ByÂ David Eldridge-The Washington Times
â€œIt will come down to the wire, and theyâ€™ll pass it because they will beat the drums of fear,â€ the 11-term congressman from Texas said Sunday onCNNâ€™s â€œState of the Union.â€ â€œThatâ€™s how we get things done in Washington.â€
â€œIâ€™m not going to vote to increase the debt,â€ he said.
Defaulting on the debt could lead to higher interest rates on everything from car loans to mortgages, he said, but the tradeoff would be more jobs and a healthier long-term future for the national economy.
Mr. Paul said the libertarian policies he has espoused during his long congressional career and during his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 have become part of the countryâ€™s mainstream political dialogue.
â€œThey mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more. The people are coming over here,â€ he said.
â€œBefore, mainstream was: deficits donâ€™t matter, print money when you need it, endless wars, personal privacy that didnâ€™t mean anything,â€ he said. â€œBut believe me, mainstream is moving in the direction that I have been talking about for a long time, and therefore nobody knows what the outcome will be in this election.â€
A noted critic of an interventionist foreign policy,Â Mr. Paul has called for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, criticizing the conflicts as â€œendless silly wars that we fight that are bankrupting us.â€
Mr. Paul, who has been campaigning vigorously in early-caucus Iowa, said he is not impressed with the other candidates in the GOP 2012 field.
â€œSo far, most of them represent the status quo. â€¦ I think theyâ€™re shifting a little bit because of political pressure, but whoâ€™s saying bring all the troops home? Whoâ€™s saying that we need sound money and we ought to believe in the Constitution? Who wants to get rid of the Patriot Act? Who believes in property rights?â€ he said Sunday onÂ CNN.
The fiscal hawk told Bloomberg news agency over the weekend that any budget deal with Democrats that tied tax increases to spending cuts was doomed.
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