Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted his colleagues in Congress last week as the United States continues to approach $30 trillion in national debt.
Following Congress’ failure to raise the debt ceiling this summer, the federal government risked defaulting on its obligations. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered Democrats a short-term deal that will fund the government through the end of 2021; meanwhile, Democrats are seeking to enact a $3.5 trillion social welfare budget that combines provisions of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.
Amid both developments, Paul delivered a speech on the Senate floor about the broader fiscal irresponsibility of federal lawmakers.
“We’re rapidly approaching a milestone in our country, and it’s not a good one — $30 trillion in debt,” Paul said on Thursday. “Isn’t there some sort of ramification to so much borrowed money?”
“People are saying we’re going to give you free college, free cars, free cell phones, free this, free that,” Paul continued. “Everything in life will be free; you won’t have to work anymore. The problem is there are ramifications. Money doesn’t grow on trees; money’s got to come from somewhere.”
Paul noted that the government’s options include borrowing money, raising taxes, or printing more dollars — the latter of which creates “the insidious tax of inflation.”
“Right now, we’re facing 5% inflation because of the massive borrowing that both parties instituted in the last year,” he explained. “They decided that the result of the pandemic would be to close everything down, destroy the economy, and then give everyone free money … Both parties have a certain responsibility to this. At least some members of both parties.”
Paul argued that more Americans will grow dependent upon “free stuff” from the government as purchasing power erodes. “The allure of something for nothing — this is the allure of socialism.”
As an example of poor spending discipline, Paul pointed to several studies funded by the National Science Foundation — including a $1 million project that examined whether Japanese quail who used cocaine saw an increase in their sexual promiscuity. “How did we get to a $30 trillion debt? Because there’s studies like that littered throughout the budget.”
“We are spending money right and left. The Right spends it on military adventure, the Left spends it on welfare,” added Paul. “The compromise that always happens around here is that Right comes together with Left and they all agree to … spend it on both.”