That's the best political slogan since "I like Ike," in 1952.
Rand Paul isn't the typical conservative Republican. In fact when his dad, Ron Paul, ran for President in 2008, Rush Limbaugh didn't know what to make of Ron's Libertarian isolationism. Ron Paul wasn't a viable candidate in 2008 or 2012, but Rand Paul might surprise the pundits.
Liberals believe Government is the answer to all of our problems. I know that's a sweeping generalization and I'm not going to back it up with research studies, but Liberals and Democrats tend to look at big Government as Deus ex Machina, God from the Machine. Republicans actually do the same thing only a little less obviously. Libertarians don't.
When Rand Paul says he's fighting for freedom, he means freedom from big government. I haven't been, or felt like I've been, oppressed by the Federal Government. In fact I'm taking Government handouts right now. I'm on Social Security and Medicare, and I don't want them taken away, but I can see where our Government is out of control.
I donated $20.16 to Rand Paul's campaign. So now I'm officially on his email list. Here's an email I received yesterday. He's coming out swinging.
Defeating the Washington Machine begins with tearing up the tax code and starting over.
This doesn't make me the most popular guy with the army of lawyers and lobbyists who game the system.
But I'm not running for their approval.
I'm in this race to take our government back.
That's why I'm proposing a $2 trillion dollar tax cut ? the largest in American history.
My plan is simple, it's fair, and it cuts taxes for ALL Americans.
And it ends the workers tax: I will end the FICA payroll tax, the largest tax for many working Americans.
It goes to zero."
He's talking about cutting or eliminating FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act). FICA is the tax for Social Security and Medicare. I'm on Social Security and Medicare. We already don't have enough in the trust fund to cover all of the new people who will be turning 62 (for early SS) or 67 (for full SS), so where will it come from?
So, yes, I'm worried about my own Government handouts, but Social Security and Medicare are NOT handouts. I paid into SS for years, and a payment for Medicare is deducted from my monthly SS checks.
I even did something that is no longer allowed, but I thought was a good idea at the time. I took early SS at 62, after being laid off during the Dot-Com bubble at 60. My goal was to use Social Security to supplement my consulting and part time work.
I was teaching classes online for University of Phoenix. I was making about $12K a year when UoPX added a new AA program to my schedule and I started getting a lot more classes to teach, but 50% of what I earned was subtracted from my Social Security payments.
In January 2009 I decided I would pay back all of my early Social Security and reapply for full SS at 66. This was probably a bad time to do it because the market had just crashed and my mutual funds had dropped in half. Being the overly-reactive person I am, I sold my mutual funds and took $48K out and paid all of the previous 4 years of Social Security back.
Almost nobody knew about this option, but I read the government booklets on Social Security and was actually planning to do it when I applied for early SS. I naively or stupidly thought relying on the government would be safer than keeping my money in the Stock Market. Of course the market came roaring back and my mutual funds would probably have more than doubled by now, but I couldn't predict the future and did what I thought was safe.
In 2010 the payback option was dropped. My Social Security has gone up 66% since I paid it back, but it still isn't enough by itself to live on in the style to which I am accustomed. So I continue to teach online and write my blogs to supplement my SS. While I am not in as much risk as other seniors barely living at the bottom of SS, I would still be pinched if my payments were reduced or my Medicare deduction was increased.
So while I like Rand Paul, and agree that most of the time big government is the problem and not the solution, I'm also self-centered enough to say "Keep your Government hands off my Social Security and Medicare!"