John McCain Hits Rand Paul On Defense Spending
I noted several times during the election the debate taking place within the Tea Party movement over whether or not defense spending should be on the table when it comes time to discuss spending cuts. Yesterday, it became clear that there will also be a battle in the Senate:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern Monday that some new Republican legislators would be defined by their “protectionism and isolationism,” two views that the Vietnam war veteran feared would result in a butting of heads within the party on Afghanistan and defense spending.
“I think there are going to be some tensions within our party,” McCain said during a conference put on by Foreign Policy Initiative, a DC-based think tank. “I worry a lot about the rise of protectionism and isolationism in the Republican Party.”
A prime example, McCain continued, was Rand Paul, Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator.
“I admire his victory, but … already he has talked about withdrawals [and] cuts in defense,” McCain said.
According to McCain, Republicans who have hinted that they would be willing to prove their commitment to fiscal conservatism by considering blanket cuts, including in defense spending, are wrong primarily because the budget shortfalls could be mitigated simply by cutting earmarks and reducing Pentagon waste.
McCain, of course, is full of nonsense. Eliminating earmarks isn’t going to save a single dime, and cutting Pentagon “waste” is an old Washington canard used by those who don’t want to engage in real spending cuts.
So, it comes down to a debate between John McCain and Rand Paul. On this one, I’m siding with the Senator from Kentucky