Declaring “We have come to take our country back” to a crowd of likely Tea Partiers must invoke a response similar to a Lynyrd Skynyrd audience hearing the opening chords of “Free Bird.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul brought out the Bic lighters early when he opened with that line, announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential ticket.
I never understood whom they wanted to take the country back from, but Paul wastes no time in providing his own answer:
“We’ve come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank. The special interests that are more concerned with their personal welfare than the general welfare.”
From 2009 to 2014, Sen. Paul has received $129,755.00 in contributions from gas & oil and another $142,960.00 from the mining industry.
In 2011, Paul introduced a resolution to overturn the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The rule cuts down on traveling smokestack emissions from 27 states.
From the original EPA press release:
“The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will protect communities that are home to 240 million Americans from smog and soot pollution, preventing up to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 19,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and 1.8 million sick days a year…”
Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander spoke out against Paul’s resolution prior to the vote:
“Air pollution blowing in from other states makes our citizens sick, especially children and older Tennesseans. It is also a jobs issue – pollution makes our mountains smoggy, driving away tourists. And it makes it harder for communities to secure the air-quality permits that allow auto suppliers and other manufacturers to locate in, and bring jobs to our state.”
Paul’s resolution was voted down in a 41-56 vote.
Like his fellow Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, Paul also likes to speak of limited government. Also like Cruz, this doesn’t apply to women.
Paul was a supporter of Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s 2012 amendment to allow any employer to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s female contraception mandate based on a moral (aka religious) objection.
“As your President, one of my first acts would be to repeal the abomination that is Obamacare,” Paul states on his website.
Paul is anti-choice and even introduced his own personhood legislation in 2013, the Life at Conception Act. Like other Personhood bills, Paul’s Act would have granted constitutional rights to a zygote.
When Mississippi attempted to pass a Personhood Amendment in 2011, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists responded the legislation would “impact access to women’s health, including treatment for cancer, infertility treatment, birth control options, and pregnancy termination.”
I don’t think it is a coincidence that since the Affordable Care Act has been implemented, abortions have dropped to their lowest rate since 1973.
Women’s healthcare is not Paul’s weak spot… women’s legislation in general is.
The Kentucky Senator also voted against the 2013 Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and did his part to block the 2012 Paycheck Fairness Act.
Considering Paul supports a woman’s boss to dictate if her birth control is covered, what would healthcare look like for the rest of us under a Paul presidency? Not good.
Paul wants to empower “all citizens to have access to health savings accounts.” This may sound familiar.
In my March entry covering CPAC, Dr. Ben Carson (who has the same odds of getting the GOP nomination as Mos Eisley Cantina regular Momaw Nadon) advocated for replacing Obamacare with a “health savings account system.”
Under Carson’s plan, every American would receive $2,000.00 a year for healthcare coverage. That’s it.
Carson’s plan may sound generous after Paul’s tax reform underfunds the government.
Paul wants to use an across the board flat tax rate of 17%. “I propose we cut taxes for everyone – rich and poor,” Paul says in one of his many videos on his campaign site. He’s not just cutting taxes for the rich, he’s obliterating them.
Remember when people were outraged to find out Mitt Romney’s tax rate was only 14% during the 2012 elections? Under the Paul plan, Romney’s rate would be 0%. Romney makes the majority of his money from capital gains; under Paul’s plan, investment income is tax free. The current rate for capital gains is 23.8%.
Following Paul’s plan, the United States would lose $700 billion in revenue every year.
In February, the world was reminded that Paul is also a sucker for the most ridiculous conspiracy theories.
Speaking to CNBC during the measles outbreak, Paul said: “I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”
Jesus, Rand. Were you talking to Michele Bachmann again?
Like Bachmann, Paul’s vaccine comments had zero facts to back them up. Responding to the instant backlash, the Senator received a Hepatitis A booster shot on camera.
However, this isn’t the first time Paul has taken the worm. Seriously, he has sucked that thing down as if he were Craig T. Nelson in Poltergeist II.
In 2008, Paul shared his concern about the North American Union. The debunked conspiracy theory claims the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico would dissolve their borders and form a union, which would result in a new currency called the Amero.
“So, it’s a real thing, and when you talk about it, the thing you just have to be aware of is that, if you talk about it like it’s a conspiracy, they’ll paint you as a nut.”
In a 2012 National Association for Gun Rights letter, Paul warned gun owners the U.N. Small Arms Treaty would strip Americans of their Second Amendment right, thus validating every chucklehead that believes the government is coming for their guns.This also is not true.
Paul opposes same-sex marriage, net neutrality and even signed the letter to the Ayatollah to derail the diplomatic Iran nuclear talks… but there is one thing he gets right.
Last year during an interview with former Obama advisor David Axelrod, Rand Paul discussed something that actually made sense.
“80% of the public is white probably, 10-12% is black. They say white kids and black or brown kids use drugs at about the same rate, overall. But three out of four people in prison are black or brown. So I think the war on drugs not purposefully, but inadvertently, has had a racial outcome.”
Paul continued with Axelrod:
“For a long time we punished crack cocaine different than powder cocaine. So you could have the same amount but crack cocaine tended to be used more in the African American community. You had ten and twenty year sentences and the rich white kid that went to college was getting out in six months or not going to jail at all.”
Paul has previously introduced the 2013 Justice Safety Valve Act, which allows courts to “impose a sentence below a statutory minimum.” Once signed into law, this would give judges more flexibility with sentencing.
Last year, Paul introduced the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 2014. The bill would restore voting rights to those who had previously committed a non-violent crime. The bill’s co-sponsor? Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
The sooner Paul realizes he is not fit for the office of the President (and stops eating paint chips with that Cruz kid), the sooner he can get to work on cementing his true potential political legacy: reforming the criminal justice system.