Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Here’s a protip for the approaching presidential campaign season: when the candidates take to the stump, always read the transcript rather than watching the speech. I adopted this technique during the 2008 presidential campaign, when it simply became too arduous to sit through 75 minutes of mass hysteria (and at least one audience member fainting) to get through 15 minutes worth of Barack Obama’s cotton candy remarks.
The transcripts are clarifying. You’re not distracted by the delivery or the audience dynamics. You’re essentially alone with the candidate and his thoughts. And, nine times out of ten, you’re going to be disappointed — because the vast majority of these guys don’t have much to say.
Now, I don’t especially blame them for this. Running for the presidency in the modern era often dictates hiding the ball (the 2008 Obama campaign is a textbook example of this). But it does make mining the transcripts an interesting exercise. You’ll often discover that dozens of paragraphs worth of rhetoric only yield two or three concrete proposals.
There was a little more meat than that to the speech Rand Paul gave in Louisville earlier today kicking off his presidential campaign—although not much. The speech was clearly focused a lot more on constructing Paul’s personal narrative than delivering a coherent policy manifesto. That said, there were several specific proposals embedded in the remarks. For your edification, I’ve included them below. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Balanced Budget Amendment
Congress will never balance the budget unless you force them to do so. Congress has an abysmal record with balancing anything. Our only recourse is to force Congress to balance the budget with a constitutional amendment.
I have been to Washington, and let me tell you, there is no monopoly on knowledge there.
I ran for office because we have too many career politicians. I believe it now more than ever.
We limit the President to two terms. It’s about time we limit the terms of Congress!
I want to reform Washington. I want common sense rules that will break the logjam in Congress.
That’s why I introduced a Read the Bills Act.
The bills are thousands of pages long. And no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desks only a few hours before a vote.
I’ve proposed something truly extraordinary — Let’s read the bills, every page!
The bills are 1,000 pages long and no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desk with only a few hours before a vote, so I propose something truly extraordinary. Let’s read the bills every day.
Economic Freedom Zones
Politically connected crones get taxpayer dollars by the hundreds of millions and poor families across America continue to suffer. I have a different vision, an ambitious vision, an ambitious vision, a vision that will offer opportunity to all Americans, especially those who have been left behind.
My plan includes economic freedom zones to allow impoverished areas like Detroit, West Louisville, Eastern Kentucky to prosper by leaving more money in the pockets of the people who live there.
Repatriation Tax and Infrastructure
I want to see millions of Americans back at work. In my vision for America, we’ll bring back manufacturing jobs that pay well. How? We’ll dramatically lower the tax on American companies that wish to bring their profits home.
More than $2 trillion in American profit currently sits overseas. In my vision for America, new highways and bridges will be built across the country, not by raising your taxes, but by lowering the tax to bring this American profit home.
School Choice (This is not a selective excerpt — this is all Senator Paul said on the matter)
Those of us who have enjoyed the American dream must break down the wall that separates us from the other America. I want all our children to have the same opportunities that I had. We need to stop limiting kids in poor neighborhoods to failing public schools and offer them school choice.
We’ve brought Iran to the table through sanctions that I voted for. Now we must stay strong. That’s why I’ve cosponsored legislation that ensures that any deal between the U.S. and Iran must be approved by Congress.
Not — not only is that good policy, it’s the law.
It concerns me that the Iranians have a different interpretation of the agreement. They’re putting out statement that say completely the opposite of what we’re saying. It concerns me that we may attempt, or the president may attempt, to unilaterally and prematurely halt sanctions.
I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran’s nuclear ambitions and have strong verification measures.
And I will insist that the final version be brought before Congress.
It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting “Death to America” in countries that receive millions of dollars in our foreign aid.
I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America.
To defend our country, we do need to gather intelligence on the enemy. But when the intelligence director is not punished for lying under oath, how are we to trust our government agencies?
Warrantless searches of Americans’ phones and computer records are un-American and a threat to our civil liberties.
I say that your phone records are yours. I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business.
Is this where we light up the phones?
The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. And as president on day one, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance.
In addition, Paul also closed the speech with passing references to envisioning “an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed” and “an America with a restrained IRS that cannot target, cannot harass American citizens for their political or religious beliefs.”
How about it, Ricochet? What do you think? Quibbles? Critiques? Suggestions? Unbridled adulation?Published in