Rand Paul Accuses GOP Critics Of "Hypocrisy" For Agreeing To Bipartisan Budget Deal

After Rand Paul's "principled stand' against a budget bill that would add nearly $300 billion to the deficit over two years forced his colleagues in the House and Senate to stay up all night Thursday, just to pass an essentially unchanged bill that could've easily passed 12 hours earlier if it weren't for the Kentucky Senator's dedication to libertarian principles compulsive need for media attention, it seemed like his colleagues were rushing to be the first to issue an insulting quote about Paul to any reporter who'd listen.

One of Paul's colleagues said he sympathized with a neighbor of Paul's who famously tackled the senator while he was mowing his lawn, cracking a few of his ribs. Another dryly noted that "there aren't a lot of books written about the great political points of history" - a jab at Paul, who voted for the White House's $4.5 trillion budget resolution and then supported Trump's deficit-expanding tax package.

Already one of the most ubiquitous guests on the so-called Sunday Shows, Paul took to Face the Nation this weekend to explain and defend his decision to hold up the vote and trigger another government shutdown - even if it only lasted a few hours.

During his interview with Major Garrett, Paul said Republicans need to reconcile their commitment to limit government spending and cut down on the deficit with their tendency to overspend on the military. Paul added that the US has accomplished about all it possible can in Afghanistan, and that now is the time to bring our troops home. The US is actively at war in about seven countries, Paul said. Yet none of those interventions were authorized by Congress.

MAJOR GARRETT: And now we have deficits projected to be a trillion dollars again and yet they're growing non-recessionary economy or are you troubled by that?

SENATOR RAND PAUL: Yeah, I'm very worried and I think one of the questions the Republicans I think are not willing to ask themselves is can you be fiscally conservative and be for unlimited military spending. There's sort of this question, "Is the military budget too small or maybe is our mission too large around the world?" And because Republicans are unwilling to confront that they want more, more, more for military spending. And so to get that they have to give the Democrats what they want which is more and more and more for domestic spending and the compromise while some are happy with bipartisanship. Well if the bipartisanship is exploding the deficit I'm not so sure that's the kind of bipartisanship we need.

MAJOR GARRETT: From your point of view, Senator, on the defense side of the equation is the spending and the mission, are they reckless?

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I think the mission is- is beyond what we need to be we're actively in war in about seven countries. And yet the Congress hasn't voted on declaring or authorizing the use of military force in over 15 years now. So I've been one that's been bugging the Senate and Congress to say how can we be at war without ever voting on it don't the American people through their representatives get a chance to say when we go to war. I think the Afghan war is long past its mission. I think we killed and captured and disrupted the people who attacked us on 9/11 long ago. And I think now it's a nation building exercise. We're spending 50 billion dollars a year. And if the president really is serious about infrastructure, a lot of that money could be spent at home. Instead of building bridges and schools and roads in Afghanistan or in Pakistan. I think we could do that at home and the interesting thing is I think the president's instincts lean that way but -

But when confronted about inconsistencies in his own voting record - such as his decision to support both the budget agreement and the Trump tax plan - Paul insisted he could "only control how I vote".

MAJOR GARRETT: And that's sort of the way, Senator, because you know where the votes are. You know the votes are there for tax cuts. You know they're not there for spending cuts. So, isn't there any part of your voting pattern that is irresponsible?

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I don't think so because you know I can only control how I vote. So I voted for the tax cuts and I voted for spending cuts. The people who voted for tax cuts and spending increases. I think there is some hypocrisy there and it shows they're not serious about the debt. But all throughout my career I've always voted for spending cuts and I'm happy to offset cuts in taxes with cuts in spending. So no I think that I've had a consistent position in being very concerned about the debt and I want to shrink the size of government. So, the reason I'm for tax cuts is I to return more of the money to the people who own that who- who actually deserve to have their money returned to them. But it also shrinks the size of government by cutting taxes or should if you cut spending at the same time.

This, of course, begs the question: Was Paul in some sort of fugue state when he voted for the Trump tax bill last year?

If so, he might want to get that checked out.


Stan Smith Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:32 Permalink

   While I do think he's more libertarian than a bunch of GOP'ers who claim the mantle as well,  it's all relative.

    As they proved the other day with the budget bill the difference between an "in-the-beltway" GOPer and an "in-the-beltway" DNCer is virtually nothing.

    Once they are in the swamp, they want to stay.

Expat lloll Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:42 Permalink

So stop voting for right-wing assholes who support Israel.  Or left-wing assholes who support Israel.

Trump has Netanyahu's cock firmly up his ass, so all you Trumpeteers can take some credit for the slaughtered Palestinian kids.  And Obama, and Bush, and Clinton, and....so no.

In reply to by lloll

Give Me Some Truth zorba THE GREEK Mon, 02/12/2018 - 06:51 Permalink

To Tylers at ZH,

Rand Paul might have been seeking some media attention, but do you not think some "media attention" was warranted when the GOP is officially co-opted by Big State liberalism?

When one member in Congress (out of 535 members) points out the hypocricy of so many "limited government Republicans," let's let him, okay. 

Absent Paul's "grandstanding," what just happened would have gotten zero attention. You are attacking the wrong guy here.


In reply to by zorba THE GREEK

Oldwood hoist the bs flag Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:56 Permalink

Oh dear, deficits matter to the media again!

Anyone waiting for the government to limit itself is deluded.

Somewhere in our ZH past I seem to recall a discussion that centered about the notion that government HAD to create debt to satisfy the bond market, even at ZIRP. Now we are in fear of interest rates? And what about all that rotation to 30year bonds that was going to remove any rate increase threats to the government liabilities.

I'm so confused.

Besides, if we are so broke, so screwed because of debt, why wouldn't we go nuts and borrow and spend maniacally like there is no tomorrow? There seems to be a strong contingent here that believes we're fucked regardless.

In reply to by hoist the bs flag

Give Me Some Truth Kidbuck Mon, 02/12/2018 - 06:59 Permalink

I watched about 30 minutes of his speech (It was CNN covering it not Fox). Rand made some great points with effective use of language and examples. 

This was going to happen whether Rand Paul gave such a speech or not. But I'm glad he gave it. It got a lot of attention and helped show a lot of people that there is no small-government contingent in government anymore. Well, there's one guy who is willing to speak for 10 hours straight in protest - but he gets booed and hissed by all his colleagues (and Tyler at ZH apparently). This kind of proves the main point. What we  have here is complete and total capitulation by those that used to stand up for the limited-government ideology that just surrendered. (It would have been a surrender ceremony with not a single sentence of protest uttered if not for Rand's exasperated, depressed words. Talk about going out with a whimper. 

In reply to by Kidbuck

Fiscal Smegma Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:34 Permalink



Oldwood rickv404 Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:03 Permalink

What wealth?

Paper dollars?

The economy is a construct that depends on human emotion and perspective. 

Exactly how many people do you know that you would actually pay to work for you? 

What wealth? Every dollar in existence was printed up by government or their agents. They invented it and loaned it to us. There is no wealth that does not belong to them. Even in anarchy you will end up with a boss and probably not the most loving and generous of your group.

In reply to by rickv404

Porous Horace Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:40 Permalink

I like Paul. But he's got this one backwards. The hypocrisy isn't the Repubs agreeing with the Dems; the hypocrisy is the Repubs claiming to not be the same party as the Dems. It's just one party pretending to be two parties.

Oldwood Porous Horace Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

Republicans would be destroyed by the media if they shut down the government and believe they have a better chance hoping for growth to make up the deficit. Regardless it is futility to think any majority of politicians will not vote for buying votes.

I put the odds of growth offsetting the deficit at less than 50%, but alternatives are horrible. I'm starting a new business as I can't set it out. I have been far too conservative largely from following ZH logic. I still see the rational sound.....for a real economy, but that's not want we have. Manipulation and interventions have destroyed market economy. I'm running out of time and honestly, its just too god damned depressing to wallow in this doomer mentality. If nothing else we should accept there is really no way to hedge against this as there IS NO MARKET.

In reply to by Porous Horace

CatInTheHat Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:20 Permalink

What an asshole!  So, you know, I'm all for this tax heist, because, you know, corporations have been enduring such a high rate of taxes, and you know, we need to start cutting major 'entitlements' instead of corporations, you know, because spending on the American people during a time of, well you know, full employment is pretty senseless. And you know, sure the tax heist will add 1.3 trillion to the deficit, but you know that's where spending cuts offsets that you know.

But you know, we do spend far too much on our military and we need to bring home our troops because at this point it's all about empire building and with this whole NPR thing, it's getting us closer and closer to NUCLEAR war and you know we should hold Congress accountable in allowing these wars to go on without the consent of the American people but you know, I voted for the budget anyway hoping that, you know, we can cut spending a little to offset this tendency for my colleagues to force generations to come, providing there will be any to come, to pay for what we can't cut in spending you know" 

Fuck off, Rand. You're just as bought and ''blackmailable' as the rest of them. What a coward.   

smithmorra Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:43 Permalink

Oh, OK, he voted for highly irresponsible tax cuts leading to more whopping deficits and now wants to chastise the Gov. for living outside its means??


How about a 30% wealth tax on the top lucky 20% rich bums?? Tax them on their net worth and use it to rebuild the infrastructure and help get people back on their feet with real jobs!!!

crossroaddemon Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:45 Permalink

You know, let's not be stupid. If they don't continue to expand the debt all of our lives get a lot harder virtually overnight. It's gonna happen sooner or later but why rush it?