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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rand Paul's Answer to Poverty: Wage More War on Women

Rand Paul
I've never been extremely impressed with Kentucky's freshman Senator Rand Paul. He seems keenly proud of his own brilliance -- despite the fact that few people other than himself can manage to find any evidence of it. His desire to be a Senator seems to stem more from his need to be a Very Important Person than his desire to serve his country. And you don't take it upon yourself to respond to the President's State of the Union Address -- in no official capacity whatsoever -- unless you think people need to appreciate the beneficent fruits of your towering intellect.

In short, Rand Paul is an incredible egotist, made even more insufferable by the fact that he's not actually all that smart.  He's five gallons of smart in a 50 gallon drum -- and the rest of the barrel is filled up by bullcrap. That's my impression. And it's an impression he recently did very little to dispell.

ThinkProgress: At a luncheon for the Chamber of Commerce in Lexington, KY, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) floated the idea of capping government benefits for women who have children out of wedlock, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

While he said that preventing unplanned pregnancies should be in the hands of communities and families, he added, “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount.”‘ He went on to say, “I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”

The idea of withholding benefits from women who have more than a certain number of children is actually current policy in many states. While most programs through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or welfare) give families more money if they have more children, 16 states cap the assistance and don’t give any extra money for new children if someone in the household is already receiving aid.
Want to take a guess at how good this policy is at eliminating poverty? ThinkProgress goes on to report that it doesn't make a dent in poverty at all, because duh. In fact, many of the states that had implemented such a cap are in the process of undoing it.

But worse than Paul's ignorance of the consequence of his proposal is his complete unawareness that Republican policies could possibly be contributing to any of this. Your party reduces the number of abortion clinics by regulating them out of business and fights to keep women from getting contraceptive coverage in their health insurance -- both of which affect women in poverty to a far greater degree than anyone else -- and then you complain that poor women have too many children?

Seriously, how stupid do you actually have to be? And Tea Party darling Rand Paul can STFU about "individual liberty" now, because you know who else thinks having the government limit the size of families is a good idea? China. For someone who claims to be on the side of freedom, Rand Paul -- like pretty much ever Republican official out there -- sure spends a lot of time thinking up new ways to micromanage women's lives. The word these guys are looking for here isn't "liberty," it's "totalitarianism."

The whole thing is idiotic beyond words and Sen. Poodlehair here seems to be convinced that it's the most common sense thing in the world. Why? Because he's a Republican, that's why. For Republicans, the solution to every problem is to find the right person to punish, then you punish them hard and punish them long -- unless they're wealthy. That's why they don't believe in global warming; they can't figure out how beating poor people, women, and minorities with ax handles would solve the problem. So it must not exist.

For them, it's create a problem, then complain about the people the problem affects. That's how geniuses like Rand Paul operate.

You really wish those geniuses were rare.


[photo by Gage Skidmore]

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