Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul delivered the tea party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night — but even if you were watching any of the major television networks, you wouldn’t have been able to see it.
Unlike President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and the official Republican response from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Paul’s speech was watchable only through online streaming.
“I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C.,” Paul said at the beginning of the address. “The state of our economy is tenuous, but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.”
The tea party senator then contrasted former President Ronald Reagan’s skeptical view of government with Obama’s worldview.
“President Obama believes government is the solution: More government, more taxes, more debt,” Paul said. “What the president fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.”
Paul pointed to the ideas of limited government espoused by Scottish philosopher Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations.”
“What America needs is not Robin Hood, but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the wealth of nations,” Paul said. “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 has irresponsibly added to the national debt and refused to get serious on entitlement reform, Paul said. (RELATED VIDEO — George Will: State of the Union address killed all hope for entitlement reform, spending cuts)
“Washington acts in a way that your family never could,” he said. “They spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem. Tonight I urge you to demand a new course.”
The Kentucky senator stressed the need for a balanced budget amendment and suggested the “Penny Plan” to cut a single penny from each dollar spent, in order to balance the budget in six-to-seven years.
Paul’s criticism cut across party lines.
“It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred,” he said. “And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.”