Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Transcript - Check out Mike's interview with Senator Rand Paul. They discuss numerous topics including the reaction to Rand's budget proposal in the Senate, the student loan rate, living in a competitive world environment and what that means for tax rates, other conservatives in the Senate, the ongoing war in Afghanistan and more!
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Senator Paul, let’s sort this out man to man here, mano-a-mano. Dana Milbank of the Washington Compost called you a sissy, basically. He said you ran from the press the other day after you introduced and announced your plan to balance the budget in five years in what he called a cynical plan that was quite a nasty piece of work. Then Milbank proceeded to say that basically you gave a little speech in the Senate pressroom and then you dashed off because you were afraid of questions. What say you?
Senator Rand Paul: Well, I don’t really pay much attention to Dana Milbank, left-wing blogger. I haven’t really read anything of his that seems to be serious or address our problems. He can say what he wants to say. He’s got his column while it lasts. We’ll see how it goes for him.
Mike: So the proposal, the budget proposal, you went from seven votes just a mere three or four months ago all the way up to 16. Is this maybe what is scaring the likes of Milbank?
Senator Paul: What he needs to explain to people is why I got 16 votes more than his president got. President Obama has a budget that never balances, adds $11 trillion to the debt, and he got zero votes. If Dana Milbank wants to talk about my budget, he needs to explain why not one Democrat in the House of Representatives and not one Democrat in the Senate supports their own president’s budget, also, why they’ve basically abdicated their duty.
I think the Democrats in the Senate ought to give their pay back. They haven’t produced a budget. That’s against the law. You’re not supposed to do spending bills unless they agree with the budget. If you don’t have a budget, all the spending bills, which of course they’re not doing either, why do you think we wait until the last minute and do a continuing resolution? Because the Democrats aren’t doing their job. They don’t do appropriation bills and they don’t do budgets.
Mike: On Tuesday, I didn’t have the audio up on my CSPAN but I monitor it, Al Franken was in the chair. I’ll save the jokes. Al Franken was in the chair. He gave you one minute for special orders. You were very animated and I could not tell over what. Was it over the budget or was it something else?
Senator Paul: Well, what happens is, if you speak earlier in the day, I spoke for about ten minutes on my budget plan. When it comes up for a vote, they give you sometimes only one minute. We had just produced three different Republican votes. Every time we did, Tom Harkin from Iowa would stand up and say, “Will this budget allow the student interest rates to go up?” I just got annoyed with him because none of the budgets refer to student interest rates at all. They’re completely silent on the issue.
The reason student interest rates are going to go up is because of the Budget Control Act of last year, which says we’re going to reduce them for one year. Then when one year is up, it expires and the rates go back up to six percent. It has nothing to do with our budgets. I find it such demagoguery. It just annoyed me. I got up and I said, “My budget, like the three previous Republican budgets, is silent on student interest rates. We ought to have the debate at a higher level and at least come to the playing field here responsibly and debate what’s wrong with our country instead of playing these student interest rate games.”
Mike: Let me ask you, in regards to what’s wrong with our country -- Senator Rand Paul from the great State of Kentucky is with us on the Dude Maker Hotline. In regards to what’s wrong with our country, what do you make of Senator Schumer’s very public hissy fit and demonization of Eduardo Saverin and his decision that he is going to leave the United States, of which he was not a natural-born citizen of, and take his business and his genius elsewhere?
Senator Paul: What Senator Schumer needs to recognize is we live in a competitive world environment. We live in a competitive United States. Each state competes with each other based on tax rate. If Illinois is raising their taxes through the roof, they’re losing business. With the United States having the highest corporate tax in the world, we’re losing business and we’re now losing citizens.
When Chuck Schumer and the other Democrats come to the floor and say, “We need to punish rich people,” guess what? Rich people are going to flee punishment. Nobody likes to be punished. When the Democrats say, “We need to punish the oil and gas industry,” they need to recognize that the oil and gas industry employs 9.2 million people. If they pay $86 million a day in taxes, they’ve paid over $100 billion in taxes over the last decade. That’s the problem. I guess we could call them haters. These are haters of job creators. That’s the problem.
Mike: Do you believe, Senator Rand Paul, do you believe that it would be helpful for the GOP as a party to present one unified budget that has compromises from the likes of you and maybe Paul Ryan, or do you think that these different budgets just need to all be discussed out in the open?
Senator Paul: We’ve tried that. We had several meetings with Paul Ryan, with some of the conservatives in the Senate, and we asked him to see if he could balance the budget sooner. His budget doesn’t balance for 28 years. We just thought that’s too long. It’s too little too late. In 28 years, I think we will have already faced a crisis in our country over this debt. I think we could face it in the next five years. I think it needs to be a much more dramatic fix. We need to immediately go ahead and pass something that fixes entitlements. Really, I think he wants to do the right thing, but his time table is much slower. Look at how the response is from the Democrats? I think his time table is way too slow and is going to be too late for us. The Democrats all think it’s way too fast and too severe to try to balance the budget in 28 years.
Mike: Twenty-eight years, how could you possibly predict it? It’s hard enough for you to predict five.
Senator Paul: Yeah, it is. The thing is, if you don’t promise to do something within your term of office or at least within your lifetime -- many of us won’t be alive in 28 years. How can you possibly promise that? I would say 90 percent of the currently-serving Congressmen and women won’t be there in 28 years. It’s a false promise to promise anything that far out. Predicting these trillion-dollar budgets is really hard more than a couple years out.
Mike: Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky. Senator Paul, when you go back home to the great State of Kentucky and you visit with families, something I know you’re very close to, that have young men and women that are in service in Afghanistan and maybe some in Iraq, but mostly in Afghanistan, are they animated in their questioning to you what are we doing here? We need to get junior home, out of here. What are the folks back home telling you about the never-ending war in Afghanistan that does not seem to be being waged for any purpose other than just to keep the military there through the election?
Senator Paul: I’m very proud of our young men and women who volunteer. I’m proud that we have a country that has a volunteer military. That’s where I’d start. Most of the young men and women who serve, they feel a little bit constrained in their opinion. They’re not supposed to be involved in politics. Part of the military is you take orders from your superior. If you get them talking, you will find many members of the military who are a little bit annoyed that the Afghans, after ten years, get out of the Humvee last. They’re annoyed by stories that when our soldiers are wounded or sometimes killed that the Afghans are divvying up their iPods and cell phones and computers and sitting in the back smoking cigarettes and not really doing the fighting.
I think our soldiers are ready to come home. I think they’re ready to see the Afghan soldiers step up. They don’t want to feel like we were there for naught. They want to see a transition that gets the Afghans stepping up. It’s sort of like in this country. If we believe that people should, for the most part, be self-sufficient, you have to sort of get them going in that direction. Same with the Afghans, we can’t just wait and watch. We’ve got to start turning it over to them.
Mike: Another question that I have about your father, about Ron Paul, in Congress, there are a few Rand Pauls in the Senate. You have yourself, Senator DeMint, Senator Lee, among others, but in the Congress, have you made friends with, have you talked with ultimately the young men who will have to step up and replace Ron Paul? Who’s going to be against the Fed? Who’s going to speak out against the NDAA in the Congress? It seems like Justin Amash is one of them, Congressman Schweikert from Arizona another. Have you talked to them and what do you think of the young guns over in the other house?
Senator Paul: I met several of them. I’d probably say Justin Amash is obviously one of the leaders. I would say there’s probably 10 or 20, maybe 30 or 40 that are really pretty hardcore and leaning our way. They won’t be with us on every issue, but they are coming in our direction. We have a young man running for Congress in Northern Kentucky this next Tuesday, Thomas Massie, who I think will be right up there with Justin Amash. He’ll be one of the top five in the country, I think. He’s in a very close race, but it’s a Republican district. If he wins the primary, he could well be the Congressman. There are some good people in the House. The wave of freshmen from last year has a lot of good ones. We just need to make sure they don’t get co-opted by the system.
Mike: Final question, because I know you have to run. Ron Paul, as we go through the summer, June, July and August, and then the RNC, does your father see this as the twilight, as the dusk of his career or does he see this as just this is the dawn of what I set in motion?
Senator Paul: Well, I think what amazes him is it gets bigger every day. Even as it has become mathematically impossible to collect enough delegates to win, the crowds are bigger and bigger. He had 8,000 students hear him at a university in California recently. He’s had 4,000 in Pittsburgh, 5,000 in Champlain, Illinois. Wherever he goes, he gets these large, enthusiastic crowds of young people. It’s really what the Republican Party needs to figure out, to tap into and win this election. President Obama is attracting the youth and did last time. They need to figure out why do the youth come out in thousands, in large crowds, to see Ron Paul.
End Mike Church Show Transcript