Sen. Rand Paul: amnesty supporter from Kentucky
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is (as of late 2012) making noise about running for president in 2016. That would be a huge gift to the Democratic Party because Paul has some radical policy ideas. Those include (among many others):
* supporting "tough love" for the unemployed
* supporting devolving laws regulating mine safety to the states ( peekurl.com/zv8trp7 ). That's despite (or because of) the fact that states are much easier for coal companies to control than the federal government
* supporting mountain top removal ( peekURL.com/vTyj3tQ and peekURL.com/vPsDsLk ). On the last, he says "I don't think anyone's going to be missing a hill or two here or there".
Those are just a few of the policy-related ways the left would oppose him. Of course, there are plenty of trivial ways they'd oppose him too, and Paul wouldn't be able to do anything about those either.
At the same time, many on the right would oppose Rand Paul because he supports amnesty for illegal aliens.
All of Rand Paul's positions boil down to one overriding principle: helping the rich get richer with little or no concern for everyone else.
That explains his support for companies damaging the environment without having to pay for it (i.e., "socializing the costs and privatizing the profits").
It also explains his support for amnesty, something that would let corrupt businesses off the hook for past malfeasance. It would help those same companies and others lower American wages and safety standards.
Rand Paul smears Americans, incl. playing Nazi card on amnesty opponents (illegal aliens in "concentration camps") - 07/01/13
Just how sleazy and anti-American is senator Rand Paul? On the video below, he says among other things this:
Let's get [the millions of current illegal aliens] work visas, normalize 'em, make 'em taxpayers. They're not goin' home. Even all the crowd that are yelling 'amnesty, that person's for amnesty' are they for sending these people home? Do they want us to put them in concentration camps, on buses, and send 'em back home? I don't think anybody's proposing that.
Here are excerpts of an email from the Tea Party "Patriots". Why their group and their new PAC is bogus will be discussed below:
My name is Jenny Beth Martin. I helped found Tea Party Patriots... ...Please become a charter supporter of the new Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund PAC...
...Through the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund we are going to beat big-government Republicans in primaries and Obama-loving Democrats in the general election.
Supporters of Rand Paul's immigration amnesty for illegal aliens: Justin Amash, Mick Mulvaney, Thomas Massie, Jeff Duncan, Trey Radel, and Mark Meadows - 03/28/13
On March 21, six self-styled conservative congressmen sent Rand Paul a letter supporting his amnesty plan and coming up with what they term a "three-legged stool of systemic immigration reform".
Crazy Rand Paul fully supports amnesty, misleading, Hispandering, and reading poetry to do it - 03/19/13
Earlier today, Kentucky senator Rand Paul gave a pro-amnesty speech at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that in some ways is even more shocking and more crazy than the pro-amnesty speeches George W Bush gave. In addition to being borderline nuts, Paul misleads and uses a string of pro-amnesty talking points just like his dad.
Kentucky senator Rand Paul is just the latest Tea Party leader to capitulate on an immigration amnesty for illegal aliens. From this:
The Fix looked at Angle, Buck, O'Donnell and two other faces of the tea party: New York governor candidate Carl Paladino and Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul.
The five of them, it turns out, ran behind the vast majority of other Republican candidates -- and sometimes by wide margins.
In almost every case, they ran behind more mainstream Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and other statewide offices. And in no case did the tea party candidate run significantly ahead of another statewide Republican candidate...
...Among House candidates, Iraq veteran Jesse Kelly, who lost to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), state Sen. Brad Zaun, who lost to Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), and even state Rep. Raul Labrador, who beat Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), all fared less well in their districts than other Republican candidates running for office in the state.
Chris Cillizza includes the disclaimer that those races were higher-profile than the down-ballot ones, but that would seem to make his case even stronger: few people probably have a burning interest in who's going to be the treasurer of Nevada and the results above would seem to indicate that even many Republicans couldn't stand those listed above.
PAUL: I would say that they must be in favor of a second American depression, because if you raise taxes to that consequence, that's what will happen in this country. Raising taxes in the midst of a recession would be a disaster for our economy. And anybody who proposes such a policy really is, I think, unfit to be making decisions.
BLITZER: What if they just raised taxes on the richest, those making more than 250,000 dollars a year?
PAUL: Well, the thing is, we're all interconnected. There are no rich. There are no middle class. There are no poor. We all are interconnected in the economy. You remember a few years ago, when they tried to tax the yachts, that didn't work. You know who lost their jobs? The people making the boats, the guys making 50,000 and 60,000 dollars a year lost their jobs. We all either work for rich people or we sell stuff to rich people. So just punishing rich people is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone. Let's not punish anyone. Let's keep taxes low and let's cut spending.
You can read about the yacht tax here and here. It failed miserably, and was repealed by George HW Bush. The first link describes how Rep. Patrick Kennedy - a Democrat - wanted to give a tax break to yacht buyers in order to help the yacht industry rebound; George Will says of that "the subsidy to the wealthy would, to coin a phrase, trickle down".
So, there's a certain point to what Rand Paul says. However, what Rand Paul isn't saying is that after the yacht tax was enacted apparently some who wanted yachts had a neat trick: they'd buy a yacht in a foreign country and sail it to the U.S. as used and thereby avoid the tax which was on new yachts (link). Similar tax schemes are still in use today and were even in the news lately in regards to John Kerry (link). The rich really are different from us: they can afford highly-skilled accountants who'll help them avoid as much tax as possible.
Those who have gained the most from the U.S. do indeed give back by employing people. But, at the same time, they also send money, jobs, and infrastructure such as factories offshore. Rand Paul isn't calling them on that; Rand Paul isn't calling them on having even less of a sense of noblesse oblige and patriotism than the rich have had in the past.
And, Rand is revealing his inner Randroid: he clearly believes in the Ayn Rand "superman" ideal, where the rich simply are better than anyone else and they should be able to determine how to spend their own money no matter what's the best policy for the U.S. as a whole.
Sam Stein of HuffPost, lacking information, lets speculation run wild (Rand Paul, border fence) - 06/25/10
Sam Stein of Huffington Post offers "Rand Paul's Underground Electric Border Fence Baffles Cornyn, Libertarians" (huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/24/rand-pauls-underground-el_n_624535.html). It's one small step up from something you'd see on "Rock Bottom" (peekURL.com/vt2fh5z).
On his site, Rand Paul says:
Rand Paul: unemployed should accept lower wage jobs: "tough love" (ignores immigration, 5-1 job seeker ratio) - 06/19/10
"In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We're up to two years now in America... As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again... Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."
Needless to say, trained idiots like Digby take umbrage at his remarks . However, as a general rule taking a lesser or part-time job - even moving to another state if necessary - is part of the American tradition and isn't something that should be discouraged.
However, one problem with Paul's remark is that there just aren't that many jobs. Per the chart at , the ratio of job seekers is job openings was 5 to 1 in April. It was 6.2 in November of last year, but both ratios are very high compared with the ratio over the past decade; the last peak was in September 2003 at 2.8 to 1. Given that, Paul seems to be implying that the problem is with the unemployed and not with the actual facts: there aren't enough jobs. One thing that would seem to be needed would be some way to create jobs, such as encouraging entrepreneurship. He does mention something like that on his site, in his own loony libertarian way . However, perhaps he should harp on it instead of what amounts to a light version of blaming the victims.
And, another problem with Paul's remark is that he's ignoring the impact of massive and illegal immigration. With a ratio of 5 to 1, we're still allowing hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens to come here legally, hundreds of thousands more than any stimulus jobs that were "saved or created". Paul isn't harping on that (if he's mentioned it at all), despite how powerful pointing that out could be. He isn't pointing out that giving legal work permits to up to 200,000 Haitians increased the labor supply especially for low-wage workers, despite the fact that pointing that out could be powerful especially combined with an explanation of how that only helped the Democratic leadership and not either country. If we blocked all immigration it wouldn't solve the unemployment problem, but reducing it to a certain extent and reducing illegal immigration as much as possible would free up jobs for Americans without impeding much job creation. While Paul isn't as bad as other libertarians when it comes to immigration, he's not using the issue to his advantage and in such a way that would help American workers.
But, what did you expect? If he could think straight he wouldn't be a libertarian in the first place.
Even Dick Armey of FreedomWorks - a main stringpuller on the tea parties movement - now realizes that the label "Tea Party" is toxic and politicians should avoid calling themselves "tea party leaders". Recall that last month the Koch family - without which there might not be a tea party movement - also backed away from the tea parties. From this:
...Armey said (Rand Paul)’s "bigger mistake" came in his victory speech after securing the nomination, when he said "I have a message from the tea party. ... We've come to take our government back" and added: "This tea party movement is a message to Washington that we are unhappy and we want things done differently."
Armey said "I think that hurt him more than (the Civil Rights Act exchange), because the principles of liberty won that position and he won by adhering to them." He quipped that Paul’s reasoning for positioning himself as a tea party leader might have been, "Alright, I don’t have a big enough target on my back. Since the left hates the tea party and they hate me, let’s see if we can get ‘em to double down on me by me claiming to be the leader of the tea party."
"Don’t ask for more of what you really don’t want," Armey said. Pointing out that Paul "ran as a Republican - he won the Republican primary," Armey suggested that Paul and other tea party-backed candidates can remain true to the movement’s limited government principles without becoming targets by declaring themselves tea party leaders.
There certainly is the possibility that Armey was trying to distance the teaparties from Rand Paul due to the latter showing just where libertarian thinking (such as it is) leads. However, he was also asked about Sharron Angle, and, while her positions seem to also have a strong lunatic libertarian component she hasn't gotten as much heat for them as Paul. And, he was also speaking generally, so it seems like the much more likely possibility is that he now realizes that being associated with those in the tea party movement isn't such a good thing.
Note also that Armey had bad things to say about Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and suggested that Republicans stay off MSNBC. All of this ties together: if Armey and the tea parties were competent and advanced mainstream ideas they wouldn't have to worry about going on hostile TV shows, and they wouldn't have to worry about keeping any tea party leadership secret.
On May 20, Carl Hulse and Adam Nagourney of the New York Times offered "Tea Party Pick Causes Uproar on Civil Rights" (nytimes.com/2010/05/21/us/politics/21paul.html), containing this completely false (and still uncorrected) statement about Rand Paul's appearance on the Rachel Maddow show:
Asked by Ms. Maddow if a private business had the right to refuse to serve black people, Mr. Paul replied, “Yes.”
He didn't say "yes", but "yeah", and only in the sense of "now that you're finished speaking let me get a chance" or similar. The "yeah" wasn't a response to Maddow's question, it was just throat-clearing, and it was followed by "I‘m not in favor of any discrimination of any form." Please watch the video yourself; scroll ahead to the 8 minute mark: peekURL.com/vqcalnm
If you spot someone giving the inaccurate Paul quote, please send them a link to this post or to the video and help discredit those who make outrageous charges without bothering to verify those charges.