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Rand Paul Votes in Favor of $631 Billion U.S. 'Defense' Legislation

EPJ: Rand Paul's To Do List before officially running for president:

Visit is Israel (scheduled for January)
Make sure Military-Industrial Compex is funded (Check)

The Senate, by a 98-0 vote, authorized $525.3 billion in baseline military spending, trimming only a small chunk from the administration’s $525.4 billion request. Thebill also authorizes $88.5 billion more for ongoing wars."

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Rand is applying the same principle to national defense

that Ron applied to Social Security. Undeclared wars are unconstitutional, but, so is SS. Ron didn't advocate pulling the rug out from under retirees just because they had been put into an unconstitutional situation. So, too Rand isn't willing to pull the rug from under veterans and current service men and women just because the 2012 NDAA doesn't bring the troops home from Afghanistan tomorrow or cost under his personally, preferred threshold.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

She said unconstitutional

She said unconstitutional pre-emptive war. As in the pre-emptive wars we are in that are unconstitutional(they are, clearly). Do you just make things up as you go along?

Medicare and SS go back into consumption which is at least partially rational since it is spent by consumers. Also, the expenditures are obligated. Military spending at the level we are at is an irrational expense and therefore a net economic loss. Its worse than Solyndra which at least was a capital investment. Ron Paul prioritizes the vast majority of American retirees over defense contractors and wars for foreign interests.

Ventura 2012

They're both bloated.

But, SS and Medicare, unlike the military are unconstitutional. Obviously, you can't phase out the military like you can the other two. But, you make a good point. Retirees spend their SS checks. Medicare funds are paid to hospitals and doctors, which in turn are spent by them on consumer goods and medical, capital goods. But, military personel spend their money too. Most of that $600 B is going into salaries. Even the contractors spend their money. Even the 180,000 we have occupying foreign countries but American goods, particularly American food produced by American labor. A good argument hawks use to keep the military bloated is the economic benefits. Whether it's SS or hje MIC, it's still taking money from producers of wealth and giving it to relatively unproductive members in society. We can't overturn the entitlement and military applecart at once.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

Actually much of the defense

Those economic arguments have zero merit. How can a soldier in Germany be more economically beneficial than a senior citizen in Florida? How can investing in weapons be better than investing in healthcare?

Actually much of the defense spending is unconstitutional insofar as it furthers undeclared wars and is not "for the common defense". Furthermore, Social Security and Medicare are arguably constitutional provisions "for the general welfare" under the taxing power.

While I prefer a more narrow view of the spending power, there is some merit to the "liberal" interpretation of the "general welfare" clause from even a Textualist perspective. However, it is pretty clear that military spending is limited to "the common defense". In fact Supreme Court dissents have argued that the Constitution DOES NOT PERMIT an imperialist foreign policy in cases dealing with rights of inhabitants of US territories.

Ventura 2012

Are you saying that Rand's

Are you saying that Rand's single no vote (combined with the resultant opportunity for media education) against this massive increase in military spending would have taken money from the troops?

I don't believe in voting against something

just to make a political statement. If Eand were to vote against this, he would in essence be saying that he hopes the bill fails. And if the bill were to fail, money would be taken from the troops.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

Technically, you could make

Technically, you could make the same argument for any spending and taxing bill which funds, or pays for, our massive military budget. Let me ask you a question: if the bill was double the size of the current bill do you still think that Rand should have voted for it? How about if the bill was triple the amount? Is there any line Rand could cross which you lead you to object?

BTW, Rand would not be voting no just for show. It would open the door (which he now closed) to explain why the bill so horrific and could cost the lives of American soldiers!! If more American soldiers die because of this bill, Rand will have a lot of explaining to do.

If social security spending were twice or

triple what it is, should Senators vote against it? There's no good answer to that. Obviously, there's got to be some limit where if negotiations on reform fail, Senators just say no to it all, but, such a stance could ruin all future chances of getting reform in the future. Much of the public would look at that as one Semator refusing to play ball unless all other 99 Senators let him write the bills and set the amount of spending. This bill is a step in the right direction. It repeals the indefinite detention of Americans and scales back our involvement in Afghanistan. The fact is it isn't double or triple what it is.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

tasmlab's picture

What if "infinite detention" in NDAA is a ruse?

I've read elsewhere that Rand's vote was likely to secure the Mike Lee extra language that controls/softens the infinite detention / aggression on US citizens stuff in the NDAA, which should at least pique civil liberties folks.

But when you are asking for $525 Billion, maybe it's nice to have some trivial bargaining chips that you can concede or forfeit because in the end you really just want all of that money.

Maybe in the light of that kind of pay day, you throw around some baubles that get the people sort of paying attention to get angry and then think they get a victory with some last minute concessions on some language, and then they get every single vote without a single protest.

Maybe they just want the money and they are just screwing with us with the threat of authorizing jail time.

I don't really know. Just thinking out loud...

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Strange how Rand Paul is

Strange how Rand Paul is always singled out, I mean other politicians want the Internet censored, US citizens imprisoned and held indefinitely without being charged, but somehow the MSM has nothing better then discussing Rand Paul voting like the rest of the Senate.
What, did Rand Paul voted wrong? WTF is their point? If he opposed he will be called "isolationist", "crazy", "not supporting the US troops", etc.
It's sad to see how many Ron Paul supporters are falling for those "divide and conquer" MSM games and act like the son of Ron Paul is about to become the next Bush.

Rand Paul should be held to a higher standard

After all, look who is father is. Clearly he knows better, and has had (through his father) an insider's education and perspective on the mass-murder, fraud, hypocrisy, corruption, and naked dishonesty that is U.S. Foreign Policy (and "funding Defense").

Of course he should be held to some standard of Integrity here, and be expected to vote it down.

The fact that he does not do that is alarming. It means that he is just another Mitt Romney - George Bush - John McCain style Republican, and not willing to speak out or step up for any serious change.

And the correct thing to do if a Neocon calls you an isolationist is to say that you wear their criticism as a badge of honor - and then point out how wrong and tragic their judgement has proven to be.

Why would Rand "know better"

Why would Rand "know better" than to vote for a bill that ends the war in Afghanistan? Rand should be applauded for voting to end the war in Afghanistan, not criticized.

Sure....Rand should be

Sure....Rand should be applauded for voting to get out of Afghanistan. So should Bernie Sanders. Applauding him on a single issue is no excuse, however, for setting up a "Rand is always right" cult around him.

SteveMT's picture

Is a bill measured by the best thing in it or by the worst?

Does this bill continue and expand other wars at the same time it stops one war?

other politicians aren't pushed on DP

I am not sure how far Rand will have to stray in order for you to stop supporting him. I fear it will never happen. He will slowly drift toward statism in little incremental steps, and you will defend every little step because you think he is the best chance we have. You ever heard that story about a frog slowly being cooked? Just be careful and draw a line for yourself.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

SteveMT's picture

How would Ron Paul have voted? No doubt: Nay!

Ron Paul always worked to put earmarks into big spending bills that he would later vote against. The strategy was that at least something meaningful would come out of a wasteful bill that he knew was going to pass anyway and that he knew was unconstitutional. Rand worked to get clarification about not jailing Americans and Habeas corpus that were both made part of this bill. He knew that it was going to pass anyway, but that the bill was unconstitutional. Rand got it right up until the actual vote. He should have also voted no, just like his father would have done. A 97-1 vote would have made a big statement to the Liberty Movement and to the nation that Rand wants to end these wars of aggression. Instead, he has nothing to say except that he is lockstep with every other voting Senator in that chamber. It's a sad group to be lockstep with, IMO.

Rand would've been voting

Rand would've been voting AGAINST ending wars of aggression if he had voted against this bill, since this bill calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan. Why do you want Rand to vote against bills that call for getting our troops out of Afghanistan?

No one, and I mean no one,

No one, and I mean no one, would interpreted a no vote (which COULD NOT) affect the outcome in that way. A no vote would have given Rand ample opportunity to increase public awareness of the dangers of the military-industrial complex and world policing.

SteveMT's picture

Because it continues and possibly expands other wars.

It's not the best thing in a bill that it is judged. It is the worst thing. This bill continues funding our imperialist intentions worldwide.

Ron Paul lost.

Ron Paul ran for Texas Senator in the 80s and didn't even make it out of the primary. He ran for president as a Republican twice and didn't even make it out of the primary. Rand not only made it out of the ptimary - he won. I support Constitutional, Jeffersonian Conservatism, not some vague, ill-defined, Liberty Movement.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

Rand only won because he was

Rand only won because he was Ron Paul's son. Period.

That makes no sense.

If Rand won because he was Ron Paul's son, why didn't Ron Paul win because he was Ron Paul?

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

I Know Right...

...but people only down-vote you because, "they're for Rand"--"so down-vote"...regardless of how logical your argument is.

We need to get an early start on 2016: Support Rand PAC 2016

SteveMT's picture

Pick out the true Liberty Movement Senators: 98 to choose from.

I cannot tell who follows the Constitution from this vote about funding continued and expanded offensive warmongering activities. Help me out here. There is no telling how many people will die because of this bill's passage with our tax payer funded dollars. "Vague ill-defined Liberty Movement" NOT indeed.

We are coming home from Afghanistan.

The bill ends indefinite detention of American citizens w/o a trial, something Rand helped put in. If that's not good enough for you big deal. We've got a radical Progressive in the White House with his party controlling the Senate marching instep with his commands and you're throwing a tantrum because the best Senator in America voted for a bill that transitions troops out of Afghanistan and funds them until they come home.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

Your arguing from a false

Your arguing from a false premise. Just because Rand may have been able to improve a horrific bill via amendments, etc. doesn't mean he had to vote for the final version of a bill which was still horrific. Politicians vote all the time against final versions of bills they have modified through amendments.

Just accept the facts.

Rand does not consider it to be a horrible bill. I don't either considering the circumstances. It could have been a lot worse without Rand Paul in the Senate. So many Ron Paul supporters are trying to make Rand into somebody he's not.

"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese

SteveMT's picture

The funding of undeclared wars ...

would be an abomination to the Founders, especially from a bankrupt nation. "Mind your own business" was their practice.

SteveMT's picture

How many years have we been hearing that mantra?

If war in Syria and/or Iran happens, do you think this 'coming home from Afghanistan' will be put on hold again? Yup, IMO.

Rand is in for the winning,

Rand is in for the winning, get used to the idea, be sure he and his father know much better then you and me how politics are played.
This is not about the perfect record, is about becoming president.