RAND PAUL’S TAX CUTS CAN CURE A DRUG EPIDEMIC…. The drug epidemic in Eastern Kentucky is responsible for severe damage to local communities. As Larry Dale Keeling noted this week, the consequences include “shortened lives (114 overdose deaths in 21 counties in the first two months of this year), fractured families and the crime that has given Kentucky the dubious distinction of having the fastest-growing prison population in the nation.”
Right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul, the Republican Senate candidate who isn’t well versed on the state he hopes to represent, recently said the area’s drug problem isn’t “a real pressing issue.” Even for a candidate known for bizarre remarks, this was rather astounding.
This week, Paul tried to “clarify” his dismissive attitude, and highlighted his proposed solution to the local drug problem: tax cuts for millionaires.
“I personally think we’ve been trying the government solution, and maybe there are some good aspects to it. But we’re still failing, and we’re not getting rid of the drug problem,” Paul said.
Paul says reinvesting money in the local economy will help ease the unemployment, which he says leads to more drug use.
“You want rich people because that’s what creates jobs. If you punish people, they won’t expand or create jobs,” Paul said.
This is incoherent, the kind of remark made by those who know very little about the economy, and even less about drug policy.
Greg Sargent followed up with the Paul campaign, wondering whether the candidate’s remarks reflect his actual agenda. A campaign spokesperson explained in a statement, “The abuse of both legal and illegal drugs is serious and complex issue. We must keep a strong focus on prevention, treatment and enforcement, and healthy employment is great prevention. There is no silver bullet, but a gainfully employed, productive person will be far less likely to succumb to the evils drugs.”
In other words, Paul’s original position wasn’t a slip-up — more jobs means less of a drug crisis, a healthier economy means more jobs, and tax cuts for the rich means a healthier economy.
As for “prevention, treatment and enforcement,” there’s generally not much profit in these efforts, which is why they usually fall to government agencies. If Paul’s is opposed to “government solutions,” where will the resources come from to pay for the “prevention, treatment and enforcement”?