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Focus on Defense, Not Downgrade

As the Washington, D.C. political class continues to fret over the first credit downgrade in U.S. history, another, greater threat is looming. But it's not our triple A bond rating on the line, it's our soldiers lives. The new debt deal not only ruined the world's economic superpower's credit history, it also has set up our military to be routed by its own government, courtesy of Obamanomics.

The new "Super Congress," which will be appointed when the Congress returns from tanning itself (or, in a perfect world, having it's members hides' tanned by irate taxpayers), will be tasked with finding $1.2 in deficit reductions by late November. Should the super Congress fail to act, the cuts will occur automatically. It's called sequestration. And if it happens, a large portion of the $1.2 trillion dollars in both discretionary and mandatory programs will come from the Department of Defense.

America is fighting two wars in vicious combat zones. Just last week we suffered the deadliest day in our decade long fight in Afghanistan. At the funeral of those brave souls, an honor guard will hands over folded American flags to bereaved loved ones "on behalf of a grateful nation." The gratitude our elected officials have shown to those dead soldiers and those still on the front line is to use them as pawn in a political death match over debt and ideological rangling.

The funding of the United States military should be decided by what is strategically necessary to maintain the finest fighting force in the world and ensure our freedom and liberty is protected. Instead, our military's strategy will now be decided by the political winds of Washington, D.C., and a rouge President intent on destroying America with his left-wing, anti-military ideology and a Congress too concerned with poll numbers than principle to stand up to him.

There is no compromising with people like the President who tells us if we just just lay down our arms, no one will attack us, when history has shown quiet the opposite is true. And what of the Republican leadership that was supposed to hold the line and keep the President in check and prevent an attack of this nature on our defense? Complicit.

Our enemies lay waiting for weakness in our defense and this debt deal could deliver the needed crack. The manner in which the cuts will be decided makes it impossible for Republicans or activists to demand legitimate cuts instead of tax increases. Democrats will demand a tax hike, Republicans will demand entitlement cuts. Neither side will budge on either.

No deal means 50 percent of all required cuts will be mandated to come out of the Department of Defense. Not one domestic program will be forced to fall on its sword in this manner. This debt deal doesn't even require mandatory spending cuts to the behemoth and bankrupt entitlements like Medicare and social security that lead us to this economic precipice.

Republicans are now looking down the barrel of a gun. Raise taxes to appease the Democrats and yes, you avoid chopping the Department of Defense but continue to send America into an economic tailspin and disenfranchise your base. Or, stand your ground and watch as the deal you helped broker allows the U.S. military to be slashed and burned by its own government.

Sequestration has not always been fail safe and other Congresses have been know to get around it. If that should happen, the whole "debt deal" would prove to be another ruse on the American people. Our government will have just voted the largest debt ceiling increase in history without any spending concessions. But at least we'll be able to look at our fallen soldiers' families in the eye when we say, "on behalf of a grateful nation."

Jennifer Stefano is a grassroots activist and is the co-chair of the Loyal Opposition of PA.

Posted by TPI editor on 8/8/2011 9:44:13 AM

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