The Battle of the Budget has been ongoing for months, however this writer feels nothing at this time is more important to the budget than the issue of national defense.
This video just in from the Heritage Foundation:
And consider this. Jim Talent a former U.S senator and fellow at Heritage informs us of the status of our military at this time:
The combination of increased deployment, reduced force structure, and underfunded procurement is causing a decline in Americaâ€™s military capability. The Navy has fewer ships than at any time since 1916. The Air Force inventory is smaller and older than at any time since the service came into being in 1947. The Army has missed several generations of modernization, and many of its soldiers are on their fourth or fifth tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Reserves have been on constant mobilization; many vital programs, such as missile defense, have been cut; and in the past two years, no fewer than 50 modernization programs have been ended.
However the opposing side views it differently. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (L-TX) in a joint article on the Huffington Post have the opinion that:
It is irrefutably clear to us that if we do not make substantial cuts in the projected levels of Pentagon spending, we will do substantial damage to our economy and dramatically reduce our quality of life.
The average American views the President and his role as Commander in Chief as the primary role-taker as far as national defense. The Constitution in Article 2, Section 2 delineates the role of the president:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.
However, Article 1 Section 8 enumerates Congressional powers in 17 separate areas, 6 of which pertain to national defense:
- Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
- Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
- Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
- Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
- Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
- Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
So in reality Congress is actually granted more authorities than the president and the premise many in Congress and Obama tout that social spending is “mandatory” and defense spending is “discretionary” completely misses the mark.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who will be stepping down shortly has warned vociferously about the lack of defense spending at the cost of subsidizing social entitlements such as Obamacare. He had this to say:
If you cut the defense budget by 10%, which would be catastrophic in terms of force structure, thatâ€™s $55 billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit,â€ he told the Journalâ€™s CEO Council conference last November. â€œWe are not the problem.â€
Although The Wall Street Journal considers it a huge defeat for him and his department to not get a chunk of the stimulus funds.
America can be a superpower or a welfare state, not both.
America has the best military in the world and it is imperative to keep it that way.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks