HAZARD — Since 2011, Senator Rand Paul has represented Kentucky in the United States Senate. In November, he hopes the voters of eastern Kentucky will help elect him to another term.
Sen. Paul said the number one issue facing Kentucky is unemployment. He believes over-regulation of the coal industry by President Barack Obama is the leading cause of unemployment in eastern Kentucky.
“I don’t think it’s the job of the government or should ever be the job of government to attempt to put an industry out of business. President Obama explicitly said he was going to bankrupt coal,” said Sen. Paul.
He promised to continue to fight against coal mining legislation that would put a burden on coal companies and cost coal miners’ their jobs.
Another area Sen. Paul says is over-regulated are Kentucky farms.
In addition in his fight against over-regulation of coal mining, he wants to attract other industries and companies to eastern Kentucky by creating a 10 year plan he dubbed “Economic Freedom Zones.” The plan would reduce taxes for both employers and employees.
“It’s something that is different than what we have tried in the past. It’s a long term plan to try to restore the economy of eastern Kentucky,” said Sen. Paul.
The plan would give eastern Kentucky a $5 billion stimulus.
Another important issue Kentucky faces, Sen. Paul said, is how to fund the cost of building infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and schools.
One of the ways Sen. Paul says the government could fund these projects is to stop sending aid to foreign countries.
“We are sending $100 billion to Afghanistan building bridges and roads then they blow them up and we build them again. We just don’t frankly have enough money to do that. I would bring that money home and spend that money in Kentucky, not in Afghanistan,” said Sen. Paul.
Another way Sen. Paul says the United States and Kentucky could generate revenue is by lowering the tax rate for companies who bring home off-shore profits.
He also advocates lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent or below. Sen. Paul hopes this would attract businesses to relocate to the United States, especially to eastern Kentucky.
“We got to do everything to make it more competitive for US businesses,” said Sen. Paul.
Sen. Paul will be at Jabos Coal River Grill on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. for a small meet and greet with supporters and unsure voters.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald and he can be reached at 606-629-3245.