What surprised you most about the political system, your colleagues, or even the electorate now that you’ve been in office for four years?
Paul: What surprises me is how quickly you can hit the ground running, how quickly you can be a part of getting amendments on bills, getting votes on bills, and really influencing the process.
Many people think you need to have been elected to another office to come to the U.S. Senate or to come to Congress -- that you need to have been a mayor or a state legislator.
That’s not true.
It’s actually a fresher perspective to have people who came from the medical community like I did, or from business like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) did. People who are not career legislators or career politicians offer a fresher perspective. There’s no monopoly on knowledge in Washington.
In fact, they need more turnover.
I support term limits, and I’m also for the idea that we should have more citizen legislators, who come and go from the business community rather than just people who do this forever.
You recently announced support of restoring voting and other civil rights to those who have been convicted of non-violent criminal offenses. Why is this such an important issue to you?
Paul: The biggest impediment to voting and employment in our country is a criminal record. The war on drugs has trapped tens of thousands of young men and women in a cycle of poverty, disenfranchisement, and incarceration. Many of these young people could escape this trap if criminal justice were reformed, if records were expunged after time served, and if non-violent crimes did not become a permanent blot preventing employment. These reforms give non-violent ex-offenders a second chance at achieving the American Dream.
Do you feel the security of the dollar is a legitimate campaign topic for 2016?
Paul: Reducing our debt, reigning in Washington’s out-of-control spending and holding the Fed accountable should be on the agenda of every candidate in 2016.
The United States is one of two countries that forces citizens to pay taxes on income earned overseas. What is your stance on this taxation?
Paul: Income ought to be taxed once and not twice.
How should (hedge fund) “carried interest” be taxed?
Paul: I don’t believe we should be raising taxes for anyone, but we should try to reform both the individual and corporate tax system by moving to a flat tax at a lower rate.
What are your thoughts on recent movements to curb or restrict online poker?
Paul: I’m opposed to restrictions on online gambling. The government needs to stay out of that business.
What are you reading these days?
Paul: I am currently reading Act of War by Brad Thor and re-reading Conscience of the Constitution by Timothy Sandefur with my summer interns.