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  • Memo to the Next Congress: Americans Want to Cut Government, Not Defense

    Ask the average American about the strength of our nation’s defense, and the answer may surprise you.

    According to a poll earlier this year, Americans are now more likely to believe the U.S. national defense is “not strong enough.” Intuitively, many Americans support the government in spending what is necessary for a strong defense — and that includes missile defense.

    Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

    This week, The Hill came out with another poll. In what should be a strong signal to the 112th Congress, most Americans do not want policymakers to cut defense to pay down the deficit. The midterm election poll found “six in ten Republicans and 53 percent of independents said they would not accept cuts to defense and homeland security spending.”

    Providing a strong national defense is the priority responsibility of the federal government and our nation’s elected leaders. Providing for the common defense is the only mandatory function of the federal government.

    Keeping America safe is not a Republican, Independent, or Democrat issue; it’s an American issue.

    Just this summer, a bipartisan blue-ribbon commission chaired by former Clinton Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and former Bush National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley agreed. Their report outlines the urgent investment needs in defense to maintain our national strength and military superiority, and the stark consequences of inaction. Even in today’s tightening fiscal environment, the panel highlights the fact that defense is actually under-funded. Specifically, the Commission found that the Pentagon can “achieve cost savings on acquisition and overhead [reforms], but substantial additional resources will be required to modernize the force.”

    It’s the government’s foremost job to keep America safe. Most Americans agree. The only question is whether Washington is listening.

    Cross-posted at Red State.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Memo to the Next Congress: Americans Want to Cut Government, Not Defense

    1. Les Smith, Lake Wyli says:

      Stop the war.

    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Do Americans maintain or increase troop size? Provide the right hardware in the field? Provide the necessary personal for intelligence collection? The answer is a resounding yes! But do we want the waste, the corruption, the leaking, the redundancy and so on that we have been reading about this last year? NO!!

      You have a shopping list that I support. BUT we need to cut the stuff that is hurting us first. The DoD has the same inefficient federal workforce as the dept of ed. We want to eliminate the DOE because of the waste. If we STE going to call ourselves conservatives we need to support Gen. Gates with the cuts he wants to make. If he can cut 100 billion, he will effectively make room in the budget for what we Americans want. We want a strong and efficient military. That means we want a lean and mean DoD. We can cut defence without hindering its mission to protect the country. I believe that once Gen. Gates is done we will have a strong military – more so than we have now. As conservatives let's put the same zeal we have with making the rest of government efficient to making the DoD as well ad the DHS more efficient. I feel we do not have s choice.

    3. PippN, Severna Park says:

      We need to maintain the best of the best militarily. But one way to reduce costs is to pull back some of these forward bases. Out of roughly 195 counties in the world, we have boots on the ground in about 130. Why do we have to have military bases in nearly every country there is? Granted, there are some countries that need us there. But in many, there is no pressing need for our presence and we have worn out our welcome. Why stay?

    4. Pingback: Air Force to End the Need for Pilots In 6th Generation Fighters [Aircraft] :: iPad

    5. antiliberal, USA says:

      We DO need to cut defense. We can stop paying for the defense of Europe, Japan and South Korea.

      We should be able to easily cut 1/3 – 1/2 of the military budget and not impact our defense capabilities at all.

      Let the rest of the world defend themselves as we can't afford to defend them.

    6. ljsk (AL) says:

      The government needs to live by the same standards as the other federal emplyees (ie; military, etc.). The same retirement plan, after 20-30 years, vacations in POV (privately owned vehicles), and the perks are the same. Whatever the military gets, they should also get. No special treatments or large expense accounts and let the voters decide IF and WHEN they get raises. Cut the spending out and increase our military and TRAIN them for defensive measures, (like they previously did). This needs to be implemented from the president down. If their families go with them on a trip, they pay their own bills. If they can't go when the member goes, let them fly commercial, and pay for the ticket. (sorry). Lets STOP this government waste as well as these excessive priviledges for the Federal employess that are in the government.

    7. Sharon Noblesville I says:

      Cut government spending and stop catering to special interest groups. Stop social welfare and build a strong national defense. Get the US citizens back to work in the private sector. The country needs solid leadership, not more tax and spend. We are at war and our national defense should be at the top of the list for ares NOT to cut.

    8. Dan, Arcadia says:

      Under the Clinton administration, military budgets were cut to the point that members of the mlitary could not do small arms qualifications. We had enough ammunition on hand for qualification, but, did not have the funding to replace the used ammunition.

      That is one of the many problems caused by the "Peace Dividend" after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    9. Charlie , Indiana says:

      It is the Federal Governments job to protect its citizens, not control ,mandate and tax us into poverty by constantly growing in size. Look at what works and cut what doesn`t. We need a leaner Government and a meaner security force if we are survive as a nation.

    10. John W Boyes says:

      I agee with your statement. Defense is the federal gov responsibiiy. The Air Force is not in good shape and must always have cintrol of the skies

    11. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Here is an idea on cutting the waste from the DoD.

      The DoD is claimed to be in existence to support our troops. The DoD claims it needs more money to maintain strength and to modernize. We as a nation need massive cuts all over the place. So here goes:

      Lets inject market principals of profit into the picture. The DoD shall be required to cut a minimum of $100 billion from its budget. However, the DoD will be rewarded with matching funds in two ways. (1) For every dollar saved by getting rid of waste, redundancy and overlap they get a dollar and thirty three cents back. (2) Where the DoD was able to reduce costs by enhancing National Security, the DoD will be rewarded by a dollar and fifty cents. On the other hand, if the DoD does not produce $100 billion in cuts, they will simply be forced to my law with only a dollar matching fund. The longer it takes, the lower the matching fund goes. So this could represent up to a $50 billion increase in budget if the DoD is very effective in making all their cuts focused on enhancing national security.

      Cuts cannot be made by reducing the number of soldiers or necessary well working equipment. Personnel Cuts shall be limited to the CIV population only. Where any position held by soldiers is eliminated, an opening must be made elsewhere for that soldier to stay employed. In essence, the program shall be biased on soldiers keeping their positions.

      To determine where cuts should be made, only field soldiers should be anonymously polled with the following questions. The answers should be posted to the public via internet for full transparency and so the public can also have input on how to manage the cuts. The soldiers in turn should be warned to answer the questions so that no redactions for national security needs to be made.

      1) Name five DoD internal programs or agencies you deem to be ineffective to the mission and recommend they be eliminated or reduced in size.

      2) Name three weapons or other hardware that is useless and/or not performing as intended.

      3) Name three weapons or other hardware that you would like the DoD to invest in.

      4) Name the two worse defense contractor in your opinion and state why.

      5) In 500 words or less for each, describe the two worst example of DoD overlap or redundancy.

      6) In 500 word or less: you are the Sec of Defense, you need to make one significant and meaningful cut in the DoD budget. What would that one thing be?

      The answers to these questions should be used to aid in DoD budget cuts. If the DoD is in service to the soldiers, then they should prove it.

    12. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      There needs to be across the board cuts in all government departments. In both money and manpower.

      I suggest we cut:

      1. 5% per year for all government departments for a period of 5-7 years.

      2. Freeze entitlement spending and tighten requirements for entitlement programs.

      2. Switch to a flat tax income tax structure so that everyone pays a part of the government pie. Exempt the first $5,000 for each person up to 4 per family, then pay at least a 10% flat tax on everything else.

    13. Dennis Georgia says:

      Defense is of the utmost importance. Defense is just like your local police, sheriffs and state law enforcement. The budgets are cut, crimminals run wild, they all know there is noone to defend you. The same applies to the world, if American defense is cut to nothing, then nothing remains to defend this country. The UN is determined to controll our firearms, congress is more than willing to help them, the anti-gunners are already lined up to enforce the taking of our guns, guess we will be taken over with out a shot being fired. Hope everyone is ready to "spread the wealth" to anyone that comes knocking on your door.

    14. Michael McCulloch, T says:

      Federal Government primary responsibilities are to Provide for the common defense and defend the Republic. Does facilitating invasion constitute Treason?

      Please explain how allowing an influx of over 40,000,000 illegal immigrants (not under physical threat at home) does not constitute treason. 20 million under Reagan (REMEMBER, we were told we'd never be asked again and that the borders would be sealed) and at least another 20+ million are here now.

      Finally, if the Cold War effort (to stem the spread of Communism) was legitimate, WHAT are the Progressive's implementing here, now?

    15. armand C. Piscopo ny says:

      First , remember IKE beware of the military industrial complex, lets bring back G Washington Sec. of "WAR" so he/she should know the objective is to WIN..And last I am all for a strong defense . lets use what we have and not be afraid to silence our critics who take our $$$

    16. Russ Soucy Deltona F says:

      I believe the midterm election results are telling our elected officials "regardless of party affiliation." When a bill is signed into law, that all wasteful spending and pork be eliminated, whether the appropriation is for defense, homeland Security, health care, Education.etc, etc. The electorates are completely disgusted, Listen to the Tea Party.

    17. Russ Soucy Deltona F says:

      I believe the midterm election results are telling our elected officials regardless of party affiliation. When a bill is signed into law, that all wasteful spending and pork are eliminated, whether the appropriation is for defense, homeland Security, health care or Education.etc, etc. The electorates are completely disgusted.

    18. Pingback: BlueRidgeForum » Post-Election Action Menus for Tea Partiers & Conservatives

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