[..] These are the sort of questions that Paul needs to be asked now, because the issue is not "area politician believes kooky but harmless thing." It's "area politician espouses extremist philosophy on issue he will be voting on constantly."I'll take these one by one:
Can the federal government set the private sector's minimum wage?Depending on your interpretation of the commerce clause, it may be able to. But it certainly should never do so.
Can it tell private businesses not to hire illegal immigrants?Probably. But due to immigration laws that have been far too restrictive for far too long, we should offer most illegals amnesty at this point. However Rand Paul does not support an amnesty (yet?), so I'm speaking for myself here.
Can it tell oil companies what safety systems to build into an offshore drilling platform?Assuming the offshore platform is within the country's territorial waters, yes.
Can it tell toy companies to test for lead?I don't think it should, and I especially don't think it should be able to require them to do so expensively as per the awful bill Mattel has lobbied for that is going to put an extraordinary number of small toy companies out of business.
Can it tell liquor stores not to sell to minors?I don't think the federal government has any jurisdiction here; this is a state and local matter.
As for what state governments should do, they should require parental authorization below a certain age.
Just as an example, I think it's patently absurd when young women can get abortions without parental notification at an age when they don't yet have the right to buy alcohol. I mean seriously people, if they have the right to their own body to the extent that they can abort a fetus, how the hell can someone the same age not have the right to their own body when it comes to deciding what they want to drink or shoot up with?
We live in a mad world.