Ron Paul’s opinions about cutting the budget are well-known, but on Monday, he got specific: the Texas congressman laid out a budget blueprint for deep and far-reaching cuts to federal spending, including the elimination of five cabinet-level departments and the drawdown of American troops fighting overseas.
There’s even a symbolic readjustment of the president’s own salary to put it in line with the average American salary.
Paul will elaborate on the plan during an afternoon speech in Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday’s debate. He’ll say that his plan for $ 1 trillion in cuts will create a balanced federal budget by the third year of his presidency.
“It’s the only plan offered by a presidential candidate that actually balances the budget and begins to pay down the debt,” top Paul adviser Jesse Benton said in a statement ahead of the speech. “And it’s the only plan being offered that tries to reign in the Federal Reserve and get inflation under control.”
Many of the ideas in Paul’s 11-page “Plan to Restore America” are familiar from Paul’s staunch libertarianism, as well as tea party favorites like eliminating the departments of education and energy. But Paul goes further: he’ll propose immediately freezing spending by numerous government agencies at 2006 levels, the last time Republicans had complete control of the federal budget, and drastically reducing spending elsewhere. The EPA would see a 30 percent cut, the Food and Drug Administration would see one of 40 percent and foreign aid would be zeroed out immediately. He’d also take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars.
Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program, food stamps, family support programs and the children’s nutrition program would all be block-granted to the states and removed from the mandatory spending column of the federal budget. Some functions of eliminated departments, such as Pell Grants, would be continued elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy.
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