During last weekend’s Heritage Action for America presidential forum in Greenville, South Carolina, Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) appeared delighted to be asked a question about independent U.S. Senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“I was just hoping I’d get a Bernie Sanders question,” beamed Paul at about the 16 minute mark in the above-embedded full video of his presentation at the forum.
Speaking generally about Sanders’ socialist political leanings, Paul said, “Alright, Bernie Sanders is offering you free stuff. He wants to give you free healthcare. He’d give you a free car. He’d give you a free house. But guess what. There is no free lunch. That just means somebody else is paying for it, but they’re not showing you who’s paying for it.”
[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rand Paul Reportedly Said He Would Debate Bernie Sanders “Anytime, Anyplace”]
Paul had been asked about Sanders’ position in favor of expanding Social Security benefits. “It is a disservice to the country for Bernie Sanders to say he’s going to give you all more Social Security and, you know, money is going to grow on trees, and everybody’ll be rich, and there will be a chicken in every pot,” replied the Senator from Kentucky.
“The problem is Social Security is already short of money. For the last five years, Social Security pays out more than what comes in,” said Paul, who has called for preserving the program through a gradual increase in Social Security’s retirement age for future beneficiaries to 70 along with a means-testing program aimed at limiting benefit claims by individuals wealthy enough to retire without them.
Commenting on Social Security’s budget struggles, Paul blamed demographics. “People ask me, ‘Whose fault is it? Is it Republicans’ fault or Democrats’ fault?’ I say, ‘Nope. It’s your grandparents’ fault for having too many damn kids.‘”
[RELATED: Petition: A Joint Town Hall with Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders]
Noting that the post-World War II baby boom produced a generation that did not reproduce at similar or greater rates than the one before, Paul said, “We used to have 16 workers for every retired person. Now it’s 3 workers for every retired person, and we’re living longer.”
“I have a bill that would fix Social Security,” said Paul, “It’s not fun, so I’ll promise you, you’re not gonna’ love it. You have to gradually raise the age of eligibility. For my age and younger, it just has to get a little older, a couple months every year, but it’s got to go to 70 for Social Security and Medicare, and I know nobody wants to hear that, but the opposite is I come up and tell you, ‘Everything’s O.K. You can have whatever you want, and it’s free.’ But we’re going to destroy the country if we do that.”
For more 2016 election coverage, click here.