This week, a spokesman for Kentucky’s Republican senate nominee Rand Paul said that, if he’s elected, Paul “will vote against and filibuster any unbalanced budget proposal in the Senate.” Leaving aside Paul’s ignorance regarding whether or not budgets can be filibustered (they can’t), eliminating a $1.3 trillion deficit in a single year is totally unrealistic. In fact, Rudolph Penner, who ran the Congressional Budget Office under President Reagan, called it “implausible.” And the task is going to get a whole lot harder if Paul has his way when it comes to the Bush tax cuts, as he told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he would “absolutely” vote to extend all of the tax cuts, even if they aren’t paired with corresponding spending cuts:
Paul, who has built his campaign around opposing big government and a $13.4 trillion national debt, said it would be better to pair the tax cuts with a plan to reduce spending. However, asked if he would vote to extend the tax cuts without corresponding spending cuts, Paul said, “Absolutely. The money is not the government’s. It is ours.”
As The Wonk Room explains, Paul would have to eliminate nearly the entire discretionary side of the budget — including some veteran’s benefits, FEMA, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service — or raid entitlement programs in order to eliminate the deficit in one year, even before extending the Bush tax cuts.