October 13th, 2013
10:14 AM ET
10 months ago

Rand Paul: Obama is trying to ‘scare people’ on debt ceiling

Updated 2:32 p.m. ET, 10/13/2013

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama should not be using scare tactics as the government approaches a deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling, Sen. Rand Paul argued Sunday.

The Kentucky Republican said if Democrats end up insisting on increasing spending limits as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, then it will be considered a “nonstarter” by Senate Republicans.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Paul said “the one thing” he cannot accept - as Congress negotiates a deal to halt current stalemates over the budget and national debt - is to exceed the spending caps put into place by a series of forced budget cuts, known in Washington as the sequester.

“It’s funny, (Democrats are) all about Obamacare being the law of the land, but so is the sequester,” he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

'Cordial' shutdown talks under way in Senate

While the cuts went into place earlier this year, a second round is scheduled to take effect in January unless there is some agreement on spending on Capitol Hill.

But Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said the current spending limits from the sequester are needed to help bring fiscal responsibility to the nation’s capital.

“If we get rid of that, it's a terrible step in the wrong direction,” he said.

He added that a possible proposal to exceed sequester level spending caps would be a new change in policy for Senate Democrats, who have been pushing for a debt ceiling bill with no strings attached. The Treasury Department says it will be unable to pay the government's bills unless the debt limit is increased by Thursday.

“We're seeing that the Senate Democrats are getting greedy about this whole thing,” he said.

Paul said he doesn't think it's a good idea to pass the deadline, but he also argued the president was taking a drastic approach in his warnings about a possible default.

"It's irresponsible for him to scare people," he said. "He should be the opposite. The leader of the country should be soothing the markets and saying we will always pay the interest on our debt."

The White House has repeatedly warned of the potential consequences of passing the deadline to raise the debt limit. Last week, Obama accused Republicans of saying if they don’t get “100% of their way” in the current negotiations, “they are going to default on America’s debt so that America for the first time in history does not pay its bills.”

“That is not something I will do,” he continued. “We’re not going to establish that pattern.”

But Paul argued the country has enough money to pay the interest on its debt and “there’s absolutely no reason ever to default, and a good leader would be saying we will never default.”

“Not raising the debt ceiling means you have to balance your budget,” he added. “It doesn't mean you have to default.”

One Democratic leadership aide told CNN’s Dana Bash that Democrats are not trying to move the spending levels as a condition to reopening the government in the short term (now through the end of the year). But if Republicans and Democrats end up sitting down for a long-term budget deal after the government opens and after the debt ceiling is raised, then a provision to get rid of the spending limits may become part of those separate talks, the aide said.


Filed under: Debt • Government Shutdown • Rand Paul
soundoff (663 Responses)
  1. Debbie

    Remember there is no We in libertarianism only Me. Individual liberty at all costs. There is no "We the People" "of by for the People: "to form a more perfect Union" or even a "United States." Libertarian is only about 1 individuals liberty. It's Darwinist liberty: Only the strongest survive and have liberty, the rest do not survive. As a Christian I could never be a Libertarian as my God has called me to care for others and leave myself behind.

    October 13, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. cartman

    Paul is correct, we won't default as debt payments have priority and revenues still flowing into the US government exceed debt payments 12-1. The word default is being thrown around simply as a political threat and is believed only by the misinformed. Furthermore, SS is pay as you go, by law the money that comes in has to be paid as benefits to retirees so SS is not at risk either. We may have to shut down unnecessary functions of government -and I would love to see the politicians forced to choose- but we will not default on our debts therefore our creditworthiness is not at issue.

    October 13, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. TKO

    JR BROWN: ad hominem attacks aside–and pointing to caustic and foolish things a man says is not an ad hominem attack–Paul is simply spouting ignorance when he, like others in the Bagger-train, say the debt ceiling limit is meaningless. If we default it will have a huge impact on our economic future.

    Stupidity always sounds better than it turns out to be.

    October 13, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. jane boucher

    tHIS IS A LIE TOO, WHO IS SCARING ME is the worlds economists. we should all be scared since no one knows what could happen, I have heard economist say we could have a big depression, if this is not scary what is.

    October 13, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. jane boucher

    the GOP is scaring me, they have gone to far in hurting other americans, How far are they willing to go to hurt us even more. They seem so hell bent on getting this president, any thing goes. it is SCARY.

    October 13, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. sandvichmancer

    We used to joke that Republicans have a patent on scare tactics. Now it's their buzzword for anything they don't like AND their main strategy.

    October 13, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. joey

    Sen. Paul is not a Natzi. If he is not advocating some sort of genocide against a minority in this country, when he does then you can call him a Natzi. It is easy to thrown terms around without really thinking. Dumb Dumb

    October 13, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. 911Survivor

    Is this the same Paul who could not pass the board exams, so he set up his own personal "Board" and passed those? So, if you don't get what you want legitimately, cheat, huh? For those of us with integrity, we will never lower our standards to consider Paul a leader of anything but more corruption. When can we vote him out of office, or can he be impeached?

    October 13, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. ocha

    politicians remind me of a big male cow.. a point here and a point there and a lot of bull in-between

    October 13, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. scarf

    Rand Paul is absolutely right when he says we'll have enough money to pay the interest due on the national debt. What he doesn't say (or chooses to ignore) is that he's tacitly in favor of paying the Chinese their interest payments before (and probably in lieu of) Americans who will be due Social Security checks, Medicare payments, paychecks for federal employees (including military personnel), payment on government contracts for products and services rendered, etc. This is NOT the way to balance the budget!

    October 13, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Michigan_Joe

    If Rand wants to talk sequester levels, why doesn't he tell us that those limits exist for the DOD as well and they have not been enforced. The DOD has been given a free reign on funds. This show done is long past due and it might very well start a run on American banks. The GOP wants the country to fail because they have not and will not accept the idea of a black man in the White House. The GOP is quickly become the Party that was. They have even given their power to the far right wing nuts of the Tea Party, they are the ones that are calling the shots for the GOP. GOP stolen and they don't have the balls to stand up and regain control.

    October 13, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. GARY

    Folks wake up when the credit card is full and you don't want to adjust the spending Guess what we all go bankrupt. Leave the elderly out of it they have paided all their lives . Sales Tax, elimainate the IRS all with 2/3 the goverment and we will save ourselves.

    October 13, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. smkedbacon

    northerstar
    "It is beyond ridiculous that anyone considers this non-achiever as a "2016 Candidate for president". What has he done that would cause anyone to believe he could be president. He was elected locally by Tea Party Wing Nuts and the more he speaks, the crazier he sound. He has no national chance of becoming president." What were the qualifications of Obama a community organizer that hadn't even fulfilled a one term in the Senate to be president? Even Hillary had stated "He (Obama) was not qualified to be president!

    October 13, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. artraveler

    When are the "children" in the House going to realize that they may represent aboput 121,000 people but not everyone in their district voted for them and they are part of 435 who are supposed to work together. You job is to represent all of the people in the US as part of the group. You don't get everything you want. YOU COMPROMISE! Obviously, we have a bunch of 3rd grade bullies in the U S House that may be older but aren't any brighter than they were then.

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. Chuck

    Obama

    Tear Down This Wall!

    October 13, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. aaron

    These two must be trying to pass themselves off as the smart Repubs. Let's see if they're brave enough to let the U.S. default on its debt. It'll take more than spinmasters like Rove and Fox News to get them off the hook for the calamity that will await when that default happens. Last time the Repubs were trusted to totally run the government, they took Clinton's budget surplus to trillions in deficits with unfunded wars and a recession that still hasn't ended 5 years later.

    October 13, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. Thinkergal

    The Repubs decry "scare tactics" now that their own no longer work!

    October 13, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Santa Claus

    Extortion is scary when coming from my employees and if POTUS closes the park because I may not have adequate protection is no reason to add insult to injury. May the boogie man prod you again.

    October 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Ron B.

    People have to realize that the GOP could care less about the middle class and poor. EVERYTHING they want and do is geared for the wealthy only. The only way this all could have been avoided was if these idiots in Washington and across the country didn't get paid like all the other government workers with a shutdown. You can bet your butt a quick resolution would have been hammered out if money was taken out of their pockets.

    October 13, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. rs

    Funny how the foreign media, leaders of other nations, foreign economists, domestic economists, academics, Wall Streeters, corporate leaders all say- don't let the U.S. go into default. In fact, both Forbes Magazine and Business Week this week said the GOP is no longer the party of business this week.
    I'll take their word over that of Mr. TEA Party Rand Paul (named or a middling atheist Russian author).

    The GOP is officially a lost cause.

    October 13, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Carl

    What don't Liberals get, you can't spend money you don't have, plain and simple. The only rational thought comes to mind is that all you folks against a balanced budget must be on the take from the government. Getting a check or kickback.

    October 13, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. hooksfan

    NotAdIXIECRAT stated:

    Isn't this the same Rand Paul who tried to make it out that Democrats were against Equal Rights? but they were Conservative Democrats (and Republican's from the South). A fact he left out. Liberals have always been for equal rights.

    If liberals have always been for equal rights, how do you explain the issue of Slavery?

    October 13, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. rs

    I see tons of ad hominem attacks about Senator Paul regarding Christians, racism and a bunch of other "issues" unrelated to the content of what he is saying regarding the debt ceiling....what that tells me is that these people don't have anything to contradict what he's saying so they try to smear him instead. It makes me think he's probably right...since people aren't disproving what he said but trying to discredit him instead.

    You idiots do understand that ad hominem attacks don't actually help your cause except with other like-minded idiots, don't you???
    ________________
    And you don't get that your party just committed a very loud, messy, public suicide and has no credibility anymore? The suicide comes directly from listening to their brand of "intellectuals"- Palin, Paul, Cruz, Santorum, Beck, Akin, Limbaugh, et al. Too bad they really are just would-be tin pot dictators waiting in the wings for their chance to wreck America.
    Face it- you and many GOP supporters got duped by the radicals. Too bad.

    October 13, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Jerseys

    Yes let's keep going with the Democratic Party I think I'll quit my job and get some welfare it's the democratic way.....let's spread the wealth around I like working hard and then being forced to "share" my money with lazy folks!

    October 13, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. gopaul

    Tell it Paul! Hopefully these crazy libs have finally met their match. Bunch of thiefs and crooks. get lost crooks. Lets chop this government down to size. And take back our land while we're at it. Hooah

    October 13, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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