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Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (born January 7, 1963) is an American ophthalmologist and politician who describes himself as a "constitutional conservative". He is the son of Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Paul is the chairman and founder of Kentucky Taxpayers United.
As founder and chairman of the anti-tax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United (KTU) since 1994, Paul regularly presents "taxpayers' friend" awards to state legislators. KTU, which regards itself as nonpartisan, but ideological and conservative, examines legislator records on taxation and spending to inform voters where their own lawmakers stand on the issues. Paul's editorial commentary on behalf of KTU has been published and recognized in the Kentucky Post.
KTU sponsors the Taxpayer's Pledge of Americans for Tax Reform, encouraging politicians to pledge publicly to vote uniformly against tax raises. Nine of fifteen Northern Kentucky legislators signed the pledge, such as Senator Dick Roeding and Representative Royce Adams in 1996. In 2000, these legislators considered a hotel room tax hike (favored by Governor Paul Patton for helping expand the Dr. Albert B. Sabin Convention Center in nearby Cincinnati), even though the increase might "incur the wrath of Paul's group," as two newspapers put it.
Paul stated that Patton's argument for "revenue recovery" was merely a euphemism for taxes and said that KTU would fight reelection of any pledge-breakers; Adams requested in writing that Paul's group release him from his pledge, stating that it only applied to his first term. By the close of session in April, the tax increase had failed, although Patton had achieved most of his intended budget; Paul stated legislators were pressured to finalize the budget by deadline rather than to "face accusations of shutting down government".
Paul often speaks on his father's behalf, and he and his son William attended the third Republican presidential debate of 2007 in New Hampshire, as well as campaigned door-to-door in the state for his father At a New Hampshire rally with 250 in attendance (plus 30 members of his own family), Paul repeated a campaign meme by pretending to take a call from Rudy Giuliani during his remarks, and joking that Giuliani needed campaigners and wanted to borrow the Paul family.
On December 16, 2007, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Paul spoke at Faneuil Hall in favor of small government principles, calling for what CNN termed a "modern day revolution". He continued campaigning across the country for his father in 2008, traveling as far as Montana.
Paul believes life begins at conception and the government should play a role in protecting all human beings. He is opposed to abortion and supports a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act. In cases of rape and incest, he opposes abortion but supports use of the morning-after pill. He opposes federal funding for abortion. He takes a states' rights position, favoring the overturn of Roe vs. Wade and allowing states to make abortions illegal or legal without federal interference.
According to a survey offered by the organization Kentucky Right to Life, Paul is opposed to cloning and supports legislation banning human cloning and the use of embryos for research. He opposes the legalization of euthanasia and would reject an overturning of Kentucky law that prohibits euthanasia. In the case of Terry Schaivo, Paul believes she had the right to receive nutrition and hydration.
Paul opposes the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold Act) and considers it a "dangerous piece of legislation". Instead, he supports regulating the contracts given out by Congress and placing limits on corporations receiving government contracts.
Paul believes that lobbyists and corporations are drawn to Washington because it has so much money and power and provide benefits to their businesses.
He opposes legislation limiting the amount of money individuals, corporations, and organizations can give to candidates. Additionally, Paul has proposed "mandating a clause in all federal contracts over $1 million that requires the recipient to pledge not to lobby government or contribute to campaigns during the terms of the contract."
Paul has been a longtime opponent of the bank and auto bailouts. Paul believes failed businesses should be allowed to fail instead of propped up by the federal government.
Paul opposes the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the Federal Reserve's control of the nations money supply and interest rates. He wants to allow the free market to regulate interest rates, and supports congresses constitutional role of controlling the money supply. Paul endorses H.R. 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, a bill introduced by Congressman Ron Paul mandating an audit of the Federal Reserve.
Although Paul would abolish the Federal Reserve, he supports transparency and accountability of the semi-private institution. Additionally, Paul opposes inflation and supports "restoring the value of the dollar that has devalued by approximately 95% since the Federal Reserve's inception in 1913".
Paul supports tax cuts and a Balanced Budget Amendment, and has criticized both Republicans and Democrats on deficit spending
Paul supports returning control of education to local communities and parents and thus eliminating the federal Department of Education. He opposes federal regulation of homeschooling and believes in restoring parental rights to education.
Paul supports allowing the free market to compete and choose the best forms of energy to use. He opposes subsidizing energy companies, and would support allowing tax breaks for companies that produce alternative energy such as wind, solar, or geothermal. He believes that subsidizing the energy industry will only add incentive for companies to lobby the federal government.
On May 20, 2010 in the wake of largest offshore oil spill in United States history, Paul called president Obama "un-American" for criticizing BP instead of acknowledging that "accidents happen".
Paul opposes federal government involvement in health care. He would repeal the HMO Act of 1973 that "drives a wedge between the patient and [one's] doctor".
He believes that government has driven up the cost of healthcare and causes the quality and coverage to decrease. Paul would support a free market approach to health care including tax deductions for medical expenses. He opposes federal regulations discouraging businesses from providing coverage.
He supports Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and its availability to all Americans.
Paul does not support amnesty. Paul believes the United States subsidizes illegal immigration through taxpayer funded welfare and medical care. He has proposed securing the border by an underground electric fence and helicopter stations. He opposes birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.
Paul supports the legalization of medical marijuana.
Paul believes national defense is the most important role of government. Paul supports eliminating issuance of visas to people from terrorist or rogue nations. He would not vote to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and supports trying terrorists in military tribunals.
Paul believes in a responsible and constitutional foreign policy and would close unnecessary military bases. He says that he would have voted against an invasion of Iraq.
Paul criticized the Bowling Green Daily News on May 30, 2002 for supporting the Fair Housing Act. He explained that "a free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.
” On May 19, 2010, Paul stated that he favors 9 out of 10 titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but had he been a senator during 1960s, he would have raised some questions on the constitutionality of Title II of the Act, which prohibits private businesses who provide public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, or national origin against their customers, arguing that it infringes upon constitutional freedoms.
Paul stated on National Public Radio, "I'm in favor of everything with regards to ending institutional racism".
Paul favors community and neighborhood pressure to persuade private businesses, rather than federal laws that he argued might violate the constitution.
Paul said he abhors racism, and he would have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to repeal Jim Crow Laws.
Paul's comments on Title II of Civil Rights Act of 1964 stirred controversy and brought concern amongst Republican Party insiders about his viability in the general election.
Paul further stated that mainstream media and blogs have fraudulently mischaracterized his positions on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After the period of refusing to voice support for the Civil Rights Act, Paul did eventually release a statement declaring that he would have voted for the Act and stated "unequivocally ... that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964".
Paul has criticized the Americans with Disabilities Act, characterizing it as an overreach of the federal government.
Paul opposes same-sex marriage, but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide.
Paul supports the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and would oppose all gun control legislation.