Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wants a permanent tax break for his state's bourbon business right after trying to block funds for 9/11 first responders.
Judging by his legislative record, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) seems to care more about the financial well-being of his state's bourbon industry than the health care of 9/11 first responders.
On Wednesday, Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation to dole out a permanent tax break to the Kentucky bourbon industry, according to McClatchy. McConnell slipped the tax break for the bourbon industry into the 2017 tax law, but it was set to expire at the end of this year.
The legislation, known as the AGED Spirits Act, was spearheaded by the two Kentucky senators and would make the tax break permanent, thus giving a boost to one of Kentucky's signature industries.
While Paul is comfortable doling out tax giveaways to pet industries in his state, he led the effort to block a bipartisan bill replenishing a health care fund for first responders injured responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Paul objected to replenishing the funds unless there was a corresponding budget offset.
In a statement sent to Shareblue Media after Paul voted "no" on the 9/11 first responders bill, he lamented that "Spending is out of control," adding that he "will always take a stand against borrowing more money to pay for programs rather than setting priorities and cutting waste."
Paul supported the 2017 tax bill with the original bourbon tax-break provision, even though the bill added almost $2 trillion to the deficit, did not contain offsets, and most of the benefits will eventually go to wealthy Wall Street corporations and the richest 1% of Americans.
Paul's office insists that the tax break for the bourbon industry will be offset, but as McClatchy reports, his office has not offered any details on where such an offset would come from.
One reason the bourbon industry may need a government bailout is because of Trump's trade wars. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, American whiskey exports fell by 11% in the second half of last year compared to the previous year. The drop coincided with Trump's trade wars with China, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union.
"The damage to American whiskey exports is now accelerating," Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, said in March. He added that "this is collateral damage from ongoing global trade disputes."
When it comes to his state's bourbon industry, Paul rushed to dole out government benefits. But the real heroes who rushed toward burning buildings get no such love from him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.