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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Monday, January 7, 2013

Commentary: National Security: Alana Goodman: The Next Fight: Tea Partiers v. Hawks on Defense Cuts

The Next Fight: Tea Partiers v. Hawks on Defense Cuts: pThe Hill reports that the defense industry is anxious the fiscal cliff tax deal may increase the likelihood of Pentagon cuts: The defense industry is worried last week’s budget deal on taxes could damage its negotiating position for the next “fiscal cliff” deadline two months from now, when across-the-board spending cuts would take effect.  The [...]/p

Now that we are in an era of deficit reduction and I'll credit the Tea Party for getting us here and as someone. Whose a budget and tax payer hawk on the left and yes people like that do exist on the left, I'm glad we are here. Because it yes gives Republicans an opportunity to talk about government waste especially in the area of social insurance where. They tend to only concentrate on and I agree there's plenty of waste in Medicare to use as an example as well as Medicaid. As well as Unemployment Insurance and Food Assistance but it gives Liberals such as myself an opportunity. To talk about government waste in the tax code things like corporate welfare but also in agriculture but also in national security as well. I agree across the board budget cuts in any part of the Federal Government defense or otherwise is a bad idea. Which is what the sequester is about but we still need to make savings in the defense budget for our financial outlook. But also for USDOD which is overstretched because its overcommitted and still responsible for the. National security of developed nations and the drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq is a perfect opportunity. For us to start to make savings in defense that don't hurt our national security.

Thanks to Afghanistan and Iraq and the fact that we've never bothered to pay a dime for the costs of both of those wars. We've run up a roughly 2T$ tab for the costs of those wars, thats how much we've expanded the defense budget. Since 2001 and it would've been one thing if we paid for those wars by paying for them in new revenue or budget cuts and. We wouldn't have the debt and deficit that we do today, Medicare Advantage, the unfunded tax cuts and the Great Recession. Are other big contributers to our debt and deficit but roughly 2T$ alone coming from those two wars. So if we were to get back to 2000 spending levels as it relates to defense we could save 2T$ in debt and deficit. And use some of those savings or find new revenue to finance the defense budget of the 21st Century which. Relates to counterterrorism and working with allies in the developed World especially in African and parts of Asia. To help them combat against Islamic terrorism in the future.

President Obama and Congressional Democrats especially in the Senate with their 55-45 majority should take. The Afghanistan and Iraq into the next round of deficit reduction talks in February and March and if anything. Be working with Tea Party Republicans on this issue to get the defense budget back to 2000 spending levels. And use most of those savings to finance deficit reduction because its the right thing to do and would help. Us get our debt and deficit under control without hurting our national security because we would become. Lighter and quicker and be able to respond to future challenges quicker and be more effective.