WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said lower taxes on business was a better way to help jobless Americans than extending unemployment benefits.
Paul said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that spurring the U.S. economy would have a more lasting benefit than keeping workers on jobless benefits, and called for greater efforts in Washington to open the door to increased hiring.
"I've been saying all along, we have to figure out how to create jobs and keep people from becoming long-term unemployed," Paul said. "That's why I promoted the economic freedom zones which would dramatically lower taxes in areas where there's long-term unemployment."
Paul, who enjoys a high standing among members of the Tea Party movement, created a stir recently by saying unemployment benefits actually harmed its recipients by providing an alternative to working.
Paul, who is also considered an early contender for the presidency in 2016, stuck to his assertion Sunday but said he would consider voting in favor of an extension of benefits if other parts of the federal budget were cut.
"I've always said that I'm not opposed to unemployment insurance, I am opposed to having it without paying for it," said Paul.
"What I would like to do, is one, if we extend it, we pay for it," Paul said. "But, two, we add something to it that would create jobs."