Rand Paul’s speech on the budget compromise was exceptional
Rand Paul's speech on the budget compromise was so exceptional, so extraordinary, so on point, that it deserves to get much wider play...
You know, it's amazing to me to be lectured to and hear about how awful the Tea Party is and what the Tea Party represents from folks who have never been to a Tea Party.
You know, come on down to a Tea Party. Bring your Huey Long rhetoric, a chicken in every pot, a windmill in every background — a windmill in every back yard, bring it on down to the Tea Party, let's have a discussion. Bring it out to the American public. We hear from those who want to lecture the Tea Party about cutting spending.
Who among these folks has voted against an appropriations bill? We haven't even seen an appropriations bill in this body in over a year; we didn't see a budget. We're spending $2 trillion we don't have, and they're here blaming it on the Tea Party. Who's in charge here? It's not the Tea Party. Blame it on us. Give us an appropriations bill, give us our budget.
Do something constructive to fix the fiscal problems we have up here. They say that compromise is the ideal. They tell the Tea Party, "You need to compromise." But you know what the compromise is? They want to raise your taxes. The debt commission wants to raise your taxes. The President wants to raise your taxes. That's what they're talking about.
The President yesterday said he's going to cut $4 trillion. Well, try to read what's going on here. He said he was going to spend $46 trillion a month ago, his budget, before we've even had a discussion of his budget, he's going to cut $4 trillion off the $46 trillion he's going to spend.
These are no cuts. We will spend more this year than we spent last year. Forget about all the numbers, forget about all the baselines, forget about 6, 30, or zero, which is what they scored this yesterday; forget all about it.
Ask your representative, "Are we going to spend more this year than last year?" If we're spending more this year than last year, that's not a cut. Ask your representatives, ask your senators.
Will the deficit be more this year than last year? The deficit will be bigger this year.
We threatened to shut down government over nothing because we're not cutting spending in any serious way. They want to blame it on the Tea Party because in their secret caucus meetings, they've done a poll that says, ah, the Tea Party, the villain. Say the Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party.
You know what the Tea Party believes in? Good government. We believe in balancing the budget. We believe in reducing spending. We have plans to fix Social Security. We introduced a plan yesterday. If the other side is serious about fixing the entitlements, we have a plan.
Come to us and work with us. But don't just come down here and call us names. Before you send any more money to Washington, ask your representatives — are they spending your money wisely?
$100 billion in the budget last year is unaccounted for. We don't know where it was spent or we think it was improperly spent. $100 billion. In our senatorial offices we get several million dollars. Some of us want to be frugal with that and send some back to the treasury. We plan on sending several hundred thousand dollars back. But we want to know where the money goes. We're still not certain. We've been asking for four months. Some people say that money is kept in some fund for three years and then may go back. Other people have told us the leadership spend that money. We don't have a definitive answer for even trying to save a couple hundred thousand dollars of your money that I have control over.
Now, the Pentagon spends a lot of money. Some people say we can never cut any. But are they spending their money wisely? You don't know because we can't audit them. Why can't we audit them? The Pentagon tells us they are….. you heard about the companies saying they're too big to fail? The government tells, you know, they're too big to be audited. We got a partial audit of the Federal Reserve. We got some information from that. Guess what? We're now fighting a war against Gadhafi. You know what we were doing last month? We were giving him money. We were giving him foreign aid — not much, but we gave him some. We also helped to bail out his national bank in these third world countries; the national bank is the piggy bank. Half of it is probably spirited off to secret accounts in Switzerland. Taxpayers bailed out Gadhaffi's bank. Now we're bombing it.
The budget bill that we're talking about has now been and will cut almost nothing, maybe a couple hundred million. It will increase defense spending by $8 billion and it will cut spending by $8 billion. The net is about zero. Our deficit this year will be bigger than last year. Our overall spending will be bigger this year than last year. We are not yet serious in Washington. We have not yet here recognized the severity, the enormity and the significance of how big this deficit is.
This deficit is going to have serious repercussions. The Chinese have bought over $1 trillion of our debt. The Japanese, nearly $1 trillion. The Japanese now have suffered an enormous national disaster. The question is, "Will they continue to buy our debt?Or can they continue to buy our debt?" The other question is, "How long can a government continue to exist that spends more than it brings in?" Now on the other side, they want to blame the Tea Party or the Republicans or rich people. You know what? Both parties are responsible — Republicans, Democrats, senators, congressmen, President. Everyone up here is responsible.
It is not one party or the other. When Republicans were in charge, they ran the deficit. Now the Democrats are in charge. The main difference? They're doing it faster. But the Republicans weren't doing a good job either during our time in power. We have to understand that the people can do things. Not everything has to be done up here. The states can do things.
We have to believe once again in the American dream. Believing in the American dream is not standing here on the floor and castigating rich people. What's great about our country is that any among us, any of our kids, any among us could become rich people. Work hard, go to school, achieve. We live in a mobile society. That's what the American dream is about.
The European country was stifled by opportunity. The interesting thing is when they try to soak the rich, the Huey Long stuff, when they try this, it's actually failing the American people because many of us believe that our kids could gain great wealth or could gain great success. We still believe in the American dream.
If they want to castigate that and want to say, "Forget about it what we need is just more government," they need to explain to people why they don't believe in capitalism, why they don't believe in the American dream, why they don't believe in the greatness of America. I still believe in America.
I want to get government out of the way, but I think we cannot have an America that succeeds until we're able to do something about our debt crisis. I fear that no one here or very few up here on either side recognizes the severity and imminence of this problem, and my hope is that before a crisis occurs in our country, we will begin to seriously discuss balancing our budget, have plans to balance our budget, and seriously cut spending.