Rand Paul

Outreach

During his appearance on Fox News Sunday, Kentucky senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul told host Chris Wallace the reason we have income inequality in this country is because some people work harder than others.

"The thing is, income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things," Paul told host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." "If people voluntarily buy more of your stuff, you'll have more money."

If individual effort were a precise indicator of personal wealth, some of the poorest people on the planet would be some of the wealthiest and some of the wealthiest would be among the poorest.

That isn't the way world works but, at this stage of the game, Rand Paul is willing to lean on any vague dogwhistle he can in an attempt to recapture popular support among Republican primary voters. To say that systemic inequality is due to some people working harder than others is to say entire demographics are lazy.

You may recall there was a time when Rand Paul sought to win over minority voters with repeated calls for criminal justice reform, but he rarely talks about that now that the primary season has begun.

To his credit, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Rand about the exacerbating effect his "fair and flat tax" would have on income inequality and Rand responded by making Wallace's case for him.

"It's a fallacious notion to say, 'Oh, rich people get more money back in a tax cut,'" Paul responded. "If you cut taxes 10 percent, 10 percent of a million is more than 10 percent of a thousand dollars. So, obviously, people who pay more in taxes will get more back."

It's "fallacious" but it also happens to be true, Rand says.

A consumption-based tax the likes of which Rand is calling for is a regressive tax. It's not just morally repugnant, it's also a recipe for fiscal disaster.

  • i_a_c

    I knew Rand’s flirtation with civil rights would be short lived. As you can see from Trump, the GOP base prefers it when you’re a racist sociopath. So the dogwhistles have returned. With any luck, he’ll repeat the idea that businesses should be able to refuse service to black people.

    This is a losing argument, anyway. Relatively few people actually want to run a business and “sell things.”

  • Christopher Foxx

    It’s “fallacious” but it also happens to be true, Rand says.

    What did you expect? It’s Rand Paul. He’s gotten his derp, derp so efficient he can now reverse himself in a single paragraph.

  • Christopher Foxx

    If individual effort were a precise indicator of personal wealth, some of the poorest people on the planet would be some of the wealthiest and some of the wealthiest would be among the poorest.

    Absolutely true. And something the fortunates born to wealth and/or opportunity will continue to fail to grasp.

  • Draxiar

    So, in the span of two sentences he contradicted himself. That basically sums up his political career.

  • muselet

    Rand Paul clearly believes that money equals virtue—or, if you prefer, a person’s net worth equals that person’s value—and therefore the virtue of personal effort (“working harder”) necessarily leads to monetary reward (“you’ll have more money”). Because of course he does.

    Steve Benen:

    Paul no doubt finds his version of reality ideologically satisfying, but it’s also ridiculous. By his reasoning, as David Atkins noted yesterday at the Washington Monthly, when economic inequality was less severe a generation ago, the elites must have been lazier: “Does Rand Paul believe that the rich just didn’t work as hard in 1940 or 1970? Does he have a theory on why the problem is so much worse today than it used to be?”

    Rand Paul is not a serious person.

    –alopecia