The “populist” Senator from Kentucky, having sold his constituents a sack of bullpucky that he’s just one of them, is once again showing his true colors, this time in the arena of tax dodging. He’s helping his rich buddies hide their wealth overseas by blocking three treaties that would help the U.S. government find them and make them pay their taxes. Hiding money in Luxembourg, Hungary and Switzerland is common practice among the very wealthy (so I hear) and these countries are very secretive about their clientele. The Obama administration has been trying to hunt down these tax dodgers to make them pay their fair share, running into opposition from… you guessed it, the party of the rich.
As we all know, as the filibuster rules in the Senate now stand, any Senator can block a bill (or treaty, as it turns out) by merely making his objection known. And that’s exactly what Rand Paul has done, citing a concern that they will:
… “allow the government to obtain a wide array of records without evidence that people may be hiding money.”
Never mind that this is exactly the purpose of these treaties: it’s how the evidence is gathered. The fact that only very rich people can hide money in these countries must have slipped his mind. But he must know that opening an account in any of these countries takes a huge amount of money – usually at least $1 million – and there are large monthly maintenance fees. Nope, ol’ Rand (not at all named after Ayn, mind you) is protecting the very rich while he claims to be protecting the average American. Meanwhile, he continues his agenda to cut Medicare and Social Security. Nice.
Being the curious kind of individual I am, I went looking for financial information on Sen. Paul. First, I went to Open Secrets.org to find that Mr. Paul raised nearly 3 times the average war chest for Senatorial candidates, with nearly $10 million over the past 5 years. The majority of that came from… well, lookee here – the top 5 contributors are financial companies. And the Koch brothers. In fact, only 2 of the top 10 contributors were not concerned with finances, capital, union busting and banking.
Over at Vote Smart, it’s noted that Sen. Paul refused to answer any of the questions on their 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. The test seeks to find a candidate’s position on various issues, including education, budget, immigration, health and crime. How very transparent of him.
For someone who claims to be a Libertarian, Mr. Paul is darned shifty about his support of the populist issues that most Libertarians rally around. Could it be that he is, after all, just another rich, white Republican protecting his rich buddies? His blocking of these treaties points to that conclusion.