As always, this chain saw approach to the military is what every military cutback has been about for progressives: maintaining the inviolability of the welfare state, for which spending is set to hit nearly 11% of GDP by 2020, before the projected $2.6 trillion slated for ObamaCare–a number that will undoubtedly rise–is factored in. Yet this is where that inviolability inevitably leads:
“Entitlements now account for around 65 percent of all federal spending and a record 18 percent of GDP. The three largest entitlements–Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid–eclipsed defense spending in 1976 and have been growing ever since. If future taxes are held at the historical average, these three entitlements will consume all tax revenues by 2052, leaving no money for the government’s primary constitutional obligation: providing for the common defense.” (italic mine)
Yet it is more than just a desire to expand the welfare state that drives this president and his administration. Mr. Obama is a dedicated progressive who cannot hide his disdain for American exceptionalism. The Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele explains:
“[The American left] seeks to trade the burdens of greatness for the relief of mediocrity. When greatness fades, when a nation contracts to a middling place in the world, then the world in fact no longer knocks on its door…To civilize America, to redeem the nation from its supposed avarice and hubris, the American left effectively makes a virtue of decline–as if we can redeem America only by making her indistinguishable from lesser nations.”
How far is Mr. Obama willing to go in that regard? His administration recently acknowledged that it is pursuing a policy aimed at giving Russia detailed information about the performance of our offensive and defensive missile capabilities. Ostensibly this will be instrumental in breaking the deadlock in missile defense talks with Moscow, in that it will assure the Russians we mean them no harm. Yet section 1227 of the defense law prohibits spending on such a measure, until Congress receives a report on the numerous details involved. Furthermore, the president is required to certify to Congress that Russia will not share the secrets with other nations, or “develop counter-measures” to U.S. defenses.
Mr. Obama kicked section 1227 to the curb. In a signing statement, he said he considered the restrictions “non-binding.”
In conclusion, two significant questions arise.
First, are Americans willing to completely abandon this nation’s role as the “last best hope of mankind” for a welfare state that will consume 100 percent of government revenue forty years hence?
Second, for those who believe we must gut the military in order to improve the economy, how much would our economy improve following a nuclear detonation over a major American city?
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