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  • It's Not About Guns vs. Butter, Mr. President

    It is understandable that the President wanted to mention the sorry state of the domestic economy in his address to the nation. More Americans are out of work now than when Obama took office. Recent economic news has not been good.

    Just as the President said, fixing the economy is indeed an “urgent” task.” But that does not mean he now has the luxury to neglect his most urgent task, the one assigned to him by the U.S. Constitution: to “Provide for the Common Defense.”

    While there might be some debate over the best way to stimulate the economy, no one is arguing that the President can outsource his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief.

    It would be wrong to suggest that the best way to build-up the economy is to cut back on defense or shy away from America’s responsibilities: protecting its interests throughout the world. Looking at all the challenges we face—from finishing the job in Afghanistan and Iraq, to responding to a rising China, to dealing with North Korea and Iran, and fighting the war on terror—now is not the time to turn our back on our responsibilities to defend this nation by cutting defense spending.

    The military has not been modernized since the Reagan Era. We can’t take another peace dividend on what is essentially a peacetime military with aging equipment.

    Nor is neglecting the defense going to solve the nation’s fiscal crisis. Defense spending is less than one-fifth of the federal budget. Even with the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. military spending is near historic lows (as a percentage of GDP less, than what we averaged during the Cold War).

    The President would have better served Americans if he had told them the honest truth: Protecting our freedoms and ensuring that no power can humiliate America or kill our citizens in their beds requires both guns and butter. If America wants to remain America it does not have the choice of opting for one or the other.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to It's Not About Guns vs. Butter, Mr. President

    1. Scott says:

      The only True Lasting Solution to periodical economic downturns is to recognize and honor the Inherent Birthright of Land that every Individual has. Noe of us created the Earth but it is something which we all need in order to live and therefore it is a Birthright of Life Inherent in each Individual.

    2. Bill says:

      I thought the whole narrative about a "Peace Dividend" was intellectually dishonest the first time it was trotted out there by the left, when George H.W. Bush was President. Liberals have never seen a tax or spending program they didn't want increased, or a defense program/system that they didn't want to cut.

    3. Will, ILLINOIS says:

      Ok, I am not a big fan of this guy. But honestly between here and the fringe left this guy can not get a break. Either he is still a Lefty or not Left enough.

      Did he miss the mark on the speech tonight? Yes! We know all this stuff already, nothing new no need for Monday night highlights. We needed more of what actions we are going to take. But for crying out loud he at least went centrist and refrained his arrogant demeanor a tad.

    4. Jeff Hoyt, Norfolk, says:

      Mr. Carafano,

      I'm constrained to point out an error in your article. although it doesn't actually negate the point you make. The President is not charged by the Constitution to "provide for the common defense". The President's obligations are contained in Article II, Sections 2 and 3. The closest his obligations come to defense is to act as the Commander in Chief when the armed services are actually called into service by the United States, meaning Congress. This simple fact makes almost every President we have had guilty of treason, especially since the War Powers Act, as they have routinely sent the military into action without Congress being involved. The Executive Branch has no Constitutional authority to engage the military – only to command the forces once they are so ordered by Congress. Fact is, the President's Constitutional obligations are so limited as to make him little more than a functionary whose obligations could be handled from a home office somewhere in South Dakota with an occasional trip to D.C. to ". . . receive ambassadors and other public ministers . . ." It is only our foolish, self-destructive, endless, international banker-enriching, and nearly-always Constitutionally illegal foreign involvements that make the daily interference of the Executive Branch in our lives "necessary".

      Further, "provide for the common defense" is found in the Preamble. The Preamble is not a description of what the United States government is supposed to do; it is a list of objectives that the founders hoped to achieve by ordaining the Constitution. I may open an auto repair shop, and announce in the local paper that my hope is to "provide my clients with a reliable source of auto repair at a fair price." That isn't a description of what I would actually do; it's a description of what I hope to accomplish by opening my shop. What I would do is fix brakes, change oil, replace headlamps, and so forth.

      Again, I agree with your point, but a thorough understanding of the Constitutional obligations and restraints put on the United States government is essential to ousting the petty tyrants that infest the federated government. Who knows? With enough educational effort to that end, the states – not the people, by the way – may actually be able to choose a Chief Executive whose campaign isn't a litany of all the treasonous acts he intends to carry out against the people if elected.

    5. John ORourke, Vancou says:

      Nobody's around the world is going to come and kill American citizens in their beds.. That is completely delusional nonsense. We dont need more weapons, lets not get paranoid because we dont have a man in office that is trigger happy.

      God does not sanctify killings for any reason. Its time for change. Americans voted for change, it does not happen overnight. Your Mr Bush left a pretty big mess and left a number of States bankrupt.. Forget the guns and the neighbors yard, you're own backyard needs a good cleaning and thats what he's doing. That will take time.

    6. Jan says:

      And why in heaven's name, can't Iraq reimburse the USA for military expenditures? They make BILLIONS on oil! Come on! We bailed them out of a nightmare existance under Saddam Hussain. Now it's time to pay the allied forces back!

    7. Chuck New Jersey says:


      I agree with you and that has been suggested many times in the past. The democrats keep screaming l "guns for oil"!!! Implying that we are a nation for hire. Re-embursement for finances would certainly be appropriate in my eyes.

      But, you can't re-emburse us for our lost lives. That is our contribution to world peace.

    8. Westport, CT says:

      Jan, I see your point. Create an excuse, invade and occupy a country, destroy it's infrastructure and then extract all if it's resources to pay for the invasion and occupation.

      Hmm. Somehow, this just sounds familiar.

      Just can't put my finger on who the right wing has condemned for doing this same thing. Probably because I don't have enough fingers.

      Change your tune and maybe we'll think about dancing to it. I don't like Acid Rock and that's what you're on.

    9. James Carafano James Jay Carafano says:

      comment from John: "Nobody’s around the world is going to come and kill American citizens in their beds.. "

      response to John: September 11, 2001. Though technically I suppose you are correct. They were sitting at their desks.

    10. James Carafano James Jay Carafano says:

      On the government's responsibility to provide for the common defense.

      National defense is the priority job of the national government.

      Article One, Section Eight lists 17 separate powers granted to Congress. Six deal exclusively with defense—far more than any other area: specific authority to declare war, raise and support armies, provide for a navy, establish rules for the operation of military forces, organize and arm state militias, and specify the conditions for converting militias into national service.

      Article Two establishes the President as the government’s chief executive officer. The only substantive function of government specifically assigned to the President relates to national security and foreign policy including responsibility as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”

      Article Four, Section Four states that the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” It must, under the Constitution, provide for the common defense.

      National defense is the only mandatory function of the national government. Most powers granted to Congress are permissive in nature. But the Constitution does require the federal government to protect the nation.

      Article Four, Section Four states that the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.”

      National defense is exclusively the function of the national government. States are generally sovereign, which means that the legitimate functions of government not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the states.

      Article One, Section 10 does specifically prohibit the states, except with the consent of Congress, from keeping troops or warships in time of peace or engaging in war, the only exception being that states may act on their own if actually invaded. (This was necessary because, when the Constitution was written, primitive forms of communication and transportation meant that it could take weeks before Washington was even notified of an invasion.)

      The great irony of our time. The bigger the federal government has become, the less well it has performed its priority function of providing for the national defense.

      The American military is significantly weaker than it was at the end of the Cold War. The Army was cut from 18 divisions to 10 and is short on equipment. The Navy is smaller than it has been since 1916 and continues to shrink. The Air Force is smaller than it has been since Pearl Harbor, and the average age of the Air Force inventory is 23 years. Half of our bombers are considered antiques by FAA standards. There are no plans to replace them. Most of our tankers are equally as old; they will not be replaced, if at all, until the 2030s. The Department of Defense wants to close our most modern cargo aircraft production line and will close our most sophisticated fighter line. The missile defense budget has been cut, and according to most reports, the Obama Administration will cut modernization budgets even further.

    11. Steve S. California says:

      "Nobody around the world is going to come and kill American citizens in their beds.. That is completely delusional nonsense."

      I suppose sir, that it's OK if they are at work instead. Just because you choose to ignore the war going on in this country and abroad since 1979 does not mean that it is not occurring or that people are not dying. Plots thwarted at the last minute may give YOU the illusion that we are at peace, but that does not make it the truth.

      As for your pathetic reiteration of "your Mr. Bush" which is all the rage these days, this diatribe also ignores the obvious. No one man has caused this, we all have at some level, some of us by the simple act of reciting dogma rather than doing due diligence as citizens, and becoming truly educated in what is really happening out there. Others by refusing to admitthat the people that they have voted into power are very much a part of the problem. Some of us are done doing that, obviously others are not. Congress was not under Democratic control Bush's last two years? That's not to shift blame, only to highlight that the truth is not so simple as you state.

      And so far as your sermon about God not sanctifying killing, the ones who know that, and hate killing and war, are the ones who have seen it's horror, not the holir than thou preachers who hold the real world at arms length because it does not fit their views. And as usual, the problem is that you don't say what to do with the folks doing the killing here at home, never mind over seas. Let me see, do you think it's our fault? That's a good rationale to keep so you don't have to deal with reality.

      Let me pose a hypothetical (for you). You are walking down the street with your family, and are accosted by two armed individuals. Yesterday, a man and his wife were accosted in the same neighborhood, and even after complying with demands fully, the wife was murdered and the husband left for dead?

      What would you do? What will become of your loved ones? And before you complain about me stcking the deck, remember, so does life sometimes.The issue boils down to this, you have essentially two options, abdicate and become a victim, or be a survivor (in which case you would be prepared physically and mentally already (you can't do it now).So, I ask you, IF NECESSARY, are you prepared to fight, and possibly kill, to protect yourself and your loved ones, to say nothing of co-workers, strangers in the street, or even freedom (remember those God given rights the founding fathers wrote about?) (sacrificed everything for as well).

      Lastly, you say that change takes time. Strangely enough, you don't even pick one example that could be held up to the light of day. You seem to not want to discuss the fact that violation of law has become the staple of this government (I did NOT say or mean Obama alone). I will hold up just one example: The failure of this government to prosecute the New Black Panther party for interfering with the voting process in a criminal manner. Do yourself (and consequently us) a favor and do some real research into just this one subject, The truth is an ugly baby and a clear violation of law based on personal view.

    12. Joel Cincinnati says:

      John from NOT IN OUR COUNTRY. your right they will blow the building up that you work in and cause 3000 deaths. and yes if some of them could they would kill us in our homes they hate America and Americans so you are blind to the truth.

    13. Neal Palmquist OH says:

      “Nobody around the world is going to come and kill American citizens in their beds.. That is completely delusional nonsense.” Didn't hear anybody say those words before you did. Where does this delusion come from? Oh, it comes from Canada.

      I don't understand how President Obama can announce the withdrawal from Afganistan but he can not announce when our troops will be capturing Osama Bin Laden.

    14. Travis, Maryland says:

      A quick comment and a correction:

      John from Vancouver – How could Bush bankrupt the states? Did he overspend for years, drive up the housing market and then crash it?

      Mr. Carafano – The Air Force was not formed until 1947, so it cannot be smaller than Pearl Harbor (1941). You may view our flying forces to be significantly smaller in number (true), but the lethality, speed, mobility, and stealthiness of our current aircraft enable our military to be significantly leaner while still being effective. That being said, do we need new aircraft? Absolutely.

    15. Pingback: links for 2010-09-02 « Girls <3 Guns

    16. Robert. Edmonton, Al says:

      There are conservatives in Canada. As for John in Vancouver (not coming to his defense) but some of the most negative attacks on the military and Bush have come after I have posted my beliefs about a strong national defense and support of the surge, etc. on blogs like DOD Buzz and Ares Defense Blog at Aviation Week.

      Yes John is obviously ill infomred, to say the least, but some of us Canadians stand fast with our American brothers and sisters. Remember Canadian forces have taken the highest ratio of casualties in A-Stan per deployed soldier.

    17. Sean, Minneapolis says:

      I'm not convinced that building a bigger and bigger military will make us any safer – in our beds. We already spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. There's a lot more that goes into that equation including diplomacy and trade. In fact I would argue that the more we use our military – and what good is a military that isn't being used – the more enemies we make around the world which makes us contrarily less safe, not more safe.

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