News & Politics

Rand Paul: 'Conservatives Get Outfoxed and Bamboozled by the D.C. Swamp'

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as he leaves a Republican Senate luncheon attended by President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In a fiery column for The Hill, Rand Paul takes on the “swamp creatures” in Washington, D.C., who tried to pass “tax cuts” that would actually raise taxes for the middle and upper-middle classes. When Senator Paul first spoke against the Republican tax plan, his party’s leadership attacked him for “not supporting tax cuts.”

Not true, Paul writes — he was trying to make the plan better:

The D.C. swamp has paid-for toadies on the left and the right. From the right come cries that I am opposing the tax plan. Far from it. I am trying to make it better. The pretend tax-cutters who argue that conservatives should shut up, sit quietly in the back of the bus, and let the leadership write the tax plan are wrong. Conservatives get outfoxed and bamboozled when we acquiesce and hope for the best.

Some of these swamp creatures on the right forget that the primary directive for conservatives is to lower taxes, not just eliminate deductions. Most of us can be convinced that repealing the state income tax deduction is good policy, but only after we’re convinced that your “reform” is not going to raise taxes on the middle class.

It seems that Sen. Paul’s efforts have borne fruit:

Tax writers from the Senate leadership, Finance Committee, and the White House — at the personal direction of President Trump — have been working with my office for weeks to get some of the details right. I believe this will happen, and I’m very encouraged by the results so far and their willingness to see the problems and help me correct them.

As a result, the senator from Kentucky has “offered the president and congressional leaders my full support for cutting taxes for Americans — and doing so quickly.”

That’s an important development, of course, but what’s even more important is that this plan would not have been improved if Republican leadership had its way.

The Mitch McConnells and John McCains of this world were more than happy to raise taxes for some members of the middle and upper-middle class if doing so meant they could give their friends in Big Business a break.

The plan that’s now being rewritten — by Sen. Paul, the White House, and, because they have to, by Republican leaders — is bold and ambitious. But if the senator’s views are fully taken into account, the tax plan will end up being 10 times better than the plan Republicans originally put forward. That’s a win for Sen. Paul and American taxpayers.