This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

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.

Human Events: Opinion: Lou Cannon: States Still Walking the Fiscal Cliff

States Still Walking the Fiscal Cliff

The Federal Government has a history which they continue today of both playing the role of supporter as well. As director of how state governments spend money and what services they provide for their residents, thats what. Happens in a Federalist system that states or provinces have the main role to provide what public services. They'll provide their residents as well as deciding what services they'll provide as it relates human services. Things like education, regulations in the economy, help for the needy to use as examples and where the Federal Government. Tends to come in whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge is to play the role of supporter and even overseer. To the extent it helps states that are struggling to finance basic services for their people with funding to do that. But the Feds are also there to make sure that basic services that people need from government are provided. But that they are also being provided fairly and people aren't discriminated based on race, ethnicity, gender to use as examples.

Because of the Great Recession but even before that states were having a hard time financing the public services. That they are suppose to provide which is why we've seen so many layoffs in the public sector and also why. Our unemployment rate which is now finally under 8% at 7.8% is as high as it is, had those public sector jobs. Not of been eliminated we are probably under 7% unemployment right now, which is why President Obama. And other Democrats have been proposing since 2009 and passed in 2009-10 and are still trying to pass more. State aid so states don't have to cut their payrolls in the future but also so they can bring some of those jobs back. Another problem that states have had at least going back to the Great Society years in the 1960s, is what's called. Unfunded mandates where the Feds tell them that you have to do this whether its in education or Medicaid to use. As examples but then they don't provide the states with the resources to pay for those services and then get stuck with the bills.

A good way to fix the debt and deficit issues of both the states and Federal Government, is to eliminate unfunded mandates. And then turn the public welfare services that both the Feds and states provide completely over to the states. For them to run, we are talking about 2T$ annually in revenue that the Feds would no longer have to worry about financing. And then the Feds would play the role of regulator layout basic national standards for the states to follow. To use as an example every American qualified for a certain public service that the states have the resources. To provide that individual the states would have to cover that person if that individual is qualified for those services. And then make these programs self sufficient new revenue to pay for them so the states don't get stuck with additional bills.