Another Dissent on Defense | National Review

Another Dissent on Defense | National Review

A U.S. Marine assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducts live-fire training as part of Juniper Cobra exercises in Israel, March 11, 2018. (Corporal Jon Sosner/USMC)

Phil dissents from our editorial arguing for “a serious, sustained increase in defense spending of 5 percent above inflation.” I agree with him — not because I think the desire to spend more on defense is wrong per se (I’m open to the argument), but because the dire fiscal situation that we are facing is real, and because it is as liable to be made worse by increasing spending on defense as by increasing spending on, say, Build Back Better. Yes, defense is the core role of the federal government. But if we’re borrowing too much money, we’re borrowing too much money.

If the editorial is correct to propose that the United States needs a near-trillion dollar defense budget — and if the failure to pass one really does represent “a provocative display of weakness” that is “not going to get the job done” — then it’s important to consider what tradeoffs would be acceptable in order to obtain one. There are two options here: tax increases that would cover the increased cost, or cuts to some of the other programs that the federal government currently runs. The remaining argument is that our fiscal problems aren’t too bad after all.

They are.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.