Ron Paul on Deficits and Debt

Last Updated : Jan 16, 2012

Summary

Congressman Paul is a supremely strong and ardent supporter of balanced budgets, paying off the national debt, and returning the size of the federal government to it's constitutionally mandated roles. He supports ending federal programs not authorized in the Constitution - such as Education, OSHA, and the EPA - and only funding items which the federal government is constitutionally mandated to do - such as border protection.

As early as 1988, Congressman Paul was warning about the size of the yearly deficits while he campaigned for the Libertarian Party's nomination to the Presidency. Congressman Paul noted that President Reagan campaigned on reduced spending and balanced budgets, but once in office he did not abide by those principles.

In 2005, Congressman Paul noted that what the Bush administration was referring to as "balanced budgets" were nothing more than small decreases from desired spending levels, coupled with unrealistic expectations on the growth of the economy. That same year, Congressman Paul noted that no amount of spending will ever satisfy those who believe government should address every human problem and involve itself in every aspect of our lives. As proof, he cited those who thought that the $2.4 trillion dollar budget was inadequate and notes that by 2015 they would be saying the same thing about a $5 trillion dollar budget.

Congressman Paul's desire to reduce the size of government covers all facets. He has stated that republicans that supported the Medicare Part D drug prescription plan can no longer claim to support small government or balanced budgets, and neither can those who support military intervention overseas while funding the items off budget. He has stated that he would find it difficult to vote for any budget that did not cut the size of government by at least %25, noting that the government in 2006 was twice as large as it was in 1990.

In 2008, Congressman Paul spoke about the budget for 2008 and called it a monument to irresponsibility and profligacy. He noted that each party sought to increase spending with the only variance being on the direction of spending.

Congressman Paul has consistently opposed raising the debt ceiling. In recent years as the pace of the debt increase gains speed, he has spoken out consistently about the need for those who are serious about reduced spending to make a stand and refuse to authorize further debt limit increases. 

Congressman Paul's opposition to deficit spending and increasing debt is based on the inevitable repercussions of those actions. He notes that the solution to paying off large debts is always to print more money and lessen the value of the currency to make paying off those debt easier. Eventually, all governments that attempt this fail due to their inability to control the inflationary results of too much monetary devaluation. In the short term, this inflation is little more than a tax imposed on middle class Americans as the value of their savings is lessened.

Consistent with his voting record and numerous statements, Congressman Paul has cosponsored legislation to require a 2/3 majority vote to raise the national debt limit as opposed to the nominal 50% majority vote.

As part of his 2012 presidential campaign, Congressman Paul has stated that he would reduce spending by $1 trillion in the first year. This would be accomplished by reducing the size of government by closing the departments of Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education, as well as abolishing the Transportation Security Administration.

 

Libertarian Campaign Interview

In 1988, Congressman Paul appeared on CSPAN and discussed his views on government and his run for the Presidency within the Libertarian party.

 

Deficits Make You Poorer

In March of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the deficits amassed in recent years and what it means for borrowing.

 

Hey Big Spender

In August of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the budget for that year and improper predictions made to make the budget appear to be on a path to be balanced.

 

Budget Cuts

In November of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the fallacy of stating that you are slashing the budget by reducing the amount of spending increase.

 

Ever Growing National Debt

In February of 2006, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the ever increasing national debt.

 

How Government Debt Grows

In March of 2006, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss how government debt grows.

 

The Importance of Fiscal Responsibility

In December of 2007, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the importance of fiscal responsibility.

 

The 2008 Budget

In April of 2007, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the spending level of the 2008 budget.

 

Spending the Economy into Oblivion

In October of 2008, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address spending and possibly spending far too much.

 

When the Bills Come Due

In January of 2009, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the impossibility of paying off the debt, the inflationary actions taken by the US, and the eventual necessary liquidation.

 

Is Spending the Answer?

In January of 2009 Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to ask if spending was the appropriate answer to the question of what was needed for the economy.

 

Rejection of 2010 Budget

In April of 2009, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about his opposition to the budget for the next year and his belief that the projections are not realistic.

 

Spending Freeze Not Likely

In January of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the fact that a spending freeze was not likely.

 

Another Raise to to the Debt Ceiling

In February of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to note the raising of the federal debt limit and the need to return to free market economics.

 

Opposition to Raising the Debt Ceiling - 2010

In November of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talks" address to discuss his opposition to raising the debt ceiling.

 

Morning Joe Appearance

In December of 2010, Congressman Paul appeared on the MSNBC show Morning Joe. He spoke about the debt ceiling, overall spending practices, and military spending.

 

Dylan Ratigan

In January of 2011, Congressman Paul appeared on the MSNBC Show Dylan Ratigan. He spoke about the debt and it's relation to inflation. He notes that the US can simply default by debasing the currency.

 

Congress Must Reject Welfare/Warfare State

In February of 2011, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the welfare / warfare state and the lack of true reduction in spending in the 2011 budget.

 

So Far From Reality

On March 10, 2011 Congressman Paul appeared on Fox News and spoke about the impending vote to increase the debt. He states that eventually spending will be repudiated by an eventual bankruptcy as so much of the dollar is printed to pay the debt that it loses it's value.

 

Opposition to Continuing Resolutions

In March of 2011, Congressman Paul appeared on Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano and spoke about spending and the destruction of the dollar.

 

South Carolina Debate

In May of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Republican debate in South Carolina. He speaks about his views concerning the role of government and it's relation to debt.

 

Iowa Debate

In August of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Republican Presidential debate in Ames, Iowa. He spoke about the need to make real cuts in the economy, and the need to control the monetary supply.

 

The Western Debate

In October of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Western Debate in Las Vegas. He was asked about defense spending and military spending. He notes his support for ending the empire building in the world and lessening the number of soldiers overseas.

 

Michigan Economic Debate

On November 10, 2011 Congressman Paul participated in the Michigan Economic Debate. He spoke there about international debt, US debt, and the housing industry. He also states that spending is a tax.

 

2012 Campaign Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Braun Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Braun of Georgia. The measure would have cut spending for the Congressional Research Service by $878,000 in the Legislative Branch appropriations bill. The amendment passed 214-189. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Gosar Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Gosar of Arizona. The measure would have cut spending for the Botanic Garden by $1.2 million in the Legislative Branch approprations bill. The amendment passed 213-193. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Polis Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Polis of Colorado. The measure would have made an across-the-board reduction of 2 percent in the DHS approps bill's discretionary spending, with some exceptions.The amendment failed 99-316. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Broun Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Broun of Georgia. The measure would have cut spending for all of the administrative expense accounts in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill by 3 percent, with some exceptions.The amendment failed 140-273. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Flake Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Flake of Arizona. The measure would have made an across-the-board reduction of 0.27 percent in the E&W approps bill's discretionary spending. The amendment failed 144-274. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Mulvaney Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Mulvaney of South Carolina. The measure would have cut spending in the E&W approps bill by 24 percent, with some exceptions.The amendment failed 125-293. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Blackburn Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Blackburn of Tennessee. The measure would have made an across-the-board cut of 1 percent in the E&W approps bill's discretionary spending. The amendment failed 157-261. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Chabot Amendment to Cut Spending

In June of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Chabot of Ohio. The measure would have eliminated all funding in the E&W approps bill for the Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, Denali Commission, Northern Border Regional Commission and Southeast Crescent Regional Commission. The amendment failed 141-276. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Burgess Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Burgess of Texas. The measure would have cut spending for defense nuclear nonproliferation activities by $100 million in the E&W approps bill. The amendment failed 168-249. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

McClintock Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman McClintock of California. The measure would have eliminated all funding in the E&W approps bill for fossil fuel programs. The amendment failed 138-249. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

McClintock Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman McClintock of California. The measure would have cut spending for nuclear energy activities by $514 million in the E&W approps bill. The amendment failed 106-281. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

McClintock Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman McClintock of California. The measure would have eliminated all funding provided in the E&W approps bill for renewable energy programs. The amendment failed 113-275. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Chaffetz Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Chaffetz of Utah. The measure would have cut spending for energy efficiency and renewable energy activities by $74 million in the Energy & Water (E&W) appropriations bill. The amendment failed 140-245. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Broun Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Broun of Georgia. The measure would have cut spending in the CJS approps bill by 12.2 percent. The amendment failed 105-307. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Blackburn Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Blackburn of Tennessee. The measure would have cut spending in the CJS approps bill by 1 percent. The amendment failed 160-251. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Scott Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Scott of Georgia. The measure would have eliminated all funding provided in the CJS approps bill for the Legal Services Corporation. The amendment failed 122-289. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Westmoreland Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Westmoreland of Georgia. The measure would have cut spending for the Legal Services Corporation by $128 million in the CJS approps bill.The amendment failed 165-246. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Flake Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Flake of Arizona. The measure would have cut spending for the National Science Foundation by $1.2 billion in the CJS approps bill. The amendment failed 121-291. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Broun Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Broun of Georgia. The measure would have cut spending for expenses associated with the restoration of Pacific salmon populations by $15 million. The amendment failed 168-239. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Harris Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Harris of Maryland. The measure would have cut spending for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by $542,000. The amendment passed 219-189. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Quayle Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Quayle of Arizona. The measure would have cut spending for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by $21 million. The amendment failed 147-259. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Pompeo Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Pompeo of Kansas. The measure would have cut spending for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) by $219.5 million. The amendment failed 129-279. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Scalise Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Scalise of Louisiana. The measure would have cut spending for the Economic Development Administration by $7.5 million and reduce funding for the Commerce Department by $10.7 million in the CJS appropriations bill. The amendment failed 174-233. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

McClintock Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman McClintock of California. The measure would have cut spending for the International Trade Administration by $277.8 million in the CJS approps bill.The amendment failed, 121-287. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Broun Amendment to Cut Spending

In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congressman Broun of Georgia. The measure would have cut spending in the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill by about 3 percent.The amendment failed, 137-270. Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the spending cut.

Balanced Budget Amendment

In November of 2011, the House voted on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. This particular amendment would have required a three-fifths rollcall vote of each chamber for the congress to spend more than it took in and to increase the public debt limit. It also authorized waivers when a declaration of war is in effect or under other specified circumstances involving military conflict. The measure did not achieve the 3/5 needed to pass in a 261-165 vote. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Budget Control Act of 2011

In August of 2011, the House voted on the Budget Control Act of 2011. The legislation raised the debt ceiling in increments and created a committee to find cuts in the budget or other methods to lower the deficit. The measure passed 269-161. Ron Paul voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Ron Paul voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011

In July of 2011, the House voted on legislation to cut spending on discretionary and other items, cap the amount the federal government can spend as a function of GDP, and require a balanced budget. The legisaltion also provided for an increase in the debt limit. The measure passed the House in a 234-190 vote. Ron Paul voted against the cut, cap, and balance plan.

Ron Paul voted against the cut, cap, and balance plan.

Increasing the statutory debt limit

In May of 2011, the House voted on an increase in the statutory debt limit from $14.294 trillion to $16.7 trillion. The increase failed to pass by a vote of 97-318. It was never voted on in the Senate. Ron Paul voted against the debt ceiling increase.

Ron Paul voted against the debt ceiling increase.

Return to 2008 Spending Levels

In January of 2011, the House voted on a bill to reduce spending on non-security items to fiscal year 2008 levels. The measure passed 254-165. Ron Paul voted in favor of reducing spending to 2008 levels.

Ron Paul voted in favor of reducing spending to 2008 levels.

Debt Ceiling Increase to $14.294 Trillion

In February of 2010, the House voted to pass legislation that dealt with PAYGO rules and increased the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion. The vote passed 233-187. Ron Paul voted against the debt increase.

Ron Paul voted against the debt increase.

Increasing the Debt Ceiling to $12.394 trillion

In December of 2009, the House voted to increase the debt ceiling to $12.394 trillion. The measure passed 218-214. Ron Paul voted against increasing the debt limit.

Ron Paul voted against increasing the debt limit.

Stimulus - Debt Ceiling Increase to $12.104 trillion

In January of 2009, the House voted to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - otherwise known as the stimulus. The act passed 244-188 and contained language to increase the debt ceiling to $12.104 trillion. Ron Paul voted against passing the legislation that contained a debt ceiling increase.

Ron Paul voted against passing the legislation that contained a debt ceiling increase.

TARP - Debt Ceiling Increase to $11.315 trillion

In October of 2008, the House voted to pass the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act - TARP. Within the act, the debt limit was increased to $11.315 trillion. The legislation passed the House 263-171. Ron Paul voted against increasing the debt limit to $11.315 trillion.

Ron Paul voted against increasing the debt limit to $11.315 trillion.

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 - Debt Ceiling Increase to $10.615 trillion

In August of 2007, the House passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Included in that legislation was an increase to the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion. The legislation passed the House 241-172. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Congressional Budget - Raising the Debt Ceiling to $9.815 trillion

In May of 2007, the House voted to pass the budget for that year. Within the budget was a measure that increased the debt ceiling to $9.815 trillion. The budget passed 214-209. Ron Paul voted against the budget which contained a debt ceiling increase to $9.815 trillion.

Ron Paul voted against the budget which contained a debt ceiling increase to $9.815 trillion.

Budget - Debt Ceiling Increase to $8.965 trillion

In April of 2005, the House passed H Con Res 95 which was the budget. Within that legislation was language to increase the debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion. The legislation passed 214-211. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Debt Ceiling Increase to $8.184 trillion

In November of 2004, the House passed legislation to increase the debt ceiling to $8.184 trillion. The legislation passed 208-204. Ron Paul voted against increasing the debt ceiling to $8.184 trillion.

Ron Paul voted against increasing the debt ceiling to $8.184 trillion.

Debt Ceiling Increase to $7.384 trillion

In April of 2003, the House passed a budget that contained an increase in the debt ceiling to $7.384 trillion. This measure passed the House 216-211. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Debt Ceiling Increase to $6.4 trillion

In June of 2002, the House voted to pass legislation to enact an increase to the debt ceiling to $6.4 trillion. The measure passed 215-214. Ron Paul voted against the debt ceiling increase to $6.4 trillion.

Ron Paul voted against the debt ceiling increase to $6.4 trillion.

Balanced Budget Act - Debt Ceiling Increase to $5.95 trillion

In June of 1997, the House passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. This legislation included an increase in the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion and a line item veto for the President which was later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The measure initially passed the House in roll call 241, and it's final passage was in roll call 345 346-85. Ron Paul voted against this legislation, which included an increase in the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion.

Ron Paul voted against this legislation, which included an increase in the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 4262; CAP the DEBT Act - Cosponsor

Control America's Purse-strings to Deliver a Better Tomorrow Act or the CAP the DEBT Act - Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to make it out of order in the House of Representatives and in the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report increasing the statutory limit on the public debt if there is any other matter in such measure. Requires a two-thirds recorded vote of Members in the House and a roll call vote of at least two-thirds of the Members of the Senate before legislation increasing the statutory limit on the public debt may be considered as passed or agreed to in either chamber. Permits a successful appeal from the ruling of the Chair in the Senate on such prohibition, but only by an affirmative roll call vote of two-thirds of its Members. Repeals Rule XXVIII (Statutory Limit on Public Debt) of the Rules of the House, and known as the "Gephardt Rule," providing for mandatory adjustment of the statutory limit on the public debt to conform to a budget resolution.

Session-111; Bill Number-H Res 949; Statutory Limit on Public Debt - Cosponsor

Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to require a two-thirds vote on a stand-alone bill to increase the statutory limit on the public debt.

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