Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered one suggestion toward a compromise on the federal debt ceiling with Democratic lawmakers, while accusing them and President Barack Obama of inciting fear among economic interests.
“I’m all for taking default completely off the table and promising to the American people and to the markets, to Wall Street, that we will always pay the interest on the debt as a priority,” Paul told CNN host Erin Burnett.
To do that, Paul called for making monthly $30 billion payments taken from the country’s $250 billion tax intake.
“What’s going on is, interestingly, the Democrats are scaring people, saying, ‘We might not pay it because Republicans don’t want to raise the debt ceiling,” Paul explained. “If you don’t raise the debt ceiling, what that means is, you’d have a balanced budget. It doesn’t mean you don’t pay the bills.”
Paul also talked up his party’s united opposition to the Affordable Care Act — while conceding to a divide in how to pursue it — and dismissed Burnett’s statement that CNN polling found ending the current legislative standoff to be more important than defunding the law.
“I’m not so sure it’s as clear-cut as you make it out to be,” Paul argued. “People — particularly the people who elected me — wanted me to stand up and fight on Obamacare. They think it’s bad, they think it’s gonna reduce their choices.”
Paul did not mention a Wall Street Journal report in which his own state’s healthcare exchange, Kynect, was credited for having “a smoother rollout than some other states.” More than 10,000 applications were processed for the new service as of Wednesday afternoon, and the Journal quoted one woman, Kendell Nash, whose family of three will reportedly save $5,000 to $6,000 a year without accounting for government subsidies for their coverage plan.
“I’ve been counting down the days,” Nash told the Journal.
Watch Paul’s interview with Burnett, aired Wednesday on CNN, below.