Tales from the Trail

Is Rand Paul a U.S. Senate action hero?

February 8, 2011

RTR9KH6_Comp-150x150It didn’t take Rand Paul long to become Captain America of the U.S. Senate. He’s tough-minded, strong-willed and he’s ready to battle the most dangerous titans on the political landscape, like Social Security and Medicare.

In fact, the Republican Tea Party favorite from Kentucky tells MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that a courageous and comprehensive plan for fixing America’s public finances will soon be on the march. And if all goes as planned, much may be accomplished before the start of this year’s Major League Baseball season.

“Within two to three weeks, I’m going to propose a fix for Social Security,” says Rand, son of Ron, who has already far surpassed the fiscal aims of the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill by proposing $500 billion in budget cuts.

“We’re going to fix the budget the first week. The second month, I’m going to fix Social Security and then the third month, we’re going to work on Medicare,” he adds, with tongue somewhat in cheek.

USA-CONGRESS/At the moment, his blueprint for Medicare still amounts to “a secret plan.” But on Social Security, we can expect what other Republicans are avoiding: an increase in the retirement age and means testing for wealthier beneficiaries.

Paul says the difference between him and other Republicans is that he’s “unafraid” of voter reaction: “If you talk frankly and speak boldly, you’ll get more people to vote for you.”

Another important difference is that his brave ambitious plans are unlikely to succeed at a time when congressional leaders seem increasingly unwilling to consider large-scale reductions. Look at it this way: the GOP’s bold campaign pledge to cut 2011 spending by $100 billion shrank first to about $50 billion and now to $32 billion.

So the senator can talk tough on spending without voters feeling the material effects of his fiscal high-mindedness.

Still, he makes an interesting point about his fellow Republicans as they strive in earnest to distinguish their deficit-cutting policies from those of President Barack Obama.OBAMA/

“If the president gets his way, over the next five years we add nearly $4 trillion worth of debt. If the Republicans get their way, we add $3 trillion worth of debt,” Paul says.

And he adds, perhaps with fans of mixed-metaphors in mind: “The Republican plan is better. But it’s still too little and we’re drowning under a mountain of debt.”

Reuters Photo Credits: Jason Reed (Captain America); Jonathan Ernst (Rand Paul); Kevin Lamarque (John Boehner and Mitch McConnell)

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Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Wow…an actual leader in Washington! Hope the pontificating, old school, pork barrel hypocrits who claim to be our representatives will learn something. Courage matters!

Posted by actnow | Report as abusive
 

This article is a joke, right? Captain America? More like The Joker from Batman. Fortunately, even his fellow Republicans think he’s a whacko, so all he’ll do over the next 6 years is provide comic relief.

Posted by Fishrl | Report as abusive
 

Comedy that’s a good analogy, the whole political system in america is rife with comedians. Yet perhaps we need more goofballs like Rand Paul and his father. The last time the economy and the country was in this type of shape. Huge corporations extremely wealthy individuals no middle class. Teddy roosevelt became president. He was most definitely a waco and a goofball but he got the job done. So for me bring on the mental cases, what the hey that can’t do any worse then the rational sane politicians that america has….

Posted by EN3 | Report as abusive
 

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