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Ron Paul - Your Money In Iraq
House Web Site ^ | 9-29-2003 | Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)

Posted on 09/29/2003 10:40:39 AM PDT by jmc813

Ambassador Paul Bremer, head of the US provisional administration in Iraq, appeared before Congress last week to lobby hard for another $87 billion for nation building. This figure is in addition to the nearly $80 billion we’ve already spent in Iraq, and the new funding request is for 2004 only. If we stay in Iraq beyond 2004- and the administration has made it clear that reconstruction will be a long-term project- American taxpayers easily could spend one trillion dollars over the coming years.

The stark reality is that the federal government will fund the open-ended occupation of Iraq either by raising taxes, borrowing overseas, or printing more money. All three options are bad for average Americans.

It’s important the American people know exactly what they will be paying for in Iraq. The $87 billion requested is such a huge sum that it seems meaningless to most of us. The details, however, will astound anyone who resents seeing their tax dollars spent overseas.

The following are just some of the administration’s requests:

-$100 million for several new housing communities, complete with roads, schools, and a medical clinic;

-$20 million for business classes, at a cost of $10,000 per Iraqi student;

-$900 million for imported kerosene and diesel, even though Iraq has huge oil reserves;

-$54 million to study the Iraqi postal system;

-$10 million for prison-building consultants;

-$2 million for garbage trucks;

-$200,000 each for Iraqis in a witness protection program;

-$100 million for hundreds of criminal investigators; and

-$400 million for two prisons, at a cost of nearly $50,000 per bed!

I doubt very seriously that most Americans would approve of their tax dollars being used to fund these projects in Iraq.

Criticism of this foreign aid spending in Iraq is not restricted to the political left. Conservative groups and politicians are increasingly angry at the administration’s exorbitant spending. For example, Congressman Zach Wamp of Tennessee sits on the Appropriations committee, which is responsible for all spending bills. He has a modest idea: insist the reconstruction money be paid back as a loan when Iraq’s huge oil reserves resume operation. Similarly, Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona wants to offset every dollar spent reconstructing Iraq with spending cuts in others areas, especially given the amount of wasteful pork in the federal budget. But the White House is adamantly opposed to both ideas. Why is a supposedly conservative administration resisting even the slightest attempts at fiscal restraint?

We have embarked on probably the most extensive nation-building experiment in history. Our provisional authority seeks nothing less than to rebuild Iraq’s judicial system, financial system, legal system, transportation system, and political system from the top down- all with hundreds of billion of US tax dollars. We will all pay to provide job-training for Iraqis, while more and more Americans find themselves out of work. We will pay to secure the Iraqi borders, while our own borders remain porous and vulnerable. We will pay for housing, health care, social services, utilities, roads, schools, jails, and food in Iraq, leaving American taxpayers with less money to provide these things for themselves at home. We will saddle future generations with billions in government debt. The question of whether Iraq is worth this much to us is one lawmakers should answer now by refusing to approve another nickel for nation building.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: iraq; ronpaul
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1 posted on 09/29/2003 10:40:39 AM PDT by jmc813
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To: jmc813
And none of these critics will hesitate to blame Bush first if their constant lambasting in any way contributes to a total American failure in the efforts to reinvent Iraq as a peaceful, democratic nation.
2 posted on 09/29/2003 10:42:15 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (redruM's Advice -- NEVER steal the ID of a registered sex offender!)
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To: jmc813
And none of these critics will hesitate to blame Bush first if their constant lambasting in any way contributes to a total American failure in the efforts to reinvent Iraq as a peaceful, democratic nation.
3 posted on 09/29/2003 10:42:18 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (redruM's Advice -- NEVER steal the ID of a registered sex offender!)
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To: jmc813
" The question of whether Iraq is worth this much to us is one lawmakers should answer now by refusing to approve another nickel for nation building."

If the "us" in this question refers to the taxpayers of the United States of America the answer is clearly NO!.

On the other hand, if the "us" in this question refers to big oil concerns and defense contractors (both foreign and domestic) the answer sadly is yes.

Nation building should only apply to OUR nation.
4 posted on 09/29/2003 10:48:13 AM PDT by WhiteGuy (The next time I vote, I'm demanding a receipt! (you should too!))
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To: jmc813
Ron Paul bump.

I only hope that the President remembers that nation-building adherents are on the other side of the aisle, before its too late.
5 posted on 09/29/2003 10:51:34 AM PDT by JohnGalt (Attention Pseudocons: Wilsonianrepublic.com is still available)
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To: .cnI redruM
Oh, we COULD spend that much money there. And perhaps that much money shall be spent, over a period of years, to make Iraq into a peaceful prosperous country. Most of the investment in the country, however, will be made by the Iraqis themselves. The internal development of the country shall come as a result of political and economic stability, without fear that some insurgent terrorists will sabotage and subvert the infrastructure. Islamic fascism is a djinn loose upon the land, and it shall have to be put back into its bottle. The Iraqis have need to develop their own internal controls of this continuing threat, and given assistance, they can and will do it. If they do not wish another Saddam Hussein to hold sway, they must.
6 posted on 09/29/2003 10:54:25 AM PDT by alloysteel
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To: .cnI redruM
And none of these critics will hesitate to blame Bush...

True! If the critics think it was irresponsible to go into Iraq, then to go into Iraq and bail out at some crucial point is grossly irresponsible. I do not like the idea of footing a bil for nation building. Yet, having a permanent US friendly presence squarely in the middle east is an outpost against terrorism and a good idea. When these lawmakers weigh the cost of the immediate expenses, they would be wise to weigh the future costs of not supporting Iraq being rebuilt. Whichever way they go will not be pretty.

7 posted on 09/29/2003 10:55:20 AM PDT by VRW Conspirator (This is my fourth trip to the planet earth - love the corn dogs.)
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To: jmc813
Iraq is sitting on a ton of oil. Let them pay for their own reconstruction with the wealth of their nation. GWB is becoming more of a socialist than Clinton and if this keeps up he loss my vote for 2004.
8 posted on 09/29/2003 10:56:32 AM PDT by Isolationist (Got oil??)
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To: jmc813
...$400 million for two prisons, at a cost of nearly $50,000 per bed...

Given what we know about Saddam Hussein you would think that the one thing that Iraq would have in abundance would be prisons.

9 posted on 09/29/2003 10:56:55 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: jmc813
Iraq has oil. Oil is money. I am just wondering why Iraq cannot rebuild Iraq with Iraq's money? Why do we need to pay for it and not get it returned? Ok, approve the $87B to them as a loan and they repay it through oil sales. Seems fair enough. They do not need a handout. Now that the oil money will go into building schools, hospitals, communities instead of buying tanks and bombs and planes, they can become just like the Saudies.
10 posted on 09/29/2003 10:58:23 AM PDT by RetiredArmy (We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way! Toby Keith)
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To: alloysteel
And the downside to that is what would happen if the Iraquis are unable or unwilling to pony up. We're on the hook in Iraq. If we pay the piper, at least we call the tune.

Over time, we obviously hand over the controls and try to gracefully disengage. That, however, comes with time and patience.
11 posted on 09/29/2003 10:59:59 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (redruM's Advice -- NEVER steal the ID of a registered sex offender!)
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To: jmc813
It's kind of sad when one of the only politicians making a case for the conservative cause is a former Libertarian. Restoring water and electric is one thing; the rest of these expeditures is just a bunch of liberal crap.
12 posted on 09/29/2003 11:01:49 AM PDT by zacyak
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To: alloysteel
Islamic fascism is a djinn loose upon the land, and it shall have to be put back into its bottle.

There, that's more accurate

13 posted on 09/29/2003 11:04:59 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: VRW Conspirator
So, assuming we have agreement on your point about the critics, there just isn't much of an upside to Ron Paul's stand on this issue. At best, Paul is a nuissance who's quotes will frequently pepper Howard Dean and Wesley Clarke's political diatriabes in support of the Democratic Party's anti-Bush Jihad. At worst, Ron Paul convinces more and more of his cohorts to pull the scaffold from under the fledgling Iraqui government and acts as a sarcoma, attacking a new born infant.
14 posted on 09/29/2003 11:08:03 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (redruM's Advice -- NEVER steal the ID of a registered sex offender!)
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To: VRW Conspirator
"a permanent US friendly presence squarely in the middle east"

Like Afghanistan? No, wait, it was Iran. Oops, it was Saudi Arabia. No, sorry, I meant Egypt...
15 posted on 09/29/2003 11:08:14 AM PDT by bc2 (http://www.thinkforyourself.us)
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To: Isolationist
Iraq is sitting on a ton of oil. Let them pay for their own reconstruction with the wealth of their nation. GWB is becoming more of a socialist than Clinton and if this keeps up he loss my vote for 2004.

It's sad to say, but I find very little about this administration that suggests they respect a conservative philosophy. Except for tax cuts, which are meaningless for me unless they are accompanied by cuts in spending, they haven't bothered throwing us conservatives any bones. If this is the new Republican Party then screw 'em, I'm looking elsewhere.

16 posted on 09/29/2003 11:11:50 AM PDT by zacyak
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To: zacyak
"It's kind of sad when one of the only politicians making a case for the conservative cause is a former Libertarian."


BUMP

Want true conservatives? Vote Libertarian.
17 posted on 09/29/2003 11:15:43 AM PDT by bc2 (http://www.thinkforyourself.us)
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To: .cnI redruM
IMHO, total failure (assuming the objective is keeping Iraq in one piece and making it a western country) in Iraq is a near certainty no matter how many lives or how much money we spend. Iraq will, IMHO, eventually split into something like the three parts it was organized into in the Ottoman Empire. This will mean an oil rich south - heavily influenced by Iran, an oil rich north either heavily influenced by Turkey or a source of constant Turkish - Kurdish friction and the Sunni center. Whether, when the dust settles, we'll have been better off leaving Saddam in power is going to be an open question if any of these separate regions become a source of major terrorism and regional instability.

We should turn the whole place over to the UN, assuming they'll take this tarbaby off our hands, and get out now. Even beyond the current cost in lives and funds we've got entirely too much of our army tied down there and unable to defend the US in the event we need them. Finally, everybody in the world recognizes we're tied down in Iraq and has become emboldened. Iran and Syria are more than happy to see us tying up resources and dampening political enthusiasm for a continued presence in the Middle East. From their standpoint, we're in Iraq temporarily. It's easy to see we won't stay there as long as it takes since they know it'll be incredibly costly, take almost forever and real progress (if any) can't be demonstrated in anything less than decades.

In the end, the neocons will find they've bitten off more than we can chew and their attempt at fait accompli diplomacy (any half truth will do as long as we start the war the country will have to finish it) will backfire and result in our removing our ground forces and largely leaving the region.

18 posted on 09/29/2003 11:16:08 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: jmc813
"We will pay for housing, health care, social services, utilities, roads, schools, jails, and food in Iraq, leaving American taxpayers with less money to provide these things for themselves at home. We will saddle future generations with billions in government debt. The question of whether Iraq is worth this much to us is one lawmakers should answer now by refusing to approve another nickel for nation building...."

What this dolt refuses to recognize is that this is a grand experiment in reshaping the culture of the middle east, starting with Iraq.

You bet we can use this money at home, but it may be better served re-building Iraq rather than using it to bury our dead or rebuild lower Manhattan (or Chicago, or LA for that matter)in the future. How much will that cost?

That is a likely outcome if we withdraw and isolate ourselves from WWIII.

Granted this is an experiment, it may fail. Is it worth $87 Billion, it is to me.
19 posted on 09/29/2003 11:16:28 AM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: PigRigger
If you honestly believe national security is resting on the success of building a welfare state in a country 10,000 miles away, I wonder if there is any hope for this country.

Attention Pseudocons: Wilsonianrepublic.com is still available

20 posted on 09/29/2003 11:25:57 AM PDT by JohnGalt (More Todd Beamers, Fewer Ivy Leaguers)
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To: PigRigger
Granted this is an experiment, it may fail. Is it worth $87 Billion, it is to me.

Then you won't mind footing the bill? Open your wallet and use your money for any kind of experiment you care to. Blackbird.

21 posted on 09/29/2003 11:30:55 AM PDT by BlackbirdSST
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To: PigRigger
That assumes, of course, that continuing to maintain a presence in the Middle East and it's religious and ethnic conflicts will reduce the chance of further attacks against the US and weren't the reasons for 9-11 in the first place.
22 posted on 09/29/2003 11:32:57 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: bc2
Want true conservatives? Vote Libertarian.

There are many things that I do like about that party, but unfortunately they seem to have too many goofy flakes associated with them and nobody takes them seriously. They need to grow up and mature if they are serious about making an impact.

23 posted on 09/29/2003 11:34:40 AM PDT by zacyak
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To: JohnGalt
"If you honestly believe national security is resting on the success of building a welfare state in a country 10,000 miles away, I wonder if there is any hope for this country."

If you honestly believe abandoning the rebuilding effort in Iraq, or having it used as political blackmail, furthers our national security I KNOW there is no hope for this country.

The status quo and/or Isolation only delays our inevitable demise.

BTW, rebuilding a nation does not necessarily mean a welfare state. That's short sighted.
24 posted on 09/29/2003 11:35:34 AM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: zacyak
There are many things that I do like about that party, but unfortunately they seem to have too many goofy flakes associated with them and nobody takes them seriously. They need to grow up and mature if they are serious about making an impact.

Damned straight.

25 posted on 09/29/2003 11:36:50 AM PDT by jmc813 (McClintock is the only candidate who supports the entire Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment)
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To: jmc813
I think Bush is playing the old "if you need 10, ask for 20" game. He's done it several times already, with good success.
26 posted on 09/29/2003 11:36:59 AM PDT by cookcounty
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To: jmc813

27 posted on 09/29/2003 11:38:48 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS
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Ron Paul bump!
28 posted on 09/29/2003 11:40:18 AM PDT by Fraulein (TCB)
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To: zacyak
There are plenty of us in the LP working on weeding out the wackos and replacing them with right-thinking folks like yourself.
29 posted on 09/29/2003 11:41:45 AM PDT by bc2 (http://www.thinkforyourself.us)
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To: PigRigger
"The status quo and/or Isolation only delays our inevitable demise."

Is that a direct quote from Woodrow Wilson?

Guess I just believe in old fashioned conservative ideas like a well armed citizenry and a decentralized government as the best defense.
30 posted on 09/29/2003 11:41:54 AM PDT by JohnGalt (Attention Pseudocons: Wilsonianrepublic.com is still available)
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To: PigRigger
please point to the part in the US Constitution that authorizes this sort of expenditure. I've got my copy out but can't seem to find it.

The great part about our Republic is that you are free to donate your share of the $87 billion to a private charity willing to do what is outside of the realm of absolute neccessity to rebuild them and get the hell out.
31 posted on 09/29/2003 11:45:07 AM PDT by bc2 (http://www.thinkforyourself.us)
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To: BlackbirdSST
"Then you won't mind footing the bill? Open your wallet and use your money for any kind of experiment you care to."

I didn't mind paying the 10's of billions to clean-up lower Manhattan, Washinton DC, and our airline industry; did you?. Multiply that at least 10x if we fail in the Middle East.

If we succeed $87 Billion will be seen as worth the price. If we fail, it will probably be a pittance when compared to the cost in lives and property we may have to sacrifice to win.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t agree that all expenditures should be granted without review. I just don’t believe that holding up this amount will serve our country in an way, especially during this critical period.
32 posted on 09/29/2003 11:45:29 AM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: jmc813
The fact is, President Bush is a globalist LBJ. Rebuilding Iraq...while America crumbles? Creating peace and security in Iraq, when our borders are a sieve? Building new infrstructure when ours is decaying? And here's the real travesty.......asking Americans to foot the bill is billions of tax dollars and the blood of our sons and daughters? This man is out of his mind! And anyone who is deluded into thinking that saving Iraq is our purpose, is a fool. Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graves. You folks who think Bush is a Conservative have been fooled. He is the poster child of liberal globalism. I will never vote for him again. Anyone with half a brain would have to agree.
33 posted on 09/29/2003 11:46:37 AM PDT by hove
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: JohnGalt
Isolation hasn't worked in the past, has even less of a chance in the future. Either we attempt to implement a solution (under our own terms) understanding the costs involved or just accept the possible outcome of doing little or nothing.

How many had to die in WWI or WWII before it became crystal clear as to to what we were up against. This is WWIII whether you believe it or not.

Cutting and running from Iraq (or the Middle East for that matter), at this point, serves no purpose and will only make things far worse down the road. IMHO.
35 posted on 09/29/2003 12:00:37 PM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: PigRigger
The basic split between conservatives and Wilsonian liberals:

One group, conservatives, believes '9/11' (or WW1 or WW2) was caused by too much interventionism, the other group believes '9/11' was the result of not enough intervention.

In 2003, both are reasonable points of view only one is conservative and the other is liberal.



36 posted on 09/29/2003 12:03:19 PM PDT by JohnGalt (Attention Pseudocons: Wilsonianrepublic.com is still available)
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To: caltrop
"That assumes, of course, that continuing to maintain a presence in the Middle East and it's religious and ethnic conflicts will reduce the chance of further attacks against the US and weren't the reasons for 9-11 in the first place. "

I agree, but the key here is further reduce. I don't believe we will ever be able to stop them entirely. However, we will be in a better position politically and militarily to deal with them.

I also agree with most of the poster on this thread with regard to our borders. They simply are a danger to our national security. There "openess" is an example of politics trumping national security. They will be shut down only after an attack where they are found to be directly responsible.
37 posted on 09/29/2003 12:08:18 PM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: Isolationist
Iraq is sitting on a ton of oil. Let them pay for their own reconstruction with the wealth of their nation.

Bump.

38 posted on 09/29/2003 12:09:46 PM PDT by 4CJ (Come along chihuahua, I want to hear you say yo quiero taco bell. - Nolu Chan, 28 Jul 2003)
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To: PigRigger
I'm not sure we do agree. I think our presence in the Middle East is a big part of the problem and the reason we were attacked on 9-11. The sooner we get our ground troops out of the Middle East and refuse to be involved in their religious and ethnic conflicts the better. As far as I'm concerned, we should be out of there now.
39 posted on 09/29/2003 12:15:03 PM PDT by caltrop
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To: GoOrdnance

Paul Bremer has stated that the administration does not wish to increase Iraq's debt load, as it current owes hundreds of billions of dollars to France, Russia and other nations.

So we agree that we should cut $87 billion from the numerous unconstituional programs in the Federal budget to pay for Iraq's reconstruction?

40 posted on 09/29/2003 12:18:01 PM PDT by Sparta ("General" Wesley Strangelove "Let me start World War III, vote for me as president.")
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To: JohnGalt
"In 2003, both are reasonable points of view only one is conservative and the other is liberal."

Hmmm, the "L" word. Hmmm....

Only time will tell whose right. I only hope our elected officals keep party politics secondary to the security of the people of this nation. Unfortunately, I really don't have much faith in that. It will probalby take another 9-11 for that to occur.
41 posted on 09/29/2003 12:18:02 PM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: jmc813
1) Some of this crap that's being requested is ridiculous.

2) To pay for it, the amount LOANED to Iraq should be deducted from the final domestic Federal budget.

3) Iraq should pay this loan back ASAP using oil revenue and the booming economy that should result from free market reforms.

42 posted on 09/29/2003 12:20:08 PM PDT by Sparta ("General" Wesley Strangelove "Let me start World War III, vote for me as president.")
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To: caltrop
"refuse to be involved in their religious and ethnic conflicts the better"

Respect your point of view, but I have to ask one question before I get back to work.

What if we, as a nation and culture, are the targets of"their religious and ethnic conflicts"?
43 posted on 09/29/2003 12:21:27 PM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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To: PigRigger
Right? You just said that you will yell 'I told you so' with the next '9/11.' Talk about anti-patriotism.

A conservative must deal with the world as it is, friend.
44 posted on 09/29/2003 12:27:31 PM PDT by JohnGalt (Attention Pseudocons: Wilsonianrepublic.com is still available)
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To: caltrop
The sooner we get our ground troops out of the Middle East and refuse to be involved in their religious and ethnic conflicts the better.

You, Sir, are right on the money

45 posted on 09/29/2003 12:32:54 PM PDT by biffalobull
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To: PigRigger
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t agree that all expenditures should be granted without review.

Then why support the re-building expeditures in Iraq, most, if not all, which have been no bid contracts with political favoritism involved?

46 posted on 09/29/2003 12:38:02 PM PDT by zacyak
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To: jmc813
With all due respect to Ron Paul, this list seems like perfectly legitimate items to be part of the rebuilding process. I mean, we either help or we don't.
47 posted on 09/29/2003 12:38:13 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee (const tag& constTagPassedByReference)
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To: KayEyeDoubleDee
A big part of his point is that we are using our money to accomplish these things rather than making the Iraqis pay for it themselves.
48 posted on 09/29/2003 12:40:47 PM PDT by jmc813 (McClintock is the only candidate who supports the entire Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment)
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To: jmc813
Robert 'KKK' Byrd had these comments last week in the Senate:

"Last Wednesday, I along with Representatives David Obey and Martin Sabo offered an amendment to the homeland security appropriations conference report that would have provided $125 million to hire 1,300 customs inspectors on America's borders. That amendment was rejected as too expensive. Yet, on the exact same day, the President sent Congress this emergency request for $150 million for 5,350 border inspections personnel including 2,500 customs inspectors – in Iraq."

http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8965
49 posted on 09/29/2003 12:42:47 PM PDT by JohnGalt (Attention Pseudocons: Wilsonianrepublic.com is still available)
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To: JohnGalt
"Right? You just said that you will yell 'I told you so' with the next '9/11.' Talk about anti-patriotism.

Please, this comment is so beneath this discussion.

You can label me a "liberal", feel free to label me with any idiology that suits your agenda. However, out of respect, stop there.

Honestly, I find it difficult to imagine that one would even suppose this on another.
50 posted on 09/29/2003 12:43:46 PM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
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