Rand Paul: Leadership Means Accepting Responsibility


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) produced an exceptional videotaped response to President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” rollout last night.  He stresses the need to accept responsibility in order to exercise leadership, drops some hard facts about entitlements and taxation, and takes a moment to promote the “Penny Plan” for cutting one cent out of every federal dollar per year for the next six years.

“If the President were to ask me my advice on how to deal with the worst recession since the Great Depression,” Paul begins, “I would politely ask him to turn off the teleprompter. It’s hard to have a conversation with the American people when speaking through scripted words.”  Well said, Senator… but look what happens when Obama goes off-script.

The Penny Plan, incidentally, is the brainchild of Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL).  It calls for a real 1% cut in spending, which means it trashes the “baseline” nonsense that leads the Congressional Budget Office to score slight reductions in the rate of government growth as “cuts.”  Paul discussed it in greater detail with Sean Hannity back in July:

The Penny Plan also received high praise in a Fox News op-ed from Lanny Davis.  Yes, that Lanny Davis.  The Clinton guy.  He thinks the Super Committee should take a serious look at the Penny Plan when they put together their assigned $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction:

I favor at least one-half of this $1.2 trillion to be funded by a combination of tax reform – closing tax loopholes – and increases in marginal tax rates of upper income taxpayers (including me).

But if you are an anti-tax conservative who sincerely believes that you have to cut spending and not “feed the beast” with more revenues, then one approach on spending cuts for the super committee to consider is the simple and creative “Penny Plan” introduced by Rep. Connie Mack (R.-Fla.).

Mr. Mack’s bill, H.R. 1848, would cut one-penny-out-of-every dollar actually spent by the federal government from year-to-year for the next six years, from FY 2012-FY 2017. Beginning in FY 2018, there would be a budget cap of 18% of GDP (the average federal revenue as a percentage of GDP over the past 30 years). And by FY 2019 America would finally have a balanced budget – that is, assuming revenues naturally increase from the current 14.8% of GDP to 18% of GDP by 2019, after which the budget would be in surplus.

Davis concludes, “The Mack Penny Plan deserves serious consideration – as serious as the man who proposed it.”  Too bad we don’t have a serious person in the White House to propose ideas like this, instead of wasting our time by reading shopping lists.