Monday, June 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Promising Increase in Defense Spending in a Romney Administration...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

50 years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address, newly discovered documents show that the speech was nearly two years in the making. The family of Eisenhower speechwriter Malcolm Moos discovered the documents in a family cabin and donated them to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. The papers show that Eisenhower was deeply involved in crafting one of the most famous speeches in American history in which he warned the nation of the growing power of the "military-industrial complex." Presidential historian (and Foundation for the National Archives board member) Michael Beschloss and Eisenhower Library director Karl Weissenbach discuss the evolution of the speech.

And in the fifty first year following President Eisenhower's historic speech the Military Industrial Complex continues to grow. In the never ending cycle of perpetuating the myth that unless we continue to control/manipulate the geopolitical balance of power we will lose our own freedoms and liberty. Therefore we continue to find it desirable to fund the Leviathan MIC and its voraciously gluttonous appetite. We do so at our own economic peril.

Mitt Romney, the proclaimed wizard of all things finance and business has said one of his objectives, if elected president, is to increase the defense budget by two trillion dollars over ten years. Of course I'm just guessing here but it is likely we would need to find another conflict (or start one) to justify the realization of Mr. Romney objective.

DefenseNews - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promises to increase defense spending by close to $2 trillion over the next 10 years. But his plans have people asking: where would the money come from? Romney says he would reverse the defense cuts mandated by last summer’s Budget Control Act, but more importantly, he has set a goal of raising the Pentagon’s base budget to a floor of 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). That’s .7 percentage points higher than President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal.

Yet combined with his commitment to cut taxes and reduce the national debt, Romney’s pledge to grow the defense budget appears politically impossible, if technically doable, according to defense budget experts.

“If you put all of the promises together, it doesn’t all add up,” said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow for defense budget studies at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

“The administration may change, but the math remains the same,” Harrison said. “If you want to increase spending on defense over the next decade and reduce the deficit, then that necessarily means sharp reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid or sharp increases in taxes, or some combination of the two. But those are the major components you have to work with within the budget.”

Over the past decade, the U.S. government borrowed to increase spending, including money to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and larger base budgets at the Pentagon.

With the national debt now surpassing $15 trillion, spending money without finding offsets elsewhere in the budget is no longer viewed as responsible. “I think with any discussion of major increases to any aspect of federal spending at this point, you have to say what the offset is,” said Michèle Flournoy, who until recently served as President Obama’s undersecretary of defense for policy. “You have to say what you are cutting instead. Are you increasing revenues to do that?” Given Romney’s campaign promises to cut taxes for individuals and corporations, raising taxes to pay for more defense spending is not an option. He also has signed the No Tax Pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, which was founded by anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist.


Over the past 20 years, the base defense budget has averaged 3.3 percent of GDP, according to Harrison said.

“What you spend on defense really should be a function of your security needs, and what you think the threat environment is and what you think you need to protect the country,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a formula based on the size of your economy.”

In addition to where the money would come from, analysts say more information is needed about how the money would be spent.

“What is the threat that requires more spending? That is what they need to articulate,” Harrison said. {Read More}

Personally I believe the base defense budget at 3.3% of GDP over the past twenty years has been a tad higher than it needed be, recognizing that when real threats such as 911 occur the game changes. However, increasing the DoD budget to 4.0% of GDP is not something any bonafide conservative, aka classical liberal, can buy into.

Via: Memeorandum

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