On Wednesday, the tax-policy section of Sen. Rand Paul's presidential campaign website went missing. On Friday, it reappeared devoid of most of the specifics.
When he launched his presidential campaign Tuesday, Paul published the outline of a tax plan on RandPaul.com with details The Washington Post highlighted, such as a universal flat tax of 17 percent, eliminating the estate tax, and taxing investment on the individual level—including things like capital gains. The site also noted a plan to create an exemption for low-income and middle-class families for the payroll tax, which funds Social Security.
Then, the day after Paul's announcement, the page disappeared for two days. The page is back Friday, but significantly different. It's now a verbatim transcript of the original YouTube video that accompanied the first iteration of the page, filled with more traditional Republican red meat about how the Founders never meant for the tax code to be "used as a weapon" against citizens.
In the video, Paul also criticizes politicians and lobbyists for tinkering with the tax code and talks about getting the Internal Revenue Service out of people's lives. He also promises to balance the budget within five years and says he'll introduce a tax cut that would be the "largest tax cut in American history."
Paul's team says there's nothing to see here. "It's a brand-new website, plenty of items are being updated daily," Paul campaign spokesman Sergio Gor told National Journal.
There's no real reason to think that Paul has changed his position on tax policy—it's not like the campaign filmed a new video to accompany the new page. But it could serve as just more fodder for political opponents who insist that Paul is hard to lock down on policy specifics.
Eric Garcia is a staff correspondent for National Journal. He previously was a transparency reporter for MarketWatch, where he reported on financial regulation issues. His work has also appeared in the Southern Political Report, Salon, the American Prospect and the New Republic. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and covered politics for its campus paper, the Daily Tar Heel.