Skip to comments.Rand Paul: A Modern-Day Horatius in the Fight to Protect
Posted on 03/23/2014 7:43:55 AM PDT by Kaslin
Senator Rand Paul is being criticized and condemned by the Washington establishment.
Thats almost certainly a sign that hes doing the right thing. And given the recent events in Russia and Ukraine, we should say hes doing a great thing.
This is because Senator Paul is waging a lonely battle to stop the unthinking and risky move to a world where governments including corrupt and evil regimes collect and share our private financial information.
Ive written about this topic many times and warned about the risks of letting unsavory governments have access to personal information, but the Obama Administration with the support of some Republicans who think government power is more important than individual rights is actively pushing this agenda.
The White House has even endorsed the idea of the United States being part of a so-called Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, even though that would require the sharing of large amounts of personal financial data with thuggish and corrupt regimes such as Argentina, Azerbaijan, China, Greece, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and Saudi Arabia!
Im sure Vladimir Putin very much appreciates this insider access so he can monitor dissidents and track political opponents. His government even signed onto a recent G-20 Communique that endorsed automatic information-sharing.
Heck, theres even a Russian heading up the Financial Action Task Force, which is endlessly pushing to give governments untrammeled access to private information. FATF even wants banks and other financial institutions to spy on customers, regardless of whether theres the slightest evidence of any wrongdoing.
The general mindset in Washington is that we should all bury our heads in the sand and blithely allow this massive accumulation of power and information by governments. After all, Putin and other thugs would never abuse this system, right?
Senator Paul battles the statists
Fortunately, at least one lawmaker is trying to throw sand in the gears. Like Horatius at the bridge, who single-handedly thwarted an invasion of Rome in 509 BC, Senator Paul is objecting to this massive invasion of privacy.
He has this old-fashioned appreciation for the Constitution and doesnt think government should have carte blanche to access private financial data. He even gasp! thinks that government power should be restrained by the 4th Amendment and that there should be due process legal protections for individuals.
No wonder the DC establishment doesnt like him.
One example of this phenomenon is that Senator Paul has placed a hold on some tax treaties. Here are some excerpts from a recent article in Politico.
Paul for years has single-handedly blocked an obscure U.S.-Swiss tax treaty that lawmakers, prosecutors, diplomats and banks say makes the difference between U.S. law enforcement rooting out the names of a few hundred fat-cat tax evaders and many thousands more. International tax experts for years have seethed over Pauls block on the Swiss and several other tax treaties. These sorts of mundane tax protocols used to get approved by unanimous consent without anyone batting an eyelash until Paul came to town.
These pacts are mundane to officials who think there shouldnt be any restrictions on the power of governments.
Fortunately, Senator Paul has a different perspective.
Kentuckys tea party darling says the treaty infringes on privacy rights. Paul, a libertarian Republican widely believed to be eyeing a 2016 presidential run, says his hold stems from concerns about Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. These are people that are alleged, not convicted of doing anything wrong, Paul said a few weeks ago. I dont think you should have everybodys information from their bank. There should be some process: accusations and proof that youve committed a crime.
The article also notes that Senator Paul is one of the few lawmakers to fight back against the egregious FATCA legislation.
Pauls protest is also linked to his abhorrence of the soon-to-take-effect Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which will force foreign banks to disclose U.S. account information to the IRS, and domestic banks to reciprocate to other nations revenue departments. the senator has legislation to repeal FATCA and hesitates to support a treaty that enables a law he views as U.S. government overreach.
I dont know how long Senator Paul can withstand the pressure in his lonely fight for individual rights, but Im glad hes waging the battle.
Even the Swiss government and Swiss banks have thrown in the towel, having decided that they have no choice but to weaken their nations human rights laws on financial privacy because of threats of financial protectionism by the United States.
So lets give three cheers to our modern-day Horatius, a very rare elected official who is doing the right thing for the right reason.
For more information on the importance of financial privacy, heres my video on the moral case for tax havens.
The Moral Case for Tax Havens
P.S. I shared some good jokes about Keynesian economics a few weeks ago.
Now, via Cafe Hayek, I have a great cartoon showing the fancy equation that left-wing economists use when they tell us that the economy will grow faster if theres a bigger burden of government spending.
Now you can see how the Congressional Budget Office puts together its silly estimates.
Indeed, Chuck Asay even produced a cartoon on CBOs fancy methodology.
The next step is to find the secret equation that CBO uses when it publishes nonsensical analysis implying that growth is maximized when tax rates are 100 percent.
But to be fair, the politicians who pay their salaries want them to justify bigger government, so should we expect anything else?
Senator Rand Paul is being criticized and condemned by the Washington establishment.
Says it all.
So you like and admire him but you won’t vote for him. OKaaaay!! Good thinking. :-)
Some folks let the perfect become the enemy of the good. People looking for perfection among humans, and among politicians especially, are inviting certain disappointment.
...The Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration.[Posted on 03/19/2013 7:04:07 AM PDT by Perdogg]
Unfortunately, like many of the major debates in Washington, immigration has become a stalemate-where both sides are imprisoned by their own rhetoric or attachment to sacred cows that prevent the possibility of a balanced solution.
Immigration Reform will not occur until Conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation.
Let's start that conversation by acknowledging we aren't going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants.
If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you...
This is where prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into being taxpaying members of society.
Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors.
Latinos, should be a natural constituency for the party, Paul argued, but "Republicans have pushed them away with harsh rhetoric over immigration." ...he would create a bipartisan panel to determine how many visas should be granted for workers already in the United States and those who might follow... [and the buried lead] "Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers...[Posted on 04/21/2013 1:52:42 PM PDT by SoConPubbie]
“Some folks let the perfect become the enemy of the good.”
Thats a wise saying.
Anyway if Rand Paul loses his presidential bid why would we want to also lose him from the Senate? I seriously doubt that God cares if Rand runs for two offices at the same time. :-)
Neither Paul nor Cruz, Lee, should run. We need them to remain in the Senate. Add to them, several more like them.
I suspect that Walker will run and take it.
Time will tell.
I'm almost a single issue voter on this one. Any politician who supports or voted for or even simply failed to understand the effects of FATCA is a traitor to his fellow citizens and an enemy of the Republic. They view Americans as property of the state, and every damned one of them needs to be flung from office at an exuberant velocity. Rand Paul is virtually the only voice rising in opposition - and for that alone, he will get my vote for any office he pursues.
Without google...but paraphrasing a rhyming story my father and grandfather demanded we memorize as kids.
“With the enemy thundering toward the city, forth steps brave Horatius.
To all men death comes soon or late, and what better way to meet one’s fate than in some fearsome struggle against impossible odds, for the ashes of your fathers and the temple of your God. In yon straight path ten thousand may well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand and hold the bridge with me?
Then freemen in freemens’ struggle spared neither land nor gold, nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, in the brave days of old. Then none was for a party, then all were for the state. Then the great man helped the poor,and the poor man loved the great, then lands were fairly portioned and spoils were fairly sold. Freemen were like brothers in the brave days of old.
When the good man mends his armor and trims his helmets plume. When the good wifes shuttle goes merrily flashing through the loom. With weeping and with laughter still is the story told, how well Horatius held the bridge in the brave days of old.
Be that man or if not him, his friends. Let others run. Always hold the bridge.”
Dad just finished 6th grade in a one room school house in the hills of WV. His father a lay preacher and self taught school teacher who hadn’t gotten that far.
But they knew what was important for their boys to know. Virtue. Courage. Loyalty. Being a or even THE essential man when needed.
In college I learned this was from a well known poem “Horatius at the Bridge” from a collection of poems called the “Lays of Ancient Rome”. Dad/Gramps have obviously taken some liberties with the language and my memory blurs with the years....but still, what would you expect a freeman to do.
I hope Rand Paul, or Cruz, or Perry, or someone yet unknown is our Horatius. Our William Wallace.
With the right leadership, there are far more than three who will hold the path with them.
It may well be that Jesus is that man now. His day may have come.
He condemned anchor babies as a threat to the country and proposed legislation to change that.
He is being realistic too. No way to blanketly deport that many people. Both parties and a corrupt INS have fed this problem and it will never change unless someone does something.
Heck, I support amnesty on “my” terms. Biometrically validated work permits will be given out freely for 1 month to anyone who does not have a criminal record or pose a threat. After that anyone without a work permit shall be deported “no questions asked”. No entitlements or services will be dispensed without showing work permit or citizenship papers. If they run up a hospital bill, they pay it just like the rest of us. If they live in section8 housing, they have to pay it back. Employers would be required to check permits, transmit them to INS and maintain a copy of such records on file. No exceptions. Work permits would be renewed yearly. Anyone who ran up huge debts or could not show an adequate work history would not be renewed. The program would end in 5 years 3 months. During that time, anyone that can show 5 years of tax returns, an adequate job history, no criminal activity and no debts to society (or paid back) would be granted a pardon for past illegal immigration and full citizenship.
Anyone marginal would be granted a 2 year non-renewable extension to pay debts or correct anything that made them marginal.
It solves illegality, border issues, agencies squandering money, the cost to society and would give them a respectable path to citizenship without burdening us with all of costs of continued illegal immigration. In the end, you would have a law-abiding, hardworking, tax-paying, predominantly Roman Catholic constituency who would be grateful that someone took a chance on them and let them earn their citizenship fairly by the work of their own hands. Who do you think they would vote for?
Blah, blah, blah. He’s stated outright that there will be no mass deportation of illegals, doesn’t support a border fence without which there’s no chance of getting the problem under control, and then he and his drones try to rephrase everything a la Clinton’s definition of is.
DO NOT TRUST RAND PAUL!!!!
Sorry, but those committed to McC won’t do much.