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The Budget and the Military

President Obama demonstrated his lack of leadership, yet again. In his meandering response to the GOP budget proposal, which, frankly, didn’t cut enough or soon enough, he pushed for more “investment” in his pet projects: more spending on “clean energy,” government-funded “education programs” and “transportation infrastructure.” He offered only one concrete idea for reduced spending: a very specific $400 billion cut in national defense. Saying he’d “never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world,” Obama went on with the old saw of eliminating waste and improving efficiency and effectiveness, “but we’re going to have to conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities and our role in a changing world.”

Exactly what Obama meant by that is really unclear. Who can disagree with the need to eliminate waste and abuse at the Pentagon or anywhere else in government? But his $400 billion figure has stumped his own, about to resign, defense secretary. After the president’s comments, a Pentagon spokesman noted that such cuts would require us to “abandon some military missions and trim troop levels.” House Armed Services Committee Chair Howard McKeon expressed “grave concerns” about the cuts “while our troops are fighting in three different theaters.”

The bottom line is that Obama is completely ignoring the fact that our nation is broke; he’s ignoring the fact that we have to deal with social security and medicare—I guess he is unwilling to provide the leadership to deal with our real problems, perhaps because they will be unpopular, and let the republicans take the hit on that. But our nation is broke—and all he proposes is taking huge amounts from the Pentagon—thus from our troops. This is very bad news.

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Further reading

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