The Rand Paul Plan

Rand Paul has released a plan to cut $500 billion from the budget. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m impressed by the fact that it breaks down the cuts and provides justification for them. I don’t know how much of this I will agree with, but I think that it’s a good addition to the discussion.

I may lose my liberal street cred on this, but I feel obligated to point out that I preferred Mr. Paul for office to his opponent. Unlike most of the Tea Party candidates, Mr. Paul has a much more coherent point of view and ran a pretty clean campaign, especially considering the mud that was sloshed against him.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. wr says:

    Oh, yeah, it’s impressive. I stopped reading at the point where he cut more than a quarter of the funding from the CDC and said they needed to focus on illness only in the US and stop worrying so much about overseas diseases.

    Because God knows they could never, you know, get here.

    Of course, the great advantage of this is that he’ll be able to slash food stamps the way he wants if one of those “overseas” diseases comes over here and wipes out a lot of poor people.

  2. john personna says:

    The list is weird. Like a High School assignment started too late at night.

    Just cut the Justice Department by 1/3, because it used to be lower? How do I know that would work?

    The Food Stamp thing looks similar. It doesn’t work from who needs food to survive, it just says people are fat, and used to get less government food (and that before the Great Recession).

  3. mantis says:

    I may lose my liberal street cred on this, but I feel obligated to point out that I preferred Mr. Paul for office to his opponent.

    No, his opponent ran a scummy campaign, and he’s not a lunatic.

    However, his proposal, after a quick look, leaves a lot unsaid. Most of those “cuts” are not specific at all, but simply slashing the overall budgets of agencies and departments, at very large percentages in some cases.

    For instance, he proposes a 32% cut of “the judicial branch.” What the hell does that mean? No specifics whatsoever. 32% budget cut for the entire federal court system? Seriously?

    Commerce: 54% overall cut with no specifics, plus a 36% cut to NOAA (because global warming is a hoax).

    Education: 83% overall cut, no specifics. No Child Left Behind, funding for schools, grants? Who knows?.

    Energy: Eliminated completely. Apparently Paul thinks things like the National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Secure Transportation (provides safe transportation of nuclear materials and waste) are just wasteful liberal crap.

    Ok, that’s enough for me for now. He may be a decent guy, but his ideas are extremely dangerous for the security of the United States and the safety of Americans.

  4. EddieInCA says:

    Alex –

    Have you looked at what has happened to Britain after they imposed their drastic cuts?

    Do you want that to happen here?

    You cut out that much from the budget in one fell swoop, it would lead to a contraction of the economy in manners that would lead not only to a double dip recession, but a second dip much worse than the first one. Each of those “cuts” have real world implications – jobs, mostly.

    I can’t find out how the GOP plans to deal with the thousands of people put out of work by their “cuts”.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    Looking at this proposal, who, outside of Tea Party types, will be giving it any serious consideration? I noticed this gem regarding Medicare and Medicaid:

    “Unfortunately, there are a number of individuals who have failed to set aside savings, or have failed to plan adequately based on the assumption that they would be eligible for certain entitlement programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.”

    Yes, indeed, let’s throw the stupid bums who didn’t plan accordingly off the roles…no mention, though, of means-testing Medicare for those who don’t need it…oh, that’s right, that would be class warfare…

  6. Clivesl says:

    @ AIP

    I think that quote was the explanation of why he only wants to cut the discretionary portion, though I could be misreading it. And yes, means testing of both Medicare and Social Security should happen in any plan.

    It is actually nice to see someone come out with a real plan, it at least gives you a point from which to start the debate over what to do about spending and taxes. I’d like to see a bit more than a 6% cut in defense for a start.

  7. mantis says:

    I can’t find out how the GOP plans to deal with the thousands of people put out of work by their “cuts”.

    If Ryan got his way, it would be in the hundreds of thousands, if not more.

  8. Steven Donegal says:

    Most readers would agree that this plan cuts very deeply into many areas that virtually no one in Congress wants to touch. But yet, it would only cut the projected budget deficit by 1/3. If Paul’s plan does nothing else, it shows how extraordinarily difficult it will be to come close to a balanced budget without providing significant revenue increases.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    There are a couple of useful ideas. Yes, let’s get rid of the government printing office.

    And then the rest is thinly-slice baloney.

    JP has it right: it’s like Paul was in a rush to produce this to get a grade. And the result is lazy bullshit artistry of a low order. I find it discouraging. This tea partier is as empty-headed as I feared he was, and he’s the class of the field.