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  • Don't Target Defense Budget to Fund Domestic Priorities

    Pentagon (Photo by Newscom)

    Providing for the common defense is the primary responsibility of government as prescribed in the U.S. Constitution. Robust national defense is the first principle of government, without which all others fall away.

    Even though defense spending is at an historical low today (less than 4% of gross domestic product), many in Washington are already clamoring to use the military as a bill-payer for domestic programs. This is reality — and it’s a point I outlined Monday in Chicago at a forum on national security. Unfortunately, the seriousness of this threat was lost on The New Republic’s Dayo Olopade. Had she done her homework, it would come as no surprise that five times in the last 90 years, the United States has disarmed after a conflict.

    There is not — nor should there be — unlimited taxpayer money to spend. Good governance demands responsible fiscal policies and forces Congress to prioritize what is most important.

    In reality, the main culprit of federal budget growth over the past two decades has been domestic discretionary spending, which has grown at nearly twice the rate of defense and homeland security spending. Reforming these programs, so as to balance the priorities of the federal budget, should be the main focus by Congress.

    President-elect Barack Obama committed to a myriad of massive spending efforts throughout the campaign. In an environment of finite resources, domestic priorities that could ultimately impact defense spending include universal health care, middle class tax cuts, and renewable energy investments.

    Unfortunately, when cuts to the federal budget are considered necessary, it is the defense budget that is most often targeted. Today’s defense budget represents a manageable level of spending that is consistent with government policies that promote economic growth.

    While the defense budget is indeed substantial in real dollars, it matches the current and future global responsibilities of the U.S. If policymakers or the next administration cut the defense budget now without considering America’s worldwide responsibilities or the likely geopolitical landscape the U.S. will face over the next five to 10 years, we’re setting ourselves up for disaster.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Don't Target Defense Budget to Fund Domestic Priorities

    1. Dennis Aderholt Soci says:

      This comes as no suprise, the dems are noted for cutting the Military. Look at the clinton area ans see what happened to our military. Spending needs to be cut, I agree with this. First we need to stop pork barrell spending, and then see where we can trim other spending that is just wanted, not needed. Those that sit in Congress need to realize this country's budget is like their homr budget. You can only spebd what you have. You can not spend your way out of trouble, borrow from Peter to pay Paul. We work hard to pay our taxes, those that spend it think it comes easy, it does not.

    2. Pingback: Don’t Target Defense Budget to Fund Domestic Priorities « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    3. Dell in South Caroli says:

      How do you think the exalted Bill Clinton managed to leave office with a surplus? He took it out of our defense funds..THAT'S how! And now, the "Dope-on-a-Rope Obama" is talking of cutting our military defense spending AGAIN! So, when that "test" 'ol Joe Biden predicted comes around, I guess we'd better have an awful big pile of rocks and sticks to beat 'em back with..huh!?! Yeah, you betchum, chief!

    4. Geek, New Jersey says:

      Fighting terrorism, supporting the troops, being patriotic have been the justification for asking for and receiving blank checks from the Congress. The Military has had major increases in requirements but has also used that funding to push for programs and spend money on the status quo. Major programs have continued without regard to cost and schedule or serious consideration of their future relevance. The MRAP's cost $13 Billion for 1,800 vehicles, of limited future use, and the finger is pointed at the big 3?

      FCS is years and billions over budget and has been redefined to protect a program that was poorly defined, managed and over sold. Next generation manned fighters and tankers in an era when UAV's are the future. A military management structure that is a hold over of how systems were defined and managed in WW2 is a problem as is having billets filled in non combatant positions.

      The Iraq Army was defeated in 5 weeks and everything after that using our force structure and funding in a unique manner that has stressed rather than build our military force.

      By the way, the Republican Congress reduced the Defense budget both House and Senate and before the typical pointing at Clinton as the anti Christ go look at what President Bush and VP Chenny said about the Defense budget prior to Sept 11.

      Far too much money is being wasted on the status quo, Military Housing has not significantly improved neither has medical care and benefits. Supporting the troops is nice words but not when it gets in the way of keeping an antiquated structure, desk jobs for soldiers who should be in combat positions, and organizations that exist to protect rice bowls.

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