Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said that, if the congressional supercommittee fails to reach a deficit-reduction agreement before Thanksgiving, that might be the best way to force the government to cut spending.
"It's sort of like telling your children that, if you don't clean up your mess — or else," Paul said today on CNN's "State of the Union." "Really, maybe we need the ‘or else’ because Congress isn't behaving the way they should be behaving. Maybe sequestration is our only way we will get any kind of cuts."
Sequestration, the term used for automatic spending cuts that will be forced if the committee misses its Thanksgiving eve deadline to settle on a plan to cut $1.2 trillion, will result in $600 billion in across-the-board reductions.
Paul said warnings by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about imposed tax cuts harming the military are "an interpretation." He told host Candy Crowley that military spending is set to rise 23 percent over 10 years and, if an accord is not reached, 16 percent over the same time period.
"There will be no cuts in military spending," he said. "We're only cutting proposed increases in spending, so spending is still rising under any of these plans."
Paul said he would not vote to extend long-term unemployment benefits because they are not paid for.
"If you want to extend unemployment benefits, they have to be paid for," he said. "So the question is, do we want to borrow money from China to pay people not to work?"
Tax cuts are the key to reducing unemployment, he said.
"Most of us think we're taxed enough already," he said. "The people who are not paying, we're all for making them pay. If you're a millionaire, or you're a corporation that's not paying, we're all for eliminating those loopholes and deductions. But on average, the vast majority of millionaires and billionaires are paying all of the taxes. That's who pays the income tax."
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