Romney and the Eternal Warfare State

Romney pledges to get serious about cutting federal spending but at the same time he promises to “reverse irresponsible Obama-era defense cuts.”

So far, these cuts have amounted to 2% of the defense budget if we adjust for inflation and, not adjusting for inflation, the defense budget has increased every year of Obama’s term. Additionally, under Obama’s proposals spending would have increased in real terms but only through spending freezes enacted by Congress has the negligible 2% cuts taken place. Obama does intend to decrease military spending in the future by 8% over ten years. However, this is still a small cut over a decade-long time period in which Obama won’t even be president for most of that span.

So what’s Romney’s plan? Create a defense spending floor of 4% of the GDP. This constitutes a massive increase in military spending. Keep in mind that Romney wants to cap all federal spending at 20% GDP, meaning that, at the bare minimum, military “defense” spending is obligated to constitute 20% of all federal spending no matter what. Spending amounted to 24.3% of GDP last year. Romney’s plan seems to be to cut “spending” without touching any of our biggest expenditures: Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid. In fact, Romney’s biggest cut would be Obamacare, about 95 billion. Romney’s plan to increases military spending dwarfs Obamacare – to say nothing of the 2010 $700 billion Wall Street bailout which Romney thought was the “right thing to do”.

Romney’s promises to reduce our escalating debt and return us to fiscal responsibility are empty. He will do no such thing. So when Romney states, “Getting our fiscal house in order has become more than just an economic issue; it’s a moral imperative. Every dollar of deficit spending must be borrowed, with the bill sent to our children to pay back. As president, Mitt Romney will ask a simple question about every federal program: is it so important, so critical, that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” That’s just rhetoric. That should really come as no surprise since Romney believes that cutting spending, paying off our debt and returning that money to the American people causes depressions.

What we can expect from Mitt Romney is an eternal warfare state with a bloated military budget that the Pentagon will have to perpetually justify if they want to keep their funding. We already have 700 – 1000 military bases around the world, we have been in a constant state of war in the Middle East for well over a decade and, prior to Romney’s spending increase, nearly half of worldwide military spending comes from the US with second place going to China with a budget only 1/6 the size of ours.

With the incentive of even more money thrown at the problem we can expect even more aggressive military interventionism, sinking us into greater debt, with more war, more US casualties and the propagation of anti-America sentiments as we get even more involved and use even more force around the world in places where we’re not wanted.

We’re not fighting Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia any more. We’re fighting ragtag terrorists with no nation and no center of command. We cannot win with tanks or nuclear submarines or fighter jets that can land vertically. Bloated budgets and aggressive interventionist foreign policy are terrorists’ greatest ally: millions of otherwise ordinary Arabs hate us because of what we’ve done in the Middle East making us the best recruitment campaign the terrorists ever had.

If we want to beat the terrorists we will do so through discretion and cunning. If we want to help our friends in the military-industrial complex we can do so by making sure we have a constant supply of enemies to fight – and we can do that by increasing out “defense” capabilities so as to constantly meddle with the affairs of every country in the Middle East from now until Hell freezes over.

Republicans talk endlessly about how we need to have an active presence in the world. They are right, but that presence should not be defined by how many people we kill or by how many countries we occupy. Instead of responding to every whim with deadly force or the threat of deadly force, we need to bring our military home to defend our own borders and in its place open up free trade and diplomacy. That’s how you make allies. That’s how you foster peace. That’s how you change hearts and minds. Because no military can kill hate; guns and killing only perpetuate it. You kill hate by finding solidarity.

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One thought on “Romney and the Eternal Warfare State

  1. Awesome post! I totally agree with you — I’ve been saying for years now that anyone talking about ‘cutting spending’ or seriously balancing the budget WITHOUT at least mentioning defense spending should not be taken seriously. As in anything they say should be disregarded unless they include defense spending.

    One note I will add though — I think when you look at the whole, big picture of federal spending, defense-related spending is closer to 50-60% of our federal spending. That includes veterans benefits, military pensions, weapons programs, black ops, etc. I’ve seen figures in that area — so I think your numbers maybe even understate our incredibly ridiculous military-industrial institution.

    I also totally agree and am similarly baffled as to WHY we are spending so much of our national treasure and effort on military endeavors — in my mind, there is really NEVER a reason to pour that many resources into defense, save for maybe if we are under total siege from multiple other powerful nations — for example, I would fight and die to save our country from being overtaken by China or Mexico or some other foreign power with what I would consider to have less enlightened values — but we are most certainly not in that position. And even if we were, the type of bloated spending we would need would likely only be needed for a year or two, until hostilities died down and we were secure again.

    What we have now in terms of military spending is so incredibly ridiculous I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say we are damn near a military state. Why in the world do we need to spend 1/4 – 1/2 of our collective capital on weapons, military planes, bombs, drones, and military generals and their families? And it’s not just about the money either, it’s a moral issue. I hate it when people make arguments about spending without speaking at least partially in moral terms — these are all moral issues. Spending money on destructive technologies and active destruction is morally inferior to spending it on education, food stamps, and infrastructure to make people’s lives better from a health and well being standpoint.

    Any politician unwilling to address this military monstrosity that is bringing out nation down should not be taken seriously….

    Again great post, look forward to more! I have been sharing your writing with friends as well..

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