Ron Paul’s official blogger (and self-described “humble servant”) Jack Hunter, who has been caught lying about defense and foreign policy issues several times before, has not given up and is still spreading lies.
And, as I expected, even the massive defense cuts which the sequester will make (now that it has been triggered) do not satisfy the opponents of a strong defense. They now falsely claim that these will not be cuts at all, merely reductions of the projected rate of growth of defense spending. That is a blatant lie, because defense spending WILL BE CUT in real terms from FY2011 levels WITH OR WITHOUT THE SEQUESTER.
Here’s Hunter’s newest article.
This entire article, just like most of what Hunter writes, is a litany of blatant lies. I’ll respond to only a part of it:
“I stress the word “perceived,” because when it comes to Pentagon spending, too many Republicans still behave exactly like liberal Democrats.”
Gibberish. What some, if not many, Republicans recognize is that the DOD is NOT responsible for America’s fiscal woes, constitutes just 17% of the total federal budget, and is tasked with the #1 Constitutional function of the federal government: defending America.
“The truth is that we don’t need to spend as much on defense as we’re spending now.”
That is not “the truth”, that is your opinion, and it’s fallacious. My opinion is that the US is spending about the right amount of money on defense.
“We’re spending more on defense than at any time since World War II”
That is a blatant lie. The US is NOT spending more on defense than at any time since WW2. America’s current defense budget amounts to just 3.5% of GDP (defense’s lowest share of America’s GDP since FY1948, excluding the late Clinton years) and less than 15% of the total federal budget (also the smallest share since the late 1940s, this time even INCLUDING the late Clinton years). In real terms, the current defense budget (for FY2012), $513 bn, is vastly SMALLER than the Reagan-era budgets for FY1987 ($606 bn in today’s money), FY1988 ($570 bn), and FY1989 ($573 bn). Even including spending on Iraq and Afghanistan won’t help you, Mr Hunter: the military’s share of the pie then raises to just 4.6% of GDP and 17% of the total federal budget, exceeding Reagan era levels only in raw dollar terms (and only by $24 bn).
“and almost as much as every other nation combined.”
That is also a blatant lie. According to the SIPRI, the US is responsible only for 42.8% of global military spending, COUNTING spending on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the DOE, even if one accepts understated figures for China and Russia.
“Senator Tom Coburn has suggested that if we are going to start cutting, the Pentagon is the most logical place to start precisely because it is the most wasteful.”
Wrong. The DOD is not the most wasteful government department; the DHHS (which manages entitlement programs and pays $180 bn a year to crooks) is. Moreover, the idea that the Congress should start cutting spending by cutting spending on the government’s #1 Constitutional DUTY is both morally repugnant AND wrong AND against the Constitution.
“But even more importantly, these “devastating” automatic cuts that are supposed to happen aren’t really cuts. As Senator Rand Paul explained on CNN the day the super committee failed:
This may surprise some people, but there will be no cuts in military spending because we’re only cutting proposed increases. If we do nothing, military spending goes up 23% over 10 years. If we [make these cuts], it will still go up 16%.”
The only problem with this claim is that it is a blatant lie. Even WITHOUT the sequester, the defense budget will be cut IN REAL TERMS (not just in terms of spending growth) by $17 bn in FY2012 (from $530 bn in FY2011) and further in every fiscal year afterwards. WITH the sequester, the defense budget will be cut by over 20% – a whopping 20% – IN REAL TERMS. The defense budget will NOT see any spending growth for at least the next decade – WITH OR WITHOUT THE SEQUESTER. Meanwhile, GWOT/OCO spending is scheduled to go down in every FY automatically and zero out in FY2015, as US troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Proof:
Why are Rand Paul and Rush Limbaugh propagating those lies? Paul is a libertarian liar, and Limbaugh is an ignorant radio talk show host. They don’t care about the truth. Yes, El Rushbo, the conservative hero, is in fact an ignorant guy and an abject liar.
Defense spending is going up even with sequestration … You understand the current services baseline budgeting, and even you are shocked to realize now that there is no real cut from a baseline of zero in defense spending.“
Again, that is a blatant lie which has utterly discredited Limbaugh. Defense spending will be cut IN REAL TERMS, WITH OR WITHOUT THE SEQUESTER. With the sequester, defense spending will be cut IN REAL TERMS by over 20%. Proof:
“In Graham’s defense, his view on defense spending seems to be the dominant one in the Republican Party today.”
Wrong again. If this was a dominant opinion professed by Republicans, they would not have meekly agreed to the previous 6 rounds of defense cuts nor to the debt ceiling deal which created the sequester in the first place. On Tuesday night’s debate, only two candidates condemned the cuts the sequester will make, while 3 others promised FURTHER cuts ON TOP OF the ones that the sequester will make.
“The problem is there’s simply no way to actually do what every Republican loves to talk about — limiting government
, balancing budgets, cutting waste — without reducing defense spending.”
That is also a blatant lie. The budget can be balanced without cutting defense spending. As the Republican Study Committee and the Heritage Foundation have both proven with their budget plans, both of which would balance the budget by FY2020 without any defense cuts. And the claim that limited government can’t exist without defense cuts is also a blatant lie. A strong military and generous funding for it are perfectly consistent with conservative philosophy. They, in fact, irremovable PARTS of conservative philosophy. Conservatism calls for limited government, low taxation, preserving Christian values, and a strong military. None of these parts can be removed from this ideology. You either accept 100% of it or you don’t accept it at all. Furthermore, the Constitution REQUIRES the federal government to provide for a strong defense – although you, as a cafeteria constitutionalist, couldn’t care less about the Constitution.
“After entitlement spending, defense spending is the second largest part of our budget.”
Technically true, but entitlement spending alone consumes a full 56% of the federal budget, with another 6% being used to pay interest rates on the debt. Military spending amounts to less than 19%.
“You could feasibly gut the entire entitlement system and not touch Pentagon spending, but what politician is going to tell America’s seniors they must do without so Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and God-knows-where-else can have more?”"
The Libyan War is over, and the Iraqi war will be over by this year’s end. Plus, the sequester will make cuts to the CORE defense budget – which pays for defending AMERICA ITSELF – for the feeding, salarying, equipping, housing, maintaining, and training the military, not for wars of nationbuilding. It will make whopping cuts to the core defense budget. And the idea that defense spending should be cut before entitlements is morally repugnant, wrong, un-conservative, and against the Constitution.
“If my fellow conservatives want to know why the GOP has failed to cut government spending
, look at Lindsey Graham. Then take a look at all of the other Republicans who agree with him.”
Go to hell. You have no right to call us conservatives “my fellow conservatives.” You are not one of us. You are not a conservative. You are a leftist, anti-defense libertarian and a Ron Paul cultist. You are not a conservative, have never been, and never will be. You are an utterly discredited libertarian liar. A true conservative SUPPORTS a strong defense and robust funding for it, while being mindful that waste in any government department – especially one tasked with defending America – is inexcusable and needs to be excised. Robust funding for defense is perfectly in line with, and constitutes a part of, conservative ideology. CUTTING defense is a tenet of liberal and libertarian ideologies. Go to dailypaul.com and lewrockwell.com and write your libertarian garbage there. You are not a conservative.
UPDATE: Joseph Lawler of the American Spectator, in an AmSpec blogpost titled “Perspectives on the sequester”, has proven that because the sequester will kick in, defense spending will be cut IN REAL TERMS – not just in raw dollar terms, but also as a percentage of GDP – to historic lows not seen in decades, and that it would have been cut IN REAL TERMS to historic laws even WITHOUT the sequester as a consequence of the debt ceiling deal: http://spectator.org/blog/2011/11/23/perspective-on-the-sequester
Under so-called “baseline budgeting”, military spending would ALSO decline to historic lows. Specifically:
1) Under baseline budgeting, without the debt ceiling deal, military spending would shrink from 4.5% of GDP in FY2011 to 3.0% of GDP in FY2021.
2) Under the terms of the debt ceiling deal but without the sequester, military spending would be cut significantly below the baseline, with the big cuts starting in FY2016 and widening in every successive FY, taking military spending down to 2.75% of GDP (a level not since since the 1930s!) in FY2021.
3) Under the terms of the debt ceiling deal and with the sequester, which was triggered on November 23rd, military spending will be cut significantly below the baseline starting in FY2013, with the cuts widening in every successive fiscal year, shrinking military spending down to 2.5% of GDP – less than what South Korea spends on its military – in FY2021.