Cathy Reisenwitz

Stating, “This budget rejects the President’s cuts to national security,” the proposal actually increases military spending, ratcheting it back up to pre-sequestration levels. How unfortunate that after all the fighting over sequestration, the GOP wants to undo all that good work. National Review describes sequestration’s automatic spending cuts, implemented after the 2011 debt-ceiling fight, as one of the GOP’s greatest accomplishments since retaking the House in 2010. And for what?

The United States’s military spending defies all logic and common sense. The United States is responsible for 39 percent of all the military spending in the the world. Sequestration would put the DoD’s budget at about $475 billion. That would mean the United States would only outspend the next-biggest competitor, China, by $309 billion.

Simply by getting rid of waste, the Pentagon could easily cut around $70 billion from the budget over 10 years without threatening any Army brigade combat teams, Navy combat ships or Air Force fighter squadrons. One senior defense official estimates the Pentagon could save the $23 billion it wasted in 2013 overusing contractors and underusing oversight.

As for entitlement spending, according to Social Security and Medicare’s board of trustees, “We are looking at over $30 trillion in total obligations that we have to find sources to pay for above and beyond projected payroll tax and premium revenues.”

While it’s great that Ryan wants to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, repeal all of Obamacare, including the Independent Payment Advisory Board, reduce the size of the federal workforce, wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and eliminate corporate welfare, there is simply no way any of that will make the difference we need to see if GOP politicians continue to shirk from their responsibility to cut where it matters: entitlements and military spending. The real gimmick here is that Republican lawmakers keep talking about free markets and fiscal responsibility, then slinking away when it comes time to put their money where their mouths are.

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a Young Voices Associate and a D.C.-based writer and political commentator.