Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reactions to the Debt Limit Deal - The Trigger Cuts Problem

Yesterday, I began our response to the bad debt limit deal that was passed last week.  Today, we'll deal with the issues of the automatically triggered cuts that will go into effect if the necessary cuts are not specifically chosen.

The problem with the automatic triggers included is that the $1.5 Trillion in trigger cuts are set up to be split evenly between domestic spending and defense spending. That means $750 Billion, spread out over 10 years, goes right to our national defense. That translates into $75 Billion in cuts each year. That is A LOT for one department to deal with, especially considering That is out of a defense budget of about $660 Billion. (Note: Since there is no 2010 or 2011 Federal Budget, thanks to Obama and the Democrats, I have to use 2009 spending levels for these numbers.) It’s a pretty big cut, 11.3% in total.

Now I’m asked frequently by people I debate with why Conservatives consider defense spending to be untouchable. Please read this:  It’s not untouchable, provided said cuts don’t harm our ability to protect ourselves. To quote one of my favorite movies, “We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be defended by men with guns.” It’s a true statement. Unfortunately, our nation cannot be defended in this world with a citizen militia. It’s simply not possible. To return to the John Locke foundation of government for a moment: Provision for a common defense is one of the primary purposes of government. So to mix in that much of the cuts into defense spending is irresponsible, especially considering that programs like Medicare and Social Security, which are causing far more deficits just by proportion, see so much less.

Let’s also consider the percentages $2.891 Trillion was the total Federal spending, discretionary and mandatory. A cut of $750 Billion per year out of that total is cutting just under 2.6% from the remaining budget. So this deal cuts 11.3% of defense spending, but only 2.6% of other spending? That is preposterous. Our problem is not military spending, despite the fact that liberals would have you believe that $100 Billion in spending on Iraq and Afghanistan per year and $130 Billion in tax cuts (no, I am not saying tax cuts cost money, I’m just explaining the fallacy in liberal rhetoric) explains $1.65 Trillion deficits. For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, $230 Billion DOES NOT equal $1.65 Trillion. Liberals won’t tell you what costs the other $1.42 Trillion in deficits are from other spending.

It’s Liberalism 101: The only thing we can cut is defense, because liberal politicians will make rouge nations love us anyway (how’s that worked out). When half the cuts come from defense and the other half come from the rest of our domestic spending, that’s a bad policy.  Yes, I believe some defense cuts are reasonable.  $100 Billion or so is going to be cut automatically by the ending of Iraq and Afghanistan.  I have heard soldiers tell me that the 1990s peace dividend was good for the military because it required them to become more fiscally responsible.  But automatically cutting 11.3% of our military budget is a dangerous gambit, one that makes us less safe.

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