Taxpayer's Tab: Rand Paul's Legislative Agenda Marked by Deep Cuts, Flat Taxes


The 2016 Presidential election campaign is heating up, and the candidates are beginning to lay out their agendas. To provide some clues as to how the candidates' proposals would impact the budget, NTU Foundation has been releasing a series of analyses on those candidates with prior legislative experience. Each post features a different candidate’s BillTally data, which offers a comprehensive look at how the legislation he or she has sponsored would impact federal spending. The series is designed to offer taxpayers unique insight into each candidate’s fiscal agenda by examining the positions they’ve supported while in Congress.

Previously we have featured analyses on Hillary Clinton (D), Marco Rubio (R), and Bernie Sanders (I). Now we’ll look at the BillTally record of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

Rand Paul is the junior Senator from Kentucky and has represented the Bluegrass State since 2011, having previously worked as an ophthalmologist in Bowling Green. His father, Ron, is well known as an outspoken libertarian-minded Congressman from Texas, and also ran for President in 2012 with an agenda to cut spending by nearly $1 trillion.

Yet Rand has already gained a prominent following of his own. He delivered the Tea Party response to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address, has engaged in two extended filibusters related to federal drone policy and privacy concerns, and has won three straw polls at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Recently he unveiled his plan for comprehensive tax reform, which would scrap almost all of the existing code and implement a flat 14.5 percent tax for all individuals and businesses. By some estimates, the proposal could increase after-tax incomes by as much as 16 percent.

Below are the BillTally data from Senator Paul’s first two sessions in Congress.

Net Cost of Legislation Sponsored or Cosponsored by
Senator Rand Paul (Dollar Figures in Millions)

Average Republican Senator# of
# of

Some noteworthy points behind the numbers:

  • Senator Paul has sponsored legislation that would save a net average of $483.8 billion in federal spending per year. He would cut just over $2.7 billion on average for every dollar in spending increases he supported.

  • Paul’s agenda consisted of substantially deeper spending cuts than the average Republican Senator’s, who supported about $198.9 billion in budget reductions during the period NTUF analyzed.

  • The One Percent Spending Reduction Act, which Senator Paul cosponsored in the 113th Congress, would have reduced federal spending by $261 billion over two years, more than any other bill that Paul has supported.

  • Senator Paul has been an outspoken proponent of legislation that would require a full audit of the Federal Reserve. That bill would require $3 million in new spending per year.

  • The most expensive legislation Senator Paul supported was S. 729 in the 113th Congress, at a cost of $10 million per year. That bill would have established a task force in the Department of Justice to prosecute convicted felons attempting to buy firearms.

For more on BillTally and to keep up with our analyses of the 2016 Presidential candidates’ campaigns, head to NTU Foundation’s website. You can also follow us on Twitter (@NTUF) for the latest updates.

National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a nonpartisan research and educational organization dedicated to helping Americans of all ages understand how taxes, government spending, and regulations affect them. Through our timely information, analysis, and commentary, we’re empowering citizens to engage in important policy debates and hold officials accountable.

Our findings are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to aid or hinder the passage of legislation or as a comment on any Member’s or Candidate's fitness to serve.