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Hullabaloo


Monday, June 11, 2012

 
Rand's wet dream

by digby

He's from the Tea Party and he's come to take his country back:

Dustin Siggins: Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed your interview with Erin Burnett, and how you outlined your positions on spending and taxes. I posted on ityesterday, and was hoping you could expound upon what you said about not jumping up and down when it comes to entitlement reform, and how you instead simply believe it’s fiscal reality.

Sen. Rand Paul: Sure. This is what the “grand bargain” idea was all about. Democrats think working with us on Social Security will bring a compromise. They think we want changes to Social Security and we will agree to bring taxes up. This is wrong-headed. We are not jumping up and down to reform entitlements; we want to fix them because they are broken. The Deficit Commission wanted a “grand bargain,” but the whole concept misses the point.

DS: You also told Burnett that you don’t mind if some wealthy people pay more taxes once loopholes are cut out, etc. Can you explain that a little, please?

Sen. Rand Paul: If you flatten and simplify the code, some will pay more taxes. But in the aggregate, when it comes to the two large pies of the private sector and the government sector, you want the government sector to shrink. So some people will pay more in taxes, but you won’t need as much revenue to come into Washington. With a flatter system with fewer loopholes you won’t have as much money coming into Washington, but with a smaller government people will pay less overall...

If Obama wants re-election, we should make the Bush tax cuts permanent. He is not likely to do that, but (and it’s too late) he could come to us and say “You guys have some good ideas on Social Security, why don’t we sit down together to reform Social Security?” About a year ago he sat down with all of the Republican Senators and the question I got to ask him was related to that: why we don’t gradually raise the age and means-test? Just these changes could save the program for 75 years, or probably forever.

My bill looks to make these kinds of changes, and includes an index linking retirement to longevity. Medicare will have to change the same way as Social Security, but it’s so broken it needs other reforms. My plan institutes some of the same market forces as Paul Ryan’s plans, and gives Americans the Congressional health care plan. I think this latter point is very important, as it’s hard for people to say we are trying to gyp seniors when we are giving them the same health care system Congress has. Everyone already believes Congressmen have such a great system for themselves, and so this take advantage of that.

He says later in the interview that his "Medicare" plan will save a trillion dollars and I assume that's because most people will just have to die a lot younger. That's called "freedom."

Ezra says the Republicans are cleverly changing the terms on Social Security to say they are "fixing" it rather than cutting it, but I honestly don't think there's anything new in that. They have always said they were "fixing" it, "reforming" it and "saving" it. And they can never get a majority to believe them. The ones that do are pathetically gullible and the rest know very well that they are lying.

As for old Rand, he's keeping it real:

He’s actually released a budget that would cut spending so deep you wouldn’t need to raise taxes. But as my colleague Dana Milbank has pointed out, Paul’s plan would:
cut the average Social Security recipient’s benefits by nearly 40 percent, reduce defense spending by nearly $100 billion below a level the Pentagon calls “devastating,” and end the current Medicare program in two years — even for current recipients, according to the Senate Budget Committee staff. It would eliminate the education, energy, housing and commerce departments, decimate homeland security, eviscerate programs for the poor, and give the wealthy a bonanza by reducing tax rates to 17 percent and eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends.

It's a libertarian wet dream. The good news is that if he can also legalize drugs we can all either stay high so our dystopian hellscape doesn't seem so bad, or we can easily kill ourselves with narcotics. It's not as if there isn't a silver lining.


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