Coronavirus

Rand Paul on Republican Plans for Another Coronavirus Stimulus Bill: 'They Simply Don't Care About the Debt'

Congress is currently debating what should be included in the next trillion-dollar (and counting) stimulus bill, but nothing is likely to pass this week.

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Amid a sweltering heatwave in the nation's capital, temperatures were also soaring on Tuesday afternoon inside a meeting where Republican senators attempted to settle what should be included in the next trillion-dollar-plus coronavirus stimulus package.

Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) reportedly emerged from that meeting with some heated words for his colleagues. He told reporters gathered outside the luncheon meeting that he was "alarmed" by the idea of spending "another $1 trillion we don't have" and objected to the idea of sending another round of stimulus checks to Americans who haven't lost their jobs. "They are ruining the country," he said of his colleagues, according to CNN's Manu Raju.

And Paul was still hot under the collar an hour later, as he tweeted out his objections to spending more money on the Department of Education and slammed Republicans for their budgetary hypocrisy.

Paul has a point. The budget deficit—the gap between the federal government's spending and its tax revenues—might be the only thing in D.C. that's higher than the thermometers right now.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the deficit for the month of June was an eye-watering $864 billion. As Reason's Peter Suderman noted at the time, that's more than the entire annual budget deficit for 2017 ($665 billion) or 2018 ($779 billion). In one single month, Congress put more on the national credit card than it did in any full year during the George W. Bush administration. It is more than 100 times larger than the federal budget deficit for the month of June 2019, which rang in at a paltry $8 billion.

Of course, June 2020 was nothing like June 2019 in many ways. Hopefully, this year's extraordinary circumstances will be remembered as a huge historical outlier.

Still, the expense of the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be with us for a while. Congress has already committed about $3.6 trillion in emergency funds and stimulus to fighting the coronavirus (and trying to limit the economic damage lockdowns have caused). Keep in mind that the federal government was already on track to add roughly $1 trillion to the national debt this year before the pandemic hit (that's why it's important to balance the books while things are going well).

Now, Congress is preparing another round of coronavirus spending. The House has already passed a $3 trillion spending package, but Senate Republicans have balked at those levels. There is significant disagreement between the two halves of Congress about what should be included in the next stimulus package. The White House is reportedly pushing for a payroll tax cut that some top Republicans, like Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa), aren't thrilled about.

The smaller package being crafted by Senate Republicans would reportedly include another round of $1,200 checks for many Americans, though potentially with more limitations on who will receive them. It may also include another $150 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is providing loans to businesses in order to keep some workers on payrolls and out of the unemployment line. And it could include legal provisions to protect businesses from lawsuits if clients or patrons catch COVID-19, as well as pay for more coronavirus testing—Trump has voiced support for the former, but the White House has reportedly objected to the latter detail.

The one thing that seems certain is that the bill will not pass as swiftly as earlier coronavirus responses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) reportedly laughed out loud on Tuesday when asked if the bill could pass before the end of the week (the timeline that the White House is seeking).

The Trump administration also wants, according to The Washington Post, to boost federal funding for schools, mostly funded at the state and local levels, as a way to encourage them to open in the fall. But some Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah), have thrown cold water on that idea.

It was that provision that seemed to be at the center of Paul's objections as he exited the Senate GOP meeting on Tuesday. "They're going to spend $105b more on education, more than we spend every year on the Dept of Education," he tweeted. "Anyone remember when Reagan conservatives were for eliminating the Federal Dept. of Education?"

You might also recall a time when Republicans wanted to shrink the deficit. They'd largely abandoned that stance long before the coronavirus arrived—during the first three years of Trump's tenure, the national debt increased by more than $4.7 trillion.

Having wasted the opportunity to cool off the spending binge and put the country in a better position to deal with a crisis, Congress now appears ready to do the only thing it knows how: spend even more.

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  1. Boy, it’s almost as if the GOP has absolutely zero principles and just spout this limited government bullshit every 4 years just to get elected. But, no, there’s probably some excuse. They have lots of those.

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    2. I hear they’re blaming it on an anti-muslim video that 7 people saw on Youtube.

      1. Such a caricature. Bring up a totally unrelated topic from, what, 8 years ago?

        Buddy, if you cared about American lives, you’d be thinking about the Trump virus and its 140,000 death toll so far.

        1. You mean the Democrat virus? Seemed to really hit Dem locales pretty damned hard and their inept leadership then spread it to the rest of the country.

          1. Having no politics other than hate for a political faction is a shortcut to all the stuff you claim to be against. But you’re not against it, you’re the very type of person fascists need. Evil at its most banal.

            Do you believe Democrats should have constitutional rights? They’re responsible for everything bad including the actions taken by Republicans 3000 miles away to probably your hangnail, so they sound like we probably can’t give them civil rights. Too dangerous. Near omnipotent apparently too.

            1. You’re right. If only we had passed that House budget Pelosi pushed that would have balanced the budget. Or listened to her when she tried to keep all the pros out of the WuFlu stimulus omnibus.

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          2. Oh right, Trump isn’t responsible for anything.

            The states had to do their best without a president to lead the effort.

    3. It is almost as if being the voice of responsibility is difficult and unrewarding, unlike promising an endless Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    4. Almost as bad as the Democrats.

      1. Republicans are worse. In the sense that they should know better and more is expected of them. Whereas I assume democrats will go out of their way to bankrupt the country and overthrow the constitution.

      2. Worse? LOL

        Clinton left Bush a surplus, which he promptly squandered. Obama was reducing the deficit after the recession spending, he cut it half. Trump promptly jacked it back up, in good economic times.

        Democrats are better, far better.

        1. Deficits are driven by over spending. Since republicans continually try to reduce taxes yet democrats continue to add spending, often in prior administrations, or block efforts to reduce spending, the deficits are often larger when republicans are in control. Deficits are not a measure of how much one administration spends compared to another.

          It is laughable to suggest that democrats are more conservative with spending. It’s absolutely absurd.

          One must count non-discretionary welfare spending into the mix and that’s something you leftists continually ignore. You only count the discretionary portion of the budget which includes defense spending and then suggest that budget deficits are republican military spending problems. Thats an amazingly dishonest position to take. Democrats are the driver behind most of the welfare spending and that spending is by far the majority of the annual government spending.

    5. Who is it that controls the House, and therefore the budget, again?

      1. Who signs the bills? Who jacked up the debt the first two years when the Republicans controlled everything?

        1. That doesn’t absolve democrats.

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  2. Save some popcorn for when Trump loses in November and the GOP sorts itself into Rand Paul camp and RINO camp. Back after 1964, the Goldwater camp lost badly but managed to control the GOP shortly thereafter. Goldwater and his ideas hung around in defeat and, with Reagan, eventually won; I don’t expect Trump will hang around or even be welcome at GOP events.

    1. Having a hard time seeing how Rand controls anything. By far the strongest current right now is Populism. Rand is anti-populist. Trump harnessed it and that is how he won. I agree if Trump loses, he’ll throw his hands up and head off into the distance. But the power vacuum will likely be filled by some other populist from that side.

      1. Rand isn’t an elitist either, though. IMHO Trump won the primary because of his loyal populist base but won the election because Hilary was just the worst elitist lying unscrupulous candidate imaginable. So who knows perhaps both sides constant bull shit may unleash the LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!

        1. I’m afraid Trump vs. Clinton was the Libertarian Moment.

          1. Well then there’s always whiskey, bottoms up.

          2. 3% may have been the high water mark.

        2. I agree that Rand isn’t an elitist. But it isn’t about the person so much as the issues. Trump is victorious because he demagogued on populist issues- specifically Immigration and Trade (including domestic industry). The populists want protections for both, and Trump campaigned on giving that to them.

          Rand wants to balance the budget which means dick-all to the populist base. They do not want a balanced budget. Indeed, according to some recent polls, they don’t seem to care as much about immigration or trade any more.

          But the point is that Rand is not a populist, and no matter how far out of the ivory tower he is, he isn’t going to win votes complaining about the budget.

          1. I think if Rand or someone else could be as energetic and forceful as Trump people would respond. Some of Trump’s base was centered on policy but I suspect a lot of them just like how he said things as compared to low energy Jeb and little Marco.

          2. Immigration and trade were mostly vehicles for a more all encompassing issue, and Trump’s position on them was representative of a mindset change, and alternative to, the “elite” golbalists’ apologetic America and “citizen of the world” perspective. He offered, as president of the US, to prioritize the US (“America first”) and to encourage people to be proud of themselves and their country (“make America great again”).
            That was the issue. Immigration and trade policy were direct examples of that contrast.

            Rand is great. He was my favorite at the beginning of the last round. He’s a good soldier; but he’s not a leader. Rand would do best by working his ass off for Trump, and then working Trump toward libertarian ends

            1. To that end, I think Rand has bent Trump’s ear as best he could on a few of those issues that Trump took a more libertarian like stance on (like criminal justice reform).

    2. Sadly, on debt and spending, I don’t think there is anyone in Washington in the Rand Paul camp other than Rand Paul. And out here in the rest of America, we are a shrinking minority. But I admire your optimism.

    3. the Ron/Rand Paul insurgency was exciting for a while, it even earned some cool magazine covers and articles about “the most interesting man in the Senate” or the mythical “libertarian moment”.
      But those days are gone, many trillions of dollars ago.

    4. If Biden becomes president and the marxist radicals end up dictating The likely outcome is a full blown civil war. As I don’t see most people living with the insane Marxist crap they are attempting to inflict on this country.

  3. They’re going to spend $105b more on education, more than we spend every year on the Dept of Education. Anyone remember when Reagan conservatives were for eliminating the Federal Dept. of Education?

    Remember when the term RINO was intended to be pejorative? It seems like something every R should strive to be these days.

    1. Yeah, I’m afraid that at this point the Rand Paul camp is the RINO camp.

  4. ‘They Simply Don’t Care About the Debt’

    They care as much as the voters who put them in power. Which is how it should be. If anyone actually cares, the is an election coming up.

    1. Which is the small government, eliminate the debt option on the ballot? It seems there is only spend and spend more.

      1. Which is why I’m voting for John McAfee, he’s no more insane than anyone else on the ballot but he’s a lot more honest about it.

        1. I’m strongly considering writing in John Wick. Sure he’s a fictional character, but so what? Couldn’t be any worse than any of the real people running for this shit show.

          1. I’ll write in Ron Paul again.

        2. McAfee is the only candidate that knows how to combat a virus

          1. With Ju Jitsu!

      2. It seems there is only spend and spend more.

        Pretty much this. The only thing you can really say for the R’s vs the D’s is that at least they aren’t proposing adding another $10 trillion over the next 10 years over the already bloated baseline spending amount for Green New Deal bullshit or another several trillion over the baseline for “Medicare for All” and “free” college, but that’s about it. I certainly don’t see them making any kind of effort to actually cut spending or even hold spending constant. It’s a difference in degrees, not kind.

        We don’t even get a choice between a giant douche or a turd sandwich anymore, it’s pretty much a turd sandwich with bits of corn in it or a turd sandwich with bits of nuts in it. Either way, you’re eating shit and you better like it, or else.

        1. The only thing you can really say for the R’s vs the D’s is that at least they aren’t proposing adding another $10 trillion over the next 10 years over the already bloated baseline spending amount for Green New Deal bullshit or another several trillion over the baseline for “Medicare for All” and “free” college, but that’s about it.

          Yeah, the R’s will do that $10 trillion in a single year. It’s only fucking July man.

      3. Unfortunately there aren’t enough voters looking for that option for anyone to bother putting one on the ballot

        1. Well, Jo Jorgensen is an option. Gary Johnson was an option. But libertarians are too busy in finding the 1% of disagreement we have with LP candidates and forget about the 99% of their platform that we tend to agree with.

          And then somehow we justify voting for one of the lesser of two evils that we agree with on 55% of their platform or write in “protest” candidates while complaining about how we never have a good option to vote for.

          1. Jo promoted critical theory, and the moral imperative to act according to its tenets.

            1. Still a better candidate than the other two.

            2. At this point if it was revealed that Jo Jorgensen kept three malnourished boys in her basement as sex slaves she would still be the superior candidate.

        2. There will be a Libertarian (Jorgensen) on the ballot, so don’t say there’s no option. There were enough actual Libertarians to care to get ballot qualified.

          1. There’s a Libertarian candidate, but no libertarian candidate.

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  6. Any Trump supporter here willing to tell me they care about the debt? Anyone?

    1. nobody cares about the debt. nobody. it is a boon for the Rulers and affects the Ruled in absolutely no tangible way.

      1. Rand Paul cares. Justin Amash cares.

        1. Amash is too busy conducting family business in China and Rand can care until he’s blue in the face not even being a Senator from Kentucky will get his hands on the debt levers. Debt is phantasm.

        2. Are they Trump supporters? Amash certainly is not. Paul gets along but I wouldn’t put him in the supporter camp.

          1. I was challenging the notion that “nobody” cares. I’m not aware of any Trump supporters that care. They didn’t seem to care with the last several spending bills… nor did Trump for that matter.

    2. “Any Trump supporter here willing to tell me they care about the debt? Anyone?”

      I care about spending.

      I also care about what it’s spent on.

      Maybe think of it this way. Let’s assume the two packages line up the way they are now:

      1) Democrat package: $2 trillion.

      No cut in payroll taxes.

      A huge chunk of money going to bail out states like California, Illinois, and New York, where they have a self-inflicted pension crises.

      2) Trump/Republican package: $1 trillion.

      Much of it in the form of cuts to payroll taxes to encourage people to go back to work.

      No money for the states.

      Am I supposed to pretend those packages are just as good as each other because you, Boehm, or someone else calls them all “stimulus” or “spending”?

      1. “Trump not bankrupting the country as fast the Democrats, therefore good!”

        Is that your argument?

        1. That is their argument for every issue. The top comment has a reply that is bringing up Benghazi as a rebuttal to Trump spending.

          bOtH sIdEs!

        2. You see my argument above!

          Cutting payroll taxes is libertarian and capitalist and the opposite of authoritarian and socialist, and it’s something we should be doing regardless of whether there were a recession.

          Sending federal taxpayer money to bail out states with out of control pension crises is the essence of socialism and something we should oppose regardless of whether there were a recession.

          The purpose of libertarian capitalism is to keep as much of our society out of the government’s hands as possible, and you think the government will ever become so flush with taxes that it decides to cut spending, you’re nuts. Slashing taxes is ultimately the best control of spending there is. That’s the way it was before COVID-19 and the recession, and that’s the way it is now.

          P.S. I’d rather see interest rates lower rather than higher, but I’ve never seen a time when interest rates were so high that cutting taxes didn’t make sense–and I’ve seen double-digit inflation in my lifetime. If you want to cut spending, I suggest you cut spending rather than help yourself to more of my paycheck and bullshit about how it’s in the name of fiscal conservatism. The primary allure of fiscal conservatism is that means there won’t be as much pressure for people to help themselves to my paychecks. Leave our paychecks alone! If you want to send the government more of your paycheck, here’s an easy way to do that.

          https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/public/gifts-to-government.html

        3. And you think it’s better to bankrupt the country faster?

      2. >>I care about spending.

        (friendly-like) until you’re finished typing about it. i’m willing to bet it’s not on your mind at any other part of your day

        1. I bet you didn’t see my criticism of Rand Paul for opposing a bill that would have cut $772 billion from Medicaid until after you wrote that.

          1. I have now and wouldn’t ever challenge you in econ … my point is “the debt is a forum discussion topic and nothing more” because nothing can be done about it by anyone. I care, but only to the extent I’m not thinking about my chick naked or baseball or my real-life work or a million other things.

    3. Yes, we do. With the Treason Party’s spending, and so many NeverTrumpers allied against him, what do you expect him to do about it?

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  8. Look, you’re standing on the observation deck of the Empire state building, you have to worry about gravity.

    After you’ve jumped, and are passing the 50th floor? No, no point any more in worrying about gravity, because there’s nothing left to do except enjoy what remains of the fall.

    THAT is where we are with the debt. Back in 2007? It was worth worrying about the debt, maybe. Today?

    Enjoy the fall, the landing is going to be painful.

    1. sadly, this gut gets it

    2. Look your standing in a hole and you can either continue digging down or start digging an exit shaft. Yeah it will be harder work to dig the exit but you get freed at the end.

      1. That’s true if you’re in a hole, because holes are static: You stop digging, the hole stops getting deeper.

        Debt isn’t static, it has this thing called “interest”; The deeper you get in debt, the faster you get deeper in debt, and once the interest cost plus maximum survivable austerity add up to more than your income, you’re doomed, it is impossible to stop the fall.

        The basic problem here is a common failure mode of all democracies: Once politicians can buy votes by borrowing money, it’s all over but the shouting, the ones willing to do that always outbid the ones who propose paying the debt off instead, and the government is riding the rails towards a crash.

        2007, before the bailout, was probably the last point at which it was financially possible for our government to stop running a deficit. But we’ve been on the rails for several decades.

    3. And yet our political masters are like the guy who, as falling past the third floor of the Empire state building, was heard to say “so far, so good”.

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  10. The problem isn’t “deficit” spending, the problem is spending period.

    1. Luckily spending periods only happen once a month…

      1. Sure, but that seem to last all month.

  11. This is one example of a monthly article reason writes that says ooh debt be bad. It’s just more tds because are they honestly saying a Clinton admin would do differently? I guess they think the fantasy of a libertarian winning would somehow get congress to do it their way. I can imagine the first meeting between Schumer and pelosi and Jorgensen in which Jo gets arm twisted into spending more gold and then congress says it’s all her fault at the press conference. Because she hates children and puppies and sick people. Then she gets impeached.

    1. …are they honestly saying a Clinton admin would do differently?

      Clinton was never mentioned in the article, so no. And they wrote plenty of similar “debt bad” articles during Obama’s presidency, so I don’t think this particular article is an example of “TDS.” That’s not to say that most of reason’s writers don’t have TDS, just that this isn’t an example of it.

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    3. We will never know what a Hillary Clinton Administration looks like, but I am willing to take a few guesses. Clinton would not have signed a tax cut that borrowed money and was unnecessary. Remember the economy was doing well before the pandemic. Clinton would not be wasting money on some wall. She would address immigration in a practical manner. Republicans would have been more hawkish on spending. Clinton would have been on top of the pandemic. She could not stop it but she would have gotten a handle on things quicker, more testing, more preventative measures, less drastic actions and less impact on the economy. I am guessing we still be trouble, but I am guessing far less than we are now.

      1. So, you are saying a tax increase is now necessary because the tax cut was NOT necessary. It doesn’t really matter if a tax cut or increase is “necessary” or not. Taxes should be as low as possible given what we want the government to spend it on. What matters is whether it’s a good idea.

        1. What I am saying is that the economy was doing very well and their was no need for a tax cut. The tax cut which required increasing the deficit was done to please wealth Republican donors. It was not a good idea to cut taxes when the economy is good, and it is certainly not a good idea to increase taxes at this time when the economy is bad. I also agree with you that taxes should be as low as necessary to cover the government costs to provide the services for the citizens.

    4. “are they honestly saying a Clinton admin would do differently”

      If a D was in the oval office then congressional republicans would suddenly care about spending again (and may have kept the house in 2018), so yeah we would likely be better off on the spending front.

      Look at how fast the deficit decreased while republicans controlled the House under Slick Willy and Obama

      1. I agree Republicans under a President Clinton would have been deficit hawks.

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  12. When the question is whether we should suspend payroll taxes, I don’t care about the debt either–and neither should Rand Paul.

    When the question is whether we should slash Medicaid, that’s when we should care about the debt–and let’s never forget that Rand Paul opposed a bill that would have slashed $772 billion from Medicaid.

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

    1. The question is about stimulus, not payroll tax cuts. The Republicans are apparently talking about another $1T unfunded spending bill, $105B for education and the rest I can only assume is additional checks plus small business money like the last round.

      Rand is correct in being concerned about that.

      1. My understanding is that the $1 trillion includes cuts in payroll taxes, which may descriptively be referred to as “stimulus” but is actually the opposite of Keynesian stimulus.

        The whole point of Keynesian stimulus is to take money away from consumers because of their marginal propensity to save during recessions and put it in the hands of government because they can be counted on to spend every penny they get. Suspending payroll taxes lets people keep more of the money they earn, and I’ll always be in favor of doing more of that no matter what price tag you put on it and no matter whether TDS victims try to smear it as “stimulus”.

        The solution to overspending is to cut spending–not to keep taxes as high as possible.

        If Boehm’s post doesn’t make any mention of payroll tax cuts, that’s reason #351 to make sure you read other sources. Everybody from The Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal is talking about this “stimulus” in terms of cutting payroll taxes.

        “If you don’t have a job, you’re not paying payroll tax. So eliminating the payroll tax wouldn’t put any more money in your pocket.”

        —The Washington Post

        “Trump wants a payroll tax cut in the next stimulus package. It’s a bad idea”

        July 20, 2020

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/20/payroll-tax-cut-stimulus-trump/

        We can let people keep more of the money they earn because that doesn’t benefit people who don’t work for a living.

        This is how the socialist mind works.

        IF IF IF Boehm is conflating spending with payroll taxes, I don’t know what to say other than that’s another example of why I generally don’t bother to actually read his articles.

        1. I think Boehm is only going based on what Rand is reporting was said in the caucus meeting on the subject. I can’t imagine Rand causing a stink over payroll taxes vs more stimulus like the last bill. Either way, the $105B for dept of education is enough for me to say this is a bad bill.

          1. So you’re saying that Boehm didn’t mention anything about the cut in payroll taxes–is that right?

            If so, sins of omission may not be the only crime here. I would caution anyone to avoid forming any opinions based on what you read in this piece.

            Your opinion may be less informed for having read this piece than it was before you read it–especially if you assumed any part of it was factually correct.

            P.S. From the statements I’ve read of Rand Paul, he carefully seems to talk about “the debt” or “the deficit”. It is true that spending and tax cuts increase “the deficit and maybe “the debt”, but that doesn’t mean that they’re equal or should be equally disdained. Even if you only wanted to look at it from a total debt perspective, cutting taxes, for instance, increases the negative consequences of government spending. Surely, you wouldn’t argue that we should raise payroll taxes amid a huge upsurge in the unemployment rate–just to keep the deficit down, would you?

            Raising payroll taxes right now would be incredibly stupid, and cutting taxes in no way suggests that anyone is opposed to cutting spending.

        2. The real point in “Keynesian stimulus” is simply to provide and excuse to spend more money.

          1. Yes, it’s always been this.

          2. And that slashing payroll taxes or sending money from the government to consumers isn’t Keynesian stimulus.

            It’s the opposite of Keynesian stimulus.

    2. okay, hold that against him forever. who’s better in DC?

      1. I will not hold it against him forever, and if he were the Republican nominee for President, I would vote for him in spite of his pulling a Justin Amash on cutting Medicaid when we had the chance.

        But now that we’ve made that right, let’s talk about the fact that President Trump as on the more libertarian and capitalist side of that bill than Rand Paul–in fact, he twisted Rand Paul’s arm to vote for that bill so that he could sign it. It would have been the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone has slashed Medicaid.

        So, if we’re willing to overlook Rand Paul’s mistake because he was hoping for an even better bill and supporting Rand Paul is still the libertarian and capitalist option, then how do we feel about President Trump?

        1. Here’s your most capitalist and totally not compromised president who won’t divest or show us his books:
          https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/995680316458262533?lang=en

          1. Divesting and show his statements have nothing to do with Capitalism.

            1. You’re right. Using government policy to save jobs in China has nothing to do with capitalism.

        2. then how do we feel about President Trump?

          Less then Paul since Paul never taxed the American people by unconstitutional means (EO tariffs). Never said he would never again sign an Omnibus bill and turn around and sign the next one. Never withdrew from a trade agreement because it gave to much away to China despite China not being included. Never withdrew from NAFTA to implement an even more protectionist treaty.

          1. And yet Rand Paul opposed a bill that would have cut $772 billion from a socialist wealth redistribution program–a bill that President Trump urged him to vote for so he could sign it into law.

            I have two items at the top of my libertarian capitalist wish list.

            1) Cut taxes.

            2) Cut spending on socialist wealth redistribution programs.

            “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

            —-Karl Marx

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_needs

            This is the essence of socialism.

            Cutting taxes cuts off the first part of that equation, and cutting spending on wealth redistribution programs cuts off the second.

            When Rand Paul had a chance to cut $772 billion from Medicaid, he balked. It’s a fact. I’d still support him for president anyway.

            Donald Trump is by no means a libertarian capitalist, but 1) on that one issue, he was a better capitalist than Rand Paul and 2) he’s head and shoulders more libertarian and capitalist than the Democrats under Joe Biden who are openly campaigning not only to crush free expression of deplorable ideas but also for the institution of socialism by way of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

            In other words, just like I can overlook Rand Paul screwing the pooch on cutting Medicaid because I can see the bigger picture, especially the threat of socialist Democrats who are much worse than him, I can see the bigger picture on Donald Trump vs. the Democrats–even if Trump screwed the pooch on trade and immigration (two issues I’ve never stopped criticizing him about since before the day he was inaugurated).

            1. The federal government will never cut taxes if printing money is an option. There isn’t a can in existence that the American electorate is willing to kick down the road. Americans say they care about deficits and debt, but won’t tolerate cuts to defense or entitlements. Change will not come from within. It will require an economic collapse that makes the Weimar Republic look like a failed lemonade stand. And then, let’s just say I’m not optimistic about what rises from the ashes.

            2. Sure if I had to vote for either Biden or Trump; I’d vote for Trump. But my feelings towards Trump, vis-a-vis capitalist, is rather low and is less then my opinion of Paul. I’ll vote for Jorgensen, since I’m a Maryland voter and it doesn’t matter.

  13. I simply don’t care about Rand Paul.

      1. Hmmm… maybe we do need a 12 year old kid to scold people for adding trillions of debt on future generations, or ignoring the Philadelphia Accords (a cooler name than the Constitution of the US of A).

      2. Is it permissible to envision you clutching your pearls while pronouncing your faux offense? It just makes me smile.

    1. That’s OK. He doesn’t care about you, either.

  14. How does adding another 10,000 dollars debt on every taxpayer help the economy? There is no trillion dollars to hand out, it’s a loan. And we know who has to repay it.

    1. Exactly. Every dollar spent is a dollar in taxes. Raising $1T in spending is the same as raising taxes by $1T. It will either be paid by current taxpayers, future taxpayers, or erosion of our savings through inflation. But make no mistake, a vote for more spending is a vote for more taxing.

    2. And the economy doesn’t need stimulus. It needs the boot off its neck.

      1. The economy needs us to be able to move people and goods into moneyed countries. Aka it needs for us to control covid. By and large, it’s not our government suppressing economic activity at this point, it is the real effects of a pandemic.

        1. The point is that only the markets can make an informed decision on risk of COVID vs reward of increased economic activity. I can accept markets making those decisions. I can’t accept government forcing them upon us.

          1. Is war rationing a function of government in your eyes? Would mandating nightly black outs because the hun are bombing sources of light at night a valid function of government?

            Occasionally, there are events that affect us collectively, and need to be dealt with in the same manner. I think a viral pandemic that has cut us off from the rest of the world falls into that category.

            Libertarians should demonstrate civic duty and common decency by taking such measures voluntarily, but what to do with the people who think their right to not wear a mask on the public bus outweighs everyone else’s rights?

  15. Senator Rand Paul, please suggest to President Donald Trump that instead of increasing funding to the department of education, to instead tie the money to the student, therefore allow the money to travel with the student to schools that open in the fall.

    If we break the bank then the only thing that can keep the country together is through force and the elimination of our freedoms. Personally I would prefer to severely reduce the size of government, to reduce expenditures and retain/regain our freedoms.

    It amazes me that the Democrat party which accuses demands the Republican party to get our of our bedrooms is now much, much more invasive and in our personal business than the Republicans are. I’m not saying that Republicans are staying out of our personal business, just that the Democrats are worse.

  16. The deficit is not complicated. When the economy is bad, it is ok to run a deficit to stimulate the economy. When the economy is good, you don’t run a deficit, and when the economy is really good, you pay down the debt. Problem is that for the last 20 years we ran a deficit no matter what.

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    2. You have encapsulated the problem nicely. The economy was in good shape and Republicans and Democrats spend freely. Now when we need a cushion its is not there for us.

    3. How Keynesian economics works in the real world.

    4. Molly..I disagree..you should never run a deficit in govt…period. Keynes was full of shit..his theories don’t work

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  18. the expense of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be with us for a while.

    “There is no sugarcoating it.”

  19. Yep, nobody cares about the debt.

    Since when is this news?

  20. Good for Rand Paul. I’m pleased to see he’s standing by his principles. The sad thing is the alternative is worse. You look at the GOP on the issue of limited government, and you see a party that fell right out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

    Then you look at the Democrats and realize they are the ugly tree. I hate to sound pessimistic, but I think the issue of limited government may be lost for the time being. Sure “we” can all vote Libertarian, but that “we” amounts to 22 people in an internet chat room. Take an assessment of everyone you know and measure how committed to limited government everyone else is. I suspect you’ll be disappointed.

    1. The Republicans only gain principles when they lose power. The TEA Party movement was a response to an election loss in 2008. Most of the “decent” congress critters came from that movement before it was corrupted to include every conservative talking point.

      This I know… Continuing to elect big-spending Republicans is not a solution. It might even be worth a few big losses at the polls to get them back on track. I don’t accept that we have to accept a slow path to doom in order to save us from a fast path.

      1. I agree, but tell me what the right path is… and tell me that a majority of US voting citizens can be convinced it’s the right path.

    2. Libertarians need to create a significant faction within one or both parties, depending on the issues, and vote with that party. A third party is just a waste of votes. It may make you feel morally superior, but nothing actually gets done. Democrats and Republicans can ignore you because they have nothing to gain from you.

  21. Maybe Rand should consider pulling an Amash and ditch the Trumpist Party. He has announced to the world that he’s fed up. If he were to take that leap, I suspect Massie would consider disaffiliating as well.

    Still, political self-preservation. Maybe these guys are barely tolerated as Republicans, but they’d have the full weight of the Trump caucus and KY GOP bearing down on them as independent candidates.

    The proggie and radical factions of the LP would have a cow if three sitting Republican U.S. congressmen became Ls. They’re more concerned with driving away fusionists and paleos than they are with growing or professionalizing the party.

  22. The GOP will be reborn as fiscal tightwads the moment Joe Biden takes the oath, so fear not.

    Rand’s responsibility now is to explain why the alleged fiscal collapse, which might happen someday but for which there’s no actual evidence, is more of a threat to society than millions of jobless people with no safety net. Not that it matters to those of us who aren’t insufferable moral busybodies, but keep in mind these economic conditions are nobody’s fault. Well, they weren’t anyone’s fault until Trump tried to be a leader and failed like a gimp trying to surf.

  23. ” Republicans wanted to shrink the deficit. They’d largely abandoned that stance long before the coronavirus”

    Ha! The Republican stance was fiction, illusory, a sham. That GOP worried about debt was simply an artifact of hyper-partiscim, not sound governance.

  24. As for the census of 2020? ILLEGAL Immigrants ? Really! Why should illegals be counted?? Aren’t they by their actions not supposed to be on this soil anyway!! I’m sorry, I don’t see the logic. It’s a broken system. If these illegals are not doing crime, and are needed to work fields, orchards or where ever, lets make some type of temporary work vistas for these people and then maybe you can claim they should be counted, and if they pay taxes.

    There are reasons they are called illegal, or am I missing something? I’m sorry but you came here on a work vistas, it ran out, well it is time to go home until you can get another one. For people to have to absorb more spending without any tax revenue coming from people that are not citizens is ludicrous.

    I don’t know what life without borders would be like, but laws are borders of sorts, and without them the world would be kayotic.

    1. What you are missing is that the constitution requires a counting of all people.

    2. They are called “illegal” because people want to dehumanize them. The better to turn a blind eye when they are abused and denied rights. Glad to clear that up.

  25. Hey Rand, You’re right. Nobody cares about the debt and you shouldn’t either. We are so far down the economic rat hole there is no turning back. If economic armageddon is what awaits us, then so be it.

  26. How bad does it suck when Rand Paul is as good as it gets?

      1. It feels like “Rand Paul” should be an anagram for “Paul Ryan.” Just saying.

  27. Met Rand personally during Ron’s 08 campaign. Had some respect for him until he started kissing Trump’s ass every opportunity he got. Seems he is finally breaking ranks on spending and federal jack booted thugs now that Trump is trailing a lot in the polls. Going to take a lot more to get me back on board with Rand

  28. That’s pretty fucking rich coming from Rand Paul, Putin’s third favorite bitch.

    1. the Czar did something to someone in your family?

  29. Nixon took us off the gold standard…he was a Republican. Reagan leveraged the benefit from Volker and started the run up (to be fair this was the “Kemp” wing who thought why not run deficits..increase spending and cut taxes…as republicans were always known as not spending enough)…Bush raised taxes but then raised spending, Clinton slowed the growth and with Greenspan printing money had a one year windfall (cap gains from the inflated dot.com bubble cap gains taxes), Bush had a war and like LBJ didn’t want to pay for it, Bush/Obama with Bernanke put the printing press on hyperwarp and as long as we can export our inflation to China and the rest of th world is so screwed up they still buy T-bills..it will go on..YOu have to look back to Ike to see a President with any financial responsibility..De Gaulle was right..when you have the worlds reserve currency you can’t help yourself. F it..just print baby print

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  33. Rand Paul calls for Cuomo to be impeached over coronavirus response

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/508581-rand-paul-calls-for-cuomo-to-be-impeached-over-coronavirus-response

    Is this going to get it’s own headline article here at Reason? He has two other, why not this one?

  34. This Trumpulus of C-19 stimulus spending and infrastructure stimulus spending is a more bigly pigly reincarnation of Obama’s Porkulus.

    Trump is Obama’s third term.

    Stimulus spending is philosophically un-American and economically counterproductive.

    C-19 is worse, yet, than other stimulus spending due to it being the beating of a dead horse pre-pandemic economy that died with the first human to human case of C-19.

  35. There has got to be a point where our national debt and government spending reach a level where our financial house of cards will start crashing. No one knows where it is, but everyone will know when it starts to come down.

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  37. It is almost as if being the voice of responsibility is difficult and unrewarding, unlike promising an endless Big Rock Candy Mountain.Ansh Pandit Shayari

  38. LOL .. The only time republicans CARE about the deficit is when democrats are in power.

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