Rand Paul visits Franklin
By Carole Robinson
Reaction from local legislators and Cong. Marsha Blackburn to Sen. Rand Paul’s speech at State Senator Jack Johnson’s annual Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans fundraiser Sunday at The Factory in Franklin was upbeat and positive.
“He did a great job articulating his viewpoints and he was very well received by the crowd,” said Johnson.
Blackburn said she was delighted to welcome Paul to Williamson County to support Johnson.
“He is a great supporter for conservative values,” she said.
Rep. Glen Casada agreed saying, “It’s what’s lacking in Washington – common sense. He is a breath of fresh air.”
Paul came south from Kentucky to talk about the federal budget, sequestration, Affordable Care Act, his optimism for the future and the need for the Republican Party to become more inclusive as he confirmed to the gathering of more that 700 people what they knew, “The American people are getting tired of this,” referring to the way Washington is running the country.
“We did survive sequestration. Air traffic controllers are still working; meat packers are still working. They said they can’t spend money on White House self-guided tours, but they can give $800 million to Egypt.”
The federal government can start saving money, “by cutting its $9 million travel bill,” Paul said. “That’s just civilians – not the military. Competitive contracts in government are kinda do kinda don’t; with government, the going wage is twice any local going wage.”
According to Paul, the federal government spent $325,000 on a robotic squirrel project, $5 million on the “Golden Fish” project and $3 million on a turtle tunnel.
“Does a turtle read the sign?” he added.
The military is not without fault – it spent $1.8 billion on developing roll-up beef jerky.
Paul said he developed a bill that will compensate federal employees who find ways to save money within the government.
He said the Affordable Care Act adds 18,000 more codes to the current system of 144,000 codes.
“It adds 312 animal injury codes including nine new codes from injury from a macaw; two for turtle injuries,” he said. “It also adds a list of codes sustained by water skiing, walking into a lamp post and a second incident of walking into a lamp post.”
“I lost a little bit of confidence in the IRS,” he said. “In Washington it’s become like Old MacDonald’s Farm – here a scam, there a scam. In the case of the IRS, no one wants to believe if you lose an election they’re going to use the brute force of the government.”
He sited a person who had more than 25 visits from various government agencies, from the IRS to the FBI and even the BATF, “and she doesn’t sell guns,” Paul said. “All because she started a Tea Party group to prevent dead people from voting. During the last five years, more than $500 million was given to dead people. There’s room for cutting throughout government.”
In spite of what’s happening in Washington today, “When I think about whether I should be discouraged or encouraged, I think about the greatness of this country,” he said. “We have created more wealth and giving than any other country, and it’s all because of our system. We give billions away to those who need it every single year – does Cuba? The Cold War produced the engine of capitalism and defeated the engine of socialism. We don’t worship wealth; we appreciate the system because so much good comes out of it.”
As a people, we must defend liberty, which means we must defend the Constitution and all of the Bill of Rights, he said.
“To protect one, we have to protect all of them,” he said. “We can’t have the Second Amendment without the other amendments. Madison said, ‘If government were comprised of angels, we wouldn’t need rules.’”
Looking to the future of the Republican Party, according to Paul, Republicans need to become a bigger party—while defending liberty, privacy and the Fourth Amendment; protecting rights; the economy and providing better schools.
“Be optimistic,” he said. “As American painter Robert Henri once said, ‘You should paint like a man coming over the top of the hill singing.’ When we become the party that protects our message, we’ll become the party who sings again.”
According to Johnson, Casada and Rep. Jeremy Durham, that singing won’t come by forgetting conservative principles.
“[Paul’s] not saying we need to compromise our principles and he’s right about that,” Johnson said. “We need to broaden their application – that doesn’t mean compromising convictions. Reagan didn’t compromise his principles – he articulated them better – we need to do that as a party. Sen. Paul is right – Washington is broken and Democrats and Republicans deserve blame, but we are showing here in Tennessee how conservative principles work.”
Posted on: 7/31/2013