Skip to content

Rand Paul’s Math Doesn’t Add Up

Sen. Rand Paul is still using an obsolete GOP talking point that Roll Call debunked back in March — and since then, he’s only gotten more wrong.

“We are now borrowing $40,000 a second. We are borrowing $4 billion a day,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor, according to a transcript blasted out by his office. Neither figure is accurate.

Indeed, the latest Congressional Budget Office estimates show the deficit dropping to $642 billion this year — or less than $1.8 billion a day and about $21,000 a second. The debt will go up slightly faster — $755 billion or less than $2.1 billion a day or about $24,000 a second. That’s because programs like borrowing to finance student loans aren’t included in the CBO’s deficit calculation.

Paul then tweeted an even bigger error —  writing, “We are borrowing $400,000 a second” — which is an order of magnitude more incorrect than the $40,000 figure:

We are borrowing $400,000 a second. We are borrowing $4 billion a day. We borrow from China just to run the ordinary functions of government

— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) May 21, 2013

Roll Call reached out to Paul’s office to see if he intends to correct the record, and his tweet. We’ll let you know if we hear back.

Recent Stories

‘We will not be complicit in this’: Hill staffers challenge their bosses on Gaza

Reproductive policy fights renew the focus on IVF

Capitol Lens | ‘The Eyes of History’

Supreme Court to hear cross-state pollution case

McConnell has a good week in battle to retake Senate majority

Trump’s interest in national abortion ban fires up both sides