Quick Thoughts on "Let's Get Serious Part 1"
1. Please don't waste our collective time wandering down a litany of military budget items. If you will agree to take just as sharp a scalpel to domestic spending as you propose to do for Defense, I will agree that a complete re-visit of the entire budget process is needed. Keep in mind that when it comes to domestic (entitlement) spending, an across-the-board re-evaluation means there are no 'sacred cows' - everything (and I do mean everything) is on the table. If it doesn't work or isn't *really* needed - out it goes. Hint: Be careful what you wish for.
2. A paraphrase of an old quote: "There is no more expensive military than a second-class military." I also suggested - against my better judgment, but I can think of nothing better that would produce FAST results - a complete two-year FREEZE on *all* spending, including the military budget. What's wrong with that? The first step to implementing reductions in spending is to stop the increases (all of them).
3. If you want to close military bases around the world - fine. But I suspect we'll run afoul of some treaty obligations. That also means our ability to respond quickly and effectively around the world (as needed to protect legitimate US interests) *will* be negatively affected. (Let's not argue over WHAT constitutes a 'national interest' and just recognize they *do* exist, all over the world.)
4. On the Medicare issue - which will lead us back to Health Care, another looming boondoggle, IMHO - I'll start by stating the obvious: "Heath Care" is not a "Right". It is NOT mentioned in the Constitution. But - Is it a real political issue? Sure. So how about this idea (proposed elsewhere, but I like it)... BTW, This is not applicable for Defense spending, for obvious reasons.
Congress has absolute power over D.C. They can, quite literally and legally, do whatever they want. So... Congress can/should develop a plan for whatever 'experiment' in health care they like. Put it in operation in D.C. Let's see it work for five-ten years. Then, honestly examine the Real World FACTS - No 'wishful thinking' allowed. If their solution is so wonderful, it will be blindingly obvious to all. If it *doesn't* work, then why should something that cannot work in the D.C. "lab" be applied blindly to the entire country? Come to think of it, you could use the same approach with education and many, if not most, domestic (e.g. entitlement) programs. Short form: If they have all the answers, prove it in D.C. first.
"...This attitude has so poisoned the atmosphere that a rational public review of defense spending has become almost impossible in this country. And Steve, if you are the advocate of limited government you claim to be, why shouldn't we have that review?"
Like I said, I'm willing. So are most others... Provided we don't LIMIT the review to Defense. The ENTIRE budget process is broken. There is a very Real Danger to reducing our military capacity. So tread softly. That's enough for now...