In defense of defense spending

The Pentagon budget is a popular target of leftists when the whole concept of cutting spending gets raised.  Stories from the 80s about alleged $2000 toilet seats are recycled.

I have several friends and family members who have served on active duty over the decades.  One family member tells me about his time — during the Carter administration — when he and his unit regularly  did not have enough gas to fuel the vehicles they needed for training. 

Three GOP senators — McCain, Graham, and Ayotte — popped up in Fayetteville this week to warn of pending “drastic” cuts in the defense budget  courtesy of congressional Democrats and Obama.

Leftist like to blame what they characterize as excessive spending on the ongoing war on terror for the current economic crisis.

If you look beyond the political rhetoric — for FACTS — you’ll find that, in fact, gutting the defense budget wouldn’t put a dent in the federal spending fiasco.  The linked 2011 Budget Chart Book  points out gems like:

  • In 1965, entitlement spending was 2.5 percent of GDP and defense spending was 7.4 percent.  In 2011, entitlements were 10 percent of GDP, and defense had fallen to 5 percent.  By 2016,  defense spending is expected to fall further to 3.4 percent.  Entitlement spending, meanwhile, continues to climb.
  • In Obama’s FY 2012 budget, 58 percent of all federal spending was entitlements.  Defense spending was at 19 percent.

Politicians DO NOT have the guts to cut, or control the growth of,  the real threat to our economic future: entitlements. Stories about $2000 toilet seats — and the daily coverage of the war — make it easy to push the case that too much money is being spent.

But we need to properly fund our national defense efforts.  Cutting  spending on our military so you can air-drop more welfare checks (thereby purchasing more votes) puts our nation at risk literally and financially.

We need to pressure our politicians to MAN UP and properly address the true threat to our nation’s future.