There are no principled fiscal conservatives during a crisis. Except for Sen. Rand Paul, evidently.

The libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican offered an amendment to the $104 billion coronavirus relief bill the Senate passed Wednesday, which would have offset the spending through reforms and cuts elsewhere. The senator doesn’t oppose the idea of government assistance during this time of crisis, he just wants to ensure that we don’t pile hundreds of billions in additional debt on the shoulders of future generations, given their already astounding burden of $23 trillion. When his amendment failed, Paul voted against the final bill in protest.

Actually standing up for principle during the coronavirus crisis makes Paul evil, apparently, in the minds of many unhinged critics:


'Next time, maybe in the not-too-distant future, our children may not even be able to borrow their way out of a crisis,” Paul warned in his Senate speech. In response, his amendment would have offset the $104 billion in coronavirus spending by requiring a Social Security number to receive the Child Tax Credit, thus reducing fraud; allowing the president to redirect spending from other areas; and rolling back our wasteful military presence in Afghanistan. These are all sensible reforms by any fiscally conservative estimation.

Liberals can rail against him all they want on Twitter and MSNBC, but the fact remains that Paul has a point. We can’t just keep piling hundreds of billions on to the national debt every time a crisis pops up — politicians have a way of framing every issue as a "crisis" — or we’ll have a fiscal crisis of our making on our hands before we know it.