Rand Paul Is Totally Nuts: Here’s Why He Needs To Shut The F*ck Up About Heroin And College

If education were left entirely up to the Republican Party, several things would happen. First, history texts would include Jesus as one of the framers of the Constitution. Next, the Department of Education would be dissolved, leaving education up to state governments that can barely fill potholes much less decide on standardized curriculum across the nation. And finally, educations would eventually become the exclusive purview of children whose parents could afford to send them to privately owned schools. After all, free education is just like heroin — give people a taste and they become addicted.

I’m not making up that last part. Presidential hopeful and insufferable libertarian Rand Paul thinks free college is like the most addictive drug ever.

Appearing on an Iowa radio show hosted by Jeff Angelos, Rand Paul said:

“The main thing I would say is that nothing’s free. If someone offers you something for free, treat it as if they’re offering you heroin and think about the repercussions of what is free and what is a drug, an addicting drug like heroin and the ramifications of that. There’s nothing free. It just means somebody else is gonna pay for it, you don’t see them. So the plumber, the welder, the carpenter, the people who don’t go to college are being asked to pay for your education.”

Yes, free college, not unlike what Bernie Sanders and President Obama have been pitching, is just like drugs.

A few things here.

Rand Paul either doesn’t know how taxation works or he’s being deliberately ignorant — pandering to his low-information supporters. We pay our taxes every year, and the revenue finances programs many of which we’ll never personally use. If you’re younger than 65, your payroll taxes, for instance, pay the Social Security and Medicare benefits to current retirees. And when you retire, someone else will finance your benefits. Here’s another one for Rand Paul: the earmarks he’s requested for Kentucky come from tax revenue collected from non-Kentuckians. In other words, taxes paid by “the plumber, the welder, the carpenter” are already helping to finance things they’ll never use. This is how the system has always worked. Another example: my tax revenue is helping to pay Rand Paul’s salary. And if he receives healthcare through the government, I’m helping to pay for part of his monthly insurance premium. You’re welcome.

Also, wow — I know a few people who’d love it other people paid for their heroin.

The most offensive thing about Rand Paul’s remarks is the idea that education is somehow similar to an addictive chemical. It goes without saying that it’s important for the GOP to demonize education, not to mention well-educated citizens, because statistically better-educated people tend to vote against Republicans. Restricting access to higher education is not unlike deporting immigrants: both plans help to improve GOP electoral prospects. So, this has little to do with the finer points of taxation or free heroin (????), and it has everything to do with political expedience. That, and Rand Paul’s fealty to Ayn Rand, the L. Ron Hubbard of politics.

Featured image via video screen grab.