from Rand Paul for the Washington Examiner:
Sen. Rand Paul: The debt and the decline of empire
I ran into a couple of GOP senators the other day. They were talking about the fall of the Roman Empire (who knew senators might actually discuss history?). One senator made the point that Rome’s fall corresponded with a loss of values, which of course has some merit. But that’s missing the bigger picture. I responded that perhaps their decline had something to do with being overextended militarily, knowing that they would likely reject this point since it might imply that the United States, also, might be faced with the same future.
History certainly has lessons, but it’s amazing that after 2,000 years we still draw different conclusions. I couldn’t resist to jab them a little: “You know our own decline will ultimately come when we can’t manage our debt.”
This one I think some senators do get, at least on some level. But they can’t push past their own parochialism or pet issues and causes to see that everything must be on the table in order to prevent our economy from being crushed under our massive debt burden.
I left them this last salvo to ponder: “If the GOP insists on exceeding the budget caps by over $100 billion in new military spending, it is hard to argue that the Republican Party really cares about the debt.” They didn’t look eager to continue the conversation — their only response was to amiably smile and let my volley dangle unanswered.
Minutes later, I ran into a Democrat senator in leadership. I continued my previous conversation about debt with him. “I hope your caucus will unite in opposing the GOP push to bust the budget caps on military spending.” He slyly grinned and responded, “We’re kind of in the opposite place as you are. We are fine with busting the caps on military spending as long as we get our share of domestic spending.”