Killing Defense Spending

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Obama hopes to use deficit-reduction legislation to further advance his Big Government objectives. He gave his blessing and his signature to a legislative package last week to raise the nation’s debt ceiling by an astonishing $2 trillion. The measure contains a mechanism for a new congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “Super Congress.” That gimmicky committee will reportedly be tasked with coming up with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts by November 23.

Given the powerful disinclination of the regular Congress to curtail entitlement spending, it seems unlikely a joint congressional committee, even a super one, will make an effort to reduce spending on the real culprits: entitlement programs and welfare programs.

Military spending is a relative pittance compared to social spending. The Department of Defense budget for fiscal 2010 was $689 billion, or about 20% of the entire $3.456 trillion federal budget.

Medicare and Medicaid together account for $793 billion or 23% of the budget. Social Security swallows up $701 billion or 20%. And that’s just in one year. Unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities currently total $46.2 trillion and no one really knows for certain how much money Obamacare will cost.

As I note in my book, Subversion Inc., by 2014 annual spending on the federal government’s bloated 70 welfare programs is expected to hit $1 trillion. Obama’s plans call for spending another $10 trillion on welfare, according to an analysis by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. It’s worth noting that the $10 trillion is over and above the $16 trillion that has already been spent on the doomed War on Poverty since it was launched.

Few serious commentators think the select committee will target social spending. The panel will surely wimp out, and when it does, the Defense Department will suffer a $350 billion hit immediately, followed by another cut of perhaps $500 billion in the not-too-distant future.

Even Obama’s incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is opposed to making the Pentagon a fiscal whipping boy.

“National security didn’t cause the debt crisis nor will it solve it,” Army General Martin Dempsey said at his confirmation hearing last month. He’s right.

Even if the so-called doves are correct in saying the defense budget needs to be cut, such spending reductions should come one day when America is not fighting three wars on two continents.

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  • mrbean

    Liberals and country club RINOs are anti military. Recently, Buckwheat Obabble ignores his Generals and announces a pullout date in Afghanistan while critical combat operations are ongoing, then he announces that open homosexuality is alright in the military and recruiters are instructed to give high priority in recruiting homosexuals and lesbians, and now he wants to cut the military budget in half while China and Russia are rearming and modernizing to the hilt, and the middle east is exploding and destablizing, and Iran is openly supporting terrorists including al Qaeda and the Taliban with IEDs, and he throws Israel under the bus and expects the Arab world not to start something. No hope.

  • koran kid

    Spot on!

  • Vermont Yid

    Social Security is an entitlement only in that I and millions of others are entitled to be paid back for all the $ we've paid in since our first jobs as teenagers. If all the congressional S O B's hadn't been dipping their hands into what was supposed to be a self-funded program, there would be plenty left, and we who are on social security wouldn't be worried about how we're going to get by in our waning years.

  • tagalog

    How did our society get here?

    First, we concluded that a government is put to better use using taxpayer money to fund the needs of the people than it is to keeping itself small and non-intrusive.

    Then, we believed that the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his means" was a workable and laudable goal for government.

    Then, when people with good sense began asking what would happen if the economy tanked and the government could no longer pay for peoples' needs out of the public coffers, we agreed with Keynes that we could just borrow the money.

    Then, we said that a program that was set up to be self-funding, like Social Security, was receiving taxpayer money that could be used right now instead of going into the Trust Fund, so the lawmakers stole it. We knew about it, but we believed them when they told us we were so rich the money would never need to be repaid.

    Then we decided to stop to saving for our own retirements because the government would take care of us.

    Then, we went broke at exactly the wrong time and now we have frightening prospects ahead of us.

  • scum

    Remember, the so-called 'slashing' of the bloated defense budget is the work of the Tea Party. If the 'Left' suggests it, it's quickly discounted, if the Tea Party suggests it, it makes good fiscal sense. Politics makes strange bedfellows. The so-called 'Far Left' didn't agree with the bailout of failing corporations run by Republican billionaires, either.