Senator Rand Paul may be emerging as the frontrunner for the 2016 Republican nomination, but we must never forget that he holds some of the most extreme policy positions imaginable. Whether it’s being against portions of the Civil Rights Act, being opposed to all abortions without exception, or his latest nonsense about benefits for poor mothers. For every moment where the Senator says something sensical about the war on drugs, there’s this kind of moment where you remember how far outside of the mainstream Senator Paul is.
Via Think Progress (emphasis added):
At a luncheon for the Chamber of Commerce in Lexington, KY, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) floated the idea of capping government benefits for women who have children out of wedlock, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
While he said that preventing unplanned pregnancies should be in the hands of communities and families, he added, “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount.’” He went on to say, “I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”
The idea of withholding benefits from women who have more than a certain number of children is actually current policy in many states. While most programs through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or welfare) give families more money if they have more children, 16 states cap the assistance and don’t give any extra money for new children if someone in the household is already receiving aid.
The Republican party has a war on women and it’s not only about cutting access to reproductive rights: it’s comments like these, in which Paul advocates economic punishment for women who have what he thinks is too many kids. No matter what spin they put on it, they can’t escape the reality that this is what they do now: they punish poor moms for being poor, and for being moms.