Rand Paul is a total fraud, a RINO, and a leftist libertarian
There appears to be a consensus on the Right that former Congressman Ron Paul (RINO-TX) is a leftist libertarian nut, a fruitcake, and a man totally unfit for public office. That consensus cost him three presidential elections in which he failed to win a single state (thus losing in all 50 states 3 times each): in 1988, 2008, and 2012.
However, many of my fellow right-wingers, including some of my good friends, are for some reason infatuated with his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and are open to voting for him if he runs for President. They have been fooled by him and the pseudoconservative media, and delude themselves, that Rand Paul is more reasonable, saner, and less extremist in his libertarian beliefs than his father.
This is the result of careful media efforts by Rand Paul himself and his staffers. Rand Paul, who apparently wants to be elected President someday, understood early on that to win, he’d need to get the votes of conservatives, and to receive them, he’d have to moderate his image.
But he also understood that he would not have to change the substance of his views and the policies he supports – merely the way he advocates them. In other words, he would have to soften only his style, not the substance. Only the rhetoric, not the policies themselves.
Compared to his loathsome father, he has changed only the style, not the substance.
The only difference is the STYLE, not the SUBSTANCE. His father was a wolf in wolf’s clothing; Rand is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Let’s look at what he has actually done and said.
Rand Paul, the defense weakling
Rand Paul, like his father, supports massive defense cuts. The difference between him and his father is that he pretends to support a strong defense – while supporting deep budgetary cuts.
He claims he’s for a strong defense, but he supports sequestration and possibly even deeper defense cuts. Sequestration, as I have already documented, means cutting $46 bn from the base defense budget in FY2013 alone, and $55 bn in every successive FY through FY2022. It means cutting the base defense budget from $525 bn pre-sequestration to $469 bn in FY2013 post-sequestration (while the OCO/war budget is also being cut significantly) and keeping it down for the remainder of the sequestration decade (if not longer). By FY2022, a decade from now, the defense budget will still be at a low, pathetic $493 bn – $32 bn LOWER than two weeks ago (before sequestration).
And under sequestration, the DOD has NO latitude whatsoever about to where to make the cuts. The House and the Senate originally planned to give the DOD that latitude, but the Senate has now backtracked on that plan.
But Rand Paul doesn’t merely support the sequester. He thinks that not only should the sequester be kept, but that defense spending should be cut even further.
Simoultaneously, Paul has been spreading utterly false garbage propaganda from leftist libertarians (such as Veronique de Rugy and CATO Institute propagandists) claiming that sequestration would be a mere cut in the rate of growth of defense spending and not a real defense spending cut. But, as I have proven above, and many times on my blog, sequestration is not a mere cut in the rate of growth of defense spending; it is a REAL, DEEP, IMMEDIATE, and PERMANENT cut in defense spending.
He has also falsely claimed that defense spending has increased by 137% (when it has actually increased only by 67% since FY2001, has declined since its peak in FY2010, and that includes GWOT spending) and made other false claims about defense spending.
So not only does he support deep defense cuts, in concert with his CATO Institute buddies, he also spreads utterly false propaganda about US defense spending, thus misleading the public. A liar cannot and must not be entrusted with public office.
Rand preaches the Constitution, but doesn’t respect it himself
Rand Paul likes to lecture others about the need to respect the Constitution and says that “the Constitution should be our guide.” But he doesn’t respect it himself. Like all other politicians in Washington, DC, he has his pet issues and is willing to set his principles and the Constitution aside for the sake of these pet issues.
For example, he supports the National Right to Work bill, which, if passed, would overturn all state laws on the subject of employment and unionization (or the lack thereof) and mandate the right to work by federal statute. This would not only violate the 10th Amendment and state laws on the matter, it would also take away a key competitive advantage of conservative states (like Texas, Virginia, and Florida) away from them.
He also supports a federal ban on abortion, again disrespecting the Constitution, which reserves this issue (and millions of other issues) to the states. Don’t get me wrong: I’m firmly pro-life. But I believe in the Constitution first and foremost. And the Constitution reserves all issues not explicitly assigned to the federal government to the states. The federal government has no power to ban abortion, just like it doesn’t have any power to legalize it. The issue is up to the states to decide.
The problem with Roe v. Wade is not so much that it legalized abortion as that it took away the states’ right to settle this issue. The genius of the Constitution is that it reserves virtually all contentious issues (other than questions of war and peace) to state and local governments, thus allowing each state and each city/town to decide how to settle this issue in line with the wishes of their respective citizens. Thus, all states and their citizens can live in peace, because each state can settle an issue in line with what its citizens want, regardless of what other states or the federal government think.
Before Roe, there were 50 different state laws. The US still has 50 different state laws on issues such as marriage, road safety, drivers’ licensing, employment, construction, etc. And that is as it’s supposed to be.
Yet, Rand Paul wants to take away states’ rights to settle issues reserved to them as they see fit. He wants to set the federal government up as a policeman over the states. This is the last thing the Founding Fathers wanted.
Rand Paul and the Balanced Budget Amendment
But even that affront to the Constitution, to states’ rights, and to the people’s right to settle issues as they see fit is dwarfed by Sen. Paul’s (and all other GOP Senators’) endorsement of the Balanced Budget Amendment, which, if ratified (God forbid), would forever end the Constitutional limitations on the federal government.
As my fellow conservative blogger Publius Huldah has documented, the Constitution currently authorizes only a federal government of very limited, strictly enumerated powers. Accordingly, most annual federal spending (75% according to my analysis) is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.
But, as PH also documents, the BBA would transform the federal government into one of general, unlimited powers. It would legalize the current, illegal federal Leviathan forever. It would authorize the feds to spend money on anything they want – as long as their annual spending doesn’t exceed 20% of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
And what is GDP? It’s a computation produced by the Department of Commerce, an agency controlled by the President. In other words, the President would determine the basis on which to assess whether federal spending exceeds the BBA’s limit of 20% of GDP. (Under the BBA, the President would also write the budget, including determining both taxes and spending – powers reserved strictly to the Congress. Goodbye, Congressional power of the purse.)
So the BBA would change the Constitution beyond recognition – from one authorizing a limited government of enumerated powers to one authorizing an unlimited federal Leviathan of unlimited, general powers, and from one reserving the power of the purse (i.e. authority on taxes and spending) STRICTLY to the Congress to one delegating that authority to the President – the figure about whose accumulation of power Sen. Paul pretends to be concerned about. He thinks it’s wrong for the President to kill you with a drone or to detain you indefinitely, but it’s OK to give the President the power to tax you to death and to spend your money as he sees fit.
This is the scam that Sen. Paul supports – as do all other GOP Senators.
“Containing” a nuclear Iran
Sen. Paul also supports a policy of “containment” towards a nuclear Iran and adamantly opposes any notion of a preemptive strike on Iran, any talk about it, and even voted against a resolution merely stating the sense of Congress that a nuclear Iran would be unacceptable, falsely claiming that it was a blank check for war with Iran and an endorsement of the concept of preemptive war.
His claim is utterly false – the Senate was merely disapproving the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran – and voting for it was not an endorsement of war with Iran (preemptive or otherwise), let alone of the concept of preemptive war in general. Moreover, a nuclear-armed Iran, if it were to become a reality, could not be “contained” – it would spark a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East, as other countries in that region – especially in the Gulf, where ballistic missile flight times are measured in single minutes – would race to develop their own nuclear arsenals. CENTCOM commander, Gen. James Mattis, has recently confirmed in a Congressional testimony that at least one Middle Eastern country has indicated to him that it would develop its own nuclear weapons if Iran goes nuclear.
In general, Rand Paul is hopelessly naive: he talks about “containing” Radical Islam, which, being Islam, cannot be contained: its goal is the conquest of the whole world. Islam divides the world into “Dar al-Islam” (“the House of Islam”), where Sharia already reigns supreme, and “Dar al-Harb” (“The House of War”), where Islam does not yet prevail, and commands its followers to wage a holy war (“jihad”) upon the “House of War” until it is subjugated to Islam.
Any person claiming that Radical Islam, or a nuclear-armed Iran, could be “contained” is hopelessly naive, if not worse.
A change in style, not in substance
It is surprising and astonishing how many conservatives Rand Paul has managed to fool. Make no mistake, he professes the SAME libertarian, anti-American, pro-weak-defense views as his father Ron Paul. The only thing that’s changed in comparison is the style, not the substance.
Ron Paul was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rand Paul is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Conservatives must not be fooled by this pseudoconservative imposter. The GOP’s future depends on it.
And in general, conservatives must beware this libertarian tactic of trying to gain conservatives’ trust by agreeing with us on 95% of the issues so that we’ll overlook the other 5%. The 5% that counts most.
I, Zbigniew Mazurak, like everyone else, have some personal flaws. But all of them can be overlooked with just a little good will. But if I were to sell drugs to schoolchildren, that could NOT be overlooked. That would be a friendship breaker.
Similarly, Rand Paul’s and other libertarians’ advocacy of deep defense cuts, isolationism, a federal policeman over the states, and of the Balanced Budget Amendment cannot be overlooked. It MUST be a disqualifier.
No one should be fooled by Rand Paul.
Postscript: Libertarians, of course, wish for Rand Paul to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and the White House, a goal that his father never even came close to accomplishing. But while Rand Paul may win the nomination, he will certainly fail to win the White House. There is NO Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 (or 2020). (Although part of me would like to see Rand Paul be nominated and then crushed by Hillary so that he and his libertarian fans would at least be taught a lesson.)
Think you’re right on target with this evaluation. Rand, like his father, has not denied any of his Libertarian thinking. His registration as a Democrat is due to the inability of them to establish the Libertarians as a 3rd party even after all these years. I watched his father grow more eccentric as the years go. Ron Pauls son-in-law managed his campaign funds for a a hefty salary (million + )even after a chance wasn’t in view & this is why he ‘unofficially’ continued to go through the motion or concede. The fact that Rand did NOT endorse his own father was cause for me to think he’s looking at ’16. His appeal is widespread, let’s cross our fingers voters look very very close before getting excited about this man. He has an adgenda & I suspect it has little to do with ‘what’s best for the country first”…
On Senate.gov. Rand Paul is listed as a Republican not a Democrat. Get it right please. There are lots of sheeple out there that will believe anything they read without following it up on their own.
OOPS! My major bad! The old gray matter isn’t what it used to be. While writing I was trying to remember when it was that RON courted the Democrates here in Tex. So I goofed. Thanks for correction, although the article was quite explicit & anyone reading it , or watching news ,should have no doubt as to his affiliation…..
if this author would like to see hilary clinton win over rand paul, his credibility is completely shot. that inconceivable statement alone shows the author’s liberal bias.
I’m a staunch conservative, and far more conservative than you or that total fraud Rand Paul will ever be. Normally, I wouldn’t want to see a Republican defeated by a Democrat. But Rand Paul is a libertarian RINO and an internal libertarian saboteur. I would not shed a single tear for him. And part of me would like to see Rand Paul crushed by Hillary so that he and his libertarian supporters would be finally humiliated and put in their place – in the dustbin of history.
“I’m a staunch conservative”
Says the guy who voted for the most liberal, unconstitutional Republican presidential nominee in history (Romney), who says Republicans should “soften” their stance against same-sex “marriage” and pre-natal baby murdering, and who believes Republicans need to stop being so “extremist” in their immigration views and just get on board the amnesty bandwagon with the Democrats.
You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take the unprincipled and hypocritical criticisms from “conservatives” such as Zbigniew Mazurak all that seriously.
Firstly, I am ADAMANTLY opposed to amnesty, as I have said on several occassions, most recently in my Saturday article on the subject, where I explain why amnesty is a dumb idea and why everyone should call their Congressmen and Senators and warn them against passing amnesty.
As for gay marriage and abortion – yes, Republicans and conservatives will need to soften their stance on these social issues (or, at minimum, return those issues to the states to decide) if they want to be REALLY credible when they preach about limited government and liberty. Limited government and liberty are totally incompatible with a Big Government regulating what people can do with their bodies.
As even Rand Paul himself has admitted, “The Facebook generation can smile hypocrisy from a mile away”, and Republicans need to be consistent on liberty – in BOTH its economic AND its personal aspect.
Dictating to people what they can or cannot do with their bodies is every bit as Big Government a policy as taxing “the rich”.
As the cliche goes, the Democrats want to legislate the economy, while Republicans want to legislate morality. In other words, BOTH want to run our lives – they just differ in HOW they would run our lives.
Most Americans don’t want their president to be their preacher or their morality judge anymore than they want him to be their healthcare provider. Most Americans don’t want to be governed from the left, the right, or the center. They just want to be left alone.
And if social conservatives were REALLY concerned about the institution of marriage, they would ignore the irrelevant side issue of “gay marriage” that the Left has thrown their way, and tackle the REAL threats to marriage: divorce (the US has by far the highest divorce rate in the world) and cuckolding.
But noooo, so-cons prefer to instead tackle irrelevant side issues. I didn’t hear a peep of protest from them in 2010, when NY became the final state to legalize no-fault divorce. BTW, you know who was the first state governor to sign no-fault divorce into law? Ronald Reagan, in 1969.
Your pragmatic attitude is one of the reasons why “conservatism” has been a losing cause for decades. Moving to the left for the sake of “credibility” is a recipe for disaster.
This country has been on a steady leftward shift for generations. And what has “conservatism” done to stop it? Nothing. And why? Because conservatism ultimately shares the same godless premises as its liberal counterpart. In their never-ending quest to remain relevant in liberal society, what’s “liberal” today is “conservative” tomorrow; what conservatives defend one day they denounce as far-right extremism the next.
As R.L. Dabney said of the conservatism of his day:
“[Its history] has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward to perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It tends to risk nothing serious for the sake of truth.”
And so, not unpredictably, you call for the “softening” of our position against sodomy and baby murder. Not unpredictably you say we ought to give up what we held so dear yesterday for the hope of political expedience tomorrow. Same old, same old. Indeed, the only thing about secular conservatism that seems to hold consistent is its willingness in the end to surrender itself to a hostile culture time and time again.
Mazurak: “Republicans need to be consistent on liberty – in BOTH its economic AND its personal aspect.”
But what do you mean by “liberty”? Liberty, properly understood, is restrained by law and morality. It does NOT mean freedom to do anything you want, as is the popular definition these days. Do not confuse liberty with libertine–they are not the same thing. Freedom from God’s law is not freedom at all but slavery.
The overwhelmingly reformed Protestant people of early America certainly understood this, which is why from state to state we had laws against sodomy, adultery, prostitution and no-fault divorce. The Founding Fathers themselves knew perfectly well that apart from a moral (see: Christian) people, our Constitution could not stand.
Do not be fooled. Limited government is impossible so long as society rejects Christian law and morality. That doesn’t mean everything ought to be legislated at the federal level, in defiance of constitutional jurisdiction. But neither should it be thought of as mere options left to the tastes of the individual states, as if it doesn’t matter that much or as if liberty can be achieved without it. Wherever these limits can be constitutionally expressed they ought to be exercised, if liberty is ever to be rediscovered and retained.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” – Psalm 9:17
Mazurak: “Dictating to people what they can or cannot do with their bodies is every bit as Big Government a policy as taxing “the rich”.”
And now who sounds like a leftist libertarian nut? Pray tell, what kind of “conservatism” is found in a philosophy of “do what thou wilt”? Is this the conservatism of Burke? Of Kirk? Even of Buckley’s National Review during its early days? Hardly. Once again we see the rootlessness of conservatism and how today’s conservatism has little to nothing in common with the thinkers who gave rise to it.
Mazurak: “As the cliche goes, the Democrats want to legislate the economy, while Republicans want to legislate morality. In other words, BOTH want to run our lives – they just differ in HOW they would run our lives.”
This is thoughtless and philosophically lazy. The legislation of morality is an inescapable component of law. Every law is the expression of some kind of moral code. The only question is what moral code are we going to adhere to, Christian morality or humanist morality? You appear to have chosen arbitrary humanist morality. The least you could do is be honest about it.
Mazurak: “Most Americans don’t want their president to be their preacher or their morality judge anymore than they want him to be their healthcare provider. Most Americans don’t want to be governed from the left, the right, or the center. They just want to be left alone.”
This is absurd. Most Americans assuredly do NOT just want to be left alone. The vast majority of Americans, including those on both the left and the right, favor some degree of socialism. Even 70% of Tea Party supporters oppose cuts to Medicare (AKA socialized medicine for old people), according to a poll a couple of years ago. Americans no longer know the first thing about what it means to be truly free. And even if they did, they wouldn’t want it. They’d rather have the false security afforded to them by a nanny state government.
Mazurak: “And if social conservatives were REALLY concerned about the institution of marriage, they would ignore the irrelevant side issue of “gay marriage” that the Left has thrown their way, and tackle the REAL threats to marriage: divorce (the US has by far the highest divorce rate in the world) and cuckolding.”
Divorce is certainly a concern of mine. But why does it have to be an either/or proposition? Can we not be concerned about both? What is with pragmatists and their infatuation with false dichotomies. Perhaps your mind can only focus on one thing at a time, but don’t assume the rest of us share the same disability.
Mazurak: “But noooo, so-cons prefer to instead tackle irrelevant side issues. I didn’t hear a peep of protest from them in 2010, when NY became the final state to legalize no-fault divorce.”
As I explain above, there is nothing irrelevant about any of this; it’s all of paramount importance. But good luck trying to build a limited government framework on the ash heap of rootless humanistic philosophy. It won’t work.
Mazurak: “BTW, you know who was the first state governor to sign no-fault divorce into law? Ronald Reagan, in 1969.”
Yes. Which is why I don’t worship the man like many conservatives do.
By the way, I just read your amnesty that referenced and thought it was very good, particularly the section titled “The problem is all immigration – not just illegal immigration.” Most conservatives don’t want to get even close to criticizing legal immigration, despite the fact that it has proved to be just as damaging if not (I would argue) much more so than illegal immigration. So kudos to you there.
However, I don’t understand why your tone there was so much different than in your post from February 25th on why Romney lost the election. They seem to contradict each other. For instance, in your Romney article, you say that Republicans should pander to Hispanics by parting ways with their “extremist stance on immigration” which Hispanics find “offensive.” You even imply at one point that Republicans should adopt a pro-amnesty position because both Hispanics and the majority of Americans (supposedly) support it.
Yet in your anti-amnesty article, you make the case (with which I agree) that Hispanics are natural liberals with an attachment to government welfare that puts them fundamentally at odds with the small government Republican platform. You also take the very “extremist” position that legal immigration must be “severely restricted.” It’s as if the two articles were written by different people!
Now, I happen to agree with you on restricting legal immigration. But that puts both of us on the outside of acceptable mainstream opinion. Indeed, your position on immigration is more “extreme” than the views of many Republicans, who in your Romney article you said need to stop being so extreme in their views on immigration if they ever hope to win over Hispanics.
I wish Rand Paul was more of a purist like Ron Paul, but I’m afraid he is not. You could maybe call him a Husky in sheep’s clothing, but not a wolf. Since everyone here seems to agree with you, I’m going to offer an opposing point of view.
How can you tout the constitution and states rights, but then put down isolationism, an idea that is constitutionally supported? You are saying we should respect the sovereignty of the states, but not the sovereignty of other countries? We should occupy territory not of the United States without the constitutionally mandated congressional declaration of war?
As for your defense spending comments, there is no need to be spending as much money as we do on defense, especially when we borrow it or devalue our currency by borrowing from the FED. More money then just the sequester should be taken from defense and the entitlement programs. National defense is the only constitutionally authorized expenditure of the three, but regardless it should be severely restricted to keep us from being so heavily taxed.
With the federal ban on abortion, that is just a supplement to the 14th amendment and the Declaration of Independence, as in the “life” portion. Anything that takes steps to further its existence is alive and anything doing that because of a human sperm and human egg is a human that is alive. A federal ban on abortion is no different than a federal ban on murder or any other injustice against life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Are you against federal prohibition of murder?
I don’t think the balanced budget amendment usurps states rights and the 10th amendment, although I understand why you might based on your explanation. Although your heart is in the right place, I believe that amendment would be a stepping stone to honoring the 10th amendment. We are so out of whack with our financial issues, baby steps are needed to get back to constitutional sanity.
Rand is definitely right about Iran, we can’t police the world and we can’t subdue sovereign nations based on potential outcomes. This is the same mindset that the liberals use when trying to restrict or remove the 2nd amendment. They want to control and restrict it because something could happen, all under the guise of safety. Can you not see the parallel? To truly be conservative and believe in conservative principles such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, you have to believe those are applicable to everyone, including other nations. As long as those other nations do not affect my life, liberty or pursuit of happiness, I cannot in good conscience want to restrict them, without being a hypocrite and therefore be as bad as the liberals that want to restrict/remove my 2nd amendment while having armed security.
I’m on the other side of the fence, I don’t think Rand Paul is libertarian enough.
B, you are dead wrong on all counts, and you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. And it is immoral to pontificate about issues of which one is ignorant.
Ad. 1. The US is NOT overspending on defense; if anything, it is not spending enough. Already the levels authorized by the Budget Control Act pre-sequestration (i.e. pre-March 1st) were inadequate and forced the cancellation of several badly needed programs, such as JSTARS replacement and a long-range A2A missile, as well as deep cuts in the Navy. But the levels authorized by sequestration (which must be implemented by March 27th) are WOEFULLY INADEQUATE: a paltry $469 bn this FY and a paltry $493 bn in FY2022, a decade from now. This is not enough to protect even the US itself – not even close. It will result in deep cuts in end-strength, the force structure, training, operations, maintenance, and the development and acquisition of badly needed new equipment, which ALL services need, because the military is, by and large, using old, obsolete, worn-out, unsurvivable equipment dating back to the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. This would be the case even if sequestration were not the meat-axe, salami-slicing mechanism that it is. It is a blatant dereliction of the Constitutional duty to provide for a strong defense. I’ve written about this subject in great detail in many articles on my website (https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com), as well as here on CDN, so I will not delve into the details in this comment for the sake of brevity.
Cutting defense spending beyond sequestration would totally gut the US military and open the US to aggression. Again, that would be a blatant dereliction of the Constitutional duty to provide for a strong defense.
DUTY, because under the Constitution – contrary to your understatement – defense spending is not merely “authorized”, it is REQUIRED. The Federal Government is REQUIRED by the Constitution (as I will prove in my next article) to provide for a strong defense to protect America and its allies (if such obligations have been taken up by treaty – as they have been). Defense spending is not “optional”, it’s REQUIRED.
This also demolishes your blatant lie that generous defense spending is somehow a violation of the Constitution’s limits on the federal government.
Ad. 2. Your claim that the Constitution requires, mandates, or even suggests an isolationist foreign policy in any way is also a blatant lie. The Constitution says nothing of the sort. By making such claim, you are committing the very same sin as the liberals you claim to despite – pretending to find hocus-pocus things that are not in the Constitution and inventing constitutional law out of thin air. The Constitution does not require nor prohibit type of foreign policy. All it says (in summary) on foreign policy is that 1) wars have to be declared by Congress; 2) treaties can be ratified only w/Senate consent; 3) appointments to high FP posts can be made only w/Senate confirmation; and 4) appropriations for the military and other FP purposes (or for any purposes at all) can be made only by Congress, and only Congress can make rules for FP (e.g. captures on land and water, regulations for the military, regulations for foreign trade, etc.).
Ad. 3. The US is not heavily taxed. In fact, as the CIA World Factbook shows, the US has one of the LOWEST tax burdens in the world, at just ca. 19% of GDP. Go to Europe and THEN you will encounter heavy taxation – on income as well as payrolls, gasoline, and sales.
Defense is NOT to blame for America’s fiscal woes. Unconstitutional spending (predominantly on entitlements) is to blame. Entitlements already consume, according to various estimates, from 56% to 63% of ALL federal spending – and if nothing is done to rein them in, they will consume 100% by no later than mid-century. Yet, even the vast majority of tea partiers say “Cut the government, but don’t even THINK about touching my SS, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits!”
If you eliminated ALL defense spending immediately, you will STILL have a huge ($600 bn) annual federal budget deficit for perpetuity (actually, going forward, it would be increasingly larger than $600 bn per annum, given that entitlement spending is growing on autopilot).
Cutting defense spending would not even HALVE the federal budget deficit. All it would do would be to gut the military.
Ad. 4. Your claim that the US is “occupying” foreign countries and violating their peoples’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not only a blatant lie, it borders on treason. The US is not occupying any country. It is DEFENDING foreign countries, as well as its vital interests and its citizens abroad, from aggression by common enemies. Everywhere where brave American troops are present, they are there at the host country’s request, present there to defend that country (as well as US interests and US citizens abroad). Usually, they’re there by treaty agreement, as is the case with Europe (the North Atlantic Treaty) and in Asia and Oceania (where the US has bilateral treaties with the countries there, as well as the trilateral ANZUS treaty with Australia and NZ). In Afghanistan, US (and other NATO) troops are there to help the Afghan government stabilize the country, train its security force, and prepare to take over responsibility for Afghanistan by 2014, when US troops will leave. As with other countries, the US has a bilateral agreement with Afghanistan.
To paraphrase Zell Miller, “Nothing makes this defense analyst madder than someone calling American troops occupiers than liberators.” Everytime you accuse the US of occupying foreign countries, you are calling brave American troops occupiers and spitting in their faces. And I will not tolerate that.
Ad. 5. No, a federal ban on abortion would not be “a supplement to the 14th Amendment and the Declaration of Independence”. It would be utterly unconstitutional. The Constitution, incl. the 14th Amendment, is silent on abortion, which means the issue is reserved EXCLUSIVELY to the states and the people thereof. Congress has NO authority to legislate on the matter. The 14th Amendment’s prohibition on the states to “deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property, but in the due process of law” has NOTHING to do with abortion. It uses old legal language dating back to Magna Charta. As in the Magna Charta, it means that no person may be arbitrarily executed, imprisoned, or deprived of material property other than as a result of conviction in a trial. The 14th Amendment was enacted because Southern states were arbitrarily executing or imprisoning blacks and depriving them of what little property they had. To end this, the 14th Amendment was enacted.
Abortion is NOT mentioned in the 14th Amendment or anywhere else in the Constitution, which means the issue is relegated to the states, and this was properly and universally understood until Roe v. Wade (which took away states’ rights to settle this issue). Your beloved Ron Paul (Rand’s father) also understands this well and has said, “I cannot agree that the 14th amendment plays a role here”.
Abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, divorce, etc. are just a few among the myriad of issues reserved to the states. The Congress has NO prerogative to legislate on them. And contrary to your claim, it has no power to ban murder, either – that is also reserved exclusively to the states. If you murder someone in any of the 50 states, you will be tried under that state’s penal code, NOT the US [federal] Code.
You CANNOT credibly claim to be a limited government Constitutional conservative and in the next breath demand a federal ban on an issue reserved to the states. It only reveals your hypocrisy.
Ad. 6. You clearly haven’t read, or do not understand, the BBA. If passed, this monstrous amendment will end limited government (and any hopes of restoring it) forever. Currently, the Constitution allows Congress to spend money only on a very limited range of objects (defense being chief of them); but if the BBA is ratified, it will authorize Congress to spend money on ANYTHING it wants to, as long as its total spending doesn’t exceed 20% of America’s GDP (and even that limitation can be waived anytime).
And what is GDP? It’s a computation of the Department of Commerce, an agency controlled by the President. In other words, the President (read: Obama) will set the number which will limit federal spending. Just wait until you give that tool to Obama.
Moreover, the BBA will transfer the power of the purse from the Congress to the President: he will write the budget, designate taxes, and decide spending levels. Congress will become a powerless rubber stamp.
Ad. 7. The people of Iran have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (and the US is not denying, or even threatening to deny, it to any of them) – but neither they nor their regime have any right to deny those same rights to other nations (such as the Israelis, whom Iranian leaders have repeatedly, including earlier this year, threatened to wipe out, and the peoples of the Gulf countries, who would be less than 10 minutes of flight time away from Iranian nuclear-armed missiles), and they have no right to have nuclear weapons (per the NPT; the US does have a right, as one of the five recognized nuclear powers, although Art. VI of that same treaty obligates the US to work, in the long term, towards nuclear disarmament).
A nuclear-armed Iran WOULD affect Americans, Israelis, and Arabs’ lives – in a huge way. It would threaten the US, Israel, and the Gulf states. Therefore, such a threat must not be allowed to arise in the first place. There is nothing hypocritical or inconsistent about that.
First, if you are trying to reply to someone, you need to not learn to be such a pompous prick. The arrogance in your reply is only rivaled by our president. Instead of interpreting my comments through the chip on your shoulder, try reading them for what they are.
In your arrogance, you must have missed the part where I say that national defense is the only constitutional expenditure out of the big 3. Our defense budget is bloated just like all of our other budgets, this is easily proven when you compare our spending to the rest of the world. To ignore this is to ignore the facts that don’t support your emotions. I’m for defense spending, but not for wasteful spending. If we spend as much on defense as the next 8 countries combined, we are either wasteful or overspending, there is no other alternative.
The constitution does imply an isolationist policy, it does so by only authorizing US military occupation during a time of war, after congress has declared war. That speaks nothing about negotiations or partnerships between figureheads or diplomats, but it does define our military’s offensive and defensive actions.
I’m aware of the entitlement issue as I referenced in my first post. Saying that we aren’t heavily taxed, when comparing us to Europe is ridiculous at best. Are they your measuring stick for taxation, because they aren’t mine. I agree that entitlements need to go, as well as the majority of the Federal agencies, but the military budget has to be trimmed also and the waste removed and our troops removed from other countries, unless under declaration of war.
Treason? Spitting in their faces? Seriously? Do you work for MSNBC? Be honest now. Our government is the occupier, the troops are doing their job. Congress does not have the right to have our government occupy other countries because they don’t have the right to plunder me to pay for it. They are not authorized to tax me for occupation due to theoretical threats. They can tax me for defense, not for proactive or preemptive ideals (which is actually offense). There is nothing authorizing them to have a strong national offense, Iran, Libya, North Korea are all offensive propaganda situations currently. The rules for the government were built around the same liberties granted the individual, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The federal governments job is to secure those, collectively as a defensive force (military) to secure life (stemming from the individuals right to protect life and property), and to ensure liberty and the pursuit of happiness is available to all.
The constitution is silent on abortion, it is not silent on human rights or life. I don’t believe human rights are left up to the states per the constitution. Since you do, should slavery be left up to the states as well? That’s another violation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To say abortion isn’t a federal issue, is to also say all other human rights issues such as slavery, are not federal issues, again ridiculous and not constitutionally sound as noted by the 13th and 15th.
I do not know the current evolving language of the balanced budget amendment, I do however think such an amendment ideology would be beneficial to the country, assuming that it limited federal powers and did not expand them. An amendment numerical value cannot change on a whim, as you’ve implied, because of the process of ratifying an amendment. If the value is dynamic, then it isn’t an amendment.
An armed Iran is their right. We can’t impose on Iranian sovereignty, because they might impose on Israeli sovereignty. That’s blatantly hypocritical at best. We can certainly try and foster peace in the region without using force, but force or occupation is going to be met with force. If Iran invents something more capable than a nuclear weapon, can they then tell us that we can’t invent it and occupy the US if the think we are, or if they think we are a threat to Canada? This is your logic, if you disagree you are a hypocrite.
YOU are the arrogant one here. That is because a) you arrogantly pontificate about issues you clearly know absolutely nothing whatsoever about; b) you blatantly lie; and c) you treasonously slander the US as an occupier country (which it is not) and honorable American troops as occupiers (which they are not).
The US is not occupying any country. Not even a single one. Like I said, the ONLY countries where US troops are present (other than countries where US military attaches and Marine Embassy Guards are present) are countries whose governments have REQUESTED their presence to defend them. They are there by their sovereign governments’ request and wish – NOT by US diktat. That includes Afghanistan (from which the US is steadily withdrawing, BTW). In virtually every country where they are present, they are there on the basis of an agreement with the sovereign government of that country.
You don’t have the faintest clue of what an “occupation” is. As someone who immigrated from a country (Poland) which actually had to endure two hostile occupations in the 20th century for over 50 years, I’ll tell you what a REAL occupation looks like. A real occupation is when one country FORCIBLY places its troops on the territory of another country, WITHOUT asking that country for consent or, even worse, AGAINST the wishes of that country. The US does not do so in ANY country of the world – in each one where US troops are present, they are per the consent and stated wish of the host country’s government, and on the basis of an agreement (usually a treaty).
And yes, everytime you accuse the US and its troops of occupying other countries, you call American troops occupiers and spit on them. And I will not tolerate that.
And FYI, the Congress DOES have the Constitutional power to provide for the peacetime (as well as wartime) deployment of American troops abroad and to have them stationed abroad. It has the power to ratify treaties – including treaties related to mutual defense matters with allied countries and to the conditions of deployment of US troops in foreign countries – and to raise money to execute those treaties as well as to raise money to provide for the common defense.
No, the Constitution does not require or even imply an isolationist foreign policy. This is not suggested or even implied anywhere in the Constitution. Like your other claims, it’s just another blatant lie of yours and another attempt by you to project your own personal WISHES and FANTASIES on the Constitution. In that regard, you are no different from liberals, who claim e.g. that the Constitution requires the legality of abortion on demand and of same-sex marriage across the entire Union. Just like liberals, you are making up hocus-pocus things that are nowhere even IMPLIED in the Constitution.
And YES, the Constitution DOES authorize the Congress to tax you and to raise money to protect even against what you dismiss as “theoretical” and “proactive” threats – namely, to build a military strong enough to ensure that war doesn’t break out in the first place (this is the principal duty of any military, and it cannot be done on the cheap) and even to declare war to eliminate a threat proactively and preemptively (and sometimes it’s necessary to do so – vide Israel’s preemptive strike against Egypt in 1967).
The Founding Fathers recognized the need for defending even against “proactive” and “theoretical” threats to national security, which is why they authorized the federal goverment to do so in the Constitution. James Madison asked in one of the Federalist Papers:
“How could readiness in time of peace be prohibited unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the readiness of every other country?”
George Washington, for his part, said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of keeping the peace.”
Iran and North Korea are not mere “theoretical” and “propaganda” threats, contrary to your blatant lies. YOU are the one actually serving propaganda here – the propaganda of America’s enemies. It’s indistinguishable from that of the KCNA and the IRNA.
North Korea already has ICBMs, nuclear weapons, and the ability to mate both and deliver them to the CONUS and kill tens of millions of Americans (thus depriving them of their right to life, liberty, and property). Even a single NK ICBM could kill lots of people by detonating its warhead at high altitude and thus making an EMP attack on the US, thus crippling the entire electrical grid. Iran has IRBMs with the range to strike as far as Dublin, is projected to have an ICBM by 2015-2016, and is working hard on nuclear weapons. Moreover, it has announced, numerous times, its desire to wipe Israel out (and thus to deprive 7 mn Israelis of their right to life), and its desire to attack the US as well. North Korea, for its part, has repeatedly threatened to attack the US and South Korea and has even published a video in which it fantasizes about a nuclear attack destroying all of the US. And the military capabilities of both of these countries are growing, not shrinking.
And yes, the mere THREAT of attacking the US or its allies, such as Israel, is a justification for a proactive, preemptive action. In the US itself, if you make a death threat to someone and that threat is recorded, the cops WILL come and arrest you (as they should). And you can go to prison.
Death threats against anyone, but ESPECIALLY the Jewish people, who have already suffered through one Holocaust, must be taken seriously.
WRT to the US defense budget, your claim that it’s “bloated” is also a blatant lie. It’s anything but bloated. As I said, the US military needs to replace virtually all of its equipment, as the vast majority of it is old, worn-out, and obsolete. That cannot be done on the cheap. It also needs to maintain a sufficiently large force structure, degree of training proficiency, and maintain its current equipment and bases in a good material condition – and to keep its vehicles running, ships sailing, planes flying, and bases warm and supplied with electricity, and to care for its troops. Again, this cannot be done on the cheap – even if all US troops were to be withdrawn from all foreign countries immediately, because one would STILL have to defend this huge country called the US.
Comparing America’s defense budget to those of other countries is utterly ridiculous. Other countries’ defense budgets are utterly irrelevant to the question, “How big should America’s defense budget be?” That, in turn, can be answered ONLY by determining what is needed to defend America and its treaty allies, as well as American interests around the world, America’s merchant navy around the world, and US citizens living abroad – all obligations imposed by the Constitution or by treaties made in pursuance of the Constitution.
Regarding abortion, you are also dead wrong. Abortion is an issue reserved EXCLUSIVELY to the states, as are human rights. Your rights are those that your state constitution lists, except that no state may execute, imprison, or deprive anyone of property except as a result of conviction in a trial by jury.
Slavery WAS an issue reserved to the states until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865. That is precisely why it was ratified – because prior to 1865 everyone understood that Congress had no power to ban slavery in any state. Similarly, even in the 20th century, everyone understood that Congress, prior to 1919, had no power to ban alcohol, so the 18th Amendment was ratified. If you want to ban abortion by federal fiat, you need a Constitutional Amendment.
If the US attacked Canada, threatened to do so, or invented a powerful weapon and threatened to use it to wipe another nation off the face of the Earth (e.g. Canada or Israel), the rest of the world would have every right to stop the US from doing so. But that wouldn’t happen – because the US is NOT invading Canada, threatening to invade anyone, or threatening to wipe any nation off the face of the Earth with any weapons. Iran, OTOH, has repeatedly stated that it WILL wipe Israel out – and thus deprive 7 mn Israelis of their God-given right to life.
No, Iran does NOT have the right to have nuclear weapons. Not under the Nonproliferation Treaty – which it ratified and, like all other countries, must honor.
You are still dead wrong, B. Dead wrong.
Firstly, as I said, the Constitution does not even suggest nor imply any particular type of foreign policy. Your claims are completely unfounded. If you wish to persist in claiming that it suggests or implies an isolationist foreign policy, you need to cite the exact Article, Section, and Clause.
The Constitution does not ban intervening abroad or attacking/invading other countries; it “merely” reserves the right to decide about such matters to the Congress. If Congress declares war on a foreign country, an intervention and invasion is fair game, as it was against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Japan.
The US is not occupying any countries. In Libya, the people of that country rebelled against their socialist dictator in early 2011, were being slaughtered, and asked the West for intervention. So the West intervened, and now, Qaddafi – who had been supporting terrorism against the West for many decades and had the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands – has been toppled and is dead, replaced by moderate, pro-Western politicians (and not the radical Islamists that some people claimed would replace him).
In Pakistan, the US is fighting against terrorists who attacked America on 9/11. Sometimes, the Pakistani government cooperates with the US in that regard (sometimes even closely); sometimes it does not. But, as anyone who knows the issue will tell you, America’s relationship with Pakistan – which is, overall, still a very important ally and partner in the war on terrorism – defies easy descriptions like “ally or enemy” and “cooperation or occupation”.
Like I said, you clearly don’t know the difference between cooperation (fraught with difficulty or not) and occupation. Perhaps this is because you have probably never left America’s shores and, unlike me, you don’t know what it is REALLY like to see a country occupied.
WRT to the US defense budget, as I said, comparing it to other countries’ defense budgets is totally ridiculous and wrong. Such comparisons are totally meaningless, misleading, inaccurate, and irrelevant. They tell us absolutely nothing about what America’s defense needs are and how big America’s defense budget should be. That can be determined only by analyzing, in depth, America’s geographic and geopolitical location, threat environment, national interests (domestic and overseas), and geopolitical goals. Artificial comparisons to the military budgets – real or claimed – of other countries are utterly useless in that endeavor.
By the by, according to last year’s DOD report on China’s military power, China’s REAL military budget last year was between $160 bn and $250 bn – and that’s without accounting for PPP differences. If these are accounted for, China’s military budget is at least 3 times larger than that and is between $480 bn and $750 bn per year. In China, one dollar can buy AT LEAST 3 times more than in the US.
And that’s just China – which, by the way, again increased its military budget by double-digits this year.
So no, the US defense budget is not bloated or excessive and is not an abuse of power at all. The Constitution puts no limits on defense spending.
There is some waste in the defense budget, and I’ve never denied that there is. Myself, I’m the author of the largest DOD reform proposals package ever devised by anyone:
But these savings need to be reinvested in military modernization, which is long overdue, as the vast majority of the military’s current equipment is worn-out, unsurvivable, and hopelessly obsolete – from B-52 and B-1 bombers with their huge radar signatures, to huge-RCS F-15 and F-16 fighters, to C-130 and C-5 cargo aircraft, to many of the Navy’s ships, to most of the USMC’s equipment, to helicopters, to all three legs of the nuclear triad, to nuclear warheads and facilities, etc.
And that cannot be done on the cheap. That, by its nature, will be expensive, especially since it has been delayed for over 2 decades.
And yes, America has one of the lowest tax burdens in the world – as compared not only to Europe, but to the ENTIRE WORLD, as the CIA World Factbook will tell you. Nowhere outside tax havens is taxation so low as in the US. Almost half of all working-age Americans pay no income taxes, and this January, Republicans were able to enshrine almost all of the Bush tax cuts into law – something they were not able (or not willing) to do when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.
I’m glad that you have finally tacitly admitted that the Constitution, as it currently stands, is silent on the issue of abortion and that, accordingly, Congress has currently no authority whatsoever to legislate on the matter. I do not support a federal anti-abortion amendment, however. I believe that states should have a free hand to set their own abortion laws, and like Ron Paul, “I don’t think it should be 50 states the same way; the last thing we need is a federal abortion police.” The right to make their own abortion laws was illegally taken away from them in 1973, and it needs to be restored on them.
You CANNOT responsibly support amendments to the Constitution if you don’t understand such amendments and the Constitution itself – and you clearly don’t understand, and know nothing about, either. Yet, you support amendments to the Constitution!
Which brings me to the diabolical BBA.
This amendment, if passed, will FOREVER abolish any Constitutional limits on the federal government. Right now, most annual federal spending (75% by my count) is unconstitutional as it is outside Congress’ constitutional remit. The strict limitations imposed on the Federal Government by the Constitution are still there, to be invoked if the people and the states wanted to do so.
But the BBA will completely and permanently abolish these limitations and replace them with a simple requirement that Congress simply not spend more per year than 20% of the nation’s GDP.
And what is GDP? It’s a computation of the Department of Commerce, an agency controlled directly by the President! So the President would set (read: rig) the number which would “limit” annual federal spending!
But it gets worse: the BBA would transfer “power of the purse” from the Congress to the President. He would be writing the budget, setting taxes, and deciding spending levels. Congress would become a powerless rubber stamp.
NO real supporter of limited government and the Constitution can support such a diabolical proposal. That Rand Paul and all other GOP Senators do proves only one thing: that they’re total frauds as far as limited government and the Constitution are concerned.
So yes, Rand Paul IS a total fraud. Always has been, always will be.
Your first sentence is what is called a repeating back to me of what I’ve said and the first 4 paragraphs are what is called a straw man argument. You’ve tried to attach me to insulting US troops, which I have not and have twice now explained to you that our government is the occupier. Has the Pakistani government invited the US into its boarders? Has the Libyan government invited the US to overthrow its own government?
My claim that the constitution implies an isolationist type of policy isn’t a lie, the correlation is strong, but of course the verbiage is not used and no one claimed it was. The federal government is not authorized to financially lend money or become involved in other countries financial affairs, nor is it authorized to be involved in other countries governmental affairs. The federal government is not authorized to use military force until war is declared. This is very similar to an isolationist type of foreign policy, it is not identical but the correlation is strong.
Please explain to me how our involvement in Libya or Pakistan or Afghanistan is constitutional?
The next few paragraphs are another straw man argument. No where did I say that congress didn’t have the right to tax us or to maintain a military during a time of peace.
As for Iran and North Korea, it appears you feel we are authorized to attack them? Show me where this is in the constitution.
Fortunately for me, you gave the analogy that you did with the death threat, which shows the fallacy of your argument and how it is self defeating, I must thank you for that. Using your preemptive action point of view and your death threat analogy … If someone makes a death threat against me (analogous to North Korea or Iran), I can then apply lethal force (analogous to the US attacking/invading) as a preemptive response in anticipation of danger, not call the police and have them arrested as you said would be the natural response. Both of your view points are opposites in how they are resolved, making them self defeating when used towards each other. The second scenario one I agree with, the first I do not and apparently you don’t agree with yourself. I would also ask you to show me where preemptive force is authorized in the constitution.
Your next sentence about death threats against Jews is asinine. A death threat should be taken seriously whether it is against one class or race of people, or another, their culture or ethnicity doesn’t define the veracity of the threat? Are you serious? Between the previously cited self defeating view points and now the elevation of one ethnicity over another, I believe you may have just showed your hand. Be honest, are you a liberal?
As for the defense budget, you didn’t answer my question. Do you believe there is no waste at all in the current defense budget? As for comparing the US’s defense budget to other countries, it is not ridiculous at all, as a matter of fact it is quite practical. Who are we preparing to fight? Ourselves? To be strong and prepared we have to be superior to our opponents and potential opponents, not superior to the rest of the world combined 5 times over. That equates to bloat and waste and an abuse of a constitutionally authorized power.
As for the last 2 paragraphs, exactly and exactly why I think there should be a constitutional amendment banning abortion as it is a human rights issue just like slavery.
So if I understand you correctly, you are saying that a Canadian ally could invade the US if we threatened but did not act, to attack Canada or wipe it out? (no qualifications are necessary as to whether it will or will not happen as they do not matter)