WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is currently weighing a presidential run in 2016. He has some legal obstacles in his way though. Namely, that he must decide according to Kentucky law whether he’ll run for re-election as a Senator, or if he’ll toss his hat in the ring for the presidential election next year instead. Kentucky law does not allow a candidate to be on the ballot both for the presidency and a seat in Congress like Rep. Paul Ryan was essentially able to do in 2012 when he was both Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate and a candidate for re-election in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Paul looks to have taken a page out of previous Republican presidential nominees’ books by tackling a tough issue in this country — whether or not someone is a maker or taker. Makers, as defined by Republican Law Sec. 2 p.3, are those who are the “job creators” — super wealthy people who make more money than God himself would know how to spend. Takers, are defined as anyone who takes any kind of government assistance whatsoever. There is one caveat to that rule, of course. If your name is Paul Ryan and you relied on the Social Security death benefits to get into college and essentially start your career in the public sector, you are not a taker. You are a genius ideologue leading the party to greater fiscal conservatism.
It should also be mentioned that Republican Senators and House Representatives are not considered takers, no matter how much a career they have made for themselves literally taking taxpayer money as their salary. Senator Paul however, isn’t really concerned with his fellow members of Congress though. He’s concerned with the menace of fraud and abuse in the country’s disability programs, and he’s not afraid to call out the people he sees as the moochers.
At a recent breakfast photo-op in New Hampshire Paul spoke about the waste he thinks he might possibly have an inkling is perchance happening with disability claims. “The thing is, in all of these programs there’s always somebody who’s deserving. But everybody in this room knows somebody who is gaming the system,” said Senator Paul that morning. “He said that if “you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting your disability check.” The Kentuckian clearly also doesn’t think mental health issues entitle anyone to disability insurance saying, “Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club.” Clearly, Sen. Paul is out to wrest control of the “compassionate conservative” away from the Republican establishment for himself, making such large overtures to those who suffer chronic back injuries or mental health issues.
But don’t think Paul hasn’t put serious cogitation into the subject. He later said at a lesser-covered press conference just outside the New Hampshire breakfast stop, “I took about 125 days off from work last year to think long and hard about who is taking money from the taxpayers and not working for it.” Rand wasn’t alone in his thoughts either, “I got together with other Republican congressmen who weren’t working because the Congressional calendar literally only had us doing actual legislative work for little over a hundred days last year, and we definitely feel like it’s the cry babies and the people who can’t get through a little bit of back pain that are taking too much money from the American people and not giving them anything in return.”
Some might compare this moment to Mitt Romney’s disastrous “47%” video that showed Romney speaking to what he thought was a private, non-recorded group of gathered donors and told them all that in his estimation 47% of the country is brainwashed to vote Democratic because they get things for free that way. Senator Paul, when asked about this at the press conference snapped back, “It’s way, way different from that video. For starters, I’m not even the nominee yet. Secondly, my name is Rand Paul, and his is Mitt Romney. And thirdly, what’s this thing on my head?”
One reporter noticed that Paul was speaking to the people in the restaurant in New Hampshire on a day when Congress was in session. That reporter asked Rand Paul how he feels his message of working harder for your own money and not relying on taxpayer-provided salaries to survive plays when he’s essentially skipping work that he’s paid by the taxpayers to do to chastise people he sees as wasting taxpayer dollars. That reporter asked if Senator Paul isn’t just a massive hypocrite.
That reporter asked Paul how his sentiments would jibe with his Judeo-Christian teachings, which are typically understood to preach abundant giving and help for the poor, not arbitrary morality judgments. The same reporter questioned Sen. Paul if he could look someone with chronic, debilitating back pain and tell them they’re lazy and not working hard when he’s literally getting paid by the taxpayers at that moment to stand in a restaurant in New Hampshire instead of in the Senate chambers. The reporter asked one final question, whether Paul felt any shame in telling people with terrible anxieties that keep them functioning physically and makes their life a waking Hell moochers when he himself took a six-figure salary and didn’t work nearly anywhere near the same number of days that an average, working class man or woman would.
Senator Paul looked at the reporter asking these questions for a moment, looked to one of his aides, and then blew a raspberry with tongue while he made the universal shrugging gesture for, “Free markets.” He was then whisked away into a car paid for by someone else’s money, fueled by gas purchased with someone else’s money, wearing clothes purchased with someone else’s money so that he could deliver another speech about how bad it is to live off of other people’s money.