Rand Paul is trumpeting his plan to cut $500 billion in spending once again, this time in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, where he calls his "a modest proposal when measured against the size of our mounting debt." He runs through its elements—he doesn't touch Social Security or Medicare, but wants major cuts to the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and Transportation, among others—and articulates his goal: "reducing wasteful spending and shuttering departments that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government."
Don't like his proposal? Fine, says Paul—but he has two requests: One, if you think a program should be exempt from cuts, "I challenge you to find another place in the budget where the same amount can feasibly be cut." Two, consider: Is any federal program "worth borrowing billions of dollars from foreign nations" when it could be covered by state, local, or private authorities? "My Republican colleagues say they want a balanced-budget amendment," he writes. "But to have any semblance of credibility we must begin to discuss where we will cut once it passes. My proposal is a place to start." (Read more Rand Paul stories.)