28 January 2011

Hats off to Rand Paul

The Kentucky senator unveiled a budget proposal this week that would slash the federal budget by half a trillion dollars. Included in his proposal are, among other things, a $20 billion reduction in foreign aid -- which includes eliminating the $3 billion in military aid that the United States provides to Israel annually.

No doubt, we'll hear the Bill Kristols, Joe Liebermans and Norman Podhoretzes of the world shrieking about the invaluable linkage between the two nations, and some likely will suggest that Sen. Paul's proposal evinces anti-Semitism. To many pundits, there is nothing more important than the American-Israeli relationship, and they are offended anytime anyone -- from any party -- questions why this relationship is so expensive.

I suppose Sen. Paul and I are on the wrong side of American popular opinion, but I frankly don't care -- and I hope he doesn't either. Israel, like Britain, Australia and our other close allies, is a sovereign nation with plenty of resources and a stable economy. It has arguably one of the three most powerful militaries in the world and is more than capable of defending itself. Additionally, if given the choice, most Americans would likely support a wide number of programs, both domestic and foreign, because their irresponsible elected leaders haven't explained that such programs have to be paid for.

America's fiscal house is in disarray, and hats off to Sen. Paul -- a legitimate, true-blue conservative -- for sticking his neck on the line for something he believes in.

While his proposal probably has no chance of passing, his candor is refreshing, and I hope more Republicans follow his lead.

At the very least, a discussion of our blind, blank-check support of Israel is one worth having.

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