There's three weeks left until the election, and I'd like somebody to answer me here: how is cutting jobs right now going to help the economy?
Just up the road here at Northern Kentucky University, Rand Paul and Jack Conway had a debate this evening, and Rand Paul basically spent the time telling everyone how he was going to cut jobs, cut programs, cut salaries, cut oversight, cut cut cut cut cut.
Democrats have frequently challenged Republicans to name spending cuts to match their slash-the-deficit rhetoric, and one of the first questions of the debate challenged Paul and Conway to name three specific ways they would cut spending if elected. Paul said he supported a balanced-budget amendment, a "compromise from Republicans and Democrats that the entire budget is open" -- meaning all programs are on the table for potential cuts -- repealing the unspent TARP and stimulus funds, and eliminating waste from earmarks.
Conway countered that Paul's solutions "won't help us in the short term," pointing out that passing a balanced-budget amendment could take years. "We have to get about the business of actually balancing budgets," said Conway. "Now here's an area where Rand Paul talks the talk, but he hasn't walked the walk." Conway said he would allow Medicare to purchase in bulk, work to close "offshore tax loopholes and special interest provisions" that allow corporations to ship jobs overseas, and institute pay-as-you-go rules.
The questioner then challenged Paul to be more specific about what cuts are needed to help balance the budget. Paul pointed to $200 billion leftover in the TARP fund and $100 billion in the stimulus. He said that he would make "private workers and federal workers' salaries comparable. We currently pay twice as much to federal workers as we pay to private workers. ... That saves $47 billion a year. Let's also shrink the federal workforce." (The federal government, however, has argued that its employees make "on average 22 percent less than workers in similar private-sector jobs.")
Funny how that works. Paul lied out of both sides of his mouth tonight, and he never did explain how cutting jobs and salaries will help the economy, he just took it as a given. Not a whole lot of people in the crowd were exactly eager to back Paul up on that.
Basically for the entire night, Rand Paul mentioned things he was going to cut. Not once did he mention anything he was going to do to actually help Kentuckians.
This race has gotten closer and closer the more people find out that Rand Paul's idea of a federal government that works is a federal government incapable of actually doing anything.