Rand Paul no response $190 billion Pentagon spending question

Kevin Rutledge on April 10, 2015
After presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul spoke at University of Iowa and said "Every war is not a good war to be involved in," I tried to ask a question on his amendment for a $190 billion increase to the Pentagon budget in 2016, but he turned away. Given the influence of the military industrial complex on public policy, I hope others will have the chance to raise this question at future events.

During Senator Rand Paul’s first official visit to Iowa as a presidential candidate, he told the University of Iowa students how “Every war is not a good war to be involved in,” followed by a round of applause.  I was confused because according to a March 26th, 2015 Time Magazine article, Senator Paul proposed a budget amendment adding $190 billion to the Pentagon budget over the next 2 years.  If Senator Paul believes “every war is not a good war to be involved in”, why would he want $190 billion more to fight wars he doesn’t want to be involved in?  Who profits from this?  I tried to ask him about this.

In 2013, top Pentagon contractor Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, and General Dynamics spent $53 million lobbying Congress and received $142 billion in government contracts in 2014.  These mega-corporations continue to waste taxpayer dollars on corporate lobbying and campaign contributions working to influence Congress in order to be awarded contracts that are focused on gaining more profits, and not the actual wants or needs of our U.S. military.

Granted the music was loud, but he chose to not make any effort or attempt to listen to my question.  Given the influence of the military industrial complex on public policy, I hope others will have the chance to raise this question at future events. 

Me: Thank you for coming Senator.  I just had a question.

Rand Paul: (No response, turns way.)

Me: You said today “Every war is not a good war to be involved in” but your amendment would add $190 billion to the Pentagon budget the next 2 years.  You don’t have anything to say about that?

Rand Paul: (No response.)

Me: Ok, well thank you.

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Kevin Rutledge

Kevin Rutledge AFSC Governing Under the Influence Presidential Campaign Project

Kevin Rutledge is the Grassroots Education Coordinator with AFSC’s Presidential Campaign Project in Iowa.  Kevin has deep family roots in Quaker activism for peace and social justice.  A graduate from Iowa State University in Sociology and Criminal Justice, his previous work includes: United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) organizer, Public Citizen online organizer to overturn Citizens United, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, and a youth residential treatment facility.  Kevin hopes to one day return to Brazil and live by the beach.

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill .