Rand Paul on Welfare & Poverty
PAUL: You know, it's a hardened resistance. It's been going on for decade after decade. So it's not going to easy to change. We got 3% of the vote in Detroit [for Romney in the 2012 election]. There's not one Democrat that's offered to help the people in Detroit. I went to the people of Detroit and I offered them a billion dollars of their own money to try to help them recover.
Q: But you're offering tax cuts. If you don't have a job, if you're in poverty, tax cuts aren't going to help.
PAUL: That money would be left in the hands of businesses that people in Detroit are already voting on. Let's grow those businesses and they will employ more people.
I believe in an America with a strong safety net, but one that doesn't suffocate our resolve to better ourselves and our country.
We must choose a new way, a way that empowers the individual through education and responsibility to earn a place alongside their fellow Americans in the most prosperous nation ever conceived.
PAUL: Well, it hasn't worked. I mean, the president poured $1 trillion into the nation's economy. And when you divided it out, it was about $400,000 per job. The problem with a government stimulus is you pick the winners and losers. With this stimulus, a free market stimulus, you simply leave the money in the hands of those who earned it. So customers have actually picked out the successful people, the ones they choose to buy products from. Those people get more money.
[One pundit wrote], "Today 99 percent of Americans living below the poverty line have electricity, water, flushing toilets, and a refrigerator; 95 percent have a television; 88 percent have a telephone; 71 percent have a car; and 70 percent have air-conditioning. This may not seem like much, but one hundred years ago men like Henry Ford and Cornelius Vanderbilt were among the richest on the planet, but they enjoyed few of these luxuries."
Through reform ideas like block granting, we can provide federally assisted funds to local communities to help them facilitate and tend to those in need of such essentials such as food or health care. Such proposals would return the responsibility back to the states and promote the opportunity for states to innovate and plan based on the needs of their constituency. Most importantly, it would encourage states to take a more direct look at who is in poverty, who is receiving unnecessary aid, and to facilitate a lessened dependency on government.
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