(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said that a big-government mindset now threatens American freedom.
"Everything that America has been, everything we ever wish to be, is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing," said Paul.
In making his point, Paul invoked President Ronald Reagan.
"In his farewell speech in 1989, as Reagan said, 'as government expands, liberty contracts,'" said Paul. "He was right.
Government cannot give us our liberty. Our rights come from our Creator. But as government grows, liberty becomes marginalized. The collective takes precedence over the individual. Freedom shrinks.
"And our government today is larger than it has ever been in our history," said Paul. "Everything that America has been, everything we ever wish to be, is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don't have.
"The president seems to think that we can keep adding to a $16 trillion debt," said Paul. "The president seems to think that the country can continue to borrow $50,000 a second. The president believes we just need to squeeze more money out of those who are working. He's got it exactly backwards.
Paul mocked President Obama and other politicians who claimed that the "sequester" would actually "cut" federal spending.
"I'm here to tell you that what we need to do is keep more money in the pockets of those who earned it," said Paul.
"Look at how ridiculous Washington politicians have behaved over this sequester," Paul said. "The president did a big 'oh, woe is me' over a trillion-dollar sequester that he endorsed and he signed into law. Some Republicans joined him.
"But the sequester didn't even cut any spending," said Paul. "It just slows the rate of growth of government. Even with the sequester, the federal government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.
"Only in Washington," he said, "can a $7 trillion increase in spending be called a cut."