Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced an amendment that would increase defense spending dramatically over the next two years at the expense of other vital programs.
The measure, first spotted by Time, would allocate an additional $190 billion to the Pentagon -- amounting to an approximately 16 percent increase to its budget. To offset the increase in spending, Paul calls for substantial cuts to U.S. foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, and departments of Education, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development.
The idea that supposed anti-war hero Rand Paul would call for increasing defense spending by nearly 20 percent is hilarious, to say the least, but his rationale is even more entertaining.
“This amendment is in response to others in both chambers who are attempting to add to defense spending — some way more than Senator Paul’s amendment — without paying for it. Senator Paul believes national defense should be our priority. He also believes our debt is out of control,” Paul senior adviser Doug Stafford said in a statement.
Dramatic increases in defense spending are okay with Rand Paul as long as you pay for it by cutting environmental protection, education, and federal housing. Offsetting increased defense spending by cutting other programs doesn't actually do anything to reduce our debt, but as least we're not adding to it, right?
Cloaking this with a pitch for fiscal responsibility does not hide the fact that this is a significant ideological break that arguably began last Summer when Rand son of Ron positioned himself to the right of Hillary Clinton and President Obama on defense in series of op-eds. Paul's ideological incoherence culminated in an epic floor speech last September in which he delivered a lengthy rebuttal to himself.
Is there a point at which libertarians and supporters of Ron Paul no longer support Rand Paul, or is the Kool-aid just too strong?