The federal government spends way too much money. It would be hard to deny that statement with a straight face. But one of the things that prevents our nation from coming to grips with this obvious problem, is that while a large segment of the population wants the government to spend on guns, but not butter, another large segment wants butter, but not guns. So the politicians compromise by spending more on both. Us true conservatives, who want less spending on both, are a rare breed, and without political power.
This administration will almost certainly be the most fiscally reckless in American history, topping even the last administration, which is the current record-holder. Aside from ramping up domestic spending on nearly everything, almost entirely with borrowed money, the Obama administration has also submitted a budget that will substantially increase spending on “defense” (a word used rather loosely in Washington these days) and “homeland security” (which sounds a lot like “defense” doesn’t it?). The Obama defense budget proposal is $533.7 billion, not including $130 billion more for overseas combat operations. Together, that’s a 1.4 percent increase in total military spending from fiscal 2009.
So how do we start cutting spending? I’ve previously laid out my proposal in one of my posts. Of course I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
So more modestly, wouldn’t a substantial reduction in military spending make good sense? We spend more on our military than all the other countries of the world combined. As I’ve said before, if you had a neighbor who already owned more guns than everybody else in the neighborhood combined, but he kept buying more and more, mortgaging his home, liquidating his kids’ college funds, running up his credit cards and borrowing from shady characters who don’t like him, in order to do it, wouldn’t you conclude that he is nuts? But that is what our country continues to do. Our nation isn’t much better off than General Motors. If GM had been able to print cash, then it would still be in business too.
So-called “defense” spending skyrocketed during the Bush Adminstration, despite the fact that we didn’t have the revenue to pay for it.
Rather than sensibly reduce this unsustainable spending, the Obama administration has chosen to ratchet it up. And Congress cannot resist charging up the national credit card even more. For example, the Pentagon requested $2.69 billion for armored vehicles designed to resist the home-made explosives being used against them in Iraq. Think about that number for a second–2.69 BILLION DOLLARS, for “armored” trucks to protect soldiers who shouldn’t even be in Iraq. Now presumably the Pentagon experts know how much money they need for these vehicles, and are making sure they’ve requested enough to keep the troops safe as they drive around Iraq. Nevertheless, the House of Representatives appropriated $4.8 billion for these vehicles–78% more than the Pentagon even asked for! But the Senate, carefully managing our Chinese credit line, prudently reduced that appropriation to $4.2 billion, thus only exceeding the Pentagon request by 56%. This kind of thing happens every day. It’s easy to do with monopoly money.
In April the GAO reported that defense spending on the Pentagon’s 96 largest weapons contracts are over budget by a “staggering” $296 billion. Over budget by $296 billion. Think about that. That kind of money would buy a lot of armored trucks.
Here is a recent op-ed from the CS Monitor that is worth a read: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0427/p09s01-coop.html
I’ll close this rant with something from a five star general.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.