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Thread: Tom Coburn: "What Eisenhower Said About the Military-Industrial Complex Is True"

  1. #1

    Tom Coburn: "What Eisenhower Said About the Military-Industrial Complex Is True"

    He's one of the few I would have voted for in '12 for POTUS. Why is it only physicians in Congress have a lick of sense? Not a fan of his uber-social conservatism, but he voted NAY on the NDAA, lead the fight against BigAg's food safety bill, and is done with war.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/1...t-the-military

    “Both parties have equally participated in abandoning the limited role of the federal government,” says Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Coburn’s new book, The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting Our Economy (Thomas Nelson), argues that Republicans and Democrats together have brought the U.S. to the brink of fiscal calamity.
    [...]
    Coburn: Both parties have equally participated in abandoning the limited role of the federal government. You lay on top of that the careerism of politicians who want to do things so they can get reelected and what you have is a catalyst, which makes that even go faster.

    Our problems today are two-fold: We spent money we didn’t have on things we don’t absolutely need, which refers back to the enumerated powers listed in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
    [...]
    reason: You’ve taken a lot of heat—again from the right side of the political spectrum—when you started to criticize defense spending. What do we need to do to right-size defense spending?

    Coburn: Well, first of all, we have to figure out how we buy things. We want advanced weaponry and major weapon programs. Those are important things for us, [but so is] how we buy them. There are no adults in the room. What Eisenhower said about the military-industrial complex is true.

    reason: In 2010, you called for a freeze on defense spending. And in 2008 you said that it was a mistake that we went into Iraq. There are two issues with military spending. One is how we get what we buy and how we go about buying it. And then there’s what we want the military to do. How are those two issues related?

    Coburn: If you look at history, you have the military mind based on what your economic mind is. Our economic mind is at risk. So it doesn’t matter what our philosophical position is; we’re not going to be able to fund it.

    reason: How do we know if Iraq or Afghanistan were mistakes?

    Coburn: I don’t think I can judge that. I think we’re going to judge that after we’ve left. And you’re going across two administrations with different policies and different viewpoints. I think ultimately what you’re going to see is that the power of ideas is more powerful than the power of weapons. And what our America led the world in and can lead again in is the power of ideas. People are aspirational toward our values, our rule of law, our freedom, our liberty, our limited government. And we’re clouding that picture sometimes by what we do. My foreign policy is limited in its expertise, but I actually believe the Constitution. I actually don’t believe we ought to get involved in things unless we have a direct national security issue.

    Coburn: Well, if we want to help arm people so they can fight for themselves, I have no problem with that. We should not be directly involved in Syria.

    reason: Do you feel that this is something that conservatives are coming around to?

    Coburn: I really don’t know the answer to it. People have all sorts of views. What we do is learn from mistakes and we ought to not close our eyes and ears to that. And I think there’s lots to be learned over the last 10 years.

    We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year on homeland security. Can anyone guarantee us that we’re not going to be attacked again? No. Can we lessen that to a significant degree? Yes. For each additional dollar we put in, what do we get in return? You’ve never heard a president having that conversation with the American people. There are risks out there. We can do so much. But if we spend additional dollars here, we made the de minimus reduction in risk versus if we spent the same amount of money trying to cure breast cancer, we’d get a whole lot more.
    [...]
    reason: You talk about how the fiscal crisis is a moral crisis. And in this sense, it’s because people are not holding themselves accountable any more than they’re holding their beliefs accountable.

    Coburn: That’s right. What we’ve done is undermined individual responsibility and self-reliance in this country. We didn’t mean to. But we have. And if you look at Rome, if you look at Greece, if you look at every other republic in history, they died the same way. This isn’t rocket science. Go look at what happened to them.
    Last edited by Lucille; 10-16-2012 at 04:27 PM.
    Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.
    --Albert J. Nock



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  4. #3
    hopefully this economic reason is merely a stepping stone in the dialogue, and not the sole reason for this talk.

    thanks for posting.

  5. #4
    would have been nice if he had said this a year ago. Still, he's a better Senator than most, and I am glad he is saying it now.
    "Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesn't want to hear.” -Ron Paul

    "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." -Edward Snowden



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