During day two (or three, or something) of the Republican convention, enthusiastic delegates and less enthusiastic at-home viewers got to hear from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul but unrelated to either Ayn Rand or Paul Ryan except in philosophy. Here’s his speech, which is better if you mute it.
This is the part that you’ll enjoy.
Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class.
When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock. When you block the Keystone Pipeline, you punish the welder who works on the pipeline.
This is his version of “Corporations are people,” Mitt Romney’s hyper-successful attempt to make people feel empathetic for massive enterprises. Paul goes a step further, anthropomorphizing Exxon (as a man, of course). This a company that made $41.1 billion in profits last year, just a regular Joe. And where do those profits go? People! Well, not jobs, mind you. But some people, somewhere. Executives, mostly.
Rand Paul, noted libertarian, wants to help Mr. Exxon Mobil so much that he also thinks the good gentleman should keep getting tax subsidies, lest its annual profits dip below $40 billion.
As for Keystone, Paul will be happy to know that realistic estimates for the number of people who didn’t get work after Keystone was cancelled is in the neighborhood of 500 to 1,400 temporary jobs. It is unclear where Paul stands on the wind production tax credit which, if it expires this year, could cost 37,000 jobs in the wind industry.
Actually, there’s one other part of Rand Paul’s speech you’ll like.
When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional!
The leftwing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said — can’t you pleeeease count to 10 before you speak?
So, I’ve had time now to count to 10 and, you know what? I still think it’s unconstitutional!
Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds?
I think if James Madison himself — the father of the Constitution — were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!
Before winning his first term as a United States senator, Rand Paul was an ophthalmologist who once paid a $50,000 malpractice settlement. We suspect it too was unconstitutional. Mr. Malpractice is a jerk.
Get Grist in your inbox