Advocates of a strong national defense ought to be thinking seriously about entitlement reform. Whatever one thinks of our current policies, recent reports by the Congressional Budget Office and testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke make clear our current course is unsustainable. The most frightening description to date of our problem is that if we continue as we are, "by 2058, the economy enters a free-fall, beyond which the catastrophe cannot be measured: CBO cannot model the impact because debt rises to levels the economy cannot support."
This has important effects not just for our national solvency, but also for our national security. Our current national indebtedness and its projections based on the president's budget will increase spending to $5.1 trillion by 2019, nearly a full quarter of the nation's economic resources. As CBO points out, "deficits never fall below $633 billion in the next 10 years, and exceed $1 trillion by the end of the decade." With non-discretionary spending constituting an increasing proportion of federal outlays, defense, diplomacy, and foreign assistance will inevitably be squeezed.