Have you heard? The sky is falling, and all we needed to bring it all crashing down was $113 Mil. dollars. At least, that’s the rumor. The 2015 Defense Budget was unveiled all the way back in March, and it’s practically a foregone conclusion. The biggest flap about the new budget was that it was “scaling back the Army to pre-WWII” size.
Reducing the Army to a pre-WWII size and reducing the defense budget sounds great to me, and I was actually excited to read the details of this reduction. It’s not the case that I don’t like the Army (even as a former Marine I’m partial to the corps…), rather it’s that I’m opposed to the idea American imperialism being delivered by America’s finest. I should have known better, because everything that comes out of D.C. is like a bag of Lays potato chips. Big, puffed up, shiny, appetizing, yet frighteningly empty and full of stale air. The new defense budget was no exception.
Trimming $113 Mil. dollars sounds like a lot of money, but the problem with big numbers is that we are so bad at properly contextualizing and understanding them. The “cut” represented .1 percent of the $595.6 Billion dollar budget. No lie. The budget was reduced by one tenth of one percent, and you’d think that the sky was falling. This budget cut will also reduce the number of Army personnel by 120,000.
We all knew this day was coming so there’s nothing to be upset about. Besides, you can’t support a “bring our troops home” movement without implicitly supporting an anti-globalist position, nor can you ask your congressman to protect aerospace manufacturing jobs at the same time. So what’s it gonna be, America? Do you want to protect your servicemen by bringing them home, or do you want to invent more technology to make deadlier warfare?
Congress (read: our congressmen’s advisers and corporate handlers) has chosen to play both sides of the fence on this one and we’re not going to save any money while doing it. They’ve decided to bring home troops, and to reduce the Army’s budget. Here’s the best part: they’ve chosen to spend the difference on military technology research. The teams of people who’ve been hurt, injured, killed, maimed, or lost a family to drone warfare are probably really excited to hear about how the Obama administration has decided to increase the funding for military technology (next generation drone warfare? Skynet?).
The only thing that I’ve heard for the last six years (longer if you count the pre-election spin) is that Obama is an anti-American, anti-imperialist, activist president who’s trying to destroy America. If that’s the truth then he’s not doing a very good job of it, because the collective body of misfits and nutjobs that is the American congress is thwarting him at every step. It’s either that, or he’s in on the trick. If Obama does have the power to single-handedly ruin America then surely he could have done a bit worse than taking $113 Mil. dollars out of the Army’s budget.
A pre-WWII army might not be so bad, but we could do better by reducing the size of a different army. Why not cut back the Internal Revenue Service and get rid of it completely? The IRS is terrorizing and robbing Americans right now with an army of ~85,000 administrators, and their budget is somewhere in the neighborhood of $11.2 Billion dollars.
I don’t know why we even need to argue about this. Would you rather cut 120,000 soldiers at a savings of $113 Mil. dollars, or would you rather cut 85,000 federal employees at a savings of $11.2 Bil. dollars? This is such an easy decision that even a Caveman can get it right. Unfortunately, it looks like our own collection of elected cavemen are going to get this one wrong again.
If it really is about the money then we should hear all of congress clamoring to shutter the IRS and send the those administrators down the river on a log. If it’s not about the money, then it really begs the question of who our federal government is more interested in terrorizing, and also why they care more about tyrannical accountants than our hardworking servicemen.
Cutting the Defense Budget? Cut the IRS Instead by Thomas Buhls is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.