Rand Paul Claims Retirees Are Job Creators

November 14, 2010 4:44 pm ET — Alan Pyke

Today on Face the Nation, Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) served up more evidence that the GOP is not serious about finding a sensible, fair approach to the expiring tax cuts.

CBS's Bob Schieffer asked Paul about debt-reduction ideas like increasing tax revenues and Social Security "means-testing" so that benefits are only paid to those who actually need the extra income. Paul answered that means-testing is a good idea, but that we shouldn't raise taxes on retirees making over $200,000 a year "because they are creating jobs." That's right: in Rand Paul's America, even retirees are job-creators, as long as they're rich.

RAND PAUL: The other thing is instead of taxing high wage earners more on their social security, give the, uh, maybe have means testing for those who are high wage earners for receiving Social Security or for receiving Medicare instead of adding new taxes. The problem and the reason why that's better is instead of the government sending a check to somebody who makes $200,000 a year in retirement income, let's not tax them. Let's not— just not send the money to them. You don't want to tax them though because they are creating jobs. You don't want to take more money out of the private sector.


In all likelihood, someone who is making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year even after retirement probably did create some jobs on their way to a fat nest egg. But that's past-tense job creation. If they've retired, they are by definition disengaged from private-sector job creation. There is exactly one way that a retiree's income goes to job creation, and that's buying goods and services. If Paul is arguing that tax breaks for the rich boost their consumer spending, well, he's wrong about that too.

This isn't the first time this year that Rand Paul's ideology has made him say something foolish and untrue, but it's also indicative of a larger trend: the Republican party will say anything, no matter how nonsensical, to try to justify tax giveaways to their rich friends.