American Elephants

Defense, Debts, Deficits and a Dangerous World. by The Elephant's Child

It remains a dangerous world out there.  Iran is developing nuclear weapons while our government yawns.  We just rolled up an 11 member Russian spy ring.  Russia is expanding its fighter forces more now than at any other time since the end of the Cold War.  They plan to field 300 Su-Fullback strike aircraft by 2022 and an additional 33 Sukhoi Pak fifth-generation fighters. China has ordered an estimated 76 Su-30MKK Flanker-Gs and can produce another 250 under license.

The reprehensible Representative Barney Frank’s “Sustainable Defense Task Force” issued a report in June titled “Debt, Deficits, and Defense; A Way Forward.” Designed by knowledgeable defense experts, leading minds from the military?  Not likely.  This is a pacifist manifesto designed by multiple representatives from the Project on Defense Alternatives, an envoy from Peace Action, and like-minded colleagues from the Center for American Progress, the Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation, the New America Foundation, and according to Kevin Williamson of the Exchequer blog at National Review, a Professor Prasannan Parthasarathi of Boston College — an expert on the British empire and the author of a highly regarded history of cotton textiles.

The Obama administration intends to slash the defense budget because they would rather boost their spending on bailouts, “stimulus bills,” and support for unworkable “green” schemes — and other completely wasted uses of taxpayer funds.

— The Navy will be reduced to eight aircraft carriers (from a planned 12) and seven air wings.  Eight ballistic missile submarines will be cut from the planned force of 14, leaving only six. The fleet will be reduced to 230 combat ships, eliminating 57 vessels from a current force level of 287.  The new DDG-1000 destroyer program would be canceled.  And the four active guided missile submarines would be cut as well.

— The Air Force must retire six fighter air wings, and at the same time build 301 fewer F-35 fighters. The nuclear bomber force will be completely eliminated in the name of unilateral disarmament — the B-1, B-2 and B-52 and other bombers would still be able to drop bombs, but nuclear weapon wiring and controls will simply be removed.  The new refueling tanker and the C-17 cargo aircraft will be canceled. Advanced missile and space warfare defense projects will also be eliminated or curtailed.

— Active duty Army will be slashed from 562,400 to 360,000.  That’s elimination of about five active-component brigade combat teams.  Overseas bases would be cut.

— The Marine Corps would be cut by 30%, from 202,000 to 145,000, and other funding cuts mean the U.S. would not be able to mount a major amphibious landing on any hostile shore.

— Under “Resetting the calculation of military compensation and reforming the provision of military health care…” (bureaucratic obfuscation) the report shows a planned reduction of pay and benefits for the troops and their families to the tune of $120 billion.

Barney Frank has been working on this since October of 2008.  It’s a typical and very old Liberal agenda.  Higher taxes, weak National Defense, a tax-hike especially on the wealthy.  This “liberal renewal” has been eked out with party line votes with little effort at bipartisanship.

All this talk of change and newness is deceptive.  There is nothing new about the liberal agenda.  Though it has been a goal of the left for generations, it is only now that a dubious “right” to healthcare has been enshrined into law. Which is particularly stupid, since no one in America has gone without health care.

We have spent and spent and spent, most of the funds wasted.  Perhaps Keynesian economics is finally dead, far too late.  Just dumping money into the economy doesn’t seem to have much of a “multiplier effect.” Loan guarantees or grants for “green projects’ like ethanol pipelines, smart meters, smart grids, electric cars, high-speed rail, solar arrays, wind farms are simply waste.

They always overreach. They get excited about being able to tell people what to do, and intrude into private lives.  They’re sure that if they can just take enough money away from “the rich” then there won’t be any more poor.  They don’t like the military so they put that on the budget cutting block, and they give away our military secrets and  apologize to our enemies, and fail to understand when other countries take advantage of our apparent weakness.

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