Want to Stop Government Spending? Start With the Pentagon

Our illustrious and compassionate Speaker of the House, John Boehner–who has called unemployed people “lazy” and has fought hard to deny affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans–has been known to have a problem with wasteful government spending. He blames this spending squarely on Democrats, with comments such as this:

This is reflective of a decades-old belief by Democrats that Washington politicians know how to spend our money better than we do. Democrats won’t even let us see where they’re spending tax dollars anymore – we’re just supposed to nod and smile, and understand that they know what’s best for us. Well I don’t buy it.

Thanks John.

Unfortunately, in the three years that Boehner has been Speaker, the Republicans have tried to balance the budget by cutting social programs and benefits for those who need it–such as the disabled, the elderly, and the unemployed–and by routinely blocking anything proposed by President Obama and the Democrats. In the meantime, one government agency that accounts for $600 billion in pure government spending goes untouched and unchallenged.

The Pentagon.

The Pentagon

The Pentagon

In a recent column, CNN commentator and journalist Fareed Zakaria points out just how out of control the Defense Department is, with a budget larger than the gross domestic product of Poland and higher spending on weapons than China, Russia, and six other nations put together. Zakaria says this:

The Pentagon resembles nothing so much as some kind of gigantic socialist enterprise, run according to its own principles, shielded from market discipline and accountable to no one. How does it continue to function and perform?

Zakaria’s analogy is appropriate. The military is one of the most socialist institutions that we have in America, as I have pointed out before. Which is ironic considering that most service members consider themselves to be conservative on most issues and frequently vote Republican.

If Boehner and his party are serious about cutting wasteful government spending, the place they have to start looking is at the Pentagon. Rather than letting our national infrastructure collapse because they refuse to fund highway construction, or letting our workforce continue to be hobbled by ineffective health care policy, they should take a hard look at the wasteful spending that is going on right under their noses.

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