Former presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul warned Wednesday that even if Republicans fulfill their pledge to slash $100 billion in federal spending, the United States still only has a one in 10 chance to avert an economic catastrophe.
Appearing jointly on Fox News with his son, newly minted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the Texas Republican said that a $100 billion cut in federal spending — a goal that leading Republicans now are cautioning may not be realistic — would amount to “peanuts.”
“It hardly does anything,” Paul said of the $100 billion cut, which would roll back federal spending to 2008 levels.
Rep. Paul pointed to the fact that the Federal Reserve recently embarked on a massive $600 billion expansion of the money supply without congressional authorization.
“The government itself is so out of control,” Rep. Paul told Fox News host Neil Cavuto, “that I don’t think anybody realizes how bad it is, and how little control we have on it . . . And that’s why for 20-some years I have been voting against every single appropriation, because I assumed that spending is too high, government is too big, it’s growing exponentially.
“And boy,” Paul continued, “to reverse this, it’s not going to be easy. I think we only have one chance out of 10 to reverse it without a cataclysmic crisis with our dollar and our financial situation.”
Cavuto pointed out that a cataclysm is precisely what Obama administration economic adviser Austan Goolsbee predicts if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, which is bumping up against its $14.3 trillion limit.
Economists believe Congress has until March or April to authorize the federal government to run up more red ink. Otherwise, it a shutdown of some governmental functions could result.
Sen. Rand Paul dismissed Goolsbee’s strident prediction of a catastrophe if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, however.
“As a senator, Senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling,” the younger Paul said. “So it’s a little disingenuous for his people now to say, ‘Oh, the sky is falling if we don’t do it.’”
Sen. Paul said he would vote to raise the debt ceiling, but only once. And he said he’d only cast that vote if Congress also agreed to an iron-clad rule that all future budgets must be balanced.
“If they say, ‘No more debt will be added, and from here on out we’ll balance the budget,’ I’ll vote one time to raise the debt ceiling,” Sen. Paul said. “But we shouldn’t give in and say, ‘Oh, we have to raise the debt ceiling.’
“Let’s make them be fiscally responsible,” Sen. Paul added. “And that’s what the people want. They didn’t send me up here to be a rubber stamp for President Obama’s agenda.”
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