WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon October 1, 2012
Senator Rand Paul Says Entitlements, Not Taxes, Are Key to Balancing Budget
Since taking office, Senator Rand Paul has constantly talked about reducing the national debt. It's also an issue that Congress seemingly discusses for every spending bill, large or small. The economy hasn't escaped this year's presidential race either, with President Barack Obama continuing to champion a plan that includes increased taxes on the wealthy to help pay down some debt.
But in a speech to the Horse Cave Rotary Club, Paul pushed back on that idea. Paul argued doing so would hurt private enterprise, which he said helps fund public works the government does.
"If you have a local business person who opens a Wal-Mart here in town or manages a Wal-Mart in town and they're successful, by all means that’s just the success of them selling something people want," Paul said. "We have to figure out what to do to get ahead through it shouldn’t be about envy and class warfare."
Paul said he agrees with President Barack Obama that everyone should work together to address the debt, but he disagrees on how achieve those goals.
“It isn’t about us vs. them. It’s not you vs. me. It’s not someone at your table who makes more money than you. We’re all in this together. The president is right in that sense. But what you have to understand that there are two pies. There’s the private sector pie and the government pie," Paul said.
Paul told the group that the goal shouldn’t be for Americans to race to get the last slice of that proverbial pie, but to find ways to make the pie bigger.
Paul then pointed out that entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, are a gigantic part of the budget, and addressing issues with those programs is the better way to fix the debt.
Paul favors tying benefits for the programs to individuals' incomes, then gradually raising the minimum qualification ages.
The senator admitted those proposals won't be popular with the general public, but said if accomplished, both programs would be healthy again and there would be more money in the federal budget for education and other programs.
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