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  • Morning Bell: The Debate over Defense Spending

    The U.S. military and America’s national security stands at the brink. This week, a congressional “super committee” was due to develop a plan to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Failing to enact the plan by January 15, 2012, would result in automatic cuts to military spending–a scenario that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta describes as “devastating.”

    The super committee’s ability to succeed remains in serious doubt, with reports of its deadlock and failure headlining newspapers this morning. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates are set to take the stage tomorrow night at Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall in a debate on foreign policy and national security co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. With the future of America’s national security hanging in the balance, the question of which presidential candidate would best protect America has more importance than ever.

    In letters sent to Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) last week, Panetta detailed the danger of further defense cuts if the super committee fails to meet its target. Panetta said that under the worst-case scenario, “the total cut will rise to about $1 trillion compared with the FY 2012 plan,” which in practical terms means “the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of  ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history.”

    What’s more, as Panetta explained, the Pentagon would face the prospect of terminating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; littoral combat ship; all ground combat vehicle and helicopter modernization programs; European missile defense; all unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. It may also have to delay the next-generation ballistic missile submarine; terminate next-generation bomber efforts; and eliminate the entire intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) leg of America’s nuclear “triad.”

    And amidst these potential reductions to U.S. forces, Panetta wrote, “Unfortunately, while large cuts are being imposed, the threats to national security would not be reduced. As a result, we would have to formulate a new security strategy that accepted substantial risk of not meeting our defense needs.” Tragically, America’s military is being threatened despite the fact that national defense is the priority job of the national government, as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. The Defending Defense Project lays out three key facts about military spending today that the GOP presidential candidates should bear in mind as they seek the White House.

    First, the main driver of America’s growing debt and deficit is domestic spending–especially entitlement spending–and not defense spending. Mandatory and discretionary domestic program spending has experienced almost exponential growth since the 1970s, contrasted with spending on national defense, which has stayed comparatively stable.

    Second, defense spending has been subjected to several rounds of reductions under President Obama, with long-term cuts amounting to roughly $850 billion already. Heritage’s Mackenzie Eaglen debunks the myth that the military hasn’t already faced cuts:

    Using Washington math, some say there have been no defense cuts. But President Obama’s started slashing military plans and priorities since taking office. His first defense budget canceled or delayed some 50 major equipment programs, including ships, missile defense, cargo and fighter aircraft, and ground vehicles valued at more than $300 billion. Then, behind the scenes, the White House took another $78 billion out of the military’s budget last winter.

    Eaglen writes that Obama was so pleased with these defense cuts that he vowed to repeat them by cutting another $400 billion from the military. If Congress fails to pass into law a massive deficit-reduction bill as required, then long-term defense will be again cut–this time, by as much as $500 billion.

    The third fact? In order to maintain global leadership, the United States must make commensurate investments in defense of its national security and international interests. Heritage’s Jim Talent explains why that mantle of leadership is so crucial:

    Ever since the end of World War II, American power has been the chief deterrent to aggression: the shield under which the tools of diplomacy, trade, and engagement have produced unprecedented progress toward freedom and democracy. But the shield is cracking. America’s global influence is being checked and rolled back, and even the homeland is no longer safe from attack.

    The United States continues to face threats at home and abroad, yet slashed military spending would undermine America’s ability to confront these challenges. America’s debt and rampant spending are serious problems that needs to be addressed, but eviscerating the military–which has already been cut–is not the way to do it.

    Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday, November 22, at 8 p.m., for the GOP presidential debate on national security and foreign policy broadcast on CNN and co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Click here for more information.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    70 Responses to Morning Bell: The Debate over Defense Spending

    1. Jim Agresti says:

      The share of the federal budget spent on defense has been dwindling, while the share spent on social spending is skyrocketing. This chart shows this in a way that is worth a million words: http://www.justfacts.com/nationaldebt.asp#causes-

      • Robert, TX says:

        Amen! And THAT is what Heritage should be screaming to our RINO Congressmen. We pay $1 to receive 20 cents of Constitutional government, which means ALL of our borrowing is to pay for these inept social programs – including ALL of the interest. And little johnny can only find $ 7 billion in "cuts"
        and even those are only against the baseline.

      • jon says:

        This day, and age it is time to drop our Army to very few, reason we do not have to use massive troops to win battles, we need the Navy and Marines and sometime Air Force, the day are gone for unnecessary people to die, on our side, or their side.
        Our Navy can get close to any problem within hours, if they aren't already there.
        Our Navy and Marines, or Special Opp's are not close to where it's a " Fixed Position", which any Army in the past has had to do, plus the added bonus No reporters can chase them around the oceans, like they can on land!

    2. Kupe says:

      And even with all that is at risk, Republican members of the committee have no intention of considering an increase in taxes, no matter the amount, even though there's no way the deficit can be brought under control by spending cuts alone. Demoralizing for sure.

      • Bobbie says:

        what's really demoralizing, demeaning and belittling is the democratic party helping themselves to any amount of money they can thieve to establish social programs for those they exploit that exemplifies those involved as what the democrats say "can't do for themselves" when democrats simply don't want them to. no incentives for "special people" to do for themselves because there's a tax paid program to do it for them! how condescending!

      • evermyrtle says:

        Kupe, How much do you think we the Republican tax payers should pay? Would 50% satisfy you? We are taxed to death. We need to cut spending, like in the trillions we are borrowing to give to other nations, many who make no secret of hating us. We, Americans are fools!!!! Democrats, first followed by Republicans. We have already cut defense to the bone and need to give them their funds back.

        • Robert, TX says:

          Very true, we do need to cut spending and it does need to be a trillion dollars. Only Ron Paul has proposed 1 trillion dollars in cuts. John Boehner proposed $ 300 million dollars, and Mitch McConnell did not even like that!

        • Juan Martinez says:

          evermyrtle, you must live in one of those high tax, high performance public education states like New York or Connecticut. As it happens, federal taxes, which is the subject of this article, are at the lowest percentage of GDP in 60 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. I don't know exactly who is taxing you do death, but I will guess that you were not alive 10 or 20 years ago, when taxes were higher, as you would have been taxed to death then as well.

        • indep says:

          Your claim as a Republican tax payer is a falsehood. Republicans are members of a political party that receives compensation from the public. You could possibly be a supporter of but that doesn't make you a Republican.

          If a certain group earns 80% of the capital, they should pay 80% of the tax. Forcing people that earn 20% of the capital and retain less than 10% of the overall wealth to contribute roughly half of the tax, simply because there are more of them makes sense when?

    3. toledofan says:

      As long as the Democrats are in charge, defense spending will always take a back seat to social spending. It's sad, that, especially in these times of peril, we'd even consider cutting defense, but, when you have a President leaning so far to the left and spending like a drunken sailor, we'll it obvious what has to go. If you look at the the middle east in general, Iran with a nuke and Israels unease, the Russians and Chinese flexing their muscles, North Korea, Pakistan, etc., it's clear our policy of sitting on the sidelines, doing nothing, waiitng for something bad to happen, isn't a good receipe for success.

      • Clearhead says:

        Once again Toledofan, you've hit the nail on the head. "As long as the Democrats are in charge, defense spending will always take a back seat to social spending." It's simple: Wars and "police actions" make other NATIONS mad. "Social spending" makes the RECIPIENTS VOTE !

    4. Robert, TX says:

      These scum argue over the percentage increase in the defense budget, and the size and scope of new weapons systems. The entire department needs to be turned over and shaken vigorously – like the rest of our government. There is mind-boggling waste, and incredible need for better pay, better living conditions and real training needs for our troops. But taking care of the troops will not get you a $350,000 per year job at Lockheed – that requires 20 years of arse-kissing.

    5. Jeff Luecke says:

      So after reading this Morning Bell, especially Jim Talent's words, it seems likely to me CNN, Heritage and AEI will continue the blackballing, ignoring and otherwise passing over of Ron Paul.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Very true, Jeff. Ron Paul is getting the "Goldwater treatment." If people would just do 5 minutes of real, independent research (not just listening to hannity) they can think whatever they want. Even if Ron Paul is elected, he could only do Obama-type executive action, Congress will NOT implement his plan.
        Which is why we need to FIRE CONGRESS, only the sheep don't want to do that.

    6. Carol M Kite says:

      Never, ever should our military be left short-changed, not the place to cut spending. Much attention should be paid to the officials, on the ground, for their recommendations. However, I do think it's past time, America stop sending millions every year to those foreign countries who aren't our friend, especially China, wealthier than us, by far. Much cutting can be done using common sense, finally stopping the abuse, fraud, cronyism (most disgusting!!) and special interest payback projects.

    7. The USA is dependent upon a strong economy in order to support our world-wide military. Our priority must be the rebuilding of American industry and the gainful employment of the American people.

    8. Dori says:

      If the military cuts get too sharp then we will have to choose whether to carry arms on a daily basis to become our own protectors

    9. Jack says:

      Taxing is taking away from wage earners. Cutting entitlements is not giving back to the people, part of what they were previously taxed.

      No one is looking at the cost of US military in over 130 of the close to 200 foreign countries. No one is looking at the cost of this government and it's thousands of agencies, departments, etc.. No one is looking at the trillions of dollars being given away to global organizations. No one is looking at how Free Trade created Trade Deficits (Debt to foreign countries) and destroyed most American Industry (jobs). No one is looking at how our government has attacked, regulated, and driven up costs of what remaining domestic industries that still exist in the US.

      The above argument is a sick joke. It's like government posing the question to the people, with or without vasoline? It's not really a choice.

    10. Lawrence says:

      1984 is here. We now have never ending fake wars to keep our minds off what the government is doing to us ala George Orwell's 1984.

      • R.U. KIDDIN says:

        "Everyone" agrees: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are usustainable. Succinctly, we are abnkrupt. GOT IT?

    11. bassboat says:

      For Panetta to be warning us of a demise in our ability to protect ourselves is pure politics. He, a left wing member of the liberal democrat party has hasten the military's capabilities by cut after cut. This announcement is pure politics attempting to place the blame on the republicans.

      The one thing that I do not hear in this blame game from either side is who caused this spending orgy. All I hear is cuts and taxes and one side blaming the other.Both sides are to blame to some degree. These rock stars in DC now want us, the taxpayers to bail them out once again.

      For conservatives to compromise with the democrats is to compromise with poison in treating an illness, it will kill you eventually over time. They have bought too many votes with my money. The laws of economics cannot be repealed, a clean house is in order.

    12. RogCol says:

      Is there anyone that seriously believes that there will be an additional $500B removed from a $700B Defense budget? That was a bluff and and not even the "super Congressmen" believed that it will happen. More politics with no substance. there is a certain self righting action that the economy has that will take care of the National Debt/Deficit given time. All will pay a high price when the time comes.

    13. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Wake up America. These so called "cuts" are nothing but reductions of future spending, not acutual cuts to the present out of control defecate budget spending. It's all smoke and mirrors designed to hide the truth to make sure we all remain in the dark about what Congress and Obama is actually doing to all of us.

    14. MACForReal says:

      All that is well and good, but I have yet heard an explaniation (cogent or otherwise) as to why the US is "forward deployed" in places like Europe. I am sure they cost quite a bit – for what benefit?

    15. Jack Stuart says:

      As a WW II veteran, I strongly support the troops. However, everyone knows the defense dept. is loaded with waste and fraud. Instead of cutting equipment and training, they should close hundreds of bases in hundreds of countries that are not a threat to USA. For example there are 30,000 troops in Japan and Okinawa, and 40,000 troops in Germany at huge cost.. WW II ended 66 years ago. Why are troops still there? May God bless the Super Committee with WISDOM to know what to do, and COURAGE to do it. Jack Stuart, Meridian, ID

    16. Curt Grina says:

      The talking points in this article and in the Heritage position in general, rest mostly on comparing our current and projected military "inventory" to what we had in the past. Looked at that way, it seems pretty dire.__I would like to see a scholarly look at our readiness relative to What is Needed. For example, in today's world, with a very different threat scenario than we had in the cold war, why do we need 900 bases in foreign countries? I'm not promoting nationalism here

      • Rifleman says:

        One of the lessons of WWII was that the USA needs to retain the ability to fight simultaneous major conflicts in Europe and Asia, and defend our interests in both long enough for follow-on forces to arrive by sea. We've stretched it a bit further by prepositioning equipment (assuming it's not destroyed in the initial attack)and relying on our ability to protect jumbo jets full of well trained troops flying across the ocean to them in times of need. But, if for nothing more than in remembrance of the 79K+“Battling B*stards” of the PI (over twice of what you cite as questionable today in the PI alone), like my Uncle, that on hand relief force, and the force needed to hold on until it gets there, has to be based in reality (see War Plan Orange).

    17. Brian says:

      Can someone explain to me how we can spend more than the next 6countries combined, and it's STILL not enough? (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm) Why must WE be the world's policeman!

      And must military spending somehow equate to GDP? Maybe because it's the only way Heritage can justify our grossly overinflated military budget !?!? Wasn't it Dwight Eisenhower (R) who warned us of the consequences of a military-industrial complex, which is exactly what we have today?

    18. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      Reduce deficit spending by $1.2T over the next ten years?
      That spending needs to be reduced by $1.2T this year – allowing this "baseline" to continually climb is a recipe for disaster.
      Stop "Baseline Budgeting", use Zero-base Budgeting; reduce current spending to '08 levels; CUT spending by 5% each and every year until the "real" National Debt is less than 50% of GDP – then reduce the debt further; "sunset" all Federal Programs requiring re-authorization by Congress after ten-years.

    19. Frank says:

      Please people, listen to Ron Paul. He has put forth a credible plan to cut spending by $1 trillion in 1 year and balance the budget & start to pay down the debt in 3 years. But we need to re-prioritize our Federal spending, which would include bringing all our troops home & closing some 900 bases in about 130 nations around the world. With the money saved we could continue to modernize our military, closely monitor & put more agents on the border to stop the flow of illegal immigrants & overall be much safer… all with less money now being spent on defense. We can't afford to continue on our same path anyways. Ron Paul will also make big cuts in non-defense Federal spending including the phase out of 5 Federal Departments. It can all be done rationally and make us safer both financially & economically. We need to stop being the world's policeman. We need to avoid foreign entanglements where we have no clear cut self interest. We need to stop fighting costly Unconstitutional wars. We need to turn away from ever bigger government & return to a limited, Constitutional Federal Government. Return to the basics: Life, liberty & the pursuit (no guarantee) of happiness. More freedom, more self reliance, no more big welfare/warfare state. END BIG GOVERNMENT.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Excellent point, Frank. But first they would have to stop listening to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh
        (words provided by Roger Ailes). Most of the sheep cannot tell you one true thing about Ron Paul, because the MSM has never told THEM one true thing about him. He is the only pro-Constitution candidate and I admire his courage and his endurance. He is also the only candidate that pisses off both the Rockefeller/Bush base as well as the Roosevelt/Kennedy clans.

      • Albert Seybold says:

        Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas, if all of the above were put into effect we would be started in the right direction.

    20. reagangirl says:

      There is not just danger in the actual cuts themselves, but in the perception that is telegraphed to regimes abroad who see that we can't prioritize even the most basic defense programs. The appearance of military weakness is as dangerous as actual military weakness.

    21. R.U. KIDDIN says:

      When you're bankrupt, you stop ("Should") spending.

      • Robert, TX says:

        180 million people in this country (and growing daily) don't want to reduce spending because they are afraid that government check, or both gov't. checks, or in some sick cases all three gov't. checks might be affected. It's very difficult to defeat 180 million people at the ballot box.

    22. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      I am willing to bet $1,000.00 that not one of the folks writing in favor of cutting the military budget have never served in the military. Fools.

      • stan says:

        Bernard- I served from 1975 to 1978 in the Army, all of it stateside although I wanted to go to Europe at the time. I just don't think we need to be spread all over the world, that the original intent of the constitution was to protect and defend OUR country, not the entire world as it has morphed into. We could get along quite nicely on a fraction of the budget if we moved the majority of the military to protect our own borders and let the citizens of the world defend their own freedoms instead of leaving it to us to die for them. We could cut the risk of terrorists and drugs entering our country to near zero with fully secured borders and the money would flow back into our economy instead of going to prop up foreign economies. So yes, I am a veteran, I am for cutting the military budget but as a conservative I want you to keep your own hard earned money.

    23. R.U.KIDDIN says:

      Prae tell me Cataline: What does it take to get a legitimate opinion on-line?

    24. gerald bruecker says:

      I would like someone to explain why we need to spend billions and keep thousands of troops in Germany and Japan 65 years after the war.

    25. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Lower our defenses and we will pay the consequences. They all argue about what they want to preserve, Dems want to tax more BUT none of them recommend cutting their own exhourbant salaries and trimming the size of their staffs both here and in their home towns. Perry is RIGHT, a seat in Congress was NEVER intended to be a full time job and was NEVER intended to make someone rich. Abuse of office has increased year by year, waste has also increased, paying high cost for toilet seats and screwdrivers in order to line someones pockets with tax dollars never met a question as to why it was going on, and continues to go on. This is where to start trim waste, fraud and cronyism first, while strengthening our Armed forces, then eliminate those Dept's such as TSA that we don't need.

    26. The Farmer GR MI says:

      The blatant attempt to finish destroying the morality of America through a welfare state system by the Democrats is very clear, but there is no one calling them on it, so it follows that the Republicans are silent partners in the crime.

    27. randydutton says:

      How about eliminating the DoD 'green programs'; the nation building; the overseas forces defending stable countries; all pork-barrel projects.

      And implement a biennial DoD O&M budget.

    28. Randolph says:

      The military is as good a place as any to start limiting the size of government. We don't need hundreds of bases around the world subsidizing the defense of nations in much better economic shape than us. Let them start paying for their own defense. We can continue to contribute our fair share towards international stability through NATO and the UN, but the days where the US can afford to police the world alone are over.

    29. Dwana townsend says:

      There are places to make cuts. Let's start with cutting sending money to foreign countries under the disguise of Foreign Aid. Some of those countries are better off than we are at the moment. Some are not necessarily our friends either. How much money can we save there? What if all government employees took a 5% pay reduction? How many people does the government employ? Lots of them are also in that 1% they keep referring too. __In the end all this really is, is Political Grandstanding!!! We will be hearing that the Republicans didn't want to work things out and didn't have any proposals. In reality it is a bipartisian deadlock!!! Who should we blame? The President himself for setting this up, for he knew the outcome before hand so he could use it on the CAMPAIGN TRAIL!!! __I sure hope our Republican Leaders are ready to counter (with proof) any claims the President makes in the coming months on the trail that the Republicans are a party of NO. It was a stupid idea in the first place for 12 to do the work of our entire CONGRESS, after all what are we paying the rest of them for? ____

    30. Scott says:

      You mistrust everything the Government does on domestic policy – but amazingly find them infallible on foreign policy. Really? As to McCain/Graham and the devastation of our military – come on, we're not in kindergarten anymore. This position is totally lacking in perspective and proportion to any substantive threat. Substitute the words "military" and "defense" for "welfare" and "entitlements – and HF is sounding like any other liberal rag. Come on guys. Revisit REAL conservatism – like Russell Kirk who used to write for you. You can do much better. "Defense" is not the same thing as "military spending". Make the distinction.

    31. Arthur Sido says:

      Too many "conservatives" see any cut of military spending as draconian and tantamount to surrendering our national soveriegnity to China. Give me a break. We are talking about a relatively small decrease in military spending when we already spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined. It is high time our "allies" spend some of their own money instead of letting the U.S. go further and further into debt to maintain an enormous militry force that long ago moved beyond its mandate of national defense.

      • Bobbie says:

        everywhere waste is, needs to be cut. EVERYWHERE!!! why is Obama's (and the like minded) first consideration of cuts to the single role of his oath of office? there is a difference between waste and need that this administration fails to acknowledge, leaving deep concerns too much will be cut from America's national defense, the sole duty of government! this way they'll move MORE money into unconstitutional matters to grow big and strong over us little, itsy people who will have had our ability stolen by democrats, to do for ourselves. taxed into dependency!! ALL GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND THEIR OVERREACH IS TELLING US THAT'S WHAT OUR FUTURE LOOKS LIKE! TOMORROW!
        the more government, less the American dream…

    32. evermyrtle says:

      The present government is not interest in protecting out country so why would they not cut spending to the bone. All evidence int he last three years points to a sellout of our country, to the enemy. I have seen nothing that disproves this notion The WORD OF GOD describes such depravity that is going on in our government, to come in the end days. There are many who think the end will come in 2012 which it may but the day, says JESUS CHRIST, is one that nobody knows not even the SON OF MAN.

    33. Wayne, La. says:

      It is important to understand that we should not be the only freedom oriented country with a strong military. There needs to be greater cooperation with other countries that includes shared spending on resources for the military. One can only use the resources available to support military programs in a judicious manner. If cuts are to be made to balance the budget then the military budget is no exception.

    34. haroldson says:

      has any one ever thought about Washington DC, If they ever took away the free handed that they are so quick at, Cut the outrageous wages and perks they hand out like candy Ground the first lady and kids from their vacations and jaunts all over the world on tax payers nickle All the cash spent by the government on their whim and pleasure, Would shook the country if they got a good look how much did Nancy Pelosi cost us for her special birthday flight and special dining while aboard. Face it we have been letting liv these people live wine and dine at our expense while they are living it up we are working our as- of to stay above water. time to make them share the hard times they are predicting . we need to quit being used.

    35. woodturner says:

      Cuts? What cuts? with baseline accounting spending will increse, just at a lower rate. Pay attention to what they do not what they say!

    36. Stephen Golimowski says:

      You should make it clear to your readers that even "cuts that will be devastating" are not real cuts. They are only a reduction in budgeted increases.

    37. tonymo says:

      I'm extremely disappointed that Heritage would promulagte the lie that there will be ANY cuts in defense even if no deal is reached.

      Because of ALREADY built in increases, there will still be a significant INCREASE in the defense budget, though not as much as the 26% increase built in!

    38. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Once again, you succumb to Obama strategy. Cut defense spending on a regular basis, which Obama has done. Make our combat troops the laughing-stock of the world by holding them accountable for killing the enemy and then turn around and put the Republicans in the position of not raising taxes for this stupid super committee. The super committee was a farce from the beginning. Why elect officials then appoint a committee to do their work. Putting Kerry on a super committee is like putting Teddy K. in charge of bridge building.

      Now the Republicans will break down and increase taxes…fooled again!

    39. Al Connelly says:

      I agree and sympathize with Panetta's position, but we have a larger problem that is not being addressed by either party and that is our inability to get cost under control or address the deficit. I am a Republican and dedicated to the removal of Obama and his crew but I am having some serious reservations about the sincerity of our party to resolve the problems facing our country.

      The report on 60 minutes last night has angered me more than any political movement I have witnessed in the last fifty years. How dare our representatives sign a pledge of "no tax increases" regardless of the need or conditions. I firmly believe that every GOP member of congress, senate, or running for election in any capacity who has signed this pledge and fails to revoke prior to re-election should be removed from office ASAP! There are taxes that need to be implemented to prevent us from further devastation. One of these is the repeal of the present reduction in payroll taxes and proposed increase this deduction. Our SS program is in dire straits and we are going to fix that problem by further curtailing the amount of funds collected? There is an inequity in taxation due to loopholes and we are refusing to address these issues under any circumstances because our pledge could cost us our job?

      This issue of the "pledge" gives the Democrats one of the strongest weapons they could hope for in salvaging the re-election of the present administration and the push by our party to curtail, eliminate, or otherwise change the "entitlement" of Social Security and Medicare is further icing on the cake. It is obvious from these two issues coupled with the ability for Congressmen and Senators of either party to take advantage of insider trading that there is no concern for anyone other than "special interest" political contributors or vote getters.

      I am ashamed of the actions and political practices of our party. It is time for a major change in the GOP from top down before it is too late for the 2012 elections!

    40. Irma from MA says:

      The cut in our Defense also means thousands and thousands of more people UNEMPLOYED! — which in turn creates a bigger drain on the funds we no longer have. This is a new degree of stupidity!

    41. Gary Sheldon says:

      IS A SO CALLED "SUPER COMMITTE" EVEN 1/2 "SUPER CONSTITUTIONAL" or is it just a way for cowards to complain that nothing is getting done? If nothing is getting done (except for the vote to carry concealed across state lines which interferes w/ states rights and opens the door to the FED. governMINT for more regulatory destuction of Constitutional Liberties re: the 2nd Amendment, or lumping several subsidies into one bill as usual and passing it) perhaps America is better off and should rejoice at the slow-down of the socialist agenda/ juggernaught from both sides of the aisle.

    42. You can always tell how dedicated our politicians are in solving problems when they have to put their solutions in writing. On the debt issue, there are thousands of places where trillions of dollars can be squeezed out of government spending and start reducing our national budget. This could be done without cutting national defense, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and even welfare and food stamps. They attack those issues first because, if they are in opposition to cutting government, they have to make those that want to cut government look like the bad guys so they can keep their corruption in place. We have to cut all entitlement programs and turn them over to the State and local governments but it will take at least 25 to 30 years of slowly shifting those programs so that people who are dependent on them have time to adjust to a new system.

    43. Juan Martinez says:

      Maybe some of HF's arguments for preserving defense spending might have applied in 1940, or perhaps in 1812, but things are different today. Our "defense" budget is a huge trough of pork barrel projects and corporate welfare. Can anyone explain to me why the only states without F-35 work are Hawaii, North Dakota and Wyoming? McCain points out that the F-35 would be our nation's first trillion dollar weapons system, and yet it is designed to oppose no known or forseeable threat from anywhere or by anyone. The Chinese must be laughing their heads off buying our treasury bonds so we can spend their money on such wasteful nonesense. Betcha' Lockheed Martin (the defense contractor who spreads the F-35 across 47 states!) is a generous funder of Heritage and in general seeks to perpetuate this mythology of "defense" spending = national security.

    44. Tracy says:

      The US spends more on defense than the next 20 countries combined. There is no reasonable explanation for this level of expenditure.

    45. Kenneth V. Meyers says:

      Rush Lindbaugh is saying that the drastic cuts being blown about aren't cuts to current spending but are in reality cuts to the increased spending being proposed. In other they are using thecurrent spending level as the 'base line". Is this true? If so shouldn't this be included in any comments announced or spread on the impending problem if the super committee fails.

      Ken Meyers

    46. Victor Barney says:

      My only question is why should not "we the people" be held directly responsible for voting-in this promised "fundamental transformation" of government into marxism(Anti-Christ) as promised! Another question, I have read that our largest voting block is "women" and they "alone" voted in this marxist transition of our government, so I also ask what chance did Adam really have 6,000 years ago, especially once Cain was born? I also know that it is a fact that women on average are verbally superior to men and on average men are dominant over women in motor-skills development. Just wondering?

    47. Donman says:

      The Democrats are making the same mistake they made in the late 70's under Jimmy Carter they cut the military budget so much, when they needed it the most they didn't have it during the Iranian Hostage crisis. The decision to cut the military budget now with the Iranian's rising power will come back to haunt them. Hopefully thousands of Americans won't have to die for them to see the error of their ways.

    48. Tracy says:

      The US spends more on defense than the next 20 countries combined. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by… There is no reasonable military justification for this.

    49. rmgdonnow says:

      I am a subscriber to the "Air Force Magazine." The editors know that a strong Air Force and Navy presence in the Western Pacific is indispensable to our alliances with Japan, South Korea, and probably Australia.
      Beyond that, a drastic cut in Defense would signal China and the adversary countries in Southwest Asia and the Mideast that we are becoming a "paper Tiger," no longer to be feared.
      Constitutionally, Defense is a major duty of the government. One would believe that If any "Stimulus" is established, Defense should be "stimulated" ahead of Social Services and Social Engineering.
      If the editors of the magazine are aware if these facts, then Obama and his administration ought to be, also. Panetta is. Obama's intention may be, horrific as it sounds, deliberately to gut and hollow out our Defense. He has already bowed to China's Hu, and to the Saudi king. He recently complained about America's decades of laziness and lack of imagination. I see no indication that Obama would see a problem with a China more powerful militarily and economically than the U.S. The nation faces a perilous future, and the sooner Obama is gone, the better.

    50. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Save defense.

    51. Jack says:

      I did not read all of the above comments so maybe this subject has been covered. If not, why don't you have your experts expound on the Federal Budget System explaining that "cuts" are merely decreases in the amount bugeted which always includes a big increase over the previous year. Rush Limbaugh spends time on his program explaining this and I think you should do likewise on a regular basis. It's another one of the Government scams that continually lie to the public about spending. Congress needs to change this procedure!!!

    52. paul says:

      defense spending has been rising last ten years. it has to be reduced in line with our
      present economy. Entitlements will have to be addressed over the long haul.
      The future cost of paying for PTSD and equipment replacements will be necessary after these
      two wars ending. the iraqi war cost us two billion dollars weekly and over one trillion dollars
      already. the longer we stay out there, the worst is our economic future. a classic example is
      the decline of the roman empire-due to frequent border wars- begun after 250 a.d.
      our defense spending is at least five times bigger than the rest of world. You cannot support
      a strong military without a strong economy.

    53. Joanne Renshaw says:

      How do military brass (admirals and generals) rate personal chefs that are military personnel? The brass should pay for their own personal servants. I know someone stationed in Italy who is PERSONAL chef to an admiral.
      I have contacted the President, my VA congressmen, and I am informing all of my acquaintances as to this waste. "A penny saved is a penny earned" – Ben Franklin

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