After President Obama gave his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, Senator Rand Paul released his own State of the Union speech online.
Paul starts by saying, “All is not well in America,” and from here he outlines what he thinks is wrong in the country.
The first thing Paul says is needed in America is “new leadership.” He does not mean get rid of the president, rather this is a call for a limit to the number of terms congressmen and other high ranking officials can serve. Currently, the U.S. has 11 people in the House or Senate who have served 35+ years as political leaders. Paul says by eliminating the limitless number of terms these leaders can have, new blood will flow into Washington, bringing fresh and new ideas.
As the president took time in his speech to outline his plan to continue to fight the war on poverty, Paul says he believes the war on poverty has failed. “Income inequality has worsened under this administration, and tonight, President Obama offers more of the same policies,” said Paul. “Policies which allow the poor to get poorer, and the rich to get richer…[Americans] don’t want a handout but a hand-up.”
Then, Paul takes a jab at Congress for their failure to balance the national budget, asking how Congress cannot balance a budget like every other American household? Paul says if Congress cannot balance the budget for one reason or another, an amendment should be added to make balancing the budget a mandatory act of Congress.
After mentioning an increase in the national debt, Paul calls out Hillary Clinton and what he calls her war in Libya. “Libya is now a jihadist wonderland,” says Paul, who then says we are more at risk for terrorist attacks “than ever before,” because of the actions in Libya.
Shortly afterward this mention, he says we need to not worry about the Middle East since war has been in the region for thousands of years, and instead we should worry about our issues here in the U.S.
Then in an odd instance, Paul seems to advocate for universal healthcare, but not President Obama’s version of healthcare. “It is a noble aspiration and a moral obligation to make sure our fellow man is provided for, that medical treatment is made available to all.”
While President Obama may have limited the choice of doctors available to some citizens, Paul says we should have the option to choose which doctor we want within our healthcare plan. “Everyone knows our healthcare system needed reforming, but it was the wrong prescription to choose more government instead of more consumer choice and competition. Obamacare restriction freedom…” Paul’s answer to fix the president’s healthcare plan, “Let’s try freedom again, it worked for over 200 years.”
A moment was also taken to propose a flat tax, as well as a cut to national spending.
In the last minutes of his speech, Paul rehashes many of his main talking points which have been seen in the news and heard in his many speeches. He wants to hold political leaders accountable for their actions, he asks how we can trust members of Congress since they only have a 10 percent approval rating, and then says the government has no right to collect our phone data and he backs this up with a mention of the Constitution.
Before ending, Paul says he will propose an audit of the Pentagon to “seek ways to make our defense department more modern and efficient without breaking the bank.”
The speech does not seem to be a response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, rather it appears to be a gathering of all of Paul’s talking points over the last few years, compiled into one consistent speech. He doesn’t offer many counterpoints to the president’s speech, or alternatives to what the president said. Instead, he tries to strengthen his political stance on a few issues, and he attempts to reach the moderates who are upset with the state of politics in Washington.