Andrew Kaczynski points us to this quote from Rand Paul that makes his ideology quite clear:
"if we tax you at 100% then you’ve got zero percent liberty. If we tax you at 50% you are half slave, half free."Thus, Rand Paul places zero weight on non-economic freedoms, and highly values economic freedoms. That puts him squarely in the Republican/conservative box.
The absolutism of Rand Paul's conservatism is quite remarkable. Consider the hypothetical scenario where the government taxes 100 percent of income but provides free food and other consumption for everyone (nevermind how they pay for it, for the moment). Obviously, there'd be no point to working, and you'd have no freedom to increase your consumption beyond what the government hands out. There's no doubt that the high tax rate would reduce your freedom. But you certainly could enjoy quite a bit of other kinds of freedom in this world--just to take a timely example, you could marry whoever you want, of either gender. Rand Paul's position, then, is that the freedom to marry is insignificant compared to the ability to earn untaxed income. That's pretty solid Republicanism, which has no problem prescribing who people can marry and when they can get divorced, so long as taxes are low.
Incidentally, on Twitter I recently started a debate on a related question and Adam Omizek said this: