There is no doubt that whoever coined the phrase “Fiscal Cliff” for the converging tax hikes and sequestration cuts is a fan of big government. And while most Republicans and Conservatives are loathe to cut a single dime out of Defense spending, and those on the left will never willingly cut the entitlement spending that buys them their votes, they are both on the table under the terms of Sequestration.
These looming cuts were supposed to be the incentive for the “Super Committee” to find a compromise – or else. The “Super” Committee that Republicans and Democrats set up to deflect blame from themselves predictably failed to reach a compromise. The Committee was stacked with far right thinkers and far left thinkers. So this is not the fault of the committee. Congress itself is to blame. And weak (non existent) leadership from Barack Obama.
So how do we keep these cuts from happening?
The answer is simple. By spending more money we don’t have.
If America is going to get back on track, we are going to have to cut not only Entitlements, but Defense as well. And contrary to the “sky is falling” rhetoric Republicans are using these days, cutting the Defense budget by $500 Billion over the next 10 years ($50 Billion per year) could be easily accomplished if we would simply use the military to defend America and stop nation building in countries around the world.
The threat these days is not from another Germany or Japan. It is from terrorists and it should be clear by now that trying to force a Democratic form of government on a country that is predominantly Muslim will never work. Democracy and Islam are not compatible. Not to mention the irony of a newly Socialist America attempting to spread Democracy elsewhere. We are no longer the shining city on a hill. We are a nation deeply in debt and before we can build another nation, we need to rebuild this one.
Our bases overseas are often called “strategic” placement, and there is some truth in that, but a military base has a tremendous financial impact wherever it is located. Instead of helping the economies of Germany, Japan and other countries around the world, close the bases and bring the soldiers to bases in the US. Build more if we have to. We don’t need long term occupation capabilities if we stop nation building.
Our military is long overdue for a makeover. Do we really need a Navy, Coast Guard and an Air Force? Marines and Army? Billions of dollars are wasted in duplicated command structure so we can maintain the 5 branches. I have no doubt that Air Force pilots can land on Aircraft Carriers and the Army fighters are every bit as good as Marines.
And isn’t it about time we stop with the “sensitivity” training and bio-fuel experimentation in the military?
These cuts would be chicken feed if we actually looked at eliminating the duplication and focused on the Constitutional requirements of the military: to defend the United States.
We simply need to maintain enough of a force to blow the hell out of anyone that attacks us and maintain enough of a military to deter war.
And the non Defense cuts are slightly more than the Defense cuts – about $540 Billion.
One of the biggest entitlements is the new kid on the block – ObamaCare. Or is will soon be the biggest dwarfing the other entitlements as it is implemented.
We have $1.2 Trillion in real cuts on the table. Any compromise will only lessen the reductions. It is time to bite the bullet and let sequestration happen. You might be surprised at how easily they find things to cut when they have to.
And the weak leadership on the Republican side will lose the fight for the “Bush” tax cuts. The Democrats want to punish the rich by taxing them. We all know that will result in lower economic activity and a drag on the foundering economy. Even Obama knows that and incredulously wants more stimulus money to offset the drag. So Obama says ‘Let’s raise taxes on the rich to pay down the debt and borrow more money to offset the losses from the tax increase.
That’s some good stuff he’s smoking.
John Boehner and Eric Cantor are already caving in. And these guys wonder why Conservatives take issue with them. But the remarkable thing is that Boehner will pretend to stand tough on Conservative principles, at least long enough to be demonized by the press and the Democrats (which are the same party) and be branded “obstructionists” and anger the American Public only to cave in the end and also anger the Conservatives.
Happens every time.
So Boehner will still manage to play into the Democrats hands so that Republicans will be blamed for anything bad that happens from the tax increases. And at the same time he will damage the Republican brand by failing to present a clear difference between the parties and alienate even more on the right.
So let’s all hold hands and jump off the cliff and welcome the automatic savings that will never happen any other way.