Rand Paul's plan for the Pentagon: Stop spending millions on goldfish
Wait. Goldfish research?
If all goes as planned, the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts known as sequestration will start on March 1, and members of Congress are still trying to come up with an alternate solution to alleviate the United States of its monetary woes. Sen. Paul, a long-time proponent of cutting back on government spending, spoke to Fox News this week about how he would fix the fiasco.
“In the military they have $5.2 million they spent on goldfish — studying goldfish to see how democratic they were and if we could learn about democracy from goldfish. I would give the president the authority to go ahead and cut all $5 million in goldfish studies,” Sen. Paul said during a Thursday broadcast.
Later, the lawmaker blamed US President Barack Obama for the current state of affairs, saying, “The sequester was his idea.”
“He signed it into law and he needs to take responsibility,” the senator said, “and he needs to act responsibly and we’ve given him a list of cuts he could do without laying off anybody.”
At the top of the list is axing programs like one documented in a defense spending report released back in November by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma). In it, the lawmaker’s office lays out a plan for saving the Pentagon $67.9 billion over ten years’ time by focusing on “non-defense” cuts. Included in that battleplan is pulling the plug on a recent $5.2 million fish study.
“Fish could show the nation how to overcome political polarization and promote democracy, according to Pentagon-funded research,” Coburn’s team wrote. “The Pentagon claims the research provides ‘a better understanding of how individuals with low stake impact achieve a democratic consensus’ and this ‘effort supports Military Information Support Operations (MISO) mission area.’” In learning as much, though, the Defense Department blew through a $5.2 million grant from DARPA.
Earlier this month, Sen. Paul told RawStory that Congress is often described as lacking bipartisanship. “That is not true. In fact, there is plenty. Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of back room deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses.” Hopefully now he has found some other common ground between Democrats and Republicans: ending fish research.