Another Rand Paul, Tax Policy, and Reincarnation


Posted by Bob Lord

We all know Rand (short for Randal) Paul, the Libertarian Senator from Kentucky. 

But did you know about another Rand (in this case, short for Randolph) Paul, who had a susbstantial impact on tax policy beginning in the depression years until his death in the mid '50's? I don't know if he actually went by Rand, but it makes for a good introduction. 

I learned about Randolph Paul and his contribution to tax policy in Sam Pizzigati's The Rich Don't Always Win, which I've previously written about on this blog. Paul was a successful tax lawyer who represented many of America's largest corporations. But he was a progressive at heart, and believed strongly in a progressive tax system, with steep rates of income tax for those at the very top. He left his lucrative law practice, first on a part-time basis and ultimately on a full-time basis to assist the Roosevelt administration with the design and implementation of that progressive tax system. 

He was truly a progressive hero.

Of course, learning about Randolph Paul was especially gratifying for me. I'm a tax lawyer, but, as Paul was in his day, I'm convinced the rigging of our tax system in favor of the wealthy has played an outsized role in creating the unequal society we live in today. 

So, to me, Randolph Paul is a super-hero of sorts. 

I don't believe in reincarnation, but If all my rantings about tax policy ever come to some good, I may change that view. You see, on February 6, 1956, Randolph Paul was testifying before a Joint Committee of Congress, when he died of a heart attack, just a few short weeks after Norman and Maxine Lord had conceived their third child. If I can make one one hundredth the contribution to tax policy in the 21st century that Randolph Paul made in the 20th century, then maybe I am he reincarnate. Of course, there likely will be no need to consider that possibility. After all, Paul was a giant. But hope springs eternal.