Dr. Randal Howard Paul is seeking the GOP nomination for the 2016 presidential election. Like Ben Carson, Rand Paul is classified as a Libertarian Conservative by On the Issues, meaning he believes in less government control on economic issues, but unlike most conservatives, Rand believes most social issues should be left up to individual states. Rand Paul has been falling in the polls and has an RCP average of 3.3% as of 10/21/15.
Rand Paul was born on January 7th, 1967 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the son of former US representative from Texas, Ron Paul, and Rand shares many of his Political views with his father. He grew up in Lake Jackson, Texas, and Attended Baylor University before going on to Duke Medical School for Ophthalmology. During his medical career, he performed many free eye surgeries in the U.S. and abroad. Although he was studying medicine, Rand spent his summers interning at his father’s congressional office. He also had an interest in Austrian Economics. Throughout his life, Rand was always very politically active and in 2010, he started campaigning for one of Kentucky’s senate seats as a Republican. He won with 56% of the votes. During his time in the Senate, Rand Paul formed the Senate Tea Party Caucus and proposed 500 billion dollars in spending cuts, with programs such as the Department of Education and Homeland Security facing major cuts. Perhaps the most notable aspect of his senate career was his staunch opposition of the “USA Patriot Act.” Rand Paul is, and has always been, a strong proponent of privacy and liberty, and he has voted against increased government surveillance. Paul has also pushed for an audit of the Federal Reserve, to restore transparency and return control to Congress. Rand Paul is married and has 3 boys.
As president, Rand Paul would work to abolish the Common Core. He states on his website, “more government intervention is eroding our educational standards.” Instead of the Common Core, he believes that parents should play a more active role in their child’s education, not one size fits all. He says that a variety of educational formats will lead to more competition, and in turn more innovation.
Rand Paul believes that national defense is the “primary function” of the Government and shares a similar view on defense to that of Ronald Reagan— peace in strength. He believes in avoiding war at all costs and also wants to avoid international intervention in places that the United States doesn’t belong, citing Desert Storm as an example. Rand has been firm on restoring war powers to Congress and Congress only, and on supporting Israel.
Rand Paul wants to aggressively handle the national debt by cutting spending and enacting the Balanced Budget Amendment. The concept behind the Balanced Budget Amendment is that the government would not spend more than it makes. This amendment would be adopted for the federal government from an amendment that is already used in 46 states.
Rand Paul is staunchly against Obamacare, and would work to repeal it. Rand Paul wants much less government regulation in healthcare. He stated on his website, “Government interventions in healthcare have driven up the cost of coverage and decreased competition within the market.” As president, Rand Paul would apply free market principles to the healthcare system to make it more responsive to the people.
Throughout his time as a senator, Paul has worked to cut taxes and change the tax code. Recently, Rand Paul came out with his tax plan that would repeal the entire current tax code and cut taxes by about 2 trillion dollars. On his website he explains his plan as, “a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses.” He plans to, “eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole.” The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. This is called “The Fair and Flat Tax.” Rand’s “Fair and Flat Tax” would give businesses the ability to grow without a 35-40% tax hanging over their heads.
Rand Paul does not support amnesty for illegal immigrants, but instead he supports reform for an easier route to legal citizenship. The first step he would take would be to reinforce and secure the border. He would then introduce the “Trust but verify” program. According to his website, this program would, “provide new national security safeguards to track the holders of student visas and those provided asylum and refugee status.” The plan would also require Congress to write and enforce an “immigration blueprint”.
Paul is pro-life and against abortion, except when the mother’s life is at risk. As president, he would strongly support pro-life legislation, and try to stop the flow of money to groups that perform abortions. During his time in the Senate, Rand proposed the Life at Conception Act. This act would prosecute any women who had an abortion for the death of the unborn child.
Rand Paul differs from the rest of the Republican party with his stance on marijuana. Paul is fully for the legalization of medical marijuana and thinks that possession of marijuana should be decriminalized. Rand believes that the punishment for possession of marijuana is too harsh, saying, “Jailing people for 10 years for marijuana is ridiculous,” and as president he would leave recreational legalization of Marijuana up to the state.
Rand Paul does not support gay marriage. Rand also did not agree with the Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage, saying that it would lead to economic and moral issues. Even though he is against same sex marriage, Paul believes that Americans should have the right to contract and marry as they please, and gay marriage decisions should be left up to each individual state.
Rand Paul’s voting record has shown that he is not very concerned with environmental issues. He voted no on the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, which was for increased protection of oceans and significant waterways. He wants to reduce EPA regulation and funding; he wrote in his book, Government Bullies, “Too often our rights are violated by abusive and power-hungry EPA bureaucrats who use threats, coercion, and force to implement power grabs. EPA regulations have hampered landowners’ ability to manage their private property as they please and have seriously impaired job creation.” He believes that environmental protection legislation does more harm than good and hinders American freedom.