How to Defend America in the 21st Century, Part 2

Dr. Earl Tilford, FloydReports.com

Note: This article is Part II in a series. Click here to read Part I. — Ed.

The U.S. Department of Defense must restructure to accommodate deep budget cuts and, more importantly, be ready for the challenges of 21st-century warfare. Those challenges will include unconventional operations and wars fought in vastly expanded battle spaces. Reforms are needed in three areas.

First, today’s DoD — structured around land, air, and sea forces to accommodate Industrial Age conflict — is inadequate for Information Age warfare. The U.S. Air Force received separate service status in 1947 by a mating of the atomic bomb to the long-range delivery system of the day, the B-29 bomber. For five decades, air-power enthusiasts argued that air power formed the tip of the spear while land and sea forces constituted the supporting shaft. That is no longer the case.

Human-piloted combat aircraft undergird the Air Force’s reason for being. It is likely that the 20 B-2 bombers currently in the inventory, at $2 billion dollars a copy, will be the last of the manned bombers. Additionally, the F-35 is likely to be the last manned fighter developed by the United States. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be the fighting platforms of the future. They can do more for less cost because UAVs are not designed for pilot survivability. Additionally, in the current war, the Air Force has been the supporting—rather than the supported—service. It’s time to reintegrate the Air Force into the U.S. Army. This eliminates an entire service with accompanying bureaucracies while minimally expanding an Army likely to experience reductions throughout its other branches….

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Five Reasons the Debt Deal is a Budget-Busting Mistake

Rep. Tom McClintock, FloydReports.com

The “Budget Control Act of 2011” increases the debt limit by between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion, the biggest explosion of debt in American history. It allows the government to avoid spending reductions for the next two years while squandering our last best hope of averting a sovereign debt crisis.

I am opposed to this measure for the following reasons:

  1. The purported cuts, even if realized, are far below the $4 trillion deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States government;
  2. It blows the lid off the House budget passed in April by more than a half-trillion dollars over ten years;
  3. It makes no significant spending reductions for at least the next two years, essentially freezing spending at an unsustainable level. While the debt increase occurs this year, significant spending cuts aren’t to be made for many years and can be ignored or reversed by future acts of Congress;
  4. The spending caps are easily circumvented by declaring appropriations to be an emergency, a response to a “major disaster,” or necessary for the “Global War on Terror”; and
  5. The balanced budget amendment provisions are illusory because the amendment is completely undefined.

THE ACT FLIRTS WITH A CREDIT DOWNGRADE

Let’s not forget the gorilla in the room. America faces an unprecedented fiscal crisis because of an unprecedented spending binge by this administration and the last. Credit rating agencies have openly warned that the nation’s Triple-A credit rating cannot be sustained without a credible plan to reduce the projected 10-year budget deficit by roughly $4 trillion.

This bill averts the threat of downgrade for failure to pay our current bills, but it also gives the most spendthrift administration in American history a credit line to continue spending at unsustainable levels through the next election. And it falls far short of the measures demanded by the rating agencies as necessary to maintain the Triple-A credit of the United States government.

If the nation’s Triple-A credit rating is downgraded as a result of this failure, it will mean higher interest rates to maintain government debt. Given the enormity of that debt, even a small increase in interest rates can add crushing additional costs to government. Furthermore, interest rate increases would ripple through the economy, causing higher mortgage interest rates, higher credit card rates and a severe additional drag on the economy.

This would occur on top of the inherent economic damage this bill does. The borrowing authorized in this measure is not theoretical: it amounts to more than $7,000 for every man, woman, and child in the nation or roughly $28,000 for a family of four. This debt must be repaid through that family’s future taxes just as surely as if it appeared on their credit card statement. In a real sense, this act means that every family in America has acquired the obligation to make the same payments as if they had just bought a new car.

Predicting the future decisions of the credit rating agencies is a fool’s errand. Much of their economic analysis is marred by perception, psychology, political pressure, and self-interest. But there is no blinking at the fact that on many occasions in the last month their senior analysts have called for immediate adoption of a credible work-out plan for $4 trillion of genuine deficit reduction in order to maintain a Triple-A rating. We ignore these repeated and explicit warnings at our peril.

SAVINGS ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED

The Budget Control Act purports to cut federal discretionary spending by $900 billion over the next ten years and set in motion another $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in ten-year spending reductions by year’s end. A recurring theme by proponents is that it guarantees a dollar of cuts for every dollar of new debt.

However, while the debt limit increase occurs this year, the savings occur over the next decade and are heavily back-loaded toward the end of that period. The work of the great economist, J. Wellington Wimpy, can be observed here: “I will gladly give you a dollar of spending cuts ten years from now for a dollar of debt today.”

In reality, this bill will decrease total federal spending by just $4 billion between….

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Everything You Need to Know About the Debt Deal

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

GOP 2012 Contenders (Except Huntsman) Oppose Debt Deal, Blame Obama – CBS News.

Michele Bachmann: If We Pass Debt Deal, “We Embrace Being Greece” — CNSNews.com.

Ron Paul “Strongly Against” Debt Deal – The Daily Caller.

Tim Pawlenty: Debt Deal “Nothing to Celebrate” – Politico.

Mitt Romney Rejects Debt Deal, Says It Could Lead to Higher Taxes – The Huffington Post.

Rick Perry Opposes the Deal – Politico

Gary Johnson, Deal Just “Kicking the Can Down the Road”.

Rick Santorum Opposes Deal, Says Obama “Never Led” – WQAD.com.

Newt Gingrich (Votes Present But) Says Debt Deal “Is Not a Solution” – The Daily Caller.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz a No Vote on Debt Deal; Sen. Mike Lee likely no – The Daily Herald.

Rep. Justin Amash Likely to Vote No – The Grand Rapids Press.

Debt Ceiling Deal Guts Defense Spending to Pay for Politics – Kim Holmes, Heritage Foundation.

President’s Debt Ceiling Agreement A Raw Deal for National Security – James J. Carafano, Heritage Foundation.

Even the Fakery is Fake: Joint Committee is Not Required to Recommend $1.5 Trillion in Deficit Reduction – David S. Addington, Heritage Foundation.

Budget Deal Doesn’t Cut Spending – Chris Edwards, Cato Institute.

Yes, There’s a Real Threat of Higher Taxes – Daniel Mitchell, Cato Institute.

Oh yeah, The Progressive Caucus and Black Caucus Oppose the Deal, Too – Raw Story.

Obama Wants to Cut Troop Pay

Move America Forward

In the latest and most outrageous move, the Obama administration wants to cut pay and/or benefits for our troops and their families, even those deployed overseas fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, in order to reign in budgetary spending.

It’s the classic game that the liberals play whenever they are in power – they are always quick to claim they support the troops, but the military is always first on the chopping block. Yesterday Secretary of Defense Robert Gates revealed that the Obama Administration was considering cutting military paychecks when he said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The defense secretary said the strategic review could require politicians to look at other uncomfortable choices, including pay levels for service members, new approaches for retirement and pensions, or higher healthcare costs for working-age retirees.” – David Alexander, Reuters 24 MAY 2011

Thanks to the Obama Administration, the gilded age where America supported it’s troops in times of war may be coming to an end, and this commander-in-chief may be asking our troops to fight two wars while at the same time GIVING UP pay, and benefits both for themselves, their spouses and their children!

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Defense Secretary Proves Obama Set to Slash Defense Spending

Donna Cassatta, The Idaho Statesman

President Barack Obama’s choice of expert budget-cutter Leon Panetta to lead the Defense Department is a clear signal that the White House perceives the nation’s deficit crisis, not the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as its toughest challenge.

After winning the presidency in November 2008, Obama asked Robert Gates to remain defense secretary as the administration struggled to bring clarity to the fog of two wars. In tapping Panetta to replace Gates, Obama is turning to a Washington insider and veteran of budget fights as the administration wrestles with reining in an estimated $1.6 trillion deficit.

A military budget that has doubled since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks faces certain cuts amid the clamor from fiscal-minded lawmakers, emboldened tea partyers and an electorate insistent on Washington changing its spending habits. The prospect of the United States drawing down the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan pumps up the volume in the call for cuts.

Congress and the White House have moved to trim defense spending with the budget for the current fiscal year set at $513 billion, $18.1 billion less than the administration proposed.

In outlining his deficit-reduction plan, Obama called for slashing another $400 billion from defense over the next 12 years. The president’s bipartisan fiscal commission recommended Pentagon cuts of $1 trillion over a decade.

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