James Antle lies on behalf of Mitch Daniels


W. James Antle seems to be a fan of Mitch Daniels.

Recently, he’s written a ridiculous propaganda column on behalf of the current governor of Indiana. (http://spectator.org/blog/2010/11/05/mitch-daniels)

This column (and the associated blog post) constitute yet another BS article and BS blog post by James Antle.

Antle wrote in his blog post:

“My cover story on Mitch Daniels should be online at some point in the near future, but I’ll weigh in with a few observations. He is pro-life and believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. His record is generally quite conservative, with the few blemishes being on taxes rather than social issues. And he does understand that when it comes to restoring the country to solvency, solving the entitlements crisis is more important than cutting the defense budget (though all spending needs to remain on the table).”

No, Mr Antle, Mitch Daniels is NOT pro-life – he’s a pro-abortion liberal who has called for “a truce” with the Dems on social issues so that the he can work with them to gut the military. And such a “truce” would be fake, because the Dems don’t need any “truce”. They’ve already accomplished almost all of their goals on social issues. Abortion on demand, without any limitations (not even a ban on transporting minors across state lines and not spousal notification) is the law of the land, as SCOTUS ruling. The Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by federal courts; ESCR is financed by the federal government; 2 activist judges nominated by Obama have been confirmed to the SCOTUS; the Pledge of Allegiance and the 10 Commandments have been banned from the public square; and the Senate plans to repeal the DADT policy during the lame-duck session.

It is also untrue that Daniels is conservative on taxes and spending. Daniels is a tax-hiker (he has increased taxes on cigs), believes in AGW, and has spent taxpayers’ money on “renewable en.” projects. One AmSpec commenter has written that „Pawlenty is a an AGW proponent and “My Man Mitch” is supporting all kinds of renewable energy schemes and he is for constructing pipelines throughout Indiana to collect CO2 for burial in southern oil wells.” (http://spectator.org/blog/2010/11/03/why-it-cant-be-sarah-palin)

Most worringly, Daniels has called for radical cuts of defense spending, which would utterly wreck the military and invite war against the US while not balancing the budget. (The defense budget is so small that even abolishing the DOD altogether would not balance the total federal budget.) Also, Mitch Daniels, who claims he’s a “numbers’ guy”, has proven that he knows nothing about defense spending. He claims it’s $800 bn per year. Actually, it amounted to $534 bn in FY2010, and together with the FY2010 GWOT supplemental, it constituted only $664 bn in FY2010, a paltry 4.5% of GDP.

Daniels is a strident liberal, and so is James Antle, who has praised him. Nominating Daniels for the presidency or the vice presidency would be a heinous betrayal of every conservative principle that Ronald Reagan espoused.

PS: Why can’t the US military afford any defense budget reductions?

Because the DOD budget is already too small (it constitutes a paltry 3.65% of GDP and just 14.87% of the federal budget), inadequate to provide for a strong defense, and America’s enemies (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela) are arming themselves to the teeth. They’re itching for a war.

Severely reducing defense spending would mean a weak, totally decrepit, totally impotent US military that would be utterly unable to defend the US even from Iran, let alone NK or China. The US military nowadays uses weapons produced during the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s, while America’s enemies are arming themselves with 1990s’ and 2000’s Russian, Chinese and native weaponry (Su-30s, Su-35s, Su-35BMs, J-10s, JF-17s, Sovremenny class vessels, etc.).

Also, the mathematical reality is that cutting defense spending is NOT necessary, nor would it significantly reduce the defense budget. Defense spending constitutes only 14.87% of the total federal budget, and the GWOT supplemental less than 4%. 81.5% of the total federal budget is purely civilian spending. That is the spending which must be radically reduced. Even a TOTAL ABOLITION of the defense budget ($534 bn in FY2010, $549 bn proposed for FY2011) would not even HALVE the budget deficit, let alone balance the budget. Even with the DOD completely abolished, you would still have had an almost $800-bn-dollar budget deficit in FY2010.

The budget could be easily balanced if the Congress bothered to dramatically reduce bloated domestic spending (entitlements, subsidy programs, welfare programs, etc.). And it is the ONLY way to balance the budget.

http://spectator.org/blog/2010/11/05/mitch-daniels

UPDATE: Yesterday, an AmSpec commenter by the name of Sandy agreed with me about Mitch Daniels, writing:

Zbigniew Mazurak- I am with you all the way, particularly with respect to the defense issue. At a time when America’s enemies are ramping up, and our current president is apologizing for how bad America is, the last place to cut the budget is in defense. After Clinton all but decimated our military, equipment,and weapons, we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq “with the army that we had” rather than with the army that the world’s superpower should have had. We are lucky we did as well as we did, and that credit goes to our finest and bravest, working on shoestrings.

I am please that Daniels has been saying what he has, as we have the chance to “vet” him before he throws his hat in the ring. So far he has-

Peed on the Social conservatives in calling for a “truce” on social issues. We just threw out many immoral social engineers, that have worked diligently to denigrate the traditional morals this country was founded on. It is the 60’s “if it feels good do it” hippies that are now in power in Washington. Pro-life rhetoric has not decreased, it has been very loud and very vocal in this election cycle particularly. Same sex marriage has been voted down in almost every state by that states voters over the past few years, except of course in Daniels ID.

Peed of the National defense conservatives, for the reasons I listed above.

Peed off the fiscal conservatives with his support for a VAT.

Peed off the Tea Party people with his comment about the Republicans running some bad candidates. I wonder who he means- no doubt O’Donnell, Angle, Buck and Miller. I suspect he would have been on board with the elite class in DC who shunned Rubio for Crist. No doubt he would prefer Murkowski to Miller.

There really aren’t many more segments of the voting public that he can appeal to, except of course the Progressives. His positions all lean that way.”

The comment was written on November 6th, 2010, 10:54AM.
UPDATE: As of FY2010, the federal government maintained 2,001 subsidy programs, ranging from the food stamp program to subsidies for ethanol producers, corn growers, and Amtrak. Why do politicians continue to single out the DOD for spending cuts, rather than these subsidy programs? Because they depend on them (and the constituencies which benefit from them and will vote against any politician who opposes these 2,001 subsidy programs). AT contributor John Watson has written that:

We are facing deficits that can and will cripple our nation if not addressed. Perhaps our new Congress should look at cutting subsidies as part of our efforts to reduce our spending and thus our deficit. As of January, there are now more than 2,000 federal subsidies. Many, if not most, are imprudent or even absurd in today’s world. In May, we provided a subsidy of over $140 million to Brazilian cotton farmers.

The government subsidizes products that cannot survive on their own, such as ethanol, bio fuels and wind farms, to name a few. When these products are ready for prime time on their own, they will supplant other fuels via the free market, but now, without subsidies, these technologies are prohibitively expensive. Hiding their true costs in subsidies is dishonest, in that we all pay for it in increased government spending, more taxation and higher deficits.”

(http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/11/subsidies_and_the_deficit.html)

6 thoughts on “James Antle lies on behalf of Mitch Daniels”

  1. Continuing from our discussion on the American Spectator’s blog, let’s examine the issues. One of my biggest criticisms of non-thinkiing conservatives is their inconsistent thought process. Almost no conservative feels the government does anything well and for a large part agree (Milton’s old adage about the government managing the Sahara always come to mind) but when it comes to defense, hold on! stop!. What makes the government any better at managing defense money than education, social security, etc…. of course nothing. Defense has some of the most inefficient programs of all. It there is inefficiencies, shouldn’t we try and cut these inefficiencies before pouring more money down the drain, aka starve the beast (that’s what conservatives think will work for all other programs, so why not defense). Now of course, this ignores the fact that we fought two wars, at least one of them unjust (Iraq), with total expenditures likely well over a trillion dollars that have made us no safer, resulted in the deaths of many a fine young boys and girls of this country not to mention how many multiples of other countries, won us no favors with our allies and most likely p@ssed off a whole generation of future terrorists. The one benefit of these conflicts have shown us is how much money we’ve wasted over the years. Yes, America has the ability to obliterate have the world with little effort, but when it comes to urban conflict, precision strikes in populated areas, etc…. we were totally taken off guard. Finally, the one reality of course we’re not ready to admit but should be in the back of our minds, no matter how much we spend, we’re fighting a battle that we will most definitely lose to China. They will eventually have more money (first in total GDP despite lower GDP per capita), more people, lower cost structure, more production capabilities, more natural resources (by international acquisitions) and most importantly engineering and scientific capabilities that are rapidly closing the gap and most likely will exceed our domestic abilities.

    1. I did not claim that the DOD is more efficient than other government agencies, or that the federal government manages defense more efficiently than it does.

      But making the DOD efficient is one issue. Reducing the defense budget to pay a public debt caused by bloated domestic programs is another.

      If the DOD is inefficient (it is), it should be reformed, and any wasteful DOD programs, projects and agencies should be abolished, but ALL savings made at the DOD must be reinvested in the DOD. And if you would bother to read my blog, you would’ve noticed that every month, I publishe an updated version of a comprehensive blueprint of DOD reform proposals that I’ve written (I dubbed it the Defense Reform Proposals Package).

      “Starving the beast” would be a pointless policy which would not make the DOD efficient, but it would certainly result in a weak US military.

      Your claim that the GWOT cost “well over a trillion dollars that have made us no safer” is false. The GWOT has cost the US ca. $1 trillion to date, not “well over a trillion dollars”. Bush was right to invade Afghanistan and topple the Taleban regime. The Iraqi war is debatable, but even if it was unjustified, Bush at least toppled a dictator who murdered a million people. Bush accomplished all of this while not allowing a second terrorist attack at home for as long as he remained President. The GWOT has made America much safer than it was before 9/11/2001. OBL and Al-Zawahiri are hiding in caves, KSM has been captured, Zarqawi and most other AQ leaders are dead. Bush was the first to recognize that the US could no longer remain on “defense” against terrorists and OFFENSIVELY fought terrorists around the world. For that, if not for anything else, he deserves your thanks.

      You’re also wrong that the US military is unable to fight in ubran areas and conduct precision strikes in populated areas. It is able to do so, and learned to do so during the Iraqi war.

      You’re also wrong that the US cannot defeat China. It can, it only needs to sufficiently invest in high-quality weapons, which it needs to deploy in large numbers. It can do so at an affordable cost (about the current cost).

      The only part of your blog post that is factually correct at least to some degree is that several thousands of Americans died as a result of the GWOT. But the freedoms enjoyed by Americans are not free; past generations also had to sacrifice some of their kids; and GWOT casualties (about 5,000 troopers) are significantly lower than those which the US suffered during the Civil War, WW1, WW2, the Korean War or the Vietnamese War.

      Your claim that I am a “non-thinking conservative” is false.

  2. “Even a TOTAL ABOLITION of the defense budget ($534 bn in FY2010, $549 bn proposed for FY2011) would not even HALVE the budget deficit, let alone balance the budget. Even with the DOD completely abolished, you would still have had an almost $800-bn-dollar budget deficit in FY2010.”

    There are very few programs that could balance the budget even if abolished in their entirety. If we didn’t pay out any Social Security benefits this year, there would still be a budget deficit. By this “logic” we can’t cut any spending.

  3. “There are very few programs that could balance the budget even if abolished in their entirety. If we didn’t pay out any Social Security benefits this year, there would still be a budget deficit.”

    If the Big Three entitlement programs were abolished, there would’ve been no budget deficit.

    “By this “logic” we can’t cut any spending.”

    When did I say so? The Congress can cut spending – but it must target only the agencies and programs that are unconstitutional or serve no good purpose (for example: the DOS’s programs are constitutional, but should the DOS really subsidize the UN’s rapists AKA blue helmets?). Defense is not only constitutionally-authorized, it’s a constitutional DUTY of the federal government. Any defense cuts constitute a dereliction of that duty.

    The DOD is not responsible for the current budget deficit, nor for the growth of federal spending which occurred after FY2007. In FY2007, the US had a budget deficit of $161 bn while the DOD’s budget was $475 bn in 2010 dollars. In FY2010, there was a budget deficit of over $1.2 trillion even though the FY2010 defense budget was only $534 billion.

  4. “If the Big Three entitlement programs were abolished, there would’ve been no budget deficit.”

    That’s three government programs, not one.

    “When did I say so?”

    You are in effect arguing that if we can’t balance the budget by abolishing a program in its entirety, we therefore should not target it for any spending cuts. If that is not what you mean, then it is pointless to argue against Pentagon budget cuts by saying that we’d still have a deficit if we zeroed out all defense spending.

    “The DOD is not responsible for the current budget deficit, nor for the growth of federal spending which occurred after FY2007.”

    So what? It is still a huge category of spending, and both spending and the deficit were far too high well before FY 2007.

    “The Congress can cut spending – but it must target only the agencies and programs that are unconstitutional or serve no good purpose.”

    Are you seriously arguing that there isn’t a single dime in the defense budget that is either unconstitutional or serves no good purpose?

    “Defense is not only constitutionally-authorized, it’s a constitutional DUTY of the federal government.>

    I absolutely agree.

    “Any defense cuts constitute a dereliction of that duty.”

    No, no, NO. Again, it depends on what you are cutting. There are things in the defense budget that are pure pork and corporate welfare that don’t have anything to do with defending the country. Those things can and must be cut. To allow the defense budget to be used in this way takes resources from our troops, the taxpayers, and is the real dereliction of duty.

    1. “You are in effect arguing that if we can’t balance the budget by abolishing a program in its entirety, we therefore should not target it for any spending cuts.”

      That’s not what I meant. Though you may be right that “If that is not what you mean, then it is pointless to argue against Pentagon budget cuts by saying that we’d still have a deficit if we zeroed out all defense spending.”

      “So what? It is still a huge category of spending, and both spending and the deficit were far too high well before FY 2007.”

      Huge? Defense spending accounted for a mere 14.87% of the FY2010 federal budget; total military spending accounted for 18.5%. Obama’s proposed FY2011 total federal budget would reduce defense’s share to just 14.31%. As for the FY2007 budget deficit – it amounted to just 161 bn USD. That was less than 2% of GDP. Budget deficits first emerged (after the 1990s) in FY2001, as a result of the 9-11-2001 attacks, the dot-com recesssion, and the necessity to rebuild NYC, DC and the HS apparatus. Unfortunately, Bush and the Congress significantly increased domestic spending after FY2001, while entitlement costs rose significantly as well. The budget deficit peaked during FY2004, but was reduced after FY2004 because of a growing economy, growing tax revenue, and the abolition of some (though not all or even most) ineffective governmental programs.

      “Are you seriously arguing that there isn’t a single dime in the defense budget that is either unconstitutional or serves no good purpose?”

      No, I am not. I’ve listed the unneeded programs and projects of the DOD (and its excessive personnel costs), and the policies that would reduce these costs, herein:
      https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/the-drpp-a-new-edition/
      I might add that I wrote the first version of this reform blueprint long before Bob Gates announced his “Efficiences Initiative”.

      The reason for why the DOD cannot afford to reduce its budget is different. The reason is as follows: The US military is currently equipped mostly with obsolete weapons (F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, F-18s, Harriers, Hercules planes, C-5As, KC-135 stratotankers and other B707 derivatives, Los Angeles class submarines, B-1s, B-52s, MMIII ICBMs, etc.), most of which were produced during the 1950s, the 1960s, or the 1970s, and their service lifetimes are limited. The DOD needs to replace all of these weapons, because it needs to be prepared for conventional and irregular wars alike, and must be able to provide a three-legged nuclear deterrent (regardless of whether the New START treaty is ratified or not), as well as missile defense. Yet, the weapons budget of the DOD is totally insufficient to purchase the needed equipment in sufficient numbers, even though the DOD has introduced new procurement policies to make its weapon programs efficient. The total weapons budget of the DOD is simply insufficient. Hence, it is necessary to redirect a large portion of the money currently spent on bases, overhead and OM costs, and unneeded generals and admirals towards weapons programs. The problem is that even if you reduce the DOD’s budget by eliminating unneeded bases and sacking unneeded generals and admirals AND redirect the resulting savings into the Treasury rather than the DOD’s weapons department, you’ll greatly reduce (or even eliminate, depending on whether you’d eliminate all the wasteful categories or not) the amount of money that the DOD could save and reinvest in equipment.

      In other words, even if you close unneeded bases (for example), rather than cut the force structure, AND redirect the resulting savings towards deficit reduction rather than weapon programs, you’d do the military a disservice, because then it would have fewer money to save and to reinvest in crucial weapon programs.

      That is why I (like the Heritage Foundation and the AEI, and apparently SECDEF Robert Gates) believe, and have stated, that any savings made at the DOD must be reinvested in the DOD.

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