Saturday, April 23, 2011
I wonder how serious the debt and deficit would be if, twenty-three years ago at the end of the Cold War, American voters and legislators had taken an honest and realistic look at defense spending. My guess? Trillions of dollars would have been saved, and our country would feel safer and more secure than it does now. A recent feature investigation in Time Magazine asks - and answers - the same questions.
For at least a decade, I have argued with debt and deficit critics about the need to cut military spending. From unnecessary and unproved or outdate weapons systems to convoluted and secretive appropriations programs linked to local jobs with military contractors to hundreds of thousands of soldiers stationed around the world in stable societies, the military is a behemoth of spending that results from lack of oversight. As Time points out with the famous quote from Truman about the "military industrial complex," the nation needs "an alert and knowledgeable citizenry" to carefully analyze and budget for our military needs and peaceful goals.