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Last Updated:7/7/05
Speech by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), June 28, 2005

   Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Let me just respond to the gentleman, Mr. Chairman, if I can, by saying, if the Colombian people support this policy so much, then why is it that only 740,000 Colombians pay income tax in a country of 42 million people? That is a fact. That was stated in the Council on Foreign Relations report that came out last year.

   Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul).

   (Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

   Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this amendment. I would only ask my colleagues on this side of the aisle, where have all the conservatives gone? Where are the fiscal conservatives? A decade or so ago, the conservatives on this side of the aisle voted against all foreign aid. Now they are the champion of foreign aid.

   We are running a national debt increase right now of nearly $600 billion a year, and the gentleman from this side of the aisle suggests that maybe we can spend $100 million less out of a budget that is over $20.3 billion, suggesting we could save $100 million, which sounds like pretty good sense, and all we hear are complaints about why we need this program.

   One gentleman asked the question, what are we for if we are against this program down in Colombia, Plan Colombia? Well, I'll tell my colleagues what I am for. I am for the American taxpayer, and I will tell my colleagues one thing. I will bet them I am right on this. I will bet my colleagues, on either side of the aisle ever goes home and ever puts it into their campaign brochure and say, you know what, I voted $20 billion for foreign aid; and I know nobody over here will go home and brag about $100 million that they were able to vote against cutting from this side of the aisle. They will not do it.

   I was here in 2000 when this debate was going on and strongly opposed it for various reasons, but I remember the pretext for Plan Colombia. The pretext was the drug war and this is what we have heard about today. The evidence is very flimsy. If there was any success on the drug war, production would be down and prices would be up. Production is up and prices are down, and that is an economic absolute.

   So there has been nothing accomplished. There has been more production in other countries in the Andes, but the pretext there was only the drugs, but I remember so clearly in the year 2000 who lobbied for this bill.

   Does anybody remember oil companies coming here to get their oil pipelines protected, and we still protect them? This is a little private army that we sent down there. We have 800 troops and advisers in Colombia and spending these huge sums of money.

   Who else lobbied for Plan Colombia? Do my colleagues remember the debate on who would get to sell the helicopters? Would they be Black Hawks or Hueys?

   Then we wonder where the lobby is from. It is not from the American people. I will bet my colleagues nobody wrote to anybody on this side and said please make sure you spend this $100 million dollars; this would be tragic if you would not spend it because it is doing so much good. That does not happen. It is the lobbying behind the scenes of the special interests whose interests are served by us being down there. It is part of this military industrial complex which exists, and I do not



believe it has had one ounce of success. I think it is a complete waste of money; and besides, just incidentally it is unconstitutional for us to do this.

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