Policy

Rand Paul's Math Doesn't Add Up

Sen. Rand Paul is still using an obsolete GOP talking point that Roll Call debunked back in March — and since then, he's only gotten more wrong.

"We are now borrowing $40,000 a second. We are borrowing $4 billion a day," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor, according to a transcript blasted out by his office. Neither figure is accurate.

Indeed, the latest Congressional Budget Office estimates show the deficit dropping to $642 billion this year — or less than $1.8 billion a day and about $21,000 a second. The debt will go up slightly faster — $755 billion or less than $2.1 billion a day or about $24,000 a second. That's because programs like borrowing to finance student loans aren't included in the CBO's deficit calculation.

Paul then tweeted an even bigger error —  writing, "We are borrowing $400,000 a second" — which is an order of magnitude more incorrect than the $40,000 figure:

We are borrowing $400,000 a second. We are borrowing $4 billion a day. We borrow from China just to run the ordinary functions of government

— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) May 21, 2013

Roll Call reached out to Paul's office to see if he intends to correct the record, and his tweet. We'll let you know if we hear back.