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article imageRon Paul: Real debate on debt ceiling is about increased spending

By Michael Krebs     Aug 1, 2011 in Politics
In his weekly telephone address, Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul contends that the debt ceiling debate is about how much to increase federal spending and not about how much federal spending to cut.
The White House and congressional leaders announced an agreement on a framework for raising the federal debt ceiling on Sunday night, according to a Voice of America report. The announcement marked a compromise to months of debate on how to best move forward on raising the debt limit to avoid default while also cutting notable spending.
But Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul held an entirely different interpretation of the political drama that emanated from the debt ceiling matter. In his weekly telephone address to supporters on Monday, Paul insisted the debate between Democrats and Republicans was one that centered on the mechanisms of spending increases and not of spending cuts.
"One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involved one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth," Paul said in the address. "In spite of the rhetoric being thrown around, the real debate is over how much government spending will increase. No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the cuts being discussed are illusory and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in prospective spending increases. This is akin to a family saving $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda."
Capitol Hill Republicans have long maintained that their position on the debt ceiling issue was centered on ensuring that spending cuts must equal the amount by which the debt ceiling is raised. However, the compromise framework that emerged on Sunday night appears to cut just $1 trillion over the next ten years, far short of the amount that comprises the debt ceiling increase.
But Mr. Paul sees the entire debate as a ruse to continue what he described as the "unrepentant plundering of the American people."
"In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of cuts that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to cut. It would only take us five years to cut $1 trillion in Washington math just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic," Paul said. "A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense. Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the recession continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply referred to that year’s spending levels, which would hardly do us fear, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever."
More about Ron paul, Debt ceiling, 2012 presidential election, National debt, Spending
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