The Economist’s DIA Blog has a fun takedown of Senator Paul’s plan. They’re not complimentary:
Mr Paul’s bill is a juvenile, irresponsible stunt. For most of his proposed cuts, he hasn’t put in the minimal work necessary to make any rational decisions about what programmes should be cut, and what shouldn’t; he hand-waves towards “pro rata cuts” without thinking through what that means. Those of his cuts which are specific betray a callow, politically-minded populist anti-intellectualism. Rabble-rousing calls to eliminate “international commissions” may play well to Glen Beck’s audience, but senators are expected to have some grasp of what it is that the government they are running actually does. Mr Paul has been elected to the United States Senate; it’s time for him to grow up.
My friend the Professor has blogged a bit on this subject. While he doesn’t endorse the speed of the plan, the Professor says he’s “be OK with making a vision like Paul’s an eventual target.” All I can say to that is – Yikes!
3 thoughts on “Rand Paul’s Budget-cutting plan”
I think Paul _has_ a "grasp of what […]the government […] actually does." What it does is too much. Cutting the NEA, NEH, and CPB is anti-intellectualism? By what standard? If you haven't noticed a variety of channels now offer culture both high and low. As far as it goes, who subsidized Dickens, Twain, Hemingway, John D. MacDonald, or Heinlein? There is no right to putting your life of the mind on someone else's tab. If Mondoville closed tomorrow, and I couldn't find another teaching gig, I'd have to find honest work. It's not anti-intellectualism; it's called earning your keep.Meanwhile, I don't see anyone expecting the taxpayers to foot the bill for either the Berries or the White Hot, nor would I expect that. But I don't think anyone else deserves that either. Go get a paying gig, or keep your day job.
I think the point of the DIA blog post is that Paul's plan shows so little preparation, research or seriousness, that it's hard to give him the benefit of any doubt or believe that he has a grasp of anything to do with how government works. I get that you're giving the thumbs up to his overall idea of smaller government. And, sure, you can find a needle or 2 of ideas that you'd support in the abstract. But that's like complimenting an arsonist for going out of his way to spare lives while he's burning down the building.
Sen. Paul offered the following statement, which I think goes to the heart of the matter (emphasis mine):"By removing programs that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, such as education and housing, we are cutting nearly 40 percent of our projected deficit and removing the big-government bureaucrats who stand in the way of efficiency in our federal government[.]"To paraphrase Wordsworth, "The Feds are too much with us, late and soon/ Getting and spending, they lay waste our powers." Breaking the addiction may be painful, and yes, there may be withdrawal pains, but the alternative is untenable.