The rich deserve a break, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said during Monday’s Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Lunch.
Kentucky’s junior Republican senator highlighted his ideas about fiscal policy and how government can help business owners.
“We just really have not thought through what we’re doing in Washington,” Paul said.
To stimulate the American economy, Paul said, spending has to be cut, and government needs to support business owners creating jobs in the private sector.
“Some say, let’s just go tax the rich. ... The problem is, if you want people to pay their fair share, you have to reduce taxes on the rich. The rich are paying all the taxes,” Paul said.
According to Paul, people making more than $200,000 a year, about 10 percent of the population, pay 70 percent of the nation’s income taxes.
“We have to think, what are the ramifications if we squeeze more out of them? If you squeeze more out of them, they hire less people. Who among us doesn’t work for somebody who’s richer than we are? If we want to squeeze it out of somebody who’s richer than us, they won’t hire us,” Paul said.
With business owners hiring fewer people, there is less money in the hands of the working class, and the economy suffers, Paul said.
“We already have a progressive tax code,” Paul said.
Supporting business owners also means supporting retirement plans and 401Ks, Paul said. If businesses aren’t successful, people lose money invested in those companies.
“You are these corporations. ... We’ve tried this divisive rhetoric before,” Paul said.
Jobs have to be created in the private sector, Paul said, and criticized hiring more people for the public sector.
“You can’t just grow the public sector and say, ‘Oh, the economy will be fine. We’ll just hire 100,000 new teachers. Who’s going to pay their salaries?” Paul said.
He also advocated lowering the 35 percent corporate tax rate in America in order to better compete with other countries.
“We incur $2 trillion worth of regulations every year. The numbers are astounding,” Paul said.
According to The Washington Post, the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, though policy loopholes allow many companies to pay less.
Paul also called for a reduction in spending, by capping funding for federal programs at current levels and cutting federal aid.
“If you’re out of money, and you’re country is going bankrupt, you have to make priorities,” Paul said. “ ... I’m not against government. I’m for $2.2 trillion worth. That’s a big government if we only spend what comes in,” Paul said.
Contact Rachel Parsons Gilliam at firstname.lastname@example.org.