Rand Paul

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Rand Paul (1963-) is an unconventional Republican, who won the 2010 election for senator from the State of Kentucky. While he has the Republican title, he has strong libertarian sentiments, and is popular with the Tea Party Movement. Rather than libertarian, he prefers to call himself a constitutional conservative, meaning the Federal government is not empowered to do anything not explicitly stated in the amended U.S. Constitution.[1]

His Democratic opponent in the general election was Jack Conway, attorney general of Kentucky. Like his father, Ron Paul, he is a physician, and specializes in ophthalmology. His parents named him "Rand" to honor the libertarian icon Ayn Rand.

He ran against Trey Grayson, whom Dick Cheney called “the real conservative in this race.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also from Kentucky, supported Grayson; Paul has met with McConnell and offered to work with him.[1]

Civil Rights

After winning the primary, he aroused controversy by questioning some of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, questioning if it was an unconstitutional intrusion on the rights of private property owners. He distanced himself from his first comments by saying . "I think there's a lot to be desired in the Civil Rights -- and indeed the truth is I haven't read all through it, because it was passed 40 years ago and hadn't been a real pressing issue on the campaign on whether I'm going to vote for the Civil Rights Act."

He denied Conway's accusation that he wanted to do away with the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying he was not aware of a repeal movement and had not given it thought, "But I would say that in general that ... local solutions are better than federal solutions" - including when ensuring access to handicapped people. [2]

Entitlements and health care

He has moderated some campaign statements. A year ago, he said Medicare was "socialized medicine" and could be fixed with a $2,000 deductible. After his victory, "If you were honest about the system being broken, I think ultimately you'll have to look at eligibility" as a way to shore up the health care program, he said. "I'm not jumping up and down and saying let's raise the age."[2]

Education

Conway charged he wanted to abolish the U.S. Department of Education at the federal level. Paul did say the No Child Left Behind Act is a "great intrusion by the federal government into local schools," and said he would vote for its repeal. Education should be left mainly to local and state governments, he said, allowing for a sweeping review of federal education programs. "Some we can eliminate, some we can privatize, some we can send back to the states," he said. "The ideal is to have the states in charge and not the federal government in charge.""[2]

Financial

He does not support his father's positions of abolishing the income tax or the Federal Reserve System. "If you were to get rid of large taxes, get rid of things like the income tax, your deficit would get even worse... Most of us in the tea party movement don't like taxes, and I won't vote to raise taxes. But I think a lot of us would simply trade no new taxes for reducing federal spending."

"I don't like the idea of subsidizing business of any sort. I think business should stand on its own two feet. A lot of the farm subsidies go to multimillion-dollar corporations, and I don't think the average citizen should pay taxes to support multimillion-dollar corporations."[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Deborah Solomon (29 March 2010), "Tea Time", New York Times
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Bruce Schreiner (19 May 2010), "Fresh from win, Rand Paul takes more moderate tone", Associated Press