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February 8, 2012

4 Questions About Defense Spending

Quote of the Day: “The U.S. should stop garrisoning the globe, subsidizing rich friends, and reconstructing poor enemies. Instead, it’s about time Washington focused on defending America and its people.” – Doug Bandow

The federal budget can never, ever be balanced. Why? Because defense spending must be cut, and that’s sancrosanct to the Republican criminal gang. If you want the budget balanced, you need to shame the “Pork Hawks.”

I sent this letter to Congress using DownsizeDC.org’s Cut Federal Spending campaign.

The hard-wired message says simply…

Cut federal spending.

I added these fact-filled comments. You may borrow or copy from them…

I don’t think you want the budget to be balanced. To achieve balance, you’d need to make real cuts in Defense spending. 

In an article I urge you to read, former Reagan administration member, Doug Bandow, patiently explains that the Department of Defense spends most of its money to protect other nations, including those that are populous and prosperous such as Europe, South Korea, and Japan: http://tinyurl.com/7fgfxup.

I’m not as patient. I have some burning questions.

Why are WE still paying for THEIR protection?

After all…

* Defense expenditures increased 74.5 percent over the last decade.
* Your big-spending ways are so bad that you spend more than the rest of the world, combined.
* You blow more money now than at any point during the Korean War, Vietnam War, or Cold War.

Does this amount of spending really protect us or is it wasted on pork?

If anything, such overcapacity actually encourages ideologues in Washington to meddle in foreign conflicts that foolishly deplete our military capital. Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind.

Does combating terrorists really require massive spending on conventional arms and forces?

Al-Qaeda has been wrecked by relatively INEXPENSIVE techniques short of conventional war: timely intelligence, Special Forces strikes, international cooperation, and financial sanctions.

* But those things don’t “bring home the bacon,” do they?
* You love those sizzling pork barrel projects, don’t you?
* You relish being there to cut the ribbon and to declare, “Look at all the jobs I brought to you,” right?

You don’t get it…

* The so-called “cuts” the Obama Administration proposed are only cuts in projected increases, NOT cuts in real spending.
* If no budget agreement is made and spending is “sequestered” under the 2011 debt ceiling law, in 2021 Defense spending will still be more than it is today!

That’s astonishing and wrong. 

How can you balance the budget without real cuts in Defense?

You can’t. But you should know that it IS possible to make DEEP cuts in the Defense budget and still have, by far, the most feared and powerful force on earth.

And in an era of trillion-dollar deficits, YOU really HAVE NO CHOICE.

We need a Defense Department that is focused upon defending America. But you will only make us poorer and weaker if you continue to police the world.

END LETTER

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James Wilson
Policy Research Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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