Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul elaborated on his opposition to federal farm subsidies Wednesday, saying he is "much more moderate" on the issue than he has been portrayed in the media.
Appearing on WHAS-AM radio in Louisville with host Mandy Connell, Paul was asked how a rural state like Kentucky would fare without agricultural subsidies.
Paul's Democratic opponent in this year's race, Attorney General Jack Conway, has criticized Paul, especially in Western Kentucky, for opposing farm subsidies.
"The interesting thing is they start out with that being my position and I'm actually much more moderate than that. You know how moderate I am," Paul said during the one-hour radio interview.
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Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon making his first bid for public office, said the federal government first should stop providing subsidies to dead farmers.
He said a survey in Miami last year showed that in that area 234 dead farmers were receiving $9.1 million in subsidies.
"Let's just agree that we will get rid of subsidies for dead farmers first," he said.
After that, Paul said, the government should restrict subsidies to farmers who make more than $2 million a year.
Paul said 2,007 farmers last year whose income was greater than $2 million received subsidies.
"Let's agree that maybe we can cut them out," he said.
Paul noted that of the $13 billion in farm subsidies last year, $1 billion was spent to tell or pay people not to grow crops. "I don't think that's a good idea to pay people not to farm," he said.
The United States has the greatest farm production in the world, Paul said.
"We are better at it than anywhere in the world. Instead of letting and paying our farms to go fallow, let's grow more and export it," he said. "Let's become a great exporter like we used to be."
Read more of this story at Kentucky.com