Where he stands: Rand Paul

Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born Jan. 7, 1963, in Pittsburgh, Pa.), a Republican, has served in the U.S. Senate representing Kentucky since 2011. A physician, he is the son of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Paul is a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine. He began practicing ophthalmology in 1993 in Bowling Green, Ky., and established his own clinic in December 2007. In 2010, Paul has described himself as a Constitutional conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement.

Growing up, he went by “Randy,” but his wife shortened it to “Rand.”

The Paul family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1968, where he was raised. When he was 13, his father was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. That same year, Paul attended the 1976 Republican National Convention, where his father headed Ronald Reagan’s Texas delegation.

www.randpaul.com

Spending and debt

As President of the United States, I will work to balance our budget and spend only what comes in. We must cut spending in all areas, particularly areas that are better run by state and local governments.

The Federal Reserve

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 returned to 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.

Health care

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

Government interventions in health care have driven up the cost of coverage and decreased competition within the market.
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.

Immigration

I do not support amnesty, but rather I support a legal immigration process. I recognize that our country has been enriched by those who seek the American Dream and have a desire for a better life. However, millions of illegal immigrants are crossing our border without our knowledge, and this threatens our national security.

As President, I would secure our border immediately. Before issuing any visas or starting the legal immigration process, we first must ensure that our border is secure.

While serving in the Senate, I introduced legislation that would 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.

My Trust but Verify amendment requires Congress to write and enforce a border security blueprint rather than relying on 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.

Criminal justice

Since taking office, I have found that one of the biggest impediments to finding a job is a criminal record. Upon examining our nation’s criminal justice system, I found that the system is in desperate need of reform.

I have worked across the aisle to reform the system with various pieces of legislation, including:

  1. The Redeem Act: Creates a judicial process for adults to seal non-violent criminal records on the federal level. It also creates an automatic expungement of records for non-violent juveniles under age 15. It mandates the FBI to update its criminal background check system to ensure that employers receive accurate information. States are incentivized to have substantially similar legislation on the state level or risk losing appropriations for law enforcement agencies.
  2. Justice Safety Valve Act: Judges can depart from mandatory minimum sentencing laws if they find that it is in the best interests of justice to do so. This would increase judicial discretion and allow judges to make individualized determinations about the proper punishment for defendants.
  3. Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act: If passed, this would restore the voting rights of every non-violent felon in the country. Non-violent felons would be able to vote in federal elections only. States that do not change their laws to reflect this would not receive federal prison funds.
  4. Reset Act: This bill re-classifies simple possession of controlled substances – very small amounts – as a misdemeanor rather than a low-level felony. It also eliminates the crack-cocaine disparity.
  5. Fair Act: This bill ensures that the federal government would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that seized property was being used for illegal purposes before it is forfeited. Forfeited assets would be placed in the Treasury’s general fund instead of the DOJ’s asset forfeiture fund. This shift would remove the profit incentive police officers currently have to seize and forfeit property. The bill also would protect the property rights of citizens by eliminating the ability of state law enforcement to circumvent state asset forfeiture laws and use more lenient federal standards instead.

Education

The federal government should not dictate what happens in our local classrooms. I believe we must abolish Common Core and give control back to the states, localities and parents.

Parents and teachers should play an active role in their child’s education and should be encouraged to choose the most appropriate educational institution for their child. We should encourage a variety of educational formats — whether it’s public, charter, private, religious, home school or online.

Right to privacy

I believe that every American has a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. Simply put, the phone records of law-abiding Americans are none of the government’s business.

If the government has probable cause that an individual is a criminal or suspected terrorist, then it first must go to a judge and obtain a warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment. Verizon, Sprint and AT&T are not individuals and “general warrants” which authorize this dragnet surveillance on millions of Americans violate the intent of the Fourth Amendment.

As President, I will immediately end the NSA’s bulk data collection and domestic spying programs.

Taxes

I am announcing a more than $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code — more than 70,000 pages — and replace it with a broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would 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. I call this “The Fair and Flat Tax.”

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 jobs.

And because the best way to balance the budget and pay down government debt is to put Americans back to work, my plan would reduce the national debt by trillions of dollars over time when combined with my package of spending cuts.

National security

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.

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.

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.

Energy

Cutting 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 not only will produce the most efficient forms of energy, but also will 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.

Regulation

Counteracting burdensome government regulations has become a centerpiece of my tenure in Washington. All my actions seek to find a balance among environmental, safety and health protection, without compromising the ability of family businesses to flourish.

Unelected bureaucrats should not have the power to enact regulations that affect the lives of everyday Americans.

In the Senate, I 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.

Israel

It’s time we took a stand for Israel by standing up to the enemies of Israel. 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.

Second Amendment

As President, I vow to uphold our entire Bill of Rights, and specifically our right to bear arms.

Those who support the Second Amendment also must vehemently protect the Fourth Amendment. If we are not free from unreasonable and warrantless searches, no one’s guns are safe.

I will not support any proposed gun control law that would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens.

Tuesday: Marco Rubio

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