During the last debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the President finally had his moment – his zinger. When asked about military spending, Romney attacked President Obama on a shrinking military arsenal. The President, in return, had this to say:
“You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”
There are a few conclusions one can draw from Mitt Romney’s views on military spending, and none of them is good. Either he’s twisting facts and BS’ing in order to make Obama look bad, which, as a contender for the highest office in the land, he should be above doing, or he doesn’t understand the progression of the modern military, or both. Any way you look at it, it’s really, really stupid.
Take a look at this image, linked from GlobalSecurity.org. For clarification, the image shows all of the world’s aircraft carriers – 32 in all. Brazil has one, China has one, France has one, India has one, Italy has two, Russia has one, Spain has two, Thailand has one, and the U.K. has two. The United States has 20. We have 20 aircraft carriers, and yet somehow, our military is in trouble and needs more money? The notion would be utterly laughable if it weren’t so damn sad.
When asked about spending cuts and his plan for balancing the budget, the first thing Mittens brought up was the health care mandate, or as some like to call it, Obamacare. Not a mention of curtailing the ridiculous amount spent on defense or, as some of us in the real world like to call it, war. I quote:
“Come on our website, you’ll look at how we get to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years. We do it by getting – by reducing spending in a whole series of programs. By the way, number one – get rid of Obamacare.”
There are a few things wrong with that statement. The first thing is that repealing Obamacare would actually increase the deficit by $109 billion as the program does, in fact, save the Government this amount over the next 10 years. The second issue here is that immediately after saying he’d wipe out the health care mandate, Governor Romney emphasized how important Medicare is and how he would make sure it stays. Really, now, what’s the sense in being against government health programs if you’re going to be for government health programs, or is Romney simply pandering to an audience that isn’t paying attention? I think the latter… The third thing – and this is just adorable – is how Romney thinks that he’ll balance the budget in eight to 10 years (newsflash Governor, you get eight years at most), and yet attacks Obama for not getting a handle on it in four.
Look, I get that this is politics, and that these guys are simply in a battle of wits over who can claim the most ridiculous stuff and have the public believe it. I get that this is how it works – the pageantry, the theatre, the showboating. Even if this is what our political system is reduced to, it still doesn’t make it okay. It’s amazing to me that, in an age where factual information is literally seconds away – right at our fingertips, that not only do we allow our elected representatives to lie right to our faces, we encourage it. We cheer them on. We applaud the fact that our elected officials are lying, sociopathic scumbags that would sooner send their own people off to die in a pointless war rather than give the serfs some free healthcare and education. We’ve got the money for it, but we’d rather spend it on bombs.
Forgive me if it seems I’ve gotten off topic – I’m bringing it around, I promise – it’s just that here we are, the one nation on this planet with a military larger than many other nations’ combined, and we’re actually trying to increase the amount we spend on the military, even though we can’t afford the current rate of spending. I’d call it stupid, but it’s not; it’s negligent.
What we should be doing is streamlining the military in order to cover the bases necessary with the least amount of monetary and human cost possible. For some reason, in some way, we’ve made it acceptable to do the exact opposite.