Are GOP Candidates Benefitting From Voters’ Ignorance?
January 18, 2012 § 2 Comments
I must say, and I admit I don’t know who to credit, the American public has been fooled into believing spending less on military (or defense spending. I will get into the semantics later) means less safety. But, in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Spending less would mean more safety.
The GOP candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, have done a great job convincing the debate audiences that, as a result of the sequestration cuts, we will be less safe and the President doesn’t care for the nation’s safety. It’s not until we actually take a look into what the government calls the “defense budget” that the candidates statements, like several of them, are utterly untrue.
During the first South Carolina debate, Ron Paul made a worthy distinction of defense and military.
“You don’t understand there’s a difference between military spending and defense spending. Just because you spend a billion dollars on an embassy in Baghdad, bigger than the Vatican, you consider that defense spending. I consider that waste.”
After nearly 10 years, we are claiming to finally leave Iraq but we actually left behind the biggest military embassy in the world with 5,000 troops and 15,000 contractors.
So with the announcements from Defense secretary Panneta plan to cut $600 billion from the defense in result of the failed super-committee, the GOP candidates discovered a new talking point. Santorum promised to cut $5 trillion in 5 years but vows not to touch defense spending; Perry the Panderer is of course following the lead.
Romney brought up the relativity of the military with former eras and ignored the fact we have the best military in the world. Period.
“I just want to go back and agree with what Governor Perry said, the most extraordinary thing that’s happened with this military authorization is the president is planning on cutting $1 trillion [$500 billion not $1 trillion] out of military spending. Our navy is smaller than it’s been since 1917. Our air force is smaller and older than any time since 1947…We simply cannot continue to cut our Department of Defense budget if we are going to remain the hope of the Earth. And I will fight to make sure America retains military superiority.”
“Hope of the Earth”? Really, Romney?
That isn’t the first time Romney peddled Obama’s defense spending $1 trillion reduction lie.
Now, before we dive into the actual facts, please remember: In August I wrote “Happy Feasting for the Super Committee and in 2007, America made up almost half of the global military expenditures and 5x more than the next country, China; and 40% of your tax dollars go to the military. Nothing has changed since.
What none of the candidates have answered is exactly how cutting defense spending will be detrimental to the nation’s safety. Well, that’s because it’s outright false. The average American (and most of the Republican electorate truthfully) is so self-absorbed and near-jingoistic that military spending equates to safety and patriotism; and cutting defense spending means endangerment and unpatriotic, or hatred to one’s countries.
Let’s take an alternate look and cut oversea bases like Rep. Paul suggests. How will closing bases (mind you, in many countries are tens of bases and we have over 900 bases in total. Middle eastern and North African bases are not listed) in Bulgaria, U.K., Germany, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Brazil, Spain, Greece, Greenland, Netherlands, Krgyzstan, Portgual, Ecuador, Netherlands, Greece, and Spain be a threat to the U.S.? Surely we can find some massive cutting to do in our colossal Global War Machine?
The FY2012 $662 billion DoD bill passed weeks ago — a modest $8 billion reduction from the request.
Excuse my naivete, condescension, and sly snarky-ness but I would like a serious answer. We need have a serious, substantive discussion over this.
Candidates like Perry can trick the public, though I don’t believe he understands himself and he proves it here, into thinking Turkey is ran by “Islamic terrorists” but it’s simply not true.
THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, AND TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS, IS NOT A CONGLOMERATE OF ISLAMIC COUNTRIES, PEOPLE.
There are many differences between of the government of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya; differences between Boko Haram, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas (slippery line here. Hamas is a democratically elected party recognized by nearly every nation except Israel and U.S. Hamas has remained political discourse)
Before the upcoming quotes, Perry slammed the Taliban and was all over the place in my opinion.
“..yes, they [the urinating Marines] need to be punished, but when you see this president with that type of disdain for our country, taking a trillion dollars [again, actually half a trillion] half a out of our defense budget, 100,000 of our military off of our front lines, and a reduction of forces…”
After Perry’s blunder of an answer, Paul also made a very important distinction of Al-Qaeda and Taliban… but to no applause. Sigh.
” The al Qaeda want to come here to kill us. The Taliban just says we don’t want foreigners. We need to understand that, or we can’t resolve this problem in the Middle East. We are going to spend a lot of lives and a lot of money for a long time to come.”
Unless there is a candidate to challenge the status quo, I see us there for a long timt to come.
If this is your first time reading, I’m not always this patronizing. It just really frustrates me that a large voting bloc believes this. If we continue on this path, and Romney’s concept of America Exceptionalism, this great nation will surely fall and spread itself thin. Obama is planning to request another $1.2 trillion this week. After all the hype on mainstream media (MSM), as if the world was ending, I now hope you understand why junkies don’t pay MSM too much mind.
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