Budget Deficit

Republicans Officially Give Up Trying to Cut Spending

After all that fuss from 2009 onward, Rand Paul is the last Republican left objecting to the continued growth of government.

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After the rise of the Tea Party in 2009 as a grassroots expression of revulsion at government bailouts, spending, and Obamacare; after a series of insurgent Tea Party primary victories in 2010 over big-spending incumbents and hand-picked establishmentarians; after Republicans re-took the House that November thanks in part to that new jolt of fiscally conservative energy; after the House majority from 2011-14 successfully used its power of the purse to force debate and at least some temporary agreements on the debt ceiling, long-term entitlements, and year-on-year spending, and then after Republicans re-took the Senate and eventually the White House…after all this activity, when it finally came time for the GOP to stand up and demonstrate its values of fiscal stewardship and limited government, you could count the number of Republicans voting to restrain government spending on exactly one finger:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), was the only Republican no-vote in yesterday's 51-49 Senate approval of a $4 trillion budget resolution for fiscal year 2018. The resolution, more of a vague blueprint for the next decade, includes $43 billion next year for "Overseas Contingency Operations" (OCOs), a notorious budgeting gimmick that has been responsible for more than $1.7 trillion in off-budget spending this century. Quite unlike the deficit-neutral House budget resolution that passed two weeks ago, the Senate version assumes $1.5 trillion in new debt, and does not make the House's $203 billion in domestic spending cuts (the Senate's final tally is closer to $0).

So how did the fire-breathing fiscal conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus react? By agreeing to not even bother going to conference committee to reconcile the two different budgets, so as not to slow the grand prize of tax cuts by even a couple of weeks.

When given the chance to take seriously government over-spending, and the growth-stunting debt overhang that comes with it, only one Republican is on record yelling "Stop." As Ed Kilgore aptly noted in New York magazine, "all the GOP deficit-hawkery that reigned during the Obama presidency and early in the Trump presidency vanished literally overnight."

Not only that, the budget resolution's existing "cap" on defense spending is by all reported accounts a fiction:

The new epilogue is gonna be lit. ||| Amazon
Amazon

Several senators noted that the discretionary toplines in the plan — which would limit fiscal 2018 defense spending to $549 billion and nondefense to $516 billion — have little meaning since most Democrats as well as Republicans see those limits as too low. […]

GOP and Democratic leaders and the White House have begun to negotiate a deal to raise the defense and nondefense caps, likely for two years, people with knowledge of the talks told CQ.

Great job, everyone.

Does it get worse? Sure. Check out the kicker to this Chicago Tribune article:

Under congressional rules, the nonbinding budget resolution is supposed to lay out a long-term fiscal framework for the government. This year's measure calls for $473 billion in cuts from Medicare over 10 years and more than $1 trillion from Medicaid. All told, Senate Republicans would cut spending by more than $5 trillion over a decade, though they don't attempt to spell out where the cuts would come from.

In reality, Republicans aren't serious about implementing the measure's politically toxic proposals to cut Medicare, food and farm programs, housing subsidies, and transportation. In fact, lawmakers on both sides are pressing to break open the measure's tight spending "caps" on the Pentagon and domestic agency operations and pass tens of billions of dollars more in hurricane relief in coming days and weeks[.]

As predicted in this space, we are hurtling fast toward taxcut-and-spend economics once more. Remember how the last time ended?

Here's a reminder from Nick Gillespie why we need less debt:

NEXT: Hold music

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  1. The silver lining is that this could be a boost for Rand Paul 20/20 (get it?).

    Now all we need is some sort of crisis which can be linked to the federal debt…and I don’t want any kind of crisis because I don’t believe in the principle of “the worse the better”…but I’m just noting that it may jump-start Rand’s presidential campaign.

    1. So is Trump not going to run for re-election, or is the GOP going to be so fed up with him that they allow a primary? Would the establishment really prefer Rand over Trump anyway?

      1. To me there are clear signs all around that the two parties are breaking apart and realigning.

        The Democrats are practically irrelevant outside of a few states, and don’t actually have anything in their bag of tricks other than calling people racists. They are fading away fast.

        The Republicans, OTOH, have control of all three branches of government, yet we have pervasive gridlock and they can’t accomplish even the simplest tasks.

        Think on that.

        At this point, it’s anybody’s guess what’s going to happen in 2020 and who’s going to run under what label.

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          1. So you go run for President.

        2. Ah yes, the coastal blue state elites.

          ….and 70% of the GDP.

          Most red states are 3rd world countries, genius.

          1. In what way is this observation relevant to what I just said? I can see none.

            1. Saying the Dems are finishes is not based in reality. 3mil+ more votes, and generally more in most races (gerrymandering, etc etc)

              But facts, ugh, I know. They are hard!

              1. Did you lose your paid job of trolling over at The Federalist?

              2. But facts, ugh, I know. They are hard!

                You’re an idiot.

                1. Hey, harryborten has his facts straight, and you’re calling him an idiot? There’s a lot of people out there who vote for Democrats regardless, after all they voted for Hillary in spite of her corruption (admittedly a lot voted for her because of what they thought about Trump – meanwhile I voted for Johnson).

                  It will likely help Paul in 2024, not 2020, unless there’s a big burst bubble and Trump goes for bailouts. IMHO, Trump is trying to deal with a RINOcrat controlled Congress, and realizes he can’t get any of his agenda passed because RINOs have been making lying promises they have no intention to keep. That fact is sinking into a lot of conservative voters heads, thanks to GOP control of all government branches (if one has paid attention, they would have known it since GW Bush’s first term – Welch provides a link “Remember how the last time ended?”).

                  I look forward to the midterms and hopefully lots of RINOs losing preferably in the GOP primaries. I’ll be voting for fiscal conservatives in the primaries, and voting Libertarian in the general before I vote for a RINO.

            2. What he is saying is that blue states have a high cost of living therefore ?


        3. To me there are clear signs all around that the two parties are breaking apart and realigning.

          I gotta agree there, it seems that it’s going to be a bumpy decade.

    2. Rand Paul 2020: A Clear Vision for the Future.

      1. Rand Paul 2020: What!? It Could Happen

        1. Rand Paul 2020: Don’t hold your breath.

    3. I’m not voting for someone who won’t spend on me.

    4. Trust me, there will eventually be a crisis related to spending. It looks a lot like Puerto Rico right now…

  2. To be fair, I would also have trouble taking Rand seriously in that tie.

    1. It’s the same tie he wore to Easter brunch and several weddings over the summer because he wants to show how committed he is to eliminating wasteful spending

        1. Other than the fact Paul is not an authoritarian moron yes.

        2. Rand Paul is NOT a socialist by any wild stretch of anyone’s imagination. And the Burn is, first and foremost, and before all else, a socialist.

          Try again?

    2. His wife thinks it looks good on him and that’s all that matters, Hugh!

      1. Fuck yes. That is how I decide what to wear.

  3. RE: Republicans Officially Give Up Trying to Cut Spending
    After all that fuss from 2009 onward, Rand Paul is the last Republican left objecting to the continued growth of government

    The republicans got it right.
    This government needs to spend more.
    Otherwise we will not join the USSR as one of the few countries in history to have an economic collapse.

  4. Look, the GOP has a lot of cans to kick down the road, they can’t afford to spend any time arguing and debating and discussing exactly how hard and how far they’re going to kick each individual can. Kick the can, cross it off your list, move on to the next can. Then we can get down to the serious business of coming up with virtue-signaling bills we can use to pad our campaign resume with. Like maybe an official endorsement of NFL players standing for the national anthem, you know, the stuff they’ll actually talk about on TV.

  5. It’s their debt, not mine.

    1. Funny that they’re planning to use your money to pay it off though.

      1. Nope. I get a tax break. And my children are female who will earn only 70 cents on the dollar so the joke is on congress!

        1. Teach your girls how to think for themselves, equip them to manage money well, to delegate and involve others, and they’ll succeed in business to the point you can opt out of all the socialised medicine, old age care, pension plans, etc, and let them take care of you when you’re too old to do so yourself. Best retirement plan ever.

          1. Best retirement plan ever… as long as his daughters are willing to go along with the plan of paying for his healthcare, living costs and generally “take care” of him. If they’re not, it’s a terrible plan!

  6. When your raison d’etre as a party is graft, what spending is there to cut?

    Always taxes to cut though. Kind of can’t believe they’re still trying to convince us that doing so creates jobs or economic growth. It’s pretty ballsy actually, knowing that 2018 is coming around and the only thing they might have accomplished with total control of the government is cutting taxes for rich people.

    1. cutting taxes for rich people

      Citation needed.

      1. You’ll see.

    2. I know, right? Which is why the Democrats never get around to cutting spending!

      Oh, wait. You were making a pot-shot at Republicans, as though the Republican party is the only party in Washington whose raison d’etre is graft.

      Sorry to burst your bubble there.

    3. You mean, reducing the outrageously unfair and confiscatory taxation now foisted upon the wealthiest one percent, who now pay some forty percent of taxes?

      WHY should those smart and energetic enough to earn more money be forced to support the lazy and, uhm, how can I say this without being called some nasty name…… “less successful”?

      Just think…. if that money were left in THEIR pockets so they could put that to work, employing others, building enterprise, taking risks that might pay off well, engaging in development of new ideas that just might change the lives of millions for the better……

      1. We can actually test your idea of the altruistic rich guy. President Trump, for example, has paid little to no tax for quite some time (as far as we can tell). He employed huge numbers of foreign workers, bought the steel for his buildings from China, has most of his products manufactured overseas…

  7. Hey look. The GOP failed to live up to campaign promises. Again.

    1. And I am shocked, shocked.

    2. Number of their voter base that realizes that – all of them

      Number of votes they will lose – zero

  8. When given the chance to take seriously government over-spending, and the growth-stunting debt overhang that comes with it, only one Republican is on record yelling “Stop.”

    To be fair, there are no Democrats on record yelling “Stop”. I mean, they voted against the budget, but not for that reason. Heck, most of them didn’t even vote against it for principled reasons. Only for “because republicans!”.

    I don’t know which is worse. The blatant hypocrisy of the republicans in campaigning as fiscal conservatives or the mind-numbing partisanship of the democrats who wouldn’t vote for a bill right now if it cured cancer (not as long as Trump got credit anyway).

    1. They voted against the budget because it cut a lot of money from Medicaid that affects a lot of people to fund tax cuts which benefits fewer people.

      Call it “for socialism” if you like, but it is dishonest to call it “because Republicans”

      THAT was McConnell’s game “because Obama.” BLOCKED all judges till Reid broke the filibuster. And Sri Srinivasan who was obstructed for a year or so, was confirmed some 96-0

      1. Serious question. When was the last time democrats voted for a republican budget, or vice versa?

        1. Exactly. Just because they have a reason to hang their hat on in public, don’t believe it for a second. The party bosses go out and whip the rank and file in line. They want straight party line votes, and they mostly get it.

  9. Please don’t take this as a defense of Republicans in any way, but if they passed a budget with big spending cuts they’d just spend the next 4 years (or however long they have control) passing circumventions of the cuts anyways so I’m not really that bothered by this failure.

    leopards something something spots

  10. “CBO and JCT estimate that, over the 2017-2026 period, enacting this legislation would reduce direct spending by $1,022 billion and reduce revenues [AKA mostly tax cuts] by $701 billion”

    —-Congressional Budget Office

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    Rand Paul opposed this bill.

    Rand Paul opposed the largest spending decrease in history–Rand Paul opposed cutting entitlements.

    It was only weeks ago, people.

    Rand Paul is a joke of a fiscal conservative. If it weren’t for phony “fiscal conservatives” like Rand Paul, the government would be significantly smaller than it is today.

    Why anyone would take him seriously when he talks about fiscal conservatism is a mystery. He’s a joke.

    1. You misrepresent Paul’s position on that vote. Paul didn’t vote against that bill because it was cutting entitlements. He’s been on record for a long time saying that he voted against it because it wasn’t repeal. If it were to have passed that would have entrenched a bi-partisan version of Obamacare as the law of the land forever, and you know that.

      1. What is Kenny’s beef with Rand? It seems obsessive.

        1. Maybe I’m pissed off because I supported his presidential candidacy in the past on the basis that I thought he was the only one with the guts to fight to cut entitlements and when the opportunity to do so arose, he stabbed me in the back–and voted with Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren.

          1. Yeah, because leaving community rating and guaranteed issue in the law was going to totally reduce costs don’t you know.

            I’m starting to wonder what Ken defines as an entitlement, frankly. How is not being able to turn someone down for insurance not an entitlement?

            1. Do you oppose cutting $1.022 trillion from the budget, mostly entitlements, because it doesn’t get rid of the community rating or do you oppose cutting $1.022 trillion in spending because Rand Paul was against it?

              Or maybe you just oppose cutting $1.022 trillion in spending?

              1. Tell you what, Ken. Lets vastly increasing spending then cut a little off the top and claim we’re cutting spending. After all, it’s true that we’re not spending as much as we were going to before. That’s a cut to spending!

                Continue to cite the CBO though, by all means. It is data, so it’s not a bad idea to keep it in mind, but didn’t you cite the CBO as laughable when they were projecting the ACA’s costs? Hmm…maybe I don’t recall correctly. Maybe it was someone else.

      2. If you’re the only member of the Senate who wants to do a thing, you’re never going to get it.

        1. It doesn’t make you wrong though.

      3. You know what the difference is between Bernie Sander’s vote, Liz Warren’s vote, and Rand Paul’s vote on that bill?

        Absolutely nothing. They all voted no, and the spending and tax cuts never happened because of their “no” votes.

        Look at the link. See what was in that package Rand Paul opposed. Then take the following quiz:

        $1.022 trillion in entitlement spending cuts + $751 billion in tax cuts equals:

        A) Socialism
        B) Larger Government
        C) Smaller Government
        D) Fascism
        E) Cubism

        Calling out Rand Paul as a champion of fiscal conservatism after that vote is fucking absurd. Rand Paul voted against the most fiscally conservative bill to pass the House and have the President promise to sign it.

        For him to turn around now and oppose a symbolic budget meant only to make tax cuts easier to get because he says he’s concerned about fiscal conservatism is ri–fucking–diculous.

        Fiscal conservatism is as fiscal conservatism does, and Rand Paul is no fiscal conservative.

        1. Say Ken, why don’t you detail where the entitlement cuts would be. Or are you only good for run of the mill Republican talking points? You know, like how they lie about shrinking govt but never actually do it.

          1. I linked the report

            Here it is again:

            https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

            It represented $772 billion in cuts for Medicaid, alone.

            In fact, I strongly suspect that’s the reason Rand Paul opposed the bill–he woulnd’t vote for anything that might pass with his support if it had a chance of passing and cutting Medicaid. I think the most likely and simplest explanation is that Kentucky has one of the highest Medicaid membership rates per capita in the country, and despite whatever garbage he said to rationalize his opposition, he’s worried about keeping his constituency in Kentucky happy.

            This is very much like Ron Paul’s opposition to free trade on libertarian grounds. You could listen to Rand Paul do rhetorical back flips back then, or you might notice that Texans were anxious as hell about NAFTA sucking out of Texas and right down the highway–and Ross Perot was making huge inroads wit independently minded voters in Texas, Rand Paul’s core constituency. There’s nothing wrong with a politician doing what the voters want, per se, but let’s call it what it is.

            Ron Paul was not principled on free trade–he was protecting his backside with Texas voters.

            And Rand Paul isn’t a principled fiscal conservative.

            1. Neither the report nor you make an actual case how those cuts would happen. In short you are taking the GOP leadership on their word. Whether Paul is on board or not has nothing to do with that. You want to be lied to and they are doing that so you are happy.

              1. They actually make it easy for your to read on that chart. You just look over the right of where they cut the spending and they tell you how that spending is cut.

                If you want more details, download the PDF.

                Are you saying you don’t believe Congress will actually cut the spending in a budget reconciliation bill?

                You oppose Congress passing a bill to cut the budget in a budget reconciliation bill because you don’t believe cutting the budget actually cuts the budget?

                Are you like an UFO conspiracy guy or something?

                Or maybe you’re suggesting that you oppose cutting spending because the spending might be reinstated in the future? Because that doesn’t make any sense in its own way.

                1. “Or maybe you’re suggesting that you oppose cutting spending because the spending might be reinstated in the future? Because that doesn’t make any sense in its own way.”

                  We shouldn’t end our military involvement in Niger because it might be restarted in the future?

                  We shouldn’t end the drug war because someone might start it again in the future?

                  We shouldn’t oppose bailing out Wall Street because someone might bail them out in the future?

                  We shouldn’t deregulate because someone might regulate us again in the future?

                  All of these things seem ridiculous to most libertarians, and yet when people say that we shouldn’t cut spending on Medicaid because some future congress might restart it, I see plenty of my fellow libertarians nod their head in agreement.

                  It’s a ridiculous objection for the same reason as all the others.

                  I shoudln’t stop stabbing myself in the knee because someone might start stabbing me in the knee in the future?

            2. I remember how the CBO’s predictions on the ACA came true the first time around, too.

              /sarc

        2. But his innermost feelings were on opposite poles from those of Sens. Warren and Bernie. And those have to count for something.

          1. Bills that don’t pass certainly don’t have any impact on cutting entitlement spending, that’s for sure.

            Not a dollar was saved because Rand Paul voted against cutting spending.

            1. If there is one thing the Republicans have proven, they are definitely for cutting spending. That’s why they’re going to increase spending. Because that cuts spending.

              1. Channeling Orwell?!

        3. Sometimes you just have to vote “No”. He learned that from his father. Taking the best 700 billion dollar deficit you can get doesn’t make it right.

    2. Oh stop it, Ken. Massie offered a one sentence bill to repeal ObamaCare and no one was interested.

      1. Ken believes in necessary compromises not doing what you said you would.

        1. Did Rand Paul promise to protect entitlement spending?

          If he did, he’s definitely kept his promise.

          1. Ken, it is annoying for you to obsess on Paul while ignoring what the rest of the party is up to. Then again you seem to be happy in believing that this time Lucy [not that Lucy] won’t pull the football away.

            1. This thread is about how the rest of the Republican party has given up on fiscal conservatism and only Rand Paul is a real fiscal conservative.

              Meanwhile, the rest of the party voted to cut $1.022 trillion in spending, and Rand Paul voted with the progressive Republican from Maine, Liz Warren, and Bernie Sanders against that.

              1. Hmm…it seems to me this is a pretty good argument after all. Since we’re against spending money on schools obviously we are against education. How much more simple can it get?

                /sarc

              2. Yeah, if those spending cuts keep piling up we’ll be out of debt in no time, amirite?

    3. The ACA was supposed to reduce deficits too. How did that work out?

      1. Yeah, well, obviously, if the ACA increased deficits with outrageous amounts of new spending, then cutting that spending must increase deficits, too–is that what I’m supposed to think?

        My belief that cutting Medicaid spending will result in a cut to Medicaid spending is not predicated on anyone’s authority but my own. If you want to dispute the CBO’s quantification of that, feel free. The report is right there.

        P.S. Rand Paul certainly didn’t dispute the fact that cutting Medicaid will lead to a reduction in Medicaid spending. To my knowledge, he didn’t oppose the bill on that basis at all.

        1. The report that had no details of a cut that will theoretically come some time in the future.

          1. Not theoretically. The Medicaid cuts were due to take effect at a specific date at a specific time. It’s all in there.

            I suspect you just don’t like the facts, so you’re having a hard time digesting them.

            It’s nasty medicine, but, you know, that’s life. The fact is that there is no politician who is going to save us. The only way we’re going to effectuate change is by changing the minds of our friends and family–and a critical mass of the American people.

            Once we convince enough Americans to want change, our politicians will fall all over themselves to deliver it. Segregation wasn’t ended because brave politicians got out ahead of their constituents. Segregation ended because people like MLK decided they weren’t going to take it anymore and convinced the American people that segregation was unacceptable. Gay marriage, the drug war, you name it. Change doesn’t come from politicians. They’re always the last on board. And change won’t come from Rand Paul either. Politicians are weather vanes–not the weather.

            He talks a good game sometimes, but he sold us all down the river on entitlement spending, and I won’t pretend otherwise just to make my fellow libertarians feel good about effectuating change by way of politicians. Wake the fuck up. We’ve been had.


            1. Not theoretically. The Medicaid cuts were due to take effect at a specific date at a specific time. It’s all in there.

              Yes, at a date that would have been changed at a time that would never arrive. You expect us to take the establishment politicians at their word while reading a whole shit ton into Paul’s vote.

              Sorry, but no thanks. I’m not even saying you’re wrong Ken, I’m saying you’re being willfully obtuse and you should know better. When push comes to shove the Democrats would have fought that supposed cut and won and we both know it. That assumes the Republicans themselves wouldn’t have torpedoed it down the line to keep their constituents happy.

              It’s virtue signaling all the way down, I suppose.

              1. “Yes, at a date that would have been changed at a time that would never arrive”

                You’re ignoring what the bill actually said and are just regurgitating shit other people have said to you.

                When congress increases spending, that actually happens. Cuts are the same way.

                Oh, and if and when congress seeks to reinstate that spending, Rand Paul could have opposed that when the time came. If you’re saying that we shouldn’t cut spending now because future congresses might reinstate it, then we should never cut spending–because that will always be a possibility.

                What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense.

            2. The Medicaid cuts were due to take effect at a specific date at a specific time.

              Right, years out into the future with no reason to expect that they will actually manifest at that time. You want to show me a spending cut Ken – show it to me in THIS BUDGET, where X is spending less in 2018 than it did in 2017. Otherwise shut your stinking Republican ass on the subject and go suck Kasich off.

              1. “Otherwise shut your stinking Republican ass on the subject and go suck Kasich off.”

                Actually, the cuts were phased in over a period of time starting in 2019.

                They were quantifiable like so many things are. That’s the way budgets work. That’s the way spending cuts work.

                If and when they ever cut an entitlement program, that’s the way it will be done. Deal with it.

      2. Technically, it was just said to reduce deficits. Reading the bill clearly shows that it was intended to raise deficits as well as healthcare spending.

        1. Right, and we’ll just take your word for that because?

          1. Because of 208 years of precedent, since Jefferson left office?

            1. It’s factually incorrect.

              The report said it cut spending by $1.022 trillion over ten years.

              There was also over $700 billion in lost “revenue” to tax cuts and no more money coming in as a penalty for not buy insurance a la the individual mandate.

              It’s simply incorrect.

              I should ignore what’s in front of my face and believe this joker’s interpretation, why?

              Are you saying we should oppose cutting spending now because spending hasn’t been cut for 208 years?

              That doesn’t make sense, and it’s factually incorrect.

  11. “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), was the only Republican no-vote in yesterday’s 51-49 Senate approval of a $4 trillion budget resolution for fiscal year 2018. The resolution, more of a vague blueprint for the next decade, includes . . . “

    The sole purpose of the budget resolution yesterday was to make the tax reform package part of the budget reconciliation process–and, thus, only require 51 votes to pass the tax cuts.

    “As even the Kentucky Senator acknowledged, the budget is merely a vehicle for passing tax reform with 51 Senate votes. The GOP budget is “a document that represents are we for spending cuts, are we fiscally responsible,” he said, adding that “the budget vote to me is a symbol and a guidepost as to what we are as a party and what we stand for.”

    —-Wall Street Journal

    “Rand Paul’s Alternative Reality”

    http://tinyurl.com/y9gakhlz

    The figures in the budget proposal were only symbolic–by Rand Paul’s own admission–but just like with ObamaCare reform, Rand Paul voted with Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren.

    Rand Paul betrayed fiscal conservatives when he voted against 1.022 trillion spending cut on entitlements.

    Rand Paul betrayed the Tea Party when he voted against gutting ObamaCare.

    Rand Paul has now betrayed supply-siders by voting against a bill, the only purpose of which is to make it easier to cut taxes.

    1. Symbolic? Yep that is the GOP commiment to shrinking the federal govt. Stop shilling for that here Ken.

      1. The House Republicans passed a bill to slash entitlement spending.

        Rand Paul opposed that bill in the Senate despite the fact that the Republican president was willing to sign it.

        That bill would have cut $1.022 trillion in spending, mostly from entitlement programs.

        Rand Paul opposed it. The new establishment GOP all voted for it.

        When a scientist sees data come in that contradicts his hypothesis, he needs to adjust his hypothesis.

        Bills aren’t fiscally conservative or not depending on whether Rand Paul supports them.

        Rand Paul is fiscally conservative or not depending on whether he supports fiscally conservative bills.

        1. So Ken, how much less in 2018 did the House Republicans propose spending than in 2017? About $200B, right? And how much less do Senate Republicans propose spending? bubkas. Oh, but they PROMISE to spend less maybe 5 or 10 years from now.

          Ken, you deserve exactly what the Republicans promise you – but I’m sure they’ll respect you in the morning.

          1. The cuts didn’t start happening until 2019, according to the CBO report.

            Regardless, are you saying that you oppose cutting 1.022 trillion in spending because it doesn’t cut that spending fast enough?

            How much spending was there going to be in 2019 compared to now–according to the report?

            The correct answer is “less”, and are you against spending less–because the spending isn’t cut quickly enough.

            That doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make any sense. Yes, I would prefer the spending were cut sooner, but you think that will make oppose spending cuts?

            1. Maybe Rand Paul wasn’t willing to trade spending cuts (that, given Congress’ track record, may well be bypassed in the future anyway) for a health insurance law that would crush the market faster than Obamacare is, only this time the law is covered in GOP fingerprints.

        2. “When a scientist sees data come in that contradicts his hypothesis, he needs to adjust his hypothesis.”

          Apparently not if you are a climate scientist…. then you adjust the data.

          http://www.washingtontimes.com…..ata-to-su/

    2. Adding trillions of dollars of debt isn’t fiscally conservative. You’re a complete idiot if you seriously think the GOP is planning on making the necessary spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

      1. Did you just skip everything else that was written in the thread with all the links and everything?

        Rand Paul voted against cutting $1.022 trillion in spending, most of it entitlement spending.

        See it. Feel it. Know it. Live it.

        1. So when that spending cut fails to materialize, you’ll be back here in sackcloth, right?

          1. Ken has swallowed the GOP line hook, line, and sinker.

            1. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Rand Paul voted against a bill that cut $1.022 trillion in spending.

              1. I gotta know, have you been reading Alinsky again or just falling for his tactics? Honestly not sure.

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    1. So go to Washington DC and fix the deficit.
      Thanks.

  13. Devaluation is coming.

    Buy real assets now.

    1. You mean like that hyperinflation that was going to crush us all after that $787 billion stimulus in 2009?

      Still waiting for that one to hit.

  14. Democrats: Tax and Spend
    Republicans: Spend and Spend

    1. Almost.

      Democrats: Raise taxes, borrow less and spend
      Republicans: Cut taxes, borrow a lot and spend.

      Only, the Democrats were suckers, did not get to do the raising taxes part the last they were there.

  15. Look at it this way, Congress is officially halfway to libertarianism, because they’ve adopted half of the libertarian slogan “fuck you, cut spending.”

  16. Gives up? That’d mean they were holding on to this sometime.

    Democrats left, so the era of tax-and-spend is gone (with no tax the last time)
    Republicans are in, so the era of borrow-and-spend is on.

    reason.com Republicans pretending to be libertarians should stop pretending that they did not get the memo

    Rand Paul is a Republican. He voted no, because he knew his vote would not count, nor would it necessitate Pence coming in.

    1. Welcome back, my friends
      to the show that never ends

    2. Except for the bloated medical “insurance” penalty-tax.

      1. And the 3.9 percent Medicare surtax.

        1. And the tax on “Cadillac” level workplace health insurance plans.

          1. And higher taxes on medical expense spending from cutting the FSA limit in half.

  17. Here’s the raw truth about the 2018 Fiscal Year spending budget …

    69% Social Services $2819 Billion
    14% Defense of the Nation $595 Billion
    11% General Government $457 Billion
    06% Interest on the Debt $241 Billion

    Full picture here:
    http://mil14.com

    Total spending: 4112 Billion

    1. Vet benefits should go under defense. No other way vets are produced.

      Spending in Social Security and Medicare need to be cut, but to properly reflect what that would do, cut the dedicated stream of revenues for it, as well.

      Then you get a proper idea of what that defense portion is really is, of the budget

      1. I have direct inside information that there is a large amount of soft-fraud and ‘over generousity” in Vet Benefits. It belongs in Social Services.

        The proper idea of the defense portion is 14%.

  18. More vouchers will help:
    http://bit.ly/2l6jE1k

    Not without cutting more regulations though. Or a “but that is not true vouchers”

  19. Starve the beast. The “beast” being the next generation of taxpayers.

  20. But what happened to all those impassioned Republican speakers who expressed such horror at the debt we were foisting on our grandchildren and offered such stirring expressions of sympathy for the future generations whom the profligate democrats were destroying? It would seem that tax cuts must happen or the rich will be very, very unhappy and the donor class might stop donating but it is very difficult to ask other Americans to sacrifice in the form of fewer services and higher taxes when they are seeing their medical insurance costs rise and income inequality getting worse. Thanks to the Republican party we will now have the worst of both worlds- no relief for the middle class, fewer services to benefit them and higher medical costs. See they are MAGA. It just depends on what your definition of America is.

  21. But what happened to all those impassioned Republican speakers who expressed such horror at the debt we were foisting on our grandchildren and offered such stirring expressions of sympathy for the future generations whom the profligate democrats were destroying? It would seem that tax cuts must happen or the rich will be very, very unhappy and the donor class might stop donating but it is very difficult to ask other Americans to sacrifice in the form of fewer services and higher taxes when they are seeing their medical insurance costs rise and income inequality getting worse. Thanks to the Republican party we will now have the worst of both worlds- no relief for the middle class, fewer services to benefit them and higher medical costs. See they are MAGA. It just depends on what your definition of America is.

    1. “But what happened to all those impassioned Republican speakers who expressed such horror at the debt we were foisting on our grandchildren and offered such stirring expressions of sympathy for the future generations whom the profligate democrats were destroying?”

      The same thing that happened to all the Democrats who worried about the debt up until January 2009.

      Funny how being out of power makes you care about the debt more.

  22. Excuse me? The Tea party was never anything other than prohibitionist ku-klux hillbillies copying and distorting some libertarian rhetoric as chaff to confuse voter radar and keep folks from voting Libertarian. Letting antiabortion fanatics like Bob Barr cross-dress as libertarians leads to exactly this sort of outcome. The upside is that infiltration is the sincerest form of backstabbing. No coincidence that Caesar was poniarded by his Honorable Senate colleagues.

  23. Excuse me? The Tea party was never anything other than prohibitionist ku-klux hillbillies copying and distorting some libertarian rhetoric as chaff to confuse voter radar and keep folks from voting Libertarian. Letting antiabortion fanatics like Bob Barr cross-dress as libertarians leads to exactly this sort of outcome. The upside is that infiltration is the sincerest form of backstabbing. No coincidence that Caesar was poniarded by his Honorable Senate colleagues.

  24. Stupid in duplicate, well done Ang .

  25. Republican politicians have learned that while tax cuts are popular with the Republican base, specific spending cuts are not popular. Tax cuts can only be sold with the dishonest claim that they generate enough economic growth to pay for themselves.

  26. if one feels something strongly one tends to over estimate the number of people who feel the same way, and to under estimate the difficulty of converting others to one’s persuasion.

    Rand Paul could not possibly win a general election, or even a Republican primary. This is because he is serious about cutting the size of government. There is little genuine support for that.

  27. Honestly, I think it’s a little (but only a little) bit unfair to hold Republicans to blame. The problem is that in order to be effective, they have to stay in office, and in order to stay in office, they have to please the voters.

    Unfortunately, the mindset of the voters can be seen in the Tea Party (and I say this as someone who participated in the Tea Party movement): “Cut spending! And leave Medicare alone!” Too many of us (well, maybe not “us” at Reason, but “us” as Americans) are addicted to our spending. We call for spending cuts, but only for cuts for other people. OUR pet programs need to be preserved.

    I remember when I was living in New York State, and had to choose between John Swallow and Christine Gillibrandt. I chose Swallow, but he made it difficult because he mailed me a flyer bragging about the spending he brought home for his District. He lost, but sadly, I suspect it had more to do with leaked divorce proceedings about domestic abuse than it did about any principles about spending.

    The only reason why I feel a little sad about Republicans on this, is that Republicans do almost nothing to teach the American people just what will happen if we continue to spend the way we do, and why Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and entitlements in general, are the *primary* reason why spending is getting out of control.

  28. Americans could hold a tax revolt but we’re too busy watching TV.

    1. But not the NFL, right?
      Does “TV” include these mesmerizing computer screens?

  29. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), was the only Republican no-vote in yesterday’s 51-49 Senate approval of a $4 trillion budget resolution for fiscal year 2018. The resolution, more of a vague blueprint for the next decade, includes $43 billion next year for “Overseas Contingency Operations” (OCOs), a notorious budgeting gimmick that has been responsible for more than $1.7 trillion in off-budget spending this century. Quite unlike the deficit-neutral House budget resolution that passed two weeks ago, the Senate version assumes $1.5 trillion in new debt, and does not make the House’s $203 billion in domestic spending cuts (the Senate’s final tally is closer to $0).

    These articles are laying the narrative on so thick that’s it’s difficult to get the actual facts out of them. One almost needs to go read primary sources or something crazy like that. So Senate Republicans passed a resolution with no cuts. Is this also no increases, or is it that built in 8% nonsense?

    And we see house republicans did pass a budget with cuts. Why do they not count as republicans for the purpose of the article’s title? Did they cave or something subsequently?

  30. You mean that they give up trying to curtail spending when they are the party in power and half-heartedly try to curtail spending when they’re out of power.

  31. As of this morning national debt was $20.426T. It’s beyond comprehension, which is why Americans (including myself) don’t obsess over it. The more tangible problem is: who exactly owns that debt? We are kept afloat because our creditors do not (yet!) want to see us sink in the ocean. But who owns the debt owns us, and mostly it’s Arab and Chinese money. Very comforting.

  32. You need to realize the difference between Republican rhetoric and fact. The Republicans have never been and I doubt they will ever be financial conservatives. Check the record. Republicans presidents have always spent more than the preceding Democrat president (at least up to Obama]Trump, we will see) and Republican presidents with Republican congress has always been the biggest spenders. The difference is who they give to money too, usually corporate welfare.

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