Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now for an exclusive interview in which he discussed the 2016 campaign for the White House, his plan to bolster Black-owned businesses, Social Security, poverty, education, criminal justice reform, and Black Lives Matter.
Paul told Martin he has a plan to drive additional dollars to African-American-owned businesses called “Economic Freedom Zones.” He said his plan would “leave extraordinary amounts of money in communities and encourage businesses to go to those communities, hire people, and have businesses there.”
As an example of “Economic Freedom Zones” in action, Paul explained his plan would leave $3 billion dollars in the South Side of Chicago.
“I wouldn’t send it to the Chicago government, I wouldn’t send it to the federal government, I would just simply leave it in that area so businesses that are already there would thrive — that’s the best way to create jobs. If you’re already in the South Side of Chicago and you have twenty employees — the best way to make a job is to let you get thirty employees,” Paul said. “We would encourage people to move in to have a very low tax rate.”
He continued to detail his plan, saying if a business were to move into the “Economic Freedom Zone,” their tax rate could be as low as five percent.
Paul said he wanted the incentive to be “so dramatic that everybody would want to move there. That people would want to move to that area and say, ‘Gosh, I can make twice as much money here.’ Money counts, money talks.”
During their discussion, Paul explained what he would do to change Social Security to make it inheritable by creating individualized accounts. Your name would be on the account, he said, and if you were to contribute $100,000 in it through payroll taxes over your career, and if you were to die at 65 years of age, your children would inherit it.
“Then there would be some inheritability and we’d develop wealth over time,” Paul said.
When discussing education, Paul said he “would give every kid in America the choice to go to whatever school they want” through vouchers. Paul believes this will create competition between schools to be the best and give families options because, “choice makes us all better.”
Paul went on to say there is a “miracle waiting to happen” in America’s education system by way of the internet. Paul said the world wide web should be able to connect students to great teachers, regardless of their location.
“The internet should connect you around the world to the world’s greatest teachers, and then I would also pay the world’s greatest teachers like NFL players or NBA players, because I’d find them and connect them to every kid,” said Paul.
Martin also asked Paul to share his thoughts about the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact activists are having. Paul said, “I’m for most of the things that they have supported.”
Paul is in favor of police wearing body cameras, touted his work with Sen. Tim Scott on legislature that would require police to report deaths in custody, and said he thought the deaths of Eric Garner and others who have died at the hands of police are “real tragedies.”
Paul told Martin he would hesitate about making the issues that Black Lives Matter supports just about race, because despite there being large racial disparities resulting from the war on drugs and mass incarceration, “if we make it all about race, we’re going to mistake the problem” of policy and police behavior.
In the case of Eric Garner, Paul said, “The mayor wants tax money and they don’t want you selling illegal cigarettes, a huge financial thing. Mayor (Bill) de Blasio has been a big part of that, but he doesn’t want to accept the blame for his policy.”
“He instructed the police to take people down. Now, he didn’t instruct them to kill Eric Garner, but he did instruct the police — ‘We’re going to take down — we’re going to have a zero tolerance for cigarettes,'” said Paul.
Paul continued Garner “didn’t have any cigarettes on him. It was ridiculous and nobody deserves to die that way, but the thing is, I blame the policy makers.”
He added, “There is a lot of other ways to treat this other than saying ‘we’re going to have a zero tolerance and we’re going to use force against somebody selling cigarettes on the sidewalk.'”
Watch Martin’s exclusive interview with Paul in its entirety in the video clip above.
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