Budget cuts across board
March 10, 2014
"Well, our failure-in-chief has done it again."
"Done what again?" I asked, tilting my head down in a feeble attempt to hide my rolling eyes.
"Now he's systematically dismantling our military so the Muslims and the Chinese can take over."
"Really? Both of 'em? Aren't you forgetting the tea party darling, Putin, and his comrades?"
"Yeah, him too. Look, it's gonna be one or the other, sure as hell, cuz you know Obama hates America and our Constitution and will do everything in his stupid power to ruin it."
"Whoa there, Tonto. Back up a bit. Please explain to me how our military is being systematically dismantled."
"He forced that Hagel guy to lower our troop numbers to a level not seen since World War II!"
"You're referring to former Republican senator and current Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, right?"
"Yes, you are, and he is merely continuing the downsizing due to modernization and budget constraints that began under one of his predecessors, George W. Bush's secretary of defense, Robert Gates."
"Yeah, but Obama is putting his socialistic vision of a welfare state ahead of the security of the American people. And just like Sen. Rubio in Florida said, 'It does not make strategic sense to cut our forces at a time of varying threats and a U.S. shift in emphasis to the Asia-Pacific region.'"
'WHEN WOULD IT MAKE SENSE?'
"OK, but when does it make strategic sense? At what point in time in the last 40 years would you say we should have made these cuts?"
"After two basically useless wars, two poorly planned tax cuts that gutted federal revenues, the big pharma giveaway of tax dollars and the financial collapse of 2008, we're in a bigger financial hole than ever. We simply don't have the money to continue being the world's police force."
"But even Dick Cheney said Obama would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops."
A SMALLER GOVERNMENT
"Seriously? Do you think Dick Cheney is aware that in 2013 over $100 million in food stamps were redeemed at military commissaries? Think that one through. And hey, you're always shouting about wanting smaller government, do you not realize that members of the military are also government employees?
"Yeah, but …"
"Our economic viability is just as important as our ability to kick ass around the world, and entitlements are not the only items that must be cut in order for America to get back on track. Besides, the majority of entitlements are Social Security and Medicare, and I don't see either of those being cut anytime soon, especially now that every damn year is an election year."
"But Obama's cutbacks will set us up for another Benghazi!"
"Oh for Pete's sake, if you had bothered to read Hagel's budget plan you would know that it assigns almost 1,000 additional Marines to bolster security at embassies around the world. Look, blame whoever you wish. I don't care who is president, but I do care that Congress keeps approving tanks that the Pentagon does not want and building airplanes that can't fly at night. The next wars will be fought vastly different from the past, and our military strategies must reflect those differences. Either way, it's a socialist tactic to pay people to be on the government payroll because you think it's the same as a jobs bill."
"Enough buts. Just go away and find something else to complain about."
Shouldn't take too long.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a weekly column. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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