Rand made a very bold move last week, but also a blunder in the wake of a well-publicized attack by a troubled youth. Let’s look into the rants of Rand this week and see what shook out.
Rand Paul Unveils 14.5% Flat Tax For Individuals & Corporations
Did you hear that? Yes, that was the sound of the IRS shaking in its boots as Rand Paul unveiled his new 14.5% “Fair and Flat Tax” plan, which will universally apply to both individuals and businesses. Paul explained his proposal in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, which is difficult to access without a subscription, so I’ll link to more user-friendly sources. The Washington Times has a breakdown that’s pretty good, and can be found here.
In essence, Paul’s plan will eliminate the extensive existing tax code, replacing it with a simple version that would be “one page” worth of documentation according to Rand. Every household with an income over $50,000 would pay the same 14.5% tax rate (those under $50K pay no tax) with the only deductions available for charitable donations or mortgages (more on that later). The payroll tax would be void, meaning an instant take-home increase for workers, and additionally other taxes would disappear, including gift, estate, internet, phone and customs/duties taxes. This is quite nice, but even nicer, in my opinion, is the 14.5% corporate tax.
The insatiable American government has instituted a formerly world-high tax rate of roughly 39%, which was only beaten out by Chad and the United Arab Emirates in 2014. A drop to 14.5% would inspire massive growth in business, not only for large corporations, which now have far more reason to stay – and for foreign businesses to open new offices – but possibly even more importantly for small business owners who are hard hit by ridiculous corporate tax rates.
There are some downsides – there is still a tax on capital gains, which I strongly oppose, as this is double taxation, and another issue I’ll hit in a moment. I’m sure more will pop up as this plan is fully fleshed out as well. That being said, I won’t waste any more column space breaking the plan down in its entirety. Much like Rand himself, this plan isn’t perfect, but it is a vast improvement over the current system.
The “Mortgage” Exception in the Fair & Flat Tax Plan
As alluded to…
Rand’s Fair and Flat Tax plan does include one non-charitable deduction exception, and that’s for people who have mortgages. I take my own exception to that. Why should those with mortgages be able to deduct that from their taxes?
It seems unfair and inconsistent to single homeowners out as having a special exception as opposed to the rest of American taxpayers. I live in Los Angeles, which has one of the highest costs per living in the nation, and pay far more in rent than almost anyone else in the country pays for their mortgage. This is my own fault – I chose to live here. But if mortgages are included in tax deductions, rents should be too – to gift tax deductions to one group of privileged people towards the cost of housing seems wrong.
Additional Armed Airline Pilots? Rand Says “Yes”
Considering the TSA failed some 95% of testing where arms were smuggled aboard aircraft (why do we even have the TSA again?), politicians and the populace are once again questioning the best way to keep the skies safe. Enter Rand Paul, with a suggested upgrade to a program that I’m full behind.
Sources close to Senator Rand Paul’s office have provided Rare with an exclusive look at the Arming All Pilots Act of 2015, a bill expected to be introduced in the senate as early as Wednesday.
This legislation aims to fix and enhance the existing Armed Pilots Program by making it more widely available to those who seek the federal certification. Pilots will be provided with the increased flexibility they need both for the initial training and recertification processes, and will not be restricted in their ability to conceal-carry their weapons to and from flight assignments.
Additionally, Paul wants to enable pilots who are flying on craft as passengers to carry as well, even when off-duty.
Some will push back against this, citing recent “suicide” pilots and tragic incidents where planes were crashed on purpose, but those are outliers that can’t necessarily be prevented. If they could, it’s through better hiring & psychological evaluations by airlines. Enabling more pilots to carry stymies the chances of a terrorist act on an aircraft, and allowing pilots to carry on flights for which they are passengers essentially creates an additional air marshall on board. I feel this is a good thing.
This is an example of a policy that would help prevent violent crime and acts of terrorism. If a program such as this were a success, it could inspire another look at allowing schoolteachers to also be armed in classrooms.
Rand, I hope you’ve got your pen handy to write a follow-up bill.
Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks Joins Rand Super PAC
Quickie here – Matt Kibbe, formerly of FreedomWorks, has joined as a senior adviser at a Rand Paul Super PAC dubbed Concerned American Voters. This is good news, as Kibbe is a proven money raiser, and a media savvy speaker. Not only can he help with Rand’s “money woes” – which may be pure conjecture by the MSM that’s always looking for ways to poke at Paul – but also via appearances in the media. More here.
Rand Says Charleston Church Shooting Was From “Not Understanding Where Salvation Comes From”
It’s been a few weeks since Rand was racking up the minuses, but he scored a second this week with some foolish statements on the day of the Charleston church shooting. Speaking at a Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Washington, D.C., Rand confusingly referenced the fresh massacre:
“We had a shooting this morning in South Carolina,” Paul said (the shooting happened last night). “What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people? There’s a sickness in our country, there’s something terribly wrong, but it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away, it’s people not understanding where salvation comes from. And I think that if we understand that, we’ll understand and have better expectations of what we get from our government.”
Ok…I agree that the government isn’t going to fix anything, but Rand trying to equate a lack of faith and an ignorance of where salvation comes from with A: a public massacre, and B: what to expect from the government, is beyond me.
Short and simple, this is a bizarre remark that will doubtless be tossed around to make him seem foolish, and he does sound foolish here. Rand clearly didn’t learn from the Baltimore Riots snafu. He needs to keep his impromptu comments following a tragedy to himself.
Rand Donates Campaign Funds From White Supremacist To Charleston Shooting Families
We can balance out that last minus somewhat, as Rand made up some public relations ground by donating funds received by his campaign from a known white supremacist named Earl Holt III to the families of those killed and wounded in the Charleston church shooting.
When it was discovered that Holt had donated to several conservative candidates, Rand among them, the media tried to jump on the story (I’m sure MSNBC had a hard time dialing the phone, what with all the drool mucking up the keys). Paul’s camp was ahead of them, with this well intentioned, well conceived use for the funds.
The Current “Paulus-Minus” Tally:
70 Pauluses / 24 Minuses / 4 Push
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