Senator Rand Paul: Taxpayer money returned to U.S. Treasury exceeds $5.7 million
By SEN. RAND PAUL
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 — It’s April. For some, it evokes warm memories of spring rain and Easter Sunday. For others, it unfortunately only means one thing: taxes. This month, many Kentucky families will reluctantly gather around the dinner table, review documents and file their taxes for the previous year. Then, later in the day, they will review their budgets and plan for the next year.
Like Family in April, Congress also works out a budget, but instead of trying to stretch a paycheck as far as possible, politicians decide how they should spend other people’s money. Included in these negotiations, they also allocate taxpayers’ money to their own office operating budgets.
I’ve always been uncomfortable with that prospect – spending your hard-earned money. I ran for office to protect your income, not to take it.
Therefore, as part of my ongoing efforts to keep more money in taxpayers’ pockets, I am pleased to announce that I am once again returning the funds saved from my office budget to the Treasury, totaling 5.7 million dollars saved during my tenure. The only budget I fully control is that of my office, and every year I send hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the treasury.
I do it because I sympathize with this family on tax day. It makes no sense for the federal government to budget way beyond its means while the average family would go bankrupt doing the same thing. Last year, the government collected an estimated $4.05 trillion in tax revenue while spending an incredible $6.82 trillion, or nearly three trillion extra dollars printed out of thin air.
To understand the magnitude of our government’s deficit, I think in terms of this family writing an annual budget. In Kentucky, the average family income is $56,525. Imagine, if they projected the same deficit as our federal government, their annual proportionate expenditures would equal $95,185. It’s an unfathomable comparison, only made possible by our government’s unlimited money printer. No one could bear that much debt, and neither could the government.
The $30 trillion debt that big spenders have created is precisely the cause of our current inflation problems. Both parties bear the responsibility. Democrats refuse to give an inch on social spending, and Republicans refuse to give an inch on defense spending, so they’re forming a behind-the-scenes bipartisan alliance to fund both. Meanwhile, the taxpayer pays the bill.
Last month we saw this process materialize in the massive $1.5 trillion spending bill. There was parity between defense spending and other spending. Washington Republicans touted their behind-the-scenes negotiating skills, calling it a major legislative victory. While I support a robust military, making deals can harm our national security by increasing debt borrowed from China.
When the federal government continually compromises on a bloated budget, it begs the question, what are the ramifications of so much debt?
I remember Nelson County, where residents tell me the parks and recreation center need updating. If the rest of the federal government followed my lead, taxpayers’ money would stay in communities where local projects need it most instead of being filtered by politicians in Washington.
What about infrastructure needs in Casey County? If politicians practiced the conservatism they professed, the funds saved could go towards the flood wall that Liberty so desperately needed. Three major floods in the past ten years have devastated their local small businesses.
Taming the problem of runaway spending may seem daunting, but if every senator budgeted less for their offices, that would be a step in the right direction. Undeniably, reducing the annual budget is not an easy task, but I have an incredible staff supporting me. They do more with less and remain among the busiest offices in the Senate.
Last year, my state office answered more than 18,600 calls and handled more than 1,600 individual cases, ranging from obtaining Social Security benefits for veterans to coordinating relief assistance. in the event of a tornado in Mayfield. In Washington, my team responded to demands from Kentucky by introducing 37 bills to this Congress and winning big victories on defending life, holding Dr. Fauci accountable for gain-of-function research, and pushing back the unconstitutional mandate of Biden’s travel mask. Their hard work is instrumental in my commitment to fiscal responsibility.
As the saying of Milton Friedman goes, no one spends someone else’s money as carefully as they spend their own. It represents both people and governments. In the spirit of Friedman, I try to be a good steward of taxpayers’ money in all matters. That means treating every dollar as mine, whether it’s regularly voting against omnibus trillion-dollar bills or practicing sound money management in my home office.
From my first day serving Kentucky until my last, I am committed to keeping my promise, as few ever do, and fighting for the sanity of our federal government.