In economics, how much discretionary control is there in a free market society? That is an overarching question to consider as we watch “defense cuts.”
First, in the American system of government by the people we assume that members of Congress are acting under citizen will. What flies in the face of that are things like cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as an affront to 90% of Americans who want stronger gun control. Congress refused against the will of the people.
Americans need and want 100% national security,100% homeland security, and 100% protection in our communities. What say you Congress?
We read this week that Congress wants to keep building Abram tanks that the Pentagon says it does not need or want. Why can’t We the People turn off the tank spigot? It is because building tanks creates jobs. However, the jobs are paid for by government and must be classified as welfare.
There are all sorts of defense spending examples like that. Government employment, whether direct or through contractors are a form of general welfare. It can be paid for so long as the GDP is sufficiently large and growing to pay down accrued obligations and domestic social requirements.
Since we ran up the tab and since GDP has been insufficient and since our national demographics have changed, we have an economic deficit. Something has to give, and that begins with American foreign policy. Foreign policy drives defense spending.
“Fresh data on the state of the economy Friday showed that the two goals are coming into conflict. The economy grew only 2.5 percent in the first quarter, in large part because of a sharp 11.5 percent drop in military spending, and that came on top of an even bigger 22.1 percent plunge in military spending at the end of last year.”
Things we cannot do with defense cuts:
- Go to war against Iran
- Intervene in Syria
- Go to war against North Korea
- Rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan
- Compete with China for Africa
“Defense cuts pose an economic quandary for liberals
By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Published: April 28
Liberals are increasingly facing a conundrum as the Pentagon experiences the deepest cuts in a generation: The significant reductions in military spending that they have long sought are also taking a huge bite out of economic growth.
“It makes me feel torn,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “The bottom line is military spending is government spending, and in the absence of any sort of other stimulus for the private sector, we need to get it where we can.”