Why entitlement programs threaten defense
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on February 1, 2010
Republicans often protest against socialized medicine programs and other unneeded domestic programs (incl. entitlement programs) using fiscal, constitutional, social, and result reasons.
They argue that these domestic programs are unaffordable. They’re right.
They argue that these domestic programs are socially bad because they grow the number of welfare bums. They’re right.
They argue that these domestic programs don’t work and won’t work. They’re right.
They argue that these domestic programs are unconstitutional, because the 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government to maintain such programs. They’re right.
But there’s also another reason for Republicans to oppose unneeded domestic programs (incl. entitlement programs), and that is defense.
The fiscal cost, the legislative constituencies, and the legal provisions shielding domestic programs threaten the US military and its budget. The US military could see its budget marginalized by domestic programs and reduced to pay for these wasteful domestic programs (HS rail, entitlement programs, agricultural subsidies, bridges to nowhere, unneeded highways, bureaucracies, stimulus programs, etc.). This, in turn, will lead to the reduction of some portion of defense spending and will make it impossible for the military to replace its obsolete equipment, let alone to prepare for the most likely threats in this world – namely, states hostile to the US (China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, etc.).
A reduction of defense spending would lead to defense cuts, which would weaken the US military.
Currently, the costs of entitlement programs are not yet large enough to threaten the US military. And even the current total budgetary deficit is not as large as it will be during the years when entitlement programs will produce budget deficits of their own.
Besides, the two economic pillars that enable a large military budget still exist. America has the largest GDP in the world ($15 TRILLION), and only 3 entitlement programs, which don’t even benefit the entire populace; that is, a small, limited number of entitlement programs of limited scope (compared to European entitlement programs).
For these reasons, America can afford its current DOD budget ($534 bn, that is, a paltry 3.61% of GDP), and could afford it during the Reagan Era and the Bush Era, when the economy was growing rapidly.
But if Obama is allowed to implement socialized medicine, the US economy will lay in ruins under the weight of his oppressive taxes, and his entitlement programs will make America a European-style “social democracy” and steal funding from defense. Congressional Democrats are already demanding “big weapon cuts” to pay for their lavish entitlement programs and welfare rolls. Big weapon cuts would severely weaken the US military.
For an indication of what country would America be, just look to Western Europe, home to many welfare states. In all of those countries, taxes are high, government is huge, entitlement programs are lavish, welfare programs are overly generous, and their militaries are small, weak, and poorly financed. This was already the case during the 1990s. The current economic crisis is now being used by the governments of socialist European countries (including Britain, France and Poland) to further cut their defense spending.
These countries maintain weak militaries because they’re protected by the US. But America cannot count on anyone else to protect her. America can count only on herself. For that reason, America must have the strongest military in the world.
For that reason, as well as result, fiscal, social, and constitutional reasons, Republicans should oppose, and attempt to repeal, as many domestic programs as possible, including all entitlement programs.
The article of Robert Dudney served as an inspiration for me to write this article.