Watch: Rand Paul Has No Idea How He'll Cut Government Spending
Tea Party-favorite and Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul stopped by ABC's This Weekover the weekend, where he was pressed repeatedly by Christiane Amanpour to move beyond "slogans and platitudes" and provide "direct information" about how Republicans would live up to their campaign promise of balancing the budget and cutting the deficit -- while maintaining the Bush tax cuts and funding for seniors and other popular programs.
As always, Paul was short on specifics, giving the same broken-record answers: he'll look "across the board" and examine "every program." But Amanpour kept pushing:
AMANPOUR: Give me one specific cut, Senator-elect.
PAUL: All across the board.
AMANPOUR: One significant one. No, but you can't just keep saying all across the board.
PAUL: Well, no, I can, because I'm going to look at every program, every program. But I would freeze federal hiring. I would maybe reduce federal employees by 10 percent. I'd probably reduce their wages by 10 percent. The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year. The average private employee makes $60,000 a year. Let's get them more in line, and let's find savings. Let's hire no new federal workers.
Those cuts would clearly not be enough to balance the budget, so Amanpour asked about the military, which represents an enormous portion of our national spending (a fact Republicans generally like to ignore). When asked if he would vote for defense cuts, Paul said:
"Yes, yes ....You need ... compromise on where the spending cuts come from. Republicans traditionally say, oh, we'll cut domestic spending, but we won't touch the military. The liberals -- the ones who are good -- will say, oh, we'll cut the military, but we won't cut domestic spending. Bottom line is, you have to look at everything across the board.
Let's just say: I'll believe thatwhen I see it.
Meanwhile, fellow Tea Partier Jim DeMint had similar non-answers on NBC's Meet the Press. Watch them both here: