Yesterday, an article by Vasko Kohlmayer, The Party of Big Government, was published on AT. I quickly wrote a rebuttal, backed it up with sources, and submitted it as a blogpost to AT. It was published today. To wit:
Vasko Kohlmayer’s article of February 23rd (The Party of Big Government) contains so many factual errors that this rebuttal is necessary.
Kohlmayer has wrongly claimed that “The military is the largest ticket in the budget. If we are serious about doing something about our fiscal bankruptcy, serious cuts must be made there as well.” This is patenty false. The largest item in the total federal budget, according to a recent article by Dick Armey and Matthew Kibbe, is entitlement spending, which by itself consumes 56% of all federal spending. Military spending isn’t even the largest part of the discretionary budget – as of FY2010, it consumed $664 bn, while annual federal welfare spending amounted to $888 bn.
Serious cuts do not have to be, and should not be, made in the defense budget. The Afghan war is a debatable policy, but cutting the core defense budget would lead to a weakened military and is therefore unacceptable. Secretary Gates has competently explained, in detail, what the consequences of such a folly would be.
Plus, Kohlmayer should note that defense spending has already been reduced, from $542.76 bn (in today’s money) in FY2010 to $525 billion (under the FY2011 ConRes) this fiscal year. This cut has already dealt harm to America’s defense.
Defense spending, as of FY2011, constitutes only 3.59% of America’s GDP ($14.62 trillion according to the World Bank); total military spending constitutes 4.68%. The defense budget is hardly a burden on taxpayers on the economy. Kohlmayer’s article suggests that for him, America is not worth defending.
(…) To sum up, cutting defense spending would be penny wise and pound foolish. This policy would not even significantly reduce, let alone, the budget deficit; it would weaken America’s defense; and the military budget is not even nearly as big as Kohlmayer claims it is. Balancing the budget requires a different solution: setting priorities for the federal government and closing non-priority programs and agencies.
The whoe with is available here.