Sen. Rand Paul fights debt ceiling hike
June 8th, 2011
09:07 PM ET
3 years ago

Sen. Rand Paul fights debt ceiling hike

Washington (CNN) – Freshman Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul stood firm today on his position against raising the debt ceiling. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room," the libertarian-leaning senator said he would only consider voting "yes" if the bill came with a balanced budget amendment.

"If (Democrats) want to spend the money, they need to be honest with the American people and say 'We've got to borrow $2 trillion because that's what we want to spend,' " Paul said. "I don't want to spend that much money."

But Paul said he's not concerned about the potential consequences of keeping the federal debt ceiling at its current limit.

"Our interest payment is about $20 billion a month," he said. "Our tax revenue is about $200 billion a month, so we're bringing in (nearly) $200 billion. We've got plenty of money to pay our interest."

Paul said the country could also bring down the debt by bringing back its troops overseas. With growing unrest in Syria tempting the international community to intervene, he warned against any further involvements.

"We're already involved in three wars, including the latest war in Libya, where we had no congressional vote," Paul said. "That's not what our founding fathers wanted."

Turning to the 2012 GOP field, Paul said his father, Ron Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, has a better chance this time around than his previous White House bid.

"In 2007-2008, most people didn't know his name," the senator said, adding that he now believes 70 to 80% of Americans recognize the candidate. "He attracts a lot of people who are disgruntled with both parties, and so I think that would be his main advantage over the entire Republican field."

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Filed under: Content Partner • Debt • Rand Paul • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. CaliforniaBC

    This guy just doesn't comprehend the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling and potentially defaulting on our debt. I'm still amazing this guy got elected but then again look at the state he represents.

    June 8, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Aaron

    Another Repub with a big mouth and no viable solutions to the debt problem. Unfortunately, ideological budget cuts are the only thing that they manage to do, while at the same time sitting up a $2 billion slush fund for themselves....Dems did help with the slush fund, so they do cooperate if there is $ in it for themselves or their croonies.

    June 8, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Dr Matrix

    If (Democrats) want to spend the money
    So I guess it was ok when the Republicans were financing a war off the books and creating the deficit while transfering the wealth of the treasury to private companies like Haliburton and Blackwater. Why is the spending a problem now that the Republicans aren't in charge.

    June 8, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. beevee

    Is'nt this guy an MD and not an economist. Set aside your convictions and think about the economic disaster that would befall on middleclass americans shoudl they lose jobs because we don't have money to hire people. Another conservative nut in power and knows nothing about economy.

    June 8, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Joseph

    Wow.. Sen. Paul.. I have long considered your election a low point in the history of our Commonwealth's [Ky] political history. Yet I find myself agreeing with you.

    June 8, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    Here is the reason the founding fathers were hoping for adults to run our nation. No such luck from this guy. Thanks alot Kentucky...Your other Senator is practically sane compared to this bozo.

    June 8, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. Marty, FL

    It is unbelievably irresponsible for these politicians to call for defaulting on our nation's loan. By not raising the ceiling, teabag politicos are basically telling our troops they will not be paid for their continued service to our country, because Sen. Rand Paul flatout won't support the funds necessary to do so, instead of working on reasonable compromise.

    June 8, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. ARMY CSM

    Your Pa has about the same chance of winning the presidency as a snowball in a thanksgiving kitchen. You exist because you represent one of the poorest, uneducated, unnourished, ignorant sector in the country except Alabama/Mississippi.

    June 8, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. Chipster

    Of course, we have plenty of money to pay our debts. All we need to do is send Senior Citizens out to sea on ice flows or simply let them die for lack of health care. Problem solved! Rand has no problem with that. I know what you're going to say - those seniors paid into Medicare and Social Security for 25, 30, 40, 45 years or more but – hey! So what! Cut 'em lose. We've got to save those tax cuts for people earning $250,000 and up so the crumbs from their table might possibly fall for the poor to scrap off the floor. Just because seniors are entitled to "entitlements" because they paid for them, that doesn't mean the wealthiest Americans should have to suffer!

    June 8, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    The Republicans blamed Democrats for the high unemployment rate and claimed corporations were not hiring because of they were unsure about the tax cuts extensions.

    Now, corporations STOPPED creating jobs and the unemployment rate is back on the RISE and there is a threat of a double-dip recession.

    Now, could the Democrats BLAME the Republicans for the "double-dip" recession – if it happens – on the fact that the TALK about NOT raising the debt ceiling FRIGHTENS businesses?????

    It's a cruel VICIOUS circle in POLITICS and the middle class is “suffering” behind it and the politicians are living it up!!!

    June 8, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Conservative Californian

    To do the same thing over and over (raise the debt ceiling) and expect a different result (our debt to go down) is the very definition of insanity.

    June 8, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. fayse

    I am sorry but, this new little green pea senator is just "so much noise" he is a little spoiled brat, tea publican who wants to make a name for himself in ten minutes. It is my sincere hope that ALL Tea publicans that were voted in in 2010 will soon be sent home in the next election cycle. It didn't work. just look at the asinine Governors, Congressmen that were swept in by the Tea Party Mania, as it turns out, this was a huge mistake.

    June 8, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. Greg Kells

    Ron Paul 2012!! I doubt the GOP will offer him the nomination, but there's always the Libertarian Party.

    June 8, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. BeanerECMO

    With ~$61T in unfunded mandated entitlements, there's no bloody way that the debt ceiling should be increased. In fact, lower it. Bernanke hasn't met a money printing machine he doesn't like. We will not default on loans. If anyone tries to call in any of our loans; they seal their own fate. No more money to the IMF. No more bailouts for any entity!! No entity is too big to fail.

    June 8, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I seriously doubt Rand Paul has any comprehension of what a budget really is. He is a sheltered man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has never had to worry about money. Sadly, this is the profile of many of the modern day neo-con fanatics that are destroying the republican party and will destroy the U.S. if America doesn't wake up.

    June 8, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  16. Squigman

    Amazing how the new dopes on the block, want to shut the country down. Do they want this to improve our current economic situation (which they've been told it would not), or are they hungry to show that they are in a position of power? They seem to be inmature in their expectations, and I'm not willing to see the nation dipped into the sewer, just to appease their sense of entitlement.

    June 8, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. Bill from GA

    Idiots like this are dangerous to America. The problem is that tax revenues are too low. The spending that did increase the last 11 years mostly comes from wars, the Medicare drug plan (aka welfare for drug companies and insurance companies), and interest on the debt.

    Ryan is famous for not wanting to touch payments to his buddies, the doctors getting rich off Medicare (more tests, anyone??). Now we are supposed to balance the budget on the backs of the middle and low income. But don't touch those who "create jobs".

    We should return to the Clinton era tax rates, and eliminate all of the other tax changes made since 2000, such as doubling child credit, lowered Capitol gains tax, changes to inheritance tax, any others (maybe reinstate college and healthcare credits). This will spread the burden around. Then work on cutting deductions for high-end earners and such cheat-rich programs as the Earned Income tax credit (aka the Lifetime Unachievement Award, it should have a time limit (3 or 4 years) on it, and more limit on qualifying child (no 23 year-old claiming a 17 year old nephew, it's happening)).

    Let's not do anything stupid, just meet our obligations, then fix this mess left from the last 11+ years.

    In computers, operating systems have a fix (restore) that takes the os back to the last time it functioned. We need that for the economy, and the last time it functioned (balance budgets) was before the Bush tax cuts.

    Ryan is an idiot.

    June 9, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  18. Bill from GA

    Sen. Paul may be right when he said the country could also bring down the debt by bringing back its troops overseas. But that is not a good reason to bring them back. Do so if it is in the best interests of our country.

    If we are going to save money on the military, do so in a methodical process. Eliminate spending intelligently; pull troops back from all over the world, and reduce forces numbers. Eliminate questionable projects: the Osprey may be a top candidate, also the second engine for the F-35; eliminate all Congressional pressure from military decisions for economic (jobs) purposes.

    We could reduce our military spending by half and still defend our Country. (Let China take care of Iraq; they're getting Iraq's oil.)

    But to say: "bring down the debt by bringing back its troops overseas" belittles our troops, as if they are nothing but a budget item. Bring them back if that serves the best interest of our country, and think more thoroughly before committing them again.

    June 9, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. Sam

    Rand should give up his salary like he said he would once. It's a drop in the bucket, but it's money needed for balancing the budget. Besides, he's a doctor. Probably saved bundles.

    June 9, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |