The story was told in the 1800s of a man in Illinois whose house burned down. All his neighbors said they were sorry for the man’s loss. One neighbor, however, took out a five-dollar gold piece and said, “I feel sorry for this man to the amount of five dollars. How much do you feel sorry for him?”
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) understands the principle taught in this story.
At a press conference on Wednesday held in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Paul announced that he was returning $600,000 to the U.S. Treasury. Paul saved this much money by “frugally operating his Senate office in the past year,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
“It’s the only budget I control.... It’s not enough, but it’s a start,” Paul said.
The total amount being returned is more than 20 percent of Sen. Paul's original office budget, according to information reported by the senator’s office.
He said his staff was able to curtail spending by “watching every purchase,” including, according to the Courier-Journal article, “keeping close tabs on expenditures for ‘computers, paper, ink cartridges. Everything we buy.’”
Paul also closely controls the money spent on traveling between Capitol Hill and Kentucky. Reports from congressional watchdog groups published online also indicate that Paul does not pay his staff the exorbitant salaries paid to aides by some of his colleagues.
The Courier-Journal reported, “We are frugal from top to bottom,” Paul said, adding that he believes the savings show he has been true to his campaign pledge to cut federal spending. “It’s not an enormous savings,” he said, but the savings would add up if purse strings were so closely watched throughout government.
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