Rand Paul in Fox Business 2015 GOP primary debate


On Budget & Economy: Fiscal conservative on both domestic & military spending

We borrow a million dollars a minute. And the question I have for all Americans is, think about it, can you be a fiscal conservative if you don't conserve all of the money? If you're a profligate spender, you spend money in an unlimited fashion for the military, is that a conservative notion? We have to be conservative with all spending, domestic spending and welfare spending. I'm the only fiscal conservative on the stage.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Budget & Economy: The Fed is destroying the value of our currency

By artificially keeping interest rates below market rate, average citizens have a tough time earning interest, have a tough time making money. They're actually talking now about negative interest. As the Federal Reserve destroys the value of the currency, what you're finding is that, if you're poor, if you make $20,000 a year and you have three or four kids, and you're trying to get by, as your prices rise or as the value of the dollar shrinks, these are the people that are hurt the worst.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Energy & Oil: Repeal energy regulations like Clean Power Act

The first thing I would do as president is repeal regulations including the Clean Power Act. We need to balance keeping the environment clean and the economy. What we really need is somebody that understands that we do need energy of all forms, and that means we will have solar, and wind, and hydro, but we will still have coal, and we still will have natural gas. We want to free up the energy sector, and let people produce, let them drill, let them explore.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Free Trade: Senate should be involved in trade deals, not just President

Q [to Donald Trump]: You've criticized the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 Asian countries?

TRUMP: The TPP is horrible deal. It's a deal that was designed for China to come in through the back door. We're losing now over $500 billion in terms of imbalance with China. If you look at the way China in particular takes advantage of the US--it's through currency manipulation. It's not even discussed in the TPP.

PAUL: Hey, you know, we might want to point out China is not part of this deal.

Q: But isn't that part of the problem? That if this deal is not ratified by the Senate, then it would actually give China an opportunity to grow its economic leadership?

PAUL: There is an argument that China doesn't like the deal, because in us doing the deal, we'll be trading with their competitors. But we've missed the point a little bit. It's a mistake that we give up power to the presidency on these trade deals. We give up the power to filibuster, and I'm kind of fond of that power.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Homeland Security: How is it conservative to add $1T in military expenditures?

PAUL: We have to decide what is conservative and what isn't conservative. Is it fiscally conservative to have a trillion-dollar expenditure? Marco Rubio's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending--you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative.

RUBIO: I do want to rebuild the American military. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the US is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco! How is it conservative to add a trillion-dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

RUBIO: We can't even have an economy if we're not safe.

PAUL: No. I don't think we are any safer from bankruptcy

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Homeland Security: We spoke to Russians throughout the Cold War; keep doing so

Q: You have already said that it would be a mistake in not talking to Vladimir Putin, or to rule it out. You've argued that it's never a good idea to close down communication. Do you think the same applies to administration efforts right now to include the Iranians in talks on Syria and Russian involvement there?

PAUL: I think it's particularly naive, particularly foolish to think that we're not going to talk to Russia. Ronald Reagan was strong, but Ronald Reagan didn't send troops into the Middle East. The question goes to be, "who do we want to be our commander-in-chief?" Do you want a commander-in-chief who says something that we never did throughout the entire Cold War, to discontinue having conversations with the Russians? I am not happy about them flying there. But I'm not naive enough to say, "well, Iraq has them flying over their airspace, we're just going to announce that we're shooting them down." That is naive to the point of being something you might hear in junior high.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Homeland Security: FactCheck: Yes, military spending as much as next 10 nations

Senator Rand Paul said, "We need a safe country, but, you know, we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined. I want a strong national defense, but I don't want us to be bankrupt." Is that literally true? We found the answer on Wikipedia, for the top 11 countries in military expenditures (in billions per year):
  1. $581B United States
  2. $129B China
  3. $81B Saudi Arabia
  4. $70B Russia
  5. $62B United Kingdom
  6. $53B France
  7. $48B Japan
  8. $45B India
  9. $44B Germany
  10. $34B South Korea
  11. $32B Brazil

The "next ten countries combined" add up to $598 billion annual military expenditures. Compare that to the U.S.'s annual total of $581 billion, and Sen. Paul is pretty much correct. He spoke a bit loosely, saying "we spend MORE than the next ten countries combined," when he should have said "we spend A COMPARABLE AMOUNT to the next ten countries combined." But we rate his statement as ACCURATE.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Fox Business/WSJ debate Nov 10, 2015

On Social Security: Eliminate payroll tax for employees

What is extraordinary about my tax plan is it gets rid of the payroll tax. Ours is 14.5 percent for corporations, 14.5 percent for individuals. No payroll tax for the employee. The business tax pays for social security, and there would be two remaining deductions--home mortgage and charity.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Tax Reform: Refundable tax credits are same as welfare transfers

Sen. Marco RUBIO: [My tax plan includes] a child tax credit increase.

Sen. Rand PAUL: He's talking about giving people money they didn't pay. It's a welfare transfer payment. Is it conservative to have $1 trillion in transfer payments--a new welfare program that's a refundable tax credit?

RUBIO: First of all, this is their money. They do pay. It is refundable, not just against the taxes they pay on their federal income tax, but also it's refundable against the payroll tax. Everyone pays payroll tax. This is their money. This is not our money. And here's what I don't understand--if you invest that money in a piece of equipment, if you invest that money in a business, you get to write it off your taxes. But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America and strengthening your family, we're not going to recognize that in our tax code? The family is the most important institution in society.

PAUL: Nevertheless, it's not very conservative, Marco.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Tax Reform: Penny Plan: cut 1% across the board; balance budget in 2020

My tax plan is the only plan that is part of a balanced budget plan. The question came up earlier, where would you cut? Nobody likes to say where they would cut. I've put pencil to paper and done three budgets that actually balance. I'm also in favor of a plan called the penny plan where we'd just cut 1 percent across the board and the budget actually balances in less than five years.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On War & Peace: A no-fly zone in Iraq means shooting war with Russia

Q: Should the US enforce a no-fly zone in Syria, with Russia's air campaign there?

TRUMP: If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%. We can't continue to be the policeman of the world.

BUSH: Donald's absolutely wrong on this. We have to be involved. We should have a no fly zone in Syria.

FIORINA: Gov. Bush is correct. We must have a no fly zone in Syria because Russia cannot tell the USA where and when to fly our planes.

PAUL: You're asking for a no fly zone in an area in which Russia already flies. Russia flies in that zone at the invitation of Iraq. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but you better know at least what we're getting into. So, when you think it's going to be a good idea to have a no fly zone over Iraq, realize that means you are saying we are going to shoot down Russian planes. If you're ready for that, be ready to send your sons and daughters to another war in Iraq. You can be strong without being involved in every civil war around the world.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On War & Peace: Arming al Qaeda let it become ISIS

I wouldn't arm our enemies. I wouldn't arm ISIS. Most of the people who want the no-fly zone also favored arming the allies of al Qaeda, which became ISIS. That was the dumbest, most foolhardy notion. Most of the people up here supported it. They wanted to arm the allies of al Qaeda. Some of them still do. That's how ISIS grew. We pushed back Assad, and ISIS was allowed to grow in the vacuum.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

On Welfare & Poverty: Income inequality comes from Democrats & the Fed

Q: Fifty years ago, the average CEO of a big corporation in this country earned 20 times the average salary of one of his or her workers. Today, that CEO earns about 300 times the average salary of a worker. Does it matter at all that the gap between the rich and everyone else is widening?

PAUL: Absolutely. And I think that we ought to look where income inequality seems to be the worst. It seems to be worst in cities run by Democrats, governors of states run by Democrats, and countries currently run by Democrats. So the thing is, let's look for root causes. But I would also lay some blame at the feet of the Federal Reserve. I think the Federal Reserve has made this problem worse. By artificially keeping interest rates below the market rate, average ordinary citizens have a tough time earning interest, have a tough time making money. But the bottom line is, if you want less income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor, or a state with a Republican governor.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate Nov 10, 2015

The above quotations are from Fox Business/Wall Street Journal Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
First Tier: Top Eight by polls
Second Tier: Four other Republicans
.
Click here for main summary page.
Click here for a profile of Rand Paul.
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Tax Reform
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016