Rand Paul Wants Less Money For Kentucky

July 12, 2010 5:20 pm ET — Alan Pyke

Last week, Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke to Louisville government officials about his campaign, and the issue of drug policy grabbed the attention of the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The issue came up in a question about Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigation, Treatment and Education. The federally-funded task force does drug investigations and pays for treatment for addicts and education programs in 29 Eastern and Southern Kentucky counties.

After Paul spoke in Louisville Thursday at a meeting of local officials about the pressing need to cut federal spending, Hardin asked Paul if he supported UNITE.

Paul did not answer the question directly, but did say that "I think issues like drug use and abuse are best dealt with at the local level."

If elected, Paul said he would vote to keep Kentuckians' tax dollars at home to deal with issues instead of sending the money to Washington, D.C.

When tax money flows to the nation's capitol, half stays there, half is wasted and half of it goes to political cronyism, Paul said.

Perhaps by describing three "halves" of every tax dollar, Paul was being folksy. Perhaps the bad math is a reporter's invention. Regardless, this is a great opportunity to point out that Paul's philosophy of local control is based in part on misinformation.

When Kentucky sends a tax dollar to Washington, it does miraculously turn into three-halves of a dollar. Kentucky gets at least $1.51 back from the federal government for every $1.00 that it contributes to the nation, placing it near the top of state rankings.

Paul is in effect saying that if he is Kentucky's next Senator, he will work to reduce his state's share of federal spending, thus hurting his own constituents.