Mike Lee: End the Ex-Im Bank Because of Crony Capitalism! But Don’t Cut Military Spending

One of these two senators wants to cut military spending. |||On Tuesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), one of the more libertarian-leaning members of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, went on The Independents to talk about his refreshing call to end, rather than mend, the Export-Import Bank, because Ex-Im is a leading contributor to crony capitalism. I wanted to follow up on this odd-sounding passage in his National Review piece on same:

Whether the beneficiaries of particular Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees are respected, successful companies like Boeing or crony basket cases like Solyndra is irrelevant. Twisting policy to benefit any business at the expense of others is unfair and anti-growth.

The plane! The plane! |||Lavishing praise on one company while disparaging another seems like an odd way to stress the across-the-board awfulness of crony capitalism, particularly given the centrality of Boeing to the Ex-Im story. Here's Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy, in a must-bookmark column from last September titled "Bipartisan Corporate Welfare: It's time for the Export-Import bank to go":

Back in 1981, when he was fighting to get rid of the Ex-Im Bank, [former budget director David] Stockman documented that it bestowed about two-thirds of its subsidies on a handful of giant, profitable manufacturers: Boeing, General Electric, Westinghouse, and the like. Little has changed since then, and what has changed has mostly been for the worse. 

Ex-Im's own data show that bank activity is highly concentrated in a few industries—primarily aviation, gas and oil exploration, and manufacturing. The aircraft industry alone benefited from $11.5 billion worth of loan guarantees in 2012. 

Boeing was the recipient of almost 50 Ex-Im Bank deals worth $12.2 billion (including insurance, loans, and guarantees). This one company, with its army of lobbyists, brought in roughly 80 percent of Ex-Im's loan guarantees. 

"Respected," "successful," or not, Boeing is America's number-one welfare queen. In my opinion, as long as military spending keeps shooting through the roof (up 80 percent in real terms between 2001 and 2012), crony defense capitalism is inevitable, and an exponentially larger problem than Solyndra. So I asked Mike Lee about halfway through this clip whether he would cut military spending. And he said no:

Note, too, Lee's answer to Kmele Foster's question about whether he regrets his role in last fall's strategically incompetent (IMO) government shut-down.

As Nick Gillespie has argued, willingness to cut military spending is a "real test to see if...Republicans are serious about making any cuts in government spending." There's a lot to like about Mike Lee, at least compared the median senator, but it's telling that one of the best exemplars of the Tea Party/limited government wave of hardcore fiscal conservatives cannot—even in the course of rightly decrying Boeing's crony capitalism!—bring himself to cut even one penny from the behemoth, wasteful, and corrupting military-industrial complex. 

Reason on Mike Lee here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Game of Thrones fan||

    "A man's got to have a code."

    - Omar/The Hound

  • Ronny Paulino||

    Another neoconservative, social conservative masquerading as some sort of libertarianish conservative. Nothing to see here.

  • The Tone Police||

    Ron Paul is a social conservative AND a libertarian. They're not mutually exclusive.

  • Paul.||

    The Tone Police, they are inside of my head!

  • ||

    Cheap Trick for the win.

  • Paul.||

    I will never, ever be able to read that moniker without singing it. I just can't.

  • ||

    And now it's in my head.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling?||

    Aieeee! Earworm, now I am hearing it!

  • Brett L||

    Its driving meee insane... this thing inside my braiin

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's just as well. One of the n00bs in this thread is definitely you-know-who. So you might as well have some kind of early warning system for it.

  • The Tone Police||

    One of the n00bs in this thread is definitely you-know-who.

    Robin Zander??!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I will never, ever be able to read that moniker without singing it. I just can't.
    reply to this

    So, your saying you surrender?

  • Soros' Wank-noose||

    +1 Indonesian Junk.

    Plus, "you're"

    /ducks and runs

  • Ronny Paulino||

    Ron Paul is more of a constitutional conservative than a libertarian. Dude puts states' rights above personal liberty.

  • The Tone Police||

    So again those two things are not mutually exclusive...

    It is possible to believe that a federalist system maximizes liberty better than a top-down national government.

  • Ronny Paulino||

    One should support liberty, no matter if its source is a national government or a more local government. That's not his philosophy though.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    So true. That is why I support lynch mobs and blood feuds: why let things like "due process" and the "judicial system" get in the way of justice? After all, sometimes NAP violators are not convicted in a system where due process is valued and one should always support liberty and justice, right?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Actually you can accomplish all that with just the goddamn Batman.

  • Jordan||

    I realize you aren't being serious, but I don't find that objectionable. For example, if the cops who murdered Kelly Thomas were discovered in a dumpster with a bullet in the back of their head, I would not give a shit.

    Sometimes courts get it right. Sometimes they don't. Same with vigilantes.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Even more supporting evidence for my Batman thesis.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Even so, I can support the primacy of courts and due process in such matters without becoming a liberty-hater.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And, indeed, whenever possible, Batman leaves the criminals he catches for the Gotham police department to handle. However, some supervillians are just too connected to Gotham's corrupt legal/political system. Take Oswald Cobblepot, for example. It is only through extrajudicial methods that Batman is able to counter his baneful influence upon the innocent denizens of the city.

  • Jordan||

    LOL. You should teach a class on the ethics of Batman.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    DC's heroes are interesting from a libertarian point of view. One the one hand, you have Superman who was conceived as a Progressivist wet-dream, and as such is a left-wing authoritarian douchebag. Seriously, in his early comics he does shit like beat up wealthy arms dealers and then redistribute their wealth to the urban poor, because, as Superman, he can do that.On the other, you have Batman, who is often portrayed as a right-wing authoritarian douchebag.

    One wonders what a libertarian superhero would look like, if such an animal even exists. The closest we have would be Objectivist Ditko's Mr. A/The Question. However, to the average person, there is little difference between Batman's schtick and The Question's.

  • ||

    Or King Tut!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think King Tut has diplomatic immunity.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    As for the Batman, fucker's had 50 years and he still hasn't stopped a nut with clown makeup and a bad suit.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    75 years, actually.

    And The Joker is dead, but please don't tell Dr. Quinzel.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    In the comics, the Joker looks like this after a villain called Dollmaker caught him and sliced his face off.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    It's not a bad suit. You ought to know, you bought it.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think that's the point Ronny Paulino was making

  • The Tone Police||

    One should support liberty, no matter if its source is a national government or a more local government. That's not his philosophy though.

    you're obviously not listening.

  • Ronny Paulino||

    If the federal government legalized weed, and Alabama passed a law ensuring criminalization, Ron Paul would side with Alabama. That's not libertarianism.

  • Homple||

    "Mike Lee: End the Ex-Im Bank Because of Crony Capitalism! But Don’t Cut Military Spending"

    I'll take cuts on any crony programs I can get when I can get them, thank you.

    I know team red == team blue ... yakity yak ad infinitum ... hear it all the time, know it by heart.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Ex-Im Bank is also the source of the wingnut conspiracy theory that Obama "repaid" Soros for his support.

    (The Ex-Im Bank guaranteed a 2009 loan to Brazil's giant PetroBras in which Soros was merely a passive investor)

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Have you ever considered that you might have Asperger's?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Nah. While he does have the obsession with a narrow focus (read: Bush), Asperger's leaves the person high functioning. Buttplug is operating at more like 8%.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Is it only Thursday for me today?

  • Sudden||

    I don't think you understand the distinction between active and passive investments.

  • PapayaSF||

    Among many, many other things.

  • John||

    I am still wondering how the shut down was "strategically incompetent". Since when do Libertarians ever think shutting down the government is a bad idea? Beyond that, shutting the government down made every Democrat reassert their love for Obamacare. I am not seeing the strategic downside to that. The Republicans reminded the country that Obamacare was the Democrats' responsibility and they did everything they could to stop it or delay it.

    I could say how Nick might have thought it was a bad idea at the time. But given the resulting Obamacare disaster, how could you not change your mind about that? Is it that hard to just admit you were wrong or at least the Republicans got lucky and did the right thing?

  • Matt Welch||

    Because it led directly to ending the sequester and raising the debt ceiling, as predicted at the time.

  • The Tone Police||

    Both of those things were foregone conclusions. The Democrats had been chipping away at the sequester as soon as it became law. The President said he didn't even want it in the first place.

  • Paul.||

    To be fair, Matt (and I say this as a fan), the Debt Ceiling has never not been raised. So if the debt ceiling gets raised 100% of the time, why can this case of the debt ceiling being raised be blamed on the shutdown?

  • John||

    Why did the shut down lead to that? Maybe it is just me, but I think the Republicans always wanted to end sequester and had no desire to have a debt ceiling fight from the beginning.

    Is it your position that they didn't but were sapped of their strength and bargaining position by the shut down? Maybe, but that is sure giving Republicans a lot of credit and more than you usually do.

    Sorry Matt, I am not buying that. That is just post hoc rationalization. The past six months has shown that you guys were wrong about the shutdown and you just won't admit it.

  • Matt Welch||

    First, "you guys" isn't exactly a thing -- Gillespie & I had different takes on the the thing, for starters.

    Second, it's funny that you think I'm rationalizing away that the facts on the ground have proven me wrong, since I think the exact opposite is true! (I say that's "funny," precisely because I find it amusing: Confirmation bias is a bitch in every direction!)

    Anyway, you asked a question, I answered it, and we're going to disagree until we die. Nothing wrong with any of that.

  • John||

    What facts on the ground Matt? I am still curious how the shutdown lead to the end of sequester and the Republicans rolling over on the debt ceiling. If that is true, then you are right. I just don't see how that is true. I find it very hard to believe the Republicans, who hated sequester just as much as the Dems, would have stood firm on it had there been no shut down. I would be curious to hear why you think they would have.

    Same thing with the debt ceiling. I am just seeing it and would like to hear why you do.

    My take on the ground facts is that the shut down was forgotten the moment the website debacle started and the only thing the shut down accomplished was making it clear one more time that the Dems own Obamacare.

    Please tell me what facts you see that I don't.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    John, am I correct that your position is that linking the raising of the debt cieling to the shutdown is a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc?

  • John||

    Yes. I think the Republicans were totally bullied by the media into not fighting about the debt ceiling long before the shutdown. I also think they hated sequester just as much as the Democrats and were ready to cut a deal to end it regardless.

    I would be curious to hear why Matt thinks that is not true.

  • Mike M.||

    Because it led directly to ending the sequester and raising the debt ceiling, as predicted at the time.

    I call bullshit on this. We're seriously supposed to believe the debt ceiling wouldn't have been raised if it wasn't for the "shutdown"? Tell me some more fairy tales.

  • Paul.||

    Yep, my thought exactly. One could argue that the sequester might have ended earlier due to the shutdown because of the vagaries of DC politics and compromise, but I guarantee you that debt ceiling was going to raise, come hell or high water, like it has every single time in history.

  • Paul.||

    My prediction: The debt ceiling will be raiseed next time the issue comes up.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Paulstrodamus.

  • Paul.||

    The sun will rise in the east.

    Buy low, sell high.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thanks Matt now I know I can safely ignore your shitty political prognostications. If you think that the debt ceiling would not have been raised but for the shutdown fight and cannot see that the shutdown fight forced the Dems to own Obamacare you really are blind and dumb. Please stop making political prognostications. Please.

  • Calidissident||

    I can see the argument for it leading to ending the sequester, but I can't see how it caused the debt ceiling to be raised.

  • The Tone Police||

    I agree. I think as a matter of immediate tactics the shutdown did not work: it made Republicans (allegedly) "look bad" and they lost. Strategically, though, it's pretty clear to me that the shutdown worked fantastically. Don't believe me? Ask Nate Silver.

  • Paul.||

    Any government shutdown will always make Republicans look bad because:

    1. The GOP is the only major party that can even entertain the idea- even if hypocritically.
    2. The Democrats are the party of government so any shutdown is bad.
    3. The media is largely a DNC talking-points factory, so ipso facto, shutdowns are bad.

    How anyone could look at the full-retard that took place during the shutdown, plus look at the raw and ridiculous contradictions of the shutdown (licensing, regulation and obedience to same never ever stopped), and see the Democrats as 'winning' tells me a lot about where we're ending up as a country.

  • The Tone Police||

    I agree entirely. I, like you, am not convinced the Republicans lost anything in the long run. Also, the 87% number permeated throughout the media as much as possible, so that was a small chip at the State.

  • ||

    The Democrats "won" in that the unbelievable shenanigans of the administration and its bureaucratic cronies were swept under the rug and misrepresented by the media as much as possible. They "won" solely because what should have been an embarrassing debacle of epic proportions as veterans were turned away from monuments and so on still got blamed on the GOP.

    If you can spitefully fuck with the people because some representatives didn't agree to certain spending and pay basically no price, you win.

  • Paul.||

    Note, too, Lee's answer to Kmele Foster's question about whether he regrets his role in last fall's strategically incompetent (IMO) government shut-down.

    Yeah, as a major-- and I mean major-- government shutdown supporter, I'm still not overwhelmed by evidence that the shutdown hurt Republicans.

    I admit that may be suffering from the libertarian echo-chamber in that we all LOL'd and ROTFL'd over the army of security personnel that had to be hired to run yellow tape around the perimeter of the country to indicate it was closed for bidness, but why was the shutdown an unalloyed Bad Thing for the GOP?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Because Welch wants to believe it so. His sheer force of belief wills it be, no supporting evidence required.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They did eventually get the delay they wanted.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The shutdown was handled clumsily and Cruz's game plan was half-baked at best. He hurt his own credibility with the appearance of someone who was lost, but, Welch's BS aside, it was a brilliant strategic move.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    OT: Stephen Colbert to get Letterman's spot.

  • The Tone Police||

    it's too late for April Fool's.

  • ||

    Huh. So #cancelcolbert won after all.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    When he takes the reins of "The Late Show," Mr. Colbert will retire the character he plays on his Comedy Central show—a sendup of Republican talk-show hosts—and will be himself as the host of the CBS show, the broadcast network said.

    I don't think I like that.

  • The Tone Police||

    Which? Because that "character" wore out his welcome years ago.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Perhaps if you watch more regularly than I have.

  • Hydra||

    Seriously? That's not going to work. Colbert has never had success except when satirically playing a character. He's not a good standup comic as himself.

  • Paul.||

    What's good for Boeing is good for 'Murrica.

  • GILMORE||

    "Note, too Matt's unusually great suit and appropriate tie."

    That said, repeal the Ethanol mandate while you're at it, Mike.

    This clip reminded me that there WAS in fact some 'news' programming on last nights show, squeezed awkwardly between the extended sorta-celebrity interviews.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Note, too Matt's unusually great suit and appropriate tie.

    He got lucky.

  • Matt Welch||

    Or maybe I listened to Gilmore?

  • The Tone Police||

    oh ho ho...yes. The Commentariat has finally gotten in the thin edge of the wedge. It's all downhill from here.

  • ||

    Down that road lies madness, Matt. Soon you'll find yourself dressing in all white suits with white shirt and tie and threatening to slap people with your ring hand. I mean, if you're such a big time pimp, where's your bitches?

  • GILMORE||

    "Soon you'll find yourself dressing in all white suits with white shirt and tie and threatening to slap people with your ring hand."

    (ponders)

    Your Ideas Intrigue Me...

  • ||

    What we should all aspire to.

  • Soros' Wank-noose||

    Gilmore, you could parlay any influence on Matt into something big....

    "Hey, Gilmore. See if you can get Matt to wear seersucker!"

    "OK, but it's gonna cost ya..."

  • GILMORE||

    If you people think I have influence on Matt's attire-choices, you're high on something still-illegal in all 50 states.

    I note that while Matt looked sharp in the interview-clip above? He was wearing a purple shirt with a silver/purple tie in the *actual show*

    Also = Derby Day is only a month away, so yes, Seersucker should be something we can work out. I break it out myself once a year for an all-day pulled-pork and bourbon-fest @ one of my local watering holes.

    Like so
    http://www.eyemaze.net/blog/up.....707839.jpg

  • Soros' Wank-noose||

    Hey-I hedged my statement. That being said, since we're all media whores at heart, if you do manage to influence the clothing decisions of the talent on a FBN show, I figure a little graft for you is OK.

    I mean, considering the *above-average* interest some around here have in Kennedy, getting her to wear different earrings could be your gateway to controlling a fetish empire*.


    *If you already do, fair play to ya.

  • Paul.||

    where's your bitches?

    Hosting the show.

    *ducks*

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Don't be silly.

    No one ever listens to Gilmore.

  • BakedPenguin||

    We're watchin' your clothing choices, Matt. Ready to pounce.

  • GILMORE||

    " that there WAS in fact some 'news' programming on last nights show, squeezed awkwardly between the extended sorta-celebrity interviews."

    I now realize that this was Tuesdays show. There was no actual news last night.

    If the Indys are going to be "Entertainment Tonight" for ageing GenX'rs, can they at least get a snappy theme song?

  • creech||

    No place to cut defense spending? How could any fiscal conservative believe that and keep a straight face? Just start by examining how many majors, lt. and bird colonels, and generals there are compared to WWII when the military was its largest. Read any military history book and you'll see that many staff responsibilities in WWII were carried out by 2nd or lst Lieut. but today seem to require at least a major to carry a one star's laptop to the briefing.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling?||

    "today seem to require at least a major to carry a one star's laptop to the briefing"

    Pretty much - and I wonder how many staff officers do little to naught but prepare #$&%ing powerpoint slides...

    More Admirals than ships, more Generals than Brigades, Divisions and Corps...bah.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I remember hearing that Thailand had around 2,500 generals and admirals. The size of the Thai armed forces is about a little less than a million. (Including reserves)

  • Raven Nation||

    A good sign that an army has been around too long is that it starts getting top-heavy with officers,

    Joe Haldeman, The Forever War

  • CampingInYourPark||

    No place to cut defense spending?

    Dude, watch the video. Welch was asked if defense cuts were necessary to eliminate crony capitalism. Lee answered that they weren't necessarily dependent. The wording in the article is a little misleading.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Welch was asked"

  • Calidissident||

    I don't see how that's any better. There is definitely crony capitalism in the military budget, so I don't see how cuts in that area aren't necessary to end crony capitalism.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    There is definitely crony capitalism in the military budget, so I don't see how cuts in that area aren't necessary to end crony capitalism.

    You could just as well argue that you can't have a military without crony capitalism. If that's the case then how does less = 0.

  • Calidissident||

    Either way, how is Lee's answer not incorrect?

    It may be next to impossible to have a military with zero crony capitalism, unless the government controlled all of the industries necessary to supply it, but it's not like we have just a bit of graft in our military budget such that it's insignificant enough for Lee to toss it aside the way he did.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Either way, how is Lee's answer not incorrect?

    How is Lee's answer correct?

    If you asked the question: Should we end crony capitalism in the military budget?
    You would get a much different answer than: Is it necessary to cut the military budget to end crony capitalism?

    Lee answered the second question and it doesn't follow that simply cutting a budget eliminates a problem. His answer was correct. Do you really think anybody would answer "no" to the first question?

  • Calidissident||

    Well obviously he's gonna say yes to the first question, that's a softball question where he can give an easy answer without committing himself to any solid position. Again, how is it not necessary to cut the military budget to end crony capitalism? The only way I see how that couldn't be true is if you replaced all the crony capitalism with non-crony military spending. Which, in addition to it being very unlikely that the new spending would come with no cronyism, is completely unnecessary new spending and doesn't make him look any better.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The only way I see how that couldn't be true is if you replaced all the crony capitalism with non-crony military spending.

    Actually, you would have to establish that non-crony military spending is necessarily less costly than crony military spending. In the short term it might actually cost more. That's why Senators don't usually fly by the seat of their pants making declarative statements about cutting things when someone posits a theory regarding their pet issue in the form of a question.

  • Calidissident||

    "Actually, you would have to establish that non-crony military spending is necessarily less costly than crony military spending."

    Again, this is assuming you must replace the crony spending. The cronyism in many, if not most, cases comes in the form of unnecessary spending. This is a weak dodge attempt.

    "That's why Senators don't usually fly by the seat of their pants making declarative statements about cutting things when someone posits a theory regarding their pet issue in the form of a question."

    Yeah, I'm sure that's the reason.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The cronyism in many, if not most, cases comes in the form of unnecessary spending.

    That's an opinion not yet established as fact. Hell, at least Matt had Boeing going for him.

  • Calidissident||

    Seriously? You're on a libertarian website and you need to be convinced that cronyism in the military budget just might not be necessary? Or that the US has to spend more money on the military than all of its adversaries combined?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Yeah, seriously. You haven't established that whatever part of the military budget you consider cronyism is unnecessary. Therefore, you haven't shown how that leads to less spending.
    Flailing around pointlessly squawking: "libertarian" "libertarian" doesn't convince anybody of anything

    Really, even Matt had:
    "Well, Boeing gets a lot from EX-IM, and EX-IM perpetuates cronyism, and we all know Boeing contracts with the military, therefore you have to cut the military to end cronyism." All in the form of a question where the subject is EX-IM.

  • Calidissident||

    The F-35 program and various other bloated or unnecessary weapons systems, the thousand dollar toilets, contractors in Iraq (well I suppose that's not currently a part of the budget anymore) ... shall I go on? I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I have to explain this to someone who voted for Mitt "We must spend at least 4% of GDP on the military" Romney

  • Cytotoxic||

    So he's full of shit on the shutdown AND the article.

  • Agammamon||

    The Navy is pretty good at keeping down grade-inflation but you'd never see a LT(jg) commanding *anything* nowadays.

    And it does seem that the inflation increase more than linearly as you go up in rank - you're likely to see CPO and WO's in charge of independent ops detachments but a LT Commander will be bringing the Admiral his morning coffee and donuts.

  • Drake||

    Here's my problem. I don't believe cutting military spending will do a thing to fix our corrupt procurement system.

    They will simply cut the wrong thing. Hagel was floating a plan to chop a bunch (6 I think) of Infantry Brigades not long ago - while we are still fighting a light-infantry war.

    They won't trim Boeing or Raytheon contracts, they cut actual soldiers to keep the gravy train going.

    It is going to take a reformer at SecDef with a supportive boss to make a dent in this corrupt system.

  • ||

    Boeing is America's number-one welfare queen.

    12 billion makes you number 1?

    Boeing makes the top ten easy...but i think i am going to have see charts and links and other stuff...like anything in the way of proof that it is number 1.

    Also GM being allowed to kill people with he help of government to cover it up while the government goes after fake problems with Toyota cars i think is worth at least a few billion on welfare. Not even mentioning the bail out they got while they were killing people.

  • Jordan||

    I would expect GE to be in the top spot. And that's not counting the stupid "GE paid no taxes" derp from progressives.

  • Drake||

    The GM bailout was worth $51 Billion in the end.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....e/3925515/

  • sloopyinca||

    Lee is better than the alternative. And in regards to the military, he's pretty much in line with every person right of Obama. Perhaps he'll come around once popular opinion begins to swing in the direction of cutting the military back but until then, we ought to foster the relationship libertarians can make with members of either party that are willing to end some cronyism that permeates BOTH parties...especially if they're relatively non-partisan about which programs to shut down.

  • The Tone Police||

    it isn't exactly like the people left of Obama have done a bang-up job getting the military cut either.

  • sloopyinca||

    There aren't too many people left of Obama in the government. And those that are don't have the stroke to get any military cuts through. Sanders and Warren are about it as ar as I can tell.

  • Sevo||

    I'll add B. Lee; bay area lefty.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    So I asked Mike Lee about halfway through this clip whether he would cut military spending. And he said no:

    That wasn't exactly what was asked or answered

  • GILMORE||

    Matt asked "Don't you have to cut Military Spending (period) to go after Crony Capitalism"

    [suggesting that defense spending and crony capitalism are so intertwined that ignoring the Military side is so much pretend-reform]

    Mike said the two don't need to be connected at all. Which is pretty darn close to "no".

    I think he's wrong, FWIW. He should have said "it will take a 'strong stomach' for some republicans to stick to their principles" or something like that.

    Also, they should repeal the Ethanol mandate. Its retarded.

  • widget||

    I don't mind cutting military spending and I certainly don't want any more US hegemony and other-nation building spending to persist.

    But.

    Most of the people I know who can take apart a complicated piece of mechanical equipment, fix it, and put back together again, have worked for the US military.

    The US military is, if nothing else, a vocation tech training school. There are ways to do that, but keep that in mind.

  • prolefeed||

    1) Correlation is not causation. People who are mechanically adept might gravitate to the military.

    2) Spending a trillion dollars or so a year and murdering innocent people is a highly immoral and wasteful voc tech training program.

  • Swiss Servator, Alt-text FTW||

    A trillion? http://www.usgovernmentspendin.....ng_30.html

    Its too high, but if it hit a trillion, I think we would have heard that by now!

    "murdering innocent people"
    Teh Assassin Dronz are run by the three letter agency (and I don't mean "DoD")otherwise, citation needed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I see cutting spending and what to cut as two distinct questions.

    Like Milton Friedman talking about the Fed: Well, I don't think we should have a Fed, but if you're going to have one anyway, then here's what I think you should do...

    I think we should slash spending, but if we're not going to do that, then I think we should spend more on this and less on that? Those aren't necessarily contradictory statements.

  • widget||

    The USG cannot spend too much money on improving US infrastructure because the spending would disproportionately go to cis-gendered males. So there's that.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Let's face some uncomfortable realities: TEAM Red loves crony capitalism because half of them are too stupid to tell the difference between cronyism and free markets while the other half are making money off of it. TEAM Blue loves crony capitalism because the idea of companies being beholden to FedGov, either because FedGov is paying them, or FedGov has their neck in a regulatory noose, is downright pornographic for them.

  • PapayaSF||

    Sadly true.

  • Calidissident||

    I'd add to that that Dems love crony capitalism when it's aimed at companies/industries they like. Such as green energy.

  • PapayaSF||

    Also true.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well said... unfortunately

  • prolefeed||

    I call bullshit on this. We're seriously supposed to believe the debt ceiling wouldn't have been raised if it wasn't for the "shutdown"?

    I'm gonna call even further bullshit on Matt W. If the debt ceiling was not going to be raised, it would have required massive cuts in government spending, and yet insisting on slightly slowing the rate of growth of government caused so many problems for Republicans that it forced them to scuttle their plans for massive cuts, cuts which would have otherwise taken place?

    This makes no sense at all.

  • Boogens||

    This is why I can never quite get onboard with Republicans. They whine about deficits, yet their latest proposed budget calls for $3.5 trillion in spending while the Dems propose $3.8 trillion. Wow! Big difference! At least the Dems are honest about their b.s.

  • PapayaSF||

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. As I often say around here, we didn't get into the semi-socialist mess we're in because the Socialist Party won elections. We got here because socialists took over the Democratic Party and slowly pushed us here, Fabian Socialist style.

  • Calidissident||

    The problem is that, with a few exceptions (like Rand Paul, Amash, etc.), Republicans aren't good. They're, at best, a little less bad who will go downhill at 90 MPH instead of 100. And getting to our current situation was not a one party affair either.

  • PapayaSF||

    Granted, this wasn't entirely due to Democrats, but "less bad" is still better than "more bad."

  • Calidissident||

    It also isn't good. Besides, it is a general, best-case descriptor anyways, and there are options besides voting R or D. At this point, I would still much prefer divided government to one party rule, whether by the GOP or the donkeys. Though if Rand Paul were president, I'd probably change my mind on that.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The problem is that, with a few exceptions (like Rand Paul, Amash, etc.)

    Lee is a cosponsor for Rand Paul's proposed 2014 budget, which balances in 5 years. It also "cuts" military spending.

  • Calidissident||

    Lee is one of the better Republicans in Congress, these comments notwithstanding. The fact that he is in the top 2-3% of GOP reps and senators makes my point.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Lee is one of the better Republicans in Congress, these comments notwithstanding.

    Since the budget he is cosponsoring as well as the past budgets he voted for cut military spending I'm going to say a badly worded answer to a badly re-worded question isn't exactly a revelation.

  • widget||

    Will Mike Lee (R-Utah) advocate funding for a public works project to bulldoze the Utah Data Center, or does he just want to abandon it?

    That's all I want to know about Mike Lee.

  • Drake||

    Abandon it? I bet there is a shitload of copper and other valuable stuff in there. Scrap it.

  • vu8CnOdmaRywXUW||

    And I'm supposed to believe that you people would be any better. sure, you would ct military spending, bring the war troops home, and cut a few examples of "crony capitalism." But would you cut food stamps for the the "poor?" Would you cut social security for the old? Would you tell poor and old people who can't afford medical care to lat down and die? Something tells me that when push comes to shove and the poor are living in the streets and old people are freezing to death, you would relent.

  • The Tone Police||

    take a Xanax and pipe down, Chester.

  • Calidissident||

    Because mass starvation was a regular occurrence in the US before food stamps, right?

  • PapayaSF||

    Poor people did tend to be thinner back then.

  • vu8CnOdmaRywXUW||

    Tell me, how is a single mother supposed to raise kids on less than minimum wage with no help from the government, no subsidized housing, no subsidized daycare, no food stamps, no nothing?

  • Calidissident||

    I'll answer that as soon as you answer mine - how did people manage to survive for nearly 200 years without food stamps?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Do you have any idea how much government we could cut without touching EBT? (Who calls it "food stamps" anymore?)

    Are you under the impression that single mothers aren't getting enough support from the government already? Do you think they need more from the government than they're getting now?

    Because the worst we can do to them now is not give them more. No one in either party is running on slashing EBT for single mothers--as far as I know.

  • vu8CnOdmaRywXUW||

    Rand Paul says that an attack on Israel is an attack on the US. This just shows what I have said about libertarians, when push comes to shove they are pushovers. Paul loves to talk about "non-intervention," but when the Jews in Israel are getting killed all that goes out the window.

  • Calidissident||

    It took two posts for you get to the Jews this time. Gonna try for one next time around?

  • Swiss Servator, Alt-text FTW||

    Hey, it can take time to get into the swing of things!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement