I think we can all agree that defense is a legitimate function of the federal government. We may disagree on other programs, departments etc. but it is generally recognized that complete privatization of defense would probably be a bad idea. That is why I find it interesting that when determining what can be cut from the federal budget the first thing advocated by some politicians is defense. Apparently we don’t spend enough tax dollars on things like replacing guard rails around empty lakes or repaving back up runways at empty airports but defense during a time of war…yeah we can cut that.
Now I want to be careful here, I am in no way suggesting that there isn’t wasteful spending associated with defense, far from it. I am merely pointing out that wasteful spending on a legitimate function of government should be reallocated to more efficient spending on legitimate functions of government. It’s not as if we have more money than we know what to do with in defense, it’s that the logic behind distribution ends up falling prey to many of the same problems that all government directed funding does. The politics of spending generally take far more precedent in government spending than it does in private spending. This will always be the nature of the beast, and therefore oversight is required, but I find it amazing that after hearing so much about fixing the debt problem on the backs of the poor (who don’t pay federal income taxes) our politicians have decided to try and fix it on the backs of our military men and women.
We must pay our bills, and that may require cutting defense, but how about before we fund anymore research on the sexual arousal of anesthetized female rats, or the design and development of a coordinated colony of robotic bees, we take care of our military men and women.
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