Are Food Stamps More Important than Defense?

by PRESIDENTIAL POLICY: DOES IT MAKE THE GRADE?, JAMES JAY CARAFANO, PHD July 26, 2011
 
President Obama took time out from the debt limit debate, when he declared in a town hall meeting that preserving funding for food stamps was more important than providing for the common defense. “I think what’s absolutely true is that core commitments that we make to the most vulnerable have to be maintained,” Obama said. “A lot of the spending cuts that we’re making should be around areas like defense spending as opposed to food stamps.” This revelation came on the heels of the president’s declaration at a “Twitter” town hall meeting that he would like to cut defense in favor of more spending on education. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Obama views the defense budget as little more than a personal piggy bank.
 
The President’s comments are really worrisome in light of the ongoing deficit debate. The House had passed a “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan that would have preserved the opportunity for the Congress to defend the Pentagon’s budget against Obama raiding it for his pet pork-barrel projects. Unfortunately, the president threatened to veto the bill and the Senate rejected it.
 
Obama prefers a deal that guts defense by up to a $1 trillion. Heritage national security analyst Mackenzie Eaglen has made the case that cuts of even one-half a trillion would significantly compromise national security. She writes, “The sheer magnitude of these additional defense cuts would undercut everything from the number of people in uniform, to readiness and training, to base facilities and infrastructure. Weapons systems alone will not come close to meeting these cutting targets for the military.”
 
While Obama greedily eyes the defense budget, his foreign policy continues to flounder overseas. From Libya to Afghanistan there is little in the way of good news. 
 
Obama should be cautious about undermining military readiness. The way things are going overseas he just might need the armed forces in the future.
 
For last week the president gets a grade of “D” for ducking all the tough choices necessary to keep this nation safe, free, and prosperous.
 
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., is a leading expert in defense affairs, intelligence, and strategy, military operations and homeland security at the Heritage Foundation.
 

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