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  #1  
Old 01-13-2012, 05:46 PM
C4nuck C4nuck is offline
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Rand Paul cuts check to Treasury Department

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...ry-department/

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(CNN) - Republican Sen. Rand Paul returned half a million dollars from his office budget to the Treasury Department on Thursday, offering a relatively small chunk of cash to help pay off the massive federal debt, which totals more than $15 trillion.

Unveiling a check made out to "The U.S. Taxpayer" at an event in Louisville, the Kentucky senator said he hopes other members of Congress would follow his cost-cutting measures.

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"If every senator did the same and every congressman did the same, it would be about $130 million. And we've got to start somewhere," Paul said.

The $500,000 contribution amounted to about 16% of the freshman senator's $3 million annual budget.
Not sure if this is the right forum for this or not, my apologies if it isn't. Some will say it's a "political move" so I guess it applies to this section's description.

Spin away!
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:03 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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So Paul's solution to the deficit is to have a system where workers follow his example and send in a certain proportion of their pay-checks to the federal gov't each year in order to cover federal spending?

I think thats already a thing.

Last edited by Simplicio; 01-13-2012 at 06:03 PM..
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:09 PM
Giles Giles is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
I think thats already a thing.
Yes, but he wants to make it voluntary.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:10 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Hooray for token gestures! We don't have nearly enough of those in politics.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:15 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Is Rand Paul running for something I don't know about? Seems like this thread belongs in either GD or MPSIMS.
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:23 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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This is not money coming out of his paycheck or his personal account.
This is his office budget.
The so-called check is one of those symbolic five-foot long checks and not a real check that can be cashed at a bank. (If you look at the picture, there is no account or routing number at the bottom and no bank name on the check.)

Reading between the lines, what he did was spend $500,000 less than the allowed maximum on his office expenses and then called a news conference and dramatized it with a fake check. (I don't actually know if there is some formal process to "return" unspent office expenses or if just simply not spending the money is sufficient.)

I don't mean to imply that reducing his office expenses is not admirable, but it isn't coming out of his pocket.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:36 PM
redtail23 redtail23 is offline
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So is Warren Buffet going to match it?
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:42 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4nuck View Post
Not sure if this is the right forum for this or not, my apologies if it isn't. Some will say it's a "political move" so I guess it applies to this section's description.

Spin away!
Good for him. He cut 16% of his office's budget. There's nothing wrong with that.

Rand Paul has also proposed cutting the budget for food stamps and child nutrition programs by 26%, NASA by 30%, the National Park Service by 34%, the Transportation Security Administration by 35%, and the Department of Education's budget by 100%.

Let's see him match those numbers.

Last edited by Ravenman; 01-13-2012 at 06:43 PM..
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2012, 07:27 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
Is Rand Paul running for something I don't know about?
POTUS in some future cycle, or so he might delude himself.
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2012, 07:44 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Good for him. He cut 16% of his office's budget. There's nothing wrong with that.
I dunno. Joking aside, I think we'd be better off if Congresscritters relied more on in house staff to do research and develop policy and less on lobbyists and outside groups. As Rand Paul demonstrates, his office budget isn't a meaningful portion of the federal budget, and I'd happily support double or tripling it if it made for better policy coming out of the Senate.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2012, 08:58 PM
42fish 42fish is offline
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At the risk of asking the obvious: If Rand Paul believes this is such a great idea, is there a reason that he isn't introducing a bill to cut the annual office budgets for House & Senate members from $3 million to $2.5 million?
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2012, 09:45 PM
Grumman Grumman is offline
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Originally Posted by 42fish View Post
At the risk of asking the obvious: If Rand Paul believes this is such a great idea, is there a reason that he isn't introducing a bill to cut the annual office budgets for House & Senate members from $3 million to $2.5 million?
Because it could not succeed without the support of those same House & Senate members? He can't even get them to agree that the war in Iraq has ended, how's he going to get them to cut their own budgets?
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2012, 09:53 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
I dunno. Joking aside, I think we'd be better off if Congresscritters relied more on in house staff to do research and develop policy and less on lobbyists and outside groups. As Rand Paul demonstrates, his office budget isn't a meaningful portion of the federal budget, and I'd happily support double or tripling it if it made for better policy coming out of the Senate.
It'd be interesting to see how much of it is spent on getting the work done, and how much is spent on getting it done in style. I'd be all about cutting back on the latter.
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  #14  
Old 01-14-2012, 10:28 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Since this is the Elections forum -

Has daddy Ron Paul (who actually is running for something or other) announced a similar or greater cut in his own office budget? And if not, why bring up what Rand did?

Last edited by Jackmannii; 01-14-2012 at 10:28 PM..
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2012, 10:42 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
It'd be interesting to see how much of it is spent on getting the work done, and how much is spent on getting it done in style. I'd be all about cutting back on the latter.
I've been in Senate offices, given the scale of the job, they're not particularly stylish.

Congress justifiably gets a bad rap, but the idea that people go to Congress to live like kings on the publics money is pretty inaccurate. Its actually a pretty crappy job, you have to spend a lot of time shuffling back and forth between DC and your home district, you have to spend a lot of time away from your family, you spend a lot of your time either in very boring committee meetings that are largely for show or begging people for campaign money and your stuck trying to get things done in a dysfunctional institution.

There are some nice perks as well, but most Congress folks are well connected enough before they run that they would probably do better perk and salary wise if they just joined lawfirms or financial companies.

So again, I think this kind of populist "all Congressmen are jerks except me, lets defund Senate offices" is damaging. Like most things, Congress isn't going to run better with less money.
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2012, 11:19 PM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
Is Rand Paul running for something I don't know about?
You gotta admit he would be an (ahem) interesting choice for Romney as Veep.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2012, 11:58 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Why limit this to just members of Congress? I'm willing to do my part. If the federal government gives me three million dollars, I'll give five hundred thousand of it back to help the deficit.
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  #18  
Old 01-15-2012, 12:07 AM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is online now
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Libertarian proves that government agencies can be run efficiently.

Film at 11.
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  #19  
Old 01-15-2012, 09:18 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4nuck View Post
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...ry-department/



Not sure if this is the right forum for this or not, my apologies if it isn't. Some will say it's a "political move" so I guess it applies to this section's description.

Spin away!
CNN started the ball rolling (spinning?) ...... "relatively small chunk". If one of their favored pols had done it we'd be reading about a" principaled gesture" .
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  #20  
Old 01-15-2012, 09:33 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
CNN started the ball rolling (spinning?) ...... "relatively small chunk". If one of their favored pols had done it we'd be reading about a" principaled gesture" .
How would you have characterized paying .00000035% towards a debt? I think they have to put something to give a sense of the size of the payment vs the size of what its going to pay for. Given the circumstances, I'd say "relatively small chunk" is pretty generous.
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  #21  
Old 01-15-2012, 12:41 PM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
How would you have characterized paying .00000035% towards a debt? I think they have to put something to give a sense of the size of the payment vs the size of what its going to pay for. Given the circumstances, I'd say "relatively small chunk" is pretty generous.
Maybe characterize it as his not using 16 % of his budget.... oh I see that they did,......... down a few paragraphs. I guess that's why they call it spin.
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2012, 12:45 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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He completely misses the point. Question isn't whether or not the government spends money, its about how they spend it, how effectively. If you go over budget by ten percent but double your effectiveness at reaching stated goals, you're doing a bang-up job, minor sins forgiven. If you save 16% of your budget, and brag on it, then you must offer some proof you did the same job as effectively on less money. Then you got something!
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2012, 12:56 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Originally Posted by elucidator View Post
He completely misses the point. Question isn't whether or not the government spends money, its about how they spend it, how effectively. If you go over budget by ten percent but double your effectiveness at reaching stated goals, you're doing a bang-up job, minor sins forgiven. If you save 16% of your budget, and brag on it, then you must offer some proof you did the same job as effectively on less money. Then you got something!
Which is an interesting point, because Senator Paul seems to be building a record of being the voice off in the woods that nobody seems to be listening to at the moment. I looked up his legislative record, and out of the approximately 100 bills and amendments he has authored, only one of them has passed the Senate. Now, we shouldn't judge a freshman's record too harshly, but he has received votes on a fair number of his proposals, too. He's had a few near-party line votes, but several more really lopsided votes against him. His budget proposal garnered a vote of 7 to 90, his move to cut foreign aid lost 20-78, his effort to cut highway funds lost 14-84, plus a couple others that were a little less embarrassing.

That being a gratuitous shot against the senator that has nothing to do with his office budget, again he ought to be commended for returning the money he didn't need. Lots of government offices sweep up year-end cash for things like upgrading computers and Blackberries (hey, use it or lose it!) and the idea of returning funds to the Treasury shouldn't have the stigma that it frequently does. Very often, returning unspent funds is seen as a black mark against an agency, as in, "Man, your budget must be screwed up if you spent so much less than you asked for... next year, you're going to REALLY take it in the pocketbook!!"
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  #24  
Old 01-15-2012, 01:00 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
Maybe characterize it as his not using 16 % of his budget.... oh I see that they did,......... down a few paragraphs. I guess that's why they call it spin.
It was 16% of his office budget, not 16% of the national debt. I asked how you would characterize "something to give a sense of the size of the payment vs the size of what its going to pay for." The 16% number doesn't do that.

Of course, they could give the .0000003% number, but "relatively small chunk" makes Paul look better then actually saying how small a chunk it is, so if its spin, then its pro-Paul spin.

Last edited by Simplicio; 01-15-2012 at 01:00 PM..
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  #25  
Old 01-16-2012, 08:40 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
It was 16% of his office budget, not 16% of the national debt. I asked how you would characterize "something to give a sense of the size of the payment vs the size of what its going to pay for." The 16% number doesn't do that.

Of course, they could give the .0000003% number, but "relatively small chunk" makes Paul look better then actually saying how small a chunk it is, so if its spin, then its pro-Paul spin.
That may have been how you wanted me to respond but that is not exactly what you asked.
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