The utterly-discredited, extremely liberal DailyCaller has published yet another litany of libertarian anti-defense lies written (or rather rehashed; he repeats the same lies in his every screed) by Ron Paul’s Official Propagandist Jack Hunter.
He falsely claims that:
“only Paul amongst the GOP candidates is offering actual spending cuts.”
FALSE. Perry, Bachmann, Gingrich, and Romney have all offered actual spending cuts (although Romney, as is typical for a Northeastern squish, offered only small ones). Perry supports cutting federal spending by 6 pp, from 24% of GDP to 18% of GDP. Among the many cuts he supports is the complete abolition of the Education Department, the DOE, and the Department of Commerce, as well as the TSA. Bachmann supports the closure of the Education Departments and cuts in every other department of the government, including the DOD. Huntsman and Gingrich support massive defense cuts, and count on Gingrich to fulfill that pledge – as Speaker, he teamed up with President Clinton to gut defense.
“Why haven’t the other candidates been able to arrive at the same cuts Paul has? How can Republican candidates offer no cuts and still claim to be conservative?”
The only problem with these claims that they are patently false. Firstly, Paul has not arrived at any cuts – he has merely PROPOSED cuts. But PROPOSING something and actually getting it enacted are two entirely different things. Paul has never managed to get ANYTHING accomplished in Congress, so the idea that the federal legislature would approve anything he proposes – let alone $1 trillion in annual spending cuts – is ridiculous. As for other candidates supposedly offering no cuts, that is also a blatant lie, as proven above.
“Pappas noted that most of the Republican candidates not only refuse to cut Pentagon spending but also plan to increase it.”
But Pappas is LYING. Most Republican candidates support defense spending cuts. Four of the seven (Paul, Bachmann, Huntsman, and Gingrich), i.e. a majority, support deep defense cuts. Huntsman and Gingrich have even ruled out stopping the sequester and have refused to rule out DOD cuts BEYOND the sequester. Rick Perry is merely wiling to stop the sequestration mechanism. Only Santorum and Romney, 2 out of 7 candidates, support increasing defense spending.
“At a time when America spends more on its military than at any time since World War II and almost as much as every other nation on earth combined, most Republican candidates say we must still spend more.”
Those claims are also blatant lies. THe US is NOT spending more on its military than at any time since WW2. Not by any measure. Not by a long shot. In real terms, the Reagan era defense budgets ($606 bn for FY1987, $574 bn for FY1989) were much larger than today’s core defense budget ($526 bn for FY2012). As a percentage of GDP, the defense budget is the smallest since FY1948 (excepting the late 1990s), at just 3.59% of GDP vs 3.50% of GDP in FY1948. From FY1949 to FY1996, this percentage was higher. Even the TOTAL military budget, including war spending, amounts to just 4.51% of GDP, while it amounted to a larger share of America’s GDP throughout the entire Cold War except FY1948. Military spending also consumes a historically small share of the total federal budget (19%, smaller than it was throughout the entire Cold War except FY1948) and per capita.
The claim that the US is spending “almost as much as every other nation on Earth combined” on its military, that is also a blatant lie. According to SIPRI, America’s global share is just 42.8%, well short of 50%.
“Why? What enemies do we face on the horizon that merit the kind of military spending the United States found necessary during World War I, World War II and the Cold War?”
Communist China and Putinist Russia, to name but two examples, both of whom are arming themselves to the teeth with modern weaponry, especially in the case of China, whose real military budget is $185 bn and, if PPP differences are accounted for, is 3-4 times larger than this sum would suggest.
“Looking back at the George W. Bush era, many conservatives are left scratching their heads as to how a Republican president could have spent so much money. But the answer is easy — limited government took a backseat to the War on Terror.”
That claim is also false. During the Bush Era, limited government took a back seat to DOMESTIC SPENDING PROGRAMS (including a new entitlement program called the prescription drug benefit), NOT to the War on Terror. 92% of the spending hike overseen by Bush went to CIVILIAN programs, not military ones. Even as Bush was leaving the White House, military spending still amounted to just 4.6% of GDP and less than 20% of the total federal budget (17% per the Heritage Foundation).
Hunter then invoked the extremely leftist Stephen Walt as a credible foreign policy expertise source, in his usual habit of quoting extreme leftists in defense of Ron Paul’s insane foreign policy positions, then falsely claimed that:
“What we are seeing with the current fear-mongering over the alleged threat of a nuclear Iran is two things. One, Republican candidates are returning to their most tried-and-true method of gaining voter support: scaring them and then pacifying them by being aggressively pro-war. This is what defined the GOP during the Bush era.”
That is a blatant lie. Iran is a REAL and GROWING threat. It is working on uranium deuteride, whose only application is as a trigger for nuclear weapons, and it (unlike the Soviet Union) it is ruled by fanatical, irrational, suicidal mullahs who CHERISH martyrdom and wish to bring about chaos in order to facilitate the coming of the mythical “12th Imam”. Furthermore, waiting as danger grows and not confronting the threat until it is too late is a suicidal policy. The claim that the GOP is “aggressively pro-war”, or was during the Bush era, is also false.
But shamelessly, Hunter continued to lie that:
“Two, Republican candidates are using their support for war against Iran to gloss over the area where they are sorely lacking: actual limited-government conservatism.
Paul addresses what every other Republican candidate is afraid to — that it is impossible to maintain limited government domestically while pursuing what amounts to a big-government agenda abroad.”
Actually, the truth is that:
1) Perry, Bachmann, and even Huntsman have a record on limited government conservatism that is FAR superior to Ron Paul’s, and in the case of Perry and Huntsman, they have records of real, tangible, and admirable accomplishments on that front as Governors, records that Paul will never match; and
2) providing generous funding for defense and fighting America’s enemies abroad is not only NOT a violation of conservative ideology (including its Limited Government Principle), it is actually an INTEGRAL, IRREMOVABLE, and INEXCISABLE tenet of conservative philosophy, as proven both by the Constitution and the Founding Fathers and explained in detail here, here, and here . Defense is the #1 DUTY of the federal government, and any amount of expenditures on that duty is constitutionally legitimate. Hunter, who is not a conservative and utterly fails to understand conservatism, got it backwards. If you support any defense cuts, let alone deep ones, you are NOT a conservative and have NO RIGHT to call yourself one.
Hunter’s lie that “This is why only Paul can offer spending cuts and the other candidates cannot” has already been dealt with, so let’s now deal with this lie of his:
“Every conservative believes in a strong national defense, including Ron Paul. What traditional conservatives have never believed in is an irrational offense in which the nation spends itself into bankruptcy by equating every foreign policy concern with the rise of Hitler.”
Utter garbage. Ron Paul is NOT a conservative and he does NOT believe in a strong national defense. He never believed in it. In fact, he has spent most of the last 32 years railing against strong-defense policies and cooperating with his fellow strident liberals on massive defense cuts proposals. Last year, he sponsored, together with Barney Frank and Ron Wyden, a “task force” (SDTF) composed of propagandists from Soros-funded think-tanks which demanded $1 trillion in cuts to the core defense budget, including massive cuts to the US nuclear arsenal, the arsenals of conventional weapons and equipment, the force structure, and equipment programs, including cancellations of dozens of crucial equipment programs. Now he supports the sequester mechanism, which would do the same, and on top of it, further defense cuts.
No, Ron Paul does NOT support a strong defense. He virulently opposes it. And the claim that US military spending is causing America’s fiscal woes is a blatant lie, as demonstrated by its small share of the total federal budget (19%), as is the claim that the US (or GOP candidates other than Paul) is/are equating every FP concern with Hitler. Somehow, I don’t hear people equating Russia, China, NK, Venezuela, Syria, or Al Qaeda with Nazi Germany.
Hunter then approvingly quoted another leftist, Jonathan Kay, who claims that:
“But at least he understands that superpowers can’t maintain 11 carrier battle groups”
Which is a funny lie, but still a lie, because the US maintained much more carriers than that throught the entire Cold War (15 at the end of the Cold War), and maintained 12 CBGs until 2007.
Kay’s claim that “ll told, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost U.S. taxpayers more than $4 trillion” is also a blatant lie, parroted after Joseph Stiglitz.
Therefore, Hunter’s claims that
“The reason you don’t hear the Republican presidential candidates offering any spending cuts is because they can’t. They do not truly believe in limited government. Portraying Paul as “weak” on national defense is absurd not only because it’s not true, but particularly when you consider that every candidate except Paul is glaringly weak on limited-government conservatism.”
sound pretty ridiculous and desperate – because they are. Ron Paul is NOT a limited government conservative, merely an anti-defense libertarian; other GOP candidates HAVE offered specific spending cuts (most of them big; most of them, like Paul, support deep defense cuts); and yes, Paul IS glaringly weak on defense issues, as proven by his actual record. The idea that the US can make massive unilateral cuts to its nuclear arsenal, strategic delivery systems arsenal, conventional weapons inventory, force structure, and modernization programs and still be safe – let alone be a superpower – is a fantasy. It’s completely false.
Here’s an inconvenient question Hunter refuses to answer: how would Paul deter Iran if he guts the US military, including America’s nuclear deterrent? The SDTF called for MASSIVE cuts to it.
But Paul is not merely weak on defense; he’s also liberal on domestic issues. He is NOT a limited government conservative. He believes that the 10th Amendment authorizes the states to commit ANY violations of individual rights they want to perpetrate, and he ignores the 14th Amendment. He’s PERFECTLY FINE with Big Government – as long as it’s at the state level and not the federal level. He couldn’t care less if California bans guns, smoking, and SUVs – as long as the State of California does it and not the federal government. He is also firmly pro-choice and pro-gay-marriage, state by state. He believes states have the right to legalize abortion on demand, as long as states do it, and that the 14th Amendment does NOT protect unborn children. In other words, he agrees with the central finding of the Roe v. Wade ruling itself.
“What is more likely in 2012? That Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the “next Hitler” who threatens the United States? Or that this is all hyperbole once again? We do not yet know the answer.”
Actually, we already know it: that Ahmadinejad and Ali Khamenei the Holocaust Deniers ARE Hitler’s successors, ARE developing nuclear weapons and ARE willing to use them first. And that by itself disqualifies Paul.
Finally, I’d like to add that is extremely arrogant and ridiculous for a nonconservative like Hunter to lecture us conservatives on the meaning of conservatism. We need no lectures from him.