Representative Chris Gibson, a Tea Party-endorsed freshman Republican and a retired Army colonel from New York’s Hudson River Valley, made it clear that no part of the Pentagon’s $550 billion budget — some $700 billion including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — was immune. “This deficit that we have threatens our very way of life, and everything needs to be on the table,” Mr. Gibson told William J. Lynn III, the deputy defense secretary, who testified at the hearing along with Gen. Peter J. Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the Army, and other service vice chiefs.The response of those who advocate for the welfare queens of the warfare state reveals their patronizing and condescending attitude toward anyone who openly advocates removing their snouts from the public trough. It sounds like they may even sponsor a number of re-education camps. The article continues:
[Republican head of the House Armed Services Committee] Mr. McKeon, for one, is concerned, and has quietly been meeting with the new members — a number have no experience in government — to educate them on national security. One Congressional staff member who closely monitors the military said, “While McKeon would say that all members are entitled to advocate for positions they want to advocate, what he has been doing is working to educate new members on what the threats are, and why we need the defense budget close to where it is.” [Emphasis added] . . .Clearly, it is militarists such as McKeon who need to be taught a lesson. A recent New York Times poll found that 55% of Americans support cuts to military spending. Given a choice between cutting military spending, Social Security or Medicare, 55% of respondents favored cutting military spending, compared with only 21% who named Medicare and 13% who named Social Security. In fact, support for cutting military spending led the way across partisan lines, including 66% of Democrats, 55% of Independents and 42% of Republicans. Of course, it is highly unusual to find leadership on this issue from the representatives of the global warfare and corporate welfare state in the Democratic and Republican parties. Fortunately, for that we need only look to the Libertarians and the Greens. From the Libertarian Party's response to the State of the Union address:
Mr. McKeon, who represents a California district that is home to major defense contractors, was the single biggest recipient in the House of campaign contributions from military aerospace companies and their employees.
Tonight we heard from President Barack Obama and a response from Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. President Obama says he wants a freeze in non-security, discretionary spending. In the unlikely event that happens, it won't really matter, because to make a real dent in the deficit, it's necessary to cut spending on the military and entitlements. The president promised big government in the past, and he delivered. I expect more of the same.
However, Obama has truly been a hypocrite on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a candidate, he promised to end them. Tonight we heard more hollow promises. The fact is, as president, he has kept those wars going, and has greatly escalated the war in Afghanistan. As a percentage of GDP, military spending is higher now than it was during any year of the George W. Bush administration.
Unlike President Obama, Libertarians would bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and reduce the military budget. On the Republican side, I found Congressman Paul Ryan's hypocrisy appalling . . .From the Green Party's response to the State of the Union address:
The White House and Congress can reduce the deficit drastically by ending the wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, cutting military spending and the number of US bases on foreign soil, and taxing the wealthy so that they pay their fair share. Future meltdowns can be averted by breaking up the "too big to fail" financial firms into smaller locally-based companies. The Green Party's goal of a decentralized economy, based on Main Street rather the Wall Street, will restore economic stability and security to the US.