Townhall Columnists Lurita Doan
Obama's Intent to Gut the Military
President Obama continues to push the notion that he wants a "balanced approach" to budget cuts, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the only spending cuts he is willing to contemplate are cuts in defense spending. The vast entitlement system that now eats the majority of tax dollars is, by contrast, not only on his list of programs to be sustained, but expanded. Mr. Obama seems determined to protect the welfare state. He lacks the courage and the candor to admit to the unsustainablity of an entitlement system which has pushed the nation to the brink of insolvency as our debts continue to mount. Instead of addressing the source of the spending problems, it is becoming clear that Mr. Obama intends to hollow out the military. What folly!
Only weeks ago, Obama signaled intentions to cut $400 billion from Defense, but key Democrats are already talking about even large cuts of $1 trillion to Defense. Such a move would signal a broad American retreat from the world and erode our national defense for many years to come. Obama's military budget shenanigans are yet another reminder that the key characteristic of Obama’s involvement in any aspect of U.S. life--economics, policies or participation on the world scene—is that Obama's policies have left Americans with a weaker world presence as a result of his involvement.
Military spending is an area which, traditionally, in past years, Dems have loved to cut. Democrat eagerness to cut military spending is the result of a fundamental, ideological difference: the GOP believes the U.S. is served best by a strong military, both at home and abroad, while Dems believe that a more kumbaya, we-are-the-world, approach is the way to best protect America. Obama, who first launched his apologize-to-the-world tour on this premise, has never been a keen supporter of endeavors military. Obama's recent threats, that our veterans might not receive their retirement and disability checks if a debt ceiling-budget compromise is not reached by 2 August, just prove that point.
It seems clear that the $100 billion in defense cuts proposed in the FY2012 budget are merely the tip of the iceberg. Further cuts will likely be proposed because the budget dollars for defense are so big and because cutting in this area will appease at least one faction of the Dems ideological extremist base.
The Gang of Six proposal called for almost trillion dollars ($886 billion) in cuts from defense. Others have proposed that some direct cuts could come from canceling air craft carrier construction (not surprisingly, the Dems have pointed to the USS George H.W. Bush) as one of the possible candidates for cancelation.
Other proposals include the reduction of U.S. troops in Europe and Asia, as well as at home. Others propose to implement cuts to military health care, reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal and reduce the military research and development efforts and even revise the military pay and compensation scale.
Certainly, any of these proposals would reduce the amount of military spending, and thus reduce overall federal spending, but we would be weaker as a nation as a result. George Washington said: "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite." Obama seeks to render our military neither well-armed nor well-planned which calls into question our nation’s ability to remain a free people for long.
Meanwhile, over at NASA, the U.S. space program has, essentially, been canceled. Instead of pushing the agency to focus on its core mission and core competencies, Obama has allowed NASA to take itself out of the space business, and thus take the country out of space for the next 30 years. NASA's reduction of mission will result in thousands of jobs lost" as contractors for the shuttle program begin to lay off workers."
Worse, to put a man in space, America will now be required to pay Russia for shuttle space. Not too surprisingly, Russia has already stepped forward and declared that the next decade will be "the era of the Soyuz" as Russian space exploration continues.
The next U.S. president will inherit an economic disaster of a country on an epic scale, courtesy of the bungling of Obama, and his team of advisors, whose repeated efforts to stimulate the economy through government subsidies and increased regulation that punishes small business owners, has failed to yield significant growth in the economy or in jobs. The next president, courtesy of Obama's bungling, will also face a monumental, uphill task to restore the superior force and prestige of our military at home and abroad. For that, a new president, who believes in our country and believes in American exceptionalism is mandatory.
November 2012 cannot come soon enough.