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2003 Ron Paul Chapter 46

Ron Paul War No Excuse For Frivolous Spending

3 April 2003

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War No Excuse For Frivolous Spending
3 April 2003

2003 Ron Paul 46:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, at a time of war Congress has no more important duty than to make sure that our military force have all the resources they need. However, Congress also has a duty to not use the war as cover for unnecessary and unconstitutional spending. This is especially true when war coincides with a period of economic downturn and growing federal deficits. Unfortunately, Congress today is derelict in its duty to the United States taxpayer. Instead of simply ensuring that our military has the necessary resources to accomplish its mission in Iraq, a mission which may very well be over before this money reaches the Pentagon, Congress has loaded this bill up with unconstitutional wasteful foreign aid and corporate welfare spending.

2003 Ron Paul 46:2
For example, this bill provides a hidden subsidy to vaccine manufacturers by transferring liability for injuries caused by the smallpox vaccine from the companies to the United States Taxpayer. It also provides $3.2 billion dollars for yet another government bailout of the airline industry, as well as a hidden subsidy to the airlines in the form of $235 million of taxpayer money to pay for costs associated with enhanced baggage screening. Mr. Speaker, there is no more constitutional reason for the taxpayer to protect what is, after all, the airlines’ private property, than there is for the taxpayer to subsidize security costs at shopping malls or factories. Furthermore, the airlines could do a more efficient and effective job at providing security if they were freed from government rules and regulations. I remind my colleagues that it was government bureaucrats who disarmed airline pilots, thus leaving the pilots of the planes used in the September 11 attacks defenseless against the terrorists. I would also remind my colleagues that anti-gun fanatics in the federal bureaucracy continue to prevent pilots from carrying firearms.

2003 Ron Paul 46:3
Although generous to certain corporate interests, this bill actually contains less money than the administration requested for homeland security. One area of homeland security that Congress did not underfund is its own security; this bill provides the full amount requested to ensure the security of the Congress. Still, one could reasonably conclude from reading this bill that the security of Turkey, Pakistan, and Jordan are more important to Congress that the security of Houston, New York and other major American cities.

2003 Ron Paul 46:4
On foreign spending, this bill actually provides one billion dollars in foreign aid to Turkey — even though that country refused the U.S. request for cooperation in the war on Iraq. One billion dollars to a country that thumbed its nose at an American request for assistance? How is this possibly an appropriate expenditure of taxpayer money? Additionally, this “war supplemental” has provided cover for more of the same unconstitutional foreign aid spending. It provides 2.5 billion dollar for Iraqi reconstruction when Americans have been told repeatedly that reconstruction costs will be funded out of Iraqi oil revenues. It also ensures that the American taxpayer will subsidize large corporations that wish to do business in Iraq by making transactions with Iraq eligible for support from the Export-Import Bank. It sends grants and loans in excess of 11.5 billion dollars to Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Afghanistan — above and beyond the money we already send them each year.

2003 Ron Paul 46:5
Incredibly, this bill sends 175 million dollars in aid to Pakistan even though it was reported in April that Pakistan purchased ballistic missiles from North Korea! Furthermore, it is difficult to understand how $100 million to Colombia, $50 million to the Gaza Strip, and $200 million for “Muslim outreach” has anything to do with the current war in Iraq. Also, this bill spends $31 million to get the federal government into the television broadcasting business in the Middle East. With private American news networks like CNN available virtually everywhere on the globe, is there any justification to spend taxpayer money to create and fund competing state-run networks? Aren’t state-run news networks one of the features of closed societies we have been most critical of in the past?

2003 Ron Paul 46:6
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, H.R. 1559 endangers America’s economy by engaging in pork-barrel spending and corporate welfare unrelated to national security. This bill endangers America’s economic health by adding almost $80 billion to the already bloated federal deficit. Additions to the deficit endanger our financial independence because America will have to increase its reliance on foreign borrowers to finance our debt. H.R. 1599 also shortchanges Americans by giving lower priority to funding homeland security than to funding unreliable allies and projects, like the Middle Eastern TV Network, that will do nothing to enhance America’s security. Therefore, I must oppose this bill.

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