Sen. Paul goes viral with fire-breathing speech on Republican support for COVID relief bill
In the face of a global pandemic, many congressional Republicans undoubtedly believed that desperate times called for desperate measures. Thus, they supported trillions in new spending to help everyday Americans and business owners, especially those in blue states who have seen their ability to earn a living hobbled by lockdown fever.
But Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, in a return to the message that helped him land a Senate seat, criticized his fellow Republicans for acting more like the Democrats and heaving more debt on future generations.
As the Senate prepared on Monday to vote on the new $900 billion COVID-19 relief plan, as well as a $1.4 trillion sending bill to prevent a government shutdown, Paul denounced the government simply printing more money and the “deficits don’t matter crowd” that support such an idea. “Most Republicans rightly lampoon this quackery,” Paul said, “that is, when they’re not practicing the quackery themselves.”
Paul noted that the measures were “everything Republicans say they don’t believe in.”
“If free money was the answer, if money really grew on trees, why not give more free money?” he said. “Why not give it out all the time? Why stop at $600 a person? Why not $1,000? Why not $2,000? Maybe these new Free-Money Republicans should join the Everybody-Gets-A-Guaranteed-Income Caucus? Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print out money with impunity, why not do it?”
“To so-called conservatives who are quick to identify the socialism of Democrats,” he added, “if you vote for this spending monstrosity, you are no better. When you vote to pass out free money, you lose your soul, and you abandon forever any semblance of moral or fiscal integrity.”
Paul pointed out that last fiscal year, the federal government received $3.3 trillion in revenue, but spent $6.6 trillion.
“The coffers are bare. We have no rainy-day fund, we have no savings account,” said Paul. And the pandemic is not the problem, he added. It’s been going on for years, and it’s depriving future generations of money that might be needed for national defense or infrastructure needs.
Each taxpaying American, he said, owes roughly $136,000 – and Congress shows no concern for the future Americans who must pay it back, if they can.
In the current climate, it’s “no cuts, no offsets, no pay-forwards, no prioritization – just print it up, print up more money, and give it out to everybody because it’s free money, come and get yours while the getting’s good. But it leads to a mountain of debt. Spend all this money and leave the future to figure itself out.”
With the nation’s total debt at 128 percent of GDP, compared to 55 percent just 20 years ago, Paul noted, “We’re only hastening the day of economic reckoning.”
But, Paul added, the problem is “heavy-handed” pandemic policy – especially that driven by blue-state governors.
“It isn’t the pandemic that’s killing the government,” Paul said. “It’s the government’s overzealous response that is killing the economy.”
“The more money we give to the states, the more they keep us in lockdown,” said Paul. “Every bailout dollar printed and passed out the governors only allows these tinpot dictators to perpetuate the lockdowns” with “arbitrary and unscientific” rules.
“The only thing that can save us is to open the economy,” Paul argued. “The answer is not printing up and distributing free money. It’s opening the economy. … We can’t keep pretending that more debt is a sustainable policy course.”
Paul’s rant fell largely on deaf ears.
The Senate passed the bill 91-6, with Paul joined in opposition by Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.