to garner attention though and the bolder it is the more likely some of it may be enacted.

fourdeucer on January 26, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Rand Paul (Revere) still blazing the trail- ambushing the lies and smoke n mirrors that the Progressives are pushing upon us.

hawkman on January 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Promote this man!

pseudonominus on January 26, 2011 at 1:13 PM

To borrow a phrase from Team America: Rand Paul, F*CK YEAH.

SirGawain on January 26, 2011 at 1:14 PM

I would rather have RP in my corner than BO on my side!

UkiddenMe on January 26, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Whining Dems:B-b-b-b-but what about our agenda to seize power, and rule with an iron fist???? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

capejasmine on January 26, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I just called the Teacher’s Union, I don’t think Rand can count on their support.

Bishop on January 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you feel the impact.”

Analogy fail.

Aviator on January 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

WAY OT, but saw on Drudge…

Hmmm….

Wolftech on January 26, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Oh man. Can we do like the Romans did in time of crises and elect this guy as dictator for a few days?

BowHuntingTexas on January 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I like your style, Rand. Keep it up!

pugwriter on January 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Paul’s plan will force Democrats and Republicans alike to debate the nature of the federal government, where its authority and jurisdiction should start and end, and ask the tough questions about whether America can afford to make everything a federal issue.

What is there to debate? The Constitution already clearly establishes the authority, jurisdiction and limitations.

Get it out and follow it! End of story.

PakviRoti on January 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Paul’s plan is mostly good, but I have concerns on two points.

First, our courts are deeply backlogged, so much so that we can’t get the swift justice that the Constitution promises. Cutting the federal court system won’t help.

Second, there are things that can be cut in the military budget. Support for the Murtha airport is (probably) one of them. But the politically powerful will instead ensure that the waste is protected. We need to cut the political favors in the military budget (with another BRAC round, if necessary) and redirect that money to combat readiness.

njcommuter on January 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM

I love the “cutting dept of commerce, energy and education” parts.

search4truth on January 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

In my opinion… it’s not enough. Good start but some of those mentioned agencies should be abolished altogether.

therambler on January 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Paul’s plan is mostly good, but I have concerns on two points.

First, our courts are deeply backlogged, so much so that we can’t get the swift justice that the Constitution promises. Cutting the federal court system won’t help.

njcommuter on January 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Part of the problem is Congress has made too many crimes federal crimes, which should be left to the states.

Dasher on January 26, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Part of the problem is Congress has made too many crimes federal crimes, which should be left to the states.

Dasher on January 26, 2011 at 1:43 PM

That’s very true. A similar situation applies to the Federal bureaucracy as a whole: some claim that we can’t cut the Federal workforce because they can barely keep up with the implementation of laws and regulations right now. But in reality, all that means is Congress and the Executive branch have implemented too many regulations, and we need to repeal them concurrently with the budget cuts!

Inkblots on January 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Rand Paul 2012: Like Ron, Only Sane!

misterpeasea on January 26, 2011 at 1:56 PM

He’s headed in the right direction. Looks like he’ll be one of the better members of the senate during his term.

dedalus on January 26, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Paul Ryan / Rand Paul 2012 or Ryan/Paul 2012.. simple.

moonbatkiller on January 26, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Paul’s plan will force Democrats and Republicans alike to debate the nature of the federal government, where its authority and jurisdiction should start and end, and ask the tough questions about whether America can afford to make everything a federal issue.

This is exactly why every conservative should be supporting Rand in the Senate. He’s redirecting the direction of the GOP. I like Rubio on certain things, but Rand Paul is showing he might end up one of the best Senators we have. Time will tell.

MeatHeadinCA on January 26, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I’d say totally eliminate the Dept. of Ed, and CPB and NPR. But it’d be a good start. I’d really like to see Medicare/Medicaid and SS go the way of the dinosaur, but right now that’s probably too much to ask.

Iblis on January 26, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I’d say totally eliminate the Dept. of Ed, and CPB and NPR. But it’d be a good start. I’d really like to see Medicare/Medicaid and SS go the way of the dinosaur, but right now that’s probably too much to ask.

Iblis on January 26, 2011 at 2:15 PM

OSHA. TSA. Homeland Security. Planned Parenthood. The UN.

misterpeasea on January 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I just love this quote from the LAT article:

It would eliminate the Department of Energy, which oversees environment regulation and enforcement.

That description sounds more like the EPA

The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

or the Interior Department

The U.S. Department of the Interior protects America’s natural resources…

Nice to see that an objective news article can’t get the facts straight on how government works.

thirtypundit on January 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM

My kind of conservative. Paul isn’t a cheerleader, or a talking points guy, he is a serious individual who bring bold conservative proposals to the table.

Raisedbywolves on January 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM

It would eliminate the Department of Energy, which oversees environment regulation and enforcement.

Um, that’s the EPA that does that. DOE has nothing to do with environmental regulations.

So, which one are they proposing to eliminate?

Socratease on January 26, 2011 at 2:23 PM

So, which one are they proposing to eliminate?

Socratease on January 26, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I think the plan is to eliminate the DOE and probably severely curtail the EPA’s authority.

teke184 on January 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM

OSHA. TSA. Homeland Security. Planned Parenthood. The UN.

misterpeasea on January 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Oh yeah! Planned Parenthood makes hundreds of millions, why do they need fed assistance?

Iblis on January 26, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I say abolish the IRS, and replace it with the FairTax.

ornery_independent on January 26, 2011 at 3:23 PM

I think the plan is to eliminate the DOE and probably severely curtail the EPA’s authority.

teke184 on January 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I would vote for the reverse… eliminate the EPA (leaving this to the states if they wish) and severely curtail the DOE authority… for one reason…

DOE also oversees safety regulations of the nuclear energy industry. I’d like those regulations reduced (to spur development of new nuclear plants), but consistent across the country… primarily to open up reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and reducing the amount of nuclear waste. Since reprocessing would consist of transportation across plants in multiple states, this would make sense to me.

But the EPA… get rid of it. Let the states compete to see how much business they can kill with environmental regulations.

dominigan on January 26, 2011 at 3:39 PM

That’s what I’m talkin about!

james23 on January 26, 2011 at 3:43 PM

So, all the economic common sense of Ron Paul, but without the black helicopter screaming fits?

This is about the only case I can think of when one of those “second look” headlines would have actually been warranted.

logis on January 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Rand Paul coming up on Cavuto

james23 on January 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

IF you have not read the actual text, do so, it is only 12 or so pages.

Most of the savings come from Eliminating duplication, Like for example all Programs and regulations that pertain to national defense at the DOE is moved to DoD. Cost Guard is moved back to its proper place under DoD, and there are other Massive Moves in the bill that will go along way to no only saving today, but preventing spending in the future

the_ancient on January 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM

@dominigan
The NRC which I do not think is under the DOE anymore regulates Nuclear Power. the DOE has a Nuclear Research area but the NRC was separated from DOE I believe

the_ancient on January 26, 2011 at 4:54 PM

The federal government does not need to invest in innovation or education. It just needs to get out of the way of both.

abcurtis on January 27, 2011 at 11:11 AM