Rand Paul has it right on the fiscal crisis

by John David Dyche, Courier-Journal.com  |  published on December 20, 2012

Rand Paul

Rand Paul is right — again. This is not a reference to where Kentucky’s junior U. S. senator falls on the ideological spectrum. Paul’s opinions on national defense and individual liberty are to the left of establishment Republicans. It is an acknowledgement that he is correct about how America and his party should handle the short-term fiscal cliff and the larger fiscal crisis looming beyond it.

Paul says we should “cut domestic welfare and entitlement spending” instead of raising taxes on relatively high earners (whom the mainstream media misleadingly insists on calling the “wealthy”). Democrats, including most prominently President Obama, resist really reforming entitlements, which everyone knows are speeding us toward fiscal collapse. Paul walks his policy talk, but grossly irresponsible Senate Democrats have not even passed a budget in over three years.

Keeping taxes low and reducing government regulation would “cause a growing economy and help many people who are currently dependent to become independent,” Paul argues. But the profligate Obama offers only more government that will keep the economy stagnant and push more people to dependence on disability, food stamps, unemployment, and welfare. Obama’s opening demand for a $1.6 trillion tax increase, $50 billion in “stimulus” spending, and freedom to infinitely increase the federal debt are a death wish for the American dream.

Paul advises fellow Republicans to stand aside and let Obama and the Democrats do their dirty deeds alone instead of agreeing to a bad deal that would make the GOP complicit in the economic damage. Voters re-elected Obama, and Paul’s proposal effectively gives them what they asked for. If Democrats enact “the Full Barack” they will bear all the blame when it fails, and Republicans none.

House Republicans should first vote to make the so-called Bush tax cuts permanent and significantly cut spending, Paul says. When Senate Democrats refuse to go along, House Republicans should then vote “present” as their Democratic colleagues pass Obama’s plan. Senate Republicans would then vote “no,” but not try to filibuster the fiasco. Then, as in a parliamentary system, Democrats will own everything about the economy, and voters will have a clear comparison.

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