Budget

Rand Paul: Budget Deal Should Be Renamed 'The Status Quo Protection Act'

Libertarian-leaners are lonely voices on Capitol Hill opposing the latest bipartisan spending spree

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I was at one of those infamous D.C. cocktail parties the other night when Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), one of the two most libertarian-leaning members of the House of Representatives, sidled up to me at the bar and croaked, "How ya liking our new trillion-dollar budget deal?!"

The $1.16 trillion agreement hikes current spending levels, largely by vomiting forth $93.5 billion worth of "Overseas Contingency Operations" (OCO)—a disreputable gimmick that current Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has long and correctly railed against. Unlike the budgetary "dark ages" and government-dismembering prophesied by dullard hysterics in the media, this latest last-minute Continuing Resolution very predictably maintains just about every pre-existing spending level and pet project/agency. A House vote is scheduled for this afternoon.

So who's against it? Massie's pal Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for one. Paul has a piece over at Breitbart.com explaining why:

It not only rejects President Trump's calls for cuts to multiple agencies, but it increases their funding by millions of dollars.

It paves the way for those agencies to engage in more "use it or lose it" September spending.

It leaves our deficit at well over $500 million. […]

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen tried to warn us in 2010 when he called debt "[t]he most significant threat to our national security." History is littered with the ruins of nations who fast-tracked their own decline by becoming overextended. […]

[A]s long as we continue to spend with abandon, pile it on the backs of the taxpayers we claim to serve, and pretend it's all okay, we are ultimately our own worst enemies.

Read my interview with Massie last month basically predicting all this, and my April 2016 column asserting that the GOP's abdication on budgetary/sequestration issues helped sink Rand Paul's presidential bid. Below, Nick Gillespie helps explain why maintaining a "Pentagon slush fund" is no way to run a country.

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  1. Paul has a piece over at Breitbart.com explaining why:

    That should help the libertarian brand.

    1. Not like anyone else would have published it anyway.

      1. The American Conservative would have. Brietbart has more readers, though, I suppose.

      2. He couldn’t have gotten some space on InfoWars or the National Enquirer?

        1. I may not agree with Brietbart’s editorial position, but it’s distinctly different from InfoWars or the National Enquirer. Next you’re going to compare them to Vox and that’s just unfair.

    2. He is still attempting to talk libertarianism to a Tea Party/Trump-identified audience, which is a worthwhile project for some (including those who wish to survive in the modern GOP).

  2. Pshaw, liberals are open minded.

    1. Yeah, their brains fell out.

  3. sidled up to me at the bar and croaked, “How ya liking our new trillion-dollar budget deal?!”

    Jesus. Sounds like Massie was two or three sips into his light beer.

    1. Nah, just allergies.

      1. Ha! Was he sniffing and crying, too?

        Because I certainly was. And am.

  4. Democrats own congress and they ram through all their shit, like the stimulus and Obamacare.

    Republicans own everything and they act like they are still the minority party.

    1. Or maybe they don’t actually care about cutting spending?

      1. Or maybe they don’t actually care about cutting spending?

        Or, truth being scarier than fiction, some of them do.

        1. A few, sure. In general, I don’t think the evidence supports that.

  5. I was at one of those infamous D.C. cocktail parties the other night

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Welch doesn’t go to those parties for the connections, but for the cocktails. He only became a political journalist because he heard they get free booze.

      1. It might have been years since I’d been to one; just wanted to make sure y’all still had some ammo.

        1. XD

          Wait, I thought Libertarians stockpiled ammo for the inevitable days of reckoning?

    2. Robby’s Hair was killing tray after tray of fruit sushi.

    3. Fun fact: that sentence is how each Reason blog piece begins before it is edited.

  6. Earlier this year, I introduced a budget that repealed Obamacare, froze all on-budget spending without making changes to Social Security, gave agencies time to prepare for new spending levels, and contained zero specific cuts to any government function so we could work together to prioritize spending. It did all this while actually balancing.

    It also would have resulted in a joint Mexican/ISIS/Russian invasion, all of our national parks controlled by the oil companies, and the vicious raping of Big Bird.

    1. I introduced a budget that repealed Obamacare, froze all on-budget spending without making changes to Social Security, gave agencies time to prepare for new spending levels, and contained zero specific cuts to any government function so we could work together to prioritize spending. It did all this while actually balancing.

      Yeah, but…. DID YOU THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!11!1!!

  7. I was at one of those infamous D.C. cocktail parties the other night when Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)

    Dude, jelly! I’d do anything, say anything, write anything to go to one of those!

    “Just rubbing shoulders with the political elite, no big deal.” He said while nursing his expertly made martini.

  8. GOP congressmen don’t have a spine. They are reacting to all those progs marching in front of their offices and screaming at them at town hall meetings. Why? They don’t want to appear insensitive to all the sob stories.
    But why are they neglecting all the libertarians and tea partiers that are counter marching and confronting the progs at town meetings? Oh wait……..
    These politicos put their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. So far, the cut-spending, smaller government side is not making any wind at all.

    1. Plenty of those on the “cut-spending, smaller government side” don’t actually want to cut spending or reduce government, if it looks like it will hurt them in the short term.

    2. They are reacting to all those progs marching in front of their offices and screaming at them at town hall meetings.

      I completely disagree. The GOP congresspeople know that the other Team acting like that only helps them, which is why they don’t mind approving this kind of budget.

      But why are they neglecting all the libertarians and tea partiers that are counter marching and confronting the progs at town meetings?

      First, no libertarians are marching – they are too busy reloading their own ammo, watching Firefly and theorizing about what Reason employees really think. Second – and I sound like much hated former commenter Epi – but the GOP knows that they will always have support because of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, The Clintons, MJG favorite Lena Dunham, etc. The other side is them, therefore, Team GOP is the least worst option.

      1. theorizing about what Reason employees really think

        You make it sound no better than a guessing game!

      2. First, no libertarians are marching – they are too busy reloading their own ammo, watching Firefly and theorizing about what Reason employees really think.

        You are one though and not at all a lefty. Right, asshole?

          1. You’re a terrible liar. Sad!

      3. It’s why I am as harsh on the Rs as I am on the Ds.

      4. First, no libertarians are marching – they are too busy reloading their own ammo, watching Firefly and theorizing about what Reason employees really think.

        1. Not marching — check.
        2. Reloading ammo — more of a sword guy myself *practices air cuts* — check.
        3. Watching Firefly — I still dream about burning Fox studio executives alive — check.
        4. Theorizing about what Reason employees really think — I wonder if ENB likes my comments? — check.

        Bonafide.

  9. I’d bet good money that at least a quarter to a third of the republicans in Congress are getting money from George Soros and his scummy ilk.

    Probably including that worthless piece of crap Paul Ryan, who should get his face smashed in with a sledgehammer.

  10. The ONLY way we will have a budget that ISN’T a “status quo protection plan” is after the bloody revolution. America is way past the point where the opposite sides will even talk to each other and that’s the door opening to a serious, more direct way of dealing with your opponent. I certainly don’t advocate violence as a replacement for an argument. But no one one the other side bothers to listen to any arguments any longer!

  11. The ONLY way we will have a budget that ISN’T a “status quo protection plan” is after the bloody revolution. America is way past the point where the opposite sides will even talk to each other and that’s the door opening to a serious, more direct way of dealing with your opponent. I certainly don’t advocate violence as a replacement for an argument. But no one one the other side bothers to listen to any arguments any longer!

  12. The ONLY way we will have a budget that ISN’T a “status quo protection plan” is after the bloody revolution. America is way past the point where the opposite sides will even talk to each other and that’s the door opening to a serious, more direct way of dealing with your opponent. I certainly don’t advocate violence as a replacement for an argument. But no one one the other side bothers to listen to any arguments any longer!

  13. Protecting the Status Quo!
    Isn’t that what government does best?

  14. Cut you, fuck spending.

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