Like his father before him — former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has never been afraid to call out the Republican Party when he deems it necessary, particularly over what he considers to be lack of fiscal restraint. On Wednesday, he deemed it necessary.
During a segment on Fox News’s “Your World,” Paul told host Neil Cavuto that Congressional Republicans should apologize to former President Barack Obama “for complaining that he was spending and borrowing too much.”
Paul first told Cavuto that the widely-held belief that the two parties resist compromise isn’t true.
“It’s funny that people say, ‘Well, Washington Republicans and Democrats never compromise and can’t get along.’ That’s actually the opposite of the truth. Republicans and Democrats compromise every day of the year to spend money we don’t have.”
Paul’s criticism was directed at the trillions of dollars in COVID “stimulus” money already spent, along with the trillions under consideration by Congress and President Trump as we speak.
“So we were already running a trillion dollars short just with our normal budgetary expenses for the year. We added three trillion [with the CARES Act]. Now they’re talking about another one to two trillion.
We’re going to borrow $5 trillion in five months. I remember when conservatives complained about George W. Bush borrowing $5 trillion in eight years […]
I’m very upset with my colleagues right now. They went eight years — they should apologize right now to President Obama for complaining that he was spending and borrowing too much. He was a piker compared to the borrowing that they’re doing now.”
He added, “tongue in cheek,” he said, “So these Republicans, they should have to apologize, and they should be forbidden by law from ever saying that they’re fiscally conservative.”
“Obama was a piker,” as a comparison to which party spends the most of your money, is a sobering statement, given that it has historically been the Democrats who have spent like drunken sailors, with Republicans doing their fiscally-conservative best to reel them in.
The ever-increasing National Debt, which stands at over $25.6 trillion and counting — $864 thousand for every taxpayer — is proof enough of Paul’s concern. U.S. Published National Debt consists of debt held by the public, and intragovernmental holdings, including debt held by Social Security and Medicare trust funds.
Paul’s criticism of his own party comes as the Trump White House “negotiates” (battles) with Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat-controlled House over “Phase 4” of a virus-related emergency aid bill this week.
Congress is expected to vote on a compromise bill next week, although holding one’s breath in anticipation would be a fool’s game, given the raucous tangling between the two sides during previous negotiations.
How raucous, you ask?
As RedState’s Streiff reported in May, the ever-colorful Republican Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) described negotiating with Pelosi this way:
“My fellow Republicans in the Senate have tried to see things from the speaker’s point of view, but we can’t get our heads that far up our rear ends. And I think any fair-minded American would agree, once they read the bill.”
Paul warned that Republicans who continue to support trillion dollar spending programs could pay the price in November, as fiscal conservatives abandon them over “acting like Democrats.”
“The politicians around here say, ‘Oh, no, we just have to buy more voters by flooding the economy with money.’ Well, guess what? “What if conservatives or libertarians that vote Republican decide, ‘The hell with it, you’re acting like Democrats, we’re either staying home or voting for a third party.’ You know what? They might just lose this election because they’re acting like Democrats now.”
Rand Paul Slams GOP Colleagues Over Stimulus Spending, Says Party Should 'Apologize' to Obama for Giving HIM a Hard Time https://t.co/6dhvM2hLZY
— Hold My Beer (@RealLibSmacker) August 6, 2020
Paul returned to the Obama comparison, again telling Cavuto that his Republican colleagues are “once again making Barack Obama look conservative.”
“When you increase the benefits and you pay people, [and] the government pays them more for not working than they were getting for working, you institutionalize unemployment. Even President Obama didn’t do that.”
Ever the fiscal conservative, Paul told Cavuto that the only way to turn the economy around — to pull it out of what he termed a “government-mandated depression” — is to “get rid of the government mandates and let the economy function as it did normally.” “We had a great economy until the government mandated this depression,” he added.
“You can’t keep doing this,” Paul said, as the segment ended. “We can’t keep borrowing another trillion dollars every couple of months.”
By comparison, the National Debt stood at $10.7 trillion dollars at the end of 2008, shortly before Obama took office. By inauguration day, 2017, the debt had ballooned to $19.6 trillion, an increase of 87 percent in eight years. During Trump’s 3 1/2-plus years in office, the debt has increased by nearly $6 trillion — 67 percent of the total increase during eight years of Obama’s presidency.
While “special circumstances” — COVID — sometimes call for “special solutions,” debt is debt, regardless of why it occurs, and who spends it.
To Rand Paul’s point, Republicans spending like Democrats spending like drunken sailors is a sobering thought indeed. Come November, will we find out how just how sobering that thought has become?