Ron Paul: No More Blank Checks for the Military-Industrial Complex!

Date: 05/24/2010

No More Blank Checks for the Military-Industrial Complex!

by Ron Paul

Congress, with its insatiable appetite for spending, is set to pass yet another “supplemental” appropriations bill in the next two weeks. So-called supplemental bills allow Congress to spend beyond even the 13 annual appropriations bills that fund the federal government. These are akin to a family that consistently outspends its budget, and therefore needs to use a credit card to make it through the end of the month.

If the American people want Congress to spend less, putting an end to supplemental appropriations bills would be a start. The 13 “regular” appropriations bills fund every branch, department, agency, and program of the federal government. Congress should place every dollar in plain view among those 13 bills. Instead, supplemental spending bills serve as a sneaky way for Congress to spend extra money that was not projected in budget forecasts. Once rare, they have become commonplace vehicles for deficit spending.

The latest supplemental bill is touted as an “emergency” war spending bill, needed to fund our ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. The emergencies never seem to end, however, and Congress passes one military supplemental bill after another as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on.

Many of my colleagues argue that Congress cannot put a price on our sacred national security, and I agree that the strong, unequivocal defense of our country is a top priority. There comes a time, however, when we must take stock of what our blank checks to the military industrial complex accomplish for us, and where the true threats to American citizens lie.

The smokescreen debate over earmarks demonstrates how we have lost perspective when it comes to military spending. Earmarks constitute about $11 billion of the latest budget. This sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the $708 billion spent by the Pentagon this year to expand our worldwide military presence. The total expenditures to maintain our world empire is approximately $1 trillion annually, which is roughly what the entire federal budget was in 1990!

We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and far more than we spent during the Cold War. These expenditures in many cases foment resentment that does not make us safer, but instead makes us a target. We referee and arm conflicts the world over, and have troops in some 140 countries with over 700 military bases.

With this enormous amount of money and energy spent on efforts that have nothing to do with the security of the United States, when the time comes to defend American soil, we will be too involved in other adventures to do so.

There is nothing conservative about spending money we don’t have simply because that spending is for defense. No enemy can harm us in the way we are harming ourselves, namely bankrupting the nation and destroying our own currency. The former Soviet Union did not implode because it was attacked; it imploded because it was broke. We cannot improve our economy if we refuse to examine all major outlays, including so-called defense spending.


  • Theresa Romano

    This is a political web site! I understand that an occasional quip toward a fellow poster intended to connote familiarity can sometimes lighten the mood but your posts toward and about me have become increasingly innappropriate.
    You have already spewed out way too much personal(and may I say embarrassing) information about your personal life. That’s your choice. But the constant rants about assumptions you’ve made about myself and other female posters are not relevant to this site or the politics of the day.
    What is your purpose? When people who are on the fence about Ron Paul come onto this site and find you posting inane diatribes about your life and hatred for humanity who are you helping? You have attacked women on this thread who aren’t even in dis agreement with you and who strongly support Dr. Paul. Then you post some of the men as if you are a desperately aged loner who just found out it’s last call at the local dive bar.
    You degrade the conversation and quite possibly turn off potential
    Ron Paul supporters.
    Are you a ”plant” from one of his opponents?
    I’m not joking.
    Are you?

    • fred the protectionist


      • Joan

        Yup. I reported that post. Her and Crustine cat fight me. One is so Christian and so happily married and then follows me around the board and makes personal attacks and cat fights with me. Crustine needs a bigger tin foil hat.

        The religious one thinks I’m against Ron Paul to say exactly what him and his son say about doing away with Social Security and Medicare and all welfare. She thinks other people will decide if they like Ron Paul or not based on what I say. Wow. Had no clue I have so much power. I had no idea Ron Paul was for entitlement programs, especially ones that cost 100 trillion dollars.

  • fred the protectionist

    Hey, hehe, anyone up for a laugh? Read this article:

    Then look at the date it was published. lawl.

  • F

    If the military industrial complex is that big is because is the main support of the economy, and many people will go along with that, of course that under the premise of safety and protection.

    How much does it contribute in jobs and social services?

    I sure hope that all the bad and criminal people quit their ‘hobby’ so that the military personel can live a normal life and rather apply their skills to make an industrial complex for sustaining life. Right now they seem stuck in a mess created by somebody else, maybe from a cushiony chair in an office with world view? I am just guessing.

  • fred the protectionist

    “No More Blank Checks for the Military-Industrial Complex!”

    Yes I agree, let’s stop giving China a blank check with American jobs, all we are doing is building up the Chinese military-industrial complex; exclamation point exclamation point.

    • Theresa Romano

      Military-Industrial Complex and Civilian-Industrial Complex? What does that mean?

      • fred the protectionist

        Are you f’ing joking?

        • Joan

          Fred, She didn’t know what Medicaid was, and she told me the founding fathers said all men are created equal, and even though they had slaves and they didn’t allow women to vote, she said they could have said slaves were not equal, but that they were such good men they didn’t say that. Keep talking to her, you’ll see. And, she home schools her children, and she’s super religious, so she indoctrinates them into super religious stuff. And our kids are our best hope for the future. Need any more reasons for a one-way ticket out of this country?

        • Theresa Romano

          I’m not even close to fing kidding.
          You wrote….
          —————————————————————————————-”We need a Military-Industrial Complex now we no longer have a Civilian-Industrial Complex.”
          You can’t elaborate?
          In this context it seems you are asking for more Grumman-type industries . Why? What’s your point?
          A Civilian-Industrial complex is now missing from our nation?
          Is that what you’r saying?
          Humor me.
          You seem to enjoy posting so humor me.
          What do you mean. Elaborate.

        • fred the protectionist

          Eisenhower makes one offhand remark, in one farewell speech, about the Military Industrial Complex. It’s not exactly a rigorously defined term, it could mean any thing you want it to mean.

          Eisenhower should know what it means, he was commander of the allied expeditionary force in Europe. You know that war where American industry drastically re-tooled from CIVILIAN production to MILITARY production, for war.

          Since the term isn’t exactly rigorously defined, I guess Military Industrial Complex means factories that are exclusively designed to produce military vehicles, that weren’t re-tooled. And guess what, that hasn’t proved to be very efficient as say Ford retooling from making black square sedans to making engines for B-24 Liberators, Jeeps, and engines for Shermans in massive quantities.

          Re-tooling from Civilian products to Military products is far more efficient than what we got today. How many military Humvees have been manufactured compared to how many Jeeps in WW2 were manufactured?

          10,000 Humvees at over $100,000 a pop.

          2,382,311 Military Trucks were produced by the United States in WW2.

          9,000 M1 Abrams tanks were produced, over a period of 40 years.

          88,410 Tanks and Self propelled guns were produced by the United States in WW2, over a period of 4 years.

          As you can see, a Civilian Industrial Complex is far more valuable then a Military Industrial Complex, and you damn free traders gave it away to frigging Communist China.

        • fred the protectionist

          I would guess, the US Army is about as mechanized as it was prior to WW2. We are not capable of fighting a major war, thanks to the free traders.

      • Kale R.

        “Google before you post,” is the new “think before you speak,” buddy. Educate yourself, don’t ask someone else to do it for you.

      • Citizen

        Dr Ron Paul makes a clear distinction between Private and Public sector spending.

        Our illustrious politicians are hell bent on “bringing home the bacon” to their districts. This means massive phony money to expand military bases in their districts OR phony money for Defense Contractors in their districts. Either way, this is money WE DON’T HAVE!!! The Public economy is bankrupt, the public union pensions are bankrupt. Obama just approved $168 Billion to “bail out” those union pensions at the expense of the Private Tax Payers

        Our Private “Civilian-Industrial Complex” is shrinking at a rate of 2 private sector jobs lost to every 1 public sector job “fabricated” out of thin air. Public sector jobs are net CAPITAL LOSERS!

        Ron Paul knows, and WE SHOULD KNOW, that we can not “spend our way to prosperity” No matter how much “stimulus spending” it amounts to job losses.

        END THE FED NOW!!!

        • Theresa Romano

          I couldn’t agree more. I was trying to get Fred to make a point. He’s saying we need a military-industrial complex because we no longer have a civilian-industrial complex.
          Obviously you know exactly what you are talking about and because of that you not only make perfect sense but you can elaborate and explain.
          I don’t really think Fred knows what he is saying. I thought a request for some further explanation or elaboration could prove me right or wrong.
          As of now he still hasn’t explained. Why? Because I’m too stupid and should know what he means?
          I don’t know what he’s talking about. What logic is he using? How does the presence or absence or collapse of a private-industrial complex indicate a need for a military-industrial complex?

        • EndtheFed

          Good explanation, Citizen.

          On top of what you said, there also seems to be a generally accepted fallacy that war time brings about prosperity by stimulating a need for production and thereby creating jobs. If this is true, all we need to do to have a bustling and prosperous economy is go to “pretend-war” with all of our allies, and have all the industrialized nations of the world build the biggest fleet of tanks, boats and planes the world has ever seen, then meet up in the middle of the ocean and proceed to sink eachother into economic prosperity.

          It’s hard not to see the failed logic here. All of those resources and production gone to waste on the floor of the ocean. What’s the opportunity cost of that?

          A trillion dollars per year returned to the tax payers to be utilized in domestic capital investment (i.e. job creation) would be nice, wouldn’t you agree Fred? Much more beneficial than squandering it on the military industrial complex to fight “terrorists”, “communists” and various other boogeymen.

  • Soze

    As Obama asks the Pentagon to get ready for war:

    Where are our ( Dr Paul’s ) calls to pull all troops and funding from South Korea?

  • Yeah! That’s right Congress! Continue to fund these stupid wars and foreign aid while you still can. Real soon there will be a day of reckoning for you idiots.
    You’re the ones that are going to be on the unemployment line. The same can be said for Obama.

    • Theresa Romano

      I wish I could believe that a day of reckoning was at hand and that they would all end up unemployed but I can’t stop my cynical thinking which leads me to believe that even after these politicians leave office they still manage to keep their hands in the cookie jar. Somehow they still profit. Maybe they get a job with the media or a big bank or a corporation with heavy political ties.
      I think leaving public office only means that they leave the public eye and go underground with their sneaky thieving ways.

      • Forest

        Right. Because politicians are truly evil people that aren’t like you or me – politicians don’t have souls, no family, no children, no desire to look towards the future.

        They don’t think, they don’t care, they are reptilian in their desire to simply survive while sucking the life out of, specifically, you.

        What a perfectly evil scapegoat y’all have created… I guess noone ever said populism wasn’t contagious!

        • Theresa Romano

          And exactly how is it that you interpret the words ”keeping their hand in the cookie jar”…as ….”they are soul-less, childless, vampire-like reptiles”???
          As for whining that they have become ”scapegoats” let’s just contemplate the meaning of the word. A scapegoat would be one on whom blame is cast and who..therefore must take on innapropriate responsibilities.
          I believe many on this site simply want politicians to take responsibility for those things for which they are in fact paid to be responsible for.
          In other words a politician who behaves irresponsibly should man-up and take responsibility without whining ”boo hoo I’m a scapegoat”…..

        • Forest

          So you ‘wish for a day of reckoning’ but instead believe ‘that they leave the public eye and go underground with their sneaky thieving ways.’

          A bit harsh of a generalization, no?

          Many on this site do not ‘simply want politicians to take responsibility’.

          Many on this site play judge, jury, and executioner in addition to elevating them above simply being a flawed human trying to do the best they can, to ascribing near-supernatural incapability for remorse and ability for thievery.

      • That is true Theresa they always find side jobs or still make loads of money out of the tab of you and me. Dr. Paul is will not be one of them he will continue to do the right thing. Forest You just don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. I’m sure the status quo is all right with you. Go ahead and continue to be blissfully ignorant and not take a dose of reality.

  • Dfens

    Why doesn’t Ron Paul oppose paying defense contractors profit on weapons development? It seems to me that paying a company profit to design a weapon is asking to be screwed. Would you pay a contractor enough money to not only cover their expenses, but also add profit to that so they could design you a remodelled bathroom? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d never see that new bathroom. They’d spend years coming up with first one design and then another. They’d string you along for as long as possible. Well, guess what happens in the defense industry ever since the mid-90’s when Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton decided this was a good way to buy weapons?

    Yeah, that was a brilliant move. Fighter jets that used to take no more than 5 years to develop now took 25 years. Design costs went from a few billion dollars to $40-$60 billion. I saw first hand how that money was wasted on F-22 as we redesigned the same parts over and over and over again. Each time making small, insignificant changes just because we knew you taxpaying idiots would pony up the cash.

    Of course, we could go back to the way we used to buy weapons. Tell the contractors that the government is interested in an fighter airplane and let the contractors show up with thier best effort on a given day in a given place with their best effort, have some pilots give them a go and buy the best one. We could do that, but then we wouldn’t have a military where 85% of them did nothing but polish a seat with their backside. That’s the least efficient military in the world. We can all be proud of that.

    Look at sniper rifles. The government hasn’t been funding any development there. Private companies are constantly coming up with one better than the next, and the government has been forced to buy them because they keep getting so much better. That was how the Army ended up with the .50 cal BMG sniper rifle. It wasn’t their idea. If it had been, we’d be 30 years before we saw a new rifle just like they are with McNamara’s folly, the M-16.

    So let’s hear it. Where’s Ron Paul on the issue of ending profit on development? Miliary procurement has doubled in the last decade and is the leading cost of the military. We closed over 700 bases in the US and in foreign countries and didn’t save a dime. So why is Ron Paul beating the “close more bases” dead horse instead of advocating we go back to not paying profit on development?

    • Theresa Romano

      It sounds like you make some wonderful points.
      I’m starting to think ”contractor” is just code for all government…federal and local…to steal more money
      I know that on the local level many school superintendents hire family members as ”contractors” ; and that these do-nothings often end up as millionaires…compliments of the tax payer who can’t understand why the school can’t afford to put a bus monitor in each bus for minimum wage…
      I have to believe Ron Paul would be opposed to this contractor scam.
      But closing overseas bases and re-locating the troops to our borders is still a good idea don’t you think?

      • Dfens

        We closed nearly a thousand bases here in the US and I thought that was a big mistake. On 9/11 our Air Force was not able to intercept a single airplane and the “savings” has not been noticeable. That to me does not say, we need to close more bases. Closing overseas bases would mean we would have to rely more on our Navy. Overall, if we want to seriously reduce our military expenditures we need to look hardest at the areas where costs have risen the most. The cost of our bases has not risen at all in many decades. The cost of procurement, on the other hand, has skyrocketed. There is little to no money to be saved by closing bases. There’s literally hundreds of billions of dollars to be saved in procurement.

    • fred the protectionist

      Well we no longer have the Industrial Capacity of WW2 or WW1, so retooling a Ford factory into a Jeep factory or Tank factory is out of the question.

      We need a Military-Industrial Complex now we no longer have a Civilian-Industrial Complex.

      • Dfens

        Though our industrial might plays a significant role in our overall strength as a nation, the rules under which we do military contracting is a separate issue. Our federal government at one time actually played more than simple lip service to capitalism. Our leaders in those days actually believed in capitalism and used capitalist incentives to buy better products and services from the private sector. The system under which we procure goods and services now — this is a much wider issue than only military procurement — is purely fascist. That is, the government dictates what will be produced and lays all the risk of the development of that product on you and I as taxpayers by both reimbursing companies for development at a profitable rate and paying them more for faulty products that do not work.

        The way things are now, these defense and other government contractors risk nothing if the product they are developing does not work. They make a profit either way. In fact, they make more profit if it does not work because then they get additional money (your money) to fix what they screwed up in the first place. There are capitalist incentives at work in our current procurement system, but all of those incentives are in the wrong direction. The incentive is for a contractor to drag out development, to produce shoddy products that barely meet the letter of the contract, and then to repeatedly “fix” that product over and over for as long as there is money to be milked from its development.

        Our current procurement system not only incentivizes failure, it also encourages contractors to NOT produce hardware. Why produce hardware — weapons, in this case — when you are making more money designing the hardware? You might have noticed that weapons programs are never terminated during the development phase of the program. They are always ended either at the verge of going into production or shortly after production has started. Look at the list of products that have been terminated like this: Crusader, C-130 AMP, B-2, F-22. In all of these cases billions of dollars were spent on development and if you got anything it was 22 B-2 bombers or 170 F-22’s. A pitifully small number given the billions it took to design these aircraft.

        If Ron Paul wants to speak out against fascism, or corporatism, as he euphemistically calls it, then here’s his chance. We used to have a military procurement system that was second to none. In those days we let the contractor cover the development costs and we bought the best products they could come up with in large quantities. Today, under our fascist system, we fund lots of development and have almost nothing to show for it.

        • fred the protectionist

          “You might have noticed that weapons programs are never terminated during the development phase of the program. ”

          noticed that.

        • Dfens

          I have friends in the defense industry who are near the executive level of managment. They tell me things about the way the executive managment of these companies talk about politicians. The people who are supposed to be representing us are nothing but lap dogs to the CEO’s of the defense giants. Actually, I think these corporate executives have more regard for dogs than they do our politicians. They literally order these “representatives” and “heads of state” around like servants. They get what they want and no one stands in their way, not even Ron Paul.

        • fred the protectionist

          What do you expect, they are some of the last remaining manufacturing jobs around that pay good. Nobody wants to kill those, but they’ll sure kill private manufacturing for some nebulous concept like Free Trade.

        • EndtheFed

          (sarcasm) Yeah, who wants to produce products that the global community actually demands, like computers? If we did that we would put all American bean-counter producers out of business!

          Matter-of-fact, why don’t we ban computers to “protect” our bean-counter factories? AND that way our libraries won’t go out of business due to the internet. Two birds with one stone. Nice. (sarcasm)

          That’s how Fred sounds every time he leaves a comment.

  • John Lind

    About minmum wages, so it should be noted that Sweden does not have minmum wage. Sweden uses Collective bargaining between employers and employees without state interference in wage levels. And Sweden have higher minimum wages than the U.S.. This is just an example of how to go about it instead of having minimum wages.

    I would also point out that in secular Sweden allows you intelligent design be taught in schools if the school would do that.

    It is not illegal for a school, municipal or autonomous, to treat such “Intelligent design” in their teaching, but that should not happen in a way that claims that this idea would be a scientifically alternative to the theory of evolution.

    About the oil spills Rand Paul need to know that BP didn’t invested in proper equipment.

    Oil Spill Inside Scoop | BP Could Have Easily-contained the Gulf Oil Spill And the Exxon Valdez spill … But They Were Too Cheap to Do It but-They-Were-too-cheap-to-Do-it /

    Rand Paul need to talk about that 80% of U.S. oil is sold to Asia instead of going to the Americans.

    And he should be against death penalty as his father.

    • Forest

      Interesting fact about Sweden, we should totally adhere to their economic model because it is such a great idea!

      Did you also know that the average worker receives 40% of their income after taxes?

      State and municipal workers comprise roughly 33% of the workforce.

      They also have universal health care.

      They also have the oldest central bank in the world.

      Hydropower and nuclear power comprise roughly 91% of their electricity pool.

      How DARE you come onto Ron Paul’s message boards complimenting this socialist, anti-capitalist, failure of a country!

  • John Lind

    Advise to Rand Paul! Spread this advise!

    I think you should defend your views on civil rights as follows:

    To receive a free market to operate in an honest way to you as a customer, requires that private companies have a legal right to be honest to you as a customer, and to stand up for what their philosophical values are. Because if you oppress the private companies’ right to be honest to you as a customer what their philosophical values are, will reduces the transparency for you as a customer, to choose which company you want to support with your money or boycott.

    It is essential that this transparency and honesty are able to exist in the free market, so you as a customer not get scammed and spend your money in a company whose values you do not share.

    If all the good forces united in standing up for good philosophical values, so is the free market and consumer power the most effective weapon to combat racism. The free market will remind you as an individual to actively fight against racism. For such is life we must always stand up for our values to sustain them. Instead of relying on the state bureaucracy to do the job for us.

    Trust the free market, the best tool for the good forces to create a good world. Let us develop what’s good about america.

    • Forest

      John Lind! Heed this advice!

      One fierce opponent of civil rights legislation, William F. Buckley Jr., admitted as much. “I once believed we could evolve our way up from Jim Crow,” Mr. Buckley said in 2004. “I was wrong: federal intervention was necessary.”

  • 321lawc

    What’s so bad about the military? It funnels money from stupid American Idol fan taxpayers to engineers, businessmen, and the intelligentsia. Sounds good to me.

    • fred the protectionist

      What has America gained from all of this warring for the last 100+ years? New territory? no. Cheaper raw materials? no. Higher standard of living? no. Peace? no. Pride? no. Better trade deals? no. Friends? no.

  • Firebirrd85

    Gold and Silver as money. Bring the troops home. Stop all the useless wars. Abolish the federal reserve forever. Legalize Marijuana for medical use. Stop the useless spending.

  • BloodiCheeseCake

    Those leftists can argue that Welfare and regulation of the economy is a top priority and the right-wingers can say that policing the world is a top priority, but despite the arguments against them, they won’t listen. It’s going to have to end one way or another, whether we decide to end it now or whether it will end through bankruptcy.

  • Prohumani

    thanks mr. paul

  • enemyartistkristofeR

    We the People, need to STOP Supporting the federal united WAR states government as much as we can. STOP Paying federal taxes. STOP giving the BOG Government More Military / Police State Power – Shrink the government Shrink the Spending. END ALL WARS, That Means ALL – END The WAR on Drugs, END The WAR on Immigrants. END The WAR on Our Own People.
    Decentralize & Localize. Spend Your Money in Your Own Community.
    Use Alternative Currencies to Trade with Tax Free, Like Gold & Silver.

  • mx3g02

    “we are our own worst enemy” S.M.

  • biohazardcel

    I can’t believe this is really happening… it’s almost like someone else is pulling the strings. I mean is everyone in congress that stupid? Do they really know nothing about economics? I have to assume these people know something, I’d like to know not anyone can just be in congress… And the President isn’t doing anything either.

  • swizzlecheeks

    Kick out the warmongering supporters at the Whitehouse!

  • vinnym24

    Military Keynesianism.

  • oculist2020

    This man speaks directly to how far we, in general, have left good sense behind. Hell of an evolution from the days of our founding fathers. The only answers that are comming from other viewpoints are ones that make us sicker than we already are.


    the only difference between men and boys are the price of their toys. America is far too focused on being a man with all of this funding the military gets.