Rand Paul: Farmers need less EPA, lower taxes

Source: By William Petroski, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul,

BROOKLYN, Ia. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., hammered at a theme of less government and lower taxes in a visit Thursday to a Poweshiek County farm operated by one of Iowa’s most prominent farm families.

Paul, who is trying to raise his profile as an independent-minded politician in a crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, said he can appreciate the amount of work that farmers put into raising crops and livestock and he contends the federal government has become too intrusive.

He blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying he believes the Clean Water Act was well intentioned and he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to dump benzene into the Mississippi River. But dirt is now considered a pollutant and your backyard is now being labeled a “navigable stream,” he said.

That’s going too far, Paul said, suggesting there needs to be a balance between the environment and creating jobs.

“You can blame it on both parties because we have even gotten Republicans elected who have done the wrong thing. That is why I am running,” Paul said.

Paul spoke before a group of about 80 mostly rural people at a farm operated by the Lang family of Brooklyn, Ia. Craig Lang is a former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau and former president of the Iowa Board of Regents, and his sons, Dane and Cade, are also farmers.

Paul said the federal government is needed to provide national defense, build some roads, and do some other things. But many other matters can be handled at the state and local government level, the senator said.

He is proposing a flat national tax of 14.5 percent for everyone and his campaign literature calls for “driving a stake through the heart” of the Internal Revenue Service. He said it’s embarrassing that United States corporations are moving to Canada and other countries because of lower corporate tax rates.

“Money goes where it is welcome. Businesses are leaving. That is a problem,” Paul said.

The senator also said he favors curbing federal regulations that block the use of gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend during the summer months, and he supports other measures to increase innovation in the use of alternative fuels.

Craig Lang gave Paul a rousing endorsement in introducing the presidential candidate, saying, “All you have to do is look at the character of the man. This is a man who stands up to the leadership of the party when he knows he is right.”

Mike Roberts, 60, who operates a welding shop and mechanical repair business in Deep River – about 15 miles southeast of Brooklyn – said he’s also supporting Paul.

“He is not your mainstream type of politician. We have to get rid of these guys who keep flip-flopping back and forth,” Roberts said.