Government Spending

Rand Paul's Five-Year Path to a Balanced Budget

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Sen. Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky, had a press conference scheduled for today unveiling his plans for a five-year path to a balanced budget. Highlights from the plan from Campaign for Liberty's blog:

—Reduces spending by nearly $4 trillion relative to the President's budget
  —Achieves a $19 billion surplus in FY2016
  —Brings all non-military discretionary spending back to FY2008 levels
  —Requires the process of entitlement reform, including Social Security and Medicare, with final implementation by FY2016
      —Does not change Social Security or Medicare benefits
      —Block-grants Medicaid, SCHIP, foods stamps, and child nutrition
· Provides the President's request for war funding
  —Reduces military spending 6 percent in FY2012
· Eliminates four departments:
  —Department of Commerce (transfers certain programs)
  —Department of Education (preserves Pell grants)
  —Department of Housing and Urban Development
  —Department of Energy (transfers nuclear research and weapons to Department of Defense)
· Repeals Obamacare

DEFICITS/DEBT:

· Never exceeds $12 trillion in debt held by public
· Creates $2.6 trillion less in deficit spending relative to the President's Budget

REVENUE:

· Extends all the 2001 and 2003 tax relief
· Permanently patches the alternative minimum tax 
· Repeals Obamacare taxes

The Hill reports the other day on Paul ratcheting down an earlier $500-billion cut proposal to a mere $200 billion. But:

An aide to Paul said the senator wanted to see if he could attract more support by offering different levels of cuts.

The aide said Paul wanted to pitch "various levels to engage interest to see how much people are willing to cut."

"You'll see the $500 billion proposal again," said the aide. "We're definitely not abandoning it."

See Reason.tv's blockbuster Paul interview from yesterday:

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  1. Be still, my heart.

    Of course, the one thing you need to get a non-leadership proposal like this going is serious media attention.

    Which he won’t get, because the establishment media wants anything that threatens their precious Total State to wither and die.

    1. I predict this will be used to portray him as a right-wing wacko willing to stand by and watch __(fill in the blank)__ suffer. So I think he will get media attention. It just won’t be flattering.

    2. Of course, the one thing you need to get a non-leadership proposal like this going is serious media attention more people like Rand Paul in office.

      FTFY.

      1. Very true. But the popular reaction to such a proposal will affect that.

  2. I’m sure the response to this proposal will make the weeping and wailing of the Japanese sound like the giddy laughter of happy children.

    1. Maybe if anyone took it seriously. Not even the Rs want to cut that much.

      1. We don’t really have a choice. We can do it now and avoid the wrath of the bond market – or do nothing/not enough and have the bond market rain vengeance and furious anger on us at some point in the not-far-enough-away future.

        As awesome and elegantly simple as this, I am sure nothing /not enough will be done…

        1. Make no mistake. All that and more will be cut eventually.

          There just isn’t the money. The feds are bumping up against the ceiling on their revenues. The bond market isn’t going to choke down massive tranches of bonds at every auction forever.

          Even the Fed’s ability to print shiny new dollars is time-limited. When confidence in the currency breaks, inflation can and will outrun the rate of new dollar production.

          But, the later we put it off, the worse it will be. A five year glide path will lead to fewer cuts than a collapse of the bond market, the currency, and the economy. But that’s the alternative.

        2. We don’t really have a choice. We can do it now and avoid the wrath of the bond market – or do nothing/not enough and have the bond market rain vengeance and furious anger on us at some point in the not-far-enough-away future.

          Is this really a fear for libertarians?

          It seems to me that the biggest thing at risk with a bond rash (Rand called it a confidence panic) are either big government or institutions that benefit from big government.

          There are two libertarianish arguments against this the first which i will not address is that the incocent will be taken down with it.

          The second argument, which i think is unfounded, is that the reaction of a democracy could be to install a Hitler like figure. Someone who says if you give me your liberty i will give you security.

          I think this is unfounded simply because the the people who have stepped up and identified the potential crisis are the same poeple calling for cuts and for smaller government.

          When/If a crash/crisis occurs poeple who will get credit for trying to to stop it and warning us about it are the limit government folk. There is no “a crisis is coming we need to abandon our liberty” movement that has any traction right now. The opposition to limited government right now are simply “small spending cuts” establishment republicans and “there is no problem to fix” democrats. Neither of which will have any political credit if a confidence panic occurs.

          Tea Party/libertarians are currently the best positioned to gain political power if a crisis occurs, and big government is the most exposed to lose.

          1. I have no idea, I’m just short treasuries up the wazoo and want to make a shitload of money.

            1. We will do better.

              Also how do you plan to buy anything with all those US dollars you made from shorting US bonds?

              I assume it will involve wheelbarrows and a loaf of bread.

          2. You know they’re going to blame the liberterians for a bond/dollar crash.

            I can hear it now: “MARKET GREED!”

            1. You know they’re going to blame the liberterians for a bond/dollar crash.

              I can hear it now: “MARKET GREED!”

              There is a difference between an annoying slogan and gaining political power.

              The “market greed” meme has only resulted in annoying libertarians. The politics of TARP, recession, stimulus, growing deficits has resulted in political gains for Tea Party types….and those gains were hard won in the face of accusations of “market greed”.

              libertarians will be blamed but they will not get the blame.

          3. Is this really a fear for libertarians?

            Yes.

            A bond market crash leads directly (probably within hours) to a dollar crash, which leads within days to economic lockdown and a massive hit to the US economy and prospects for prosperity.

            It won’t be government or big bankster that takes the main hit; it’ll be everyone.

            1. It won’t be government or big bankster that takes the main hit; it’ll be everyone.

              I did intentionally leave this one off the table with this statment:

              “There are two libertarianish arguments against this the first which i will not address is that the incocent will be taken down with it.”
              Mostly because it involves community rights to a stable currency which is not technically a libertarian issue. I am right about this but in order to not delve into it i tried to leave it off.

              Do you have any comments about the other?

  3. eliminate the Dept. of Commerce?Education? HUD? Energy? Is that a million bureaucrats crying for “braaaaaains” on my front door?

  4. Hear! Hear!

  5. Brings all non-military discretionary spending back to FY2008 levels

    Why don’t we all go back to living in caves and acquiring our women by bonking them on the head with a wooly mammoth femur while we’re at it?

    1. ancient bureaucrat: we’re out of wooly mammoth femurs, you’re have to settle for red squirrel

      1. You rang?

    2. I am interested in your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    3. in the end fist, it comes down to liquor, women, & ammo. any more is luxury

      1. In my world, women ARE a luxury, sonny.

        1. I always thought of fire as the first TV, but I guess getting laid is the original leisure activity.

          1. Goddamit! I just put another log on! Why can’t you ask me to walk the fucking dire wolf when the fire’s out!

            1. Dire wolf: What a stupendously great name for a beast.

  6. “”- Brings all non-military discretionary spending back to FY2008 levels””

    Why just 2008? When I see that it reeks of partisanship. Bush’s defense spending good, Obama’s defense spending bad.

    1. Ooops, read that wrong. But still, Bush’s spending OK, Obama’s not so much.

      1. He is trying to get other votes. Note that where he stood alone on his $500 billion in cuts, Lee has joined him here. And I thought I saw De Mint had as well, but I might have imagined it.

    2. Eliminates a bunch of departments and programs, and reduces the ones that aren’t eliminated down to FY2008 levels, not just across the board cuts to FY2008.

      Considering that there has been both inflation and population increase, that’s not that bad.

      And as regards your last comment, I assume you don’t pay attention.

      Aside from that, he’s trying different tactical moves to see what gets support.

  7. Shorter Rand Paul:

    1) take block grant;
    2) light fuse;
    3) throw;
    4) repeat;
    5) run away as fast and far as possible.

    1. 1) The status quo is fine, funded and sustainable.

    2. unless he plans to retire to the Sechelles after he implements this plan, I’m pretty sure he’s missing that 5th step.

    3. HURR DURR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY IS STUPID

      LETS ALL LAUGH AT THESE DEBT HATERS

      HURRR DUUUURRRRRR!!!

      I LIKE JERKING IT TO MY SHINY WORLD POLICE BADGE!

      1. O, just fuck. Crayon is back.

        Hey, maybe you and Danny can blow each other.

  8. Four departments. Ballsy and awesome.

  9. I may have to move to Kentucky so I can vote for this guy.

    1. If he loses the Senate seat, I would be fine with a Paul/Paul campaign for president.

  10. Good practice, kids. Now its time for the easiest part of any coach’s job.
    The cuts. Although I wasn’t able to cut everyone I wanted to, I have cut a
    lot of you. Wendell is cut. Rudy is cut. Janey, you’re gone. Steven, I
    like your hussle. Thats why it was so hard to cut you. Congratulations, the rest of you made the team!

    Except you, you and you.

  11. I’m afraid just proposing to eliminate the Dept. of Education guarantees this is a non-starter. I find that almost any non-libertarian thinks this is crazy talk. Despite all the news about private/home schooling successes, reduction in state/national academic standards, etc., most voters think Americans are entitled to public education … and, by golly, we need it more than ever to Win The Future!

    1. And apparently even some libertarians think a Department of Education is necessary or helpful to public education.

      1. I don’t.

      2. Srsly!?!

      3. Sorry for the confusion. Publicly-educated.

    2. Luckily for the Department of Education, it will be able to point to the swift and stunning increase in educational outcomes in this country which coincided with its creation in order to save itself.

  12. ? Eliminates four departments:
    – Department of Commerce (transfers certain programs)
    – Department of Education (preserves Pell grants)
    – Department of Housing and Urban Development
    – Department of Energy (transfers nuclear research and weapons to Department of Defense)

    Ohhh! Think of Da Children, you brute!

    “Which instance, sire? There are 4.”
    “All of them! Da children! Da Childreeeen!!”
    “Uhh…”

  13. I’ll say this for Rand Paul: what he lacks in libruhtarian puritah, he makes up for in fucking tenacity. He doesn’t tow the party lion or wait for leadership to okay him. I respect that.

    1. Taking a chainsaw to government. Just what we need right now. I’d prefer a flamethrower, but work with what you’ve got.

      1. I’d prefer sharks. With lasers on their heads.

        1. How about a giant…Kochtopus?
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

        2. their sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads

          1. they’re*

      2. I hereby dub Rand Paul our Chainsaw Champion.

      3. Why a chainsaw? Why not a fucksaw? That way, everyone’s happy and involved and getting a piece. NSFW link:

        http://gawker.com/#!5777461/fucksaw-professor-sort-of-sorry-for-demonstration

      4. Taking a chainsaw to government.

        Rand Paul’s proposed cuts are nothing like that.

        They more reflect a surgeon using a scalpel to cut obvious cancerous tissue.

        The irony is that it takes the most libertarian senator since Goldwater to budget big government sustainably.

        A chain saw cut would not keep Social security and medicare alive and would cut military spending in half.

        1. Fair enough. A small, electric chainsaw, then.

    2. He doesn’t tow the party lion

      Fuck you, you fucking asshole, stop doing this shit.

      1. Hey, Thacker, when in Rome.

        We free-thinkers don’t toe anyone’s line, and don’t think anyone else should either.

        Around these parts, you either tow the lion, or you don’t. Whatever. We’re libertarians; do what you want.

        1. When in Rome, also refuse to do what the Romans do if you don’t feel like it.

          I just consider intentional malapropisms a form of humor much lower than puns. Along with mondegreens, eggcorns, and ?? for that matter.

          1. Stop being such a pre-Madonna.

        2. Oh, and people who use Latinate plurals incorrectly.

          1. Octopi, octopi!

            Crap, Firefox treats that as correct–no squiggly underline. WTF? Let’s see how the other plurals fare: Octopuses. . .okay, that’s passing the spellchecker. Octopodes. . .What? But that’s the formally correct plural!

            Damn you, Firefox!

            1. Oh, for the record, octopus is derived from the Greek, not the Latin, which is why “octopi” is wrong.

              1. Come now, whom do you take us for? I should hope that everyone commenting here knows that.

                I’ve seen people attempt to pluralize “Airbus” as “Airbii,” which makes even less sense.

                1. I was just noting that I wasn’t calling “octopi” a Latin word. ‘Cause it ain’t.

                  The plural of Airbus is Airbera.

                  1. What about the plural for Octopussy?

                    1. What about the plural for Octopussy?

                      I think it works the same way the plural of “pussy” works.

                      A bunch of pusses is a group of weak men.

                      A bunch of pussy is a group of hot women.

                  2. Airbison.

              2. The correct plural, of course, is octopodes.

                1. I believe I said that. Though, to be ultracorrect, that’s considered archaic and pedantic. It’s not even in my on-line dictionary.

                  Probably the best English is octopuses. Though octopodes blows the crap out of that lame plural.

                  Octopi is for the help.

          2. I just consider intentional malapropisms a form of humor much lower than puns.

            I don’t know which I enjoy more….the intentional malapropisms or the sweat taste of your tears.

      2. The leopard cannot change his shorts, John.

    3. I dunno, he sounds kind of like a pre-Madonna.

  14. Draconian!
    Princess Ardala of the Draconia Empire.

    1. This is bad. Really bad. I knew who that was without clicking the link or Googling.

      In fact, I just sat and watched an episode on RTV.

  15. Mean spirited!
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_t2Ry…..0/Mean.jpg

  16. Glad to see the critical analysis of this proposal the likes of which I’ve come to expect from Reason. You really delve into the details. You guys really hold Paul’s feet to the fire.

      1. Waaaay ahead of you.

        1. Please post as Irish Pete to prevent future mistakes of this kind.

  17. He’s Crazy!
    http://www.dangerousminds.net/…..ththth.jpg

    1. It’s going to turn out that every advanced civilization in the galaxy is almost entirely libertarian. The only reason they don’t interact with us is because they are appalled at our statist tendencies.

  18. Ideologically opposed to tax increases! There’s no financial crisis! Wealthy nation! Argle bargle!

    1. What is up with that, anyway? They were screaming “Crisis, crisis!” not very long ago at all. Do they think our memories are that bad? Or our current perceptions? Even for us, I think that may be a mistake.

      1. Every progressive/liberal/Democrat argument distilled to it’s essence:

        “Rethuglicans…”For The Children!!!!”(TM)…Roads!!!!!!…Koch brothers…teabaggers…mean-spirited…racist…racism!!!…Palintard…stupid…Big Oil…Nazis…”

        Pretty much every lib comment about any non-lib politician or policy.

  19. And to all those who say, “(X) is an insignificant fraction of the budget; cutting it is meaningless symbolism and/or petty vindictiveness!”

    I say again:

    Cut it; chop chop.
    And when the sky does not fall, when anarchy, chaos and cannibalism do not seize the land, we can come out of our bunkers and cut some more.

  20. A major flaw in the plan is … We ain’t got five years.

  21. He only reduces the military spending by 6% and grants the President whatever war funding he wants?

    This is an OK proposal, but Rand sure aint’ his dad

    1. He only reduces the military spending by 6% and grants the President whatever war funding he wants?

      He’s daring Republicans not to get on board.

  22. You have to chuckle at megacapitalists idolizing a family where the father dispenses earmarks like candy and writes books called “Revolution: A Manifesto”, and the son makes up Five Year Plans and wants the government to fix his toilet.

    1. Hobie Hanson|3.17.11 @ 7:32PM|#
      “On of the most convoluted collections of lies and innuendo ever posted”

      Thanks, Hobie, you’re good at that.

      1. Did Hobie say something?

        1. “Did Hobie say something?”

          Yes, and there might have been one true comment in the entire statement if you squinted real hard and gave hobie the benefit of the doubt in all cases.
          IOWs, it’s a collection of lies with some half-truths tossed in to give hobie ‘deniability’.
          Real shit-head effort.

          1. He lost me at “megacapitalists”.

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