We don't have a lot of time for a big discussion today, but I wanted to take a second and talk about basic federal government economics as they apply to Rand Paul.
It is his stated vision to reduce the size of government... and it is an undeniable reality that the vast majority of the federal budget is focused on only a few areas of spending.
Today, we'll quickly run through that economic reality, and we'll challenge Dr. Paul to tell us where he stands.
So it's about as basic as this: the four biggest items in the budget are Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, the Department of Defense budget, and interest on the federal debt.
Those four items are 80% of the total 2011 budget.
What does that mean?
That means you can get rid of every other thing that government does — no more people overseeing oil drilling, no food inspections, or border security, no FBI or ATF or DEA or CIA, or OSHA or MSHA, no National Guard or air traffic control or Coast Guard or NASA... no Department of Agriculture or food stamps, either — you can get rid of all of it, and government will still be 80% of what it is today.
And that means that the only way you can really make the federal government smaller is to cut one or more of those four core activities that government is performing.
So which one will it be, Dr. Paul?
Are you against Medicare and Medicaid? Should it be ended today?
What about Social Security? Are you ready to tell Kentucky voters that Social Security should end, today?
Are you ready to tell Kentucky voters that you do not believe that the US should be the world leader in military technologies?
Do you think China should be the preeminent military power?
Let's get these questions in front of Dr. Paul, and even as he tries to dodge questions about the right of Woolworth's to keep its lunch counter white, let's make him face these questions as well, which are neither abstract nor obscure.