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  • Americans to Obama: Don’t Cut Defense

    Following billion dollar bailouts and stimulus packages, the Administration is hoping to find “savings” elsewhere in the federal budget. One of its targets is defense. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the “gusher” of defense spending “has been turned off, and will stay off for a good period of time.”

    His effort is misguided. It’s a political decision divorced from the reality of the threats we face. And it’s not a move Americans support. According to a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, cutting defense is as unpopular as raising payroll taxes to fund Medicare. A solid 57 percent of adults say it would be “unacceptable” to reduce spending on national security and defense weapons systems.

    The problem with restraining the defense budget further is that it is already near historic lows—and an unprecedented level for the nation in wartime. During the Cold War, defense spending averaged 7.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The Administration’s current budget projections show total defense spending falling from 4.9 percent today to 3.6 percent of GDP by 2015. In the words of the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, thanks to aging equipment; escalating personnel, overhead, and procurement costs; and increasing operational demands, the U.S. military is heading for a “train wreck” in personnel, acquisition, and force structure.

    Defense is not the culprit of our budget woes, and it shouldn’t bear the brunt of the Obama Administration’s efforts to look fiscally responsible. This year, defense accounts for 19 percent of all federal spending, compared with 57 percent for our entitlement programs. As entitlement costs grow, there will be less and less left over for anything, including defense.

    Americans are sensible people. They care greatly about security, not just for this generation but for generations to come. This new poll shows that Americans are far more willing to underwrite the costs of defense than our leaders understand. Let’s hope Washington is listening and, as the QDR review panel recommends, finds the political will to fund the kind of military forces our nation—and the world—expect.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Americans to Obama: Don’t Cut Defense

    1. West Texan says:

      This is truly a hot button for our union's constitutional mandate. The primary purpose of federal government is national defense. NOT SOCIAL ENTITLEMENTS!!! What's occurring at the national level is an abomination. The current government under Pelosi, Reid and Obama is essentially illegitimate because of their gross overreach into states' affairs and mishandling of defense and foreign policy. Doesn't matter their elected status. Their lawful authority is derived from the U.S. Constitution. Accountable leadership would "PROVIDE" the best current and future defense possible that money could buy. It's time for all those overpaid DC lawyers to get off their duffs and challenge these folks. If you guys don't, the American people and/or the individual states will.

    2. George Colgrove VA says:

      We do need to look at the DoD budget. There is tremendous overlap and waste. Nearly all the offices are top heavy with several layers of managers. There is much that can be cut in the civilian side to feed the military side, plus we can walk away with some savings. We do not need to cut the military side at all.

    3. Mary Seattle WA 98074 says:

      I am not sure that I totally agree that 57percent of Americans would say that it is not a good adea to cut defense spending…unless they are thinking of the side effects of these expenditures. For example, defense spending is not something that can be outsourced. Therefore, defense spending benefits growth in domestic jobs. Workers in the defense industry earn excellent salaries and they do not ususally experience the cyclical impacts of layoffs that workers in the private sector experience during a recession.

      On the other hand, entitlements and AND defense spending have to be based on the current generation of Americans’ability to pay for them…because I doubt that any American wants to pass on to future generations an enormous financial burden so that we can feel good today about providing military assistance to foreign governments and entitlements to needy fellow-Americans. We have to be conscious of our responsibilities to both present and future Americans.

      Therefore, at this critical stage in American history, we have to make choices.
      The costs of national defense and entitlements should be restricted to our ability to pay for them; and, the best way increase our capacity to pay for these programs ….without going into debt….is to pormote domestic job growth.
      In other words, we have to support the development of other new domestic programs that promote the kind of job growth in research, engineering,and the sciences that the defense industry provides. We need these new industries that will put Americans to work because personal income taxes contributes the largest source of tax revenue to the federal budget that will be used to pay for our programs and repay our national debt.

      For other comments- see http://www.mary4money.com

    4. Jane Kinney says:

      We must meet our defense requirements. The oppositional, political forces of today seem as determined as in the l930′s. At that time a few dictators formed an alliance which we named “the Axis”; however, our diplomats did not confront them. They appeased them. We are more vulnerable today when all it takes is for our enemies to possess a cargo ship with a missile launcher able to take out our power grids and kill many people. Let us never forget our history. Our vulnerability extends to our open borders and the possible entry of deadly, dirty suitcase bombs.

    5. Billie says:

      It”s not one bit comforting to have Obama as “commander in chief.” There isn’t a waste cost he doesn’t overlook! Or a cost of necessity he doesn’t compromise!

    6. Reality says:

      Military budgets of the top 15 military spenders in 2008

      1* United States 548,531,000,000

      2 China 63,643,000,000

      3* United Kingdom 57,392,000,000

      4* France 52,565,000,000

      5* Japan 42,751,000,000

      6 Russia 38,238,000,000

      7* Germany 37,237,000,000

      8* Saudi Arabia 33,136,000,000

      9* Italy 32,103,000,000

      10 India 24,716,000,000

      11* South Korea 23,773,000,000

      12* Canada 15,940,000,000

      13* Brazil 15,477,000,000

      14* Australia 15,321,000,000

      15* Spain 14,721,000,000

      16* Israel 12,135,000,000

      Source CIA, yeah we clearly shouldn't cut our defense budget.

      Also Obama increased the military budget it's the secretary of defense that's pushing for cuts.

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