Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

If the Tea Party’s newly elected spokespeople really want to prove they are serious, they must dare to gore a familiar ox.

The best place to start? Pentagon budgets.

It’s not just me saying that. Just as Congress overspends domestically, it overspends militarily, primarily by what Cato Institute’s Downsizing the Federal Government website defines as “overreach”:

We would improve the nation’s security by adopting a more restrained and defensive strategy. We should cut the number of military personnel and reduce overseas deployments to save money and relieve burdens on military families.

But Cato’s a think tank. What say actual, elected Tea Party politicians?

Well, Sen. Tom Coburn recently wrote that “Taking defense spending off the table is indefensible.” Further, Senator Elect Rand Paul has called for a debate in the Senate and House over the war in Afghanistan. He started off by saying that Congress had proved lax in its duty to declare war, and then argued that the debate ten years ago on the Afghanistan intervention was not enough for the war’s continuation. He brought up a list of sensible concerns that require careful discussion.

Tea Party politicians should also see the political value of strategic disengagement from any number of worldwide hotspots. Or funding sinkholes, like Europe. Being the world’s policeman costs us dearly, in more ways than one. Were Republicans to rethink their traditional No Pentagon Budget Left Behind approach, Democrats might have less standing to oppose the domestic cuts that must be made.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

8 Comments

  1. Ed Williamson says:

    I can think of many, many cuts that can be made before slicing and dicing our national defense. How ’bout starting with an admittedly small item; NPR. And then perhaps a cut in congressional pay, followed by cutting, by perhaps 20%, the pay of federal employees. Then we could get serious by taking a very hard look at foreign aid. Now, to get really serious, lets abolish the Department of Education, and in doing so return to the states that portion of their residents federal taxes that support that department. At the very least we would save the vig that it takes to massage our taxes and allow idiots to make grants where THEY feel they are needed. You are undoubtedly better educated, and certainly better informed than I am so you must know of many programs that are using our money in an equivalent way to lighting cigars with $100.00 bils. Leave the national defense the hell alone, unless by withdrawing from our two wars we can save enough in DOD to finance a serious effort to control our borders.

  2. Jake Hanson says:

    According to the Heritage Foundation: “Defense spending as a percentage of GDP and as percentage of the federal budget are already at near historic post World War II lows-at a time when the modern military has never been busier.” Here is a good synopsis of the myths regarding defense spending: http://heritage.org/research/reports/2010/10/defending-defense-setting-the-record-straight-on-us-military-spending-requirements?query=Defending+Defense:+Setting+the+Record+Straight+on+U.S.+Military+Spending+Requirements.

  3. Liz Nash says:

    I agree with Ed. Just as I could tolerate the pat downs if I was confident that they were doing the more intelligent things first, I could live with defense cuts AFTER they had done everything else first, like NPR, reduce the civil service, make civil service unions illegal again, ban earmarks, abolish entire departments, like education. There are lots of good ideas on Eric Cantor’s You Cut website, but defence would be at the bottom of my list. If you reduced the personnel, in particular, you might exacerbate the unemployment situation right now. But certainly, over time, it’s worth looking at whether we really need bases all over the world. Maybe they have some strategic value, but I’d like to know what that is, and whether it justifies the cost.

  4. Jim Norton says:

    Why is it that Defense is the only thing considered as “discretionary” spending and everything else is an “entitlement”, a.k.a. a “right”?… Defense is the ONLY thing specifically mentioned and mandated by the Constitution. Defense is NOT optional, nor is it to be a “whatever’s left over” program. Congress “declared” programs to be “entitlements”, but that does not make them constitutionally so. Nobody is “entitled” to the property or servitude of another (Just think of how long you have to work to earn just the taxes that our Uncle takes from you by coersion and intimidation). All the wealth redistribution programs and the enormous waste in the Federal alphabet soup of bureaucracies is an excellent place to begin cutting, but leave the military – including the VA – and their needs alone!
    Stop funding and close down NEA, EPA, IRS, DOE, TSA, FEMA, DHS, NEH, PBS, DHHS, DOA, and all the welfare programs for those the “career welfare” (3rd and 4th generation – YES! They DO exist!). Make Sheriff Joe Arpiao or Phoenix AGOTUS and in charge of the federal “Club Fed” prisons. Stop PAYING and rewarding criminals and illegal aliens. Stop the TARP and Porkulus (Stimulus) spending. The federal government should NEVER be the largest single (not counting the military) employer in the country, nor should they ever be involved in social engineering and “charity” programs! Cut the Congessional and Presidential salaries back to 1986 levels. Lay off 25% of all civil service employees, and 35% of the “administrative” overhead. When the government was shutdown, all non-essential employees were given a two week paid holiday. If they are “non-essential”, why are they on the payroll at all? Eliminate those positions! Tie any future raises to actual reductions in the national debt!
    Mr. Jacob your jumping on the “cut defense first” bandwagon of the Progressives / Liberals shows a serious lack of “Common Sense”. Remember, defense IS required by the Constitution; not any of the social welfare is constitutional.

  5. Jim Norton says:

    That should be “Joe Arpiao OF Phoenis…”

  6. Drik says:

    Jefferson had a strong thoughts andd feelings about us NOT being the policeman of a dangerous, conflictual world, and little has transpired since his time that suggest he was anything except spot on.

  7. Cliff Ebel says:

    Let’s not forget the foreign aid we pay out every year with nothing to show for it.
    If we want to keep a military presence overseas, let’s make it contingent on foreign aid. They want the money, we want a presence.
    No presence, no aid. Simple.
    Also, let’s find a weapon system that is compatible with all branches of the military so we aren’t duplicating effort to achieve the end we desire.

  8. Gump says:

    You’re a real deep thinker. Thanks for sharnig.

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