Last month, a spokesman for Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul said that, if elected, Paul “will vote against and filibuster any unbalanced budget proposal in the Senate.” Not only can the budget not be filibustered, but Paul is going to make balancing the budget exceedingly difficult, as he is willing to extend all of the Bush tax cuts – including those for the richest two percent of Americans – without offsetting them with spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere, for a total cost of nearly $4 trillion.
This morning, on Fox News Sunday, Paul said that his focus in the Senate would be reducing the “mountains and mountains of debt.” But when asked to square that with his desire to spend trillions of dollars on tax cuts, he replied that, when it comes to extending Bush’s tax cuts, “I’m not seeing it as a cost to government“:
Q: You said at the very beginning, the first issue you mention was the national debt. If you’re so concerned about the national debt, how are you going to pay for a $4 trillion loss of revenue from the tax cuts.
PAUL: I think, first of all you look at whose money it is. It’s the people’s money, who earned the money; we give up some to pay taxes, so I’m not seeing it as a cost to government.
Paul later promised to “introduce legislation that will reduce spending,” but when Fox News’ Chris Wallace noted “there’s no way you’re going to get $4 trillion by spending cuts,” Paul simply reiterated that he would cut spending without laying out any specifics.
Of course, Paul is far from alone in this line of thinking, joining, among others, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “What are you talking about, paid for?” McConnell has asked. “You’re talking about current tax policy. Why did it all of a sudden become something that we, quote, ‘pay for’?”
And since Paul agrees with McConnell that tax cuts are either free or worth busting the budget to enact, maybe he also agrees with McConnell’s pronouncement that cutting taxes for the rich is deficit spending which Republicans wholeheartedly support?