At this point, it is hardly newsworthy to report that Republicans (a.k.a. the other party of big government in Washington, D.C.) are refusing to slow the outrageous and unsustainable growth of our increasingly invasive and unweildy federal government.
We have known for years the GOP wasn’t serious about reducing the size or scope of the federal behemoth … which is one reason we bolted the party years ago (and have never looked back).
Hell, even the populist U.S. president Donald Trump has abandoned any pretense of reining in out-of-control, unnecessary spending in our nation’s capital – approving the very status quo spending deals he campaigned against three years ago.
Trump’s betrayal of the fiscal values he campaigned on is the “most unkindest cut of all,” not just because he promised to be different but because the nation’s fiscal position has deteriorated to the point it was absolutely vital for him to be different.
Deficit spending for the current fiscal year totals $531 billion – a whopping 38 percent increase over the same period a year ago.
As a candidate in 2016, Trump vowed to eliminate the national debt over a period of eight years. Clearly that isn’t happening. In fact, Trump has gone in the exact opposite direction – with government debt on a path to hit $30 trillion in debt within the next ten years (assuming there is not a catastrophic default between now and then).
Even worse, interest payments on the debt – already totaling more than $1 billion each day – are projected to consume $1 trillion annually within the coming decade.
Again, this is definitionally unsustainable …
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Enter U.S. senator Rand Paul, who has been pushing a plan that would cut spending by $11 trillion over the coming decade in an effort to begin the long, hard slog back to fiscal sanity. Paul has called his proposal the “pennies plan,” because it would shave two cents off of every dollar spent by the federal government.
“We teach our children that money doesn’t grow on trees, and then they grow up watching politicians pretend otherwise,” Paul said. “Meanwhile, our debt soars past $22 trillion, endangers our country, and artificially limits what our nation can achieve.”
Paul also called out his GOP colleagues for their hypocrisy on budgetary matters.
“They’re not really for balanced budgets if they vote for budgets that don’t balance,” he said.
Actually, they wouldn’t even allow his proposal to go to a vote – killing it by invoking cloture (i.e. ending debate) before it could go to the floor of the chamber to be considered.
All told, 25 GOP senators voted to kill Paul’s proposed spending cuts (along with every Democrat who cast a vote). Only 21 GOP senators voted with him – including U.S. senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Which reminds us, kudos to Scott. We have been giving him a good bit of grief lately, but on this issue he deserves tremendous credit for taking a principled stand against a majority of his fellow Republicans.
Bottom line? These are gut check, rubber-meets-road votes that determine whether elected officials are serious about protecting taxpayers or merely paying them lip service.
On this vote, Scott stood and delivered while Graham did what he always does … voted against the best interests of the people he is supposed to be representing.
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