Just because the sequestration cuts are bad doesn't mean the defense budget should be sacrosanct.
The argument for leaving 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014 is more or less reasonable on its face. The Kabul government is fragile; our gains might be reversed; the Afghan military is not ready to stand on its own. Here's the unreasonable, unavoidable part: If we don't leave then, we probably never will.
The Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of the group of deficit-fighting policies known as the "fiscal cliff." The top-line analysis: completely averting the contraction that would occur in 2013 and 2014 would cost $1.16 trillion - entirely deficit-financed.
If you weren’t watching Monday night’s presidential campaign debate in Boca Raton, Fla., you missed at least one jaw-dropping assertion. In a discussion of the “sequestration” spending cuts slated to slash defense and other budget items starting in January, President Obama declared that the sequester “will not happen.”
In 1989, the year President Ronald Reagan left office and the Berlin Wall came down, total spending by the Department of Defense equaled $468.7 billion in constant 2005 dollars, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
If you don't count Clint Eastwood, whose rambling, Bob Newhartesque conversation with an empty chair included implicit criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rand Paul may have been the only speaker at the Republican National Convention last week who questioned his party's mindless militarism. The Kentucky senator said, "Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent."
On May 23, President Barack Obama told more than 1,000 jubilant, uniform-prepped-and-polished graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy that the world has a "new feeling about America."
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