Aug 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rand Paul: No incentive to open economy "if you soften the amount of suffering"

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News Wednesday that he opposes Congress passing more stimulus funding because "if you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession," governors "will not have an incentive" to reopen the economy.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked over the next coronavirus stimulus package. The Trump administration has said it is willing to pass a bill at a lower price tag than House Democrats' $3 trillion proposal, but some Republicans — like Paul and other deficit hawks — have said there is no need.

What he's saying: "The money will be borrowed or the money will be printed. Both of them have ramifications. If we do another trillion, we will be in about $5 trillion for one year. We have never, ever in the history of the United States borrowed so much so rapidly. And I fear the consequences," Paul said.

  • "If you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession, we can stay in a recession longer. The recession is created by the government. The government shut the economy."
  • "So all of these governors, Democrat and Republican, will not have an incentive to open the economy if you soften the amount of suffering that they have created."
  • "What we need to be doing is every day broadcasting that your governors are causing the unemployment."

Between the lines: Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly emphasized that the fate of the economy is inextricably linked to the course of the virus.

  • There is no trade-off between the economy and the pandemic, Powell and other economists argue, and economic recovery is all but impossible if the virus isn't contained.

Go deeper: Paul says Republicans should apologize to Obama for complaining about spending

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