The newest star among the conservative ranks in politics, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he’s always opposed the wild borrowing and spending in Washington and would like to see a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget.
And President Obama shouldn’t be counting on his vote to raise the debt ceiling, again, when the next crunch hits probably in May.
Paul’s comments came during a wide-ranging interview with WND reporter Taylor Rose recently.
He also addressed issues involving the 2016 presidential race, Iran, Arizona’s attempt to crack down on law violators and his own personal faith.
He was asked, on the issue of the debt ceiling, whether he would like to see it frozen.
“Absolutely. It’s what I’ve been prompting on the debt ceiling,” he said. “I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling … and don’t really conceive of [it] unless we were to get something meaningful in return.”
He said there was a conversation among conservatives in Congress where they calculated what it would take for them to approve any such hike, and he said it probably would be a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget.
“That’s something many of us have wanted for years and years, and this is the first time in 12 years it was voted on. We actually had a vote on a balanced budget amendment. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any Democrats. … We had, I think, all 47 Republicans but not enough to pass it.”
The U.S. under Obama’s leadership has been taking in about $2.2 trillion a year, while spending $3.7 trillion or more.
The campaign dispatched more than a million letters to House Republicans just before they voted in 2011 to increase the debt limit from $14.3 trillion to its current $16.4 trillion. That’s expected to run out in weeks.
The campaign explains all that needs to happen for Congress to begin to take control of the budget is simply stop borrowing and spending more and more.
“Keep in mind, House Republicans don’t need a single Democrat vote to accomplish this goal of freezing spending – now or later,” according to the campaign. The GOP is the majority in the U.S., House easily could refuse to approve more borrowing, analysts say.
There would remain more than enough money for necessities, such as Social Security, Defense and Border Patrol bills, among others.
WND CEO Joseph Farah, who launched the effort, said, “The U.S. government has been spending too much for too long, and both Democrats and too many Republicans can’t stand the idea of not printing money and borrowing from creditors including America’s enemies of the future.
“As Proverbs 29:18 says: ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’
“America’s leaders in Washington have no vision – and no interest in obeying the law, known hereabouts as the Constitution. They are even less likely to draw any truth or wisdom from the Bible, the source of all moral law.”
He continued, “We need to force the federal government to live within its means – not tomorrow, not next year, not five years from now, not 10 years from now. When you find yourself in a big hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging. Yet, Washington says, ‘Dig we must.’”
See the senator’s comments:
WND also previously reported when Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the U.S. needs to stop overspending.
"There are some who say we don't need for Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution," Lee told WND. "We just need Congress to do its job and balance its budget. I understand that argument. It has a certain appeal to it, and yet experience has taught us that Congress doesn't consider that part of its job. Congress will avoid balancing it's own budget again and again just as it has over the years. That's why we're now $16.5 trillion in debt, and that's exactly why we need this amendment."
Lee said his amendment is pretty straightforward. Congress would be required to limit spending to match the amount of revenues and any additional spending would require an overwhelming consensus.
"What this amendment says is that if the federal government wants to spend more money than it has, it has to approve that spending by a super majority instead of by a mere simple majority, which is what happens now," Lee said. "It would make it possible but rare and relatively difficult for Congress to continue spending beyond its means."
On the issue of Arizona's state law, SB 1070, which would have cracked down on illegal aliens in the state, Paul suggested there needs to be enforcement of the nation's immigration laws, but he doesn't' want it "where there are people standing on every corner and because you have brown skin they pull you over…"
Earlier in the interview, Paul said he thinks the best way to handle the illegal aliens already in the U.S. is to make them taxpayers.
The senator's comments on SB1070:
On his own religious faith, he described himself as a Christian and said he attends a Methodist church.
"I grew up going to Sunday school, going to church camps. In fact, I told some of the folks when we went to Israel recently that riding on the bus in Israel was sort of like going back to church camp days."
Regarding sanctions on Iran, he said, "I have been in support of sanctions against Iran and we've had several of them sort of increasingly ratcheting them up. I've said though, I think sanctions will only work probably to get Iran to change its behavior if we incorporate China and Russia and some of the Asian countries on our side mainly because a lot of the oil that goes out through the Straits of Hormuz goes to Indian, China, Russia and Japan.
On the 2016 presidential race, he said it's just too early to say what he'll do.
"We want to be part of the national debate. We want to influence how the party grows bigger, how we can win again, so we also want to fix the problems in the country," he said. "I'm a physician. I see the country as sick basically. It's ailing and the biggest ailment is the debt that we've accumulated. … What we're having is jobs aren't being created. Some say as many as a million jobs a year are being lost because of the burden of the debt."
He said his own proposed budget balances the budget in five years and includes a flat income tax.
Earlier in the interview, Paul said, "What I'm saying is let's get them [illegal immigrants] work visas, normalize them, tax them, make them taxpayers.
"They not going home. Even the crowd yelling 'Amnesty! That person's for amnesty' … Are they for sending these people home? Do they want us to put them in concentration camps, on buses and send them back home?
"I don't think anyone's proposing that. So they're here illegally. What I'm trying to do is say let's make them legal here and give them work visas, and put them in the process."