Advancing a Free Society

Stop spending so much on defense

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The policy I would most strongly advocate President Obama changing is profligate spending, and conservatives should help him do that by supporting cuts in defense spending. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are important to our security; better protecting our country against attack and improving our game in cyber and space are crucial for our domestic well being; maintaining a war-winning military is essential to shaping the international order in ways conducive to U.S. interests. And yet, the single biggest potential risk to the United States is continuing to spend money we don't have. 

The historian Arnold Toyenbee assessed that civilizations die by suicide, not murder. That is, they decline when they stop responding creatively to challenges. We're spending ourselves into suicide by not balancing our federal budget and developing a serious plan to address the $12,324,001,387,060 debt. The deficit alone -- the difference between what our government receives in taxes and what it spends has tripled this year to $1.4 trillion. There is simply no excuse for a country as prosperous and protected as ours to behave so irresponsibly.

Continue reading on Kori Schake’s blog at Foreign Policy…