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Rand Paul: GOP must consider military spending cuts

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Government spending is sure to be one of the biggest targets now that Republicans have won back the House, but there have been few details on exactly what programs will see their budgets slashed.

Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) probably surprised some Republicans Sunday when he said he would be willing to cut military spending.

“Yes, yes,” Paul responded when asked if he would vote for defense cuts. In doing so, he highlighted the libertarian streak among some of the candidates propelled to office by the tea party movement. Like his father, Ron Paul, Rand Paul is considered to be at the libertarian end of the GOP’s political spectrum, and libertarians have long been calling for a scaling back of US military ambitions.

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In that respect, the new Congress could see some infighting among traditional Republican war-hawks and those seeking to do battle with the deficit.

“You need … compromise on where the spending cuts come from,” Paul told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour. “Republicans traditionally say, oh, we’ll cut domestic spending, but we won’t touch the military. The liberals — the ones who are good — will say, oh, we’ll cut the military, but we won’t cut domestic spending.”

“Bottom line is, you have to look at everything across the board,” he added.

“Where, then? Military? Would you cut the military?” Amanpour asked.

“Yes. Yes,” Paul replied.

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“I think it’s hard — it’s hard to give exact numbers, but I think one thing that’s concerning — you know, recently, Admiral [Mark] Milliken said that the interest on the debt now is going to approach in the next couple of years — just the interest on the debt — will approach what we spend in the national defense budget. So, I mean, that should alarm us all. Bernanke says the debt is unsustainable. We need to do something about it,” Paul said.

This video is from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Nov. 7, 2010.


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