Rep. Woolsey challenges Speaker-to-Be Boehner to cut military spending waste. Since we can readily see from the pie charts below that while the U.S. population is about 5% of the world’s, our defense spending amounts to about 48% of total miliary spending worldwide, this is a reasonable challenge in my opinion. The idea that our military spending should be so out of proportion to our population share makes no sense and is a burden on us, the American people. We can adequately defend ourselves without such extravagance and expansionism (over 600 bases are maintained by the U.S. worldwide). I hope that Mr. Boehner and the new Republican majority in the House will indeed look carefully at EVERY cent our government spends and cut wherever possible. Our military spending should not be exempt from consideration. After all, as shown in the final pie chart, in 2009, defense spending constituted 23% of our total federal budget. We cannot afford to ignore such a large chunk of our spending. Our defense is vital to us, but we must be certain that we are not wasting anything, even in such a crucial part of our federal outlay. So, I agree, to a degree, with Rep. Woolsey:
“There has been much noise made on the other side of the aisle about the size of government and supposedly out-of-control Federal spending. But many of the same folks using those talking points haven’t exactly shown great restraint when it comes to the defense budgets. So I will be curious to see when they take over the majority in January, will they move to cut bloated defense programs, or does their zeal for spending cuts extend only to those domestic programs that are helping struggling families get through a recession? That bottom line, Mr. Speaker, is this: You are not serious about closing the deficit unless you are prepared to put military spending on the table.”
Of course, Rep. Woolsey goes to the other extreme: she is quite willing to cut defense spending, but shows no inclination to cut domestic programs which exhibit bloating and waste. She and her like-minded colleagues also must demonstrate genuine seriousness about a responsible, streamlined budget. It’s time for both sides to come to the table and put everything on it. It’s time to put aside partisan biases and look at all parts of the budget with eagle eyes. Every single item in the budget should have to justified. If it cannot be justified, it should be cut. Plain and simple.