Yes, Rand Paul was preaching to the choir about the big, bad government and the fact that all Americans may soon get health insurance:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday roused the hundreds who gathered for a Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill by calling for the dismissal of the thousands of Internal Revenue Service agents responsible for implementing President Obama's healthcare law.
"Anybody want to fire some IRS agents?" he asked. "Why don't we start with the 16,000 IRS agents that are going to implement ObamaCare."
The IRS has admitted to giving extra scrutiny to organizations applying for tax-exempt status that are affiliated with the Tea Party. Some conservatives have framed the scandal as an example of government overreach that will extend to the implementation of the president's signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.
"I think we can have freedom, security, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," Paul continued. "I'm horrified that my government has gotten out of control and is persecuting people for their political and religious beliefs, and it needs to end now."
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And indeed this sounds warm and fuzzy. Republicans have long tried to deny health coverage to tens of millions of Americans and are salivating at the hope of somehow keeping them from having it. Of course they are whipping folks up in a frenzy of fear against the government and are claiming that your "rights" are being violated.
However, on further examination one must begin to be a little suspicious of this "warrior for rights and the Constitution". You see, when it comes to your rights there are a few of them Rand Paul simply does not support and does not believe should exist. What about your right not to be discriminated against by business owners? Rand Paul definitely does not support that right:
PAUL: You had to ask me the "but." I don't like the idea of telling private business owners-I abhor racism. I think it's a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant-but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that's most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind.
What about your right to make a fair wage for your work?:
What about the right for workers to unionize and collectively bargain?:
Every American worker deserves the right to freedom of association - and I am concerned that the 26 states that allow forced union membership and dues infringes on these workers' rights. Right to work laws ensure that all Americans are given the choice to refrain from joining or paying dues to a union as a condition for employment. Nearly 80 percent of all Americans support the principles and so I have introduced a national Right to Work Act that will require all states to give their workers the freedom to choose."
The fact is, no one is forced to join a union. What so-called "right to work" laws allow is for workers to receive union benefits without paying union dues, which undermines the ability for unions to represent workers.
Researchers from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute have found that the economies of states who have these laws "are associated with significantly lower wages and reduced chances of receiving employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions." They estimated that hourly wages for all workers - not just union workers - in these states are 3% lower.
There has never been a serious push for a national "right to work" law, making Paul's effort fairly unique. The National Right To Work Committee gave $7,500 to Paul's campaign, and Koch Industries - which bankrolls state-wide efforts to install these laws - is his third largest contributor.
What about your right to earn a living without risking your life in an unregulated workplace?:
"The bottom line is I'm not an expert, so don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules. You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs. I know that doesn't sound..." Here he stumbles, trying to parse his words properly but only presaging his campaign misstep. "I want to be compassionate," he concludes, "and I'm sorry for what happened, but I wonder: Was it just an accident?"
Rand is espousing the pure laissez faire idea that safety rules are unnecessary, because workers can choose not to accept jobs from employers that feature unsafe working conditions. Thus the market is self-correcting. That this theory bears no relationship whatsoever to observed reality -- America before workplace safety rules was extremely dangerous for workers -- but reality is not Rand Paul's concern.
In fact, the only rights Rand Paul cares about protecting are those of the powerful because "accidents happen":
PAUL: No, the thing is is that drilling right now and the problem we're having now is in international waters and I think there needs to be regulation of that and always has been regulation. What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, you know, "I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP." I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I've heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it's part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it's always got to be someone's fault. Instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I've met a lot of these miners and their families. They're very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it's always someone's fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.
And of course, Rand Paul is fighting for the right of Corporate America to dodge their taxes:
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul went on a great rant during today's Senate subcommittee hearing on Apple's offshore tax practices, slamming his Congressional colleagues for even holding the hearing in the first place.
"Frankly, I'm offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing," Paul said, laying into those who take issue with Apple's tax policies.
"I'm offended by the spectacle of dragging in executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal," he added. "If anyone should be on trial, it should be Congress."
Apple CEO Tim Cook is testifying before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations this morning to defend the company from accusations that it avoids tax payments by shifting profits to offshore subsidiaries in Ireland.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com...
In other words there is a good reason why Rand Paul rails against "government" and "rights". The truth of the matter is that Rand Paul and his ilk hate government for one simple reason. Not because it "overreaches" but simply because the government has created rules and regulations that do not allow them to walk all over everyone in America simply because they have money and power.
That is the "right" Rand Paul seeks to protect and the only "right" he cares about. The right of his big money donors like the Kochs to continue raping the American working-class without having to worry about that pesky American government trying to stop them. They want a weak federal government not to protect your rights, but to insure that their right to stagnate your wages and spend as little of their profits to insure your safety as possible.
No matter what the Rand Paul's of the world will tell you these were not "rights" our founding fathers had in mind to protect.