The conservative media, including even the “WSJ” and “the American Thinker”, have hailed the British government and its pseudoconservative leader, David Cameron (also known as Camoron), for so-called “serious spending cuts” and “fiscally responsible budget plans”. Cameron’s budget proposals have been hailed by these media, as well as some other mags like the HumanEvents magazine, as models to emulate.
But the truth about Cameron’s budget policy is that it’s a ridiculous policy that will NOT significantly reduce the budget, nor the size of the central government, nor the government’s anti-free-market policies. Cameron’s budget plan does not offer any serious reforms, nor any reduction of the size and the scope of the central government, nor any serious reduction of the budget deficit. Instead, Cameron has succumbed to his junior coalition partner, the extremely lefist LibDem Nick Clegg, and has decided to pursue policies detrimental to the UK.
As proven by Adam Shaw, a blogger who uses official British Treasury data reproduced by the “Daily Telegraph”, the only departments of the central government which will see their budgets significantly reduced will be the Department of Education and the one department whose budget should not be reduced at all – the Ministry of Defence, the agency whose mission is to protect the UK. The British military, already severely weakened by 20 years of defense cuts orhcestrated by “Conservative” and socialist governments, will now be totally wrecked by defense cuts deeper than any of those administered by the British government during the previous 20 years. The total budget of the MOD will be reduced by 8%, from an already-inadequate number of 33.4 bn GBP (i.e. less than $50 bn), and consequently, dozens of crucial equipment programs will be closed or cut. For example, although the Royal Navy has salvaged the carrier program (for now), it has been told that it will not receive any money to buy any aircraft for these vessels, i.e. it will get 2 aircraft carriers, but it will not get any aircraft for them. The RAF is scheduled to shrink to its smallest size ever, as is the British Army.
But while the British governmentgovernment has decided to severely reduce the defense budget, it has refused to reduce spending on the bloated government bureaucracy, the quangos, the bloated NHS (which has a 60 bn GBP per year internal quango of its own), the Royal Family (which does nothing except to feed tabloids), the foreign aid budget (used to subsidize nuclear-armed countries like China and India), or the overgenerous welfare roll system which pays people not to work and subsidizes millions of couch potatoes. Cameron has even decided to grow their budgets,Why?
Because the media, the opposition, the Treasury (governed by Cameron’s fellow pseudoconservative George Osborne), and the Liberal Democrats, whom Cameron needs to maintain a majority coalition government, have demanded deep defense cuts and have warned Cameron against any reductions of state spending on the welfare roll system, the NHS, the bureaucracies, or the quangos. Nor would the pampered majority of the British public – corrupted by the welfare roll system, the NHS, and the bureaucracies that employ millions of unionized “public servants” – accept such policies. Once provided, these benefits become “inalienable rights”, and anyone who proposes to reduce them is denounced as a mean, heartless, cruel person.
So Cameron has decided to reduce the defense budget to pay for Britain’s extremely bloated welfare state, even though defense spending is not the cause of Britain’s fiscal woes (this 33.4 bn per annum item constitutes less than 5% of the total annual budget of the British central government). He did so against the warnings of his own Defence Secretary, the uniformed leaders of the British military, and the US government.
What lessons can the US learn from this affair?
Firstly, the lesson that no matter how low defense spending is, in any country, leftists will always demand that it be severely reduced, and that it be the only (or at least one of the biggest) items to be reduced. We’re already witnessing this in the UK, Germany, Italy (where defense spending has been reduced by 10%), Australia and Poland.
Indeed, American leftists have been making such demands for decades, regardless of how low defense spending was during any fiscal year. In 1977, Jimmy Carter continued reducing the defense budget by billions of dollars, even though Nixon and Ford had already significantly reduced it. In 1981, when President Reagan inherited a wrecked military from Carter, leftists called on him and the Congress to reduce the defense budget by half. During the 1980s, Reagan often witnessed liberals spread the false claim that defense was to blame for America’s budget deficit. In 1992, after George HW Bush had already administered deep defense cuts, the Democrats still claimed that defense spending the cause of budget deficits and called for it to be reduced further. And it was.
Now, after a 20-year procurement holiday, after 20 years of “defense on the cheap”, while the defense budget constitutes 3.65% of GDP and 14.87% of the total federal budget, liberals and libertarians still claim that this is the cause of America’s fiscal woes.
The second lesson that America can draw from this affair is to significantly reduce the welfare state and giveaway programs, and not to create any new entitlements. Such programs compete for limited financial resources with legitimate government programs (e.g. defense), while pampering their beneficiares and often harming the people they’re supposed to help (federal welfare programs are textbook examples).
Those 2 lessons absolutely must be applied if America is to remain the strongest, safest, most prosperous country on Earth.