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Rand Paul says he can’t offer a balanced budget before election

September 14, 2010 | | Comments Comments

By Bill Estep – bestep@herald-leader.com

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul cited several ideas for cutting federal spending at a news conference Tuesday, but said it would be impossible for him to spell out a specific proposal to balance the federal budget before Nov. 2.

Paul, a Republican, has made the federal debt a centerpiece of his campaign, criticizing his party and Democrats for the sea of red ink.

In an interview on WHAS radio last month, Paul said that if elected, he would introduce a plan to balance the budget in one year, as well as multi-year plans.

“But I will stay on the floor until I’ve introduced five different proposals” to balance the budget in one to five years, Paul said. “If you’re not willing to balance it in five years, you’re not a serious person.”

Asked on Tuesday if he would release specifics on the various proposals before the election, Paul said a candidate couldn’t write a federal budget, which covers thousands of pages and trillions in spending.

“It’s impossible for a candidate to write a budget,” he said.

Paul noted that the work of thousands of people goes into crafting the federal budget. He is continuing to work in his medical practice while campaigning, so time is at a premium, Paul said.

The projected deficit in the current budget is more than $1 trillion, so balancing it in one year would require dramatic cuts that many observers argue are unrealistic.

Paul has called for examining every program in the massive budget to see if it should be eliminated, downsized or left alone. But on Monday, he said it would be difficult to give specific numbers or percentages.

Paul’s opponent, Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, has criticized Paul for not releasing more detail on his plan to balance the budget.

“Rand Paul can’t show his secret budget scheme because it does not exist,” said John Collins, Conway’s spokesman, on Tuesday.

But Paul said the election is about what kind of senator people want — one who believes the system is broken, spending must be cut and that lawmakers should be forced to balance the budget by law, or “someone who might.”

Paul said he is unique in calling for a review of both social-welfare spending and military spending in order to balance the budget, unlike Republicans and Democrats who traditionally favor cuts in only one of those pots.

As for specifics on balancing the budget, Paul mentioned $300 billion in leftover funds from the federal stimulus package and the bank bailout — both of which he has criticized.

Paul also cited the potential to save $47 billion annually by bringing government salaries in line with private-sector salaries, and mentioned freezing federal hiring and perhaps cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent.

Paul said there may be a need to have Medicare and Medicaid participants pay a greater share of the costs of the programs, noting that giving something away leads to over-use.

“Government programs need to have a price,” Paul said.

He also said “it’s inevitable” that the eligibility for government programs for retirees will have to be changed as the country heads toward a time when there will be fewer workers to support them.

Conway has advocated a deficit-reduction plan he says would save $430 billion over 10 years without raising taxes. It includes letting Medicare negotiate for bulk discounts on prescription drugs, closing tax loopholes on foreign-earned interest and ending offshore tax shelters.

Paul’s comments on the budget came during a news conference a Thiel Audio Products in Lexington, a small company that makes premium speakers.

Paul and Kathy Gornik, president of the company, talked about their opposition to the federal health-care overhaul Congress approved this year, which critics call Obamacare.

Among other things, the law will bar insurance companies from refusing to cover people because of pre-existing medical conditions, and require people to buy insurance or pay a penalty.

Gornik said she is concerned that the law will be so expensive it will lead to tax increases.

The law also creates uncertainty for businesses, making them reluctant to invest or hire workers, Gornik said.

Paul said the law makes it “inevitable” that insurance premiums will go up.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that for people who get insurance through employers the average change in premiums by 2016 would range from an increase of 1 percent to a drop of 3 percent, relative to current law. Such employment-based insurance would account for 83 percent of the market, the CBO said.

However, Paul noted that cost estimates on past government programs, such as the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, have been way off.

The health-care reform promises to be a continuing theme in the race because it is a clear difference in the candidates. Conway has said the law could have been better, but he supported it.

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee began airing a TV ad in the state Tuesday that blasts Conway for supporting the health care bill and refusing to join a group of other state attorneys-general who have challenged the law in court.

Filed Under: ElectionsFederal GovernmentJack ConwayRand PaulUS Senate Race

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Comments

  1. Tommy Caudill says:

    “It’s impossible for a candidate to write a budget,” he said.

    If he can say he can balance the budget in x amount of years, the he’s surely got some kind of an idea of how to do it, right? Wait a minute I forgot who I was talking about, this is the guy who like to talk out of both sides of his mouth without knowing what the other side said.

  2. dixxiecrat says:

    Remember in 1994 the Republicans “Contract with America”, Remember the Republican platform “term limits? What happenen to them. The Republican congress never introduced the bills? All spit and no tobacco.

  3. ervin lewis says:

    Not one person running for office including Rand Paul and Jack Conway should be allowed to run. Apparently the use of the english language has taken a turn for the worse in the last thirty years. How can so many words come from one mouth and brain and still make no logical sense. Really people there is no way on gods green earth a freshman congress person can make any different in what is happening in this country or in this state.

  4. Jeff Hamlin says:

    Why don’t you stupid Rand Paul haters run if you think you can do a better job?

  5. Tommy Caudill says:

    Jeff,

    Why are Rand Paul supporters so hateful? I don’t go around calling people stupid or idiotic the way the tea party does. As far as running, I am planning on running in 2014 against Mr. McConnell. I think by that tie the republicans would have done so much damage to the country even a liberal like myself would have a great chance at winning even in KY.

  6. Prof. Gilligan says:

    What a hack “news” article.

    Weak. Desperate. Pathetic.

  7. Shelley Dee says:

    Randy “The Bubble Boy” Paul. You can do better than that! Bubble Boy sits in his plastic bubble so he is protected from debates, reporters, his constituents, and from even knowing what KY needs. Atta boy, Randy!

  8. Eric says:

    A frickin’ Daily Kos poll out today has Conway down by 7 so it’s time for the Herald-Liberal to flail some more.

    Thanks for the cutting-edge reporting that a single candidate can’t write a gigantic budget for this newspaper’s harpies to scramble through to write various “SHOCK: Paul’s budget freezes education spending!” nonsense stories.

  9. patrick says:

    Rand is a wacko just like his old man. lots of weird ideas that we don’t need any part of.

  10. William says:

    I’m a Paul supporter, of course, but I really don’t understand the hub-bub over this non-story. Paul wants to commit the federal government to balancing its budget. He honestly, and correctly, says that it would be unrealistic for an individual candidate with limited time and resources to offer a specific budget. He’s honest about that point, but makes clear that he will strive to balance the budget, and that when he gets to Congress (when he will have access to the resources necessary to do so), he will offer a budget, and multiple proposals in hopes that one will get accepted.

    He’s honest, pragmatic, and ultimately correct on this point. And he is clear that he supports balancing the budget. What is there to criticize here?

  11. dixxiecrat says:

    In my opinion,Randy has serious character shortcomings.

  12. JR says:

    Give it up LHL, you saw the results tonight. This party is OVER ,,,,,,,,,, As Dandy Don use to sing …….

  13. William says:

    And what is Conway’s point? That the budget can’t be balanced? He’s playing gotcha by saying that spending can never be cut sufficiently that the budget can be balanced, and that he won’t even bother to try? That’s not a very good “gotcha” position for him to be taking, is it?

    Does that inspire anyone, even the Democrats out there? Seriously?

  14. JR says:

    Turn out the light,,,,,,,,, the partys over ……….. LOL..

  15. Tommy Caudill says:

    Prof,

    It blows my mind that the GOP calls it a “hack” job, when they’re using the candidates own words. How does that work? I need to know so I can claim it’s a “hack” job wen they use my own words to destroy my campaign. Surely, this isn’t the best the republicans had to choose from in the state of KY, is it? If it is it will be a pleasure to run in 2014 to represent KY as her Junior Senator in Washington.

  16. Laughing at Paul says:

    Yea figures. Rand Paul cant give a balanced budget before the election because he is all talk and no meat. Typical blabbermouth. People with real ideas can tell you about them. Paul tells you what you wanna hear, but has no idea how to do it. Sounds like a bad joke to me.

  17. HackRichards says:

    You Liberals certainly know how to spend/waste trillions of dollars. Paul is smart enough to know it will take a lot of planning over several years to cut trillions off the budget. Any one of you Liberals list how you would do it……Oh sorry…You guys want to spend us into NON-Existance.

  18. Mortimer says:

    Why did you say it, if you can’t do it? Oh, I forgot you thought most Kentucky voters are too stupid to notice. And, you are probably right. And those voters might just elect you.

  19. RoscoeRoe says:

    Hmmm – Maybe Ole Rand needs to eat some magic mushrooms or smoke some happy weed so that he can have a vision or moment of clarity as to how to balance the federal budget, without changing Kentucky’s ratio of $1.59 received for every dollar that it sends to Washington. Perhaps Addison McConnell is clouding his mind or maybe Hal Rogers is putting off bad vibes that keep him from concentrating on budget balancing with no earmarks. Time to go back to what you were taught – when in doubt, WWABD? That’s it! – What would Aqua Buddha Do? Stay tuned, this could get really good.

  20. Rand is Crazy says:

    I hear Paul saying he’s out to cut the military. He would put our trips in combat at risk through this.

  21. workinforalivin says:

    ahh, honesty. Most politicians say they can do something before getting into office, without having any real data.

    Remember John Kerry saying he had a secret plan for winning in Iraq but only would reveal it if elected? heh heh.

    tommy caudil, you are a hoot.

  22. workinforalivin says:

    roscoe roe, you sound proud of “Kentucky’s ratio of $1.59 received for every dollar that it sends to Washington”

    shall we stay that way?

    what if you move to CA? Will you like it then?

    Is this from those who have to those who need?

  23. Tommy Caudill says:

    @HackRichards

    You Liberals certainly know how to spend/waste trillions of dollars. Paul is smart enough to know it will take a lot of planning over several years to cut trillions off the budget. Any one of you Liberals list how you would do it……Oh sorry…You guys want to spend us into NON-Existance.

    I’ll tell you how I’d start to balance the budget.I would stop both wars and bring the troops home immediately this would save $1 billion a week, second I would cut off all funding to our enemies no money for radical countries, third I would raise taxes on everyone back to the Clinton rates, fourth I would stop all Social Security and Medicare for anyone who at age 65 has more than $3 million and I would raise the gas tax to $.25 so we could fund all new roads and road repairs without having to wait until a bridge falls before we fix it. I know some people don’t like to hear the truth but that would go a long way to getting our fiscal house back in order.

  24. dAVIDaDAMS says:

    Someone please tell Paul to stop playing with his stool!

  25. Thurman says:

    What a surprise? Another Republican who cannot balance the budget! We just had 8 years of these people! At least this guy admits it upfront!

  26. Ron says:

    OMG your not going to tell me the media is going to let him get by with that lame answer. Paul is the biggest bs artist I’ve seen…He’s a disgrace to the Common Wealth.

  27. Ron says:

    You should send that to Randy baby, at least it’s a plan and better than the one he has…

  28. Patrick Henry says:

    He’s a hypocrite. I wish my daddy was a congressman too so I could run for office with out of state donors funding most of the race.

  29. Agnostic4Paul says:

    Paul is going to win in Nov., so at this point ya can just wait and see, then form an opinion. I like Tommy Caudill’s suggestions as a start to recovery, but don’t forget ENDING THE COSTLY and IMMORAL Trillion Dollar DRUG WAR!! … There really is no lack of programs that need termination or trimmed.

    It would be a mistake for Paul to show preview to an incomplete overnight proposal to be used as sound-bite ammunition against his campaign, without having a complete plan in hand. Its just nice to know that someone is actually thinking about it, and that person suuuuuuuure as he11 is not Conway or Obama(or much of any republicans to be honest). I will vote Paul every chance I get.

  30. Tommy Caudill says:

    @Agnostic4Paul

    As for the war on drugs, when you have a child overdose because one of their so called friends said, come on try this it won’t hurt you, then you look at your child and tell them it wasn’t worth the fight. We have a serious problem and the sooner people realize the better off we’ll be. We have all got to vigilant against this problem and not sit back with our arms folded and say oh well it’s not hurting me. It hurts us all in one manner or another.

  31. [...] Lexington Herald-Leader: Rand Paul says he can’t offer a balanced budget before election U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul cited several ideas for cutting federal spending at a news conference Tuesday, but said it would be impossible for him to spell out a specific proposal to balance the federal budget before Nov. 2. Paul, a Republican, has made the federal debt a centerpiece of his campaign, criticizing his party and Democrats for the sea of red ink. [...]

  32. [...] Lexington Herald-Leader: Rand Paul says he can’t offer a balanced budget before election U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul cited several ideas for cutting federal spending at a news conference Tuesday, but said it would be impossible for him to spell out a specific proposal to balance the federal budget before Nov. 2. Paul, a Republican, has made the federal debt a centerpiece of his campaign, criticizing his party and Democrats for the sea of red ink. [...]

  33. Jeff Lewis says:

    Breaking news…

    “workinforalivin”, the new right-wing commenter (and big BTO fan) has said that Rand Paul is similar to former Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry.

    w.f.a.l. also said that Kentucky should stop receiving $1.59 in benefits for every $1 paid in Federal taxes, but he gave no details.

    The Paul campaign did not immediately respond to the suggestion that Paul and Kerry are political bedfellows.

    developing…

  34. Jeff Lewis says:

    In other news,

    “JR”, a previously unnoticed commenter who likes to sing “The Party’s Over” and who actually once purchased an 8-track tape of songs sung by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith was traced to a server in Texas.

    This is the second time that Rand Paul supporters from Texas have showed up on kentucky.com blogs, only to post virtually incomprehensible comments about Texas water rituals and football players.

  35. William says:

    Jeff Lewis,

    There are no “details” to give on the point that we should stop taking $1.59 for every $1.00 we put in. We need to make those two numbers equal, it’s as simple as that. It’s immoral for us to be taking more than our fair share of taxpayer dollars. And it is the very definition of Marxism–”from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

    Unless you view state borders as utterly without meaning in a federal system (which flies in the face of our Constitution), our stance needs to change.

  36. Charlotte says:

    Republicans have practiced this rhetoric for years about a balanced budget. Funny thing is no Republocan has EVER balanced the budget in the White House. Only Democrats have. Talk about Orwellian rhetoric!

  37. Sorry, I missed the balanced budget by the Democrats. That was when exactly??? As far as I can see, most of the postings against Rand Paul are for things he has said he would work to do, that the democrats now in power not only have not done, but have exacerbated the problems. Like a balanced budget. That for a Democrat is an oxymoron.

  38. Jeff Lewis says:

    Breaking news -

    Republican commenter “William” (wish they would get less generic screen names) said today that it was “immoral” for Kentucky to receive more in Federal support than the state pays in aggregate taxes.

    Kentucky is usually considered a poor state, an area in which the nation as a whole is still “investing”, as opposed to high population areas whose infrastructure development has always been ahead of Kentucky.

    William did not object to the widely admitted statistic. He also said nothing about Rand Paul’s plan to stop Kentucky-targeted funding known as “earmarks”.

    A story this week indicated that Even Rand Paul’s more famous father Ron was willing to accept earmarks as long as they were transparent.

  39. Gator says:

    The liberal Dems are quaking in their boots. The landslide of the new GOP is coming in Nov. Oscama and is comrades are toast this election cycle. Go Rand Go, slice and dice the government to the bone. I want the U.S., I remember as a young man. A country of liberty, freedom and business opportunity.

  40. William says:

    Even Later Breaking News–

    Bull Moose Party Commenter “Jeff Lewis” today announced that William said it was “immoral” for Kentucky to receive more in federal money than the state puts in. In response, commenter “William” stated that he “stands by his statement.” Mr. Lewis also stated that other states were “investing” in Kentucky with their tax dollars, but did not address whether taxpayers in other states were aware of this fact or if they had any desire to “invest” in Kentucky at all, or where the “investment” paradigm of revenue distribution arose from. Mr. Lewis then went on to reference earmarks, though it was unclear how that was relevant to William’s prior commentary.

    Mr. Lewis also complained about the “generic” nature of William’s screenname. In response, William politely pointed out that Mr. Lewis’s screen name is “Jeff Lewis.”

  41. Jeff Lewis says:

    Hey, Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican. So thanks – I think…

    However, “William the Generic” deliberately misstated what I said (as anyone can see). I didn’t say that the other states were investing in Kentucky. I said that the nation was investing in Kentucky.

    See, William doesn’t like the Federal government. He thinks America should be dissolved into 50 little countries – many of which would be a lot bigger than Kentucky, and who might well think it’s OK to put the screws to us.

    I say “us” advisedly, because it’s apparent from his comment that “William” is from some other state. He doesn’t want Kentucky to have in the future what other states have had for a long time. He doesn’t want the Federal system to help us – for example, he doesn’t want any Federal money to help establish law and order in Eastern Kentucky.

    That’s why I’m convinced that William, like the rest of the tea party people, is a “conservative” only in the sense that he wants to conserve his own money. In other words, he’s a tax protester – otherwise known as a type of radical (in which the IRS takes a great interest).

    Jack COnway is the true conservative in this race. He is pro-Kentucky farmers, and anti-drug. The Rand Paul supporters have had every chance to say they agree with that position, but they consistently refuse. They are against subsidies that help Kentucky farmers, and against law enforcement.

    People from other states are always claiming that Kentucky is backward. Now we see someone from another state admit that he wants this condition not only to be permanent, but to be a matter of law.

    Thanks again, William. I should think you’ve won Jack Conway a few votes today.

  42. William says:

    Jeff Lewis,

    From my post, you’ve determined that I don’t want a federal government? That I want us to be dissolved into 50 states? Even if that were true, how would any other “states” put the screws to us if we were separate, sovereign nations. That statement patently makes no sense.

    Mr. Lewis, though I’m not a Kentuckian (except for the fact that I’ve never lived in any other state), I fail to see where you think that other states have “had” things that Kentucky hasn’t had. “Law and order?” Do you perceive Kentucky as some sort of lawless society? And you do realize that Kentucky was the 15th state, and has therefore been around considerably longer than many other states.

    I’m proud of my Commonwealth…and it is for that reason I don’t wish her to be a charity case. I believe she can make it without her citizens taking more than her fair share. Clearly you do not.

  43. William says:

    Jeff Lewis,

    And Jeff, I think the “tax protestor” comment is cute, but ultimately conveys a deep misunderstanding of that area of law. A “tax protestor” that the IRS would be “concerned” about would be somebody that refuses to pay taxes on the grounds that they feel that existing tax laws are immoral, or that they should not be subject to them. I’ve never attempted to evade any tax, nor failed to pay any tax I’ve owed under any existing law.

    You seem to confuse breaking the law with expressing speech in disagreement with a law (while still fully complying with that law). The IRS may not like people who don’t care for our current tax code, but they certainly can’t do anything about that, and our Constitution is clear they have no right to.

    So…yeah, not sure where you were going with that, but then again I don’t think you know either.

  44. William says:

    Oh, and Jeff, I can’t resist responding to one more point. You’re saying that Jack Conway is the “real conservative” because he’s “pro Kentucky farmers and anti-drug?” No, you’re not saying it, you said it. I’ve been a conservative (with an admittedly increasingly libertarian tilt), and I don’t recall the fundamental principles of conservatism being support for Kentucky farmers and being “anti-drug” (whatever the hell those two things mean).

    Regardless, I’m pretty sure Rand isn’t anti-Kentucky-farmers. That’s really too specific to make sense anyway, and farmers are working, productive members of society, which Rand always supports. He just doesn’t support paying people not to farm; you may disagree, but that doesn’t mean that Rand is against farmers. And though Rand may have engaged in recreational drug use in his youth, I don’t think that makes him pro drugs.

    But yes, being a conservative is definitely all about your position for or against farmers in a single state of the union and whether you’re vaguely “anti-drug.” Definitely, 100%.

  45. I liked this above discussion. I hope that You come up with more number of such articles.