Rand Paul: Sequester A "Pittance" That Nibbles At The Edges
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: All right. You heard the president lay out the choice. Are you willing to compromise on the way he described them?
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KENTUCKY): I'm not really willing to discuss in it the framework that he's made up for himself.
I mean, for goodness sakes, it was his proposal. He proposed the sequester. It was his idea. He signed it into law, and now he's going to tell us that, oh, it's all our fault?
I voted against the sequester because I didn't think it was enough. The sequester cuts the rate of growth of the spending, but the sequester doesn't even really begin to cut spending, which we have to do or we are going to get a credit downgrade, another credit downgrade.
BLITZER: So you don't think that the $85 billion this year, that would be the forced cuts this year, from your perspective, that's not enough?
PAUL: It's a pittance. I mean, it's a slowdown in the rate of growth. There are no real cuts happening over 10 years.
Over 10 years, the budget will still grow $7 trillion to $8 trillion. He added $6 trillion to the debt in his first term. He's on course to add another $4 trillion to $6 trillion in his second term. So, really, this is just really nibbling at the edges, and he's saying, oh, it's some dramatic thing where all of a sudden it's still the rich's fault.
Didn't he already raise taxes on the rich? I'm having trouble even understanding what he's talking about because he sets up this rhetoric and this sort of game of let's go get the rich again that really is divorced from any reality. It's his sequester we're talking about, his bill.
PAUL: I think the sequester happens, and it will be in some ways a yawn, because the histrionics that are coming from the president, saying, oh, we're going to shut down and get rid of meat inspectors, is anybody not going to stand up and call his bluff on that ridiculousness?
The budgets are not being decreased. We're talking about cutting the rate of growth of budgets. And he has the ability to spend the money in different places. If not, we should give latitude to do it. But the thing is, is that there is waste throughout government. And the cuts in the rate of growth should not have us laying off FAA air traffic controllers and meat inspectors.
This is the emotionalism that's always used to argue against any cuts. This is not enough cuts. So we shouldn't be -- if we get rid of this, it just shows that we're really not serious as a nation about doing anything about our debt crisis. I would say to the president, stand up and do the right thing. And don't ask us to squeeze more money out of the private sector, which we think is bad for jobs, in order for you to do the right thing. Why doesn't he stand up and be a leader and just do the right thing?