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.
The government should fund government and that is all. No more grants and handouts to non-government organizations, no more corporate welfare etc.
It needs to stop.
Ron Paul is a nut.
Um, defense spending is one of the few assignments given to the federal government by the US Constitution.
This is exactly whereas Paul is dangerous to this nation. He of course would slice our military spending down to merely protecting the borders. 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.
1 a (1) : a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially : one having an emperor as chief of state (2) : the territory of such a political unit b : something resembling a political empire; especially : an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control.
You make so many good points, Ron. Then you throw crap like that in the middle so that you and your followers can be marginalized as kooks.
You say that like it's a bad thing.
Um....if you think that policing the world has anything to do with the intent of the founders (who had a phobia of large standing armies), you don't know your history very well. BTW, the proper term to describe the status quo is "military spending" not "defense spending."
We have bases in 160 countries. If that isn’t an empire, what is?
So I guess then you like seeing large portions of the world ruled by genocidal anti-American dictators? Whatever floats your boat.
“Ron Paul is a nut.”
Thanks for that cogent contribution to the thread.
Read (and understand) the definition of an empire. Having allies or having bases does not make an empire.
As in ... Somalia? North Korea? China? Where do you draw the line? More importantly, what Presidents and Congressional Leaders do you trust to make those decisions?
I think Rand Paul is going to have a tough time getting elected if he doesn’t support national defense and the war on terror.
After the events of July 16th, 1945 at the White Sands Proving Grounds in the New Mexico desert, ISOLATIONISM IS NOT AN OPTION.
“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.”
Russia imploded because Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher drove them broke by upping the arms race and reviving the economies of the west.
Paul is crazy nuts, every bit as nuts as the senator we all disdain, Sir
Rabadash Rabs. Your worship of him is more than slightly unsettling........
“...policing the world...” is a Leftist phrase created and used to demean and undermine our Constitutional treaties with allies. People who use it expose themselves as the tools they are. That usually means, Libertarians.
The states, once sovereign, are now the territories. Bambi is the emperor. The term empire just might fit.
He’s not talking about within our borders, but outside them.
This is a fairly good pic of him: http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/post?id=2520019%2C136
Ah...I see the Code Pink talking points have appeared on this thread...
The constitution directs the government to provide for the common defense of our country. I didn’t say it provided for policing the world.
Military spending is mandated by the constitution. The quote from Ron Paul makes it sound like he is against military spending.
I don’t like Ron Paul. AFAIK, he is an anti-semite.
You are dangerous to this nation. Every time a breath of fresh air comes along, out scurries you and yours to insist the windows must be closed. 'There are germs in that fresh air, you say, which will poison the air we're used to breathing. You know, this stale insider air.'
If our congress were comprised of men like Paul, we would be a better and freer nation.
From the text of the definition above: "having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority"
He's not, but I am. The federal government's growth in power and size is bankrupting the states and destroying their sovereignty. It is federal imperialism.
But his point is not entirely off the mark. I don't think it has to be all or nothing like most of the posts suggest. We can and should meet our obligations abroad and at home in a fiscally responsible manner.
He is right that if we go broke there will be nothing left for our military to defend.
It is you Paul supporters who want to close the windows and keep the U.S. isolated from the world. I am all for a breath of fresh air and to allow us to use our representation in order to protect our interests throughout the entire world, to promote the cause of freedom, and to put genocidal terrorist dictators in their place when through our representation we decide it warrants it. But you and the Paulites all come running out and scream terms like neo-con and cry that their would be no war if America was present overseas.
If our Congress was comprised of men all like your hero Paul then freedom would be on the decline throughout the world and our National Security would become weakened.
I don't really like it, but I'm disciplined enough to understand the wisdom of George Washington's insistence that, yes, we mind our own business, and refrain from foreign wars, even where the freedom of others is at stake.
*Ponders how to fix quote*
If our congress were comprised of
men crazies like Paul, we would be a better and freer fruitier, and easier nation for Islam and anyone to destroy.
Fixed. Much better.
Not exactly what Washington ever said. I guess in your Paulite world whereas we do not forge any alliances, the help from the French would have never been accepted by the Founders. But it was accepted and that alliance was made thus making our own Revolutionary War partially a foreign entanglement that defies the distorted pronouncements of Paul supporters.
BEWARE THE LEADER WHO BANGS THE DRUMS of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know ? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. — James Madison
There’s no doubt of the proximate cause of their brokeness. The fact remains the Soviet Union was broke and it died from it. Your totally irrational hatred for Dr. Paul makes you blind to what he says. Please, seek help at once.
Nonsense. Isolationism - properly undersood - is precisely the best reponse to a nuclear world.
I am for Fortress America. Get energy independent. Guard our borders (something that internationalists can't seem to get your minds around - they want to "invade the world and invite the world" simulaneously), end Muslim immigration, stockpile nukes, arm our population to the teeth, and then if somebody does mess with us (and not some third country, regardless of how much we might like them) destroy the agressor such that they will never, ever be able to rise again. Leave not a stone upon a stone. Sew their fields with salt. Dash the children against a stone, as it says in the Psalms.
We'd have to do that once maybe every century or so. And the rest of the time we could have peace and trade without bankrupting ourselves on saving a bunch of hapless Arabs from themselves. For the record, I could not possibly care less about Iraq. It's really just off my radar screen.
All of this internationalist crap is for somebody else. It's for some ally, or for some mad cause de jure, like "making the world safe for democracy" or "cleansing the world of evil." It's NOT for us.
And in the life of nations, we are the only ones who count.
In this mean old world of ours, you really do have to have a steely glint in your eye and a curl in the lip. I wish others well, but when push comes to shove, we really must be prepared to leave them to their fate.
Ron Paul is my President.
Why would you say that? Of course we accept the help if it's good for us. If it stops being good for us, we stop it. And we throw France under the bus when it suits us. Are you suggesting that the French acted in helping us out of some love of liberty? It was in their interests to do so at the time, and they'd throw us under the bus when it was no longer in their interests. Same for the Brits. Same of the Canadians. It's the life of nations.
Stop being so naive.
Nice it says Beware. That is fine with me but it says nothing about not protecting the nation. You are simply mis-using the quote in the case of Pauls views. For while there is of course danger in going to or in easily accepting war there is 100 times the danger in downplaying National Security in a world with nuclear weapons and biological and chemical weapons whereas the majority of the world is run by socialist fascist dictators who want to destroy America. Paul would simply allow them to build up all around us and watch as they committed genocide against our allies.
It is you who are being naive. Saddam Hussein was a serious threat to this nation and was a openly sworn enemy of ours but Paul and his supporters prove themselves way to stupid to know how to protect this nation. By Paul’s own distorted vision he would not have accepted the help of the France.
I’ve heard said that the purpose of a federal government is to provide for the nation’s defense. Ron Paul and his surrender monkeys can still KMA.
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
I think instead of needing to worry about a military-industrial complex we need much more to worry about all of industry being tied to government as we are seeing today. Virtually two-thirds of the world live under some sort of tyranny right now. I do not see how we need to withdraw more from the world in regards to military might.
I don't disagree with any of that, especially the 'invite the world' part.
But I think it's foolishly naive to believe that we can just stand idly by while a nation with a loon dictator who has an apocalyptic death wish and has repeatly threatened to annihilate not only our ally Israel, but the USA as well obtains the ultimate weapon. It is our duty to us and to our posterity to do everything in our power to prevent that from happening, up to and including a full-scale land invasion and occupation of Iran. Or simply bomb them back to the Stone Age.
Unfortunately, with this bunch in DC now, the Iranians will get the bomb. And one way or another, we'll pay the price for our inaction.
"Ron Paul is a nut."
So is Congress not going for another supplemental appropriations bill, HospiceNurse? Is government spending "under control" and Ron Paul is wrong about our overspending? Are our military and foreign aid packages not worth $1 Trillion a year?
This is always the problem with any post to FR that includes the name "Ron Paul", because the detractors are unwilling to deal with the facts of the issues. Instead, they take turns skeet-shooting the messenger rather than dealing with the message.
The fact is that Congress is spending us into bankruptcy and we can't afford the same kind of spending behavior that bankrupted and eventually destroyed the Soviet Union.
Perhaps Ron Paul is a little too much of a purist on only acting militarily when it is purely in defense of the US, perhaps not. That does not mean that he is all wrong when it comes to us looking at what we can afford in terms of foreign commitments and military spending. Maybe we need to look at taking care of ourselves and our own country's needs instead of stretching ourselves so thin patrolling the world for conflicts -- and our politicians need to worry about taking care of America, instead of being focused on championing the world.
There, that wasn't so hard, was it?
we go after little countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, little East European countries who most in this country never heard of.
China, Russia, North Korea are exempt from this "benevolent" policy? What are we,? The Big Bullies on the block? The war on terror is an excuse. If it were not, US Presidents would stop kissing(Bush)and bowing(Obama)to the same Saudi Princes that fund Wahhabi's in this country and who finance terrorist Sunni's' and madrassa's worldwide. The worst genocidal dictators are in Africa. Why no interest in stopping the genocide there? No oil?
With so much target rich fun to be made, why would I reduce to hatred?
Btw, it's a liberal idea that the Soviets imploded by themselves without Reagan, and that should give you pause.......
But it won't.
You must mean North Korea right? Why did Bush allow crazy Kim to build nuclear bombs?
I KNOW who was responsible for driving the old Soviets broke. I was part of that, still serving all through Reagan’s terms. THIS is about the simple fact that they spent and overspent on military things until they went broke. And the simple fact that we cannot afford to do the same.