Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) walks to the Senate chamber on Thursday at the Capitol in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Regarding the Feb. 9 front-page article “Sen. Paul, budget roadblocks spur another shutdown”:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was correct in calling the Republican Party hypocritical for voting for a large spending bill. He should know, considering he just voted for a tax bill that will add trillions to the national debt without proposing any offsetting cuts.

But the real fault lies with the American people, who want more spending than they are willing to pay for and will vote only for the people who give it to them. Everyone complains that politicians are liars, but no one will vote for anyone who tells them the truth: The difference between spending and taxes is not “waste, fraud and abuse”; it is lots of programs that people want. If they want them, they should pay for them.

Jane Haltmaier, Locust Grove, Va.