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home : opinion : opinion November 20, 2017

9/23/2017 6:30:00 PM
Rand Paul Proposes Two Interesting Ideas

I was pleased to read that Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill to curb the "use it or lose it" mentality that causes wasteful spending at the end of each budget year. His bill addresses the annual rush to use up each agency's remaining funds before the budget year ends. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act, would pay one time bonuses to federal employees who identify unneeded or surplus funds and direct 90% of those savings to deficit reduction.

Paul was quoted as saying that "September spending nearly doubles as compared to August, which is already higher than average. He also said that "Another study showed, on average, spending jumps nearly 500% in the last week of the fiscal year, as compared to the preceding 51-week average." In most cases this last-minute spending at the end of the year is wasteful and would be a pain free way to cut spending. To put it a different way the last week of spending is equal to 5 weeks of needed spending. This means we could save 4 weeks-worth or 7.7% of the 4.2 trillion- dollar federal budget or 323 Billion dollars.

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The second idea from Rand Paul that I found interesting was on how to resolve the North Korea issue. Rather than heating up the rhetoric between the two leaders Paul has suggested that we work with China to address North Korea's main concern. I know it takes time and some believe it's wrong to try and see things from both sides but often that is the best way to a long-term solution. If you have been following how the USA deals with rogue leaders over the last few decades you can clearly see that we are more tolerable of rogue nations that have nuclear capability than we are those who do not. Just look at Libya Iraq and Syria versus North Korea and Pakistan.

Paul has suggested that North Korea is paranoid and believes that the USA wants to topple their regime. To address this concern Paul has suggested that we invite China to join our forces in the DMZ between North and South Korea. This should assure North Korea that we are there to keep the peace and not to invade North Korea. In addition, it should ensure that North Korea will not try to nuke our 40,000 troops that are stationed at their border as their only ally China will also have troops there. I am not sure how this would work or if China would even be interested but I believe this is an innovative idea that deserves serious consideration.

Mark Byrne, Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of Catawba County

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