Last week, just before a colossal budget deal was approved, Senator Rand Paul (R – KY) stood on the Senate floor warning of a “day of reckoning.” It was a strange and elliptical speech for the libertarian ideologue — a near-Hollywood portrayal of a clichéd lone preacher lamenting a world gone mad — lashing out at his colleagues, foretelling the collapse of the dollar, reminiscing bitterly about a time when fiscal responsibility was more a daily virtue than an election sound bite.
Drawing Rand’s ire was a budget agreement that will increase spending caps by nearly $300 billion over two years and add $7 trillion to the already-enormous national debt within a decade. The debt currently stands at over $20 trillion.
“I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” he said, open-palmed and exasperated.
These were curious words for a Senator who just last month voted for a tax bill that tacked on $1.5 trillion to the national debt.
Then again, these are curious times — an era when the historical party of financial prudence has rallied around a president who once dubbed himself “The King of Debt.” Many of the same representatives who voted for this budget deal, less than a decade ago decried national debt as the biggest crisis of our time — spinning it as a moral dilemma and a national security disaster, and invoking our children’s future in the debate over financial sanity.