In Jan. 21 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Dr. Rand Paul, a Republican who is running for the United States Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, made several campaign stops in Russell County over the weekend to deliver his vision and strategy for the upcoming job in Washington.
Paul made a stop at Loy's Midtown restaurant and also spoke at a motorcycle convention at Lake Cumberland State Park on his visit locally.
"I'm worried about our country, I'm worried about the level of debt and the fact that the deficit this year will be $2 trillion, that's over 13 percent of our gross national product," Paul said. "That is getting to the point where we may have trouble paying it back."
Paul said he's concerned about career politicians who make promises and give out money like an ATM machine.
"The problem is they make all these promises to get elected and the money has to come from somewhere," Paul said. "You either borrow it, you tax people or you print it."
He said that with the federal reserve printing more money, that every dollar in citizen's pockets is now worth less.
"If the government is stealing the value of your dollar, it is harder and harder for you to pay for your expenses," he said.
He said the government, as it stands now, lives way beyond its means in the current financial situation.
"I think we could get to the point where we destroy our country," he said. "I'm worried if we don't speak up and do something the career politicians will continue to destroy the country."
Paul didn't single out any party for their spending but said all of our leaders need to step back and recalculate the way they are doing things in Washington D.C.
"I've made a pledge that I won't earmark funds, I've made a pledge that I won't vote for any budget that is not balanced, Republican or Democrat, and I just think it won't be fixed by the people that are up there," he said.
Paul said he advocated term limits for congressional leaders, specifically the Senate to two 6-year terms and the House of Representatives to six 2-year terms.
"They tend to stay too long and they lose touch with Kentucky and our ordinary day-to-day lives," he said.
He also said the federal government should be forced to balance the budget by law.
"We'd be a lot better off," he said. "We wouldn't be burdening our kids and grandkids with all this debt."
Paul, who is the third oldest child of Republican Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas, said coming to small rural cities such as Russell Springs and Jamestown helped to establish his base for the primary.
"Probably half of the Republican vote will be in small communities," he said. "We've come because we heard there are Republicans here."
He said he has most of his appearances have come at "tea parties" where the talks focus on taxes. His latest tea party came Tuesday evening in Elizabethtown.
Thus far, Paul has raised nearly $2 million for his campaign and he is believed to be a serious contender in the race for the GOP nomination, which also includes Kentucky's secretary of state, Trey Grayson.
Paul is married to Kelley Ashby of Russellville. The two have been married for 19 years and have three sons, Will, 16, Duncan, 13 and Robert, 10.
He grew up in a small town in Texas and attended Baylor University before going to Duke Medical School. Paul completed a General Surgery Internship at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta and earned his ophthalmology residency at Duke University.
He has owned his own business, performing eye surgery in Bowling Green for 18 years. He is also the founder of the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, an organization that performs eye exams and surgery for less fortunate patients.
He also founded the Kentucky Taxpayers United in 1994. KTU rates the state legislature's tax honesty and helps promote the Americans for Tax Reform taxpayer pledge, to oppose any and all marginal income tax increases and any reduction in tax deductions, according to his campaign Web site.