Townhall.com Staff

"No Child Left Behind," Herman Cain's 999 plan, Gibson Guitar and breeding bunnies were some of the topics Rand Paul tackled Tuesday, October 18 at the Heritage Foundation's weekly Bloggers Briefing.

Kin of presidential hopeful Ron Paul, it's unsurprising that Rand Paul opposes "No Child Left Behind" for drastically expanding the Department of Education's reach.

"Lots of states want waivers -- that means it's not a very good law," said Paul. According to the Associated Press, 39 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia applied for waivers.

Paul advocates a more local approach to education, where states and local governments would  have more say in determining their educational strategy. "Teachers are on our side," he said, asserting that individually, many oppose the legislation. They see that it isn't working, and they're starting to see the underlying principle -- power needs to be localized, he said.

With the legislation up for reauthorization, some senators have expressed their intent to overhaul it. But Paul is especially adamant about curbing an uninformed vote, on overhauled or unoverhauled legislation. He finds the prospect of understanding the legislation only after passage "insulting."

"We're trying to get them to read the bill," he said. Paul and like-minded members plan to offer nearly 100 amendments to delay the process and encourage true comprehension. "No Child Left Behind" will be discussed in a Senate hearing tomorrow, October 19.

Switching gears to tax reform, an audience member asked for Paul's perspective on Herman Cain's 999 plan. He joked about his bias, since Herman Cain is one of the candidates vying against his father for the presidency. But he expressed reservations about having both a national sales tax and a national income tax -- who's to say both won't be increased. He did, however, admit that he appreciates the simplicity of the plan.

Private property was also a hot issue. Paul fielded a question about a hearing he held last week: "PROPERTY WRONGS: A Discussion With the Victims of the U.S. Government's Assault on Private Property." Citizens with notable private property disputes served as witnesses, including CEO of Gibson Guitars, Henry Juszkiewicz.

At the hearing Paul said:

A woman and her father in Mississippi were sentenced to 10 years in prison for putting dirt on a low area of a residential development. A man in Michigan was given three years in prison for moving dirt on his own land because the government decreed it a wetland.

32 Federal agencies are now armed. The Department of Agriculture now has SWAT teams that have been involved with raiding organic food stores that sell raw milk and private citizens selling bunnies have been tormented with outrageous fines.

The Fish and Wildlife Department also has armed agents. They have swooped in to harass and shut down American businesses that violate foreign laws. That's right: We now have armed agents enforcing foreign laws on American soil.

His goal for this hearing was "putting a face on government abuse."

This post was written by Mary Crookston