Economic freedom and opportunity, the superiority of the free market, lower taxes, and hope for the future were all part of U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) response to Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
Speaking independently of U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), as well as U.S. Senator Mike Lee, Paul’s response was delivered on YouTube. While the numerous addresses prompted some discussion in the mainstream media that there is dissension in the GOP, it is perhaps more a sign of the changing media environment.
Beginning with a diagnosis of the housing crisis that precipitated the Great Recession, Paul, a physician, exclusively focused on the economic situation. He said, ” If we don't understand the cause of joblessness, we'll have trouble fixing it. ”
Pointing out the infamous failure of the government-subsidized green energy firm, Solyndra, Paul told listeners:
“Government is inherently bad at picking winners and losers. In the marketplace, most small businesses fail. If government is to send money to certain people to create businesses, they will more often than not pick the wrong people. And no jobs will be created.”
“Only the democracy of the marketplace can find those capable of creating jobs. It’s not that government is inherently stupid . . . it’s that government doesn’t get the same signals” as the free market, he finished.
Republicans and Democrats probably agree on, like, two out of ten issues. Let's work on the one or two out of ten.U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
“Let me say from the outset that I will work with the president, the Democrats, independents, and anyone who wants to get people back to work and alleviate poverty in this country,” he said.
Paul also mentioned his intention to work with others across the aisle on Fox News Tuesday night when he told host Bret Baier, “Republicans and Democrats probably agree on, like, two out of ten issues. Let’s work on the one or two out of ten.”
He used his address to reiterate an initiative he introduced last year: Economic Freedom Zones.
Rolled out in December, Paul said it is for “distressed areas all over the country:”
“In economic freedom zones, we’ll cut income and business taxes to a single flat rate of 5%. We’ll cut payroll taxes for employers and employees so folks will go home with more money in their paychecks. Burdensome job killing regulations will be removed and business will expand.”
“Economic freedom zones won't pick winners and losers. The money will go to businesses consumers have already voted for,” he concluded.
Continuing his theme of lower taxes, Paul continued:
“I believe in an America with a strong safety net, but one that doesn’t suffocate our resolve to better ourselves and our country. The ticket to the middle class is not higher taxes on the very businesses that must create the jobs. . . . Prosperity comes when more money is left in the marketplace. “
Frequently cited as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul ended his response on a cautious, but qualified note of optimism.
“We must choose a new way – a way that empowers the individual through education and responsibility to earn a place alongside their fellow Americans in the most prosperous nation ever conceived,” he concluded.