Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has proposed a budget that will cut $500 billion in federal spending in one year. (Important caveat: It has not to my knowledge been independently scored.) Paul would abolish the Departments of Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, completely zeroing out federal housing spending.
The Affordable Housing Program, the Commission on Fine Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment of Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, the State Justice Institute, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are all eliminated. The Smithsonian is privatized. The defense budget is also cut, by the 6 percent decrease is less than the reductions in most domestic spending. Most other discretionary spending is rolled back to 2008 levels, in a single year rather than over a lengthy period of time.
I’ll have more to say about all this later once I’ve looked at the Paul budget in greater detail. But it wouldn’t hurt if Paul Ryan’s State of the Union response represented mainstream Republican thinking on fiscal policy and the Tea Party, symbolized tonight by Michelle Bachmann, took a page from Paul.