Newly sworn U.S. Senator Dr. Rand Paul from Kentucky has suggested doing something that his father, libertarian icon Congressman Ron Paul, said he was worried that Republicans might do just weeks ago.
On January 9th, The Hill reported on Rand Paul's comments in a Fox news interview. Senator Paul said "I can't imagine voting to raise the debt ceiling unless we're going to change our ways in Washington...I am proposing that we link to raising the debt ceiling � that we link a balanced budget rule, an ironclad rule that they can't evade."
That is precisely what his father was worried that the Republican leadership would do; cave to the Democrats and agree to raise the debt ceiling if they gained something in return. The day before Congress was sworn in, Congressman Ron Paul was interviewed on FOX by Judge Andrew Napolitano. They were speaking about the health care bill death panels, but at minute 3:55, Napolitano asked Dr.Paul about the national debt and raising the debt ceiling:
Napolitano: We have 14 trillion dollars or nearly 14 trillion dollars in debt. this week the treasury department is going to formally ask the congress to raise the debt ceiling. Will the republican leadership in the house under any circumstances go along with this? or will they stick to their guns as they told us they would during the campaign, and never let the government borrow more money!?
Paul: I'm worried that they might go along with it, not so much just with the increase in the national debt, as much as thinking they're gonna get something for it. But this is where the line in the sand ought to be drawn. Because this is where you stop it. Don't raise the debt, we would have to get our house in order; we couldn't pay our bills until we collected some revenues or something like that. We would quit, it would prevent the fed from monetizing the debt because we wouldn't be spending the money. You can not raise the national debt. It's the place where we ought to stop it.
Former Ron Paul economic advisor and Senate candidate Peter Schiff, in a video blog from August 2009, criticized Timothy Geithner and "foolish policies" of Raising the debt "ceiling"? Schiff insisted "we need our elected officials to take a real stand" and asked "what's the point of having a ceiling if you raise it every time you hit it? In effect there is no ceiling". He correctly pointed out that if "we keep going deeper into debt we never meet our obligations."
In response to Rand Paul's apparent concession to liberal Democrats, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily sharply criticized Rand Paul and a few other Republicans by name in his commentary 'Why you can't trust 'fiscal conservatives', stating "It might sound tough to some when he (Paul) talks about tying budget cuts to raising the debt limit, but, it actually signals surrender on the issue... I wouldn't trust these people as far as I could throw them."
Farah's column led a poster on the popular DailyPaul.com forum to post a thread Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily attacks Rand Paul. In the ensuing discussion, a poster contended that the younger Paul should indeed be criticized, opining "So far, I give Rand Paul a D+....Either you have principles or you are a sellout just like everyone else. I am not impressed with Rand Paul."
In the past, Rand Paul has ben criticized for having what appears to be a more hawkish foreign policy stance than his fathers. A search of the terms Rand Paul: Neocon? reveals a plethora of critques from long established libertarian and anti-war commentators.
As I wrote in a recent article comparing Ron and Rand Paul vs Dan Quayle and his newly elected Congressman son Ben, "It should be interesting to watch the political theatre involving Ben Quayle and Rand Paul, beginning in January 2011. Despite their differences, the funniest part is that I guarantee they will certainly agree on one thing: maintaining foreign aid and military funding to "America's stanchest ally"- you guessed it. Israel."
Similarly, Peter Schiff, despite his excellent viewpoints on financial matters, couldn't even make it past the primary after advocating a neocon foreign policy with regards to Israel and Iran.
Rand Paul, in May of last year, faced sharp criticism by some of his most ardent supporters, including an Infowars.com column by Kirt Nimmo titled Rand Paul and the Special Relationship with Israel: "It appears Paul is an Israel cheerleader not much different than the neocons who have dogged him since he announced his bid for a Senate seat.....Rand needs to read George Washington�s farwell address...Let�s hope Mr. Paul is not simply playing the same old political game played in Washington and sucking up to the Israel lobby."
Paul had surprised and disappointed many of his supporters when he stated �Israel and the United States have a special relationship...With our shared history and common values, the American and Israeli people have formed a bond that unites us across the many thousands of miles between our countries and calls us to work together towards peace and prosperity for our countries.�
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, National Motorists Association, WorldNetDaily, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Rense, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com