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Rand Paul is itching to be the new Jack Kemp of the Republican Party.   Paul visited West Louisville today, and he held a roundtable on his and Mitch McConnell's proposal to create "Economic Freedom Zones" in depressed areas of Kentucky.  Basically, Economic Freedom Zones are areas were local corporate and capital gains taxes are cut to supposedly create jobs.  Seeing as West Louisville is home to many African Americans, the jobs created, in theory, would go to the locals.  So this "new" idea is a twofer for Rand Paul:  creating jobs and helping African Americans obtain a leg up on the economic ladder.

Too bad we have already tried Paul's economic agenda, and it has not worked.

Jack Kemp proposed "Enterprise Zones" before for economically depressed areas, particularly for inner city neighborhoods.  Nothing ever really came of it because Republicans were never really serious about providing incentives for businesses to establish themselves in poor inner city areas.  Republicans are all for cutting corporate and capital gains taxes, but not for inner city neighborhoods.

And there is plenty of data that demonstrates that businesses do not base job creation on taxes.  In fact, we did the whole cutting corporate taxes and on capital gains, and there is no linkage with job creation.  Kentucky is still doing it today.

The last estimate in 2012 was that Kentucky provided 1.4 billion dollars in business incentives.  The per capita amount of incentives are $324 dollars or fifteen cents of every dollar of the state budget.  Many of the recipients of this state largesse are big corporations.  

Despite all this money thrown at businesses, Kentucky has managed to lose jobs.  According to Rand Paul, he wants to throw another 650 million dollars over ten years to Kentucky businesses with a corporate tax rate of only 5 percent in West Louisville.  Meanwhile, Paul is dead set against raising the minimum wage because it will supposedly hurt minorities and kids.

So something like a minimum wage increase that would directly benefit everyone, including African Americans, is a no no, but giving away more money to businesses that have not created jobs is a good thing.  

Plus, this is an obvious cynical ploy on Paul's part to show moderate white voters he is not such a bad guy on issues of race and poverty.  African Americans in Kentucky know that Paul trashed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, hired the Southern Avenger, and talked glowingly about Cliven Bundy.  Also, Paul is his father's son.

However, none of this will stop Rand Paul in his quest to be the nominee in 2016.  Paul has shown a remarkable ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth, but he might want to remember one thing.  Jack Kemp never was the Republican Party nominee for President.  


Originally posted to Merlin1963 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Two things about that. (7+ / 0-)

    Kemp at least had a pre-politics career in which he demonstrated his ability to interact respectfully with black co-workers.  Paul obviously doesn't have that.  And Kemp was never a significant political force, when you get right down to if that's Paul's aspirational goal, then it's fine with me.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:07:20 PM PDT

  •  Kemp supported African-American players in boycott (9+ / 0-)

    Kemp started a union, and was president of it.  He also took a stand to support his black co-workers against bigotry.

    He also took a knocking and kept on rocking.  So he had some amount  credibility that Rand just don't have.

    •  And Kemp never got near the GOP nomination. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To be fair, it's not like Bob Dole was a klansman. But still, it's unlikely Kemp would have much appeal with GOP primary voters in this day and age.

      You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

      by Eric Stratton on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:35:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev, Dirtandiron

      While Paul is Kemp on economic issues, he has no credibility on helping minorities or dealing with issues of poverty.  In fact, he is typical white Republican who does not give a damn for minorities.  At least Kemp had some sincerity on trying to help minorities, even though Kemp's economic policies actually helped create the present state of income inequality.

    •  Insulting Jack Kemp: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jack Kemp had a true heart for the plight of minorities in this country. Disagree with him on policy,  but his sincere desire to help people through free market solution was sincere.

      Kemp would never go to Howard University and presume to ''school" blacks on the history of the Republican Party.

      Rand Paul is a poseur: he really thinks he is smarter than everyone in the room. He believes (and he may be right) that he can appropriate his father's youthful libertarian followers and unite the factious Tea Party to a winning coalition for the nomination.

      To paraphrase Lloyd Bensen: Rand Paul is no Jack Kemp.

      "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

      by never forget 2000 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:14:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kemp was wrong headed but right hearted. Rand (0+ / 0-)

        Paul is a grifting asshole. Its a family tradition.

      •  I really think you're too kind to Jack Kemp. (0+ / 0-)

        My father knew him personally and I met him once. He no doubt was absolutely certain that market-based 'solutions' like tax-free enterprise zones for his corporate cronies were the best answer to persistent urban economic despair. That it would further enrich existing corporate millionaires was a feature, not a bug. He was a zealous supporter of bat-shit insane 'supply-side economics' and Milton Friedman orthodoxy.

        Kemp's ignorance of actual minority/urban socio-economic issues was profound, much like most Republicans. He was quick to talk about urban 'social pathology' just like Paul Ryan, and just as slow to recognize the poisonous legacy of slavery and discrimination.

        Kemp's Congressional district included my childhood home, and was carefully gerrymander'd to be very white and very safely Republican. Not coincidentally his policy ideas for addressing urban blight tended to benefit affluent white businessmen a lot more than the intended recipients.

        •  Thanks for the input (0+ / 0-)

          I haven't met anyone or talked to someone who was from Kemp's district.  So all I have to base my information on is his policies and statements.  And yes, he knew that enriching the already wealthy was a key feature of his tax cuts, but he always bullshitted about the apparent income inequality with "a rising tide raises all boats."

  •  Interesting comparison (0+ / 0-)

    OTOH, Kemp was a favorite of the Repug elite, Paul is an outsider given the influence of the religious right and the Tea Party.  

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:19:30 PM PDT

    •  Outsider? (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, Rand is a real renegade fighting the entrenched forces of power from his outsider position as a US Senator while sitting next to Mitch McConnell.

      The dude is NOT an outsider. He's not a Tea Partyer. He was running to fill crazy old Jim Bunning's senate seat whether the so-called tea party existed or not.

      Like most Republicans, he latched on the tea party flag because it benefited him politically to do so.

      His nothing more than a snake oil salesmen. A fool and his vote are easily gotten.

  •  There Exist No Conservative Incentives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie4fairness, unfangus, Dirtandiron

    other than eliminating regulation, taxes and wages.

    The Godless liberals wouldn't let them eliminate wages so of course the inner city enterprise zones could never get a start.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:26:46 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. Clearly both Rand and Ryan are trying (6+ / 0-)

    for some of the Kemp thing--though I think prior commenters have done a good job of pointing out how Kemp had some cred that neither of those two begin to have.  Ryan at least has some obvious GOP elite backing, as well as not having a raging-racist political father and (for the most part) supporters.  

    But yes, "Enterprise Zones" and general Kempism are far enough in the past that they could seem new again, to people who don't think too much, so it's certainly worth knocking the idea down, again.  Especially since we now have 20 years of intervening data on the bigness of their fail.  

  •  We know their games ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Then, Rand Paul will turn around and destroy the Civil Rights Act ... by saying, it is ok for businesses to discriminate on the bases of Race, ... etc.
    In other words, if businesses take those tax incentives, move to Minorities areas and refuse to hire any minority at all ... Rand Paul would be just fine with it.
    Who is he trying to fool?

  •  This is another huge problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, Dirtandiron

    with allowing Movement Conservatism to skate from an ideological takedown and a fierce (and fiercely partisan) political counter-argument where the record and not the myths and legends are up for debate. The Zombies rise.

    How you rebuild a, say, minority community in economic crisis from the ground up? How can you both appear to champion people of color and pimp the public on more failed Movement Conservatism? Tax cuts. Enterprise zones. Tax-free eras. Rand Paul wants Very Serious People to say he's serious. Play the Kemp Card! It's still good.


    Nobody seems to ever notice that, if that were true, it would have been true in 1988. 1998. 2008. No matter! It's still good!

    This shit should have been staked in the heart by Democrats decades ago. Nope. Still good. Still total epic fail if you do it, but the myth and legend is still fine.

    "The Party of Ideas" ideas?

    I bet a doofus like David Gregory loves this, and mentions it the next time somebody tries to point out how much of a fraud and poseur Rand Paul is on a variety of serious public policy issues.

    It might work. Until Rand Paul puts his foot in his mouth and says what is really in his heart about black people and the poor. If only Rand could keep his mouth shut, it's as good a play as any for Very Serious People's attention and affection.

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:15:33 AM PDT

    •  Saint Jack Kemp and the Poseur Paul (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, unfangus, Dirtandiron

      Jack Kemp. Saint Jack Kemp.

      Not quite as bad as Saint Ronald Reagan, but pretty itchy in its own right.

      Saint Jack Kemp and the mythology of "Compassionate Conservatism" has bogus and unhelpful street cred with non-Conservatives to this day. I don't know a liberal activist who hasn't had a frustrating conversation with a really low low-information voter, or that know-it-all RW relative at Thanksgiving, that hasn't sounded a little like this:

      "I don't even know what an "Enterprise Zone" is, or does, but I do know that it's pro-business and good."
      Insert "No-Fly Zone" and "pro-Peace and good" in a crisis where we could go to war with the same voter.

      Democrats are weak on Defense and must prove otherwise. Democrats are anti-Business, big taxers, and must prove otherwise. These two memes have been so grossly aided and abetted over the years. (GOPer for Secretary of Defense! Stat!)  (Trickle Down Pander! Austerity! Stat!)

      Saint Jack Kemp. Not the late Jack Kemp the man, but the myth of him. The idea of him in our political pop culture that some in DC and the Village substitute for the real man and what he stood for and what his ideas or causes from Rightwing thinktanks actually accomplished.

      1980's era "party of ideas" fail, and legends, still haunt our politics and policy debates.

      Right now, in the state of Nevada, and in other states around the country, along with the same ads placed on national broadcasts, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is advertising that, if you move your business to New York, you won't pay taxes for a decade on our local airwaves. The Movement Conservative Right says " 'thank you, kind sir', but if you ever run for President we will be calling you the Socialist from New York all the same, you leftist cur. "

      You aren't going to out-wingnut Texas in a tax-cuts-for-the-rich-and-powerful off, but what you can do is create fiscal headaches that other people in your party are going to have to deal with while you are taking laps about how awesome you are for business because you are so-tax cutty.

      You have owned a business in New York for 40 years, and you hear your new neighbor gets to go a decade without paying all sorts of fees and taxes, you want that deal as well. I've been here all along. Why are you fucking me? Where's my tax cut. Yeah, where's our tax cut and decade with no state taxes? The next thing you know, you risk being in an own-goal of a pickle because, in your desire to pander to Rightwing ideas about how to juice the engine, you end up getting in arguments about new rounds of tax cuts, and policies that help you go about losing tax revenue that you might need to increase to help fund essential state services. You help the Right make it harder to govern, while you get no credit from the Right for the help, instead of doing other things you might be doing to improve life in your state via public policy.  

      How the hell do you rebuild thousands of roads and bridges when you help the Right set the bar for the public policy financing conversation? You don't.

      This is the fruit of Movement Conservative myth and legends being so baked-in to the conversation that, at any given moment, while you are trying to forge a more progressive pathway towards the future where all Americans are lifted up and not enslaved to the notion of trickle-down, even Democrats in the northeast give the GOP an assist in re-enforcing the ghost.

      There is a reason why an incoherent public policy poseur like Rand Paul, or a Paul Ryan for that matter, might want to be seen as the "new" Jack Kemp.

      It's all upside. All of it.

      It's like sweet rich cheesecake with absolutely no calories.

      But it shouldn't be.

      The record of failure is there. The argument isn't.

      He stands a bigger threat from the Right freaking out that he's talking about helping black people, even though he isn't, than from getting jeered in a very public way for trotting out the old epic fail greatest hits of the 80's "big idea" Republicans.

      "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

      by LeftHandedMan on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:26:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kemp, like Paul,... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, Dirtandiron

    also had some absurd and extreme economic theories. Like returning to the Gold Standard.

    Kemp may have been a nice man, but he was still a bit of a nut.

  •  I liked Kemp, back in the day. (3+ / 0-)

    Not because I knew a damn thing about him, but because the press told me to like him. He was mavericky, you see.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:51:08 AM PDT

  •  While I like the points you make (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, JBL55

    the title is an insult to Jack Kemp.  Some of Kemp's shortcomings have already been pointed out and I agree with them.  

    I'm no Kemp fan.  I always thought his schtick, while sincere-sounding to many, was bullshit, but, at least he could walk the walk.  Today's teavangelical protofascists like Ted Cruz and Mike Pence wouldn't ever begin to bother.

    Kemp died relatively young, almost 64, in 2009, after a long bout with health problems, and was out of the public eye since the Dole-Kemp ticket's defeat in 1996 mostly.  If I remember right, he was Bush II's Secretary of HUD.  Mainstream Republicans tend to select individuals in their party with a history of interest in the plight of the poor for that position - one of his predecessors, George Romney, had been a Mainstream Michigan Governor - how his son avoided inheriting some of his father's basic decency is beyond me.  Kemp presided over no catastrophes, but was otherwise a nonentity as a cabinet secretary.  Of course, people were more concerned with Bush II's illegetimate assumption of the Presidency and his phony wars.  I was thinking about what legacy Kemp left behind and the best I could think of was from the movie "Rumor Has It" from 2005 in which Jennifer Anniston introduced her boyfriend to her father played by Richard Jenkins as an opinionated old curmudgeon, and this was illustrated by how he kept a Dole-Kemp bumpersticker on his car nine years after they lost.  

    But while being "the one who doesn't mind talking to blacks and about their issues," Rand Paul shares nothing with Kemp.  Kemp grew up middle class, played pro football, and was moderate on everything but abortion and on that he was no firebrand.  Paul has always been a smarmy frat boy whose only goal is to advance himself.  To use another movie metaphor, Paul was more like oleginous rich guy fraternity president wheras Kemp was more like his football-playing but dim frat brother in "Revenge of the Nerds".  

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:27:16 AM PDT

  •  No, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rand Paul is old Ron Paul with a less honest approach.

  •  But Jack Kemp didn't advocate legalizing pot. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, Dirtandiron

    That's Rand's big danger: he has one issue that he can use to distract those young voters who are ill-informed enough to think of him as some kind of champion.

    So many ill-informed voters of so many ages, so little time ...

  •  With the Paul kid, it is all smoke and mirrors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, never forget 2000

    He is full of crap just like his ole man.

  •  Jack Kemp had a world class receiver in his (0+ / 0-)

    playing career, Rand Paul has no known world class associates to help him pad his stats.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:12:35 PM PDT

  •  Was this comparison from something you read? (0+ / 0-)

    Jack Kemp was a fine man, conservative yes, but a man who embraced African Americans. Rand Paul, isn't he the guy who spoke out agains the Civil Rights Act?

    Paul the next Jack Kemp? I don't think so.

    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

    by tazz on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:13:23 PM PDT

  •  There's no such place as "West Louisville" (0+ / 0-)

    At least not in Kentucky.  Louisville's west END is a predominantly black part of the city, but West Louisville does not exist.

  •  Same old same old (0+ / 0-)

    Rand is truly old school. Fifty years ago, he would have been in the KKK. He would be one railing against integration and equality.

    Am I happy I don't live in Kentucky, what a messed up state.

  •  The answer is always 'tax cuts'. The question? (0+ / 0-)

    .....Well, that doesn't even matter. I'm sure the Republican answer to "what should we do about breast cancer research?" is "Tax cuts".

    It really doesn't matter at all to Republicans that tax cuts for giant corporations and billionaires are utterly ineffective at improving employment. Honestly, there's no way they could possibly work. Billionaires already have all the money they need, and giving them more does nothing to address the demand deficit that's really driving employment down. Giving free money to poor people actually would, but Republicans loathe the poor with every fiber of their being, and idolize the rich, so that's that.

    Republicans have already demonstrated six ways from Sunday that there is absolutely no logical or empirical basis for any of their policy positions. They are all faith based. Tax cuts are the answer to every social or economic problem, because they so fervently believe this to be the case. Well, other than when "deregulation" is the answer.

    Just like air strikes or invasion are the answer to every possible foreign policy question.

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