Audit The Fed

My new townhall.com article on Rand Paul’s filibuster and Obama’s drones: http://townhall.com/columnists/julieborowski/2013/03/09/rand-paul-highlights-obama-and-john-mccains-horrible-civil-liberties-records-n1529126

Originally posted at FreedomWorks.org.

23 more Republican Senators (edit: now 19!) to go!

Senator Rand Paul recently endorsed Mitt Romney on the Sean Hannity Show on FOX. Does this make him a sell out? Or did he compromise politically to advance liberty?

Originally posted at FreedomWorks.org.

The Senate is expected to vote on four competing budget plans introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) today. Passing an annual budget for the federal government is a fundamental responsibility of Congress. Yet under Harry Reid’s leadership, the Senate has not passed a budget in over three years and no Democrats in the Senate have even offered a budget proposal this year.

All of these proposed budgets would be an improvement from the status quo but Rand Paul’s Platform to Revitalize America shines above the rest. It would repeal ObamaCare, reform the tax code, block grant Medicaid to the states, reform Social Security, and balance the federal budget in just five years without raising taxes.

Most Republicans pay a lot of lip service to cutting spending but their actions rarely live up to their limited government rhetoric. But true fiscal conservatives like Rand Paul actually walk their talk. His budget plan is the only one that will abolish entire departments. The Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development would be axed under his plan. Poof! These needless bureaucracies would be gone. That’s what I call a real budget plan. This is the strongest budget plan in a generation and all senators serious about reducing the size and scope of government should stand behind Rand Paul’s budget.

The Rand Paul budget would slow up the regulatory state. The American people are forced to comply with thousands and thousands of outrageous new rules and regulations issued by the executive branch annually. The term “major rule” refers to any rule or regulation that has an annual economic impact of $100 million or more. Regulatory agencies issued 100 major rules in 2010 without any input from our elected representatives in Congress. Anyone who remembers the classic School House Rock! video that shows how a bill becomes a law can testify that unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch aren’t supposed to make the laws.

The executive branch has completely disregarded article 1, section 7 of the Constitution, which outlines the process of creating a new law and clearly gives that power to the legislative branch. Rand Paul’s budget would implement the REINS Act which requires congressional approval for all “major rules” proposed by the executive branch. The REINS Act wouldn’t be necessary if the Constitution was strictly followed in Washington, DC. Congressional representatives are the most accountable to the people and must be allowed to stop harmful regulations that will erode individual liberty and crush job growth.

Under the Paul plan, Americans would no longer fear sexual harassment at the airport since the plan would privatize the TSA. Rand Paul knows a little something about how incompetent and abusive the TSA can be. He was detained at the Nashville airport for hours and ended up missing his speech at the March for Life back in January. The TSA picked the wrong guy to mess with. Now the senator is pursuing his mission to abolish the TSA with a vengeance.

As the budget report card complied by Dean Clancy and Daniel Anderson shows, Rand Paul’s plan earns an A+. The plans introduced by Sens. Mike Lee and Toomey earn an A- and B+, respectively. All three plans would balance the federal budget and save trillions of dollars within the next decade. But as FreedomWorks noted in our key vote notice, we do have serious concerns about the health care reform proposal in the Lee Budget and the Medicare provisions in the Toomey and Lee budgets—proposals that trace their roots to the Heritage Foundation plan that provided the template for RomneyCare and ObamaCare.

Why haven’t more Republicans rallied behind Rand Paul’s plan? Only seven senators had the courage to vote for Rand Paul’s almost identical budget plan last year. Do most Republicans senators want to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic? Simply nibbling around the edges of the budget won’t cut it.

Will the real conservative senators please stand up? The time has come to make your actions match your rhetoric.

New video is up.

Watch Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) teach Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner a thing or two about basic economics in the video below. Rand Paul explaining what F.A. Hayek called “the Pretense of Knowledge” is music to my ears. Geithner should take some notes.

Originally posted at FreedomWorks.org.

Politicians typically break campaign promises more often than not. When an elected official instead chooses to keep their word, he or she deserves recognition for their consistency. With the rise of the Tea Party movement, many lawmakers are talking about cutting government spending. Few politicians, however, are willing to truly walk their talk. Some of those exceptions include new senators such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

Last week, Sen. Paul along with Senators Lee and DeMint released a plan that would balance the federal budget within five years. It would do so by eliminating entire departments and not increasing taxes by one cent. By the year 2016, we would have a $19 billion surplus. The Cato Institute has posted helpful charts to show the difference between Rand Paul and President Obama’s budget.

randpaulbudget

randpaulbudget2

The plan has gained traction among true limited government types. Campaign for Liberty has listed some of the main highlights of the balanced budget proposal:

“SPENDING:

· Brings spending near historical average in very first year

– Reduces spending by nearly $4 trillion relative to the President’s budget

– Achieves a $19 billion surplus in FY2016

– Brings all non-military discretionary spending back to FY2008 levels

– Requires the process of entitlement reform, including Social Security and Medicare, with final implementation by FY2016

– Does not change Social Security or Medicare benefits

– Block-grants Medicaid, SCHIP, foods stamps, and child nutrition

· Provides the President’s request for war funding

– Reduces military spending 6 percent in FY2012

· Eliminates four departments:

– Department of Commerce (transfers certain programs)

– Department of Education (preserves Pell grants)

– Department of Housing and Urban Development

– Department of Energy (transfers nuclear research and weapons to Department of Defense)

· Repeals Obamacare

DEFICITS/DEBT:

· Never exceeds $12 trillion in debt held by public

· Creates $2.6 trillion less in deficit spending relative to the President’s Budget

REVENUE:

· Extends all the 2001 and 2003 tax relief

· Permanently patches the alternative minimum tax

· Repeals Obamacare taxes”

It is refreshing to see that Rand Paul’s balanced budget proposal cuts spending in all areas of government including the defense budget. Taxpayers lose if certain parts of the budget are isolated from serious scrutiny. The military budget has nearly doubled over the last ten years. It isn’t reasonable to believe that the Department of Defense (DOD) has spent every dime in the most efficient manner. We agree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates that “it is imperative for this department to eliminate wasteful, excessive and unneeded spending.”

We applaud Rand Paul for staying true to his word. In addition, Sen. Lee has proposed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to limit spending to 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and require that any effort to raise taxes would need a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers. As it currently stands, government spending consumes approximately 25 percent of our GDP.

These are both modest proposals to rein in federal spending. With our current national deficit at $1.7 trillion, it is radical to continue spending at unprecedented levels. It’s time to determine who is truly serious about cutting government spending. Call your senator and tell him or her to restrain the federal government by supporting Rand Paul and Mike Lee’s balanced budget proposals today.

 

Originally posted at FreedomWorks.org.

Most of us are likely to remember where we were when a national tragedy happened. As for me, I’ll always remember where I was when I heard that ObamaCare had passed the House of Representatives and was headed for President Obama’s desk. On March 21, 2010, I was sitting in the back of a crammed pickup truck from Kentucky en route to my home state of Maryland. A group of us decided to drive over nine hours to spend our entire college spring break campaigning for a long-shot senate candidate by the name of Rand Paul. During our days of walking door to door in Louisville, we met many people who expressed outrage over the proposed government takeover of our health care system.

As we sat in the back of a pickup truck listening to the final hours of the House ObamaCare debate on C-SPAN radio, it was clear that Washington didn’t get it. They were ramming through an unpopular health care reform law without consulting the American people. I thought of the elderly Kentucky man I met who shook my hand after telling me that ObamaCare made him fear for the future of his grandkids and his beloved country. It was a somber long drive home as we felt helpless to big government. When Nancy Pelosi successfully passed the 2,801 page ObamaCare bill around midnight, I was reminded of the Star Wars quote “so this is how liberty dies with thunderous applause.”

Two days later, ObamaCare was signed into law against the will of the majority of Americans. At the FreedomWorks office, my phone rang off the hook with people asking what they could do to get involved. Some of them told me that they had never been involved in politics before but they wanted to let their voices be heard. They gave me immense hope that the fight still wasn’t over. A Rasmussen poll released that week showed that 55 percent of Americans favored repeal of ObamaCare.

It’s been a grueling battle. Government health care officials told us that we would soon embrace the new health care law. A year later, support for ObamaCare repeal hasn’t died down. The newest Rasmussen poll shows that 53 percent of likely voters still support ObamaCare repeal with 43 percent strongly favoring it. One of the continuous messages at Tea Party rallies across the nation is to stop the government takeover of health care.

Even in its early stages of implementation, ObamaCare has already done damage to our economy and way of life. Due to a provision that insurance companies must charge the same rates for healthy and costly sick children, nearly every major insurance company has ceased offering child-only policies. Employer penalties in the law have led some major companies such as 3M to stop offering health benefits to retirees and low-income workers unless they are granted an exemption by HHS. Since December, two federal district judges, in Virginia and Florida, have declared Obamacare’s individual mandate requiring all U.S. residents to purchase health insurance to be unconstitutional.

We cannot afford this unconstitutional power grab. The health care law will cost $2.6 trillion during its first 10 years of full implementation. Ultimately, it will create 159 new bureaucracies to control our health care.  By 2016, CBO predicts the average price of privately purchased insurance will be 27 to 30 percent higher for all Americans. Struggling American families will have to pay an average of $2,100 more for coverage. Even Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz who was originally a huge supporter of ObamaCare recently stated that “I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.”

On November 2nd, the American people’s voice was heard at the ballot box. A total of 35 Democrats who supported ObamaCare were defeated. This has increased the opposition to ObamaCare in the House by nearly 16 percent. While the fight may be far from over, we can get this unconstitutional government takeover repealed through hard work and determination. We won’t stop until the repeal bill lands on President Obama’s desk. It may be a year later but our voices are louder than ever. Let’s make sure that ObamaCare doesn’t get a second anniversary.