Senator Rand Paul issued a hard reality check to states still dragging on allowing residents to get back to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kentucky Republican spoke about the ongoing lockdown orders and the resistance of local governments to reopen their states for business during an appearance on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.
(Source: Fox News)
“Are we going to see a fourth stimulus or do you think you’re going to wait and see how the first three are working?” Fox News anchor Ed Henry asked the lawmaker.
“People ask me and I remind them, we have no money, we have no rainy day account, we have no savings account. The three trillion that we’ve already passed out is imaginary money,” Paul replied.
“It’s being borrowed, basically, from China. So the irony is we got the virus from China and now we’re going to be more dependent by borrowing more money from China,” he added.
The senator provided a simple lesson in the reality of America’s economic situation as the nation faces a historic unemployment rate due to the global pandemic. The month of March saw an all-time high of 6.86 million applications being filed for unemployment benefits and about 3.2 million people filed just last week.
With stores ordered closed, travel coming to a near standstill and Americans’ being told to stay at home, the economy has been ravaged since the coronavirus crisis hit the U.S. in March.
“The only thing that recovers our economy is opening the economy,”Paul said.
“It’s not a lack of money, it’s a lack of commerce,” he explained. “If you let people have commerce, if you let them trade, if you take them out from forcible home arrest, our economy will recover. But if you keep everybody under home arrest and say you cannot practice your business, you cannot sell your goods, there will continue to be economic calamity.”
Many states are starting to let some businesses reopen but there are still restrictions in place, such as limits to the number of people allowed in stores and the continuation of social distancing. Paul called out blue-state leadership which is still holding tight to the reins, resisting demands by their own constituents to open back up.
“All these blue state governors who don’t want to open their state, now they’re clamoring for federal money to bail them out because no state revenue is coming in,” he said. “We don’t have any money.”
The Kentucky lawmaker called out the “tyranny” of government leaders in an opinion piece published by Fox News on Thursday.
“While we try to help each other stay healthy and safe, state and local authorities are seizing unprecedented amounts of power in the supposed pursuit of that goal, setting dangerous precedents along the way,” he wrote.
“Economic czars in the form of governors, including in my own state of Kentucky, are taking it on themselves to decree which businesses will live and which will shutter for continually extended lengths of time, leaving those who have poured their entire lives into their businesses to try to pick up the pieces and do their best to survive and feed their families in the meantime,” Paul added.
He went on to note several examples from across the nation that have gotten attention as headlines exposed government overreach in California, Michigan, Texas and his own state of Kentucky. Paul noted that, while he does support “the concept of states taking the lead in responding to the pandemic,” he does not condone the “abuse of authority.”
“It does not require executives to ignore their legislatures or place unreasonable or unconstitutional burdens on Americans, and we should call those overreaches out when we see them,” he wrote.
Paul condemned “authority figures ” who are encouraging Americans to turn on each other, as has happened in New York City where Mayor Bill de Blasio was slammed for setting up a hotline for residents to report violations of coronavirus guidelines. The senator noted that the incidents are reminiscent of “stories we once thought we would only hear coming out of the Soviet Union or Communist China.”
Paul warned about the unchecked powers and “where such roads can lead,” as he concluded his piece.
“Recent events again prove the Founders’ wisdom in deliberately spreading power out and decentralizing our system to try to curb infringements on our liberties,” he wrote. “That is supposed to set us apart, and it is up to each of us to make sure it continues to do so.”
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