The government lockdowns that followed the outbreak of the coronavirus across the U.S. put an unprecedented financial strain on American families.
Congress has taken action through bipartisan, multitrillion-dollar spending bills intended to alleviate that burden.
But Sen. Rand Paul, a purist with regard to the issues of responsible government spending and the protection of individual liberty, is not pleased.
For the Kentucky Republican, all that spending is distressing, and its short-term relief is essentially kicking the can down the road.
The country’s woes since March — when the virus began to run rampant in American communities, prompting unprecedented shutdowns — have affected both of Paul’s signature fights.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen individual liberties challenged and public debts skyrocket.
Paul is indiscriminate in his condemnation of those who continue to dig the country into a deeper financial hole.
That leaves even his fellow Republicans feeling the wrath he generally reserves for Democrats who have enjoyed running up what was already an insurmountable national debt, prior to the importation of the novel coronavirus from China.
The country is more than $26 trillion in the hole, and that’s with a capital T.
It’s something that all Americans should be mindful of.
Leave it to Paul to lift the curtain on the issue.
He attacked his own caucus this week, equating his fellow Republicans with big-government Democrats.
“Just came from Progressive Democrat, whoops, [I] mean Republican caucus: They’re going to spend $105b more on education, more than we spend every year on the Dept of Education,” Paul tweeted Tuesday.
“Anyone remember when Reagan conservatives were for eliminating the Federal Dept. of Education?” he asked.
But Paul wasn’t finished scorning his fellow Republicans.
“The majority of Republicans are now no different than socialist Democrats when it comes to debt. They simply don’t care about debt and are preparing to add at least another trillion dollars in debt this month, combined with the trillions from earlier this summer,” he said in a follow-up tweet.
“Another genius idea heard from both caucuses today: too many schools closed this fall so we have to send more federal aid for day care,” he said.
The senator concluded: “I really need to double check which caucus meeting I went to today.”
It’s difficult to fault the Kentucky Republican for taking issue with adding trillions to the national debt in such a short period of time.
That is more debt that the country’s young people will have to square up someday, if they’re willing and able.
The national debt is, frankly, a national security issue.
Paul — as consistent as ever — is calling out all of those who treat the country as if it is digging money out of a bottomless piggy bank sitting in an office somewhere in Washington.
Even if those responsible for running up debts and budget deficits are members of his own party.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has taken on the GOP establishment in recent weeks, likely to the chagrin of those who see themselves as saviors of a people besieged by personal financial issues, a health crisis and the actions of violent leftists and their assault on American culture.
While Carlson hasn’t made much of an issue of the ballooning debt, he has stoked a fire burning within many conservatives who find themselves asking where their leaders are during a time when they need those leaders the most.
Carlson’s spare-no-person approach to his nightly monologue is one reason he hosts cable’s highest-rated program.
After all, what happened to the Republican Party that valued law and order, and balanced budgets?
Why did GOP senators last month apparently capitulate to a leftist mob and propose replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth?
These issues, at least to some lifelong Republican voters, are interconnected.
According to Paul, GOP lawmakers have jumped aboard a movement to join Democrats in trading away the country’s future for a bit of temporary relief.
The issue, though, is without a doubt a complicated one.
Americans have received direct cash payments, as they are struggling through no fault of their own.
Lawmakers are now discussing new spending and more direct payments to Americans.
The $2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed by President Donald Trump in March, offered relief to businesses and individuals who were at risk of losing everything.
The country is walking a tightrope.
If the federal government doesn’t again intervene, many taxpayers could lose everything.
But in acting, all of that spending puts the country into further financial trouble.
“The debt clock in my office, we’ve gone up $3 trillion in the last few months, and going up more is irresponsible,” the senator said, referring to the $1 trillion currently being discussed to disperse more payments to embattled Americans.
Paul isn’t saying those who have been hit hard should not be helped, but he does make a valid point when he highlights that once fiscally conservative lawmakers have expressed few reservations about continuing to spend money the country doesn’t have, with little oversight.
Paul has a symbolic solution.
“[Republicans] said that President [Barack] Obama is for borrowing and spending — they’re talking about spending another trillion dollars,” he said.
“There should be a law that they are no longer allowed to talk about the debt. We are sending money to people who haven’t lost their jobs — we are losing the country,” the senator said.
Paul further compared the GOP to leftist supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an avowed democratic socialist.
“I find it extraordinary that I came from a GOP caucus meeting that could be the Bernie Bros or progressive caucus,” he said.
The country is attempting to spend its way out of a potential financial catastrophe.
But Paul wants it on the record that those who previously argued against unfettered government spending are separate from him.
“There has to be a voice left for fiscal conservatives,” he said.
While politicians so often pay lip service in their quests to get elected and re-elected, only to be elected some more, Paul is taking a different approach.
He still stands for the issues that Kentucky voters evaluated when they sent him to Washington.
Amid the country’s unprecedented and arguably self-inflicted wounds, we should still be mindful of where and how money we don’t have is being spent.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.