Mitt’s Grand Idea—Let’s Spend More on Defense

This is written for the three independent voters—one in Montana, one in Vermont, and the other in Oregon—that will most likely decide the 2012 presidential election.

Completely lost in the weekend “Mormonism is a cult” hubbub, is a much more serious two-part problem. Mitt Romeny is a liar and in serious denial about our nation’s finances.

Indira A.R. Lakshmanan reporting for Bloomberg Business on October 8th:

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama of bowing to global adversaries and promised, if elected, to boost America’s military strength by expanding the Navy and missile defenses.

“America must lead the world, or someone else will,” Romney said, reprising the argument from his 2010 book, “No Apology,” that U.S. military strength and leadership are essential to deterring tyrants and keeping world peace. “In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.”

Note to Mitt: “Our century” was the Twentieth. We’re in decline in large part because we’re spending way too much on Medicare and defense.

Romney pledged in his first 100 days in the White House to boost naval shipbuilding, deploy Navy carriers to deter Iran’s suspected military ambitions. . . and invest heavily in missile defense and cybersecurity.

At The Citadel and Oct. 6 aboard a World War II aircraft carrier in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Romney repeatedly said Obama is slashing defense spending and gutting missile defense, assertions that are contradicted by official data.

According to government figures, military spending under Obama is higher than it was under former President George W. Bush. Total Defense Department budget authority for non-war and war spending increased 3.6 percent from fiscal year 2009 to 2010, according to Pentagon budget data. Obama requested $708 billion in budget authority for war and non-war spending in fiscal 2011, an increase of 2.5 percent. 

Romney showed “once again that he is willing to say anything, regardless of the facts, to get elected,” Obama’s re- election campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt said in an e-mail.

The former Massachusetts governor on Oct. 6 released a list of foreign policy advisers, including many who served former President George W. Bush and advocated the invasion of Iraq. Several had supported so-called enhanced interrogation techniques or rendition of terrorism suspects to third countries, including former State Department counter-terrorism coordinator Cofer Black, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

Aboard the USS Yorktown Oct. 6, Romney called for reinforcing the Navy and Air Force and adding 100,000 active- duty troops to reduce battlefield rotations.

One U.S. service member costs the government $100,000 per year on average, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, meaning Romney’s plan would cost $10 billion per year, or $100 billion over the 10-year timeframe for reducing the nation’s deficit. 

Echoing a theme of American exceptionalism that was a favored Bush motif, Romney asserted that “God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.”

Yes we most definitely are destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.

Romney told listeners that he would ensure U.S. “leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances.” Romney has previously swiped at Obama for “leading from behind,” a reference to the White House’s push for NATO to take joint ownership of the military support campaign that allowed Libyan rebels to oust Qaddafi.

So this is what it’s come to, both sides competing to be the “Defense” party. I’ll spend more than you. No you won’t. Meanwhile, that frees up all the “follower nations” to use their finite economic resources to rebuild their infrastructure, strengthen their education systems, and improve their public health systems. Which in turn will enable them to close the economic gap with us even more quickly.

And to think some people are more worried about Mormonism’s multiple heavens and belief that Jesus visited the Americas.

This “my defense budget is larger than yours” bullshit makes me long for a third party. Since that’s not likely, I guess the only thing that “global military superpower” weary fiscal conservatives like me can do is support the side that will increase defense spending the least.

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