Rand Paul

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Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul was born in Pennsylvania on January 7, 1963, the third of five children born to Ron Paul, a U.S. Congressman and 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate. Rand Paul graduated from Baylor University and then from Duke Medical School, his father's alma mater, in 1963. Paul worked as an ophthalmologist, notably performing many free eye care surgeries and providing free eye care for young and impoverished patients. Paul is a lifelong Republican with libertarian leanings and first became involved in politics in 1994 when he founded Kentucky Taxpayers United, a watchdog group that tracked taxation and spending issues in the Kentucky state legislature until its disbanding in 2000. Rand Paul gained national attention when he campaigned for his father, who was running for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008. Paul attracted a small, passionate following while campaigning for his father, and this following helped him win the U.S. Senate seat for Kentucky in 2010. Paul is the first U.S. Senator to serve alongside a parent in the U.S. House of Representatives and is widely known for his support of the Tea Party movement. (Bio)

Important Websites

Campaign Website

Twitter Profile

Facebook Page

Senator Site

On the Issues - Rand Paul

Poll Tracker (USA Today)


Tax Reform

Paul's Tax Reform (section page)

In consultation with some of the top tax experts in the country, including the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and Reagan economist Arthur Laffer, Rand Paul devised his Fair and Flat Tax proposal. The Tax Foundation, estimates that in 10 years it will increase gross domestic product by about 10%, and create at least 1.4 million new jobs. Rand Paul's tax reform consists of "The Fair and Flat Tax" proposal. (RPW-TR)

The Fair and Flat Tax" proposal

  • A $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code
    • Replaces the tax code with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses applied equally to all personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents and interest
    • Eliminates every special-interest loophole
    • Eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs
    • Eliminates all deductions except for a mortgage and charities
    • Does not tax first $50,000 of income for a family of four
    • Retains the earned-income tax creditFor low-income working families
    • Levies the 14.5% tax on revenues minus allowable expenses, such as the purchase of parts, computers and office equipment
    • Immediately expenses all capital purchases, ending complicated depreciation schedules


"President Obama talks about “middle-class economics,” but his redistribution policies have led to rising income inequality and negative income gains for families. Here’s what I propose for the middle class: The Fair and Flat Tax eliminates payroll taxes, which are seized by the IRS from a worker’s paychecks before a family ever sees the money. This will boost the incentive for employers to hire more workers, and raise after-tax income by at least 15% over 10 years." (RPW-TR)

"Polls show that “fairness” is a top goal for Americans in our tax system. I envision a traditionally All-American solution: Everyone plays by the same rules. This means no one of privilege, wealth or with an arsenal of lobbyists can game the system to pay a lower rate than working Americans." (RPW-TR)

Distrust of IRS

"Another increasingly obvious danger of our current tax code is the empowerment of a rogue agency, the IRS, to examine the most private financial and lifestyle information of every American citizen. We now know that the IRS, through political hacks like former IRS official Lois Lerner, routinely abused its auditing power to build an enemies list and harass anyone who might be adversarial to President Obama’s policies. A convoluted tax code enables these corrupt tactics." (RPW-TR)

Audit the Fed

"The Federal Reserve was created by Congress and is supposed to be overseen by Congress. The Fed is now in every nook and cranny of banking with unprecedented regulatory powers and no Congressional oversight. I believe the Fed should be audited and the regulatory power should be placed back under the control of Congress.

A complete and thorough audit of the Fed will finally allow the American people to know exactly how their money is being spent by Washington. For too long, the Fed has been operating under a cloak of secrecy. The American people have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation's money supply.

I will continue my fight to audit the Fed and restore transparency and fiscal sanity to our nation’s checkbook." (RPW-TR)

Jobs and Business Policy

Paul's Jobs and Business Policy (section page):


Help the unemployed through lowered taxes:

"Well, you know, there are competing influences in the Republican Party. We've lost two presidential elections in a row. So some people say we need to dilute our message, we need to become Democrat-lite. And then there are some like myself who say, No, no, we need to be more bold with our message. We need to be the party that's not for revenue-neutral tax reform, we need to be the party that actually wants to lower taxes to stimulate the economy and be proud of that, and that it will help poor people, it'll help the unemployed if we lower taxes dramatically. And I think that's being more bold, and I think that actually will bring more people to our cause." (OTI - J)

Unemployment benefits are okay in short-term if paid-for; long-term unemployments/extensions to unemployment benefits do workers a disservice

"I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. There was a study that came out a few months ago, and it said, if you have a worker that's been unemployed for 4 weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that's on 99 weeks, which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100%, said they will always hire the person who's been out of work 4 weeks. When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. And while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help. You know, I don't doubt the president's motives. But black unemployment in America is double white unemployment. And it hasn't budged under this president." (OTI - J)

Introduced the National Right-to-Work Act, S.204, subtitled "A bill to preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities."

"Every American worker deserves the right to freedom of association--and I am concerned that the 26 states that allow forced union membership and dues infringes on these workers' rights."

  • Right-to-work laws are essentially government intervention into what used to be private matters between employers and employees, but they lift the most onerous parts of labor union agreements which demand either the complete exclusion of non-union workers from being employed by a union shop or requiring any non-union workers to support the union with their dues anyway. (OTI - J)


Combatting Regulation

"Counteracting excessively burdensome government regulations has become a centerpiece of my tenure in Washington. All my actions seek to find a balance between environmental, safety and health protection, without compromising the ability of family businesses to flourish." (RPW - TR)

"As President, I will cut regulations and take power away from unelected bureaucrats who are trampling our freedom and rights. I will place common sense and reasonable limitations on a bureaucracy that seeks to target well-intentioned businesses with burdensome regulations." (RPW - TR)

Lowering Tax Rates

"Most important, a smart tax system must turbocharge the economy and pull America out of the slow-growth rut of the past decade. We are already at least $2 trillion behind where we should be with a normal recovery; the growth gap widens every month. Even Mr. Obama’s economic advisers tell him that the U.S. corporate tax code, which has the highest rates in the world (35%), is an economic drag. When an iconic American company like Burger King wants to renounce its citizenship for Canada because that country’s tax rates are so much lower, there’s a fundamental problem." (RPW - TR)

"The plan is an economic steroid injection. Because the Fair and Flat Tax rewards work, saving, investment and small business creation, the Tax Foundation estimates that in 10 years it will increase gross domestic product by about 10%, and create at least 1.4 million new jobs." (RPW - TR)

Health Policy

Paul's Health Policy (section page)

U.S. Health Care System

Overall attitude towards U.S. health care/Obamacare:

  • Advocate of repealing Obamacare, in favor of free-market principles/against over-regulation of health care market/opposes any government-run health care system (RPW - HP)
  • Supports making all medical expenses tax deductible, allowing insurance to be bought across state lines, tort reform (state-level), and removing the high-deductible insurance policy requirement to access to Health Savings Accounts (OTI - HP)

Free Market Policies in Health Care

"As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the immense problems facing health care in the United States. Prior to the implementation of Obamacare, our health care system was over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms—but Obamacare is not the answer." (RPW - HP)

"As your President, I will ensure that real free-market principles are applied to the American health care system so that it is responsive to patients, families, and doctors, rather than government bureaucracy." (RPW - HP)

Other Issues in Health Care

  • Protect vitamin manufacturers from regulation
  • Get rid of mandatory mental health screening in schools
  • Encourages vaccinations, allows for religious exemptions:

"Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

(OTI - HP)

Sanctity of Life

" I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. Under the 14th Amendment, it is the government’s duty to protect life as defined in our Constitution."(RPW- HP)

"Our government should not be responsible for funding abortions, and as President, I will attempt to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to groups who perform or advocate for abortion." (RPW- HP)

"As a physician, one of the first things we learn is to ‘Do no harm.’ Since Roe v. Wade decision, over 50 million children have been killed in abortion procedures. As President, I would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe v. Wade, in an effort to stop harming the lives of the unborn." (RPW- HP)

"I believe we may be able to save millions of lives, and do no harm, by allowing states to pass their own anti-abortion laws. By giving this power to the states, I sincerely believe we would save hundreds of thousands of lives." (RPW- HP)

Drug Policy

Paul's Drug Policy (section page)

Advocate of more rehabilitation and less incarceration

  • Apply the 10th Amendment to allow states to make marijuana legal
  • Bans on marijuana discriminate against lower income levels
  • Higher levels of incarceration exist among poor children than wealthy children
  • In addition to ending the over-criminalization of marijuana, Paul has risen awareness of another important issue among drug-related incarcerations - the unintentional racial outcome of the war on drugs
    • "Even though whites used drugs at the same rate as black kids, the prisons are full of black kids and brown kids. There are Republicans trying to correct this injustice." (OTI - DP)

Paul believes we should:

  • Legalize medical marijuana
  • Exclude industrial hemp from definition of marijuana
  • Exempt industrial hemp from marijuana laws
  • Support community treatment rather than federal anti-drug programs
  • Deal with drug abuse on the state level (not a federally pressing issue)

(OTI - DP)

Middle East

Paul's Middle East (section page)

U.S. Involvement in Middle East

  • Against sending troops/fighting battles in Middle East

"The Kurds deserve to be armed and I'll arm them. But the boots on the ground need to be the people who live there. Why are we always the world's patsies that we have to go over there and fight their wars for them? We need to defend American interests, but it is not in America's national security interests to have another war in Iraq." (OTI - ME)

  • Believes U.S. intervention in Libya strengthened Islamic State
  • Proposed a bill called the "Stand with Israel Act" to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority. As long as the Palestinian Authority is allied with Hamas not one more tax dollar should flow to them
  • Cut foreign aid to most countries, including Israel

(OTI - ME)

Standing with Israel

"I’m proud to support Israel, America’s longtime friend and ally in the Middle East. Israeli cafés and buses are bombed, towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets, and its citizens are attacked by Palestinian terrorists. It’s time we took a stand for Israel by standing up to the enemies of Israel, the enemies that murder Israeli citizens. That’s why I proposed a bill called the “Stand with Israel Act” to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority. As long as the Palestinian Authority is allied with Hamas not one more tax dollar should flow to them." (RPW - ME)

Foreign Policy in General

"I believe that one of the primary functions of the Federal Government is national security. As a Senator, one of the most important votes I could make is on a declaration of war. As Commander-in-Chief, the importance of this decision would not be overlooked. If the military action is justified and there is no other course of action, I would follow the Constitution and seek Congressional approval before sending our brave men and women into harm's way." (RPW - ME)

"The Founding Fathers understood the seriousness of war and thus included in our Constitution a provision stating that only Congress can declare war. We must maintain this important check and balance and the decision to wage war should not be taken lightly." (RPW - ME)

"I believe in Ronald Reagan’s “Peace through Strength.” I will continue to stand with Israel and our allies abroad, and I vow to explore all diplomatic options before sending our armed forces into battle. Finally, if and when we choose to fight, we will empower our military to fight to win." (RPW - ME)


Paul's Trade (section page)

Opponent of Obama's Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA

"My consistent opposition to the Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, stems from my belief that Congress has already given too much power to the Presidency." (RPW - T)

"With TPA, Congress gives up the power to amend or filibuster trade legislation. While I think trade is a net positive, I don’t believe Congress should cede more power to this or any other President." (RPW - T)

"I oppose TPA because I oppose secrecy. There is no sane reason for making the trade treaty classified." (RPW - T)

"As a strong supporter of free trade who has voted for three free trade agreements, I am willing to work with the administration on a compromise that ensures more transparency, but unless Congress and the American people can play a role in negotiating these agreements, I will not support them." (RPW - T)

Proponent of trade with China

"When I was about ten years old, like many conservative middle-class families, our inclination was to resist anything to do with Red China. In that black and white world, you were either for us or against us. Trade with China was thought to be trade with the enemy. A funny thing happened, though, along the way. Many conservatives came to understand a larger truth. As trade began to blossom with China, many conservatives, myself included, came to admit that trade improves our economic well-being AND makes us less likely to fight. The success of trade with China made many conservatives rethink their view of the world." (NI - T)

Encourages free trade through export inducers, such as investment - not devaluation of the dollar

"In November 2011, my office was happy to participate with the Raw Milk Freedom Riders, who set out to acquire raw milk in protest of raids on small farmers. Over the past several years, the President has taken the laudable step of urging Congress to pass free trade laws in order to elevate exports. However, apart from the effort to encourage free trade, the President's efforts to create an environment conducive to competing in a global economy have been largely misguided. The President and the central bank have attempted to increase exports by destroying the value of the dollar here at home." (OTI - T)

"The President's agenda of increasing taxes on top of a weak dollar policy is inhibiting the country's ability of to compete overseas. One of the fundamental keys to export growth is investment. The correlation between tax rates, investment and export is demonstrated by the tremendous export opportunities and growth of East Asia." (OTI - T)

"Tax rates affect the investment decisions of firms and individuals by altering the cash flow of investment opportunities, and decrease the return on investment, resulting in overall reduced investment." (OTI - T)

Active Opponent of Government Regulation of Industry

"In November 2011, my office was happy to participate with the Raw Milk Freedom Riders, who set out to acquire raw milk in protest of raids on small farmers. The Raw Milk Freedom Riders intentionally purchased and transported raw milk across state lines in violation of federal law. Civil disobedience. Hunger strikes. Persecuted activists. The food freedom movement has all the hallmarks of the great struggles of the past, and that's because it shares a common enemy with those movements--aggressive and arrogant government." (OTI - T)


Paul's Immigration (section page)

While serving in the Senate, Paul introduced legislation to make immigration reform conditional on Congress voting on whether the border is secure, requiring completion of a border fence in five years and a protection against the federal government establishing a national identification card system for citizens. His "Trust but Verify" amendment requires Congress to write and enforce a bipartisan border security blueprint rather than using bureaucracies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, to come up with a plan. The amendment also would provide new national security safeguards to track the holders of student visas and those provided asylum and refugee status. (RPW - I)

Paul does not support the concept of "amnesty," but instead "supports legal immigration process." If elected President, Paul would implement his "Trust but Verify" plan and apply pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to secure the border and produce an effective visa tracking system. (RPW - I)

  • Replace current path to citizenship with work visas for illegal immigrants: supports probation" followed by "assimilation, putting undocumented immigrants on an eventual track to either permanent legal status (a green card) or citizenship
  • Immigrants get a temporary work visa but are not put ahead of anyone waiting to enter the country
  • Opponent to the federal government creating a national ID card
  • Believes U.S. can accommodate current 11 million illegal immigrants already leaving in the country; however, we must completely secure the border before any other action can be taken

(OTI - I)


Paul's Environmental (section page)

Balancing Environmental Safety with Deregulation

"Counteracting excessively burdensome government regulations has become a centerpiece of my tenure in Washington. All my actions seek to find a balance between environmental, safety and health protection, without compromising the ability of family businesses to flourish." (OTI - E)

"Unelected bureaucrats should not have the power to enact regulations that affect the lives of everyday Americans. Whether it's ObamaCare or EPA regulations, cutting red tape and opening the regulatory process to scrutiny is an important step in holding government accountable to all Americans. In the Senate, I proudly introduced the Regulations from the Executive Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. This legislation is designed to increase accountability for and transparency in the Federal regulatory process. As President, I will place common sense and reasonable limitations on a bureaucracy that seeks to target well-intentioned businesses with burdensome regulations." (OTI - E)

"Our federal government regulates everything and anything. How much water goes into you commode. How much water comes out of your shower-head. The temperature of the water in your washing machine. How many miles to the gallon your car must get." (OTI - E)

Criticisms of EPA

Agency's Abuse of 'Wetlands' Term

"The Clean Water Act never even mentioned the term "wetlands" while passing through Congress for approval. The unelected bureaucracy simply created the concept and defines it in distinct terminology dependent upon whatever scenario they are currently considering. "Wetlands" quite literally can mean whatever the EPA wants it to mean." (OTI - E)

"The definition of wetlands has become so absurd and transparent that the Army Corps of Engineers developed the "migratory bird theory." This theory states that if your land is a stopping point for any migratory bird that has traveled between real navigable waters, then your land is now de facto connected to the interstate navigable streams. I'm not kidding. This theory is irrational & completely illogical. How did it ever become enforceable law? It happened because Congress has abdicated its duty in this area. Citizens often run afoul of these rules inadvertently due to the constant evolution of complex and unexplained regulations." (OTI - E)

High Costs of EPA's Regulations

"Since its creation in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has done more harm than good. EPA regulations cost more than 5% of our annual gross domestic product (which was over $15 trillion in 2012). This is equivalent to the costs of defense and homeland security combined. Most Americans are unaware of this." (OTI - E)

"Too often our rights are violated by abusive and power-hungry EPA bureaucrats who use threats, coercion, and force to implement power grabs. I wish these instances of abuse were random and the exception, but they have unfortunately come to characterize what many Americans now rightly see as a rogue government agency. EPA regulations have hampered landowners' ability to manage their private property as they please and have seriously impaired job creation. As with the massive cost of the EPA, many Americans are unaware of the routine suffering caused by the overreach of such regulatory agencies."(OTI - E)

EPA's Circumnavigation of Due Process and Judicial Review

[The Sacketts were building their home when the EPA ordered them to stop] "They requested a hearing before the EPA where they could challenge the agency's claim that their property was a wetland. The EPA refused, claiming property owners have no right to a hearing regarding compliance orders. Throughout this waiting process, the daily $75,000 fine continued to accumulate." (OTI - E)

"However, they filed their own lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act entitled them to a hearing before a judge. Yet the Sixth and Fourth Circuits rejected any possibility of judicial review. Is this not a complete violation of the separation-of-powers principle? These circuit courts essentially handed the EPA free rein over innocent Americans and their private property. Our government was literally telling the Sacketts that in the US, you are free--unless the EPA decides to get involved, at which point your right to due process and private property becomes null and void." (OTI - E)

Voting Record on Other Issues

  • Voted NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
  • Rated 20% by The Humane Society Legislative Fund, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record.

(OTI - E)

Support of Keystone XL Pipeline

"Washington's bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it unnecessarily difficult for energy developers to take advantage of new and innovative forms of cheap and clean energy. Cutting the red tape and encouraging energy freedom, new technologies, and discoveries will be a priority in my administration. Like all other sectors of the economy, allowing businesses to compete in a free market will not only produce the most efficient forms of energy, but will also pass along the cost savings to the consumer. I support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and I have repeatedly voted to allow this project to proceed." (RPW - E)

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Paul's Entrepreneurship and Innovation (section page)

Rand Paul is a member on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Thinks the Government Should Stay Out of Investment

“Government is inherently bad at picking winners and losers" “In the marketplace, most small businesses fail. If government is to send money to certain people to create businesses, they will more often than not pick the wrong people and no jobs will be created.” (WP)

Paul Opens Up Tech Startups in Austin and San Fransisco

A day after courting young voters at the SXSW festival, the Kentucky senator opened an office at the Capital Factory — an incubator for tech startups in downtown Austin. Paul’s vision is for his Austin office to be a place for digital engagement and product innovation.

“I was glad to be in Austin and open my first tech office today,” Paul said. “Austin is filled with the brightest minds in the tech community and should I decide to run, it will be a very valuable part of any campaign. This past weekend in Austin allowed me to meet some of the top tech entrepreneurs from across the nation, and many seemed very receptive to a liberty minded message. Paul has made no secret of trying to win the hearts — and votes — of millennials, an increasingly sought-after group in politics. He’s been courting tech entrepreneurs such as Peter Thiel of PayPal and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and he plans to open an office in the San Francisco Bay Area." (OP)

Paul Plans to Run Innovate Digital Campaign

"Proud to open our San Francisco work space this afternoon. I plan on running the most innovative digital and tech effort of any candidate in 2016 and welcome any ideas. We need to defend privacy rights and support entrepreneurship." (Written on Paul's Facebook) “Some people might be thinking what the hell is a Republican doing in San Francisco,” Paul told the capacity crowd at the shared incubator workspace StartupHouse at 934 Howard St, where he has opened a “tech hub.” “I think young people are looking for something genuine,” Paul said. “You need to go where young kids are.” The Presidential candidate also facebooked a photo of the event, with the following status: "Wonderful time with entrepreneurs and liberty lovers at the StartupHouse in San Francisco. We are the only campaign on either side of the aisle that has tech space in America’s start up hubs of Silicon Valley and Austin, a Chief Technology Officer, a robust digital team, a tech advisory board, and a strong belief in privacy rights." (GSB)

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

(All Info found from Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council)

  • In the 113th Congress, Paul voted for amendments to repeal $1 trillion in Obama tax increases and provide for pro-growth, revenue neutral tax reform; and permanently repeal the death tax. He also voted against an amendment to impose a surtax on successful entrepreneurs that would pay for student loan refinancing. Paul voted with SBE Council and small business on these key issues
  • Paul introduced the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, S.226 (see SBE Council’s support letter here) and the National Right-to-Work Act, S.391. He also cosponsored the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015, S.378 (to end “sue-and-settle” abuse). Paul also sponsored a resolution this year disapproving of the FCC’s rule to regulate the broadband Internet as a public utility. He is a leading voice for auditing the Federal Reserve. SBE Council has endorsed each of these legislative measures.
  • Access to capital: Paul voted in favor of the Jumpstart Our Businesses Startup Act (JOBS Act) in the 112th Congress, a bill that fixed outdated regulatory barriers to capital access, including a provision that made equity and debt-based crowdfunding legal.
  • SBE Council KEY VOTES: In the 113th Congress, Paul voted in favor of an amendment requiring financial regulators to conduct rigorous cost-benefit analyses on all proposed rules.

Sources Key

RPW - Rand Paul's Website

OTI - On the Issues

NI - National Interest

Second Abbreviation = Policy Issue (i.e. TR = Tax Reform)

(Bio) = [1]

(RPW-TR) = [2]

(OTI - J) = [3]

(OTI - HP) = [4]

(RPW - HP) = [5]

(OTI - DP) = [6]

(OTI - ME) = [7]

(RPW - ME) = [8]

(RPW - T) = [9]

(NI - T) = [10]

(OTI - T) = [11]

(RPW - I) = [12]

(OTI - I) = [13]

(OTI - E) = [14]

(RPW - E) = [15]