NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: My next guest is not a fan of the Boehner plan or the Reid plan. He says neither really solves the problem or balances the budget ever. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul joining us right now.
So, senator, as things stand now, neither of these plans suits your fancy. Do you have a lesser of evils?
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: Well, the thing is, is that both of these plans will add somewhere between $7 trillion to $8 trillion over 10 years.
The real disservice to the American people is they need to be honest about their accounting up here. None of these cut spending; none of these cuts the deficit. Both plans will add $7 trillion to $8 trillion. I don’t think our country can withstand that kind of addition of new debt.
CAVUTO: All right, now a lot of cuts, for example, in Speaker Boehner’s plan, critics have said -- you might be among them -- that the up-front cuts are more like $70 billion to $80 billion, and not the more than $1 trillion that’s trumpeted in this more 10-year plan, that the up- front cuts are fairly meager.
Do you agree with that?
PAUL: Yes. Interestingly, we have reports that say the up-front cuts are like $6 billion or $7 billion. You remember how we had this debate in the spring. We started out with $100 billion. We prorated to $60 billion. We compromised to $38 billion. And then we added with the CBO it was $300 million.
That’s what’s going to happen to this plan. The other thing is the trillion dollars is over 10 years, but it’s against a baseline that increases spending by $45 trillion. It really is only reducing the proposed increases. It never cuts spending, never cuts debt. And it will pile on $7 billion to $8 trillion over 10 years.
It is not even close to the answer. The answer would be a balanced budget amendment. Short of that, I can’t support a raise in the debt ceiling.
CAVUTO: Now, if there are many others who share your view, Senator, we’re going to blow past this deadline.
PAUL: Well, and that’s why I think the president ought to step up and be a leader. And he should take default off the table.
At any point in time over the last six months, the president could have said, I will not default on the interest. I will pay it. We bring in $200 billion a month. The interest payments are about $20 billion. There’s no excuse for not paying the interest. There’s no excuse for scaring seniors, as the president’s been doing.
He should take Social Security checks off the table. He should also take the salaries of our soldiers off the table. And we met this morning, leaders in the House and Senate, conservative leaders, and we introduced legislation that will force the president to pay the interest, pay the Social Security checks and to pay the soldiers’ salaries.
CAVUTO: So, in other words, he should prioritize just as families in a point of duress, if a spouse loses a job, prioritizes what bills they pay first, the mortgage or the rent, and just to keep the lights on, maybe the utilities, and you can play with some of the other stuff.
The president has indicated so far that that’s not necessarily in the cards. But we are hearing reports that privately White House officials are talking to Wall Street types, and more to the point, even the ratings agencies, that default is off the table, but publicly saying a very different thing.
What do you make of that?
PAUL: Well, I think publicly, he’s playing games with the American people and scaring seniors and the scaring the bond markets. Privately he’s reassuring the bond markets that he will pay the interest on the debt.
And I think that that demagoguery doesn’t sit well with the American people. The American people want a leader who would actually lead the country. The only way to lead the country and find solutions to all of these real problems that exist would be to be honest with the American people, pay the Social Security checks, pay the interest, and then try to find a solution.
We can fix entitlements.
CAVUTO: Do you think they will, Senator? It doesn’t look that way, but you think they will?
PAUL: Well, so far, it doesn’t look like he is going to be that kind of leader. And I think he should. And he should take default off the table and reassure everybody. But I don’t think he’s going to.
But I think we do need to have an honest debate in this country how we fix entitlements, how we fix this enormous debt crisis that’s coming and is looming in the near future.
CAVUTO: All right, Senator Rand Paul, good seeing you. Thank you.
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