Thursday, February 5, 2009

Liberal Entitlements Put Our National Security At Risk; Social Programs Suck Funding From Defense and Military Spending

President Obama asked The Pentagon last week to trim its budget in order to clear room in the budget for the bogus Congressional Radical Anti-American Pork (CRAAP) "Stimulus" bill.
Yesterday, we learned Kyrgyzstan is closing a US Military base that was a main supply route for our troops in Afghanistan. Simply put, we got out bid by Russia.

US military officials also state that this airbase is vital to plans to send an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan , a linchpin of President Barack Obama's plan to fight the war on terror... or whatever he and press Secretary Robert "Peter Griffin" Gibbs call it these days.

Now we learn another grim forecast -- the entitlement society favored by the Liberals may put an even greater and dangerous strain on our National Security and our National Defense.

“The Pentagon faces a $100 billion annual shortfall in its procurement and modernization accounts,” warns Kim Holmes, Heritage’s vice president for defense and foreign policy studies. “The question facing Mr. Obama is not whether to trim a few expensive and unnecessary weapons systems, but whether he is willing to forgo America’s military edge by skipping or delaying construction of the next generation of modern weapons.”

Specially trained troops, updated equipment and “smart” weaponry to counter tomorrow’s threats are both necessary and a relative bargain for taxpayers, their children and grandchildren, Heritage analysts conclude. The crushing burden comes from the rapidly escalating cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

As a percentage of the economy, this chart from heritage shows, the government is spending more than twice as much for the three major entitlement programs as for the military — even before 77 million baby boomers retire in great numbers. In coming decades, the cost of entitlements will leap from 8.4 percent to 18.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Without reform, our well-intentioned promises will require raising taxes by the equivalent of $12,072 per household or eliminating every other program— including defense, transportation, housing and education.
This sounds like fear-mongering, but it may be true. A fact that Liberals fail to acknowledge is that slashing the military budget under Bill Clinton had its consequences. If not causing 9/11 directly, the Clinton Pentagon cuts made it necessary for the Bush Administration to blow through government funds to essentially rebuild our military. It has turned out to be unpopular among the Left, but it was a necessary tough decision Bush had to make.
We do not believe President Obama has the conviction to set principle above popularity, or to do the right thing if it might cost him a question or two.
More from The Foundry:
“Spiraling manpower costs and modernization demands are growing at an unprecedented rate, with many ships, planes and tanks older than their crews,” Heritage national security expert James Carafano writes. “Detroit got into trouble because of bad businesses practices. The armed forces are in trouble because Washington under-funded the military in the 1990s and shrunk it too much to cope with the threats of the post-Cold War world.”

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) recently predicted a new round of defense cuts. Others believe that keeping our military edge, as Heritage’s Baker Spring and Mackenzie Eaglen outline in a new paper, requires spending the equivalent of at least 4 percent of GDP on defense for five years or more. Those members of Congress seek to put that commitment into law.

“The recession may make meeting a 4 percent commitment politically more difficult,” Holmes notes, “but only because we have not yet had an honest debate about where most government spending has been going.”

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