Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said today that a fiscal cliff deal wouldn’t solve our nation’s deep financial woes anyway, because no one is discussing entitlement programs, which he says are the main drivers of our debt.
Most of the fiscal cliff talks have been about tax hikes and tax cuts, but Paul says that entitlements will need reform sooner or later anyway, remarking “we really literally are insolvent.”
“By all means, let’s complete a deal today so we can go home,” He said on the Senate floor. “Let’s raise taxes, let’s stick it to those rich people, let’s not cut spending, and let’s pretend as if we’ve done something. The deal will do absolutely nothing to save this country.”
It’s a pretty bleak assessment, but he did throw down some numbers to back up his point. At the end of the day, to Paul, the government is just spending more than it’s taking in, and that’s a problem.
“We owe $35-$40 trillion on Medicare and it’s not getting any better,” Paul explained. “And so what do you retirement groups [say]? AARP says, ‘absolutely, don’t touch it’.”
Of course, tax hikes would go some distance to solving that problem, but entitlement cuts could as well. Hence: Fiscal cliff.
“Oh, that’s great, that’s part of the solution — ‘don’t touch it,’” Paul said. “What’s the president say? ‘Entitlements are off the table.’ What’ does the [Senate] Majority Leader say? ‘We won’t do anything about entitlements. Oh great, this is going to be a real great solution. But we’re going to stick it to rich people! I hope nobody works for those rich people.”
I detect a hint of sarcasm.