Tag Archives: Perry
While Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann continue to battle it out for top dog, it comes as little surprise to find Ron Paul playing the role of the perpetual underdog. While I am not a major proponent of many of the congressman’s past and current initiatives, his appeal to a more moderate and less dogmatic conservative agenda finds itself at odds with the rhetoric that highlighted last night’s Republican Tea Party debate.
The New Political Culture (NPC) is characterized by increased focus on specific issues rather than allegiance to any single party. Leader like Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama are members of the NPC, which is precisely why they appeal to a younger class of voters that are often more socially liberal and economically conservative. Many of Ron Paul’s talking points align with those of the NPC and current leaders of the NPC.
During last night’s debate the question of defense spending came up and Paul was quick to criticize the notion that we constantly need to be involved in nation building. He went on to accurately detail that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were largely a response to America’s foreign policy over the last several decades; a point that was not well received by his Republican counterparts.
Paul spoke to a smirking Newt Gingrich about American’s excessive and unnecessary occupation of over 130 foreign nations and the appalling sums of money we waste on maintaining a 21st century empire. The Texas Congressman highlighted the danger the America and our allies continue to face as a result of unnecessary foreign occupation, which the majority of military and foreign policy experts will say is the cause of all Islamic based terrorism.
This has long been a sticking point for conservatives who want to cut spending programs, but refuse to touch the military’s budget. In 2010 defense spending amounted to 4.7% of total GDP, or $664 billion. As proposed by more moderate leaders and military experts on both sides of the aisle, America should be engaged in spending related to policing and anti-terrorism task forces. This is precisely the type of spending that prevented last year’s attempted car bombing in Time Square and allowed us to kill Osama Bin Laden under President Obama. Meanwhile, billions wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan (preemptive wars initiated by President Bush) has cost this nation billions.
Paul’s stance on this issue along with other more moderate and logical members of Congress fly in the face of the impracticality of military and spending proposals supported by a majority of congressional leaders. If spending cuts are what the Republican’s are asking for, then reducing $283.3 billion in operations and maintenance along with $23.9 billion in military construction are two very good places to start. Unfortunately, conservative leaders continue to see spending cuts to the public sector by way of education, housing, and tax incentives to the wealthiest one percent as a means of stimulating our slumping economy.
Is it possible that a majority of American’s would be happier with spending cuts to non-essential sectors of the Department of Defense, rather than incentives that only benefit the smallest percentage of our population? I believe this to be the case and I don’t think I’m alone. Yet the base of the Republican Party continues to fight legislation that would truly benefit their constituents such as; health care reform, tax breaks to the middle class and businesses that actually produce jobs, support for innovation and new ideas, infrastructure, and education that will allow us to compete in a 21st century market. These are the issues that America needs to address and these are the issues that should be debated rather than vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer, or the legitimacy of global warming.