$50 billion in spending cuts is not good enough, Senator-Elect Rand Paul told me this morning, responding to the New York Times report that Republicans are backing off their 2010 campaign pledge to reducing spending by $100 billion in the first year.
“The debt problem is enormous. You know we’re bringing in about $2 trillion and spending nearly $4 trillion, so $50 billion is not enough to scratch the surface,” the Kentucky Republican said. “We have to find much, much more. If you go back just to 2008 levels, that’s $100 billion, we have to at least do that.”
After speaking to his fellow incoming freshmen on Capitol Hill, Paul said he “found that there was some steadfastness there to push the leadership towards more” budget cuts.
Cutting the federal budget won’t be the only battle Congress will face in its new session – deciding if they should raise the debt ceiling in order to avoid defaulting is also top on the list.
Rand Paul’s father – and new roommate – Rep. Ron Paul disagreed with the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Austan Goolsbee, who said on “This Week” that “defaulting on our obligations” would be “catastrophic.”
“There’s always a default, he’s just talking about a different type of default. Every year we default because we just print the money and then we pay our bills with cheap money,” he told me. “Not raising the debt limit is admitting that we are in default and cheating people all the time. So it is very, very important that we do this and this would stop and make us think.”
Rand Paul, who previously indicated he wouldn’t rule out a filibuster on any attempt to raise the debt ceiling, said he would support raising it – as long as it is tied to a promise to balance the budget.
“If we raise the debt ceiling it has to be linked to something. I’m not talking about $50 billion in cuts, you have to link it to say…from here on out we’re going to balance the budget,” the senator-elect told me.
Watch my interview with the father-son duo here: