Yet more garbage from the Paulbots: “Ron Paul would strengthen defense while cutting defense spending”


The Paulbots’ stupidity doesn’t know any boundaries, nor do they know any limits to the stupidities they say before they utterly discredit themselves. I have repeatedly disproven and utterly discredited the nation’s most infamous Paulbots, Jack Hunter and Bruce Fein.

Today I will disprove yet another Paul supporter, while doing so respectfully, because the man is a former Air Force KC-135 aircraft commander and a Professor of Aeronautics. While I am grateful for his service to the Nation, I believe he is fundamentally wrong about his claims that:

  • Ron Paul will keep America safe even as he cuts the defense budget.
  • The US will retain a defense budget 4 times larger than that of China (the world’s second biggest military spender).
  • “Military spending overseas” and keeping bases overseas does nothing to keep America safe, unlike defense spending at home.
  • The US can reap huge savings by closing most or all of its bases abroad and bringing the troops stationed there home.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1365973831001/can-ron-paul-take-new-hampshire

First, the claim that Ron Paul would keep America safe even as he would cut the defense budget. Ron Paul would allow a defense budget of no more than $501 bn in FY2013. That would, at the first glance be a cut of $25 bn from the current level ($526 bn) – even without taking inflation into account – but in reality it would be much deeper than that. You see, Paul would abolish the Department of Energy entirely, zeroing out funding for it. It is implicit (though not explicitly stated) in his budget plan that he would move all DOE defense-related programs to the DOD, as his son has proposed to do, but these programs cost $17 bn per year, thus leaving a core defense budget of only $484 bn ($501 bn – $17 bn).

This would be a woefully inadequate defense budget, and would amount to just 3.3% of GDP, the lowest level since before WW2 excepting the late 1990s. America cannot defend itself with such a small defense budget. These defense cuts would be even deeper than those that President Obama announced on January 5th. They would be disastrous. $484 bn is barely less than $3 bn larger than the FY2005 core defense budget, signed into law at a time when all of America’s enemies were much weaker than they are now. And the specifics – where the cuts would come from – would be even worse. In total, Paul would cut defense spending by $42 bn per year in his first year – by more than what Obama ever did or plans to do – and that deep budget could would come on top of ALL defense cuts already administered or ordered.

Under Paul’s plan, after FY2013, the defense budget would grow, but only by peanuts – not enough to even keep up with inflation! That means it would be cut in real terms still further.

The claim that Ron Paul would allow for a defense budget 4 times larger than that of China is also factually incorrect. The PLA’s budget, according to the DOD, was $170 bn as of FY2007! Ron Paul’s total defense budget would be a paltry $501 bn, LESS than 3 times the size of the PLA’s budget. And if you account for PPP differences between the US and China, the PRC would have a LARGER defense budget than the US.

Now what of the claim that “military spending overseas” and keeping bases overseas does nothing to keep America safe, unlike defense spending at home?

It’s also completely untrue. Funding for the Afghan war allows US troops to complete this mission with all the equipment, fuel, food, and other supplies they need, and to stand up and train an Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. Funding for those overseas bases that are needed and for the troops stationed there allows the US to deter the enemies that the US and its allies have in common and therefore prevents war. These bases and troop deployments also reassure America’s allies and strengthen America’s ties to them. They don’t pose a threat to anyone, except those who wish to perpetrate aggression, and don’t cause anyone to attack the US or to hate the US.

The Air Force pilot who was interviewed by Judge Napolitano would apparently prefer that the US close most or all of its bases abroad and reopen closed bases in the US (he specifically opposes any further base closures). Actually, many (although not all, but probably most) US bases abroad are needed, and let’s not forget that unneeded base infrastructure in the US is just as wasteful as unneeded base infrastructure abroad. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (who presided over the largest base closure round in the US and abroad) says that the US military still has excess base infrastructure in the US and abroad. He does not, however, support a total withdrawal of US troops from foreign countries or a total closure of all US military bases abroad – he supports a significant reduction of these and repositioning US troops from Cold War era garrisons to smaller bases abroad.

So the gentleman was totally wrong on all four of his claims.

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