published Monday, September 26th, 2011

Military readiness threatened

As you may recall, under the debt-limit increase that Congress worked out, a 12-member "super committee" of Republican and Democrat lawmakers is looking for ways to reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. In addition to spending cuts, the committee unwisely will consider "revenue enhancements" -- meaning tax increases -- as a means to reduce deficits.

We would much prefer that the committee focus on spending cuts, not tax increases. That's because wasteful spending -- not "inadequate" taxation -- saddled our country with such massive debt in the first place.

However, Democrats in Congress have made it clear they want not only higher taxes but huge cuts in spending on our national defense.

We do not question the painful reality that all federal spending deserves close scrutiny, nor that there is waste in defense spending just as there is in other areas of the federal government. Rooting out that waste is a legitimate function of the congressional super committee in the coming months, before it presents its deficit reduction plan to the full Congress before Thanksgiving.

But we would remind federal lawmakers that national defense is the single most important constitutional duty of Congress and the president. Eliminating real waste, duplicated services and other unjustified Pentagon spending is perfectly reasonable. But gutting national defense and leaving our country more vulnerable to rogue terrorists or to nations that sponsor terrorism is not.

Nations throughout history have learned by bitter experience that military weakness or the appearance of military weakness can invite attack. It is vital, therefore, that we maintain military readiness.

Our new defense secretary, Leon Panetta, says the possibility of big, across-the-board cuts in defense spending pose a serious threat to U.S. security. Defense is already being cut by $350 billion, he noted, and hundreds of billions of dollars in additional cuts could be dangerous.

Congress should heed his warning and avoid cuts to defense that might harm our ability to prevent terrorist or other attacks -- or to respond if those attacks take place.

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nucanuck said...

Military strength has been a leading contributor to our economic weakness.

September 26, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"That's because wasteful spending -- not "inadequate" taxation -- saddled our country with such massive debt in the first place. - the editor

"Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan

It is Republicans' incessant droning of these two mindless -and fallacious - mantras that are killing us.

As for military spending: our obsession with military might is also contributing to our undoing. It is not terrorists who will destroy us. We're doing a damn good job of it ourelves.

September 26, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

nucanuck said... "Military strength has been a leading contributor to our economic weakness."

Did you mean to say that frequent, inappropriate use of the military and maintaining a presence all around the globe contributes to the debt and as such contributes to economic weakness?

Do you think having strong, prepared military that was used only as a defensive tool and did not meddle in the affairs of sovereign nations would be bad for the US economy?

September 26, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

The US military is certainly good for the other Western Socialist economies. How could the Canucks afford all of their nice social programs if they had to defend themselves and could not hide under the skirt of the United States?

September 26, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.
nucanuck said...

The Canucks, until recently, have had a foreign policy that stressed non-aggression/peace making and therein made them a less likely target of haters.

Bad decisions on entering Afghanistan, Libya, and siding with the US against Palestinian statehood, will make the country more vulnerable going forward.

As far as invasion goes, that would be a US paranoia issue, not Canadian.

Only the US destroys their economy through defense.

September 26, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

It is easy to be a passivist when your big brother is the biggest guy in the room nucanuck. I agree that our global meddling creates trouble for us, but that was not the question. Man enough to answer the question?

September 26, 2011 at 9:51 p.m.
nucanuck said...

You don't get it BRP, the amount of defense Canada needs, Canada has has.

September 26, 2011 at 10:51 p.m.
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