Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Republicans making raising the Social Security retirement a condition of raising the debt ceiling, adding a new twist to the high-wire negotiations over re-opening the federal government and avoiding default.
"I am worried about a government that borrows over a million dollars every minute. And so I think there needs to be some structural reform of our spending or we shouldn't raise the debt ceiling," Paul told WABC's Aaron Klein in an interview airing Sunday night, and shared with BuzzFeed. "And rising the age on social security gradually a couple months a year for younger people is a way to fix the imbalance. It ought to be done probably for Social Security and for Medicare."
Thursday is the deadline for raising the debt ceiling, though Republicans and Democrats have each proposed plans to extend it.
In the interview, Paul accused President Barack Obama of using scare tactics to rattle financial markets as the deadline nears.
"The one thing we shouldn't do is we shouldn't scare people or scare the market place. So I think the president is wrong when he talks casually about default and thinks that we would default," Paul said.
Paul, who is considering a 2016 presidential run, also said the country needs to "revive the American Dream," and that the GOP is the pathway for that revival.
"People have crossed oceans and come on over full, leaky boats to get here and escaped tyranny around the world," Paul said. "But they came for freedom and they also came and found prosperity. And that dream has to be alive. And I think that dream is what the Republican Party offers."
"I think we can help those who can't help themselves, but the whole boat will sink if everybody is receiving from the government," he added.
Jacob Fischler is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.
Contact Jacob Fischler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.