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Rand Paul on Technology

 


Bridgegate is unsettling; government should not bully people

Paul has largely refrained from commenting on the controversy surrounding the Christie administration's closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. But he can't resist a few subtle digs.

Paul said in an interview that it's not for him to judge whether the New Jersey governor should step down as chairman of the Republican Governors Association while he deals with the bridge scandal, but "It's important that people think that their government not be used to bully them," Paul told the CNN affiliate in Houston. "So for example, one of the things that conservatives have been upset with President Obama is that it looked like he was using the IRS to target taxpayer groups."

"Nobody wants to think their government would shut down a bridge or do something just because you're a Democrat and I'm a Republican," Paul said. "It's unsettling and it's a serious charge. I don't know if it's true, but it's unsettling."

Source: CNN Political Ticker on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 9, 2014

4th Amendment bans NSA from collecting everyone's phone data

Q: The NSA collects 4 billion cell phone records outside the country every day. How severely would you like to restrict the surveillance by the National Security Agency?

PAUL: I would like to apply the Fourth Amendment to third-party records. I don't think you give up your privacy when someone else holds your records. So, when I have a contract with a phone company, those are still my records. And the government can look at them if they ask a judge. But the most important thing is, a warrant applies to one person. A warrant doesn't apply to everyone in America. So, it's absolutely against the spirit and the letter of the Fourth Amendment to say that a judge can write one warrant and you can get every phone call in America. That's what's happening. I think it's wrong. It goes against everything America stands for. And I will help to fight that all the way to the Supreme Court.

Q: So, you would ban mass data mining?

PAUL: I'm not opposed to the NSA. But I am in favor of the Fourth Amendment.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Dec 8, 2013

I don't mind spying on terrorists, but not on all Americans

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been making a name for himself during his first term as a voice speaking out against the establishment GOP's security policies. In February, he gained widespread attention with his "Stand With Rand" filibuster, a nineteen-hour spectacle in which he protested the Obama administration's secrecy surrounding its counterterrorism policies.

Since then, he's clashed repeatedly with other Republicans on these issues, including the recent revelations regarding the National Security Agency's sweeping collection of phone and internet data. Paul defended his position as being more geared towards the youth vote that the GOP desperately needs to attract. "If you talk about some privacy issues like that, I think you will find youth coming to you," said Paul. He sought to make his position on intelligence gathering clear as well: "I don't mind spying on terrorists. I just don't like spying on all Americans."

Source: Hayes Brown on ThinkProgress.org, "2016 GOP" , Jul 29, 2013

FactCheck: Free "Obama phones" actually started in 1984

Paul wrongly suggested that the Obama administration instituted a program to give free cell phones to the poor, saying "The president offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor." He later commented that "for those who are struggling, we want you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone, we want you to have a job and a pathway to success."

While it's true that the government provides subsidized phone service for low-income persons, such programs were in existence before Obama came into office. Lifeline, a federally mandated program that reimburses phone companies with a monthly subsidy of $9.25 for each low-income customer, has been around since 1984, when it began providing landline service. The program is designed to fulfill FCC policy of providing universal access. The program was then expanded during the George W. Bush administration in 2008 to cover cell phone usage. Since 2009 [FactCheck.org has been] debunking false Internet claims of an "Obama phone."

Source: FactCheck.org on 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 14, 2013

Sharply questioned ban on incandescent light bulbs

Many Americans remember the now infamous mercury-laden Chinese-made $4 light bulbs that were mandated by Congress in 2007--a mandate by a REPUBLICAN Congress and signed into law by a Republican president. In the name of efficiency, Congress decided to ban incandescent light bulbs, which are now supposed to be phased out completely by 2014.

But, as noted, the alternative to incandescent light bulbs isn't much better.

When I sharply questioned a Department of Energy bureaucrat about the light bulb and consumer choice, my Democrat colleagues said that the ban on incandescent bulbs was beyond criticism because a bipartisan majority had passed it.

Beyond criticism? Government overreach doesn't become constitutional or morally right simply because both parties agree to it.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. xxv , Sep 12, 2012

TSA is a testament to Islamic terrorist's success

The TSA is a grand testament to Islamic terrorists' success--the scene in any airport pre-9/11 versus post-9/11 is now perceived as a major victory by our enemies. We have given up so many of our liberties, all in the name of preventing another tragedy like 9/11--and that's a tragedy in itself.

There are many parts to this tragedy: great expansion of unchecked federal power; agencies 1st distorting then growing entirely beyond their mission. The combination of all of this has left us where we are today--in a mess.

First came the introduction of the "naked body" scanners, which some have accurately dubbed "porno scanners." For years, passengers on airlines just like visitors to a secure building, have gone through metal detectors to ensure they were not carrying a weapon. In recent years government bureaucrats at the TSA decided that such measures were inadequate.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.157-158 , Sep 12, 2012

TSA's primary function violates the Fourth Amendment

The TSA's primary function as an agency is to blatantly violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unwarranted search and seizure. This agency has insulted and humiliated countless American citizens. I, along with many other travelers, do not view traveling as a crime that warrants routine government-enforced search and seizure. In fact, I view traveling as a basic right, in which Americans should be free to travel from one state to another without having to succumb to sexual harassment, public humiliation, and government theft--of both our possessions and our pride.

America is better than this.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.179-180 , Sep 12, 2012

Voted NO on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes.

Congressional Summary: The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 authorizes each state to require all sellers with sales exceeding $1 million in the preceding calendar year to collect and remit sales and use taxes, but only if complying with the minimum simplification requirements relating to the administration of such taxes & audits.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.

Obama says, "Paul (R-KY)"

Reference: Marketplace Fairness Act; Bill S.743 ; vote number 13-SV113 on May 6, 2013

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Page last updated: Aug 18, 2014