Wednesday, February 28, 2018

CNN: Rand Paul is right about GOP budget

Rand Paul was right - CNNPolitics - Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large:

February 9, 2018 - "When Rand Paul took control of the Senate floor ... virtually every one of his Republican colleagues grimaced. Five years ago, they would have cheered him.

"Paul's speech, which slowed attempts to pass a massive budget deal before the government [shut] down at midnight, was a savaging of his party.... 'When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party,' Paul said at one point. 'But when Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party. The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty.'

"He is 100% right.... Republicans in the Obama era defined themselves primarily as committed to reducing government spending and shrinking the nation's debt. The ur-document of that age was Paul Ryan's budget, in which he proudly touted the need to confront entitlement spending and make the hard cuts necessary to keep the country solvent.... 'Our debt is a threat to this country,' Ryan said in a 2013 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. 'We have to tackle this problem before it tackles us'....

"Republicans insisted that any spending legislation -- even for disaster relief -- be paid for with budget offsets. Every major Republican leader talked about debt and deficit relentlessly. One candidate, however, did not.

"Donald Trump ... showed little care or concern for the issue that had animated the party he was running to lead.... Mitt Romney, the party's 2012 presidential nominee, lambasted him for it in a speech.... 'His tax plan in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt,' said Romney.

"And then Trump won.... Which is how it came to pass that ... [Mitch] McConnell was on the Senate floor pleading with his home-state colleague to drop his push for a vote on an amendment that would maintain the current budget caps. Paul's issue was a simple one: A two-year spending bill that would increase the federal deficit by more than $300 billion was being rammed through at the last minute -- and without any amendments being offered.

"And he's right about that too.... Paul is right that it is absolutely ridiculous that a near-700-page piece of legislation that senators got their hands on around midnight Wednesday should be passed by midnight Thursday....

"'The reason I'm here tonight is to put people on the spot,' Paul said. 'I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, "How come you were against President Obama's deficits, and then how come you're for Republican deficits?"' Mission accomplished."

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