- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, acknowledged Sunday that he’s seriously weighing a bid for president, but that he has to balance such ambitions with family considerations.

“Just look at what happens daily to any politician in America, and you talk about how uncivil things are — I mean, they really are, and they do take a toll on family, and so it is a big consideration, and I really am not sure what will happen,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Asked whether family considerations would be the only factor keeping him from running, Mr. Paul said that “they’re a major component of the discussion.”

“A lot of things enter into it, you know, so we’ll see what happens over the next year,” he said. “But I really am going [to] keep doing the things that I am doing — trying to help fight for jobs in Kentucky, as well as across America, and I’ll just keep doing the things that I want to do and I think the people of Kentucky elected me to do, and I’m just not ready to make a decision yet.”

Mr. Paul’s comments came two days after he delivered another campaign-style speech in Detroit, where the tea party favorite vowed to push a proposal to create “economic freedom zones” in that troubled city.

Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club, Mr. Paul said that the model could be used in cities and counties across the nation and said that it would allow Detroit to hang onto $1.3 billion in tax revenue that otherwise would have been sent to the federal government.

Detroit recently became the largest municipality in the history of the nation to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The city faces an $18 billion in debt and long-term liabilities.

Mr. Paul’s proposal would lower personal and corporate incomes taxes in Detroit to 5 percent and lower the payroll tax to 2 percent for employees and employers. It also would suspend the capital gains tax in an attempt to spur greater investment in businesses and real estate.

“These zones free up Detroit to bail themselves out,” Mr. Paul said, adding that they also could help struggling communities across the country, including 20 counties in his home state. “Right now any community with 12 percent [unemployment] or more would be eligible for these freedom zones.”

Mr. Paul said his proposal is an example of how the nation can start moving away from big government bailouts that have not worked and start thinking differently about how best to tackle the nation’s most pressing problems.

He also said lawmakers should rethink the war on drugs and reshape the drug laws and court system that disproportionately punishes minority communities.

He said that that voting rights of some convicted felons who have completed their sentences should be restored and there should be a bigger push toward more school choice.

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