Rand Paul Discusses 2012 Aspirations, Libya, Budget

by Dalton Main on March 24, 2011

Senator Rand Paul says he wants the Tea Party to be represented in the 2012 election and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that.

Paul told the Louisville Rotary Club Thursday he is considering a run for the presidency in 2012, but will not run against his father.

“I think the primary and elections are about who can articulate the message best and that’s sort of what we had a primary here in Kentucky about and that there will be a primary nationally about” he said. “I just want to be part of that, whether it’s actually as a candidate or just trying to help decide who the candidate is; I just don’t know that yet.”

The freshman Senator’s speech focused mostly on his plans to cut debt and gradually increase the age to receive Social Security benefits.

Paul then added that the Tea Party will exist for as long as the national debt remains a prominent issue in politics.

“I think the tea party sticks around as long as the debt is a real problem, and as long as the debt is perceived as being the number one problem,” he says “I think the tea party sticks around.”

The senator spoke briefly about the conflict in Libya and criticized the president for not involving congress more heavily in the decisions to enforce a no-fly zone over the country.

Paul says there won’t likely be a government shutdown due to budget disagreements in Washington. He says there are other alternatives to a shut down besides raising the debt ceiling. One measure he supports is paying debt interest with new revenue.

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Harold Trainer, USAF RET March 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Beware the Fog of War by Harold Trainer

Obama’s compromise, or some say capitulation, on extending the Bush tax cuts plus adding more cuts, will increase the national debt by over a trillion dollars when the wars are added. Our government will have to borrow the money to pay for the cuts and continuation of the wars. This will increase inflation, interest rates and the costs of everyday living for the middle and lower class working Americans. It will adversely affect job creation and the standard of living for Americans.

If two Presidents had not bogged us down in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would be able to provide more timely, substantial support to those fighting for freedom in Libya; real freedom, not the freedom we said we were fighting to establish in Iraq. That war was for oil. Or, the freedom in Afghanistan which is, apparently, the freedom to live under a corrupt government. War starts simply but feeds on itself and the next thing you know, you’re lost in the fog. Libya could be a stalemate for a long time and when we get tired of the war Qadaffi will kill again. Also, who is going to pay for this expensive endeavor? I thought we were so broke we were going to have to cut the entitlements of our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, social security, medicare, medicaid, and how about the paltry 1.4% pay raise for our troops and the increased cost of their health care.
The next step will be to cut spending and the Republicans and Democrats in Congress will focus on earned entitlements such as social security, medicaid, medicare and military health benefits. Obama has already said he favors a paltry 1.4% pay increase for the military. This is the lowest pay raise in almost 50 years and is a strange thanks for those who have been fighting our wars for ten years. This really adds up to a tax increase for the middle class and our most needy. All of this while big business and the most wealthy receive huge tax cuts ostensibly to stimulate the economy and earn more for investors. Job creation will be very uncertain. This is another victory for the Republicans and Democrats who are willing to borrow from the future of the elderly, our kids, and grandkids to continue the unnecessary wars and support the most wealthy Americans.
As an example of these cuts in spending, the leaders of the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed substantial increases in TRICARE fees for military retirees under age 65 to the tune of $1000 to $2000 a year for typical families. The commission report recommended even bigger financial hits for Medicare eligible military retirees and their spouses. This is known as TRICARE For Life (TFL) and includes cutbacks of as much as $6000 a year or more per couple. That is in addition to the extra costs they and all other TRICARE users would incur from proposed TRICARE pharmacy hikes.
Ironically, the whole reason Congress authorized TFL in 2001 was to recognize that those who had served and sacrificed for 20 years or more in uniform deserved a benefit significantly greater than that available to those who didn’t incur such sacrifices for their country. Now, after nine years of war, some national leaders think those decades of sacrifice were not worth that much. What is worse is they propose a double “whammy” for the nation’s most severely wounded warriors. Any wounded or injured servicemember accorded a 30 percent or greater disability rating is medically retired and subject to the same proposed TRICARE fee hikes as other retirees under age 65. Those who are most severly injured are deemed Medicare-eligible and are required to pay Medicare Part B permiums to be eligible for TFL as a second payer. Those with families would be double penalized by these proposals because they would be required to pay all of the increased costs for TRICARE and TFL. Doesn’t seem quite right, does it?

Todd Mundt March 25, 2011 at 7:39 am

Thanks for your comment, Harold. Please note our comment guidelines: Be brief. Keep your comments to 300 words or less. We reserve the right to edit for brevity, clarity and other purposes. Our comment policy is here.

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