Military Spending is Out of Control

Since the President took office in January 2009, more than $5 trillion has been added to the national debt. Obama’s added more money to the deficit than any President in U.S. history, and yet we still have 8.2% unemployment and gas that tops $4.00 per gallon. He’s convinced that the more money we throw at the problem, the faster it will fix itself. He’s wrong.

For the past 4 years, Republicans and conservatives have been berating the President for his irresponsible spending and record deficits. While I wholeheartedly agree that Obama’s spending is out of control, there’s one part of the GOP’s argument that I just don’t understand. If Republicans want to get serious about cutting our deficit, the Pentagon’s roughly $900 billion budget (24% of 2012 Federal spending) must be slashed.

It’s a shame that so many Republicans believe our debt problem can be solved without touching the Pentagon. The very fact that so many people think this is possible is, in and of itself, preposterous. You can’t solve our debt crisis without taking funds from the government’s biggest expenditure. Eventually, we’ll find that cutting only non-defense spending harms the economy and the people who rely on government programs to put food on the table. At that point, we’ll have no choice but to start gutting the Pentagon. Essentially, the inevitable end to this crisis must include military cuts.

Think about it mathematically. Let’s say the Pentagon budget stays the same at $900 billion. If we subtract that from $3.8 trillion (total 2012 Federal spending), we’re left with $2.9 trillion in non-defense spending. In that $2.9 trillion, we would have to find at least $1.3 trillion (2012 budget deficit) in cuts to produce a budget surplus. Now think about that logically. To cut $1.3  trillion from the Federal budget, without reducing the Pentagon’s budget, one would be forced to slash all non-defense spending in half. That, my friends, is completely unfeasible. How do Republicans plan on improving our economy while the nation is reeling from 50% cuts? It’s impossible! Our economy couldn’t handle a shock like that, especially in its current state.

Pentagon officials and Republicans, however, are vehement that defense cuts are irresponsible, and will ignite war with nations who want to test out our “weakened” military might. This claim is absolutely absurd. We could cut the Pentagon’s budget in half and the United States would still have the most formidable armed force in the world. To me, this assertion carries no weight. Forcing the military to live within its means is not going to convince the world that war with America is a good idea.

Republicans need to stop pretending that the debt crisis can be solved without cutting defense spending. They’re kidding themselves if they think it’s possible. The economic repercussions of purely non-defense cuts would be catastrophic, resulting in a recession that would last far longer than the one we’re currently in.

I’m not afraid to say that defense spending is out of control. We need to cut back everywhere, and we need to cut back now. That’s the only way this crisis can be solved.