Rand Paul Visits Butler County
Kentucky’s junior United States Senator, Dr. Rand Paul, (R ), was in Morgantown on Friday at the Butler County Extension Office. Paul met local dignitaries and constituents, and presented taxpayers with $600,000 saved by his office through cost-cutting.
Paul spoke to the crowd for over twenty minutes, covering topics ranging from the President’s war on the coal industry to immigration reform. He opened his remarks by mentioning Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and the fact that there has been no federal budget for four years. “The only budget I control is the one in my own office,” said the Senator. With that he formally presented an oversized check made out to the United States Taxpayer for $600,000.00. Senator Paul said that his office saved the money not by layoffs, but by practical saving measures. “We saved money by watching how much copy paper we use, and by watching our work hours,” said Paul.
The Senator addressed the belief that the Republican party is against spending. Paul refuted the claim saying, “We aren’t against spending money, but we want to put priorities on where we spend it.” He continued saying that he was not in favor of spending money in nations that aren’t strong US allies. Paul said that he is particularly opposed to spending US money in Egypt and Pakistan, nations he said aren’t “friends” of the United States. He mentioned that some of the USA’s strongest allies, England and France, receive no US aid.
The Senator admitted to the crowd that his party, the Republicans, have done well in Kentucky recently, but have not fared as well nationally. Paul said some of the reason for this is that the Democratic party “plays Santa Claus” and offers things to voters in order to get their support. He also suggested that one way to reduce the enormous size of the federal government would be to stop replacing retiring employees. “Let’s let the federal government gradually get smaller,” said Paul.
Other topics covered by the Senator included the governmental sequester, Medicare, and Social Security. One visitor asked the Senator if he planned on running for President in 2016. Paul admitted that running for national office is something that he and his staff have looked at, but no plans or decisions would be made until 2014. Butler County resident and businessman Bruce White asked Senator Paul about his stance on immigration reform. Paul answered that he is not against immigration or immigrants, but wants to make sure immigrants aren’t criminals and wants them to pay their fair share of taxes. He also said that he wants illegal aliens to have a path to citizenship, but wants them to get in line with individuals trying to obtain citizenship legally.
Another hot-button issue was brought before the Senator by a concerned citizen. Paul was asked about possible gun-control measures stemming from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012. Paul told the crowd that alleged Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza is a “punk,” and that gun control wouldn’t have stopped his crime. Paul reminded the crowd that most mass-shootings happen where the assailant is confident there will be defenseless victims. He also said that he doesn’t think armed guards are needed at every American school, but he does support the rights of properly licensed teachers and school officials being allowed to have a firearm with them at work, possibly locked in their desk.
BTN’s Diane Dyer asked Senator Paul about his stance concerning the legalization of industrial hemp. Paul said that he is a supporter of the measure not only in Kentucky, but nationally, and has co-sponsored a bill in the US Senate to legalize industrial hemp in America. Paul said that the crop has been legal in Canada for 15 years and that it has actually helped, not hindered, law enforcement’s efforts to combat the cultivation of marijuana.
Senator Paul is currently serving his first term in the US Senate, having been elected in 2010 to replace retiring Senator Jim Bunning. Paul is a native of Bowling Green where he was a successful ophthalmologist before beginning his political career. He is the son of former US Congressman and Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul of Texas.
Story by Joe K. Morris, Beech Tree News
Video by Jeremy Hack, Beech Tree News