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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul speaks at Town Hall meeting at CU

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul talks of large government and budget deficiencies at Campbellsville University hosted Town Hall meeting
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By Joan C. McKinney, CU news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY - Government is too large, the budget deficient is too high and spending is out of control in Washington United States Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told a standing room only crowd at Campbellsville University's Gheens Recital Hall today during a Town Hall meeting.

Paul said he has a plan to balance the national $19 trillion debt involving cutting some departments, such as education and commerce, and cutting the budget one percent per year for five years.

He said the federal government spends $1 million each minute, and cited one misuse of money when the government spent $2.5 million studying online dating. He said the $19 trillion debt is costing one million jobs per year.

Paul said he wouldn't send any foreign aid to countries that persecute Christians. He said there are 35 countries, all of whom are Muslim countries, that put people to death if they criticize their state religion. "Why give money to countries that do that?" he asked.

Paul said the debt and spending revolves around what happens in Washington vs. what happens in Frankfort.

With State Rep. Bam Carney and State Sen. Max Wise in the audience, Paul said priorities are set in Frankfort. "There is a finite amount of money in Frankfort, and money can't be spent that we don't have," he said.

"In Washington, we have printing presses, we can create inflation and steal the value of your currency. We can print money, borrow money or tax you," he said. He said some people are trying to help and to get people out of poverty such as in Appalachia and western Louisville.

He said spending bills are so thick; a recent one was 2,242 pages and nobody could read it in the time allotted to them.

He said it has been 10 years since there have been individual appropriation bills and both parties are causing the issues. He said he will worry about the debt until "we get backbone from both parties."

Paul said he had put forth three budgets, and a third of his party will support a balanced budget, but cuts have to happen and there is not enough courage to support the cuts.

"In Frankfort, if something has to be cut, it has to be cut somewhere. There are no priorities in Washington."

Paul said national defense is the most important thing we do. He said he is not for unlimited spending which makes us weaker and not stronger. He said the Pentagon has never been audited. "You can be pro military and believe there is waste" in government, he said.

He said there is misplaced sympathy in government. You can want to help everyone, but you have to have heart, and heart can bankrupt a country. On veterans affairs, a question was asked about the Veterans Administration and about the time it takes to get things done such as it took one year for the questioner to get hearing aids.

Paul said, "We are an advocate for veterans," and urged anyone having specific problems with an agency to contact his office.

"We do have an obligation to take care of veterans when they come home," he said.

He said the VA does give quality care, but they are often slow and have inefficient care. He said he did vote in Washington that those veterans seeking medical care living an hour and a half from a VA could seek a local doctor. "It's cheaper and more convenient" to do so, he said.

"We will stay on them," he said. "The federal government is slow to react. We will work hard to get better."

A 17-year-old questioner asked about the concealed carry laws which, in Kentucky, means you must be 18 to carry a concealed gun.

Paul said he would be in favor of changing the law to 18, but that is to be done at the state level.

He said it was almost impossible to own guns in Washington, D.C. "Ninety-eight percent of us are law abiding citizens," he said, "and that mass shootings are so sad."

"It isn't perfect to have everyone armed," he said. "There are no easy answers." Ten-year-old Hannah Hansford of Campbellsville asked what Paul would do to ensure a better quality of life for her and her generation.

He said he would work to understand what made a good country for her parents and grandparents and what made us great.

He said the people in the United States are largely left free, and there is democratic capitalism based on choices that one makes.

"I'd leave the money in the hands of your family and in the hands of your community and send less to Washington," he said. Paul said he is in favor of trying to stop human trafficking. "It's a noble cause to end," he said.

Paul questioned whether the president, of either party, has the right to create law. "We can't allow one person to legislate," Paul said. He criticized President Barack Obama for doing "jolly well what he wants," and the Congress should write the laws. He said there needs to be checks and balances.

Speaking on the government's warrants pertaining to the phones of terrorists in the San Berandino case, he said the question is not can the phones be looked at, but do we give the government the right to look at our encrypted phones which could involve identity theft.

He said the majority of Americans are law abiding citizens, and we must decide as a country do we give up our liberty to have security? Speaking on terrorism, Paul said, "Terrorists are weak people," who create fear and cannot win.

"We need to think carefully about what makes us special and what separates us from them," he said.

He said police officers, on a daily basis, go after bad people and they obey the Fourth Amendment which gives the people the right to be secure in their own homes against unreasonable searches and seizures.

He said police arrest people but they don't drag them and beat them to death; they are in jails.

"We are a civilized people different that the lawlessness" of others.

"Despite all the bad things going on, we are the greatest, freest country in the history of mankind," Paul said.

Paul was asked what Kentucky can expect out of him in the future, and Paul said he would continue to advocate what government can and shouldn't spend, obey the Constitution and leave more money in our communities.

Paul thanked Campbellsville University for hosting the Town Hall. Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said he was glad to have a standing room only crowd.

"It is a distinct honor to have Sen. Paul here today," he said. He said the university was "very honored" to host the Town Hall which was organized by Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master's degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

This story was posted on 2016-02-26 20:39:57
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Sen. Paul at CU Town Hall Forum

2016-02-26 - Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, KY - Photo by Sheng Huang.
US. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is surrounded by flags at The Gheens Recital Hall at Campbellsville University during a Town Hall meeting. -Campbellsville University Photo by Sheng Huang

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Dr. John Chowning organized CU Town Hall event

2016-02-26 - Gheens Hall - Photo by Tomomi Sato, CU.
Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president at Campbellsville University for government, community and constituent relations, organized the Rand Paul visit. (Campbellsville University Photo by Tomomi Sato)

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Hannah Hansford, 10, asks Sen. Paul about her generation

2016-02-26 - Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, KY - Photo by Tomomi Sato, CU.
Hannah Hansford, 10, asked how U.S. Sen. Rand Paul would make the lives of her generation a better place during the Town Hall meeting. - Campbellsville University Photo by Tomomi Sato

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