Madeville, LA – Exclusive Audio and Transcript – Mike speaks with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky about his father’s campaign for President, a return to a humble foreign policy, and the economic reality we as a nation currently face.
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Now to the Dudemaker Hotline, my friend and many of yours, the great senator from the great state of Kentucky and son of Ron Paul, Rand Paul with us. Rand, its been a while. How are you, my friend?
Senator Rand Paul: Good, good to be with you.
Mike: Yeah, its good to hear from you. So does it bother you to still hear, though, the ideas which are ancient and timeless that your dad espouses, does it bother you to hear the pejorative terms that are still associated with it? I don’t hear it directed at you as much as it did when you first ran for office. But towards your dad, they still have they being the industrial news complex, seem to have no problem still hurling these just unfounded insults at it. How do you, as a son, how do you take that?
Rand: Well, a lot of it still means that, you know, people start out with their preset notions, particularly on foreign policy, that everything that is not, you know, all out interminable war is called isolationism. So anything less than that really is given that pejorative term. And really what I tell people is, is that there are two polar extremes. One is that were everywhere all the time, and one is that were nowhere any of the time. And right now I think were towards the extreme of being everywhere all the time. So backing away from that is not isolationism. That is much less intervention.
But its also, I think people are coming around to that viewpoint, even others on the Republican field, because they realize were running out of money. They realize we don’t have enough money to be everywhere all the time. And I think they also are starting to see that the Constitution really should be obeyed. Its easier for them to see when there’s a Democrat in the White House; but they are seeing it through the Libya action, even though in practical purposes it looks like it’ll be successful, it wasn’t approached from a constitutional fashion, and there are severely bad precedents with going to war that way.
Mike: Is it tough to take this stand in the United States Senate still? Or are you finding that there are now more people, more senators that are more aligned with and are at least open to the discussion about, okay, Senator Paul, yeah, lets talk about this interventionism. Is it getting better, or is it status quo?
Rand: I think its much better, actually. There are 47 Republicans in the U.S. Senate. And Id say there’s a good solid 10 to 12 who are at least circumspect about endless intervention and about going to war with no declaration of war and whether the President should have this power versus Congress. So there really is a debate occurring. We, during the last session, brought up the Presidents words from 2007 when he campaigned and said that no president should unilaterally go to war without congressional authority. We had a vote on that.
Now, the Democrats, I think, were embarrassed, and none of them voted to support the Presidents own words. But we had 10 Republicans who did, and it was a symbolic vote. But, you know, 10 out of 47 shows that there’s at least some divide. Its not as monolithic as it used to be. And I think that bothers some of the extreme on the side of, you know, the perpetual war faction is bothered by it. But really there is a healthy debate now in the Republican caucus. You saw on the House side that they actually, you know, voted against sanctioning the Libya venture. So, you know, really I think there is a serious discussion, even within Republican circles now.
Mike: Well, and that’s good, and that’s started by your father. I mean, your father has been out there blazing this path now. Its refreshing at least to hear that its being discussed. Lets move on to a subject I know near and dear to your heart, economics here. The President is slated to give this address here after Labor Day and to tell us how our magisterial federal overlords are going to help us overcome all of our economic problems. I know you to be a student of the Austrian school of economics. That may not apply in the United States Senate. But if given the chance, aren’t there things that can be undone, that would immediately unleash capital and job creation in the United States?
Rand: Absolutely. I think tomorrow or yesterday you could lower the corporate income tax and bring a lot of capital home from foreign countries, and that’d be a huge infusion into our economy. Right now, you know, our corporate income tax is actually twice what Canada is. And I never thought Id be complimenting Canadian public policy, but they actually have a much lower income tax than we do. So that’s the first thing you can do, and that would help quite a bit.
The second thing you can do is quit doing what you are doing, and that’s adding new regulations every day. The President now is going to back off and say, oh, hes going to reduce $10 billion worth of regulations. Well, just this year he added $60 billion. That’s not counting ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. So, you know, really, I tell people I think this is the most anti-business President we’ve had in my lifetime.
Mike: Yeah, and its not only its anti-business, its anti-small business. Take it from someone who’s a small businessman, before you were in the Senate, you were a privately contracted ophthalmologist. You were a small business. This stuff matters here. When you get letters in the mail like the one I received the other day informing me that, because of the 2008 Economic Recovery Act, if I dont fork over certain documents to my bank, the IRS is going to come in and assess me a 28 percent tax on all of my sales. What can you do as a member of the United States Senate to stop some of this stuff?
Rand: Well, here’s the scary thing. The courts haven’t been on our side on this either. But for several decades now the courts have ruled that your banking records have no right to privacy. And I say if my banking records have no right to privacy, I don’t have privacy because everything I do is through credit cards or banks. If you can track my credit card, you can tell when I go to the doctor, what kind of medicine I take, who I associate with, whether I drink alcohol, whether I gamble. I mean, really, I think your banking records are a large part of your life, and we need to protect them. But we need to change some court decisions. We need to legislate and say your banking records are private.
You know, these Suspicious Activity Reports that they do under the Patriot Act, there have been eight million of them sifted through in the last 10 years. If you talk to bankers, the bankers dont like being policemen. They don’t like doing it. It adds cost to their business. But you cant get anybody in Washington to try to reform that process. In fact, we were discussing the Patriot Act on the floor, and I brought up SARs, and a couple of members of the Intelligence Committee were standing there, and they were like, huh? What is an SAR? They didn’t even know what they were, and were doing eight million of them over the last 10 years.
Mike: That is just that is unprecedented. Now, I remember back in June I got a letter from your office, an email letter, and they had included in that email letter a letter that you had written to the head of the FBI. And you had asked him certain things about what you’re talking about here, and under what clause in the Constitution was he finding the authority to conduct these warrant-less wiretaps and these other investigations. Did you get an answer to that query? I’m just curious.
Rand: I don’t think there is an answer that’s acceptable coming from them. They just simply said they have the authority under the Patriot Act. Whether or not the Patriot Act agrees with the Constitution, they’re sort of quiet on that subject. One of the things I did get from the meeting is that I think they are trying to do a better job of screening those folks they’re bringing in from Iraq. But my point of view is, is that I’m not sure why we need to bring in, you know, 18,000 people from Iraq every year when their country’s been liberated, has a democratic government now. And I think they need to be staying home and fixing up their country rather than, you know, coming to our country and living on welfare.
End Mike Church Show Transcript