Separating the truth from fiction: social spending vs. military spending

Whenever Washington pretends to discuss solutions to our forthcoming national fiscal collapse, many on the Left bring up national defense as the first area to cut spending. Of course, while cutting defense spending is an important part of getting our national debt under control, it is actually social spending that takes up most of the federal budget and is the driver of expected future debt. Unfortunately, many Americans have been fooled by Washington’s manipulation on this front, and believe the opposite is true.

Sadly, an astonishing number of Americans fail to know the truth about the federal budget. According to a recent national poll, only 37 percent of likely voters are aware of the truth about defense spending, and a bare majority of likely Romney voters are among those who are aware. Additionally, according to the poll – commissioned by the think tank Just Facts – only 18 percent of likely Obama voters know the truth.

This is not good as we look toward the debate over sequestration, and it’s even more depressing as we look at the long-term debate on the national debt. Those on the Left want to focus on defense cuts and tax hikes, even though taking every dollar from every millionaire would only make up about one-fifth of the fiscal year 2012 deficit. Defense comprises only 22 percent of the budget, including care for veterans, whereas social spending is more than 60 percent and growing. Clearly, the imbalance in the budget is not primarily caused by defense spending.

Unfortunately, it is not those causing today’s and tomorrow’s debt problems who are going to face the consequences of our spending policies. Today’s politicians are going to be retired and/or deceased when the consequences of large social spending, bailouts, a horribly mangled and immoral tax code, and other bad federal policies go from being future problems to being in the here and now. It will be young Americans – the Debt-Paying Generation – who are forced to deal with high unemployment, high taxes, high inflation, and/or diminished (or eliminated) retirements.

So what can be done? First, we as a nation must admit we have a spending problem, not a tax problem, though tax reform is absolutely critical to economic growth and diminishing the deficit. Second, we must immediately cut subsidies, corporate welfare, and other “low-hanging fruit” in the budget, and various welfare programs should be phased out. Third, Social Security and Medicare should be made solvent for the next three generations. Fourth, inefficiencies must be targeted – a minimum of 10 percent of the budget is spent on fraud/waste/abuse/duplication, possibly as much as 20 percent, and it should not be difficult to eliminate tens of billions in this part of the budget. Fifth, we need to start moving back to within the framework of the Constitution, which means the Department of Education and other federal bureaucracies must be eliminated. And sixth, we should reform and diminish defense spending – but only as a part of the larger reformation of the federal budget, not as the main focus of our efforts.

Politicians in Washington have misled the public for years on the causes and consequences of overspending. This ignorance is once again shown in the Just Facts poll, and may very well be the undoing of the great American experiment if things don’t change.

Comments

Polititainment

Joe Biden's first Instagram photo

Ladies and gentlemen of this great nation, rejoice! Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram -- and his first post is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

Celebrate Tax Day with this ditty

What better way to celebrate curse Tax Day than with a little toe-tapping, finger-snapping ditty that perfectly describes how we all feel about the Internal Revenue Service?

Joy Behar roasts Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may need some ice for a few burns he sustained from former "The View" host Joy Behar, as the comedian delivered an awkward roast of the 2016 presidential hopeful.

Boehner tears up at Taco Bell event

It wasn't because of the salsa, or the deliciousness of a Cheesy Gordita Crunch or anything -- it was just for the kids.

Rob Lowe: libertarian?

Actor Rob Lowe made some libertarian-tinged remarks in The New York Times Magazine this Sunday regarding his political beliefs.

White House

Obama: Republicans a threat to the right to vote

President Barack Obama slammed Republicans on Friday for supporting voter identification law and labeled the GOP as a threat to the right to vote.

Republicans renew fight against Obamacare as Sebelius resigns

FOX NEWS -- Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law.

Read more at FOX News.

David Ortiz selfie with Obama could mean the end to WH selfies

Everyone loves taking a good selfie, even President Barack Obama. However, after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a pic with POTUS last week, selifes may be banned from the White House.

White House runs ‘victory lap’ after 7M ObamaCare sign-ups, Republicans renew repeal fight

FOX NEWS -- While continuing to face deep skepticism from Republicans, President Obama and his team ran a victory lap of sorts Tuesday after declaring that more than 7 million people signed up for health insurance on the ObamaCare exchanges before the midnight deadline.

Read more at FOX News.

White House: MLB opening day petition no home run

POLITICO -- The White House marked Major League Baseball’s opening day with an intentional pass — suggesting Monday that the Americans who have petitioned that the first day of the season become a national holiday take their requests to Congress.

Read more at POLITICO.

Congress

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.

House passes Ryan's budget plan

The House on Thursday passed a 10-year Republican spending plan drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.

Harry Reid's Koch-fueled meltdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch.