I think the debt limit deal reached by Obama and the GOP leadership is a pretty bad one by any measure. But this is the single dumbest argument against that deal, that it will result in cuts to defense spending that will weaken the country.
♦ FY12: Freeze enacted at $530B, based on FY11. That’s $13B below the House appropriations level, and $23B below the Ryan budget, which (incidentally) was the same as Obama’s original budget.
Could have been worse—but to be cutting defense for next year by 4 percent from an Obama budget proposal that Robert Gates thought barely tolerable isn’t good.
♦ First tranche of long-term cuts: Continues the freeze, adding up to about $350B in cuts over the ten-year period.
OMG! A 4 percent cut in our defense budget? $350 billion cut over ten years? Why, that might drop America’s percentage of the world’s defense spending from 48% to, like, 46%! Yes, the U.S. spends 48% of all the world’s military spending. Our NATO allies spend another 18%. China only spends 6.5%. Here’s a chart from the Cato Institute with those figures:
And yet here’s Bill Kristol’s crazy conclusion:
1. If this deal governs policy for the next decade, it will be hard for the U.S. to remain the sole superpower.
2. This is the best day the Chinese have ever had.
3. This deal embodies a vision of America in decline.
Yeah, I feel so vulnerable to those “deep” cuts in defense spending. Why, we might have to invade one less country full of dark-skinned people that hasn’t done anything to us in the next decade. What a tragedy.