Tags: paul | taxes | pledge | debt

Rand Paul Expects 'Really Big and Ugly' Debt Bill by Christmas

By Greg McDonald   |   Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012 08:16 AM

Sen. Rand Paul says he expects to see Congress pass a "really big" and "ugly bill" by Christmas full of all sorts of things, including tax and debt ceiling increases, aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year.
But the Kentucky Republican, tea party favorite, and potential 2016 presidential candidate won't be voting for it.
"I think there will be something really big, some enormous, ugly bill with a lot of stuff in it, including raising the debt ceiling by a couple trillion dollars. They'll squish it into one bill. And sometime before Christmas, they'll pass it," Paul told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Monday night.

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"But I'm not going to vote to raise taxes. I made a pledge to the people of Kentucky that I'm not raising taxes. I took a pledge. I signed a statement, an oath that I wouldn't raise taxes, and I'm going adhere to it," he added, referring to the anti-tax declaration authored by Grover Norquist and his group Americans for Tax Fairness.

A number of Republican leaders on Capital have all but broken with Norquist and his pledge, saying they would be willing to increase revenues in exchange for serious effort by President Barack Obama and Democrats to make entitlement reforms and spending cuts.

But Paul made it clear that he was unwilling to even entertain talk of new revenue sources.

"I'm all for reforming the tax code, but it would have to be at the very best revenue-neutral. I don't want to raise revenue through the taxes," he said. "The only way I'd raise revenue through taxes is get the economy to grow. You don't have to raise rates or even close loopholes.

"The reason we have a lack of revenue in Washington is too much spending and no economic growth . . . If the economy were growing at 4 percent right now, we'd have plenty of revenue," Paul added. "But you don't get the economy to grow by raising taxes. That's what they want to do now, and I think it's absolutely the wrong thing to do."

Paul played down the idea that sequestration, or the automatic spending cuts due to take place at the end of the year, would be bad for the economy.

"The sequester? Well, I think cutting spending's a good idea. So, I don't think that's a bad idea at all, and I don't think it will lead to economic harm to cut spending. That's what we should be doing," he said.

The Democrats, he said, believe just the opposite, that raising taxes is good for the economy and spending cuts are bad.

"So you can see why we're at somewhat of an impasse," he said. "We have different philosophies about government. I think you should balance budgets, not spend more than comes in, and I think you should lower taxes, not raise taxes.

"In fact," Paul continued, "if you want to stimulate the economy, I'm for cutting tax revenues. All these Republicans who want to give up their taxpayer pledge and raise taxes, I'm the opposite. I want to lower taxes because that's how we'd actually get more economic growth and maybe more revenue."

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Paul also said Republicans have "to start talking about how we, as a party, become a bigger party."

"We have to attract more people. We have a lot of work to do in the African-American community. We have a lot of work to do in the Hispanic community," he said, adding that he plans to be part of the national debate as the GOP talks about "these things" moving forward.

"You know," he told Van Susteren, I've said I won't deny that I'm interested in maybe running for president. But it's way too early to really make a firm commitment on, you know, whether I would or wouldn't."

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