The 2016 race has begun to heat up in recent days for the Rand Paul campaign, with several key hires having been made and an April 7th announcement date scheduled to declare his candidacy for president. With over a dozen rivals expected to challenge Paul for the Republican nomination, one of his major challenges is going to be convincing the American people that he is the man with the vision to restore American greatness. Fortunately for his libertarian fans, Rand Paul has a budget plan that would cause an economic boom by utilizing core economic principles that conservatives and libertarians alike agree on. This bold vision for America would create millions of jobs by instituting the first real spending cut we have seen since World War 2 ended, a major tax cut that would leave billions of dollars in the economy, and a regulatory reform plan that would simplify the process of dealing with a treacherous federal government for American families, businesses and individuals everywhere.
The budget begins with a $411 billion cut year one, paving the way to a balanced budget in five years. It accomplishes this by eliminating four federal departments (Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy), repealing Obamacare and block granting welfare programs (Medicaid, SCHIP, food stamps, and child nutrition) to the states. These cuts would not only mean not paying for four federal departments and several federal welfare programs, but would also create an important reduction in the amount of regulation being imposed on Americans under the Obama administration. The departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in particular have encroached on the basic liberties of the American people for far too long, and we must have a president who is ready to eliminate them. The Paul plans elimination of these departments will cause an end to federal takeovers like Common Core and plans to socially engineer our communities via HUD. The elimination of four federal departments will create a regulatory climate that is easier to navigate than it has been in many decades. We now have a federal government that spends recklessly and a national debt that is approaching $19 trillion, and we can no longer afford to elect Republicans who talk about cutting spending in vague ways and then fail to follow through. The Paul plan creates meaningful strides towards shrinking government.
The budget would create the first significant regulatory reductions in many years by creating a two year sunset on all existing regulations. This would force the congress to debate regulations periodically and justify their existence to the American people. The plan would include repealing Dodd-Frank, instituting the REINS Act (which would require Congress to approve every regulation which has an annual economic impact of $100 million or more) and creating a single flat tax rate on all individuals and businesses. This would significantly reduce the regulatory burden on every day Americans and help to address the trillions of dollars in compliance costs that overregulation imposes on our economy every year. The effect of this is that trillions of dollars can be spent in the productive sector, creating jobs and making peoples lives better. Through passage of the REINS Act, the Paul plan would also take the power to regulate things such as greenhouse gasses and the internet away from unelected officials in the EPA and FCC and return them to the congress, where elected officials can be held accountable for their vote.
This all being said, the boldest and most exciting part of the Paul plan in this author’s opinion is the plan to reduce America’s tax burden. Rand Paul would institute a flat tax rate on both individuals and corporations of 17%, less than half the current top rate. For such a major cut at the top, however, the Paul plan may create even better outcomes for those in the middle and at the bottom. His plan to provide generous standard deductions for both individuals and dependents would create a situation where the effective federal tax rate on a family making $50,000 a year was a mere 0.3%. According to the plan, a family filing jointly could receive $35,000 for a standard deduction and $6,800 for each dependent. This will have the effect of freeing up billions of dollars in capital to create tens of millions of jobs. The large standard deduction will also help to make sure the employees of these companies are not being punished for getting increases in their pay, as has become standard operating procedure under Barack Obama. According to the plan, the flat tax would also completely eliminate the repugnant practice of double taxation, which often imposes irrational burdens on capital gains, estates, dividends and interest. The tax burden imposed on the citizens of this country is the greatest barrier to economic growth, and the Paul plan doesn’t just address this, it provides a comprehensive solution to the problem.
Over the course of the 2016 Republican primary you will hear many candidates boldly declaring themselves to be what America needs to get our economy back on track. Before you commit to any candidate, make sure they have a budget plan that will actually fix some of the issues that have been holding our economy back for the last two presidencies. Several of the candidates have talked about cutting spending in a vague way, but in order to ensure our nations future we must insist on the specifics. Failure to elect a candidate with a true vision for economic growth, a vision rooted in conservative principles, will either lead to the election of Hillary Clinton or another big government Republican, sending young people down the road to becoming a lost generation.