Our President’s second inauguration and State of the Union address have now come and gone, and it is evident that crucial budget cuts remain a possibility if no further agreements are reached by March 1.
These cuts of up to 8-9 percent or more would occur in all federal agencies--but the military stands the most to lose, with nearly half the cuts coming their way. This would mean numerous lay-offs and furloughs for many federal workers, at a time when our economy needs more jobs, not less, and at a time when our country needs our military to remain its strongest against both known and unknown enemies, both at home and abroad. And what did we actually gain in the recent fiscal cliff deal that was reached?
Other than taking 2 more percent out of our paychecks to further strap those of us who are trying to make ends meet, and raising taxes on the most wealthy by 1%, not much. All of that is still to be determined by March 1.
But the question remains – why does the military always seem to be the first target of our political friends on the left? Can we truly afford cuts in our military with as much turmoil and uncertainty that remains in the Middle East?
Can we allow the power of terrorists to increase and gain a foothold in the world while we cut our own troops and leave our own military defenseless and penniless? Due to recent bombings and killings aimed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and attempt on our embassy in Indonesia last year, as well as the great political unrest in Syria, Egypt, and Israel, to name a few, the military should be the last thing we consider cutting. How can we continue advocating cutting our military budget at a time never seen in the history of mankind where so much political unrest remains in the entirety of our world? Can we allow countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, and North Korea, to name a few, to continue to make efforts to build up their military power through the acquisition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, while we tear down our defenses at home and make cutbacks where funding is most needed? How can our President say in his State of the Union address that “As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief………we will maintain the best military in the world,” and at the same time advocate slashing the number of our troops, our military spending, defense jobs, and federal employees.
This leads me to wonder if our President or the Democrats in power truly get it? After tracking down Osama bin Laden and members of al Qaeda, do the Democrats and our President now believe that all is well in the world? After downsizing our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, with final removal in Afghanistan to occur in 2014, does our President believe that more cuts are necessary to financially cripple our own military at home and those that remain abroad?
Is there a logical explanation for targeting military cuts as opposed to other areas that may not be currently as crucial to our defense and interest at a time when our military and defense are so desperately needed? Should not other areas that involve political pork spending, political frills, and other unnecessary and irresponsible spending and the like be targeted first?
Our Republican friends in power continue to stress that now is not the time to cut defense spending and our military budget. They obviously understand the importance of the times we are in, and the necessity to build up our military at times such as these, in order to promote democracy in the world and protect and defend our interests at home and abroad. We cannot continue to let our military get the shaft and be the brunt of budget cuts each year, and still expect to be the foremost national power in the world and defender of democracy. Let us make our voices heard to our President and Democrats in power – budget cuts are needed to get us out of our budget crisis, a crisis that they continue to lead us deeper in each day – but hear our cry – at times like these we must build up our military, not tear it down----Or else we will be defenseless at a time, such as now, when we need truly our defenses the most.
Guest Columnist, Daily Times Leader
J.D., University of Mississippi
B.A. & B.S., Mississippi State University