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  • Morning Bell: Why We Provide for the Common Defense

    In a luncheon speech to American business executives in which he urged the United States to recognize China’s claims over Tibet and Taiwan, Chinese President Hu Jintao said yesterday: “We do not engage in an arms race, we are not a military threat to any country. China will never seek to dominate or pursue an expansionist policy.” We certainly hope this is true. But our leaders must do more than just hope. As President George Washington asserted in his First Annual Message, the “most effectual means of preserving peace” is “to be prepared for war.”

    This week we have documented China’s rapid rise in four key domains of potential conflict: air, sea, space, and the Internet. Over the past decade, in each of these domains, Chinese capabilities have significantly increased while ours have either stagnated or declined. A continuation of this trend is not a recipe for lasting security. In the latest installment of The Heritage Foundation’s Understanding America series, National Security Studies Research Fellow Mackenzie Eaglen explains why this neglect is antithetical to the Founders’ vision for peace:

    The Founders realized that only an organized and professional military could respond to both domestic and foreign threats. That is why they authorized the building of forts, the creation of the U.S. Navy, and the founding of West Point. … America’s Founders believed that peace through strength is preferable—militarily, financially, and morally—to allowing war to come through weakness. That is why, over two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson advised George Washington that “the power of making war often prevents it.” In providing for the common defense, the goal of the Founders was to build a military sufficiently powerful and capable that America’s enemies preferred not to challenge it.

    Maintaining a force powerful enough to deter any challengers is not cheap. And our federal government’s growing spending problems do require immediate attention. But so does our need to maintain a strong national defense. Congress must evaluate all federal spending on its merits and decide whether it is both constitutional and necessary. At a time when our federal government has undertaken responsibilities that are constitutionally beyond its reach, it is important to remember one constitutionally mandated and primary obligation of government: to keep Americans safe. The duty to “provide for the common defense” is right there in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. If any program can stand on its constitutional merit, it is defense.

    It is true that our nation’s current defense spending practices are far from perfect. Heritage Foundation defense policy analysts Mackenzie Eaglen and Julia Pollack have identified defense spending reforms that could save taxpayers more than $70 billion. But it is vitally important that these savings are used to strengthen the tools of national security so that the U.S. can continue stabilizing the international environment, keeping U.S. citizens safe and free and ensuring that America’s economy can prosper and grow.

    Driven by the desire to save money, Congress should not take steps that reduce military spending in the short term but vastly increase the danger and cost to America in the long term. It can do this by providing for defense an average of $720 billion per year for each of the next five fiscal years, in addition to the funding needed for ongoing contingency operations. In his farewell address, Washington urged Americans to remember “that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it.”

    Quick Hits:

    • According to Rasmussen Reports, 87 percent of Americans say they are paying higher gas prices now than they were six months ago.
    • The number of people who bought previously owned homes last year fell to the lowest level in 13 years, and economists say it will be years before the housing market fully recovers.
    • Momentum is growing on Capitol Hill for a law that would allow states to declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing pensions promised to retired government unions.
    • President Obama will announce today that bailed-out General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt will head a new White House board aimed at finding ways to foster private sector job growth.
    • Yesterday, Verizon Communications filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s first-ever Internet regulations.
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Morning Bell: Why We Provide for the Common Defense

    1. Dennis Georgia says:

      You are right, the main way to prevent war is to be prepared. Our military has been gutted in past administration, since the 90's. What we have to fight with is mostly worn out and outdated. This should not have happenbed, Chins Iran and others know the condition of our ability to make a meaninful war, they also know that obvama and a large precent of the American people have no desire to go to war, or if forced no desire to win. All the wars we have been involved, except the Civil QWar, were fought else where. This was done of protection of our own soil. I hear supposed leaders and the politically correct crowd refusuing to call a terroist a terroist, they only want to hold out a hand and give them money. We had more people killed in 9/11 than Pearl Harbor. People are so forgetfull, have no pride in this country, theirselves, family, a job well done. Congress and the White House hold all of us as useless people unable to make our own decisions about anything, they truely believe they ahve all the answers. They, the elite educated by liberal teachers and professors, are intend on taking this country down. We must restore the PRIDE of AMERICA, as well as our PERSONAL PRIDE>

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      1- 21-11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI on January 20th, 2011 at 2:41pm said:

      Ken – the problem is that Congress and the White House – especially Obama, have spent a ton of money and are now trying to find a way to pay for it. Even Kennedy noted that when the economy is bad increasing taxes is a bad idea. Finding clever ways to tax doesn’t fix the spending problem. Like I said yesterday – Taxed Enough Already.

      *** States are Broke.

      The Treasury is Broke.

      The ONLY thing we have a SURPLUS OF IS ADVERTISING.

      Therefore, TAX ADS – STONA.

      it is like -

      Tax the Rich – THEY have the $$$.

      Tax the ADs – They have the $$$.

      ===

      The health care problem will never be resolved

      There is a heath care model that works – Small Animal Veterinary Medicine.

      *** Good idea – The next time I get sick

      I'll go see my Vet.

      ===

      Space doesn’t permit my addressing all of the components to health care but I will get this published as soon as possible.

      *** Space should NOT be a Problem

      Here is my EMail address – LVKen7@Gmail.com

    3. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      I wish our government would back to the basics such as protection and good roads and leave the rest to its citizens.

    4. George Colgrove, VA says:

      GOP Proposed 2011 Budget (2006 % change):

      Total Budget = $3.58 Trillion ($2.7T +35%)

      Mandatory = $2.1 Trillion ($1.518T +38%)

      Defense = $0.930 Trillion ($0.512T +82%)

      Discretionary = $0.320 Trillion ($0.459T -31%)

      Debt Interest = $0.230 Trillion (charged $0.430 Trillion?)

      Extorted “revenue” = $2.55 Trillion (estimated)

      Debt = $1.030 Trillion

      We need to add $200 billion to cover the entire interest on the debt.

      This will drive the deficit to $1.23 Trillion

      We have only $320 billon left in discretionary spending. If we cut this all out, we close down the White House, Congress, the treasury, and every last remaining department other than DHHS and DoD. We will not even be able to pay people to collect taxes anymore.

      This means we still need to reduce spending by $0.910 Trillion. We have no government what so ever – just a defense department and entitlements and we need to cut $910 Billion. Where does it come from?

      Tax collection is at its maximum – pilfering from the American Citizen is out of the question. We could do like FDR did and garnish the entire financial resources of the wealthy, but this will only pay for one year and then we have no producers, and everyone is out of work. Tax collection will zero out and we will be in a bigger mess than we are now. What do we do? We are spending 10 time more than the next largest defense budget (China). Moreover, according to the Heritage Foundation, China is outpacing the US in just about every weapons category. Why can they do that on a tenth of our defense budget? What are we doing with nearly a trillion dollar defense budget?

      Cutting federal spending is not a choice anymore –it is necessary!

    5. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      I wish our Government would go back to the basics by providing protection and good roads and let the citizens take care of rest. The Washinton crowd need to work part time and manage their own lives and stop being our nannies.

    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      To cover the GOP proposed ongoing $1.23 trillion in deficit spending (so long as we also pay our full annual interest payment on the national debt) each of the 114 million current taxpayers will need to cough up another $10,790.

      See what happens to the economy after that happens.

      The people are sacrificing enough; our great grandchildren will be sacrificing enough for our choices, yet alone theirs.

      We need to cut and cut deep!

    7. James - Longdrycreek says:

      Obama and this Administraton, including Hillary and the State Department, are creatures from the academic world where peace at any price is worth it, regardless of consequences.

      These times remind me of the 19030's in Britain. Weary of war and never forgetting the First World War, the Brits believed peace at any price is worth it.

      Only Sir Winston sounded the alarm. Not until the Nazi Panzers showed up, did the Brits understand the price of peace is prepardness.

      I assume when the Chinese appear in full military regalia and quietly assume control of the Pacific will the Democrats and the peace crowd understand the choices. Surrender or fight. If one brings a knife to a fight and the other guy has a gun, cunning may win but, then again, it may not.

      Obama is not cunning, nor is Hillary. Deceptive when it comes to the American electorate that is glued on American Idol and sex but unaware of our real position in the world.

      Have Tim Geithner order 300,000,000 white flags and import them via your local Walmart just in case.

    8. Ron Roesener, Battle says:

      It should be mandatory that the Liberals in office read not only this article but our Constitution. It should also be law that congress cannot pass any law that violates our Constitution.

      Everyone complains about the bail outs yet pork barrel politics his been doing the same thing regionally forever.

      I attended a Young Re[ublicans function this week and realized how our liberal union based edcation system does not teach civics or American Government. What a shame.

    9. Robert, North Richla says:

      Excellent article and perfect timing. The South Koreans just rescued one of their merchant vessels off Somalia and AFP reports that 23 other vessels are currently being held for ransom. The United States has dealt with pirates before

      (in the early 1800's and 1900's) yet we do NOTHING now. Is this breach of command an impeachable offense? Of course, this problem didn't start in January 2009. The French were actually the first to fight back in 2008. That's right, the French!

    10. Steve Sameulson, Eng says:

      You fail to mention that the father of our country also warned to stay out of foreign affairs. Having a strong defense to warn off enemies is the correct approach. However, we always seem to make the mistake of using force not to protect America, but to protect "our interests". Invading or occupying every country on earth does not protect us, but rather creates even more enemies. During our Civil War, a Union soldier asked a confederate POW "Why are you fighting us?" He responded with a very simple answer, "because you are down here."

    11. George Colgrove, VA says:

      For 2 million soldiers @ 80k each pay and benefits = $160 Billion

      20 F-22 jets @ $300 million each hardware& operational = $6 Billion

      A single submarine = $3 billion

      An aircraft carrier = $5 billion

      A Destroyer = $2 billion

      A Frigate = $0.750 billion

      A Cutter = $0.300 billion

      Fast attack craft = $0.100 billion

      Amphibious = $1 billion

      Auxiliaries = $0.200 billion

      400,000 civilian federal employees @ 123,000 each = $50 billion

      1 Mark Center BRAC = ~$0.800 billion for 6,400 (or less) federal employees @ $125,000/employee

      Lost money in Afghanistan – over $9 billion

      We are spending $930 billion for defense – why?

      If we bought or paid for the above, we get to $238.15 billion. This is significant hardware and personnel costs. Let us double that for good measure – and say hardware and personnel costs $460 billion. I will add $50 billion on the top of that for security concerns to bring it up to $510 billion.

      The rest of the federal government (other than the DHHS) will be limited to $320 billion – salaries and benefits for 1.96 million federal workers (after a 15% reduction) will cost $240 billion of that leaving $80 billion for operational expenses for ALL other agencies and departments at $40,820/worker and this is high – very high. No corporation could survive under this weight.

      The DoD is saying it needs $420 billion for operational expenses for 400K civilian workers at $105,000 per worker – really?

    12. Sam, Fulshear, Texas says:

      If accepted your proposed five-year plan for defense spending clarions a loud and clear message to our friends and enemies alike our leaders are fullfilling their constitutional obligations. No if ands or buts.

    13. Jim Delaney says:

      I fear no one is listening on the Hill. Eliminating the Energy and Education Depts would save 100's of billions of dollars, eliminating obvious duplication and fat and waste in all remaining operations, inclusive of the military, and imposing a 20% across-the-board budget cut is the obvious solution to restoring solvency. A 25% reduction in the federal payroll should also be a high priority! But, again, the political will is simply not there either on the left or the right to pull it off. It is time for the GOP to robustly and honestly pursue this remedial course action. Timidly nibbling away at the periphery is simply dodging responsibility and makes them no less honorable then their Progressive cohorts on the left.

    14. Mike, Culpeper, VA says:

      How naive to think that if we disarm or neglect our military force or technology will keep us safe. Lets try an experiment and give the law enforcement in our own country the week off and see what happens. The criminals will also take the week off, right? Oh yea , I forgot we don't have any enemies, everyone loves us.

    15. Ezio Pacciardo, Ital says:

      Give to George what belong to George and to latins what belong to latins. The sentence "Si vis pacem, para bellum" – if you want peace be ready for the war – doesn't belong to George Washington but to the ancient latins of the 4th century.

    16. KC - New Mexico says:

      Defense spending should not be reduced. It should be controlled and determined by the top brass military leaders to make the spending effective and they need to be accountable for this process. Get rid of the civilian and political influence on what and how the spending is accomplished.

      We have already suffered on defending our boarders and this has proven to be very ineffective. Why – too much influence by civilian and political czars in BO’s administration who do not have a clue on how to fix this issue in an effective way.

      Past presidents have stated that our best defense is a strong defense. We are losing this edge under the current administration. If Congress wants to cut spending – look into the huge waste of socialistic spending that has been made in the last 2 years! Don’t cut defense!

    17. Jim Delaney says:

      I just read on GOP Eagle that the GOP is proposing a $2.5 trillion cut over 10 years. Incudes getting rid of Freddie and Fannie, so that's very hopeful.

      But, alas, nothing about eliminating the porky and ineffective Education Dept or the needless Energy Dept.whose elimination would save billions!!! Why these depts are sacred cows is beyond me. Political connections, I'm sure.

      The paucity of political courage on the Hill is annoyingly predictable.

    18. Blaine Dunning says:

      Why should we believe a communist regime about anything they say? We have no choice to deal with them but can't trust them to keep their word.

    19. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      I sincerely believe Heritage provides the most reasonable and logical presentations each day to combat the counter-culture attempting to dismantle our great nation. If permitted, I volunteer to purchase a Heritage membership for President Obama. The best way to teach others is to offer simple instruction, repetitively with patient love. Who knows, it may work.

    20. Matt, Colo Springs, says:

      One of the key reasons for the existence of the United States Government is for national defense. I hope the 112th Congress understands this vastly more than the 111th Congress did. The new START Treaty ratification MUST be reversed so we can build the items needed to properly defend ourselves, a right granted by God. The 111th Senate and President Obama has allowed Russia to severely dimish that God-given right.

      China's comments: “We do not engage in an arms race, we are not a military threat to any country. China will never seek to dominate or pursue an expansionist policy.” should be taken very seriously…in their opposite meaning! A glimpse into their human rights policies (or lack of positive ones) will send chills up and down any human with common sense and decency. And with their recent resources agreement with Russia (amassing masses of manpower with masses of resources) should only go to prove to negate China's aforementioned comments. Then there is their VERY recent ramp-up and "leaks" of military might. Sorry, but if China doesn't want something out of their country, they aren't letting it out. These "leaks" are likened to a rattlesnake's rattle.

      Reagan once said, "trust, but verify." Well, I don't even trust China, the proof is in their actions.

      Thank you Heritage for all you do in fighting for Conservatism!

    21. PippN says:

      There's much that can be done to curtail runaway defense spending, however. Since 2008, Congress seems determined to subdue our national defense into a middle ground player as opposed to the world's best. How come?

    22. Maryland says:

      Poll suggests: Congress should focus on jobs. BULL PIE! This is another Democratic ploy, calling for jobs while at the same time undermining job growth and blaming the opposition party.

      Poll results can be manipulated to 'suggest' whatever the poll taker wants it to 'suggest' simply by the questions asked, the wording of the questions… and by the questions left un-asked.

      Yes, we want jobs. But… and we are getting tired saying it… the first order of business in the newly elected Republican influx of Congress is to defete this corrupt administration. First things first, ladies and gentlemen, leave feathering you nest to a greatful America.

      Democrates not suffering the dementia of their leaders are already beginning to understand that the more difficult they make our struggle, the more likely the Democratic party will become a pariah.

      GOD BLESS AMERICA! And the Devil take the hindmost!

    23. Leonard Bentch, Fred says:

      Both the history and economics of this piece seem true. Left unsaid, however, is that Washington and Jefferson likely would have reserved the "war power" as described in the Constitution to defending the country only against direct attack. Currently, our professional military is committed to an ideologic rather than pragmatic campaign which has deprecated both our defense and ability to respond to another international threat to our sovereignty. The financial cost of the current commitment is both devastating to the military budget and calculable. What is not calculable but equally devastating is the opportunity cost not only of the poorly directed capital but more importantly, the effect on the hearts and minds of our dedicated military personnel.

    24. randydutton says:

      Reduce DoD, and all other department, spending by changing their O&M budgeting to biennial. This will lower contract costs, improve contracts, reduce bureaucracy costs, and reduce Congressional and lobbyist interference.

      Protect the equipment purchased by incorporating 'whole life protection'. As an example, a $200 gas mask has a 17 year shelf life and often doesn't even meet that because the elastomerics break down from ozone and NOx gases in storage. I once presented to the DoD Shelf Life symposium that a unique $0.50 Intercept Technology bag could lengthen the life span to over 30 years by cleansing the trapped air of corrosive gases. The DoD Shelf Life Program surveillance manager claimed (on stage) they "didn't want to lengthen the longevity because they needed industry to retain the capacity to make more. If there was no deterioration, companies could go out of business." The DoD Shelf Life inventory is about $2 billion. As a retired Navy Commander I, and many others, were aghast at their logic. America will never get a handle on its debt until we challenge the idiocy within government.

      Technology exists to protect nearly everything in DoD's and civilian agencies' inventory, and much of that that is in the field. The cost is much less than replacing the materiel, vehicles, boats, aircraft, weapons, ammo, and electronics. Regrettably, the big defense contractors have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

    25. Lauren Stahl says:

      Dear Heritage Academics:

      I agree with the message in this report, but we have to change our definition of defense. I would have agreed to invade Iraq as a taxpayor but would have never agreed to stay and rebuild the country at America's expense because of some underlying presumed guilt. If we decide to invade or go to war, we must achieve our mission and then get out. Americans cannot afford to nation build nor do we desire to. We should self protect and be, as George Washington put it, "very wary of alliances." Our forces are purposefully worn down and have become politically correct. Because of the skewed upside down reasoning, ie rules of engagement, our soldiers are hurting themselves. Our military leaders have to have a backbone to stand up to the left, keep their unproven detrimental military theory at arms length. Our Pentagon should take what the left has to offer "under advisement" only, and not put it into practice. Our allegiance is to the Constitution not to politicians who place their own agenda before the safety and well-being of the AMerican people. To do otherwise is to place our country in grave danger.

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    27. Austin, Chicago says:

      These are good points, but the importance of defense spending essentially depends not on the wisdom of our founding statesmen but on the patterns of modern warfare – it is probably true that comparative strength deters war, but you haven't yet shown that.

    28. Lt.Col. C. W. " says:

      What the author has failed to do is to present any rationale why China would want a hot war with their best customers at a time when economic success provides the means to feed their populations, improve the lives of their people, and maintain power. Nations act in their own self-interest. This article supports the American military/industry complex who needs big potential enemies in order to sell big weapon systems. President Eisenhower's ghost is whispering, "I told you so!" Having said that, it is still a dangerous world and Democratic nations must always be prepared to meet irrational behavior. It would be a huge mistake to ignore the possibility that the Chinese military are operating independent of the civilian leadership. I personally doubt that, but would not gamble on being right.

    29. Pingback: Morning Bell: Why We Provide for the Common Defense

    30. Jeff Dover, Fountain says:

      I think many Americans look at Europe's decades-old failure to fund a meaningful defense capability and wonder why we can't do the same thing, not realizing that it is precisely because we have not done the same thing that Europe adopts its weak position. Europe knows that if it was threatened, they could lean on us to ward off the aggression. At least, that's the possible illusion they live under and the impression that would-be aggressors have. If the would-be aggressors were to lose that illusion, bye-bye Europe.

      The GOP/Conservatives need to find a way to educate Americans on the need for a strong defense and a way to explain why it is that Europe has made no such expenditures. Their socialist politicians, like our own, are willing to bet that in trading those expenditures for their own personal power, the attacks won't come on their watch.

    31. Hermes C Liberty New says:

      The rise of China in the military field is not for the pursuit of peace, everybody must know it. Moreover it is interresting to interrogate the reasons behind its too rapid growth and the concomitant US shrinking in many domains. Chance does not exist. It seems reasonable to think that "somebody" is working out this little hidden deception right to our domestic and foreign politics, hence the necessity to stand with this new-Congress and all Patriots so that they may significantly incurve these dangerous tendencies and restaure our blason. Let us also understand that a r-Evolution is needed in order to take US and the world to the next level of greatness.

    32. Wes in cincy says:

      What really is at stake is the freedom of the world. Without the U.S. as the no. 1 military power of the world, every one else's freedom is at risk. Most countries cannot defend themselves against Russia or China, so their freedom depends on us. The weaker the U.S. becomes, the the more the freedom of the world is in danger. When we become too weak militarily, the world will be left in the hands of Russia and China. What kind of a world do you think that will be like ? Russia and China see the U.S. as a nation in decline. Russia wants to replace us as the #1 military power and China wants to replace us as the #1 economic engine of the world. They are already starting to make their move to accomplish just that.

    33. dave omaha says:

      Our Congress places the healthcare of illegals above those whom pay taxes

      and place the opportunities of illegals and welfarer's as a priority leaving

      the hard working American out in the cold. American workers cannot

      have the privleges of citizenship when those advantages have been taken

      away and given to invaders and those whom do not produce.

      How can the u.s. military be the greatest in the world, when stealing from

      those whom work, produce, become edcated, but rather throw away

      thru entitlements, welfare, the little advantages of one's efforts at

      becimng educated, working long hours only to see the hospitals

      are loaded with welfare recipients of which the worker cannot hope

      to have the same quality. Our Congress is giving away what belongs

      to those whom worked for it. They take the food from the workers

      children and give it away to others. Is is not the workers who built

      the physical infractructure, the taxes to support agricultural research,

      the great hospitals, libraries, only to deprive them to permit those

      whom have no rights to enjoy what American workers paid for.

      The entire bailout program, reducing the anunites thru loss of COLA

      is just a means of stealing what worker have stored up. My children

      in the u.s. could not afford the school lunches, the nice yellow bus

      ride to school, while the welfareers got free medica, free lunches,

      free rides to school. My kids had to brown bag it, I had to drive my

      kids to school, and when we need medical the premiums are

      half u.s. medium income, while so many get a free ride.

      There are too many families with working mothers, and the

      extra income is just being stolen by Congress to give to

      those whom work not.

      This is an age of theft by Congress to change thru entitlements and

      tax burdens to give give give to the illegals and the welfare recipients

      not those workers whom put into social security and other investment

      programs. It's like a magic show, watching the money dissappear

      at the hands of Congress. The health care system is expensive

      because we have so many receiving state and federal money

      which is really money stolen from the working class Americans

      thru taxes. It is all just a monolopy game of theft and stealing.

    34. Gabriel says:

      Bobbie,

      You seem to always attack government, so I assume you are ok with a defense budget cut when we have fruad and waste that has been proved with evidence overtime? Unfunded military contracts? Did you not know that defense budgets make up for over 45% of the current deficits? Do you not care about our countries debt?

    35. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      The Chinese aren't one tenth the enemy of America the Progressives who usurped the Democratic Party! Oh! A great big noisy show so Americans will spend more in defending other people, and leave America undefended from the Communist infiltraitors at home. Don't worry about the Chinese! It is Obama and his first ever Communist American Government! Terrorists? That's like no threat at all compared to the Domestic Threat!

      I had a Vision of a headstone inscription that was set on America's grave: "Here Lies America Damned By Faint Praise!" Where Americans know what the traitors do? It is a nauseating phrase!

    36. Daryn Kent-Duncan, N says:

      Although I agree with the point of the article, it is important to note that the Preamble to the Consitution along with "provides for the common defense" also refers to the "general welfare" which, taken as law, is disastrous for limited Constitutional government. The Preamble should not be used to defend the right of the government to take any actions. Only the body of the Constitution should be used for that purpose.

    37. William R. Barker says:

      First you define the mission; then you fund it.

      Here are the questions mature adults should be asking:

      What are the vital national interests of the U.S.A. as opposed to simply "all interests" that are in the "national interest."

      How many allies are vital allies? How many of our overseas bases are vital overseas bases? How much of what goes on in the world is "our responsibility" to "regulate" – by force if necessary?

      How powerful is "powerful enough?" That's really the question. And directly related to this question is "powerful enough for what."

      What are our national aims? Are we to employ cost/benefit analysis to funding these aims? I for one hope so! Or… is the answer to always be "whatever it takes."

      When liberals cry about any cut to social services being an assault upon the social safety net we conservatives ask how large this social safety net must be.

      Call me "weak on defense" for daring to demand intellectual consistency when it comes to "national security," but that's what I'm doing here.

    38. Fantastic stuff. I will need a bit of time to think about your points.

    39. hartley morey/ flori says:

      Right on ! We do need the best military defense system in the world The potential for rogue nation attacks and terrorist disruptions is clear, present and obvious to any American, if they chose to see it. However the systemic, cultural and persistant disreguard for sane financial practices, throughout the military, is also clear, present and obvious. The military, as always, doesn't have any budget discipline in both planning and purchasing. They obviously don't have the talent or integrity to get it done. Outside control and a tight budget is the only way to force reasonable financial decisions. Give them another 70 billion and it will probably get spent on $500. hammers and non functional Hummers. Hardly a program that makes sense or protects anyone.

    40. Pingback: Proveer la defensa común | Heritage Libertad

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