Ready for Rand?

Kentucky senator, Rand Paul, announced today that he will be “putting his name forward as a candidate for president.” Apart from being the son of Texas Congressman and former presidential candidate, Ron Paul, the Kentucky Senator has made quit the name for himself over the last few years because of his involvement with the Tea Party and his Libertarian agenda. However, Mr. Paul has received much attention – much of which have been criticisms of his economic views. After looking back on some of Rand Paul’s more controversial statements, I think that it is clear that this upcoming election will certainly be interesting.

Mr. Paul had previously claimed that the last time the country successfully added millions of jobs to the economy was under the Reagan administration. Worst of all, he made these statements in discussion with Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, who went on to dedicate several blogs to Mr. Paul over the years. One of the blogs Krugman wrote included a graph like the one below showing the actual trend in employment since Reagan. The graph shows how Mr. Paul could not have been more wrong; more jobs were added to the economy under Clinton than under Reagan.

fredgraphemployment

Another interesting claim that the new presidential candidate made in 2011 was that “Federal employees have nearly double the compensation that private employees have.” Paul stated that Kentuckians have no sympathy for government union workers because they pay for their retirement. The problem with Paul’s assault on public employee unions is that it’s based on a false premise. Public workers at all level of government have to contribute to their pension and health care plans. Moreover, their health care, like Paul’s, is covered by the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program, which also requires employees to share the cost with their employer.

Mr. Paul has constructed his platform around many fallacies which indicate that he may be ill-equipped to handle the treacherous campaigning ahead. What is certain, however, is that while he may not be a serious contender, it will be interesting to see how his involvement will influence the field; because with statements that equate healthcare to slavery, Rand Paul is bound to influence someone.

– Brian Sullivan

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