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The Sham – Richard C. Young
The President ordered Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates to cut billions from the Pentagon budget. There really isn’t any debate as to whether or not defense spending is bloated, when the country is fighting two ground wars in countries without hope of long-term success, it surely is. The question is where should the cuts be made. Gates has already nixed the F-22 Raptor, telling Americans that the F-35 was a suitable replacement, and that the F-22 was too expensive and unneeded. That was then. This week the Secretary of Defense has wobbled on the F-35 program too, and has put off orders for the plane, opting instead to buy more F/A-18s from Boeing. These old planes are great machines, but with China showing off a new stealth fighter this week, it’s amazing that cuts to the defense budget would start with aircraft.
There are surely a number of weapons programs of Cold War vintage that could be cut. And there are a number of alliances of Cold War vintage that should be fled. NATO and the UN are relics with no real power to change the world. They bog the U.S. down much more than they help the country.
Rather than cutting troop numbers, the administration ought to think about brining some of the troops home. This would serve a number of purposes:
1) First, paying to continuously fly troops to South Korea, Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, Italy, and to other bases around the world is expensive. Along with fewer shipments of arms and supplies the mere logistical savings of brining home the troops would be astounding.
2) Morale would surely be increased for many soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who would be closer to their families on base here in the states. Low morale is costly. Men and women in the armed forces who aren’t feeling appreciated or fulfilled by their work are more apt to leave, taking their valuable training and experience, paid for by the taxpayer, with them.
3) Imagine taking the roughly 30,000 troops out of South Korea and putting them in economically hard hit sates. For instance, put the 30,000 troops on the border of Mexico and Arizona. Two birds with one stone there, as the border is secured and Arizona gets a boost from the stimulating effects of 30,000 new families.
There are surely more benefits to bringing the troops home. One of them that isn’t often thought about would be the need for countries the U.S. is protecting to buy military hardware in order to protect themselves. The boon to the U.S. defense industry would be sizeable. Currently America is subsidizing the defenses of each of these countries, meaning that American taxpayers are buying the required equipment for them. There’s no export revenue generated when taxpayers foot the bill for other countries’ defense.
Before the defense budget is even put under scrutiny though, entitlement spending should be put on the block. The baby-boomer generation is going to begin sucking up a consequential amount of entitlement spending in the very near future, and America needs to get its fiscal house in order before that happens. The projected growth in entitlements is terrifying. The Heritage Foundation predicts that by 2025 entitlements will eat up all tax revenues.
Even in the face of such budget catastrophe, the Obama administration is buying advertising for Obamacare, a government monopoly program that mandates participation. When will the waste and political giveaways end?
Decades of mismanagement by both parties has put the federal republic of America in dire straits. The commerce clause of Article I Section 8 has been used and abused by Congress. Any member of Congress that utters its name as justification for a bill ought to be put under a spotlight and examined thoroughly.
The Bush/Obama/Bernanke/Greenspan crowd have bribed the economy out of depression with The Great Money Flood. Astonishingly, Mr. Bernanke has gone on national TV and woven a fairytale of the most preposterous nature, and no one in government, save Ron Paul, has stood up to question such talk. Americans are dazed by the current false prosperity. I see it all around me. Until shown otherwise I believe Democrats and RINOs will, with the president’s powerful veto pen and Marxist influenced approach to government, stonewall (and even mock) the reforms needed. If the House and Senate do not immediately get going on massive entitlement and defense reform, the whole deal is nothing but a terrible sham.
Be sure to come back to the site this afternoon for my outline of America’s new political reality.
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