North Texas Daily

Romney’s war cry shouldn’t rally conservatives

Romney’s war cry shouldn’t rally conservatives

October 23
23:22 2012

Mitt Romney is no fiscal conservative. He has frequently proposed a $2.1 trillion increase in “defense” spending without any explanation of how his administration plans to pay for it should he win the election. While I oppose federal spending, I vehemently oppose federal spending on the military, because nine times out of 10, it’s going toward stuff we don’t need.

Most voters don’t know how ridiculously oversized our military is. When Romney brings it up, he frames it by saying things like “I want to increase our military strength and Obama doesn’t,” and simple minds hear it as “Oh, Romney’s tough on foreign policy!”

Defense spending is higher than 26 of the next high-spending countries, and every single one of these countries is considered an ally. Cutting defense spending strengthens national defense by bringing the troops home, since they’ll be here instead of spread thin across the entire planet like we see today.

Defense cutbacks will end our current wars, and defense spending cuts will give the Department of Defense an adequate budget to operate on – one that will allow our troops to be well-equipped for defense should we need them on the home front.

When we increase the defense budget, we just end up buying things we don’t need. Just up the road from Reno, Nev., sits a parking lot filled with M-1 Abrams, the Army’s main battle tank. The tanks just sit there collecting dust, and more show up every year.

“The U.S. has more than enough combat tanks in the field to meet the nation’s defense needs, so there’s no sense in making repairs to these now,” said General Raymond Odierno, Secretary of the Army. When it suits him, Romney loudly proclaims that the president and Congress need to listen to the generals on the ground. But now that he needs votes, he has no qualms with objecting to the wishes of experts on military policy.

The argument that cutting military spending would lead to soldiers having their pay slashed is a false dichotomy, but it’s one that the GOP continues to parrot and promote as a talking point in this election. The vast majority of the Pentagon’s budget is devoted to the perpetuation of the American war machine across the world.

We could double the pay of every soldier and still afford to cut tens of billions from the current defense budget, but we won’t because the GOP relies on convincing people that cutting military spending equates to literally killing our troops.

Nicholas LaGrassa is an emergency administration and planning senior. He can be reached at NicholasLaGrassa@my.unt.edu.

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