Last Friday, US President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill for 2018 that was so “monstrous that it would have made the biggest spender in the Obama Administration blush,” Libertarian activist and former Congressman Ron Paul has said.
Writing in his regular column on his personal website, Paul said that the “image of leading Congressional Democrats Pelosi and Schumer grinning and gloating over getting everything they wanted—and then some—will likely come back to haunt Republicans at the midterm elections. If so, they will deserve it.”
Paul pointed out that Trump did not have to sign the bill, as Republicans still control both houses.
“This is why I often say: forget about needing a third political party—we need a second political party! Trump is admitting that to fuel the warfare state and enrich the military-industrial complex, it was necessary to dump endless tax dollars into the welfare state.”
He added that the militarism funded by the bill was described by Defense Secretary James Mattis as the “largest military budget in history, reversing many years of decline and unpredictable funding.”
Paul said that Mattis was “right and wrong at the same time. Yes, it is another big increase in military spending. In fact, the US continues to spend more than at least the next seven or so largest countries combined.
“But his statement is misleading. Where are these several years of decline? Did we somehow miss a massive reduction in military spending under President Obama? Did the last Administration close the thousands of military bases in more than 150 countries while we weren’t looking? Of course not.”
Paul said that on militarism, the Obama Administration “was just an extension of the Bush Administration, which was an extension of the militarism of the Clinton Administration. And so on.
“The military-industrial complex continues to generate record profits from fictitious enemies. The mainstream media continues to play the game, amplifying the war propaganda produced by the think tanks, which are funded by the big defense contractors.
“This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This is conspiracy fact. Enemies must be created to keep Washington rich, even as the rest of the country suffers from the destruction of the dollar. That is why the neocons continue to do very well in this Administration.”
He went on to point out that while “Trump and Mattis were celebrating big military spending increases, the president announced that John Bolton, one of the chief architects of the Iraq war debacle, would become his national security advisor.
“As former CIA analyst Paul Pillar has written, this is a man who, while at the State Department, demanded that intelligence analysts reach pre-determined conclusions about Iraq and WMDs. He cooked the books for war.
“Bolton is on the record calling for war with Iran, North Korea, even Cuba! His return to a senior position in government is a return to the unconstitutional, immoral, and failed policies of pre-emptive war.
“Make no mistake: the neocons are back and looking for another war. They’ve got the president’s ear. Iran? North Korea? Russia? China? Who’s next for the warmongers?”