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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Balanced Budget Must Include Military Spending Cuts, Says Bob Barr

Sen. John McCain says he wants to balance the budget by 2013, “but that’s virtually impossible unless the U.S. exits Iraq and cuts unnecessary military spending,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “Next year the U.S. will spend more than $500 billion—the most, in real terms, since World War II—just on normal Pentagon operations. Including the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan will push total annual military outlays to about $700 billion,” notes Barr.

“The U.S. already has spent more than $500 billion on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and total costs, including care for wounded and disabled veterans, could hit $2 or $3 trillion. These expenses cannot be wished away,” Barr insists.

The U.S. currently accounts for about half of all military spending on earth, far more than necessary to defend America. “Thus, there is room in the defense budget for significant reductions,” notes Barr. “We should begin a speedy and complete withdrawal from Iraq—and establish no permanent bases,” he explains. “American combat forces are no longer needed to defend Europe, Japan, and South Korea, all of which are wealthy and populous.”

“The U.S. government’s most essential function is to defend America—our land, people, and constitutional system. But that is defend America. It is not America’s purpose to subsidize wealthy trade competitors and attempt to reconstruct failed nations,” he adds.

Balancing the budget will require that tough spending choices be made across-the-board. Both pork and corporate welfare must go. Programs without any constitutional basis must be ended. Entitlement outlays must be controlled.

“But the Pentagon should not be exempt from fiscal discipline. Much of what the military does today has little to do with America’s defense. It is time to put defense back into the Department of Defense. Then we can cut the military budget according,” says Barr.

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