TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO: Senator Rand Paul Speaks at CPAC 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Thursday, Feb. 9, Sen. Rand Paul spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Below are his remarks as delivered, as well as video of his appearance.
I have a question. A question for the President. Do you hate all rich people? Or just those who aren't campaign contributors.
The President sure seems to like George Kaiser, the twentieth richest man in America. President Obama likes him so much that he gave Kaiser's company, Solyndra. a half a billion, taxpayer dollars, which you may have heard got flushed down the drain.
To get Mr. Kaiser his money, the President came up with a brilliant plan. Let's appoint people to approve the loans who are related to people who are going to get the loans.
So Solyndra's attorney simply called up her husband who works for the Department of Energy to secure the half a billion dollar loan. What a great way to encourage campaign contributions, give away enormous taxpayer loans to campaign contributors.
So, to be fair, the President doesn't really hate all rich people, just those who don't contribute to his campaign.
They say it's not easy being rich, especially if you inherit the money. It's hard sometimes just playing polo and laying by the pool. So when I heard that Robert Kennedy Jr was starting his own company, I first thought, good for him I hope he will find satisfaction in good old fashioned work.
My good feelings soured, though, when I learned the Robert Kennedy's idea of work included $1.6 billion of taxpayer money.
So while the President roams the country moaning about millionaires and billionaires not paying their fair share, his aides in the White House are making sure that millionaires and billionaires get their fair share -- of your money.
How did Robert Kennedy, Jr. come by his $1.6 billion? The same way George Kaiser got his. Kennedy got one of his employees a job at the Department of Energy and then that former employee approved the loan. Where is the Taxpayer in all of this? Well, left holding the bag. Where is the country? Left with a $15 trillion debt.
So the President doesn't really hate all rich people, if you're a crony, stop by the White House, they've got a deal for you.
I have question. Another question for the President. Do you hate poor people or just poor people with jobs?
Your Chinese- made energy efficient light bulbs cost 4 dollars apiece. Who can afford them? Not to mention that you need a HAZMAT team if one of them breaks.
Mr. President, Don't you realize that as you've piled the debt on the backs of working people that gas prices have doubled, food prices are rising at double digits. 11 million people are out of work.
When you forbid the mining of cheap sources of energy, when you ban the new oil pipeline, senior citizens and working families are forced to pay higher electric bills.
I really want to know, Mr. President, does your ideology, your yen for windmills trump your concern for the poor? Does it bother you that Americans who live paycheck to paycheck are asked to pay for Mr. Kaiser's loan, to pay for Mr. Kennedy's loan?
Do you, Mr. President, ever reflect that a country that borrows $40,000 a second is heading for a cliff and you are at the wheel and stepping on the gas.
Spending is accelerating. We now spend almost 25% of our GDP in Washington and nearly half of all spending is borrowed.
Entitlements and interest on the debt will consume all tax revenue in the near future. It is not a question of will a debt crisis occur in America. It is only a question of when.
Now, in all seriousness, I don't think the President hates rich people or poor people. In fact, I don't impute to him bad intentions at all-a misguided philosophy, yes, but bad intentions, no.
Meanwhile, the President roams the country claiming millionaires and billionaires are not paying their fair share.
This is objectively false. Millionaires, on average, pay about 29% of their income. And, on average, non-millionaires (the rest of us) all pay less than 29%.The top ten percent of earners, pay over 70% of the income tax. Let me repeat: those earning more than $200,000 pay 70% of the income tax.
The rich and the upper middle class pay virtually all of the income tax. The bottom 47% of earners pay NO income tax. To put it kindly, the President is being disingenuous.
Is anyone out there tired of hearing about Warren Buffett's secretary? We are encouraged to mourn Warren Buffet's poor secretary, who some have estimated may make more than $200,000 per year.
Realize, though, that this is all a charade purposefully designed to attack any Republican candidate who happens to be successful. The truth is that Warren Buffet pays tens of millions of dollars in taxes and his secretary pays thousands of dollars in taxes. Buffet, in fact, pays about 1000 times more in taxes than his secretary.
I believe this election will be about the American Dream and whether we still believe in the greatness of our founding documents. Do we believe in an America where "we the people" interact voluntarily to determine the winners or do we want the President to dictate the winners and losers? Do we really want a Fairness Czar to enforce equality on us?
It's not as if we haven't seen attempts at a fairness doctrine before. The Soviets tried it. So did the Chinese.
A recent NPR story described the Chinese experiment with enforced fairness.
In 1978, in a small village in a remote region of China, several farmers gathered in secret and signed a compact. This compact was extraordinary and very dangerous. They immediately hid it inside a piece of bamboo in the roof of one farmer's hut.
The compact called for illegal action. The compact called for dividing the collective farm into plots by family and then letting each family keep the profits. Because capitalism and profit were illegal and could command a death sentence, each farmer agreed to raise the children of any farmer that was caught and executed.
The result was phenomenal. The largest harvest in recent memory. So large, that it did not escape notice and one of the farmers was hauled before the local commissar. But just as the interrogation was proceeding to a possibly violent end, word came from Beijing that the long dark veil of communism was being lifted.
As China awakens to capitalism, our President embraces big government to debt.
This election may be the last best hope of saving the American Dream. As we gather to make the choice of who will lead Conservatives, I am reminded of a story by Paul Kengor.
On a brisk evening in Dixon, Illinois in 1922. Returning home from a basketball game at the YMCA, an 11 year old boy is stunned by the sight of his father sprawled out in the snow on the front porch. "He was drunk," his son later remembered. "Dead to the world . . . crucified." The dad's hair was soaked with melted snow, matted unevenly against the side of his reddened face.
The boy stood over his father for a minute or two. He wanted to simply let himself in the door and pretend his dad wasn't there. Instead, he grabbed a fistful of overcoat and heaved his dad to the bedroom, away from the weather's harm and neighbor's attention.
This young man didn't retreat or admit defeat. His family's struggles did not lead him to say, the world is against me and I can't succeed. When his family moved 30 times when he was growing up, he was not deterred.
This young boy became the man, Ronald Reagan, whose sunny optimism and charisma shined so brightly that it cured the malaise of the late seventies, an optimism that beamed so broadly that it pulled us through a serious recession, and an optimism that tugged so happily at all hearts that a generation of Democrats became Republicans.
Who will be our heroes? Who will become the next generation of great leaders?
America is great because we've always embraced individual liberty. This belief in the individual is the American dream.
To lead us away from the precipice that is the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America's greatness, who believes in and can articulate the American dream.
If the American Dream dies, so does our country. Our prosperity comes from our freedom, a freedom enshrined and protected by the Constitution.
Washington, today, is ruled by a different sort. Special interests on the right and the left clamor for more of your money. Even our party has yet to grasp the significance and imminence of the coming debt crisis.
It will take bold leadership to avert this crisis. It will take someone able to transform the coldness of austerity into the warm, vibrant embrace of prosperity.
We are in the process of discovering who that leader will be. My hope is that in searching for that leader, we also rediscover the passion for individual liberty that made America great.