Why is it that whenever a conservative is asked for specific ways to cut the federal budget, they always spout the same nonsense? In this snippet from the Conway-Paul debate, Rand Paul gives the usual non-answer, which as far as I can tell, boils down to "rules". We've got to have more "rules", because that's what smaller government is about -- rules, right? He also mumbles some things about unspent TARP funds (they've already been rolled back into the budget, Rand), a federal balanced budget amendment, and "putting everything on the table -- entitlements, defense spending, all of it." I could be wrong, but I thought the catfood commission was doing that very same thing right now.
Jack Conway steps up to the plate and knocks back the balanced budget amendment idea by pointing out that getting 2/3rds of states to ratify it won't take care of any budgets anytime soon. He then goes on to say that he's balanced his own budget, and gives several other specific ideas for how to get the budget in line.
One of the moments I most wanted to shout at the screen came in the rebuttals, when Rand Paul said that 33 states have balanced budget amendments. While that's true, it's also true that those states rely on Federal dollars to balance their budgets. Were it not for the stimulus bill, they would have had to make dramatic and awful cuts to programs like Medicaid.
I know it's death to say in an election year, but why is it that no one wants to even think about raising taxes? Perish that thought, but honestly, that's what needs to happen.