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WHEN: Monday, February 2nd
WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"
Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Rand Paul on CNBC's "Closing Bell" today. Following is a link to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000351424.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
KELLY EVANS: SENATOR, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE ON THE SHOW. IT IS GOOD TO SEE YOU. AND LISTEN, WE HAVE A LOT TO GET TO HERE THAT IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR INVESTORS. BUT I JUST HAVE TO BEGIN BY ASKING DID YOU REALLY JUST SAY TO LAURA INGRAHAM THAT YOU THINK MOST VACCINES IN THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BE "VOLUNTARY"?
RAND PAUL: WELL I GUESS BEING FOR FREEDOM WOULD BE REALLY UNUSUAL. I GUESS I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE POINT OF WHY THAT WOULD BE CONTROVERSIAL.
EVANS: SENATOR, MAYBE YOU ARE NOT AWARE, BUT THERE IS A HUGE PROBLEM RIGHT NOW WITH DISNEY THEME PARKS HAVING TO CLOSE DOWN BECAUSE OF MUMPS. NOT ENOUGH CHILDREN BEING VACCINATED AGAINST MEASLES, MUMPS AND RUBELLA BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS, FOR WHATEVER REASON, HAVE DECIDED THAT IT IS VOLUNTARY. AND I CAN TELL YOU, PLENTY OF THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR KIDS GETTING SICK AT SCHOOL.
PAUL: HERE'S THE THING. THE THING IS I THINK VACCINES ARE ONE OF THE GREATEST MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS THAT WE HAVE. I'M A BIG FAN AND A GREAT FAN OF THE HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SMALL POX VACCINE FOR EXAMPLE. BUT YOU KNOW, FOR MOST OF OUR HISTORY, THEY HAVE BEEN VOLUNTARY. SO I DON'T THINK I'M ARGUING FOR ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY. WE ARE ARGUING FOR WHAT MOST OF OUR HISTORY HAS HAD.
EVANS: I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE ALL FOR THE CHOICE, BUT AGAIN, IF WE ARE LEFT IN A SITUATION WHERE DISEASES THAT WERE ONCE ALMOST WIPED OUT ARE NOW COMING BACK BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE DECIDING NOT TO VACCINATE THEIR KIDS, ISN'T THAT A PROBLEM?
PAUL: I THINK PUBLIC AWARENESS OF HOW GOOD VACCINES ARE FOR KIDS AND HOW THEY ARE GOOD FOR PUBLIC HEALTH IS A GREAT IDEA. YOU KNOW, WE JUST APPOINTED A SURGEON GENERAL. THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE THINGS THAT WE SHOULD PROMOTE AS GOOD FOR OUR HEALTH. BUT I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING EXTRAORDINARY ABOUT RESORTING TO FREEDOM. I'LL GIVE YOU A GOOD EXAMPLE. THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE IS NOW GIVEN TO NEWBORNS. WE SOMETIMES GIVE FIVE AND SIX VACCINES ALL AT ONE TIME. I CHOSE TO HAVE MY DELAYED. I DON'T WANT THE GOVERNMENT TELLING ME THAT I HAVE TO GIVE MY NEWBORN HEPATITIS B VACCINE—
PAUL: WHICH IS TRANSMITTED BY SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE AND/OR BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS. DO I ULTIMATELY THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA? YEAH. AND SO I HAD MY STAGGERED OVER SEVERAL MONTHS. I HAVE HEARD OF MANY TRAGIC CASES OF WALKING, TALKING NORMAL CHILDREN WHO WOUND UP WITH PROFOUND MENTAL DISORDERS AFTER VACCINES. I'M NOT ARGUING VACCINES ARE A BAD IDEA. I THINK THEY ARE A GOOD THING, BUT I THINK THE PARENT SHOULD HAVE SOME INPUT. THE STATE DOESN'T OWN YOUR CHILDREN. PARENTS OWN THE CHILDREN. AND IT IS AN ISSUE OF FREEDOM AND PUBLIC HEALTH.
EVANS: THANK YOU, SENATOR. I DID WANT YOU TO CLARIFY THAT. AND IT IS AN ISSUE, EVEN FOR SHAREHOLDERS OF SOME OF THESE THEME PARKS AND AIRLINES AND SO FORTH. BUT LET'S MOVE ON. OBVIOUSLY THE BIG NEWS OF THE DAY HERE IS THE PROPOSAL WITH YOU AND BARBARA BOXER. THAT WOULD ALLOW OUR COMPANIES WHICH HAVE ABOUT $2 TRILLION WORTH OF CASH OVERSEAS, TO BRING IT HOME, A ONE-TIME HOLIDAY, I THINK AT A 6.5% CORPORATE TAX RATE. SENATOR, I'M SURE YOU KNOW THAT MOST OF THE RESEARCH ON THIS INDICATES THAT THESE ACTUALLY COST MORE MONEY OVER THE LONG TERM THAN THEY SAVE. ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOUR PLAN WILL BE DIFFERENT?
PAUL: WELL THAT IS INCORRECT. LET'S GO BACK AGAIN. YOUR PREMISE AND YOUR QUESTION IS MISTAKEN.
PAUL: MOST OF THE RESEARCH DOESN'T INDICATE THAT. IN FACT, THERE IS A PROMINENT STUDY BY ROBERT SHAPIRO LOOKING AT THE HOLIDAY IN 2005, WHEN WE LOWERED THE RATE TO 5%, AND HIS CONCLUSION WAS THAT IT BROUGHT $300 BILLION OF NEW CAPITAL HOME. AND THEN IT BROUGHT IT ABOUT $30 BILLION OF NEW TAX REVENUE. THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF DOING THIS IS TO BRING MONEY HOME. THERE'S TWO TRILLION –
EVANS: RIGHT, BUT IT WORKS THAT FIRST YEAR, SENATOR. BUT THEIR CONCERN IS DOWN THE ROAD.
PAUL: HEY, LET ME FINISH. HEY, HEY, KELLY.
EVANS: I'M SORRY, GO AHEAD.
PAUL: CALM DOWN A BIT HERE, KELLY. LET ME ANSWER THE QUESTION. THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS LEGISLATION IS THAT MONEY HAS BEEM ACCUMULATING. MUCH MONEY HAS ACTUALLY BEEN INVERTING AND PEOPLE ARE REINCORPORATING BECAUSE THE TAX CODE IN OUR COUNTRY IS NOT ENCOURAGING MONEY TO COME HOME. SO THIS IS TO LOWER TAX RATE, TO BRING MORE MONEY HOME, AND TO TAKE THAT NEW MONEY, SOME OF THE TAX REVENUE, AND PUT IT INTO THE HIGHWAY FUND. I THINK THIS IS A WIN-WIN-WIN. YOU LOWER A TAX RATE, YOU BRING IN MORE REVENUE AND YOU ARE ACTUALLY ABLE TO PLUG A WHOLE WE HAVE IN OUR HIGHWAY TRUST FUND.
EVANS: WHAT PEOPLE WANT, SENATOR, IS FOR YOU TO MAKE THIS PERMANENT. WHY NOT JUST MAKE IT 6.5% PERIOD? THE PROBLEM IS THAT AS IT HAPPENED IN 2004 –
PAUL: LET ME ANSWER THE QUESTION BEFORE YOU GET GOING.
PAUL: I'M FOR PERMANENT. I AM FOR MAKING IT PERMANENT. I'D EVEN GO LOWER ON THE RATE. BUT THIS IS A BI-PARTISAN PROPOSAL, SO I DON'T GET EVERYTHING I WANT. THE OTHER SIDE DOESN'T GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT. BUT THIS IS HOW WASHINGTON CAN WORK TOGETHER WHERE YOU HAVE A REPUBLICAN AND A DEMOCRAT WHO HAVE TO ACCEPT SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND WE GET SOMETHING THAT IS MUCH BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW. SO MY DRUTHERS WOULD BE A LOWER RATE AND HAVE IT FOR FOREVER. BUT THE THING IS, I HAVE TO COMPROMISE TO GET SOMETHING THAT WILL ACTUALLY GET TO THE PRESIDENT'S DESK. BUT I THINK THIS IS THE PROBABLY NUMBER ONE PROPOSAL THAT HAS THE BEST CHANCE OF BEING SIGNED INTO LAW THIS YEAR.
EVANS: THE ONLY ISSUE, AGAIN, BEING – AND I DO WANT TO MOVE ON FROM THIS – BUT JUST SO OUR VIEWERS ARE AWARE, THE CONCERN IS THAT YOU DO IT ONE TIME AND COMPANIES THEN KEEP THE CASH OVERSEAS BECAUSE THEY REALIZE IT IS ONE TIME. IT'S NOT PERMANENT. BUT LET'S MOVE ON FOR A SECOND BECAUSE THE OTHER THING THAT YOU HAVE RAISED –
PAUL: THAT IS WHY THIS PROPOSAL IS ACTUALLY BETTER THAN 2005 WHEN THEY DID IT FOR ONE YEAR.
EVANS: THIS IS FOR FIVE YEARS.
PAUL: THIS PROPOSAL IS FOR FIVE YEARS. AND THE HOPE IS THAT WE WILL ACTUALLY SEE THAT IT IS A NET POSITIVE OVER FIVE YEARS AND THAT WE WILL RENEW IT. AND HOPEFULLY THIS IS A STEP TOWARDS MAKING IT PERMANENT.
EVANS: UNDERSTOOD. THE OTHER PROPOSAL THAT MIGHT MOVE FORWARD –CERTAINLY I AM SEEING A LOT OF ANALYSTS TALKING ABOUT IT – IS YOUR PROPOSAL TO AUDIT THE FED. WHICH WAS GIVEN MAYBE 2/3 CHANCE OF BECOMING A LAW THIS YEAR. THE SPECIFICS OF THIS LOOK LIKE THE WAY IT DIFFERS FROM THE GAO AUDIT THAT ALREADY EXISTS. THIS IS MORE OF A SECOND-GUESS THE FED, ISN'T IT? IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO QUESTION, REVIEW, ETC. THE MONETARY POLICY DECISIONS THE FED WOULD BE MAKING GOING FORWARD?
PAUL: THE CURRENT AUDIT THAT WE HAVE OF THE FED IS, DO THEIR BOOKS BALANCE AND ARE THEY PAYING PEOPLE WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE PAYING THEM? IT IS NOT AN AUDIT AT ALL. WE HAD THE AUDITOR COME BEFORE CONGRESS A YEAR AND A HALF AGO AND THEY ASK HER, WHAT DID THE FED BUY WITH $4 TRILLION WORTH WHEN THEY BOUGHT $4 TRILLION WORTH OF ASSETS. THE AUDITOR HAS NO IDEA. THE AUDITOR WAS ASKED ABOUT 10 PERTINENT QUESTIONS, NONE OF THEM APPLY TO THE CURRENT AUDIT. THE CURRENT AUDIT IS A WINDOW DRESSING. IT IS NOT REALLY AN AUDIT AT ALL. SO WHAT WE ARE PROPOSING IS THAT WHEN TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS EXCHANGE HANDS, THAT REALLY, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANY CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN THE PEOPLE MAKING THE DECISIONS AT THE FED AND THE PEOPLE ON WALL STREET BENEFITING BY THESE DECISIONS. IT IS A LOOK BACK ONE YEAR IN TIME. THE BANK WAS CREATED BY THE PEOPLE AND BY CONGRESS AND IT HAS VIRTUALLY NO OVERSIGHT NOW OTHER THAN SOME TOKEN MEETINGS WHERE THEY COME TO CONGRESS AND GIVE US A LOT OF HOT AIR. BUT NO TRUE OVERSIGHT. WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE TRUE OVERSIGHT. LOOKING BACK A YEAR TO TIME. NOT IN REAL TIME.
EVANS: REAL QUICK, SPEAKING OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. ANY RESPONSE TO THE WASHINGTON POST PIECE ABOUT THE SORT OF SELF-APPOINTED BOARD OF COLLEAGUES AND RELATIVES THAT WERE PART OF YOUR OPTHAMOLOGY GROUP IN KENTUCKY?
PAUL: WELL, ONCE AGAIN, YOU ARE MISCHARACTERIZING AND CONFUSING THE WHOLE SITUATION. THE BOARD OF OPTHAMOLOGY DECIDED MANY YEARS AGO THAT THEY WOULD NOT CERTIFY OLDER DOCTORS, ONLY YOUNGER DOCTORS. I LEAD A PROTEST OF SEVERAL HUNDRED OPTHAMOLOGISTS WHO SAID THAT IF WE ARE GOING TO HAVE RECERTIFICATION, EVERYONE SHOULD RECERTIFY REGARDLESS OF AGE. SO YOU HAVE TAKEN SOMETHING AND YOU HAVE TWISTED IT AND SO DID THE POST –
EVANS: NO, I ONLY – LISTEN, AND I LIKE THE IDEA OF WHAT YOU WERE DOING WAS TO CREATE COMPETITION, MAKE IT MORE FAIR FOR YOUNGER DOCTORS –
PAUL: WELL, NO, NO, YOU HAVE. NO, NO, YOU DID.
EVANS: I'M ONLY ASKING ABOUT THE PART THAT THEY RAISED ISSUE WITH WHICH WAS THE BOARD. THEY SAID LOOK, IT IS A BUNCH OF HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, BASICALLY.
PAUL: RIGHT. AND YOU HAVE TAKEN AN INTERVIEW AND YOU'VE MADE AN INTERVIEW INTO SOMETHING WHERE WE GOT NO USEFUL INFORMATION BECAUSE YOU WERE ARGUMENTATIVE AND YOU STARTED OUT WITH SO MANY PREOPPOSITIONS THAT WERE INCORRECT. THE FIGHT I HAD FOR MANY YEARS, FOR OVER A DECADE, WAS THAT RECERTIFICATION IN THE BOARD OF OPTHAMOLOGY – SOMETHING I PASSED INITIALLY – SHOULD BE DONE FOR ALL. EVERYTHING ELSE IS A SIDELINE TO TRY TO CRITICIZE ME FOR HOW I WAS INCORPORATED OR UNINCORPORATED. ALL PETTY SORT OF CRITICISMS BY POLITICAL OPPONENTS. I DID SOMETHING TO MAKE IT FAIR TO SAY THAT ALL OPTHAMOLOGISTS, PARTICULARLY THE OLDER ONES – I WOULD THINK THE OLDER YOU ARE, THE FARTHER YOU ARE AWAY FROM YOUR TRAINING, THE MORE IT WOULD BE NECESSARY THAT YOU WOULD BE RECERTIFIED. SO THAT IS WHAT IT WAS ABOUT. IT WAS ABOUT FAIRNESS AND NOT ABOUT GRANDFATHERING OLD OPTHAMOLOGISTS IN SO THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO TAKE THE TEST.
EVANS: UNDERSTOOD. AND SENATOR, BEFORE WE LET YOU GO, I CAN TELL YOU ARE FIRED UP. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE EXTENT TO WHICH – THE REASON FOR THAT. BUT WHAT ABOUT 2016? I MEAN IS THIS YEAR, WITH AN EYE TOWARDS YOU ENTERING 2016 AS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OR MAYBE GETTING DRAFTED INTO ONE OF THE CAMPAIGNS?
PAUL: WELL, WE ARE THINKING ABOUT IT AND WE ARE LOOKING AROUND THE UNITED STATES AND SEEING IF THE MESSAGE RESONATES. PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOU END UP HAVING INTERVIEWS LIKE THIS WHERE THE INTERVIEW IS SO SLANTED AND FULL OF DISTORTIONS THAT YOU DON'T GET USEFUL INFORMATION. I THINK THIS IS WHAT IS BAD ABOUT TV SOMETIMES. SO FRANKLY, I THINK IF WE DO THIS AGAIN, YOU NEED TO START OUT WITH A LITTLE MORE OBJECTIVITY GOING INTO THE INTERVIEW.
EVANS: I WILL CERTAINLY TRY MY BEST, SENATOR. WE HOPE YOU WILL COME BACK AND GIVE US THAT CHANCE. SENATOR RAND PAUL OF KENTUCKY ON A WIDE RANGE OF ISSUES THIS AFTERNOON. SENATOR, WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
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