The GOP, driven by tea party extremism, has shut down the U.S. government, costing taxpayers on the order of $40-$80 million per day at a conservative estimate. Some estimates go as high as $300 million per day. According to Shutdowncost.com, as I write this, the shutdown has cost in excess of $1,593,276,000 and it is literally climbing by the second.
Yet Rand Paul (R-KY) writes an op-ed on CNN.com on Friday with the disingenuous claim that he doesn’t understand why the WWII memorial isn’t open:
This week, we saw the outrageous spectacle of World War II veterans being told by our government that they couldn’t visit their own memorial. These former service members, who stared down the Japanese and the Nazis, were told that they couldn’t step through barricades arbitrarily placed in front of their memorial because the government has shut down. Some have speculated that it might have cost more to place the barricades there than to have done nothing at all.
This is a tear-jerker, and it is meant to be. But Paul is being as dishonest here as the day is long.
He says putting barricades up cost more than to have done nothing. But Rand Paul doesn’t mention that, the shutdown his party is responsible for is costing Americans more than if the Republicans had done nothing. And the shutdown is costing Americans more than a few barricades.
Let me put it this way: Not only do the spending cuts the GOP demands not reduce the federal debt, but the shutdown Republicans initiated claiming Obamacare is costing Americans too much money, costs more money than Obamacare.
If this makes sense to you, you are probably a tea partier.
Yet Rand Paul says Obamacare makes no sense, because, apparently, giving millions of Americans access to insurance for the first time, and forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, makes no sense.
He accuses President Obama of being “tone deaf” to Americans, completely ignoring the fact – and it is a fact – that the majority of Americans want Obamacare and that the majority of Americans do not want a government shutdown.
I think we know who is tone deaf, and it isn’t President Obama.
Then Rand Paul pulls out the Big Lie, the same one every Republican who began planning for this shutdown in 2010 are all using, that none of them wanted a shutdown. Keep in mind that they shut down the government using Obamacare as an excuse. Keep in mind that Obamacare is the law of the land, and more, a law upheld by the Supreme Court.
No one wanted a government shutdown. Republicans have continued to offer multiple compromises that would keep the government open. I offered an amendment to keep the government open an additional week while negotiations continued. My proposal was rejected. In fact, all of our proposals were rejected.
Paul tells another lie when he claims, “Every attempt to bargain, negotiate or compromise has been rejected by the Democrats.”
Let us be clear: The Republicans have offered no compromises. They refused from the start to negotiate. Their demands – and they can be construed no other way – have been predicated on 44 unsuccessful votes to defund Obamacare, and when that failed, to delay it for a year, when, they hope, a new majority in the Senate will kill it for good. In other words, delaying Obamacare is, from their point of view, no different than killing it. Some compromise. Either way, it’s “kill Obamacare.”
Apparently, Rand Paul yearns to be known as the biggest liar in Washington, D.C., to judge by this next whopper:
Pundits like to talk about dysfunctional government in Washington. This week demonstrated how right they are. Our government is too big, inefficient and incompetent to possibly handle American health care effectively. Why can’t this administration get its act together?
A Republican-dominated House of Representatives rushing down a road to nowhere with no clear end-game in mind save unconditional surrender by the administration, and Paul says the administration doesn’t have IT’S act together?
Paul pulls out one lie after another, each worse than the last, arriving at the tried and untrue Republican claim that Obama is building the deficit at a record pace:
And what do we have to show for this largely dysfunctional government? Annual trillion dollar deficits and a $17 trillion debt than keeps climbing.
The truth is exactly the opposite. In fact, Obama is reducing the deficit at a record pace. It is a fact, as Sarah Jones reported here in May, that the Obama administration has presided over the most rapid deficit reduction since World War II.
In fact, government spending under President Obama has grown at a slower rate than it did under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, according to Bloomberg (that’s over 50 years ago, if you’re counting).
Where does that leave Paul’s op-ed? Lie, lie, another lie, followed by more lies. So does Rand Paul have anything to say that is not a lie?
No, sadly he does not. All Rand Paul has is lies.
And so the liar from Kentucky concludes, dishonestly, that because his party has shutdown the government over a law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court, that, “What Americans were reminded of this week — more than anything else — is that big government doesn’t work.”
What doesn’t work is the House of Representatives, which has spent 15+ percent of its time this year trying to get rid of a law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court. A law, moreover, that most Americans want.
The GOP, to nobody’s surprise, is a party these days of liars and shills. But Rand Paul, apparently – and this is saying something when you consider the company he keeps – wants to be the liar of the century.
Right now, he has that award hands down.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.