Memo to GOP: DON’T Cut Defense!

According to the Washington Post, some Republicans have begun to indicate that cuts to military spending might be on the table in order to stave off tax increases. Heritage Action’s position: no.

It’s a typical liberal position: that taxing the wealthy and cutting defense will somehow solve all of our problems. As stated earlier today, even raising taxes to 100% on the top 10% of earners – which includes everyone earning over $114,000 – won’t solve our problem.

The other argument of eliminating the wars (just pulling out, poof, gone) doesn’t hold much water either. As Heritage points out in this handy chart (calculations made on CBO data):

Our defense spending isn’t even at the highest percentages of GDP in recent years. Yes, we’re spending more than during the Clinton Administration (no wars going on back then) but we’re not spending as much as during the Vietnam Era, or even the Reagan Era. We’re spending just 5% (which is below the 45-year average of 5.2%) of our GDP for defense, whereas we’re spending 10% of GDP on entitlements.

So even if we add that 5% to the revenue of the top 10% of earner’s entire income, we still come up about $10 trillion short of covering our debt. And of course you lose all that income since the rich are now penniless.

But if we cut spending, as several conservative governors have done, we will see less reliance on government, an increase in American self-sufficiency, and a lot less borrowing on our children’s credit card.

Unfortunately, cutting defense spending has dire consequences. No other department affects actual lives like the Pentagon. President Obama has already called for the return of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan, which worries us and many other conservatives.  We can and should debate the impacts of domestic discretionary cuts and reforms to entitlement programs, but the fact is, cutting defense weakens us as a nation and endangers are troops abroad. This cannot be emphasized enough.

Don’t cut defense.

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