« | »

Panetta Holds DoD Hostage For More Taxes

From a cheering New York Times:

Panetta Pleads for No More Cuts in Defense Spending

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
August 4, 2011

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta effectively told Congress on Thursday to raise taxes and cut Social Security and Medicare before taking another swipe at the Pentagon budget beyond defense cuts already called for in the debt-ceiling deal.

In his first Pentagon news conference, Mr. Panetta, a former budget director in the Clinton White House, lent his voice to the Obama administration’s strategy of putting pressure on Congress to consider raising revenues when a special committee meets this fall to recommend $1.5 trillion in additional deficit-reduction measures. Mr. Obama signed a debt-ceiling deal on Tuesday calling for an initial $1 trillion in cuts.

Whew. We were worried for a moment. We had thought the famously liberal Mr. Panetta was railing about the dangers of cutting our defense spending any further. When, in fact, he was just pushing for higher taxes.

Mr. Panetta’s argument was that defense had given up enough — about $350 billion of that $1 trillion over 10 years — and that further cuts would have dire consequences.

And the dire consequences would be that taxes would not be raised and wealth would not be redistributed to Democrat voters.

He then segued into a brief discourse on “discretionary” federal spending, like defense, and “mandatory” federal spending, like Social Security and other entitlements

Isn’t it peculiar that the first duty laid out in the Constitution – providing for the nation’s defense – is "discretionary." But spending on social programs not even imagined by the Framers is "mandatory."

Both Mr. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, who joined Mr. Panetta at the news conference, used words like “disastrous” and “unacceptable” to describe across-the-board cuts that would automatically kick in if the new committee failed to agree on reductions this fall

Which, of course was the plan all along. The Democrats want to force the Republicans to chose between cutting defense or raising taxes. It’s just another variation on the time honored ploy of cutting the police and teachers first in any spending reductions.

In this version the Democrats are holding a gun to the head of our national security unless they get their way. And their way is always more taxes.

At one point Mr. Panetta was asked, given the intensity of his language, if he would resign if the across-the-board cuts, called a “sequestration” of government spending, kicked in. Mr. Panetta chortled and replied, “I didn’t think it was going to sequester me.” Then he added, “I didn’t come into this job to quit, I came into this job to fight.”

To fight for higher taxes. And to shed crocodile tears while he happily slashes our defense capabilities to the bone.

Mr. Panetta declined to say where about $350 billion in defense budget cuts over the next 10 years would come from. But defense officials say there could be reductions in major weapons programs, cuts in the size of the armed forces, and increased premiums for the military’s health care system, Tricare.

Luckily, we can count on needing our military over the next ten years.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 5th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

No Responses to “Panetta Holds DoD Hostage For More Taxes”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »