Jack Hunter’s rehashed old lies about defense spending

Official Ron Paul Propagandist Jack Hunter has not given up in his vain effort to redefine conservatism as anti-defense libertarianism. He’s still ranting against defense spending like a 7-year-old child, claiming that you must support deep defense spending cuts if you want to be called a conservative.

Utter garbage written of course by the Official Ron Paul Propagandist, who is completely ignorant about foreign policy and defense issues. I’ve refuted his blatant lies many times on this website and on my blog, yet, unrepetantly, he comes back and repeats his old lies like a machine or a Soviet press spokesman.

He claims that

“As the Founders understood well, it is hard-to-impossible to preserve limited government at home while maintaining big government abroad. History and experience tell us that one always begets the other. This certainly rings true as we spend trillions of dollars on domestic programs that we match with trillions more overseas.”

The claim that robust funding for defense and other strong-defense policies represent “big government abroad” is a blatant lie, just like most of what Hunter writes. He claims a few paragraphs later that:

“Unfortunately, unlimited Pentagon spending remains the big government too many Republicans still love.”

Pentagon spending is NOT “big government”, it is not a big government program, and it is not anti-conservative. Providing robust funding for the US military is compatible with, and is actually an INEXCISABLE PART, of the conservative ideology, as I have proven in this AT article. Funding defense generously is, and has ALWAYS been, a part of conservative philosophy and a belief of the American conservative movement. If you don’t support it, YOU ARE NOT A CONSERVATIVE, PERIOD. If you support defense cuts, you are not a conservative and have no right to call yourself one, period.

The Constitution REQUIRES a strong defense and clearly prioritizes this issue above all others. Of the 18 enumerated prerogatives of the Congress listed in Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution, 9 (i.e. 50%) pertain to war or to national defense. Among them are the prerogatives to provide for and maintain a Navy; to raise and support Armies; to punish piracies; to make rules for the Land and Naval Forces of the
United States; to declare wars; to organize and discipline the militia; to provide for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States. Moreover, Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution obliges the federal government to provide for America’s defense: “The United States shall guarantee to each state in this Union a Republican form of government, and protect each of them against invasion…”

And the claim that Pentagon spending is “unlimited” is also a blatant lie. For starters, DOD spending is never “unlimited”, because very DOD budget authorized by Congress is for a very specifc, limited sum of money. On top of that, defense spending (and total Pentagon spending) has been SHRINKING for the last 2 years. In FY2010, it was $564 bn and almost $700 bn, respective. In FY2011, it was $529 bn and $688 bn. The recently-passed FY2012 NDAA authorizes only $645 bn for the DOD (plus another $17 bn for the DOE’s defense-related programs), and of that, only $526 bn will be the core defense budget, the rest being spending on Afghanistan. The FY2012 Defense Appropriations Act would authorize even less, $518, as a core defense budget, as a part of a $633 bn total military budget.

The total amount of money authorized by the FY2012 NDAA amounts to a tiny, pathetic, small 4.5% of America’s GDP (which is $14.66 trillion), a Carteresque level of military. The core defense budget ($526 bn) amounts to a microscopic 3.59% of GDP, the smallest share since WW2 excepting the late 1990s. The claim that Pentagon is “vast” or “unlimited” is a blatant lie.

“The Founders’ talk of “entangling alliances” requiring “standing armies” was recognition of the inherent dangers of war — and especially permanent war.”

Garbage. Firstly, many of Founding Fathers supported standing armies, at least as a necessary thing. George Washington is on record saying that “to be prepared for war is one of the effective means of keeping the peace and admonishing the Congress in 1790 that:

“Among the many interesting
objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common
defence will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most
effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed
but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite:
And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories,
as tend to render them independent on others, for essential, particularly for
military supplies.”

James Madison asked in 1788: “How could a readiness for war in times of
peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the
preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?”

During the Constitutional Convention, when one participant proposed a limit on a standing army to just 3,000 men, the others proposed a provision that any invading army also be limited to just 3,000 men. And so, the issue died.

Furthermore, the claim that alliances and standing armies cause “the inherent dangers of war, and especially permanent war”, is also a blatant lie. A strong defense and strong alliances PREVENT WARS, they don’t provoke them, a lesson that Paul and Hunter evidently have not learned yet and will never.learn. It is the ROK-US alliance, and America’s nuclear umbrella, that has kept South Koreans safe and free for the last 58 years. Starting, by the way, with President Eisenhower. And yet, Hunter still fakes Eisenhower’s farewell address into something it was not:

“President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the “military-industrial
complex” reflected the same concerns within a 20th-century, post-WWII

Dwight Eisenhower is often cited as a president who,
wary of the “military-industrial complex”, wanted to dismantle this large
standing military and enact dramatic defense cuts. His Farewell Address is
often cited by opponents of a strong defense as “proof” that a large standing
military and defense spending threaten the US economy and Americans’ civil
liberties. Nothing could be further from the truth. If one reads the actual
text of Eisenhower’s farewell address, it is clear that what Eisenhower meant
was that the US defense industry should never be allowed to skew the democratic
political process, nor to turn the federal government into a cash cow. During
the same Farewell Address, Eisenhower stressed the need for a strong defense,
saying that “our arms must be mighty, ready for constant action, so that no
aggressor will risk his self-destruction.”
Eisenhower’s speech is therefore the opposite of what defense critics claim it
is: a call for a strong defense. Here’s the full relevant quote,
which you can read and judge for yourself (emphasis added):

“Now this conjunction of an immense
military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American
experience. The
total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every
city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize
the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend
its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved.
So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted
influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The
potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this
combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take
nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the
proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with
our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper

If one reads the entire speech, rather than just one sentence quoted out
of context, it is clear that Esienhower did not call for any defense cuts. What
he did do was to warn the citizenry to “compel the proper meshing” of the
defense establishment with “our peaceful methods and goals”, and not to allow it to subvert America’s ordinary
democratic political process, “so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Hunter then falsely claims that:

“During the Reagan era, when we were fighting a global superpower that
possessed thousands of nuclear weapons, this made sense. It does not
make sense anymore.”

Garbage. A strong defense and robust funding for it ALWAYS make sense. It is also always needed, because there is always an evil person preying upon others. In the current world, with Communist China, Putinist Russia, North
Korea, Iran, and a multitude of terrorist organizations threatening the US, a strong
defense is needed more than ever – even more so than during the Reagan era. Peace
won’t keep itself. Peace depends on a strong defense, and that, in turn, depends
on adequate funding, not a tiny budget of 3.5% of GDP.

“Today, we are fighting individuals, or collections
of individuals, with infinitely less military capabilities and no
particular attachments to nation-states. Ask yourself this: What,
exactly, does having thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan do to
prevent some sick individual from trying to blow up his underwear on an

That is also garbage, which minimizes threats
to America’s security and is designed to lull the American people into a false sense
of security. Terrorist organizations and the Taleban are not the only threats facing
the US, or even the most dangerous ones. China, Putinist Russia, and North Korea
are the biggest threats. These countries have nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles
capable of reaching the US, and tons of conventional weapons. China is pursuing
a military buildup at a neck-breaking pace, and Russia is now rebuilding and reforming
its own military. North Korea is compensating for its outdated Soviet weapons with
ballistic missiles of increasing range and tons of weapons of mass murder. Making
light of these threats is criminally irresponsible.

Thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan
won’t prevent people from detonating bombs on a plane, but they are denying, and
will continue to deny, sanctuary to Al-Qaeda and the Taleban. Afghanistan is not
the most important battleground, anyway. Plus, there is no such person as a stateless
terrorist. Every terrorist organization in the world is supported by a state. Hamas
and Hezbollah, whom Ron Paul glorifies, are sponsored by Iran. Al-Qaeda was, prior
to the US invasion of Afghanistan, sponsored and harbored by the Taleban government
of that country. Recently, a judge has found that Iran and Hezbollah were co-responsible
for 9/11.

“Which brings us to conservatism’s fate. Want to know why Paul is the
only GOP presidential candidate who has proposed substantive spending
cuts — $1 trillion in the first year? It’s because only Paul addresses
Pentagon spending, the largest portion of our budget after entitlements.”

That is also 100% false. Firstly, Ron Paul is not the only one
who proposes substantial federal spending cuts – Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and
Newt Gingrich also have proposed them, with Bachmann introducing legislation in
Congress (she supports the abolition of the Edu Department and the EPA), Gingrich
supporting a $700 bn annual spending cut plus another $120 bn per year cut to entitlements,
and Rick Perry outlining his own plan to cut federal spending from 24% to 18% of
GDP and eliminate 3 Cabinet Departments (the ED, the DOE, and the DOC). The claim
that only Paul supports defense spending cuts or tackles defense spending is also
a blatant lie: Huntsman supports deep defense cuts too, Bachmann also supports some
DOD cuts, and Perry demands a full audit of the DOD. Moreover, as I said earlier,
if you support defense cuts, YOU ARE NOT A CONSERVATIVE, PERIOD.

continues to make the same argument that former Chairman of the Joints Chief of
Staff Mike Mullen has made: that our debt is the greatest threat to our
national security.” Again, Hunter quotes other pe ople selectively and out of context.
Mullen has also said that „cuts [to the defense budget] can reasonably only go so
far…” and that that there’s a limit to what cuts the DOD can tolerate; and that
America’s current military spending, 4.5% of GDP, is actually a bargain price.

“As for national
security concerns, Paul’s $1 trillion in cuts still allows for a defense budget
four times greater than China’s and larger than even President George W. Bush’s
2005 defense budget.”

FALSE. Firstly, China’s military budget for FY2011 is something on the order
of $180 bn (no one knows how much exactly for sure, because the PLA greatly understates
its budget and has many off-budget income sources such as factories and farms),
so for the US defense budget to be 4 times larger than the PLA’s, it would have
to be $720 bn. Paul would provide only $501 bn in FY2013, i.e. less than 3 times
the PLA’s budget. Furthermore, in China, things are several times cheaper than in
the US, so Paul’s defense budget would actually be significantly smaller smaller
than the PLA’s budget if PPP differences are accounted for. Furthermore, we don’t
know what exactly Paul’s meagre, tiny defense budget, which would amount to less
than 3.5% of GDP, would be spent on. Furthermore, it would be SMALLER than Bush’s
FY2005 core defense budget (if one includes the DOE’s defense-related programs).

“This is how drastically Pentagon spending — along with all government
spending — has grown under President Obama. Cries from the GOP field that Obama
is “weakening” our defense with “cuts” mirrors liberal shrieking about
conservatives hurting the poor or seniors by reforming welfare or entitlements
(just ask Paul Ryan).”

Pentagon spending has NOT grown drastically under President Obama. Since FY2010,
it has been CUT, not increased. Obama slightly increased defense spending in FY2010
from FY2009 levels, and since then has only been SLASHING them: $529 bn in FY2011,
$518-526 bn in FY2012. And yes, Obama IS weakening America’s defense with big cuts.
In FY2010 and FY2011, he ordered the closure of over 50 crucial weapon programs
to pay for the Afghan war. In April 2010, he signed the New START treaty which orders
massive cuts to the US nuclear deterrent and places strict limitations on America’s
missile defense. In January 2011, he ordered Bob Gates to cut defense spending by
$178 bn. April 2011, he cut defense spending in real terms under the CR and ordered
a further $400 bn in defense cuts. Now he’s pledging to veto any bill that would
spare the DOD from the impact of the sequester, which would cut the CORE defense
budget (NOT GWOT spending) by $1.065 trillion over the next decade. Obama has SIGNIFICANTLY weakened America’s defense
with irresponsible defense cuts. That is a FACT.

And so we come to Hunter’s
final statement, which is basically a rehashment of his old lies:

advocates always claim that any changes or reductions in the status quo would
be catastrophic. Conservatives always argue that not only can we no longer
afford such spending, but that reducing big government will be better for all
parties involved in the long run. Republicans can remain doubtful about whether
Paul’s foreign policies will actually make us safer (they will, if our own
intelligence and military members are to be believed). But they cannot doubt
that Paul’s foreign policy addresses a cost we can no longer afford (our
current foreign policy and related spending costs about $1.2 trillion annually,
roughly our entire deficit).

To disqualify Paul because of his foreign policy views is to
also disqualify any chance of actual spending cuts. Until conservatives learn
this lesson and begin to apply their limited-government philosophy
comprehensively, conservatism itself will largely remain a moot point.”

These claims are blatant lies. As stated earlier, robust funding is not only compatible with
conservative ideology, it is an integral, inexcisable, irremovable part of conservative
. In other words, conservative ideology REQUIRES generous funding for
defense. The claim that those who don’t support massive defense cuts are not “conservatives”
is a lie, just like the claim that conservatism will remain “a moot point” until
large-scale defense cuts occur. Limited government does not require defense cuts.
And we conservatives need no lessons from you, Jack, or from your despicable mentor
Ron “Blame America First” Paul. Neither you nor your despicable mentor are conservatives,
and you have nothing to teach us. In fact, it is YOU who needs to learn some lessons.
Like the lesson of the 1930s, that isolationism causes war rather than prevent it,
and the lesson of the 1970s, that defense cuts and a weak defense INVITE war instead
of preventing it. But you’re so stupid and so blinded by your libertarian anti-defense
ideology that you’ll never learn these lessons.

“Republicans can
remain doubtful about whether Paul’s foreign policies will actually make us
safer (they will, if our own intelligence and military members are to be

No, they will not. Defense cuts, appeasement of America’s enemies, dumping
America’s allies, and isolationism will only make America less safe and invite war.
And who are our “military members”? A small anonymous sample group chosen for polling
purposes? I know many members and veterans of the military who actually believe
that STRONG DEFENSE POLICIES and strong alliances will keep America safe. People
like Nick Popaditch, Paul Krumenacker, Allen West, and Duncan Hunter. As well as
the over 100 veterans who have endorsed Rick Perry for President, including three
Medal of Honor recipients (Dakota Meyer, Michael Thornton, Jim Livingston), one
Navy Cross recipient Marcus Luttrell, and one Purple Heart recipient Daniel Moran.

“But they cannot doubt that Paul’s foreign policy addresses a cost we can
no longer afford (our current foreign policy and related spending costs about
$1.2 trillion annually, roughly our entire deficit).”

That is a blatant lie which Hunter has borrowed from the utterly
discredited Bruce Fein. The total military budget for the current fiscal year is
$662 bn, and the DOS has a budget of roughly $56 bn, which amounts to a total “foreign
policy” budget of $718 bn, way less than the $1.2 trillion that Hunter claims. His
figure is a blatant lie. Moreover, the defense budget is NOT responsible for America’s
fiscal woes.

Finally, your claim that “The only GOP candidate offering the kind of cuts the tea party has said it desires is Ron Paul” is also patently false, as proven above.

[1] D. D. Eisenhower, Farewell
Address to the Nation, 1961, text available at the American Rhetoric
website, http://www.americanrhetoric.co…. Retrieved on December 21st, 2011.

Why conservatives must adopt Ron Paul’s foreign policy