Rand Paul on Budget & Economy


Borrowing a million a minute has gotta stop somewhere

I'm the only one on the stage who actually has a five-year budget that balances. I've put pencil to paper and I've said I would cut spending, and I've said exactly where. Each one of my budgets has taken a meat axe to foreign aid. We shouldn't borrow money from China to send it anywhere. Out of your surplus, you can help your allies, but we cannot give away money we don't have. We do not project power from bankruptcy court. We're borrowing a million dollars a minute. It's got to stop somewhere.
Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Reform the tax code; address the national debt

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues" , Apr 7, 2015

Federal Reserve is insolvent, by private bank standards

If the Federal Reserve was a real bank, without extraordinary powers, it would be insolvent. The Fed has $4.5 trillion in liabilities and only $57 billion in equity. It is leveraged at 80:1, nearly three times greater than Lehman Brothers when it failed. Nearly 40% of the Fed's liabilities are said to be mortgage-backed securities--the question needs to be: How many are distressed home loans?

What does that mean? It means the dollar that was once as good as gold ultimately became backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. And since the panic of 2008, your dollar is now backed by bad home loans, bad car loans, and derivatives. Is anyone comforted?

Over the past one hundred years the dollar has lost 96 percent of its value. If the Fed were forced to do, what every ordinary bank must do--take its "assets" and mark them to their current market value--many believe the Fed would be insolvent.

Source: Article: Audit/End the Fed, by Rand Paul, on Breitbart.com , Feb 10, 2015

More oversight of the Fed; less of community banks

After the banking crisis of 2008, we got alarmed and we passed regulations. The only problem is, we passed regulations on the banks that weren't involved and gave more power to the bank that was involved--the Fed. No bank in Kentucky failed during this crisis, yet Dodd-Frank pummeled our small community banks with crippling regulations. What we really needed was more oversight of the Fed, not small community banks.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and I don't agree on much, but I thought he did a great job of describing the Fed and the bank bailouts as: "A clear case of socialism for the rich; and rugged-you're-on-your-own-individualism for everyone else."

The Fed, with unlimited ability to print money, now prints that money to lobby against Congressional oversight. It is a disgrace and every citizen in the land should rise up and say: We the people are in charge and we demand an audit!

Source: Article: Audit/End the Fed, by Rand Paul, on Breitbart.com , Feb 10, 2015

Audit the Fed: currently no jurisdiction to do so

Some say the Fed is already audited. Well, when the auditor came to Congress, she was asked the identity of the debt bought by the Fed. She didn't know. When pressed on the case she responded, "We do not have the jurisdiction to directly go and audit reserve bank activities."

Some worry about Fed independence. I do too. I worry about the Fed's independence from the Executive branch. The Fed is supposed to be overseen by Congress. Congress created the Fed. The Fed is now in every nook and cranny of banking regulation since Dodd-Frank and it is a necessity that we not let the Executive branch gain unlimited power.

Any audit of the Fed should attempt to bring regulatory power back under the control of Congress. Some worry that an audit would reveal which banks are shaky and lead to a panic. The audit doesn't occur until a year after the bill passes. When the 2011 audit occurred, no bank-runs ensued.

Source: Article: Audit/End the Fed, by Rand Paul, on Breitbart.com , Feb 10, 2015

Is the Fed too big to be audited?

[At an Iowa event], Paul is focused on reviving his father's political base, by attacking an institution that has long frustrated the libertarian right: the Federal Reserve. Before Paul took the stage, organizers played a video featuring archival clips of both Ron and Rand Paul delivering critiques of the central bank.

Minutes later, Paul, who last month introduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, drew raucous applause when he warned its policies are undermining U.S. currency. "Anybody here want to audit the Fed?" Paul said. "Anybody feel that the Fed is out to get us? They're all over the TV! They're going to be out there saying, 'Oh, we can't audit the Fed.' What, are they too big to be audited? Too secret to be audited?"

[Remembering his father's campaign in Iowa], Paul said chuckling, "We used to have an 'end the Fed' dunk booth over there," pointing toward a nearby sidewalk. "People threw balls at Ben Bernanke in order to get someone in the tank."

Source: Robert Costa in 2015 Wash.Post on 2016 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 7, 2015

We borrow $1M per minute; mandate a balanced budget

It is self-evident that the President and Congress are unable to do what every family in America must do--balance the budget. If Congress cannot, or will not, balance the budget, then we should amend the Constitution to make it mandatory. President Obama is on course to add more to our national debt than all previous presidents combined. We borrow a million dollars a minute. Our $18 trillion dollar debt has become an anchor. Some economists argue that the burden of debt costs us a million jobs a year.

I fear that this enormous burden of debt threatens our currency. I fear that another 2008-style panic is possible, and I fear that this degree of debt is an imminent threat to our national security.

You cannot project power from bankruptcy court. It does not make us appear stronger when we borrow money from China and send it to countries that burn our flag.

Source: Tea Party response to the 2015 State of the Union address , Jan 20, 2015

The sequester is the law of the land: can't compromise on it

Q: Do you have a bottom line below which you will not go in accepting something that would end this standoff?

PAUL: I'm willing to compromise. But we're borrowing more than a million dollars every minute. So, we do have to address that. I think the one thing I cannot accept is the Democrats want to exceed the sequester caps, these things that we put into law to restrain spending already. And it's funny, they're all about ObamaCare being the law of the land, but so is the sequester. The sequester is the law of the land, and if we exceed that, it's a real big step in the wrong direction.

Q: The sequester means forced budget cuts that unless there is some agreement on Capitol Hill about spending, they go into place.

PAUL: Yes, and to clarify what the sequester cuts are, they're a cut in the rate of increase of spending, because over ten years, even with the sequester, government will grow. It goes down for a year or two, but over 10 years, it grows.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 13, 2013

We cannot continue to borrow $50,000 per second

Our government today is larger than it has ever been in the history of our country. Everything that America has been, and everything we ever wish to be, is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don't have.

The President seems to think we can keep adding to a $16 trillion debt. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second.

The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working. He's got it exactly backwards. I'm here to tell you, what we need to do is leave more money in the pockets of those who earned it.

Source: Speech at 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Mar 14, 2013

Sequester doesn't cut spending; it just slows rate of growth

Look at how ridiculously Washington politicians have behaved over the sequester. The President did a big "woe is me" over a trillion dollar sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans joined him. But the sequester didn't even cut any spending. It just slowed the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade. Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.

After the sequester, it was announced that the White House would stop giving tours. Administration officials said that it was due to "cuts" imposed by the sequester. Meanwhile the President found an extra $250 million to send to Egypt. You know, the country where mobs attacked our embassy, burned our flag, and chanted death to America. I say: not a penny more to countries that burn our flag. The President says he can't find anything to cut except for White House tours.

Source: Speech at 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Mar 14, 2013

FactCheck: US borrowing $30,000 per second, not $50,000

Paul exaggerated when he claimed the federal government borrows "$50,000 every second." The US is borrowing a lot of money--but not that much. The actual amount is about $30,000 a second. Paul said, "We're in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The president seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 every second."

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the public debt will increase in the current fiscal year by an additional $949 billion. That comes to $30,093 per second. Now, that per-second figure was considerably higher earlier in the Obama administration. In 2011 the U.S. was borrowing $47,564.68 every second. We don't mean to minimize the scope of the nation's debt problem. But Paul is wrong to suggest the president will "continue to borrow $50,000 every second," when CBO projects the U.S. will borrow about 40 percent less than that this fiscal year.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 14, 2013

Borrowing $50,000 per second is not sustainable

The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.

The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.

All that we are, all that we wish to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don't have.

Congress is debating the wrong things. Every debate in Washington is about how much to increase spending--a little or a lot. About how much to increase taxes--a little or a lot. Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.

Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

America needs Adam Smith, not Robin Hood

What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous. What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations. He described a limited government that largely did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness.

Over the past 4 years the President has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may well do the same in a second term. What solutions does he offer? He takes entitlement reform off the table and seeks to squeeze more money out of the private sector.

He says he wants a balanced approach. What the country really needs is a balanced budget. Washington acts in a way that your family never could--they spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem.

Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

Penny Plan: Each $1 by one penny & balance budget by 2019

Tonight I urge you to demand a new course. Demand Washington change their ways, or be sent home.

To begin with, we absolutely must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution! The amendment must include strict tax and spending limitations.

Liberals complain that the budget can't be balanced but if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years. The Penny Plan has been crafted into a bill that millions of conservatives across the country support.

Where would we cut spending; well, we could start with ending all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanting death to America. The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt.

Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

Keep the sequester, and increase it to $4T

It is time for a new bipartisan consensus. It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.

Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America's credit rating.

Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess.

Bipartisanship is not what is missing in Washington. Common sense is. Trillion-dollar deficits hurt us all. Printing more money to feed the never-ending appetite for spending hurts us all. We pay higher prices every time we go to the supermarket or the gas pump. The value of the dollar shrinks with each new day.

Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

Not every military dollar is necessary,nor every entitlement

President Obama's administration will add nearly $6 trillion to our national debt in just one term. This explosion of debt is unconscionable and unsustainable. Mr. President, we will not let you bankrupt this great nation!

Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows. Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 29, 2012

Roll back federal spending to 2008 levels

One of the first things I did when I got to Washington was propose $500 billion in cuts to the budget for one year. This would have reduced our $1.5 trillion deficit by 1/3. My proposal would have simply rolled back federal spending to 2008 levels by initiating reductions at various levels almost across the board. I would have cut the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation, which would have saved us $42 billion each. My proposed cuts to the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development would have saved another $50 billion each. I also included getting rid of the Department of Education and sending that responsibility back to the states, which would have saved another $80 billion, as well as spending reductions in international aid, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agents. Not surprisingly, liberal Democrats thought all of these cuts were too "extreme."
Source: Now Or Never, by Sen. Jim DeMint, p. xiii , Jan 10, 2012

We are borrowing $40,000 per second

Strong GOP support for the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan (which would cut current spending, cap future spending, and balance the federal budget) in the House signaled that more Republicans than ever were finally willing to get behind serious reform. Changing Washington's spending habits simply requires the will to do so. There are solutions on the table. I've proposed them. So have others.

At best, our current policies are merely slowing down our fast-approaching default. We are borrowing $40,000 per second. Entitlements and interest will consume the entire budget within a decade. When they say the appointed Super Committee that was part of the 2011 budget deal will cut $2 trillion, what they really mean is that it will cut $2 trillion from proposed increases in spending. So instead of adding $9 trillion to the debt over 10 years, we will merely add $7 trillion. Suffice it to say, this is not a cut. Only in Washington can the accumulation of so much new debt be seen as fiscal responsibility

Source: Now Or Never, by Sen. Jim DeMint, p. xv-xvi , Jan 10, 2012

Government not serious about controlling spending

[At a Tea Party rally speech at Bowling Green, Kentucky, April 15, 2009, Paul said]: We pay more in taxes now than we spend on food, clothes and housing combined. Taxes are high because spending is out of control. We are spending ourselves into oblivion. Our deficit, as a percentage of gross national product, is greater than at any time in history. We are bankrupting our country, and the bottom line is that the politicians don't get it.
Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 9 , Feb 22, 2011

Larger government is not a solution for economy

[In USA Today, Aug. 10, 2010]: The bailouts and the federal takeovers of the past two years have made the federal government the nation's top mortgage lender and a major player in auto manufacturing, as well as Wall Street's ATM of first and last resort. This departure from the limited government envisioned by the (US) Founders has encouraged too many Americans to forget their heritage of freedom. When there is a problem, Washington tells us, more government is the solution.
Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p.117 , Feb 22, 2011

Debt crisis is approaching a point of no return

We face a looming debt crisis. It's worse than you can imagine. It really is coming upon us quickly. I went to a presentation this week and they said that Japan reached a point of no return. They say when its debt equals its economy, when your total debt is about equal to your gross domestic product you approach a point of no return. We're quickly approaching that point, and what kind of leadership are we getting, though? The president of the United States wants to sound like he's now a conservative. Says he's going to freeze spending. Well, he's going to freeze this much of the budget, at inflated levels of spending, and over five years he's going to add $3.8 trillion to the debt. It's unacceptable.

The House Republican proposal will freeze this much of the budget at 2008 levels and will add $3 trillion to the debt over five years. It's too little. It's not enough. It's too timid, and we must be more bold.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

No federal bailouts of private industry

Dr. Paul opposes all federal bailouts of private industry. America is the land of opportunity, to succeed and to fail. It's time our government starts promoting responsibility.

Every dollar we print to service our debt, reduces the value of the money in your pocket. Rand will fight to strengthen the value of our Dollar so our purchasing power is not destroyed by the sneakiest tax of all: inflation.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.randpaul2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Rand Paul on Voting Record

Bank bailout represented everything wrong with Washington

A vote for the bank bailout bill was wrong for many reasons--and particularly the way it was passed--1,000 pages long, printed at midnight and passed by noon the next day. No one read the bill. It came out of the shadows and was passed in the midst of a government-created crisis, featuring new regulations and new powers for government, inserted into its crevices by anonymous clerks in the dead of night. The bank bailout represented everything that was wrong with Washington.

My father, a Congressman, told me that he had banking lobbyists calling him and asking him about certain sections of the boll, and he said, "What bill?" He didn't have a copy yet. They replied, "We do, would you like to see it?" You know government is out of control when lobbyists have the bills before members of Congress. Who is writing the bills, Congress or the lobbyists?

Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 49-50 , Feb 22, 2011

Bank bailout was bad policy & helped no banks in KY

CONWAY: Chris, I'm proposing a hometown tax credit, a 20% tax credit, for the cost of creating a new job. I think it's important that Americans see that our government is not just growing but that we're providing the incentives for the private sector to grow us out of the recession. I also think that we need to get the small and community banks lending once again, because the government bailed out a bunch of big banks on Wall Street, and these regulators have come down awfully hard on the small communit banks.

PAUL: But here's the problem. You say you want new lending from small banks, but you support the banking regulation bill. The problem was with government banks--Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac--bad policy at the Federal Reserve caused the recession, caused the credit crunch. But yet Jack supports--President Obama supports--the new banking regulations, which every bank in Kentucky will tell you it wasn't our problem. No banks failed in Kentucky. But it's much harder to get a loan in Kentucky now.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate , Oct 3, 2010

Demand a Balanced Budget amendment.

Paul signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 3. Demand a Balanced Budget:

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA03 on Jul 8, 2010

Limit federal spending growth to per-capita inflation rate.

Paul signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 6. End Runaway Government Spending:

Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA06 on Jul 8, 2010

Sponsored bill increasing debt limit to $16.7 trillion.

Paul sponsored America Pays Its Bills Act

A bill to increase the statutory limit on the public debt from $14.294 trillion to $16.7 trillion..

[Explanatory note from Wikipedia.com "Debt Ceiling Crisis"]:

The US debt-ceiling crisis was a financial crisis in 2011 that started as a debate in the Congress about increasing the debt ceiling. The immediate crisis ended when a complex deal was reached that raised the debt ceiling and reduced future government spending. However, similar debates are anticipated for the 2012 and 2013 budget. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner announced on July 31 that an agreement had been achieved. After the legislation was passed by both the House and Senate, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act. On August 5, the credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating of US government bond for the first time in the country's history.

Under US law, an administration can spend only if it has sufficient funds to pay for it. These funds can come either from tax receipts or from borrowing. Congress has set a debt ceiling, beyond which Treasury cannot borrow. The Obama administration stated that, without this increase, the federal government would shut down and the US would enter sovereign default, thereby creating an international crisis in the financial markets. Alternatively, default could be averted if the government were to promptly reduce its other spending by about half.

An increase in the debt ceiling requires the approval of both houses of Congress. A large majority of Democratic legislators (who held a majority in the Senate) favored tax increases along with smaller spending cuts. Supporters of the Tea Party movement pushed their fellow Republicans to reject any agreement that failed to incorporate large and immediate spending cuts or a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

Source: HR2663&S1326 11-S1326 on Jul 5, 2011

Supports the Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge.

Paul signed the Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge to limit government

[The Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge is sponsored by a coalition of several hundred Tea Party, limited-government, and conservative organizations].

Despite our nation's staggering $14.4 trillion debt, there are many Members of the U.S. House and Senate who want to raise our nation's debt limit without making permanent reforms in our fiscal policies. We believe that this is a fiscally irresponsible position that would place America on the Road to Ruin. At the same time, we believe that the current debate over raising the debt limit provides a historic opportunity to focus public attention, and then public policy, on a path to a balanced budget and paying down our debt.

We believe that the "Cut, Cap, Balance" plan for substantial spending cuts in FY 2012, a statutory spending cap, and Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is the minimum necessary precondition to raising the debt limit. The ultimate goal is to get us back to a point where increases in the debt limit are no longer necessary. If you agree, take the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge!

    I pledge to urge my Senators and Member of the House of Representatives to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met:
  1. Cut: Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.
  2. Cap: Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.
  3. Balance: Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.
Source: Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge 12-CCB on Jan 1, 2012

Disapprove of increasing the debt limit.

Paul co-sponsored Joint Resolution on Debt Limit

Congressional Summary:JOINT RESOLUTION: Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That Congress disapproves of the President's exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as submitted on Jan. 12, 2012.

Congressional Vote: Vote #4 in the House: 239 Yeas; 176 Nays; Senate declined to vote on the Resolution.

OnTheIssues Explanation: On Jan. 12, 2012, Pres. Obama notified Congress of his intent to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion, two weeks after he had postponed the request to give lawmakers more time to consider the action. Congress then had 15 days to say no before the debt ceiling is automatically raised from $15.2 trillion to $16.4 trillion. Hence the debt ceiling was increased.

In Aug. 2011, the US government was nearly shut down by an impasse over raising the debt ceiling; under an agreement reached then, the President could raise the debt limit in three increments while also implementing $2.4 trillion in budget cuts. The agreement also gave Congress the option of voting to block each of the debt-ceiling increases by passing a "resolution of disapproval." The House disapproved; the Senate, by declining to vote in the 15-day window, killed the Resolution. Even if the resolution were passed, Pres. Obama could veto it; which could be overridden by a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate. The House vote only had 57% approval, not enough for the 67% override requirement, so the Senate vote became moot. The same set of actions occurred in Sept. 2011 for the first debt ceiling increase.

Source: HJRes.98/SJRes34 12-SJR34 on Jan 23, 2012

Sponsored auditing the Fed & its actions on mortgage loans.

Paul sponsored Federal Reserve Transparency Act

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act directs: