Examining Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) State of the Union response

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Tuesday night, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) offered a full-throated defense of fiscal discipline and free markets in response to the President’s State of the Union address. Here is a quick take on the speech:

The Senator opened strong, supporting free markets and fiscal discipline, and hammering both parties for too much bad bipartisanship. For example:

Congress is debating the wrong things.

Every debate in Washington is about how much to increase spending – a little or a lot.

About how much to increase taxes – a little or a lot.

The President does a big “woe is me” over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.

Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.

Next, he supported the Tea Party Patriots-backed Penny Plan, which cuts one percent of the budget each year for less than a decade in order to balance non-interest spending. He also pointed out how each party is led by their own ideologies instead of fiscal reality when it comes to the budget:

It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.

Possibly the most important part of the Senator’s speech was when he bluntly told viewers change must come from the people, not Washington. He is exactly right.

One little-talked-about political issue is transparency. Senator Paul brought that into the light:

Washington could also use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read.

We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills!

We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!

And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say:

Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!

Finally, the Senator closed with a full-throated defense of the separation of powers, something that was strengthened by the recent decision regarding the unconstitutionality of the National Labor Relations Board’s appointments President Obama made.

Senator Paul’s speech was, similar to Senator Rubio’s, relatively light on specifics. However, he gave a strong defense of the Tea Party principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and free markets. He also rightly explained to the American people just how corrupt Washington is, and thus how little of our trust they have earned…and therefore, how little power the people in that city should be allowed to have.