Skip to comments.More Blank Checks to the Military Industrial Complex (Ron Paul)
Posted on 05/24/2010 10:02:37 AM PDT by rabscuttle385
Congress, with its insatiable appetite for spending, is set to pass yet another supplemental appropriations bill in the next two weeks. So-called supplemental bills allow Congress to spend beyond even the 13 annual appropriations bills that fund the federal government. These are akin to a family that consistently outspends its budget, and therefore needs to use a credit card to make it through the end of the month.
If the American people want Congress to spend less, putting an end to supplemental appropriations bills would be a start. The 13 regular appropriations bills fund every branch, department, agency, and program of the federal government. Congress should place every dollar in plain view among those 13 bills. Instead, supplemental spending bills serve as a sneaky way for Congress to spend extra money that was not projected in budget forecasts. Once rare, they have become commonplace vehicles for deficit spending.
The latest supplemental bill is touted as an emergency war spending bill, needed to fund our ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. The emergencies never seem to end, however, and Congress passes one military supplemental bill after another as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on.
Many of my colleagues argue that Congress cannot put a price on our sacred national security, and I agree that the strong, unequivocal defense of our country is a top priority. There comes a time, however, when we must take stock of what our blank checks to the military industrial complex accomplish for us, and where the true threats to American citizens lie.
The smokescreen debate over earmarks demonstrates how we have lost perspective when it comes to military spending. Earmarks constitute about $11 billion of the latest budget. This sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the $708 billion spent by the Pentagon this year to expand our worldwide military presence. The total expenditures to maintain our world empire is approximately $1 trillion annually, which is roughly what the entire federal budget was in 1990!
We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and far more than we spent during the Cold War. These expenditures in many cases foment resentment that does not make us safer, but instead makes us a target. We referee and arm conflicts the world over, and have troops in some 140 countries with over 700 military bases.
With this enormous amount of money and energy spent on efforts that have nothing to do with the security of the United States, when the time comes to defend American soil, we will be too involved in other adventures to do so.
There is nothing conservative about spending money we dont have simply because that spending is for defense. No enemy can harm us in the way we are harming ourselves, namely bankrupting the nation and destroying our own currency. The former Soviet Union did not implode because it was attacked; it imploded because it was broke. We cannot improve our economy if we refuse to examine all major outlays, including so-called defense spending.
Earmarks? You mean those are spending? Why, of course he needs those to keep him in with his consituents while he claims spending superiority. Sorry, you guys lose with your hypocritical messiah once again: http://jontillman.com/2007/06/29/ron-paul-loves-budget-pork/
Here we go again. Earmarks don’t increase overall spending by one cent. Again, I prefer an objective source like the National Taxpayers Union which puts Paul at the head of hte pack.
We don’t exercise sovereignty? Karzai couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heal. We run that place (along with the Taliban) lock, stock, and barrel. Why is my definition of base strange?
I’ve been to Afghanistan. You haven’t - obviously. You do NOT know how things are run there, not at all. The Afghans DO run things their way, and we go along with what THEY want. That is the reality. Period.
Afghanistan is sovereign. The US is there to assist. We do not run the country.
And a base isn’t a military attache at an Embassy.
Karzai doesn’t agree with you that he is in charge of this war:
Paul runs against profligate spending, yet spends profligately through earmarks.
Are you really this dense to not understand the hypocrisy of saying: well.....because it's going to be spent, I may as well say how it's spent because I talk about not spending?
Great example Mr. paul bot........
But to be expected from someone who has bought into the Paul religion.
You misunderstand how earmarks work. They do not increase spending. That question is decided by the final vote on the House Floor.
Expecting a devotee to understand that might be hard, but good grief, you are really easy to fool, your so called messiah must be laughing all the way to the bank.
Karzai speaks for Afghan consumption, not US. He doesn’t care about US opinion, but what the Afghans think.
Being a typical lying politician, he is happy to have the US military take the blame for anything bad, although the Afghan Army will kill innocent civilians without blinking an eye...
Oh...vey, please prove that an earmark increases overall spending by a single cent. The money would still be spent if all earmarks were abolished, though perhaps on other things.
But then you've got a guy like Chuck Devore who has been there, who has a long history with Afghanistan, and who also says that our current tact isn't going to work from a strategic standpoint. Afghanistan's Constitution is inherently flawed for the make up of that country, its government is weak and corrupt and Afghanistan's only income is from foreign aid and opium.
So what does that ultimately mean?
It means that at the end of the day we will ultimately have two choices -- either find a way to make it unprofitable for the Afghan Taliban to do business with al Qaeda (which if we had a solution to that, we would have used it years ago),--- OR we have to "nation-build" (rewrite Afghanistan's Constitution, put our own choice of people in there to run the government, create industry and infrastructure that replaces opium as Afghanistan's sole income-producer, and ramp up foreign aid to much higher levels).
It's doubtful that we have options for Alternative 1, so we will likely have to go for Alternative 2, Nation-Building. There goes "Afghan sovereignty" out the window.
Please don't mistake what I am saying. We had every right to retaliate militarily against Afghanistan for having harbored the al Qaeda who attacked us. Even Ron Paul voted for the authorization of the use of force in Afghanistan. And our military troops have served us nobly.
However, our politicians should have decided what the plan was for finishing it before we ever started and Congress should have formally declared war so that there was no obligation for us beyond stopping what we wished to stop there. All questions of a declared enemy's "sovereignty" go out the window with a formal declaration of war -- and that's fine -- that's what a war is.
Instead because we chosen the tightrope-walking tact we have, ultimately we are going to get forced into nation-building Afghanistan --- while our own national infrastructure is crumbling, we are going to have to spend money that we don't have to prop up a country thousands of miles away --- while our own country's ability to shoulder the massive debt we already have is being sorely tested.
IMHO, the best way to really "Support the Troops" is to only send them where they have something worth fighting for and something possible to accomplish. And no military -- no matter how good they are -- has "magic fairy dust" in their arsenal that can turn cave-dwelling Pashtun Tribal Leaders into peaceful, flag-waiving lovers of democracy -- that's an impossible mission for soldiers.
Yep, spending is so bad, so bad that since it's going to be spent, he might as well be the one to spend it.
I love how your minds work (or not)...........
WE will NOT rewrite the Afghan Constitution. Anyone expecting that is clueless about hos things work there or how we operate.
That’s my point. We AREN’T in charge of Afghanistan. Nor are we trying to be in charge. We are NOT an Empire!
Don't sound so shocked, rewriting the Constitution is what we did in Iraq. Ironically, Iraq's previous Constitution was for a secular government and the new Constitution adopted in 2005 is Islamic.
From what I've read about Afghanistan -- reinforced by what Chuck Devore said -- Afghanistan is a failed state. It was a failed state before we ever got there, which is why al Qaeda was able to set up shop so easily. It has no income other opium and foreign aid.
So what does "winning" even look like to you in a place like Afghanistan? I'm not arguing, I am asking.
You ask a good question, and I wish I knew the answer!
What I WANT to say is pull out except for training groups and let what happens happen. Remind folks that if the Taliban takes over, we’ll be back - from the air.
Unfortunately, we made too many commitments for supporting the government - which was written Islamic in spite of our wishes, not because: not an Empire! I think Rumsfeld was right - get in, and get out...but what would one do in Iraq with that? And the fact is we DIDN’T do it in Afghanistan, although we should have.
It is kind of like Social Security and Medicare. No one in their right mind would make those commitments, but I’m not sure how to get out of them.
Just thought I’d throw another link for you to think about, if you possibly can (think) that is.......:-)......here it be: http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2010/05/26/boehner-strikes-gop-earmarks/
Apparently your critical thinking skills are about as good as your manners -- which is to say, non-existent.
I know all about the big "earmark boycott" -- a way to screw taxpayers while making it looking like "Congress is really cutting spending" -- it's Congressional kabuki theater, complete nonsense intended to appeal to the uninformed.
Earmarks are the less than 2% of the Federal Budget that can be designated by Members of Congress to return to their Districts as specialized projects. If that Earmark money is not used, it does NOT reduce the Federal Budget. The money simply goes back to the General Fund to be used by the (Obama) Administration at their discretion.
So Ron Paul won't play his part in this Republican Congressional sideshow. Getting his constituents taxpayers' money back into their pockets, is more important to him than playing to the crowds while ultimately acting like Obama's useful idiots. Good for him! We need more politicians who will be loyal to us than loyal to MSM sound-bites. Makes me wish that I lived in Texas!
Says it all.......oh, and he forgot the......./sarcasm
Thank you for you honest answer, Mr. Rogers.
And I think that was ultimately my point --that we should know, before ever going in what "winning" looks like to us and specifically what we are trying to accomplish. That's important to the people fighting the war as well as the American people giving their children and their money to make it happen. Is this something we as a country want to commit to? Instead, all to often we go in, the military doing their job and secures tactical objectives, but then we are stuck there and no one knows why we are stuck there other than we don't want to lose. We don't want what we have sacrificed and accomplished to be lost, even if we don't know what the strategic objective is.
Frankly, I don't even know what a modern day "empire" would look like, with so many global economic and financial interrelationships of governments and corporations that transcend borders and even national sovereignty. Even the subject of who "we" are -- "We", the US military? We, the NATO member? We, the UN sponsor and member? We, the politicians? Or, the totally ignored "We the People" -- in the sentence "We are not an empire". I think that the American people are NOT an empire, nor is the US military who is sworn to uphold the Constitution. But if you hear our US State Department talk to other countries, they certainly sound like agents of an Empire, as do many members of Congress speaking about "global initiatives" and dividing up the world, as our own country suffers.
I am not sure if you ever watch the fictional TV show 24, but early this season there was an episode where a (female) US president had to make a decision whether to go ahead with a foreign military operation knowing that it would automatically cost the lives of several hundred American civilians on our soil. I was sitting there thinking, "Where's the question mark? You are elected by and sworn to protect the interests of America and the American people, not to save the world!" Ultimately, the president character -- after some hand-wringing and noble speeches (that were a crock) about saving America's credibility in the world decided to sacrifice the American civilians in order to meet her global political objectives. (The good news is that the president character eventually gets take down by her own political hubris, but not until she gets many more civilians killed.)
But I am very sure that more than a few real-life politicians on Capitol Hill think exactly as this fictional president does, and frankly, that scares the hell out of me.
So convenient when you let others do the critical thinking for you -- I'm sure they feel lucky to have you as a loyal reader.
Ok the paul fam has had their 15 minutes. Go away.
I understand what you're saying now.
My thoughts and words were all my own --unlike you expecting "a cracker" from the audience for a cut and paste job, parroting someone else's opinion of an issue.
Other than that, you might be okay.
So easy for you to hurl insults and ad hominem attacks rather than to actually deal with the issues using reason and logic.
Tell me, what happens to the money set aside for earmarks if no earmarks are designated by Congress? Where does that money go and who gets control of it?
Exercise your brain once in a while, instead of just your keyboard.
Yep, spend it because it's going to be spent, and then talk about how you're against spending.
The typical Paul response as well as his worshippers.
Congrats, you've got the lingo down pat.....
No, I asked you two questions that you didn't answer.
You are a Palinista, right? That's why politics are so personal for you --the issue doesn't matter, but the politician does. Because "Sarah represents all that is good and holy in the world" (even if she does say so herself), and that's all you know -- or need to know. You assume everyone is "a follower" and "a worshiper" of some politician because you are.
We are at opposite ends of the spectrum on this. I could care less the "who" of it, I am only concerned with the "what (substance)" of it. If Barrack Obama -- or even you -- said something that made me think, I'd give credit where credit is due (however unlikely such a possible scenario might be). Ron Paul says a lot that I agree with and some things I don't -- but those positions where there is agreement were generally formed in my mind long before I ever even heard the name "Ron Paul". I've been following politics since I was 14 years old, so I am not prone to being a "follower or worshiper" of any politician -- as individuals, they all too often disappoint.
But I do find it totally amusing that you see some geeky, mild-mannered Congressman from Nowhere, Texas to be such an incredible threat, that you think anyone who agrees with Ron Paul on anything must be attacked. Just what is it about Ron Paul that you are so afraid of? Being forced to think? Or that the message might be bigger than the man?
Paul, by himself is relatively harmless, it's people like you who defend the indefensible that worry me.
It's like you're in some kind of cult.
Projection is blurring your judgment.
“Paul would pay no attention to Iran pursuing nuclear bombs, he would let them have them. No more protection for American interests abroad. No more helping deter genocide in the world. No more helping expand the cause of freedom.”
You mean like we have right now as a result of the “conservative” Republican Party?
We don’t have an Empire, but we are paying for one.
Does that make it better, or worse than having an Empire?
Then you can start saying 9/11 was our fault.
That'll really do it for ya.
I don’t even agree with you entirely, but that was well said.
Wow, now there's a question!
That's like, you don't have an expensive hotel room full of booze, drugs and hookers, but you are paying for one. Does that make it better or worse?
Template for Debating a Libertarian
“That’s entirely false.”
“You only say that because you are “ (insert phrase here) “.”
A. If you are a Progressive, insert “a racist”
B. If you are a Conservative, insert “a loony”
(Repeat as needed until conversation ends.)
That was my point.
And why dont you show me a quote from any of these conservatives you claim are willing to let Iran acquire nuclear weapons or your accusation against conservative republicans is bogus.
Paul has basically said it is there right and that he would let them have them.
If Iran had a nuclear weapon, why would this be different from Pakistan, India, and North Korea having one? Why does Iran have less right to a defensive weapon than these other countries? Ron Paul - April 7, 2006
The problem we have now is that we have radicals such as Paul teaming up with the CodePink left-wing radicals in stagnating our efforts to get something done by equating terrorist sponsoring dictatorships with our allies and even the United States itself. This mentality of blame America and of defending the rights of terrorists and/or dictatorships that oppress and murder innocent free peoples is despicable.
So the next logical question is: If we are paying for an Empire and don't have an Empire, whose Empire have we been paying for?
Well, IMHO Paul is a fruitcake.
Logical? I guess there is no chance that we are only simply looking out for own interests abroad and working with our allies towards a common goal of freedom and prosperity worldwide? The use of the word empire by the likes of Paulites or the Code Pink crowd is the usual propaganda against America interests.
If by "our own interests", you mean the interests of the America and the American people, we haven't been looking out for those interests in a very long time -- and that's the point.
Quite sipping on the necon "Save the world" koolaid, and you'd see that.
At least I am not drinking the Code Pink kool-aid that you are. It is giving you hallucinations about neo-con empires and that in no way serves the interests of true Americans or freedom loving people anywhere.
Typical arrogant propagandist BS, "If you don't agree with me, then you are a flake". Most freepers aren't stupid enough to buy into that.
The USA is a Republic, NOT a Democracy -- then why are we running around "Making the world safe for Democracy"? Why aren't we spanning the globe, "Making the world safe for Republicanism"? This is especially important in ethnically based countries (all but a handful in the world). Because in those countries, "Making the world safe for Democracy" means "those ethnic groups with the most babies win" independent of whether or not they can afford those babies.
We aren't spreading "our way of life". We are spreading an alien way of life that is making inroads into the USA and overturning our way of life.
Wake up and smell the coffee!
Well I guess you are stupid enough to cast an insult of “Typical arrogant propagandist BS” and then whine and complain when it gets cast right back at you. What a hypocrite.
And considering that we are a representative republic then as citizens of such we should use our power to correct instances of a bad foreign policy to instead promote our true interests abroad... not spouting the type of propaganda that blames America with a broad brush and also accuses us of being an empire such as you, Code Pink and the Paul crowd buy into.
It is you who need to wake up and stop spouting typical anti-America style propaganda with such arrogance.
"It is you who need to wake up and stop spouting typical anti-America style propaganda with such arrogance."
Yes, I can see how you would regard my statements to be "anti-American"./s
Yea your comments calling America an empire were really pro-American...NOT. Get real.
Me: "If we are paying for an Empire and don't have an Empire, whose Empire have we been paying for? "
You: "Yea your comments calling America an empire were really pro-American...NOT. Get real."
So you were just specualting that America is an empire and then you also went on to say that we were spreading alien values, etc....
But of course it is not you who is the liar. You just insinuate bad things about America.
You are pathetic!