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The Republican presidential debate at CU Boulder on Oct. 28 will focus mainly on economic issues. Rand Paul has hints of libertarian ideologies, but is a little more conservative in his economic policies. His main economic ideas would change the economy drastically in the U.S.
Here are some of Paul’s main economic proposals:
Flat tax rate
Rand Paul wants a 14.5 percent flat tax rate for all businesses and individuals. But, with that, there would be a $15,000 automatic deduction upon filing and $5,000 deducted per dependent. He would basically get rid of all loopholes and random deductions. This could upset a lot of low-income and middle-income families, but students making less than $15,000 would basically pay nothing. According to CU economics instructor William Ridley, Paul’s proposal would decrease government revenues immensely – somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars per year.
Economic Freedom Zones
In conjunction with flat taxes, Paul wants to enact Economic Freedom Zones, which include economically depressed areas like Detroit. People living in these areas would have a 5 percent tax rate with a 2 percent payroll flat tax rate. This is to push people to live in these low-money-flow areas.
Balance the budget
When it comes to federal spending, Paul wants to eliminate many of the departments in order to balance the budget. He wants to eliminate the departments of education, commerce, housing and energy. He also wants to reduce welfare programs, like food stamps and Medicaid. He believes that welfare wastes money.
Changes in Social Security
Paul also wants to change up Social Security. He wants to increase the age of retirement slowly. With that, he wants to change the Social Security disability trust fund because he thinks a lot of people on disability are taking advantage of it. He wants to only prioritize people who truly need disability money.
Increase the focus on energy
Paul wants America to run on domestic American gas, oil, and coal. He wants to increase the amount of drilling in America. He loves the Keystone XL pipeline. He wants America to be independent when he comes to energy.
“No” to raising the minimum wage
Paul believes that raising the minimum wage would be harmful to the majority, because it would cause more unemployment. He believes it should stay low in order to employ more people.
What does this mean overall?
Paul wants a lot of change, and it is unclear whether his proposals can actually work in America. Cutting down many important departments will affect individuals on a wider scale.
The flat tax rate can hurt low and middle-income families because the burden would be shifted to them while also decreasing the overall amount of money the federal government has to provide for families, according to Ridley. Lowering welfare will not bode well with people who are dependent on it, and the fact that military spending is rising even more could cause some chaos. His other economic policies would be huge changes for America.