Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paul: Defeat the Washington machine

Paul: Defeat the Washington machine


In 2010, I ran for office because I was tired of being misled by Republicans who promised conservative government and instead gave us bank bailouts and more debt. I was tired of watching Wall Street profit at the expense of Main Street with each and every new round of Washington’s tax-and-spend and tax-and-print policies.

The Tea Party Movement has grown exponentially over the past five years, but Congress hasn’t changed a bit. We now spend roughly $7 million per minute and face a debt of over $18 trillion. These reckless spending habits have led our debt to match our GDP. As a result, a smaller percentage of the United States is working now than at any time since the Jimmy Carter administration. More Americans are projected to have been laid off last year than at any time since the Great Recession.

Never quite learning from their past mistakes, the Republican-controlled Congress recently passed yet another fiscally irresponsible omnibus bill, which will add $700 billion in new debt.

It is sad and discouraging to know that our representatives would agree to any new spending. Some $3 trillion comes in to the U.S. Treasury in taxes. Couldn’t we survive on just $3 trillion?

We’ve spent taxpayers’ money on everything from an unusable $43 million gas station in Afghanistan to a $15 million grant allowing a golf club maker to do research in space. Don’t you think there might be some room for cuts within our budget?

What’s even worse than your representatives agreeing to $700 billion in new debt is the fact that they didn’t even know what they were spending the money on. Speaker Ryan’s omnibus bill was 2,242 pages long, and it wasn’t plopped onto our desks until a couple of days before the vote was scheduled — giving us just days to sift through thousands of pages of complicated legislation.

In hindsight, one thing is for certain: This spending bill was a Democrat’s pipe dream, and Republican lawmakers let it become law.

Conservatives allowed the Obama administration to extend cutthroat environmental regulations over the private property of our farmers, ranchers and businessmen. Many farmers and ranchers will now be faced with costly permits and evaluation fees for the man-made ditches that exist on their own property. Lawsuits in at least 31 states have sprung up as a result of this controversial EPA rule, and yet your Republican-controlled Congress let it slide right past them.

And that’s not all. This 2,242-page spending bill fully funds Obamacare and sanctuary cities, while also granting $1.6 billion for the president’s refugee program — bringing an additional 15,000 refugees from high-risk areas into this country, all while failing to improve the vetting process.

I believe that a lot of these negative bills pass through Washington because our congressional representatives don’t have enough time to see what is inside of them. That’s why I introduced the Read the Bills Act — so that our representatives have the opportunity to govern as effectively as possible. If passed, this legislation would require Congress to delay votes by one day for every 20 pages of legislation.

But even forcing our representatives to read the bills isn’t enough to halt all of Washington’s recklessness. Unfortunately, many of our so-called conservative congressmen aren’t voting to increase spending because they don’t have time to closely study the legislation — they are voting that way because they are not really all that conservative.