The United States Congress may very well rank another pro-capitalist lawmaker among its numbers this fall as Rand Paul is leading in the polls to claim retiring Senator Jim Bunning’s Kentucky seat.
Paul is a son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s who is known for his unwavering opposition to “big government.” He officially announced his candidacy in August of last year and has since garnered immense support from the Tea Party movement.
As many Republican frontrunners throughout the country, Paul enjoys support because of his opposition to the health care reform bill that was recently enacted by Congress. His primary opponent is Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a former Democrat who received an endorsement from former Vice President Dick Cheney in March.
In debate with Grayson on Monday, Paul argued against congressional earmarks, stating that they “represent a lot of what is broken in the system.” His opponent disagreed. “Eliminating all the earmarks is completely irresponsible,” said Grayson, who agreed that the process does need to be reformed.
Grayson and Paul took further shots at one another during the debate, and continued on television. A recent Rand Paul ad portrays the secretary as part of the very Washington establishment that many Americans today resent. Such typical election gibbering aside, there are stark differences between the two primary candidates.
Undoubtedly inspired by his father’s libertarianism, Paul proposed to shut down several federal agencies, including the Department of Education, in order to rein in spending. Grayson offered a spending freeze which is what President Obama suggested last January as well. Paul has been critical of the Federal Reserve, the USA PATRIOT Act and health care reform, all because they infringe on people’s civil liberties.
On his campaign website, Paul blames the Fed for inflating the housing bubble that produced the recession: the central bank “spiked the punch,” it reads, “and is now acting surprised that the party got out of hand.” The Patriot Act, he claims, overstepped the boundaries of federal power as stipulated by the constitution. The federal government must not be given a blank check in the name of national security.
Finally, Paul is one of the few American politicians today who openly criticizes the massive bailouts of Wall Street and automakers, describing them as “a transfer of wealth from those who have earned to those who have squandered.” The bailouts were unconstitutional, according to Paul; “reward inefficient and corrupt management, rob taxpayers, hurt smaller and more responsible private firms, exacerbate our budget problems, explode national debt, and destroy our US dollar.”