DownsizeDC.org
April 2, 2012
Republican Stubbornness on Military Spending
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." - President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, 1961

Republicans won the 2010 House elections by pledging deficit reductions and smaller government.

Were they serious? After all, they undermine their own argument by refusing to make cuts in Defense Spending.

This diminishes their credibility. And if we pretend they're serious about reducing the deficit, we can also see that their hard line on defense weakens their negotiating position.

House Republicans need to hear from you. In fact, ALL Representatives and Senators, from both parties, need to hear you.

Do you want a balanced budget? Do you understand that this is impossible without cuts in Defense spending?

If so, then please join me in telling Congress to Cap the Debt.

The hard-wired message says...

Do NOT raise the debt ceiling ever again.

You may borrow from or copy these additional comments...

It's been said that the national debt is the nation's #1 national security threat.

The quickest way to stabilize finances is to balance the budget. This should be reinforced by a refusal to increase the debt ceiling. And that can be done while still...

* Making current Medicare and Social Security payments
* Paying the troops and providing for their return from our wars

But it CAN'T be done without steep, immediate, and real CUTS in domestic AND Defense programs.

Don't be afraid of this; steep spending cuts were made after World War II and the economy boomed!

But Republicans are taking significant Defense cuts off the negotiating table...

* Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" proposes Defense spending increases over the next decade  (http://paulryan.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Pathtoprosperity2013.pdf)
* The Republican Study Committee plan proposes no cuts to projected increases. (http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/Solutions/rscfy2013budget.htm)
* Even Senators Paul, DeMint, and Lee's plan fails to make meaningful cuts in Defense. (http://campaignforliberty.com/materials/RandBudget.pdf)

This stubbornness on Defense might well be the cornerstone of a disastrous budget "deal." I won't be surprised when the Republicans agree to INCREASES in domestic and/or entitlement spending, in exchange for Defense increases.

Therefore, Republican stubbornness on military spending is irresponsible.

It's also an insane policy... (http://tinyurl.com/6nfwl6l)

* The U.S. accounts for 45 percent of all defense spending in the world...
* Which is more than the next 14 largest military spenders combined...
* And nearly six times more than the next biggest spender, China...
* While most other countries at the top of the list are American allies!

"We must borrow from China to increase our defense spending in order to confront rivals like China!" That's Republican logic for you.

Keep in mind that unnecessary spending on Defense (or other government programs) doesn't produce wealth nor does it expand the economy. Excessive spending actually steals labor and resources that would have been more productively used in the voluntary market sector. For example, maybe right now there are engineers that develop death machines for the Pentagon. But if we had a sane level of military spending, these same engineers might instead be employed developing life-saving medical technology or doing something similarly noble and progressive.

Stubbornness on the military budget reduces one's credibility on balanced budgets and smaller government. Do the members of the GOP care about their creditability? 

I insist that you launch a NEW plan that balances the budget immediately, does NOT raise the debt ceiling, and that attacks waste and bloat in the Pentagon.

END LETTER

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James Wilson
Policy Research Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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