Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s tea party response to President Obama’s State of the Union primarily focused on criticizing the president and Washington in general on the debt and deficit, arguing at one point that the sequester — which the Congressional Budget Office said would halve economic growth in 2013 — doesn’t even truly cut spending.
“What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith,” he said.
“All that we are, all that we wish to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don’t have,” he warned.
On the sequester, Paul said, “The President does a big ‘woe is me’ over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade. Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.”
Paul continued to criticize government spending and blaming the problem on both parties. “It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here. That is not true. In fact, there is plenty. Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of back room deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses.”
He argued that Democrats should “admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred,” while “it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.”
“The President offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor,” Paul continued, then proposing his own five-year budget which includes a 17 percent flat income tax.
On immigration, a contentious issue among some Republicans, Paul notably said, “We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future. We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, ‘If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.’”
Near the end of the speech, he criticized government overreach, saying, “We will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it. We cannot and will not allow any President to act as if he were a king. We will not let any President use executive orders to impinge on the Second Amendment. We will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial.”
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