Every time I write about this topic, someone gets irritated and explains to me that “defense” is actually enumerated in the Constitution and so is a valid expenditure of taxpayer money.
Indeed “defense” is enumerated. Defense. What we have today is not defense, it is a massive military industrial complex which costs the taxpayers far too much. We wage wars in countries most Americans don’t even know exist. We have hundreds of bases around the world. All funded by the US taxpayer.
Defense is vital for the Republic, high tech works programs are not.
When I was a kid, I can remember going to day camp at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. I remember specifically, the huge swathe of land which surrounded the base, right in the heart of Virginia’s biggest city. A sign on the barbed wire fence near the gate proclaimed that the base was “Property of the US Government.” I remember thinking that it wasn’t right that in a free country all this property was “government owned.” And really shouldn’t it be “taxpayer owned” anyway? So, I will admit that I have some deep seated bias psychologically if I was thinking like that at age 10.
But, I will also say that much of my family is in defense contracting or in the military. I grew up a navy brat. I love Navy football. I respect the military, and I am very familiar with its many good aspects.
It is none-the-less much too large for us to sustain and is also sadly full of crony capitalism. Chock full.
As I’ve said before, the supposed “small government” Republicans use the military to spread the wealth, just as the Democrats use social programs to do the same thing.
So, those of us who believe we need to get government spending under control shouldn’t put the military into some special bucket where anything goes in the name of “defense.” We should shed no tears when sequestration actually forces some minuscule cuts. In fact, for those of us who are serious about getting things in order should be looking at how we can cut much deeper.