Republican presidential candidate answers questions

Kentucky Senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul answered questions and explained his campaign’s platform on the issues at a meet and greet event inside the Prospector Hotel on Sept. 17. In an interview after the event, Paul said that he felt it was important to visit Ely on his multiple stop tour through Nevada because of it’s strong conservative contingent.

“I think being able to meet people one on one helps. All things being equal in a race of 15 different candidates it’s an advantage to get out and meet people, especially when the people I talk to here are the leaders of the community, who will then go and talk to 50 or 100 people and who they may influence. So we hope that this will be the beginning of a campaign here for us,” Paul said.

The candidate said that he has found that people who live in small towns, especially in the West, often care more about property rights, something that he feels strongly about protecting for citizens.

“We don’t want the government to get so powerful that it is invading our property rights. Property rights are in many ways sort of the building blocks to our national economy,” the senator said.

Paul continued to hammer home points from that he had made on CNN’s Republican Debate which was held the night before, focusing on federal government spending being out of control and how he feels the size and role of that federal government has swelled well beyond the original intent of the constitution.

“The federal government will never spend your money as cautiously as you would spend your own money,” Paul said.

To illustrate his point, the senator gave the example of a person trying to decide whether or not to make an investment.

“If you were thinking of investing $1,000, you would think about the time and effort you put into earning that money. Now when a politician invests a million dollars or even a billion dollars of public money into something, do you think they’ll lie awake at night thinking about all the time it took those people to earn that money? No, because it’s not theirs.”

Another big concern of Paul’s is the 35 percent corporate tax in the United States.

“One of the reasons we lose jobs overseas is because our taxes are so high. We have a 35 percent corporate tax where in Canada it is now 15. To be competitive we have to lower our corporate tax and our regulatory burden. We can’t control labor costs so much but we can control our taxes and regulatory burden and we can cut both of them down or we will never succeed again. I’m very confident in the American people and their ingenuity if we can get the government obstacles out of the way,” he said.

If elected, Paul said that he would completely do away with the 70,000 page tax code the government currently uses and replace it with a flat 14.5 percent tax on businesses and people. The presidential candidate told an anecdote about when he was challenged on Fox News about how much less money his plan would  bring into the government. Paul’s response? That’s the point.

“They told me my plan would leave a three trillion dollar shortfall in the federal government’s budget. I said great! When I say I want a smaller government, I mean I want a smaller government. There are programs in every single department that could be cut. The government wouldn’t be losing three trillion dollars, the American people would be getting three trillion dollars back in their wallets.”

Paul also spoke on looking at reducing prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, offering up alternatives such as the drug court system used in Ely. Reducing the amount of land the government owns in states such as Nevada, where the federal government owns 84 percent of the land, is also a key issue to Paul, who said he would like to “give the title back.”

(Garrett Estrada photo) Rand Paul tells an audience at the Prospector Hotel about his belief in reducing the federal government’s size and budget.

(Garrett Estrada photo)
Rand Paul tells an audience at the Prospector Hotel about his belief in reducing the federal government’s size and budget.