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Breaking: "The Gist" of Rand Paul's Controversial Defense Budget Amendment 940

More than ever, we need a strong voice to argue that $600 billion is more than enough to secure the safety and security of U.S. citizens and interests.

Getty ImagesGetty ImagesAs noted earlier, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) submitted a budget amendment calling for increased defense spending in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. As Time originally reported, the amendment called for increasing spending by a total of about $190 billion over those two years, or a 16 percent increase over current totals.

While the specific language of the amendment is not yet available, the senator's office has sent me the following summary of its provisions:

Background information on Paul Amdt 940:

Sen. Paul has offered an amendment to increase the levels of national defense spending (budget function 050) in both 2016 and 2017.  The levels reflect the projected FY2016 levels, before BCA caps became law. 

Amdt. 940 will increase, defense spending by nearly $190 billion over the next two years. This amendment continues to fulfill the President’s OCO request and mandatory defense spending. 

In the proposed amendment, Sen. Paul provides an increase in defense spending with offsets from the following accounts:  

•             $21 billion from Foreign Assistance accounts (budget 150 function)
•             $14 billion from the National Science Foundation and Climate Change research under the General Science, Space, and Technology (budget 250 function)
•             $10 billion total from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Commerce activities under Natural Resources and Environment (Budget 300 function) and Commerce and Housing Credits (Budget 370 function)
•             $20 billion from Department of Education
•             $41 billion in discretionary spending from the Department of Housing and Urban Development

These reductions would occur in both FY2016 and FY2017.

Those cuts in other areas come to $106 billion annually. According to the senator's office, the key gesture here is to pay for the increased spending by cuts made elsewhere in the budget.

That's something that other Republican proposals fail to do. As senior advisor Doug Stafford wrote me earlier today:

This amendment is to lay down a marker that if you believe we need more funding for national defense, you should show how you would pay for it. We can't just keep borrowing more money from China to send to Pakistan. And we can't keep paying for even vital things like national defense on a credit card.

Mercatus Center, Veronique de RugyMercatus Center, Veronique de RugySen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has proposed an amendment to increase spending by about the same amount as Paul's, but Rubio's plan specifies no offsets in spending, says Bloomberg Politics' Erik Wasson. Like Paul, Rubio is a presumptive candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. According to various reports, declared candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has signed on to Rubio's plan and voted for its passage.

So in this narrow sense, one can see meaningful difference between Paul and his fellow Senate colleagues: He is willing to pay for increases in defense spending by stipulating cuts elsewhere. And it's worth pointing out that his insistence on trimming foreign aid by $21 billion has already raised the ire of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Yes, it's great news that Paul is serious about debt and deficit in a way that escapes Cruz and Rubio—and virtually all Republicans, especially when it comes to Pentagon spending.

Gallup, Feb. 2015Gallup, Feb. 2015But there remains a serious question about reducing the size, scope, and spending of government. Real federal outlays spiked massively under George W. Bush and a Republican Congress. They spiked under Bush and a Democratic Congress too. They spiked even more under Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress and then flattened temporarily not out of any commitment to restraint but because of government incompetency. Expenditures are back on their way up, as both parties have constituents they want to reward after the briefest of timeouts.

In this context, Rand Paul's full-throated argument for reducing federal spending overall and specifically on defense was nothing less than exceptional (that it was clearly in tune with the vox populi is less important). It's true that popular opinion toward U.S. military spending and involvement around the world shifted last fall in response to the beheadings of Americans by the Islamic State, aggressive actions by Vladimir Putin, and a bizarre turn of events that has the United States effectively fighting side by side with Iran and Syria in Iraq. The war impulse is especially strong among Republicans, of whom 56 percent say the U.S. is "spending too little" on defense. In Congress and the op-ed pages of the country, there is no shortage of right-wing hawks who want to see the U.S. flex its muscles in the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere.

However, it's precisely this new, pro-war context that makes Paul's call for increased defense spending, even if paid for, more frustrating.

Now more than ever, the country needs a strong and unambiguous voice to argue that $600 billion is far more than enough to secure the safety and security of U.S. citizens and interests. If anything, we seriously need to be talking about cutting down the drag that debt-financed military spending puts on the economy and, more important, the awful outcomes the past dozen years of U.S. foreign policy has visited not just upon our armed forces but people around the globe.

The current war fever—half of Americans think we're heading back into the Cold War, fer chrissakes—will break soon enough once Americans recognize that buying more useless weapons systems and going deeper into debt to keep defense contractors happy is no way to win the future. We Americans are fickle, yes, but we're not so stupid as to think going back into Iraq—or engineering a pro-Western coup in Iran, as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) seems to want—makes a hell of a lot of sense. Nor are we so stupid as to think that absent ever-increasing defense spending, "Americans will die in great numbers" (as radio warrior Hugh Hewitt says).

With even a few more weeks passing, what will be revealed is that hawks always insist that it's the right time to double or triple or quadruple defense spending and to invade this or that country. Like blood-mad realtors hell-bent of selling houses, for them it's always a good time to buy buy buy. Their message is both consistent and consistently wrong. Does the 21st century prove nothing so much as the criminal stupidity of the Dick Cheneys and Donald Rumsfelds of the world, and that of all their towel boys at institutions such as American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation? Anyone who looks back over the still-smoldering ruins of the past decade of American foreign policy folly and decides we need to stay the same course is unfit for intelligent conversation, much less elected office.

Rand Paul has captured the imagination of a large and growing number of conservatives (many of whom are also questioning the wisdom of being on a permanent war footing), libertarians and libertarian-leaning Republicans, younger people, and even liberals and Democrats precisely by speaking truth to the war power. Because of that, he will always be suspect to armchair warriors of the right who never think twice about sending young men and women to soak the ground of far-flung countries with their blood, or who never pause to break the back of the American economy in the pursuit of the next F-35 boondoggle.

It's to Rand Paul's immense credit that he, alone among even his Tea Party compatriots who were sent to the Senate to reduce federal spending, wants to pay for any and all increases in defense spending.

It will be better still, for the country and the wide, wide world, if Paul once again channels his earlier self and calls for a reduction in overall spending, including the reckless piling up of arms and men that have not advanced national security in any observable way.

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  • Jerry on the sea||

    Ha, someone got owned today.

  • SovereignMary||

    Jerry on the sea - I've said all along that Rand Paul has been using a Political Strategy so that he won't be dismissed, vilified and ignored as was done all too often to his most gracious, astute, unassuming and Constitutional Patriot father Ron Paul by the GOP Establishment Machine RINO's.

    It takes a wise person to beat the RINO's at their own game. Hopefully Rand Paul will get elected POTUS and upset theirs and the Big Brother's Apple Cart

  • Rich||

    We can't just keep borrowing more money from China to send to Pakistan.

    Right on! Let's pay China to send money directly to Pakistan.

  • Suicidy||

    They do have lots of excess young me. With no prospect of ever getting married and having a family to burn off. They could trim down by a hundred million or so.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Why is this so difficult to understand? This amendment isn't going to pass, and I will wager 100 to 1 that he vote against it himself. All the while, his political opponents will show that they have no intention of paying for the defense increases they want.

  • Sudden||

    Yeah, I don't view this as Rand abandoning his principles where defense spending is concerned. Rather I view this as a bill that he introduced so that he has political cover come debate time: "I've criticised military expenditures before and I believe we spend too much on our military and interventionism the world over. But I also proposed a bill calling for the same increase in DoD budget as you voted for, the only difference is that I offset it by making cuts in other areas of the budget. Funny, you didn't vote for the fiscally responsible increase there Ted/Marco/Satan."

  • Calidissident||

    I really want to believe he's just playing politics. But I have a pretty strong feeling that if he was a left-wing politician doing something that disappointed his base, we would be laughing at the ones naive enough to think he was really on their side and was going to do what he previously promised.

  • Sudden||

    I'm aware of the risk of putting too much hope in a single politician, especially one whose goal is to be broadly electable to the highest office in the land. I like to think that I don't have any misconceptions about what that will entail from him and that I will be disappointed by the result. But I believe that, while he may commit libertarian heresy on some policy positions at times, his temperment is still closer to mine than any other serious major party candidate I've ever seen. I'll not let perfect be the enemy of good.

  • some guy||

    As I said below, I don't think you can win an election with integrity, but you can govern with it. I'd like to think Paul realizes that and is doing what needs to be done. Hopefully the campaigning process doesn't damage him permanently...

    Still, I agree that the perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good. Unless he goes off the deep end he will have my vote. Worst case is that we get someone just as bad as we were going to get anyway. Best case is we get the most libertarian president in living memory.

  • Sudden||

    The only concern there is that whoever takes the oath of office on 1/20/17 will simultaneously beginning in earnest their 2020 re-election bid.

  • Calidissident||

    I'll still probably vote for Paul in the GOP primary. Not sure about the general though, I may go for the LP candidate (presumably Johnson) or not vote. It's not like my one vote is going to swing the election, especially in California.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    If you think Paul is stupid enough to switch his position on military spending midstream, why would you vote for him?

  • Calidissident||

    Because the rest of the GOP field sucks and he'd still be significantly better than them?

  • SovereignMary||

    Calidissident - I've said all along that Rand Paul has been using a Political Strategy so that he won't be dismissed, vilified and ignored as was done all too often to his most gracious, astute, unassuming and Constitutional Patriot father Ron Paul by the GOP Establishment Machine RINO's.
    It takes a wise person to beat the RINO's at their own game. Hopefully Rand Paul will get elected POTUS and upset theirs and the Big Brother's Apple Cart

  • Michael Hihn||

    Keep Rand in rthe Senate where he's learning to be effective, instead of the White House that no extreme social conservative could possibly win anyhow.

  • Brochettaward||

    Rand Paul has accomplished next to nothing in Congress and never will. Ron accomplished next to nothing there, either.

    Libertarians who don't accept that we live in a country where the are a fringe and refuse any sort of ideological compromise are just giving the country and their own future up to conservatives and progressives who have no such scruples.

    Rand is the closest to a legitimate libertarian candidate you are going to get. I'd rather give him a chance to screw it up than watch Jeb Bush and whatever hack the Dems find/Hillary compete.

    Rand Paul offers hope that some libertarian goals will become reality. Every other option is status quo.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Rand Paul has accomplished next to nothing in Congress and never will.

    You're confusing Rand with his father ... and must live in a cave/ Rand has been forming bipartisan partnerships to advance issues of importance to libertarians (and others)

    The advances are small but achievable ... which is a meaningless distinction to those libertarians who must believe we have a dictatorship ... run by their cronies.

  • some guy||

    This. But in general I'm expecting Paul to play as close to the traditional GOP base as he thinks he can get away with during the primaries. Then, during the general he'll slide a bit back to the center and throw out a few liberty bones to those of us who remember how he used to be. Finally, if elected, its anyone's guess whether he'll actually behave like a libertarian or just be a typical president. Either way he likely has my vote just because there's a chance he might let the libertarian shine through.

  • SovereignMary||

    Sudden - I've said all along that Rand Paul has been using a Political Strategy so that he won't be dismissed, vilified and ignored as was done all too often to his most gracious, astute, unassuming and Constitutional Patriot father Ron Paul by the GOP Establishment Machine RINO's.

    It takes a wise person to beat the RINO's at their own game. Hopefully Rand Paul will get elected POTUS and upset theirs and the Big Brother's Apple Cart

  • are you serious||

    $14 billion from the NSF? The complete budget for it is $7.3 billion for 2015.

  • Sudden||

    The GSST is also part of that $14b cut, and their budget is $31b.

  • Steve G||

    Way to shed that anti-science image wingnutz!!
    /shrek

  • Officer Jim Lahey||

    Best. Alt. Text. Ever.

  • Adans smith||

    Getting rid of the F-35 would help too.As would closing bases and bring most troops home from Europe and Asia.Oh,and keep and up grade the A-10,

  • Steve G||

    up grade the A-10

    They just finished...

  • rocks||

    The F-35 is the biggest argument I've ever seen for shutting down the pentegon, simply the biggest cluster fuck of screwed up design goals (that should have never been put together) ever.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Much as I hate to say it, the Marines are the base problem with F-35; they want spaceships for their amphibs. The Marines do not have enough political clout for their own airframe, but they do have enough to muck up everyone else's airframe with their requirements.

    The politics that designed the F-35 reminds me of Air Force req's driving NASA's shuttle development, which when combined with politicized contracting led to the Frankebooster the shuttle became; an incoherent political vehicle where brilliant engineering magically made the contraption work at all.

    It's also worth noting the truly innovative aircraft procured by US gov't for the past forty years (F-16, A-10, F-117, DC-X, pick-a-drone) were all borne from government institutional insurgencies, on relative shoestring budgets.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The memory of Guadalcanal is still fresh in their minds. The Japanese might sink all of our carriers... VSTOL is just a stupid, stupid compromise.

    You have a problem with ridiculous cross range performance for an orbiter? What are you thinking?

    Don't forget the F-15 which atoned mightily for the sins of the F-4. Boyd and the fighter mafia deserve a ton of credit for that and the F-16. DC-X was a crying shame. First NASA fucked -XA and then VentureStar screwed the rest. Just further proof that programs that are too big to fail and pull in the big bucks are very rarely worth it.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Scope creep in the extreme. Comanche.

  • Timon 19||

    Please, knock it off with the A-10 worship. It's a great airframe. It's an ancient airframe. It was built for CAS in a large Cold War era tank war.

  • DesigNate||

    That alt text is...disappointing.

    Aren't you supposed to be a wordsmith or something Nick?

  • Officer Jim Lahey||

    Sir, I'll direct you to my above comment. The alt-text is, in itself, a meta-joke regarding the ubiquity of Rand Paul articles on this site, while also being a clever nod to Auric's insistence for more alt-text on the articles in the comments therein. We know who is depicted in that grainy picture, but it it is still pointed out to us! Absent any commentary that is, in itself, hilarious! Nick is suggesting we might not recognize Rand Paul! I'd type further, but my intestines are on the verge of rupturing from laughter.

    This is pure, unadulterated, genius without the slightest bit of laziness.

  • DesigNate||

    Ah! My brain don't work so good sometimes.

  • Sudden||

    Have you considered running for office?

  • DesigNate||

    I have, but then I'd call somebody a useless cunt or a fucking retard or something and be completely sunk.

  • Ivoted4KODOS||

    Best to stay away from the crazy liquor and cheeseburger parties during campaign season.

  • Officer Jim Lahey||

    Those are the times when you let the liquor do the thinking...

  • FreeRadical||

    At first I was pissed off at this. I've always known that Rand Paul is not perfect and he is slippery at times. But this is an explicit rejection of something that I think is a core issue.

    But now, I'm starting to think that this might be a brilliant political move. It's a multifaceted educational ploy.

    The amendment won't pass with all of those other cuts
    He gets a talking point with hawkish voters that he definitely thinks defense spending is the most important function of the fedgov
    He gets to rub the noses of his Republican rivals in the steaming pile of their hypocrisy.
    He gets to educate (or at least expose) voters to the very concept of trade offs, limitations and compromises in budgeting
    When it doesn't pass, he can come back later and say, "I won't even increase defense spending without cuts elsewhere, that's how dedicated I am to fiscal responsibility!"

    I still think it's unbecoming, because I now believe it's a fully preconceived political ploy. Rolling around in the shit is part of politics.

  • some guy||

    You can't win an election with integrity, but you can govern with integrity if you choose.

  • FreeRadical||

    And that's the asymptote that's never reached.

  • brec||

    So he'll govern with integrity in his second term?

  • HolgerDanske||

    Yeah. Pandering to libertarian purists for votes is pointless. There aren't enough to matter. Being principled unfortunately alienates most voters, who just want to hear their concerns echoed by a candidate.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah. Pandering to libertarian purists for votes is pointless. There aren't enough to matter.

    5.3%

    Being principled unfortunately alienates most voters,

    When has principle ever had anythiung to do with Rand Paul? (Or Ron?)

    most voters, who just want to hear their concerns echoed by a candidate.

    Just like you.

  • FreeRadical||

    Hmm, I thought I remembered using [ul][li] bullet item [/li] [/ul] to make a bulleted list here. Oh well, image bullet points above. I had to use brackets in my example above instead of less than/greater than symbols.

  • Raston Bot||

    But if we cut NSF's budget, who will hand out grants to their friends??

  • Sudden||

    The Clinton Foundation?

  • ||

    They spend all their money on server upgrades.

  • ||

    However, it's precisely this new, pro-war context that makes Paul's call for increased defense spending, even if paid for, more frustrating.

    How do you know his proposal is for a "pro-war" increase? Perhaps he wants to budget the money so we can pay what it costs to close our overseas bases and bring the troops home, building them quarters here in the process.

  • Calidissident||

    He used "pro-war" to refer to the context, not the spending. In any case, I find that highly unlikely, considering it would probably be talked about (and his office would have clarified in their statement) if that money was going towards those things.

  • ||

    Nick appears to be making an assumption though. And you know what they say about assuming?

  • Sudden||

    Assume a canopener?

  • ||

    I was thinking this.

  • gaoxiaen||

    You're an ass, sue me?

  • Suicidy||

    That everything will meet our optimistic expectations?

  • some guy||

    That would be ... interesting.

    But not going to happen. I think he's serious about defense being the top priority and (to him) that includes having the ability to bear overwhelming force anywhere, anytime, for any reason.

  • ||

    And I don't necessarily have a problem with that philosophy. What I do have a problem with is people using that ability in an offensive manner rather than a defensive one. And I think Paul has said that he believes that as well many times in the past.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't have a problem with that philosophy but I think it could be accomplished while saving a few hundred billion dollars.

  • Suicidy||

    I'm willing to take a chance on this guy. Granted, he won't have Al, the progtards rounded. Up and shot/imprisoned/deported. Like in my super dream world. But he will probably be a decent President.

  • ||

    It may be that he is exercising leadership by finding a compromise between the GOPs warring factions. And thereby getting a more libertarian budget than the one we would get if the war hawks got together with the D's and passed their own.

  • Jack Coe||

    Describe to me what the geopolitical landscape would look like it the the U.S. abandoned all its military bases abroad, including those in Europe and Asia, brought home all its troop, reduced its navy to about two carriers and one hundred ships (estimating a third in port or dry dock at any given time), and kept it within, say, 500 nautical miles of U.S. shores.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Describe to me what the geopolitical landscape would look like it the the U.S. abandoned all its military bases abroad

    History is clear that our homeland would be far more secure if we stopped our military aggression.

    We stuck our nose into the Japanese/Chinese war, had US pilots shooting down Japanese planes, and suffered Pearl Harbor.

    We stuck our nose into a thousand-year conflict in the middle east -- which was also none of our business -- and suffered 9/11 and the Boston Bombing (so far).

    Apparently, our enemies are not impressed when we beat our chests, chanting, "American Exceptionalism Uber Alles"

  • matthennry||

    Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income... You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection... Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up... You can have your first check by the end of this week......................

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  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    will break soon enough once Americans recognize that buying more useless weapons systems and going deeper into debt to keep defense contractors happy is no way to win the future.

    No, but paying off the troops is!

  • SovereignMary||

    I've said all along that Rand Paul has been using a Political Strategy so that he won't be dismissed, vilified and ignored as was done all too often to his most gracious, astute, unassuming and Constitutional Patriot father Ron Paul by the GOP Establishment Machine RINO's.

    It takes a wise person to beat the RINO's at their own game. Hopefully Rand Paul will get elected POTUS and upset theirs and the Big Brother's Apple Cart

  • wwhorton||

    I can see you've said it all along. You've said it all along this thread, copied and pasted in at least three other spots. It's not that witty, Mary, you really only needed to say it once, if then.

  • Michael Hihn||

    It's to Rand Paul's immense credit that he, alone among even his Tea Party compatriots who were sent to the Senate to reduce federal spending, wants to pay for any and all increases in defense spending.

    Or ... Rand wants to con his Tribe into believing these spending cuts are any less phony than his last "proposal." We're in a libertarian moment, right? So far, Nick has made excuses for extreme social conservatism, now an explosion in military spending (solely to finance more military aggression).


    Question: Which should libertarians prefer, in a purely hypothetical choice between ACTUAL spending cuts of $50 billion ... or impossible-to-achieve cuts of $500 billion? Okay, option #2 inlcudes waving one's arms and a whiny voice, "Repeal the income tax, replace it with nothing, and run the government on Social Securiity and Medicare tax revenues.".

  • Brochettaward||

    There's a blatant contradiction in your argument. You are lambasting Rand Paul for having the audacity to show any compromise politically on the issue of defense spending...while saying a politician should be willing to show compromise on budgets to get some cuts rather than propose politically impossible plans.

    You are an incoherent and repetitive dunce.

    If Rand and his father had no scruples, as you've said now repeatedly, why do you want him to stay in Congress where he's 'starting' to learn to be effective? One of the other blatant contradictions in the shit you've been spewing all day.

    Someone is only more effective in Congress than as President if they have no shot at winning the White House. Nick may be wrong on a libertarian moment, but there are strands of libertarianism that the GOP base is willing to accept that can be exploited and bring about larger change. To not try and exploit these historical circumstances would be suicide for libertarians and stupidity on the part of Paul.

  • Sevo||

    "You are an incoherent and repetitive dunce."

    You are too kind; Mike is far worse than that.
    Mike, fuck off. You won't embarrass yourself.

  • Michael Hihn||

  • Michael Hihn||

    There's a blatant contradiction in your argument.

    what 'contradiction' means'

    You are lambasting Rand Paul for having the audacity to show any compromise politically on the issue of defense spending...while saying a politician should be willing to show compromise on budgets to get some cuts rather than propose politically impossible plans

    Here's what I really said ”Rand wants to con his Tribe into believing these spending cuts are any less phony than his last "proposal."

    Shame on you.

    You are an incoherent and repetitive dunce.

    meaning of repetitive

    If Rand and his father had no scruples, as you've said now repeatedly, why do you want him to stay in Congress where he's 'starting' to learn to be effective?

    Here's your third lesson for the day : Ideologues can be VERY effective … ONLY when they apply scruples instead of being ideologues. One good example is Ted Kennedy (which may trigger more mindless rage in you!)

    continued

  • Michael Hihn||

    part 2

    Someone is only more effective in Congress than as President if they have no shot at winning the White House

    Rand could NEVER win the White House, nor could any extreme social conservative.

    For an ideologue, being an effective legislator means abandoning your own base, like Ted Kennedy did, and as Rand MAY be starting to learn.

    Ted was the patron saint of American liberalism, but also CO-author (with Republicans) of much landmark legislation. He'd go off alone with a single Republican, often Hatch, once Kassebaum -- instead of a fucking committee. They’d structure the best deal they BOTH agree on, then go sell their own party, which was fairly easy.

    Consider Kennedy-Kassebaum, which is lied about across the spectrum -- lies by both Obama and Cato.

    Pay attention: Workers have had healthcare portability when changing jobs, even with pre-existing conditions, since 1996 (gasp)

    Google your own link this time.

    Tribalism means launching a raging attack ... on an issue one knows nothing about ... simply because they memorized a Tribal Talking Point on blind faith alone.

    Any more I can teach you?

  • Suicidy||

    It's entirely possible to cut the budget by $500 billion. Just reverse all the bullshit stimulus spending that built into the annual budget. And start gutting shit. Like funding for gay cowboys eating pudding or whatever the hell pork spending Harry Reid was protecting awhile back.

  • Michael Hihn||

    If we were the dictatorship that "anti-gunnint" libertarians keep assuming,
    It takes more than a calculator.

  • Suicidy||

    At least defense spending is something actually constitutionally part of the federal government's enumerated powers.

  • Arthur45||

    Problem with Rand Paul is that he's so stupid. I wouldn't believe anything that comes out of his big mouth. Yeah, Rand Paul, defense expert. Yeah, right.

  • Suicidy||

    Stupid, right. Because stupid people graduate with a degree from Duke Medical school and have an easy time being board certified.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Umm, the same Rand Paul who FAILED board certification, invented his own board and certified himself. You may not be stupid, just another loyal Tribesman.

  • BillEverman||

    It's funny that you're doing exactly the thing you accuse Suicidy of doing: you're repeating misinformation from your own echo chamber of "loyal tribesmen". Or, I guess by your standard, you might be stupid.

    Paul was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, on his first attempt, in 1995, which meant that he was certified by them for the next ten years. In 1997, he formed the National Board of Ophthalmology to protest an exemption to ABO re-certification requirements for older members. In case it's hard for you to subtract 1995 from 1997, that means his ABO certification was still good for eight more years when he started the NBO. But don't let facts get in the way of a good smear.

  • XM||

    Nick is apparently seeing some different America.

    Most polls conducted on responding ISIS show that Americans favor intervention in some form. 57% favored sending GROUND TROOPS to stop them as recently as February. If Paul is being an opportunist, he's not doing it just of the sake of some "neocon"s or members of a think tank.

    Rand is smart enough to realize that pro pot college kids won't spontaneously flock to his side because proposes a 20% cut in defense (government jobs will be lost). Not a popular position overall, and too drastic during a time in which Americans feel uneasy about overseas turmoil.

    Rand proposes that we make other cuts so we can fund the increase in defense. It sounds reasonable to me, or a good starting point. So Nick's objection boils down to "But defense is big already, and I don't want it to grow". But most Americans may not object to it if they can see how it's being spent.

    Believe it or not, sequestration actually led to modest decrease in discretionary spending and lowered deficits (which Obama took credit for). Overcoming the keystone veto fell 5 votes short. If you win and gain numbers, you can at least try to cut things.

    I voted for Mccain and Romney because an imperfect win is better than.... Obama, the guy who says everyone should be forced to vote. Rand is a better than any of them. Are people under some illusion that he'll actually closed down every military base and dept of education? Pick your battles.

  • Suicidy||

    I might be willing to get behind a short term ground invasion if it is only for the purpose of exterminating ISIS and not part of an ongoing occupation.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Pacifism was never the litmus test for libertarianism/classical liberalism. That is is an Iraq war era invention. Defense is one of the few legitimate tasks of government.

    Cutting defense before cutting anything else would win Rand Paul praise from the left, but ruin his chances at convincing the GOP to nominate him for the White House.

  • Marshall Gill||

    it's worth pointing out that his insistence on trimming foreign aid by $21 billion has already raised the ire of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

    Because you can't pass up a chance to attack Israel? Are there no other committees who's ire has been raised? Lobbying groups who will have their funding cut off don't like it but something something especially Jooooos?

    If I didn't know better, I would think that Nick was just a Leftist hack waiting for his opportunity to go Weigel. Oh, I don't know better.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I'm with Marshall, Nick Gillespie is a leftist hack, part of the vast socialist conspiracy.
    And a Bilderberger.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Still not understanding why so many of you think gutting the EPA, HUD, Commerce and Education as well as cutting foreign aid is a bad thing.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Still not understanding why so many of you think gutting the EPA, HUD, Commerce and Education as well as cutting foreign aid is a bad thing.

    Depends where the savings go.
    And anyone who sees even a 1% chance of those cuts ever happening is smoking some GREAT weed.

  • Brick Heck||

    He had a chance to set himself apart from the pack, in a good way, one that would appeal to a lot more of us. He blew it.

  • Atillahn||

    Nick,

    It's time to dump Rand. He is just another Republican.

    You and me thought he was different. He isn't.

  • Yosef||

    What's up Nick? Be easy on the guy, he's running for the Republican Nomination afterall... he has to seem at least a little "anti-badguy" in a nation hell belt on nation building. As a Libertarian now myself, (former Bush Republican and Ron Paul convert).... I'm happy to see Rand Paul walking the fine line needed to win support in the Republican Party and I have no doubt he will float more on the "socially libertarian" scale after he wins the nomination and doubles down on being "fiscally libertarian" including military spending and eliminating large chunks of welfare post-election should he win the White House. I trust the Paul family with this country like no other. Give the guy a little slack :)

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