Paul: On military and spending, it's Trump vs Trump
It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute. Consider his speech last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. It was reported as "fiery" and "blistering," but it was also full of contradictions.
In the speech, President Trump correctly pointed out that the last 15 years of U.S. military action in the Middle East has been an almost incomprehensible waste of money — six trillion dollars, he said — and that after all that U.S. war and meddling the region was actually in worse shape than before we started.
It would have been better for U.S. presidents to have spent the last 15 years at the beach than to have pursued its Middle East war policy, he added, stating that the U.S. infrastructure could have been rebuilt several times over with the money wasted on such militarism.
All good points from the president.
But then minutes later in the same speech he seemed to forget what he just said about wasting money on militarism. He promised he would be "upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything," in what would be "one of the greatest military buildups in American history."
This "greatest" military buildup is in addition to the trillions he plans on spending to make sure the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the "top of the pack" in the world, as he told the press last Thursday. And that is in addition to the trillion dollar nuclear "modernization" program that is carrying over from the Obama Administration.
Of course when it comes to nuclear weapons, the United States already is at the "top of the pack," having nearly 7,000 nuclear warheads. How many times do we need to be able to blow up the world?
At CPAC, President Trump is worried about needlessly spending money on military misadventures, but then in the same speech he promised even more military misadventures in the Middle East.
Where is the money going to come from for all this? Is the President going to raise taxes to pay for it? Is he going to make massive cuts in domestic spending?
In the same CPAC speech, President Trump reiterated his vow to "massively lower taxes on the middle class, reduce taxes on American business, and make our tax code more simple and much more fair for everyone." And that's all good. So it's not coming from there.
Will he cut domestic spending? The president has indicated that he also wants a massive infrastructure modernization program launched in the near future. The plan will likely cost far in excess of the trillion dollars the president has suggested.
That leaves only one solution: printing money out of thin air. It has been the favorite trick of his predecessors. While he correctly condemns the $20 trillion national debt passed down from previous administrations, his policies promise to add to that number in a massive way. Printing money out of thin air destroys the currency, hastening a U.S. economic collapse and placing a very cruel tax on the working and middle classes as well.
Following the President's constantly changing policies can make you dizzy. That's a shame because the solution is very simple: end the U.S. military empire overseas, cut taxes and regulations at home, end the welfare magnet for illegal immigration, and end the drug war. And then get out of the way.
Ron Paul is a former congressman and presidential candidate. He can be reached at the RonPaulInstitute.org.