That’s Rand Paul, at least at the moment, and he continues to earn that title:
Senators discussed the “human toll and budget consequences” of senior hunger at the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging Tuesday. Arguing for increased funding for the Older Americans Act of 1965, Sen. Al Franken and committee chair Bernie Sanders said that the act saves money. “It allows seniors to stay in their homes, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to stay in their homes,” Franken said. Sen. Rand Paul countered that “only in Washington, D.C., can you spend two billion dollars and claim that you’re saving money.” His solution: Letting charities deal with senior citizens.
Here is the video (via Oliver Willis):
Alex Pareene (emphasis in original):
As Sanders and Franken explain: If we make sure old folks have money for and access to adequate nutrition, fewer of them will need to be hospitalized or placed in nursing homes. Because Medicare would pay a lot more money for hospitalization or nursing home care than it would cost to make sure these old folks don’t go hungry to begin with, this program is cost-effective in addition to being humane.
Understanding this just requires a little bit of thought. If we cut spending on volcano monitoring and tsunami warnings, we save a little money on maintenance, but pay a lot of money on damage repairs after disaster strikes. If we cut spending on food safety, we save a little money on inspection, but pay a lot of money on health care costs when consumers get sick. If we cut spending for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as Republicans are desperate to do, we save a little money on enforcement, but pay a lot of money to clean up financial catastrophes.
For every dollar the IRS spends on audits, liens, and property seizures, the government brings in more than $10. If we spend less on IRS enforcement, as Republicans demand, it costs us more.
Is this really that confusing?
Is it cheaper to replace your roof when it begins to wear out, or should you wait until your house experiences extensive water damage because it costs money to replace your roof?
If your water bill is too high, should you put in low-flow toilets or would that be a bad idea because new toilets cost money?
Was Japan wise not to spend money on backup electrical systems at their nuclear plants because you can’t save money by spending it?
Finally, since it costs money to maintain the levee system in New Orleans, shouldn’t we just abandon that effort and take our chances?