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Paul urges “tough love” for long-term jobless

June 18, 2010 | | Comments Comments

Updated: 4:55 p.m.

By John Cheves – jcheves@herald-leader.com

Rand Paul

Rand Paul

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Friday urged Americans who have been unemployed for many months to consider returning to the workforce in less desirable jobs rather than continue relying on government unemployment assistance.

“In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We’re up to two years now in America,” Paul said on Sue Wylie’s WVLK-AM 590 radio program.

“As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again,” Paul said. “Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.”

Paul was responding to a question from Wylie about Thursday’s Senate Republican filibuster of a $120 billion package of additional jobless benefits and state aid. Tens of thousands of Americans will have exhausted their unemployment benefits this month without that extension.

Paul said he supports the filibuster. If the Senate thinks the bill is necessary, it needs to find the money to pay for it elsewhere in the federal budget rather than add to the $13 trillion national debt, he said.

“It’s all a matter of making priorities,” Paul said. “Some tough decisions will have to be made.”

On other subjects, Paul said the first bill he files if he’s elected will be a constitutional amendment setting term limits for members of Congress. But he would not pledge to limit his own time in Washington unless such rules were enforced on all lawmakers.

Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has called for mandatory term limits since joining Congress in the 1970s.

“The problem is when people voluntarily follow the rules, the good people come home and the bad people stay,” Rand Paul said. “I don’t have any intention of staying for longer than two terms, but I’m not really making a commitment.”

Paul said his campaign is proving more painful than he expected because of unfair attacks on his character by “the liberal media” and his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway.

Paul said the best moment in his campaign so far was soundly defeating Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the Republican primary in May, surrounded by his supporters and television news cameras.

The worst moment followed almost immediately, he said, as he became embroiled in a national controversy over the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In interviews, Paul said he supports civil rights, but as a property-rights advocate, he opposes the part of the law forcing businesses to serve customers regardless of their race.

Paul told Wylie that he has been inaccurately labeled a racist as a result. Growing up, Paul said, his parents taught him and his siblings to treat everyone fairly.

“To make me out to be some horrible person, it hurts me personally, it hurts my family,” said Paul, who also wrote an Op-Ed column in Friday’s (Louisville) Courier-Journal stating that his reputation “has been sullied.” Paul blamed the news media and Conway for distorting his position on the Civil Rights Act to make it look extreme.

In another radio interview, with a Bowling Green station on Wednesday, Paul defended his acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid payments as an eye surgeon for the last 17 years. Paul said he wants sweeping cuts in federal spending, but as a doctor, he has little choice but to serve patients covered by the massive federal health-care programs.

“I work hard and I don’t see any other person in this country who’s gonna work hard and not be paid for it,” Paul said.

Paul declined to say how much money he gets from the programs, but he said approximately 50 percent of his income is Medicare and 5 percent is Medicaid. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Paul has been paid $130,461 over the last five years through Medicaid. If that represents 5 percent of his income, then Paul’s Medicare payments over the same period would be more than $1.3 million or about $260,000 a year.

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Comments

  1. beezer says:

    Paul wants a balanced public budget, possibly a surplus.

    Which means the private economy needs to shrink. I’m referring here to accounting. Record keeping.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Paul wants the majority of citizens to take the “hit” of this shrink plan.

    Taking into account that for the past 30 years the vast majority of wealth created has flowed up to a very small percent of citizens, I think it would be more fair to install steeply progressive tax rates, including progressive capital gains rates, rather than reduce retirement, health care and education opportunities to the majority of non-wealthy citizens.

  2. DebbieP says:

    JP, we have lowered our standards and are VERY willing to take jobs that pay less. That is NOT the problem! The problem is that the jobs that pay less are NOT willing to hire us – we are “overqualified”!

  3. Thomas says:

    Anyone disagreeing with Rand Paul on this is saying: Don’t worry about getting a job this year, we will cover you another year. I know Europe only has a one-year safety net and we are approaching doubling that, but hey we can afford it, right?

    13 trillion dollars in debt and Jack Conway has a plan that (he says) cuts 1% over the next 10 years… Don’t make me laugh.. The next stimulus will increase the debt by over 1% in the next ten years.

    Real cuts will have to be made!

    Which candidate is talking about real cuts?

  4. just me says:

    @ William Thanks and BTW I agree with you. There is no connection to Rand Paul receiving Medicare or Medicaid when he offers a service to a patient and unemployment insurance.

    I seem to feel a hint of jealousy floating around against anyone that might have been brought up with privilege. You don’t become a doctor of anything by being lazy. It takes hard work and 8 years of your life.

    There are lowering paying jobs around you just have to get up off the sofa and look for them. My father worked two jobs when we were young, he got only a few hours of sleep at night. He did what needed to be done to take care of his family. Unlike so many of those today that have been brought up to believe the government owes them a living.

  5. OscarDeGrouch says:

    Just like all the generations of Kennedys?

  6. Julie says:

    Just me, William–The hypocrisy is not that he accepts Medicare payments. It’s that he is telling unemployed skilled workers that they should just sacrifice and take a job at WalMart (as if it’s easy to get a job that you’re way overqualified for) but he doesn’t think doctors who work for Medicare should take any pay cuts. Because, well, “Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living.”

  7. The General says:

    Thomas please explain how a nation that issues its own currency needs to worry about the national debt.

  8. John from Minneapolis says:

    Typical GOP hypocrisy. Just like the Tea Party guy running for Congress in Tennessee who takes a six-figure federal ag subsidy every year.

  9. [...] been thinking more about the insulting remarks Rand Paul made in Kentucky when he suggested that skilled, unemployed folks should just suck it up and settle for whatever [...]

  10. Wisco says:

    Really? That\’s his solution to unemployment; get a job?

    Next up, a cure for cancer — \”Stop having cancer.\”

  11. michi says:

    hilarious!

  12. John says:

    Yeah, because there are so many jobs out there for the taking. This guy is completely removed from reality. And hey, he’s a racist and hypocrite as well! Just what we need more of in congress.

  13. James Pence says:

    Rand Paul Wages Have To Fall – Tough Love You Have To Accept
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQbecjKCKW8
    Rand Paul Wages Need To Fall-Home Prices Have To Fall
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Si1q1pagoE

  14. Big Jay says:

    Upon re-reading the article you are correct. The next question is why they went to this system. Answer, because the court said do this or we’ll gerrymander your voting districts to ensure a minority gets elected. So they went to this and minorities got elected. Funny thing, I thought giving a particular race an advantage on purpose was racism. This is a racist voting technique because it is designed to benefit specific races of people. Rand Paul couldn’t even think of anything to match this open racist behavior.

  15. Big Jay says:

    The General – when a country prints more money to pay its national debt it lowers the value of each unit of currency. For us that is the dollare. This is called inflation. If you print a whole lot of money to cover your debt you get hyper-inflation. That means all the people who followed rules, paid bills and saved money lose. Why? Because the buying power of their savings just plummeted. And while they stayed in a budget and didn’t buy things they couldn’t afford other people bought like crazy, have those items, and won’t ever pay for them.

  16. EvoMonkey says:

    Drink Rand Paul™ Tea*
    It’s CRAZY Good!

    *Warning: Drinking Rand Paul™ Tea may make you callous and insensitive.

  17. GaryS says:

    Job-seekers are already settling for less pay than their previous job.
    Rand Paul again reveals that he knows little about what he talks about.

  18. Tom says:

    Perhaps, should Mr. Paul actually go to Washington, he ought voluntarily work for minimum wage and forego his frills and insurance benefits to illustrate his concern for us. After all, nobody will like it, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.
    Fat chance.

  19. The General says:

    But so much liquidity has been lost so how can there be inflation?

  20. The General says:

    Also the rate of inflation is below average so there goes the inflation argument.

  21. ronmar says:

    OK PEOPLE LETS GET TO REAL POINT IN QUESTION YOU GOT MORE THAN A MILLION AND HALF AMERICAN PEOPLE OUT OF WORK!!! NO FOOD NO ELECTRIC, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY ARE GOING TO DO? FIND A JOB! THAT WAS EASIER “SAID” THAN DONE.THE PEOPLE THAT ARE OUT OF WORK WAS WORKING AND PUTTING MONEY INTO THE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS SYSTEM AND OTHER GOVERNMENT SPENDING PROGRAMS THAT WE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF!NOW LETS SEE THE TRICKLE DOWN EFFECT OF ANOTHER ONE THERE DUMB DECISIONS,THINK!!IF THESE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT SPENDING MONEY WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR JOB? RELIVE ON FOREIGN TRADE,”PLEASE” OUR COUNTRY,s CREDITABILITY IS IN QUESTION .WE AMERICANS ARE NOT LAZY WE HAVE BUILT THIS NATION ON BACKBONE AND BLOOD AND DEATH,AND I FOR ONE AM VERY INSULTED BY THIS RICH BOY COMMENTS,ABOUT BE LAZY TRY GOING HUNGRY FOR ONE DAY OR BETTER YET WATCH YOUR KIDS GO HUNGRY.MAYBE ONE DAY THE PEOPLE OF THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS WILL HAVE SOME SORT OF FAITH IN OUR GOVERNMENT AGAIN,BUT UNTIL THEN AS OF RIGHT NOW ITS ONLY GOD.

  22. Frank says:

    Let’s all remember come November:
    One person one vote

  23. I wonder if Silver Spoon Rand Paul has ever had to take a “less than desirable” job in his cloistered life.

  24. [...] “Accept a wage that’s less than [you] had at [your] previous job” and “get back to work.” [...]

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